Friday, April 6, 2012

Holding the Perfect Easter Brunch

After Easter morning church service, invite family and friends over for an Easter brunch. Brunch combines breakfast and lunch in a way that is fun and filling at the same time. Enjoy spring and Easter with this beginning-of-the-season get-together.
Set the time. Immediately after church service would be best time for brunch. On Easter Sunday, most people attend early services. Scheduling the brunch at eleven-thirty would be good. If everyone you are inviting is a member of your church then word of mouth or an informal invite in the church bulletin on the Sunday prior to Easter are okay. Otherwise, send out invitations a week before the brunch. Invitations can be created using a card program or Microsoft® Publisher.
In order to get everything done and make it easier on you, the hostess, delegate duties to your family and friends. These duties should include: decorations, food, entertainment, and paper supplies. The children can help with the decorations. Potted Easter plants can be used to decorate the living room. Kids can also draw and color paper eggs to be used as decorations. Make sure they use thumbtacks and not tape put decorations on the wall.
The entertainment can be as simple as a CD player. The mood on Easter is one of joyful remembrance. Choose CD’s that are upbeat instrumental or some of your favorite hymns. Keep the volume low so that the music provides a pleasant undercurrent to the food and fellowship going on.
Brunch should include a few breakfast items and a light lunch fare. You can handle the food yourself or let the guests each bring a dish. If you choose the latter let them pick what they want to bring from a menu that you make up. Popular items include: a sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast casserole; cinnamon rolls; eggs benedict; and waffles or French toast for breakfast. For lunch, choose one meat and a variety of salads. Sliced breast of turkey or ham would do. I’d go with the sliced turkey if you are planning on eating ham for dinner. Chicken, shrimp, and/or macaroni salad would make great accompaniments.
Whatever you plan for the brunch, make it inviting and relaxed. You certainly don’t have to impress with an elaborate setup. Let your friends and family mingle and share memories of Easter holidays past.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Family Easter Meal Classics for a Busy Mom

After the Easter egg hunt, you may be too pooped to prepare a gourmet meal. Are you a mom who is long on things to do, but short on time to get it all done? Make dinner a breeze this year.
Let someone else cook the main dish. Who says that the honey glazed spiral ham has to be cooked in your oven? The Honeybaked® Ham Store is the busiest place on earth during the holidays and Easter is no exception. Let them offer you a good deal on a tender ham or turkey breast sized to fit your family. I would caution you to order early. Last minute orders could be met with disappointment or at least a very long line to wait in. Pick it up the day before or early Easter morning to avoid the crowds. Check the store hours in your area.
Pre - planning is a lifesaver. If you are making whipped potatoes or sweet potato casserole, why not prepare the potatoes ahead of time? White potatoes can be boiled and mashed a day early. Sweet potatoes can be baked a day early also and the ingredients put together and baked the next afternoon. Preparing as much of the meal the day before will put less pressure on you. If good old-fashioned yeast rolls are on your list, try using Parkerhouse rolls. Take them out the night before to let the dough rise.
So, what is on the menu this year? Here are a few classic choices. In the vegetable department, try collard greens or fresh green beans seasoned with garlic. If you choose turkey over ham, then stuffing is a must. To save time it can come from Stove Top® or ask your mother for her time honored recipe for sausage stuffing. Whenever I have ham for dinner, I have to have macaroni and cheese. And, the more cheese it has, the better. 
Dessert anyone? Making that chocolate cake or that pecan pie just right takes time that you don’t have. Know a good bakery in town? Pre-order your desserts. To make sure that you had some part to play in the dessert process, buy a gallon of ice cream to accompany the cake and pie.
Take a load off this year. You should be able to enjoy your Easter Sunday, too. Let others do the bulk of the cooking for you this year.