St. Paddy’s Day is nigh and Easter follows soon after. These two easy recipes are all you need.

So we’ve been distancing, sheltering, masking and otherwise hopefully avoiding the Coronavirus infection for just about a year already. It’s time we get to indulge in something pleasing, easy, and, yes, good to eat. Delicious food makes every event a happy one and soon, in the span of a month, we’ll find ourselves cooking for St. Paddy’s Day and Easter, holidays that used to mean restaurant reservations for many of us.

But these easy, somewhat unusual and happy-tasting dishes will likely convince you and your family that you’re not missing anything by eating at home even though it’s holiday time. On the contrary. A delicious and special meal, prepared and served safely at home, could become the newest happy holiday trend for families and close friends to look forward to planning.

BAKED PINEAPPLE CASSEROLE SIDE DISH

Great accompaniment for Easter ham, pork, fish

1 stick of butter or margarine

1 C granulated sugar

4 medium eggs

1 large can crushed pineapple, drained

6 slices of white bread, cubed

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs, one at a time and mix into butter and sugar until blended. Stir the drained pineapple into this mixture then fold in cubed bread. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes, or until any bread that shows on top is lightly browned. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Tip 1: The casserole can become dessert instead of a side dish. Serve warmed or cooled, but not cold, and top with whipped cream or brown sugar or both.

GLAZED CORNED BEEF

A fruit glaze is the tasty twist to this Irish Classic

8 medium red potatoes, quartered

2 medium carrots, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 corned beef brisket with spice packet (about3 lbs)

1-1/2 Cs water

4 orange peel strips (3 inches)

3 tablespoons thawed orange juice concentrate

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Place the potatoes, carrots and onion in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cut the brisket in half and place over the vegetables. Add the water, orange peel and contents of spice packet. Stir to distribute. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the corned beef and vegetables to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Discard orange peel.

Combine the orange juice concentrate, honey and mustard and pour it over meat. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 15-20 minutes, basting occasionally. Serves 6 to 8.

Tip: Serve the corned beef with a side dish of pineapple casserole, recipe above. To make it St. Paddy special, add greenery (mint or basil leaves, twigs of fresh cilantro or parsley or dill, etc.) to the top of the cooled casserole.

You can finish the presentation with green beer (add food coloring to beer) or absinthe, the liqueur generally found in a green bottle, or offer green tea or seltzer water (easily colored with green food coloring).

By Jean Redstone

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