The Firelands Kitchen

The Firelands Kitchen by Erin Howarth

Easter Dishes? We Have Them Covered


If you’re still wondering what you’ll serve for Easter dinner, we’ve got you covered this week. We’re hosting family at our house, about 10 people give or take. Mom is bringing a ham from Duma’s. Mmmmmm, Duma Meats is The Place to go if you live in the area of Suffield, Ohio (which most people do not). Suffield is also the place to go if you want to see the Goodyear Blimp. I love my hometown, but that about covers it, I suppose. Blimps and beef. As I’m editing this, another location came to mind: Ten Point Crossbows. That’s in Suffield as well, and will mean something to readers who fancy archery and hunting.

Hams. I read an interesting preparation method this past week. Most hams are fully cooked and so warming up is all that is necessary. A woman on the Internets reports that she gives her sink a thorough washing, fills it with warmish/hottish water, and then submerges the ham. Depending on the size of the ham, she says more warm water may need to be added. That’s it! Say what? I had never considered this before last week and am not sure I can quite make this leap from kitchen sink-to platter-to plate. But there you have it. Would you try it?

Happy Easter to all!

Baked Blueberry Lemon French Toast

1 (12-count) Hawaiian sweet rolls, cubed

1 cup blueberries

1 1/2 cups milk

3 large eggs

2 Tbsp. maple syrup, or more, to taste

Zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

For the Crumb Topping:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

2 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place a layer of bread cubes evenly into the baking dish. Top with blueberries in an even layer, repeating 2 more times and ending with a layer of bread.

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .

To make the crumb topping, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add cold butter and toss to coat, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the bread cubes.

Place into oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Slow Cooker Maple Brown Sugar Ham

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 (7-10 pound) bone-in, spiral-cut ham*

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

15 whole cloves

In a small bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and pepper; set aside.

Place ham into a slow cooker. Sprinkle with brown sugar, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides. Place whole cloves throughout and pour pineapple mixture over ham. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, basting every hour. Serve immediately.

Leftover Hambone Soup

1 leftover hambone

1 Tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 russet potato, peeled and diced

1 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup frozen corn kernels

3/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups leftover diced ham

Place leftover hambone in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and add enough water to cover the bone halfway, about 6-7 cups. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until very fragrant, about 30 minutes to 1 hour; remove and discard hambone.

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in ham stock, beans, corn, thyme and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in ham until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Garlic Herb Roasted


1 1/2 pounds baby small or fingerling potatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. melted butter

2 heads garlic top trimmed

1/2 Tbsp. chopped parsley leaves

1/2 lemon cut into wedges

5-6 sprigs thymes

Scant 1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Cut slits on the potatoes, do not cut through. This is easiest done by placing the potato on a wooden spoon then making slices. Place the potatoes in a roasting pan and brush with the olive oil and melted butter. Add the garlic, parsley, lemon and thyme in the pan, in between the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Parmesan Crusted Scalloped Potatoes

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 sprig fresh thyme

Pinch of nutmeg

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

9 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees . Lightly oil a 9-inch pie plate or coat with nonstick spray.

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, garlic, thyme and nutmeg over medium heat until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.

Add a layer of potatoes to the prepared baking dish in an overlapping pattern; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour 1/3 cup cream mixture over potatoes; sprinkle with 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Repeat with remaining potato slices, cream mixture and Parmesan to create 2 more layers.

Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and broil for 8-10 minutes, or until top becomes golden brown and crusted. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Greek


3 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Juice of 1 lemon

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. smoked paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Zest of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Lightly coat the inside of a 6-qt slow cooker with nonstick spray. Place potatoes, olive oil, butter, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and paprika into the slow cooker; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, or until tender (cooking time may need to be adjusted depending on the size of the potatoes). Serve immediately, garnished with lemon zest and parsley, if desired.

Oven Roasted Parmesan


1 bunch thin asparagus spears woody ends trimmed off

2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 1/2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese divided

1 clove garlic minced

1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp. lemon juice fresh

1 lemon sliced

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees . Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil.

Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle 1 1/2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper over the top, and toss again.

Place lemon slices on a baking sheet and arrange the asparagus on top in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven 6 minutes, then add remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.

Return to oven and cook 4-8 minutes until just tender, amount of time depends on the thickness of the spears. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.

Honey Maple Roasted


2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. oregano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 (16-ounce) package frozen crinkle cut carrots

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees . Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, maple syrup, garlic and onion powder, thyme and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place carrots in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil mixture and gently toss to combine.

Place into oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

“Just Bring a Salad”

For Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, finely chopped (approximately 2 Tbsp.)

2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For Salad:

2 heads of Butter Lettuce (Romaine would be fine, too)

10 oz. spinach

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1/2 cup dried cherries, craisins or tart sweet cherries

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette in a small bowl or measuring cup.

Toss salad greens in a large bowl with vinaigrette, and sprinkle with nuts, dried fruit, and blue cheese.

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 pkg. (12 oz.) cream cheese, softened and divided

2 cups granulated sugar

5 eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice, divided

2 Tbsp. Meyer lemon zest

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Grease and flour a Bundt pan.

Cream together the butter, 1 pkg. cream cheese and granulated sugar with mixer for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the milk, 1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice, zest, and vanilla.

In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 stages, folding the batter together until just incorporated. Don't over mix.

Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before removing from pan to glaze.

To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, remaining cream cheese, and remaining Meyer lemon juice, adding the juice gradually until you get the consistency you desire. Drizzle on the glaze and serve!

Rhubarb Cherry Dessert

4 cups rhubarb, sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1 (3 oz.) box cherry Jello

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup quick oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the rhubarb in a 9x13 baking dish. Stir in the sugar and Jello until rhubarb is coated.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, soda, salt, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter until combined.

Sprinkle mixture over the rhubarb.

Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream on top.

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