Cooks Corner

Published 9:06 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2005

By By Lisa Tindell
Easter. coconut. Yeah, that makes sense?
When I began thinking about the type of recipes to offer to you this week, the Easter season came to mind. I began to try to recall what meant Easter to me. Many ideas for wonderful foods came to mind with coconut being at the top of the list.
Now, for the life of me, I can't really figure out what coconut has to do with Easter. Unless, now that I think of it, it has something to do with signifying that an ugly old thing can be broken open to reveal something unblemished and alive. Yeah, that sounds good. Maybe that's it.
At any rate, when I thought of traditions, I remembered that I have to make the "bunny" cake again this year. Last year when my son was a four-year-old, we made the "bunny" cake together for the first time. It's a simple cake mix, frosting and, yep, coconut confection that he had more fun decorating than you can imagine. I think that's my favorite thing about coconut – my son and I playing with it, together, making a memory.
If you are not aware of this "bunny" cake, then I have only one question. Under what rock have you been hiding?
Now if you think I'm crazy, once I describe the cake to you, you'll go, "oh yeah, the bunny cake." It's a simple cake made from two round cakes. You leave one whole and cut the other in such a way that you have two ears and a bow tie to frost, trim and decorate. (See illustration.)
Bunny Cake
One box cake mix (favorite flavor)
2 Tubs white frosting
20×16 inch foil covered board or tray
2 large black gum drops
Black licorice string
Colored Sugars or Coconut
Other decorations as desired
Bake cake mix according to package directions using the two-layer method of cooking. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool completely once they are done. After cutting cake layers according to illustration, arrange bow tie near the bottom of the large board/tray. Arrange whole layer directly above and center of the tie and place ears in their proper place above whole layer. Attach pieces by using a dab of frosting to hold in place. Frost the entire cake with white (or pink) icing and arrange decorations. Use large black gum drops as eyes outlining with licorice strings. Using more licorice strings, create eyelashes and whiskers for the bunny. A pink gum drop can be used for the nose of the bunny. Using colored sugars or coconut, decorate the bow tie and center of ears.
This may sound difficult but is quite easy once you realize how the pieces fit together. You can use decorations as simple or as elaborate as your imagination and ability will allow. When all is said and done, it doesn't really matter too much how it looks, but what it means to your children that you took the time to make it special or allow them to help in the kitchen. Make a memory with your child!
Now, since that's out of the way, we can move on to more ideas on what to serve at Easter.
Most folks will serve a ham and the usual fare that goes with it. Potato Salad, Carrot Salad, Green Bean Casserole, Deviled Eggs, and the list goes on, and on, and on.
I'll focus the final recipes this week on ways to create wonderful egg dishes for the special meal. (You probably cracked a few while boiling those for dying. You have to use them up anyway.)
Creamy Stuffed Eggs
12 eggs
one-third cup Ranch-style salad dressing
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
one-half cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. dill pickle relish
Boil eggs, let cool and peel. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks. In a medium bowl, mash yolks together with remaining ingredients. Pipe or spoon back into eggs. Chill until ready to serve.
According to recipe books that I've looked through the term "deviled egg" is somewhat of a mystery. This usually refers to hard-boiled eggs filled with mashed yolks and a variety of other ingredients. However, a TRUE deviled egg is one that has horseradish or some other fiery ingredient added to the mix. As a former pastor of mine said once, "It don't matter what you call 'em, they won't come anyway. Just eat 'em."
Deviled Eggs (Southern Style)
6 hard boiled eggs
1 tsp. prepared mustard
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
salt and pepper to taste
Slice eggs in half length-wise and scoop our yolk. Mash with remaining ingredients and spoon into egg white. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
Fancied-Up Tip of the week: I saw in a magazine or somewhere recently a fancy way to dress up the old stuffed egg thing. Slice off the top one-third of the egg, leaving the large end whole. Now this will give you a somewhat smaller opening causing you to have to fish a little harder for the yolk. But it's worth it for presentation purposes. Mash the yolks with the desired ingredients and pipe into the eggs. Top the stuffed eggs with sprigs of dill, strips of pimento or chopped chives. These really do make an elegant statement when displayed.
If you have a favorite recipe that you'd like to send us, please do so. If you'd like to email it, the address is:
I'm also willing to do a little research if you've lost a recipe that you love. Lord knows with all the "old" cookbooks I have in my bookcase, there's a good chance I could come up with the recipe you're missing.
Be sure to check back here next week for some other Easter favorites. Until then, happy eating!

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