Category Archives: Easter

How to Make the Most of Your Easter Leftovers

When it comes to Easter, most of us are either going to roast a big, beautifully glazed ham or some succulent lamb. Rabbit is also a possibility (for those of us with a strange sense of humour, like myself), but let’s stick with the common denominator: a satisfying Easter ham dinner with all of the fixings.

As delicious as reheated leftovers can be the day after a big holiday meal, it’s a lot more fun to get creative with whatever traces of yesterday’s feast you have lingering in your fridge. It’s probably safe to assume you’ve got plenty of sliced ham, mashed potatoes, a mix of roasted root vegetables (i.e. carrots, squash or parsnips) and some greens, too. Now let’s see what you can do with them!

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Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: There are few things you can’t do when assembling a grilled cheese sandwich. Slices of ham, some roasted vegetables and a mild cheese like provolone, along with some honey mustard, make for an delicious, gooey sandwich, especially for kids.

Soups: The humble potato makes a great thickener for soups. Combine leftover mashed potatoes with some chicken stock, then puree until you’ve got a smooth consistency. Give your leftover meat and vegetables a quick chop, add them to the pot along with desired spices, and once they’re heated through (10 minutes or so), you’ve got a big batch of soup on your hands.

Casseroles: Layered leftovers can give the illusion of a brand new dish, while it’s basically the same as reheating them (shh, it will be our secret!). Try layering your roasted vegetables, followed by ham (pour on some leftover glaze or gravy if you’ve got it) and a layer of mashed potatoes, then bake until golden brown on top. Dinner is served!

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Last, but not least, try taking your Easter dinner odds and ends, and transforming them into this dinner-worthy quiche that actually uses mashed potatoes and cheese to make a gluten-free crust.

Who knew leftovers could be so impressive? You did, of course!

Easter Dinner Leftovers Casserole

Cook and Prep Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4-5

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Ingredients:

Mashed Potato Crust:
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes (room temperature)
2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
9 inch cast iron skillet

Quiche Filling:
2/3 cup leftover ham roast, diced
1/2 cup leftover roasted carrots, diced
1/2 cup leftover braised kale, finely sliced
1/3 cup half and half cream
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp maple syrup (optional, only suggested if the leftover ham was not glazed)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

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Directions:

Mashed Potato Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. Place potatoes and cheese in a medium bowl and mix well to combine.
3. Brush skillet with canola oil thoroughly, covering bottom of pan and sides.
4. Gently press the potato mixture into the skillet until it’s a fairly even thickness throughout the pan and sides.
5. Bake in oven until it starts to turn golden brown, approximately 18-20 minutes. (Note: potato “crust” will fluff up slightly while baking, don’t worry about that.)
6. Remove, reduce oven heat to 375°F and let cool for a few minutes before adding filling.

Quiche Filling:
1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well with a spoon to combine.

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2. Pour egg mixture into pre-baked potato crust and return skillet to oven.

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3. Cook for 25 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the centre of quiche comes out clean.

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4. If serving right away, allow to cool slightly before slicing. Will keep in the fridge for up to four days.

Looking for more post-holiday dinner ideas? Here are 20 delicious ways to reinvent your Easter leftovers.

Last-Minute Easter Brunch Menu

Putting together an unforgettable Easter brunch doesn’t mean hours spent prepping in the kitchen. If you’re shackled for time, we’ve got the dishes to create a flavourful spread without a hassle. The best part? Compliments galore and full appetites for a fun Easter egg hunt!

Starters:
Carrot Pear Mini Loaves

This sweet mini loaf can be made the day before and make the perfect starter to a hearty brunch. Put it out on the table before everyone sits down to have brunch and serve with a side of fresh butter or creme fraiche. If you’re feeling like going the extra mile, whip up this 10-minute mascarpone cream cheese icing in the morning then spread over the top of the cooled carrot pear loaf before serving.

