Easter brings out the creative and whimsical side of me, probably because I love playing with my food almost as much as I love eating it.
My favorite table centerpiece for Easter is a large chocolate bunny sitting on a field of coconut "grass." It's super simple. Get a shallow serving platter and put a thick layer of "grass" on it. Place the bunny in the middle of the grass. Surround the "mama" bunny with tiny little bunnies and scatter a few jelly beans or pastel colored chocolate eggs in the grass.
To make the grass: Combine 3 drops green food coloring with 3/4 teaspoon water; add to 1 1/2 cups coconut. Stir until evenly tinted.
Need more table decorations? Fill small juice glasses with layers of brightly colored Easter candies. Put the largest candies on the bottom layer.
When Easter dinner is over, you can eat your centerpieces!
For your main course, here's a great ham recipe from PorkBeInspired.com.
Thyme-Basted Ham with Roasted Grapes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
6 to 8 pound bone-in fully-cooked ham, trimmed
1/2 cup grape jelly
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, ( 1/2 stick), cut into 4 to 6 pieces
2 tablespoons thyme, chopped fresh
3 cups grapes, red, green, or a combination
4 shallots , halved lengthwise and cut into1/4-inch slices
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Position rack in lower third of oven. Place ham flat side down in a large shallow roasting pan and score a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep into any fat. Season with pepper and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the jelly, butter, and thyme, whisking occasionally until the jelly and butter melt together and the mixture comes to a gentle boil, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the grapes and shallots. Set aside.
Baste the ham with the jelly mixture. Continue baking, basting with the jelly mixture and/or pan juices about every 15 minutes. When the internal ham temperature reaches 120 degrees F, add the grapes and shallots to the roasting pan, stirring to coat with the pan juices. Continue baking and basting until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, 15 to 18 minutes per pound total cooking time. Remove the ham from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, and let rest 15 to 30 minutes. (If the grapes and shallots aren't tender, return cook for a bit longer.)
Slice enough ham to serve and arrange on plates or a platter. Season the roasted grape, shallot, and pan juice mixture with pepper and spoon some on top of the ham. Serve the remaining grape mixture on the side. Serves 15-20.
Dawn Minty, features editor, can be reached at 706-571-8512 and firstname.lastname@example.org Get more Easter recipes at Dawn's Dish blog at ledger-enquirer.com/dawn