Easter Sunday lunch is one of the first spring meals that we prepare. Gone are the heavy meals, soups and chowders. We think about salad and vegetable dishes that are a lighter fare.

Ham is often the chosen meat dish for Easter Sunday. It is hard to cook a little ham, so we often have ham left over. Cooked ham can be kept in the refrigerator for about five days. It can be kept frozen for about three months.

You can only eat so many ham sandwiches. Today, I have five great recipes that will give you an opportunity to use that leftover ham. I hope you will give them a try. Thanks for reading.

HAM AND CHEESE BALL

2 cups cooked, chopped ham

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

¼ teaspoon onion powder

1 cup finely chopped pecans

2 teaspoon dried parsley

Combine ham, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and onion powder. Divide mixture in half, and shape each into a ball or log. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm. Remove cheese balls from plastic, and roll in a mixture of pecans and parsley before serving.

• Another serving idea is to make small individual cheese balls to serve on top of your crackers.

MISSISSIPPI SIN QUICHE

1 cup diced ham

2 ounces cream cheese

½ cup cheddar cheese

1 green onion, chopped

¼ teaspoon hot sauce

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup heavy cream

3 eggs

1 (9-inch) deep dish pie crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat ham, and drain to remove excess moisture. Combine ham, cream cheese, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Put mixture in bottom of uncooked pie crust that has been pricked with a fork. Top with cheddar cheese and green onion. Whisk together the eggs, sour cream and heavy cream. Pour evenly over ham mixture. Bake for 1 hour or until set.

HOT HAM AND PIMIENTO CHEESE SANDWICHES

1 dozen Hawaiian dinner rolls

½ pound sliced ham, sliced thin

1 cup pimiento cheese

6 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split each dinner roll. Make a sandwich of the ham and pimiento cheese, and arrange them in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds. Bring to a boil and pour over the sandwiches. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are brown and crispy.

JAMBALAYA RICE SALAD

1 1/3 cups uncooked long-grain rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups cubed fully cooked ham

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1½ pounds cooked and peeled shrimp

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced

1 small green bell pepper, julienned

1 small sweet red pepper, julienned

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 green onions, sliced

Prepare rice according to package directions, and let cool. In a large skillet, heat oil and cook ham and onion until tender. Add next six ingredients. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and add vinegar. Combine rice, ham mixture, shrimp, celery and peppers. Refrigerate covered for 2 hours. Add tomatoes, toss to combine, and top with sliced green onions.

HOT HAM AND CHEESE DIP

½ onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons butter

1½ cups diced cooked ham

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

½ cup Provolone cheese, grated

2 teaspoons chopped chives

Melt butter in a skillet, and stir in onion to cook until soft and golden. Add the cream cheese, and stir until soft and melting. Add the remaining ingredients, and cook on low while stirring until everything is combined. Pour into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, and cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with crackers or chips of your choice.

• If you use a black skillet, you can prepare and serve the dip in one skillet.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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