By Deborah Eisenhut

Isn’t it about time for a big “R” festival?  You know the springtime one where daffodils and robins kick up whatever snow might be left and the sunshine shows us renewal and regrowth in slow motion….

It is one of my favorite seasons for many reasons. Mainly our food sources become fresh and viable for easy preparation and nutritious recipes.  It is a busy time with Easter activities, spring breaks at school and lots of outdoor preparations for the summer to come.

Try the following recipes in your spring menu planning and enjoy the opportunity to incorporate local, fresh foods in our eating choices once again.

 

This ode to Caesar dressing is a great little dip for the fresh veggies that might come your way:

 

Creamy Parmesan Dip

2 cups quality mayo

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. Anchovy paste (optional)

Zest & juice from large lemon

Splash of Worcestershire sauce

Ground fresh pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients well and adjust to taste. Refrigerate 1 hour to 2 days.  Serve with crudités or crackers.

 

And of course nothing say “spring” like eggs!

 

Grab & Go Spinach Ham Egg Bake

1 (14.1 oz) pkg. rolled pie crust

4 large eggs

3/4 cup half & half

5 oz. bag fresh baby spinach, torn into smaller pieces

1/3 cup finely chopped cooked ham

2 Tbls chopped sweet onion

1 Tbls chopped fresh dill

2 tsps Dijon mustard

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 lower rack

Cut pie crust into 12 -four inch circles and place gently into lightly greased 12 cup muffin pan. Pressing slightly into and over edges of cups.

Whisk remaining ingredients together and spoon into crusts, dividing evenly. Bake until puffed and set 22-25 minutes.  Sprinkling with grated cheese while warm before serving is optional.

 

Also spring talk includes fresh and tangy and EASY.  Nothing could be easier then a no bake delicious dessert that can be adapted to taste.  Whatever pudding flavor you choose will influence the dish flavor.

This is good practice for the “no bake summer” recipes that will be keeping the kitchen cool in months to come.

 

No Bake Golden Oreos Lemon Dessert

36 golden Oreos, divided

3 Tbls butter, very soft

1 box (3.4oz) cheesecake, lemon, coconut, vanilla OR pistachio pudding.

4 cups quality whipped topping such as Cool Whip, regular or low fat

1 cup lemon curd (in jam section of grocery) or homemade

Crush 20 cookies in a bag, add soft butter and mix well.  Place in bottom of 9X9 baking dish lightly, not necessary to pack down. Make pudding choice with milk and let sit 2 minutes.

Fold in a heaping cup of whipped topping and spread mixture carefully over crust.

Crush remaining cookies and sprinkle half over pudding.  Reserve the rest for topping.

Mix lemon curd with 1 cup whipped topping and spread over pudding.  Spread the rest of the whipped topping over the curd mixture then sprinkle the remaining cookies on top.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.  Serve with fresh fruit if desired.

I chose lemon pudding to compliment the lemon curd.  Use your imagination to combine flavors and fruits to suit your tastes.