Saturday, April 11, 2020

Finding Comfort in Recipes

     As we plan toward our Easter holiday meal, what to serve has its challenges.  And as we sit in the middle of the COVID 19 crisis, we stay home, go less to the store and learn what it means to truly stay home a lot of us are figuring out we really don't like this. Planning for your Easter lunch or dinner may have never been more difficult or honestly may have found more meaning than in these last few weeks. What was once a time to gather as a large family or friends, we now find ourselves social distancing to keep both our elderly and our families safe from the damage this disease can undeniably do.   Since writing and cooking are my happy place, I wanted to share some recipes for your Easter meal that I hope you have in your pantry or refrigerator to help both ease your mind and nourish your family's stomachs this Sunday.  
     Above all have grace during this COVID 19 crisis.  Have grace for yourself, your family and our situation. No one asked for this and at times it can be overwhelming. I miss my normal life just like all of you do.  I miss simple things like going wherever I want to shop, not worrying about what I touch and if someone sneezes, and I miss the daily hustle and bustle of our lives, and I miss my youngest daughter missing her senior spring prom, possible graduation and experiencing the same things my older daughters did.  I miss Mexican food at our favorite restaurant and most of all I mourn for those who have lost loved ones and who are sick during this illness and the past few months.  However, where we can find solace, peace and comfort, we need to learn how to do that.  I find mine in my family and food and pray I don't put on fifty pounds in the process!  So find your happy place, get up and move, do work in the sunshine if you can and remember that we are all in this together.  
       My hopes are that these recipes are both delicious, comforting and something you can create with your loved ones.  If you can't visit your elderly, take them a plate or two.  It means more than you realize. 

     My first recipe is for my mom's Young Family Deviled Eggs that are always a tradition on our table at most holidays.  She usually makes two batches as with our large family everyone wants more than one deviled egg each. For this recipe, you only need boiled eggs, mayonnaise, pickle juice, and mustard, along with salt and pepper.  Pretty easy and ingredients that can be found in most pantries.

     My second side dish is for a Strawberry, Feta and Sugared Pecan Salad that I love to make in spring and summer.  It's light, flavorful and tomatoes aren't just for dessert. This pretty salad is perfect to take to potlucks and family gatherings that will come soon I hope.  Serve this with any sweet salad dressing you can find or Italian Dressing is good with it as well.

   My next side dish is for a Green Chili and Cheese Hashbrown Casserole that is simply put, comfort food.  Who doesn't love a cheesy filled potato of any kind?  I love to make this for holidays when I'm feeding a crowd and to go with BBQ ribs or brisket.  Leftovers are great and you can split this recipe in half once cooked and freeze for later.

    Last I'm sharing a recipe for one of our favorite desserts at Easter for Chocolate Goey Bars.  You can use any cake mix you like and the original recipe calls for a Yellow/Butter Flavored Cake Mix.  I decided that a chocolate cake mix would be wonderful with this recipe and it really made it even more decadent. 

   Happy Easter weekend to you all. Find comfort in being with your families and know that before we all know it we will be together again.  Celebrations will be more meaningful in the next few years and we will realize once again that at the heart of our world, is the need to be together. 

Stay safe and well friends,

The Ranch Kitchen


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