The Most Impressive Easter Eggs

crackled eggs 5

It’s just not Easter without fun, colorful eggs, and this year, I suggest you break out of your shell — literally. Give your egg-dyeing tradition a twist by adding a crackle effect to the edible part of your eggs. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?

The process is easy, and your Easter guests will be completely wowed. Just follow these simple steps.

crackled eggs 1

1. COOK: Hard-boil your eggs by placing them in a saucepan in a single layer. Cover with water to 1-inch above the eggs. Heat just to boiling, then cover the pot, and remove it from the heat. Let stand 15 minutes and then immediately run cold water over the eggs until they’re cool to the touch.

crackled eggs 2

2. CRACK: Once the eggs are cool, roll them on the counter to crack the shells.

crackled eggs 3

3. DYE: Choose your favorite food coloring (McCormick Neon Food Coloring is a lot of fun!), and place a few drops of each color in their own cup (use more drops to achieve a deeper shade). Fill the cups 3/4 of the way with hot water and add 1/2 teaspoon distilled vinegar to each. Place eggs into the cups and allow them to sit for at least four hours in the refrigerator.

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4. PEEL AND EAT: Pull back the shells to reveal your finished product, and serve them however you wish. For me, the best part of Easter brunch is the deviled eggs, and I’d love to surprise guests by preparing them with this crackle effect. Try these pimiento-studded deviled eggs — you can make them a day in advance!

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Easy DIY Doughnuts!

 

Doughnuts Photo

If you ask me, Homer Simpson has the right idea: Doughnuts are amazing. And they’ve started popping up everywhere these days: on dessert menus at fancy restaurants or at specialty shops in cities, big and small, around the country. They’re officially trendy. Save yourself a trip to the bakery with these great products and simple recipes.

First, choose your pan from one of these great picks:

 

wilton-twist-pan-mdn

 

 

Wilton 6-Cavity Doughnut and Twist Pans, ($10-$15, wilton.com): Not interested in the fried product? Bake up a healthier version in the oven using one of these two pans. Use the 6-Cavity pan for the traditional round doughnut, or have some fun with its twisted counterpart.

 

norpro-nonstick-mini-donut-mdn

 

Norpro Nonstick Mini Doughnut Pan,($15, amazon.com): Keep it even healthier with baked doughnuts and make them bite-sized (everyone loves miniature treats). Bonus: This pan is dishwasher-safe.

bella-cucina-donut-maker-mdn

 

Bella Cucina Donut Maker, ($40,amazon.com): This mini doughnut maker eliminates the need for an oven. Just pipe the batter into the cavities and close the lid. Your treats will be ready in no time!

 

williams-sonoma-donut-cutter-mdn 

Williams Sonoma Donut Cutter, ($7,williams-sonoma.com): If you’re looking for a traditional shape, try out this doughnut cutter. Two pieces fit together allowing you to cut the doughnut and the hole at the same time. The removable center hole can be used for cookies and biscuits, too.

Now that you have your cookware, put it to good use with these easy recipes:

Fried Doughnuts with Buttermilk Glaze: This three-ingredient recipe is perfect for a brunch spread. If the short grocery list didn’t convince you how simple they are, they take only 15 minutes to make. Try this
recipe for Buttermilk-Glazed Doughnuts.

Cake Doughnuts: Mix 3/4 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons melted butter, and a pinch each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground ginger with one box Betty Crocker Yellow Cake on medium speed for two minutes. Fold batter into a gallon size Ziploc bag, snip 1/4 inch off the corner, and pipe doughnuts into desired pan. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F, let cool, then glaze.

Mint Chocolate Brownie Doughnuts: Mix 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, and 1/4 cup olive oil with one box of Betty Crocker Chocolate brownie mix on medium speed for two minutes. Fold batter into a gallon size Ziploc bag, snip 1/4 inch off the corner, and pipe doughnuts into desired pan. Bake for 24 minutes at 350 degrees F, let cool, then glaze.

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Spicy White Pizza with Arugula and Goat Cheese


Pizza

Tucked away in Chinatown, NYC is a cozy little pizza school called Pizza A Casa. It’s a school that brings together pizza lovers from around the world and teaches them to make the perfect pie in the comfort of their home (Pizza A Casa is translated to “pizza at home”).   I had the pleasure of taking a class there last year and simply fell in love not only with the school and owners, but also with the dough–win, win for me!  It is the dough that will now and forever be (unless someone can wow me even more, I challenge you!) my go to pizza dough.  It’s easy to make, a cinch to roll out, and most importantly tastes spectacular!

