Happy Spring!!

snowday

 

Several days into the beginning of spring, we woke up to snow!  And not just a little snow, we got over 12 inches of snow in less than 24 hours!

Of course the kids wanted to make a snow man, and with Daddy’s help, they made a pretty big one!  Mama decided it needed to be a snow bunny, since we are less than a week away from Easter.  Isn’t he cute?!

The kids are off school today, so I am off to make hot chocolate while they keep peeking out at their snow bunny and giggling.

Gotta love a late season snow day!

Advertisements

Bunny Rolls

To accompany our yummy Breakfast Casserole on Easter morning, we had Bunny Rolls.  The concept could not be simpler.  I used to tubes of ready made cinnamon rolls.  One tube made the bunny heads, one tube made the ears.  The ears are just one roll cut in half and folded over to form the ear shape.  Then you press it in place and bake as per the directions.

Could you make these by scratch?  Of course you could!  Home made cinnamon rolls are the bomb diggity!  This mama was busy with nine million other activities though, so as my kids would say, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”  What?  Its not like they hear that from their Mama….every single day.

Breakfast Casserole

We woke up Easter morning to the smell of breakfast waiting for us.  How awesome is that?  The night before, I filled the crock pot with an egg casserole recipe that cooks overnight, had the coffee maker all filled and ready to go, and had bunny rolls ready to throw in the oven.  Upon waking, I simply flipped the coffee maker on, turned off the crock pot and threw the bunny rolls in the oven.  By the time the Easter baskets had been gone through, breakfast was ready.

Oh, Mama loves it when things are so well organized!

Doesn’t that look yummy already?  This is a pic before cooking.  It is super easy, and can easily be modified to include whatever you prefer or what you happen to have on hand.

Breakfast Casserole:

Ingredients:

12 eggs

32 oz shredded frozen potatoes

1 onion

sliced mushrooms

1 package bacon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 cup milk

2 cups shredded cheese

diced bell pepper

Cook your bacon and set it aside.  Dice up your onion and your bell pepper and cook it in about a tablespoon of olive oil (or whatever oil you prefer) with the mushrooms.  If you like your veggies extra soft, cook longer.  If you want them crisper, cook them shorter.  Adapt this to whatever works for you.

Spray the inside of your crock pot with non stick cooking spray.  Add about 1/3 of the shredded potatoes, then 1/3 of the bacon, 1/3 of the veggies, and 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat two more times.  Obviously.

In a large bowl, add your eggs, milk and seasonings.  Beat until well mixed and then pour on top of your ingredients.  Put the lid on and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Make sure everything is thoroughly cooked.

This made the house smell amazing!  And it was delicious!  This recipe makes a lot, so it is perfect for when you are having company over, or for making breakfast for the entire week.  I think you could sub the veggies for any other variety you may like.  Same with the meat.  Sausage or ham would work well, and if meat ain’t your thang, well I’m sure this could be easily adapted into a vegetarian dish.

This will definitely be added into regular rotation here.

Easter Fun

We made the best of our piddly little spring break here over the weekend and actually crammed a lot more fun into the weekend than I expected.  (Always a pleasant surprise.)

This year, I decided that we would make our own Easter Baskets.  We have a small home, and are planning a move for next year, so we just don’t have the space to store the big fancy baskets I want to have for the kids.  They don’t care about the big fancy baskets anyway, they just dig the loot inside.

Nothing fancy, we made our baskets totally free from paper grocery bags, paper lying around, stickers and markers.  Oh, they also cut out some pictures from ads for added embellishments.

That’s Bella, concentrating on her work of art.

Matt made one for him and one for Noah, while Bella made one for her and one for Sara.  I love how she wrote at the bottom, “Plez come Easter Bunny.”

I surprised them with a plate of plastic Easter eggs with their lunch on Friday.

The eggs were filled with little snacks like raisins, goldfish crackers, kiwi, you know, kid staples.  They were so excited, they were literally jumping up and down and squealing.  *smile*

So easily amused.  I’ll take it!  Any excuse to hear how awesome I am…

Matt just dumped it all into one big pile, while Isabella carefully organized her goodies.

We spent the afternoon reading Easter books while Noah had two year old tantrums in between stories.  Fun.

