Guest Author - Sandra Lee Garth
With spring comes Easter which is always celebrated on a Sunday. Easter celebrates Christ's resurrection from the dead, and is a very important Christian holiday. Unlike most holidays, Easter doesn’t always fall on the same date. Dates aside, Easter festivities are ripe with traditions.
Use light colors or pastels: pinks, blues, yellows, greens, and light purples. Construct a centerpiece of fresh tulips and daffodils in several small vases. Or, place the flowers in a vase filled with dyed eggs. Another longer lasting alternative is to use silk flowers and plastic fillable eggs to fill the vase.
Fill small baskets with edible Easter grass. This candy grass can be found at most Target and Wal-Mart Stores. Once the grass is in the baskets, add miniature chocolate eggs, plastic eggs filled with coins, or other small candies. The filled baskets can be placed at each place setting or on a side table for guests to take home. Drape pastel streamers made of ribbons or crepe paper across chairs, window frames, and even doorways to brighten up the party area.
Basic serving pieces are a great investment when entertaining, especially if you do it often. A set of white dinnerware to serve 4-8 is a good base to start with. Using white as a blank canvas allows for unlimited color and pattern possibilities. Watch for sales, and frequent thrift and dollar stores to pick up holiday specific pieces or items to match your theme. Inexpensive flatware in a wide range of colors and patterns can also found on eBay and Amazon.com.
As with most holidays, a traditional meal is often served at Easter. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with adding one or two different dishes for a change of pace. Keep in mind that when you’re expecting company keep new recipes simple. If possible, try it before the big day to make sure no adjustments are needed. Here’s a sample menu, mixing traditional and something new and different.
Brie and Sliced Pears
Maple Glazed Salmon
Stir Fried Asparagus
Spinach Salad w/Feta Cheese Slivered Almonds Raspberries & Raspberry Vinaigrette
Sugar Snap Peas
Fume Blanc and Pinot Noir
No Easter party is complete without dessert.
Sweet Potato Pie
2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp cardamom
½ cup evaporated milk
¼ cup white sugar
Pre-made deep dish pie crust
1 tsp sugar
Preheat oven to 400° F. In a food processor, combine the sweet potatoes, butter, eggs, brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and evaporated milk. Blend until smooth. Sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar into bottom of pie shell and pour in filling. Bake at 400° F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until firm.