Although I have hundreds of cookbooks and recipes, choosing my favorite meal for Easter or a springtime occasion wasn't difficult. A wonderful ham dinner is a tradition in our family.
The recipes I reach for are Glazed Easter Ham, Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, Holiday Peas, Hint of Mint Fruit Salad and Layered Mocha Cheesecake.
Bursting with herbal flavors, this meal is a breath of fresh air after a long, dreary winter. Glazed Easter Ham is inspired by my mom and maternal grandmother, who both made the tastiest ham dinners. I use their glaze ingredients and have added basil, one of my favorite herbs. They were always willing to let me help—never mind the extra time and messes. Their patience helped instill in me a lifelong love of cooking.
My mom always made cooked vegetables taste special with buttered Ritz cracker crumbs. When my own children, Justin and Heather were growing up, they too enjoyed her Holiday Peas. Over the years, I've experimented with different types of crackers.
For 13 years, my husband, Todd, and I sold organic bedding plants, herbs and produce at the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison, Wisconsin. Among our regular customers were chefs at several upscale Madison restaurants. These chefs helped ignite my passion for herbs. Although they would never give out their recipes, they were glad to offer "suggestions." One of these led to my recipe for Rosemary Mashed Potatoes. I always use fresh rosemary in this dish, adding it at the last minute to infuse the flavor.
When we moved to Beaver Dam, several years ago, one of my chef friends was a guest teacher for an herb class I offered at our farm. He shared the basics for making herbal syrups, which led to my Hint of Mint Fruit Salad.
Layered Mocha Cheesecake reflects my newest adventure, as coffee shop manager for Celestial Coffee Co. in Beaver Dam. I make all the desserts and am delighted that they sell quickly! Cheesecake is a specialty, and this recipe is a favorite.
Although I use many of my own personal recipes at the shop, I am a frequent visitor to the Taste of Home Web site Recipe Finder and regularly incorporate TOH recipes into my lineup of desserts, coffee cakes, scones and sticky buns.
- Field Editor:
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
- Family: Sue and husband Todd have two grown children.
- Job: Sue manages a coffee shop, where she does the baking. Todd is a professional carpenter.
- Activities: Writes a monthly herb column for a local magazine; gives presentations on cooking, gardening and herbs to various groups
Daughter Heather and I first made Easter Bunny Cookies when she was just a kid. Now, she works with me at the coffee shop, and we plan to make them for a seasonal treat. They make cute Easter dinner favors, too.
My life has revolved, and still revolves, around family, gardening and cooking. It was my desire to share my favorite recipes that got me involved with Taste of Home. I am deeply honored that I'm one of the "original" field editors and still get just as excited today about submitting recipes and ideas as I did when I started, back in 1993!
I hope you'll enjoy trying our well-loved Easter dinner.