By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Signs of Spring Dinner for Six

April is a month known for showers, but to me it signals the onset of spring. Crisp spring weather puts me in the mood for entertaining, and this month's menu is one of my favorites.

Baby spinach leaves become the base for an over-the-top salad tossed with a Sweet-Bacon Vinaigrette and topped with Bacon-Wrapped Scallops. Bagged triple-washed spinach makes the salad a snap to prepare.

The pairing of salmon, corn and asparagus sings of spring, and here the salmon is extra special with an overnight maple-soy cure and a hefty dose of crushed black pepper. The roasted salmon is perfect atop a Corn and Cream Savory Bread Pudding that is ultra rich and delicious. Roasted asparagus can cook right along with the salmon, making it an effortless way to highlight the perfect in-season asparagus.

Dessert is a chocolate lover's dream. Blender Amaretto Pots de Crème are as simple as simmering some whipping cream and flipping the switch on my Viking blender. Amaretto liqueur gives these dense chocolate puddings a lovely almond flavor. A Mocha Java "Cigar" alongside is a nice touch, but if time is short, a simple fanned strawberry would make a lovely garnish.


Recipes:

Sugar-Coated Spiral Sliced Ham
Ordering a gourmet spiral-sliced ham for a holiday brunch is as simple as logging onto the internet or picking up the phone. But with almost as little effort (and a lot less expense), you can create a home-coated ham that tastes just like the expensive ham from the gourmet store.
Blender Amaretto Pots de Creme with Mocha Java Cigars
Can a dessert offer an over-the-top chocolate fix while being quick and easy to prepare. The answer is a resounding “yes!” with these quick Blender Amaretto Pots de Crème.
Corn and Cream Savory Bread Pudding
This luscious, savory bread pudding has bacon, green onions and thyme to counter the corn’s sweetness, and a combination of whipping cream and beaten eggs to bind the ingredients with cubes of French bread. It's a delicious accompaniment to many grilled and roasted meats and seafood.
Maple-Cured Pepper-Crusted Salmon
If you’re looking for an easy, elegant entrée, then Maple-Cured Pepper-Crusted Salmon fills the bill perfectly. The dish became a family favorite when a friend sampled a similar dish in a restaurant and asked me to come up with the recipe.
Roasted Asparagus
There’s almost no way to improve the flavor of spring’s fresh, in-season asparagus. Simply steamed, drizzled with some good olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper, it is near perfection with little adornment.