Thursday, April 05, 2012

Decorating Easter Eggs

Decorating Easter Eggs

Decorating Easter Eggs

Decorating Easter Eggs

Decorating Easter eggs is fun for kids of all ages and adults too. Instead of just dipping the eggs in solid colors there are many other things that you can do to make the eggs stand out, and to add some extra fun and creativity to this enjoyable family pastime. It’s also fun to decorate eggs beyond the ones that you get in the dairies section at the store, you can also decorate chocolate eggs, cake eggs, plastic or ceramic eggs, paper eggs and more.
 Scrap Booking Supplies

There are many scrap booking supplies that will come in handy when you’re decorating your eggs. Using items like ribbons around the eggs, stickers or embellishments is a great way to make unique patters and designs. Scrapbooking stencils and pens will work well on these small ovular objects, and you can use some of the things that you already have. You can also get new stickers and rhinestones or flowers and anything else that you want to put on the eggs. Use non-toxic glue so there are no problems when you peel the egg to eat it. For those who display only eggs you can have the children decorate plastic or ceramic eggs and keep them for the years to come.

 
Painting the Eggs
Instead painting you can easily make a new tradition decorating Easter Eggs by painting the eggs instead. Kids will love getting on their paint shirts and painting the eggs different colors, half and half, with pictures and more. You can pain the eggs to have faces like different Easter animals like bunnies or chicken and even paint words and names on the eggs. Most paints will be suitable but be sure to use non-toxic paint because you’re going to be peeling the egg shells off to eat the eggs. Set the eggs in edible grass and this allows you to create many different colored eggs. Paint markers will have more distinc points for those who want intricate patterns.

 
 Use Candy as Decor

Using edible objects to decorate the eggs is a great way to have some fun. You can start by dying the eggs as you normally would if you want, and you can use edible objects to make patterns, animals and more. Round candies and cereals can work as the eyes as frogs or chickens and you can use round and square candies to make patterns around the eggs. This is a neat way to create one of a kind eggs that will look great on display around any home. You can also use milk chocolate and white cholate eggs to decorate so the entire egg is edible.

 

 

 

Decorating Easter eggs doesn’t have to be the same thing every single year, and instead you can decorate in many ways. You can decorate candy eggs as gifts to others and more than one set of eggs to put up around the home and also to eat on Easter morning. Get out the glitter and glue and let your kids have fun with Easter this year.

 

Damian is blogger and online enthusiast. He works on marketing strategy for several food website, including cake decorating classes Melbourne, which is considered as one of the sweetest Australian websites.

 

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Easter Gift Baskets

Just because you’re away from your loved ones and associates during Easter doesn’t mean you can’t give them beautiful Easter gift baskets to show your affection and appreciation. Easter baskets aren’t just for kids, either. Your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandkids and young friends will appreciate a festive gift basket sent their way, but so will your adult friends, family and business associates. Even a spouse or lover would love answering the door to find a lovely springtime gift basket in recognition of the Easter holiday.

 

 

 

Online retailers, such as GreatArrivals.com, make it easy to select the perfect age-appropriate gift basket for any kid or adult in your life. Consider some of the following recipient options:

 

1. Babies

If you know someone who has a new baby at home, you can send them a beautiful gift basket filled with a plush lamb and embroidered bib set. And why not send a gift basket for adults long with it to show mom and dad you care about them, too?

 

 

2. Toddlers

Retailers like GreatArrivals.com offer a cute plush duck Easter basket filled with a milk chocolate semi-solid duck, Easter Peeps, a lollipop, printed Easter eggs, mini sugar cookies, an Easter activity booklet and a pack of crayons.

 

 

3. Kids, Ages 3-5

Young kids will love receiving colorful gift baskets for Easter filled with things like Peeps, lollipops, fruit candies, chocolate eggs, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, toys, games, craft kits, activity sets and plush animals.

 

 

4. Kids, Ages 6-9 

As kids get a bit older, you may find different types of gift baskets to be more appropriate. Choose a basket filled with treats such as stuffed bunnies, milk chocolate bunnies, Easter Peeps, Jelly Belly beans, lollipops, animal-painted Easter eggs, Easter egg bubble gum, Nerds, Sweethearts, and Sports-shaped Ring Pops. There are also gift baskets customized for girls or boys with things like beauty sets, glitter pens, lipstick cases, glitter tattoos, lip gloss, activity books, sports balls, sports-themed wallets and race cars.

