Easter is almost upon us and for those that celebrate this occasion, the current state of affairs has certainly changed the Easter celebration we had planned to share with family and friends! With COVID being the centre of everyone’s lives right now it is making us rethink priorities and for some, they may find observing an occasion such as this not important, but perhaps it’s to the contrary. Adapting, as we all have had to do in the last few months, may be just what we need to help us stay connected and feel “normal” for lack of a better word. Celebrating Easter is no different in that we will have to adapt, socialize and interact with each other totally different than ever before! We have compiled a few ideas to help you keep up the tradition using non- traditional methods!

If you are in need of food, please phone 705-432-2444 to book an appointment or inquire about what we have available.

Easter Baking!

Shortages of flour and other supplies at the grocery store will make traditional Easter baking a little more difficult, but the following recipes could be used to help us celebrate and still keep things festive! Be sure to get the kids involved!

Crispy Rice Nests

Yields: 12 | Duration: 1hr 10min

Ingredients

4 cups marshmallows

5 cups rice cereal

1/4 cups melted unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups mini eggs or jelly beans

Additional butter for greasing

Method

  • Grease a 12-cup muffin tray and set aside.
  • Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat for 25-30 seconds. Stir well, and repeat heating as needed.
  • Add the melted butter and vanilla extract to the marshmallows and stir well to incorporate.
  • Add the rice cereal cup at a time, gently folding it into the marshmallow mixture, until all of the cereal is incorporated.
  • Divide the combined rice mixture amongst the prepared muffin tray.
  • Wet your hands and press the mixture into a basket base. Allow to set.
  • Remove from the pan and fill the baskets with the mini eggs or jellybeans.

 

Gelatin Parfaits

Yields: 6 | Duration: 4hrs

Ingredients

2 packages of gelatin, flavour of choice (picking two different ones would be pretty as well!)

Water as per package directions

1 tub of cool whip

Sprinkles or jellybeans or mini Easter eggs for garnish

Method

  • Make one of the packages of gelatin as per the package directions. Divide the mix amongst 6 nice glasses and put into the fridge to set.
  • Make the second package of gelatin as per the package directions and when complete, mix in 1 ½ cups of cool whip and combine well. Spoon onto the set gelatin in the prepared glasses and put back into the fridge to set.
  • To finish, top with a little dollop of cool whip and top with garnish of choice.

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Yields: Approximately 12 | Duration: 1hr

Ingredients:

1 cake mix (or your own scratch recipe)

white icing

green food colouring

shredded coconut (optional)

liquorice (red or black)

jelly beans

Directions:

  • Make cupcakes according to package directions, or prepare your own recipe.
  • Colour the icing green, if you wish.
  • In a plastic sandwich bag, use a toothpick or fork to prick a few holes in one corner.
  • Fill the bag with icing and carefully ice cupcakes. The icing should come out of the holes and make a squiggly, grass like texture.
  • Alternative: Spread icing on cupcakes with a knife. Dye the shredded coconut green and sprinkle on top of cupcakes to make grass.
  • Use a red (or black) piece of stick liquorice, cut in half lengthwise, to make the handle. Bend it and stick ends into cupcake.
  • Put 2-3 jelly beans in the ‘grass’

Marshmallow Bunny Ears

Hint: Add these to your cupcakes instead of or alongside your Basket Cupcakes!

Ingredients

Regular size marshmallows

Sprinkles – your favourite

Method

  • Lay marshmallow on it’s side and cut diagonally
  • Dip the cut side into sprinkles
  • Insert into cupcake

Egg Decorating

Dyeing Easter eggs is a tradition that most families enjoy! There are so many variations available, from using vegetables such as beets, red cabbage and onion skins to make natural dyes, to food colouring that allows you to create all types of personalized colours to choose from. If the eggs won’t be eaten and will be wasted, perhaps this year’s plan is to cut eggs out of paper and use all sorts of recycled materials to decorate them! Some of the activities that families are doing is putting up pictures or images in the windows for families walking by to see, perhaps home-made egg decorations will be this week’s thing to look for!

Natural Dyes

For:

Red-cabbage dye: 4 cups chopped cabbage
Turmeric dye: 3 tablespoons turmeric
Onion-skin dye: 4 cups onion skins (skins of about 12 onions)
Beet dye: 4 cups chopped beets
Coffee dye: 1 quart strong black coffee (instead of water)

Head to https://www.marthastewart.com/267850/dyeing-eggs-naturally for more details!

 

Food Colouring

Mix 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 10 to 20 drops food colour in a cup to achieve desired colours. Repeat for each colour. Dip hard-boiled eggs in dye for about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon, wire egg holder, spoon or tongs to add and remove eggs from dye. Use elastics or tape on the egg can create differing pattern

Head to https://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/more-holidays/dye-easter-eggs for more details!

Paper Egg Art

This is super easy and you are bound to have all you need already in the house. All you will need is paper, pen, markers or paint (you can also use crayons) and scissors. Using the pen or black marker draw out the shape of the eggs. Add some designs like dots and lines that you and/or the kids can colour or paint in. Once finished and dry (if painted), cut them out and stick/hang them around the house or yard.