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Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Yogurt
Ina Garten’s fruit salad recipe is so simple to make and can be easily prepared ahead of time. With notes of honey, vanilla, and a variety of delicious berries, banana and grapes, it’s a simple and healthy dish that packs a lot of punch.

Main:

Potato Crusted Mushroom and Swiss Quiche
This fresh take on quiche using a potato crust adds a flavourful twist on the classic. To make this main ahead of time, simply prepare the crust the day before. Get creative with the fillings and substitute or add different ingredient combinations to suit your family’s palate. Got more meat lovers in the brood? Ham or bacon will make a nice addition.

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Sides:

Arugula Salad with Pear and Prosciutto
The mixture of the peppery arugula with the sweetness of the pear and the saltiness of the parmesan and prosciutto are a perfect balance in this delectable salad.

Ham and Scallion Scones with Lemon Herb Chèvre Dip
These savoury breakfast scones by Anna Olson make a yummy side on their own, but with the lemon herb chèvre dip, they are simply irresistible. Make the dough a week before and freeze until you’re ready to bake on Easter morning.

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Desserts:

Chocolate Crêpes
Although this dish takes longer to make, it’s well worth it – and the kids will certainly appreciate it! Don’t get stuck on just using sliced bananas in this recipe. From fresh strawberries to mint leaves, set out a small spread of different toppings for people to create their own unique concoction. Don’t have the time to spare? Try making this cheater 10-minute shot glass crêpes instead.

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Drinks:

Starbucks Salted Caramel Cafe au Lait
This combo of sweet and savoury is a delicious end to a great Easter Brunch menu. The mixture of salt and caramel are a perfect combo, making it a delicious après le dejeuner dessert on its own.

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Ina Garten's Last-Minute Orange Easter Ham

Ina Garten’s Elegant Easter Menu

It’s tempting to believe that the best meals are the most complicated, but memorable dinners are more than a series of gourmet recipes — good food and good company work together to create good ambiance and good memories. So if you’re feeling pressured to craft a complicated dinner this Easter, don’t. With some help from Ina Garten, Easter will be an easy and elegant affair.

This menu focuses on ingredients you probably have in your fridge or pantry, while the rest can be found at most grocery stores.

Before you start, review the menu and recipes, check your supplies to see what you’ve already got on hand, and make a list of the items you don’t. Assuming you live within ten minutes of a grocery and liquor store, the entire process — from assessing to arriving back at home with the food — shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half.

Assemble the dishes in the order they’re presented here, and budget two hours for complete prep: cooking, setting the table, plus a 30-minute buffer so you can enjoy a breather before guests arrive. You’ve got this!

Ina Garten Cheese Board

Cheese Board

A selection of cheese, fruit and a sweet jam is an easy crowd-pleaser. Better yet, a good cheese board will stave off hanger in case guests arrive early or dinner needs more cooking time. This recipe calls for ham, but feel free to switch it up with salami, prosciutto or any other favourite deli meats. The key is variety: aim for a soft, creamy cheese like Brie or chèvre, a hard aged cheese like cheddar or Asiago, and a strong cheese, like your favourite blue. Add contrast with fresh fruit, honey and fig jam or red pepper jelly, and include a selection of crackers and bread. Cheeses will taste better if they’re set out 30 minutes to an hour before eating.

Ina Garten Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktails

Champagne or sparkling white wine mixed with crème de cassis is a classic French aperitif known as Kir Royale. Ina Garten’s make-your-own champagne cocktail bar also includes framboise liqueur, brandy and fresh berries. Keep your crowd occupied by challenging them to see who can come up with the most delightful mix and the best cocktail name.

Ina Garten Orange Baked Ham

Orange Baked Ham

Ina Garten’s Orange Baked Ham is one of those miracle dishes that looks and tastes impressive, but only takes an hour to cook and very little time to prep. It can easily be scaled up or down, depending on the number of guests, and is a classic Easter main to boot. Pop it in the oven at 350ºF, ensuring there’s room in there for the next dish, the risotto.

