Friday, May 2, 2014

Easter 2014

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.  My family had an amazing Easter weekend.

First, Jared was supposed to leave on Easter Sunday to go to Ecuador on a business trip.  His trip was cancelled!  That never happens (other than in my wishful imagination...), and I was ecstatic.

Second, we got to enjoy lots of great time with our little family as well as with some extended family.

Third, we ate some great food!

Wanna see?  Super.

We had Jared's dad over on Good Friday so we could eat a big dinner and then color Easter eggs.  I already showed you how I made Layered Jello Eggs.  I am also very pleased to tell you that I made my first ever ham!

I think the ham turned out well.  Everyone--even my kids--ate it and seemed to enjoy it.  This ham lived a good little life.  First, it fed us at our Good Friday dinner.  Then we took leftovers to Jared's mom's on Easter Sunday, and it fed the crowd there.  Then on the Tuesday after Easter, I used the remainder of the ham to make Ham Loaves.  Waste not, want not. :)

Back to our Good Friday food.  We had the Jello eggs and some fruit salad (more on that in a minute).

Nora and Grandpa had been playing Uno while I prepared the dinner.  I forgot to move the cards before I took the picture. :)

We also had that infamous ham and some scalloped potatoes.

And we had corn and some rolls.

And the most important part of the meal:  dessert.  I made the desserts earlier in the day.  Ok, to tell the truth, I woke up so excited about hosting the dinner that I started on the desserts that morning.

First I made bird nest cookies out of chow mein noodles, butterscotch chips, and egg-shaped candies.  These are not hard at all.  Click here for a recipe.  Some of our nests had Cadbury Mini Eggs (my personal favorite) and some had Mini Robin Eggs.

The other dessert was an egg-shaped fruit pizza.  I got the idea here.

I bought a package of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough that comes in pre-portioned clumps (not the tube, although that would also work).  I started by laying the dough clumps in a rough egg shape.  I used my fingers to press the dough together and shape my egg.  Once I was happy with the shape and thickness, I used my rolling pin just to smooth it out.

I was working on my Silpat mat on my largest baking sheet.

I baked my giant cookie.  Unfortunately, the tip browned before the middle was done.  And I overbaked my cookie.  I was afraid of it being too soft since it would be covered with cream cheese frosting and moist fruits, and I accidentally let it get too done.

By the way, when I served the finished fruit pizza, no one except me even knew that the cookie was supposed to be softer.  Everyone gobbled it up as if that's exactly how it was supposed to be.  I told myself this was a "thin crust" fruit pizza.

I mixed cream cheese and a little sugar to make the frosting and spread it on the cookie.

I had already purchased, washed, and chopped (when necessary) my fruits.  So this was now the fun part.

I started by outlining the egg with blueberries.

Then I added a bold center stripe of strawberries lined with blackberries.  I curved the lines a bit to look a little more like a 3-D egg.

Then I had fun filling in all the other stripes and designs.  I used grapes, kiwi, bananas, and mango.

I finished it off with an apricot jam glaze.  You can see it in places on the pizza (like between the kiwi slices), but I didn't mind.

I combined all the leftover fruits and the leftover apricot glaze to make a fruit salad for the dinner.  That was an unexpected bonus!  My giant pretty silver baking sheet wouldn't fit in my fridge, and the fruit pizza needed to chill until serving time, so I had to transfer it to my very loved but very ugly second biggest cookie sheet.  That's why it looks so bad in the above side-by-side dessert picture.

After we cleaned up dinner, we set up for coloring eggs.  The kids were so excited!  Nora asked all day long, "How many more minutes until coloring eggs?"

I always cover my table with multiple layers of newspaper.  We have enough cups of egg dye that no one really has to wait (or at least not long) for a color.  I wash and reuse my little dye cups and egg dippers every year, and I save the white crayons as well.  I also buy egg dye kits on clearance after Easter and put them away to use the next year.  So this year we were excited to pull out the Easter bin and see what kind of dye kits we had!

The adults have as much fun as the kids in our house.

Griffin's finished eggs

Jared's finished eggs

My finished eggs

Nolan's finished eggs

Nora was the last one at the table working on eggs.

Nora's finished eggs

On Saturday Jared and I hid candy-filled plastic eggs in our back yard and let the kids have an egg hunt.  Everyone had lots of fun!  Our next-door neighbors even came out on their deck to watch for a bit.

The kids with their buckets full of eggs

I got pictures of the boys while we were outside, but Nora was too busy checking the contents of the Easter eggs.

We got dressed up for Easter Sunday, but this year I decided not to stress about making our whole family match.  I actually got a new dress (woohoo!), Nora and I finally found a dress for her that we agreed upon (from Kmart), I ordered matching ties for the boys and the rest of their outfits were clothes they already had, and Jared wore a new shirt and tie that I got him for his birthday.

Every year on Easter, we set up the tripod to get a family photo.  Every year there's at least one shot like this.

I finally got a picture of Nora!
Oh, and Nolan also lost a tooth during the fun Easter weekend.

Dear Tooth Fairy, I lost my tooth!  How have you been doing?  What is your best friend's name?  Have a good day!  From, Nolan...P.S. Have a good spring
Sometimes it's just awesome to be my kids' mom.  Easter weekend was full of those moments!


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