Okay, I admit it: Reese’s Cups are my downfall. In case the Ostara bunny forgets to deliver yours, here is a great recipe to make some scrumptious treats for
1 cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
1¼ cups powdered sugar
2 cups milk chocolate chips (or 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar over medium heat. Heat until completely melted and starting to bubble a little, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time, stirring until completely combined with the peanut butter mixture after each addition. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
3. Using a medium cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, scoop out peanut butter mixture and shape into eggs. I found it easiest to roll the scoop into a ball, and then roll it into a short cylinder. I placed it on the baking sheet, and then used my fingers to shape the ends into an egg-like oval. Refrigerate to allow the peanut butter eggs to set, about 30 minutes.
4. Once the peanut butter eggs are set, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted. One at a time, dip a peanut butter egg into the chocolate and, using a fork, flip it over so it is completely covered. Remove it from the bowl, letting any excess chocolate drip off. Return it to the baking sheet, and repeat with all of the peanut butter eggs. Sprinkle with decorations, if desired. Return the chocolate-covered peanut butter eggs to the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set, about 30 minutes. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Hummingbird Cake is a traditional southern recipe full of fruits, nuts, and spices and covered in a delicious cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect way to welcome the warm days of Spring.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped bananas
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
2. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
3. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.
From the Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, January 1999
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
This is a great way to incorporate the spirit of spring into a brunch or after-ritual dinner. If you are collecting the flowers yourself, be sure you are identifying the flowers correctly, and from a place where they are not sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. You also want to steer clear of flowers growing near a road, as they will be exposed to exhaust fumes from passing cars.
4 Cups organic mixed baby lettuces, I used a spring mix because it goes well with the mildness of the violets.
1 Cup wild violets, you can leave the stems on or remove them, they are edible but slightly tough.
1 Cup organic strawberries, hulled and sliced.
4 Ounces of local, pasture raised, soft, herb goat cheese
1/3 Cup wild violet infused white balsamic vinegar*
1/2 Cup very good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp vanilla, lavender & wild dandelion syrup, or you can substitute a very good local honey, I recommend wildflower honey.
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Layer all salad ingredients, beautifully on serving dishes, I like to do mine separately so each person gets an even amount of toppings.
In a salad shaker or glass jar with a lid, place all dressing ingredients and shake, vigorously till they are emulsified, meaning they are creamy and thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. You can also do this in a blender, adding the olive oil slowly at the end, after you have mixed the other ingredients, I don't bother with this it works just fine without electricity.
3 Cups wild dandelion flower petals, you want the yellow part of the flower only, no green.
2 1/4 Cups boiling water
1/2 package of 100% natural Sure-Jell, fruit pectin.
1 Organic vanilla bean, whole.
1 Tbsp organic lavender
2 Cups fair trade, organic, raw cane sugar
1/4 Cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Pour the boiling water over the dandelion petals, add in the vanilla bean and lavender and let them steep at
least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.
Strain and reserve the liquid and vanilla bean.
In a non-reactive pan over high heat bring the dandelion infused liquid, orange juice and sugar to a boil. Add in the pectin and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds from both halves and add them into the mixture.
Ladle into clean, sterilized canning jars and cover. Tip them upside-down to seal, or store them in the fridge to eat immediately.