22 Ways to Expand your Easter Menu

easter

I love Easter. Spring has finally arrived, and it’s a special day I get to celebrate with family–and good food of course! Easter dinner is so special for us, and I love having a table filled with a feast of good food! But sometimes planning an Easter Menu can feel complicated. Or sometimes I just want a fresh twist on the classic Easter Dinner ingredients to change things up a bit.

If you are looking for some ways to change up the usual Easter fare a little, or just need some good ideas to expand and round out your Easter Menu, I’ve got 22 easy recipes that are the perfect addition to any Easter Meal. From some main course ideas, to sides and some desserts, hopefully these recipes will give you some new inspiration as you plan your Easter Meals this year. And because you know I’m all about easy cooking, none of these recipes are super complicated or overly time consuming. But they are all delicious! Plus, if you end up with too much left over ham on Monday, two of the ham dishes are perfect for turning leftovers into some great dinners.   [Read more…]

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Easy Pineapple Carrot Cake

Easy Pineapple Carrot Cake

 

You are going to want to make this cake!  It’s amazingly moist and full of flavor.

And the best part is that it’s really easy.

Even the decorating part is easy.  Trust me.  I’m the queen of ugly cakes.  If I can do this, anyone can.  Putting the nuts all around the sides is a quick way to make a beautiful cake.  And it covers up any crumbs in the frosting too.  Bonus!

The cake itself starts with a cake mix.  I doctored up a box of carrot cake mix with two skinny carrots that I rescued from the bottom of the fridge.  I also added some crushed pineapple.

Here’s what you’ll need for the cake:   [Read more…]

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14 ideas for using up Easter candy

Spring is officially showing up around our neck of the woods and we’re more than ready to enjoy all that Spring has to offer – eggs, flowers peeping up through the dirt, the smell of new grass, garden season, and of course Easter. I love Easter because it’s such a joyful holiday and I love any time that my family can gather together around the table and enjoy a good meal together. Of course, with Easter, there always comes a plethora of colorful candy!

I don’t know about you all, but during Easter, candy seems to multiply all on its own. Even if I don’t buy any, we always end up with a bunch of it laying around.  I enjoy candy as much as anyone, and Easter does bring out some delightful seasonal treats. (Cadbury Eggs, anyone?) But, after a while, I just want some creative, fun ways to turn it into something else and use up all the random candies laying around.  Thankfully, there are tons of things to do with all that colorful candy, and I’m loving this Easter Candy Roundup. I love seeing how other people use up their Easter Candy. Some of these are super creative and really easy too!

15 Ways to Use up Easter Candy

  1. Try out this Jelly Bean Bark
  2. Make up some Creme Egg Bark
  3. Enjoy this pretty Easter Egg Pretzel Swirl Bark
  4. Add to Krispies Treats
  5. Make Spring Puppy Chow (Better yet, use it to put a twist on these gift mixes and share them with friends!)
  6. Top these brownies with chocolate easter candies
  7. Make Peep S’mores
  8. Create Candylicious Junkyard Cookies
  9. Make up some Peep-Corn
  10. Bake some Peanut Butter Reeses Egg Cookies
  11. Try out an Easter Candy Bar Pie
  12. Kids love these “nests” from Haystack Cookies
  13. Turn these into Easter Monster Cookies
  14. Use Easter Candy in these Cake Mix Cookies
  15. Spiff up Frito Candy with a bit of spring flair.

Do you still have Easter candy at your house? I’d love to hear how you use it up!

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Easy Almond Pastries

These pastries really couldn’t be easier. With just a few ingredients you have a fun and delicious brunch dish. What makes them so fun? Cookie cutters and food coloring.

I like to use cookie cutters to cut my pastry into seasonally appropriate shapes and then tint the icing on them to make them especially festive. With Easter coming up, I couldn’t resist making some Easter egg pastries.

Decorating the pastries would be a great kitchen project for kids. I usually put my icing in zippered sandwich bags and snip off the tips for decorating purposes, but you could also put the icing in little bowls and brush it on with a pastry brush or new paintbrush.

If you didn’t want to make them season-specific, you could make them as squares or triangles with a drizzle of white icing – they’re just as good!

Easy Almond Pastries
Ingredients
  • 1 box of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 can of almond pastry filling
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 T. milk
  • Food coloring, if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
  2. Using a cookie cutter (or a sharp knife) cut out an even number of puff pastry pieces.
  3. Generously spread the almond pastry filling on half of the cut-out shapes, and then use the remaining shapes to top them off. Using a fork, press together the edges of the pastry to seal in the almond filling.
  4. Transfer the pastries to a lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with the beaten egg.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastries are golden brown. Set them aside to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. Add more sugar or milk to reach desired consistancy. Stir in food coloring as desired.
  7. Drizzle the icing over the cooled pastries to decorate. Alternatively, you can brush the icing on using a pastry brush or new paint brush.

Easter Story Cookies for kids of all ages

 

This is a fun way to pull kids into the kitchen and share the Easter Story with them in a way that they will remember.  The cookies get made in the evening and then sit in the oven overnight.  It’s perfect to do the night before Easter, but any evening will work. Not only do they taste great, the Easter Story Cookies are for kids of all ages who want to focus on the significance of Easter.

Before I get to the instructions, let me share a few helpful hints. [Read more…]

Everything you need to make an Amazing Easter Dinner!

Goat Cheese Biscuits

I have been so excited to share this recipe with you.  In early March, I visited a friend in Chicago and she took me to Table Fifty Two.  The food in that restaurant has a decidedly Southern flair.   Chef Art Smith has been a personal chef to Oprah.  Now he creates dishes such as Fried Green Tomatoes with Feta, Pancetta, Red Onion Marmalade and Kalamata Olive – Amazing!

We sat in the main room of the restaurant where Goat Cheese Biscuit dough was being poured into hot iron skillets and baked in a brick oven.  Our server brought us a serving of the biscuits to share.  Oh my!  They are light, with herbs and goat cheese inside and buttery Parmesan topping.

As my friend and I savored these biscuits and I watched the process of making them, I was pretty sure I could recreate the recipe at home.  And I was right.

These would be perfect for an Easter dinner or brunch.  And they are easy to make too.  The dough is similar to drop biscuits and it can be baked in an iron skillet, ramekins or muffins tins.   Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Recipes for Easter Dinner or Brunch

Easter is coming up quick.  If you’re still looking for ideas to round out your brunch or dinner, I’ve got a list for you.  Whenever I put together a list like this, I can see just what a dessert lover I am.  This list is low on side dishes and main dishes, but there are plenty of salad, dessert and brunch ideas.  I’ve got a sweet tooth.  I can’t help it.

Main Dish

Honey Apple Ham Glaze – my one and only recipe for an Easter main dish

Salads

Tropical Salad

Spinach Salad with Spiced Nuts

Hawaiian Cole Slaw

Winter Fruit salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Blueberry Cream Jello – so good, it could be dessert

Side Dishes

Black Angus Au Gratin Potatoes – these are excellent

Hashbrown Casserole – easy and good, everybody loves them

Brunch

Angle Biscuits

Apple Pecan Sticky Rolls

Blueberry French Toast Bake

Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins

Poppy Seed Muffins

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Orange Glaze

Desserts

Apricot Pound Cake

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Judy’s Strawberry Pie

Pineapple Cookies