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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Easter, Easter, Easter! I'm Starting to Plan Our Easter Dinner

This year's Easter dinner may be the most normal we've had since 2019. That's hard to believe. In 2020, we didn't get together with our son and daughter-in-law (Covid). In 2021, the two of them came over and we had a cookout around our patio fire ring. This year, I'm planning a traditional Easter dinner. Thanks to my two daughters giving me the gift of dinner-cooking for the whole month, I actually want to make a big Easter dinner. The wonderful thing about this year's special holiday meal is that I think I have absolutely everything I need on hand.

Here's the plan, so far.

  • I have a half-ham in the freezer that I bought last spring. I plan on baking it a couple of days in advance so I can slice it in advance and reheat on that Sunday. I'll lay ham slices topped by canned pineapple slices in a baking dish, covering with foil and heating, then serving with a mustard sauce along the lines of this recipe but baked instead of pan-cooked.
  • I have 2 large cans of yams, some pecans, brown sugar and butter, all the right ingredients to make this praline sweet potato casserole. I can assemble the casserole a day or two in advance and keep refrigerated then bake on Easter.
  • I have canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions for the traditional green bean casserole that is on a Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup label. Green bean casserole is quick to assemble, so I will make that on Easter.
  • There are 2 small (10 oz) bags of Brussel sprouts in the freezer. I'll oven-roast those just before Easter dinner. I like Brussel sprouts tossed with olive oil and kosher salt then roasted until lightly caramelized.
  • I have bulk sausage, peppers, and mushrooms in the freezer. I'm thinking a rice pilaf with those ingredients. I made a similar pilaf for Thanksgiving that was well received by all. We don't have any fresh potatoes right now, so I think a rice pilaf will make a nice alternative starchy dish.
Okay, so the above is my list of dishes I will definitely make. I'm also considering the following:
  • hot cross buns or dinner rolls. If I don't do the hot cross buns, I have a really good pan roll recipe that always turns out great and is easier than crescent rolls.
  • dessert -- rhubarb custard pie? lemon bars? carrot cake cupcakes? Any easy Easter dessert ideas out there?
  • a salad, using whatever I have growing indoors or out. If I have enough kale, a salad along these lines with dried cranberries and almonds in a vinaigrette.
These are my Easter dinner plans. What have you got planned?


  1. Your Easter menu sounds delicious! I haven't put nearly as much thought into ours yet, but was going back and forth between ham and turkey as we have one of each left in the freezer. Because I'm trying to clear space over the next couple months before our yearly side of beef (which we skipped last year for the first time in many) arrives, and after getting input from the family, I'm going with the 20+ pound turkey for now. The bonus is all the leftovers to use in other meals, as well as the big pot of stock the carcass will make.

    Sides will probably be our usual-for-turkey ones: stuffing, mashed potatoes, a sweet potato casserole, yellow squash casserole (steamed squash in freezer from last year's garden), maybe a green bean casserole for the kids, and cranberry sauce.

    For dessert, I've been eyeing a triple chocolate cheesecake, which I haven't made in years, or else a lemon cheesecake (topped with homemade lemon curd to serve).

    1. Hi Cat,
      That makes good sense to use the turkey and clear up some space in the freezer. All of your sides sound delicious, and I'd be more than happy with either of your cheesecakes!

  2. That all sounds great. Since we have limited kitchen facilities, we're going to take things to my father-in-law's house to cook. Not sure on the exact menu yet, but it will be simple since we won't have much time there before the meal.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Now that's a perfect solution for no functioning kitchen right now. I'm sure your father-in-law will be delighted to have you all over. The bonus for you is you don't need to make sure the house is tidy before guests would arrive!
      I hope you all enjoy your Easter dinner together.

  3. My daughter in law invited us to a turkey dinner on Easter, so I lucked out. I have been craving strawberry rhubarb pie - so that might be my contribution!

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      Lucky you -- no big dinner to cook, nor a house to clean before guests! A strawberry rhubarb pie sounds delicious and very spring-like. Yum! Enjoy your family dinner, Ruthie!