Don’t limit yourself to eggs! The ideas are endless so use your imagination and let your creative side show.

Try organizing a “Window Walk” for your neighbourhood and have a town-wide hunt for beautiful paper eggs. You can us the photo below as an example:

Neighbourhood Window Walk Poster

Photo: Twitter / Jean Cloutier

Easter Greetings

Sending greetings through the mail has been something families have done for many years. That can still happen as the Post Office is considered an essential service, but since we are switching things up this year, how about a virtual greeting? Perhaps record a video and send it to grandma via text or email? There are several virtual card sights that are free where you can design a card and send it via email. What a great idea to have messages come into friend’s or family’s inbox when people are feeling a bit lonely at not being together. JibJab also has some free fun videos that the kids would enjoy putting together with adult supervision.

 

Egg Hunts

Virtual Egg Hunt

With township egg hunts cancelled and families not getting together, a virtual egg hunt might just be the thing! Hide the eggs in one room and label them with the names of family members, friends, heroes, you choose! Join a group video chat via Skype, FaceTime or other methods and have the kids start looking. When they find one, have them call out, “I found Aunt Joan” or “I found Grandpa” so that everyone is included. A fun way to have everyone stay connected and solidify the family/friend connection during these challenging times.

Clue Scavenger Hunt

Sometimes the Easter bunny likes to hide chocolate eggs and toys around the house for the little (or big) ones to find. This year the bunny may need a bit of help from the parents/caregivers. This year, try to create a scavenger/treasure hunt! You can do this for all age groups including the parents, to get the whole family involved. This can be clues that lead them to chocolate, toys, crafts or an activity that family can do together like crafts, puzzle, outdoor activity’s or even something as simple as their favourite breakfast.

Here is an example of how you can set up your scavenger/treasure hunt:

 

String Scavenger Hunt

Another option for a scavenger hunt is to use string. In this method all you would need is some sort of string (yarn, rope, tape, ribbon, fishing line for a challenge) found in the house. You can even use a different colour string for each participant, if you can. Start by tying it to their bedroom door handle and in a single never ending maze, loop it around furniture, through drawers, taped to walls, etc. all through the house so that the participants need to follow it all the way to the end prize.

See example below:

 

Easter Dinner on a Dime

The challenges are real for many of us, economically, socially and even this year from a food availability standpoint. Grocery stores are warning of long line ups for supplies and since everything is changing, why not try something a little different this year. Adapting a typical Easter ham to a Creamy Ham and Potato Casserole perhaps? Less expensive, family sized and delicious! Add an extra vegetable and perhaps a salad and done! Have the kids help as well to really make it a family affair! Stuck on turkey? Why not pickup a turkey breast or leg, cook it and use the meat to make a Turkey broccoli and stuffing casserole! Again, more economical, fun for the family to put together and you don’t need a whole turkey! Use chicken if turkey is unavailable and one of the precooked chickens is perfect for this! Needing a meat free meal? Try a vegetarian cobbler, using fresh and frozen vegetables and biscuit mix for the topping! Join together as a family to make the meal and sit down to share it with each other or virtually with friends or family. Staying apart but together is the only way this will pass, so stay healthy everyone and stay safe!

Creamy Ham and Potato Casserole

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 cups cubed potatoes, parboiled

1 red pepper, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 ½ cups cubed ham (3/4-inch pieces)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup

½ cup sour cream

Method

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 12 baking pan and set aside.
  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 5 minutes just to start the cooking process.
  • Drain the potatoes and add to a large bowl. Mix in all the other ingredients and spoon into a baking dish.
  • Bake about 50 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Let stand before serving.

Turkey, Broccoli and Stuffing Casserole

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 (10.5 ounce) can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 cup of sour cream

3 cups cooked diced turkey or chicken

1 box of stuffing mix, prepared as per the package directions

2 cups of frozen or fresh broccoli

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.
  • In a bowl, mix the chicken soup, sour cream and the turkey or chicken. Spoon into the prepared dish.
  • Blanch the broccoli until just tender and drain well. Sprinkle over the turkey mixture.
  • After preparing the stuffing as per the package directions, cover the broccoli and chicken mixture with it.
  • Bake about 20 minutes and then carefully top with the cheese. Bake another five minutes, then remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Vegetarian Cobbler

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

3 small zucchini, diced

1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cups mixed frozen vegetables, defrosted

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup 2% milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tub herb and garlic cream cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

1 tube refrigerated biscuits

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400° degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan and set aside.
  • In a large deep skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, red pepper and onion; cook and stir 10-12 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Add garlic and defrosted mixed vegetables and cook 1 minute longer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk flour, milk, salt and pepper; stir into vegetables. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir in the cream cheese and the cheddar. Spoon into a greased 8-in. square baking dish.
  • Open the biscuit tube and separate the biscuits. Place and space the biscuits onto the top of the veggie mix and bake until bubbly and the biscuits are golden, about 20 minutes.
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