Every year, more family and friends show up for Easter dinner knowing that Watkins recipes will be on the menu.
We felt like we were at a class reunion when we pitched our Big Bear Country Store tent for the first time this spring at Big Bear Farmer’s Market. The market opens at 8:30 when the parking lot of the Big Bear Convention Center begins to fill with customers wanting the first pick of fruits and vegetables.*
Our customers welcomed us back with open arms. Nothing beats a bright spring Tuesday morning at the Farmer’s Market after a long winter’s hibernation when Big Bear is covered with snow. This is our third season at the local open market, but many of our customers grow up with the Watkins label. They know every jar, bottle, package and tin of Watkins foods and spices maintain that same quality the company has been known for during its last 143 years.
No wonder so many grandmothers and mothers have passed the Watkins name and their favorite Watkins recipes on to their children. More than one customer today was asking for our recommendations on how we plan to dress up our Easter dinner this year using the array of products we had on display.
My nose would grow longer than it already is if I said I had all the following Watkins recipes on the menu for this Sunday. Instead, I pointed out our website, http://www.bigbearcountrystore.com/, where customers can click on the “Recipes” link in the left-column directory. There are literally hundreds of amazing dishes you can find by searching through various categories. Or you can just type in what you are looking for in the “Recipe Search” box in the upper right corner of the screen.
To make it a bit quicker for all those seeking compliments from family and friends around your Easter dinner table this Sunday, here’s just a few dishes we feel would make a meal they will be raving about till Thanksgiving:
6 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 tsp/2.5 ml Watkins Dry Mustard
1/4 to 1/2 tsp/1.2 to 2.5 ml salt
1/4 tsp/1.2 ml Watkins Black Pepper
3 tbsp/45 ml mayonnaise or salad dressing
Cut peeled eggs in half lengthwise. Slip out yolks and mash with a fork. Mix in dry mustard, salt, pepper and mayonnaise; mix well. Fill whites with egg yolk mixture, heaping slightly. Arrange on serving platter and sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate no longer than 24 hours.
Spicy Herbed Biscuits
1 Watkins Bread Mix
2 tsp/10 mL Watkins Paprika
2 tsp/10 mL Watkins Garlic Powder
2 tsp/10 mL Watkins Oregano
2 tsp/10 mL Watkins Thyme
1 cup/250 mL Andouille sausage, cooked and chopped into small pieces
2 cups/500 mL Parmesan cheese
12 oz/355 mL beer
2 tbsp/30 mL melted butter
Watkins Sea Salt from Sea Salt Grinder
Combine bread mix, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and thyme. Stir in sausage and 1 1/2 cups/375 mL cheese. Add beer, stir just until moistened. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto well-greased baking sheet. Drizzle butter over biscuits and sprinkle with remaining cheese, and a grind of sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees F/180 degrees C for 35 to 40 min.
Biscuits taste great with or without the sausage.
Add freshly grated parmesan cheese and Watkins Black Pepper to Garlic & Parsley Grapeseed Oil and dip fresh bread for a delicious appetizer. Serve in small individual dipping dishes.
Balsamic-Maple Glazed Ham
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup
1 teaspoon Watkins Dry Mustard
1 bone-in skinless smoked ham, shank or butt end portion (approximately 7 lb.)
Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix dressing, syrup and mustard. Place ham, fat-side up, in roasting pan. Diagonally score ham; cover with foil. Bake 1 hour.
Remove foil. Brush ham with 1/3 of the glaze. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until heated through (140 degrees F), brushing with remaining glaze every 20 minutes.
Remove ham from oven; transfer to cutting board. Tent with foil; let stand 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
• If the weight of your ham varies from the weight in the recipe, bake ham for 10-15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F.
• After carving the ham, reserve the bone for making split pea or bean soup.
Holiday Glazed Ham
1 boneless fully cooked ham (about 6 pounds)
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 can (20 ounces) sliced pineapple
1 cup apricot preserves
1 teaspoon Watkins Dry Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Ground Cloves
Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Score the surface of the ham, making diamond shapes 1/2 inch deep; insert a clove in each diamond. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 1-1/2 hours.
Drain pineapple, reserving juice. In a small saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, preserves, mustard and ground cloves. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Spoon half of the glaze over ham. Secure pineapple slices and cherries on top and sides of ham with toothpicks. Bake 30-45 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 140 degrees F, basting twice with remaining glaze. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Yield: 16 servings.
Serve with mashed potatoes or glazed sweet potatoes and vegetables.
No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake
1/2 cup/125 mL graham cracker crumbs
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup/60 mL cold water
3 packages (8 oz/227 g each) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 cup/250 mL sugar
1 cup/250 mL fat-free sour cream
2 tsp/10 mL Watkins Lemon Extract
1 tsp/5 mL Watkins Vanilla Extract
Sliced fresh fruit or canned pie cherries or blueberries
Coat a 9-inch/23-cm springform pan with Watkins Cooking Spray. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly over bottom; set aside. Sprinkle gelatin over water in small saucepan; let stand 1 minute. Place over low heat and stir until granules are completely dissolved and mixture is clear. Remove from heat.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in sour cream. At low speed, beat in dissolved gelatin mixture and extracts. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. Loosen cheesecake from pan and cut into slices. Serve plain or with fruit arranged over top. Makes 8 servings.
Pecan Upside-Down Cake
1/2 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 to 1 1/2 cups coarsley chopped pecans
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) butter pecan cake mix
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla Extract or Watkins Vanilla Nut Extract
In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and pecans. Spread evenly into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with Watkins Cooking Spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; beat with a mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 20 servings.
This recipe was tested with Land O'Lakes light stick butter.
A yellow cake mix can be substituted for the butter pecan with a slightly different cake flavor.
Tropical Dessert Bars
1 (17.5 oz.) package sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
Cream Cheese Pineapple Layer
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla Extract
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained, reserving 2 tablespoons juice
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 cup butter, melted
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.
Stir cookie mix and melted butter with fork until crumbs form. Press evenly in bottom of prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs just until blended. Beat in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and 2 tablespoons pineapple juice. Pour over warm crust. Sprinkle drained pineapple evenly over top.
Stir coconut, macadamia nuts and butter in small bowl until evenly moistened. Sprinkle over pineapple layer.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is set and coconut is lightly browned. Cool 1 hour on wire rack. Chill 1 hour. Cut into bars.
* The Big Bear Farmer’s Market is held every Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Big Bear Convention Center parking lot at the corner of Big Bear Boulevard and Division Drive in Big Bear Lake. Put the address 42900 West Big Bear Boulevard, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 in your GPS device or Smart Phone, or just stop any local walking down Big Bear Boulevard.
We’re multiplying, too!
Our Easter wish for all our customers is that your friends, good times and fond holiday memories will continue to multiply throughout the year.
We also hope you will consider joining our growing Big Bear Country Store team. Just call Alan at 888-881-7372. He’ll explain how a few hours a week telling family & friends about Watkins can help multiply the greenbacks in your wallet.