Easter Dinner Made Easy

Easter may rank high on the list of holidays with a complex dinner menu, but never fear! If you’re a great five-ingredients-or-less kind of cook, these dishes are right up your alley.

Maple Brown Sugar Ham
This ham is a staple menu item at family get-togethers; the bold, sweet flavor will have guests thinking you spent hours in preparation.

7-pound bone-in spiral-cut ham

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup all natural maple syrup

2 cups pineapple juice

1. Place ham in a 6-7 quart slow cooker, flat-side down.
2. Rub brown sugar on all sides. Pour on maple syrup and pineapple juice.
3. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
4. An hour before serving, baste ham with the collected juices from the bottom of the slow cooker.
5. When done, remove carefully and let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before carving.

Oven Roasted Potatoes

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2 large potatoes, scrubbed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons
Parmesan cheese
Quart size plastic bag

1. Slice potatoes into thin, ¼ inch slices.
2. Toss potatoes with olive oil, Italian seasoning and salt in a plastic bag to coat. 
3. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil.
4. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly brown. 
5. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes. 

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan-Garlic Crumbs

1/4 cup panko

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoon plus
1 teaspoon olive oil, divided

1 small garlic clove, minced

Dash cayenne pepper

1 ½ lbs asparagus

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Combine panko, cheese, 2 teaspoons of oil, garlic and cayenne pepper in a shallow baking dish or pie pan. 
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, stirring several times and watching closely.  Place in a small bowl and set aside. 
4. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
5. Place asparagus on large rimmed baking sheet in single layer.
6. Sprinkle with remaining oil, salt and pepper. 
7. Bake at 450 degrees for 7 to 12 minutes or until tender, turning once or twice. 
8. Sprinkle with panko mixture.

Pear Salad with Walnuts and Feta Recipe

1 bag spring mix salad

2 pears, cored and thinly sliced

1/4 cup roasted walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil

freshly cracked pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spread walnuts on single layer in a baking sheet. Roast for 10 – 12 minutes, or until just fragrant.
3.  Add spring mix to a large bowl. Top with thinly sliced pears, feta cheese and walnuts.
4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Toss salad to incorporate all ingredients.

Bird’s Nests
These fun treats are quick and easy to prepare and a perfect after-dinner snack for kids and adults alike.

3 cups miniature marshmallows

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups dry chow mein noodles

Small candies (Jelly beans, M&M's or mini Robin’s Egg Whoppers)

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Over low heat, melt marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan.

3. Once melted, stir in the vanilla, then the chow mein noodles.

4. Coat your hands liberally with shortening (keeping some nearby for re-coating).
5. Separate the mixture into small, golf-ball sized balls.
6. Form mixture into a ball, then press your thumb into the middle, forming a nest.
7. Allow nests to cool. Fill with candy of choice.

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Abby Cowart

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