Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Menu Planning

I have a confession to make, I love Easter. It's my favorite holiday for tons of reasons...two reasons that I may share later and two that I'll share today. First, I love the feel of Easter. It's spring and everything is new and bright and blooming. My parents usually host a seafood boil or BBQ at their house and the whole family comes over for quiet time in the backyard complete with swimming and plenty of food. The other reason I love Easter is that it's stress free. Christmas has months of buildup and all of the stress of holiday shopping, running from party to part etc. Not Easter...it's a holiday that starts with mass and ends with quiet quality family time...love.

Healthy eating is not something my family really excells at. Whenever we have family gatherings, I try to "round out" the meal by bringing a salad or some veggie based dish and of course...something sweet. The problem is I always face is striking a balance between a healthy dish and a dish that picky eaters will be open to.

After talking to my mom, our Easter menu will consist of BBQ chicken, Sausage (Bratsworth and Turkey), Burgers, and Hot Dogs and mac and cheese. I'm in charge of desert and a veggie based side.

The options:

Spinach Strawberry Salad- I make a variation of this salad often for family gatherings. I'm leaning towards skipping this one for Easter since we'll be outside and salad's tend to wilt in the heat.

Carrot Salad- this sounds so good to me...but I'm not sure how it will go over with the crowd. I love cilantro and I want to try this sometime soon, I'm just not sure if this is the best time. I'm also not too sure about making a carb heavy salad when there will already be a heavy mac and cheese being served.

Cranberry Apple Salad- same concerns...but I can't wait to try it

Grilled veggies- so this isn't really a "recipe" as much as it is a cooking method. When we grill I often take a mix of veggies, potatoes, asparagus, onion, red/orange/yellow pepers, zuchini, squash...whatever I have on hand and roast in a skillet made of the BBQ pit. I'm leaning towards this I'm just a little worried about getting it all cooked...maybe I'll roast them a little while at home in the oven so they only need to be finished off on the pit?

Now on to the best part...desert!

Blondies- I will probably make at least a 1/2 batch of blondies for the kids. It's a basic no fail recipe of mine that I make often for last minute company. I'll probably make them with white and milk chocolate chips for the kids but I've made them with toffee, buterscotch and pecans all before. I just go with whatever I have around and feel like eating!

Strawberry Cupcakes or maybe these Strawberry Cupcakes- Growing up my favorite cake was strawberry cake and strawberry icing...straight from the box. I'd love to try a "from scratch" recipe and I can't think of a better ocasion.

Red Velvet Strawberry Trifle - because it contains some of my favorite things. what's not to love?

So the verdict? Grill roasted veggies seem like a winner on the side. For deserts, we may have to make a few and taste test the options!!

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