Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Isn't he adorable? I just couldn't resist sharing this picture. He got this bunny in his Easter basket and gave it a hug after he pulled it out.

We had a wonderful Easter weekend with our little family and friends. On Saturday our neighborhood hosted an Easter Egg Hunt at the park. It was so much fun to see all of our friends from the neighborhood out there with their families. Jack had a fun time too. Although, we think he had more fun playing at the park post-hunt than he did during the actual hunt. I think he would stay at the park all day if we let him.

On Sunday we invited some friends from church over for an Easter lunch. We thought it would be fun to invite people that, like us, do not have extended family in town. We ended up with a total of 8 adults and 5 kids. I really enjoyed putting the menu together, cooking, and especially the time spent with friends! 

As I planned the menu, I was looking for dishes that would be easy to prepare ahead of time and inexpensive. I love hosting for large groups, but the cost of the meal can add up very quickly if I am not careful. So in order to not blow our grocery budget for the month, I scoured the grocery store ads for deals. Because we were planning on having everyone come over right after church, I wanted to cook food that I could prepare in advance or throw together easily when we got home. So I settled on ham, potatoes au gratin, roasted asparagus, store-bought rolls, and deviled eggs. In the end, I spent under $40 on a meal that fed 13 with plenty of leftovers- not bad! 

Target had their Archer Farms ham on sale for $1.89/lb. After reading great reviews on it, I figured I would give it a try. It is already roasted and sliced, so all you need to do is heat it up in the oven and use the glaze included with it. I was able to put it in the oven before we left for church, and it was ready by the time we got home. It could not have been easier or more delicious!

Albertson's had their 10 pound bag of potatoes on sale for $1.59. I had already thought I would make a potato dish, so when I noticed the sale, it was perfect. I love potatoes au gratin, so I looked on the Food Network website to try to find a good recipe. I decided to use the recipe from The Pioneer Woman show. You've got to try this recipe, it was so delicious and easy! I made them before church (except for the last little bit with cheese on top) then turned the temperature down to "warm." I left them in there during church then bumped the temperature back up when I got home, added the cheese, and cooked them for another 10 minutes. The only other change I made to her recipe was adding a dash of garlic powder and a dash of onion powder to the cream mixture for a little extra flavor.

I also made deviled eggs and my roasted asparagus and bought King's Hawaiin Sweet Dinner Rolls. I have always loved these, but they are especially great to make little ham sandwiches. Add a little Dijon mustard, and you have one delicious sandwich! The deviled eggs were easy to make a day in advance, and the asparagus was easy to cook when I got home from church. 

This meal was simple, comforting, and delicious. I look forward to hosting more holiday meals in the future!

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