 

And we made bunnies from a little craft kit.

  

There really weren’t many choices on how to decorate.  They came with pants, shirt, bow tie and pink for the ears.  Bella made girls and used the bow tie as a hair bow.  Matt….well, Matt is awesome.  We decided to think outside the box and cut the little slivers off the pants to make a beret.  Then we used the slivers as blue for the ears of one bunny, and used the pink to make a paint brush for our little artist bunny.  Love it!

This year, the Easter bunny, as per tradition, decided to bring the kids mostly art activities and toys rather than a big basket full of candy.  The kids each got one chocolate bunny, baggies of Annie’s Organic Bunny Cookies (omg so stinkin’ cute!) and then lots of neat activity books, art supplies, etc.

Admittedly nothing at all like Easter when I was a kid, but then, when I was a kid I got my first dental crown when I was five sooo….change is not always a bad thing.  The kids don’t miss the candy, they get loads of it from Grandma.  We let them eat some and then Abe takes the rest to work for his communal candy dish.

No, I don’t believe candy is evil.  Everything in moderation.  I just don’t want the celebration to be about the candy.  I’d rather have them remember all the neat crafts and activities when they think of all the awesome Easters they had with their totally awesome mom.

We had a great Easter.  I’ll be posting some groovy recipes this week for the breakfast casserole and bunny rolls we had.  Yum!

 

 

Egg-stra Special Delivery!

You know whats awesome?  Mail.  I love to get mail.  Well, not bills.  I dislike bills.  But I love getting goodies or magazines or catalogs in the mail.  What I love even more than getting mail is giving mail.  Like, super awesome little surprises or gifts or whatever.  You see those eggs right there?  Well, on the backside they have addresses and postage on them.  Yes, I am sending these eggs, as is, filled with all kinds of grooviness to some very special people.  I’m cool like that.  Now, heres hoping they arrive in one piece!  The guy at the post office got a chuckle out of these, by the way, so they are already causing smiles.

Rainbow Deviled Eggs

Me encanta el arco iris!

Oh my gosh, color Mama happy anytime rainbows are involved!  Or unicorns, or kitty cats, or any other ridiculous girly stereo type.  Hey, I’m a dork and I’m proud!

My Bella had a rainbow themed birthday a few years ago, and making all the rainbow goodies was absolute heaven to me!  I love making anything more colorful, so when I saw a similar idea in my Family Fun magazine this month, well you knew I couldn’t resist!

Start by hard boiling your eggs.  Easy enough, right?  Don’t ask me the perfect way to do this, because I have no idea.  And then peeling the eggs?  Ay Dios mio!  A nightmare!  Ugh!  I have read and tried every trick there is for perfectly peeled eggs.  I am convinced that it is impossible.

That is my mutilated pile of egg halves.  *le sigh*  I think the end product turned out okay, but it sure would have been nice to have eggs that didn’t look like they were peeled with a weed whacker!

Next, I took several mugs of water and added a smidge of food color to them.  Nothing fancy or special.  No vinegar or anything.  Just water and a smidge of color.  I had gel color, but it worked just fine.  I placed several of the egg halves into each mug and let it sit for about 10 minutes until they looked all kinds of awesome.

Well…..except for the chewed up look of the eggs…  But the color looks totally awesome, right?  Humor me here.

Anyway, once dried, I filled them with the classic deviled egg filling.  Mushed up yolks, mayo, hint of mustard, pinch os salt and a dash of pepper.  Topped with a little paprika and you have a neat new presentation of deviled eggs.

Now see?  When you can’t see the mutilated bottoms, they look pretty darn impressive, don’t they?  And they taste pretty darn fabulous too.  We had five left after the party, but those too quickly disappeared.  I think these will become an Easter tradition.  What an easy way to jazz up a classic recipe!

Peep Cake for my peeps!

Hee hee, I think I am pretty hilarious.  *smile*

So, as I have readily admitted to, I like to impress when the holidays or special occasions come around.  I will admit I got the idea for this perty cake from Pinterest.  Oh, Pinterest, how I love thee!  We had it for our cousin playdate this past weekend, and even the picky eater was singing its praises, so I will take that as a win!  Only my kiddos ate the Peeps though…..  Even Abe and I left the lonely little bunnies sitting on our plates, waiting to be adopted by one of the kiddos.  (No worries, they all found homes in the tummies of mis bebés.)

