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easter carrot food & craft ideas

March 30, 2014

When you think of all of the mainstream items related to Easter, what do you think of most often?  Jelly beans, baskets, bunnies, eggs…carrots?  There is certainly no shortage of ways to deck out your home or event with all things Easter each spring.  To boot, most of what you will find is so bright and cheery, it adds just the right amount of happy to the dullness that is the end of winter.  (I certainly need bright and cheery here…it snowed yet again last night!)

Last week I featured some ways to decorate with Easter Eggs.  This week I am sharing some fun Carrot Food & Craft ideas for the Easter season.

Easter-Carrot-Food-&-Craft-Ideas

Take a peek…you are sure to find the most simplest to the more elaborate ways to add some Easter Carrots to your celebration of this happy spring holiday.

carrot bunting

Paper Carrot Garland via Fiskars

paint carrot garland

Bunnies & Carrots Easter Garland via The Alison Show

felt carrot garland

Easy Felt Carrot Garland via Positively Splendid

carrots & hummus

Hummus with Carrots via Las Rectas de la Felicidad

cake pops

Carrot Cake Pops via The Cake Journal

carrot cake cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies via Lil Luna

carrot krispie treats

Easter Bunny Treats via The Celebration Shoppe

carrot cups

Carrot Sugar Cookies in Dirt via Tablespoon

surprise cupcakes

Sparkling Surprise Carrot Cupcakes via Hostess with the Mostess

carrot topper

Carrot Cake Toppers via No Biggie

carrot toppers

Carrot Cake Toppers via Fiskars

carrot cutlery

Easter Carrot Napkin Bundles via Our Best Bites

carrot prints

Fingerprint Carrots via Sassy Dealz

carrot eggs

Carrot Easter Eggs via A Night Owl Blog

easter carrot containers

Easter Carrot Containers via Circus Berry

carrot goodie bags

Carrot Goodie Bags via Landeelu

carrot printable

Printable Carrot Cones via The Red Thread

easter carrot treat bags

Easter Carrot Treat Bags via Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

jelly bean carrots

Jelly Bean Carrots via Spoonful

paper carrot

Paper Carrots via Oh Happy Day

silly putty carrot

Silly Putty Carrot via The Organized Parent

If you are looking for some inspiration of incorporating Easter Eggs into your decor or event, check out my roundup from last week…

20-Fun-Ways-to-Decorate-with-Easter-Eggs

20 Fun Ways to Decorate with Easter Eggs

Have fun creating!

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food

utica chicken

March 22, 2014

I have another family favorite to share today.  This one was introduced to me about….15 years ago.  It was coined “Utica Chicken” by my step-dad’s brother-in-law.  I think.  Over the years it has become a staple comfort meal, but one that is saved for special occasions.  You know, the ones you only get when you go ‘home’.  For me, it Utica Chicken has been a dish strictly reserved for when I go to my mom’s.  That is all going to have to change soon, because it has turned into a favorite meal for my kids–especially Miss Moira, because she likes to prepare it herself.  That is exactly what we did during our visit to CNY.

Utica-Chicken

It is pretty easy to throw together, making it a totally kid-friendly dish and one that they can help with.  I love having kids in the kitchen to help with the cooking often and they love contributing!

baked-utica-chicken

This crispy, baked chicken is traditionally we served this up with mashed potatoes, chicken gravy, and of course a green veggie of some sort.  The combination is heavenly.  And it is truly a special treat for us, considering I don’t usually do gravy unless it is Thanksgiving.

utica-chicken-prepmaking-utica-chickenready-for-the-oven

Utica Chicken

1 lb chicken breast, cut into strips, or 1 lb chicken tenderloins
1 sleeve Townhouse Crackers
1 cup mayonnaise

Put crackers in to a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Place in a shallow dish. Put mayonnaise in a separate shallow dish. Working one strip/tender at a time, coat the chicken in the mayonnaise and then the crushed crackers. Place in a baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° F for 40 minutes, until crispy.  Best served with mashed potatoes and chicken gravy!

utica-chicken-tenders

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

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food

chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies @ somewhat simple

March 20, 2014

Hi there!  Head over to Somewhat Simple today where I am posting the recipe/deets for this tasty Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookie.  They are little, bite-sized, chewy, chocolaty, cherry delights that you won’t regret trying.  I personally had a hard time keeping my hands off of them.  I guess I can’t get enough of the chocolate-cherry combination lately!

Chocolate-Cherry-Thumbprints

If you just love all things chocolate and cherry like me, check out my Chocolate Cherry Bon-Bons that I posted for Valentine’s Day this year!

