Green Jello

In my family, no Easter dinner table would be complete without Green Jello. Everyone seems to have a favorite recipe when it comes to Jello salads. This one is ours. We usually decorate the jello by putting a small glass bowl in the middle and filling it up with black olives. I know my parents will wonder why I didn’t take a picture with the olives in the middle of the Jello, I must admit that I did not have olives. I will fix that on Easter, I promise.

When you ready to un-mold your Jello, make sure you submerge the mold in warm water for a minute or so. I was way to quick with the submerge part that it tore my jello as I begun un-molding it. It still tasted great and that is all that matters sometimes.

Green Jello:

Serves: 8-10

  • 1 lg package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 20oz can Crushed Pineapple
  • 1 large box Lime Jello or 2 small boxes Sugar Free Lime Jello
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  1. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the crushed pineapple into a 4 cup measuring cup. Using the back of a wooden spoon, press down on pineapple to release all the juice. Set pineapple aside. Add enough water to the measuring cup to equal 3 cups of liquid. (this will include the pineapple juice)
  2. In a medium-size sauce pan set over medium-high heat, add the liquid and bring to a boil. Add the jello to the liquid and stir around till Jello is dissolved. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Meanwhile, place cream cheese and milk in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until creamy. Add the drained crushed pineapple to cream cheese mixture. Stir till combined. 
  4. Once the Jello is cooled down, add to the cream cheese/pineapple mixture and whisk to combine. Pour into desired mold and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Un-Mold and serve. 
Note: I use a vintage Tupperware Jello Mold but you can find a similar one here
Source: Gina Marie Family Original
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Asparagus and Cheese Tart

This week I will be posting some recipes that will be great to have on Easter. This recipe would be great for an Easter Brunch. I was brainstorming to come up with something that included shaved asparagus and Boursin Cheese since I had both in my refrigerator. I decided to make a tart using puff pastry. This is really easy to make and has only a few ingredients. I was getting very odd looks from my family, as I was explaining what I was doing. But after they tasted it, they knew that mommy knows what she is doing. I hope you enjoy too!

First you will shave the asparagus spears by using a vegetable peeler. Place in a bowl and add the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and set aside.

Lay out a sheet of puff pastry dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a pairing knife, lightly score the puff pastry about a 1/2 inch in from the edges.

Carefully spread the cheese in the center of the puff pastry dough. Spread to the edges of where you cut the dough. (Do not go to dough edge)

Add the asparagus to the center. Brush the edges of the dough using the egg wash and a pastry brush. Place in oven and bake.

Enjoy!

Asparagus and Cheese Tart:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed in refrigerator
  • 1lb asparagus, shaved
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 5oz Boursin cheese, room temperature (I used shallot and chives)
  • egg wash (whisk one egg with 1tbs of water)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Carefully shave the asparagus spears using a vegetable peeler. Place in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and set aside.
  3. Lay the puff pastry on the parchment lined baking sheet. Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/2-inch-wide border around the dough. (make sure to not push the knife all the way through) Spread the cheese from the center of the dough to the edges of where you scored the dough. (it’s ok if you don’t use all the cheese) Lay asparagus on top of cheese.
  4. Brush the edges of the dough using the egg wash and a pastry brush. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until dough is light browned and puff and the asparagus is tender. Remove from oven and let cool a couple of minutes before cutting. Slice tart however you would like to serve it and enjoy.

Source: Gina Marie Original

Easter Lamb Cake

I want to share with you what one of my families Easter traditions are. We have several, but my favorite one is this Lamb Cake. Sadly, this year will be the first year I will not be making one. We are heading to where we will be moving soon, to be with my husband. He’s already started working and the kids and I are waiting for school to end before we are permanently there. Anyway, this picture comes from last years cake so please ignore the lack of decorations around the lamb. I have no idea why I took a picture of the cake before it was completed, but this was before I decided to start doing a blog. The one thing I would like to point out is the platter the lamb is on. This was my Great Grandmother’s and she used it to put her Lamb Cake on. One thing I wished I had of hers was the cast iron lamb mold. I have a very flimsy one, which desperately needs replaced. If you want to make a Lamb cake I highly recommend a good mold, so the cake batter doesn’t flow out the sides (like mine).

