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Hump Day Snack: Lemon-Lavender Champage Cake

Had enough of marshmallow cream eggs, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans? Impress your guests and satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth this Easter Sunday with this stunning Lemon Lavender Champagne Cake.  To save time, use boxed lemon cake mix for the base, then whip up a pretty, pastel buttercream frosting using lemon juice, lavender extract and purple food coloring – but don’t forget the bubbly! The recipe calls for a generous, celebratory dose of champagne in both the cake mix and the frosting, leaving just enough for an Easter toast. Assemble the cake using four layers of cake and frosting, and cover the top and bottom edges with a ring of colorful, candy-coated sunflower seeds for the perfect ending to your Easter feast and the ultimate dessert pairing for after-dinner sparkling wine. Cheers!

Get inspired with more of Cooking Channel’s festive Easter treats:

Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar’s Pantry Staples for Cooking Tuscan-Style

Cooking Tuscan is all about simplicity, freshness and, ultimately, generosity. It is about working very conscientiously in the kitchen, inspired by the necessity of caring for the ones you love. Cooking is pursuing a bond with people around the kitchen table, and food is the medium by which this is achieved. “The cook” in this equation is just a catalyst — sometimes in the form of a mother or grandmother, and sometimes in the form of a restaurant chef or a farmer.

The Tuscan kitchen reflects this sentiment abundantly. Nothing is more important than the table; it should be the right size and should feel warm and familiar, something that facilitates the celebration of a meal together.

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25 Ways to Use Matzo

Have you already run out of Passover-friendly meals and never want to see another piece of brisket again? (Okay, maybe just one more slice). To help you avoid the Passover food rut and the twice-a-day matzo pizza, we’ve gathered recipes to fill your 8 days of unleavened bread. Because you can really only eat so much matzo ball soup before becoming an actual matzo ball.

  1. Matzo Brei is a mix between French toast and scrambled eggs in the best sort of way. You can go sweet and add some cinnamon and sugar while you scramble, or go savory with Matzo Brei with Creamed Spinach and Crispy Onions.
  2. Up the ante in the search for the afikomen, a game played during the Passover Seder, by hiding Chocolate Coconut Matzo Bark (pictured above) instead of a plain piece of matzo.
  3. Matzo meal, finely crushed pieces of matzo, is a game-changer during Passover. Although pretty bland on its own, matzo meal is the base for delicious dishes like Matzo Apple Tea Cakes.
  4. Matzo farfel is a Passover-friendly egg pasta dough (often sold pre-made) that is mainly used in kugel, soups and side dishes, but it can also be used to make Chocolate Matzo Farfel Haystacks, an easy sweet treat.
  5. These ain’t your grandmas’ matzo ball soup recipes: Bobby Flay adds flair to Throwdown’s Matzo Ball Soup with the addition of jalapenos. You can also go the mushroom route with Truffled, Shiitake Matzo Ball Soup and gribenes, the kosher version of pork rinds. Alternatively, Sephardic Chicken Soup with Sofrito and Herbed Matzo Balls give matzo balls a saffron makeover.

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Improve Your Insight with Our Guide to Carrots

Did you know that if your carrots become limp, you can recrisp them in a bowl of ice water? If you carrot all about sweet, crunchy root vegetables, check out our complete guide to buying, prepping, using and storing carrots for more tips to amaze your inner Easter bunny:

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California Restaurant Tempts Fate With Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Sandwich

Photo: Sara Norris

All hail the mighty cinnamon roll. This hearty dessert has been the subject of both classic comedy bits and stern lectures from cardiologists for years. Now, thanks to an industrious California chef, it is becoming the stuff of breakfast sandwich legend.

