Happy Easter! This was my first time hosting since the birth of my daughter, and even though its a small group – 5 adults and a toddler – I still wanted to choose items that would be manageable without sacrificing taste or quality.
Here’s what I planned:
In the end, I didn’t make the asparagus. Between morning Easter basket time with my son, church, and nursing my daughter, it was a little too much. While I would have preferred to have a green vegetable as part of the dinner, we really didn’t need it and were very happy with the meal as it was, I’m glad I kept it stress-free. I’ll eat the asparagus this week instead.
What could be easier than these two options I picked? Very little. Comte is a French cheese that we get around the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter). Its delicious and my toddler asks for it by name – its a little more special than just throwing some cheddar out there. The shrimp is a relatively healthy option and we won’t get too full before the meal by snacking on these.
Cocktails and Wine
I worked hard to build up enough breastmilk so that I could enjoy a glass of Prosecco, it was so delicious! Once Springtime starts, Rose is my wine of choice – but its got to be a good one – bad Rose is especially bad. We had a bottle of Cossinelle Gamay that my family enjoyed, but I went for the Prosecco this time.
I did not join in for a Whiskey Sour, but if you can enjoy an cocktail, I recommend starting guests off with one than switching to wine (or beer). My husband makes a mean whiskey sour, per the below.
Hubby's Whiskey Sour
Shake first 3 ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into cocktail glass, add cherry and enjoy!
The good thing about my menu was that each item is pretty easy to put together. The negative was that there was very little that could be prepped ahead of time, meaning everything needed to be done on Easter itself. (The bread and cake were made ahead, on Saturday).
Baked Ham with Orange Mustard Glaze
I found this recipe on Food Network and loved it. I like that they offer various glaze options. I chose the Orange and Mustard and it was a big hit. This recipe is definitely my new go to for ham. I also served the ham with fresh pineapple slices – a great combo!
Honey Glazed Carrots
The carrots were also very successful – a little different because they incorporate lemon to cut the honey a bit. I also wanted to be sure I could cook everything except the ham on the stovetop, since I do not have a double oven and a 10lb ham takes up the full oven! This recipe also came from Food Network, was easy and tasty. I used full size carrots instead of baby (I did 3 carrots per person), cut in half before preparing. I also didn’t bother with the parsley (once again when juggling two kids under three I don’t take on too much!) and you won’t miss it.
You might notice that every holiday meal at my house includes mashed potatoes. Maybe its my Irish background or maybe its because they are so delicious, we’ll never know, but they never disappoint!
My method – Peel Russet Potatoes (2 medium per person) but keep whole. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water, salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a rolling boil and cook until potatoes are fully cooked, drain. Heat whole milk (roughly 1 tablespoon per potato) in separate pot on low until warm (using cold milk can lead to a gummy consistency). Return potatoes to pot or large bowl, add in butter (roughly 1 tablespoon per potato) and mash potatoes using electrical mixer or by hand. Slowly add warm milk until desired consistency is reached!
Bread and Dessert
I debated whether to go sweet or savory for the bread with dinner. In the end I went for the cinnamon bread because it pairs so well with the salty ham. This is one of my mom’s recipes, and its another staple in our family for many different holidays or get-togethers. She lists the walnuts as optional – but I always go for the walnuts.
This carrot cake recipe comes from Flour Bakery. If you live in the Boston area (or are planning to visit) Flour is a must-visit place. Everything they make is amazing, and I highly recommend the cookbook as well.
That’s it! My advice is to keep it easy and enjoy the day, I know we did. For leftovers we love sandwiches of course, but ham is great in quiches and soups too!