Cream Puffs for Easter

What will I have for my Easter desserts… Cream Puffs!  
And they were so cute on the dessert bar!  
Yummy and easy Cream Puffs! 

My French born sister-in-law Danielle makes these TO DIE FOR cream puffs every year at 4th of July. Everyone has come to expect and love them. She actually can’t make a different dessert or everyone gets all bent out of shape. So I have been calling her to get her recipe. I wanted to make them for Easter.

The ingredients for cream puffs are only 4….so easy! 
Water, butter, flour and eggs….
Batter before adding the eggs…..I let it beat a little to let off some of the steam….
Then I added 1 egg at a time and beat for a minute in between eggs…..
The cream puff batter is  like pudding…

Easy Cream Puffs:  My French sis-in-law Danielle’s recipe
1 cup water
1/2  cube butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs
Heat oven to 400. Heat water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour until
mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Let cool a bit till batter is not hot. Beat in eggs one at a time. Drop
dough 1 Tbsp size onto baking sheet using a pastry bag. Mine were about 1 3/4 inches oval x 1 1/2 and I got about 30 little cream puffs. Cook until puffy and golden. I did 14 minutes at 400 and then turned oven down to 350 for 5 minutes. I think from posts I read on other blogs 20 minutes is perfect for smaller cream puffs. Larger ones about 20 minutes at 400 and 4 minutes at 350 but watch them the last 3 minutes. Your oven might be different as I am at high altitude.

Bunny cream puffs
These are darling cream puffs too. I LOVED these from HERE at Land O Lakes website.
I piped the batter onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper….

I added a blob of cream puff batter to each of the 4 corners…then pressed the parchment paper on top. It helps
“glue” the paper down to the cookie sheets. 

Here are my finished cream puffs….just out of the oven! 

Now they are ready to fill with the creamy, rich pudding filling….each one was a half a handful ! 

Cool. Cut a slit in the side with a knife. Fill cream puffs with a pastry bag filled with the french vanilla pudding mixture.  Make chocolate icing and spread over top.  Keep refrigerated.
Makes 12 large or 24 small cream puffs (mine made 30 little round ones- bigger than the Costco size) I think this is a perfect dessert to bring to Easter dinner because if you have other desserts, this can be a side garnish and they are so cute and yummy too.

French Vanilla Cream Filling
1/2 pint whipping cream (smallest carton)
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1/2  half cup milk
Whip until thick.

1/2 cup milk, pint of cream and small box of french vanilla instant pudding….

Whip it up and then put into a pastry bag….

Squeeze inside of your little puffs….so easy! 

The filling is really rich and creamy too…I had to pop one in my mouth to taste test it! 

 Chocolate Fudgy Glaze
1/2 slick butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp. milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Heat until melted-add 2 cups powdered sugar until melted. Shake a fork
back & forth and then the other way to ice tops of cream puffs.

This was the most delicious chocolate glaze!  

It was easy and quick….

And it tastes like the most divine fudge!  Really!  

I spread it on very generously!  This chocolaty, fudgy glaze was delicious! 
My finished plates of cream puffs….this recipe made 30 puffs….

That was 2 full plates full….enough for a crowd of people….

I added some purple Peeps to the plate of cream puffs… it added the cuteness factor….yeah! .

And I know somebody CUTE who LOVED my cream puffs!  

And somebody else who loved the Easter egg hunt too! 
My cute little girls after their Easter egg hunt…look at all that loot!  
The daddies helped by hiding the eggs and then helping the girls find them all! 

This was very cute to watch, as you can imagine! 

The moms mostly just let the kids run around having a ball! 

Can you tell this one was having a good time too? mmmhmmm……
We found one!  It’s pink! 
This may be my favorite pic…..”how many did you find?” 
Grandpa giving elephant rides!  Yipee!
My Easter dinner table 2012 minus the ham and cheesy potatoes, salads  and homemade bread…it was all yummo!

Hope everybody had a wonderful Easter dinner!  We sure did! 

Easter Bundt Cake and Cupcakes

I had a party the other night for my only daughter. She is having her first baby boy. So we had a family baby shower celebration. This cake is pretty cute and could be done for Easter too.

I decorated it with cream cheese icing, plastic and candy eggs and little Easter Chick suckers on sticks. 

 It was lots of fun. I made pulled pork, potato salad, veggies and dip and my daughter-in-law Wendy (co-hostess) made a fruit salad with this marshmallow creme dip that was to die for.

Our healthy stuff offset the bad but tempting stuff I think. 

 We also had various cookies, donuts, lemon bars, cupcakes and other candies and treats.

 Aren’t these cupcakes super cute with the pacifiers on them? They just have mini chocolate chips for eyes.

 I had fun playing with all my collection of pastel sugars and sprinkles. Each cupcake also has a baby pin or rattle sticking out of the top or a circus pick.

 I made a mini heart bundt cake out of lemon mix and frosted it with lemon icing and filled it with lemon curd. It is pretty too.

