Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Celebrations

This year we planned our family's first Easter Party.  For the full story, go to my personal blog

We have taken our kids to easter egg hunts in the city before but to be honest, each experience left us disappointed.  The worst has to be last year's, when we witnessed the organizers' carelessness in passing around chocolates with traces of nuts and tree nuts while kids were waiting for the egg hunt.

So this year, armed with Sandy's Sweets resources, we planned one at home.

We sent out invitations to some of our neighbours and some of my kids friends.  There are so many resources on the net these days I just printed out one of the many free printables out there.

Thanks to:

- WanessaCarolinaCreations.  I used most of her Easter Printable Set.
- Fab N Free for the "You've been Egged" Poster
- Dollarama for the $1 green grass I got a couple of years ago.
- Target USA for some of the specialty Jelly Beans and Marshmallows - all nut and dairy free!

Once I had a confirmation (9 kids 7 adults), it was a matter of organizing and planning.

- Dairy free Carrot Cupcakes:  I used my regular recipe which asked for buttermilk.  If you didn't know, you can replace buttermilk with this:  Place 1 tbps of vinegar in a 1 cup, then fill the rest of the cup with milk.  So I figured I would experiment and use Rice Milk instead.  I also added a little bit of apple to substitute the ginger (as it would be for kids).  To turn them into 'cupcakes' instead of 'muffins' I whipped some vegan buttercream, smashed Oreo cookies in a Ziploc bag and place them on top.  For the 'carrots' I used some orange fondant and piped the greens with icing.

- Chocolate Egg Pops:  I had an order for a LV bag this same weekend and because it was a carved cake I had some left over scraps.  Why not turn them into Egg Shaped pops for the adults to enjoy!?  Basically, to make these you get a large bowl and break apart the cake, add some buttercream on it, and start rolling to shape.  Then cover and freeze them to let them set.  Then take some chocolate chips and microwave them as instructed, and cover the frozen cakes in chocolate.  Use the left over chocolate to drizzle on the pops!

- I was in Buffalo last week and Target had 3 entire rolls dedicated for Easter Sweets.  I got some Bunny Shaped Marshmallows and Starburst Jelly Beans:


I have learned not to overcomplicate things So these are the things we had:

- Upon arrival I had a table set up with crayons and colouring pages for the kids to work on.
- There was one 'craft' on the table for those not keen on colouring.  A simple sheep, glue, and cotton balls.  You get the idea?

- After all our guests arrived we headed to the deck (we were very thankful it was the ONLY sunny day of the week!) to play games:

1)  Egg Race #1:  2 teams, 2 bunny 'markers' on the other side, 4 spoons (if you have small kids use tablespoons, otherwise teaspoons), 2 eggs (I just used a plastic egg).  Kids take turn, place egg on spoon, and race back and forth.

2)  Egg Race #2:  Now, you need to give spoons for everyone.  they are to pass the egg to the back of their rows, then the last person walks with the egg to the front of the row and does the same thing again...Eventually the line will get to the bunny markers

3)  Hop like a Bunny:  Relay race basically.  Instead of running they can only hop.

- After the games we went inside and had a Story.  By then the kids would have quieted down, which meant time for lunch.

- After lunch and some free play we headed out again to do the egg hunt.  The basic rules given were:
a)  no pushing or running
b)  be nice to everyone
c)  after you find 5 eggs pause and make sure everyone especially the little ones have 5 too
d)  after everyone finds 5 you can go find more, if not, the older ones have to help the little ones

Instead of baskets I gave each child a loot bag I had gotten at Dollarama several Easters ago (3 for $1). I had prefilled them with some gummies, balls, pencils and stickers.

Overall we had a blast.  It was much nicer to celebrate knowing my kids would be eating foods they can eat and not having to guard them from crowds.

Here are some additional pics of other Easter treats I made this year:

- Peeps Vegan Vanilla Cake and Cupcakes:  SUPER EASY.... Peeps are less than $1 for a box.  Just place them on top and crush Oreos (the original brand does not have dairy)


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