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Easter Inspiration!

With just over a week now to go until Easter we thought it would be a great time to put together some fun ideas and images to inspire your Easter festivities.

The Easter long weekend is a fabulous time for families and friends to spend some good, quality time together – without the pressure of Christmas and bonus – more chocolate!

So let’s see what we could do to celebrate this Easter…

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1. Feast

All the best celebrations involve a special effort with food so here’s some great ideas for your Easter get-togethers…

Carrot Patch

There CANNOT be a cuter way to serve carrots and hummus!

via Taste and Tell

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Savoury Bunnies

Because not all bunnies at Easter have to be sweet…

On the left is a Veggie Platter via Better Recipes and on the right are scones (guessing!)

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Delicious Desserts

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake via Taste of Home & Creamy Lemonade Pie via Taste of Home  (nb. this second recipe is very American – but the presentation seems perfect for Easter – you just might need to find a different recipe)

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Sweet Treats

Some gorgeous homemade Easter treats for kids.

Marshmallow bunnies via Better Homes & Gardens & Lollipop Cupcakes via Martha Stewart

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And of course with any celebratory occasion it’s fun to decorate the table…

Easter Table

This lovely, nostalgic Easter table is featured in the latest edition of the fabulous Sweet Paul magazine

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And do the Bunny Fold…

Some holiday-appropriate napkin folding could also be fun (via Between Naps on the Front Porch)

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Cutlery Carrots

And this is a cute way to package your cutlery for a picnic or lunch outside…

via Family Fun

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2. Play

Easter egg hunts, Easter crafts, games, experiments and more… Easter is a wonderful time to be a kid, be with kids or act like a kid!

Easter Party

This is an absolutely beautiful set of FREE Easter printables from Ellinee… party invitations, cupcake wrappers, stickers and more.

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Easter Egg Art

Little Easter crowns via Sweet Paul : DIY Washi tape eggs via Lovely Indeed : Natural dyed Easter eggs via Two Men & a Little Farm

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Easter Egg Hunts

Check out these fun, rhyming clues from Nurture Store (scroll down for more some great ideas in the comments section also)

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Easter Games

27 Kids Easter Games, Coloring Sheets, and Printables from Tip Junkie

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Easter Experimentation

Ice Eggs from A Litttle Learning for Two & Walking on raw eggs experiment from Tinkerlab

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3. Decorate

And if you’re into seasonal decorating, here is some lovely Easter eye candy for your home…

100 Easter decorating ideas via Shelterness

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Easter decoration makeover by Dear Lillie

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Beautiful decorated eggs from Martha Stewart

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Peter Cottontail Easter Party table via Kara’s Party Ideas

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Easter bouquet and eggs via Better Homes & Gardens

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4. Giving

And finally, exchanging Easter eggs is of course the traditional way to celebrate Easter Sunday, and a great way to do this if you are not able to meet up with family or friends is by sending an Easter gift basket. At The Paper Package we have a range of Easter gifts we are able to safely deliver within NZ… perfect for when you want to say “Happy Easter” but can’t be there in person.

Easter Gift Baskets

Top Row: Happy Easter Care Package : Easter Sweets & Treats

Middle Row: Little Easter Treat Box : Easter Wishes Gift Box

Top Row: Gourmet Easter Gift Box : Vintage Easter Gift Hamper

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Happy Easter !!

 

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Fun Christmas Food + Drinks

It’s 25th November today, which means that the next month will be filled with “Christmas Entertaining”. Picnics, cocktails, family bbq’s, get-togethers, work-do’s (arrgh), office parties and more!

So we thought some fun and festive food + drink ideas might be in order…

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Savoury:

Betty Crocker’s Easy Fiesta Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Cheese Board from Cabot Cheese, Vermont

Babybel Cheese Santa from Cute Food for Kids

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Fruity:

Edible fruit tree from Ginger & Garlic (scroll down for instructions)

Strawberry Christmas Tree from taste.com.au

Strawberry Santas!

Corporate Christmas Party Food from Tracey Lau.  No recipes but pictures show Chocolate Dipped Cherries and a Vanilla Bean Bavarois with Raspberry Coulis – gorgeous!

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Gingerbready:

Gingerbread tree – no recipe but I guess you could use any gingerbread biscuit recipe – the idea is lovely:)

Double gingerbread cupcakes from babble.com

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Yummy:

Mini snowman shots – eat em’ fast!

No recipe – this is from a wedding blog – but it is apparently chantilly mousse and raspberry sauce. Doesn’t it look Christmas-sy!

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Cupcakie:

Lovely Mini Christmas Vanilla Cupcakes from Once Upon a Plate

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes from Sweat Peas Kitchen

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Drinkie:

Refreshing Raspberry Mojito from a la carte kitchen

[b.t.w. we have put a yummy ice republic mojito mix in our “It’s a Man’s Xmas” gift box – so cool for Christmas or Boxing Day bbq’s]

Apple, Ginger and Cranberry Cocktails from the fabulous What Katie Ate

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Party:

And if you’re looking for some fun entertainment ideas for young and old I love the “Christmas Minute-to-Win-It” ideas in oncloud8’s Not So Silent Night blog post.

Happy Eating & Drinking & Being Merry !!

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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in Christmas Planning, Food, The Paper Package

 

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Father’s Day Brunch Ideas

fathers day brunch ideas

Dads LOVE food, especially breakfasts… so for our last Father’s Day related post we’re talking Sunday Brunch!

