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Party Plan: One Hoppy Easter

Easter eggs, carrot cake and beautiful lilies…this holiday party plan has it all!

Spring has sprung…so throw a party everybunny will love with this party plan!

Start things off right on Easter morning with a delicious Overnight Egg and Sausage Casserole or tasty Monkey Bread Muffins. Then, with a hearty breakfast giving you plenty of energy, it’s time to get cooking! We’ve got loads of sweet treats for you to try, from a classic Carrot Sheet Cake to adorable (and easy!) Mini Cheesecake Nests and Garden Patch Cupcakes...they taste just as good as they look!

For dinner, how about Cherry Glazed Ham? Serve with a variety of delicious sides, like Lemon Mint Peas, Maple-Honey Roasted Spring Vegetables and a Fresh Fruit Platter with Ginger Lime Dressing.

Of course, Easter wouldn’t be complete without some decorations and fun activities, too! Lovely Lilies make a beautiful, eye-catching Easter centerpiece. We’ve got a Basket Bonanza of ideas for stuffing Easter baskets, with something for every age and personality. And you can bring the Easter Fun with a jelly bean spoon race and fun Easter egg word puzzles. It’s sure to be one hoppy holiday!

Monkey Bread Muffins

Monkey Bread Muffins

With refrigerated rolls and a few everyday ingredients on hand, you can have ooey gooey warm caramel rolls ready anytime. And kids love eating monkey bread!

Hands-on Time: 10 min. | Total Time: 30 min. | Serves: 8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1 can (16.3 oz.) refrigerated large flaky biscuits (8 biscuits)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips, if desired
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 8 regular muffin cups. Separate biscuits and cut each into 6 wedges.
  2. In large bowl, toss biscuit pieces with melted butter until coated. Sprinkle in brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss until all pieces are coated.
  3. Arrange 6 biscuit pieces in each buttered muffin cup, tucking in a few chocolate chips if desired; press slightly into pan. Sprinkle any remaining brown sugar mixture over biscuits. Bake 10-12 minutes or until deep golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk until blended; mixture will be fairly thick. Remove biscuits from oven and top each with spoonful of the frosting. Let cool in pan 10 minutes.
  5. Run table knife around edges of biscuits to loosen. Remove from pan. Spread frosting over top.

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Overnight Egg and Sausage Casserole

Overnight Egg and Sausage Casserole

Egg bakes are great make-ahead dishes for busy times or holidays. They require time for the bread to soak up the custard mixture, so spend a few minutes assembling the casserole the night before and have this yummy family favorite dish ready to bake for brunch in the morning.

Hands-on Time: 25 min. | Total Time: 9 hrs. 45 min. | Serves: 12 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. bulk pork sausage
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced, any colors
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 8 cups French or Vienna bread, cubed (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
Directions:
  1. In medium skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until browned, stirring to break up meat; drain. Stir in bell pepper and onion. Cook 3 minutes or until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally.
  2. Butter or spray 13"x9" (3-quart) baking dish. Place bread cubes in dish. Top with cheese, followed by the sausage mixture.
  3. In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper with wire whisk until blended. Pour over sausage. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  4. When ready to bake, remove dish from refrigerator and let stand at least 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover dish and bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut in squares to serve.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Carrot Sheet Cake

Carrot Sheet Cake

Fresh orange adds spring flavor to this classic carrot cake.

Hands-on Time: 40 min. | Total Time: 2 hrs. 40 min. | Serves: 15 | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla, divided
  • 3 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp. orange peel, grated
  • 1 package (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • Red, yellow and green food coloring
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13"x9" cake pan.
  2. In large bowl, beat sugar, oil, orange juice and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in carrots and grated orange peel.
  3. Spread in pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan completely, about 1 hour.
  4. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar, milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix on low speed until creamy and spreading consistency, adding a little milk if necessary.
  5. Spoon 1/2 cup frosting in one small bowl and 1/4 cup frosting in another small bowl. Frost cake with remaining frosting; score top with tip of knife into 15 servings. Tint 1/2 cup frosting with yellow and red food coloring for orange carrots, and tint 1/4 cup frosting with green food coloring for green carrot tops.
  6. Spoon tinted frostings into small resealable plastic bags. Cut 1/2" from tip of orange frosting bag and a small snip from green frosting bag. Pipe a carrot on each piece of cake.

