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Stop stressing about food for Easter, and get prepped with these easy ideas!

Although the family will be tempted to snack on sweets all day, get prepared with a great list of meals for Easter! From breakfast to dessert, as well as snacking and drinks, be sure to walk through these ideas to make this year’s Easter special.

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Maybe you and your Easter Sunday guests aren’t into having ham this year and want to try something new. Or maybe you want a vegetarian meal. Alternatives to ham are easy to come by but if you’re vegetarian, it can be even harder to find meatless options, especially during the holidays. Here are some main dish ideas to really make your Easter Sunday a hoppin’ good time! 

Eggplant Parmesan: This vegetarian meal makes a great dish for Easter Sunday, especially if you’re celebrating around dinnertime. Save time on cooking and spend more time with your loved ones by making this dish in a slow cooker. 

Vegetarian lasagna: Lasagna without meat is purely delicious and pasta is something everyone can agree on! Serve a yummy crisp spring salad and bread on the side. 

Cornish hens: With a little sage butter and lemon zest, you’ve got a mouthwatering meal for Easter! 

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Quiche: If your family enjoys an Easter brunch, a quiche is your go-to dish! You can change it up each year to have meat or be vegetarian friendly. 

Egg casserole: A breakfast casserole can have every breakfast item in one, like potatoes, eggs and meats. Yum! 

Lamb: This is a favorite for Easter and with the right seasoning, gravy and side, everyone will love it! A little chimichurri sauce really rounds out lamb chops! 

Fish: Maybe not your typical dish for Easter but mix up the recipe by making Mediterranean style fish and serve it with asparagus and potatoes and watch people devour it! 

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Photo Credit: The Donkey And The Carrot

Deviled eggs: Deviled eggs certainly go with the spirit of the holiday, but are best as an appetizer! 

Herb stuffed pork loin: This juicy pork loin dish just overflows with flavor and pairs perfectly with some side veggies. 

Plethora of bakery goods: If you want to keep it casual, set out some fruit salad and an array of bakery goods and let everyone serve themselves. 

greenbean-casserole

Green bean casserole: An easy classic that everyone will enjoy and easy for you as the chef so you can serve your whole party. 

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We all want to start the new year off in a positive, serendipitous fashion. So whether you are mildly superstitious, a true believer in all things mystical and supernatural, or a skeptic who's just going along with it, check out some of these interesting good luck traditions from around the world and try a few for good luck and a wonderful 2017!

Eat Twelve Grapes At Midnight.

This Spanish tradition of eating twelve grapes all at once at midnight started as a way to determine whether each month of the upcoming year would be sweet or bitter based on the flavor of the grapes. Now we can choose, so pick out twelve sweet grapes for twelve happy months! 

Pick Up Some Pomegranates. 

They represent an abundance of health, fertility, and prosperity. And who doesn't desire those positive things in the new year? What's more, you can use this tasty fruit to predict your fortune - in Greece the tradition is to smash a pomegranate on the floor in front of a door and count the seeds. The more seeds, the more luck you'll have in the new year! 

Enjoy Some Delicious Noodles.

A long noodle means a long life, so it's become common in some cultures (although it's actually part of the official observation in Japan) to dine on dishes that feature long noodles for health and longevity in the new year. It's even better if you can eat your noodles without breaking them, so work on your slurping technique before NYE.

Or Deviled Eggs.

These tasty little snacks also signify longevity and good health. 

Put A Ring On Your Dessert.

Donuts, bundt cakes, and other ring-shaped foods symbolize the year coming full circle (plus they are delicious). If you bake a cake, hide a coin inside as a bonus good luck charm for the lucky person who gets the coin on their slice.

Make Pork The Main Dish.

The pig symbolizes progress and pushing things forward, so it is only natural that we enjoy all things pork-related in the New Year. Perhaps pork chops or a tenderloin might be in order for dinner? 

Or Perhaps A Whole Fish.

The word for "fish" in Chinese is similar to abundance, making the a whole fish perhaps the ideal New Year's main dish. Plus the scales resemble money, and fish always swim forward, representing progress towards a goal. 

Eat Your Greens.

Leafy green veggies like cabbage, spinach, kale, and other healthy favorites symbolize money and therefore wealth and prosperity in the new year. Now that green juice or smoothie is extra-good for you! 

Lentils Are Also Lucky.

Because they resemble coins, eating lentils in the New Year means good things for your finances. 

