Spring & Easter

egg salad1Looking for ways to use up Easter egg-hunt leftovers? Make an egg salad sandwich. Actually, make several egg salad sandwiches, one for each day this week, because today marks the start of National Egg Salad Week in the U.S. Yup. We love egg salad so much that we devote an entire week in its honor.

Our love for egg salad sandwiches runs deep, all the way to 1896. That's when one of the earliest printed recipes for a sandwich made with egg salad appeared in The Original Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, written by Fannie Merritt Farmer. Then with the introduction of sliced soft white bread in the 1930s, egg salad sandwiches became a brown-bag lunch staple as well as a common item at delis, diners, and cafeterias.

It's no surprise that the majority of egg salad sandwiches are eaten after Easter when many people are looking for tasty ways to use up Easter egg-hunt leftovers. While there are various ways to make egg salad, I favor grandma's fuss-free version: tangy, sweet, and creamy.

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deviled eggs"I love deviled eggs and there are so many delicious variations. I'm making these for Easter dinner hors d'oeuvres and using some of the Smoked Sockeye Salmon that I brought back from a recent trip to Alaska. Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon"

7 large eggs (cold)
4 oz. cold-smoked salmon, very finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1½ tablespoons capers, rinsed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon packed finely grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon grainy mustard

Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with 1 quart cold water and about 14 ice cubes (one tray). Transfer eggs to ice water with slotted spoon; let sit 5 minutes.

Peel eggs and slice each in half lengthwise with paring knife. Remove yolks to a medium bowl. Arrange whites on serving platter, discarding two worst-looking halves. Crumble the yolks and add the salmon, 1 tablespoon of the chives, the mayonnaise, onion, capers, lemon juice, zest, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper (salt to taste) and mix. Mound the filling into the egg whites. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chives and several grinds of black pepper.

– Recipe courtesy of Cook Like James

mango-curd-filled-coconut-shortbread-cups-015b-1024x682There’s something about Spring, with all of its celebrations that pull friends and family together, beginning with Easter, then Mother’s Day, followed by graduations and wedding showers, that just seem to demand tiny sweet desserts. Desserts that can be picked up and popped into the mouth and disappear as fast as a bag of M&M’s.

Shortbread is one of my favorite spring desserts. So rich and buttery and short on sugar, the cookie-like sweet pairs well with berries and citrus curds. This spring, I’ve added coconut to my shortbread recipe. Pressed into mini-muffin cups, the dough bakes up nicely, turning a golden brown. I’ve discovered lovely mango curd (recipe is in my last post) is absolutely luscious as a filling for these bite-sized coconut shortbread cups.

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