EASTER – is observed on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the spring equinox…which usually falls between March 22nd and April 25th.

Easter is the most important holiday to the Christian faith. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Savior. The entire Christian faith revolves around this; Jesus came from Heaven to earth…lived a sinless life…then chose to die for the sins of mankind. He was crucified and then He resurrected on the third day after His death. Christians believe that by confessing your sins to the Lord and believing that Jesus paid the price for your sins…You will spend eternity in Heaven…

So, where do Easter Bunnies and eggs fit into this Christian holiday? Well, like many religious holidays Easter has become a secular holiday too. The exchanging of eggs has been a spring time custom since before Easter became a “holiday.” Eggs are a symbol of rebirth.

The bunny was originally used in pagan spring celebrations. A rabbit was used to symbolize the goddess Eastre.

Surprisingly enough…Easter was named after the goddess Eastre by early Christians to try and convert pagans to Christianity by celebrating their most important holiday during the pagan’s spring celebration.

HAPPY EASTER!

Below are some delicious recipes to serve this Easter.

Pineapple Glazed Ham

4 cups pineapple juice
1 T. sliced, fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 9-pound, bone-in smoked ham
12 whole cloves
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 20-oz can pineapple slices in juice, drained
10 maraschino cherries, halved

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding solids. Remove skin and excess fat from ham. Make 1/4-inch-deep cuts in a diamond design, and insert cloves at 1-inch intervals. Place ham in an aluminum foil-lined roasting pan. Spread Dijon mustard evenly over ham. Pat brown sugar on top of the mustard. Pour pineapple juice mixture into pan. Arrange pineapple and cherries evenly over mustard layer on ham; secure with tooth picks.

Bake at 325° for 1 hour. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil after 1 hour to prevent excess browning, and bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours , basting every 30 minutes with pan juices. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

SCALLOPED POTATOES

1 T.butter
2 cups chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds your favorite potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
Cooking spray
1 2/3 cups milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; stir well. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until the shallots are tender. Remove from heat; set aside.

Arrange one-third of potato slices in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with half of shallot mixture. Repeat layers, ending with potato slices.

Combine milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and egg in a bowl; stir well with a wire whisk. Pour over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over potato mixture, and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until browned.

LEMON BARS

2 cups flour
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, well beaten
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp. lemon zest

Mix 2 cups flour, confectioners sugar, butter, and 1/2 Tsp. salt with pastry blender. Pat mixture into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350F degrees for 20 minutes.

Mix eggs, sugar, lemon juice, zest, salt, baking powder, and 2 Tbsp. flour well. Pour over crust. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.Cut while warm.

Copyright © Lara Velez, All Rights Reserved

About the Author: Lara Velez is a homeschooling Mom of two, wife, business owner and published writer. She runs a large website for Christian Mothers, Moms of Faith and an encouraging blog for wives, Becoming a Wife that Pleases the Lord. She enjoys cooking, reading, scrapbooking, and being a wife and mom.

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