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Amaretto Glazed Ham

Easter Brunch with Marion

One of the joys of every holiday is time spent with family and nothing brings everyone together like wonderfully prepared food. You may want to consider having an Easter Brunch with your loved ones. Here are some of my favorite brunch ideas and a few recipes.

Ideas for Easter Brunch

Cannoli-Stuffed Toast

Zucchini Bread

Italian Toast with Ricotta and Marmalade

Arugula and Endive Salad with Pine Nuts

Chocolate Hazelnut Panini

Scallion and Asparagus Salad

For the main course, you may want to try one or more of these:

Italian Spinach and Sausage Pie

Spring Vegetable Frittata

Zucchini and Eggplant Bake

Amaretto Glazed Ham

Pasta Frittata

Spring Vegetable Risotto

Tomato Cheddar Strata with Broccoli

For desserts:

Honey-Ricotta Turnovers

Cappuccino Doughnuts

Easter Cheese Cake

And since it’s a brunch, why not enjoy cocktails:

Prosecco Limoncello Cocktail

Aperol Spritzer

Cannoli-stuffed Toast


For the Filling

  • 4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the Toast

  • 1 loaf Italian bread
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup half-and-half cream
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • maple syrup, optional


For the filling, combine ricotta cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until well blended. Stir chocolate chips into the ricotta mixture, being careful not to over mix. Whip heavy cream to form stiff peaks and fold into filling mixture.

Cut bread into 24 thin slices and spread 12 slices with the filling; top with remaining bread slices. Beat eggs, cream, vanilla extract, nutmeg and cinnamon together. Dip each sandwich into egg mixture. In skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Grill sandwiches slowly until golden brown, turn and grill other side. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and top with maple syrup or fruit, if desired.

Italian Toast with Ricotta and Marmalade


  • 12 slices Italian bread (1/2-inch-thick)
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade


Heat a grill pan over medium-high flame. Grill the bread until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Spread 2 tablespoons of ricotta over each piece of toast. Spoon 1 tablespoon of marmalade over the ricotta, serve and enjoy!

Zucchini and Eggplant Bake


  • 4 small purple eggplants, sliced
  • 5 Roma (plum) tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 oz Provolone cheese, sliced or grated
  • 3 tbsp Parmigiano cheese
  • salt
  • ground pepper to taste


Sauté the onions in a large sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium high flame. Cook until well-browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer the onions to a casserole dish.

Slice the eggplant, zucchini and tomato into ¼” round slices. All of the sliced vegetable pieces should be about the same size, which will make a lovely presentation when the dish is complete.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the cooked onions in an even layer at the bottom of the casserole dish. Place the mashed garlic on top of the onions. Arrange the slices of the eggplant, zucchini and tomato on top of the cooked onions, alternating the vegetables, in an attractive pattern, stacking them and fanning them across the surface of the dish.

Top with salt, parsley, cheeses. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil around the perimeter, where the vegetables meet the side of the dish. Cover with foil and bake, broil uncovered to finish: Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350°F. Remove the foil. Turn on the broiler and broil for 5 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Amaretto Glazed Ham


  • 10 lb spiral sliced ham
  • 1/3 cup Amaretto
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 8 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


Take ham out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature (leave it in the original packaging). Preheat oven to 325° degrees F.

Unwrap the ham and place it cut side down along with its liquid into a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 1 hour. While ham is cooking, prepare the glaze by mixing the Amaretto, brown sugar, pineapple, juice and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Remove the ham from the oven and pour half of the glaze over it, making sure to get the glaze into the spiral cuts. Place back into the oven and cook for another 40 minutes or so (total cooking time is about 10 minutes per pound). Baste ham with pan drippings every 15 or so minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve ham on serving platter and spoon remaining sauce over the top.

Cappuccino Doughnuts with Espresso Cream Filling


For the Topping

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Filling

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Doughnuts

  • 2-1/4 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm whole milk (105°F to 115°F)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted, cooled to lukewarm
  • 2 large eggs
  • Canola oil (for deep-frying)


For the topping: blend sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon in small bowl.

For the filling: whisk sugar, flour and espresso powder in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the yolks and salt. Add the butter. Cook over medium-high flame until the cream thickens and boils, whisking constantly, about 6 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla. Transfer to small bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of filling. Chill until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

For doughnuts: combine yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer. Pour warm milk over and stir to blend. Let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture bubbles, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, cinnamon, salt and 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl to blend. Whisk butter and eggs in another medium bowl to blend.

Butter a large bowl. Using dough-hook attachment, beat the butter-egg mixture into yeast mixture on medium-low speed until well blended, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of bowl, about 4 minutes. Beat in flour mixture by 1/4 cupfuls, then beat dough until smooth and beginning to pull away from sides of bowl, about 5 minutes. Scrape dough from the hook into bowl. Let the dough rest 5 minutes. Scrape dough into buttered bowl (dough will be sticky). Turn dough to coat with butter. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough overnight. Sprinkle 2 baking sheets lightly with flour.

Gently press the dough to deflate. Roll out the chilled dough on lightly floured surface to 1/3-inch thickness. Using 2-3/4 to 3-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Transfer the rounds to floured sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Do the same with the dough scraps until all of the dough is used. Cover the dough rounds on sheets with towels. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 ½ inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 360°F to 370°F. Fry 3 to 4 dough rounds at a time until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 ½ minutes per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Dip both sides of warm doughnuts into topping. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

Spoon filling into pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch plain round tip. Push blade of small sharp knife into side of each doughnut about 3/4 of the way to opposite side; remove knife. Insert tip of pastry bag into slit and press in filling until center of doughnut bulges. Return doughnut to rack. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. Doughnuts can be filled up to 2 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature.

Prosecco Limoncello Cocktail


  • 8 lemon rind strips
  • 8 tbsp Limoncello
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bottle prosecco, chilled


Roll up each strip of lemon rind and place 1 into each of 8 Champagne flutes. Add 1 tablespoon liqueur and ½ teaspoon juice to each glass. Divide prosecco evenly among glasses. Serve immediately.

Aperol Spritzer (my favorite)


  • 1/3 glass chilled Prosecco
  • 1/3 glass club soda
  • 1/3 glass Aperol


Just combine the three ingredients in a tall wine glass with ice and enjoy!