Easter Candy Buffet

I remember, as a child, going downtown with my parents and walking into Nance’s Five and Ten store.  I recall entering through the huge door with the big glass insert and stepping onto the old hardwood floors that creaked and groaned as I walked to the main attraction – the penny candy display.  I can recollect the clerk reaching for that small, brown paper bag and filling it up with whatever candies I pointed out to her.  If I close my eyes really tight, I can still sniff the delightful smells of that old store.

Sadly, that store has been closed for quite a while, but every time I visit my mom and dad in my hometown, my mind is flooded with the wonderful memories of an idyllic childhood lived in a perfect (in my opinion) small town.

All of that reminiscing led me to create an Easter candy buffet for my grand sons instead of making them an Easter basket.

Easter-Candy-Buffet

I’ll let them enjoy a few treats and provide candy bags so that they can take some home for later. (Note:  They aren’t normally allowed too much candy, but, hey, it’s Easter, right?)

Have you ever put together a candy buffet for a special occasion?  If so, then you know that the cost of candy and the display jars can be astronomical.  And because I’m a shopping pro, (you can find my shopping steals and deals here) I decided to see how cheaply I could put it together.

Easter Candy Buffet

Easter-Candy-Buffet

Easter-Candy-Buffet

Easter-Candy-Buffet

Easter-Candy-Buffet

Here goes!

1.  Choose your serving table.

Will you use a square, round,  or rectangle table?  Most candy buffets are set up on large rectangular tables with elaborate backdrops, especially when the event is large (like a wedding reception) but, because my Easter candy buffet is on a much smaller scale, I decided to display my candy on a small round table.  You do know that I’m a rebel with a cause, right?  Find it here!  Plus, I only have four grandchildren, so I really don’t need an excessive amount of candy.

2.  Estimate how many containers you will need.

This is easily done by using different size bowls, etc. from your kitchen to play around with the placement on your table to see how many containers you will need.  Be careful not to overcrowd.

3.  Gather your containers and scoops.

Containers need to be see through, because the candy is the star of this show.  Make sure the opening of the jar is large enough to get a hand, holding a scoop, down into the jar.

Containers can be expensive! I scouted my kitchen first and then  bought what containers I needed at The Dollar Tree and they are just as pretty as any of those costly containers I’ve seen online.  Don’t hesitate to look at vases, triffle dishes, wine glasses, etc.

If candy is individually wrapped, there is no need for a lid.  For the short zone (we will get to that later) pretty trays and tongs can be used.

4.  Order your candy.

You will need about one lb. of candy for every 2-3 guests.  Do you want all of your candy to be one color?  Or do you want it all to be chocolate?  Do you want to include nuts and dried fruit?  The average assortment of candy depends on how large the candy buffet is.  I say:  Have at least 5 different kinds.

5.  Design your table.

You will need a pretty table cover to match your theme.  I just so happened to have a purple tablecloth on hand, so I used  it.  To add texture, layer with overlays and/or a table runner.

When using a round table, the tallest glass jar goes in the middle of the table (or you could use a tall centerpiece).  That is zone one.  Medium size jars are placed around the centerpiece and that is zone 2.  Zone 3 completes the table and is, of course, the shortest jars or trays lining the outside perimeter.  Don’t be afraid to mix it up.  The jars don’t have to be the same height or shape.  Just make sure the tallest is in the middle and work your way down to the shortest.  Also, make sure that the candy is reachable and that the table is not too cluttered.  Simple, neat and clean lines is always my motto.

If you are using a square or rectangle table, the tallest jars go in the back, the medium sized jars in the middle and the short jars/trays out front.

Now it’s time to embellish your jars with ribbons, etc.  If your table is going to be up against a wall (mine isn’t) use a colorful backdrop to continue to carry out your theme.  (Pinterest has great backdrop ideas.)

That’s it!  Wasn’t that easy?

Note:  There are plenty of places online to order candy:  Candy Warehouse, Old Time Candy, Old Fashioned Candy, Oriental Trading.  And the list goes on!

My ribbon and Easter garland came from Hobby Lobby.  Some of my candy was ordered online, some of it came from Sam’s and the bulk of it came from The Dollar Tree.  I had to make myself stop buying candy!

What’s your favorite Easter candy?

Easter Candy Buffet

Easter-Candy-Buffet

 

 

Easter Menu

Easter is neck and neck with Christmas in terms of being my favorite holiday.  And why not?  These two celebrations represent the birth and later, the death, burial and resurrection of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! And, of course, the song “Celebrate” is running through my mind because you know I have a song for that!  Why, yes, I will share the lyrics and a story, to boot!

Celebrate Jesus celebrate
Celebrate Jesus celebrate
Celebrate Jesus celebrate
Celebrate Jesus celebrate
He is risen
He is risen
And He lives forevermore
He is risen
He is risen
Come on and celebrate
Come on and celebrate
Come on and celebrate
The resurrection of our Lord – Gary Oliver

 You may or may not know Gary Oliver as an awesome singer, songwriter, pastor, etc. but I know him as the father of daughter #1′s childhood bff!  That’s right.  When we lived in Tulsa, she and Hayden were the best of friends.  He was always at our house or she was at his.  And she met some of the most amazing people, including Carman – this Carman – the Christian singer/songwriter.  He was the stuff back in the day!

