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Easter Feaster: Put All Your Eggs In This Basket

Your guide to a simple and elegant Easter menu.

I’m baaaaaaack, friends. Week two of this column has arrived and I first wanted to say thank you to everyone who tweeted, posted on Facebook, left a comment and shared with the blogosphere. Who knew there were so many of you out there?  Your comments and questions were positively perfect and gave me a lot of material to work with – keep ‘em coming!

This week, we’ll be tackling Peggy’s question. {Minor disclaimer: Peggy may or may not be my devoted, supportive mother.} Here’s what she wrote:

: Easter is coming up...any ideas for an Easter dinner menu for 12? :)

Easter is one of my favorite holidays.  Yes, the glitter and pastel eggs have a little something to do with it.  As do the foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies and Cadbury caramel eggs. But the real reason my heart flutters just a bit for the holiday all boils down to the asparagus – one of my favorite spring vegetables.  Easter doesn’t seem complete with some of these green spears adoring your table.

Twelve is a big crowd, so I would go with recipes that don’t require a lot of effort but still taste like you've been cooking away all day.  I would suggest setting up a light appetizer station away from the action to get everyone out of the kitchen while you pull together the meal. There is nothing worse than hungry guests hovering while you’re adding the finishing touches. Family rooms, patios or decks are always great for this….so steer your loved ones in that direction.

I’ve put together a simple and elegant Easter menu (the ham main course only has 4 ingredients!) that will impress the guests and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to sip that bubbly.  I’m including an original recipe from me, too, featuring the one, the only – the asparagus. Don’t let the presentation fool you – it looks beautiful and fancy but it couldn’t be easier to make.

Appetizer: Spicy Sweet Potato Chips with Reduced Fat Guacamole
Appetizer:
Pickled Deviled Eggs (an update on the classic!)

Main Dish: Blackberry Mustard Glazed Ham
Main Dish:
Roasted Salmon with Mustard, Tarragon and Chive Sauce

Bread: Garlic Butter Dinner Rolls

Side Dish: Simple Scalloped Potatoes (Made with skim milk)
Side Dish:
Chardonnay Carrots
Side Dish:
Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese, Toasted Walnuts and Balsamic Glaze (recipe below)

Dessert: No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese, Toasted Walnuts and Balsamic Glaze
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus
2 tablespoons goat cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons toasted walnuts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place balsamic vinegar in small sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a slight boil and reduce heat to low. Stirring constantly, let vinegar reduce by half until its syrupy – about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and put aside.

Meanwhile, break off ends of asparagus.  Place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread in single layer and roast for 10 minutes. (add more cooking time if you have the really thick asparagus).

Remove from oven and place on serving platter. Garnish with toasted walnuts and goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle with balsamic reduction glaze and serve.

meagan April 22, 2011 at 02:14 AM
Pickled deviled eggs are perfect.
Ashley April 22, 2011 at 01:08 PM
what a creative way to dress up the asparagus! can't wait to try this!!

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