April 3, 2011

Ella’s Kitchen

It’s April and fruit is always in season. This month we will explore some ways to add more fruits to your menus. Listed below is a full Easter Dinner with soup, salad, starch salad, main meat and fresh fruit for dessert. Enjoy!


[Ella can be contacted at ellaweeze@yahoo.com or Ella – 50+ Lifestyles, 804 W Lombard Street, Davenport, IA, 52804]

Apricot Baked Ham
1/2 fully cooked ham with bone
(5 to 7 pounds)
1/2 C apricot preserves
3 TBL dry mustard
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
20 cloves

Score the surface of the ham with shallow diamond-shaped cuts. Inserts cloves in the cuts. Combine preserves and mustard; spread over the ham. Pat brown sugar over apricot mixture. Place ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake foat 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound or until ham is heated through and thermometer reads 140 degrees. Yield: 10 to 14 servings.

Fruited Wild Rice Salad

1/4 C olive or vegetable oil
1/3 C orange juice
2 TBL honey
Combine dressing ingredients. Set aside

1 C uncooked wild rice
2 Golden Delicious apples, chopped Juice of one lemon
1 C seedless red grapes, halved 1 C golden raisins
2 TBL each minced fresh mint, parsley and chives
1 C pecan halves, optional

Cook rice according to package directions; drain if needed and allow to cool. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add grapes, raisins, mint, parsley, chives and rice. Add dressing and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Just before serving add pecans and toss lightly. Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Cool Raspberry Soup (This is a cold soup)
1 bag (20 oz) frozen raspberries – thawed
1-1/4 C water 1/4 C white wine, optional
1 C cran-raspberry juice 1/2 C sugar
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 3 whole cloves
1 TBL lemon juice 1 carton (8 oz) raspberry flavored yogurt
1/2 C sour cream

In a blender, puree raspberries, water and wine. Transfer to a large saucepan; add cran-raspberry juice, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat; strain and allow to cool. Whisk in lemon juice and yogurt. Refrigerate. To serve, pour into small bowls and top with a dollop of sour scream. Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Fruit with Creamy Caramel Dip

1 pkg (8 oz) softened cream cheese
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 C sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice
1 C cold milk
1pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
Assorted fresh fruits arranged on serving platter

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, milk and pudding, beating well after each addition. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Serve as the dip for your fruit platter.

Orange Avocado Salad

1/2 C orange juice
2 TBL red wine vinegar 1/4 C vegetable oil
1 tsp grated orange peel 1/4 tsp salt 1 TBL sugar

Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Chill

2 C torn red leaf lettuce 1 med head iceberg lettuce, torn
(or approximately 4 to 5 C baby Romaine leaves)
1 med ripe but firm avocado, peeled and sliced
1/4 C orange juice 1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained

Just before serving, toss greens in a large salad bowl. Dip avocado slices in the orange juice; arrange over greens
(discard remaining juice) Add cucumber, onion and oranges. Serve with dressing on the side. Yield: 6 to 8 servings