Easter-brunch-check-list-title

Easter is a favorite time to celebrate with our friends and family here at FrenchGardenHouse!

It’s a time when we celebrate the resurrection, celebrate the fresh new hope of Spring, and just celebrate being all together!

Monsieur Lievre Spring2

I plan what I’m serving at least a week or so before, and also make a list of all the serving pieces I want to use for the buffet table.

That way I’m not stressed, or trying to re-invent the table at the last minute. I can enjoy the day, knowing that I planned it all ahead!
Ironstone-bouquet

Here’s an easy check list I use, and that you can use too. This weekend is the time to really start planning, if you haven’t already.

Risotto-artichoke-parmesan

 

A WEEK BEFORE EASTER.

1. PLAN THE MENU. 

Write down what you will be having for brunch {or lunch or dinner} and make a huge list. I actually plan my menu on a blank piece of printer paper, I like room for doodling!

Here is what we will be having for our Annual Egg Hunt & Brunch:

Assorted Appetizers {guests bring their favorites}

The Perfect Spring Appetizer

Honey Baked Spiral Ham

Honey Baked Chicken Breast

Arugula and Roasted Grape Salad {recipe coming Wednesday!}

Cesar Salad

Spring Parmesan Artichoke Risotto

Most Delicious Hashbrowns Ever

Assorted Rolls and condiments

Easter Cake {made by me, simple layer cake with frosting}

Easter Cookies

Mixed Berries

 

SpringAppetizerPerfect

2. MAKE A SHOPPING LIST. 

Write down every single thing you will need. I group my lists into “areas” of the market, or into different shops I need to go to.

antique-mulberry-platterPlatter

If you will have a HoneyBaked Ham, order it now, there’s still time. They have a great online reservation service, you simply log in, click on what you want to reserve at your local store, and they email you with your pick-up time. Pick up early, the ham will keep for days, so at least that part will be done.

French-Ironstone-Plates

 

3. PLAN THE TABLE.  

Yay! You all know this is my favorite part!  Will you have a formal table, or casual? Best antique dishes, or every day, or paper?

Antique-ironstone

 

I use another piece of 8-1/2″ x 11″ blank paper to plan out my tables. I’m visual, so I make simple shapes for the centerpiece, the serving bowls and platters and everything that will go on the table. I also make a note of the serving utensils.

I also write on this “blue print” what food goes on each dish. That way, when Easter morning comes, and I’m a little scattered, I can look at my plan and know exactly what goes where.

Ironstone-platters

 

A FEW DAYS BEFORE EASTER. 

1. SHOP FOR EVERYTHING. 
I try to have everything in house by now. I pick up my ham and chicken breast. If there is something to be picked up the day before Easter, I will make a separate list for that.

frenchgardenhouseprovencebagPainted Provence Tote

2. COOK AHEAD. 

If you are making cakes, cookies and other things that could possibly be made ahead, do it!  In years past I’ve made things in the beginning of the week and frozen them.

These days, my menu is so simplified, that I just make a cake, some cookies ahead of time and call it done for the cooking part, except for the salads which are so super easy to mix together on the morning of Easter, and the risotto, which I will make early Easter morning.

FrenchGardenHouse19thcenturyFrenchChateauUrnSilver

3. CREATE FLORAL CENTERPIECES. 

Flowers always look better a few days out, so you can easily create your beautiful flowers Wednesday or Thursday. They will cheer you up while you are busy working on your Easter celebration too!

Antique-Ironstone-vase

 

Flowers can be anything from a beautiful bunch of all one flower arranged in an antique ironstone French pitcher – to single stems, each in an old glass bottle.

4. CLEAN. 

By that I mean dust, and vacuum. Make sure the bathrooms are clean, with a little flower arrangement, some pretty soaps,  and clean towels for guests.

Don’t wear yourself out, guests don’t really notice if your home is ready to be featured on America’s Cleanest Homes, or not. Just use common sense, you don’t want to be so exhausted by the time Sunday comes!

FrenchCountryOliveLavandeSoap2Olive Lavender Soap

 

5. MAKE EASTER BASKETS AND/OR FAVORS. 

It’s a sweet idea to make a little Easter favor for each guest.  It can be anything from a small bar of French soap, to a little box of chocolates.

antique-tea-cup-velvet-ribbonLavender Antique Teacup

 

I started the tradition of filling my grandchildren’s Easter baskets with a new bathing suit, and just a few chocolate treats.  I love spending some “me” time creating their baskets, and also any favors for guests.  This favor below is just a paper box tied with vintage ribbon, filled with some speckled candy eggs, topped with a tag and a little sprig of wax flower.

Easter-favor-gift

THE DAY BEFORE EASTER

1. SET THE TABLE. 

Since we actually eat outside in the back garden, for me this means I only set my buffet table in the kitchen area. But I do have tables and chairs outside set out already by the end of the day. {thank you Mr. FrenchGardenHouse!}

Easter-table-napkinNapkins

 

I gather big plastic bins, to fill up with all the plates, flatware, napkins, tablecloth, glasses and everything else I use outside. So that when it comes time to set table outdoors, it’s all in an easy totable bin!

2. CHOOSE OWN EASTER OUTFIT.   I usually try it on, too! I want to look somewhere between elegant and casual, and wear clothes that are really comfortable. Usually for the brunch, this is my “go to” outfit – a pair of white or jean skinny pants, a non-wrinkle linen shirt, a bold, statement necklace, and comfortable shoes, often sandals since we live in California and the Brunch is in the garden.

antique-lavender-tea-cup

EASTER DAY.  

1. SET OUTDOOR TABLES.  If you are having just one table, and it’s indoors, you’ve already set it yesterday, so you are ahead of the game!

2FrenchGardenHouseEasterParty2Tablecloth

 

2. COOK LAST MINUTE DISHES.  In my case, this means putting the risotto in the oven, and tossing the salad.

SpringNestFGH

3. USE LIST TO PLACE ALL FOOD ON BUFFET TABLE.  Use list to get all the food onto the buffet table, with a “blue print” there is no guessing. Plus, in my case {since I am famous for forgetting to serve something – which no one but me knows!} it helps as a  reminder to bring everything out of the refrigerator.

FrenchGardenHouseEasterGardenParty

4. GREET GUESTS WITH A SMILE AND ENJOY THE DAY!   You’ve made all these lists, shopped every store in town and prepared everything ahead of time so that when the party begins, you will enjoy it too!

Sometimes things aren’t perfect, but it’s okay. Glasses can break, a child can trip, if you as the hostess are in a non-frazzled state of mind, these are soon dealt with and forgotten. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of my own Easter Preparation. I hope you are having a fun time planning your celebratory time with your own family and friends.

bAntiqueConservatoryPotsFrenchcountry

 

Don’t forget to enter the give-away!

AprilGiveAwayFrenchGardenHouse

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL TIPS OR TRICKS TO GET READY FOR EASTER THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE? I’D LOVE TO KNOW!