Thursday, April 21, 2011

What's for Dinner: The Easter Menu...

So instead of it just being three people for Easter lunch, I made the call that we should invite some folks over. So on Sunday we may have a few other people joining us. Should be exciting at our house. In case you're also hosting a few folks, I thought I'd share our menu and my recipes with you. I've never cooked this much for people (usually I say I'm going to handle this and this and then have people show up bearing food to fill in the rest) so pray that it turns out delicious or we'll have to go out for lunch!

*** To those who may be dining with us on Sunday, please note that the menu is subject to change if I find something I like better or (heaven forbid!) something doesn't turn out just right! Please also note that this is NOT the Cooking Light version of anything! ***

Trisha Yearwood & Beth Bernard's Crockpot Pork Loin

*** We're actually not having this because we're eating around 1 and I'd rather not get up at 3 to start the crockpot. I realize I could start it at 8 but then we may not make it to church. We're having another meat instead but I thought I'd share this with everyone anyway because it looks delicious! ***

* 2.5-3 lb. pork loin
* 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
* 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
* 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
* 1/4 tsp. black pepper
* 1 tbsp. cooking oil
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 2 tbsp. lemon juice
* 3 tsp. soy suace
* 3 tbsp. cornstarch
* Salt & Pepper

1. Trim the visible fat. If necessary, cut to fit into a 3.5-5-quart crockpot.
2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, ginger, thyme, and pepper. Rub the spice mixture over the entire surface of the loin.
3. In a large skillet, heat the oil and brown the loin slowly on all sides. Drain off the fat. Transfer the loin to the crockpot.
4. Combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, and soy sauce; pour over the loin.
5. Cover and cook on a low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on a high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
6. When the roast is done, transfer the meat to a serving platter and cover to keep it warm.
7. To make the gravy, pour the juices from the crockpot into a glass measuring cup. Skim off the fat. Meaure 2 cups of liquid, adding water to the juices, if necessary, to make 2 cups. Transfer the juices to a saucepan, reserving 1/2 cup. Stir the cornstarch into the reserved 1/2 cup of juice until dissolved, then stir into the juices in the suacepan. Heat, stirring frequently, until the gravy is thickened and bubbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Season the gravy to taste with salt and pepper.
8. Slice the roast and serve it with the gravy.

Mama's Baked Macaroni and Cheese

* 3 tbsp. margarine
* 1/4 cup unsifted flour
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
* 1/4 tsp. pepper
* 2 1/2 cups milk
* 2 cups grated cheese
* elbow macaroni (I usually use a 1 lb. box)

1. In a 2 qt. saucepan, melt margarine over low heat.
2. Stir in flour, salt, mustard, and pepper until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Gradually stir in milk until smooth.
4. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat about 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.
5. Add cheese and stir until melted.
6. While preparing the sauce, cook macaroni, drain, and pour into greased 2 qt. casserole dish.
7. Pour cheese mixture over macaroni; mix well.
8. Bake in 375* oven 25 minutes.

Green Bean Bundles

* 2 or 3 cans whole green beans
* Bacon
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 tsp garlic salt

1. Wrap handfuls of green beans in slices of bacon.
2. Melt butter and stir in brown sugar and garlic salt.
3. Pour butter mixture over bundles.
4. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Broil 3-5 minutes at the end.

Paula Deen's Strawberry Pretzel Salad
*** I didn't have my mama's recipe but I assume hers is VERY similar to this. This may be my favorite "must have" for Easter lunch! ***

* 2 cups crushed pretzels
* 3/4 cup melted butter
* 3 tbsp sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
* 1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
* 2 (3 oz.) pkgs. strawberry Jello mix
* 2 cups boiling water
* 2 (10-oz.) pkgs. frozen strawberries
* 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple
* Cool Whip, to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400*.
2. For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9x13 pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
4. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.

Mama's Brown Rice

* 1 cup regular rice (not instant/quick-cook)
* 1 can beef consumme
* 1 can French Onion soup
* 1/2 stick butter

1. Add rice to casserole dish (or other oven-safe dish).
2. Add beef consumme, French Onion soup, and butter to rice.
3. Bake at 350*. Stir every 15-20 minutes.

Brown 'N Serve Rolls

1. Buy brown 'n serve rolls at your local grocery store.
2. Arrange on cookie sheet.
3. Butter tops of rolls.
4. Cook according to package directions.
5. Enjoy.

*** This is included because I don't think it's possible to have Easter lunch without brown 'n serve rolls, do you? I even looked at roll recipes and decided it just wouldn't be right! ***

Bess' Key Lime Pie
(Bess, feel free to chime in if I didn't do this correctly!)

* 4 Limes
* 1 cup Cool Whip
* 1 can sweetened condensed milk
* Graham Cracker crust

1. Wash off limes, grate 1 tsp zest.
2. Cut limes in half and squeeze 1/2 cup juice.
3. Whisk together juice, zest, and sweetened condensed milk.
4. Fold in 1 cup Cool Whip. (Microwave Cool Whip 5-10 seconds.)
5. Pour all into pie crust and freeze at least 4 hours.


Jen said...

Lauren - Did you see that The Pioneer Woman AND Trisha Yearwood are getting Food Network shows!? I am so excited!

Jen said...

Lauren -

Did you see that The Pioneer Woman AND Trisha Yearwood are getting Food Network shows in the Fall!? I am so excited!

Whitney J. said...

Can you please post pictures of these foods after you've cooked them? They all sound DELICIOUS. I'm especially intrigued by the green bean bundles!

pcb said...

Good call on the macaroni and cheese...I could live on that.