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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter dinner without any additional trips to the grocery store

I am not a fan of grocery shopping right before a major holiday. I can imagine the stores are mobbed the one and two days before Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. Count me out of that experience, please.

So, here I am, creating an Easter menu without extra trips to the store. Fortunately, I did pick up our Easter ham 9 days ago. If I hadn't bought the ham my plan had been to roast a whole chicken. That's what we did for Thanksgiving and it was tasty and plenty for the 6 of us. So, all I have to come up with are the sides and dessert. Should be very do-able. Listing my on-hand ingredients helps me generate creative combinations.

What I can use:

canned tomatoes
orange juice

cornbread stuffing mix
brown rice

cream cheese
sparkling cider
baking staples
canned crescent roll dough
cheddar cheese

And what I came up with:

Have a happy Easter!


  1. Hi Lili,

    But your purchases looks like you've needed to fill the pantry so that is good, right?

    I went over my budget as well. It's those low priced meats and other stuff that I buy because I know we'll use them so buy them now and freeze. I was at $524.15 but $45 of taking my son out to eat once. He's the middle child and often the forgotten child and only son. When I asked him if he would like to do something special his eyes lit up and said going out for Chinese sounded really good. So that's what we did and at the end of the day we just are happy that we could make our son happy. We all had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.

    For Easter dinner we will only have 4 people. I have a small ham that I got several weeks ago that I'll put brown sugar and pineapple on in the crockpot. We'll have mashed potatoes and frosted cauliflower and a mango jello with vanilla pudding on top. Dessert is going to be pumpkin bars. Easy, peasy. No special trip to the store other than the bag of potatoes.


    1. Hi Alice,
      The meal out with your son sounds lovely. I have tried to do that with all of my kids. There have been times for each of my kids that they've needed that extra attention, and time without distractions from a sibling.

      Your Easter dinner sounds yummy! Have a happy Easter, Alice!

    2. Well, I WAS planning on mashed potatoes but I scavenged around the deep freezer and found a bag of shredded hash browns that my son was going to use some time ago but didn't. I changed my meal plan to make hashbrown potatoes in the crockpot instead. I also forgot to put out the mange jello and pudding on the table, boo!!!

      I didn't use my oven at all, instead, I had the ham in one crockpot, the potatoes in the other one and I steamed my frozen cauliflower in the instant pot. We honestly had enough food even without the missed jello. We had pumpkin bars for dessert. Simple and delicious!


  2. What time is dinner? Your dinner menu for Easter sounds delicious. Great job. :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Drop in anytime! Have a happy Easter!

  3. We are having a dozen people here for dinner tomorrow. I'm trying to keep the menu simple as I often think is too over the top at my in-laws. Ham, make ahead mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, green salad, corn, along with veggies and dip and crackers and hummus for appetizers. We are also having carrot cake for dessert. I have already made a couple of things that are now thawing from the freezer and someone is bringing the salad. This will give me time to a bit of time to clean up and figure out where we're all going to sit. Still figuring out seating for more than a few in our new house.

    Happy, Easter, Lili, to you and your family.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Oh yum! Dinner will be delicious at your house. Making things ahead is really smart. Good job! I hope you all have a lovely Easter!

  4. Your menu looks very elegant and I’m impressed with what you do with pamtrybthings.
    There will be about 17 or so of us and I have help, but I didn’t want to shop this weekend either - here’s our menu

    Ham from Aldi- my husband will smoke it
    Rolls from Aldi and Bunny shaped butters from my son
    Deviled eggs
    Relish tray - whatever pickles and such on hand
    Fruit tray my brother
    Green salad - j and JM
    Corn casserole in crockpot
    Green beans in crockpot
    Carrot cupcakes -Nina
    Blackberry pie, apple pie- my dad
    Tea- lemonade

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      Wow! You are having quite a crowd at your house. I love that you got so much help from others. You'll still have a fair amount of work to do, so I'm sure you appreciate others bringing a few dishes. Have a lovely Easter, Rhonda!

  5. Hi, Lili--

    I'm with Belinda... I'll be right over. LOL Sounds like a delicious dinner! Great work using what you had on hand.

    Actually, EVERYONE's menus sound delightful! I hope everybody has a blessed and pleasant day.

    I'm going to be solo, so I didn't buy anything special. I probably will have either chicken wings or baked SPAM Hawaiian for my meat entree. Then maybe a brown rice medley with onions, celery, apples and parsley. I have some cranberries in the freezer, so I could make my mom's cranberry relish with horseradish. Then probably a peach or apple crisp for dessert. Oh, and some deviled eggs for appetizers, of course. :)

    Take care, everybody. Happy Easter! Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      I wish you could just drop over. Your menu for one sounds very nice, by my own cooking-for-one standards. I hope you enjoy the meal, and can connect with family by phone and email. Have a happy Easter, Sara!

    2. Sara, I know I spent many Easters alone during my single years, but I can't for the life of me remember what I ate! I don't think that Easter dinner, for me, is as emotionally a big deal as, say, Thanksgiving. Knowing me, I probably ate French toast or peanut butter mixed with frozen yogurt. Your meal options sound more festive. :)

    3. Kris, I grew up with no nearby extended family and my husband's work often demands holidays, so small/solo holidays have been pretty common. I like to commemorate things (even little things, not the BIG things like Thanksgiving--my favorite holiday), so I find it fun to do at least some little thing as a nod to the day. Makes me happy to do so. But French toast and PB frozen yogurt sounds good, too! :)

      Lili, like Alice (sounded yummy, Alice!), I didn't get everything made that I planned; but I enjoyed my food, as usual. :)

      I did learn something interesting, though, through an ingredient lack. I thought I had pineapple but I didn't. So, instead of yellow or dijon mustard with pineapple and brown sugar, I baked my Spam with stone-ground mustard, sliced onions, and a drizzle of maple syrup. It was delicious! :)

      Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! Sara

    4. Ooops... not JUST the big things. LOL Still sleepy! Sara

  6. I was also thinking about dropping by. Your printed menu is beautiful!

    It will be just the 4 of us. My sister and BIL will be staying with mom and they will all go to my niece's after church. Truthfully, I'm looking forward to a quiet afternoon and evening. Our Sundays are typically jam-packed with activity so hanging out with my family sounds great. We will go to church and then to the church brunch, but I don't have to teach Sunday School and we don't have to chaperone youth group! Woo hoo! My husband will do the ham dinner and I will pretend, for one day, to be a lady of leisure. :)

    Enjoy you Easter, Lili and everyone else!

  7. Lovely menu! I, too, am culling from supplies on hand, including my shank ham bought last August in the middle of a heatwave. As others were clustered around the grilling meats, I snapped up 2-3 large hams at 79/lb, having had one for our traditional Christmas dinner, the second one has been defrosting all week in anticipation of Easter. I did pick up some Kielbasa (My God mother was from Poland, and this became a tradition for us to include at Easter). My menu: clove studded,oven baked shank ham with pineapple rings and a brown sugar-spicy brown mustard glaze; mashed potatoes, canned corn, steamed asparagus (on sale this week, as I knew it would be), steamed carrots for DD would can't eat either of the other 2 veggies. I will be baking off a strawberry-rhubarb pie using fruits I froze. Apparently there are weather related issues with CA strawberries, signs are all over the stores here in CT. Glad to have my frozen assets. I bought some blackberry swirl vanilla bean ice cream to top the pie. Keeping it simple. Happy Easter!

  8. now this is inspiring! Well done, and a delicious meal!!!


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