St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles welcomes guest blogger Jean Carnahan. Known well around our great city, Jean was the first woman to represent Missouri in the Senate after she filled the seat of her husband, the late Mel Carnahan when he was posthumously elected in 2000. Jean also served as First Lady of Missouri from 1993-2000. In 1999 she published her first cookbook, Christmas at the Mansion: It’s Memories and Menus. An avid home cook and gardener, Jean has taken her passion for food and writing and created Good Food STL.
Easter: Something Old, Something New
Easter is one of those holidays that blends tradition and newness, leaving the cook some wiggle room in the kitchen. At the farm, I most often go with a familiar entree: a honey-baked ham or leg of lamb. Then I devote my attention to star-studded side dishes, like these crunchy Zucchini Carrot Fritters, that pair well with this easy Tzatziki Sauce. As a bonus, the round, colorful cakes look lovely on a serving plate, they’re healthy, and can be eaten at any time, hot or cold. What more can you ask of a side dish?
A big salad is a natural and familiar addition to any Easter meal. But it can be brightened with a few extra ingredients or a bold new dressing.
It’s no secret that this Fresh Basil Vinaigrette is my very most favorite salad dressing in the whole wide world! When I was First Lady of Missouri, it was one of the most requested recipes at the Governor’s Mansion. If I could, I’d bottle the mixture and put it on grocery shelves, but it’s just too doggone easy to make at home.
Which brings me to dessert. When a friend introduced this Coconut Cream Cake, I turned up my nose after she mentioned it started with a cake mix. But then I tasted it. Wow! Light, tender, velvety. This cake’s a keeper.
You can dress it up for Easter by adding a nest of green-tinted coconut dotted with a few jellybeans. Or simply add a mound of dry, whole strawberries to the center. This is the easiest and tastiest cake I’ve had in a long time and one that kids will enjoy helping to decorate. Yes, “something old, something new” isn’t just a maxim for weddings. It’s a menu that works for Easter, too.