After more than three months since the last major holiday, it is time to prepare for Easter, springtime and gatherings with family and friends.

For some, Easter looks like a very traditional, extended family Sunday dinner later in the day with ham or maybe even lamb and all the sit-down meal fixings. For others it may mean an egg hunt and Sunday brunch with egg casseroles and all the fun sides after church. Still others may choose to celebrate on a different day due to work or travel schedules.

No matter the day or the menu, family gatherings are important, and Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate our faith, our family and spring’s arrival.

While the recipes below are suited to somewhat traditional Easter meals, I always like to remember the younger family members and the excitement they have for the holiday. I’m not very talented when it comes to fancy, decorated desserts, but I do like do simple treats that may appeal to the kids on special days. I especially like ones that can be made a day or so in advance.

I’ve done fluffy bunny cupcakes in the past. They are crazy easy and don’t involve any real talent or unusual ingredients (other than a bag of jelly beans) to pull together. Just make your favorite cupcakes, frost them with white frosting and immediately dip the top of each frosted cupcake in white, shredded coconut to create a fluffy appearance.

Cut 3-inch bunny shaped ears out of white paper and pinch the bottom of each ear together a bit before pushing a pair into the top center of each cupcake. Add chocolate chips for eyes and a pink jelly bean nose. The fun treat is done and ready for the holiday event. For ideas on how to do similar cupcakes that look like a bird nest or a yellow chick, go to

A second super easy Easter treat I just found on is chocolate covered Peep pops. Using marshmallow Peeps, insert sucker sticks into the bottom of each and coat them with melted dipping chocolate using a combined spooning and dipping method. Work quickly.

When covered with chocolate coating, sprinkle holiday themed sprinkles over them and let them cool and set up on parchment paper or stick the end of the sucker sticks into a Styrofoam block. For cute presentation, put the pops and the Styrofoam brick into a small, springy bucket.

Good luck with your holiday menu planning! Next week I will share recipes featuring eggs. There always seems to be an abundance of them in the days leading up to Easter and immediately following.