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Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Start a tradition of decorating Easter cookies with the kids or grandkids. This dough is easy to work with and the cookies are sturdy enough for little hands to do the decorating.

Hands-on Time: 1 hr. 25 min. | Total Time: 2 hrs. 45 min. | Serves: 48 | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz. Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2-3 Tbsp. milk
  • Kroger Sanding Sugar
Directions:
  1. In large bowl, beat sugar, butter and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until mixed. Add flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; mix on low speed until mixed.
  2. Cover dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. Heat oven to 375°F. Roll out half of the dough on floured work surface to 1/8" thickness; cut out shapes with floured cookie cutters.
  3. Place on ungreased shiny cookie sheets. Bake 7-9 minutes or just until edges start to brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets, then cool completely on cooling rack.
  4. In medium bowl, beat powdered sugar, shortening, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons milk with electric mixer on low speed until mixed; beat on medium speed until creamy, adding milk if necessary for spreading consistency. Frost cookies and sprinkle with decorating sugars.

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Mini Cheesecake Nests

Mini Cheesecake Nests

Fun and festive individual cheesecakes are easy to serve! The papers peel right off, so there's no time spent slicing. Just serve on a platter or on individual dessert plates.

Hands-on Time: 30 min. | Total Time: 3 hrs. 40 min. | Serves: 12 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • Green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 36 colorful jelly beans
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line 12 regular muffin cups with paper liners. In small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs and butter; spoon and press into bottoms of paper liners.
  2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, sour cream and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing only until blended. Spoon evenly over crust, about 3 rounded tablespoons per cup.
  3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set but center is still jiggly. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack 30 minutes. Cover loosely and refrigerate 2 hours or until completely chilled.
  4. Meanwhile, mix coconut with 1 or 2 drops of green food coloring; spread on waxed paper to dry.
  5. Just before serving, whip cream with 1 tablespoon sugar until stiff peaks form. Top each cheesecake with whipped cream, coconut and a few candies. Remove paper cups.

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Garden Patch Cupcakes

Garden Patch Cupcakes

Kids will enjoy decorating these fun cupcakes with chocolate crumb "dirt" and that naughty bunny Peter Rabbit.

Hands-on Time: 45 min. | Total Time: 1 hr. 35 min. | Serves: 24 | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
  • 1 box (15.25 oz.) lemon cake mix
  • Water, oil and egg as called for on lemon cake mix box
  • 6 chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, crumbled
  • 1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
  • Green, yellow and red food coloring
  • 24 Peeps® Marshmallow Bunnies
  • 24 round wooden toothpicks
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 regular muffin cups with paper liners. Mix and bake cake mix as directed for cupcakes, using water, oil and egg; cool completely, as directed.
  2. Meanwhile, place cookies in food processor. Cover and process 30 seconds or until fine crumbs form.
  3. Spoon 1/4 cup of the frosting in a small bowl; tint it orange with a drop or 2 of red and yellow food coloring. Tint the remaining frosting green with green food coloring. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the green frosting in a small resealable plastic bag; cut a tiny snip from the tip. Spoon the orange frosting into another bag and cut 1/8" from tip.
  4. Frost cupcakes with remaining green frosting. Insert toothpicks in back of each marshmallow bunny about 1" from bottom, angling toward the front. Place one near the edge of each cupcake.
  5. Sprinkle a few cookie crumbs over the green frosting, patting down lightly. Pipe a tiny carrot or 2 on each cupcake, using the frosting in the bags.

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Strawberry Truffle Brownie Bites

Strawberry Truffle Brownie Bites

Mini fudgy brownies topped with creamy truffle candies are a perfect sweet treat to serve with coffee.

Hands-on Time: 25 min. | Total Time: 1 hr. 45 min. | Serves: 40 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1 box (18.4 oz.) fudge brownie mix
  • Water, oil and eggs, as called for on brownie mix box
  • 3-4 Tbsp. strawberry preserves
  • 20 Lindor Truffles (white, milk or dark chocolate, as desired)
  • 3 oz. vanilla candy coating, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Red food coloring
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line 40 mini muffin cups with paper liners; spray inside of liners with cooking spray.
  2. Mix brownie mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter in each cup; top each with 1/4 teaspoon preserves. Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are set.
  3. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap truffles and cut in half using sharp serrated knife. When brownies are still slightly warm, press one truffle half, cut side down, into each brownie bite until almost level.
  4. Remove to cooling rack; cool completely. In small microwavable bowl, microwave candy coating and 1/2 teaspoon oil on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave for 30 second intervals until completely melted; stir in a tiny drop of red food coloring.
  5. Drizzle candy coating over truffles; let stand until set. To set more quickly, place in refrigerator. Remove papers before serving.

