Everything For Easter Dinner

Easter is the time when many celebrate with their family and friends. If you are hosting an Easter dinner, for your immediate family or a large group, plan your menu, table decorations and go shopping ahead of time. These tips for planning an Easter dinner will help things go smoothly.

How many?

First you will need a guest list or head count so you know how many mouths you are feeding. Call and confirm with all those invited and make your list, including any special instructions. For instance, find out if you have a vegetarian or someone with food allergies or small children with special food needs or requests.

Plan ahead

After you know how many people will be coming, begin planning your meal and come up with the menu for the dinner. You will need a main dish – perhaps ham, turkey or lamb – a salad, bread, potatoes, other side dishes of vegetables like carrots and desserts. Incorporate any family traditions or guest's favorite desserts.

Make lists

Check your recipes and make your grocery list. To figure out how much meat you need, allow about one pound per person for turkey, ham or lamb. Once you have your list, head to the store at least three or four days before Easter. Avoid going to early because food spoils and avoid waiting too late because of crowds and being rushed.

Inventory what you'll be using

Take inventory of your dishes, serving platters, silver, china, glassware and anything you plan on using for dinner. Clean and prepare any silver, tablecloths or linens a few days before.

Egg coloring fun

If you are coloring eggs, begin the eggs a couple days before Easter. Have your kids dye the eggs and decorate with the names of your guests. During Easter dinner, the eggs can be set up at each place setting as place cards.

Order in advance

Order any flowers in advance or buy your own flowers and make the centerpiece the day before. Set the table with linens, cloth napkins and china or pretty spring colors and flower motif dishes. Add your centerpiece of Easter Lilies or other fresh spring flowers the day of the dinner.

Start early

Start cooking early in the morning to allow plenty of time. For a wonderful dinner of lamb and desserts of lemon meringue pie and strawberry rhubarb crisp, try these wonderful recipes.

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