Friday Fun! April 5, 2012

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Easter preparations are in full swing. Mom is here, finishing up our traditional Ukranian Easter bread, called Paska (I am photographing it, so that I can share it with you for next year). I had to start the sponge and mix the dough. I usually let me bread machine take care of anything involving yeast because it scares me a bit. I am so nervous! If the bread is a success, I’ll take all of the credit give all the credit to how much my Grandma and Mom have taught me, but if it is bad, I guess I will take the blame, and potentially be excommunicated by my family, at least until next Easter. It is amazing how much the bread it varies from year to year. Some years it is OK, but needs some butter to be really good, and other years, it is light, fluffy, moist, and incredible. Sometimes we need a ton of extra flour, sometimes we don’t even use up the entire 5 lb. bag.

This week the Bug and I went to The Raptor Exchange, which is a bird sanctuary not far from our house, and we got to see hawks, owls, and eagles. Then we walked the “boardwalk” at The Great Swamp. Crazy that it was actually chilly enough to need a hat and winter coat.

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We also went to an Easter Egg Hunt, which was so much fun because he wasn’t even walking last Easter. Unfortunately I am now eating all of the chocolate.

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I can’t believe how many recipes I posted this week, and I even got a few photos accepted by Tasteologie and Foodgawker! I have really been working on my photography and editing skills, but I have been neglecting my online photography class a bit. Have to catch up next week, which may mean a few less new recipes.

I also hit 400 “Like”s on Facebook! That makes me so happy!

If you are still looking for some Easter recipes, don’t forget about my Cheesy Spring Veggie Breakfast Bake (which isn’t only for breakfast), Lemony Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies with Strawberry-Infused Royal Icing (a twist on a classic, with all-natural “food coloring”), or Chocolate Coconut Creme Cupcakes (filled with Hershey’s Coconut Creme Kisses and made with a secret ingredient). Although I think my favorite new recipe is the Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. Definitely The Bug’s favorite, too.

Here are some things I was checking out out this week:

  • Serendipity & Spice has an awesome New Blogger Series, and I have been reading up on Time Management (which I need to do a better job on) and Search Engine Optimization. If you are a new blogger, check out this series. There is some great information.
  • I have been nervous about venturing into gluten-free baking, but I found this great guide this week on Fork & Beans.
  • Tastefully Julie introduced me to Knapkins. I could easily waste hours on here, so I am trying to resist.
  • Speaking of Tastefully Julie, she has inspired be to try artichokes. The Hubby is probably not going to be a happy camper, but that’s too bad.

  • I am totally going to put this Peanut Butter Frosting and Glaze on some black bean cupcakes like the ones I used in the Chocolate Coconut Creme Cupcakes. That would really make those cupcakes into a health food, right?
  • Eggs baked on tomatoes was definitely a trend this week, as I saw several versions, but I am liking this one from A Healthy Jalapeno.

  • I totally want these from How Sweet It Is, and I think The Bug will love him, since Asian and Mexican foods are his favorite, and this is a fusion of the two.

  • Bacon. Blue. Cheese. Meatballs.  No more words needed.
  • And you know I can’t go a week without sharing some awesome-looking desserts, like these cupcakes from Love From the Oven (sooo adorable, and mmmm, peanut butter balls) or these brownies from Crazy for Crust (ooey gooey, the best way to have brownies).

Stay tuned tomorrow for a very different but yummy blueberry muffin for Mom’s Crazy Cooking Challenge. Between family visiting and some other things I have to catch up on, I am not sure how many new recipes you will see form me, but I hope to get a few up.

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Have a Happy Easter, and enjoy some family, friends, food, and fun!

And here is a holiday spin on the weekly question:

What are your plans for the weekend and for Easter? Cooking up anything special? Do you have any traditional foods that you make?


  1. Looks like you’ve had a great few days! Thanks for the mention on the pb stuff—I really hope you like it!

    Your photography is beautiful–it’s something I really need to work on and I just don’t have time.
    Maybe you’ve mentioned it before, but what online course are you taking? I’ve been considering taking a course (in person), but I just have a tough time with time commitments like that. Then again, I’m afraid if I do an online one, I’ll pay for it and not stick to it!

    Someday I’ll have pretty photos and start submitting them 🙂

    Oh, I used to date a guy whose grandma made all the traditional ukranian foods….I’m very familiar with that bread! I’d list some other things I like, but I have no idea how to spell them. Lol.
    We’re going to joe’s parents’ for easter, so it will be fun I’m sure. I’m thinking of taking a dessert, but I have to pick one that I think the kids will like! I’m thinking vanilla coconut flour cupcakes with chocolate avocado frosting….we’ll see!
    Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you for the compliments on the photos. I am really trying. I started a class from but I have been bad about keeping up with it. But next week I will catch up. But I got some awesome tips for an eBook I downloaded from Check that out if you really are interested in food styling/photography.

      I know – spelling anything Eastern European is so difficult. My maiden name is Dziadul – how is that one for you?!

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Well, yesterday someone tweeted that she thought my recipe was too much work–ha! I think your recipe sounds fantastic–I love baked sweet potatoes!

    I hope you have a Happy Easter! I can’t wait to see that bread. 😀 And congratulations on getting photos accepted on FG & Tasteologie!

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