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Life Love Beauty

11 Apr, 2009

Easter and Passover Entertaining Tips for Hosting a Family Event

Written by Alison Minton, Steve Kemble, and Kathryn M. D’Imperio Saturday, 11 April 2009

When celebrating Easter and Passover with family, friends, and neighbors, take some time to think of special ways to show you care. Easter is a great time to host a party and have some fun. (Photo by Barbara Baker)You can have lots of fun planning new Easter / Passover traditions or following old Easter / Passover traditions. If you’d like to host a family event at your own home for Easter or Passover, consider some of these entertaining tips for hosting the holidays.

If you want to host Easter or Passover at your home, consider your cooking and serving plan (buffet style may work well for larger groups), as well as your decorations (fresh flowers, candles, and reed diffusers can go a long way in adding delightful fragrance to your home). Get creative with your entertaining style and your home decorations for Easter and Passover. Most of all, celebrate the special time with your family and loved ones.

Here are a few additional tips from various experts in special events and entertaining:

Easter and Passover Tips for Entertaining - By Alison Minton
Holidays are wonder opportunities to gather a family together to celebrate traditions and observe religious beliefs, but they can also be stressful and expensive for the host and hostess. This spring, a few simple time and money saving tips can make Easter or Passover more enjoyable for the hosts and more colorful for the guests.

1. Forego an expensive floral arrangement as a centerpiece and fill a large glass bowl or wide-neck vase with colorful fruit instead.
Lemons, limes, tangerines, plums, small apples, and even small pomegranates work well. Choose one colorful type of fruit or combine several for a more vibrant display. Or, fill a large glass bowl with colorful Easter eggs, decorated by the children in the family.  Plastic eggs work, too, and the kind that open can hide small surprises or fortunes that make a fun diversion during dessert. More elegant table settings can be spruced up with a round, flat mirror upon which several white or ivory votive candles should be placed.

2. Instead of ordering an expensive cake from a local bakery, bake or buy a plain cake and coat it with store bought vanilla frosting.
Decorate the top with edible flowers or confetti sprinkles. Or, for really informal family gatherings, set out vanilla frosted cupcakes and an array of toppings for do it yourself fun that both kids and grownups love. Sprinkles, gummy bears, M&Ms, and jelly beans all work well.

3. Freeze green grapes and use them instead of or in addition to ice cubes in water or lemonade glasses for a colorful twist. The grapes won’t float, but can be alternated with ice cubes for a parfait effect without altering the taste of the drink.

4. In lieu of tomatoes, add color and flavor to ordinary green salads with fruit and chopped nuts.
Dried strawberries, mandarin orange slices, or grapefruit slices (not all three at once) are especially tasty with darker greens, and vinaigrette dressing.

5. For some families, homemade soup is a staple of any holiday gathering. A nice, light, simple one for spring is my Italian grandmother’s own recipe:

Grandma Gondiosa’s Peas & Pasta Soup

1.    Boil water in medium saucepan.  Add 4 oz of Ronzoni Ditalini 40 (best) or Tubettini 42 and cook according to directions on package.  Drain and set aside.
2.    In another medium saucepan heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil (I recommend Canola oil) and chopped onion, as much as desired, and sauté lightly.
3.    Add 4 oz of canned Del Monte tomato sauce and stir until hot.
4.    Add a 15 oz can of peas and stir until hot.
5.    Add approx 22 oz of water (1.5 peas cans of water) and stir until hot.
6.    Add a pinch each of salt & pepper.
7.    Add the pasta to the tomato sauce mixture, stir and serve.