Chocolate-Cherry-Bon-bons

Chocolate Cherry Bon-Bons

Have a delicious day!

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food

irish scones!

March 15, 2014

I can’t even describe my excitement about this post. Hence the exclamation point at the end of the title. “What’s the bid deal?” you may say. “What is she so excited about…they are scones!” you may ask yourself. Well, let me tell you, as if the pictures can’t speak for themselves!

Irish-Scones

Last August, I went to Ireland with my husband, his two sisters, and his step-mom. We went for a week, touring the east and the west side of the Island, in a rented car, stopping in a couple of towns/cities for some tourism. It was an amazing trip…a trip that I think is even more amazing now that I look back on it. One of the many MANY highlights of the trip was the scones we enjoyed in each location. (Except at the Westin in Dublin. I may catch some slack for stating this opinion of mine, but those were a HUGE letdown.)  The scones mostly everywhere we went were so…heavenly…I even smuggled one home to enjoy:

scone

Every since our return home almost 7 months ago, I have sworn that I would recreate those precious morsels in my own kitchen, the best that I could. (And no, they are not the same as our Americanized version.) I have a friend who is living in Ireland now that was kind enough to send me some links and some recipes to try. And try I did. I even went so far as to make three different recipes, one after the other, while one sister-in-law was home. I was committed!

Well, now my dear friends, I got it! Here it is.

batch-of-Irish-sconesscones

This is adapted from the Odlums recipe for scones…through trial and error. Tasty errors for sure, but still errors.  What I have learned:

  • Don’t overwork the dough
  • Pat, don’t roll the dough out for cutting
  • Don’t be afraid to keep your dough thick
  • Press the cutter straight down into the dough, no twisting
  • Keep a close watch to not over bake.  Once they start to turn even a little bit, take them out to cool
  • Whole milk and cream can be used interchangeably
  • Chill the dough a tiny bit before baking, whether that be before or after the cutting
  • Irish butter and jam are the best

cut-scone

Irish Scones
makes about 8

8 ounces self-rising flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
handful of dried currants
1 ounce butter (Irish butter is preferred)
4 ounces milk
1 egg

Sift or whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.  Mix in currants.  Massage in butter until just combined.  In a separate bowl or measuring glass, whisk together milk and egg.  Working a little at a time, add milk mixture to the flour mixture, working them together with your hands, again until just combined and being sure note to ‘overwork’.  Your dough should be a tiny bit sticky, should stay together, and be easy to manage.  Additionally, you should have 1 to 2 ounces of milk mixture left.  Pat the dough out into a circle, about an inch thick and place it in the freezer just while the oven preheats.

Preheat oven to 425°.  Once the oven is heated, remove the dough from the freezer.  Using a 2 1/2″ circle cutter dipped in a bit of flour, press the cutter straight down into the dough to make your scone.  **Do not twist the cutter.  Straight down, straight up.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Brush the tops of each scone with the remaining milk mixture.  Bake for 12 minutes in preheated oven, until the tops are lightly golden.  Remove to a baking rack to cool.

Irish-Fruit-SconesIrish-scones-with-Jam-&-Butter

Don’t deny yourself this wonderful treat.  And don’t forget your Kerrygold.  It makes all of the difference in the world!

Enjoy!

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food

cherry coconut brownies

February 25, 2014

It is not all that often that I make things from box mixes, but I just happened to have a box of brownie mix in the pantry that I bought for something completely different and decided to finally use it.  With a twist, of course.

Cherry-Coconut-Browniescherry-coconut-brownies--

I added in some homemade cherry pie filling and coconut.  That’s it!  Just a little extra love and there we have a dreamy, black-forest-like brownie that was a cinch to make.

out-of-the-pan-cherry-cocout-brownies

Once you mix up your brownie mix, add 1/2 cup flaked coconut.  I used Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Flaked Coconut, but any coconut will do.  Pour the mix into your prepared pan. Then, scoop some pie filling onto the brownie batter, in various spots, and swirl in with a butter knife.   This is very scientific, I know.  Oh, and I used 1/2 cup.

chewy,-gooey-cherry-coconut-brownies

And a word on my cherry pie filling.  It was actually supposed to be a syrup but I cooked it too long so now it is a gel that I call cherry pie filing.  There are no cherry pieces, it is pretty thick, but it tasted too amazing to let it go. So I jarred it up and figured I would do something with it.  Minor failure turned success!

lots-of-cherry-coconut-brownies

This brownie is oh-so-chewy and outright amazing, and now that I have an open jar of pie filling, I can see myself grabbing another box of brownie mix so that I can make more.  (I apologize to my friends and family in advance.)

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