I have always loved menu planning, so turning that into an actual job has been absolutely incredible. Since I’ve started catering, it’s been an extra treat to plan a menu that I actually get to eat! My mom and I are hosting Easter this year for some of our family and we got together last weekend to plan.

We’re both pretty serious about food. Whenever we plan a party together, we end up coming up with our own lists ahead of time before we get together to make up the final menu. She’s very patient with me – I, admittedly, can be a bit of a control freak when it comes to food. I get super into planning and want everything to be perfect.

So, because I love food and menu planning so much, I thought it would be fun to put together a few tips for holiday menu planning.

Presbyterian Cocktail

Start with a signature cocktail.

Offering a signature cocktail, in addition to beer and wine, gets the party started and is often a great conversation piece. The ideal party cocktail is one that can either be mixed in advance (for large parties), or that one that’s quick to make individually. I made Presbyterians for a cocktail party my mom hosted recently and they were a great conversation starter (mostly because of their name!). Lemon Bellinis are on the menu for this Easter.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Mix old and new.

For holiday menus especially, I like to not stray too far from family tradition. That said, there’s nothing wrong with making updates to old favorites, whether it be an updated version of deviled eggs or a new cooking method for lamb. I think its fun to give people the food they expect, but with a twist.

Pea and Mint Soup

Make as much ahead as possible.

This one might seem obvious, but I think worth mentioning. I still sometimes fall into the trap of having to do too much cooking last minute, and that’s stressful for both me and, probably, the guests. I try to make sure I can at least partially cook most things the day before, leaving only one or two critical things to do at the last minute. One of my favorite things to do for a party is soup; most soups can be made completely ahead and gently reheated before serving. Cold soups are a bonus!

Prosecco

Have fun.

It’s really easy to get stressed out when you’re cooking for a crowd, so you have to make it fun. After all, food is supposed to bring people together. Whenever I host a party with my mom, we have a “cooking party” the night before. We pop open some wine (or bubbly), and make the cooking our entertainment.

And with that, here is this year’s Easter menu:


Cocktail
Lemon Bellinis

Appetizers
Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
Pimento Cheese

Soup
Pea and Mint Soup

Main Course
Sous Vide Leg of Lamb with Parsley and Mint Chimmichurri
Traditional Mashed Potatoes
Sous Vide Glazed Carrots
Roasted Asparagus
Farro and Spring Vegetable Salad (vegetables TBD!)

Dessert
TBD (family is bringing)


Happy Easter, everyone!
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  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/ Bianca Garcia

    Love the tips. What a great Easter menu!

  • Shannon Grande

    also key to take help, like having your family bring dessert :) great tips, and the cocktail is one i sometimes forget!

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      True!

  • http://twitter.com/InAndAroundTown In and Around Town

    Can I come to your house for Easter? This looks like a great menu. Excellent tips as well. I always fall into the last minute trap!

  • http://twitter.com/MichellePC Michelle Collins

    Love these tips, and that menu sounds fantastic! Happy Easter. :)

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    I love menu planning for holidays and parties but you’re right…it definitely can be stressful (but fun!). I always try to make things that can be made ahead…it’s the only way to get by in those last few hours before people arrive!

  • http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogspot.com/ Megan

    I get a little neurotic too. My mom always reminds me that it’s just family and it’s ok if everything’s not perfect. I still strive for perfection though! Love the menu!

  • http://twitter.com/TraveleatloveMM Meghan M.

    Yum, I want to try those deviled eggs!

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  • http://www.acambridgestory.com Emily

    Great tips! I agree wholeheartedly with the signature cocktail rule of thumb – and I love the idea of adding smoked salmon to deviled eggs. Perfection!

  • turks and caicos luxury hotels

    Yes, a menu planning is most important for making us fresh and healthy on a
    new place. We should prepare it seriously; we can also take help by their local
    chef. We always prefer healthy food.



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