Easter recipes & decor

Easter is less than three weeks away and my mind is full of wonderful memories of time spent with family and friends. The opportunity to cook family recipes or experiment with new ones is always fun!

The egg dying colors are so vibrant, but they'll stain your fingers if you're not careful!

One of my favorite activities during the Easter weekend is dying eggs. Each year my children and I dye 2 dozen eggs. We usually use the original Paas easter egg classic dye kit. My grown children seem to enjoy drawing on the eggs with the wax crayon as much now as they did years ago! We never miss the opportunity to dye eggs, even if it means doing it in the wee hours of Easter morning!

The two recipes I have for you are delicious and diverse. The first is a recipe from my mother in-law. It is a part of my husband's Easter memories and has been incorporated into our family Easter celebration. The second is a simple dessert that I discovered as a young mother. It is very easy to prepare but delicious and eye-catching! So if you are looking to add a new dish—or two—to your Easter table give these a try.

Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica

A staple of Easter breakfast at my house, but my in-laws serve it as an appetizer before Easter dinner. Often I enjoy it twice in one day: at home and then later at dinner! My husband makes this for our family each year. Doesn’t food always taste better when someone else cooks? I think it does!

Bake in a rectangular baking dish of your choice. The ingredients listed are for a 7”x10” dish. Adjust the ingredient amounts accordingly. Included is my mother in-law's recipe for a baking powder crust recipe. My husband uses a refrigerated pie crust and extra Genoa salami, leaving out the soppresata salami.

The Crust

  • 3 Tbsp shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ C ice-cold water
  • 2 C flour
  • ⅔  tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ tsp salt

Blend shortening into dry ingredients using a pastry blender. Mix the egg and water together. Add to dry ingredients to form ball.  Refrigerate covered until firm and workable.

The Filling

  • 3-4 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 12 slices Genoa salami
  • Combine the following five ingredients to prepare the Ricotta Mixture:
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 2-3 large eggs beaten
  • 8 oz diced or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ C grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ lb diced Italian soppresata salami (optional)

Roll crust into 2 pieces. First one large enough to cover bottom and sides of baking dish and a second for the top crust. Set the top crust aside. Place the bottom crust in the baking dish.

Layer into bottom crust: 4 slices salami, then ½ of the ricotta mixture. Cover with ½ of the sliced eggs. Repeat with a second layer. Finish with a single layer of salami. Top with remaining crust. Slit top for heat/steam to escape.

Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes then turn oven down to 325°F for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown. For pie crust, follow the baking instructions specific to your crust. Let cool and enjoy or refrigerate to enjoy the next day. I love how the flavors blend together overnight!

Layered pound cake with pineapple

I believe its original name is Dole Golden Layer Cake. I must have originally found the recipe in 1991. I know this because of my amazing memory—haha no—but because I have a magazine page dated 1991 tucked in one of my recipe books.

  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (16 oz) frozen pound cake, thawed
  • 1 pkg (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ⅓ C almond-flavored liqueur
  • Optional garnish: sliced pineapple and ¼ C toasted sliced almonds

Photo of original advertisement torn from a 1991 magazine. A simple and delicious dessert!

Combine undrained pineapple, whipped topping, and pudding mix. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut cake lengthwise in thirds. Drizzle with liqueur. Spread ⅓ pudding mixture over bottom layer of cake. Top with second layer. Repeat layering ending with pudding. Chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds and garnish with pineapple slices.

When making this dessert I prefer to use a homemade or bakery pound cake. I never drizzle with liqueur, it isn’t something I have in my kitchen. This is a simple and delicious springtime-ish—is that a word—dessert! Very flavorful and a family pleaser.

A creatively folded napkin adds an unexpected twist to a simple place setting.

On holidays I always try to set a simple but meaningful table. I like to use dishes and items that I already own with a little twist thrown in. My favorite Easter twist is folded napkins. Two years ago I included a folded napkin bunny at each of the place settings. They are very easy to make, all you need is a square napkin—cloth or paper—and the ability to follow directions. If you have ever done Origami you are way ahead of the game! I have found a pattern here for you to follow to create your own herd of bunnies.

Plans for Easter this year haven’t been finalized. Although I do know that my youngest daughter will not be with us, she will be spending Easter with her boyfriend’s family in NY. She will be missed, but I know she will have a wonderful Easter!