Easter Tradition: Trifle

My friend Kate has a family tradition of eating trifle on Easter. (I think they make it on Mother's Day too!) This year I used her recipe and made my first one. Yes, they are very easy...but no, they dont all look as pretty as the magazines! I looked into it and found some of the coolest trifle recipes that I want to try...chocolate raspberry, caramel apple, chocolate mocha...I suggest that we all try to make a unique trifle very soon. Oh yeah, and if you want to make ANY dish look impressive, present it in the trifle bowl. Think chinese chicken salad layered, or mexican layers, or rice and chicken layered...get creative!
Mine was angel food cake, bananas, vanilla pudding, strawberries & strawberry glaze. I might line up the strawberries along the outside next time.


Dare to Paint it...part 1

This is my ode to craft paint (which I started buying maybe a year ago!) It makes our lives so much better, if we dare to use it. So we bought this oil painting in a flea market in France last week (for about 10 Euros). It was in a cream colored dingy frame, but I was worried about the cost of a new frame because it isnt a standard size. Well, my aunt suggested that I paint it...which is exactly what I did. Since I am a beginner, I use the same method: Paint, sand, stain. I really like how it turned out!
We bought Robbie a carved wooden sword in Brugge, and I planned from the beginning to try and paint it. Again, I dared to do it (with Robbie's color choices, and I think it turned out great!

I know the sword is an odd gift for a little boy...but he always tells us stories about swording the bad guys!
Posted by Picasa


Tradition: Easter Chocolate

Well if you havent done it yet...you should be hitting your favorite chocolate shop for a treat for your kids and spouse. My parents used to put a Sees Candy chocolate egg in our baskets, decorated and personalized with our name. I loved it.

try a box of hand picked chocolates...a sees candy egg...
for me, it is as much the presentation as it is the taste!
one of the thousand chocolate shops that I checked out in france and belgium last week...incredible! Dont worry, we have plenty in the US. In Philadelphia, try Naked Chocolate and Scoopdeville!


The best use of Brussel Sprouts!

If you are like me, you have never ever had a use for Brussel Sprouts...until now that is! How beautiful are these topiaries? All you need to do is start with a styrofoam cone, a pretty container and moss...and start pinning them in! Just try it for easter, or a spring shower. I cant wait to try!


Historic Photos of Familiar Places

Rittenhouse square 1920: the most beautiful artist's square
Maybe I am starting to get really sentimental about leaving my beautiful Philadelphia, but after seeing the coolest 1930 photo of my neighborhood today (at the bank) all I have been thinking about is how Philly was...particularly around the time my home was built. Here are some pictures I found online at the historical societies.
This is Shadeland and Garret 1914...a couple streets away from my house!
Chestnut Street 1875. This is where we go to church each week!


Chocolate Eggs

I actually did this last year! It took a lot of time, but I thought it was worth it! If you like crafts and want to give some thoughtful easter gifts...try this! I dont know if they have a picture of how to package them, (and I dont have a picture of mine) but just stick them in an egg carton, and cut it in 2's or 4's. Tie a thin bow around each egg on top of the circular fill hole. When the recipient un peels the egg, instead of being hardboiled...it will be a completely solid chocolate egg!

Easter Table...a la Kathy

Last year we went to my friend Kathy's for Easter Dinner. If you are looking for simple, yet beautiful ways to decorate your easter table...just look at these ideas!

Beside from being a beautiful centerpiece...how yummy! Strawberries, sourcream & brown sugar.
Ok, these favors were not so simple...but SO cute. They are little terra cotta pots filled with crinkle paper, wrapped and tied with a spring bow. The handle is a strip of cardstock tucked into each side. Then with the tiniest clothes pin you have ever seen, a "Happy Easter" message was pinched on the handle. In each was a hard-boiled colored egg. LOVE IT!

Dont forget the KIDS! A fizzy egg, elmo egg and a springy rubber ducky!

Easter Tradition: Swimsuits!

Almost Easter! Another Fabulous Holiday to turn my thoughts to. Easter Baskets are SO fun to make for my children, husband, and others...and my favorite thing in the basket is the first new swimsuit of the year. My mom started giving us swimsuits for easter when we were young and it is a tradition I have continued with my family. Finding the perfect one is the hard part. Any ideas?