The guest of honor and the co-hostess. We had some cute decorations too. 

 And this game turned out fun. We had 3 minutes to make a baby out of playdough. I think the orange and yellow ones were winners. My little granddaughter Meg liked the tiny pale peach one the best though. lol.

The recipe is from All It is called Too Much Chocolate Cake. HERE is the link for the recipe. It has 4000 reviews and still 5 stars so it is a serious winner in the dessert department. You cannot go wrong. And the base is a boxed cake mix, so easy!

This was a cute diaper motorcycle made with receiving blankets, socks and diapers. Wendy made this and topped it with a cute stuffed bear. So clever! 

Some of my Easter decorations in the great room. I’m almost done with the grandkids’ Easter baskets…but they’ve already found them and dug into the bubbles and eggs. Rats! 

I really like how it all turned out. Happy Easter everybody!

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Sliced Almonds

Chicken Salad Sandwiches with grapes and almonds

 I got this recipe it from a friend, who got it from a caterer, who was serving it at a wedding reception. It is really good for wedding reception sandwiches.  It’s also great on croissants for a fancy luncheon with your girlfriends. I just made it for the hubs and me for dinner. It’s light and fresh and yummy.

Recipe from my neighbor Maryann’s caterer…..
2 1/2 cups cubed, cooked, white chicken breast meat
3/4 cup  slivered almonds
1 cup sliced celery
1 1/4 cups seedless red grapes, sliced in half
3/4 to 1 cup Hellmans or Best Foods mayonnaise 

(depending upon your preference)
Oneida seasoning salt to taste
A few shakes of Pepper to taste

Chicken salad on a Jimmy John’s white roll cut in half….yummy! 

It is a simple chicken salad recipe.It is a great  sandwich recipe and it is fresh and low calorie. I’ve used it at 2 of my kids’ wedding receptions. I think I doubled the recipe for about 65 mini sandwiches.  

Here we used Costco White Dinner Rolls (package of 36) cut in half. It was so easy and the chicken salad went a long way.  It is also great on mini croissant rolls. 

I start with white chicken meat and dice it up into chunks.  You can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store too. Or just white meat breasts boiled or broiled, cooled and chunked.  Add mayo and then add finely chopped celery, red grapes sliced in half and SLICED almonds. (or slivered if you love crunch)

Some people love the crunch of slivered almonds but I like the sliced better and they look pretty in the sandwiches. Add fresh fruit or a fruit smoothie to your  chicken salad sandwich for a yummy, healthy treat! 
I love a good berry smoothie

Now the secret ingredient in these sandwiches is ONERA SEASONING.  It is usually found in the market near the fresh fish or near the butcher area.  It is kind of a seasoning salt.

One more thing. Be sure to use fresh and a high quality mayo like Hellman’s or Best Foods.  The creamier your mayo the better the sandwiches are.  I’ve used Costco rolls cut in half (the 36 package) or small croissants for buffets because they will make your salad go a long way.

 Jimmy John’s long rolls are delicious breads to serve with this chicken salad also. I buy them for 50 cents day old at the shop, and go home, cut them in half, and put them in freezer bags. They are great to have on hand to use for steak sandwiches or albacore tuna or deli turkey. This is a picture of one long roll cut in half.

 It’s a really delicious sandwich.  Add a slice of lemon pie for  DESSERT! Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!     

St. Patricks Day Decorating and Peanut Butter Cake

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up SOON! 
This is one my favorite months of the year. My family were all IRISH! And my mom was an Irish Catholic. We REALLY celebrated St. Patrick’s Day every year. I remember dinners where she would actually give us kids a bit of wine with 7 up to toast to some of her favorite SAINTS. 
Those are happy memories of sitting in the formal dining room with my 5 siblings cracking jokes and eating yummy food like corned beef and cabbage,  baked potato and green popcorn . I love St. Patrick’s DAY!  I’m a Pattie, and my mom called me Patrick for a silly nickname when I was little. So there you have it. Our family loved celebrating this fun “pinch me if I forget the green” day.
I don’t have very many decorations for it but I always do at least my entry table and my dining room table in honor of my mother and her love of St. Patrick’s Day.  I also decorate my classroom in Shamrocks, leprechauns and GREEN, glittery stuff and of course GOLD wrapped chocolates! 

So in honor of the lucky leprechauns out there, I turned my kitchen and entry hall into a bit o’green today!

And here is my classroom….we’ve gone green there too. 

My kitchen table is very lucky too. But alas, I have eaten all of those peanut butter cups you see there. I’m not very good at avoiding the gold when I know there is chocolate stuff inside! But I DID make a fun chocolate cake with unwrapped peanut butter cups on top! 

 I know it’s not green but it WAS super delicious. I just used a regular boxed cake mix and added:
a small package of chocolate pudding mix (dry, just dump it in)
and 1 cup sour cream to the recipe.

For this delectable Peanut Butter Icing:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream or milk. It’s so yummy!

Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Icing. And the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup on top makes it so festive!

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And may the LUCK of the IRISH always be with you!