Quick Recipes and Easy

Host The Perfect Easter Brunch

This sacred and joyous holiday for Christians throughout the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion. For many Christians, especially those of Eastern and Orthodox faith, Easter is the most vital holiday of the year, even over Christmas.

So before I give you the best tips and recipes for your perfect Easter brunch I wanted to share the history of the Easter bunny and where the thought of decorating Easter eggs came from.

It has been said that the colored eggs we decorate and hide in our Easter egg hunts came from Germany. Since the rabbits (a.k.a Easter bunny) and eggs were symbols of immortality, fertility and new life, the Germans used to leave the colored eggs in children’s baskets. This custom was brought to America in the late 19th century by German immigrants.

Here are some fantastic Easter decorating tips to get you started:

1. When you looking for Easter decorations keep in mind light pastel colors. These peaceful colors will set the mood for your party.

2. Decorate your home with pastel balloons, streamers and plastic eggs.

3. Don’t forget to place out some Easter candy either in baskets or pastel color bowls for your company to snack on.

4. Make sure you tableware match in pastels.

5. Try to find some daffodils or tulips and use these as table decorations. Either tie a pastel-colored ribbon around each flower and place them on each guests plate or pot them and place down the center of each table.

6. For place cards, hard boil a bunch of eggs and decorate each one differently. Once the eggs are dry, use a permanent maker and carefully write each of your guests on a separate egg. That way you can place each egg inside a small basket and set on each plate to let your guests know where they are sitting.

Your Perfect Easter Brunch:

Traditional Easter meals can either have ham or lamb as a main dish. These days, many families favor the salty sweetness of ham. Most ham dishes served on this holiday are honey glazed with sides of candied yams, glazed veggies and potatoes.

Below I have found some fantastic recipes that are simple to follow and absolutely perfect for your Easter brunch. And don’t worry, if you are one of those families who prefer lamb over ham I have found some tasty recipes for you as well.

Let’s start off with the main course:
Easter Ham

Ingredients

1-7 to 8 lb. fully cooked smoked ham shank
1 C. maple syrup
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. prepared mustard
whole cloves

Directions

Combine syrup, vinegar and mustard. Place ham, stout side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Pour about 1/2 C. mixture over ham and bake, uncovered, in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours. Baste every 30 minutes with additional sauce. Remove ham from oven and score stout into diamond shapes. Insert a clove into each diamond. Bake ham an additional 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of meat registers 140 degrees. Let ham rest 15 minutes before carving.

Check out Recipe4Living.com for more thoughts on Ham recipes for your Easter brunch. Just click on Holiday’s on the left column and click on Easter.

Now for a Lamb Recipe:
Honey Glazed Lamb

Ingredients

1 C. Honey

1/2 C. Dry white wine

4 Tbs. Minced fresh mint

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 lbs. Boneless leg of lamb, (2 whole legs)

Directions

Combine honey, wine and mint; mix well. Season cut side of boned lamb with salt and pepper, then spread with honey mixture; roll and tie lamb. Brush outer surface with honey mixture. Roast on rack in shallow baking pan at 325 degrees F 1 to 1-1/2 hours or to 160 degrees F on meat thermometer for medium doneness. Baste every 15 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Check out www.Recipe4Living.com for more thoughts on Lamb recipes for your Easter brunch. Just click on Holiday’s on the left column and click on Easter.

Side dishes are a must and just as vital as the main course.

Side Potatoes Dishes
Oven Roast Greek Potatoes

Ingredients

4-5 Medium Potatoes; Cubed

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Butter; Melted

1-2 Tbs. All Purpose Greek Seasoning

Dash Garlic Seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss potatoes with remaining ingredients. Bake in 9×13″ casserole dish for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.
Yield: 4 servings

Sides Asparagus Dishes
Oven Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb. red potatoes cut into chunks

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 tsp. dried rosemary

4 tsp. dried thyme

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 bunch fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large baking dish, toss the red potatoes with 1/2 the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and 1/2 the kosher salt. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix in the asparagus, remaining olive oil, and remaining salt. Cover, and continue cooking 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Remove foil, and continue cooking 5 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned. Season with pepper to serve.

Yield: 6 Servings.

Side Glazed Carrot Dishes
Glazed Carrots

Ingredients

6 C. carrots cut into 1″ diagonal slices

1/4 C. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 C. orange juice

1/4 C. butter

1 tsp. cornstarch

1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

Cook carrots on stovetop in a small amount of salted water until tender, drain water. Combine orange juice, nutmeg, brown sugar, cornstarch, and mix until smooth. Pour over carrots and cook for several minutes until mixture thickens. Add butter and toss. Serve hot.

Bread/Rolls
Greek Easter Bread

Ingredients

1 pkg. Dry yeast

1/2 C. Warm water

1/2 C. Boiling water

1 tsp. Cinnamon

3/4 C. Sugar

3 Eggs

1/4 C. Butter; melted

1/2 C. Warm milk

1 tsp. Baking powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

5 C. Flour (all-purpose)

1 Egg yolk; beaten

Sesame seeds

5 Eggs; hard-cooked; unshelled -and dyed red

Directions

Soften yeast in warm water and set aside. Combine boiling water and cinnamon; set aside. Combine sugar and eggs; beat well. Add melted butter to egg mixture and beat again. Skim off 1/4 C. clear cinnamon water and add along with yeast and milk to egg mixture, blending well. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape dough to fit into 2 greased 8 in. round pans; crisscross 2 strips of dough over each loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Brush loaves with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until brown. Push dyed eggs into bread immediately when loaves are removed from oven.

Now for the best part of the whole meal….Dessert. Have fun and make an eye popping dessert that your whole family will delight in. Here are some different options to choose from.

Easter Angel Cake
Ingredients

1 pkg. white angel food cake mix

8 oz. frozen whipped cream topping, thawed

1 C. flaked coconut

6 drops green food color

Jelly beans

Directions

Bake and cool cake as directed on package, remove from pan. Frost with whipped topping. Combine coconut and food color until evenly tinted. Sprinkle over top of cake. Arrange jelly beans on coconut. After serving, refrigerate any remaining cake.

For more Easter side dish recipes and desserts visit www.Recipe4Living.com.

Have a wonderful Easter Holiday and keep your eyes open for the Easter bunny. You never know what he might leave you this year.

© 2007 Ampere Media LLC, All Rights Reserved Recipe4Living.com features more than 11,000 user submitted recipes, thoughts and recipes from Wolfgang Puck, reference guides, healthy living advice, tips for kids, and much more. All of the recipes mentioned in this article can be found at recipe4living.com/ recipe4living.com

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