I adore holidays. I love their individual meanings for the world, their personal significance(s) to myself and my family, and I really love…the food. Turkey with all of the fixings at Thanksgiving, steaks on Christmas Eve, ribs and hot dogs on Independence day–even the heart shaped sugar cookies on Valentine’s Day. Whatever the celebration, as long as there is a reason to cook or eat, I’m a happy camper. Here are a few of my favorite recipes for the upcoming busy Easter weekend, or any time you need a quick dish to contribute!
-For the hungry Sunday School crowd, or as a great brunch filler:
Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Casserole
- 1 can Jumbo butter flavor or buttermilk biscuits
- 6 Eggs
- 1 package white gravy mix
- 1 lb sausage of any flavor (my house loves Hot, but mild might be more considerate of others)
- 1 cup of shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is yum, but I use the fiesta blend for more variety!)
- 1/2 cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350; grease 9×13 pan
- Brown sausage in skillet and rinse/drain well
- While browning sausage: whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in separate bowl–set aside
- Cut biscuits in to quarters; line bottom of pan with pieces
- Layer the cooked sausage over biscuit pieces; top with cheese. Pour egg mixture over top.
- Prepare gravy according to directions and pour on top of all layered ingredients
- Bake 30-45 minutes, or until biscuits are golden and eggs are cooked thoroughly
- Snag a piece because it will be gone before it cools!!!
**Tip: I cook the sausage the night before, which cuts morning prep time down to about 5 minutes!
Next up–For those of us who really don’t have the time to cook something fancy, but don’t want to bring yet another store bought pie, here are two of my favorite quick and refreshing side dishes:
Snappy Fruit Salad
- 1 can of mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 can of crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered with tops removed
- 2 bananas, sliced or halved pieces
- 2 cups seedless, red grapes, halved
- 1 bag of mixed green and red sliced apples: cut slices in to smaller pieces (I leave skin on!)
- 1 tub of Light Cool Whip
- Mix all fruit in large serving bowl. Start adding in Cool Whip–use as little or much as you’d like; or, serve on the side and let guests add their preferred amount.
**Tip: Since fruit will still have natural juices, I recommend preparing this dish as close to serving time as possible. If you want to chill it or prep early, add bananas and Cool Whip in at the last minute to prevent sogginess. The best thing about this recipe is that you can customize to your liking, or based on seasonal fruits! Mango, kiwi, grapefruit and many others are all delicious combos!!
Dill Veggie Dip
- 1 pint sour cream
- 1 pint mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp minced parsley
- 3 Tbsp grated onion (or 1 Tbsp dried onion)
- 3 Tbsp dill weed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp seasoned salt
- Mix all ingredients and chill 2-3 hours (overnight is best, so flavors can really mingle!). Serve with any/all raw vegetables of your choice!! Especially delicious with: carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, broccoli, all bell peppers and cauliflower. Get creative and colorful!!
**Tip: I’ve seen some pretty adorable bunny faces created with raw veggies on Pinterest and Google…you know, if you wanted to look like you put in a little more effort than mixing a dip:)
Now, if you really want to have people talking–then you must bring the dessert of the season. My father and husband are both pretty big Banana Pudding snobs (by “pretty big”, I mean huge), and this barely lasted 2 days in my house when I made it last year…with just the two of them inhaling it! I’m not as patient as my Mother-in-Love, who makes hers from scratch, but I can promise you…no one will ever even know if you use instant pudding:) Best of all–you can make this the night before; it’s even more delicious the longer it refrigerates!
- 3-4 Bananas, perfectly ripened–no green and no brown!!
- 3 cups of milk (2% and whole work best for thickness)
- 1 box Nilla wafers (if you have a toddler…buy an extra box, or you won’t have enough!)
- 2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding (French Vanilla works best, but if you can’t find it, just add a splash of vanilla extract)
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temp (reduced fat works great, or Greek blend!)
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 12 oz container Cool Whip (again, I use Light)
- Line bottom of 9×13 pan with wafers; layer evenly with your sliced bananas
- Combine milk and both boxes of pudding; set aside
- In separate bowl, mix cream cheese and condense milk until smooth. Gradually fold in Cool Whip
- Stir together cream cheese mixture and pudding mixture; pour mix evenly over bananas
- Layer top with Nilla Wafers. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight
- Hide in closet and lick pan!!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this season of new birth and rebirth–I hope it’s filled with family, love and FOOD!
Feel free to leave your suggestions/adaptations to the recipes in the comments, or share your own favorites!! I know all of we Mom Tribe Members are always looking for new ideas:)