How to give a last minute Easter Dinner Party

easter bunny and eggs

Special wine choosing tip for your Easter dinner! Is a last minute dinner party on your mind? Here's a simple way to enjoy a stress-free dinner with family or friends. To help you take the stress out of choosing wine for your Easter Dinner party, I've added a special wine choosing tip from Bin 104 Fine Wine & Spirits.

Bin 104 is a boutique wine and spirits store in Edmonton, Canada. I asked the staff there to recommend a good choice to go with lamb so you don't have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what kind of wine to buy.

If you’re in Edmonton you can pop in and get them to advise you on a specific purchase. Otherwise they suggest you try an Australian Shiraz, a Cote du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape or for something a little different, a Spanish Grenache.

Thanks, Bin 104!

Is it already a day or two before Easter? Maybe you have a few days off work, you’ve had a leisurely morning and you’re wishing you had invited some people over for Sunday.

It’s not too late. Read on and see how you can put an easy but elegant Easter Dinner Party together.

And of course all the tips below work whether you have planned well in advance or you are just getting an easter dinner idea together.

Yes, I know, this dinner party planning site is all about planning ahead. But sometimes you just get the urge at the last minute. And yes, you can put your dinner together without ruining your precious holiday weekend with work and stress.

You can pull it off IF

You follow an Easter Dinner Master Plan
You keep your dinner menu as SIMPLE as possible to prepare and serve

This is not the time for fussy, time-consuming recipes. Remember, your guests will be grateful that someone else is cooking for them!

First, of course, pick up the phone and make sure your guests can make it at this late notice.

Here’s the Easter Dinner Master Plan:

Decorating your Easter Dinner Table
Choose a Simple but Special Menu
Your Do Ahead Plan

Decorating your Easter Dinner Table
It’s easy to decorate for Easter Dinner. Pastel and white flowers and some chocolate eggs on the table say it all.

Because this might be a last minute effort, don’t try to invent a creative new Easter centerpiece. Just rely on your basic white tablecloth and dishes. Remember too, that spring is in the air, and that means light colours and accessories for your table. So set your table with:

  • Pastel or white table flowers (low enough that guests can see over them)
  • White or pastel taper candles
  • A sprinkle of little foil-wrapped Easter eggs

You can pick up your spring flowers for the table at your local corner flower store. Then go to the local convenience store and get some little foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs for your table.

Don’t get carried away at the sight of all those giant chocolate bunnies. You want foil-wrapped eggs because you will sprinkling them on a white tablecloth. Bare chocolate could stain if it starts to melt.

Simplicity itself. Set your Easter Dinner table on Friday or Saturday if you can. For some reason we think half the battle is fought when the table is properly set. This is so important to keep stress down!

Choose A Simple But Special Menu
Especially if this is a last minute Easter Dinner, you need to keep things as absolutely simple as possible I am suggesting a roast for this menu because it cooks in the oven while you chat in the living room. But this time you will skip the heavy items like gravy, or lots of root vegetables. Those items say winter, and you want to communicate spring and freshness. This lighter menu does just that.

The other reason for having a roast is that cooking it is so easy. You just put the meat thermometer in, pop the roast in the oven at the right temperature (about 350F) and let it cook.

So buy the roast of your choice. Lamb is associated with Easter, but feel free to buy another kind of roast such as pork or beef, whatever you are in the mood for. There are only a couple of things to think about:

(1)Add about 10 minutes to pre-heat the oven when you are estimating when to start the roast. Follow the directions for how many minutes per pound, but let your meat thermometer make the final decision that the roast is the way you want it.
(2)Remember the meat will keep cooking a little when you take it out of the oven, so don’t delay taking it out once the thermometer reaches your desired setting.

Last Minute Easter Dinner Party Menu

    Hors D'oeuvres
  • Crisp raw vegetables (olives, celery, baby carrots are fine)
  • A soft and a hard cheese (Brie and cheddar always work) with crackers
  • White and red wine
  • Selection of non-alcoholic drinks as required
  • Main Course
  • 3-4 lb roast suitable for oven roasting
  • Parisienne Potatoes
  • Asparagus with lemon
  • Mesclun mix salad with red radishes
  • Dinner rolls
  • Red and white wine
  • Dessert
  • Store bought cheesecake, preferably not chocolate *
  • Store bought Easter eggs
  • Coffee, (get some decaffeinated) tea, herbal tea
  • After dinner drinks as desired
* Try to get a light coloured cheesecake to keep the spring theme going. Remember you already have chocolate in the Easter eggs.

