Easter Menu Decoration

Easter Menu Decoration

I found the template for this cute bunny at “Holiday with Matthew Mead” and I saw the template used in a variety of ways, one of which was a cut out with the menu printed on it and a pretty white carnation as the tail.  I thought I might replicate that for each place setting for our Easter dinner but I decided to frame my menu and I added a cotton ball to the outside of the frame for the bunny tail.  Take a look!

This year we had chicken breast baked in the oven with Cranberry Gravy.  On the side we had stuffing with onions and apples and pecans, roasted whole carrots with crushed pistachios, and green beans with sesame oil seasoning.  We also had deviled eggs, but I didn’t remember to bring them to the table until I was getting the cream for coffee out of the refrigerator.  I went ahead and put them out and the dinner guests didn’t seem to be bothered by their late arrival as they dug into them.

Dessert was a lemon meringue pie and a chocolate eclair cake with some freshly brewed coffee.

BB_Easter Menu.4Dinner was rather low key since it was all adults.  No kiddies pushing for Easter egg hunts or other such activities.  I enjoyed all my guests but always see the four empty chairs at the table from those who are too far away.
  I remember the days, not so very long ago, when I was preparing Easter Baskets, assembling a new set of spring clothes for each little one in the house, and putting shiny new shoes on tiny little feet.  Who knew it would all go so fast?

Bunny tracks..……….DebraJ

I have not received any compensation or free gifts to create this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

Fantasy Menu Planning – Easter Dinner # 3



Fantasy Easter Menu Planning - Easter Dinner #


Easter Dinner Menu # 3

 The third menu will satisfy some of our vegetarian readers beginning with a beautiful Garden Lasagna packed with spinach, mushrooms, roasted peppers and other good items, including a fair amount of luscious cheese.  This recipe was found at “The Curvy Carrot” and the description of the preparation is an enjoyable read.

A rich cheesy lasagna is just begging for some warm crusty bread, and I found some at “Roxana’s Home Baking” that looked perfect.   Visit the site to read the recipe for Chickpea Flour Bread.   There are some great photographs of the bread and it made me long for a knife and some butter.

I think this entrée and bread should be preceded by a lovely salad and I found one at “Garnish with Lemon” that will be spectacular.  It is titled Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Craisins and Balsalmic Vinaigrette.   What’s not to love here?!

I think this meal would be accompanied well with some chianti or cabernet.

To bring this lovely meal to a close we will sign off on the cutest dessert from Buttercream Blondie.  The Cadbury Mini Egg Cheesecake Dessert – is so cute!  But as cute as it appears, it has some serious rich goodness with all the fresh creamy butter, brown sugar and Cadbury Eggs!  Go take a look!

So, for one more time….
Let’s recap…………

Spinach salad with Goat Cheese, Craisins and Balsalmic Vinaigrette

Garden Lasagna

Chickpea Flour Bread

Red, red wine

Cadbury Mini Egg Cheesecake Dessert

and of course….hot coffee!


So this concludes our fun with the Fantasy Easter Menus.  I have found so many great blog sites during my research and I hope you enjoy visiting them.

We’ll do Fantasy Menu planning again – for sure!

Now it’s time to plan the REAL menu……………DebraJ

I have not received any compensation or free gifts to create this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

Check Fantasy Easter Dinner # 1 and Fantasy Easter Dinner # 2 for more ideas.

Fantasy Menu Planning — Easter Dinner # 2

Fantasy Menu Planning - Easter Dinner # 2


Easter Dinner Menu # 2

Holidays are the perfect time for friends and family to gather and enjoy each other.  An appetizer and cocktail period is a nice touch for catching up before the main dinner begins.

This Easter menu will have a different format.  As guests arrive they will be served a flute filled with Verdi Peach Sparkletini.  A couple of fresh sweet raspberries will float around in the wine.  This will be paired with a Spinach & Artichoke Dip served on a side table while guests are mingling.  This recipe can be found on “Cooking Tip of the Day.”

After your guests are seated they will be served a small bowl of Chilled Pea Soup with Crispy Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Croutons, which looks completely yummy and exotic and was found at “Farmgirl Gourmet.”

The main entree will be Cranberry Raspberry Pork Tenderloin. Head over to “Delicious Shots” to take in the beautiful photos and interesting story surrounding this great-looking entree.

A visually appealing main dish like that requires a worthy partner to serve on the side,  so I have chosen Roasted Asparagus found on “Key Ingredients” with some great photos to show just how beautiful a basic vegetable like asparagus can look on your plate.

A fine holiday dinner is never complete without the final course — dessert.   On “Crunchy Creamy Sweet” I found Lemon Bundt Cake based on a buttermilk batter with a delicate and drippy powder sugar glaze.  Served with piping hot coffee, of course.

So, let’s recap……..

Verdi Peach Sparkletini

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Chilled Pea Soup with Crispy Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Croutons

Cranberry Raspberry Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Bundt Cake

Steaming Hot Coffee

Holidays are a wonderful time to entertain and experiment with some new recipes.  It’s a lot of fun to drag out the fancy dishes and utensils that don’t get used very often.

Still on the prowl for another menu..………...DebraJ

Check back later for Fantasy Easter Dinner # 3

Click here if you want to review Fantasy Easter Dinner # 1

I have not received any compensation or free gifts to create this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

Fantasy Menu Planning — Easter Dinner # 1

Fantasy Menu Planning - Easter Dinner # 1

Easter Dinner Menu # 1

It took quite some time to make my selections and  gather the links to all of these scrumptious menu items because I became so distracted during the search.  There are some amazing blogs out there and the variety of recipe creations are without limit.

