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Make your Easter celebration a hit with these recipes

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

The Easter Bunny just called and the annual egg hunt has been moved to your house!

What to do to feed all the candy-grabbing little ones?

You'll go to the “bunny farm” if you tried to buy enough chocolates to fill the baskets.

Well my friends, not to worry, this week we are concentrating on a few last-minute fixes to try to help out in a pinch and make life a little easier.

First we'll start with a quick candy recipe that will produce a volume of 80 to 90 pieces. You can adjust the size to make them larger if you wish.

Little paper candy cups work very nicely if you have any, or you can place them on a serving platter in a decorative display.

Rocky Road Fudge

(makes 80 to 90 pieces)

10-ounce package miniature marshmallows

Two 8-ounce milk chocolate candy bars

1 cup butter or regular margarine

4 cups sugar

13-ounce can evaporated milk

2 cups chopped walnuts

Sprinkle on half of the marshmallows in a greased 13-inch-by-9-inch-by-2-inch baking pan.

Refrigerate while preparing the chocolate mixture.

Cut up the chocolate bars and the butter or margarine and place in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the sugar, evaporated milk and remaining marshmallows in a 4-quart heavy Dutch oven.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for about six more minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and butter.

Stir vigorously until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour evenly over marshmallows in the prepared pan.

Cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1-inch-square pieces.

Place in paper cups or on a platter and store in the refrigerator until serving.

• • •

Just having a few over for dinner?

Here's an idea that will save you from buying a whole or half ham.

Many ham recipes feature fruit in both the cooking and the sauce, especially pineapple.

Here's a recipe for a ham steak with pineapple and plum sauce.

Ripe plums are generally always readily available, but red apples can also be used. It will put a little twist on the traditional.

This recipe is for a smaller group, about four people.

Accompany with your favorite potatoes and vegetables.

Ham Steak with Plum or Apple Sauce

(serves four)

1 cooked center-cut ham slice (about 1 12 pounds), 1-inch thick

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

34 teaspoon dry mustard

12 teaspoon ground nutmeg

18 teaspoon ground cloves

1 can (15 14 ounces) pineapple slices packed in juice

Orange juice

3 medium-sized plums, sliced (pits removed) or one large tart red apple cored and thinly sliced

13 cup dry sherry or orange juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Lightly slash the edge of the ham slice at 1-inch intervals. In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. Stir in the brown sugar, mustard, nutmeg and cloves. Add the ham to the skillet and cook for five minutes on each side, or until ham is browned.

Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. Set aside the pineapple slices.

Add enough orange juice to the pineapple juice to make one cup of liquid.

Pour the liquid over the ham. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Add the pineapple slices and the plums.

Simmer, covered, for five minutes more until all is heated through. Transfer the ham to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the sherry or orange juice to the pan and bring to a boil. Mix the corn starch with a little water and stir into the sauce. Cook until it has reached your desired thickness. Spoon some over the ham and serve with remaining sauce on the side.

As always, enjoy!

David Kelly has been a chef for more than 40 years and has been bringing dishes, creations and cooking tips to the public in Culinary Corner for 21 years.

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