3/20/2013 10:11:00 PM Eggs Are a Seasonal Inspiration at Easter
Inspired by the hues and flavors of spring, the McCormick Kitchens have developed a collection of recipes and tips with a special focus on a star ingredient of the season-the egg. "We saw an opportunity to showcase the versatility of the egg using fresh colors and flavors of the season," said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. Try one of these recipes for a special Easter meal in your home and enjoy the versatility of eggs.
Cheesy Bacon and Egg Casserole
Serves 12 8 slices bacon 1 c chopped onion 1 loaf (8 oz) Italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubes 2 c Cheddar cheese, shredded 1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 c cottage cheese 5 eggs 1 1⁄2 c milk 1⁄2 t ground mustard 1⁄2 t ground nutmeg 1⁄4 t ground black pepper Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Reserve 2 T of the drippings. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble and set aside. Add onion to drippings in skillet; cook and stir 3 minutes or until softened. Spread 1.2 of the bread cubes in 13x9 baking dish. Layer with 1⁄2 each of the onion, bacon, Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese. Spread evenly with cottage cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes, onion, bacon, Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese. Beat eggs in medium bowl until foamy. Add milk, mustard, nutmeg and pepper; beat until blended. Pour evenly over top. Press bread cubes lightly into egg mixture until completely covered. Let stand 10 minutes. Bake 40-50 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown. Tip: Casserole can be assembled 1 day ahead. Prepare as directed, increasing milk to 2 cups. Cover and store in refrigerator. Remove cover and bake as directed.
Overnight French Toast
Serves 8 5 eggs beaten 3⁄4 c milk 1 T vanilla extract 1⁄4 t baking powder 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 8 (1" thick) slices 1 pkg (16 oz frozen whole strawberries, thawed 4 ripe bananas, sliced 1 c granulated sugar 1 t cinnamon sugar Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and baking powder. Pour over bread to soak; turn to coat well. Cover. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix strawberries, bananas and granulated sugar in 13x9 baking dish. Top with soaked bread slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Variation: Overnight Apple French Toast
Prepare and refrigerate bread slices as directed. Substitute 4 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups) for the strawberries and bananas. Toss apples with 1 c sugar and 1 t ground cinnamon in baking dish. Top with soaked bread slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cover with foil. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10- 15 minutes longer or until apples are tender. Delicious Deviled Eggs 6 (2 halves) Servings 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled 1⁄4 c mayonnaise 1⁄2 t ground mustard 1⁄2 t parsley flakes 1⁄4 t seasoned salt Paprika Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; place in small bowl. Mash yolks with fork or potato mashes. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, parsley and seasoned salt until smooth and creamy. Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg white halves. Sprinkle with paprika. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve. Tip: To hard cook eggs: Gently place eggs in single layer in medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover eggs with 1 inch of water. Bring just to boil on medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes for large eggs. (adjust time up or down by 3 minutes for each size larger or smaller.) After 15 minutes, pour off the hot water and rapidly cool eggs by running them under cold water (or place in ice water) until completely cooled. If you are using the eggs immediately, gently crack the eggs and let them stand in the cold water a few minutes to make peeling easier. If not using immediately, refrigerate and use within one week.
Vanilla Fruit Salad
Serves 10 2 c strawberries, halved 1 c blueberries 1 c fresh or canned pineapple chunks 1 c cantaloupe chunks 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced 1⁄4 c powdered sugar 2 t vanilla extract Mix fruit, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve. Variation: Raspberry Fruit Salad: Prepare as directed. Use raspberry extract in place of the vanilla.
Serves 18 1 pkg white cake mix 1 T lemon extract Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting: 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened 1⁄4 c (1/2 stick) butter, softened 2 T sour cream 2 t lemon extract 1 pkg (16 oz) confectioners' sugar 10 drops yellow food color 18 large marshmallows 18 yellow candy-coated candies Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding lemon extract. Spoon batter into 18 paper-lined muffi n cups, fi lling each cup 2/3 full. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack. For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and lemon extract in large bowl until light and fl uffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Stir in food color until frosting is evenly tinted. Make an indentation in the center of each cupcake using the handle of a wooden spoon or a straw, making sure not to break through bottom of cupcake. Spoon about 1 cup frosting into resealable plastic bag. Cut a small piece off one of the bottom corners of bag. Pipe about 1 teaspoon frosting into each cupcake. Spread top of cupcakes with remaining frosting. Cut each marshmallow crosswise into 5 slices. Arrange 5 marshmallow petals on top of each cupcake to resemble a daisy, pressing the marshmallows into the frosting. Place a candy in the center of the cupcake to complete the daisy.
