Easter Feed

Nesting Instincts

Hi Everyone! 

So sorry for the long break.  I have a good reason though-I am expecting a baby girl come August!!  I have no other excuse for not blogging besides being totally wrapped up in all things baby!

I have really missed you in the meantime.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Spring.  I have a couple of events coming up I can't wait to share with you.  First is a cherry blossomed themed bridal shower for one of my friends. Then a tea celebrating the arrival of my baby.

Next, is my "Nesting" Baby Shower.  I have been in love with this theme since I started blogging and am so lucky to have friends who have let me be involved in the creative process.  I can't wait to see it all come together.  Here is a sneak peek of my amazing invitations designed by my friend Lena.

JoShowerBlurred 

We gathered tons of great inspiration from around the web for this shower.  We are going for a Anthropologie-ish feel.  We shopped for grapevine wreaths, nests, bird cages, birds, butterflies, feathers etc.  We took major advantage of all the Easter goodies on sale! 

Here are some links I love:

Modern Nesting-Hostess Blog

Vintage Nesting Part One-Pepper Design Blog

Vintage Nesting Part Two-Pepper Design Blog

Oh How Tweet Part 1-Hostess Blog

Oh How Tweet Part 2-Hostess Blog


More details coming soon!


Easy Cheesy Brunch Bake

Here is another easy breakfast casserole to serve your crowd over the weekend!

Easy_Cheesy_Brunch_Bake 

Prep Time:
20 min
Total Time:
50 min
Makes:
12 servings
 
Ingredients:
 
12 large eggs
1/3 cup  BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 lb. pork sausage
4 oz.  sliced fresh mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
2   tomatoes, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup  KRAFT Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese

HEAT oven to 400°F.

BEAT eggs and sour cream with whisk until well blended. Pour into greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake 10 min. or until egg mixture is softly set. Meanwhile, cook sausage, mushrooms and onions in large skillet on medium heat 6 to 8 min. or until sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Drain.

REDUCE oven temperature to 325°F. Spoon tomatoes over the baked egg layer; top with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with cheeses.

BAKE 30 min. or until egg mixture is set in center.


Here are my other favorite brunch casseroles:  Good Morning Grits and Sausage Casserole

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!!


(photo and recipe from kraftfoods.com)


Pretty in Pink

This photo caught my eye for its pretty pink color.  Then the recipe sounded just as good as it looked.  What a great punch to serve at Easter!  The recipe includes instructions for both non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions so you can please everyone.  This would also be great for Mother's Day and wedding and baby showers (especially if mom is having a girl!)

Sparkling-punch-l 

Sparkling Punch 

Yield

Makes about 9 cups

Ingredients

  • 1  (12-oz.) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 4  cups  white cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1  qt. club soda, chilled
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Preparation

1. Stir together lemonade concentrate and cranberry juice cocktail in a large pitcher. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Stir in club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Champagne Punch: Substitute 1 (750-milliliter) bottle extra-dry Champagne or sparkling wine and 1/4 cup orange liqueur for club soda; proceed with recipe as directed

(photo from southernliving.com)


Twisted Nests

Change is Good

A98894_fal01_peonies_xl 


Large peonies sit in nests instead of eggs!  I love the simplicity of the white flowers in the nests.  What a pretty table setting for Easter, Mother's Day, weddings or "Nesting" baby showers.  These open peonies are sitting in a shallow plastic bowl of water then in a basket of twisted fern vines.  If you can't find fern vines, I think you could buy two medium nests at your local craft store and set one on top of the other and blend the sides to get the same depth shown here. 

Continue the theme with miniature peony nest place card holders.  You could use a bud of the centerpiece flower or one that is more closed.  These stems sit in a water tube within each nest.  Finish the setting with large round glasses that mimic the roundness of the nests. 

Of course you can use any flower you prefer and hopefully one you have in your own backyard!


(photo from marthastewart.com)


EGGcellent!

For your Easter table centerpiece, try this twist on the traditional Easter egg tree.  Your children will love it!  Bonus:  this would also be cute for a "Mama Bird/Baby Bird" or "Nesting" baby shower.

Swinging Birdie Egg Tree

Rock-a-bye-birdies-easter-craft-photo-180-FF0409EGGSA17 

First find a branch in your backyard and set in sand or pebbles.  You will also need:

 

Egg carton
Hole punch
1/4-inch-wide ribbon
Colored tissue paper
Pinking shears or decorative-edge craft scissors
Blown eggs
Glue stick
Colored feathers
Colored card stock
Marker

Time needed: About 1 to 2 Hours

Rock-a-bye Birdies - Step 1 1. For each, cut a cup from the egg carton and punch 3 holes as shown.

2. Cut 3 pieces of ribbon, each about 9 inches long. Thread an end of each piece through a hole in the carton and knot it, then tie the other ends of the ribbons together.

