Prepare for Easter

Have you ever wondered “Why ham at Easter?”  With a little research it sounds like, before refrigerators, people would cure ham during the winter months and when the ham thawed out in the spring it made sense to use it as an Easter meal.  No complaints from my family!

Let us know if there is something you would like us to put in our column, or if you have a recipe to share, please submit to

Natural Dyes for Easter Eggs


Yield: 1 dozen each color

Red: 2 lbs. beets, peeled, diced

Yellow/tan: 1 lb.  onion skins

Yellow/orange: 1-1/2 c. (1.9 oz) jar turmeric

Purple: 2 small heads red cabbage, sliced

Warm brown: 1 (6-c.) pot of strong coffee

Distilled white vinegar


For all but the coffee color, in a 5 quart saucepan add 1 vegetable or ingredient. Add 4 quarts water, bring to a boil and cook for 1/2 hour or until the color is very dark. Allow to cool to room temperature and strain out vegetables. Add 1/4 c. distilled white vinegar and then add hard boiled eggs to each color. Refrigerate overnight. For the coffee color: brew the coffee. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add 1/4 c. distilled white vinegar, add hard boiled eggs, refrigerate overnight.


Peeps® House


Serves one.


6 graham cracker squares (2 parts to each square)

Vanilla frosting

1 Peeps® candy

Misc. candy for decorating

Shredded coconut

Food coloring

Zip top bags (for coloring coconut)


Assemble and decorate house, including floor and back wall, using graham crackers and frosting. Arrange Peeps® candy on coconut, egg a few jellybeans on coconut, decorate roof with icing, etc. 


How to Color Coconut: Spoon coconut into zip top bags. Add a few drops of food coloring.

Rub together until the food coloring has been transferred to the coconut.

Pour coconut onto a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper to let the food coloring dry.


Slow Cooker Ham


Yields: 6 - 8 servings

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 6 hours

Total: 6 hours 15 mins


1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

1/4 c. spicy brown mustard

1 T. apple cider vinegar

1 (12-ounce) can Dr Pepper® or Coca-Cola®

1 (5 to 7 lb) fully cooked bone-in ham

20 whole cloves


Heat the brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and 1/2 cup soda in a small saucepan until the sugar is melted and the mixture is bubbly. Reduce the heat and simmer until thick, 7 to 8 minutes.

Pour the remaining soda into a 6-quart slow cooker. Stud the ham in several places with the cloves, then place the ham in the slow cooker. Brush the ham with 1/4 c. of the glaze (refrigerate the remaining glaze until ready to use). Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the ham is hot throughout, 5 to 6 hours.

A few minutes before the ham is ready, reheat the remaining glaze until warmed, about 3 minutes. Remove the ham from the slow cooker and brush with the remaining glaze. Carve the ham.


Lemon-Parmesan Roasted Potatoes


Level: Easy

Total: 35 min

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 25 min

Yield: 8 servings


1-1/2 lbs. baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved

1-1/2 lbs. baby red-skinned potatoes, halved

Kosher salt

4 c. cubed day-old sourdough bread (crusts removed)

1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, plus wedges for serving

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese (about 1 oz.)


Preheat the oven to 450° F. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch; season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat until just tender, about 7 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor to make coarse crumbs; combine with the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and toss.

Arrange the potatoes cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and parmesan; continue roasting until golden brown, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, season with salt and serve with lemon wedges.


Honey Glazed Carrots


Total: 15 min;

Prep: 5 min;

Cook: 10 min;

Yield: 4 servings



1 pound baby carrots

2 T. butter

2 T. honey

1 T. lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. chopped parsley


In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and then carrots and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the carrots and add back to pan with butter, honey and lemon juice. Cook until a glaze coats the carrots, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.


Carrot Cake


Total: 2 hr. 50 min.;

Prep: 40 min.;

Inactive: 1 hr.;

Cook: 1 hr. 10 min

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake


Butter, for the pan

2-1/2 c., all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan

12 oz. grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/3 cups sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3 large eggs

6 oz. plain yogurt

6 oz. vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch-deep cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add this mixture to the carrots and toss until they are well-coated with the flour.

In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.

With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325° F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210° F in the center.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.


Cream Cheese Frosting


Yield: approximately 2 cups


8 oz. cream cheese

2 oz butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 c. powdered sugar, sifted,


In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition.

Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

~ John F. Kennedy


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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