April 4, 2011

Easter Ideas

Since we are all still fighting off our latest cold I declared today Easter craft day. I also consolidated some of my Easter treat plans.  This year I think an assortment of filled eggs might be fun to attempt and I plan on trying to use less or unrefined sweeteners.  Here are some more ideas I want to keep track of:

Egg Coloring
With Penny just born, I did eggs the easy way last year and used a kit for my Easter egg colors.  I want to try some new food dyes this year.  Green has been especially elusive but I have a new idea up my sleeve to try that came about because Alex has been studying pond water microorganisms. Here are my previous eggs dyed with food, the links have the ingredients I used for the dyes but no instructions.  I just play mad scientist cooking up potions until I get colors I like. 
from 2009
and 2008
Chocolate Bunnies
There are almost too many choices in this year's Go Dairy Free's Chocolate Bunny Roundup. We've purchased bunnies from both Chocolate Emporium and Premium Chocolatiers.  Alex loves Emporium's white chocolate and the truffle eggs from Premium but really didn't like the bunnies from either.  I'd be happy with a Grocer's Daughter bunny, which is a local company, but Alex isn't a big fan of their dark chocolate. No Whey! Chocolates looks like a promising new choice, with dairy-free milk, dark AND white bunnies!  Or maybe Sjaaks, who make the awesome mint windmill chocolates.

Update:  I went ahead and bought No Whey! bunnies and they look great.  We also tried out some Sjaak's vegan almond butter bunnies because they were available at our local co-op but Alex had a reaction to them.  It's not their fault, they do state "shared equipment".  We had hoped for the best but it didn't work out.

For this year's Hrudka (Slovak egg cheese) I'm going to try using rice milk so that Penny can give it a try. 
My hrudka is featured with eleven other savory Easter recipes from around the world, maybe you'll get some ideas from there. Easter bread will be the big challenge but I think I might just skip it and hope no one, by which I mean Alex, notices.  I would like to make some dairy-free Bagna Cauda to enjoy with some spring vegetables.  It would have been perfect with the baby radishes we got last week in our 9 Bean Rows share. I just gotta stock up on anchoives.

Candy Basket Fillings
I've been collected recipes to try something different for filled candy eggs.  I've made the egg-free fake Cadbury eggs from Speedbump Kitchen but would like to try a less refined sugar version this year.  This recipe for Healthy Homemade Creme Eggs sounds promising but I'm not sure I want to use the stevia or xylitol.  I thought maybe I could fill them with some maple-sweetened Marshmallow Fluff instead.  If there is time I'd like to try either Homemade Maple Marshmallows or Honey Marshmallows as Peeps.

Today we used these Easter Egg Printables to make the eggs for our paper egg tree pictured at the top.  I printed them on cardstock, we painted them and then I made the tree from a grocery bag. I also made some faux cherry blossom branches, which are sorta like these from Martha Stewart.  I used crepe streamer for the paper because I think it looks nicer and is easier to work with.  I also pruned autumn olive branches instead of cherry or apple because I wanted them tall and straight to fill up space on my mantle.  Of course this tortures me somewhat because they now look botanically inaccurate.  John would find that funny. 
*More Easter Ideas from two years ago