Last Minute Easter Menu Ideas

6:48 PM

Is it just me or did winter just blast by and spring suddenly arrive? I blinked and Easter is this weekend and April is around the corner. So in typical fashion, I'm scrambling to put together some dishes for our family Easter brunch celebration. So I'm going to some family favorites that are easy to whip up and sure to please. 

Monkey Bread French Toast
Our kids go nuts whenever we make this. You can make this with challah bread or cinnamon raisin bread. We'll often make extra and freeze them for easy toaster french toast. 

1 cup half-and-half
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 (1/2 inch) slices day old monkey bread (or brioche or challah)
4 tablespoons butter


  1. In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup or fruit. 

Mom's Granola with Yogurt
I forget how simple it is to make homemade granola. Whenever we make this, I kick myself for buying store-bought and not making this sooner. 

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sliced almonds 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup canola oil 
3/4 cup vanilla extract 
2 teaspoons vanilla exract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, wheat germ, coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon, and salt and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, honey and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
  3. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir the granola with a spatula several times during the baking to ensure even browning. Let cool completely, then add the cranberries and raisins and mix to distribute them evenly.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
You gotta have some sweets for Easter, right? These are to dye for (get it? Easter egg dyes?).

2 Eggs1 cup packed light brown sugar¾ cup canola oil3 tbs lowfat buttermilk½ tsp vanilla extract1 cup plus 2 tbs unbleached all–purpose flour½ tsp baking powder½ tsp baking soda½ tsp kosher salt½ tsp ground cinnamon¼ tsp ground ginger2 cups shredded carrots½ cup raisins½ cup chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature1 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl or using a stand mixer, beat together eggs and brown sugar on med-high speed for 3-4 minutes, or until mixture is light in color and thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. On low speed, slowly pour the oil mixture into the egg-sugar mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Using a rubber spatula, fold flour mixture into egg-sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
  4. Add carrots, raisins, and walnuts and continue to fold until well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake cupcakes for about 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in muffin tin on wire rack.
  6. Meanwhile to make the frosting, beat cream cheese (with paddle attachment) on medium speed for about a minute until smooth. It is important cream cheese is at room temperature or the frosting will be lumpy. You can microwave on medium power for 30 seconds to soften (be sure to remove foil wrapper!).
  7. Add the butter and continue to beat for another minute. Then add the confectioners’ sugar and beat for one more minute until well mixed. Chill frosting in the refrigerator to firm it up before using.
  8. Remove cupcakes from muffin tin and frost cupcakes. Decorate with shaved coconut, carrot strips or lemon zest.  

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