My Easter plans are a little slow in forthcoming this year as I’ve been distracted by our forays into making maple syrup – our newest urban homesteading project. Look for a full post from Danny soon on our backyard sugar bush adventures later; we’re giddy with our progress.
Easter is a fantastic excuse to entertain and I will definitely be gathering a few friends and family around for brunch or lunch. The boys and I had a chance to bake cookies in adorable little bunny and chick shapes and make the thumbprint shortbread cookies above.
The rest of the menu will be inspired from the archives and a few old favorites I rediscovered when putting together this round-up. Of course, maple syrup will be the spotlight ingredient of the brunch.
Perhaps you’ll find an idea or two below for your Easter table.
Naturally-dyed Easter eggs
For starters, you’re going to need a pretty centerpiece of naturally-dyed Easter eggs. Is there any other way to go when one can achieve these striking hues of purple and blue? You probably already have most of these ingredients on hand (coffee, blueberries, tumeric…) so plan for a little crafting afternoon with the kids.
Ten Simple Ways to Instantly Be a Better Host
If you are entertaining for Easter, allow me to share ten very simple ways you can make a good impression on your guests and improve their experience. Granted these are minor details, but that is the beauty of it – they are all completely doable. Your guests will leave knowing that they have been well cared for by an attentive host.
I adore hosting Easter Brunch, and serving up fruity cocktails, a baked ham, and fat asparagus spears. Of course, I must pull something beautiful and yeasty out of the oven or it just isn’t brunch.
The beautiful, Cardamom-Scented Braided Easter Bread pictured above is worthy of the table center whether you decide to decorate it with coloured eggs or not. A few more good ideas would be:
These Squash & Parmesan Crustless Mini Quiches are a good alternative to sweet breads if you want to add a gluten-free dish to your brunch menu.
Main Menu Ideas
An elegant glazed ham is the favored main dish for this spring holiday, but here are a few more options for the non-traditionalist.
- Roast Pork & Caramelized Balsamic Onions
- Baked Salmon Stuffed with Leeks
- Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Blood Oranges
- Simple Butter-Glazed Roast Turkey
- Sticky Rosemary Balsamic Easter Ham :: Parents Canada
Photo by Shaina
For a collection of side dishes fine enough to outshine the main dish, look no further than these simple vegetable recipes.
- Honey Pomegranate Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips
- Potato Rosemary Strudel
- Warm Potato Salad with Grainy Mustard, Bacon & Ramps
Peeps, chocolate and marshmallows abound at this time of the year, but I seldom stray far from citrus desserts. A family favorite is this Meyer Lemon, Cornmeal & Almond Cake, which is an ideal do-ahead dessert, and is gluten-free, as an added bonus.
And for the cake-loving, chocoholics…
It’s impossible to beat a homemade cupcake, and this combination of classic yellow cake and rich chocolate frosting is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Decorated simply with three chocolate eggs in a ‘nest’, these Easter cupcakes can be made a few days in advance and are still moist and delicious when served.
Want to simplify? These Lemon Shortbread with Meyer Lemon Marmalade are a perfectly elegant, easy cookie that sing of spring. A friend on Instagram pointed out that they also look like small fried eggs. I guess that seals the deal.
|Lemon Shortbread with Meyer Lemon Marmalade|| |
- 3/4 pound (1 1/2 cups or 3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- Zest of 2 small Meyer lemons or 1 large lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Meyer lemon marmalade or jam of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare two baking sheets.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon zest and the extract and mix to combine.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
- Roll shortbread into 1 1/2-inch balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with your palm. Repeat until all of the dough is rolled.
- Make a small indentation in the top of each cookie ball using your thumb or finger. Spoon about a 1/4 teaspoon of marmalade into the hole.
- Place the tray on the center rack of the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on the bottoms.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for five minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
I’m linking up to Menu Plan Monday.
What is on the menu for the long weekend?