3. Cut two 2- by 6-inch rectangles of tissue paper, one with the pinking shears. Lay the pinked rectangle on top of the other. Wrap the papers around a blown egg so that the pinked edge peeks out from behind the straight edge. Secure with the glue stick.

4. Place the wrapped egg in the cradle. Use the glue stick to attach a small tuft of feather and a card stock beak and eyes to the egg. Make pupils on the eyes with the marker.

(photo from familyfun.com)


Easter Table Inspiration

I love love this table setting!  The colors are bright instead of pastel.  Not to take anything away from the pastels but I love the brights.

Decorate-easter-255 

It looks simple to duplicate also.  You could purchase a turquoise tablecloth and hot glue ribbons down the center.  Fill a basket with tulips or your favorite spring flower.  Coordinating plates and napkins and you're set.

Here is how to make the adorable glitter eggs in the baskets:

Easter-basket 

  • Large bowl
  • Sewing needle
  • 24 raw eggs (keep cartons to use later)
  • Rubber ear syringe (available at pharmacies) or egg-blowing tool
  • Fine craft glitter in assorted colors and spray paint in matching colors (available at craft stores, Martha has some very nice glitter at Wal-mart)
  • Small bowls
  • Thin wooden skewers
  • Face mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spoons
  • Waxed paper

1. Working over a large bowl, use a sewing needle to carefully pierce both ends of an egg. Make hole at wider end of egg slightly bigger by chipping away at shell with needle. Puncture yolk with needle.

2. Gently insert a rubber ear syringe into smaller hole and blow contents of egg out through larger hole. Rinse egg shell with water. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with remaining eggs.

3. Allow eggs to dry completely. Pour glitter into separate bowls and set aside.

4. Slide an egg shell onto a wooden skewer and spray paint in a well-ventilated area while wearing a face mask and gloves. Hold spray can at least 6 inches away from egg to coat it evenly; rotate egg as you work.

5. Working quickly, place painted egg in a bowl containing glitter that is same color as paint. Gently roll egg in glitter before paint has dried completely. Use a spoon to sprinkle glitter over sparse spots.

6. Place eggs on waxed paper to dry (about 20 minutes). Store eggs in cartons until ready to use.

Wouldn't these be great as place card holders or favors for your Easter gathering?  You could buy letter stickers at your local craft store to use as initials on the eggs.  Or for favors you could place them in wrapped candy baskets instead of grass. These are also seen in the top picture in egg cups.  You could use them as little bud vases too.

(photos from allyou.com)


Peep Show

Check out these adorable Peeps cupcakes from Fancy Flours!

Easter Peeps Cupcakes

Peepsrecipe 

You will need:
• Assorted Solid Colored Muffin Cups
• Assorted Colors of store bought peeps (at your local grocer)
• Cupcake recipe of your choice
• Icing or frosting recipe of your choice


Instructions:
• Make cupcake recipe. Bake and cool as directed in colored muffin cups. Frost as desired.
• Place all of the cupcake on a tray (or wherever they will be stored) Adhere a peep to the corresponding color of muffin cup by slightly sticking it into the frosting to hold it in place.
• Store in an airtight container. 


So Cute

Welcome Spring with the cake of your choice decorated with these pretty colorful flowers!  It's easy to do and your kids will have fun helping you make the flowers and leaves.

This would also be great for a wedding shower or baby shower.

Gumdrop Cake 

Gumdrop-cake-200 

You'll need:

Shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Spice drops

Mini M&Ms

1.Place coconut in a ziplock bag; add a few drops of food coloring. Seal bag; mix until coconut is tinted. Pat coconut on sides of cake and sprinkle on top.

2.Make flowers: Dust a counter top with sugar (to prevent sticking), then use a small rolling pin to flatten spice drops one at a time. Use small cookie cutters to cut out flower shapes. Pipe a drop of frosting in the center of each flower and attach a mini M&M.

3. Make leaves: Cut rolled-out green spice drops into teardrop shapes, score veins down centers with a paring knife and pinch one end of each to create leaf shape.

4.For stems, tint frosting green, put into ziplock bag, snip off a corner and pipe lines

(photo from allyou.com)


Unexpected Arrangements

For your Spring or Easter arrangements try using jelly bean centerpieces.  All you have to do is get two similarly shaped vases, one 3 inches narrower than the other.  Fill the space between with layered jelly beans.  These look great with tulips or daisies.  I've also seen this done with a row of bunny peeps and jelly beans. They just scream SPRING!


Tulips and Jelly Beans 

April_cover 


Modern Arrangement

Try grouping different sized cylinders filled with various colored jelly beans without the flowers:

FloralVase 

The possibilities are endless and FUN!


(top photo from allyou.com, bottom from jellybelly.com)