Easter is another one of those days that brings friends and family together. There are many great dishes and plans that can be made for Easter dinner depending on where in the world you may be celebrating. Just remember to try to avoid making plans for Easter dinner that are contingent upon the weather to work because it never seems to do exactly the opposite of what you plan for no matter where in the country you may be.
With so many dyed eggs around it would be a shame not to incorporate them into the meals that are being prepared for your Easter menu. There are many ways to do that and a favorite in my house is with deviled eggs. In addition to deviled eggs, which are excellent appetizers you can also chop the eggs up and include them in potato salad, egg salad, or chicken salad (which also happens to make excellent finger sandwiches for a light appetizer). You may also use boiled eggs in the making of cornbread dressing and/or giblet gravy, which are both popular Easter dishes in some southern states.
The good news is that there are plenty of dishes that go wonderfully well with eggs. If you like ham this is a great dish to serve with dressing, to make ham salad with later, and to simply have along with your favorite egg recipe. Ham is relatively simple to make as the hard part is often waiting on it to be finished. If you want even more simplicity the only thing you really need to do to have an excellent ham dinner is poor a can of Coca-Cola over the ham, cover it in aluminum foil, and bake it for the necessary duration. It really can’t get any easier than that though there are plenty of more complicated ham recipes available.
You will want to offer plenty of side dishes to compliment your main dish. Popular favorites are vegetables, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potato casserole, and rolls. These are all relatively simple to prepare, not very time consuming and can also be delegated to guests if you’d like without too terribly much fuss. You’ll also want to have a few appetizers on hand for the time before dinner is ready and a couple of desserts for the perfect finish – as if those chocolate bunnies from the Easter basket’s are not enough.
For those looking for fare that is a little lighter on Easter I recommend offering salads with low fat dressing, steamed veggies, use diet coke on the ham instead of regular and prepare at least one sugar free dessert as well as offer some fruit and a raw veggie platter with fat free dip along with the appetizers. Easter is a day to celebrate and you shouldn’t leave family members who are dieting to dread their lack of healthy eating options. You’ll also find yourself surprised by those who, given the option, will eat the healthier foods if they are available.
Make sure you offer plenty of drink options ranging from bottled water, coffee, tea (sweet and unsweet if you live in the South), and favorite pop brands of family members as well. If you are hosting Easter dinner at your home in addition to these cooking ideas I also suggest offering a place for your guests to change clothes if necessary. Many people come wearing their Sunday best and while it was great for church services and photo opportunities they don’t often fare too well with gravy, butter, or grass stains.
Of course you could skip all the advice above and go for a down home hoedown of a barbecue for the Easter holiday that in some parts of the country signals the approach of Spring. Barbecues are often appealing because it limits a good bit of the mess to the great outdoors and gives the kids involved a great place to run, play, and let off steam.
Photo by Kasia/flickr
Photo by Kasia/flickr