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
Serves 12 2 pkgs (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened 2/3 c sugar 2 eggs 2 t vanilla extract 1⁄2 t almond extract 12 vanilla wafers 1 c fresh berries Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extracts; beat well. Line 12 muffi n cups with paper baking cups. Place a wafer in bottom of each muffin cup. Spoon batter into each cup, filling each 2/3 full. Bake 22-24 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool in pan on wire rack. (Mini cheesecakes will deflate in center upon cooling.) Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with berries. Variations: Use chocolate sandwich cookies in place of the vanilla wafers for the "crust" Or, top cheesecakes with canned fruit such as cherry pie fi lling or mandarin orange segments.
Easter Egg Cake Bites
Makes 48 bites 1 pkg white cake mix 2 t lemon extract Assorted food colors 1 c marshmallow cream 1 bag (14 oz) white confectionary coating wafers or 1 pound white baking chocolate Decorating Glaze: 2 t water 1⁄2 c confectioners' sugar Assorted food colors Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding lemon extract and desired food color. Bake as directed on package for 13x9 baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Crumble cake into a large bowl. Add marshmallow cream; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls then roll to form an egg shape. Refrigerate 2 hours. Melt coating wafers or chocolate as directed on package. Using a fork, dip 1 cake bite at a time into the confectionary coating or chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess to drip off. Place cake bites on wax paper-lined tray. For the Decorating Glaze mix confectioners' sugar and water in small bowl until well blended. Tint with desired food color. Using a fork, drizzle glaze over cake bites. Let stand until glaze is set. Variations and tips: Use 2 t vanilla extract or 1 t raspberry extract in place of the lemon extract. To prepare cake bites in multiple colors, divide prepared cake batter into 2 or 3 bowls. Tint each batch with desired food color. Pour into muffi n pan. Bake as directed on package. Crumble cake into separate bowls. Divide marshmallow crème among bowls. Continue as directed. Confectionary coating, also known as almond bark, is used for candy making and coating. It is packaged in wafer form and is available in a variety of colors and fl avors, including milk and dark chocolate. It is found in the cake decorating aisle of craft and party stores.
Egg Dyeing Made Easy with McCormick Food Colors
Makes 12 colored eggs Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes What you will need: 1 dozen large eggs Vinegar Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye Directions: Gently place eggs in single layer in large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Cover. Bring just to boil on high heat. Remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes. (Adjust time up or down by 3 minutes for each size larger or smaller.) Pour off hot water and rapidly cool eggs by running them under cold water (or place in ice water) until completely cooled. Mix 1⁄2 c boiling water, 1 t vinegar and 10- 20 drops food color in a cup to achieve desired colors. Repeat for each color. Dip hard cooked eggs in dye for about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon, wire egg holder or tongs to add and remove eggs from dye. Allow eggs to dry.
Decorating Ideas Two-toned eggs: Dip top half of hard-cooked egg in 1 color and the bottom half in another. Or, dip each half of the egg in the dye for different lengths of time, creating different shades of the same color.
Painted eggs: Mix 20 drops food color and 1⁄2 t vinegar in small container. Paint hardcooked eggs with a small paint brush or cotton swab. Go wild with stripes, polka dots and zigzags.
Designed eggs: Before dyeing, place rubber bands, stickers such as chicks, rabbits, flowers or other springtime favorites, or paper reinforcements on the eggs to create the design of choice. Once dry, remove the rubber bands, etc., to view the design.
Personalized eggs: Write initials, names or draw pictures on the egg with a white or light colored crayon before dyeing.
Marbleized eggs: Mix 1⁄4 c boiling water, 1 t vinegar, 1/8 t oil and 4-8 drops food color in shallow bowl. Gently roll egg in the mixture for 30 seconds, or until the egg is the desired shade. Transfer the egg to a second color mixture, and repeat the process. Allow the egg to dry completely. Wipe away excess oil with a paper towel.
Tie-dyed eggs: Place several eggs in a colander in the kitchen sink. Splash eggs with vinegar. Drop yellow food color onto eggs. Gently shake the colander for a few seconds to help the color spread. Let stand 30 seconds. Repeat with 1 or 2 additional food colors. After the final stand time, lightly rinse eggs with water. Drain completely. Allow eggs to dry.
More Spring Tips from McCormick
Add A "Punch" of Color: Mix 5 to 7 drops of food color into your favorite springtime drink. Flavored Butter: Whip up an easy flavored butter by mixing one stick of butter with 1⁄4 c jam or honey and 1⁄4 t lemon or orange extract. For a more savory option, mix one stick of butter with 1 t each of garlic powder, Italian seasoning and ground mustard. Zesty substitute: Have a recipe that calls for fresh lemon zest, but don't have a lemon on hand? Substitute lemon extract with a 1:1 proportion. For example, 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract is the equivalent to 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Virginia Sasser taught family and consumer sciences at Perkins Tryon High School for 25 years, and was state advisor for FHA/FCCLA with Oklahoma CareerTech