Easter: Change up your holiday menu with a new recipe

Avocado-Chocolate Mousse.

Lemon Salad and Topping

Two 3-ounce packages lemon gelatin

2 cups boiling water

2 cups cold water

One 15-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained (save juice for topping)

2 large bananas, cut up

1½ cups mini marshmallows

Topping

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup pineapple juice (add

1 egg beaten

4 ounces whipped topping

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add cold water. Chill until syrupy. Add welldrained crushed pineapple, bananas and marshmallows. Pour into 9-by-13-inch pan. Refrigerate until firm and then add topping.

For the topping: Mix sugar and flour together. Stir in juice and cook until thick. Add part of mixture to beaten egg gradually, then combine all and cook 3 to

4 minutes. When cool, fold in whipped topping. Spread over gelatin.

Chill for several hours or overnight before serving.

Ann Ducey, Omaha

Peach Cream Cake

Serves 10 to 12

One 7-inch prepared loaf angel food cake, frozen

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup cold water

One 3½-ounce package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, whipped

4 cups sliced, pared fresh peaches or one (20-ounce) package frozen sliced peaches, thawed

Cut cake into ¼-inch slices; arrange half the slices on bottom of 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

In large mixer bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and water; mix well. Adding pudding mix; beat until well-blended. Chill 5 minutes. Stir in extract, fold in whipped cream. Pour half of the cream mixture over cake slices; arrange half the peach slices on top. Repeat layering, ending with peach slices.

Chill 4 hours or until set. Cut into squares to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Mary Drouillard, Bennington

Avocado-Chocolate Mousse

Serves 6

½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips

4 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, and peeled

2/3 cup organic maple syrup

½ cup unsweetened baking cocoa

¼ cup almond milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt Fresh raspberries, for serving Fresh mint, optional

In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in the microwave on medium at 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until melted.

In a blender or food processor, combine avocados, melted chocolate, maple syrup, cocoa, almond milk, vanilla extract and salt. Cover and blend until smooth.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for two hours before serving. Serve topped with raspberries and mint, if desired.

Karry Clifford, Fresh Thyme

Broccoli and Cheese

1 large package of frozen broccoli

1½ sticks butter

8 ounces Velveeta cheese

1 package Ritz crackers

Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare broccoli as directed. Melt one stick of butter and cheese. Drain broccoli and place in 9-by13-inch baking dish. Pour cheese and butter mixture over broccoli. Crumble crackers over the top of the broccoli and cheese. Melt the half stick of butter and pour over crackers. Bake for 30 minutes.

Janell Jochim

Roast Lamb and Potatoes

Serves 10 to 12 Lamb

Purchase bone-in leg of lamb or boneless rolled roast

3 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons fresh-ground pepper

Potatoes

10 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

1 stick melted butter

¼ cup olive oil

Fresh-ground pepper and kosher salt to taste

Gravy

1/3 to ½ cup flour Beef stock if desired (or water)

Pan drippings

Put lamb in roasting pan and bring to room temperature.

Peel and quarter Yukon Gold potatoes. Toss gently in melted butter and olive oil. Lay out in separate pan or baking sheet. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste.

Heat oven to 450 F. Make paring knife jabs into the skin of the lamb and then slather with garlic, rosemary leaves and kosher salt.

Add about 1-2 inches of water around lamb in the roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer and place in top rack of oven. Place pan of potatoes on the bottom rack, at least 6 inches from the bottom of the oven.

Roast for about 20 minutes at 450 F. Then turn down to 300 F until done. Check thermometer occasionally and make sure you still have about 1-2 inches of water in the pan throughout the roasting. This will give you liquid for a pan gravy but also help the roast not to dry out.

Baking usually takes 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the roast. It's very important to watch the meat thermometer, and as soon as it hits rare on the gauge, remove from oven. Move lamb onto a grooved cutting board and wrap it in foil.

After removing lamb, you could leave the potatoes in for a few more minutes to roast. Then either set oven to warm or remove and wrap in foil.

Whisk flour in with remaining lamb juices to make a roux. Slowly add more water or a bit of beef stock, bring to a boil and add more liquid until you have a nice pan gravy. Be sure to scrape the sides and corners with the whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Carve lamb and place on platter or serve surrounded by potatoes and carve at table.

Catherine Pond, Red Cloud, Nebraska

Funny Salad

1 pound cole slaw mix

16-ounce package almonds

16-ounce package sunflower seeds

¼ cup chopped white onion

3 bags uncooked ramen noodles, crunched

Toast almonds, then mix together. Top with dressing before serving.

DRESSING

1 cup oil

8 tablespoons sugar

12 tablespoons rice vinegar

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons pepper

1 tablespoon salt

Mix and set aside. Pour dressing over salad

15 minutes before serving.

Bev White, La Vista

Hot Cross Buns

½ cup water (105 to 115 F)

2¼ ounces active dry yeast

½ cup sugar

1 cup milk (105 to 115 F)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ cup butter softened

6 cups all-purpose flour

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup dried currant (or any type of dried fruit)

½ cup dried apricots

Egg wash

1 large egg white

1 teaspoon water mixed with egg wish

Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Pour warm water into the large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar over it. Stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Add sugar, milk, salt, nutmeg, butter and 3 cups flour and use paddle attachment of a mixer and beat medium speed until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

Add currants, apricots and 1 cup more flour. Beat until well-mixed, about 1 minute.

Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Place dough in a large bowl. Let rise once and then punch down. Let rest in warm place 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 24 equal balls and place 1 to 2 inches apart on a greased baking pan.

Let rolls raise 25 to 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 F. Brush rolls lightly with egg wash.

With a sharp knife, cut an X in each bun about ½-inch deep.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Spoon frosting over each bun and let stand 20 minutes before serving.

Bev White, La Vista

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