The List O’ Ingredients:

Spring Funfetti Cake Mix

Spring Funfetti Icing

Multi Colored Peeps Bunnies

Plain Easter M&M’s

To prepare, mix the cake mix as per the instructions on the box.  I made my cake by making 2 9in rounds stacked.  Once the cake has cooled, ice it and take the peeps apart and stand them along the perimeter of the cake in any pattern you like.  Top off with the plain M&M’s.  You end up with…

Magic!  Ta da!  Now tell me that isn’t the cutest darn cake you have ever seen.  Go ahead, I dare you!  Its not the cutest cake you’ve ever seen, you say?  Well then, I declare you a liar, liar pants on fire!  It is super cute, super festive, and the kids love it.  And if your kids like Peeps, well hallelujer!  Even better!

Chocolate Bird Nests

Easter is fast approaching and in this house, Mama likes to impress the guests with the unexpected.  Its an illness, I blame Martha Stewart.  All hail Martha!  *ahem*

Anyway, a few years ago, we made a neat variation of this treat using M&M’s for Christmas.  Not sure how we decided that nests were Christmas-y but, they were good and pretty, and you just don’t question that.  Right?  Right.  When we made them, we just piled the goo onto parchment paper and made freestyle nests.  They were awesome, of course, but they were also pretty big.  Like, palm of your hand big.  Kind of large for a sweet treat.  So as I planned out this treat in my head for Easter, I thought I would dig out my muffin pan and use that for smart portion control.  See how I roll?  When I grabbed what I thought was my standard size muffin pan, I actually grabbed my mini muffin pan that I had completely forgotten I even owned.  (Darn babies, stealing Mama’s brain cells)

And then the proverbial light bulb went off and aha, I say!  No really, I did in fact say “Aha!” outloud.  Then Noah, my toddler, says “What Mommy?” To which I say, “Mommy had a great idea!”  To which he says, “Awesome!”  See?  I’m not the only one in the house that over uses that awesome word.  I just used the word ‘awesome’ to describe the word ‘awesome’.   Yup.

Back to the nests!

Gather up your Chow Mein Noodles,  Chocolate Chips, and egg shaped candy.  I used Robin’s Eggs, which were my second choice.  I sent Abe out to get the little candy coated Cadbury Eggs, but he “couldn’t find them”.  Whatevs.  I think you get the idea.  You could also use jelly beans or M&M’s, whatever your little heart desires really.

Next, melt your chocolate chips.  This is my handy dandy chocolate melter thingy that I got from QVC.   Don’t judge.  Home shopping is AWESOME and convenient.  I’m not sure if they sell it anymore, but its pretty nifty.  It only heats up warm enough to melt the chocolate, never scorches.  Of course, thats its only purpose though, so if you don’t plan on melting loads of chocolate on a regular basis, you could do the double boiler method.  Or the microwave, if you’re brave.

Once its all melted, I threw about half the bag of chow mein noodles into a large bowl and poured the melted chocolate on top, stirring it all together to coat the noodles.  I already had my mini muffin pan ready to go and sprayed with non stick cooking spray just in case.  Using a spoon, put blobs of this mixture into the pan, noticing how it is already looking totally awesome and nest like.  Once all the cups are filled, bust out your eggs and plop those puppies into the nests you just made.  I did two eggs per nest because…..I wanted to.

See how pretty and nest like they are?  The melted chocolate will work as a glue to hold the eggs in place, no worries.  Then I like to place the tray into the fridge or freezer to harden.  I will admit, I had some anxiety wondering if they would come out of the muffin tin without sticking.  They seemed pretty well stuck when I pulled them out this morning.  I grabbed a butter knife to loosen the edges and they popped out without a problem though.

So cute!  And not too big!  My mix made 24 little nests with one globby spoon full of chocolate and stray noodles for Mama and a bowl of chocolate-y goodness for the babies to fight over.

I am *hoping* this lasts at least through Saturday when we are having a cousin playdate with the kiddos after some Easter activities.  If not, well then there is photographic proof that I did indeed make these treats.