Fake Your Way To A Fabulous Easter Dinner

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by Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore

Just when you felt like you finally put away all of the Christmas decorations, here comes the Easter bunny hop, hop, hopping along. He’ll be here before you know it, and while he might be bringing eggs for all of the good little boys and girls, their parents (and yours) are expecting dinner. At your house. How do you pull it all together? You fake it.

Yes, that’s right. It is possible to fake your way to a fantastic spread. But first, you have to step away from all the org porn. This time of year we put out a DEFCON 5 alert for the stuff, it’s so rampant. So, go ahead, put down those glossy magazines featuring elaborate, hand-crafted Easter table centerpieces. Close that browser that’s open to 10 different DIY blogs showing step-by-step instructions for achieving perfectly decorated delectable treats. All they do is make you feel badly because you can’t replicate a project that was done by an entire team of talented stylists or inadequate because your spread will pale in comparison. Neither is good. Stop using it as a benchmark for yourself. It’s essential for your sanity.

Let’s get real. Here are our top tips for faking your way to a festive and fabulous Easter dinner:

1. Why Ham is a God-Send.

Turkey has to have been created by a man. No woman worth her salt would create a meal that requires waking up at the crack of dawn and then spending hours standing nearby to baste at a moment’s notice. Nope. Ham, on the other hand, is perfect. You can order a pre-cooked one, pop it in the oven, and nobody knows the difference. Like we said, perfect.

2. Easter Eggs are For More than Baskets.

You’re buying plenty of eggs already, so put some of those extras to use and make an egg salad or as a topping for a spinach salad. It’s quick, cheap, and easy. In addition to using the eggs as ingredients, consider decorating with them as well. Put a filled basket in the middle of the table and voila – instant centerpiece.

3. Give Orders.

Don’t let your guests slide through that front door without a job. Map out your menu in advance and then pick something each person can bring. As the old adage goes, many hands make light work. If you have a cool city-dwelling guest that doesn’t cook, ask them stop by the bakery for bread or hit the liquor store for some wine.

4. Be a Hack.

Given that we each will receive well over 850 pieces of junk mail this year, chances are good you have a catalog or three sitting in your mail pile. Grab one from the likes of Pottery or another home décor company and use it as a cheat sheet for designing your table. Notice how they stage things like pitchers with bright forsythia branches and serving platters with simple sprigs of rosemary placed ever so nicely underneath? Well, you can decorate on the cheap by snagging simple ideas like these from the experts.

5. Pull out the Punch Bowl.

Your days of drinking frat house boomerang punch are way behind you, but everybody still loves a festive drink. Go online and search for a fun and easy recipe. We’ve tested and love Martha Stewart’s pear lemon fizz (http://www.marthastewart.com/318901/pear-lemon-fizz) and Food.com’s Golden Easter punch (http://www.food.com/recipe/golden-easter-punch-23071).

6. No Baking!

Easter is all about candy so it’s safe to assume that at least a few of your guests will have gorged themselves on Cadbury eggs before they sit down to dinner. Simplify things for yourself by skipping the baked dessert and putting out little bowls of candy for after-dinner treats instead. Most really just want to get their hands on the jellybeans anyway.

For additional organization and seasonal tips, visit our website at www.getbuttonedup.com.

What are YOUR ideas for faking Easter Dinner? What tips can you add to these to make the day special without the exhaustion? Share with us!

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