You might already be counting the cost of those Easter egg purchases before you’ve even considered what you’re going to cook for lunch on Sunday, and that’s not to mention all those Easter holiday snacks and treats that you have to be churning out over the next week or so. Ok, so it’s not as eye-wateringly expensive as Christmas, but those Easter food costs certainly start to add up after a while. So how can you keep that spending under a tighter control? Here are a few ideas that will give you (Easter) food for thought…
My other half usually works on Easter Sunday (cooking for other people I might add), so I don’t tend to opt for roast spring lamb with the works. A cheaper alternative that’s worked in previous years is a classic fish pie. There’s something rather spring-centric about this dish – the light flavours combined with a creamy richness means it’s more than enough to fill even the most heartiest of appetites, and its ‘pie’ nature makes it enough of an event dish to serve on such as occasion. Don’t be fooled into thinking that fish + seafood = pricey. You can pick and choose what goes into the filling and most supermarkets stock specially selected pre-packed frozen cuts that are ideal for a fish pie and very good value. Serve with some spring greens on the side for extra seasonality.
Hot Cross Bun and Butter Pudding
‘What’s that you say? Bread and butter pudding but even better?’ Why yes, this seems likes such an obvious solution to an Easter pudding problem. Perhaps you’ve gone a bit overboard with the Easter eggs and you’re sick of the sight of chocolate, but you still want a dessert that is suitable for the Easter celebrations. Well, I don’t need to point out that most supermarket Hot Cross buns don’t exactly cost the earth, so just follow your favourite bread and butter pudding recipe but substitute the bread for those great value buns. And if you can find a Hot Cross bun loaf (strictly speaking, a Hot Cross loaf), even better!
Snacks and Sweets
Like you need to provide anymore confectionary over the holidays. Oh well, let’s just succumb to the chocolate fest shall we? One of my favourite Easter treats is a variation on the good old rice crispy cake, but instead of coating that particular cereal with melted chocolate, use crumbled up shredded wheat instead. Before the chocolate gets a chance to cool, shape it into small nests and fill with a few mini eggs – voila! And even though chocolate makes up the most part of this snack, the fact that you’re using a healthier cereal means you can help yourself to seconds.
I’ve found myself making flapjacks on a couple of occasion so far these holidays, primarily because they are cheap and easy. It’s fairly straight forward to add a touch of Easter bling to a humble slice by popping a small chocolate egg or two on the top of each one before you put them in the oven. To help you on your way, here’s a post I wrote a little while back that contains my tips for making the perfect flapjack.
Remember, Easter doesn’t have to coast the earth, but even I don’t recommend you go without Easter eggs, not unless you want an Easter family backlash on your hands.