We’re so excited to finally be celebrating Easter with family, extended family, and friends (we hope – fingers crossed). But we have to admit to being a bit out of practice with hosting large get-togethers and all the prep work involved. This year, more than anything, we want to make sure we have time to visit with everyone and truly be present, not stuck in the kitchen for hours on end. With that in mind, our goal is to take the toil out of holiday meals – here are a few ways how.
Sure, we could do a glazed ham or big roast chicken or turkey dinner complete with all the fixings. But we’ve found a delicious alternative that everyone loves. Many local food shops or caterers offer frozen chicken potpies. Order your required number well in advance, pick them up before the hectic holiday rush, and serve with a lovely fresh salad. Light, tasty and perfect for spring.
We know fish on Good Friday is traditional. However, when polled, our entire family chooses tacos as their favourite meal. So this year, we’re combining the two and serving fish tacos. Store bought battered fish from the frozen food aisle works well, as does grilling fresh white fish. Mining the grocery store for pre-made guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce shreds and more makes this one a cinch to pull together. Add diced tomatoes and pile it all on tortillas and everyone’s well fed and happy.
The kids are home from school for four long days, and we’re not in the mood to bang out lunch every day of the holiday weekend. Solution – we order a large quantity of pizza on Thursday night for dinner and let the leftovers serve as lunch (and breakfast, to be honest) for the rest of the weekend. Add enough veggies as toppings (or on the side, for cheese pizza purists) and there’s a well-rounded meal.
We really don’t feel like cooking a whole ham for the weekend, let alone slicing and dicing (plus stirring and cursing) for scalloped potatoes. Solution? Our kids’ favourite tradition, build-your-own sub sandwich. We set out a variety of cold cuts and sliced cheese, along with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, olives, pickles, mayo, and Italian salad dressing. Soft sub buns from the local bakery or grocery store serve to hold the delicious contents together.
No surprise here, the kids love to decorate cookies for Easter. We’ve learned a little trick, though. They’re not particularly fussed about what they’re decorating, as long as there is an abundance of icing, sprinkles, and candies. So this year we’re skipping the labour-intensive process of making, chilling, rolling, and cutting shapes from sugar cookie dough in favour of a slap-together blondie recipe (like chocolate chip cookies in bar form) that takes ten minutes to assemble and pour into a pan. From there, the squares make a wonderful base for frosting in a variety of pastel hues (make your own or buy white frosting and use food colouring for small batches of different colours). The kids can add Easter-themed decorations or sprinkles for a fun, gooey, sweet treat that they’ll remember fondly.
If the Great British Bake-Off is anything to go by, we fear that those temperamental meringue-based desserts do not bode well for a low-stress Easter weekend. Instead, we’re opting for trifle. Chunks of cake, lots of fruit, jelly, and custard make this an easy dessert that presents well – whipped cream can hide a multitude of less-than-exact execution. Bonus – trifle easily serves a crowd.
Tagged under: holiday meals,easter meals,what to serve for easter
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Janice calls Toronto and Orangeville home, living with a fun and chaotic blended family with 5 kids, ranging from age 6 to17. She adores coffee, chocolate and teaching yoga and barre classes to her community. One day she’d like to live on the beach but for now she can be found in Toronto’s indie coffee shops and the forests of Caledon.
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