When shopping, look for a ham with the lowest possible percentage of water. Choose an unglazed ham, and if your ham comes with a glaze packet, discard it. While you can choose either the butt half or the shank half, the butt half will give more succulent texture and a more distinct flavor.
What's Maltaise Sauce, you ask? It's just hollandaise sauce with a bit of orange zest and juice added. But you wouldn't believe how that bit of zing transforms this brunch standard.
For Easter-egg rolls, thaw frozen dinner rolls (such as Rhode’s) according to package directions. Gently form rolls into egg shapes; let rise 1 hour. For each color, in a small bowl, whisk 1 egg yolk,
2 teaspoons water and food coloring. Brush “paint” on rolls. (For stronger color, do a second coat.) Bake as directed. Serve nestled in a basket.
When did being vanilla become an insult? This stack of golden crepes and creamy mascarpone is simple, elegant and deceptively delicious. Supermarket crepes are larger than homemade ones, so if you use purchased, you'll need to make an extra half batch of filling, or just make a cake with fewer layers.
Inexpensive chai tea bags infuse Chai-Spiced Compote with the tongue-tingling flavors of ginger, cloves and cardamom. Because the recipe calls for frozen peaches and cherries, you can make this colorful fruit dessert year-round. If you're watching fat or calories, leave off the pecans and coconut and just enjoy the flavorful fruit.
Chai-Spiced Compote 
Feta cheese adds salty punch to a colorful salad from Chef Michael Symon. He recommends serving the salad with lamb chops, but it would work great with any grilled meat.
"The lemon curd is one of our favorite workhorses," says Patrick Groth of Incredibly Delicious in Springfield, Illinois. "My mother, who has worked for us for the last 16 years, is the only one who makes it. Hers is perfect, tart and smooth."
Lemon Curd Tart 
These breakfast rolls are a family tradition with Jean Haviland of Carroll, Iowa. "My mom made these rolls with a maple-cream filling—and still does!" she says. "Mom always makes extra and freezes them for later. They're great for breakfast or any time of day!"
Maple Butter Twists 
Roast whole apples to go with your rack of lamb, served with a simple apple cider glaze. The recipe comes from L'Etoile in Madison, Wisconsin, known for its menu that highlights locally grown ingredients.
Rise and shine with these special-occasion pancakes from chef Mindy Segal of Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar in Chicago. Ricotta makes them moist and rich; lemon curd gives sweet-tart punch.
Turn small baked potatoes into Easter egg shapes by mashing the pulp with sour cream and seasonings, and then standing the potatoes on end. It's an easy side you can prepare the day before Easter.
Easter Egg Potatoes 
This creamy, crazy-delicious lasagna is simple, too, thanks to jarred Alfredo sauce and no-boil noodles. If you're lucky enough to have a specialty grocery store or Italian deli that sells all-natural refrigerated Alfredo sauce without preservatives, this is a great way to use it.
Get creative with your cookie-making for Easter! Try piping your designs with our Easter Egg Cookies recipe, or use a cookie cutter with the recipe for Easter Sugar Cookie Cutouts.
Wheat grass makes a cozy resting spot for spring cookies. Look for it in the produce section of major supermarkets, or check at large health food stores.
Easter Egg Cookies 
Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in this casserole, which gets a generous topping of blueberry or maple syrup. You can assemble the casserole the night before your Easter brunch.
This recipe couldn't be simpler! Just simmer grapefruit slices in maple syrup for a delicious, rosy compote to serve over waffles, French toast, crepes—or these subtly orange-flavored pancakes.
A hint of curry and some chutney elevate these deviled eggs to spectacular. Spoon the filling into a sandwich-size clear plastic bag and snip a corner for easy piping.
Talk about easy! You can prep these delicious little quiches the night before, or make them in the morning while the oven preheats. They're perfect for brunch parties, and you can use whatever meat, cheese and veggies you have on hand.
The classic French dessert is absurdly simple; soak crepes in buttery, boozy, orange-flavor syrup, then serve with whipped cream. Although unflavored Sweet Crepes are traditional in this dish, you could make a delicious orange-chocolate variation by substituting Cocoa Crepes.
Crepes Suzettes 
Bake a hearty breakfast or brunch casserole with cubed ham, fresh or frozen asparagus, rice and Swiss cheese. A sprinkle of panko mixed with melted butter gives the dish a crispy topping.
Asparagus-Ham Bake 
Treat all your little bunnies (and the big ones, too) to a short stack of veggie-flecked flapjacks.
Whip up your favorite plain, buttermilk or whole wheat pancake batter. Stir finely grated carrot and pumpkin pie spice into the batter. If you like, add golden raisins. Griddle pancakes as usual. Combine an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple (partially drained) and an 8-ounce tub of cream cheese. Sweeten with brown sugar; top with nuts.
David Dahlman of Chatsworth, California, says this yeasty coffee cake reminds him of the old-fashioned, down-to-earth treats on his grandmother's farm table. It takes time because it's a yeast-leavened dough, but there's no kneading required.
Play up fresh this Easter with an easy side dish. Marinate fresh asparagus, red pepper, yellow zucchini, shaved carrots and cremini mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil with some kosher salt and black pepper. Drain off the marinade and pan-roast the mix in a sizzling-hot saute pan with 1/4 cup canola oil for 2 minutes. Add shaved garlic and minced shallots for the last 30 seconds.
This recipe starts with square bacon-flecked cornmeal biscuits you can make ahead. On Easter morning, scramble the egg-veggie mixture, fill the biscuits, and bake to heat and melt the cheese.
Add a dash of color to your Easter table by borrowing from the spa menu at Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, where guests are pampered with a rainbow of fruit with yogurt sauce on the side.
The memory of a childhood orchard trip inspired Melinsa Murphey of Olathe, Kansas, to create this recipe. The cakes are moist and sweet and quite generously proportioned, so you may want to serve a half-cake to each person (or bake them in muffin cups instead).
Pavlova, a meringue dessert named for Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, gets a chocolate makeover in this recipe from Chicago pastry chef Gale Gand. Top the pavlova with whipped cream and sliced fresh fruit.
Chocolate Pavlova 
The many colors of Kool-Aid, a Nebraska invention, provide an array of choices for this angel food cake that starts with a mix. Pink lemonade Kool-Aid adds a spring pastel prettiness and a delicate flavor to Tinted Angel Cake. The Tropical Punch version gives the cake flavor that's as intense as its color.
Tinted Angel Cake 
Midwest Living Creative Director Geri Boesen credits her mother-in-law, Patsy, for creating this easy sausage-and-cheese brunch recipe, a popular food at family holiday gatherings. "It's nice because you can make it the day ahead and put it in the fridge overnight," Geri says.
Patsy's Egg Casserole