Happy Easter! This week finds me very busy with Easter preparations. Dan and I will be hosting the festivities again for Easter. And, we had 37 guests (this includes 20 adults, 5 adults under 25 yrs old, and 12 kids under 18 yrs).
We are doing the Traditional Easter Taco Bar again. It went over well last year. I like it too because it accommodates all different kinds of eaters without making anyone feel awkward or outcast. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, meat eaters, or just picky eaters. It’s all good. We can even make quesadillas for the kids.
So, here’s the low-down on what’s on the Easter Menu for 2015 (for any of the recipes, simply click on the link below the picture or click on the picture itself). And, partially, I’m posting some of the particulars here so that I have a record for next year. Thanks for reading!
We got about 10 pounds of flap meat steak that we will marinade. We bought it earlier in the week, froze it, and will defrost (be sure to pull it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge 48 hours before so that it has a chance to defrost), and marinate it for at least 24 hours. In the end, the 10 pounds of steak was just about perfect. There were leftovers, but not too much, and we didn’t run out. The steak is grilled in batches, and took about 60 minutes to grill all of it. Dave has been sent in to chop up the steak and put it in the chafing dishes.)
We made 8x batches of marinade, but it probably would have been better if we made 9x or 10x. We used the marinade for both the steak and the mushrooms. (2016 note: we made 10x batches, and it was good.)
For the mushrooms, we bought 3 of those BIG $5 boxes, 24 ounces each. We put 6 ladels of marinade in each of 2 batches of mushrooms, which looked skimpy at first, but after a couple of hours in the fridge, it looked just right. Once cooked, we had to strain the mushrooms out of the extra liquid. We serve the mushrooms, veggies, and steak in chafing dishes. We ran out of mushrooms entirely, and everyone kept commenting on how tasty they were. I think this amount of mushrooms was really good. Yes, we ran out, but that’s ok. They took up a lot of space in the fridge when they were raw. (Update from 2016: Start the mushrooms cooking in the kitchen in a large stew pot on the stove. Then move them outside to the side burner on the grill. They cook for 30-60 minutes. Make sure to strain out most of the liquid. People won’t strain out the liquid when serving them, so they are messy, and you end up with a soupy mess where people won’t take the last of the mushrooms.)
Fajita veggies, red peppers and onions, grilled to perfection. I we got 8 sweet red peppers and 4 onions for this meal. Last year we did 3 trays full of veggies, and had 2 trays leftover, so I’m cutting back this year. I sliced the onions into 8 wedges, and the peppers were cut into strips and then those strips were cut in half or thirds. We cooked the veggies in a little oil in the turkey roasting pan on the grill until they were caramelized and yummy. They take about 60 minutes to grill. We had some leftovers, but not too much that we can’t eat the leftovers, so I think this amount was good. In 2014 we made peppers with sweet red ones, poblanos, and Anaheim chiles. This year I left the spicy ones out. Some people just don’t like spicy things, so the simple red ones were good. I think I might mix this up from year to year.
For the fixins’, I’m buying pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese (I bought 2 32 ounce bags, and we used about 1/2 of one bag. Dan said he might try to buy a block of cheese next year and shred it in the food processor. I think this amount of cheese was good. There were leftovers, but we will use them.), and pre-shredded iceberg lettuce (I bought 3, 8 ounce bags, I put out 2 bags, and we used about 1 bag. I think next year 2 bags would be fine. I don’t want to run out of lettuce). We’ll have sour cream, salsa, and enchilada sauce. I’ll be serving the sour cream and enchilada sauce (made 1 batch and it was a good amount) in squirt bottles. Take a look at my tip from last year about these bottles, it’s a great tip!
We bought 100 fajita size (about 6 inches) flour tortillas. I put out 40 tortillas, and 1 tortilla didn’t get eaten. But, people just won’t take the last of anything, so I think that if I had put out more, people would’ve eaten more. I think getting 75-80 tortillas of this size would be good. Also, I like this slightly smaller size so that people can get 2-3 tacos with different filling in each one and not feel stuffed. Also, one of the kids was making quesadillas in the microwave with the tortillas and cheese after everyone else was done eating.
For appetizers we are having chips and salsa. Can’t have too many chips! We bought 2, 2 pound bags of chips. One other person brought some chips as well. We used one whole 2 pound bag, and some of the other chips that were brought, so I feel comfortable with 4 pounds of chips because we will always use those leftovers. For the salsa, I went with store-bought. We got a 64 ounce jar of salsa and used about 1/2 of it. But we are comfortable with this amount of leftovers. (This year we bought a medium heat salsa, so that may have kept some people away from it as well, who knows!)
Also for appetizers, I’m almost embarrassed to say, but Dan really likes those Totinos Pizza rolls. I bought 2 bags of 25 rolls and baked them all up. They were all gone. This was a good amount. I guess I just chalk the pizza rolls up to “it’s just once a year”, and “everything in moderation, including moderation”.
Our guests will all be bringing something. The family rocks for that! There’s always so much food to be had, and always lots of leftovers.
The one other thing we’re splurging on is that we’re getting frozen churros. I got a box of 25 churros and cut them all in half. I baked them up and they were all devoured. I feel comfortable running out of churros because I don’t want any leftover afterwards!
I’m so looking forward to Easter. I love seeing the family. And, they do this really awesome thing each year where they have the kids all get together for a picture, so we can see how fast they grow. Oh, and, of course there will be an Easter egg hunt!
We’ll also be using the wheelchair accessible ramps that Dan built last year.
Tell me, what are you doing for Easter this year? Do you go with a traditional menu? Or, does your family like to mix it up?