(Family Features) Vegetable casseroles and carrot cake have been Easter menu
mainstays for decades, but with the majority of millennials now hosting holiday
family gatherings, retro dishes are getting a flavorful facelift with new ingredients
and flavor twists.
Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens offers these tips to put a new spin
on Easter favorites:
Liven up the Easter ham with a spicy-sweet glaze of apricot jam, pineapple juice
and chipotle chili pepper. Brush on a spiral-cut ham before roasting in the oven.
Upgrade a traditional vegetable casserole by sprinkling a layer of cheddar cheese
and topping with potato tots. Bake until the tots are crisp and golden brown and
the casserole is bubbly.
Combine two classic Easter desserts in one; swirl carrot cake batter into a smooth
and creamy cheesecake base with a hint of lemon. Bake and cut into bars. Elevate
your holiday meal with these creative updates to Easter classics.
For more recipes and tips, check out McCormick.com and visit McCormick Spice
on Facebook and Pinterest.
Carrot Cake Swirled Cream Cheese Bars
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, divided
2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix 1 cup each of flour and sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt
in large bowl. Add oil, 2 eggs, vanilla extract and carrots; mix well. Spread
1/2 of the batter into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan. Reserve remaining
batter. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in another large bowl with electric
mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add milk, remaining 2 tablespoons
flour and lemon extract; beat until well blended. Add remaining 2 eggs, 1 at
a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.
Drop spoonsful of cream cheese mixture and reserved carrot cake batter,
alternately, over carrot cake batter in pan. Cut through several times with
knife for marble effect.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool
in pan on wire rack.
Mix apricot jam, pineapple juice, chipotle chili pepper and garlic powder
in small bowl until well blended. Brush 1/2 of the jam mixture over ham, gently
separating slices so mixture can reach middle of ham. Cover loosely with foil.
Bake for 1 hour, basting occasionally with pan drippings.
Remove foil. Brush with remaining jam mixture. Bake 45 minutes longer.
1 teaspoon McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Salt
1/4 teaspoon McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pound frozen fried potato tots
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut up any large broccoli or cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces.
Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir about
5 minutes or until tender.
Stir in flour, Italian seasoning, garlic salt and pepper. Add milk; cook
and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Add cream cheese and Parmesan cheese; cook and stir until cream cheese is
melted. Add vegetables; toss gently to coat. Spoon into 2-quart baking dish.
Sprinkle evenly with Cheddar cheese and top with potato tots.
Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until heated through and potato tots are golden
brown and crispy.