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The Themes Are … Passover and Easter!

Posted by in Holidays, The Theme Is...

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Passover and Easter!

Today, we’re going to feature some of our recipes here that could potentially find their way to your Passover table (like Ree’s Passover Brisket above), or your Easter celebration (like the Easy Easter Egg Bird Nests from taracooks, also in the photo above). And no, we’re not going to accomplish this dual-themed post with a re-enactment of a certain someone’s offering of a honey-baked ham after being invited to a Seder.

Let’s start with some recipes for Passover. This would be a good time for me to add the disclaimer that, despite my little honey-baked ham jab up there, I am in no way an authority on Jewish or Passover cooking. So this post called for quite a bit of research, but I was glad for the time spent learning what I did. The one thing I took from all that was, as specific as the restrictions are, there still is a wealth of possibilities, and the best approach is to focus more on what you can have rather than on what you can’t.

For example, most vegetables are fair game, which would mean the Maple Orange Glazed Roasted Vegetables from myrecessionkitchen would be a wonderful addition to the meal. (Be sure to use pure maple syrup, as imitation versions may contain corn syrup, which is a no-no.) Jaden’s Ginger Orange and Curry Roasted Chicken is another delicious option, as are copykat’s Charoset (of course!), a simple Pot Roast from Ree, and a lovely Country Borscht from mixedlovers.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Passover and Easter! (Passover Dishes)

While most desserts call for flour or other kinds of grain, that doesn’t mean dessert time is a time of deprivation. For one, all fruits are fair game. And if you’re in the mood for something like a frozen treat, why not try sweettooth’s Healthy, Impossibly Easy Banana “Ice Cream” below? Believe it or not, it has only one ingredient: frozen bananas. Or you can do a Carrot Kugel courtesy of elanaspantry, or snack on some fabulous Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons from ashleymac. (It does have condensed milk, so just make sure you use a can with a “Kosher for Passover” label, and wait long enough after your meal to enjoy it so you’re not mixing dairy and meat at the same meal.)

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Passover and Easter! (Passover Dessert)

For those celebrating Easter, I found some lovely choices for you, too. Of course, when we think of Easter, usually the first thing that comes to mind is ham. And we’ve got a delicious Southern Honey-Baked Ham here that’ll fit the bill. Or you can whip up a Show Stopping Cranberry Ham Glaze and impress your guests.

Did you know how ham became associated with Easter? Apparently, since they didn’t have refrigeration back then and meat wasn’t a popular commodity during the Lenten season, all the meat that they had left over from the winter was cured in order to help preserve it. And right around the end of the Lenten season was when the meat was done curing, and so ham became a natural and popular choice for Easter celebrations.

It’s amazing what you learn doing research.

For this post, I thought maybe we could find a different way to present the traditional Easter ham. So I thought I’d show you the pretty Ham and Cheese Egg Cups by jodiemo below, which would be great for an Easter brunch. Another traditional Easter food is pretzels, because the shape of the pretzel resembles two arms clasped together in prayer. And I thought we’d veer a bit from the usual sweet bread and instead highlight some Cheesy Homemade Pretzels from Karenpie.

Since Easter and spring are so closely associated together, we’ve got some nice spring recipes from our theme post last week that would make great Easter dishes. Or you can also make a lovely Spicy Asian Slaw with Napa Cabbage, Carrots & Ginger Dressing from cookincanuck, which would go well with either a nice Easter ham or some Broiled Lamb Chops with guinness BBQ Sauce from patiodaddio.

Of course, scalloped potatoes are almost a given as an Easter side. Individual Scalloped Potatoes from The Noshery are a wonderful spin on the classic, and something those little hands can easily handle. And I couldn’t do an Easter roundup without including an Italian Easter Pie from thegoodlifegourmet.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Passover and Easter! (Easter Dishes)

Finally, if there’s one thing that says “Easter” loud and clear, it’s the candy for the kids—the Easter eggs, bunny cupcakes, and marshmallow peeps. Like the White Chocolate Easter Eggs from Cooking Ventures in the photo below, that almost look too good to eat. For the grown ups, how about some carrot cake, served up in cupcake form? Adults and kids alike will want to grab some Carrot Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting from multiplydelicious. Or get all colorful and festive and make some Rainbow Finger Jello from tarverine. Just looking at a bowlful of that is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face!

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Passover and Easter! (Candy)

And that’s our theme roundup for today!

So what are you up to this week? Are you observing Passover? Celebrating Easter? Or maybe it’s neither of those and you’re just looking for something seasonal to make. Why not shout out your meal plans? As I said earlier, I’m no expert on anything, and I’d love to hear what’s traditional in your household. The Tasty Kitchen community is so diverse, and I just know there’s so much I can learn from everyone. I can’t wait to see your comments!



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Linda on 4.6.2010

That is very funny…with the Easter egg basket photo right next to the brisket photo, it looked to me like the nests were made of brisket and someone had placed chocolate eggs in the middle. I thought, oh gross, cocolate and brisket!!! I had to read further down to see that the nests were actually made of chocolate!!

