Entertaining

Creating a Festive Easter Buffet…Complete With Scrumptious Menu

Easter is only a week away so it’s time I sorted out my Easter lunch menu and decide how I want to set up our buffet.  Whenever we have guests for a meal I serve it buffet style, using our kitchen island.  This accomplishes three things: 1) there is more room on the dining table for cute decor, 2) the table isn’t cluttered with bowls, platters and other serving pieces and 3) it’s easier and more comfortable for my guests to serve themselves because there’s no passing of serving dishes back and forth. I like to use our sideboard for drinks.

This year I’ve decided to have a casual, relaxed southern style Easter lunch.  My sweet husband and in-laws love southern food and I think I’ve come up with a menu that will make everyone’s mouths water!  And of course there are NO calories in anything I’m serving!

 

Here are the links to some of these yummy dishes:

Southern Living Basic Deviled Eggs

Southern Living Southern-Style Green Beans

Southern Living Cheesy Potato Casserole

The White Chocolate Cheesecake is from the Prime Meridian Cookbook.

Now that I’ve decided on the menu, it’s time to plan how I want to arrange my sideboard and buffet.  To begin with, I like to have the dishes on the dinner table when my guests arrive (instead of having them stacked on the buffet table) so that they can get the full impact of the tablescape  when they arrive (to see my Easter tablescape click Here).  Let’s start with my kitchen island which I’m using as our buffet table.

 

I’m going to start off by adding a tablecloth to give the island a bit of texture and make it look more like a pretty buffet table and less like a plain old kitchen island.  I’m not really a tablecloth kind of girl, mostly because I only own one and it doesn’t fit my table (I won it in a raffle about 100 years ago). But it’s so lovely and delicate, with its hand embroidered flowers, that it reminds me of spring and will be the perfect addition to my Easter buffet.

 

Sometimes, depending on the occasion and what I’m serving, I will add something under the tablecloth to add some height to the buffet table.  This makes it more visually interesting.  However, because I’m using my rather large tiered tray on the buffet I’m not going to worry about having varying heights this time.  Now I need to decide where each serving dish will be placed.  I learned a good trick from my sister…use Post It notes to tag which dish will be placed in which serving piece.  That way you won’t have to worry about remembering where you planned for everything to go when you’re up to your eyeballs in last minute preparations.

 

Now, if there’s any room left, I’ll add one or two decor pieces.  I’ve chosen to use my tiered tray and have added a small faux plant, a mercury glass candlestick and an ornate easel to hold my menu.

 

And voila!  One Easter buffet table ready to go…just add food!

 

Now that the buffet is set up, I’ll turn my attention to my sideboard which is going to serve as my drinks station.  I find it much easier to have the drinks station set up away from the kitchen so that my guests don’t feel they are under foot while I’m finishing up the meal preparation.  Our sideboard is close to the family room which is where we will be gathering for appetizers, so it makes sense to have it here.

 

I’ve included red and white wines and a pitcher of water with lemon for those who don’t want an alcoholic drink.  It’s important to try to anticipate everything your guests will want and have it at the ready.

 

In keeping with the Easter theme, I’ve kept some of my Easter decorations on the sideboard and added a few others.  To me, this is the most fun part of setting up!

 

Menu…Check!  Arrangement and styling of buffet…Check!  Arrangement and styling of drinks station…Check!  Now all that’s left is to sit back and enjoy your meal and your guests!

And let’s not forget the REAL reason for Easter.  It is a time of renewal, a time to remember the amazing sacrifice Jesus made for us by giving up His life so that we could have eternal life. Happy Easter!

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