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How to Get Those Brilliant Colors for Your Easter Eggs

Here it is; almost Easter and thanks to an Inner Chef member (Theresa), my eggs will FINALLY be the beautiful hues I have longed them to be!

Theresa found a great site from McCormick that show us just how to get those brilliant colors for our Easter eggs.
Enjoy!

Just click on the link below.

http://lookbook.mccormick.com/?crlt.pid=camp.65PAbGoOP0gf#/show/Eggs/Kitchen-Tricks-Easter-Egg-Color-Guide

 

Color_Guide_Eggs


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Inner Chef Members Easter Recipes

 

Easter Recipes from Inner Chef Members

I love Easter! Family, Easter egg decorations and hunts, the sure signs of spring and the food! Inner Chef invited its members to share their favorite Easter dinner recipes with us so that we could share with all of you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

 

APPETIZERS

Deviled Eggs               Makes 24 deviled eggs

(Inner Chef Member; Docia Lee)

“One side dish I always make for Easter is Deviled Eggs like my mother always made them.”

1 dozen Eggs

2 Tbsp. juice from Sweet Pickles

2 Tbsp. Dijon or yellow mustard (My mother always used yellow mustard, but I prefer Dijon)

1-2 Tbsp. mayo

Salt and Pepper to taste

Paprika (optional)

Put eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil and set off the burner for at least 20 minutes before trying to peel them (Peel by starting at the wide end of the egg first, it peels easier).

1. Cut the eggs in half, setting aside the whites.

2. In a medium bowl, mash the yellows adding salt and pepper to taste.  Add pickle juice and mustard. Add mayonnaise and stir until it looks like the right consistency.

3. Fill the egg whites and sprinkle with Paprika (if you want – I think it looks pretty).

Be sure to taste and add more salt, mustard or mayo, to taste!!! 

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Dill-Deviled Eggs        Using: 1 dozen eggs

(Inner Chef Member; Carolyn Lee)

This is one of my favorite deviled egg recipes. Using a fancy frosting tip and piping the filling into the eggs, gives it that extra eye appeal.

 

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs; sliced in half lengthwise

Mayo**

Dijon Mustard**

Fresh Dill

Salt

Pepper

Celery Salt

Smoked Paprika

  1. Place eggs in large saucepan; covering with water just about 2” above eggs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and transfer eggs to an ice bath to cool; about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Shell cooked eggs and slice eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove yokes and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl; add cooked egg yolks and mash with spoon or fork and set aside. In another bowl; add mayo and mustard and stir until smooth. Add finely chopped dill, salt and pepper and celery salt to taste. Remember to start on the low side with seasonings; you can always add but you can never take away. Mix mayo mixture with egg yolks until smooth.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a spoon to fill cooked egg whites with yolk mixture. Top off with a dash of smoked paprika and a small piece of fresh dill.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

REMEMBER THIS: You should never let you deviled eggs sit out for more than 2 hours! A great idea is to lay the serving platter on a small bed of crushed ice to keep them cool.

**The mayo and mustard combo is really a taste-as-you-go thing. Some people like more mustard than others. Start with ¼ cup mayo and 1 tsp. mustard, taste it…wait for it…let your taste buds work for a few seconds and then decide if you need more of one or the other. If you add more mayo; do it by teaspoons or your yolk mixture will be too wet and runny.

deviled eggs

 

 

 

 

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SALAD

Lime Jell-O Salad

(Inner Chef Member; Bob Bacon)

This is a dish that had to be made every Easter at my mother-in law’s. I’ve always liked it and this last year even my grand kids asked if we were going to still have the green Jell-O even if we didn’t have dinner at great grandpa’s. So I made it and everyone was glad we are going to keep the tradition going.”

Ingredients

1 (3 oz.) package lime Jell-O gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup small curd cottage cheese

1 cup crushed pineapple; drained

¼ cup diced celery

¼ cup chopped nuts; optional

Directions

Dissolve lime Jell-O in boiling water, add evaporated milk and mix until Jell-O is completely dissolved.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until blended.

Pour into 9-inch square pan and chill until set.