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Lemon Mint Peas

Lemon Mint Peas

Garden peas are a classic spring vegetable. Lemon and a hint of mint add to the fresh spring flavor.

Hands-on Time: 10 min. | Total Time: 10 min. | Serves: 8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 2 packages (12 oz. each) frozen peas
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
Directions:
  1. Cook peas as directed on packages. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in lemon juice, lemon peel and salt.
  2. Just before serving, stir in mint and toss butter sauce with cooked peas.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Maple-Honey Roasted Spring Vegetables

Maple-Honey Roasted Spring Vegetables

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables. The maple syrup and honey add an extra hint of sweet flavor.

Hands-on Time: 20 min. | Total Time: 35 min. | Serves: 8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. thin carrots, peeled
  • 8 oz. shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 3 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Halve lengthwise any carrots 1" thick or thicker. Place carrots and shallots in single layer on 15"x10" baking pan with sides; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  2. Roast 10 minutes, shaking pan and turning once. Add asparagus; drizzle with remaining oil. Roast 10 minutes longer.
  3. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine syrup, honey, vinegar, butter and salt. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils; boil 2 minutes. Pour over roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with thyme.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Spinach and Raspberry Salad with Glazed Almonds

Spinach and Raspberry Salad with Glazed Almonds

Glazed toasted almonds add crunch and a nutty flavor to this colorful spring salad. If you prefer, you can purchase packages of glazed almonds from the produce department.

Hands-on Time: 15 min. | Total Time: 15 min. | Serves: 6 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 5 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 6 oz. ready-to-use baby spinach leaves
  • 6 oz. fresh raspberries
  • 2 green onions, sliced
Directions:
  1. In small nonstick skillet, combine almonds and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until sugar melts and coats the almonds and almonds are golden brown, stirring frequently. Spread on waxed paper to cool.
  2. In small bowl, beat vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, salt and mustard with wire whisk until blended. Whisk in oil until thick and well blended. Stir in poppy seed.
  3. In large shallow bowl, toss spinach with dressing. Top with raspberries, green onions and almonds. Serve immediately.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Fresh Fruit Platter with Ginger Lime Dressing

Fresh Fruit Platter with Ginger Lime Dressing

This beautiful fruit platter can be made ahead. Peel and slice the fruit, and store each kind separately in the refrigerator. Prepare the dressing and refrigerate until serving time. Just arrange the fruit and whisk the dressing before serving.

Hands-on Time: 25 min. | Total Time: 25 min. | Serves: 12 | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated lime peel
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large mango, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 pineapple, peeled and sliced
  • 8 large strawberries, halved
  • 8 oz. seedless grapes, cut in small clusters
Directions:
  1. In medium bowl, beat lime juice, honey, sugar, lime peel and ginger with wire whisk until blended. Gradually whisk in oil until thick and well blended.
  2. On large plate or platter, arrange fruit. Serve with dressing.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Cherry-Glazed Ham

Cherry-Glazed Ham

Slightly tangy cherry sauce adds a beautiful glaze to the ham. Served as an accompaniment sauce, it enhances the smoky flavor.

Hands-on Time: 15 min. | Total Time: 3 hrs. 30 min. | Serves: 12 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
  • 1 fully cooked smoked bone-in ham (8 lbs.)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 jar (12 oz.) cherry preserves
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place ham in roasting pan; add water to 1/2" depth. Score ham by making 1/4" deep slashes 1" apart across surface of ham.
  2. Tent ham with foil. Bake 2 1/2 hours or until interior temperature is at least 120°F when checked with a meat thermometer. Add a little water if pan runs dry.
  3. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, mix vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and cloves. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cherry preserves.
  4. When ham has reached interior temperature, spoon and spread 1/4 cup of the glaze/sauce over the top of the ham. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until interior temperature is at least 140°F. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.
  5. Slice and serve with remaining cherry sauce.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Easter Fun

Easter Fun

Encourage the young guests at your Easter celebration to run for their candy and hunt for their eggs!

