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I love Easter. I have, for as many years as I can remember. As a young child my parents always made Easter morning a fun time for the whole family, with baskets, chocolate bunnies, egg hunts and a nice dinner. As a young married woman Easter remained a special time for me. My brothers and I weren’t young children any more and my own kids weren’t born yet. It didn’t matter that the family didn’t do all the fun kid stuff any more, Easter had come to be about family for me. My Grandma usually cooked a huge delicious meal for us. After Grandma passed away on a Good Friday (seriously), I stepped up and offered to start hosting the Easter holiday each year.
Because I invite so many I always make sure to have plenty of food on hand. We always have ham, that’s the tradition in our family, as it is with many others. I also usually make several vegetables, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, and a couple of desserts. All of that food equals four to six hours of cooking. Basically, I get up early and start the ham and just keep cooking until everyone arrives for dinner. It really doesn’t leave a lot of time for fun stuff like Easter egg hunts. After dinner I start on what amounts to literally two to three days of dishes. Which doesn’t leave much room for spending time with the family, which to me is what Easter is about. And so, I decided to try things differently. I decided to see what a simple Easter dinner would be like. It was actually nice. Here are some tips to help you try it as well.
Let the food be the focus instead of focusing on the food.
In other words, relax. Find a way to serve a dinner that doesn’t involve you cooking for hours on end and washing dishes and scrubbing pots for days. One way to do this is by having a HoneyBaked Easter. HoneyBaked Ham offers delicious dinners that require minimal time to serve. And, they’d gorgeous to look at. Really! No ham or turkey I’ve ever made looks as good as theirs.
HoneyBaked Ham is slow-smoked for more than twenty hours, resulting in an incredibly tender meat. But that’s not all. HoneyBaked hams are hand-glazed in the store to provide the freshest taste possible. Once baked the sweet glaze becomes crunchy, and it is sooooo good! Once you take the ham out of it’s gold foil wrapping you heat it in the oven for 10 minutes per pound if you want it hot. The gluten-free spiral-sliced ham is super tender and really easy to serve, which saves you from figuring out who will carve the meat. HoneyBaked Hams are available in three ways – Half ham (approximately 7-10 lbs, serves 12-20), Quarter Ham/Mini Ham (approximately 3.5-5 lbs, serves 6-8), and Ham Slices (available by the pound).
HoneyBaked also offers a turkey breast, either roasted or smoked. Consisting of 100% breast meat, the hand-trimmed turkey is carefully seasoned and then fire-glazed, giving it a sweet and crunchy glaze. The turkey, which is also gluten-free, was literally the moistest turkey I have ever had. It tastes amazing! HoneyBaked Turkey is approximately 2.5-3 pounds and serves 8-10.
Select the right side dishes and desserts.
The great thing about both ham and turkey is that they taste great both hot and cold. Choose sides that go well with hot or cold foods. HoneyBaked has items like macaroni salad and potato salad that require no heating and go equally well with hot or cold ham or turkey. Plus, they’re perfect partners for those leftover sandwiches. If you’re really firm on making the decision to go with hot sides, HoneyBaked offers those as well, including items such as mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, and broccoli rice casserole. Dessert is a must. Don’t you agree? My Mom used to like to bake cakes in the shapes of bunnies and lambs. If a guest offers to bring some dessert, let them! Don’t be afraid to let others help. If noone offers to bring a dessert you can always grab something at the store. Or keep in mind that HoneyBaked even has desserts such as cheesecake, pecan pie and carrot cake.
Skip the dishes.
You already spared yourself having to scrub the pots and pans. Why not skip the dishes as well! Use a thick paper plate and nice paper napkins.
Keep decorations simple, colorful and useful.
Since you’re serving buffet style, start by ditching the fancy linen tablecloth. Sure, they can be very pretty But it’s my experience that that gravy stain never comes completely out. Put on an inexpensive holiday tablecloth. Then, use some of your Easter decorations to brighten up the table. Easter baskets and boxes make great containers for holding things like utensils and napkins, and they look adorable.
Relax and enjoy the family.
For me that’s what it’s really all about. Use that time you aren’t spending in the kitchen on your family. Go have that big Easter egg hunt in the yard. Be sure to record it on video. (And know that when you watch it 17 years later you will cry. This is video we shot when my oldest was very young. I wasn’t able to shorten it but adorable little voice is super cute as he’s finding eggs starting at about the 1 minute mark.)
Do you have any tips to make hosting Easter dinner easier?
Yearning for some delicious HoneyBaked Ham or turkey? Here’s an exclusive, limited-time HoneyBaked coupon for $5 off any purchase of $50 or more. The offer is valid from 03/14/15 to 04/04/15. Must present coupon at time of purchase to receive offer. May not be combined with any other offer. One coupon per person at participating retail store locations. While supplies last.