Ina Garten's Easy Parmesan Risotto

Easy Parmesan “Risotto”

Risotto has gained a reputation for being labour-intensive, but Ina Garten’s recipe reduces stir-time down to three minutes, while preserving the dish’s classic creamy Parmesan flavour and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Pop this one in the oven about 20 minutes after the ham has gone in, and you’ll have five minutes to remove the ham before you start your three minutes of stirring.

Ina Garten Garlic Sauteed Spinach

Garlic Sautéed Spinach

Garlic sautéed spinach adds a dash of springtime colour to the menu, not to mention delicately earthy flavour. Prepare the spinach and garlic while your ham and risotto are cooking, then sauté in the final minutes before serving.

Ina Garten Limoncello and Biscotti Ice Cream

Limoncello and Ice Cream with Biscotti

Vanilla ice cream is a comforting, classic way to cap off a meal — serve with a crunchy biscotti on the side for kids and non-drinkers. For everyone else, a drizzle of Limoncello adds a delightful zing.

Looking for more delicious recipes? Check out Ina Garten’s 14 Best Easter Recipes.

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Show-Stopping Easter Nest Cake

Impress your guests with this show stopper of a cake that celebrates Easter and the coming of spring. Not only does this dessert make a stunning centrepiece, the buttery, fluffy sponge cake is a light and tasty treat that gets added texture and flavour thanks to the toasted almonds and coconut. Don’t forget the egg-cellent chocolate filling!

Easter nest Cake

Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
2-3 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup desiccated coconut, toasted
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup of chocolate mini eggs

nest cake

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter with sugar, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4. Add in eggs 1 at a time and then vanilla. Continue to beat until mixture is fluffy.
5. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 the buttermilk. Repeat, then stir in last 1/3 of flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
Pour batter into a greased 10 cup Bundt pan.
6. Bake in oven until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
7. Let cool for 15 minutes then invert pan to release cake.
8. To make glaze, whisk milk with icing sugar. Add more milk to thin if necessary. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake. Sprinkle coconut and almonds over glaze. Fill centre of the Bundt with chocolate mini eggs.

Looking for more delicious Easter ideas? Try our 50 Fantastic Easter Desserts from Anna Olson.

Easy Easter Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every family kitchen needs a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. One day, a couple of years ago, the kids and I decided to add some leftover mini chocolate eggs to our chocolate chip cookie dough.

We were pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out — and it was so easy! It has now become our family’s Easter tradition. They are perfect for an Easter potluck or as a bright addition to your own Easter table.

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Chocolate Easter Egg Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 36 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 2 cups Cadbury Mini Easter Eggs

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a large bowl beat together butter and both sugars until smooth. Mix in your eggs and vanilla.
3. In a smaller bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into wet ingredients. Pour in your chocolate chips and mix well.
4. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets about 1 to 2 inches apart. Next gently press 2 chocolate eggs on each cookie.
5. Bake in oven for 8 to 9 minutes, turning and rotating pans half way through until edges are lightly browned.
6. Let cool completely on racks. Can be frozen for up to two weeks.

Mini Easter Brunch Quiches

Hosting Easter brunch this year? Don’t panic. What we have here is your little saving grace.

Mini spinach quiches are healthy, delicious and totally easy to make…and that’s not even the best part. They can be made ahead of time then re-heated when guests arrive so you don’t spend all morning hidden away in the kitchen. If those aren’t good enough reasons to make mini quiches then how about this: they’ll cost you well under $10.

Ingredients:
1 dozen eggs
1 (6-8 ounce) bag of baby spinach
1 small onion, chopped
1 /4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375, and lightly grease muffin pan with butter or oil.
2. Saute chopped onions in a pan with the oil until onions are translucent.
3. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk. Fill about ? of muffin cups with spinach, and sprinkle about a teaspoon of the sauteed onions on top.
4. Pour whipped eggs into muffin cups and fill them about two-thirds full, then add a pinch of grated cheddar cheese.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden on top.
6. Gently remove them from pan with butter knife, then serve.