Celebrate Spring with a few delicious and doable recipes. Not only do these dishes taste fabulous and are easy to prepare – but they present like colourful works of art on your Spring/Easter buffet. Enjoy!!

Be sure to use hashtag #InCharsKitchen when posting these recipes on social media – I love seeing what recipes people are recreating at home!! Happy springtime cooking & eating!!

Sweet Pea Pesto ~ Click here for the recipe.

Roasted Carrot Fries with Crumbled Feta and Mint

A simple and nutritious holiday (or any day) side dish.  

2 lbs. carrots, well washed *skin left on

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

1 tbsp (15 mL) melted butter

½ tsp (2 mL) each; minced garlic and minced fresh ginger

⅓  cup (75 mL) crumbled feta 

¼ cup (60 mL) green pumpkin seeds

3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh mint

drizzle of quality olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Cut carrots and parsnips in ‘french fry’ thick sticks. Toss with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a large baking sheet (or two small baking sheets) lined with parchment paper. Bake in center of oven for 50 minutes minutes, tossing only once or twice during cooking

Remove from oven.  Whisk together melted butter, garlic and ginger. Toss with carrots. Place on serving platter and garnish evenly with feta, pumpkin seeds, chopped fresh mint and drizzle of olive oil. Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.  

Fresh Fruit Layer Cake With Lemon Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

Cake

1 box (432 g) vanilla cake mix ~ prepare cake according to package directions – replace oil on box directions with Gay Lea Bakers Gold Unsalted Butter. Divide batter evenly between two, 8-inch well greased round baking pans. Bake according to package directions. Cool completely.

Icing

8-oz softened cream cheese

1/2 cup (125 mL) Gay Lea Bakers Gold Unsalted Butter , softened

4 cups (1 L) icing sugar

2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract

zest of 2 lemons

pinch salt

1/4 cup (60 mL) milk

Beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add icing sugar one cup at a time – stirring with a spatula (if you add icing sugar all at once and beat it – you will have icing sugar all over your kitchen. Slow and steady wins the ‘icing-race’). Once icing sugar is combined with cream cheese/butter mixture – add remaining ingredients and beat until fluffy and well combined (about one minute on high speed).

4 cups (1 L) mixed fruit – such as: chopped mango, sliced strawberries, diced kiwi and blueberries

Garnish: 1/3 cup (75 mL) toasted coconut flakes and Gay Lea Whipped Cream

To assemble:

Spread half of icing on one layer of cake. Layer with half of the fruit. Top with second layer of cake and ice the top of cake. Top with remaining fruit. Sprinkle top with coconut. Garnish each piece of cake with Gay Lea Whipped Cream. Makes 8 servings.

Charmaine is the host of “In Char’s Kitchen” on YourTV Muskoka and regular guest on: Rogers IN StudioRogers Daytime OttawaCTV Morning Live OttawaCHCH Morning Live and Breakfast Television sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and fitness.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys; Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind.

Follow Charmaine on:

Instagram: Charmaine_Broughton

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Charmaine’s Kitchen Built By: All About Kitchens 705-646-0347 or visit  www.allaboutkitchens.com