Easter Baskets & Pinterest

Blasted pinterest.

At first you were all - oooo I love these recipes.  
What's that a cute kids' craft? Fab!  
A funny 'Hey Girl' Ryan Gosling pic? I love it.

Then.

All of a sudden.

Holiday overload. 

Leprechaun footprints.
Valentine thumbprints.
New Years make-your-own hats and baby diapers to match.
Elf on the Shelf locations.
Bunny poop.
Peeps peeping all over the house.

Think I'm lying?  Check it out: Easter Ideas.

For realz?  

As if moms aren't under enough pressure!

Isn't cleaning the house and keeping my facebook up to the minute enough?!  Now I have to make rainbow cupcakes with gold leaf on top.

Nope.  

We keep it real.  
I'm not going to get political and religious here, not my style, but Easter isn't about the baskets.

Here are the Easter Baskets.  Full of organic veggie seeds and books :)

No bunny poop, footprints, scary pictures with creepy mall bunnies.  

Happy Easter.



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Grandma's Easter Bread

DISCLOSURE. 

This is my grandma's recipe.  Since I don't get to see her every Easter anymore, we enjoy Easter with my husband's family, I have tried to prepare it on my own.  It is never perfect like her's - but it always reminds me of being at her house for Easter!  <3  I thought it was too good not to share - everyone should wake up Easter morning to this bread.  It is perfect with cold butter on it (sounds gross but it is so good).

Stay with me here.






Grandma’s Easter Bread
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients when possible.
3 1/4  cups of flour (I usually switch to whole wheat in recipes – but this should be WHITE flour – go wild, it’s Easter)
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package of yeast
2/3 cup of milk
2 Tbs of butter, melted
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 tsp aniseed
4-5 raw eggs in shells (you can color them if you would like)

Confectioner’s sugar
Round sprinkles

I found some organic sprinkles and food dye that is dyed with veggies instead of those nasty artificial food dyes :)


These are Grandma’s words with my notes in italics:

Measure the flour onto a piece of wax paper (I used a bowl).  Combine one cup of flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl.  Add milk to butter, then gradually add to the dry ingredients.  Beat at low speed in electric mixer, (add in aniseed) scraping seeds down from sides of bowl occasionally, 2 minutes.  

Add first two eggs and then 1/2 a cup of flour (switch to dough hook). Beat at medium speed, scraping sides of bowl occasionally, 2 minutes, or until thick and elastic.  With wooden spoon, gradually stir in just enough flour to make a soft dough that cleans sides of bowl.  

Turn out onto lightly floured board (my Grandma has a cutting board that fits over her counter that my Grandpa made, it’s awesome, since I don’t have that, I used a silicone baking liner, nothing sticks to it!), shape into a ball and knead for 5 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  

Put in a greased bowl, turn to grease top.  Cover and let rise in warm place free from drafts 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.  

Punch down dough, turn out onto a lightly floured board.  Divide in half and roll each piece into a 24’ rope.  Twist ropes loosely together and shape into a ring.  Arrange unshelled (dyed) eggs in empty spaces in twist.  

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.  Bake in a moderate oven (350) for 30 to 35 minutes.  

Remove to rack, cover with towel.  Before eating frost and sprinkle with candies.

(I make the frosting with confectioner’s sugar and milk). 

It won’t be as good as the bread my parents will get straight from my grandma this year – but it will do!  Hope your family enjoys it too!!



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High Five for Friday!


We're not ready for Easter yet in our house - but it has been a great week!  Here are the highlights!

One: Mess Less Finger Paint (do I need to say more?!)

Two: My obsession with Wegmans continues as this year they provided me with non-artificially colored sprinkles for Easter bread and food coloring for eggs!  
Did you know that to make sprinkles shine, they use crushed beetles? (more info)
Did you know that artificial colors have been linked to behavior problems in kids and that they come with a WARNING label in Europe? (more info)

Three & Four: We got to a snowless playground this week!  Fine, it was by my parents' house in NY - but it will do!  D was SO proud he could do parts of the playground he couldn't do last year (the rule is - I don't help on the playground - if you can't do it yourself - perhaps you're not ready yet!).  E was thrilled to be able to walk around and eat wood chips.  

Five: Peanut Butter & Jelly Stuffed French Toast... check it out.  The kids loved it.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!


Photobucket

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Stuffed French Toast


D frequently requests a 'silly lunch.'  This typically means some fruit, nuts, crackers, popcorn, and dry cereal of some kind.  It is indeed silly. Hilarious even.

I shouldn't have been surprised when he requested a 'silly breakfast.'  

For silly breakfast, he requested peanut butter and jelly.  

I spiced it up by making stuffed peanut butter and jelly French toast.

I started with some homemade bread.  I love this recipe (which I totally change haha):
Bread Machine Challah Bread - take a look at the recipe - here is what I change:
I use 1 tsp of sugar
3 eggs
Butter instead of margarine 
1 cup of white flour
2 and 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour
(all organic ingredients).

I then generously slathered on some peanut butter and jelly.  We have some organic just peanut, peanut butter.  It's  has no other ingredients.  If you can't find it by you - you can really just buy organic peanuts and throw them in the food processor.  Viola! Peanut butter.

We use jelly that has no sugar and it sweetened with fruit juice.  The kids like blueberry.  I don't like peanut butter or jelly - so it doesn't matter what I like.

I then made some batter:
3 eggs, beaten (we use farm fresh from the farm D goes to school at)
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg

Dredge a sandwich... fry on each side on a hot griddle with butter.

We topped with 100% pure maple syrup.

They LOVED it.  It is now our favorite silly breakfast :)



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Mess Free Finger Paint


So, disclosure, I didn't invent this idea - but I wanted to share what a success this project was!  I put about 3 tbs of regular, non-toxic, finger paint, with a tbs of water, and a tbs of glitter into a heavy duty zipper bag.  I then squeezed out as much air as possible, sealed the edges, and taped them securely all around with clear packing tape to the table.  

To spice things up (upon the request of D who quickly got bored making his favorite letter 'T') I retrieved some things to make different imprints.  Cars and tractors for 'tracks', some monsters, measuring things I was cooking with, etc.  

It was a big hit, and when dinner was ready I removed the paint and put their plates down! A seamless transition!

*Confession - E did not make the 'E' in his paint :)

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