Tasty Tuesday: Spring Menu

MARCH 8, 2022 — SPRING MENU

Spring is coming – the trees are starting to bud and soon the ground will be warm enough the plants will start sprouting up. I find that I crave certain foods based on the season. For example, during Winter, I am hungry for heartier foods. But now that Spring is on its way, I’m starting to get hungry for lighter foods. My mother taught me that I’m sure – she loved celebrating with food – as do I!

I’ve put together a small menu of some dishes that, to me, mean SPRING!

MENU

Spinach Salad
Deviled Eggs
Asparagus wrapped in Bacon
Ham, Fresh Green Beans, and New Red Potatoes
Lemon Bars

SPINACH SALAD

Quantities depend on how many you’re serving or how much you want left over for lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients

  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Red Onion, thin slices (use only a small part of the onion)
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced water chestnuts
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Fruit like sliced strawberries or apples
  • Bacon Bits
  • Croutons
  • Cheese, grated or “chunked” (optional)
  • Glazed Pecans (optional)
  • Hard Boiled egg (optional – if serving as the main dish, it’s a great protein.)

Instructions

  1. Wash the salad ingredients except the bacon, croutons, pecans, and cheese. Combine washed ingredients and toss together.
  2. Then add the bacon bits and top with the croutons (your choice), cheese, pecans, and any fruit you want to use.
  3. Top with your preferred dressing. (Some delicious options include vinaigrette dressing, red wine vinegar or French type dressing. Premade or homemade. You could even serve the dressing on the side and let the diners put their own dressing on.)

DEVILED EGGS

These are good as a snack, an appetizer, or just part of any seasonal food.

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Paprika for garnish

Instructions

  1. For 24 halves boil 12 eggs until hard boiled. Cover with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn the heat off and cover with a lid. Let set 15 minutes and they will be perfect. (One of my daughters has discovered you can bake the eggs to a hard-boiled stage. I haven’t mastered that yet, but I know this works!)
  2. After they are cool enough to peel, do so, and then cut the eggs in half length wise.  Remove the egg yolk to another bowl to make the filling.
  3. For filling: Use about a half cup of mayonnaise, 1 t. yellow mustard, 1 t. apple cider vinegar, 1-2 t. granulated sugar, salt to taste. 
  4. Mix well and taste – adjust for tartness level you prefer.
  5. Mix with a fork until smooth – don’t make too thin, you want them to be mounded. Use a small spoon to fill each egg white. Sprinkle with paprika.

You can use a piping bag to make them fancy if you’d like. But a spoon works just fine.

ENJOY! Make plenty – they are good left over and can even be made into an egg salad sandwich if you have a lot left.

BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS

Ingredients

  • Depending on how many bundles you want to serve, up to 1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus
  • 8 slices of bacon if using above amount of asparagus
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or table salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil).
  2. Divide the asparagus into 8 bundles. Wrap each bundle in the middle of the spears with 1 slice of raw bacon. (Trim the asparagus – cut off the tough stem)
  3. Place the bundles seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake until bacon is fully cooked – about 25 minutes – keep watch!
  6. Carefully transfer to serving platter or plates.

HAM, FRESH GREEN BEANS, AND BABY RED POTATOES

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You can use a slow cooker or a large pot on top of the stove, watching to make sure they don’t get dry (keep liquid on them). Use what you think you want to serve.

For the ham – I like to cook the ham in with the beans for seasoning – but you could use bacon to season and bake a ham or piece of ham or even fry lightly a ham slice.

Small red potatoes or yellow gold small potatoes work well in this dish and are so delicious!

You could serve 3-4 per person, they are good for leftovers. Clean them – take any little eyes out of the potatoes.  Since they are small, I usually cook the beans about half done, then add the potatoes.

So, for the beans, you can either do as my grandmother used to do and “snap” them (they used to be known as snap beans) on both ends and if long, snap in half. The modern cooks put them on a cutting board, use a sharp knife (carefully) and cut off the ends and make them all about the same size in length. Rinse, and put in your cook pot.

Cut ham in pieces or leave in maybe 3” pieces.
Add to the pot, along with salt, pepper, maybe a little garlic if you want.
Water to cover and cook until tender – about halfway tender add the cleaned little potatoes. This will be a full pot.  If you don’t have a big enough pot, cook the potatoes separate and add when serving. 

These are so delicious! I look forward to Spring for Green Beans (along with other vegetables).

LEMON BARS

A great way to end any meal, lemon – tart, a little sweet, and very tasty! These make about 20 bars and could be cut in half for 10 bars.

CRUST:

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks salted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or table salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease a 9”x13” pan with butter and line with foil.
  2. Cut together the butter, flour, sugar, and salt. Press into the prepared pan and bake until golden – about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven.

FILLING:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • Zest and juice of 5 lemons
  • Powdered sugar for sifting after cooled

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the sugar, flour, and eggs until smooth.  Add lemon zest and juice and mix until combined. Pour over the crust and bake until just set – about 20 minutes.
  2. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours then sift powdered sugar over the top before cutting into squares.

Try these – enjoy the making and totally enjoy the eating. Even leftovers.

Bon Appetite’!

With Love,

Granni K

To download this recipe, click here.

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