Herring Is Lucky Too.

Because the silvery fish also resemble coins, so it's a tradition in Scandinavia, Russia, and the Philippines to eat herring on New Year's Eve. 

So Is Cornbread.

Because it looks like a hunk of gold (if you squint. A lot). Sense a theme here? Consuming foods that look like money or precious metals means you'll hopefully have a lot of those things coming your way in 2017. 

And So Are Black-Eyed Peas.

They bring prosperity and happiness according to tradition in the southern U.S. Hoppin' John is the classic dish, but however you prepare them, serve them with some collard greens for an extra dose of luck. 

Clearly, if you want to have plenty of luck in 2017, you'll want to make sure that luck is on the menu. Happy New Year - and happy dining!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iStock-518728054 CroppedMardi season is upon us, and while that may mean carnival masks, beads, parades, and other celebratory activities, we're really here for the food. Now is the perfect time to enjoy Cajun and Creole specialties as well as some classic cocktails. 

What To Eat For Mardi Gras

We covered Oysters Rockefeller and Bananas Foster already, but there are so many more amazing dishes that you should be enjoying this week. 

King Cake is the traditional dessert, and don't forget to hide a baby doll charm in the cake for a lucky friend or family member to find. We suggest using the green, yellow, and purple icing as well for extra festiveness. Beignets are another New Orleans classic that are also extremely appropriate for the holiday - or any time at all, really, because you never need an excuse for beignets.

Jambalaya or gumbo both make fantastic main dishes, and red beans and rice is a great side dish for pretty much everything on the Mardi Gras menu. Shrimp creole, etouffee, and so many other New Orleans are also great options for your Mardi Gras inspired menu.

No matter what you serve, keep things casual with a brunch or buffet style dinner, because this holiday is about having fun and letting loose. And don't forget the music! A little jazz, big band bass or zydeco, or funk can all get the party started.

Fat Tuesday = Cheat Day

On Fat Tuesday (February 28th this year), it's traditional to eat pancakes or paczkis - so it might be worth a cheat day to have a fabulous carb-laden breakfast. And besides, isn't Fat Tuesday the original cheat day, since it's the chance for one last indulgence before the austerity and fasting for Lent begins? Go for it. 

And What To Drink

If you require a delicious beverage or two for Mardi Gras, look no further than a Sazerac - perhaps America's oldest cocktail  - or a bright, fruity Hurricane or New Orleans frozen daiquiri. If you're in the mood for a challenge to pair with your cocktails, you can attempt to craft a Ramos Gin Fizz

Whether or not you celebrate Mardi Gras or Carnivale with a big parade or party, you should at least enjoy the food! After all, the feasting might be the very best part! 

iStock-507010111 CroppedThere's something about New Year's Eve that just calls for a bottle of bubbly or a flute of something sparkling.

But sometimes you want to mix it up a little as well - after all, NYE is a special night and therefore you should have a special beverage or two! So why not add a champagne cocktail to the mix - from the traditional standbys to the contemporary twists on the classics, there are plenty of options. Here are some of our favorites:

Bellini

A combination of champagne or prosecco with peach nectar makes for a fruity Italian twist on the standard flute of champagne. Garnish with strawberries or blueberries along with a slice of peach for extra color and flavor. 

French 75

Champagne with gin, lemon juice, and a dash of simple syrup results in a classic cocktail that will lend a touch of old school glamour to your New Year's Eve celebration.

Kir Royale

This classic French apértif features créme de cassis topped off with champagne. Here's how to make it and add a bit of Parisian style to your NYE. 

Classic Champagne Cocktail

If Martha Stewart recommends it, it's certainly a good thing! Here's how she combines bitters, a sugar cube, cognac, and champagne for a perfect New Year's Eve libation. 

San Remo

Champagne plus triple sec, mandarin liqueur, and grapefruit juice makes for refreshing citrus twist on the traditional NYE beverages. Garnish it with slices of orange for an added flourish. 

Black Velvet

A one to one combination of stout (Guinness is the classic choice) and champagne makes for a surprisingly delicious high-low beverage

Ginger Fizz

This sparkling mocktail might be the perfect choice for NYE, with its blend of ginger syrup, fresh lime juice, and sparkling water. 

Blackberry Lavender Champagne Cocktail

Blackberry and lavender make a fabulous combination; add champagne, and you have an elegant and visually stunning cocktail that will help you start the New Year off right. 

 

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