Hosting Easter for the first time? Or just looking for some fresh ideas?
Whether you're inviting over the whole family or getting together with a few friends over brunch, here are a few tips and hints to make your spring celebration simple.
Let's HOP to it!
- Start by choosing your style: Casual or classy? Brunch or dinner? Traditional or eclectic? You have so many options. In fact, it can feel overwhelming, but once you decide what style of gathering you want to have, choosing your menu and décor will be a whole lot easier - and a lot more fun.
- Greet guests with drinks and light apps: Whatever your style, make it easy for guests to grab a beverage right away, such as fruity cocktails or ice-cold lemonade in mason jars. I love to set out a couple snacks in the places where people tend to gather, too, like a pull-apart loaf, chips with dip or one of my personal all-time favorites – the Bountiful Beer Bread Bowl.
That way, even if your meal gets a little behind schedule, your guests won't mind waiting!
- Make the most of your slow cooker: Since space in the oven and on the stovetop is limited, put your slow cooker to work.
For a traditional meal, it's a wonderful way to make a tender roast or a juicy ham. Your slow cooker can be a great way to keep cooked side dishes warm, too, like mashed potatoes or rice pilaf. Just make sure it's on the lowest setting.
(Tip: Try making Best Bayou Ham Ever in your slow cooker, cooking it on low for 4-6 hours and basting it a couple times. It's amazing!)
- Create a coloring station: Cover the kids' table with butcher paper and place jars of crayons or colored pencils in the middle. It' a great way to keep those kiddos entertained. (And you just might notice a few adults doodling on it, too.)
- Have fun with cute tags and place cards: Speaking of kids (and kids at heart), encourage them to eat more vegetables by labeling salads or veggie trays as "Rabbit Food." Set out packages of marshmallow chicks "For Our Favorite Peeps."You get the idea! Don't be afraid to be playful.
- Keep décor simple: Fresh flowers are always beautiful, and adding a few branches will add more visual interest. To create a lovely glow, place battery-operated tea lights inside plastic pastel Easter eggs, and arrange them in small bowls or baskets. (They are really inexpensive, too!)
- Make desserts the day before: It’s a huge way to reduce stress, plus your desserts can do double-duty as decorations, making your spring table look even sweeter.
In fact, when you set the table, you can arrange mini desserts as favors. These recipes are a few of my personal favorites:
- Crazy for Coconut Cookie Nests
- Nana’s Carrot Carrot Cupcakes
- Macaroon Brownie Nests
- Key Lime Mini Cheesecakes
If you plan to have a variety of desserts like these, you can also set up a small buffet at a separate table. If you’re tight on space, that’s a great way to show off your desserts in all their gorgeous glory – while making sure that everyone still has room to pass around platters.
But honestly, no matter what you serve, take time to relax and enjoy celebrating with the ones you love. Because at the end of the day, the best things you make won’t be on the table – they’ll be the memories you make around it.