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Here comes Peter Cottontail

 

This bunny bread bowl with a carrot

This bunny bread bowl with a carrot "heart" can be used for soup, such as this cheddar broccoli, or fill it with dip and surround it with veggies. The recipe is in today's food pages. Photo by: theidearoom.net

 

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This carrot cheese ball is flavored with green onion, garlic salt, white vinegar and Worchestershire sauce.

This carrot cheese ball is flavored with green onion, garlic salt, white vinegar and Worchestershire sauce.
Photo by: yummyhealthyeasy.com

 

A pair of sharp kitchen shears turns these pastries into bunnies.

A pair of sharp kitchen shears turns these pastries into bunnies.
Photo by: momalwaysfindsout.com

 

Get creative with Easter candies like Peeps and jelly beans. For this arrangement, place a 4-inch cube vase in the center of a 6-inch cube vase and fill in the space between them with candies. Then arrange flowers in water in the 4-inch vase.

Get creative with Easter candies like Peeps and jelly beans. For this arrangement, place a 4-inch cube vase in the center of a 6-inch cube vase and fill in the space between them with candies. Then arrange flowers in water in the 4-inch vase.
Photo by: pinterest.com

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

 

Easter has always been special for my family. First, for its spiritual significance. But also for the sweet joy of waking up Easter morning to venture into the backyard to see if the Easter Bunny had hidden eggs and left us baskets filled with surprises. He always did, even through my high school years. My parents loved holidays, especially my mother. It always showed in the extra effort she put into making them memorable. When I became a mom, it was my turn to fill baskets and hide eggs, my turn to seek out ways to add a special touch to a lunch box or luncheon. That probably explains why I always enjoy seeing what others come up with for special occasions such as Easter time. 

 

 

 

A few favorites 

 

It's hard not to love the bunny bread bowl at realmomkitchen.com. It can hold soup or veggie dip. Purists can make their own bread, but store-bought works well, too. It's really pretty simple to make, and there's a video at theidearoom to help out. When you hollow out the bread bowl, be sure to do it in a u-shape (not a complete bowl circle): The bunny's head needs a "ledge" to sit on. 

 

Staying with bread, I'm itching to give bunny pastries a try. These are dinner rolls in the guise of little rabbits. There are several recipes (and videos) to be found online. I've included one of the more condensed ones today, from momalwaysfindsout.com. After cutting your bunny ears, be sure to "round" them off while the dough is soft. You don't want horns. 

 

I have a casual luncheon to attend Easter week, and voila, I've found what I want to take -- a carrot cheese ball. The recipe from yummyhealthyeasy.com adds a medley of flavors to a cream cheese base. See the recipe below. 

 

Because I am my mother's child, no Easter table is complete without flowers that say "spring." Floral arrangements that combine flowers like tulips and gerbera daisies with Easter candies are festive as well as lovely. I'm partial to floral designs created by using a smaller vase inside a larger one. Adapt the concept pictured to literally any occasion.  

 

Like most people I know, I'm usually crunched for time -- but I've also lived long enough to know a little extra effort on holidays may become a memory that brings a smile to someone years down the road.  

 

 

 

BUNNY BREAD BOWL 

 

 

 

1 regular sized roll (make your own or store-bought) 

 

1 bread bowl (make your own or store-bought) 

 

5 toothpicks 

 

2 regular chocolate chips 

 

Pink candy for the nose 

 

Knife and kitchen scissors 

 

Fresh parsley (Easter "grass"), optional 

 

 

 

  • Cut 1/4 of the bottom off smaller roll, leaving a small back section of the bread on the roll, so it can hang off the back of the bread bowl. This will give it some stability. Set aside. 

     

  • Cut bread bowl so that you remove a small top section of the roll in a U shape, leaving a "ledge" at the back for the smaller roll (the bunny's head) to sit on. 

     

  • Dig out insides of the bread bowl in a large piece if possible so you can use some of that for the bunny's tail. You can eat the rest of the bread insides with your soup if you save it. 

     

  • Take top of the bread bowl you removed and cut out 2 ears. You can trim the inside of the bunny ears so they are flatter. 

     

  • Take the knife and slice a small hole where you want the nose. Push the candy nose in the bread. Poke a tiny hole for the eyes and then gently place the chocolate chip eyes in place. 

     

  • Take the bunny head and place it on top of the bread bowl ledge and secure it in place with three toothpicks. 

     

  • Slide the other two toothpicks into the bottom of the ears and then place them in the top of the roll for the bunny's ears. 

     

  • Take a small piece of the bread you removed from inside the bowl and roll it into a ball and use it as the bunny's tail. Use fresh parsley as Easter "grass," if desired, on the plate to add a festive look 

     

  • Store in an air-tight bag until you are ready to serve. These can be made in advance as long as they are stored properly. 

     

  • When ready to serve, fill with thick soup, or a favorite veggie dip. (If desired, you can fit a bowl of the dip inside the hollowed out bread bowl. 

     

    (Source: theidearoom.net/easter-bunny-break-bowl/) 

     

     

     

    BUNNY PASTRIES 

     

     

     

    Basic white rolls recipe: 

     

    2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour 

     

    2 tablespoons sugar 

     

    1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast 

     

    1 teaspoon salt 

     

    1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream 

     

    1/4 cup water 

     

    2 tablespoons butter 

     

    1 egg 

     

     

     

  • Put the butter, sour cream and water in a small saucepan and heat, but do not cook. Cool to tepid then add the remaining ingredients. Put in a kneader (or use your kneader attachment on your mixer if you have one). If thick, add more water. Let it rise double and cut into 16 equal parts. 

     

  • Place on baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone baking mat and cut the ears with kitchen shears. When the dough is still soft, make sure you smooth the ear edges round, so you don't end up with gremlin-shaped horns. The eyes can then be applied using pepper grains, or create small eyes by making two indentations in the dough with a toothpick or similar tool. 

     

  • Bake at 375 F for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. 

     

    (Source: momalwaysfindsout.com) 

     

     

     

    EASTER CARROT CHEESE BALL 

     

     

     

    2 (8-ounce) packages light cream cheese, room temperature 

     

    3 stalks green onion, chopped 

     

    1 tablespoon light mayonnaise 

     

    1 teaspoon white vinegar 

     

    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

     

    1/2 teaspoon ground mustard 

     

    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt California seasoning blend 

     

    Finely shredded cheddar cheese 

     

    Bundle or parsley 

     

     

     

  • Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Form a large triangle in the shape of a carrot on a large plate. Round points for carrot shape. 

     

  • Trim parsley to desired length. Push parsley bundle into top of cheese ball to make the greens on a carrot. Cover the ball with cheddar cheese and pat down so it adheres. Serve with crackers and veggie sticks. 

     

    (Source: Jen Nikolaus, yummyhealthyeasy.com)

     

  • Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

     

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