5 Last Minute Easter Dinner Ideas

I can’t believe Easter is this Sunday and I’m sure many people feel the same! In addition, I haven’t completed any of the shopping needed yet for the dinner I’m attending. Perhaps this sounds familiar?

For those attending a dinner, it is a nice gesture to bring either an appetizer, a dish to pass or a dessert. For those hosting and preparing the meal, getting that signature ham or those potatoes for the side dish for example, is essential. Then of course many people may not make a dinner, but instead a delicious, simple Easter brunch for their families.

Therefore, I started shopping the co-op to see what goodies I could come up with to help people in all of these different Easter scenarios. Here are several ideas I discovered in my shopping journey.


lemoncurd_potterscrackers1. Springy Appetizer or Simple Dessert

When you think about appetizers, many times, at least in my family, it revolves around chips, dips, nuts or some sort of cereal trail mix. However, what about something that is springy, slightly sweeter, tangy and refreshing on the palette, considering the main meal has enough salt and seasoning to go around? Also, sometimes after such a huge Easter meal, there is no room for a rich dessert, so lighter options are preferred.  The perfect choice in both instances is spreading Beirabaga’s Lemon Curd on Potter’s Hazelnut Graham Crackers. The bright, creamy, tangy lemon curd is imported from Serramel, Portugal and is described as a “dose of sunshine in your mouth” on the company’s website. Potter’s Hazelnut Organic Graham Crackers, baked fresh in Madison, Wisconsin, are made with stone ground wheat flour, cracked wheat, milk, sugar and of course hazelnuts, which provide the cracker’s mild nutty, sweet flavor. Beirabaga’s Lemon Curd is available in a 9.17 oz. container for $7.99 and Potter’s Crackers are $6.59 for a 5 oz. package. You can find both products in the cheese department at the co-op. Both items are only available while supplies last.




2. Cakes Galorepeepcupcakes

I love the creamy, decadent taste of our deli’s buttercream frosting, sometimes more than the cake, cookie or foundation of the dessert itself! When our deli’s cake decorators use their creativity and skill to generate creatures out of frosting, that’s when I get really excited as it makes the dessert all the more fun to eat. For example, the peeps in your family will keep peeping around the corner at our deli’s cute, peep-inspired cupcakes, wondering when it is time to enjoy them! Don’t worry, there are no traditional marshmallow peeps anywhere near these cupcakes but just skillfully designed replicas made entirely out of buttercream, nesting in a bed of green frosting-like grass. Remember, there is nothing artificial about these cakes either as all the bright colors are created with natural dyes and they are available in Mexican chocolate or almond flavors.

carrotandpeepcupcakesHowever, there is one cake I love that can compete with the frosting and that is the moist, dense, spice-filled carrot cake. Available in cupcake or 8-inch picnic cake sizes, the frosting, however, does vie for my attention with its little baby carrot top designs that perch atop a whipped cream cheese bed. 4-packs of peeps cupcakes sell for $6.99, the carrot cupcakes for $7.99 and all 8-inch picnic cakes, available in a variety of designs, are $9.99.

Yet if you want the crème de la crème of cake designs, remember there is stillpicniccakes time to order one of our deli’s intricately decorated Easter cakes, available in three designs: a bunny and white chocolate eggs, a cross and a flowery landscape underneath the sun. Click here for ordering details.


quiche3. Easter Brunch

The traditional fried, scrambled or poached eggs, hash browns and English muffins would make a perfectly scrumptious Easter Brunch. However, while easy to make, this type of breakfast often creates a multitude of dishes, especially if you make it for a large family. Making a quiche is always that all-in-one breakfast option that helps lessen the clean-up but then of course there is the prep-time! Therefore, why not save time on both prep and clean-up by picking up a quiche and some hot cross buns in our deli? Our deli staff makes our savory Spinach and Swiss Quiche with organic wheat flour, organic buttermilk, whipping cream, spinach, eggs, onions, Swiss cheese and array of spices. Our cinnamon, sugar and raisin hot cross buns, with a hint of lemon and orange zest, topped with white icing, make for a fantabulous way to complement any egg dish. Our Spinach and Swiss Quiche is $13.99 and a pan of nine hot cross buns is $6.99.

If you are not a fan of cinnamon and raisins, another yummy side for any quiche has to be one of our deli’s quick breads, which taste just like home quickbreadsmade. Available in banana, chocolate chip banana and blueberry lemon yogurt, these moist, flavorful breads will disappear quickly from your guest’s plates — pun intended! The quick breads sell for $5.99 each.


downinthevalleyham4. Easter Ham

Ham is a staple of most Easter dinners and our high quality, top-of-the-line options are definitely the way to go. Our family-farmed raised hams are from Hidden Stream (Elign, Minnesota) and Beeler’s (Le Mars, Iowa) and they contain no nitrates and antibiotics. They are on sale thru March 29. Click here for details and pricing.ham2



Smashed-Garlic-Parmesan-Potatoes5. Twist on a Traditional Easter Side

At my family’s Easter dinners, the tradition is usually twice-baked potatoes but as we all know, this can be quite the heavy dish, laden with butter and lots of sour cream. However, if you are looking for a lighter dish that adds more flavor layers without all the extra cream, Twice-Baked Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes is a smashingly tasty option. Using one pound of smaller fingerling potatoes, you leave the skins on and roast them for 20 to 25 minutes. After baking, you simply gently “smash” them and let them cool. Then add a mixture of only 2 tablespoons of melted butter, fresh minced garlic and parsley, and of course Parmesan cheese on top and let bake for 15 to 20 minutes more. It’s a much simpler dish without all the whipping and you don’t have to worry about lumps, much less the extra calories. Organic French fingerling potatoes are on sale in the produce department, while supplies last for $3.99 (reg. $4.99) for a 1 lb., 8 oz bag.  Click here for the complete recipe.




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