By replacing fresh eggs with jelly beans, you re-invent a classic Easter spoon race. And you can also mix the traditional Easter egg hunt up by turning it into a word game. Should the weather not cooperate, you can easily bring both activities inside.

Jelly Bean Spoon Race:
Divide your young guests into two teams, asking each to come up with a fun Easter-appropriate name. Give each team a basket already filled with jelly beans. (Basket size and quantity of jelly beans depend on how challenging you want this race to be.) Establish a Start and Finish line; place the full basket where the race starts and two empty baskets at the race's end. Ask teams to line up single file behind the starting line and give a (relatively large) spoon to each of the first runners.

When the starting whistle blows, runners fill their spoons with jelly beans and race to the finish, where they'll drop the jelly beans into their empty baskets. Any jelly beans fallen in transit should be picked up and returned to the spoon by the runner. (If you're playing outside, you might skip this part if it's too hard to find small candies in the grass.) Then runners head back and pass the spoon off to the next in line. This continues until all the jelly beans have been transferred. A fresh batch of jelly beans can be awarded to all finishers when the race is over!

Easter Egg Word Puzzles
Gather your plastic eggs, but instead of (or in addition to) filling them with candy, you'll be including letter clues. First, decide on an Easter-themed message. "Happy Easter!" is simple and basic, but you can think outside of the Easter basket with sentiments such as "Welcome Spring!" or "Chocolate Bunny."

Once you have your phrase, use stencils - or go freehand - to cut those letters (in a size that will be large enough to work with but still small enough to fit into a plastic egg) from construction paper or cardstock. Even easier would be to buy a set of craft foam letters and select what you need. Enclose one letter in each egg and hide the eggs in the play area. Set the kids loose with baskets and have them return their finds once you know they've located all of the hidden eggs.

The group can then put their heads together to assemble the letters in the correct order to read their Easter greeting!

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Basket Bonanza

Basket Bonanza

Easter baskets are traditionally all about the candy, but you can treat the basket recipient to a whole lot of fun by changing things up a bit.

Fill a large, colorful basket with any of the following, depending on the age and gender of your giftee:

  • Small plush animals such as ducks, chicks, bunnies, etc.
  • Art supplies: markers and colored pencils, drawing paper, coloring books
  • Gift Cards (ideas include Google, Toys”R”Us, Brinker restaurants, Kroger, Nike and Chipotle)
  • Age-appropriate books, cookbooks and magazines
  • Stickers and decal tattoos
  • Sparkling waters, natural sodas or juice boxes
  • Favorite candies (you’ve gotta include candy!)
  • Playing cards and card games such as Uno, Go Fish, etc.
  • Snacks including single-serving bags of crackers, pretzels or chips
  • Journals and high-quality pens
  • Fandango Gift Cards or movie passes
  • Stationery sets or note cards
  • Bubbles, Frisbees, sidewalk chalk, jacks and other outdoor activities
  • Candles
  • Jewelry or hair accessories
  • Small houseplants or vibrant floral bouquets
  • A baking recipe along with all shelf-stable ingredients needed in the recipe
  • Easter-themed socks
  • Small age-appropriate toys

If the Easter basket is going to a young girl, dress it up by stretching a costume tutu around the basket for a fairy tale-like effect. Young boys might like their Easter treats piled in the bed of a toy truck. Choice hats make a classy Easter basket for just about anyone. Another fun basket idea is to fill an upside-down umbrella with any of the above goodies…the “basket” is sure to come in handy when April showers start to fall.

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Lovely Lilies

Lovely Lilies

Spring has (finally) sprung and you’ll likely want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Even when you’re indoors, you can stay mindful of nature’s bounty and beauty by arranging vibrant floral bouquets and bringing them inside.

While any gorgeous and lovely bloom will do, Easter lilies demand center stage when the weather starts to warm. Their white trumpet-shaped flowers are a time-honored symbol of beauty, hope and life during the Easter season, and they bring understated elegance to any table decor.

