Wee Cook Friday: Easter Bread!

To conclude the “Wee Cook Friday” meatless meal series, I wanted to reprise my very favorite recipe for this holiday season, my Easter Bread.  We like to make this for Good Friday supper, or for Easter breakfast (especially if there’s company).  We always make two loaves, and play “Easter Bunny” by leaving one on someone’s door stop!

easter-breadWhile I’m on my writer’s retreat, I thought I’d reprise this recipe from “Mommy Monsters” for Easter Bread — makes a great Good Friday supper, or Easter breakfast treat!

Easter Bread

2-3/4 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg dry yeast
2/3 C milk
2 Tbls margarine
2 eggs, beaten
4 colored raw eggs
(optional: 1/4 C chopped blanched almonds)

Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Heat milk and margarine over low heat until warm (120-130F). Add to dry ingredients. Add beaten eggs into dry mixture with milk. Beat 2 minutes.

Stir in enough additional flour to make soft dough. Knead 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, flip to grease top. Cover and let rise until double (1 hour). Punch down. If adding almonds, knead them now. Divide in half and roll each half into 24″ rope.

Twist ropes together loosely, like a candy cane. Form into ring on greased sheet, tucking loose ends under to form ring. Brush with melted butter, and place eggs into spaces of twist. Cover and let rise until double (about 45 minutes). Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.

We usually make 2 for two reasons: If they both turn out, we bring one to a friend. If not, we eat the one that doesn’t look as though it will break a tooth. After all, Lent (and any associated suffering) is over. It’s time to REJOICE!

Wee Cook Friday: Apple Brie Bread with Almonds (Scribbit)

This is a reprise of an article I ran last year, linked to Michelle’s yummy recipe for Apple Brie Bread with Almonds. The perfect simple Lenten meal, paired with a salad! (The cookbooks are still available, if you’d like one!)

cover image002Michelle at Scribbit had her recipe for Apple Brie Bread with Almonds posted at her site the other day, and it looked like the perfect combination of savory and sweet for those holiday party nibblers. She’s such a fantastic cook, I’m glad she lives in Alaska, or I’d be peeking over her fence every other day for an invitation to tea!

Last weekend I finished compiling the first “South Arbor Family Recipes” book. They’re $10 each, and have a special section inside where you can put a few of your own recipes to personalize it for Christmas gifts. If you’d like a copy, just send me a check!  (I have my husband creating a website where you can order through PayPal right now …).

Need my address? Drop me an email.

Wee Cook Fridays: Seafood Chowder

Although I usually make this recipe at Christmastime, it occurred to me today that this seafood chowder is also appropriate for Lent (although some might find it a bit rich for the austerity of the season, a bit like chowing down on lobster and caviar).

So … you can make this for supper tonight, or save it for Advent! (I got this recipe from my friend Elizabeth’s mother, my Aunt Dorothy in Ballston Spa, New York.)

Aunt Dorothy’s Seafood Chowder

1 lb fish (haddock or flounder, fresh or frozen/thawed)
1 lb shrimp (thawed and drained, medium)
1 lb scallops (tiny ones)
1/2 lb crab meat (please, no KRAB!)
4 Tbls butter
1/3 C flour
1 quart half-and-half (or you can use 1 pint of this and increase milk)
1 C milk
1 pkg tiny peas
1/4 C dry sherry (glug, glug, glug … who needs a measuring cup?!)
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz pimento strips, drained
paprika

Melt butter and whisk in flour; gradually whisk in milk and cream. Into base add fish, peas, and sherry. Cook, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes or until fish flakes and shrimp is cooked. Stir in cheese and pimento at the last minute. Yummy with cheesy bread!

Wee Cook Fridays: Curry Rice Salad and “Healthy Cake”

This year South Arbor Booster Club created our first cookbook as a homespun fundraiser, and I thought I’d include a few of the recipes here for my readers who need a “meatless Friday” idea (other than your local church fish fry or cheese pizza).  This one is from Beth Peterson, who chairs our “Health and Wellness” Committee!

Curry Rice Salad

2 boxes Uncle Ben’s original recipe (long grain instant wild rice)
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
12 oz honey roasted peanuts
1 C chopped dried cherries
1-16 oz pkg frozen peas
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C honey
1/4 C champagne vinegar
2 Tbls curry powder

Cook rice according to instructions on the box; cool. Combine rice with remaining ingredients. Chill and serve. (This would be nice with toasted French baguettes and steamed broccoli.)

And for those who haven’t totally given up sweets this season, here’s a yummy and quick recipe for a tasty dessert to to with your healthy dinner!

“Healthy Cake” (by Amy Ogden)

1 chocolate or spice cake mix
1-15 oz can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups; not pumpkin pie filling)

Mix together and pour into sprayed muffin tins, or in a sheet cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes.  Drizzle with simple glaze, if desired (1 C powdered sugar, 1 Tbls milk, 1 tsp vanilla)