Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Traditions

Every Easter meal begins with the famous Pizza Rustica.
Pizza Rustica is also known as Easter Pie in specialty food stores.  Nanny and I would spend hours a few days before preparing these meat pies.  I got the daunting task of pealing the skin of each slice of meat and chopping the never ending mound of pork into diced pieces.  After an hour I would get frustrated and just use a chicken scissor to cut the meat.  Then Nanny would use her Italian magic to mix in the eggs, ricotta, and mozzarella into the pie shell.  The meat in this pie includes salami, sopperssata, pepperoni, ham, and prosciutto. 

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Ten of our favorite Easter traditions.

1.  Putting together themed Easter baskets.
One of my favorite parts of playing the Easter bunny is putting together Easter baskets.  While they are mostly filled with candies, I make a point to include a few fun and practical items.  The best part is seeing the kiddies faces when they wake up to find their basket of treats!

Idea:  I love these brightly colored baskets made of woven bamboo.

2.  Making traditional Easter pies known as Pizza Rustica.
Pizza Rustica is a pie filled with several different types of cold meats, ricotta cheese, and eggs.  It may be a heart attack in a pie shell, but it sure is a delicious treat every year!

3.  Creating a fake bird nest filled with candy.
One year I overbought the fake grass and candy.  Instead of wasting, I decided to be creative.  I created a fake bird nest and dumped all the candy onto it.  I've made sure to overbuy ever since.

4.  Filling 4 eggs with with something absolutely ridiculous.
The kiddies love when they open some eggs to find nonsense, such as fake grass or a note that says "hi".  I'll never forget the year that my baby girl thought a cotton ball filled egg was the bunny's tail!  Yes, she cried..

5.  Participating in the neighborhood egg hunt.
Since we moved to the best block ever, they have an annual egg hunt right after church.  On Easter eve, the parents commit to hiding 50 stuffed plastic eggs throughout the front yard.  Then all the kiddies gather at the starting spot for a group picture to be posted on our street's Facebook page.  Yes, my street has a Facebook page.  Don't judge us..  It's actually a great way to meet the neighbors!  Once the whistle blows, the kids let lose and try to get as many eggs as they can possibly find.

Idea:  For the neighborhood hunt, we get pre-filled eggs like these.  They're a great time saver!

6.  Making everyone wear bunny ears.
The kids love to play bunny too and rock their bunny ears for breakfast.  They also love to put bunny ears on our poor dog and watch Thor "hop" around trying to get them off.

Idea:  I torture our puppy with these bunny ears, cotton tail, and bow tie every year.

7.  Baking pupa con luova cookies with Nonno.
Instead of tossing the reject painted eggs, we bake them into Easter egg basket cookies.  This is a simple and sweet cookie that you literally bake around the Easter egg.  It's something that I look forward to each year because they are absolutely  d e l i c i o u s !!

8.  Forgetting where at least one egg was hidden.
Every year at least one egg seems to go missing and doesn't get found for weeks.  While this is certainly not an intentional tradition, it happens every single year and drives my OCD nuts!

9.  Gifting family with plants from bulbs to symbolize rebirth.
A week or two before Easter Sunday, we pick up a few blooming, potted bulb plants for Nanny and Madre.  After the holiday and the flower dies, they will transplant the bulb into their gardens.  This tradition has left both of them with the most beautiful display of tulips and lilies in their yards!

10.  Turning the toilet water pink red.
This tradition started five years ago when mommy & daddy had too much wine while playing Easter bunny.  That's when mommy had the idea of painting a muddy paw print onto the toilet and turning the water pink.  Mommy failed at turning the water pink.  Instead it was beat red and really odd looking.  When daddy exclaimed, "Is it the Easter bunny's time of the month?", I almost died laughing...  It was an event to remember.  Naturally, every year Mushy runs straight to the toilet to see it!

What are your Easter traditions?


  1. we just did easter eggs and baskets.

  2. We dye eggs...I'm surprised that Easter is your fav - I don't hear that a lot!

  3. 5 hours? Holy crap!!! How could you even move after that? stomach would explode literally..hahaha

    That's awesome she hid one egg really well, then you'd get a nice little surprise when you found it weeks/months later. We usually found them all, but there were a few that escaped us for a couple days at times.

    That's the main thing we did, the baskets and the egg hunt. Then some meal and that was that.

    With all that meat in one meal, it's no wonder you go vegan all year, you use up your meat helping on one day..hahahaha

  4. How many Hail Marys do you have to say after eating that sinful pizza pie? :)))

    I celebrate two Easters, actually, since my mother is Orthodox (the Easter is next weekend) and father is Catholic, but since I'm an Antichrist :) I celebrate it just for the food and decorations just like I do with Christmas :)

  5. @Adam...I love easter baskets!! So pretty :)

    @Gia...Easter is such a great holiday!! Good food, great weather, and pretty colors!

