Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Success

A new week already!

Hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend. In my opinion it was too short, but aren’t weekends always that way? Anyways, this week will be a short one for me. I am currently in Minneapolis for a few days to do some spring shopping, so that should be a fun little getaway.

Easter here was a busy Sunday. I was in the kitchen from 12-5 preparing the meal, but got outside a bit to enjoy the high 60’s temps and sunny blue skies. I was a little nervous on how I could cook everything to get done at the same time, but I did it! I’ve learned when cooking for a crowd it helps to not panic, but instead sit down a few days before and write down a plan of action. (Groceries to buy, dishes that can be prepped the night ahead, how the oven is going to be occupied, etc.)

Here’s how I planned:

  • 2 days before: Get groceries(try grouping things in the fridge/freezer to make it easier come cooking time), get all recipes together in one spot(envelopes are handy),and write down all cooking times and temps on one sheet of paper. Thawed turkey out.
  • 1 day before: Make sure you have all cooking utensils and equipment necessary beforehand. I made the green bean corn casserole(not adding cracker topping yet) and the wild rice stuffing that night.
  • The day of the get-together: With the plan to eat at 5 o’clock, I baked the angel food cake at 10 am. I also cleaned, chopped, and soaked the strawberries in sugar. Let it cool till 11, sliced it and put in the fridge. At 11:30, sliced up onions and apples for the turkey, injected it, and had it in the oven by noon. Next I prepped the Bob’s Red Mill Potato Bread, which I eventually made into rolls. They take about a good 3 hrs from start to finish. At around 4 I popped the buns into the oven to finish cooking. Then I mixed the cream cheese filling for the cake and layered that and the strawberries on. I finished by frosting it in whipped cream and garnishing with more strawberries and almonds. 4:30 came and I popped in the 2 casseroles and took the buns out. Prepped the instant mashed potato and made the gravy on the stove. Turkey came out at a little before 5, and we all sat down to eat shortly after.
  • Bon appétit!

Apple&Onion Cajun Turkey



  • 1-15 lb turkey
  • 2 apples
  • 2 red onions
  • 14 sprigs of sage
  • 10 injections of Creole Butter (see photo below)


  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted


  • Prepare turkey by cleaning it out.
  • Place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Add a quarter inch of water into the bottom of the pan. Inject turkey with Creole Butter and. Brush the top of the turkey with butter.
  • Cut up apples and onions into wedges and scatter throughout the pan along with the sage.
  • Bake at 375 F for 4 1/2 to 5 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 180°, basting occasionally with pan drippings. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.)  Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
  • CIMG2137

    Notes: This turkey was by far the most moist turkey I have had—even the turkey legs were moist and usually they are on the dry side. The apples, onions, and sage really helped add flavor and were good to eat afterwards too.

    Green Bean & Corn Casserole



  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen French-style green beans, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup crushed reduced-fat cheese crackers
  • Refrigerated butter-flavored spray
  • Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, cheese and onion. Stir in the beans and corn. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
  • Uncover; sprinkle cracker crumbs around the edges. Spritz several times with butter-flavored spray. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through and edges are lightly browned. Yield: 7 servings.
  • Notes: This recipe was actually voted the best of all—it’s light and healthy, yet you wouldn’t guess it by a long shot!

    Mom’s Stunning Sausage Stuffing


    Recipe here.

    Notes: This is really the only way I will eat rice—it’s been around at our family holidays ever since I can remember—and it makes a lot, so it’s perfect!

    Bob’s Red Mill Potato Rolls



    • 1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill's Potato Bread
    • 2 tsp oil
    • Water
    • Butter spray


    • Follow mixing directions on package, and follow all steps exactly up until forming into a loaf.
    • Instead roll into 12 balls and place in a lightly greased 8 x 8 baking dish. Bake a directed.
    • Top with butter spray while still warm, and serve.

    Notes: The company sent me these awhile back to review and I wanted to save them for a special occasion. They are very dense rolls being they are potato bread, but they browned and baked well.


    Strawberry Cream Cheese Angel Food Cake



    • 4  cups  sliced strawberries
    • 3/4  cup  sugar, divided
    • 2  tablespoons  evaporated skim milk
    • 1  (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
    • 1 angel food cake baked in 2- 9 x 12 loaf pans
    • 3  tablespoons  triple sec (orange-flavored liqueur) or orange juice, divided
    • 1  (8-ounce) tub frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
    • 2  tablespoons  sliced almonds


    • Combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl; cover and let stand 1 hour. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, milk, and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until smooth.
    • Cut cake horizontally into 2 layers using a serrated knife; place bottom layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Brush with 1 tablespoon liqueur, and spread half of cream cheese mixture over cake. Spoon one-third of strawberries over cream cheese mixture using a slotted spoon. Repeat layers, ending with cake and liqueur. Spread whipped topping over top and sides of cake. Cover; chill 30 minutes. Arrange remaining strawberries on top of cake before serving; sprinkle with almonds.

    Notes: This was easy to prepare, although I am still trying to find a fool-proof and clean method for slicing a cake in half horizontally. Very appealing in color and presentation—and I loved the combo of cream cheese and angel food cake. This was a keeper for sure!


    Krista said...

    Wish I was at your place for Easter dinner! GREAT job!!

    Kelly said...

    Looks like you prepared quite a feast. Yum!

    Sook said...

    I am glad to know that your Easter turned out well with all the delicious food! Those rolls look fantastic.

    FoodFitnessFreshair said...

    Mmm... That strawberry cake looks beautiful and delicious!

    Erica said...

    NICE! The rolls and cake look awesome to me! I agree- when cooking a big meal or just having people over- prep is key! Nice work girlie. Have fun shopping

    Jessica said...

    THAT is a meal! Fantastic bird and beautiful cake! I bet it was a feast!

    Tanya said...

    Wow - dinner looks fantastic, especially the chicken.

    The Healthy Hostess said...

    Great looking dinner! Yum!
    Thanks for the recipes too!

    Nicole, RD said...

    Hey Cassie! This is so belated, but your Easter spread looks fantastic. I was reading on like, "I can't wait to see what she did for dessert!" - of course, it was beautiful! And springy! :)

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