The best serve-yourself weekday breakfast ideas

This winter was the first time I’ve had to change up our breakfast routine since the children were babies.

Up until last fall, we’d always start our weekdays together as a family, as school and work were both close enough to afford a somewhat relaxed morning. Then everything changed.

My eldest is in junior high school, so he’s the first kid up and out the door in the morning. Danny started a new job in the new year and eats breakfast bright and early. My two youngest are just waking up as their dad is leaving – one of them is famished and the other needs to wake up slowly before eating. They wander into the kitchen on their own time.

Since I’m usually busy prepping bagged lunches and checking on homework, I tend to only sit down to eat after everyone has left. Five people, five breakfast slots. At the beginning, when we were adjusting to the new schedules, I found myself preparing multiple breakfasts to accommodate everyone. Until I got smarter, that is.

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Entertaining at Easter: Two Dinner Menus

I love that Easter is early this year, and we can send March on its way with chocolate eggs, homemade hot cross buns and bouquets of pink tulips.

Honestly, this month has been really tough in our household, with one sickness after another, four ER visits, antibiotics, allergic reactions to those antibiotics, missed school days and more sleepless nights than usual. I’m so ready for April, and spring, and weather warm enough that I can throw open the windows and air the whole place out. Who is with me?

In anticipation of the long weekend ahead, I’m guessing many of you are menu planning and making grocery lists.  Here on the blog we’ve made brunch plans, laid out a few menus for Easter lunch, and now I want to give you two menu suggestions for hosting dinner with friends and family.

Just to be clear, there’s no way am I suggesting that you host all three of these meals, but I do love to provide inspiration for any and all occasions.

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Entertaining at Easter: Two Lunch Menus

Let’s lunch! After months of desk lunches and brown bagging it, Easter long weekend provides an opportunity to plan a get-together with friends over a casual – but elegant – midday meal.

Whether you are hosting the in-laws for an informal ‘do’ or looking to catch up with a gaggle girlfriends, here are two menu ideas that can be adapted for any occasion. The first is planned around a sit-down lunch, where you can set a pretty table and bring out the best dishes.

The second menu is meant to be set out buffet style or passed around on trays for more of a standing and mingling lunch. It also provides some great do-ahead ideas, such as small jars of pretty panna cotta, which can be prepare several days in advance.

Whatever your style, I’m sure you’ll find inspiration in this post for entertaining this spring.

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Entertaining at Easter: A Brunch Menu

The Easter long weekend just might be one of my favourite occasions to entertain and I’ve been hosting a brunch for well over a decade on the spring holiday.

Easter brunch is the perfect opportunity to invite friends and family over and set a pretty table. Clara and I always dye a few eggs for a centrepiece, playing around with real ingredients for natural dyes. I iron my grandmother’s embroidered tablecloth and round up all my floral and pastel dishes. It’s okay if they are mismatched; they still look elegant.

And then there is the menu, which is always so fun to plan, but whether you simply bake a tray of hot cross buns and brew a pot of coffee or go for an elaborate ham & eggs spread, it’s the act of gathering that matters the most.

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Mini Citrus Pavlovas

A quick check of the weather before I sat down to write this post informed me that another snowstorm was on the way.

We may be all dreaming of spring, with its rhubarb galettes and strawberry pie, but the reality is that we’ll be embracing citrus fruits for a while still here in Montreal. That’s fine with me, because a friend’s new book, Simply Citrus, is inspiring me to stock up on grapefruit and tangerines, limes and lemons.

Around here, blustery winds and fresh snowdrifts are totally normal for March, and today’s mini pavlovas match the elements.  Crisp white meringues are reminiscent of the frosty snowbanks that blanket our homestead from end to end, while soft peaks of whipped cream cover them like the freshly fallen snow.

I think winter desserts are every bit as elegant as summer, and pavlovas are at the absolute top of the list. Read on for the mini citrus pavlova recipe, plus a giveaway of Simply Citrus.

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