First Tuesday Recipes for April

I hope all of you are doing well and staying mentally and physically healthy as we find ourselves in this unprecedented worldwide pandemic.

Since my work is pretty solitary and I work from home, I think I’ve had an easier time adjusting to the temporary new normal. But for lots of people, this is uncomfortable and strange. It helps if you stick with a routine and get outdoors for some fresh air if you can. It also helps to turn off the television! You’re better able to focus and stay positive if you don’t have the news media in your face all the time telling you how horrible life has become.

If you get my newsletter, in early March I provided subscribers with a list of places to find free things to do while they’re isolating in the house. They ranged from virtual tours of world-famous museums to listening to the archived Berlin Philharmonic concerts. If you don’t get my newsletter, you can sign up here and I’ll send you the latest one.

At our house, we’ve been doing a lot of fun “cooking.” We’ve made pickles, gelato, rice pudding, and some other fun foods. I’ve also been writing and staying busy on social media every day, just like I do all the time.

And I’ve been learning Greek! It’s slow going, but I’m enjoying it. If you visit https://www.duolingo.com, you can choose from a huge list of languages to learn and it’s all free!

This month I’ve chosen to share three recipes that can be made with simple ingredients that many of us have on hand, since visits to the grocery store are fewer and farther between. I hope you enjoy them. If you have any go-to meals that are easy and don’t call for many ingredients, please share in the comments!

 

Broccoli Casserole

2 10-oz. pkgs. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 can cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3 T. chopped onion
3 T. mayo
3 T. butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 t. pepper
crushed Ritz crackers (or Townhouse, Club, etc.)
extra butter, cold
Mix first eight ingredients (through pepper) in a large mixing bowl.  Spread in a greased 8×8′ casserole dish and sprinkle generously with crushed crackers.  Dot with small pats of cold butter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.
Lemon Squares
Recipes for lemon squares are everywhere, but I thought I’d share my favorite one with you.
Crust:
1 c. flour
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, chilled
Filling:
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. grated lemon peel
2 T. lemon juice
Topping:
powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine filling ingredients until crumbly. Pat into the bottom of an 8 x 8″ square baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.
While crust is baking, prepare filling. Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. Pour over hot crust. Bake 18-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
When cool, dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.
Poppy Seed Bread
This recipe makes two loaves: one for now, one to freeze for later.
Bread:
3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/8 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. almond extract
Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 t. water
1-2 t. almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans.
Combine all bread ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for about an hour or until the loaves test done. Mix the glaze ingredients until you have the consistency you desire and glaze the loaves while they are still warm
Enjoy!
Until next time,
Amy
P.S. Sorry about the spacing in this post. WordPress was being uncooperative when I wrote it.

36 comments on “First Tuesday Recipes for April

  1. Jana says:

    I love broccoli, so I’m definitely giving your casserole a try. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  2. I was just saying to my daughter that we’d like to bake bread. 🙂

    Like

  3. I’m a little late, but so glad I came to visit. Like you, this lockdown time hasn’t changed my routine too much – lots of computer/writing/blogging time. But I do miss going to my dance and yoga classes. My good friend makes the best lemon bars in the world. But she lives in TX now; I may have to try your recipe and start my OWN best lemon bars ever. 🙂

    Like

  4. Thank you Amy for the recipes. I’ve copied the Broccoli casserole recipe and tried it later. We don’t eat too much bread. Also thank you for the link for duolingo. I may try to learn French because my daughter could speak French and I’ll send her the link and she may want to learn Chinese. I tried the first lesson. It sounds fun and easy to use.

    Like

    • amreade says:

      Hi, Miriam,

      I’m glad you’re planning to try the broccoli casserole. I’m thinking we might have it tonight. I’m really enjoying the Greek lessons, and I find that taking a day off here and there to study what I’ve learned so far is helpful. Just a tip for your daughter: I read a review by a woman who learned Korean and she said it helps to do some very basic research on the language before starting Duolingo because learning languages with symbols (instead of a Roman alphabet) is a little challenging and it helps to have a bit of background. Good luck and have fun!

      Like

      • Hi Amy. I had a casserole two weeks ago. I need to go to the store to get more broccoli and other items before making the broccoli casserole. My husband went to the store may week and got three dozens eggs.

        Thank you for your advice on learning Chinese, Amy.

        My daughter took Chinese lessons when she was a kid. She understands there are tones in Chinese. Also I taught Chinese as a second language in Hong Kong 40 years ago before I came to the US. We taught all the tones before the contents.

        She’s now showing interest in learning Chinese. But she just had a new baby so we’ll wait for a while. I find that for a language, we lose it if we don’t use it. At least I don’t understand 100% when I read Chinese right now and have some problem speaking fluently because I haven’t been speaking at home for all these years.

        I’ll check on your recipes from time to time!

        Like

      • amreade says:

        Your daughter has a lovely head start, then! Congratulations on the newest member of your family! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • She does, Amy. I look at the photos my daughter posts on the Tinybeans website. They warm my heart. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. dgkaye says:

    Hi Amy. Thanks for the yummy recipes. I will try out the lemon squares, lol. Yes, true, for me, I’m always busy and behind on projects. I’m used to being home, but I’m also used to taking a time out and going somewhere a few days a week, so I’m feeling it a tad, but not focusing on it – so far, lol. Staying safe is priority. And thanks for sharing that learn a language link! Stay safe! 🙂 xx

    Like

    • amreade says:

      Those lemon squares are delicious. And easy. Bonus!

      We’ve been walking the dog (I haven’t this week because I hurt my back), and it’s lovely to get outside. We even ate lunch on the patio one day recently because the weather was beautiful. Definitely helps to focus on the positive–thinking of you and your hubby. Be well, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. maggie8king says:

    Sounds good! Stay safe.

    Like

  7. These all sound so good! I’ve got a lemon tree in my yard, so I’ll put them to good use.

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  8. Darlene says:

    All three great recipes. Thanks. Glad you are keeping busy. Stay safe. xo

    Like

  9. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    The broccoli casserole brings back memories! Thanks a bunch.

    Like

    • amreade says:

      I’m glad to hear it, Antoinette. I love that casserole. It’s cool that certain things can bring back memories from years ago. Believe it or not, it’s Fresca that brings back memories for me. 🙂

      Like

  10. Pat Wahler says:

    They all look delish. And nothing says spring like lemon bars. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. MomzillaNC says:

    Does the broccoli get really mushy? We don’t care for mushy broccoli in our house.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m not a huge fan of Brocolli (blame school dinners for that one) but the other two recipes sound superb. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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