Monday, March 18, 2013

Easter Ideas & Checklist

Easter is only 2 weeks away and are you prepared?  Since Easter is a date that moves each year, sometimes it catches me by surprise   That's why I love a checklist!  Here is what I do for Easter each year, give or take a few.  It's just so nice to have it all written down with photos so I can quickly prepare for a magical morning!  Happy Easter!

Dying Easter Eggs....a station for each kid!

The night before the doorbell rings with a fun surprise of magical jelly beans!  We quickly plant them! :)

The next morning they wake up to breakfast and this clue! egg ham basket :)

Then off to check our magic jelly beans....lollipop flowers grew!

And the scavenger hunt begins!

They find their baskets!

A fun Easter lunch.

Our Easter Clothes!

Last year I forgot to take a photo of our food, so here is one that's similar.  I always love ham on Easter!

I make a carrot cake from scratch every year and it's so delicious!

Carrot Cake Recipe

 Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 
Ready In: 2 Hours
Yields: 18 servings

·         4 eggs
·         3/4 cup canola oil
·         1/2 cup applesauce
·         1 cup white sugar
·         1 cup brown sugar
·         3 teaspoons vanilla extract
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         2 teaspoons baking soda
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
·         3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
·         3 cups grated carrots (use food processor)
·         1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained)
·         1/2 cup chopped pecans

·         1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
·         8 ounces cream cheese, softened
·         4 cups confectioners' sugar
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. (or use spray Pam)
2.    In a large bowl (or mixer), beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugars and 3 teaspoons vanilla.
3.    Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
4.    Stir in carrots and pineapple.
5.    Fold in pecans.
6.    Pour into prepared pan.
7.    Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
8.    Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake.

If you are interested in doing a scavenger hunt for your kids Easter morning (to find their baskets), here is one that I made for my kids.  Click on the link for the whole set.

Lastly, a girlfriend of mine makes these confetti eggs (cascarones in the Mexican culture) each year which are a huge hit!  I will be trying these soon!  Here's how: Making Confetti Eggs

Monday, March 11, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Checklist & Ideas

St. Patrick's Day Checklist & Ideas

I am part Irish and love St. Patrick's Day (even if I wasn't).  We like to use "Lucky" the Leprechaun to create mischief on this day, similar to The Elf on the Shelf.  He pees green in the toilet, changes the milk green and leave the kids pots of gold (rolos)!  But more than anything, I love going to the local St. Patrick's Day parade!  It's so festive and the weather is always great!  

Have a wonderful St. Patty's Day celebrating a Roman-British guy who was enslaved by some Irish men and then went back to teach them about Christianity! So festive when you put it that way! :)