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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Baking and Cooking Tips (Plus a Bonus Easter Recipe)

By Jill S

If you’re hosting Easter this year, I’d like to share a few tips with you that have helped me keep my sanity when I have hosted this holiday.

1. Cook and bake as many dishes as you can in advance. I have an Easter baking recipe that I share with you below that is easy and can be done up to a week in advance. I highly recommend baking your Easter desserts the day before. It really helps me cut down on the stress on Easter day.

2. Organize your kitchen into baking/cooking stations the night before. I know this might sound crazy but I have found it helps me whenever I am making a holiday meal. I put out all of the ingredients for each Easter recipe that do not need to be refrigerated. I put the recipe out and put all of the ingredients that go into that recipe right next to it, along with any pans or measuring cups or spoons I may need for it. I also try to organize them from longest to shortest cooking time so that I know what to start with first.

3. Select the Easter recipes that you want to use a week in advance. This helps me make a grocery list of all the ingredients that I need. That way I can get to the grocery store and get everything that I need well in advance of the day itself.

4. Use or borrow appliances to help make the job easier. I still remember the first Easter I hosted at my house. I must have spent at least half an hour slicing potatoes. If I had just asked to borrow a food processor with a slicer from a friend, it would have made that day so much easier. If you do not have the right appliance for the job or cannot borrow it, find a different recipe.

5. Enlist helpers! The friends and family who have come to your Easter feast are usually more than happy to help out with any small last minute things. My husband has become the official potato masher for all of the holiday gatherings we hold at our house! Those last 30 minutes before your meal is ready can sometimes get a bit crazy. It is okay to ask for help.

Bonus Easter Recipe: Chocolate Easter Nests

These have been a favorite Easter baking recipe of mine for as long as I can remember. I loved helping mom put jelly beans in these for the "eggs."

1 box shredded wheat cereal (10-12 biscuits)
1 - 12 ounce package chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

Crush the biscuits so they are fairly fine. Melt the chocolate chips in bowl in the microwave until they are soft. Add the peanut butter to the melted chocolate. Mix together, put into a large bowl, and add the shredded wheat. Put mixture by tablespoon on a piece of waxed paper. Shape each into a nest. Chill until firmly set. Store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to set them out, put a few jelly beans in each nest. It is a cute, tasty Easter treat.


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