Magazine article Sunset

Easter Made Easy: Celebrate Spring with a Colorful, Festive Party for Kids

Magazine article Sunset

Easter Made Easy: Celebrate Spring with a Colorful, Festive Party for Kids

Article excerpt

With eggs to decorate and food to prepare, finding a simple, family-friendly way to celebrate Easter can be as tricky as finding that last hidden egg. That's why our fun egg-hunting party offers easy treats and decorating ideas that are just the thing for enjoying a spring day.

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Our sandwiches--ham on savory Swiss cheese biscuits or shrimp salad on delicate herb biscuits--are great for either brunch or lunch, as are strawberries to dip into orange cream cheese and sweet coconut meringue nest cookies. The kids can even help out with making the biscuits. They'll also enjoy making our pretty flower-dotted eggs and buckets. At this festive party, parents and kids will discover not just eggs but also the spirit of the holiday.

1 Prepare a quick lunch

With a few fresh touches, old favorites will please children and parents. To make things easier on Easter day, make the lemon-herb and orange cream-cheese dips the day before. Cover them both and chill; bring to room temperature before serving.

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Crudites with Lemon-Herb Dip

PREP TIME: About 10 minutes

MAKES: 8 servings

In a small bowl, with a mixer on low speed, beat 8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well blended. Add 1 tablespoon milk and beat until smooth; if mixture is too stiff, add a little more milk. Spoon into a bowl. Rinse and thinly slice 1 English cucumber (12 oz.), peel 1 pound carrots and cut into sticks, and rinse and trim 1 bunch (about 1 3/4 lb.) celery and cut into sticks. Arrange vegetables on a platter; serve with lemon-herb dip.

Per serving: 140 cal., 64% (90 cal.) from fat; 3.8 g protein; 10 g fat (6.3 g sat.); 9.9 g carbo (3.4 g fiber); 241 mg sodium; 31 mg chol.

Strawberries with Orange Dip

PREP TIME: About 10 minutes

MAKES: 8 servings

In a small bowl, with a mixer on low speed, beat 8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 teaspoons shredded orange peel, 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until well blended. Spoon into a small bowl. Rinse 3 quarts strawberries and place in a large bowl; serve with orange dip.

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Per serving: 207 cal., 48% (99 cal.) from fat; 3.7 g protein; 11 g fat (6.3 g sat.); 26 g carbo (6.3 g fiber); 87 mg sodium; 31 mg chol.

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Swiss Cheese Biscuits

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 30 minutes

MAKES: 8 biscuits

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
  1/2 teaspoon salt
    6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
    1 cup shredded Emmenthal or Swiss cheese (about 4 oz.)
  3/4 cup buttermilk

1. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingers, cut or rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. With a fork, mix in 3/4 cup shredded cheese. Pour in buttermilk and stir gently until mixture comes together. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and, with lightly floured hands, knead gently just until dough forms a ball.

3. Pat dough into an even round 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter or wineglass, cut out biscuits. Gather scraps, pat out again, and cut out remaining biscuits; you should have 8 total. Space evenly on a buttered 10- by 15-inch baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with remaining shredded cheese.

4. Bake in a 425[degrees] oven until biscuits are puffy and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Per serving: 260 cal., 45% (117 cal. …

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