Hey, y’all! Although we no longer have a kid in school, this week is spring break here in Georgia and that has prompted me to start thinking about Easter plans. Those folks who don’t have food allergies to worry about are probably thinking it’s a bit too soon, but I like to get a jump start on the menu. We’ll be hosting friends that are not gluten free and I want them to enjoy the meal as much as Doug, so as to avoid comments like, “ummmm, yeah, I can tell this is gluten free” or “can you please make a version that’s not GF?”.  I swear these are actual comments from one rude, ungrateful guest who shall remain nameless- just kidding- it was totally my picky sister!!

Of course, many traditional items are naturally GF, like ham. We typically buy a Honey Baked ham, but just check your favorite ham brand to be sure that the glaze mix is also gluten free, before you smear it all over the star of the show. Potato salad is another popular side for Easter, but I’m thinking cheesy, scalloped potatoes this year- just use GF flour as the thickener for the sauce. Roasted green beans & cherry tomatoes will add a nice, nutritious punch of color and are super simple to throw in the oven. It’s not Easter dinner without Doug’s childhood favorite, orange salad, and the bread of choice will no doubt be our garlic and herb version of ABUNDTANT LOVE biscuits, which are always a crowd pleaser! For dessert, please check out this oh-so-easy and ridiculously adorable cupcake idea, with a recipe to follow.

These little pots of yumminess are almost too pretty to eat, but do it anyway! To get started, you’ll need:

1 16-serving bag ABUNDTANT LOVE cake mix and required ingredients to make a chocolate version

1 batch (see recipe on website for chocolate buttercream frosting) or container of your favorite GF chocolate frosting

1 package gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Glutino brand)

8 small to medium washed and thoroughly dried strawberries, with stem intact

1 package orange melting chocolate (easily found at craft stores, such as Michael’s)

8 small terra cotta pots, thoroughly washed and dried (found at Home Depot)

Optional: festive ribbons

Prepare chocolate version of cake, as directed on ABUNDTANT LOVE‘s website. Generously spray each terra cotta pot with cooking spray and fill about 2/3 full and place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool and frost with our chocolate buttercream frosting recipe or your favorite one. Crush chocolate sandwich cookies in a zipper bag with a rolling pin, until crumbs resemble dirt; then sprinkle on top of the frosted cupcake. Melt chocolate candy as directed on package and dip dry berries up to the stem and place on waxed paper to cool. After chocolate has cooled and hardened, place more melted candy in a piping bag or zipper bag with a small bit of the corner snipped off and draw lines on the berry, as shown above. Allow to cool and harden completely, then place on top of cupcake. Tie on ribbon, if desired.

Be prepared for ooh’s and aah’s…you’re welcome. Wishing everyone a blessed and joyous Easter celebration!