What a great weekend I had celebrating Easter with my husband’s side of the family. We started our morning off with sunrise mass, followed by Easter baskets, and an egg hunt for my crew.
I love hosting guests at my house and it is even better when it is family! The most important thing about hosting is I am in charge of the food. This is a great opportunity for me since I like to keep my meals healthy and clean as possible. This feast we served 9 adults and 7 children (5 of those 7 are mine!) I am also learning not to sweat the small stuff. So this year I gave the okay for Reddi wip as a better alternative to cool whip. I would usually use Coconut Cream from the top of a full fat can of coconut milk, but I have learned to allow a select few things on a very limited basis.
Since we are a gluten free family, our Easter dinner was made the same. My husband and I did some prep worked the night before to help with keeping the day as stress free and easy as possible. We first made the seasoning for the the uncured bone-in ham that we got from Trader Joes. You may find the herb salt recipe here. We did tweak the herb salt recipe a bit to our own tasting. Instead of 1 cup of salt we used 1/4 cup of pink himalayan salt. You can then use some EVOO and some leftover seasoning in a dish to dip your ham into later.
I made our favorite Jello Recipe from Against All Grain. It is an easy to make 2 ingredient recipe. I always double the recipe for my crew since there is a lot of us. This is also great for school lunches and snacks. You may find Danielle Walker’s recipe here. This is one of our number one go to recipes often in my household. We always use Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin in the recipe.
Raw veggies are a must. They are quick and easy to snack on throughout the day. I mix up a ranch mix usually only when I am entertaining. Otherwise on a normal day to day basis we don’t use a dip for our raw veggies. I have learned to read labels pretty well over the years. So it is always important to check the labels to be sure nothing extra is added in. Even when it may be say it is organic. For our dip we used Organic Full Fat Sour Cream with almost 2 TBSP (depending on your taste) of chopped onion. Then to taste add in parsley, garlic, pepper and pink himalayan salt. Easy to make yourself without all the extra crap they put into pre-made ranch mixes in the stores.
I have been craving cheesecake lately and wanted to find a good recipe to try. I don’t tolerate dairy very well when I have too much of it. So I finally found a goat’s milk recipe. Let me tell you, this is to die for! I had no leftovers and even my own children were swarming over it. This recipe only called for 4 ingredients and is made with soft goat milk cheese. It is also dairy free and refined sugar free. Once you get to know me, you will realize if something calls for sugar in it, I only will use coconut sugar or maple syrup. So this was exactly what I was looking for. We topped ours with fresh strawberries. Check out Love Yourself Green for this delicious recipe. Read her notes about the honey in the recipe. When I made ours I also only used 1/2 cup of raw unfiltered honey.
I am a lover of all things chocolate so I must have some chocolate for my get togethers. If you haven’t check out The Spunky Coconut you should. She is a great resource for some gluten free/dairy free/paleo recipes including this Chocolate Pie that Nom Nom Paleo posted from her The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook. The only thing I substituted was Alter Eco Dark Mint Organic Chocolate since my oldest daughter loves mint. I also made it in my cast iron pan. It was the first time I used the mint chocolate and it tasted divine.
Now it was time to hit the bed and get roughly 5 hours sleep before waking up at 5am for 6am mass. Having all this prepped and ready to go made my Easter morning go so smoothly.
As soon as we got home from mass, Rob scored the ham, seasoned it with the seasoning we made the day before, and put it on the Traeger to smoke for roughly 2 hours and then cook for an additional hour at a higher temp. We let it sit for a bit, and then carved right before serving. I do really love my Traeger, and it does make prepping protein during the week a breeze.
Then about a little over an hour before dinner I made the scalloped baked potatoes. I cut did up the the Raw Milk Cheese and Kerrygold Butter the day before also. I covered my baking pan with parchment paper (makes cleaning up easier). Now just needed to slice up the potatoes and place the butter and cheese in-between the slices alternating every other one. Drizzled some avocado oil on top and himalayan salt. Placed in over at 400 degrees for a little over an hour. Pulled it out of the oven poured some Strauss Farms half & half (because grabbed the wrong bottle at the store. Should have been heaving whipping cream) and sprinkled with more raw milk cheese on top. Placed back into oven for about 15 minutes. Then served with sour cream and chives. The potatoes were big so we totally had to cut them up and shared them instead of eating a full one.
About 15 minutes before chowing down on this heavenly meal I made grilled asparagus. Just drizzled very little avocado oil, sprinkled some himalayan salt and pepper, and tossed. Place on the grill until ready. Now on to prepare the mussels. Steamed and then served with melted butter, splash white wine, red onion, minced garlic, diced up tomatoes, and added back in the liquid from the pan that I steamed the mussels in.
Finally the finishing touches of the mixed kale salad served with Tessemaes Balsamic Dressing. (Side note I am loving all of Tesseames dressing from there Whole30 pack. A great paleo friendly dressing). Pulled out the fresh fruit and jello. Not picture because I forgot to take one is the raw veggie tray with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and homemade ranch dip.
It was an intense two days of cooking. But there is no better way to spend a holy day, like Easter, than surrounded by good food and family. Remember prepping food is the key that unlocks the door to keeping your SANITY! Enjoy my friends.