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How To Host Easter This Year
Easter will be arriving soon and with it comes the Easter baskets and the holiday meal. We all know the pressure of hosting a holiday feast with your family and friends. What do you do when it’s your turn to host? With these tips you’ll be sure to have a fun and stress-free get-together:
Prep Food in Advance
Nobody wants to spend an entire holiday day cooking, so begin any holiday party planning with a menu and easy-to-make-ahead items so that you can concentrate on any items that can only be cooked the day of your party. Appetizers and desserts can be made ahead of time and kept frozen or refrigerated until you need them. Even brunch items can be cooked the night before and reheated in the morning so you can concentrate on the main course meal.
Set your menu according to your budget; be realistic as to how much food you need per guest. Plan out in what order you’ll be cooking or making the menu. If you’ll be sharing cooking duties, get with your cooking partner and divide up the dishes. Use ready-made ingredients like pre-packaged crusts or dinner rolls to shorten prep time.
Here are some fun Easter-themed food you can prep ahead of time:
- Easter ‘Angeled’ Eggs – Before you fill your egg halves with that delicious yolk filling, try dipping the egg whites into food dye to give them a beautiful pastel color.
- Ham and Cheese Pinwheels – Using canned pizza dough, lay out a rectangle and cover with thin slices of ham and Swiss cheese. Then roll it all up jelly-roll style. Cut the loaf in slices, lay out the slices in a casserole dish, and slather with a butter, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and poppy seed mix. These can be made up to 24 hours before you need them.
- Peach Puff Pastry with Prosciutto and Brie – Using pre-made puff pastry sheets, lay them on parchment-lined baking sheets. Score the edges a half inch from the edge all the way around so the edges will puff up like pizza crust. Inside the scoring you’ll place ¼ in round brie slices. Leave room between slices as they will melt while cooking. Place peach slices on top of the brie and prosciutto slices on top of the peaches. Drizzle a tablespoon of honey over the whole tart and bake. When it comes out of the oven, drizzle another tablespoon of honey and balsamic reduction. You can make this up to 2 days before you cook it.
- Mini Wonton Quiche – Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray and line each cup with wonton wrappers. Fry up breakfast sausage. If you use links, remove the casings. Take off heat and add spinach and finely chopped red bell pepper and green onions. Divide up this mixture among all the cups and top with some shredded cheese. In a separate bowl mix eggs, milk, and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the filled cups. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
- Sundae Waffle Bar – Set up a sundae waffle station with pastel-colored ice cream toppings.
- Easter Popcorn – Top bags of popcorn with pastel candies like M&M’s, Jordan almonds, or soft mints.
You don’t have to go all out and over-spend on decorations. You only need to create an ambience. Try these easy and inexpensive ways to decorate:
- Make papier-mache nests to hold your dyed eggs – Cover a bowl with plastic wrap and turn upside down. Mix together equal parts glue and water in a separate bowl. Using brown paper bags, shred paper into strips, dip into the glue mix and lay each strip over the upside down bowl to create a “nesty” look. Let dry for 12 hours, then gently lift it from the bowl.
- Make a baby’s breath centerpiece with a simple wire basket, speckled eggs, and top with baby’s breath.
- Giant Easter bunny balloons – Using 36 inch white balloons, 5 inch pink balloons, a low-heat glue gun, and card stock, cut out ears and glue them to the top of the balloon on either side of the knot. Glue 1 pink balloon to the front of the white balloon for a nose. Once the glue dries your balloons are ready to hang up with festive ribbon or string.
Set Up an Easter Egg Hunt
Easter egg hunts aren’t just for kids anymore! You can set up different hunts to accommodate all ages making it a family-fun event, and entertaining to watch.
- For the youngest kids, attach small helium-filled balloons to eggs so they are easy to find. Your toddlers will have fun going from balloon to balloon.
- For a twist on the traditional mad-dash egg hunt, try a scavenger egg hunt with clues or following a treasure map instead. Make it even harder with code-breaking or QR codes for older kids.
- Swap out candy for trinkets or coupons like staying up an extra half hour one night.
- Try Easter egg bowling! See who can roll their dyed eggs closest to the white egg to win.
- For adults, include raffle tickets inside the eggs, and raffle off gift baskets.
- Have a Secret Bunny hunt! Hide eggs with 1 guest name inside the egg, have each guest find only 1 egg, then gather around and exchange small gifts with your Secret Bunny.
While Easter falls on April Fool’s Day this year, you don’t have to make a fool of your budget when it comes to celebrating the holiday. Remember, the season is Spring so keep your holiday preparations light and airy, and enjoy the beautiful weather with family and friends.