I can still see my great uncle Bill standing over a large wooden bowl mixing up a massive Caesar salad. Tiny Oregon bay shrimp and our favorite dressing. Extra lemon and croutons on mine, please. I'm 10 years old and it's my favorite thing ever to watch him mix that salad up. It’s Easter Sunday. Grey hair and big glasses, hugs for days, and a big "Oh, I love you, Danny." I love my great uncle Bill. Egg hunts and a new dress and Easter dinner at my Gramma Gloria's house. The nostalgia of our childhood is a powerful thing. I think back on this time often in the spring, and I can't help but smile. I felt like a princess in my new dress. Church seemed so much more special on Easter. Even as a child, I knew the significance.
I have been anticipating this Easter holiday for months. Growing up, my mom would get my sister and me a new dress for church, and I can remember putting it on and feeling brand new and special. I can't help but think that's really what it's all about. Jesus came and died specifically for our sins, so that we might live a new life. Something brand new. The thought of our savior's love and sacrifice for us during this special time means that we get a chance at a happy life, an abundant life filled with joy. Not without trial or pain, but fresh and beautiful nonetheless. This spring, everything feels different to me. We are anticipating a new baby to arrive at the end of summer and finishing Kindergarten with our boy. It's been a sweet season, a season of trials and triumph; a season of trust, new endeavors, calm rest, real family time, and growth. The winter was long and cold, but with spring, and especially Easter time, comes the promise of new life.
My prayer for you and your family during this sweet time is that you spend more time together, less time worrying. More time at family dinner and less time scrambling just to get by. If we let it, life can run us. We often forget we call the shots. I hope you call in some quiet rest into your life and really take in all this spring has to offer. Cherry blossoms and the first cut grass of the season. Crocuses and tulips and sugar snap peas. Jesus died that we might live abundantly. By golly, I'm gonna LIVE!!! This pretty darn simple spin on Easter supper is one of my favorites -- old favorites with some deliciously tasty twists. Go ahead and make every bit of it.
I purchased all of these ingredients at Fred Meyer. There are seemingly dozens of grocery stores near where I live, and honestly, I do every bit of my shopping there because they have the best of everything and everything I need. Thanks, Fred Meyer!
Feta, cream cheese, and dill
Makes a 9x13 casserole
8-10 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes
1 tbsp. butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz. soft cream cheese
3/4 cup crumbled feta plus 2 tbsp. set aside
½ cup chopped fresh dill plus 2 tbsp. set aside
3 cups heavy cream
½ cup milk
1 tbsp. flour
Salt & pepper to taste
Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water for 15-20 minutes until knife tender but not completely cooked through. Drain, rinse, and set aside to cool while you make the cream cheese mixture.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large sauce or sauté pan, cook the onions in the butter over medium heat until translucent, then add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes more until the garlic is tender. Melt the cream cheese completely into the onion and garlic, and salt and pepper at this point. Once the cream cheese is melted, add the cream and milk. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often until everything begins to come together. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, stir to combine, and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the feta cheese and fresh dill. Stir to incorporate.
Slice or dice potatoes, whichever you prefer, and lay them in a 9x13 pan. Pour the hot cream cheese mixture over the potatoes, sprinkle with the remaining feta, and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the top begins to turn light golden brown. Once the potatoes are cooked perfectly, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining fresh dill. A squeeze of lemon to finish the dish is lovely but optional.
6 thick cut slices of bacon, chopped
2 medium shallots, diced
3 cups thawed frozen peas
½ cup torn mint
½ cup chopped chives
½ cup chopped fresh dill
4 cups baby spinach
The juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet over medium high heat, brown the bacon and shallots until crisp, add peas. Stir to deglaze the pan with the moisture from the peas. Once the peas are hot, put all the herbs in and stir gently. Immediately pour peas, herbs, and bacon fat over the spinach and add the juice of the lemon. Gently toss and serve!
Balsamic & Dijon Baked Ham
1 bone in smoked ham, spiral cut preferred (I used an 8 lb. ham)
½ cup good honey
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp. cracked pepper
Mix glaze. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake ham according to the package or 15 minutes per pound, covered tightly with foil, 2 cups of water in the bottom of your roaster. During the last hour, pour half the glaze over the ham. During the last 15 minutes, pour the remaining glaze and bake uncovered to brown the glaze.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kroger. The opinions and text are all mine.