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Eggs-cellent Easter ideas

Posted: March 30, 2010 5:55 p.m.
Updated: March 31, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Egg-ceptional Easter Nests    (Makes 30 nests)Wax paper1 2/3 to 2 cups (11- to 12- ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Butterscotch or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels1/4 cup creamy peanut butter2 cans (5 ounces each) chow mein noodles30 to 60 foil-covered chocolate eggs, any flavorLine trays with wax paper. Microwave morsels in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.  Stir in peanut butter until well blended.Add chow mein noodles to morsel mixture; toss until coated. Using ice cream scoop that measures about 2 rounded tablespoons, scoop and drop onto prepared trays then immediately shape into nests. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, place one or two foil-chocolate eggs in each nest.  Store prepared nests in covered container for up to 1 day.Nutrition Information per serving: 170 calories; 80 calories from fat; 9g total fat; 5g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 75mg sodium; 19g carbohydrate; .5g fiber; 12g sugars; 24g protein Egg-ceptional Easter Nests    (Makes 30 nests)Wax paper1 2/3 to 2 cups (11- to 12- ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Butterscotch or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels1/4 cup creamy peanut butter2 cans (5 ounces each) chow mein noodles30 to 60 foil-covered chocolate eggs, any flavorLine trays with wax paper. Microwave morsels in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.  Stir in peanut butter until well blended.Add chow mein noodles to morsel mixture; toss until coated. Using ice cream scoop that measures about 2 rounded tablespoons, scoop and drop onto prepared trays then immediately shape into nests. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, place one or two foil-chocolate eggs in each nest.  Store prepared nests in covered container for up to 1 day.Nutrition Information per serving: 170 calories; 80 calories from fat; 9g total fat; 5g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 75mg sodium; 19g carbohydrate; .5g fiber; 12g sugars; 24g protein
Egg-ceptional Easter Nests    (Makes 30 nests)Wax paper1 2/3 to 2 cups (11- to 12- ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Butterscotch or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels1/4 cup creamy peanut butter2 cans (5 ounces each) chow mein noodles30 to 60 foil-covered chocolate eggs, any flavorLine trays with wax paper. Microwave morsels in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.  Stir in peanut butter until well blended.Add chow mein noodles to morsel mixture; toss until coated. Using ice cream scoop that measures about 2 rounded tablespoons, scoop and drop onto prepared trays then immediately shape into nests. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, place one or two foil-chocolate eggs in each nest.  Store prepared nests in covered container for up to 1 day.Nutrition Information per serving: 170 calories; 80 calories from fat; 9g total fat; 5g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 75mg sodium; 19g carbohydrate; .5g fiber; 12g sugars; 24g protein
Very Best Fudge(Makes about 4 pounds)3 cups granulated sugar 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or  margarine 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 cups miniature marshmallows 4 cups (24 ounces) or 2 packages (12 ounces each) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) 2 teaspoons vanilla extractLine 13 x 9-inch or two 8-inch-square baking pan (s) with foil.Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in 4- to 5-quart, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.Stir in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan (s). Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces.  Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Nutrition Information per serving: 170 calories; 60 calories from fat; 7g total fat; 4.5g saturated fat; 5mg cholesterol; 40mg sodium; 29g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 26g sugars; 2g protein Very Best Fudge(Makes about 4 pounds)3 cups granulated sugar 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or  margarine 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 cups miniature marshmallows 4 cups (24 ounces) or 2 packages (12 ounces each) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) 2 teaspoons vanilla extractLine 13 x 9-inch or two 8-inch-square baking pan (s) with foil.Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in 4- to 5-quart, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.Stir in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan (s). Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces.  Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Nutrition Information per serving: 170 calories; 60 calories from fat; 7g total fat; 4.5g saturated fat; 5mg cholesterol; 40mg sodium; 29g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 26g sugars; 2g protein
Very Best Fudge(Makes about 4 pounds)3 cups granulated sugar 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or  margarine 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 cups miniature marshmallows 4 cups (24 ounces) or 2 packages (12 ounces each) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) 2 teaspoons vanilla extractLine 13 x 9-inch or two 8-inch-square baking pan (s) with foil.Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in 4- to 5-quart, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.Stir in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan (s). Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces.  Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Nutrition Information per serving: 170 calories; 60 calories from fat; 7g total fat; 4.5g saturated fat; 5mg cholesterol; 40mg sodium; 29g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 26g sugars; 2g protein
Crustless QuichePrep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 45 minutesMakes: 12 servings 1 package Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage 8  eggs, lightly beaten1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard1/4 teaspoon salt1/8  teaspoon ground black pepper1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided1/2 cup chopped green bell pepperPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut sausage into 1/2-cubes; set aside.Place eggs, cream, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in a large bowl; whisk until smooth.Stir in sausage, 1 cup of cheese and green pepper. Pour egg mixture into a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Crustless QuichePrep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 45 minutesMakes: 12 servings 1 package Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage 8  eggs, lightly beaten1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard1/4 teaspoon salt1/8  teaspoon ground black pepper1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided1/2 cup chopped green bell pepperPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut sausage into 1/2-cubes; set aside.Place eggs, cream, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in a large bowl; whisk until smooth.Stir in sausage, 1 cup of cheese and green pepper. Pour egg mixture into a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Crustless QuichePrep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 45 minutesMakes: 12 servings 1 package Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage 8  eggs, lightly beaten1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard1/4 teaspoon salt1/8  teaspoon ground black pepper1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided1/2 cup chopped green bell pepperPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut sausage into 1/2-cubes; set aside.Place eggs, cream, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in a large bowl; whisk until smooth.Stir in sausage, 1 cup of cheese and green pepper. Pour egg mixture into a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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Hosting an Easter brunch is a great way to bring friends and family together. And it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Here are some simple things you can do to ensure a memorable celebration without the hassle.

