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8 Fresh-Take Recipes on Easter Classics

I’m not ashamed to say that my favorite thing about any major holiday is food traditions.

Thanksgiving?  There better be a big, juicy turkey on the table.

Christmas?  I want to be eating gingerbread everything.

Fourth of July?  I won’t be happy if there’s not at least three types of grilled meat and a mountain of potato salad falling off my plate.

As great as food traditions are, sometimes you need to shake things up a little.

Wrap and roast that turkey in bacon.  Top that gingerbread with a maple-bacon glaze.  Dress up that potato salad by throwing in blue cheese and bacon.  (Note: there is no food that is not made better by adding bacon)

With Easter fast-approaching, here are some fresh takes on the classics that are sure to wow your guests and still check off your annual traditions.

  1. Dried Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

(Source: Natasha’s Kitchen)

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I’ve always hated raisins.  I can’t pinpoint the exact moment in my childhood where the sweet, juicy wrinkle-nuggets first went on my “hate it” list, but there they are, and there they’ll stay.

Which is why I was so excited to see this take on the traditional hot cross bun.  I usually opt for the fruit-less or chocolate kind around the table, but a simple swap of raisins-for-cranberries gives this Easter tradition a pop in color and flavor you won’t want to miss.

  1. Asparagus and Bacon Popover

(Source: Closet Cooking)

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I wouldn’t say that I’m lazy, but you give me the option of slaving over a convoluted brunch tart or a one-pan popover, I’m going to opt for the one-pan wonder every time.

Kevin at Closet Cooking whipped up this easy asparagus (because you know how to eat in-season) and bacon (because bacon) popover that looks impressive, but actually only needs about 10 minutes of prep time.

  1. Spinach and Artichoke Quiche

(Source: Simply Recipes)

 

Have you ever sat down at a restaurant brunch, excited for a crisp slice of their quiche-du-jour, only to be told that they “just sold the last piece?”  Sheer heartbreak, no?  Everything else on the menu pales in comparison.

So avoid the heartache and make your own this Easter!  Your brunch guests will be wowed at your restaurant-quality dish and it’s easier to toss together than it looks.  This spinach and artichoke recipe is bursting with vibrant greens–a colorful reminder that spring is on our doorstep!

  1. Maple Brown Sugar Ham

(Source: Life as a Lofthous

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My slow-cooker gets a solid workout during the winter months and I’m always on the prowl  for new ways I can use it throughout the year.

Cue this luscious slow-cooker recipe–a fresh spin on the traditional honey-glazed roast.  I love the use of maple and brown sugar to give this Easter ham a sweet, caramelized coating that tastes just as great the next day (if you manage to save any for leftovers!).

  1. Bacon Pea Salad

(Source: Foodie With Family)

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Oh, look!  There’s bacon again!  What a surprise!

The combination of sweet green peas, smoky bacon, and crunchy red onion make this salad aesthetically pleasing swimming in a bowl on your tabletop and not to mention it adds a light, freshness to your brunch plate.  I particularly love the subtle zest of the paprika, you normally only find in a deviled egg this holiday.

  1. Deviled Egg Salad

(Source: Simply Recipes)

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Speaking of deviled eggs!  No Easter brunch is complete without them!

I remember watching my grandma painstakingly slice open eggs, lay them out on a special little deviled egg platter, and then pipe-filling them in, one by one.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

This deviled egg salad has all the flavors you love (mustard, paprika, mayo) with a few new ones (hello, tabasco!), minus the hassle of piping or the small matter of transporting them.

  1. Sparkling Lemonade Sangria

(Source: The Whisking Kitchen)

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I’m not sure what your Easter drink traditions are, or if there really even are Easter drink traditions, but now is as good a time as any to start one.

I love a good lemonade and sparkling wine so this sangria-lemonade, which is bursting with fruit and citrus, will definitely be making a pretty pastel debut on my Easter Sunday menu.

  1. Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Maple Pecan Frosting

(Source: The Food Charlatan)

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Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting go together like peanut butter and jelly, chips and salsa, bacon and, well, everything.

