Celebrating Holy Week: Easter Menu Ideas

This week marks the most important holiday for Christians - Easter. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Holidays in our family mean a time for fellowship around the table and lots of food traditions. I can remember as a little girl how we always filled our house with friends and family for the Easter season. My favorite foods included Grandma Sara's homemade Easter bread and our own chocolate-covered eggs made with delectable fillings like peanut butter or mint.

This year we will be celebrating Easter with a supper at my mother-in-law's house. She will prepare the lamb Armenian style for us and I'm sure we will enjoy her famous Armenian Rice Pilaf. Since I'm not working on the main menu, I thought I'd take this opportunity to review some of my fave recipes to help you plan yours. Maybe you will happen upon one that will appeal to your family this season.

Happy Easter! Christ is Risen!

Brunch ideas:
Breakfast Enchiladas - This is a fun recipe to make breakfast fancy with a Mexican kick. We even serve up these egg and bean enchiladas for dinner sometimes.
Farmer's Market Egg & Sausage Casserole - Spring has sprung at the local farmer's markets. Don't miss the chance to incoporate organic, in-season veggies in your family brunch.
Carrot Tea Party Muffins - If you're joining a family brunch and want something easy to pack into a festive basket, try out these fun muffins. They can easily be made a day ahead.
Cranberry-lemon Scones with Lemon Whipped Cream - My girls love to help me make these homemade scones. Make an Easter morning brunch into a fancy English tea party with a special touch like these scones.
Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese, Bosc Pears and Poppy Seed Vinaigrette - This salad is low maintenance but will wow guests and add something more hearty to your brunch menu.
Strawberry Dutch Baby - You can use any kind of fruit on this Dutch puffy pancake. Since strawberries are in season in our neck of the woods, we will be heading down to the local stand.

Maple-Pecan Chicken Wonton Cups - This fun appetizer is bite-sized (well, maybe two) and eaters of all ages love the combination of savory chicken salad and wonton crunch. Great to bring to a party.
Zucchini Flat Breads - Simple ingredients transform into an elegant appetizer or a perfect accompaniment to soup or salad.
Warm Italiano Spread - Serve up this delectable spread on crackers or homemade bread.
Egg salad sandwiches three different ways - Wondering what in the world to do with all those hard-boiled eggs? Why not make them into appetizers for your family. Here are three unique recipes for egg salad. Cut them into tea sandwiches or use an Easter-shaped cookie cutter to make them more festive on the plate.

Spring mains:
Italian Chicken with Strawberry Salsa - I wait all year for the strawberries so I can make this strawberry salsa over chicken. It's also great over lamb or fish. Experiment!
Italian Wedding Soup - This soup is a great starter for an Easter feast or make it your main and serve it with hearty appetizers. Kids and adults love the meatballs.
Chicken Cacciatore - This is one of our favorite "company" mains. The colorful peppers and tender chicken will be a treat for your guests.
Maple-Apricot-Glazed Salmon - Ready to move the cooking outside. Fire up the grill and try out these easy salmon recipe. If you don't have the cedar planks, don't fret. It's still yummy without that more expensive touch.

Fancy Beverages:
Strawberry-mint Lemonade - I love to get out our fancy wine glasses and serve up this spring-inspired virgin beverage. It's colorful and speaks spring.

Easter desserts:
Carrot Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting - You can use this recipe in two round pans and create a bunny cake like we did above. The kids can have fun decorating with natural candies (check out Trader Joe's or Whole Foods) or even chocolate chips.
Chai Cheesecake - This is one of my fave cheesecakes because it combines warm spices with a light cheesecake. It's a fun twist on a traditional dessert. Move over, Cheesecake Factory!
Chocolate-Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches - If you want to make something fun the whole family can enjoy, try making these homemade ice cream sandwiches. You can make them Saturday afternoon and they will be frozen and ready for Easter Sunday Supper.
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