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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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am