Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter, Part 1

I have been a big slacker about blogging lately. Mostly it's because there isn't a whole heck of a lot going on to blog about. Because of spring break I have been home more and that has meant cooking some more, but nothing really new or innovative. A lot of it has been grilling because the weather has been so fabulous. We got a great box of goodies from Omaha Steaks as a Christmas gift so we're finally getting around to using them. Most of it is really good, but that's another post for another day.

Jeff decided we should offer to host Easter lunch for his family. It's always been a much bigger deal for his family than mine, and the first big family function of his that I attended was an Easter lunch a few months after we started dating. Well, since I have to do church first, the priority has been to do as much make ahead food as possible. Plus, it's really warm and so we don't need a ton of hot, heavy sides. So here is my menu.

Spiced Nuts - This is an attempt at crossing a recipe for some spiced nuts made in the crock pot and my fabulous rosemary cashews. If this works the way I hope it will, I will be able to make gallons of these (and eat them just as quickly!)
Cheese Ball - Inspired by an idea from Pinterest
Pickles & Olives - A tradition with Jeff's family. I have a recipe for citrus marinated olives I got from my former CPE supervisor, and we've still got a very few jars of homemade pickles, but it will be supplemented with some purchased goodies like Wickles.

Ham and Turkey Breast - both from Honey Baked Ham. I'm all for shortcuts, and I really do love their ham. I'm very excited about leftovers!
Hashbrown Casserole - I've made this before.
Green Beans - nothing fancy. We'll probably use some we have frozen from the garden last year. If you don't have any left from a garden, my little trick for making canned green beans not taste like a can is to drain out all the can juice and cook them in a can of chicken stock with a little bit of sliced onion and maybe even a tiny bit of garlic.
Broccoli Salad - I think this is one of those classics that has made the rounds hundreds of times, but the specific recipe I have came from my confirmation mentor, Ms. Jennie.
Congealed Salad - My variation on a recipe from Jeff's grandmother in their family cookbook.
Greek Onions - Another family recipe, this one from Jeff's Aunt Linda, but with a few twists of my own.
Deviled Eggs - Jeff's mother is bringing these! I can make deviled eggs, they're just so time consuming! She wanted to bring something so I let her do this for me!
Macaroni & Cheese - Thanks to my step-mother, Catherine. Hers is always so much better than mine!
Rolls - Sister Schubert's Rolls to be exact. I love that she (and thus, the company) are from Alabama and it brings back lots of happy memories of my family.

Coconut Cream Pies - I'm going the "no bake pie" route again, because I seem to do these well. I'm doing little individual pies and putting a few jelly beans on top so they'll look like tiny bird nests. I'm a sucker for cuteness
Strawberry Cakes - I got a great little mini cake pan from my cousins for Christmas and since I'm not much of a baker I really haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I figured this would be a good opportunity!
Candies - I got a cute little Easter candy mold so I'm going to make some little mints and chocolates.

It does seem like a lot when you look at the big list, but since most items are "mix and chill" it won't be bad. Even the casserole can be put together ahead of time so on Easter all we'll have to do is heat and serve! Once it's over, I'll post specifics about particular recipes, and I'll try to remember to link them back here, but just keep an eye out for them.

Of course there are other, non-food related preparations being made, but I will post more about them later.

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