Chef Matt Gordon of San Diego’s Sea & Smoke has juts unveiled his ode to coronary disease, a cinnamon roll breakfast sandwich. As the name suggests, it entails a bunch of savory breakfast foods being stuffed into a cinnamon roll. Once you embark down this particular rabbit hole, you may as well roll with it. As such, the sandwich contains two meats in the form of ham and bacon. It’s rounded out with eggs, white cheddar and maple syrup. Also, it looks really, really (really) good.

If you ever find yourself in San Diego, you can grease up your afternoons by hitting this ‘wich for brunch which is available every day.

 

Dinner Rush! Greek Meatballs with Lemon-Dill Tzatziki

The clean, fresh flavors of a Greek sandwich — lemon, tomato, cucumber, onion and spiced meat wrapped in flatbread — are so ubiquitous that they can feel somewhat cliched, but the authentic gyro experience is a thing of true beauty. In a perfect world, one would find an amazing Greek restaurant that cooks the meat on a vertical spit, basting the rotating roast in its own delicious juices. The cook would then carve off thin slices of the meat and roll them up in a warm pita with crispy vegetables and tangy tzatziki. It would be “sauce dripping down your chin” bliss.

Until you have that restaurant nearby, these not-quite-rotisserie-style spiced meatballs absolutely hit the spot.

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Sifted: Tax Day Cocktails, Triple Berry Dutch Baby + More

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

1. Get your morning off to a delicious start with Joy the Baker’s puffy triple berry dutch baby.

2. Drink away your IRS woes — or celebrate your imminent refund — with tax day-themed cocktails on Flicks and Food.

3. Girl Versus Dough swirls creamy Nutella into her showstopping, streusel-topped babka.

4. There’s more to chickpeas than hummus, like these hors d’oeuvres-sized patties topped with harissa aioli from A House on the Hills.

5. Pass the Sushi blends together fresh peas and sprigs of mint to form a bright, springy sauce for grilled king salmon.

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In Time For Easter: Here is a Chocolate Bunny That Costs $1,200

According to the themed aisles at your local drug store, Easter is most certainly on the way. It’s this very weekend, as a matter of fact. Easter Sunday is a great time for teaching kids valuable life lessons about sneaky hiding places. It’s also a great time to eat a ton of chocolate, usually in bunny form. You could just buy a couple of Hershey’s bunnies and call it a day, or you could spring for the heavy artillery.

Nicolas Cloiseau, master chef at La Maison du Chocolat, has concocted a magical, edible scene for Easter 2014. It shows a family of bunnies in front of a workshop. This charming set is entirely edible, and made from a variety of different chocolates. Now here’s the rub. It’ll set you back a carrot-crunching $1,200. That’s like 1,200 candy bars or a Macbook. In its defense, it does contain over 11 pounds of sweet, sweet chocolate.

If you are still interested, you can plunk down your cold, hard cash here.

Unexpected, Awesome Easter Treats


Does a tiny foil-wrapped chocolate egg just not do it for you on Easter morning? Here are some offbeat, awesome Easter treats actually worth the hunt this Sunday morning.

Chocolate Jesus
In the (admittedly rewritten) words of Cool Hand Luke, “I don’t care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my chocolate Jesus.” Though perhaps not for the most humorless Easter observers, this gilded four-inch edible icon ($14.40) from mouth.com is a refreshing update to the standard chocolate chick. There’s also a chocolate Moses if you prefer your edible action figures in pairs. (Available for overnight shipping through the end of the week.)

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Lemon-Lavender Meringues


These may seem a little upside down. We usually think of meringue piled high above the lemon pie filling, not the other way around. In this simpler twist on the classic, there is no crust to deal with. So they are lighter and faster to make, but contain all the same tangy-sweet allure. The meringue shell is whipped until it is light as air, then spooned into little clouds that are baked until they are set but still slightly soft in the middle. Once cooled, the meringues are topped with lavender-scented lemon curd. The tartness of the curd is a perfect match for the sweet meringue, and a bit of lavender creates a gentle floral touch, without going overboard. It tastes just like spring.

Lemon-Lavender Meringues

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