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Your Guide to a Flawless Easter Gathering

by Cindy

Easter meal is a cornerstone event for many families. Hosting can be just as stressful as it is to host Thanksgiving, so we’re here, knocking on your door, excited to help and have prepared ideas that will keep the kids happy, the bellies full, and will earn you the reward of top host or hostess! Spring and Easter alike are markers for Spring and regrowth. With the light Spring air as inspiration, we’ve put together a guide to hosting the perfect Easter meal.

THE TABLE

            The table setting sets the tone for the meal. The Easter egg is a classic symbol of the season and can be used for more than just decoration. Consider taking a square cotton napkin and creating a bunny setting around an Easter egg. Here’s how it’s done: iron a square napkin and fold the napkin in half in order to create a large triangle. Then, fold the napkin in half again, creating a smaller triangle. Fold the long bottom of the napkin up approximately 1.5 inches towards the point, and then continue to fold this over itself until the a small 2 inch tall triangle remains above the long bar you have created. Fold the point of the triangle down towards the rolled napkin and tuck the tip under the last fold of the long bar. Then roll it up until you simply have one long, tube-like structure. Keeping it folded, put the bottom of a decorated Easter egg in the middle of the napkin and bring both sides of the napkin up around the top of the egg. Secure it in place with a ribbon, and voila! You have an adorable, bunny-eared Easter egg which you can place in the center of your dish ware, standing or flat. If all of that sounds like too much, tea cups can simply be filled with the candy speckled eggs; some can even be tilted over to make it look like the Easter Bunny has just run through!

            Burlap is a signature of spring, and it can be used as an extremely simple yet beautiful table runner which gives off the air of Spring for an inexpensive price tag. Burlap also greatly compliments the traditional pastels that have come to equate the Easter season in many of our minds. Patterns should be used sparingly to avoid clashing, but lightly colored, dual toned floral patterns are typical of a Spring table setting and can be just the pop of excitement your table needs, though many prefer to save patterns for the dish ware instead of linens. Set your dinner plate in the center of your placemat. Consider placing a slightly brighter colored charger under the plate if you still are craving that pop of color. The bread place can be placed directly on top, and the bunny napkin creation can either be laid or stood on top. The forks should be placed on the left side of the plate, and the knife and spoon on the right. Glassware does not have to match, and sometimes looks charming as a coordinating rather than matching set. Consider placing either lemons in the glasses or freezing edible flowers in ice cubes for an elegant and fun touch. For a centerpiece, enlist your kids or your creative side and get to dying eggs! A two tiered dessert holder can double as a gorgeous two tiered center piece by placing some dyed eggs in mini nests and decorating the surrounding with sniping of flowers, foliage, and twigs. Now that the table is set and looking beautiful, let’s move on to keeping the kids busy while the food is cooking.      

ACTIVITIES

            Some ideas for kids that take little time and materials you already have around the house are as follows. Paper plate masks. They’re exciting and fun and a two part game as children get excited making and decorating them, and then get to play in them after. Simply cut eye out of a paper plate and hole-punch on either side of the face where you’ll attach elastics. Let the kids decorate their masks with markers and things that are easy to clean up (or not, if you’re more adventurous!) then take a twist-tie to and pass it through the hole-punched space and create a loop through which you’ll also put a rubber band before pinching off the twist-tie. The elastics will fit around kids ears, and now they’ve got fun masks that can lead to hours of imaginative fun.

            If there’s a hallway in your house that you can section off for kids use, a laser maze is just about the coolest thing my 5-year-old self can imagine a family member setting up for me. Simply take some streamers and Blu-Tack tape and tape the streamers across the hall over and over creating a maze which the children will have to fight their way through like their favorite superhero!

THE MEAL

Appetizers:

            Deviled eggs are an Easter classic, and these Smoked Salmon and Dill Deviled Eggs are top notch. They’re easy to make and are sure to hold over guests until your delicious main course arrives.

            Fruit and Cheese Kabobs (or just fruit for vegan or vegetarian guests) are a wonderful and light Spring appetizer which will fulfill those with a sweeter tooth until desert. Alternate strawberries, grapes and cheese — we prefer cheddar and Monterey Jack — until skewers are full. For a dip, mix together 1 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 TBSP honey, and 1/2 TSP ground cinnamon. These appetizers are as beautiful as they are refreshing and work for anytime of the day.

            The final appetizer we suggest is this Herb Dip which pairs perfectly with Spring vegetables for a savory and light appetizer to put anyone in the mood for a fabulous main course. With a 10 minute prep time, this dip cannot go wrong.

Main course:

            Now onto the main course! The Easter ham is commonly known and associated with Easter dinner. This recipe perfectly combines Spring vegetation with sweet, savory, and spicy flavors to revamp the age old classic. The recipe suggests you garnish this gorgeous meal with tropical fruits for a sweet touch and a beautiful presentation, and we couldn’t agree more!

            Another traditional option is a spring lamb. This One-Pan Easter lamb is easy to make and will surely impress. There are three steps to this recipe, and its almost as easy as throwing a pan in an oven! The garlic, rosemary, white wine and seasonal vegetables make it per the season and a feel good meal for the entire fam!

Dessert:

            Why choose between carrot cake and cheesecake when you can have both in the most beautiful hybrid cake that has ever graced this earth? That might be a little dramatic, but with all the gorgeous dishes you’ve been serving this Easter, even more pressure is placed on dessert to just keep knocking it out of the park, and that’s why we recommend this half carrot, half cheesecake. It is unusual and delicious and surprising and beautiful and exciting and says Spring just as loudly as anything!

            Now it’s time to dig in your drawers for this last one. Winter and its culinary normalities may be the last thing on your mind as we come into summer, but there is a use for that gingerbread man cookie cutter in the middle of the year! That cookie cutter, with a little manipulation, can create the sweetest Bunny Hug Cookies that children and adults alike are sure to adore. Turn the gingerbread man upside down, position the legs (now ears) into a slightly more floppy position and wrap the arms around a Cadbury Mini Egg. Poke a little face in below the ears, and you’ve got the sweetest deserts that can even be frosted for more fun!

Mocktail:

            Spring refreshments are always needed, and during or after an entire three-course meal, we cannot think of a better time to kick back and enjoy time with friends and family and a delicious mocktail. May we recommend this adorable (low carb!!) Sparkling Raspberry Limeade. It’s simple enough but still delicious and isn’t just loaded with sugar. We cannot wait to mix this one up and enjoy!

            And for the kids, this ridiculously simple, two ingredient cotton candy drink is sure to make happy campers out of them all.

            And that’s it! All the resources and recipes to become the world famous easter dinner host you were always destined to be. All or a combination of these recipes can be made, or taken inspiration from, to create an unforgettably delicious meal which undoubtedly will be enjoyed by the littles and the elders alike!

Happy Easter from Anschutz Public Relations

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