Easter

Easter Egg Nest Brownies

Easter Egg Nest Brownies are fun and really easy to make!  You can also make the brownies ahead of time and then let everyone decorate them at the potluck.

The inspiration for these treats came from different Easter cupcake pics that I found online.  I used brownie mix, but chocolate or vanilla cake mix will work great, too.

Ingredients:

1 batch of brownie mix (I used a box to keep things simple.  1 box will yield 12 brownies.)

1 container of pre-made vanilla frosting

2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Assorted Easter candy

Bake the brownie mix according to directions in a greased, regular-sized muffin pan.  Start checking them for doneness about 10 minutes earlier than the instructed time.  Let them cool completely (If you don’t, they fall apart).  Then, carefully remove them from the pan.

Mix the coconut and food coloring (start with 2 or 3 drops and add more, as needed) in a bowl until combined.

Frost the brownies.  Then dip them, face down, in the coconut.  Top with your favorite Easter candy and gently press it into the coconut and frosting.  For extra fun, you can add a Peep to the center.  Apply some frosting to the bottom of the peep and press it down on the cupcake.  It bonds perfectly!

Now, you’re ready for potluck time!

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

sour-cream-coffee-cake

Make Sour Cream Coffee Cake for your next breakfast or brunch potluck!  This version has a pecan-streusel layer on the inside (you can use walnuts, too!).  It’s crunchy on the outside, but is perfectly moist and buttery on the inside.

The recipe comes from the Just A Matter of Thyme cookbook.  I have made many recipes from this cookbook and every one has been fantastic.  I highly recommend getting a copy of this cookbook!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

2 cups cake flour (or take 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour; add 2 T. cornstarch and sift)

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar.

Mix together the butter, white sugar, and eggs.  Fold in the sour cream and vanilla.  Fold in the dry ingredients until combined.  Pour half of the batter into a greased bundt pan.

Mix together the nuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar to make the streusel filling.  Sprinkle it on top of the batter.  Spoon the rest of the batter over the filling.

Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.  Let cake cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

You’re ready for potluck time!

Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake is luscious, sweet, moist, light, and absolutely delicious!  EVERY time I make this cake, everyone goes crazy for it.  It is one of my favorite cake recipes and is perfect year round for any potluck, but I especially like to make it for spring and summer occasions.

Mary Lou, a former co-worker, gave this recipe to me years ago and it has been a staple in my recipe book ever since.

Ingredients:

1 package white cake mix

1 small box strawberry Jell-o

2 T. flour

3 eggs

1/4 cup water

10 oz. box frozen strawberries, thawed (I have only ever been able to find a 16 oz. container of frozen strawberries.  Make sure you buy the kind with sugar added.)

2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/4 cup softened margarine (I haven’t tried this with butter yet.  So, if you do and it works out, please let me know!)

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat the cake mix, Jell-o, flour, eggs, and water in a large bowl on medium speed for two minutes.  Add 6.5 oz. of the strawberries including liquid (I use my glass measuring cup that has cups and ozs.) to the mix and beat 1 more minute.  Add the oil and beat 1 more minute.

Put the batter in a greased and floured 9 x 13″ pan. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  It will get golden brown on top and that’s normal. Let cake cool completely.

To make the frosting, mix the margarine, powdered sugar, and 3.5 oz. of strawberries including liquid until well blended.  This frosting is in somewhere in between a glaze and a frosting, so you may need to add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up.  Frost the cake, cover it, and immediately put it in the fridge.

An hour of so before potluck time, take it out of the fridge and serve it at room temperature.

* Alternate serving suggestion:  Make them as cupcakes.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!

Brussels Sprouts Bon Vivant

Brussel Sprouts Bon Vivant

Not a fan of brussels sprouts? This Brussels Sprouts Bon Vivant recipe will change your mind!  Tender brussels sprouts are layered with a swiss cheese white sauce, sausage, stuffing, water chestnuts, and topped with more swiss cheese.

We love brussels sprouts at my house and this casserole is a big hit!  It’s especially suitable for an Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas potluck.  But really, it’s delicious anytime.  Thank you to Joyce for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. brussels sprouts

2 tsp. grated onion

1 cup water chestnuts, sliced

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup prepared poultry dressing (I used Stove Top chicken stuffing. It worked perfectly and only took a few minutes to prepare.)

1/4 lb. ground pork sausage

3 T. butter

3 T. flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup grated swiss cheese, plus extra for top of casserole

Additional nutmeg

Cook sprouts in salted water with grated onion and drain.

Make white sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for one minute.  Whisk in milk and cream gradually, making sure that there aren’t any lumps.  Continue whisking and cooking until white sauce is thick.  Take off heat and mix in cheese until melted.  Add nutmeg.

Saute’ sausage and drain well. Add in cooked poultry dressing and chestnuts and sauté it with enough butter to coat it evenly.

In a buttered baking dish, put half the sprouts, half of the sausage mixture, and half of the sauce.  Repeat.  Top with additional cheese.  Sprinkle with more nutmeg.

Bake at 400 degrees for approx. 30 minutes or until cheese melts and is bubbly.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake 6

This is the best carrot cake recipe ever!  The pineapple makes it extra sweet and moist.  I am required by my family to make this every year for Easter.  However, it is delicious any time of the year.

Ingredients:

2 cups white sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)

4 eggs

3 cups grated carrot (I prefer the finely grated carrot and like to use my food processor for this)

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup walnuts (optional)

3 ozs. cream cheese

1/4 cup milk

2 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Sift together the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.  Stir in the oil and eggs.  Stir in the carrots, pineapple and walnuts.

Bake in a 9 x 13″ pan at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let the cake cool completely.

Beat the cream cheese, milk, and powdered sugar in a bowl until desired consistency.  This frosting is runnier than most.  It’s kind of in between a frosting and a glaze.  Frost the cake and refrigerate until serving time.  If possible, save a piece for breakfast the next day as it is delicious with a cup of coffee or tea!

Deviled Eggs

 

Deviled Eggs

Easy, yummy, and everyone loves them!  The smoked paprika makes them look especially pretty.

Ingredients:

Hardboiled eggs (as many as you want)

Best Foods Mayo

Honey Mustard

Salt

Pepper

Smoked Paprika (Trader Joe’s has a great one for a great price)

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks.  Mash up the yolk really well, then add mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste.  Fill the empty eggs with the yolk mixture.  Sprinkle the tops of the eggs with the paprika.  Serve!

Potato Casserole

This recipe has been in my book for years and it came from Margie.  Recently, I almost brought this to a potluck, but decided on a salad instead.  When I got to the party, there were already two other versions of this casserole!   And they both got devoured.  You can’t go wrong with this one and it’s so easy!

Ingredients:

32 oz. frozen hash brown potatoes

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cup grated cheddar

1 – 16 oz. sour cream

1/3 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup margarine or butter

Heat soup and butter or margarine until melted.  In a bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, green onions, and sour cream.  Add heated soup and butter.  Put in a greased 9 x 13″ pan.

Topping:

3 T. butter, melted

1 cup cornflakes

Combine butter and cornflakes.

Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Add topping and bake for 20 minutes more (or until cornflakes are golden).