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Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Easter Traditions

The Bunny does come to our house!  We leave a plate with a carrot (or a few) and this year, since my four year old is writing, we're going to leave the fuzzy guy a note to go along with it.  We also leave the girls' empty Easter baskets in high hopes he will fill them up!

When we get up in the morning, we see the Bunny's footprints from our front door, to the baskets, and back again.  He's a messy guy with great smelling feet!  His footprints smell like baby powder (which they are).  I've cut templates before to leave perfect little baby powder footprints, but honestly, I think just little squirts of powder work just as well. We also make sure the bunny eats most of his carrot(s).

The Bunny also hides eggs throughout our house, and if the weather is warm, maybe even in the yard!  He always leaves a special book in each basket and just a couple of other things.  For example, GraciAnn is a puzzle fanatic. She'll get a puzzle.  Mariella loves to practice writing.  She'll get some new bath crayons.  We try to limit how much "stuff" they get.  Especially when it comes to the junk (chocolate) we all love.

After our "Bunny Find" we get ready for Easter dinner.  Here's what's on the menu:
HoneyBaked Ham-I buy this two times a year, Easter and Christmas.
Green Beans or Sugar Snap Peas-Sugar Snap peas are definitely preferred.  I lightly steam them so they're still very crunchy and delicious!  I don't add anything to my beans or sugar snap peas. They are perfect plain.
Sweet Potatoes-Baked sweet potatoes are delicious and healthy. I usually just bake them and serve them with fresh ground cinnamon, brown sugar, and real butter.
Corn Pudding-See the recipe below
Easter Bread-See the recipe below
Cherry Jello-See the recipe below

Corn Pudding-This is a really great side dish. 
2 T Sugar
1 1/2 T Cornstarch
1/3 cup milk
3 eggs beaten
1 can cream style corn
2 T melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
freshly grated nutmeg

Mix sugar and cornstarch, add milk gradually. Stir until smooth.  Add eggs, corn, butter, and salt; mix well.  Turn into greased, 1 quart baking dish in pan of hot water.  Grate a small amount of nutmeg on top. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/4 hours.

Cherry Jello
1 can dark pitted cherries
1-3 ounce box cherry jello
6 ounces of crushed pineapple
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pecan pieces (optional)

Put can of cherries, box of jello, sugar, and pineapple in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Make sure all ingredients are dissolved.  Take it off the stove.  Add pecans, if you want.  Pour in a dish and refrigerate until firm.

Easter Bread-This is a must make for Easter.  It could even be served for breakfast as a coffee cake.
1 pack of dry yeast
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 slightly beaten egg
shredded coconut
green food coloring
powdered sugar icing (and food coloring to color as you'd like to decorate basket and 6 eggs)
jelly beans and/or other decorative candies

Soften yeast in warm water.  Scald milk.  Stir in sugar, shortening, and salt. Cool to lukewarm.  Add 1 cup flour.  Beat until smooth. Add yeast and egg and beat well.  Add 2 cups of flour to make soft dough.  Knead 8-10 mins on floured surface until smotth and elastic. Place in greased bowl.  Turn once. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double (about an hour).  Punch down.  Divide in thirds. Cover. Let rise 10 minutes. Using one third of the dough, shape into six eggs.  Use the other two thirds to form 2-26" ropes.  Twist the ropes together.  Coil around the eggs (to form a basket). Cover and let rise-1 hour.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool.  Use green food coloring to tint coconut green. Set aside. Ice eggs and basket in colors of your choice.  Sprinkle with coconut, to give grass effect.  Sprinkle with jelly beans or other candy for an extra decorative touch.  So cute.

Do you have great Easer traditions?  If so, please share them with us.  If not, I hope our traditions give you the incentive to create some of your own.
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