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celebrating Easter

After tomorrow our spoiled kiddos will have experienced a whopping 4 Easter egg hunts this year.  They had a blast today when they woke up and realized the Easter Bunny had come over night, and had an incredible time screaming around Grammie’s with their big cousins for the hunt after Easter mass this morning… and yesterday was a great warm up to it all – a little hunt with a few friends.all baskets bunny basket

 

We had 9 kids, the oldest at 4 whole years – was Matty. We spent most evenings after work and dinner last week baking and decorating cookies and cupcakes and loaves and muffins and freezing or refrigerating until Saturday morning.  We made some fun  recipes, I think the biggest hit were cin buns – so i posted the recipe for that below.  We  love having people over, sharing some good food and great laughs – and this was just the perfect mix of sunshine, bouncy castle, and sugar-high to make a wonderful morning get-together with some great little people…

 

Matt and I made sugar cookies last weekend while the girls napped – we froze the egg and carrot shapes until this Friday evening – but Matty decorated some dinosaurs last weekend that he and the girls chomped on through the week (we also made a pan of bunny rabbits that didn’t make it through the first day).  He loved making all the icing colours in little bowls himself and was thrilled at the end of the whole thing to be able to finally lick the knife … note the mischievous glint in his eye …

egg cookies carrot icing carrot cookies matt icing carrot cookies personalized

 

Kate and Charlotte love to hop up on the island and help with baking.  Their new thing is actually cracking the eggs themselves and pouring all the ingredients in the bowl (stirring is no longer enough … it means I’m not the only one making a mess in the kitchen now, so I’m totally good with it… and the shared blame for flour on the floor and our faces at the end of it all).  We baked and froze small banana breads one night, a cranberry orange loaf another night and then made the batter for mini chocolate chip muffins (thank you all recipes – HUGE hit in our house) and raspberry muffin batter (check out recipe on this post) that we popped in the oven the morning of the hunt so they would be fresh.

choc chip muffins raspberry muffins

We also made chocolate cupcakes – into a carrot cupcake garden.  We baked a simple box recipe, and used a melon cutter to take out the centers – then iced them, and used some oreo crumbs to create dirt.  We made orange icing and stuck it a little ziplock bag (use an icing bag if you own one) and cut out a tip of one corner – we made “carrots” and topped them with little pieces of green licorice for the stems. garden The next day I made the same thing as a slab cake for dinner at my sisters place and added worms for affect for the boys.  Super fun and sooo easy.  carrot garden

 

I’ve said it before, I know – but I often think our most fun is in the lead up to events – Matty gets in on all the excitement now as well and for a week or more in advance of having people over he is planning and scheming and prepping.  This time it meant he helped me plan the scavenger hunt that accompanied the egg hunt.  bunny hunt scavanger huntHe made sure that his turtle and his love of ‘dinosaur bones’ (pine cones) got in on the hunt card.  He also designed signs in the sunshine (and sometimes directed mommy to help with the pictures) that he put up all around the yard to help people find their way.matt egg hunt

All the kids help to “decorate” the table and house… and they might even help clean up a little in advance if we’re super lucky.  the spread

Charlie helped me make the healthy snack table this weekend – consisting of simple fruit and a clever little carrot … carrots and brocoli

 

I love how excited our kids get.  I loved seeing how much they wanted everyone to find their own eggs.  We had 7 kids 4 and under hunting so we made it easy by colour coding – each kid had a colour assigned to them in their pail and they found all the eggs in that colour.  Charlie was very busy finding other kids’ colours and bringing them to the right owner for most of the hunt.  Kate was happy after finding one or two eggs and Matt was a speed machine.  Love how different they all are.

charlie hunting kate hunting matty hunting

 

Anyway – it was an awesome weekend … and I think those cin buns were a hit I might repeat one day soon … the icing made them amazing.  Find the recipe below with a warning that they are neither low fat nor low sugar… but ohhh so worth it.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter with your family and friends … I was so grateful for ours.  I think out of all of this my best memories will have been watching my sister do a “bum drop” on the trampoline post-wine/dinner tonight, and listening to the incredible version of Hallelujah while sitting next to my mom this morning at church and watching Kate’s little hand reach to hold her hand.

xoK

easter kids

 

Cin Buns:

 

5 cups flour, 1 TBSP yeast, 1 1/2 C butter, 1 1/4 C milk, 1/3 C brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 TBSP cinnamon

for glaze: 1 container of cream cheese, 1/2C butter, 2 Cups confectioners (icing) sugar

  • place flour and yeast in your mixing bowl of a stand mixer
  • melt 1/3 C butter in microwave or sauce pan and add milk, 1/3C brown sugar and pinch of salt
  • add to yeast and flour and mix on low – add 3 eggs and mix for 5-6 minutes longer until dough is smooth
  • let it rise in a clean, greased bowl in a warm place for 90 minutes – covered
  • prep filling: melt rest of butter and add 1 1/2C of brown sugar and cinnamon – mix into a paste and add a bit of water to make it smooth
  • turn dough onto a floured surface and punch it down to let out air.  then let it sit for 10 min (important)
  • roll out with a floured rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thickness – spread the cin paste all over (right to the edges!)
  • roll dough up into a long log and cut 12-15 equal rounds
  • let sit in a warm place for 90 min to rise again or place covered in the fridge over night and bake in the morning
  • back at 350 for 20-25 min
  • make glaze – 1 container of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of butter – whipped with 2 cups of icing sugar
  • turn out onto a pan and then flip onto another pan so that they are right side up again
  • glaze with icing and serve …. yum!

 

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