Everyone has their favorite Easter treats to make. My mom always made fresh homemade caramel pecan rolls for Easter morning. Aunt Linda always brought her red raspberry salad to the family dinner. Grandma always baked the Easter ham, scalloped potatoes, angel food cake and lemon curd topping. Since we could never make it to Illinois and back between milkings, I have had to bring my family traditions to Minnesota. These dishes have become staples on our family holiday table over the years. But, I am always looking for new things to try. I am sharing a new recipe I made for the guys the other night. You know it is a hit when there are no leftovers, but I think I am going to have to find a bigger slow cooker so I can get a few more meals out of the recipe.
    I love how recipes have a way of traveling through a neighborhood or family. Two recipes I am sharing came from Alice who got them from Mary Jane. Both ladies are neighbors and dairy farm wives who know the best part of a recipe is simplicity. These are some of their family favorite Easter recipes.

Polka dot party roll by Alice via Mary Jane
1 pkg. angel food cake mix
2 cups whipped cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. miniature marshmallows
    Prepare cake mix according to directions on package. Line two jelly roll pans with parchment paper leaving some extra hanging over the edge. Spread batter into pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Let cool. Whip cream and add vanilla. Fold in marshmallows. Using the parchment paper edges, remove cake from pan. Spread whipped cream and marshmallows onto cake. Taking the end of the cake, roll up removing the paper as you go. Chill and cut in to slices when ready to serve. You can use white angel food cake and colored marshmallows or confetti angel food cake and white marshmallows.

Tapioca salad by Alice via Mary Jane
2 small boxes tapioca pudding
3 Tbsp. flour
4 cups 2% milk
    Cook until thickened and cool well. Add 8 ounces Cool Whip and put into a pretty bowl. I sometimes put fresh raspberries on top.

Lemon curd by Grandma Adair
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
    In heavy saucepan or double boiler, add sugar and lemon zest. Rub together to release oil and flavors from zest to sugar. Add yolks, juice and butter. Whisk together. Over medium-low heat, stir constantly until thickens. Pour into small jar or bowl. Cover top with plastic wrap to prevent a crust. Will continue to thicken as it cools. Eat straight or top off your yogurt. Mix with whipped cream to make a light and fluffy frosting for angel food cake or a bowl of fruit. Double recipe and use as filling for lemon meringue pie. This is one of my favorite things to savor and enjoy.

Orange chicken with sweet potatoes by Taste of Home
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp. flour, divided
1 tsp. each salt, onion powder, ground nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp. butter
1 can condensed soup, chicken or mushroom
3/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
Hot cooked rice or noodles
    Layer sweet potatoes in a 3-quart slow cooker. In a large Ziploc bag, combine 2/3 cup flour and seasonings; add chicken, one piece at a time and shake to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in butter for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Arrange chicken over sweet potatoes. Place remaining flour in a small bowl. Stir in soup, pineapple juice, brown sugar and orange peel until blended. Add mushrooms; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3 ½ to 4 hours or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees and potatoes are tender. Serve with rice or noodles. I used thighs, legs and breast parts. I also added some small white potatoes and sliced onions as well. The nutmeg and cinnamon taste great in this recipe. Tastes like spring. A real hit with the guys.
    Natalie, Mark and his brother Al, farm together near Rice, Minn. They milk 100 registered Holsteins under the RALMA prefix. Their four children are grown up and all involved in agriculture with hopes of someone returning to the farm. For questions or comments, please e-mail Natalie at mnschmitt@jetup.net