It’s fair to say that Easter celebrations are going to look quite a bit different this year as we’re hunkered down at home. While I’m sad we won’t be with our larger family for a traditional gathering, I’m putting on my thinking cap and figuring out how we can still make it a special day for just the three of us. I’ve got a few little surprises from the Easter Bunny tucked away for Jane’s basket and am hoping the weather is in our favor for a mini egg hunt in the back yard. One tradition that was always my favorite as a kid was having a big Easter brunch. It was such a fond memory from my childhood that I dedicated a whole chapter to it in my cookbook, New England Invite. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ideas from the Easter brunch chapter that would be easy to recreate at home on a smaller scale for this year’s celebrations. Breakfast Strata Casserole. This is one of my all-time favorite brunch recipes because you make it ahead the night before. Wake up in the morning and pop it in the oven while you’re enjoying a mimosa and hunting for easter eggs. It’s also a great way to use up leftover ingredients like cooked sausage, cheese and herbs; you could even throw in some sautéed peppers and onions if you have those on hand. And the base of the dish uses crusty bread; I actually save my bread ends in a bag in the freezer for this dish — just thaw the bread and toast it a bit before soaking it with the egg and milk mixture in the recipe. It tastes pretty great as leftovers too, so make it for Easter and have delicious breakfast for the week to follow.
Yogurt Parfaits. There’s not much to a yogurt parfait, the ingredients are something you might eat for breakfast any day of of the week, but assembling the pretty layers of yogurt and granola and fruit in individual bowls or jars makes them feel really special. If you don’t have tiny jars like the ones I used, stemless wine glasses will work too!
Crispy Hashbrowns. The crispy Cheddar Scallion Hashbrown recipe from my cookbook is versatile and can be adapted to what you have on hand. It works with both regular potatoes and frozen pre-shredded potatoes, and you can mix in any herbs or cheese you have available to make it your own. The recipe in the book serves 6, but just cut all of the measurements in half to make it in a smaller portion.
Homemade Donuts. My cookbook has a recipe for orange-poppyseed donuts in the chapter, and I have a similar recipe for lemon-flavored donuts on the blog. Baking has been a very fun activity to do at home with Jane while we’re social distancing, and I think I might have to break out the donut pan for our next baking project. I don’t tell you how to cut this recipe into smaller portions because I guarantee you can eat them all!
More Easter Ideas. I just shared a simple Easter tablescape on the blog recently, and have a big round up of 20 Easter recipes, DIYs and entertaining ideas full of inspiration for the holiday. A few of my favorites are my Easter Grazing Board, a simple toddler easter snack idea, and cute little rice krispy bunny treats that would be fun to make with kids.