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Jell-0 Salad

(Inner Chef Member; Docia)

This is a jello recipe from my mother-in-law called Cucumber Salad. I always really liked it.

1 pkg Line Jello
1 cup boiling water
salt to taste – touch
l tsp grated onion
1 tbsp vinegar
1 scant cup cottage cheese (draned)
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup chopped cuke-drained
4 oz pkg cream cheese

Melt creem cheese with chives in hot jello and add vinegar. Cooled and beat in mayo and fold in cottage cheese. Combine cucumber and onion with jello mixture. Refrigerate for several hours.

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ENTREE

Mustard & Fruit Glazed Ham

(Inner Chef Member; Lisa Reinhard)

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a young Army spouse who had no idea how to cook up a holiday meal that was presentable enough for company. My sister-in-law sent me a recipe card box with all these recipe cards in it. This one gets peoples attention at the table every time, and the presentation is impossible to goof up because not every ham you buy looks like the one pictured and keeping it colorful is key.”

Ingredients:10 to 12 pounds fully cooked, bone-in ham 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed ¾ cup light corn syrup

⅓ cup prepared brown mustard

1 can (20 ½ oz.) sliced pineapple, drained

1 can (1 lb. 1 oz.) pear halves, drained

8-10 preserved kumquats, drained

8-10 maraschino cherries, drained

2 small limes, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of ham, away from bonePreheat oven to 325°. Place ham, fat side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of ham, away from the bone.
  2. Bake uncovered, 2 to 2 ½ hours.
  3. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and mustard. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine fruit (except limes) with mustard mixture. Let stand at room temperature, basting fruit several times, about 2 hours.
  5. Remove any skin from the ham; score ham fat in 1-inch diamonds. Brush with ¼ cup syrup from fruit mixture over ham. Bake for 15 minutes. Arrange 3 each of       pineapple slices, pears, kumquats, and cherries on ham; secure with wooden toothpicks. Brush ham with about ¼ cup more syrup. Bake for 15 minutes or until nicely glazed and meat thermometer reads 130°. Decorate with lime slices as pictured. Pass remaining mustard-fruit. 1/3 cup prepared brown mustard One can (1pound, 4 1/2 ounce) sliced pineapple, drained 1 can (1 lb, 1 oz) pear halves, drained 8-10 preserved kumquats, drained 8-10 maraschino cherries 2 small limes, thinly sliced 1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of ham, away from bone. 2. Bake, uncovered, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. 3. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, syrup, and mustard. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to boil. 4. In medium bowl, combine fruit (except limes) with mustard mixture. Let stand at room temperature, basting fruit several times – about two hours. 5. Remove any skin from ham; score fat in 1 inch diamonds. Brush about 1/4 cup syrup from fruit over ham. Bake 15 minutes. Arrange 3 each of pineapple slices, pears, kumquats, and cherries on ham; secure with wooden toothpicks. Brush ham with about 1/4 cup more syrup. Bake 15 minutes, or until nicely glazed and meat thermometer registers 130°F. Decorate with lime slices, as pictured. Pass remaining mustard – fruit.

Mustard and fruit glazed ham

 

 

 

 

 

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DESSERT

Easter Bunny Cake

(Inner Chef Member; Evelyn Collins)

This is from my mom and I remember being so excited when it was time for this cake. This recipe came from a Betty Crocker “Cake and Frosting Cookbook”. My mom used white cake mix with this recipe.

1. Bake any flavor Betty Crocker Layer Cake Mix in two round layer pans, 8” or 9×1 ½” as directed on package. Cool. Prepare Betty Crocker Fluffy White Frosting. Mix as directed on package. Cut one layer of cake in half, put halves together with frosting. Stand cake upright on cut edge.

2. With a sharp knife, cut a notch about a third of the way around the semicircle, forming the rabbits’ head. Save cutout piece for the tail. Secure in place in a wooden pick. Frost rabbit with remaining frosting. Sprinkle generously with shredded coconut.

3. Make ears of white paper, color inside with pink crayon. Use pink jellybeans or gumdrops for eyes and nose. Coconut tinted green or paper grass and a few jellybean form an attractive nest around the bunny. Freeze the other layer of cake for future use.

