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Chocolate bunny season has arrived

Chocolate bunny season has arrived

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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It's that time of year again... So many questions surround the selection process for the perfect long-eared edible likeness of Easter's favorite woodland critter: Hollow or solid? Dark, milk, or white? Cartoon cute or realistically elegant?

Without a doubt, these are all fair (and challenging) questions, but this year, I'm posing a single inquiry to determine the bunnies I shall buy, and it is this: As he is a-hopping down that bunny trail, where exactly is Peter chocolate tail heading?

The handcrafted bunnies of Laughing Moon Chocolates are, as the company logo states, on a mission, and I dig it. Using almost entirely compostable packaging and sourcing ingredients locally whenever possible, Laugh Moon's founder/owner Leigh Williams strives to support her local Vermont economy and take a stand for environmental stewardship through artisanal chocolatiering.

When asked what the central goals of her business are, Williams says, "To make delicious, handmade chocolates with the big picture in mind... which means we like to think through our decisions and how we do business, what resources we use, how we can leverage our product for the benefit of non-profit organizations, community and the greater good while working to simply create an enjoyable experience for every single person that comes through our door."

There you have it—joy and community. Isn't that what all chocolate should be about?

As far as Easter offerings go, Laugh Moon's bunnies are solid (seriously, they don't do hollowed out rabbits), and they have over 40 styles of bunny to choose from—along with chicks, ducks, and lambs. Check out all of their truffles, clusters, seasonal chocolate sculptures, and more at laughingmoonchocolates.com.


Grandma's lamb cake: Midland's quest for perfect recipe realized

1 of 5 NEIL BLAKE | [email protected] Ruth Clark of Midland puts on a pink jellybean nose on a lamb cake. The jellybeans and coconut complete the look of the cake. Neil Blake/Midland Daily News Show More Show Less

2 of 5 NEIL BLAKE | [email protected] Ruth Clark of Midland puts the finishing touches of frosting on a lamb cake. Neil Blake/Midland Daily News Show More Show Less

4 of 5 NEIL BLAKE | [email protected] Ruth Clark uses her grandmother's aluminum lamb cake mold. Neil Blake/Midland Daily News Show More Show Less

Ruth Clark of Midland has been trying to perfect the cake recipe that goes along with her late grandmother&rsquos aluminum lamb mold for some 17 years.

Not only did she find a recipe that matched the taste and texture of the treat she remembers eating as a child, she learned several tips on how to prepare the mold nearly guaranteeing a perfect lamb cake each time.

And, as is her tradition, Clark will be serving her lamb cake today to her family members for their Easter celebration.

Her grandmother passed away when Clark was 13, but not before giving her the two-piece mold and her cookbooks and bakeware. Clark remembers asking her mother if they could try out the mold when she was 15, and has made a lamb cake every year since. She first used cake mixes and then, in an attempt to replicate her grandmother&rsquos recipe, formulas she created herself.

While the cake recipe kept giving her fits through the years, the baked product proved troublesome as well. Sometimes the cake wouldn&rsquot release from the mold or the head would fall off.

Last Easter, the cake came out in chunks and Clark, frustrated, added lemon curd to the cake, remolded it and plopped it in front of her family. The Easter before that she had to use bamboo skewers to hold the lamb&rsquos head up.

But help arrived this year when Clark, who writes a food blog at www.midcenturymenu.com, was mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article on recreating family recipes and spoke of her own frustration with years of trying to make the perfect lamb cake. In response, she received letters and emails from people who sent her old family recipes as well as copies of pamphlets with recipes that came with lamb molds, which were sold by several manufacturers.

Clark sifted through the recipes and has baked, decorated and taste-tested many along with her husband Tom. She has featured eight cakes using different recipes and seven frostings on her food blog for the past week, and included recipes, photos and tasting notes.

For Easter dinner today, she is making the Renalde Lamb Cake with Vintage Bakery Birthday Cake Frosting (recipes follow).


The Spruce / Lora Wiley-Lennartz

Bringing out a plate of these Egg-Shaped Jam Sandwich Cookies is sure to make everyone smile. Make the simple cookie dough ahead so it has time to chill before cutting into shapes. Fill with your favorite brightly colored marmalade or jam.


20 Best Holiday-Themed Treats You Should Eat Before 2020 Is Over

Okay, fine. Maybe it's not officially official if you're judging by a calendar, or something silly like that. But if you take a stroll through a grocery store you'll definitely agree that Christmas is here. Pumpkin spice has been replaced by peppermint, maple is making way for eggnog, and gingerbread is the new apple pie!

The shelves of supermarkets across the country are fully stocked with the merriest sweets and treats you can think of, like Elf cereal, sugar cookie Kisses, and Dr Pepper-flavored candy canes. (We know what Ree Drummond's husband is getting in his stocking!)

If you're a Christmas fanatic with a sweet tooth, then ho-ho-hurry on over to the store and stock up on your faves! It's important to remember that these holiday foods are only available for a limited time and, while that makes them more fun to eat, it also means they sell out. Fast. Can you even imagine a December without being able to enjoy Pillsbury's iconic sugar cookies? Neither can we.

Read on for your next shopping list everything you need to know about the sweetest holiday treats money can buy!


29 June 2020

Introducing: Squirrels!

  • Welcome the furry little Squirrel friends in their cute little Treehouse!
  • Squirrels collect peanuts from Peanut Bushes on your Farm.
  • With peanuts come new products: prepare Peanut Noodles, Honey Peanuts, and Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches!

