Category Archives: Easter Menu

Vanilla-Sented Baked French Toast with Vanilla Maple Syrup

Hello everyone,

Here another Easter brunch recipe for you to try. It’s from my Cooking Club of America magazine.

Vanilla-Sented Baked French Toast:

1/2 lb. white french bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices, day old works best

6 eggs

1/3 cup sugar or vanilla sugar***

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup half-half

2 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. butter, cut up

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Arrange bread, in  single layer if possible, in a large nonreactive baking dish or on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until blended and smooth. Whisk in cream, half/half, and 2 tbsp. vanilla until combined. Pour over bread, turning to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate 8-12 hours, gently turning bread occasionally. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange butter on another large rimmed baking sheet. Heat in oven 1-2 minutes or until butter is melted; spread evenly over pan. Carefully remove bread from egg mixture, allowing some excess to drip off; arrange on hot butter-coated baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Turn; bake an additional 5 minutes  or until lightly browned on both sides.  Cut in half, if desired, and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. To make vanilla sugar place about 5 split fresh vanilla beans in a large ziplock bag filled with sugar. It will take a couple of weeks for the vanilla flavor to come through.. It’s great in tea, sprinkled over cookies or oatmeal..

Vanilla-Malpe Syrup:

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1-1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

Combine both ingredient’s in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Serve over french toast.

It’s been a quiet week for us, I have just been swimming and Ray is keeping busy with work. Oh I did get the cake delivered to the mentally challenged adult, but not on Wednesday on Thursday instead. I was very sick Wednesday, I didn’t even go swimming Wednesday. I spent all day at home in bed asleep. I called the lady that helps run the place and they were more than happy that I was bringing the cake on Thursday. They understood that I wasn’t feeling well. It’s nothing anyone can catch, it’s just the Sarcoid stuff. I saw the other specialist on Friday and they are starting me on a different medication, I’ll still have to take steroids for a while, and they will reduce them down as the other medication takes effect. I sure hope this new medication will help me, and I can go off the steroids.. I feel better today than I have for a while. I was late for swimming class, so I only got in about 30 minutes. I went to the lap lanes and kinda swam 4 laps. I don’t have enough muscle tone yet to do full laps. I have to hang on to the side if the pool with one hand to help me along. I found out that I can still do the dead mans float, it felt good!!

Well goodnight my friends, swimming cleaning the fridge and cooking clam chowder has made me really sleepy. I know that doesn’t sounds like much to some of you, but to someone like me who is ill, it’s a lot!!

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on April 16, 2011 in Breakfast, Easter Menu


Mediterranean Easter Menu Part 3

Hello everyone,

Here is my last 2 recipes for my Easter Menu, hope you all enjoy them!!! Happy Easter everyone!!! 🙂

Salmon Dolmas with Avgolemono

1-1/8 lb salmon fillet, skinned

12 bottled grape leaves, rinsed of brine and stemmed

1 cup vegetable stock or broth

2 eggs, separated

2 tblsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1 tblsp. fresh dill chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the salmon into 12 (1-1/2oz) strips, each about 2-1/2 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. Wrap each piece in a grape leaf. Place the dolmas seam side down in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle the stock or broth over the dolmas and bake for 6-7 minutes, until fish is firm but not mushy. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the egg yolks and lemon juice together until frothy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold in the yolks. Remove the dolmas to warm individual plates. Pour the stock into a small saute pan. Add the egg mixture to the warm stock, whisking constantly until thickened, 1-2 minutes, whisk in the dill.  Pour the sauce over the dolmas, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve at once, garnished with lemon wedges.

Honey and Orange Cheesecake

For the Crust:

2 cups cinnamon graham crackers, finely crushed

1/3 cup granulated sugar

4-5 tblsp. unsalted butter, melted

To make crust, mix all ingredient’s together well and press into a 10-inch springform pan and set aside.

For Filling:

1-1/2 lb. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup honey

6 eggs, at room temp.

zest of one orange

1 tsp orange extract

Beat cream cheese until creamy, add sour cream beat until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time until mixed in, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat in the honey,  zest and extract. Pour onto crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes, just until center is set. Turn off oven and leave in there for 2 hours. Chill overnight, cheesecake will firm up overnight.

I have 2 cakes this week, there both for a nursing home, one has to be a diabetic cake. If it turns out well I’ll post the recipe. I’m not sure what cake I’ll making for Easter (decorated cake I mean) I thought about making a sheet cake and baking a 3-D lamb cake, then I’ll give it to the mission. The only places I think we’ll be going on Sunday will be to church them we will go out to eat somewhere, who know’s thing’s may change??? As you can see from my posts I have already made the thing’s we liked to eat for Easter.  Most of my family wouldn’t eat what I have made. There all pretty picky and like to eat the same thing’s on every holiday. I get tired of that, Ray and I like to try new recipes and different flavor’s. Well I better go for now, I need some sleep, hope you are doing well and have great day tomorrow!!! 

Amanda 🙂

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Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Easter Menu


Mediterranean Easter Menu part 2.

Hello everyone,

Here are a few more recipes I am making for Easter, I hope you give then a try!