When I made this pizza a few days ago I had a lot of requests for the dough recipe so here it is! And, the next time you are visiting NYC and looking for an off the beaten path activity, I highly recommend Pizza A Casa!

pizza school

 

Spicy White Pizza with Arugula and Goat Cheese

By emily Published: March 6, 2014

    Tucked away in Chinatown, NYC is a cozy little pizza school called Pizza A Casa. It's a school that brings together pizza lovers …

    Ingredients

    • 3.5 Cups all purpose flour unsifted, unbleached, and leveled
    • 1.5 Cups warm water
    • 1 Packet active dry yeast
    • 1/8 tsp sugar
    • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 TBS sea salt
    • 5-7 bocconcini balls mini mozzarella balls
    • 3 Cups arugula
    • 1 lemon juiced
    • 1 tsp red chili flakes
    • 1 TBS olive oil
    • 3 oz. goat cheese
    • 2-3 Slices proscuitto
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • flour for dusting

    Instructions

    1. For the dough: Add yeast to warm water and stir to dissolve. Add the sugar and set aside. The mixture should foam up and smell like bread.
    2. In a bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, oil, and salt. Fold in the yeast mixture with a fork until the dough is shaggy and no longer sticky.
    3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Lean into the dough with the palm of your hand. Press it down, press it forward, fold it over, and repeat. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.** If the dough is sticky, knead in more flour, one tablespoon at a time; if it’s dry, knead in more water, one tablespoon at a time.
    4. Divide the dough into 4 equally sized balls. Form them into firmly packed, seamless spheres. Dust the balls with flour and place them into 4 separate covered containers. The balls will double in size, so make sure the containers are large enough to accommodate the growth.
    5. Allow at least 45 minutes for the dough to rise.
    6. For the Pizza: Pre heat oven to 475 degrees. Roll out one dough ball on a floured surface. You can make this pizza on a sheet tray or use your pizza stone. I used a pizza stone which makes the crust extra crispy.
    7. Scatter bocconcini evenly across the dough. In a bowl mix 2.5 cups arugula, chili flakes, lemon, and olive oil and sprinkle evenly on top of dough and cheese.
    8. Top with goat cheese and proscuitto. Bake for 10-14 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove pizza from oven and top with remaining 1/2 cup arugula. Place back in oven for 1 minute.
    9. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, cut, and serve!

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      What Cupid’s Cooking With…

      Champagne Cake

      Originally written for Good Housekeeping. 

      Love is in the air. No, literally. It smelled lovely in the kitchen after I baked some mini conversation heart cakes. Using a boxed white cake mix, some store-bought white frosting and a Nordic Ware Conversational Heart Baking Pan, I whipped up these little cuties in no time.

      But this isn’t the only festive bakeware out there that will have your sweetie swooning over your scrumptious treats. I did a little research and tested a few more kitchen products that will help you spoil your Valentines.

      Wilton Heart Doughnut Pan: Stay on trend with this year’s hottest dessert: doughnuts! Baked, heart-shaped doughnuts are the perfect way to wake up the ones you love on Cupid’s favorite day. They are healthier than their fried counterparts and still just as dunkable in your morning cup of Joe.

       

       

      Nordic Ware Heart Bundt Pan: Designs bake elegantly into this heart-shaped pan. So much so that little decoration is needed when baking is finished. A drizzle of a simple glaze is all you will need.

       

       

       

      Le Creuset Heart Casserole: Not into sweets but still want to stay festive? Try whipping up this Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash in a heart-shaped casserole dish. You will get high quality Le Creuset performance along with a stylish dish that can be taken from oven to table.

       

       

      Oxo Cookie Press: If you need to bake up dozens of heart-shaped cookies for your kid’s Valentine’s Day party but are short on time, consider the OXO Cookie Press. Equipped with a heart-shaped disc, you will consistently press out uniform batches of cookies. A trusty “click” noise indicates that your cookie has ben stamped and helps create a rhythm, allowing your to press out cookies quickly. Bonus: You get 11 additional cookie discs featuring a pattern for every holiday. 

       

      Wanna spice things up even more? Try out the elegant champagne cake pictured above: Prepare cake using a boxed white cake mix only replace the water with your favorite champagne and bake according to manufacturer’s directions. To decorate, use food coloring to tint store-bought, white frosting to your desired hue and then get creative. 

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