  6. @Pat...It's very difficult!!! LOL Italians know how to pace themselves. Besides, we are giving little breaks inbetween courses where dishes are washed and the next course gets heated up.

    Don't you love when you can't find that last little egg? It makes it that much more exciting when its actually found!

    That just all the one meat in the pizza rustica (easter meat pie). That doesn't count the meats in the antipasto, the roast, the ham, the chicken cutlets, the meatballs, or the sausages in the sauce. LOL!!!! At least there is something for everyone ;)

  7. @Dez...Just a few. I mean, without that it may sit hit on my hips for a few weeks ;) Oh, I love orthodox easters. They are more fun than the catholic ones with the midnight walks and bigger celebration. Do you do the cake with the gold coin in it? I always found that so fun!

  8. WOW that´s like a ball of meat!! it must take days to your stomach to understand and digest it! LOL.
    it look DELISH! :) and i´m sure those were quality times spent with Nanny!
    i think one of the traditions for easter is just getting together and spending a nice day with the family. My grandma is a firm Christian so she might do a special dish for that day, and say a few words to remember why easter is celebrated. :)
    I´m home now Amiga!! it´s been so crazy these last few days... working a lot and then getting my lil ass down to Argentina! lol it feels SO GOOD to be home :)

    i miss your blog! please forgive me if i´m a little M.I.A, i´ll be back SOON!
    XO have a WONDERFUL easter weekend!


  9. I love how the Italians celebrate everything so big and over the top. How fun! all of that food sounds wonderful!!

    My mother never made easter baskets or did the egg hunt! I was a deprived child! ha. But that just makes me want to do those things all the more with my kids. I love making up their baskets and making a special meal. We traditionally have ham and the side dishes vary from year to year.

  10. my family still has an easter egg hunt on easter morning. it's still so fun.

  11. Now I'm starving!!

  12. It has been SO long since I've celebrated Easter, I'm always working =-(

  13. We used to all get easter eggs, but now we all share one huge basket since all the kids are grown. The nieces and nephews have a hunt for eggs filled with money in the backyard. We eat potato salad, ham, macaroni salad, crab dip, spinach dip, and every other food you can imagine. I plan on skipping all food Sunday until dinner.

  14. I love Easter!!!! have a nic etime dear !

  15. @Jannine...Yes, it's quality time with nanny so no complaints there :) I don't spend Easter with Nanny or that side of my family, so it's nice to do the cooking with her. Besides, out of all the grandchildren, I'm the one that can make a real delicious pizza rustica!! :)

    Oh that sounds really nice!! Enjoy your day girl. Hopefully your grandma makes something extra yummy!!

    Hope you enjoyed your trip!!! Don't overwork yourself before you short out lol

  16. @Betsy...Yes, we can turn anything into an over the top feast LOL. But all the food is so yummy!! So you're making up for your "deprived" childhood by doing it for your kiddies? That's a great way to make up for it!! I loved how you made the Easter eggs without using those chemical droplets in water. I've NEVER seen them done any other way before :)

    @Amy...Ohh, I'm so jealous!!! Enjoy :)

    @Bama...Me too, actually. Maybe I'll take an early

    @Krysten...Oh that stinks!!! I think you should put time off next year and make it amazing :)

    @Spork...Leaving extra room for dinner sounds like a great plan!! Enjoy your holiday chica and eat all the yummy food!! Calories don't exist for me on holidays. hahahaha Crab dip? Never had that, but it sounds SO yummy!!

  17. go to church at a god forsaken time in the early morning, it is effing hell. :)

  18. Yummy that looks good! Have a great easter!

  19. hahaha yeah you must certaintly know how to pace yourself. I suppose with breaks it be doable, but still that is a lot of food, although by now I'd expect nothing less..haha

    Yeah it was always fun finding that last little one tucked away in the corner somewhere or something.

    WOW, you must apologize to the poor critter a ton after all of that...hahaha....but definitely something for everyone, even I'd find something there, chicken and roast would work for me.

  20. oh gosh, I miss easter egg hunting as a child! It was SO fun and so exciting. My parents always did the easy and hard eggs too. By the end when we couldn’t find the difficult one we would play the “warm and hot” game, it was so fun! Unfortunately, I have no kids to witness do this this year- lame!!!

    That meal looks so amazing I can hardly handle it. I want!!!!! Enjoy your 5-hour meal tradition, that sounds INCREDIBLE. Happy Easter! 

  21. i wish you and your family a great weeknd and a lovely easter!!!! i'm craving with your pic!!! so tonight we're going to eat pizza :)
    i love pizza margherita :)
    take care sweetie!!! xoxo, Haus of Gala

  22. that pizza rustica looks amazing

  23. nope, as an atheist I don't do it, but people in my country do :) I just treat myself with chocolate eggs and paint some real eggs with herbs and onion peel and such things for decoration :)

  24. Are you going to post the recipe? That looks so yummy! How did I miss this growing up???

  25. Wow that thing looks intense.

    Happy Easter!