For this menu I began with the main dish as roasted ham, which has been fairly standard for our home-cooked feasts during this holiday.  I found an intriguing version entitled “Sweet & Spicy Ham” found at “What’s Cookin’ Chicago?” and I decided this would be a perfect place to begin.  I thought a great accompaniment would be “Potato Galette” with thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes and sweet onions.  Head over to “Yummy Supper” to check out the full recipe and beautiful photographs.  Going along with our more traditional theme, we’ll add “Green Beans with Walnuts” to go with the pink ham and the lovely golden potato galette.  (CBSop.com).

Because everything else is traditional, we are going to zing our guests with a more non-traditional salad.  Check out “Recipe Girl” for the instructions for their version of “Marinated Kale Salad with Apples and Oranges.”  This salad looks magnificent and I would be excited to serve this to my guests.

After this delicious meal it is time to wind down and relax with some dessert and coffee.  Returning to my traditional boundaries I have decided on pie, found at “Cosmo Cookie.”  Beautiful “Raspberry Pie” sounds so sweet-tangy and spring-like.  When I perused the photographs of this pie on their website I was influenced by how simple and delicious this would be to set off a great meal.  It isn’t  too different, but it is a little more exotic than the more common fruit pies.  I would like to pair the pie with some delicious “Iced Coffee” and I found one I liked at “Sugar & Cloth” because it looked so creamy & refreshing.


Okay – let’s recap!

Sweet & Spicy Ham

Potato Galette

Green Beans with Walnuts

Marinated Kale Salad with Apples and Oranges


Raspberry Pie

Iced Coffee

Check out my fellow bloggers by following the links from the listed menu items. 

They have a lot to offer and I am sure you will enjoy reading.

Check back for Fantasy Menu Planning for Easter Dinner # 2….by DebraJ

Easter Sunday is early this year — Let Spring rush in!


Fantasy Menu Planning - Easter Dinner 2012


Easter is rushing in early this year.  This holiday holds a high and jubilant meaning for us, but it also signals the end of winter and the beginning of SPRING!  Spring –  when all things are new, all possibilities are renewed, and the great orb in the sky shines brightly.  Ah, the smell of the air, the dew in the mornings, the buds on the trees, the birds chattering, the texture of fresh earth as you turn it over in your garden.  God surely uses this season to remind us of His presence everywhere we turn.  Probably the only thing in nature that is more spiritual to me than the joy of Spring is watching the ocean.  But, since I am land-locked in the Midwest, I don’t get to see the great ocean very often. But I love spring – have I mentioned that yet?

Easter dinners have frequently been eaten in a restaurant but there have been times when I have prepared the meal at home.  This is a great opportunity to bring out the spring accessories and refresh your household just as God’s nature is renewed.

One of the most enjoyable phases of planning for Easter dinner (or any entertainment, for that matter) is deciding upon the menu.  I have collected cookbooks for many years, but with the prolific foodie talent on the internet, that is hardly necessary any longer.

With that in mind, I have a thought.  Fantasy football is certainly a successful and entertaining activity for many, so we are going to do some Fantasy menu planning.

I will search food blogs and create three Easter menus.  The menus will have links back to the blog where the original post can be found.  I don’t know if I will make all the recipes I use for these menus, but I plan to have a LOT of fun creating the possibilities.  Who knows, perhaps one of them will end up as the final cut for our own Easter Dinner here at home.

Fantasy Menu Planning begins………………..DebraJ

I have not received any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

With Soup the Heart Grows Fonder – Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Hubby

I think the men have it a lot easier when it comes to gifts for Valentine’s Day because, let’s face it, the female recipients are a LOT easier to buy for when it comes to a simple little “pretend” holiday like V-Day.

Valentine’s Day is a little tricky when it comes to buying gifts for men.  They aren’t usually quite as touched by flowers or chocolate, or something that smells good.  So what’s a girl to do to show her affection for that special guy?

This year I decided to go with true practicality.  Dear Hubby loves soup, and if we have it around the house he will eat every can, every day, until it is gone.  For that reason, I don’t buy it very much to avoid all the negative things that come  with eating canned food every day.


So this year, I bought him soup.  Yes, that’s right,  soup.  You’ll notice that I did select one of the healthier varieties – Progresso LIGHT.

I also hopped into Dollar Tree to pick up some snazzy decorations to make a pretty presentation.

So, with something in my imagination (which doesn’t always work!), I proceed.


I chose a transparent red bag type wrap (the kind you use to wrap gift baskets) and a heart-shaped mini-balloon and some pretty curly bows.  Okay – the bows are more for me than him since he won’t even notice, but they make me happy.

I realized that I couldn’t just place the cans of soup into the bag as they were or it would look like a sack of soup.  So, I used a piece of cardboard cut a size large enough so that I could sit the four cans of soup in a square.


After that I just bunched up the bag, inserted the balloon on a stick and wrapped the twisty tie around the top.  Oh — and I placed the beautiful bows on, too.


Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear!


NOTE:  I did not receive any compensation or free products to create this post.  The ideas and opinions were my own.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

BBB_Valentine's Day coffee

I don’t know why, but Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays.  I love all the red and the pink and the hearts!  Yes, I love the sappy hearts.

I realize it is basically a “made up” holiday without any real significance, but who can be upset with a day where you make a point to tell someone you love them.  I know you can say “I love you” any other day of the year, but this is the “SPECIAL” day.

So as you sip your coffee or tea or Diet Coke in the morning, allow yourself to be drawn into the festivity and enjoy the experience. 

BBB_Valentine's Day coffee.2

Happy Valentine’s Day!  ….from DebraJ