Saturday, April 4, 2015

An Easy Does It Easter: Last Minute Ideas for the Busy Cook

I have been working on a simple project for Easter, one that involved cornbread and a rabbit-shaped baking mold, but when I inverted the pan, the ears and tail refused to budge. I'll try to repair the bunny. In the meantime, I'm sharing a few last minute ideas for the busy cook.  



 My go-to "dessert" couldn't be easier--buy a pound cake at the grocery and add bling. 

Pound cakes are perfect for this dessert, thanks to the useful "hole" in the center--more later about this. Meanwhile, whip up a powdered sugar icing and add food coloring--just a drop or two if you want a pastel shade. Add a little fresh lemon juice. Ice the cake on a wire rack. When it dries, lift the cake onto a serving pedestal or platter. Into the cake's center "hole," place a small juice glass and add water. Arrange fresh flowers in the vase. Garnish the cake with sprinkles and raspberries. 





 It takes five minutes to compose a strawberry and cucumber salad. Just cap and slice the berries, peel/slice the cucumbers, and arrange everything in alternating, concentric circles. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with organic pansies and mint. This fresh, enticing salad is from the Beatrix Potter cookbook--you can find the recipe HERE.



If you're tired of deviled eggs, try Avocado-Bacon Egg Salad on a mini biscuit. Top with a dill sprig. The super easy recipe is over HERE, y'all. 


Smoking food seems like hard work, but it's easy if you have a remote thermometer. Then you can monitor the internal temperature while you're indoors, icing a cake or setting the table. For this recipe, however, I had a little help from Bandwidth. He bought whole rainbow trout at the grocery, stuffed it with a crab meat mixture, then wrapped the fish in bacon. You can find the recipe HERE.

Another easy entree: baked Cornish hens with marmalade glaze. You can find that recipe HERE.

For Easter brunch, try Jemima's Savory Picnic Omelet.

Forget about carbs with Gordon Ramsay's Chili Beef Lettuce Wraps.

Store-bought pie crust can be turned into adorable tarts. You don't even have to roll the dough. To garnish, use leftover dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters or presses. Brush on an egg wash and bake. Below, I made savory Shepherd's Hand Pies.. Fruit filling would be delicious, too.



 Store bought desserts really do save time, and it only takes a few minutes to add a personal touch. Easter candy, icing, and tulips can turn a cake into a centerpiece.










Edible butterflies add a whimsical touch to any cake.


It doesn't get any easier than this: a carrot cake from the bakery, garnished with chocolate carrots.

Roses and Cool Whip icing (you can find it in the freezer section at the grocery)
turn a simple pound cake into a dessert star.

When I'm putting together a tablescape, I shop the produce aisle, looking for spring-like ideas.









  

Sprouts can an anchor a floral arrangement.

A simple lime can become a mini-vase, one for each table setting. 


If you have time for last-minute shopping, check out Dollar Store, K-Mart, and the grocery (of course) for interesting and edible items. On Easter eve, candy and seasonal decor may be on sale. In the past, I've found cute cookies at Big Lots. I garnished them with ribbon.

I have a small but dear collection of Easter salad plates, and they add a festive touch to my white pottery.






Bandy has arrived and thinks the bunny bread can be salvaged. If so, I'll share a photo tomorrow.

We hope you and your loved ones have a happy, blessed Easter.




Shared at:
The Scoop,  

22 comments:

  1. Wow, SO many great ideas and so beautifully presented!! The cakes look too pretty to eat. My mom usually makes a bunny-shaped coconut cake for the kids, so hopefully she will do it again this year. Happy Easter!!

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    1. That's a lovely tradition, Anita. Happy Easter!

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  2. Your photos are outstanding...that cake is beautiful, ML...and much easier than the lamb cake I am attempting!
    Happy Easter.

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    1. I can't wait to see your lamb cake. Happy Easter!

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  3. So many beautiful photo's of wonderful looking food. Yum yum. I hope you can salvage your cake - would love to see it.
    Have a Blessed Easter ML.
    Mary

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  4. So much beauty! I didn't plan a dessert, seeing yours tugs at my heartstrings... we do Easter brunch, same menu for 40 years... seeing your roses are driving me mad! Wishing you a very fun and happy Easter :-)

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  5. Happy Easter to you and your family and thanks for sharing all these gorgeous recipes!

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  6. Wow what fabulous foodie photos, Michael Lee. As I've always said, you're the Queen of Garnishing. You just have a knack for embellishing food, well, and tables, too. Thanks for all the beautiful inspiration. Happy Easter and I hope Bandy can repair the cornbread. Hope you're feeling well, too.

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  7. Lost my comment....starting again. Love little Peter Rabbit in his blue jacket! All of your other photos are wonderful too...but little Peter tugs at my heart strings because daughter and I wore out a volume of Beatrix Potter during her preschool years. Her favorite stories!
    Happy Easter!
    Sheila

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  8. I'm not sure there's a person in this world that loves bling more or can appreciate what bunny ears that stick to the pan feel like more than me Michael. Smiles:@) Happy Easter-wishing you a wonderful day!

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  9. That cake is the prettiest thing to eat I've ever set eyes on!
    Brenda

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  10. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful tips. Wishing you and your family a very happy and blessed Easter!

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  11. I would say you are truly ready for Easter. Lots of fabulous recipes here. I am in awe of how you turned a pound cake into a stunning dessert and I would love to have some of the strawberry salad. Happy Easter ML.
    Sam

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  12. I'm dazzled at all your culinary creativity in this one post! So much fun to revisit all this eye candy...I'm drooling over all the beauty! Hope your Easter was this beautiful and delicious. ♥

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  13. Congrats on your feature at Brenda's Cozy Little House - the pound cake with flowers is gorgeous!
    Mary

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  14. Brenda is right. (stopping by from CLH) That cake is gorgeous! You're a true artist.

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  15. These are all amazing and that 'quick' cake at the beginning LOOKS as if it took half of a day to make! :)

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  16. Oh my these ideas are all outstanding! I love pretty food!! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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  17. Wow! Everything looks just delicious. Outstanding job with everything!

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  18. So wonderful Michael Lee! I am featuring this today at Home Sweet Home! Thanks again for joining!

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