 

 

How to Cut Your Cake

How to Cut Your Cake

 

 

Betty Crocker Cake & Frosting Cookbook

Betty Crocker Cake & Frosting Cookbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter Egg Nest Cake

(Inner Chef Member; Docia)

1 box of cake mix, any kind and flavor

Bake in a Bundt pan (I used a jello mold circular pan with a hole in the middle-back then, there wasn’t such a thing as  a Bundt pan).

Unmold on a cake plate. Ice with dyed medium green icing (any kind) and cover the outside of the cake with medium green dyed coconut spilling over on the plate (making it look like grass).

Fill the hold with hard-boiled eggs-different colors. You could use Jelly Beans if you wanted-whatever you preferred

I took Docia's idea and ran with it!

I took Docia’s idea and ran with it! 

        DSCN9513

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Coconut Cake

(Inner Chef Member; Carolyn Lee)

My mom started the tradition of the coconut cake at Easter and I have kept that tradition flowing over the years. I did put my own spin on it a couple of years ago and here it is.

Ingredients

Duncan Hines Classic White Cake mix

Duncan Hines Classic White Frosting

Shredded coconut

Edible Easter basket grass

Sparkle Jelly Beans

Green food coloring

Directions

1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package for 9” layer cake.

2. Add a few drops of green food coloring to about 1 cup of shredded coconut and set aside.

3. Let cake cool completely. Frost and add white coconut to inside layer of frosting, sides and top of cake. Put green coconut on cake to represent grass. Use edible Easter grass for stem and leaves of flowers and then create your flowers using the sparkle jelly beans.

DSCN9108-001

 

 


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Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Kicked Up a Notch)

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day!

What better way to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day than with warm, toasty, creamy GRILLED CHEESE!

Grilled cheese sandwiches are said to have started as far back as the early 1900’s. But today’s notion of the grilled cheese sandwich began in the 1920’s; thanks to James L. Kraft and the man who from Iowa who invented the bread slicer.

Over the years people have tried many ways to cook their grilled cheese; campfire, oven, microwave and even with an iron (flashback to “Benny and Joon”). But sooner or later they all come back to the stove top!

Years ago, we had a choice between white or wheat bread and American cheese seemed to be the only “go-to” for cheese. Not anymore! There are so many breads out there today, so many cheeses, even fruits and veggies to add to our GRILLED CHEESE that it may be overwhelming to some. So thanks to my sister; Cory, I have a few recipes for you and I hope you enjoy them.

HAPPY NATIONAL GRILLED CHEESE DAY!

How to Make a Grilled Cheese

1. Heat 1 Tbsp. salted butter in a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

2. Press the sandwich slightly and place it in the skillet. Cook until golden on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Flip, adding more butter to the pan if needed, and cook until the other side is golden and the cheese melts, 3 to 5 more minutes.

(That is how Food Network tells us to make one…I myself find it easier to do it the way mom taught me; spread butter on 2 slices of bread. Lay one slice of bread, butter side down in heated pan, lay your cheese down on the bread slice and top with second slice of bread; butter side up. Proceed as directed above.)

These recipes came from: FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE

Twists on an Old Classic

Classic Sandwich: 2 slices cheddar, Monterey jack or Swiss cheese between 2 slices country white bread; cook, flipping once, until golden.

Bacon and Tomato: Make Classic Grilled Cheese, adding 3 slices crisp bacon and 1 slice tomato between the cheese.

Diner Sandwich: 2 slices American cheese between 2 slices white bread. Spread mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwich and cook, flipping once, until golden. Serve with ketchup.

Cheddar and Pickles: Make Diner Grilled Cheese, replacing the American cheese with aged white cheddar and adding sliced pickles between the cheese.

Garlic Ham and Cheese: Prepare 2 thick slices frozen garlic bread as the label directs. Sandwich with 2 slices each Monterey jack and ham. Cook, flipping once, until golden.

Avocado: Toss 1/4 sliced avocado with lime juice and lime zest to taste. Sandwich 2 slices white bread with 2 slices pepper jack and the avocado. Cook, flipping once, until golden.