Robyn on 4.6.2010

Ok, so I made the cute little bird’s nests. They are much too good for children. Easy, fun and delicious. This recipe is a keeper!
Thank you!

jayded34 on 4.2.2010

This year there are some new additions to my family easter dinner *no not new babies* but my SO and his son! So in fashion with showing off my cooking skills *which i do proudly due to great recipes i find here and there and my Culinary Arts program at school* I will be serving Brown sugar glazed ham, Ree’s creamed spinach and her asparagus fritatta *my youngest child is a veggie head is her main course* also baked beans potato salad a variety of cheeses and 2 desserts, Carrot Cake and Dr. Pepper cake.

laurie on 4.1.2010

I agree with Sandy. Charoset (or charoses) recipes abound! I go to the grocery store and ask to sample every apple they have. I choose varieties that are the sweetest, cruchiest, juciest and most flavorful. Mushy, bland apples make bad charoses. This year I used three varieties, toasted pecans and toasted almonds, cinnamon and a little sweet wine. Grape juice works, too. The apples were so good, no extra sugar/honey was needed.
For my seder, I made matzah-ball soup, hard-boiled eggs, charoses, doctored-up jarred gefilte fish, brisket, mushroom, onion and red pepper kugel, roasted asparagus, salad with a honey mustard vinagrette, killer rocky road brownies and almond macaroons. My aunt brought a banana cake. Also on the table: horseradish, parsely, salt water, and lots of matzah!

Traci on 4.1.2010

I don’t have to cook this Easter! But after seeing these recipes, I wish that I was! Thanks for some great ideas. I should have an after-Easter cooking session. Any ideas for leftover ham?

Susan on 4.1.2010

We’re doing a brunch this year. There will be ham, though! I like it glazed with brown sugar, honey and mustard that I baste all through the cooking process. A big citrus fruit platter with pineapple, Latkes, and an asparagus salad. Hot Cross buns may make it too..I’m dying to try my hand at those! Mimosas will be enjoyed to wash it all down. And my Lemon Chess Pie that I posted here the other day for dessert. Lemon says Easter to me!

Sandy on 4.1.2010

Next year, if you’re again willing to step into the quicksand of Passover recipes, you could put out a call for charoset recipes. It’s a mix of fruit and nuts, chopped or ground together, seasoned with wine and sweet spices, and eaten at the seder meal to remind us of the hard labor of the slaves in Egypt. There are about a billion (slight exaggeration) recipes, all jealously guarded as “the best”. This last year, I took my leftover charoset and mixed it into passover muffins; this year, I may put it into kugel.

Shana on 4.1.2010

Everything looks delicious! We celebrated Passover on Monday night. We had gefilte fish with chopped liver and matzo for the first course. Next was matzo ball soup made by mom and the main course my mom made brisket and I made the potato kugel and zucchini casserole.

For Easter dinner I plan on making a ham and mashed potatoes and that’s as far Ive gotten in planning so far.

Lisa, Da Kitten on 4.1.2010

We’re in New Orleans and are having pork loin and game hens on the grill. Then we’ll also have a lovely spinach/gruyere casserole and perhaps another veggie side dish (carrots with butter and herbs?), as well as something potatoey (perhaps roasted, perhaps smashed).

But our piece de resistance will be our chocolate pudding shot pie!!! We’re going to put what we usually just pour into paper condiment cups into a pie crust instead (any leftover filling will indeed go into the cups) and I’ll hand-whip a yummy cream topping (perhaps with mint schnapps to compliment the chocolate and Bailey’s in the pie). Yum yum – gimme some . . .

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Courtney's Sweets on 4.1.2010

Oh my goodness I am in awe of the Easter basket with eggs. Looks like a great kid friendly project :)

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Erika (TK) on 4.1.2010

Wow, so many awesome ideas in the comments. Thanks for sharing! I’m getting hungrier by the minute.

Allison, what a lovely sentiment. Enjoy the homecoming!

Sheila, how sweet! I’d love for someone to make me steak at the lake. Of course, first I’d have to find a lake.

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sheila Barfield on 4.1.2010

:) Our grill bottom fell out so My hubby said we will go to the lake and he will cook me a steak like he use to do when we were dating. When I got off from working at 7 AM Yea I said AM he would cook a steak at the lake for me for my supper. AWWWW so sweet

Allison on 4.1.2010

Our Easter plans have been put on hold until my husband gets home from Iraq which should be Monday!! If he wants a huge dinner, I will cook it! If he wants to go to his Mom’s house, I will start the car! And if he wants to just stay home and pile in the bed with me and the kids, I will happily fluff the pillows! He has been gone over a year and I can’t imagine a better gift from God then to have him home again! Happy Easter everyone!

