Host the Perfect Easter Brunch
This sacred and joyous holiday for Christians throughout the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion. For many Christians, especially those of Eastern and Orthodox faith, Easter is the most important holiday of the year, even over Christmas.
So before I give you the best tips and recipes for your perfect Easter brunch I wanted to share the history of the Easter bunny and where the idea of decorating Easter eggs came from.
It has been said that the colored eggs we decorate and hide in our Easter egg hunts came from Germany. Since the rabbits (a.k.a Easter bunny) and eggs were symbols of immortality, fertility and new life, the Germans used to leave the colored eggs in children’s baskets. This custom was brought to America in the late 19th century by German immigrants.
Here are some great Easter decorating tips to get you started:
1. When you looking for Easter decorations keep in mind light pastel colors. These peaceful colors will set the mood for your party.
2. Decorate your home with pastel balloons, streamers and plastic eggs.
3. Don’t forget to put out some Easter candy either in baskets or pastel color bowls for your company to snack on.
4. Make sure you tableware match in pastels.
5. Try to find some daffodils or tulips and use these as table decorations. Either tie a pastel-colored ribbon around each flower and place them on each guests plate or pot them and place down the center of each table.
6. For place cards, hard boil a bunch of eggs and decorate each one differently. Once the eggs are dry, use a permanent maker and carefully write each of your guests on a separate egg. That way you can place each egg inside a small basket and set on each plate to let your guests know where they are sitting. Your Perfect Easter Brunch:
Traditional Easter meals can either have ham or lamb as a main dish. These days, many families favor the salty sweetness of ham. Most ham dishes served on this holiday are honey glazed with sides of candied yams, glazed veggies and potatoes.
Below I have found some great recipes that are easy to follow and absolutely perfect for your Easter brunch. And don’t worry, if you are one of those families who prefer lamb over ham I have found some delicious recipes for you as well.
Let’s start off with the main course:
1-7 to 8 lb. fully cooked smoked ham shank
1 C. maple syrup
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. prepared mustard
Combine syrup, vinegar and mustard. Place ham, fat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Pour about 1/2 C. mixture over ham and bake, uncovered, in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours. Baste every 30 minutes with additional sauce. Remove ham from oven and score fat into diamond shapes. Insert a clove into each diamond. Bake ham an additional 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of meat registers 140 degrees. Let ham rest 15 minutes before carving.
Here are some more Ham Main Course Recipes:
Chipotle Bake Ham
Glazed Ham with Dried Cherry Caramelized Onions
Now for some Lamb Recipes:
Honey Glazed Lamb
1 C. Honey
1/2 C. Dry white wine
4 Tbs. Minced fresh mint
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 lbs. Boneless leg of lamb, (2 whole legs)
Combine honey, wine and mint; mix well. Season cut side of boned lamb with salt and pepper, then spread with honey mixture; roll and tie lamb. Brush outer surface with honey mixture. Roast on rack in shallow baking pan at 325 degrees F 1 to 1-1/2 hours or to 160 degrees F on meat thermometer for medium doneness. Baste every 15 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Here are some more lamb recipes. Herbed Lamb with Apples
Side dishes are a must and just as important as the main course.
Side Potatoes Dishes
Oven Roast Greek Potatoes
4-5 Medium Potatoes; Cubed
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Butter; Melted
1-2 Tbs. All Purpose Greek Seasoning
Dash Garlic Seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss potatoes with remaining ingredients. Bake in 9x13" casserole dish for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.
Sides Asparagus Dishes
Oven Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus
1 1/2 lb. red potatoes cut into chunks
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 tsp. dried rosemary
4 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 bunch fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large baking dish, toss the red potatoes with 1/2 the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and 1/2 the kosher salt. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix in the asparagus, remaining olive oil, and remaining salt. Cover, and continue cooking 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Remove foil, and continue cooking 5 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned. Season with pepper to serve.
Yield: 6 Servings.
Here are some more recipes for side Asparagus dishes: Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar
Side Glazed Carrot Dishes: Glazed Carrots
6 C. carrots cut into 1" diagonal slices
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C. orange juice
1/4 C. butter
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
Cook carrots on stovetop in a small amount of salted water until tender, drain water. Combine orange juice, nutmeg, brown sugar, cornstarch, and mix until smooth. Pour over carrots and cook for several minutes until mixture thickens. Add butter and toss. Serve hot.
Here are some more recipes for side Glazed Carrot dishes:
Greek Easter Bread
1 pkg. Dry yeast
1/2 C. Warm water
1/2 C. Boiling water
1 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Butter; melted
1/2 C. Warm milk
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
5 C. Flour (all-purpose)
1 Egg yolk; beaten
5 Eggs; hard-cooked; unshelled -and dyed red
Soften yeast in warm water and set aside. Combine boiling water and cinnamon; set aside. Combine sugar and eggs; beat well. Add melted butter to egg mixture and beat again. Skim off 1/4 C. clear cinnamon water and add along with yeast and milk to egg mixture, blending well. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape dough to fit into 2 greased 8 in. round pans; crisscross 2 strips of dough over each loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Brush loaves with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until brown. Push dyed eggs into bread immediately when loaves are removed from oven.
Here are some more recipes for bread/rolls:
Italian Easter Egg Bread Recipe
Road House Yeast Rolls
Now for the best part of the whole meal....Dessert. Have fun and create an eye popping dessert that your whole family will enjoy. Here are some different options to choose from.
Easter Egg Coconut Cream Cake
Strawberry Easter Pie
Carrot Cake with Coconut Frosting
Easter Angel Cake
Now assuming that you were better safe than sorry when it comes to cooking an over abundance of food, here are some “after Easter” recipes. Use these with your ham, lamb or egg leftovers.
Leftover Recipes for Ham:
Ham and Cheese Quiche
Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Ham, Mushrooms, and Gruyere Cheese
Creamy Ham and Macaroni Bake
Ham and Mushroom Soup
Ham and Pasta Skillet
After Easter Layered Salad
Leftover Recipes for Lamb:
Greek Lamb Burgers
Irish Lamb and Barley Soup
Scandinavian Tomato and Egg Sandwiches
Enjoy and keep your eyes out for the Easter bunny.For more tips, ideas and how to entertain for Easter check out these articles: