Happy Easter! Brock’s New Picks for a great Easter

In times like these, I miss my overseas trips to France and England, and especially to Italy.  Since it is almost Easter, and we Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ, there are many possibilities for a good Easter lunch—after church service, or after Mass (like me).  I became Roman Catholic about 14 years ago, and I was brought into the Catholic church at this time of the year during Easter.  I was confirmed at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in town, and it was one of the most fulfilling and meaningful times of my life. I am so happy, and one day soon, when I finish my own cookbook, my church is going to start a good cookbook.

Easter means a lot to me.  Holy Week means so much to me.  It is the time where Jesus conquers death and sin by dying on the cross and being raised on the third day. So Italy means much to me, as I have visited there and to the Vatican, and there are no words that could describe the overwhelmed feeling you obtain when viewing where the Christian church began!  This week I have provided you three good recipes for an unforgettable Easter lunch—and most of these may be used for leftovers too!

Mama’s Meatloaf, my second special Mac & Cheese recipe (yummy), and a Texas Peanut Butter Sheet Cake recipe ! Hope y’all enjoy!  Easter lunches in  the South are spectacles. Learn from your elder cooks, enjoy the meals, and enjoy your family during them!  And enjoy, readers!

Kathy Rogers’ 1983 Meatloaf Recipe

Note:  My mother published this in a church cookbook in October of 1983, and it has remained one of her most delicious and mouthwatering dishes I have ever tried.  Meatloaf should never be dry.  Well, trust me—this one is not dry! Best served with mashed potatoes, green beans and creamed corn (or another vegetable) and hot rolls.

  • 2 pounds ground beef*
  • One and one half cups diced onion 
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper 
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, plain 
  • Half cup Heinz ketchup 
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tsp. Heinz 57 sauce
  • Half tsp. black pepper 
  • Fourth tsp. salt 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Topping: Ketchup & brown sugar for top
  • Optional: 6-7 slices bacon for top

*Ground beef should only be used.  The amount of fat it has works well with the finished product.  Never use ground round or ground chuck for a good meatloaf.  Mix well, and pack it all into a 9×5 lightly greased loaf pan. You may also put in a larger casserole dish if too much for your meat loaf pan and just shape it up into a loaf. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees, drain grease, squirt ketchup all over top, and sprinkle with about a fourth cup brown sugar, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Mama sometimes will wrap the meat loaf with 6 or 7 slices of good bacon too, and then top with ketchup and brown sugar. It makes it richer, but it’s whatever you want to do. This is a great Easter recipe for all your loved ones.

Brock’s Easter Lunch Mac & Cheese

Note: I grated this by hand – it’s better if you do it this way—this sounds like a lot of cheese, but it’s worth it I promise!!! Serve this at your home with all your Easter favorites.  It’s great to take to another person’s home, or it’s great just by itself to enjoy!

  • 8 oz. pkg. elbow macaroni
  • 1 stick butter (Land O’Lakes)
  • 1 can Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup 
  • 1 reg. can Pet evaporated milk 
  • 3 cups of hand-grated cheddar cheese (mild)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper 
  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream

Boil macaroni well, and drain. Add remaining ingredients and stir in until cheese melts. No salt is needed, because the dish is already salty enough. Enjoy your macaroni & cheese!!! Such an easy recipe, and it’s perfect for holidays!

If you have Easter lunch at your home, you may double the recipe, and you will have even more to enjoy!

Texas Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Note:  This is a new recipe that I stumbled upon this week, and its peanut buttery richness makes it a recipe that I must stash away into my “Everything Peanut Butter” file!!!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Half tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter (Land O’Lakes)
  • 1 cup water
  • Fourth cup creamy Jif peanut butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Half cup buttermilk

Peanut Butter Icing:

  • Half cup butter
  • Fourth cup creamy Jif peanut butter
  • Third cup plus 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl; set aside. Combine butter, water and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Add to flour mixture and mix well; set aside. Combine eggs, vanilla and buttermilk; add to peanut butter mixture. Spread batter in a greased 15×10 jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 28 minutes or until cake springs back when gently touched. Spread Peanut Butter Icing over warm cake and garnish, if desired.

Peanut Butter Icing: Combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until spreading consistency.

Editor’s Note:  Brock Wetherly Rogers is a secondary and university educator, a frequent overseas traveler, an accomplished Southern food writer, and a passionate student of the culinary & pastry arts.  Find him on Facebook at Brock’s Bites-Southern Recipes. We welcome your comments!