Brock’s Spring recipes: Casseroles, Brownies and more

Spring is the time of year when everyone’s spirit awakens! And this means there is a spring awakening of new and exciting foods!!! I have provided you a superb buttery corn casserole that is splendid for your spring lunches or dinners! This rich buttery Ritz cracker crust on top really “seals the deal” for this perfect mélange of flavorful ingredients! I have additionally provided you two recipes perfect for spring parties, bridge club meetings, or get-togethers!!! My recipe for Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg Brownies will send you into dessert euphoria! You can eat only just one! But if you want two of them, it’s okay! Ha ha!!! And last but not least, a little tidbit on “good” sweet tea, plus my personal sweet tea recipe I have used for years. It is more than likely the best you will ever taste! Sweet Tea is the Elixir of the South, as noted by my one of my friends and cookbook authors Christy Jordan: “Nothing, I mean nothing, is more Southern than sweet tea. We drink it at almost every meal (yes iced tea for breakfast is quite good, actually), we make it daily, and we even put it in our baby’s bottles. Dr. Phil once jokingly mentioned that Southerners started drinking sweet tea at age three, but my mother and I looked at each other in complete confusion as we knew perfectly well all of us had started on it by age one!” Thanks Christy for your comments! Happy Spring! Enjoy readers!

Brock’s Spring Corn Casserole

Note: This buttery and cheesy casserole makes all your other casseroles look really plain! Try this one out on your family and friends! The richness of this recipe makes it a winner!

  • 4 cans sweet whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (Blue Plate preferred)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced finely
  • One half cup diced green onion
  • 8 oz. grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Half tsp. salt
  • 3 sleeves Ritz crackers, crumbled not crushed
  • 1 stick butter, melted (Land O’ Lakes preferred)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except for crackers and 1 stick butter. Pour into a large 13x9x2 casserole dish. Crumble Ritz crackers on top of casserole. Do not crush them finely, but crumble them into small pieces. Melt butter and evenly pour on top of crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly, covered. The crumbled crackers should be a light golden brown, not too brown.

Brock’s Peanut Butter Egg Brownies

Note: So I couldn’t resist but adding this one in the pack. This one is not south of the border, but has caused many “back-ends to go south…and east and west”! It is an awesome brownie overload recipe using Reese’s miniature peanut butter eggs, my addiction and weakness. So sorry, dieters! Turn your heads!

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Hershey’s triple chunk supreme brownie mix

First topping:

  • 2 regular size bags mini peanut butter eggs

Second topping:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 boxes powdered sugar (16 oz.)
  • 4 heaping Tbsp. Hershey’s cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownies according to box directions in a 13×9 pan. For first topping, line mini peanut butter eggs over hot brownies. Line over brownies until your cover the entire surface. You might need more than one bag, but one bag is usually enough. Allow bars to melt slightly on top of hot brownies. Cool completely in refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Prepare second topping (frosting) by combining cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer until very smooth. Add cocoa and mix well. Pour and spread carefully and evenly over peanut butter egg topping. Cool in refrigerator for another 2 hours. Cut in bars. Totally awesome!

Brock’s Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

Note: Sweet tea is good all the time, but at Easter and during the spring, it is fantastic to enjoy with a super southern meal! This is probably the easiest and best recipe for sweet tea in the world!

  • 5 family style bags Lipton orange pekoe tea
  • 1 gallon water
  • Two and one thirds cups granulated sugar

I use an old large Cool Whip container to heat the water and tea bags in the microwave. Fill water up three fourths full in the large cool whip container, and place the tea bags in the water. Microwave for 5 minutes. Let stand and steep for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave. Drain bags of excess goodness (as much as you can). You do not want your tea to be too light, or too dark. Pour 2 heaping cups sugar into gallon sized tea jug container. Pour microwaved tea into sugar (discard bags). Fill up remainder of jug with cold water, stirring with a long wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Refrigerate. Serve in glasses with lots of ice. Tea that is too light is a horrible excuse for sweet tea. And tea that is too dark will cause many people to shy away. But tea that is just perfect (like this one) is a winner.

Editor’s note: Brock W. Rogers, an experienced Southern food writer, overseas traveler, educator, and passionate student of the culinary & pastry arts, resides in Louisville. E-mail him at brockrogers1@gmail.com or find him on Facebook (Brock’s Southern Tidbits-Recipes).