Here in Costa Rica, Easter Sunday ends the sacred observance of Semana Santa or Holy Week.
During that week, the country shuts down.
Government offices close.
Many stores shut down.
Last year, my car died on me at the beginning of Holy Week. I couldn’t even find my mechanic.
Public schools close Friday afternoon before Holy Week begins. And they do not open until the Monday after Easter.
Even hospitals are operating with a skeleton staff. (See what I did there?)
As a matter of fact, traffic is rerouted (meaning every lane goes in one direction) so that everyone can easily commute from the Central Valley to the Beach towns.
Because everyone – it seems – goes to the beach during Semana Santa.
Just have to decide which beach you’re going to.
I’ve seen people with tents camping out at the beach.
I’m grateful that even though we live in the mountains, we are 20 minutes from the nearest beach. So, we get the opportunity to enjoy the beach before and after Semana Santa.
We enjoy our mountain paradise and have fun making Easter treats.
But that wasn’t always the case.
My first year in Costa Rica, I hosted an egg hunt and coordinated everything myself.
It was too new for the local neighbors to appreciate. Although the kids had fun painting eggs.
I made a fabulous Easter brunch spread.
I won’t list the menu because the thought of it makes me cry. The amount of work I put in to have all that food come back to my fridge was heartbreaking.
From then on, I decided that the kids and I would enjoy a tradition of making Easter treats for ourselves. And for the neighbors that joined our growing sustainable community.
But, because I didn’t want to come home in tears at the end of it all, I decided we would look for Easter treat recipes for children.
Something the kids would get a kick out of making.
Something the grown-ups wouldn’t mind helping with. Even the ones that were busy enjoying their week off.
That way, the kids could have fun during Semana Santa. Without feeling the need to be at an overcrowded beach.
Neither would I feel overworked or heartbroken at the end of the day.
And, they still get the expected Easter goodies. Only these are made at home and with lots of laughter.
We still do egg hunts. But now, with our blended family and our beloved foster kids, we got plenty in-house to have a successful hunt.
What makes it so much fun is that we have the entire week to experiment and discover new treats.
Certain discoveries tend to make their way back around during one of our birthdays.
I’ve curated a list of some of my favorites.
And some new, tasty sounding (looking?) treats to try out this year.
Although you may not have the entire week to play in the kitchen, I bet there is a recipe here that you and your kids will enjoy making.
Easter Snack Mix – the original recipe called for White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&Ms. They came out exclusively for Easter 2013. I have to admit, that is not a flavor I would race to the store for. But, I loved the pastel colors. So, I simply substitute it with M&Ms in Easter pastel colors. The same original milk chocolate flavor.
Scrambled Egg and Bacon Bunnies – this was just the cutest kid’s brunch idea I have ever seen from Worth Pinning. Especially for my little one who does not like her eggs any other way. Scrambled they are. Or she just won’t. The fruit and bacon detail bring it over the top for her.
Easter Brunch Style Eggs Benedict – for the grown-ups and the older kids, there is Easter brunch fare. The menu is not complete without this dish. Which my oldest daughter loves to help prepare. This recipe by Kraft adds baby spinach leaves. Takes it to another level.
Bird’s Nest Cupcakes – These Pillsbury recipe cupcakes are a hit when it’s time to have some fun in the kitchen. Get the kids involved in stirring and measuring. Even the decorative detail can be fun for them. Here’s a hint from my grandma on making boxed cakes taste homemade (but only try this if you’re ok with dairy): substitute milk for water and butter for oil.
Rice Krispies Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats – I loved Rice Krispies treats as a little girl. And this recipe seems very popular. So, I have no idea how I missed it. I am on the hunt for snap-apart plastic Easter eggs to surprise our crew.
Flowerpot Chocolate Chip Muffins – If we’re able to get the pots in time, this recipe I found on BBC Good Food is going to be our “impress them all” Easter recipe. If the pots don’t make it in time, I’m sure these muffins will show up on someone’s birthday table. They look that scrumptious.
If nothing else, we will have a lot of fun slinging around flour and eggs.
What traditions do you have during Easter? Do you go big or simple? Egg hunts or relaxing brunch? Sound off in the comments.
I hope you have a fun filled Easter weekend.
For those of you celebrating Semana Santa, or Holy Week, I hope you enjoy this time of reflection.
I wish you peace, joy, and refreshment
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