Toddler Egg Hunt (without candy)

Easy Brunch Potluck Party

egg hunting (2)

The Bloody Mary Bar was a guest favorite!


Last Sunday I hosted our play group for a brunch and egg hunt.  It was easy to organize and so much fun!  And the fun motivated me to get back to my long quiet blog!!

Before hand moms dropped off plastic eggs 25 eggs each and some trinkets and healthy snacks to fill the eggs with.  3 of us spent around an hour filling the eggs with stickers, coins for rattling effect, Annie’s graham & cheddar bunnies, dollar store items like egg shaped side walk chalk, light up dinosaur stress balls, bracelets, cars and bows.  Target dollar bins and any dollar store are great places to get food non-candy filler.

I provided an easy (yet so tasty!) Cheese, Sausage & Croissant Egg Casserole, Bloody Mary Bar featuring a mix recipe from Emeril Lagasse (which was AMAZING!), oven baked bacon, cupcakes decorated with a Wilton décor kit and coffee bar. More recipe and set up specifics to follow. Our Evite outlined the pot luck needs and I highly recommend doing it this way so that you don’t have major items missing or get a table full of desserts.  Here’s a great brunch menu list for a well rounded offering:

  • egg casserole or dish with meat
  • non-meat egg dish
  • bacon
  • berries or fruit salad
  • orange & cranberry juices
  • champagne
  • sparkling water
  • small bottled water or other kids drinks
  • Bloody Mary Bar (can divide out vodka, mix & fixings or have 1 person provide all)
  • green salad
  • sweet pastry
  • savory pastry
  • cookies
  • ‘kid’ dessert
  • ‘adult’ dessert
table close (2)
Table including $ 10 arrangement featuring carrots & daisies, antique chocolate molds and apothecary jar filled with eggs
roses golden eggs
Mimosa bar and floral arrangement that featured gold glitter eggs on wooden skewers
bar close
Bloody Mary bar fixings & framed instructions
Salts including savory, spicy and lemon pepper options


We set an early, 9:30 AM start time to try to help those families with both a toddler and a baby (who nap late morning).  The timing seemed to catch all the kids at their best and most folks stayed long after the hunt. In stereotypical Seattle form, it was forecasted to drizzle during the egg hunt so we didn’t hide the eggs until after all the kids had arrived and were snacking inside. My older daughter had a blast hiding eggs and laying out ‘Bunny Footprints’ to guide the toddlers to eggs.  And we got lucky and the drizzle didn’t start until the very end of the hunt.  The kids wouldn’t have cared but the adults were definitely happier!

K picegg gathering (2).JPGeggs in tulips (2)J pic

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Non-candy filled eggs were a bit hit!


When we scheduled the party we chose the Sunday before Easter so that we didn’t conflict with family parties or church services.  The kids are so young that they don’t realize that it’s not actually the official day the Easter Bunny comes and nearly all of our members could make it.

Décor details include a Meri Meri Bunny Balloon Kit and antique chocolate molds as part of the table centerpiece grouping, flowers with glitter eggs found at Metropolitan Market, my collection of vintage Steiff rabbits, an Easter Tree & ornaments issued years ago by Christopher Radko along with eggs and ornaments I’ve collected over the years, a vintage wine bottle drying rack from France and other items from my collections.

The Bloody Mary bar featured:

  • Emeril Lagasse’s tomato juice mix
  • 3 salt dips (savory = Old Bay Seasoning, lemon = Old Bay Lemon & Herb Seasoning, spicy = 3 T chili powder, 3 T kosher salt, 1 T cayenne pepper)
  • protein options:  bacon, salami bites, shrimp
  • pickled items: mini dills, pepperoncini, Delallo Mild Giardiniera (mixed veggies) & Mezzetta cocktail onions
  • green & black pitted olives
  • fresh items: blanched asparagus spears, celery, cherry tomatoes, lemon & lime wedges
  • spicy sauces:  tabasco, sriracha & Frank’s Red Hot
  • seasoning: salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt
  • vodka in a decanter
  • framed instructions: (Choose your glass, salt the rim, fill with ice, add the vodka, choose your fixings, fill with juice mix, spice it up, enjoy!)
  • random collection of jars, various sizes displayed on antique bottle drying rack
  • set of 4 mini copper pots holding water & salts for rimming glasses
  • an antique brass & glass shelf
  • various vintage silver serving forks and tongs and wooden skewers
  • stainless ice bucket & scoop

The Mimosa bar was a pretty simple version and featured just Champagne, St. Germain (elderflower liquor), strawberries, San Pellegrino, orange and cranberry juices.  In the past I’ve also featured blackberries, blueberries and additional juice options.  This party the cranberry version was most popular – probably because it was a break from the norm.

Next post will have a few DIY décor ideas so I’ll sign off with a few more photos.


coffee bartree full (2)antique rabbitsM T R and me

“Date Night In” Nourishes You & Your Relationship!

Date night cooking (2)

I learned about a fun blog from a woman name Faith that I did a ‘talent trade’ with (she helped with my garden design in exchange for my organizing & interior design help).  At the time I started following ‘Not Without Salt’ the blog author, Ashley Rodriquez, hadn’t had her cookbook published but when the release was announced, I ordered a copy of “Date Night In” right away.  This was in spite of the fact that I had never actually made any of the recipes on her blog BTW.  Her lovely photography and blogging style were enough to compel me to buy it and I’m so very glad I did!!

This Valentines Day I gave the book along with a promise to make a menu of my husband’s choosing once a month for a year.  The first meal I made was for Valentines dinner and it was absolutely delicious!  I chose the “A Taste of Home” menu because of the Salmon Cakes main course as I knew Steven would love it since salmon’s a fav of his.  The Salmon Cake were probably the best I’ve had and given that they are pretty popular in Seattle, that says quite a lot!  Flavorful but not overwhelmed and so moist.  Makes me hungry just thinking about them…

So it didn’t surprise me when Steven went digging in our mudroom (through my mountain of cookbooks) to find “Date Night In” early last week.  He spent quite a bit of time pouring through it and left it open to the “It Gets Him” menu.  In spite of the fact that I’m a bit overwhelmed with work at the moment, I set the date night for Friday and got busy planning.  I managed to get the shopping done on Tuesday night with the grand intentions of doing the numerous advance cooking items completed over the next couple of days.  Needless to say, my week got away from me so I instead spent most of the day puttering in my kitchen while juggling time between cooking and my toddler.  I will say that it was time consuming – maybe it’s my slow pace? – but the end product was soooo worth it!  The whole menu (cocktail, salad, main & dessert) was some of the best food I’ve had and definitely the best that I’ve prepared myself.  The flavor of the Citrus Braised Pork is to die for and so simple.  And the ritual of the date itself is so much fun.  Ours started with the cocktail when he arrives home from work followed by a quick goodnight tuck in for Reina and then having a long, relaxed meal.  Perfect in every way.  I had fun setting the table with a cloth we bought from the Beauville factory in France while honeymooning for the extra touch of memories.  If you ever meet my husband ask him to tell you the story of almost missing the train in Colmar because we had so many bags (filled with the spoils of French shopping) for him to load during it’s quick stop 😉  He wasn’t thankful at the time but now he relishes each occasion we use our mementoes.  I do not begin to have photographs as lovely as Ashely has in the book, but I wanted to share our nice meal so I hope you enjoy them and put this special cookbook on your ‘to buy’ list!  It’s currently on backorder BTW, but Amazon will keep one reserved for you if you click the link above.  Or better yet, subscribe to Ashley’s blog as she sells them there too and will surely announce when the new stock arrives.

saladtable (2)Date Night book dessert