Swiss-Mushroom: Spread 2 slices rye bread with Thousand Island dressing. Sandwich with 1 slice Swiss cheese, some sautéed mushrooms and onions, and another slice of Swiss. Cook, flipping once, until golden.

Ham–Apple Butter: Spread 1 slice country white bread with apple butter and another with Dijon mustard. Sandwich with 1 slice Swiss cheese, 1 slice ham and another slice of Swiss. Cook, flipping once, until golden.

Recipe from Inner Chef Member Correen: My very favorite grilled cheese sandwich is a light coating of raspberry jam, Sargento® Swiss cheese slices (2 please) and 2 pieces of bacon, crumbled or whole.  The cheese melts perfectly over the bacon and mixes slightly with the jam.

 

For more mouth-watering Grilled Cheese recipes:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-grilled-cheese.page-1.html

Food Network

Food Network

 

 

 

 


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Watermelon Summer Salad

 

 

I could have sworn that I posted this awhile back; but I was mistaken. This salad is my favorite salad for summer! It’s crisp, clean, sweet and tangy!

WATERMELON SUMMER SALAD

4 cups Watermelon, seedless; diced

½ Red Onion, sliced

2 tomatoes, diced (grape tomatoes can be used in cut in half)

1 tsp. Fresh Chives, cut small

5 Fresh Basil leaves, sliced (roll them up, one at a time and slice thin)

¼ cup Sherry Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (must be Extra-Virgin)

1 Handful of Arugula (per plate)

1 Handful of Baby spinach, rough chopped (per plate)

1.   Combine the sherry, olive oil, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.

2.   Add all of the salad ingredients and gently toss together. Let it marinate for 5-10 minutes and divide among 4 cold plates or cold bowls.

 

Cabernet & Balsamic Reduction

½ cup Red Wine

½ cup Balsamic Vinegar

¼ cup Sugar

1. Reduce in a small pot until syrup consistency, let cool to room temperature.

2. Drizzle the Balsamic Reduction over the top of the salad.

 

(I usually toss the reduction with the entire salad before service.)

summer salad2

 

 


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Stuffed Meatballs in Sherry Sauce

 

Stuffed Meatballs in Sherry Sauce             Serves: 6-8 (or 24 meatballs)

This recipe was given to me by Inner Chef Member; Jerry Bacon. This savory meatball dish won Jerry First Place at a Beef Cook-Off in Arizona a few years ago. The Sherry Sauce is a brilliant pairing for this stuffed meatball. Enjoy!

Meatball Ingredients

2 lbs. ground beef (80% lean)

1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies, undrained

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 egg

2 Tbsp. parsley flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

Sherry Sauce (recipe below)

24 small mushroom caps (stems removed)

2 to 4 oz. crumbled bleu cheese

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 bag (16 oz.) Dumpling® Egg Noodles, cooked and drained

Fresh parsley sprigs

Orange slice twists

COMBINE ground beef, chilies, onion, egg, parsley and garlic in a large mixing bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Cover dish and refrigerate 30-45 minutes allowing flavors to blend.

MEANWHILE prepare Sherry Sauce

PREPARE meatballs by forming 1 ½ oz. (golf ball size) beef mixture into a circle 2 ½ -3 inches in diameter. Ladle 1 tsp. sauce onto each patty; place mushroom, stem end up, over sauce and fill mushroom with cheese. Fold edges of patty over mushroom and seal by pinching and rolling to form a meatball. Brown the meatballs in oil in a large frying pan. After meatballs are browned, gently drop into the sauce. Continue simmering for 30 minutes; basting occasionally.

SERVE meatballs with some sauce over noodles. Garnish with parsley sprigs and orange twists. Pass remaining sauce to your guests.

 

Sherry Sauce Recipe              Yields: 2 cups

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

¼ cup dry white wine or water

⅓- ½ cup Cream Sherry or Cognac

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. paprika

COMBINE ingredients in a 2-qt. saucepan; stir over low heat until mixture begins to simmer. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Jerry’s Notes: Rice or mashed potatoes may be substituted for the noodles.


