Fresh Tastes for Spring

Warmer days bring a yearning for fresh foods on the lighter side. With Easter this coming weekend, ham might be on your menu as well as mine. I enjoy creating new recipes, and a few fit this season nicely. My Summer Chilled Corn Crab Soup makes a wonderful first course for a holiday meal, or a great lunch on a warm day. My Sweet Babboo says it is tasty served hot as well. Just click on the link for the post with the recipe pdf.

My Summer Squash Casserole is a nice change for your holiday meal and goes great with ham. The recipe is scaled for two, but would work for four with other dishes on a holiday table.

I have decided that my favorite way to cook a ham is in my big slow cooker, Kitchen Aid 6-Quart Oval Slow Cooker (Amazon affiliate link).  I like the programmable controls which will switch the cooker to a keep warm mode when the time is up.  Calculate 30 minutes per pound for your size ham, and cook on low for that long. Check the temperature at the end to be sure it has reached 140-degrees, food safe for a fully cooked ham.

Another fresh side dish is Asparagus with Sun Dried Tomatoes, a new taste for spring, and something a bit different from the usual steamed asparagus. See my post on Spring Holiday Celebrations for both the ham and asparagus recipes.

The Asian Salad with Sriracha Mayonnaise is one I just cannot seem to get enough of!  Inspired by a local Japanese restaurant, it has crispy greens and imitation crab, topped with canned fried onions, yum!! 

This fresh chicken dish is special enough for a holiday, yet fast enough for a weeknight meal. Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Artichoke and Mushroom Stuffing is wrapped in bacon and baked. Fast, make ahead meal means the kitchen can be cleaned before dinner goes in the oven, allowing you time to be with family. Serve with a quick tomato corn salad.

Need a vegetarian meal for the holiday? Try my Butternut Squash and Portobello Mushroom Lasagne. Of course if you don’t like mushrooms, you can leave them out. This is delicious anytime, and while the butternut squash is still available, it makes a wonderful meatless main course, and leftovers could be a side dish.

For your Easter basket, make some Orange Biscotti with Dried Blueberries. These are easy to make, delicious, and will be a hit with your family. They are also perfect for filling little decorative bags and giving to neighbors still shut in.

When the holiday is done, we always have a lot of ham left over, and I have figured out some ways to use those, separating the ham into portions for later meals. See how I package up the rest of the ham, and try my Ham and Pasta Casserole to finish off the bits leftover.

Don’t forget breakfast! My Orange Vanilla Bean Coffee Cake makes a nice morning treat with hot coffee. It could also work as dessert!

And my Blueberry Breakfast Cake is perfect for spring too.

See more of my original recipes by clicking on the cooking category on the sidebar. There are over 175 on the blog now, with more to come! Happy Cooking!

14 thoughts on “Fresh Tastes for Spring

  1. Rita C.

    Wonderful assortment of recipes for spring, Carole! I cook my ham in the crockpot too, love it. That ham casserole looks really tasty. I hope you’re having a good week. Mr. P.’s sister has become gravely ill suddenly and it’s put a cloud over us all, very sad.

  2. Mary Stori

    My morning yogurt after our ‘forced march’ no longer seems so satisfying after reading your post today!

  3. Julie

    Ham! I told my DH the other day he can eat all the beef he wants, but if there’s ham in fridge, it’s there for me. I see some new recipes I’m going to make.

  4. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Great sounding recipes. I think I can adapt that Ham and Pasta casserole to my picky eater by leaving out the onions and mushrooms, though I would like that addition! Might have to make two separate ones! LOL

  5. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole,
    Thank you so much for your food sharing ideas. Just made copies of the squash and ham recipes. Love the Smithfield hams, use them a lot. Have to divide the cooked ham up in several sizes cause its only myself so I will be making several different recipes with the meat I divide before cooking so I can season with different things. My mama never used the zucchini Squash that I can remember, she only used the yellow squash but I have used and liked the zucchini fixed boat style with ham, onion. cheese in it and I make two meals off that and its filling as well as delicious. It is so hard to find small portion meals but I have found one site called Cooking for one and she has a lot of recipes I have made and enjoyed. Still love your chicken And white wine the best and always go to it with yellow rice or wild rice and good ole pole beans. Have a great day, Phyllis

  6. Delicious! I LOVE asparagus. It grows wild where I grew up and is a much-valued spring treat. I am going to try that bacon chicken recipe in the near future. Looks like something Husband and I would really enjoy.

  7. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, I saved several of your recipes in my Pinterest pages and I also wrote a couple of them down to make them in the next couple of days, if I remember. LOL. I got out one of the sewing machines and did a bit. It felt great. I am going to try and put a baby quilt together today. I am getting vaccinated tomorrow. Have a great day!

  8. Just chatting with my daughters about a “holiday meal” for Easter vs “vacation mode”. I voted for a holiday meal so I am going to shop your recipes and make my grocery list . We will be at a VRBO in North Carolina on Easter and nobody really wants to cook or schedule meals then. All of your recipes look so good. I like the idea of cooking the ham in the crock pot.

  9. kattails

    It’s only 11:34 but now I am STARVING! What a wonderful assortment of recipes….I wish you were an internet restaurant with magical take-out service. I’ll have the ham, squash casserole, asparagus with sun-dried tomatoes (for starters, lol) and top it off with a double portion of your orange vanilla bean coffee cake. Sigh…I can dream but probably should go check my pantry and make my grocery list. Thanks so much, Carole. Your delicious recipes and beautiful tablescapes are surpassed only by your great quilting tips, patterns and inspiration.

  10. Sue Hoover

    Yum, Carole! Somehow I missed the two breakfast cake recipes. Got ’em now and planning on the Orange Vanilla Bean Cake this weekend. Thank you!

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