Your Easter Dinner Do Ahead Plan

To Do on Friday or Saturday

  • Shop for flowers
  • Shop for Easter eggs
  • House clean the important areas – living room, dining room, bathrooms and coat areas
  • Set the table if possible
  • Set out serving dishes and utensils – or at least check that you can locate them, they are clean and ready to use
  • Check for staples such as coffee, tea, oil, vinegar, cream, milk, butter. Add them to the shopping list if you need to.
  • Do you own a meat thermometer to put in the roast as it cooks? If not, add one to your list. They’re inexpensive and you will be very glad you did.

To Buy on Friday or Saturday

  • 3 to 4 pound roast suitable for oven roasting
  • Parisienne Potatoes
  • A lemon for the asparagus
  • Mesclun mix for salad
  • Asparagus
  • Vegetables for the vegetable tray (olives, baby carrots and celery or substitutes)
  • Dinner rolls
  • Cheesecake
  • Staples as required
  • Meat thermometer if required
  • Red and white wine as required
  • After dinner drinks as required
  • Non-alcoholic drinks as required

To Do on Saturday

  • Wash the salad greens and put them in the bowl you’ll use to serve them. Refrigerate the bowl, covered loosely with a clean tea towel
  • Wash and cut the celery for the vegetable tray, wash the baby carrots
  • Prepare the asparagus by snapping the ends off and washing, then stand the spears up in a container with enough water to cover the ends
  • Check directions on your cheesecake for defrosting if it is frozen

To do on Easter Sunday during the day

  • Prepare the vegetable tray and refrigerate.
  • Slice the lemon to top the asparagus. Reserve to add at the last minute.
  • Put the dinner rolls in a bowl and cover them loosely with a tea towel
  • Put butter on the dinner table
  • Arrange your drinks in a serving area along with glasses
  • Wash the Parisienne potatoes. If you think they won't cook fully in the time the roast takes, microwave them for a few minutes first
  • Put your cheese and crackers on a serving plate and store in the frig

A few minutes before company arrives

  • Put the cheese and crackers and the vegetable tray in the living room
  • Pre-heat the oven
  • Stack the CD player with your music selections and start it playing
  • Brush the Parisienne potatoes with a tiny amount of oil so they don’t dry out
  • Scatter the Parisienne potatoes around the roast, Insert a meat thermometer in the roast and put it in the oven
  • Put the cheesecake on a pretty plate and put the plate out in your dessert area
  • Put out your other dessert items like coffee cups, sugar and cream.
  • Take a few minutes to sit down and put your feet up!

Last minute tasks serving up your Easter Dinner

  • Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest while you do the next jobs
  • Cook the asparagus in the microwave. Just add a little water to the dish, cover with plastic except for a corner, and cook about 3 to 4 minutes on medium-high (don’t forget to add the lemon slices when it’s done)
  • Put the rolls, salad and asparagus on the table
  • Put water in the water glasses and light the candles if you are using them *
  • Slice the roast and put slices on the platter*
  • Add the Parisienne potatoes and serving utensils to the platter

*Great jobs to delegate if you can!

At dessert time

  • Put the cheesecake and serving plates on the table and pass slices to those who want some. Invite people to unwrap the Easter eggs on the table
  • Coffee, tea and after dinner drinks can follow when you feel like them.

The Dinner Party Planning Site philosophy – plan ahead, keep it simple, so you can

Enjoy your last minute Easter Dinner party with your guests!

Back from Easy Easter Dinner to the dinner party planning site Home Page

Gather your friends and family around a sizzling steak that you can enjoy too, because you followed my stress-free steak dinner directions. You'll bring a smile to everyone's face, including your own!

If the weather is nice you can barbecue your steak, if it is not so nice, just move the dinner inside. Click here to find out more about hosting a stress-free steak dinner

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