Easter Inspiration

Here’s a round-up of all our great Easter ideas from years past.  There are crafts, an Easter Egg tutorial, recipes, decorating, and menu ideas.  Be sure to check back this weekend for a brand new Easter Brunch inspiration.

Lemon Easter Eggs

Peter Rabbit’s Easter Brunch

Great Easter Book for Kids

Easter Egg Sort Activity

Easter Brunch Menu

Another Easter Brunch Menu

Spanakopita Baskets

Tips for the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Recipe for Perfect Devilled Eggs

Dinosaur Devilled Eggs

Easter Egg Sort

If it were up to me, my children would only have one Easter basket, but so many people like to bring them to our Easter brunch that we ended up with ten this year.  Ten!  It’s great that the boys are so loved, but:  What to do with all those baskets?

I’m pretty sure a garage sale is in order, but until then, we’re having lots of fun with Montessori-inspired activities.  Sorting objects is an important skill which teaches discrimination, counting and an eye for detail.  Here are some activities we’ve done using the props the Easter Bunny left behind.

Sandpaper Number Egg Sort

I placed the numbers 0-9 next to the baskets and Max filled them with the correct number of eggs.  (This is really an enlarged version of the Montessori Spindle Box, but the variation brought fresh energy.)

Egg Size Sort

Max divided the eggs into small, medium and large.  Then he counted them and we placed the correct number on each basket.

Egg Color Sort

This one is easy for the little ones.  Every basket gets one color of egg.  It reinforces color sorting, but also the variations in shades and patterns prompted a lot of discussion with Max.  Does this look more orange or brown?  This egg is yellow with blue ducks, where does it go?  Problem solving and discrimnating thoughts are important milestones.

Egg Shape Sort

This activity introduced geometric solids to our understanding of shapes.  Max sorted spheres and ellipses.

After all this, Max wanted more sorts.  Does anyone else have some great ideas?

Tips for the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

With Easter just around the corner grocery stores are stocked with extra dozens for the spring  rush.  There are many lovely tips for decorating Easter eggs, but I’m concerned about how they taste.  There are so many ways to go wrong.  Yolks turn grayish green and chalky if cooked too long.  Some shells cling to the whites, creating craters on deviled eggs or they crack in odd places.  Here are simple, but very effective, tips to make the perfect hard-boiled egg. 

1.  It’s counter-intuitive, but the freshest eggs are not the best choice for hard-boiled eggs.  They tend to cling to their shells, so buy your Easter eggs now, not on Saturday.

2.  Place eggs in a pot and fill with cold water until all the eggs are covered.  This prevents premature cracking.

3.  Bring the water (with the eggs) to a full boil.  Turn off the flame and cover pan with a lid.  Let sit for exactly 8 minutes.  This is just enough time to cook the egg to perfection.

4.  Gently pour eggs into a colander.  Immediately shock them by putting them in an ice-bath.  Let them cool there.  It should take about 2 minutes.  This shock helps to create the air pockets needed for clean shelling.  It also prevents the egg from over-cooking as residual heat always results in further cooking.  You can use these eggs immediately or dry and refrigerate them until you are ready.  If chilling, be sure to mark the cooked eggs to avoid confusion.

5.  To shell the egg, gently tap the eggs and roll them with soft pressure on a counter top.  Try to get lots of little cracks instead of a few big ones to prevent the whole egg white from cracking.

6.  Feel the bottom (flat part) of the egg.  You will find an air pocket there.  Gently press your thumb on the pocket to begin removing the shell.  Carefully peel the rest of the egg.  Rinse in cold water to make sure no bits of shell remain.

7.  Enjoy!  I’ll post the PERFECT devilled egg recipe later this week, so check back.

Lemon Easter Eggs

Lemons and Easter go hand-in-hand in my home.  The burst of brightness from the citrus pairs beautifully with fresh spring vegetables.  As you can see from last Easter’s menu, lemon is featured heavily at my Easter brunch.

This year is no exception, but I stepped it up a notch when I realized that lemons and eggs are basically the same shape.  I broke out my hot glue gun (tiny pushpins would also work) and decorated my lemons to look like Easter eggs.  Easter ribbons and velour furniture pads made festive fun.  I’ll be growing pots of wheatgrass and tucking these lemon eggs into it for a centerpiece this year.  I hope you do to!