Easter was always one of my favorites when my children were little. We would spend an entire day decorating eggs, making treats and getting ready for the Easter Bunny! I laugh when I remember hubby and I trying to hide eggs (outside or if the weather was being difficult, inside) without our children or the neighborhood children seeing us. Now two are in college and the youngest is in high school so those days aren’t as exciting as they used to be but I still make it special.
- 8 oz of softened Cream Cheese
- 1 T fresh parley, chopped finely
- 1 t fresh basil, chapped finely
- 1 container of grape tomatoes cut with an “X” in the top
Mix cream cheese and herbs until well blended. Stuff cut tomatoes with cream cheese. Wipe off excess with wet paper towel. Add green onions for stems.
Then there is Dessert!
A rustic Carrot Cake is the perfect dessert for this delightful gathering. I like to make mine with three layers for height and of course it allows for more icing! I have a secret ingredient in my recipe and I am going to share it for the first time ever!
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup Orange Juice
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 cups grated carrots (approx. 5 medium)
- ½ cup raisins (I use golden)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350. I line the bottom of my 3 9” round cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with Pam.
Blend cake mix, oil, OJ, eggs and cinnamon in a large bowl with an electic mixer on low for one minute then scrape down the sides and beat 2 more minutes at medium speed. Gently fold in carrots and raisins (and walnuts if you want to include). Divide the batter between 3 pans and tap lightly on counter to remove any air bubbles that might be trapped in batter.
Bake until they are lightly brown and spring back to the touch. 30 to 35 minutes. Remove pans and place on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of each layer and remove cake from pan to finish cooling on rack.
Cream cheese icing:
- 2 packages (8oz) cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
- 7 cups of confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Blend cream cheese and butter on low speed until combined. Add sugar ½ cup at a time, blending with the mixer on low speed until it is well incorporated. Add vanilla then blend at medium speed for 1 minute until fluffy.
Cotton Tails continue the whimsy of the décor. These are easy and make a great favor for your guests to take home.
- 1 package white cake mix,
- 1 can of vanilla icing
- vanilla candy melt or almond bark
- shredded coconut
Bake cake according to box directions. Let cool then crumble in a large bowl. Add icing and mix well. Roll cake mixture into 2” balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Dip balls in melted candy and put on clean lined cookie sheet. Add shredded coconut while candy is still warm so it sticks. Added bonus is the cake balls don’t have to be perfect because the coconut hides all imperfections!