Let’s talk about the cake… It’s basically a spice cake and in order for the cake to stand up it has to be firm and dense. The cake has an ingredient in it called ground mace. The only time I ever use ground mace is when I make this cake. I honestly think this is what makes this cake taste wonderful. Whenever I smell the ground mace, it reminds me of my childhood. I can’t tell you how long this recipe has been in my family, but I know that at least my Great Grandmother used it. You don’t have to make this in a lamb cake mold. It would be great as a layered cake too. The recipe makes 2 lamb cakes. If you wanted to make it as a layered cake I would use 2 or 3 9 inch round cake pans. I’ve never made it as a round cake before so I’m unsure exactly how  many pans you would need. But, the cakes really puff up so I am thinking 3 might be good.

Either way you make this, I am just so thrilled to share my family recipe with you. I really hope you make this and enjoy it with your family. Happy Easter!

Lamb Cake Spice Cake:

makes 2 lamb cakes or 2-3 9inch round cakes

  • 4 1/2 cups Sifted Cake Flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace (optional, although I recommend it)
  • 1 lb unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp almond flavoring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Prepare cake pans, butter and flour (use the cake flour) the insides of the pans you will be using. Shake out the excess flour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, or over parchment paper, sift flour once, measure and re-sift with the salt and mace. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, cream the butter till waxy, then add the sugar gradually and cream together till mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping after each addition, till smooth. Add vanilla, almond extracts and blend.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture beating and scraping after each addition till well blended. If using round cake pans, pour batter evenly into each prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  6. *If using Lamb mold* Place the mold, nose side down on baking sheet and fill the batter so it is rounded on top. Cover with the other half of the mold and bake for 1 1/2 hours, but start checking the cake after 45 minutes. You should be able to start testing the cake at this time with a cake tester, it will be done when it comes out clean.
  7. Let cool on rack for at least 30 minutes, before you unmold it to cool down completely. Frost as desired.
Icing:
*enough to ice 1 cake
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1lb confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4-8 tbs water
  1. Mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Start with 4 tbs water, if the consistency is too thick, add another tbs. (You don’t want it too thin, I’ve used no more than 5tbs of water) Beat the frosting for at least 7 minutes on high. You want the frosting to be rich and fluffy.
  2. Ice your cake and enjoy!
Source: Gina Marie’s Family

Green Rice

Green Rice has been apart of our families Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners since before I was born. It’s not the prettiest photo subject, but the way it tastes makes it a star. The name might fool you, Green Rice is basically a broccoli and cheese casserole. I remember as a kid, always fighting with my brother over who gets the biggest scoop of the Green Rice. I would rather have had a plate of Green Rice than turkey or stuffing. It’s that good!

If you are looking for side dishes for your Thanksgiving dinner that can be made ahead of time, this is the perfect one. You will make the recipe up until you have to bake it. Once you have put it in the casserole dish, cover it with foil then refrigerate till ready to bake. Anything to make your Thanksgiving day a little less stressful is a good thing.

Green Rice:

  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 13 tbs unsalted butter plus 1tbs to butter casserole dish
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 15oz jar of Cheez Whiz
  • 2 1/3 cup Minute Rice (I use the brown kind)
  • 2 10 oz packages of chopped broccoli, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9×13 casserole dish and set aside.
  2. In a 10 inch saute pan set over medium heat, melt butter and add the onions and celery. Cook until onions and celery are soft, about 8 minutes, take off heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom soup and Cheez Whiz. Add the butter, onions and celery, stir to combine.
  4. Add the rice and broccoli and stir till everything is combined. Pour mixture into the buttered casserole dish. At this point you can refrigerate it or bake it for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly on top. Enjoy!