Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mum stuff | Easter treats...

Aside from Christmas, Easter is one of my favourite times of the year...I mean, what's not to like about a holiday that is celebrated with chocolate.  The kids are at that age now where they get VERY excited about the Easter Bunny coming. I'm not sure if Seth fully believes anymore, but he's playing it very cool.  I remember when I first found out that Santa and the Easter Bunny weren't real...it definitely sucked a lot of the fun out of it. I say...the longer they "believe", the better the holiday will be for them.

For the first time ever, I've decided to decorate the house a little.  It all started last week week when I spied the most adorable, glittery foam eggs at Target. I just had to buy them...and at $6, not that big a spend. I had no idea what I was going to do with them. All I knew is that they were pretty.  Eme fell in love with them instantly too...that's my girl.  This afternoon, my plan came to life.  I was walking past Magnolia Florist and they had the most delightful apricot and lilac lisianthus for sale. Those pretty pastels just screamed Easter!  In the bucket next to them were some pale pink and purple carnations (which I hate), but I just knew they had to go together. The florist whipped this bunch up for me and added in some Easter daisies and yellow gerberas.  One thing you should know is that I own about 12 vases, and NEVER buy flowers, but today, it just had to be done.  I love them. It makes me smile.  I then went out into the backyard and grabbed a couple of suitable branches from underneath the wattle tree.  They look so pretty with the eggs hanging from them. Love that they've been given a second chance.
Also on the buffet are the kids new Easter baskets, plus the little paper ones they made at school, some birds and Easter finger puppets (too cute).  I can't wait until Sunday when those baskets are full of chocolatey goodness.

Speaking of goodies...I've been baking!  There was a recipe booklet attached to the Woman's Day (a couple of weeks ago)...all Easter feasts from sweet to savoury.  The kids have been begging me to try something out the booklet, so we thought we'd tackle these...

Carrot-top cupcakes
Makes 12 | Preparation 10 minutes | Cooking 20 minutes

1 cup self-raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
3/4 cup brown sugar
150g butter, melted
2 eggs
2 cups grated carrot, firmly packed
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

250g cream cheese, chopped
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest

Here's how...
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper patty cases.
  2. Sift flour and spice together in a large bowl. Mix in sugar.
  3. In a jug, whisk butter and eggs together. Lightly fold through flour mixture with carrot, sultanas and walnuts.
  4. Spoon mixture into patty cases until two-thirds full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until cooked when tested. Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. ICING  In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, icing sugar, juice and zest together until smooth. Spread over cooled cakes. Decorate with carrots. Store in an airtight container.
  • The walnuts weren't in the original recipe, so I added them in...they taste good and add crunch.
  • The "carrots" on top are gummy carrots purchased from Big W.  If you're talented enough, or have the time, you could make them out of fondant.  We chose the easy path, and decorating the tops is the step the kids really wanted to help with.
  • The cupcakes would look a heck of a lot better if I piped the icing....a) I don't own a piping bag; and b) I wouldn't have a clue how to use a piping bag even if I did have one.
  • The kids weren't fussed on the icing, but Andrew and I thought it was delicious.  The kids however, loved the cake!  If you have fussy eaters, you could just sprinkle the top with icing sugar.
There you have it...hippity hoppity...Easter's on its way...and so is more activities with the kids and more holiday foods to try out.

How are you planning to celebrate Easter with your family?  Do you have a favourite recipe that you bust out over the holidays?

Cheers, Lis.


Melinda said...

Oh they look so cute!
I have to agree with you - apart from Christmas, Easter is my favourite holiday - what better excuse to indulge on chocolate and hot cross buns :)

4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle said...

just popped over from Aussie Mums after you mentioned your fb/twitter/sidebar thingy. You're right, it looks much neater, but not nearly as good as those cupcakes!

Glad to have found your blog.


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