A Basketful of Traditions

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By Julia Sayers

Easter is just around the corner, and with this holiday comes some of my favorite Easter traditions: dying Easter eggs and receiving special Easter baskets. Each year, my family and I come up with the most creative ways to dye our Easter eggs. Forget the traditional dip-dyed eggs—we make glitter, marbled, and decoupage eggs that are absolutely beautiful. As you can imagine, these eggs do not get used for our annual egg hunt, but they do make a great centerpiece for our Easter lunch.

To this day, my mom still creates Easter baskets for all of my siblings and me (even if she has to ship them across states to us). She fills them with chocolates, candies, fun knick-knacks, and whatever new flavor of Peeps she can find. When I was little, the “Easter Bunny” would hide the baskets around the house, and we would have so much fun searching for them. Today, I still get the same joy when I receive my more grown-up basket.

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Creating Easter baskets is also one of Paula’s favorite traditions. She goes all out for her grandkids, filling the baskets with stuffed animals, toys, and colorful candies. She also loves to gather her girl friends and spend a day making decorative Easter baskets to place around the house at Easter time. Paula enjoys doing craft projects, and this is an easy and original way to add some spring cheer to the house.

In addition to chocolate bunnies and jellybeans, Paula likes to slip some homemade treats into the baskets she makes for her family and friends, like cute pink marshmallow bunnies and Easter bonnet cookies. It adds a personal touch and allows Paula to combine two of her favorite activities. You can find the recipes for these treats and more here.

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For most people, a leisurely Easter lunch is also a tradition, as it is for both my family and Paula’s family. In the March/April issue of Cooking with Paula Deen, Paula shares the recipes she serves for a classic Easter dinner. No Easter meal would be complete without a cake, so Paula made a delicious Lemon-Thyme Basket Cake that looks like a gorgeous Easter basket filled with colorful eggs. You can find the cake recipe here or pick up a copy of the March/April issue on newsstands for the full story.

What are your family’s special Easter traditions? Feel free to share in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

Julia Sayers grew up with a love and appreciation for good food, instilled in her by her Italian family. She learned to cook from family recipes, passed down from her mother and grandmother. As she grew older, she decided to pursue a career in journalism to express her passion for food through writing. After working for newspapers, a travel magazine, a cookbook publisher, and even as a dolphin photographer in the Florida Keys, Julia came on board with Cooking with Paula Deen as the Associate Editor. She loves that she gets to work with food everyday, whether it be writing about it, tasting delicious goodies in the test kitchen, or overseeing photoshoots.
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Reader Comments:

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Love the fact that Paula is back. . .Have missed her show so much. Don't watch cooking channel anymore. . .Love you love you love you Paula . . .

By Denise Felman on June 13, 2014

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Howdy Paula! I just received my Paula Deen's Recipe of the Week Newsletter and see you have a few new magazines coming out. One of interest too me is your Southern Cast Iron Heirloom Recipes for your Favorite Skillet. Can you tell me, are there any instructions on how to season your iron skillet before use and then care for afterwards? I just purchases my first skillet and am totally clueless on what I should do. THANK YOU for your help! Best Regards, Karen

By Karen Hamilton on May 07, 2014

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Paula, I just want you to know that I love you and your way of cooking so much! In fact, I have a 25 year old son with Down Syndrome who has named me "Paula"' and will call me nothing else! He has people at church calling me Paula! I love it! I am also in the kitchen most of the time and love to cook. I thank you for the joy I have received from my precious son!! Harleen

By Harleen Robertson on April 30, 2014

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Hello Paula, My mother will be 81 this year and she is a Paula Deen fan to the core. Every Sunday she serves a "Paula Deen" cuisine. That's why I am blogging. I hear that you are on tour and hope that you will consider coming to Virginia. Virginia is for Lovers and my mom is a great example. Traveling Mercies and Blessings, Yolie

By Yolie Massenburg on April 29, 2014

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Where do I buy these magazines

By Anonymous on April 19, 2014

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I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!

By TAMMY L LEVAN on April 19, 2014

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Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!

By Sharon Cason-Card on April 18, 2014

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Paula Dean, you are an inspiration to us all. Very talented and I love your smile. Barbara Parmer, Austin, Texas I enjoy your recipes.

By Anonymous on April 18, 2014

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do you Crochet? I love your stuff.

By teresa riley on April 18, 2014

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When will you be back on tv. We miss you. Love you Paula. ♡

By jodyleblanc on April 18, 2014

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Have a Happy Easter ! Love you

By Connie Woodruff on April 18, 2014

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I have missed you Paula. You were my favorite cooking host to watch on Foodnetwork. Are you doing any other TV shows that maybe I have not connected with? I love to watch the boys when I can catch them on TV also. You and your family are such a blessing and a highlight to my days. I hope that someday my husband will bring me to Savannna and maybe I could get a chance to see you and the boys/family. Love you and your cheery personality. You lite up my days Yvette

By Yvette on April 17, 2014

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm