Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Sunday

This year when Matt and I were figuring out our plans for Easter we discussed how if we lived in a bigger home (anything larger than 450 sq ft) we would be having family to our house for dinner. So I decided that even though we didn't live in a large home I would still cook our holiday meal. Instead of having Easter dinner in our little condo we brought dinner to my in-laws in Maine. The menu that Matt and I put together:

Roasted Red Pepper Spread (recipe from my dear friend Lauren) with crackers and carrots

Orange Baked Ham courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa, Food Network

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter courtesy of Cooking Light, September 2001
Herbed Bread-Stuffed Tomatoes courtesy of Cooking Light, May 2007
Roasted Potatoes with olive oil, balsamic, herbs, and garlic (my own concoction)

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie courtesy of Cooking Light, August 2007

When we got to Maine on Saturday I immediately started prepping our dinner. I started with the frozen peanut butter pie because it had to be in the freezer overnight. Once the pie was in the freezer I started roasting my red pepper under the broiler for my spread. Roasting the red pepper actually took longer than I thought it would! Finally after about 25 minutes of broiling a side and turning, then wrapping in aluminum foil for 15 minutes the pepper was done. Once I had the red pepper cut into strips I finished making the dip and put it into the fridge. The timing was perfect. I finished my two dishes just in time for my mother-in-law's dinner before church.

Sunday morning after a delicious breakfast I immediately started making dinner. My sister was coming down around 3:00 for dinner. She was only going to be able to join us for two hours before she would have to rush to work so everything had to be timed perfectly to be done around 3:00. At noon I started by pre-heating the oven for my half of a ham. It was to be in the oven at 275 degrees for two hours and 15 minutes. When the ham was in the oven I started making the glaze for the ham (the ham only needed to be cooked with the glaze on it for an hour). The glaze smelled delicious! I couldn't wait to taste it on the ham!

Once I had the ham glazed and back in the oven for the last hour and 15 minutes I immediately prepped the potatoes. I cut about 8 red potatoes into chunks then drizzled them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar then sprinkled them with sea salt, pepper, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, and minced garlic cloves. I popped them in the lower oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. You can't even imagine how amazing it was to me to have a lower oven! I could cook two things at two different temperatures at the same time! WOW!

My go-to sea salt for the day

Once the potatoes were in the oven I got to trimming the asparagus. Did you know that if you bend an asparagus spear that the spear will snap right where it's supposed to so you don't end up with any of the tough ends?! It's so easy! After snapping off the ends of the spears I went through and trimmed off the asparagus "leaves" that are on the side of the stalks. Once they were trimmed and cleaned I put them on a baking sheet that had been sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled them with sea salt and pepper.

Once the asparagus was done I moved on to my tomatoes. I cut the plum tomatoes in half and scooped out the insides. Then I prepared the stuffing mixture. I place the tomato halves on the baking sheet and sprinkled them with sea salt and pepper before stuffing.

When the ham came out I changed the main oven temperature to 400 degrees and then added the tomatoes and asparagus to the oven for 12 minutes. While the vegetables were in the oven and the ham was "resting" I made the balsamic browned butter for the asparagus. While I was finishing the dinner preparations, Matt set the table, got water glasses for everyone, opened a couple bottles of wine and set out the appetizer.

He was also my photographer throughout the day, making sure I got photos of everything. Finally he helped me plate dinner. We decided to do this in the kitchen so we all wouldn't be tempted for seconds. A serving of each part of dinner was on the dinner plate which was more than enough for all of us. The trick worked and everyone was full when their plate was clean and no one over-indulged.

After dinner we went on a family walk while our frozen pie sat in the fridge for 30 minutes. It was such a beautiful day! The town was coming to life! People were spending Easter on the beach. It was incredible!

When we got back from our walk we dove into dessert so my sister could have some before she had to leave. Dessert was delicious!

Everything turned out really good! The only thing I need to make sure to do different next year is that I remember to cover the ham so it doesn't get dry. I remembered with 45 minutes left in the oven so the ham ended up being a little dry. Oh well. Live and learn! All the recipes were definitely keepers! All delicious and definitely worthy of another meal!

Hope you all had a fantastic Easter if you celebrate and if you don't I hope you all enjoyed your Sunday!

Roasted Red Pepper Spread


1 large red pepper, roasted
1 8-oz package of less fat cream cheese
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, pressed
salt and pepper to taste

To roast a red pepper:
Place a red pepper right on the oven rack under the broiler. Keep an eye on the pepper and turn when a side gets all blackened. When it's done cover with aluminum foil or put in a paper bag for 15 minutes. Scrape off the skin, remove the seeds and cut into strips.

For the spread:
Place red pepper in food processor & process until chopped. Add cream cheese, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Serve with crackers. Makes 1.25 cups.

Orange Baked Ham


1 (14 to 16-pound) fully cooked, spiral-cut smoked ham on the bone
6 garlic cloves
8 1/2 ounces orange marmalade
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 orange, zested
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ham in a heavy roasting pan.

Mince the garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the marmalade, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice and process until smooth. Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour, until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is well browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter


40 asparagus spears, trimmed (about 2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until tender.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Drizzle over the asparagus, tossing well to coat. Serve immediately.

Herbed Bread-Stuffed Tomatoes


6 ripe firm plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut in half lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces whole wheat bread (about 2 slices), toasted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.

Scoop pulp and seeds from tomato halves into a sieve over a bowl; press with a spoon. Reserve 1/4 cup liquid in bowl. Discard pulp mixture.

Place tomato halves, cut sides up, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place bread in a bowl; drizzle with tomato liquid. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil, oil, oregano, thyme, and garlic. Fill tomato halves with bread stuffing, pressing gently. Sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon cheese. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie


1 2/3 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 8 1/2 cookie sheets)
7 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
2/3 cup reduced-fat crunchy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) container frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
3 tablespoons finely chopped salted, dry-roasted peanuts
1/4 cup shaved milk chocolate (about 1 ounce)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and egg whites; toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Prick crust with a fork before baking. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack.

Combine milk and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly; transfer mixture to a bowl. Add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring with a whisk until combined. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Place cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Fold in whipped topping; pour mixture into prepared piecrust. Freeze, uncovered, 8 hours or overnight or until hard. Sprinkle with peanuts and shaved chocolate. Transfer pie to refrigerator 30 minutes before slicing.

1 comment:

  1. It tasted every bit as good as it looked....!
    Mom Wickert