  4. First Easter together after the last two. It will be my sister, bil, niece, my kids, son in law, my two older daughters and all 4 grandchildren. I'm in charge of the ham and will make a custard pie. We have pasta with meatballs and sausage (Italian they have to have it). Twice bake potato casserole, a couple appetizers, carrots, asparagus, salad, crescent rolls and Italian bread. We always have too much and take food home. No one ever starves here.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Your menu sounds like a feast! My holiday meal plan is always to make plenty of everything so we don't have to cook the next night. It sounds like yours will work out the same. Your menu reminded me that maybe I should add asparagus to our Easter dinner. I think my family might be disappointed if there wasn't any asparagus.
      I hope you and your extended family have a lovely Easter together.

  5. Your dinner sounds absolutely perfect! We are doing something we have never done before-going out for brunch. I was going to cook but my two sons and my dil are going to be turkey hunting in NW Montana. One of my dd's is vegan and basically eats nothing I cook. That left just my oldest dd and then dh and I. I showed dh the menu the restaurant is serving, but I doubt he got any farther than prime rib before saying sounds good to him lol. I invited both girls. Oldest is going, but the vegan decided it was a lot of money to go eat fruit lol.

    For Easter dessert I always make a jello poke cake. My family LOVES those things so if I don't make it, I get complaints.

    1. Hi Diane,
      After many years of cooking family holiday dinners, maybe it's about time you had the day off, too. A restaurant meal sounds like a good solution for your family's needs this year. Funny about your husband and the prime rib. I think my husband might have the same reaction.
      I've told my daughters about jello poke cakes for the past few years. I've meant to make one, as I have fond memories of those cakes. Enjoy yours!

  6. Lili, your Easter plans sound wonderful, and I admire your efforts to celebrate all occasions with love and joy.

    Well, I haven't celebrated much with our family since the pandemic two years ago. I'm still uncomfortable gathering, still wearing double masks everywhere. A few months ago, we had a brief picnic dinner with our son's family. We sat in our own bubble to eat and wore masks the rest of the time. He suggested gathering that way again soon, but until the 17th has a big project for a client. Our granddaughter (daughter's family) had Covid a few weeks ago. I realize there is good reason not to fear Omnicom as much as Delta, and soon the virus will be endemic, but it's difficult to let my guard down. If I know there will be no long term health risks from infection, then I could accept Covid as just another flu virus.


    1. Thank you, Laura.

      You know, I think each of us needs to assess our own risks and comfort levels, then make our choices accordingly.

      In our family, when we've gathered with my son and daughter-in-law, we still haven't eaten at a shared table together indoors. For Thanksgiving, I set up two tables at opposite sides of the house, within view of each other (maybe 25 feet apart). We had a fan going sideways between the eating areas and a couple of open windows. We only had our masks off when eating. Things seemed riskier at Christmas, with omicron. So, as silly as this sounds, we ate in our cars, parked so we were facing each other and used our phones to talk throughout the meal. It was far too cold to eat outdoors for Christmas, snow on the ground cold. And we didn't feel like it would be safe to eat indoors, even if the tables were far apart. A year ago Christmas and New Years, we ate in the garage, but it was so terribly cold in the garage. For many of our gatherings, we've eaten outside around a fire ring, but over 6 feet apart between groups. That works if it's not raining and is warm enough. For my daughters' birthday celebration a couple of weeks ago, we shared a picnic table outdoors in a very open area, with a breeze. For Easter, I have a very long folding table that we'll set up outdoors, and set places for my son and daughter-in-law at one end and the other four of us at the other end. So, we're still not eating at a shared indoor dining table. This is what we feel is right for our group. But I do think this is an individual choice. What's right for me may not suit someone else, and vice versa.

      I'm sorry your granddaughter had Covid recently. I hope she recovered quickly and didn't feel too poorly from the virus. For the most part, younger people do seem to recover quickly, and that's a good thing. And I hope a get together with your son's family can happen sometime soon, in a way that makes all feel comfortable and safe.

  7. Thank you for your kind support and well wishes. I texted our granddaughter about a week after she caught it and she was doing better. My daughter said fortunately no one else in their household caught it. Once she had symptoms, they isolated her and the only contact she had was the meals left at her bedroom door.

    1. Hi Laura,
      I'm glad that your granddaughter was doing better after a week and that no one else contracted the virus.


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