  26. @Bart...LOL Could be worse...hahaha enjoy :)

    @Baur...Thanks! You do the same!

    @Pat...LMAO You would definately be able to find SOMETHING. Besides, we're GREAT cooks!! lol The art of pacing yourself is very important. Your going to watch that second dish of lasagna, but you have to say NO. I don't care how hard nanny tries to force you, just say no!!! You're going to want to dive into the anitpasto!! Don't do that either!!! You taste the gabannadina and grab a slice of mozarella and 2 chucks on provolone. Then pass the plate. It's an art!!

    @Caitlin...Oh the egg was THE BEST!!! I think you and The Boy should do your own :) There's nothing wrong with that!! Have a great one!!

    @Meggy...Pizza Margarhita?? Yum!!!! That's my second favorite. I lovvveee spinach alfredo pizza with a thin crust. Yummy!!

    @Leon...It's not my favorite, but everyone LOVES it! Besides, I enjoy making it.

    @Dez...Herbs and onion peels??? Look at you teaching me new things!! I've never heard of that before! Well, no matter what you believe, enjoy!!

    @L...I'm not sure how you missed it, but that's what I'm here for!!! LOL I can send you the recipe if you like. It's sooo good!!!

    @Youngman...You do the same!!

  27. I'm sad that I've never tasted such a tasty concoction. It's going on my list of to-do's, for sure!

  28. That's fairly fancy. All we did as kids was get chocolates and hide a few chocolate eggs around the house.

  29. yes, if you boil eggs togegher with a handful of onion peels you will get golden brown eggs ;) That way you don't poison yourself with artificial colours :) And if you cook your eggs with some beets, you will get dark red ones. You just rub some oil into them after cooking to get the polished shine.

  30. we have eased on the italian traditions a bit. i will go out and buy some vegetarian lasagna. my italian mom is cooking the leg of lamb. i am much more interested in the deserts, which include a key lime pie. the italyville photo makes me want to know your recipes:)

  31. my uncles hid the eggs! we always had new dresses, hats, and gloves

  32. yummy. i once knew a Viking who came over for Easter, but, well, we all try to forget what happened next.

    we like to dip our eggs into the many standard colors: pink, blue, green, etc. and then we fry up the colored eggs to eat. one time, i was enjoying my green eggs like any good Seuss soldier when i realized the eggs were green for a different reason...

  33. Jax - Please send me the recipe when you get a chance - I showed the picture to D and he drooled and asked when we were having it =)

    Happy Easter to you and your family!

  34. wow that looks i'm hungry...

    Happy Easter!

  35. @Shock...Oh you should!!! My entire family loves it :)

    @DWeI...That sounds like fun :) Hope you have a great one!

    @Dez...Oh, I'm ALL into not poisoning myself. LOL We never eat the eggs. Hmm, I'm going to try out your tricks!! It does sound much healthier than dyes that disintegrate into vinegar. lol

    @Ed...Hmm, that's another request for the recipe. I'm going to have to post it!! Everyone loves it!! Although, ours looks a little bit different. Ours has a little more meat and a less cheese than above. Vegeterian lasagna sounds so yum!! Enjoy and have a GREAT Easter!!!!!

    @Elle...Dress up sounds so fun!

    @Phoenix...I may need to tell TheViking that. He'd get jealous!!

    @L...Same to you girl!! I'm going to send you the recipe :)

    @G...Doesn't it?? Go get some!! :)

  36. I miss being a kid and finding an easter basket left by the "easter bunny"

  37. Nom, that pie looks so yum! Happy Easter

  38. I love hearing about your italian traditions... especially the food!

  39. I wish that pie was my Easter tradition...I'm drooling!

  40. We did the hunt and baskets and church. However I'm now thinking I need to figure out how to make that pie. It might be worth the heart attack! :)

  41. now that's a pie!!! glad you had a wonderful easter. before easter (fri) we eat lots of crawfish. lol

  42. Now that I'm away from home for school, I miss all the Easter traditions (and food)! My favourite tradition was waking up to see what the Easter Bunny got my sister and I.


  43. The food looks great...I used to enjoy the Easter egg hunts as well, lol, except we never did them outside...can you imagine three kids (myself and my two sisters) running around the house looking for Easter eggs...

  44. Kind of looks like a Cornish Pasty, or a pork pie. I know someone who called Easter 'Happy Choclate Day'. No guessing what their main meal is.
    Even though im veggie, it does look nice. Never look at food posts when your hungry.

  45. OMG Jax. That pizza is about the best looking thing I've ever seen. And I've seen some good looking things ;). No wonder you said you don't know much about NYC restaurants.


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