Easter will be dawning in four days, a time of rebirth and a time to remember the resurrection of Jesus. It is a time for the family to gather for church and then a nice meal together. Sometimes those family members come from afar and that means preparing breakfast for the crowd early the next morning.
If you want to serve your family something healthy for Easter morning, try these muffins from the American Institute for Cancer Research. They can be made ahead and frozen until needed and put in the oven to thaw and warm. One muffin is 165 calories and has 5 grams of total fat. Some softened cream cheese or honey butter would be good to spread on them.
HAPPY EASTER — Easter is a colorful time and a good time for family to gather together for a nice meal after church and appreciate life’s blessings. -- Esther McCoy
Canola oil cooking spray
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fat-free milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12 muffin tins and set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together canola oil, applesauce, sugar and eggs. Add vanilla, blueberries and strawberries.
In separate bowl, blend together flours, baking powder and salt. Fold half of flour mixture, then half milk into the berry mixture. Add remaining flour and milk, folding just until blended. Scoop batter into prepared tins. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry. Allow muffins to cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan.
P.S. When I make blueberry muffins from fresh berries, I partially freeze them before adding to the batter. That way, it will not make the batter a bluish color from berry juice.
Here is a recipe for French toast that is much lower than a restaurant serving at 1,120 calories. This is 267 calories per serving and comes from Hungry Girl newsletter.
French Toast with
Half a regular vanilla pudding snack, 60 calories or less
2 tablespoons sugar-free pancake syrup
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons light whipped butter or light buttery spread
2 slices light bread
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 sweetener packet
2 tablespoons fat-free whipped topping
In medium bowl, mix pudding, syrup and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate. In a wide bowl, mix egg substitute, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add butter and let it coat the bottom. Meanwhile, coat bread on all sides with egg mixture. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Plate the bread and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread one slice with half the pudding mixture and top with the other bread slice. Spread the top slice with remaining pudding mixture. In a small microwavable bowl, mix cream cheese, sweetener and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Microwave 15 seconds or until warm. Drizzle cream cheese mixture over French toast. Dab with whipped topping and serve. Makes only one serving, so this needs to be doubled or tripled for more people.
The picture of this cake in the Family Circle magazine looks like an Easter present. It is a bundt cake with a creamy white frosting and colored eggs decorating the cake plate. It is from a Domino confectioners sugar recipe.
All-In-One Cake and Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup milk
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and flour a bundt baking pan. To make the frosting that is used both in the cake batter and on the baked product, combine the following:
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Add sugar alternately with milk; mix well. Remove 2 1/2 cups of mix and place into a plastic sealable bag and set aside.
With mixer at slow speed, add eggs to remaining frosting. Beat until blended. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to frosting. Mix alternately with water. Pour into pan and bake 65 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. While cake is still warm, use a knife to loosen the cake edges from pan. Cool completely before removing from pan. Top with frosting. Decorate the cake plate with jelly beans, Easter candy or use plastic or real colored eggs.
Did you know that the first Girl Scout cookies were made at home by the members, with mothers helping?
The first recorded sales of these homemade cookies was in 1917, five years after Juliette Gordon Low started Scouting in the United States. The first group to make homemade cookies was called the Mistletoe Troop and was from Muskogee, Okla. They sold the cookies in their high school cafeteria.
In July 1922, American Girl magazine published a recipe for Girl Scout cookies, much like the popular Trefoils sold today. The cookies were packaged in waxed paper bags, sealed with a sticker and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents a dozen.
In 1933, the Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the gas and electric company window. The following year, Greater Philadelphia became the first council to sell commercially baked cookies.
In 1936, the national Girl Scout organization licensed the first commercial baker to produce cookies that would be sold across the country. In 1937, more than 125 Girl Scout councils held cookie sales. In 1951, the cookies came in three varieties, sandwich, shortbread and chocolate mint. Today there are eight varieties. The information was sent to me by JoAnn Faulkner of Weirton and published in the Reminisce magazine.
Here is the 1922 recipe if you want to try your hand at a Girl Scout cookie. It might be nice if a troop made the cookies and compared them to the ones now on sale.
Girl Scout Cookies (Trefoils)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Refrigerate at least one hour. Roll dough out on floured board, cut into trefoil shapes and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired. The coarse sugar crystals would look nice on these. Bake in a 375 degree oven for between 8 and 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six to seven dozen.
Easter dinner is usually an attractive roasted ham, decorated with cloves and brown sugar. But sometimes this can be too big for a small family. Here is a pork substitute that is flavored with apples and apple cider. It is made with thin boneless pork cutlets and is quick to prepare.
8 thin, boneless pork cutlets, about 1 3/4 pounds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 1/2 cups apple cider
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Season pork with salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 3/4 teaspoon rosemary. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, cook 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate; keep warm. Add apples and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine cornstarch and cider; add to skillet. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and rosemary and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Simmer 1 minute until thickened; stir in mustard. Serve pork with apples and the cider sauce. Makes four servings. Takes 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.
Another food that is synonymous with Easter is eggs. A good way to use up the eggs that were colored with no regard to how many would be eaten is to make deviled eggs. McCormick has a recipe, using their spices, for the hard cooked eggs that will spice up any dinner or keep the recipe for summer barbecues.
Delicious Deviled Eggs
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; place in a small bowl. Mash yolks with fork, potato masher or pastry blender. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, parsley and seasoned salt until smooth. Spoon or pipe yolks into egg white halves. Sprinkle with paprika. Refrigerate an hour or until ready to serve.
Note: To cook eggs, gently place in a single layer in medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover with 1-inch of water. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand about 15 minutes for large eggs, adjusting time up or down by 3 minutes for each size, larger or smaller. After 15 minutes, pour off hot water and rapidly cool eggs by running them under cold water or place in ice water, until completely cooled. Refrigerate and use within the week.
Another note: I use more ground mustard than the recipe calls for, usually a heaping teaspoonful.
(McCoy can be contacted at email@example.com)