Easy Easter Recipes

From p. 10 of the March/April 2008
Issue of Simple & Delicious

Ham 'n' Cheese Egg Bake Recipe

Ham 'n' Cheese Egg Bake Recipe

Celebrate the holiday with these Easter recipes that will take you from brunch to appetizers to dessert. You’ll also find hints and tips for coloring your Easter eggs and planning an Easter egg hunt.

“This make-ahead Ham ‘n’ Cheese Egg Bake is just the thing when entertaining in the morning,” says Susan Miller of North Andover, Massachusetts. “It’s loaded with ham, cheese and mushrooms.”

Here’s a standout main course to share at a special gathering of friends and family. The sweet, spicy glaze turns a plain ham into a memorable menu. “Everyone who tries Easter Ham loves this juicy entree,” shares Jessica Eymann of Watsonville, California.

You won’t find eggs and jelly beans in these appealing "Easter baskets," but you will enjoy delectable sliced mushrooms and pecan tidbits. Instant stuffing mix makes Stuffing Baskets a snap to prepare, and their fun shape won’t soon be forgotten by your guests.

“These delicious herb Easter Bunny Rolls can be made anytime of the year, just shape into balls,” explains Bonnie Myers of Callaway, Nebraska. “They are extra festive when they are made into cute bunnies.”

“This White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes recipe has evolved over the past 8 years,” says Hope Toole of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. “After I added the thyme, ham and sour cream, my husband declared, ‘This is it!’ I like to serve this rich, saucy entree with a salad and homemade French bread.”

“I got this delightful old fashioned Candy Easter Eggs recipe from my mother-in-law,” says Theresa Stewart of New Oxford, Pennsylvania. “She produced many variations from this basic recipe, combining different flavored extracts with specific coloring.”

"I love the combination of cream cheese and chives…and it goes so well with the other savory ingredients in this Chive Egg Dip," writes field editor Ruth Peterson from Jenison, Michigan.

Easter Tips

If coloring eggs for Easter, return them to the refrigerator as soon as you’re done dyeing them. Don’t let hard-cooked eggs stand at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If you plan on using hard-cooked eggs as Easter decorations, cook extra eggs for eating and discard the eggs on display. Don’t eat any colored eggs that have cracked. Either throw them out immediately or use them for display and then discard. —Simple & Delicious Test Kitchen

I once hosted a birthday brunch buffet for my 90-year-old uncle. Since the event took place near Easter, I wanted to prepare colored eggs but worried about the mess all of those broken egg shells would leave. That’s when I decided to color the eggs after they’d been shelled. I boiled and shelled the eggs before coloring them with coloring mixes. Once the color was set, I cut the eggs in half and prepared deviled eggs. The eggs were colored on the outside, yet appeared normal on the inside. Served on a plate of shredded lettuce, they were the hit of the party. —Carol Walters, Spokane, Washington

Planning an Easter egg hunt is a wonderful excuse to squelch spring fever. Throwing the party is a breeze if you keep these tips in mind:

  • Since most folks have plans on Easter Sunday, schedule the party a week or two earlier on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
  • If you don’t want the expense of buying every guest an Easter basket, ask each child to bring a basket from home. You may want to have a few extra baskets (or some lunch bags) on hand the day of the party just in case someone forgot to bring their own.
  • Keep the event casual by serving a buffet-style brunch and offer foods that appeal to old and young alike.
  • There’s no need to go all out on your decorating. Simply set out a vase brimming with tulips, fill an assortment of Easter baskets with decorated eggs or sprinkle colorful jelly beans on the buffet table.
  • For food safety purposes, it’s best not to use real eggs for the hunt. Instead, rely on colored plastic eggs, which can be found in a variety of stores. To be fair to all guests, plan on having each child look for the same number of eggs.
  • In addition to filling the eggs with candy, surprise the children with stickers, Silly Putty, jacks or even a certificate for a book or puzzle that they can "cash in" with you.
  • For the younger children, "hide" the eggs in open areas, but get a little more creative for the older kids. Before starting the hunt, instruct the children that they all need to look for the number of eggs you specify. —Simple & Delicious Test Kitchen