Monday, April 6, 2009

Simple Entertaining: Easter Brunch or Supper

MrMartha loves to entertain in a way that is easy and straightforward to accomplish. It also needs to look effortless and elegant, with a strong dose of personal style.

It's not too late to invite some family or a few friends in for Brunch or Supper on Easter Sunday, The simple menu suggestions below work well for a midday or afternoon meal, with just a little bit of adapation to customize things for your particular event.

Plan a simple table setting, and offer a signature drink or Sparkling Wine, set the food out on the table, and enjoy the day as much as your guests will!

A centerpiece using fresh flowers is compulsory for spring entertaining. And a bare tabletop also signals a freshness that heavy linens wouldn't convey. MrMartha selected several sprays of orchids in limited colors, and grouped all stems of each color together in a tall column vase. For a bit of whimsey, several art glass floats were grouped around the base of the arrangement.

Read More for Menu Suggestions and Recipes
Start with a Spiral sliced ham.
Warm it in a foil covered roasting pan, in a 225 degree oven until just barely heated through (check the ham label for timing). Add a little wine or carbonated cola to the pan to keep it moist as it heats.
Serve with an assortment of mustards, or if desired, a warm glaze to ladle on top. Thin the glaze recipe slightly so it is proper consistancy.

Corn Muffins.
Use everyone's favorite Jiffy Mix Cornbread according to package instructions, bake in mini muffin tins. You could also have some sliced baguette or cocktail rye slices in the bread basket.

Cesar Vegetables Vinagrette
Cook briefly in a quantity of boiling salted water, some fresh Green Beans or Asparagus. Plunge into ice water to blanch, and blot dry with paper towel. Carefully toss with your favorite bottled Cesar Salad Dressing. Arrange on serving platter and top with thinly sliced red onion rounds, and chopped tomato.

Pasta Salad
Cook and drain your favorite pasta shape, Toss the noodles with chopped onion, sliced olives, zucchini rounds, and thinly sliced bell peppers. Add a dressing of half italian dressing and half mayonaise, and combine well. Some shredded fresh Basil adds extra zip.
** If you are serving supper, you might substitute classic cheesy Scalloped Potatoes. Bake them covered for an hour with the ham, then while the ham is resting, turn the oven up to 400 degrees, remove the cover and finish cooking potatoes till tender and browned.

Finish out your offerings according to your own likes or the time you have available -- this can be as simple or as deluxe as your time and budget allow:

Fresh Fruit, either as a Fruit Salad, or arranged on a platter. Purchase prepared fruit from your Grocery Produce Dept if you are short on time.

Baked Goods, which could be purchased muffins or Danish for brunch, or cake (like MrMartha's Candied Orange Cake or Boston Cream Pie) for a meal later in the day. A fruit tart is also a lovely addition if you would like a second dessert at either brunch or supper.

If you are having a larger number of guests or feeling indulgent,
Add a platter of shrimp with cocktail sauce, or smoked salmon slices, or other additional delicacy of your choice.
A simple Quiche (use purchased premade crust) and/or a platter of classic deviled eggs are also wonderful ways to round out the spread.

Ham Glaze Recipe:

Scalloped Potato Recipe:

Quiche Recipes:

Deviled Egg Recipe and How To:

Fruit Tart Ideas: