I remember in second or third grade making of construction paper lions and lambs to signify March for the class bulletin board. The adage assumed that March was “in like a lion, and out like a lamb”, but, after the March we had, I think that this year Mother Nature switched it around on us. Here in the Northeast, we had a balmy February only to be lashed with a damp and dark March. Thankfully as I write this the sun is shining and I hope she plans to stay around for a few days. Now is the time to think of bunnies, green grass and candy!
Brighten up your Easter basket with beautiful and handmade candy from Quin Candy, a women-owned shop hailing from Portland, Oregon. At Quin, they say “Candy is Magic” and after you have had some of theirs, you will agree. Toss the food-engineered high sugar, high corn syrupy, waxy chocolate crap from your bunnies’ baskets this Easter and try something different and delight in candy where there is real flavor that is distilled from real food. Quin’s Oregon Cherry Sparkling Candies are one of my favorites; they dance on your tongue and melt in your mouth. Unbelievably good. They do have Easter packages, but really, you can’t go wrong with anything that you order from here.
Another Easter brightener that will make you smile is from another woman-owned shop that I love, Zeitgeist Gifts. If you have seen my Instagram posts, you know, like all chefs, that I love eggs. These little, happy, egg warmers bring me back to my childhood, when my grandfather would eat soft boiled eggs in perfect egg cups and a little cozy to keep them warm. However his egg warmers were not as cute as these – some of the options are an egg “monster”, a hipster (“eggster”) and even a roast chicken – how meta! Decorate Easter eggs this year with fun, washable, heirloom-worthy egg covers. My boys loved these and, if a little whimsy gets your child to eat some nutritious eggs – go for it! I also had a super fun time over at my friend Sarah’s Purple Alpaca Green Goat Farm doing the photo shoot for these covers with her eggs. Her chickens lay some mighty tasty eggs. Check out her Etsy shop, for beautiful, handmade hats and fleece in colors so rich you might think they are edible!
If you are looking for a simple and delicious recipe for Easter brunch, look no further than my French Toast Casserole. You can serve this with fresh fruit and you will be ready to go! Download the recipe here.
Now that Spring is here, come out for a cooking class! I am teaching at the beautifully renovated Gaetano’s restaurant in Red Bank every Thursday at 7pm. Contact Gaetano’s for details.