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Easter: Food and Entertaining

Easter: Food and Entertaining
As tulips and daffodils unfold their petals, families will gather to celebrate the end of another cold, dark winter. Easter: Food and Entertaining highlights the best of the season—the blossoming colors, the exuberant joy and the fresh flavors of spring. Filled with simple recipes and crafts, this book will show you just how easy it is to make Easter a very special occasion.

Winter-weary cooks anticipating the year's first tender asparagus and baby artichokes will be inspired by the book's gorgeous photographs and enticing recipes. Whether you're planning a leisurely brunch or a festive dinner, you'll find one impressive dish after another.

Brunch options include orange French toast and a savory quiche filled with zucchini, tomato and basil. Hot cross buns, a lightly sweet yeast bread laced with currants and topped with a symbolic cross, are always a welcome treat at the Easter table.

For an Easter dinner, whet appetites with raspberry Champagne cocktails, blushed pink with fresh berries, crème de cassis and a touch of grenadine. Roast leg of lamb paired with mint-apple couscous offers an international twist on the traditional holiday meal. An overnight marinade infuses the meat with intense flavor, while a colorful couscous, studded with sweet bits of apples and flecked with fresh mint, ensures quick and easy preparation.

Lemon angel food cake makes an elegant yet simple finish to a springtime meal. The cake can be baked in advance, then topped just before serving with a swirl of lemon curd-sour cream frosting and a sprinkling of crystallized flower petals. Or try the rich crème brûlée—lavender blossoms steeped in cream lend their heady fragrance to this custard.

The chapter on crafts offers creative ideas for decorating your home for Easter gatherings. Brighten a children's party with candy-filled baskets and eggs adorned with ribbons and beads. You'll also learn how to create dramatic centerpieces with your favorite flowers and even assemble an egg tree using pussy willow branches.

The section on the origins of Easter will add new meaning to the holiday. You'll understand the ancient roots of its traditions: why the festival was named for the Teutonic goddess of dawn, why we tuck decorated eggs into baskets, and who introduced the Easter Bunny to the United States. However you commemorate the holiday, this book will provide a wealth of cooking and entertaining ideas.