Easter Dinner Made Simple, But Delicious!

Easter has always been a favorite holiday at my house. The spring colors, the religious events, the children spending the mornings finding their hidden baskets and having an old-fashion Easter Egg Hunt. Tradition is important and so is the food. Here are my Easter favorites from appetizers right through dessert. I chose these dishes, because they are so easy that I can prepare them and still have time to visit with my family.

Easter Menu:

  • Stuffed Dates,
  • Deviled Eggs,
  • Baked Smoked Ham,
  • Ranch Mashed Potatoes,
  • Fresh Boiled Carrots,
  • Rolls -- white and wheat mix, and
  • White Easter Day Cake.

Stuffed Dates

  • Cream cheese frosting (white)
  • Food coloring (see the back of the box to mix Easter colors)
  • Pitted dates
  • Shelled walnuts
  • Powdered sugar or granular sugar

Separate the frosting into individual containers, mix in the food coloring as directed on the back of the box for your colors. Stuff the frosting into the pitted dates and top off with a walnut. Roll the dates in powdered sugar or granular sugar. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let the frosting set. This recipe can be made ahead.

  • Yields: Varies depending on how many dates you use
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes plus chilling time

Deviled Eggs

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 4 ½ tablespoons melted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Cut the eggs lengthwise into halves. Combine the egg yolks with the 7 ingredients. Beat together until well blended and smooth. Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This recipe can be made ahead. Serve chilled.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes plus chilling time

Glazed Ham

  • 1 can pineapple rings (reserve juice)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup strawberry jam
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 1 smoked ham
  • Whole cloves
General Rule for Cooking Ham: allow 15 minutes per pound of ham, for 12 pounds or over allow 18 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees while preparing the ham. Mix the reserved pineapple juice, orange juice, maple syrup, jam and mustard together. Stir until well blended. Set aside.

Take the pineapple rings and tack them to the ham using three cloves per ring. Scatter additional cloves about on the ham -- sticking them into the ham. Place the ham in a roasting pan and pour the juice mix over it. Place the ham in the oven and bake at 325 degrees until done. As the ham bakes, baste it with the juice mixture that is being cooked with it. Warning: Make sure to remove cloves before cutting and serving ham.

  • Yields: 12-20 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes plus baking time

Ranch Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 lb. potatoes
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 package powdered ranch dressing mix

Peel the potatoes; wash in cold water, and dice. Fill an appropriate sized pan with water and the diced potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are soft. Drain the water and use a potato masher to mash potatoes along with the rest of the ingredients.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

White Easter Day Cake

  • 1 package white cake mix
  • Bag coconut
  • Food coloring
  • 2 cans white cream cheese frosting
  • Marshmallow Chicks and Marshmallow Bunnies
  • Jellybeans

Bake the cake according to package for a layer cake. Mix the coconut with the food coloring for your desired Easter color. When cooled, take regular non-flavored dental floss and carefully cut cake lengthwise into 4 even slices. Spread a light cover of frosting on the cake and sprinkle the coconut on top of the frosting. Place a slice of cake on top of the coconut. Follow this until all slices have been frosted, sprinkled with coconut and stacked.

Finish the cake by frosting the top and sides, then sprinkle coconut all over cake. Decorate the cake with the jellybeans, chicks and bunnies on the top and on the sides of the cake. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let the frosting set and serve with coffee or tea.

  • Yields: 6-12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour plus chilling time