Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Sugar Eggs


This is fun idea for almost all ages is brought to you by Celebrations. The sugar eggs can be incorporated into your Easter tablescape as a grouping to form a centerpiece or as a placecard for each guests, the possibilities are numerous.

Happy Sugaring!

Preparation
Materials for 2 to 4 eggs:
· 3 cups granulated sugar
· 4 teaspoons water
· Red and yellow food coloring (to make pink and yellow eggs)
· Plastic eggs that are split in half lengthwise to use as molds
· Assorted colors cake decorator icing; buy tubes that come with decorator tips
· Little hard-sugar flowers and Easter shapes

Steps
· Divide sugar into 2 large mixing bowls (1 1/2 cups of sugar in each bowl).
· Dilute red food coloring in 2 teaspoons of water and mix into sugar in one bowl. Dilute yellow food coloring in remaining 2 teaspoons of water and mix into sugar in the other bowl. Mix sugar in each bowl until thoroughly moistened and color is throughout sugar.
· Fill the plastic eggshell halves with the colored sugar. Make a top half and bottom half using the same sugar color for each egg. Pack the sugar firmly into the eggshells. Use a teaspoon to lightly scoop out the sugar in the center so the sugar layer is about a centimeter thick inside the entire eggshell mold.
· Use the tip of your finger to scrape out a dime sized amount of sugar from the narrower end of the sugar egg in the mold to create a little peephole.
· Place a sheet of wax paper on a flat surface. Gently invert the sugar-filled mold on to the wax paper, open side down. Tap the mold and carefully pull the mold away from the sugar egg half to unmold the egg. Repeat the process with remaining sugar eggs. If the sugar doesn't hold its egg shape after you pull off the mold, repeat the process from the beginning and add a tiny bit more water to the entire mixture.
· Allow sugar eggs to harden overnight or until sugar is completely dry. Keep the drying sugar eggs in a cool dark place until you are ready to use them and do not touch eggs until they are hard.
· Decorate the bottom half of the eggs first. Pipe decorator icing inside the egg to hold hard sugar flowers or Easter shapes in place. Use green icing to make grass blades or whatever color you like for a colorful scene.
· To assemble the eggs: Pipe a thick strip of decorator icing on the rim of the bottom sugar egg half and place the matching top sugar egg on top to make a whole egg. The decorator icing will hold the eggs together. Use a fancy decorator tip to finish off the outside of the egg by piping around the seam and the peephole. Add hard sugar flowers on top of the egg for a pretty touch. Allow icing to dry before handling the eggs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shamrock Story

Did you know.....

· Not only is the shamrock a St. Patrick's Day icon, it is registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization as a trademark of the Government of Ireland. For the record, the official symbol of Ireland is the Irish harp and the shamrock is the national flower.

· Many believe that the word "shamrock" was derived from the Gaelic word for the clover, "seamr√≥g."

· Since the 1990s, the Irish Taoiseach, similar to the British Prime Minister, usually visits the White House on or around St. Patrick's Day and presents a shamrock to the President of the United States. Another presentation is typically made to the Speaker of the House.

· Apparently, the shamrock was used for medicinal purposes in Victorian times, although its exact application and remedies are unclear. Contemporary herbalists have been known to use Red Clover as a treatment for coughs, skin problems, and relief of menopausal symptoms.

· While many confuse the shamrock, a 3-leaf clover, with the lucky 4-leaf clover, both can be used to "get lucky" on St. Patrick's Day. Ancient Celtics believed the number 3 to be both sacred and magical in that the 3 heart-shaped leaves on the shamrock were associated with the Triple Mothers of Celtic mythology, also known as the "Three Morgans."
And then there are the sayings, "great things come in threes," or "third time's a charm," to further the power of 3 and back up the shamrock as a symbol for luck.
Thanks to Jeanne Benedict from Celebrations.