For an especially creative centerpiece, first arrange a bouquet of Easter lilies in a straight-sided glass bowl or vase. Have a dozen or so decorated hard-cooked eggs on hand and gently pack them around the lily stems to fill the vase and support the flowers. If the vase is especially deep, gently place the eggs in first and then fit the flower stems in amongst the eggs.

Should you be entertaining guests, put this arrangement together just before they arrive as the flowers will wilt sooner rather than later without water in the vase.

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Chopped Salad with Alaska Seafood “Croutons”

Chopped Salad with Alaska Seafood “Croutons”

Fresh greens tossed with tomato, avocado, bacon and blue cheese in a Sweet ‘n Spicy Balsamic Dressing, topped with golden Wild Alaska Seafood nuggets.

Ingredients:

For the Sweet ‘n Spicy Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, finely minced
  • ½ oz. mustard powder, Colman’s® brand
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup (approx.) water
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated

For the Salad:

  • 6 lb. iceberg lettuce, chopped 1 inch
  • 3 lb. mesclun or baby lettuces
  • 4 lb. (8 oz.) Alaska Popcorn Fish pieces, frozen (0.2 oz. each) or battered Alaska Cod or Pollock pieces, frozen (1 to 2 oz. each)
  • 4 lb. (8 oz.) tomatoes, diced ½ inch
  • 2 lb. (4 oz.) avocados, peeled, seeded, diced ½ inch
  • 1 ½ cups green onions, chopped
  • 4 cups bacon, chopped, cooked crisp
  • 1 lb. 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cups red onions, sliced thin
Directions:
  1. To make Sweet ‘n Spicy Balsamic Dressing, place all ingredients except oils, water and cheese into blender; blend thoroughly. With motor running, slowly add oils to emulsify. Thin with water, if needed. (Dressing should be thick.)
  2. Stir in cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using. Makes about 6 cups.
  3. In bowl, toss iceberg lettuce and mesclun to mix. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. For each serving, deep-fry about 3 oz. fish until cooked through; drain.
  5. In bowl, toss 6 oz. lettuce and mesclun mix, 3 oz. tomatoes, 1 ½ oz. avocados, 1 Tbsp. green onions and a generous 3 Tbsp. Sweet ‘n Spicy Balsamic Dressing to coat. Plate. Sprinkle top with a scant 3 Tbsp. bacon, ¾ oz. cheese and ½ oz. red onions. Top with fish pieces.

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Semolina-Crusted Alaskan Halibut

Semolina-Crusted Alaskan Halibut

Semolina is a bit courser than most flour, has an awesome texture and creates a great crust for Alaska halibut. I really enjoy semolina and seafood together. It’s a simple and humble pairing that lends itself to all kinds of sauces and flavors. It won’t distract you from the most important thing on the plate: the fish!

Ingredients:
  • 4 Alaska Halibut fillets (5 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen
  • 3 Tbsp. grapeseed or olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Directions:
  1. Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Halibut under cold water, pat dry with paper towel.  Drizzle a little oil into a heavy nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Brush halibut with remaining oil, then roll fish in semolina flour, making sure to cover all sides.  Place the fish in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned.  Shake pan occasionally to keep fish from sticking.
  2. Turn halibut over and season with salt, then reduce heat to medium.  Cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes for frozen halibut or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish.  Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.
  3. Serve over grilled vegetables or fresh greens topped with balsamic and olive oil.

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Lemongrass Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemongrass Lemon Meringue Pie

Bursting with fresh lemon taste, this pie is a springtime classic. Serve & enjoy the sweet and tart flavors of this delicious dessert.

Ingredients:
  • 1 packaged pie crust, baked and cooled
  • 1¼ cups sugar, plus ½ cup, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3¾ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. lemongrass, grated
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
Directions:
  1. Bake and cool pie crust according to package instructions.
  2. To make the filling, place 1¼ cups sugar, eggs, lemon juice and grated lemongrass into blender. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour melted butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds more.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer lemon filling to baked pie shell. Bake until filling is just set, 30-35 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely.
  4. When pie has cooled completely, preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine water with ½ cup sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  6. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites until frothy. Beat in cream of tartar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Stream sugar mixture into the meringue, beating to create stiff peaks. Add vanilla and lemon zest.
  7. Add meringue to top of pie, spreading to the edges of crust until filling is completely covered. Bake for 4-7 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned.

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