First up, some ideas for the food…

BACON, EGG & TOAST CUPS

These are a great idea for a full extended-family Father’s Day brunch because they are much less labour intensive than traditional bacon and eggs for feeding a crowd. There are lots of recipes on the web for these, including this on one of our favourite blogs: Annie’s Eats

image from thenoshery.com

STEAK SANDWICHES

Any breakfast/brunch dish involving steak is definitely going to be popular with the boys! The delicious image below is from The Pioneer Woman; for a more Australasian take on the recipe you could try a Steak Sandwich with Caramalised Onions.

Father's Day Brunch Ideas - Steak Caprese Sandwich

MINI QUICHES

Little cheese and bacon quiches are great for kids to make for their Dad on Father’s Day morning (real men will eat anything their kids make for them!). There is a nice and easy recipe on the kidspot website and they can put their own little spin on it by adding mushrooms, tomatoes etc.

Father's Day brunch - mini quiches

image from thewhitelibrary.com

And doesn’t that bacon look great on a skewer – especially for a buffet-type brunch.

CINNAMON SUGAR FRENCH TOAST BITES

What celebration brunch is complete without a little taste of French Toast? These toast bites look scrummy and will add that great little touch of sweetness to your meal.

fathers day brunch - french toast bites

Click through the image to the recipe from multiplydelicious.com…

PANCAKES

An oldy-but-a-goody, pancakes are a brunch staple, and this simple buttermilk pancake recipe from Allyson Gofton is tasty and light. Traditionally served with bacon on the side + maple syrup, or lemon juice + sugar, or apricot jam + whipped cream or…

Fathers Day Brucnch ideas - pancakes

Then, some drinks…

Along with fresh fruit juice and coffee, you could jazz up the occasion with a breakfast cocktail…

BLOODY MARY’S

fathers day brunch ideas - bloody mary

Bloody Mary’s are popular brunch cocktails in the US, but even if this doesn’t seem like your kind of thing it is worth checking out this blog post on the drink if only for the absolutely beautiful photography.

For a less alcoholic and all-round healthy alternative…

SMOOTHIES

Not all things that are good for you taste bad! This blender full of goodness and vitamins and spinach is wonderful – fresh and fruity and sweet from a dash of honey. You can’t taste the spinach particularly, but it adds a nice fullness and creaminess to the smoothie. Our favourite recipe for a spinach smoothie is Annie’s Eats Green Monster Smoothie.

So, once you’ve got your food or drinks sorted, all you need to do is set the table with a touch of spring, add the folded newspaper or crossword, and spoil your dad, husband, partner with a fabulous Father’s Day brunch.

fathers day brunch table setting idea

And because it’s his special day… you could even let him off the dishes :)

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Fathers Day, Food, Home

 

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Food, Food, Food (3 things about food)

 

What’s Really in our Food?

One article doing the rounds on the internet yesterday listed the “The 10 dirtiest foods you’re eating”. I’m such a sucker for these kinds of “top 10” lists, and I really like food, so… had to have a look really.

Bearing in mind that this is an American article, so at least one of the foods they’ve listed is probably not high on NZ’s grocery list, the rest of the list were (scarily!) pretty common foods, and while I think everyone will be aware of the problems with most of them – there were a couple of surprises.

In case you wanted to know… these are the dirtiest foods you’re eating…

Photos via "The 10 Dirtiest Foods You're Eating" Men's Health 6 June 2011

Ewwww! No not really, they don’t look that bad do they (apart from the raw chicken).

The whole list was:

  1. Chicken
  2. Mince
  3. Ground turkey
  4. Oysters
  5. Eggs
  6. Rock melon
  7. Peaches
  8. Lettuce
  9. Salami & cold processed meats
  10. Spring onions

The surprises for me were the rock melon, peaches, lettuce and spring onions. You don’t normally associate fresh fruit & veg with food poisoning etc, do you?  Or maybe you do.  I should probably have been paying more attention, because it turns out that the recent deadly outbreak of e-coli in Germany has been traced to an organic farm’s bean sprouts!

I couldn’t find any similar list for NZ foods, so don’t know whether our oysters, eggs etc are a problem, but the whole article is worth a look if you’re interested in minimising the risk of being one of the up to 200 000 cases of food borne illness occuring in NZ each year (3x the rate of Australia & 2x the rate of the UK :( )

Have you ever heard of Baked Potato Soup?

And speaking of food, I saw someone on a reality tv show the other night making “baked potato soup”, which I’d never heard of. Then yesterday I randomly saw this photo on the web – and it looked so good that we’re definitely trying it this weekend (I might just leave off the spring onion though & replace with chives or something seeing they were just on the list of the 10 dirtiest foods:)).

It’s going to be hard for this soup to beat actual baked potatoes on a chilly Sunday night – but we’ll give a go and see.

Photo via The Curly Carrot

If anyone else is tempted to try, you can find the recipe here at The Curly Carrot.

Like Gingerbread Men? Like Ninja’s? LOVE these!

On a final food related matter I also found these on the web yesterday (I really need to get off my computer and do some work!!) and just thought they were so cool… NINJABREAD CUTTERS to make NINJABREAD MEN!!

Photos via Fred and Friends

Awesome! Just when you thought the world had run out of big ideas!

Being a gift shop owner, I immediately thought of their gift giving potential – and rated it as High. They would make a great gift idea for guys or kids that like cooking (or might even be enough of an encouragement to get a non-domesticated male or child cooking).

We don’t sell any of these at The Paper Package, but wouldn’t a gift made up of things like these ninja cutters, a cook’s blow torch (what guy wouldn’t like to play around with a little blow torch!) and a book like Esquire’s “Eat like a Man” (to be released here in July I think) be a great food-related gift idea for guys?

Photo via Amazon

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Food, Gift Ideas

 

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