Friday, March 25, 2011

What’s In Your Basket? Darling Easter Crafts, Plus Dumplings for Your Dumplings!

There’s a lot of eye candy this time of year: store fronts decked out in tulips, white rabbits, easter eggs in every shade and beach pails to match. It really gets the old imagination going—taste buds hankering for things as creamy and indulgent as the center of a Cadbury Egg. This week, my entertaining blog features two chilled soups worthy of your next picnic on a clear Spring Day; it just so happens these dishes share commonalities with Russian favorites, the part of the world that brought us Fabrege eggs and a few springtide traditions that stuck, like toting chock full-of-delights easter baskets.

Ruskie Business: It’s a Delectable Affair!

We tend to fill our children’s baskets with plastic eggs, toys and candies. In Russia, churches encourage their christian congreations to load Easter baskets full of national delicacies; these are enjoyed before and after religious services, and it’s really no wonder the food is so good, since Easter—or “Paskha” as its known to Russians—is the most important feast of the Russian Orthodox Church. Anywho, since there’s plenty more viddles where those Vichyssoise (featured this week on came from, I decided—for this week’s Nana blog—I’d shift gears, if only slightly, and feature a hot dumpling soup, my Harvest Vegetable Soup with Corn Dumplings, as well as Spinach Dumplings with Sage Cream Sauce. Every Nana worth her salt has a little dumpling she’d like to please on Easter Sunday, and there’s noting like serving up real dumplings to deliver on that promise. These recipes are sure to fortify the troops on their Easter Egg hunt, and are just swimming in beautiful springtime colors, like garden green and fresh sage. I’m inluding a craft too, on how to make baskets out of paper plates. But before I dive in on how to make baskets, I need to tout Nana’s latest Kitchen Must Have, this highly rated immersion blender that can pulse soups like nobody’s business.

A Tisket, A Tasket, A Bunny Shaped Basket…

If you have grandchildren 3 years and up, and 20 minutes of spare time to devote to a craft, this one’s perfect. Simply assemble the following supplies:

Paper Plate
Construction paper
Chenille stem (*available at any craft store)
Pom-poms (*same story)

Step 1: To form the basket, which is also the bunny's body, fold the paper plate in half and staple along the rounded edge of the folded plate. Leave about 4-inches along the top open to fill.
Step 2: Using construction paper or cardstock, cut out a basket handle about an inch wide and 12-inches long. Also cut out your bunny's ears. I cut out 2 white ears and 2 smaller pink ear shapes to be the inside of the ears.

Step 3: Glue the strip of paper into the opening on the curved side of the plate to form the basket handle. Then, glue the ears near one side of the handle on both sides of the paper plate as shown in the picture above.

Step 4: Use an old pair of scissors or a wire cutter to cut a piece of chenille stem into 3 equal pieces, about 4-inches long. Glue the whiskers onto the bunny basket as shown in the photo featured. Next, glue a small pom-pom onto the whiskers to look like the bunny's nose.

Step 5: You can simply draw the eyes onto your bunny using crayons or even markers. If you prefer, you can glue on wiggle eyes instead.

Step 6: Finally, glue a pom-pom (or you can use a cotton ball) on to look like a puffy tail. Once all the glue is dry, you can fill this cute bunny basket with Easter grass and treats!

For more bunnylicious ideas, click here…and in the meantime don’t eat too many peanut butter eggs and Cadbury treats—you’ve got to save room for the hearty stuff!

Happy Spring, everyone!


Joanna said...

Hi there! I love this's so darling...and I was hoping that you might add it to my Easter and Spring Linking Party to share with my readers. If you are interested, you can go here to enter. Thanks!

lamb recipes said...

Pretty neat little deal you have here. My father would absolutely love this site. He lives for food. Anyways, I'll try to put him on.

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