Host a no-fuss Easter brunch for your friends and family with these tips for entertaining and recipes everyone will love.
Easter is knocking on the door so celebrate the day with a delicious Easter brunch. The menu is filled with make-ahead dishes that are both easy and affordable.
A celebration starts with great decor. Take a large canning jar and wrap with a strip of colored linen. Use double-sided tape to hold the linen in place. Then tie some rickrack or raffia around and you have a cute vase to hold your spring flowers.
Add a little fun to the table with Easter Peeps. Serve sparkling water with a slice of lemon in milk glasses wrapped with a yellow checked ribbon. Take blue and white polka dot straws and top with an Easter Peep. The milk glasses came from a local craft store but mason jars would be a great substitute.
Gather dishes that match the color of your decor. We started with a white tablecloth and put down a linen runner. Wicker chargers and white dinner plates provide the base. To add color we mixed white and blue polka dot plates with vintage yellow plates.
The yellow candle holders and birdcages were found in the dollar aisles of Michael’s. A few chicks and Easter bunnies round out the decor.
Now that your table is decorated we are ready to prepare our Easter brunch.
Ingredients: 4 cups popcorn, 1 cup Rice Chex® (or your favorite), 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, 1 cup Easter M&M’S®
Mix popcorn, Rice Chex and M&M’s in a big bowl. Melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Stir until coated and pour over the popcorn mixture. Let dry and place into clear bags.
These little bunnies are a refreshing start to the meal. They are soaked in a lime champagne syrup overnight. Make a simple syrup with lime for a kid friendly version. They will want to help cut out the bunnies.
Ingredients: 1 watermelon, 2 slices of cantaloupe, 1 cup champagne, 1/2 cup sugar, zest and juice of 1 lime – Note: For a non-alcoholic syrup mix 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar and mix in zest and juice of 1 lime.
Place champagne, sugar, lime juice and zest in a small saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and remove from heat; cool.
Cut watermelon and cantaloupe into slices. Use bunny cookie cutter to cut out watermelon. Use a small flower to cut out cantaloupe. Place all the melon in a container and pour cooled champagne syrup. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
Place a bunny watermelon on plate and top with small flower on top to make a tail.
Cheddar Egg and Potato Mini Casseroles
These muffin size casseroles are great for lunch parties. You can make half a pan for the kids and add vegetables to the other half for adults.
Ingredients: Makes 1 dozen muffin size – 8-10 ounces diced frozen potatoes, 4 eggs, 1 1/4 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, 1/4 cup reserved, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, Salt, Pepper, 3 slices bacon cooked crisp and crumbled, 1 zucchini, diced, 1 red pepper, diced, Chives, finely cut – Note: For one large casserole, place in a casserole dish and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a muffin tin with vegetable spray and cover the bottom with diced peppers. Sprinkle bacon, zucchini and red pepper on top.
Mix together eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Pour over potato vegetable mixture filling to the top. Top with cheddar. Bake for about 20 minutes then sprinkle with chives.
Lemon Bird’s Nest Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream
Ingredients: Makes 18 cupcakes – 1 Betty Crocker Super Moist® Lemon Cake mix, Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box, zest of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 stick butter, softened, 3-4 cups powdered sugar, juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted, 1-1/2 cups coconut, toasted, malted chocolate eggs
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place white liners in a muffin tin. Follow the directions on the box to prepare the cupcakes. Add in a zest of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Bake as directed for cupcakes. then cool.
Mix together butter, two cups powdered sugar and juice from the lemon. Stir in melted white chocolate. Add in additional powdered sugar until the frosting is thick. Place in a decorating bag or plastic bag fitted with a large tip.
Start by making a dot in the center of the cupcake. Work your way around to the outside. It will form a flat rosette. Place a tablespoon of toasted coconut on top of each cupcake to form the eggs’ nest. Place three chocolate eggs on top.
Hot Cross Buns
Recruit the kids to help make these rolls a day before Easter brunch. You can use 1/2 cup of the frosting from the Lemon Birdnest Cupcakes to make the icing.
Ingredients: 1 package Pillsbury® Grands! Jr., 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped, zest of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup vanilla frosting divided into two, pink and yellow food coloring
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place frosting into two piping bags or plastic bags.
Flatten each biscuit and place a teaspoon of cranberries and zest in the center. Fold the side over; repeat with remaining sides. Turn it over and place in the middle of round or oblong baking pan. Repeat placing the dough in a circle.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes. Pipe circular or cross designs on top.
Apricot Glazed Ham Steak
Right before you are ready to eat, heat the ham steak up. You can stir together the Apricot Sauce while it is heating up.
Ingredients: 1 cup apricot preserves, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, Salt and Pepper, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 large ham steak
Mix together apricot preserves, mustard and soy sauce. Heat ham steak in a pan with the melted butter until warmed through. Brush with sauce. Serve with sauce on the side.
Here is a timeline to help you plan your day.
Two days before:
Bunny Bait: Make and package
Make Champagne Lime Syrup and chill
One day before:
Mini Cheddar Potato Casseroles: Bake and chill
Hot Cross Buns: Bake but don’t ice
Lemon Bird’s Nest Cupcakes: Make and decorate
Watermelon Bunnies: Cut out watermelon and cantaloupe. Place the melon in a container, pour the syrup over, cover and chill.
Warm and ice the Hot Cross Buns
Warm up Mini Cheddar Potato Casseroles
Heat Ham Steak & make sauce
Plan ahead and the day of you can pop the champagne and enjoy your Easter brunch with friends and family.
Cheri Liefeld of Adventures in the Kitchen believes in celebrating life around the table. She is a recipe developer, cooking instructor and writer. She blogs over at Adventures In The Kitchen where she shares easy to make recipes, party inspiration and ideas for cooking with kids.
A native of Southern California her cooking is filled with fresh ingredients from local farmers markets and often served spicy. She fell in love with cooking as a little girl, playing in the kitchen after school. Trips to Italy and Australia have influenced her cooking and a love for simple, delicious meals.
As a cooking instructor she is passionate about inspiring kids to cook, along with encouraging the benefits of the family meal. Food tastes better when shared with family and friends.