Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! In my mind, Easter heralds the arrival of fresh Spring asparagus and I always feature it in my Easter meals. Ham in any way, shape, or form is another favorite for Easter dinners at our house, and dessert can be whatever your heart desires…along with, or after, all of those chocolate bunnies and eggs, of course!

Here’s a recap of some Easter-worthy dishes, just in case you’re still hunting for the perfect recipe. May you and yours enjoy a peaceful, beautiful and happy day.

I'll take mine with just a little cheese, please!

I’ll take mine with just a little cheese, please!

Orzo with Lemon, Asparagus and Ham, one of my personal favorite Easter dishes!

Maamool 4Ma’amool Cookies, perfect for celebrating!

saladWarm Asparagus and Potato Salad with Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette. I’m actually making this one tomorrow!

shortcakeStrawberry Shortcake (Florida Strawberries just hit the market here!). Gosh, if you’ve got the berries, it’s never too early for strawberry shortcake.

finished puddingHam, Fontina and Spinach Bread Pudding (a warmer for those of you still suffering from Spring snow and cold winds!)

cucumbersoup2Creamy Avocado and Cucumber soup…a great, light starter for the Easter meal, leaving all the more room for…

Is there anything more inviting than a freshly baked pie? No, perhaps not.

Is there anything more inviting than a freshly baked pie? No, perhaps not.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie…oh, my!

azalea2The azaleas are popping…Spring is here! Have a lovely day.

Strawberry Orange Almond Crisp and a Terrific Casserole

This photo almost ended up with the spoon in it…I couldn’t wait to taste!

I was out of town for several days at the end of last week to visit with family and friends, and took my new laptop with me so I could post and read while away. Woe was me when I found that I couldn’t “connect” from where I was due to spotty internet service and no wi-fi available yet. Ah, technology, it’s great when it works…

A fabulous bread pudding-like casserole that is great the next day, too!

I’m back home now and I’d like to share a couple of very tasty items I made before I left town. One was the lovely dessert above. The other was a dish from blogger friends Katherine and Greg over at Rufus’—a wonderful Kale, Spinach and Bread Casserole that we enjoyed oh-so-very-much and that I highly recommend. Katherine’s recipe, which you can find here, immediately got my attention because I’m such a fan of savory bread puddings and greens. She used gruyere and blue cheeses in hers, which sounds divine and I would have, too, except for the fact that I was leaving town and only had fontina and parmesan on hand. I’m happy to say that it was terrific with these two cheeses, so I know it must be outstanding with the other two…especially since gruyere and blue are two of my favorite cheeses. I’ll be making this one again, and thanks, Katherine, for the recipe!

And now for the dessert. I had lots of fresh Florida strawberries on hand, and I wanted to try something I’d never had or seen, a fruit crisp made with strawberries only. I’ve often wondered why you never seem to see a strawberry crisp even though you do see pies occasionally—I guess it’s because it takes a lot of strawberries to make one—but I have to say, it’s really a terrific thing! My recipe, which pairs the flavor of orange and some almonds with tart berries, is really a delicious way to enjoy this spring fruit treat. It’s not an overly sweet dessert and can be made more so when topped with vanilla ice cream, or more complex by enhancing the natural sweetness of the berries by topping it with crème fraiche. The first time we had it, ice cream was on hand, but I can tell you that the next day, using the crème fraiche just took it into the stratosphere! And of course, you could use whipped cream flavored with Grand Marnier…or whatever you like. Continue reading