Easter and the Final Four NCAA Championships are approaching. We thought we would share a few ideas for quick and easy Easter baskets. Kielbasa is a traditional Easter staple and we’ve included one of our favorite kielbasa recipes – make sure to have rye bread for dipping!
HATS OFF TO EASTER! When Roy was little, a friend gave him an Easter basket in a toy fireman’s hat for his birthday. (His birthday is March 12 – let’s just say the candy did not last until Easter!) We did something similar by using this inexpensive Easter bonnet as a nest for these chicks, but we think it would make a great Easter basket as well!
To craft the basket above, begin by wrapping the coffee can with festive gift wrap. We fashioned the handle by wrapping a 1-inch wide by 10-inch long piece of cardboard from a shirt box and attaching it to both sides with double stick tape. Fill with grass and add jelly beans, eggs and the candy of your choice. Add a pretty ribbon to finish. This basket could hide a gift like a toy or piece of jewelry underneath the grass.
BOWL BASKET If you don’t have a basket, you can create a nice handle-free “basket” by putting the gifts in a bowl with some Easter grass and wrapping with seasonal cellophane. We put big decorative eggs in a yellow ceramic bowl. These large eggs can be filled with candy, coins, or whatever gift will fit!
KEILBASA, BEANS AND RICE Keilbasa is an Easter staple in Kevin’s family, normally served sliced as an appetizer with mustard or horseradish dipping sauce. The delicious recipe below, which is quick and easy to prepare, makes kielbasa a main dish for Easter or anytime.
Ingredients: 1 Lb. of your favorite kielbasa (chopped into 1/2 in. slices), 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 small onion – chopped, 1/2 bell pepper – chopped, 1 stalk celery – chopped, 1 can red kidney beans – drained and rinsed, hot sauce to taste, 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups cooked brown rice. (Roy pronounces it “Keilbasa”, Kevin says “Kabasi” – what do you call it?)
How to make: Brown sliced kielbasa in oil. Add onions, peppers and celery. Saute until vegetables are softened. Add beans and chicken broth, simmer until broth is reduced (about 10 minutes). Add hot sauce to taste. Serve over rice. This dish produces plenty of delicious sauce – grab that rye bread for dipping!
It’s Final Four time as the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments drive toward their championships. It will be interesting to see if anyone can knock off Kentucky. The UCONN woman have not disappointed so far. We are Huskie fans – no surprise! In case you missed it, some of our Huskie decor is pictured below.
College hockey’s version of the Final Four (the Frozen Four) also is underway and the East Regional is at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in nearby Providence. Providence College won their first round game – go Friars!
JOKE OF THE WEEK:
How does the Easter Bunny stay fit? eggs-ercise and hare-obics!
Roy & Kevin