Annmarie on 4.1.2010

My family has mexican food for Easter… I have a big family and an aunt who was dying to host a holiday… Easter became hers…..I thought we started having Mexican food for Easter because she only knew how to make a taco salad…but years and years later it turns out she doesn’t like hot ham… so for the past 20+ years our family has Mexican food for Easter… We are a Croatian/American family living in the Seattle area and so its completely off the beaten path for us… but we enjoy it… Taco salad, enchildas, spanish rice and beans… of course… just to keep us honest we have deviled eggs as an appitzer… (what else were we going to do with all those colored eggs the kids make)

el-e-e on 4.1.2010

We’re having Easter honey-baked ham with a delicious glaze (pineapple preserves, ketchup (yes), grated onion and mustard powder), mashed potaotes, sweet n sour green beans, deviled eggs (a must), corn on the cob (b/c that’s a veg I’m sure the kids will eat, and because it’s yellow – pretty!), rolls, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. I can’t wait!

These are lovely recipes! Happy holidays to everyone!

Harry on 4.1.2010

Oh yes, here at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on this Easter Sunday, they (the Copper Mountain folk, are having a 50,000 easter egg hunt for the kiddies, at the base and in the village, at the climbing wall, and on the mountain for the bigger kids and even the adults, too. Sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. This, given that they are still open for skiing until about the 19th of April. Then there is always the reasonable, but quite upscale and renowned C.B. Grille, for a sure top notch dinner winner. I am sure Chef Adam will have an Easter special or two. No I have no interest in the restaraunt, just live near and immensely enjoy it, as a local. Well, best of Easter dreams of egg hunts and delicious dinners and great friends, and all, to all.

Harry on 4.1.2010

Some amazing foodie ideas, for sure. Still intrigued with the brisket idea, never did that on Easter! It sounds mighty tasty, since Ree pigged out on it the other day!!! Ha.

And now for your viewing pleasure, here is a special site on Easter, traditions, and foods from around the world and even all over Texas! Quite and interesting trip, this is:

And I’m happily from Colorado, where all food is fair game, although the way the grocery chains tell it, pig and rib roast seem to be the thing. I’m entertaining trying brisket due to Ree’s thoughts, but am also thinking of simple rib roast or leg of lamb, and some typical vege and starch. These days, it’s just for me and my four legged girl, Coco! She’ll be happy with anything (almost) I like. She’s 7, in trim shape and going on 50!?

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distractedhomemaker on 4.1.2010

Wow where do I start?

gnee on 3.31.2010

We are having a picnic and Easter Egg Hunt with all the cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. I’ll be taking my favorite cake…check it out!

Janine on 3.31.2010

I am not sure how this Easter is going to go. This will be the first year that all of us children are out of my parents house (no one is married or have a SO though). We usually go to church services like we do every Sunday, then it is home to a wonderful meal with either turkey or ham as the center player. Yum!! I am planning on going to my parents house Sunday afternoon, but not how it will go down. I do know it will be a relaxing time!

sarah on 3.31.2010

fun recipes! we have no traditions except dying eggs then making deviled eggs with them! yum!

Jennifer D. on 3.31.2010

I love those little ham and egg cups! Why did I never think of that?? :-)

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Ree | The Pioneer Woman on 3.31.2010

I can’t get over this collection of recipes. There’s not enough time! Gracious.

Great post, Ms. Erika!

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momee4five on 3.31.2010

Ham, tasty rolls, sauteed asparagus, creamy potatoes and lots of candy. Maybe lemon cake with 7 minute frosting and coconut.

Andrea MacDonald on 3.31.2010

We are having Moussaka lemon greek potatoes and greek salad. It’s just us so we figured we would make our favorite.

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necessaryforce on 3.31.2010

We were supposed to be roasting a lamb on a spit, but plans have changed and we’re doing a pig now. Either way, spit-roasted meat = delicious!
And we’re also making a delicious Easter Bread Crown. So wonderful.

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Meredith {In Sock Monkey Slippers} on 3.31.2010

We are having roasted leg of lamb, roasted new potatoes with olives and carrots, sauteed asparagus, spring salad with berries and ginger vinaigrette and my aunt’s famous strawberry cake. my mouth is now watering. Can’t wait to go home!

CarolG on 3.31.2010

I used the recipe for homemade peanut butter cups to make peanut butter eggs for my son! There were egg shaped foil cups at the store the other day…perfect.

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cookincanuck on 3.31.2010

I need about four days of Easter to get to all of these delicious recipes. I’m seriously considering the cranberry glaze for our ham this year.

Elle on 3.31.2010

I grew up in southern Louisiana. I don’t even remember what we used to eat for Easter–I was too interested in the candy in my basket. :)
My husband is from Scotland, and I have adopted their Easter tradition of serving lamb. The rest of the year, lamb is way to expensive for our regular meals, so it’s a real treat to have at Easter.

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on 3.31.2010

Easter! We have 3 different dinners on Sunday and I need to make treats for all of them. I made some vanilla cupcakes stuffed with a strawberry last week that I think I will be making again!

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Jerseycook on 3.31.2010

Everything here looks so delicious. Thanks for this post. I canNOT believe Ree brought a ham to a seder — that is hilarious!

mnsmalltowngal on 3.31.2010

Headed to Easter dinner at my sister’s MIL’s house. She makes the ham and the rest of us bring sides and desserts. It’s a smorgasbord of deliciousness!

Heather Marie on 3.31.2010

We are having a BBQ! We usually do the traditional ham, etc. but this year we want to BBQ and enjoy the beautiful weather here in AZ.