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Easter in Chico

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Yes, I am 26 years old and I still get an Easter Basket. Be Jealous 🙂

My parents and sister came up to visit me in Chico for Easter and we had a LOVELY time. They still hid some plastic eggs for us in the backyard and we had a little hunt to find the candy-filled eggs. It got a little competitive we we realized there was only one left! I got it, don’t worry…

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Let me take you back to Easter eve. I wanted to make a yummy dessert bread and found this mouth-watering recipe for Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread that I knew would be perfect with some fruit or just on the side of our brunch plates. So I grabbed all my ingredients the night before while my family gathered around and debated how we were going to go about dyeing the almost hardboiled eggs.

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The recipe was about as healthy as it could get (with the bananas and whole wheat flour), but I decided to sub half the butter for applesauce too. I mixed up the wet and the dry then combined them together. Then you split up the batter and add melted chocolate to half. Alternate scoops of regular banana bread and chocolate banana bread batter, then swirl

IMG_0849 It came out very pretty and smelled delicious!

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We dyed some Eggs and I tried mixing up some pretty colors. Don’t trust “Dusty Rose” though, it comes out more like “Purple Barf”…. hahahah

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Ok… fast-forward to Easter morning. I took a little trip to the gym for a quick 30-minute elliptical ride (so I wouldn’t feel so guilty about all the food I was about to indulge in). We started the morning with an egg hunt. There’s me in that adorable pink dress.

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Cooper wanted to play too!

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Ok, on to the real reason you’re here… the food. I set my alarm to get up at 8:00 and start the ham in the crockpot. Really easy, just rub with a cup of brown sugar, pour over a 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 2 cups of pineapple juice. Cook on low for at least four hours – and baste the last hour.

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The next thing was the deviled eggs. Look how cute they are all colored! I used our eggs from the night before and kept the dye we used to color the outside. Once peeled, I popped the eggs into the dye solution and they came out like this! Perfect for Easter!

This recipe is fantastic. You take the yolks, add some mayo and dijon, chopped, seeded jalapeno, and diced scallions. Mash that all up and scoop into the halved eggs. Then you top with fresh mint and cotija cheese. Seriously delicious.

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And of course for the picky princess, my sister, I made regular deviled eggs with just mayo, mustard and paprika on top. She admitted to liking the other ones though, which was a BIG WIN for me 🙂

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Next I got the asparagus going. Chopped up some fresh mint and got the limes halved, ready for juicing…

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I sautéed the asparagus in some vegetable oil and then tossed with the mint and juice of 1 1/2 limes. Sprinkle with pepper and a little more salt than you’d think you need. Easy and BOMB.COM. Definite repeat all asparagus season long.

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We got some fresh, local strawberries, kiwi and blueberries at the farmer’s market that morning. We also snatched up a whole pineapple from the grocery store, which turned out to be very juicy and sweet. Got that platter at the dollar store, (shhh don’t tell) and it was perfect!

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Mimosas with ORANGE JUICE ICE CUBES! What a fantastic idea! I’m sure someone else came up with it first, but when we figured out we could do that, my mom and I were pumped to try our mimosas outside in the warm spring sun.

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My sister requested a potato dish at brunch so I found this on Skinny Taste (one of my absolute favorite food bloggers). It was a hit. I followed her recipe exactly: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/11/skinny-scalloped-potato-gratin.html

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Up next, scrambled eggs. The secret to really fluffy eggs is a splash of water and a lot of whisking. I usually do about 3:2 eggs:whites with a splash of water, then whisk and whisk and whisk! I cooked some green onions in the pan first then scrambled the eggs with a little salt and pepper. Pull the eggs off the burner when they’re not quite set yet and you’ll get perfectly cooked eggs EVERY TIME.

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Here’s the whole feast in its glory. Mom stopped at Great Harvest for those wheat rolls (she gave up bread for Lent and couldn’t wait to dive into one of those babies)

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And my plate, with a little bit of everything. I can’t imagine a better Easter brunch. We sat outside by the pool with mimosas and food… chatting, catching up and enjoying each others’ company.

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Below is the finished bread, all cut up nicely on a platter for my family to gobble down.

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If you’ve never tried this, you HAVE to stop my the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Chico and pick this up. It’s Dark Chocolate Almond Butter with Sea Salt. It’s seriously amazing. It’s good with fruit if you’re trying to be a little healthier, but we were slathering it on the banana bread. SO GOOD

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I hope everyone had a great Easter and has a happy spring 🙂

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