Monday, May 5, 2014

Easter 2014

A few months ago I realized if there's a holiday that would be easier for J & I to host than another, it would be Easter. My office is closed on Good Friday, and having the holiday on Sunday gave me two full days to prep. So we threw the offer on the table a few months ago and left it at that. But a few weeks before Easter I realized we had never firmed up the plans. Oops.

So we checked in with J's parents and guess what, they were more than happy to give up Easter dinner to us. So things got real. I was really going to be hosting my first holiday ever, with my mom out of town unable to help, and I was nearly 27 weeks pregnant. Just a little pressure on myself to do it right.

One of the things I was most excited about was decorating the table. I knew I wanted natural colors with lots of white. And after seeing these Queen Anne's Lace napkin rings in a magazine I knew they were perfect. I jumped online to order them for in-store pick-up (the best innovation ever) and fell for the Succulent napkin rings as well. So I split the order between the two and picked up a few more white cloth napkins while I was at it.
How I planned on having the table look

But silly me, I left the table cloth until last minute. I thought we had a burlap/linen colored tablecloth that would work perfect. Just totally forgot it was the right size for our table with one leaf in it, not all three. Nor did I realize how hard it would be to find a tablecloth long enough! We left the store with a few options but it quickly became apparent that the pink one was the best fit. It could have been worse. At least it's an Easter-y color, right? And it did match the woodwork on the chairs nicely.

Another thing hosting the holidays allowed for was use of our full China set. Only took nearly 5 years but it was so fun to get all the fine china and Waterford flatware out.

I just absolutely love these napkin rings.

And what's Easter without a little candy? These M&M easter eggs are pretty amazing. I have to say, I may have enjoyed them a little more than Cadbury mini eggs....and I may not have been the only one. And Starburst jellybeans - do not even get me started. Multiple bags have been consumed over here....multiple. The blue bowls were snagged in the Ikea marketplace at a recent stop.

 We were pretty excited to be hosting our first a few pictures were snapped pre-party.

Once everyone was over, my mind was completely focused on getting the food right so no pictures were taken. I'm always interested in hearing what others enjoy on holidays so here's a look at the menu we chose to serve-up (thank you mom for helping me finalize this and the full grocery list well ahead of time!).

First Course
Easter Soup (a family recipe from my mom's side, my first attempt was a success!)

Second Course
Salad (courtesy of Meg & Dan)

Main Meal
Honey Ham
Roasted Asparagus
Coleslaw (courtesy of J's parents)
Au-gratin potato casserole (courtesy of J's parents)

Homemade fruit tart (courtesy of Natalie & Greg)
Chocolate trifle 

Serving in courses is something my mom's family has always done and I really enjoy. It does make the meal last a bit longer but to me, that's what the holidays are for. Family time. So it was really nice to sit at the table for a little longer than normal and enjoy a few great laughs with everyone. 

Cross #21 of the list

What's your favorite part of Easter dinner?
I asked many members of J's family this question, even asked my family too even though only my dad could join us for dinner. I wanted to make sure everyone was happy with the meal. My sister-in-law mentioned how her grandmother always had coleslaw with the ham on Easter. So I decided we needed to as well, and you know what, I loved the combo! For my family, everyone's answer was the same, Easter Soup.

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