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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

The Ultimate Pasca for Easter

A tender sweet, yeast bread enveloping a sweet and tangy New England-style Grape-nut custard. Loaded with raisins and topped with more, crunchy Grape-nuts makes this classic Romanian Easter treat something we all can enjoy on this special day. If you can tie a braid, this recipe is for you.


For 8 Serving(s)


  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (.25-ounce)envelope yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup skim milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup Grape-nuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

The Ultimate Pasca for Easter Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add warm milk, sugar and yeast, whisking well. Let sit for 10 minutes, or until yeast starts to foam. With a sturdy wooden spoon(or using a dough hook on a standing mixer) stir in flour, melted butter and salt until well mixed and it leaves the side of the bowl.
  2. Divide the dough into 4 equal sized balls.
  3. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray: set aside. Roll out one ball large enough to cover the bottom of the pan. It doesn't have to be perfectly round, as long as the bottom is entirely covered.* Lay this dough in the bottom of prepared pan. With the palms of your hands, roll out remaining balls of dough to a 2 1/2-foot long ropes. Place perpendicular to one another on a work surface and pinch one end of each rope together. Start braiding the ropes and pinch to seal loose end. Place on top of the bottom crust in the pan, circling the entire inside, stretching it a little so that the ends meet; pinch each end together. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, about an hour.
  4. When ready, preheat oven to 300-degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour into the center of the braid, making sure it doesn't rise over the dough. Bake 38-40 minutes, or until custard is firm in the center. Remove from oven, rub some cold butter on top of the braid and let sit until room temperature. Cool in refrigerator completely before serving.
  5. * The dough can even come up the sides of the pan if needed.