 

 

5. Kids, Ages 10-13 

The pre-teens will appreciate Easter gift baskets that are made just for them. GreatArrivals.com offers the “Fashionista” basket with a plush bunny, a white chocolate bunny, assorted Jelly Belly beans, a flower-shaped lollipop and much more—all in a polka-dotted tote. For the dudes, they also offer the “Oh Yuck!” Easter Fun gift basket that comes with plush funny-eyed Easter animal, Easter egg bubble gum, Mike & Ike candy, Dirty Maui Onion Potato Chips and much more—all in a woven basket.

 

 

6. Adults

Adults will surely appreciate gift baskets for Easter with special treats, such as selections of fine wine and gourmet treats. There are also various gift baskets that area appropriate for teens of all ages with candy and gourmet snacks, and even sugar-free gift baskets for diabetics and dieters.

 

 

 

Writing is everything to Jim. The topic he most enjoys writing about is food. If you’d like more information regarding Easter Gift Baskets, please visit  http://www.greatarrivals.com/

 

 

 

Kids Crafts

Kids Crafts

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

 

Hot Cross Buns

 

Hot cross buns are integral to any Easter celebrations and when it comes to taste there is just nothing like home baking to make a really special bun. Individual ideas may vary in terms of the ingredients that are used and the design that the buns should have, and in the end the finer details obviously come down to personal choice. However, here are a few general points to consider if you are looking into making the perfect hot cross buns this Easter.

 

Currants or no currants

‘Currants of course!’ I hear you cry, but actually one of the first acknowledged recipes for hot cross buns does not use currants. It is claimed that these annual Easter offerings are the descendants of the humble ‘London bun’ – the distinctive iced white fingers that still remain today. At Easter, the currants in the London bun were replaced with candied peel and beaten eggs were added to the mixture to adapt the buns for Good Friday and give them a golden glow underneath the edible cross. One thing that is certain is that hot cross buns should never contain cranberries, even if you are American.

 

 

Should hot cross buns be boozy?

Given the nature of Good Friday as rather a sad occasion there is probably a strong argument for saying that hot cross buns should contain no booze at all. However, this has not stopped recipes being adapted over the years to include alcoholic ingredients and the most popular of these is stout. The stout is poured in to the mixture at the same time as the flour and yeast and then left overnight. The next morning the spices are added in with the eggs, butter and sugar, creating a distinctive dark and malty bun.

 

 

How long until it’s proven?

How long you leave your dough to ‘prove’ (i.e. allowing it to rise) probably depends on how late you leave it to make the buns this year. If you manage to get very organized in advance then you can follow Nigella Lawson’s method of leaving the mixture to prove over night for maximum rising time. If not, then most other recipes will recommend around an hour and a half. In theory, the longer the dough is left to prove, the lighter your buns will be.

 

 

Spice it up?

When it comes to the delicate spicing required in the perfect hot cross bun, again this can often come down to a matter of personal taste. Whilst more traditional recipes will limit the spicing to a couple of teaspoons of ‘mixed spice’ – which you can of course buy in a jar – other recipes will have you infusing the milk with everything from cardamom pods to saffron. When making the decision about spicing really it’s quite simple – if you don’t like the taste of cardamom then stick to the mixed spice.

 

 

How do you eat yours?

Hot cross buns are usually pictured served hot from the oven and oozing with a delicious, thick slab of butter. However, over the years that they have been around, variations have developed on this theme and there are now some pretty wild and wacky ideas for consuming this annual Easter treat. Marmite provides a deliciously salty contrast to the sweetness of the buns, or marmite and peanut butter together is an interesting experience. Again along savoury lines, cream cheese somehow works particularly well with hot cross buns straight from the oven. Alternatively, load yours up with jam and clotted cream for an Easter afternoon tea treat, or for something purely indulgent cover them in chocolate spread.

 

 

Once you know where you stand on these crucial bun baking issues then making the perfect hot cross buns this Easter is easy. Whether you’re infusing with cardamom or sticking to mixed spice, smothering in peanut butter or eating plain and warm from the oven, it’s always a much more satisfying experience to know you have made the buns yourself.

 

 

 

John is a content developer on behalf of Russell Hobbs who enjoys cooking and baking in his spare time. Visit Russell Hobbs for great deals on toasters and coffee machines.