Apr 17, 2011

Menu Plan: Almost Easter including Egg Directions

Easter is falling one day short of the latest possible date, and yet it's still chilly, windy, rainy, whatever. Easter is at our house this year and I'm praying for at least a sunny afternoon for our egg hunt.
Meanwhile, in our year-long study of the travels of Marco Polo, our hero has finally reached Cathay. To celebrate, we'll be serving up some Asian inspiration.

Mongolian Beef
over Cellophane Noodles with Stir-fried Snow Peas

Leftovers from Father R's Homemade Lasagne
He starts with the recipe on the No-Boil noodle box using Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce (comes in a can, cheaper and every bit as good as the expensive jarred stuff), mozzarella, riccota, and parmesan. Then, instead of boring ol' ground beef, he kicks it up a notch by cooking up sweet Italian sausage links, slicing them and using them between the layers of other ingredients. After each group of layers, he sprinkles his own combo of Italian seasonings. Bakes it in our Pampered Chef stone 9x13 dish uncovered for about 45 minutes. When done he lets it rest for another 15 minutes to set up.
Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.

Wednesday: Cook While the Cook's Away
Baked Slow Cooker Chicken
Roasted New Potatoes in the Slow Cooker
Microwaved Asparagus

For the potatoes, partly pare 2 lbs new potatoes and place in slow cooker with a 1/2 cup of water. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until done. Pour off water. Stir together 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 T. chopped fresh parsley, 1. T chopped dill (or 1/2 t. dry), and juice of one lemon, about 3-4 T. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the potatoes and toss. Serve warm.

Maundy Thursday
A Soup and Salad Supper at church--something new!

Good Friday: Vegetarian Night. Another Middle East meal. (I know Jesus had lamb at that Supper. But something like this could have been served when Passover was over, right?)
Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash
Cucumber and Yogurt Salad

Saturday: Light and Simple before a Big Day
Linguine with Seafood and Sundried Tomatoes
Spinach Salad

Easter Sunday Pot-Luck Buffet
The guests all pitch in so who knows? There will at least be lots of hard-boiled eggs cuz the adults all love 'em and cuz of the egg hunt (outside , PLEEZ!)
There are instructions at the end of the post for perfect hard-boiled eggs.
We'll provide the Spiral-sliced Ham. It would have been Grilled Leg of Lamb, but the economy has put the pinch on. We'll also put out an appetizer, bread, and probably a dessert. I'm thinking of making the Lamb Cake with the old 2-piece Wilton cake pan I grew up with. It's a big challenge to make everything come out of the pans whole. THEN, you have to stick the pieces together with icing and skewers, decorate it and get it to remain sitting up! If I succeed , I'll be a hero to Mei Wei who is a huge fan of the Cooking Channel show, "Cake Boss."
One of these years, I'm going to dare to break with family tradition, and do a Brunch menu starring quiches! And Mimosas. Aaah.

And now the egg tips. Considering I absolutely hate hard-boiled eggs, I know an awful lot about cooking them. That's because I married into an egg-loving family. But that doesn't mean I sleep with Father after he gorges on them. Sorry for that image.
                                   Here's a recipe for Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
These directions are similar to the ones in Joy of Cooking which I've used for 30 years. (Gosh, that makes me sound like a Grandma!)
A couple of tips for no-fail eggs:
1) You want them to peel easily and prettily. Use OLD eggs near to the Best-Used-By date.
2)You want YELLOW centers, without that Dr. Seuss greenish edge. Cook in a stainless pot.
3)You want the yolks to be centered. Turn them gently every few minutes. One lady commented to secure the carton of raw eggs with rubber bands and place sideways in the frig over night. Sounds like an Urban Legend, but I might try it.
4) You want the shells intact. I DO NOT recommend the recipe's cooling instructions; I think the eggs will crack if subjected to a blast of cold water. Mom always took the whole pot to the sink and started running cold water over them WHILE THEY WERE STILL IN THE HOT WATER. They would slowly cool. Keep running the water until the eggs themselves feel cool. If you want to conserve water, then just make a few water changes.
5) You want your eggs to fit in those stupid cardboard Easter Egg decorating  stands. Buy small eggs. 

This reminds me I didn't purchase eggs two weeks ago. Hope they peel :-(. 
Have a blessed Easter!
What are your traditions?

1 comment:

  1. Hey I love Mongolian Beef... I can eat almost all days if given :) Slow cooker recipes are really delicious and power saving. Love them so much.
    -Slow Cooker


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