So every time I hear our Praise & Worship band do this song, it takes me back – way, way back – and it reminds me of the true meaning of Easter!  He is risen!  Every day should be a celebration!

Of course, no celebration would be complete without a feast!  Here’s a scrumptious Easter menu just for you!

Easter Menu

Pineapple/Peach Glazed Ham

Waldorf Salad

Hash Brown Casserole

Roasted Asparagus

Dinner Rolls

Best Carrot Cake

Glazed Ham

Pineapple Peach Glazed Ham

Ingredients

  • 8-10 lb. fully cooked ham
  • Pineapple/Peach Glaze (see recipe below)
  • Pineapple/Peach Glaze
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1/2 cup peach preserves
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook and stir over med/high heat until heated.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Place ham in a baking pan and bake for 2-3/4 hours or until a thermometer reads 140 degrees.
  3. Cover loosely with aluminum foil during the first hour of baking.
  4. Brush with glaze several times during the last 30 minutes of baking.
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Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, separated into leaves
  • 2 heads green and/or red Belgian endive, separated into leaves
  • 3/4 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted (or walnuts)
  • 1 recipe Lemon Dressing (see recipe below)
  • Lemon Dressing
  • 1 6 ounce container lemon low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed (or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • In a small bowl stir together the yogurt, vinegar, salt, dill weed and black pepper until well combined. Makes 2/3 cup.

Instructions

  1. In medium bowl toss apples with lemon juice.
  2. On salad plates arrange Boston lettuce, endive, apple wedges, grapes, and almonds.
  3. Spoon on Lemon Dressing.
  4. Serves 6.
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Hash Brown Casserole – find a lower-fat recipe here!  I know, I know!  This is an oldie but a goody – comfort food at its best!
roasted asparagus

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. fresh Asparagus spears
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin (or minced garlic from the jar to equal 2 cloves)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Snap off the tough ends of the Asparagus. Toss with the olive oil and garlic. Spread in a single layer on a large baking pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 12-15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
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Dinner Rolls (your choice – bake them or buy them)  I have two favorite frozen dinner rolls – one fave being Sister Schubert, white and whole wheat yeast type rolls. They come 10 to a package and I always buy one of each.  My other favorite is Pepperidge Farm Stone-Baked Artisan Dinner Rolls – very crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.  You can find them in the freezer section of your favorite grocery store or super center.

Carrot-Cake Best Carrot Cake can be found here.

What’s your favorite Easter food?  You know, that one dish that you must have every Easter!        

Hit or Miss – Oven “Boiled” Eggs

Today I’m sharing a sneak peak of my Easter tablescape along with my hit or miss oven “boiled” eggs.  Since the grands will be here, I don’t like to get too fancy.  And I like to change it up every year.

I’m also including my bird’s nest candy recipe (aka haystacks).

Easter Tablescape

Easter Egg Nest Candy

Hit or Miss Oven “Boiled” Eggs

Here’s my take on preparing “boiled” eggs in the oven. (The instructions can be found on Pinterest.) While the concept is intriguing, I have a couple of big issues.

oven boiled eggs

When I opened the oven door to take the eggs out, one of them popped open and it sounded like a bottle rocket going off, right down to the sizzle at the end.  I’m not going to tell you how I almost jumped out of my skin.  None of the other eggs were cracked at all, but they did have small brown spots on the shell as if the eggs were sweating and the sweat was dirty.  Gross!

After I placed those sweat splotched eggs in their cold water bath for 10 minutes, I cracked one open.  Lo and behold, those tiny brown spots (that were looking more and more like age spots by now) went all the way through to the inside of the egg.  It was almost as if the eggs had tiny moles on them.

I just don’t think those brown spots would be very appetizing, but that is just me.  I think I will stick to my tried and true way of boiling eggs.  Have you ever “boiled” your eggs in the oven?  How did they turn out?

Perfectly Boiled Eggs

Place eggs (single layer) in a large pot and fill with cold water.  Make sure the water is an inch above the eggs.  Bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat and set the timer for 18 minutes. When the timer goes off, drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to peel.  Eat or place in the fridge.  Done!

Bird’s Nest Candy aka Haystacks

I had not made the bird’s nest candy in years, but they brought back the fondest memories.  When my (now grown) children were young, I was room mom just about every year.  One year I was room mom to daughter #3′s kindergarten class and son #1′s first grade class.  And I remember making these bird nest candies and filling them with little jelly beans.  Oh, what fond memories!

Bird's Nest Candy

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups butterscotch chips
  • 3 cups chow mein noodles

Instructions

  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the peanut butter and butterscotch chips in a double boiler or in the microwave (heat for one minute and stir. Repeat until smooth).
  3. Combine peanut butter mixture with chow mein noodles. Spray hands with cooking spray and shape into nests. Place in the fridge until firm.
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