But Karen at The Food Charlatan, takes that relationship to a whole new level by mixing maple syrup and toasted pecans in her cream cheese frosting.  The result a sweet, nutty layer of pillowed atop a super-moist cake.

Even the harshest carrot cake critics will want in on this fresh take on a classic Easter tradition!

Spring 2016 Fashion Trends

Spring 2016 Fashion Trends

With the advent of spring comes numerous new fashion trends. Those inclined to remain abreast of the latest fashion would be remiss not to take a look at what is in store for them as we enter a very special time of the year.

  • Pleats are in fashion for spring and never looked better. Whether you’re looking for the classic navy hues or the seven colors of the rainbow, pleats are great for wearing into the summer. And make sure you do a pirouette as you enter the room or office to show off your

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  • Tie-dye dresses, shirts, blouses and pants never seem to lose their popularity and 2016 is no different. Colorful patterns that are sure to impress that give off that bohemian style you’re always had an affinity for.

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  • Bag lovers rejoice! Like the heavy metal look? You’ll love the studs and grommets from Zara, Prada, Louis Vuitton and more. For you ladies looking for something different, take a look at the quirky designs for 2016. Dogs, pineapples and yes, even beautiful crocheted bags. And don’t forget the latest fad – half moon bags – hot, hot, hot!

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  • The hottest thing in Hollywood is the choker top! It’s an awesome blend of part-turtleneck, par t­halter top. Sweaters and blouses look great with fashionable cami pants or even jeans.
  • Sky­high heels, flats, and mules ruled the runways for the spring collection. There are so many choices you’ll spend Easter working through them all. Oh, Easter – time to buy ladies!

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  • Off the shoulder dresses are looking great for spring.
  • You’d be remiss if you didn’t consider the Spanish influenced dresses by Michael Kors
  • Goodbye sweatshirts! It’s time to grace yourself with lace. Soft, stylish and ever so comfy, whites are making a big splash for spring as well. · Let those slim jeans show off your ankle boots! Flats and squares aren’t the only thing trending this spring. It’s back to the straight and narrow for shoes this year.
  • And who can go without denim at any time of the year? From white denim and soft washes, to flared and cropped jeans, a plethora of styles and colors are up for grabs!
  • Nautical stripes are back for men. Bolder, fresher, and certainly more stylish, they’ll bring out the subdued macho in any man. · For the ladies and the men, sunglasses for spring range from the ever popular round, to aviators, cat style and sleek geometric shapes are all the rage.

Are Shopping And Happiness Linked?

Shopping-happinessIn some good news for shopaholics, scientists have found that material purchases can provide more frequent happiness over time.

A new study has shown that material purchases, from sweaters to skateboards, provide more frequent happiness over time, whereas experiential purchases, like a trip to the zoo, provide more intense happiness on individual occasions.

The majority of previous studies examining material and experiential purchases and happiness focused on what people anticipated about shopping or remembered about items and experiences.

The University of British Columbia’s Aaron Weidman and Elizabeth Dunn wanted to know how people felt in the moment, say the first weeks with a new sweater or tablet computer.

They assessed the real-time, momentary happiness people got from material and experiential purchases, up to five times per day for two weeks.

Material purchases consisted of items such as reindeer leggings, portable speakers, or coffee makers, and examples of experiential purchases were a weekend ski trip, tickets to a hockey game, or spa gift cards.

By having people record their thoughts in the weeks following their purchases, as well as one month after their purchases, the researchers showed that material and experiential purchases bring happiness in two distinct flavours.

Material purchases bring repeated doses of happiness over time in the weeks after they are bought, whereas experiential purchases offer a more intense but fleeting dose of happiness.

“The decision of whether to buy a material thing or a life experience may therefore boil down to what kind of happiness one desires,” said Weidman.

“Consider a holiday shopper deciding between tickets to a concert or a new couch in the living room. The concert will provide an intense thrill for one spectacular night, but then it will end, and will no longer provide momentary happiness, aside from being a happy memory,” he said.

“In contrast, the new couch will never provide a thrilling moment to match the concert, but will keep the owner snug and comfortable each day throughout the winter months,” Weidman added.

The study was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.