Take inventory. Pull out the dishes, platters, silverware and glassware to make sure you have what you need.

If needed, spruce up any silver and table linens a few days before, so you can concentrate on other things the day-of the event.

Set a pretty table. For creative place cards, try Easter eggs. Put a narrow strip of tape around the middle of each egg before you dye it.

When it’s dry, peel off the tape and write each name in the white space with a thin line permanent marker.

Keep it centered. For an inexpensive centerpiece, leverage simplicity:

* Fill a glass bowl or vase with colorful Easter eggs — real or plastic.

* Put a potted plant inside an Easter basket.

* Set white or ivory votive candles on top of a flat mirror.

Plan the menu. The main thing you must always remember is to keep it simple. Don’t be afraid to use store bought items and recipes that can be made ahead of time.

These simple time savers leave you more time to relax to enjoy your guests.

* Buy instead of baking; muffins, fruit pastries and seasonal Easter breads can all be found in the bakery section of your grocery store.

* Provide a lighter side dish such as a simple fruit salad. Squeeze lemon or orange juice on the fruit to help it keep from turning brown.

* Create a simple, yet special main dish such as a crustless quiche.

With this easy recipe from Hillshire Farm, you simply combine flavorful beef smoked sausage with cheese and eggs for a mouth-watering dish.

You can prepare the mixture ahead of time, cover the baking dish with foil and keep it in the fridge until just before the party.

Remove the foil, bake as instructed and watch your guests enjoy.

You can find other tempting smoked sausage and polska kielbasa Easter recipes at gomeat.com.
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It’s true — the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there?

Whether baking treats, making dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be.

Since my day job is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This column lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.

I love making Easter baskets really special. It’s a fun tradition to put some nontraditional treats and surprises into each basket.

I like to look for little gifts that say a lot about the person getting them.

Sports stickers for the little athlete, movie tickets for the film buff ... what kinds of egg-stras do you like to give?

For younger kids, try sidewalk chalk, bubbles and bubble wands, and coloring books of their favorite characters.

Older kids might enjoy a new journal, CD or gift card.

Who says grown-ups can’t join in the Easter fun? Give your special someone a favorite DVD or a certificate for a fun night out together.

As always, I’ll be including some homemade goodies in all the baskets.

These darling Easter Nests are a cinch to make — and taste great, too.

And the Very Best Fudge is a delicious addition to any Easter basket! I’m glad it makes a lot, so there’s plenty to go around.

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