Gypsy Spinach Pie:

Pastry for 2 crust pie 9-inch pie pan, home-made or store-bought, your choice.***

1 (1lb) bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 tblsp. olive oil

2 tblsp. unsalted butter

2 bunches green onions, chopped

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

1 cup (4%fat) cottage cheese

4 hard-cooked eggs, cooled, peeled, and sliced

1/4 toasted bread crumbs

oil for brushing top crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pastry for pan and place in the refrigerator. In a large skillet over medium-heat, heat  the oil and butter. Saute the onions until soft, add the nutmeg, sat, pepper, cayenne pepper, pine nuts, raisins, parsley, dill, and spinach. Cook for 1 minute, then add the cottage cheese to heat through. Sprinkle the bread crumbs in a layer on bottom of crust. then put in the spinach mixture, top with sliced eggs. Place top crust on pie crimp the edges and decorate with pastry leaves if desired, brush with olive oil and cut a few steam vents. Bake for 45-50 minutes until top of pie is golden brown and juice is bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: I used Julia Child’s pie crust recipe, it’s very flaky and tastes great!! From the baking book (Baking With Julia), but you can use whatever pastry you like…

Stuffed Eggplant

3 baby globe eggplants, or 6 slender asian eggplants

1/2 cup plus 2 tblsp. olive oil

2 tblsp. butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tblsp. fresh rosemary

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 (15.5oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup water

Cut the eggplants in half, and carefully scoop out the flesh leaving 1/2 inch shell. Dice the pulp and set aside. Salt the eggplants let sit flesh side down in a colander for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Warm the 1/4 cup olive oil and butter and saute the onion until soft about 10 minutes. Add the diced eggplant, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, tomatoes, and eggplant, and simmer for 5 minutes or until most of the juices have been absorbed.  Heat 2 tblsp. olive oil and in a large saute pan, over medium-high heat. Cook the eggplant shells turning a few times, to soften them. Place in a baking dish and spoon the eggplant mixture into each shell. Pour in the 1/4 cup water around the eggplant. Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, until eggplant is very tender.

Asparagus and Red Potatoes, with Almonds and Herbs

24 small new red potatoes, cut into chunks, about 3lbs.

1/4 cup. olive oil plus 2tblsp.

2 tblsp. unsalted butter

salt and pepper to taste

2lbs. asparagus, washed and ends removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tblsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped

1 tblsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the potatoes with the 2 tblsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Meanwhile heat the 1/4 olive oil and butter over medium-high heat, and cook the onions until soft then add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp tender. Then add the garlic, and all the herbs. Toss in the cooked potatoes, and almonds and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Posted by on March 28, 2010 in Easter Menu


Mediterranean Easter Menu: Part 1

Hello everyone,

I decided to post part of my Easter menu, since there will be several recipes!! So far everything I have made my husband has really liked. He doesn’t like hot peppers, so I’ve stayed away from anything like that. Just lots of fresh herbs, vegetables ect…

Herb Lamb Bread:

2 Tblsp. active dry yeast

2 cups sour milk, 105-115 degrees

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 stick unsalted butter, cubed

6 to 6 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tblsp. each fresh rosemary and thyme, very finely chopped

 2 tblsp dried lavender, very finely chopped. NOTE below***

Heat the milk with the butter over medium heat until butter is melted ( it will looked curdled, don’t worry it will come together). Make sure your milk is in within the temperature range before adding the rest of the ingredient’s, I use a thermometer to check. Add the yeast, sugar, salt, herbs, and eggs mix well, I use my kitchenaide mixer with the paddle attachment, then use the dough hook once I have added 5 cups of the flour. Add remaining flour if needed. Your dough should be slightly tacky to the touch. Put in greased bowl and cover the top with oil (lightly), cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let raise until doubled in bulk. I used my Wilton 3-D lamb pan for the bread. With remaining dough shape into loaves or rolls.  Here is the pan I use:   Let raise in pans until doubled in bulk and bake at 350 degrees. The lamb pan will take about 45-55 minutes. If you are a not a baker here’s a tip to tell when bread is done.  Tap loaves with your finger and they should  sound hollow. Other shaped pans and rolls bake at varying times. It just takes practice and time!  

Lavender is a strong flavored herb, you can leave it out if you wish to. It’s an acquired taste, you either love it or hate it. I happen to love it!!!

Rack of Lamb Marinated in Garlic and Herbs:

For the marinade:

1 large onion

4 cloves garlic

zest and juice from 1 lemon and 1 orange

1 tblsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tblsp.  each fresh mint, thyme, rosemary, and basil, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

Place all ingredient’s in a food processor, (except oil) and finely chop. With the processor running slowly add the olive oil in a thin steady stream, until mixture is blended. Place lamb in a ziplock bag and let marinate for at least 6 hours or for up to 2 days.

2 racks of lamb trimmed or 12 lamb chops

 oil for brushing, and salt and pepper to taste

Sear lamb in a cast iron pan until browned all over. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and place lamb in roasting pan. Roast for 10-12 minutes until meat thermometer reaches 125 degrees. Cover with foil for 10 minutes before carving. If using chops heat the broiler and place a rack 4-6 inches from the heat. Broil chops on an oiled broiler pan for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Salt and pepper to taste.

Artichoke Hearts with Raisins

6 large artichokes about 4 inches in diameter

1 lemon, cut in half

2 tblsp. lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup vegetable broth or stock

2 cup chopped and peeled tomatoes

1/2 raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes

2 tblp. honey

salt and pepper to taste

Cut the stems and tops off of the artichokes, break off and  discard most of the outer leaves and remove all the rest with a sharp knife. Scoop out the fuzzy chokes with a small sharp spoon. Rub the cut surfaces with the lemon half and float the artichokes in a bowl of cold water mixed with the lemon juice until all the artichokes are prepared.Drain and pat dry just before cooking. Pour the olive oil into a large saute pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and toss to coat in the oil and add the broth. Cover and steam for 12-15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, raisins, and honey; stir well and simmer, uncovered until artichokes are tender, and juices have reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and more honey or lemon juice if needed. Transfer artichokes to serving plate and spoon sauce over top.

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Posted by on March 27, 2010 in Easter Menu