I had the pleasure of attending The Times and Democrat's annual Page Turner Luncheon recently. There was a huge turnout for this popular event, which is actually a fundraiser for Newspapers In Education. Each year The T&D selects three authors to speak to attendees about how and why they became authors. I was overjoyed to see many friends at the luncheon, including my longtime friends Jane Carson and Sylvia Hiers, both of whom asked that I mention upcoming big events in their towns in my column. You see, both events include massive amounts of food and fellowship -- two of my favorite ingredients for successful events.
The much anticipated Elloree Trials will be held on March 23. I was asked by Jane Carson to stress that the Museum's fundraiser "Fillies to Follies" will not be held the evening before the famed races this year. The fundraiser will henceforth be called"Spring Follies." This year the event will be held at the Museum from 7 to 10 p.m. on April 27. The famous World Grits Festival will be in full swing in St. George April 12-14 . And, Hiers urges you to attend Springfield's renowned Governor's Frog Jump and Egg Strike from April 19-21.
Meanwhile, you have plenty of time to try one or more of the recipes below that I hope you will find enjoyable and will prepare again for Easter dinner. I will share more on area events as well as more wonderful Easter dinner recipes in the weeks ahead.
Red potatoes, ham, asparagus alfredo
2 sheets (12x18-inches each) Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil
4 medium red potatoes (1/3 pound each), thinly sliced
8-ounce ham steak or center cut ham slice, cut in half
8 asparagus spears, trimmed
5-ounces of refrigerated Alfredo sauce
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, or if the weather is warm, you may heat your outdoor grill to medium-high. Spray the foil with nonstick spray. Center half of the potatoes on each sheet of foil. Top the potatoes with ham and asparagus. Spoon one-fourth of the container of Alfredo sauce over top of each serving; reserve the remaining Alfredo sauce for future use. Bring up the sides of the foil; double fold the top and ends of the foil to make a sealed packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat this process to make two packets. Place the foil packets on a cookie sheet and bake them for 25 minutes at 450 degrees or grill for 15 to 20 minutes in a covered grill. This recipe makes two servings.
Ham and asparagus Swiss cheese casserole
4 cups Pepperidge Farm cubed Country Style Stuffing
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups cooked cut asparagus
2 cups cubed cooked ham
10-3/4 ounces Campbell’s condensed Cream of Asparagus Soup
2 cups whole milk
5 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
In a large bowl, mix the stuffing, cheese, asparagus and ham. Spoon this mixture into a greased 3-quart shallow baking dish. In a separate bowl, stir the soup, milk, eggs and mustard. Pour this mixture over the stuffing mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let the casserole stand for five minutes before serving. You may garnish the dish with fresh oregano. This recipe makes eight servings. TIP: For 1-1/2 cups cooked cut asparagus, use 3/4 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, or 1 package (about 10 ounces) of frozen asparagus spears, thawed, drained and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Rich asparagus soufflé
2 cans asparagus (broken pieces)
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup Miracle Whip
6 eggs (beaten in one at a time until well blended)
16 ounces grated mild Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Then place the mixture into a casserole dish that has been "greased" with butter. Place the casserole dish in a pan of water. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Use a toothpick to check to see when it is "done."
1 stick of margarine (may not need whole stick)
1 can Le Seur peas, drained
1 can asparagus (broken pieces)
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced thin
8 ounces grated mild Cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken of cream of onion soup
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. "Butter" a casserole dish. Make a layer each of butter pats, peas, asparagus, eggs, and cheese. Combine the soup and milk. Pour this over the layered ingredients in the casserole dish. Cover with crackers crumbs and with the remaining the butter to moisten the crumbs. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.