March 25, 2013

Very soon the Easter Bunny will be hopping your way. Celebrate Easter with the colors of spring and a little creativity and make your family's Easter extra special. This Easter why not try something a little different for the young and young at heart.

Easter Deviled Eggs

Usually we dye the shell of hard boiled eggs for Easter, but did you know eggs can be dyed outside of their shells too? If you are brave enough, these brightly colored eggs will make your Easter menu.

10 hard boiled eggs

food coloring (neon variety works well)

1 teaspoon vinegar for each color of food coloring


½ cup mayonnaise

Hard boil eggs and cool. Remove shells from the hard boiled eggs and slice each egg in half. Remove the yolks from the egg halves and place in a bowl. Set the yolks aside.

Gather enough small bowls/cups for the number of colors you want to use. Fill the bowls/cups of the way full with cold water. Add 3 drops of desired food coloring along with 1 teaspoon vinegar to each bowl/cup.

Place the halved egg whites in the bowls/cups and allow them to sit in the food coloring until desired color is reached. Remove egg whites from dye and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Take the reserved yolks and mash with a fork. Then mix in the ½ cup mayonnaise and any other desired ingredients (such as mustard, pickle relish, or salt and pepper) to your liking.

Pipe or spoon the yolk mixture into the colored egg whites.

Makes 20 deviled egg halves.

Egg Breakfast Cups

If your breakfast crowd is on the smaller side, try yummy breakfast cups for a change.

1 (24 oz) bag shredded hash browns

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons oil

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

bacon bits or 8-10 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled

12 eggs

extra shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl mix together hash browns, salt, pepper, oil and 1/3 cup shredded cheese. Grease muffin tin and divide hash browns amongst the cups in the muffin tin. Bake hash browns at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until toasty.

Remove from oven and lower the temperature of oven to 350 degrees. Crack an egg into each of the muffin cups. Top with bacon and a sprinkle of extra cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes (or until the eggs are as firm as you'd like them). When cool slide a knife along the edges to remove from pan.

Marshmallow Peeps Centerpiece

If you love marshmallow Peeps and want to make a super cute centerpiece, find a large glass container like a glass hurricane or a square glass vase. Kaye Lehman, of Carroll, made Easter centerpieces for her daughters, Annie Peter and Jen Tunning. Kaye found the fun idea on Pinterest and wanted to share it with her family.

Glass Hurricane: Fill the container a third of the way full with pastel jelly beans. Place bunny shaped Peeps around the perimeter of the container so the bunnies face outward. Fill the center with more jelly beans to hold the bunnies in place. Add a clear glass votive candle holder and candle on top of jelly beans. Last fill the remaining space with more jelly beans all the way to the top.

Square Glass Vase or Rectangular Block Vase: Place a clear glass in the middle of the glass vase. Fill the glass halfway with water. Add about one half pound green or various colored jelly beans around the base of the vase. Then, add 10 pink bunny peeps on top of the jelly beans between the cup and the vase with the bunny faces facing outward. Next, add a dozen or so daisies to the cup. Another idea is to skip the glass of water and use artificial daisies instead to make the centerpiece last longer.

Variations for Easter Egg Hunts

Besides candy, trinkets and coins inside plastic eggs hide messages in the eggs to win big prizes. Examples could be a trip to the ice cream shop, a free pass on chores or going to a favorite place to eat.

Write numbers on each egg or place slips of paper with numbers written on them inside each egg. Each person adds up all of their numbers and the person with the highest number wins an extra prize.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, hide the eggs in the house. Give children clues like, "Look where we keep the butter" or "Go to where we use shampoo."

Work on reading and counting skills. Create a checklist for egg hunters with items they need to find. For example: find 2 yellow eggs, 4 pink eggs, 1 glitter egg, 3 blue eggs, etc.

To keep things fair among different age levels assign each child a certain color or number to find. For example, Joe is to hunt for all of the blue eggs or Lucy is to hunt for all the eggs with the number 8 written on them.

For young children, turn your bathtub into a giant Easter basket. Fill the bathtub with plenty of artificial grass (plastic or paper) and hide the eggs underneath.