Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Colors

Why is it that I seem to want to take on huge decorating projects the day before a major holiday?

Our house was new - and unfinished - when we bought it, and the first thing that began to get on our nerves as we descended into the realm of home ownership was the fact that every wall, every piece of woodwork, was white. What started out as a bright, clean, crisp look quickly turned into a boring, cold canvas for specks of dirt and fingerprints to appear on. So before long, we had painted every room a different color...and repainted a few. I thought I was happy with the warm, earthy tones we had finally settled upon....golden antique yellow, and array of taupes, deep barn red, a little cool spring green and pale creamy yellow. But suddenly, spring and Easter are in the air and I found myself craving more pastel in my life. So I grabbed a can of base white latex and went about trying to decide what color I should paint the downstairs bathroom...on the eve of Easter.

What most people don't realize is that you can save yourself A LOT of money by blending your own paint. We always have basic white on hand for various touch up work, and I've successfully produced perfect matches to colors we previously had custom-blended at the paint store. So easy, and kind of fun, too!

Yesterday, though, I was working with a plain canvas, so to speak, and divvied up five bowls of white paint, tinted each one a different pastel shade and brushed a little of each on the wall to see if I could decide which one I would go with.
The dyes I used are non-toxic, made from all natural sources (green from kale extract, pink from beets, yellow from turmeric and ground mustard seeds...). This particular paint is not only biodegradable, environment-friendly and made from sustainable products, it's even edible!

In fact, you could pour it into paper liners, bake it at 350 for about 25 minutes and eat it....'s actually cupcake batter!

(April Fool's!)

No, I don't really think I fooled's just MBG (Me Being Goofy). Too much sugar in the house does that to me!

Anyway, we're having a pretty low-key Easter so we opted for cupcakes. Allrecipes' Rainbow Clown Cake (affectionately known as Clown Vomit Cake) recipe, to be exact!

The recipe is for 2 8" layers, but I got 18 cupcakes out of it. For cupcakes, you place about a teaspoon or two of each color in the paper liners.

You can swirl with a toothpick, or leave as is for a "rainbow" layered look. I did swirl a little.

Now for the fun part!

Traditionally, we use two designs for Easter - Bunny Cupcakes and Easter Basket Cupcakes. Neither are my idea, and both are easy enough for a four year old to assemble.

Make your cupcakes, frost and dip in some shredded coconut, if you want that fluffy bunny look. Then, ask a grown up (or me) to help with the ears.

Take a large marshmallow and cut it in half lengthwise/diagonally with a pair of scissors.

Then dip the sticky inside of the marshmallow halves ...

into colored sugar crystals...

and voila'! Bunny ears! Actually, cat ears, but you can squeeze the marshmallows to make them look longer, thinner like bunny ears.

I spread a little frosting on the bottoms to help adhere to the cupcakes better - stick two on each cupcake like so....

Then make the faces....there are lots of choices. Jellybeans or M&Ms for the eyes, string licorice or icing for the whiskers. We were limited so I used jellybeans for eyes, two mini-marshmallows for the bunny "face" or cheeks, I guess, and icing for the whiskers and mouth.

Cute and fun!

Here's what the cupcake looks like on the inside...

I thought they came out very pretty! And they are pretty tasty, too.

(Ahem....You in the upper left corner! STEP AWAY FROM THE CUPCAKES!)


The other design is oh-so-simple....Easter baskets!

Frost the cupcakes, then dip in coconut tinted with food coloring, a few jelly beans and a stick of licorice. I found brown Hershey's chocolate licorice this year...

Another easy and pretty Easter treat!

Enjoy your Easter, everyone! :)

P.S. ....I really DO feel like painting now!


MySweetCreations said...

Yeah, you had me! I was totally into what you were saying until you said you can bake it and eat it! The whole time I am reading, I was wondering how you dye you paint colors! I would really paint my walls that light robin egg blue color! That is my kitchen color.

angeltastic said...

I was thinking you had a great plan for changing the wall color! Good one! ;)
LOVE the cupcakes!! Wish I knew about these recipies when Liam was younger..not that he would eat any of them, mind you. Hhmmm..wondering if you could use a flower and leaf molds for chocolate, and top the basket cupcakes with the chocolates? I'll have to check out some chocolate molds

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Those are so sweet! I love the pic of your daughter, too, she's one lucky girl :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Ha! You had me going there...

LOVE the cupcakes! Very creative.

Happy weekend,