Community Requested Features / Improvements:

  • Cuteness explosion: Baby Zebras have arrived to the Sanctuary.
  • The new Deep Fryer makes crispy dishes: fry up some Bacon Fries, Hand Pies, and Chili Poppers.
  • Get ready to customize the new Pedestal decoration! Discover all the beautiful possibilities as you upgrade it! You have a chance of winning one of the three Custom Decorations by placing top 3 in the Derby.
  • Less demanding townies: Town Visitors now ask for fewer high-value products.
  • A boatload of bug fixes and smaller improvements.

Easter Recipes

Please share old favorites, new recipes you’ve found and plan to try, and your favorite ways you will be celebrating Easter Sunday.

Do you have small children who will be dyeing and hunting eggs, or is a surprise filled candy egg your favorite way to go?

When I was a child my mother made our Easter baskets very special. She found great big woven baskets and filled them with colorful grass, and then the most wonderful candies and bunnies. Our bunny was never the beautiful foil ones because she found the largest chocolate ones they made, and only the hollow bunnies were wrapped and beautiful. We made that candy last for months.

The most memorable year from my own sons’ Easter treat days is not a fun one, unfortunately. Money was always tight for us, and I had to plan ahead to have treat filled Easter baskets for my three boys. One year they found the stash, and when I found it I was equally outraged and so disappointed. I wanted to rush out last minute and buy all the things again, which they probably counted on, but I knew I could not do that. So, Easter morning they had mostly empty baskets, probably a toy and a book, and what few candies remained.

Normally I cook a lamb roast, home baked bread, and the trimmings for our family. This year we are having a big extended family gathering like we normally do at Thanksgiving. The family didn’t have a big bash last fall, so this year we celebrate Easter together.

Our meal will just be burgers and sides, and there will be a huge egg hunt on the acres of rural property where we go for big family get togethers. My sister in law always gets a bouncy house. More for us adults than all the many kids! It keeps them occupied while we catch up and tell tales from long ago.

I hope your week is filled with fun preparations to celebrate with your family. Tomorrow our posts for Holy Week begin. Today let’s share the fun, family part of our Easter celebrations.

Here is a video with some ideas you might like to try.


Chocolate spoon

Chocolate spoon
Sterling Silver New Jersey, USA
Litchfield International, 1898

Among teaspoons and salad forks, a chocolate spoon was another necessity for a complete set of silverware in the 1890s. This spoon, made in New Jersey in 1898, was so loved by its Chicago owner that the handle was engraved with the initial “E”. Hot chocolate in its natural state will separate as it settles, with a fatty layer of cocoa butter rising to the top. For many consumers, a spoon like this became the norm for stirring a daily cup of cocoa. In the mid-1800s, the Dutch invented a way of processing chocolate that kept it from separating, which eventually became the standard.


People are most excited to see this egg-shaped candy in their Easter basket

Egg-shaped candy seemed to be a winner amongst the 655 participants in our survey, taking three of the top four spots in the poll. Cadbury Mini Eggs ranked as the fourth-best sweet to receive in an Easter basket, earning 11.6 percent of votes, while its sister treat, the Cadbury Creme Egg, was dubbed the "best" Easter basket candy by 15.88 percent of respondents.

The trend deviated a bit when it came to the number two spot in our survey, which went to the iconic chocolate bunny at 14.66 percent of votes. However, just as quickly as it left, the egg-shape came back, this time in the form of a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, which was awarded the title of best Easter candy to get in an Easter basket by 38.63 survey respondents, or 253 people.

Reese's Cups are generally found to be a superior sweet amongst others on the shelf, though the egg-shaped version of the chocolate-peanut butter snack seems to be valued even more by candy connoisseurs. As Mashable noted, a study by the publication All Over Albany revealed that Easter-themed Reese's are slightly larger than a typical Reese's Cup, and contain more peanut butter as well. More of this delectable flavor combination and it's in festive shape? Count us in.


HOW TO FORM SHORTBREAD COOKIES

This is a wonderful dough to work with and can be shaped in a variety of ways.

  • The easiest way would be to form the dough into logs, chill until firm, then slice into ¼”– ½” discs and bake.
  • Another way would be to roll out the dough, then after chilling, use a knife to slice into bars, then bake.
  • For my Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, I envisioned a scalloped edge, so I rolled out the dough and used a cookie cutter. Though I chose the most time intensive method (typical behavior), it was still a quick and easy process.

Dip first in white chocolate, then in dark chocolate for eye catching chocolate cookies!


Chocolate bunny season has arrived - Recipes

Diego is returning to cafes just in time for the holidays! He heard that 2020 hasn't been the best year for the customers and wants to help. After helping the customers in various ways, they have a surprise for him too. Be sure not to miss the story! There will also be a new season, Quest, decorative items, a Booster change and new café expansions!

Update overview:

Available for players level 8+

New expansions and equipment design

New season available Dec. 18-Jan. 4

New equipment design!

With the update, the Tea, Espresso, and Americano equipment will all get a new look! This change will happen automatically. This means that once you update the game, you will automatically see the new versions in place of the old ones. This change does not impact tips of the equipment and applies to all servings (1- 4).

Booster update!

As a result of popular request, the 'Refresh Orders' Booster is getting a change. Instead of costing only the Booster to refresh phone orders, you can use either the Booster or Diamonds. You can only use Diamonds if you run out of the 'Refresh Orders' Booster. Prices will be as usual per refresh request as well (10 diamonds, 20 diamonds, etc.). If you use the 'Refresh Orders' Booster, you will get FIVE total phone orders! The 'Machine Auto-Refill' Booster will also now last for ONE hour instead of ten minutes!

New cafe expansions!

There will be several café expansions with the update. They will be available for level 38 and beyond. Prices will fall between 25,000,000 and 70,000,000 coins per expansion.