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Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Who doesn’t like chocolate and raspberries? Think of this; a delicious, moist, and rich cake that tastes like you spent hours making it, when actually; it didn’t.

I think you will be amazed and the vibrant raspberry flavors paired with the fudgy chocolate goodness of the cake and fudge sauce. You will also be amazed at just how easy this cake really is.

Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines Classic Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix

Eggs, oil and water as directed on cake mix package

1 large jar Hot Fudge sauce (I used Smucker’s Hot Fudge sauce)

1 (10 oz.) jar Red Raspberry preserves (I love Private Selection’s Oregon Red Raspberry)

1 small box raspberry jell-o

1 pint fresh raspberries

DSCN9420

 

 

 

 

Directions

For Poke Cake:

Make cake according to package directions for a 13×9” cake.

Let cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

While cake is cooling; empty jar of preserves into small saucepan and cook on low, stirring often (you are just going to warm the preserves). When preserves are warmed; spoon into a very fine mesh sieve and with the back of a spoon; press preserves into sieve. You will need a knife to scrape the sauce from the bottom of the sieve. (This is going to be your raspberry sauce…yep, it’s that easy).

Remove cake from fridge, and poke holes in cake using a fork (it’s okay to get a little crazy here).

Mix raspberry jell-o with 1 cup of HOT water. Stir until jell-o is completely dissolved. Carefully pour hot jell-o over cake, making sure you get the jell-o into all the holes that you poked. Return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Warm hot fudge sauce in microwave for about 30 seconds and stir. You may need to warm for additional time; you want the fudge sauce to be smooth and easily spreadable.

Carefully spread hot fudge sauce over cake. Drizzle raspberry sauce over cake and decorate with fresh raspberries.

Store in airtight container, in the fridge.

cake10

DSCN9459

 

 

 

For Layer Cake:

(You will need another jar of preserves and hot fudge sauce for this cake)

Make cake according to package directions for 9” round cakes. When cakes are cool; slice each layer horizontally (this gives you 4 layers). Trim top layer so that it is flat (save what you trim off).

Your layers will be as follows:

Cake

Hot fudge

Cake

Preserves

Cake

Hot Fudge

Cake

Preserves

Trimmed piece of cake

Hot fudge

Drizzle of raspberry sauce

DSCN9425

cake12

DSCN9444

 

 

 

 

Store in airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

 


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Substitutions, Measurements and Oven Temps

Baking Substitutes, Measurements and Oven Temperatures

I don’t purchase bread flour or cake flour if I know that it won’t be used up before its expiration date, so I find these substitutions very useful. Oven temperatures are important to know especially if the recipe you are using only states “slow, moderate or a hot” oven. 

SUBSTITUTES

FOR                                                                                  USE

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour                                             1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sifted cake flour

1 cup sifted cake flour                                                       1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sifted all purpose flour

1 Tbsp. cornstarch (for thickening)                                    2 Tbsp. flour

1 tsp. baking powder                                                          ¼ tsp. baking soda + ½ tsp. Cream Tarter

1 whole egg                                                                        2 egg yolks + 1 Tbsp. water (for cookies)

1 whole egg                                                                        2 egg yolks (custards and such)

1 cup fresh sweet milk                                                       ½ cup evaporated milk + ½ cup water

1 sq. unsweetened chocolate (1 oz.)                                  ¾ cup sugar + ¼ cup liquid chocolate

1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)                                      1 cup white sugar

 

MEASUREMENTS

Dash = less than ⅛ tsp.

3 tsp. = 1 Tbsp.

16 Tbsp. = 1 cup

2 cups (liquid) = 1 pint

2 pints (4 cups) = 1 quart

4 quarts (liquid) = 1 gallon

8 quarts (solid) = 1 peck

16 oz. = 1 pound

 

OVEN TEMPERATURES

Slow oven = 250°- 300°

Slow Moderate oven = 325°

Moderate oven = 350°

Quick Moderate oven = 375°

Moderate Hot oven = 400°

Hot oven= 425° – 450°

Very Hot oven = 475° – 500°

 

 

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