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Archive | Seasonal

Postal Service ready to deliver holiday cheer

hol-shipping

Approximately 16 billion pieces of mail, including 750 million packages to be delivered this holiday season

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Postal Service announced it is ready to deliver a lot of cheer—in the form of roughly 16 billion cards, letters and packages—this holiday season.

The Postal Service, the largest e-commerce deliverer, is projecting about 750 million packages will be delivered this holiday season, a 12-percent increase in volume compared to last year.

“Our customers can count on the entire Postal Service workforce to deliver their holiday gifts, cards and letters,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. “With the Postal Service’s unrivaled network and expanded 7-day a week delivery window, we are uniquely qualified to provide the highest levels of customer service and we are confident that’s exactly what we’ll do this holiday season.”

Additionally, the Postal Service is hiring more than 35,000 seasonal employees to help process and deliver increased volumes and meet the needs of its customers. While the Postal Service already delivers packages on Sunday in most major cities, following the success of past holiday seasons, it will expand Sunday delivery operations to all locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 27. More than five million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations.

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days

The Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates nearly 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.

Skip the Trip and Ship Online

Dec. 19 will also be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com that day alone. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting usps.com—the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier than ever. Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from the mail carrier.

2016 Christmas Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:

Nov. 7 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 9 –APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail

Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground

Dec. 20 – First Class Mail

Dec. 21 – Priority Mail

Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Posted in Featured, Hometown HolidaysComments (0)

From easy art to a sweet treat

hal-easy-art-mummy

Family Features

Spooky, silly or symbolic, carved pumpkins are an essential ingredient to any Halloween celebration. This year, scare up some special fun for your party with a wicked watermelon carving instead—but don’t stop there.

After crafting your watermelon into an artful mummy, take advantage of the healthy, immune-system supporting qualities of the lycopene leader among fresh produce. At 92 percent water, as well as an excellent source of vitamins A and C, watermelon is a hydrating post-art snack.

Carving a creative design into a watermelon is a simple way to kick off the festivities and requires only a handful of common tools. Add a twinkling candle to make a fantastically frightful centerpiece. Or fill it with a fresh fruit salad or salsas for a more functional, practical approach.

Even if you’re planning on a hollowed-out carving, keep the sweet juicy fruit and make it a healthy addition to your Halloween party menu with a recipe that puts to use all your carving leftovers.

To take advantage of all a watermelon has to offer—outside of the fun carving—try Frosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls or Kids Watermelon Pizza Supreme. These fun, simple recipes make it easy to incorporate a healthy snack after all your hard work carving up a Halloween masterpiece.

Find more recipes, carving patterns and inspiration at watermelon.org.

Carving Tips

Prior to carving, read through all of the directions.

Cuts are easiest when the watermelon is at room temperature. Once your handiwork is complete, chill the carving and contents before serving.

After drawing your design on the rind, insert toothpicks in key places to guide your cuts.

A sharp knife with a pointed tip makes the easiest, cleanest cuts.

Remove excess flesh in large pieces, when possible, to allow for easier melon ball or cube creation.

Use round toothpicks or skewers to attach pieces to your design as flat toothpicks are not strong enough to bear the weight or stand up to the thickness of the rind.

Choosing a Watermelon

With a thick rind covering the fruit inside, you may wonder how to choose the best watermelon at the market. Here are some tips for picking the perfect one:

Look it over. Look for a round, oval or oblong shaped watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.

Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. On average, a 5-pound watermelon yields 15 cups of edible fruit.

Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

hal-easy-art-mummyMummy

Supplies and Tools:

Oval or round seedless watermelon

Cutting board

Kitchen knife

Small bowl

Dry erase marker

Paring knife

Melon baller, fluted or regular

Scoop

Assorted peelers

Cheesecloth

Straight pin

Battery-operated candle or light

Candy eyeballs or blueberries

Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and use kitchen knife to cut off 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch from bottom (end opposite stem), being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind.

Cut 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch from stem end to create opening large enough to fit small bowl.

Using dry erase marker, draw eyes, nose and mouth, along with wavy slits around carving to let more light flow through. Use paring knife to cut out design, being sure to cut through to red fruit.

Use fluted or regular melon baller to hollow out inside of watermelon. Use scoop to remove excess watermelon.

Peel green rind off outside of watermelon. (Tip: Different peelers work well for different parts of the watermelon, depending on how flat or round the melon is.)

Wrap thin strips of cheesecloth around mummy carving and secure with straight pin, if needed.

Put battery-operated candle or light into carving. Fit small bowl into top of carving and trim away excess rind to make bowl fit securely. Fill bowl with melon balls and attach candy or blueberries to make eyes.

hal-easy-art-watermelon-pizzaKids Watermelon Pizza Supreme

Servings: 6

1 watermelon slice (8-10 inches around and 1-inch thick), drained

1 cup strawberry preserves

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup sweetened shredded coconuts

Place watermelon slice on serving platter and cut into 6 wedges, leaving in shape of pizza.

Spread preserves over watermelon and sprinkle chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts and coconut.

 

hal-easy-art-watermelon-ballsFrosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls 

Servings: 35-40

1 small watermelon

1 package (3 ounces) watermelon or other red flavor gelatin dessert

Using melon baller, scoop out 35-40 small watermelon balls. Place on paper towels and set aside.

Pour gelatin into shallow bowl. One-by-one, gently drop watermelon balls into bowl, roll around, take out and place on plate covered with paper towel. Repeat until all gelatin is used.

Place plate of frosted watermelon balls in freezer. Allow at least 2 hours to make sure they are completely frozen. Remove from freezer and let sit a few minutes before eating.

Note: To serve with toothpicks, place toothpicks in before freezing to aid in serving.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Featured, Halloween funComments Off on From easy art to a sweet treat

Crossfire Harvest Festival

 

Crossfire Church will hold their annual trunk or treat again this year, which they have renamed Harvest Festival.

The event will be held October 31 at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex (4758 Cornfield Drive), from 5-8 p.m.

Crossfire Church started the Halloween alternative in 2012, with dinner, candy and games, and have seen it grow each year. Two years ago they added awards for the candy givers in the categories of creative costumes and decorated vehicles.

Last year they moved it to the Cedar Rock Sports Plex to have enough room for booths, games, inflatables (a bouncy house and obstacle course) and of course, lots of candy.

This year they rebranded Trunk-or-Treat as Harvest Festival, and added an extra hour to present a special kids concert by the Hope Kidz (www.hopekidz.org), and more prizes will be given away.

Two additional churches have joined with Crossfire this year: Bella Vista Church and Rockford United Methodist, along with World Missions, who will have a booth displaying their Talking Bible.

A professional security team will oversee the safety of the evening, although adults will be responsible for the supervision of their own children.

Take your kids, grandkids, and neighbors, and head out on October 31 from 5-8 p.m. to the Cedar Rock Sports for a great time!

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Halloween funComments Off on Crossfire Harvest Festival

Halloween and Harvest Happenings

A Trick or Treater from last Halloween in Cedar Springs.

A Trick or Treater from last Halloween in Cedar Springs.

Check out some of the fun, fall activities going on in our area for Halloween this weekend and next weekend!

Pumpkin/Carving Trail Walk

Oct. 21: Howard Christian Nature Center is hosting a Pumpkin /Carving Lit Trail Walk on October 21, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. $8 per person includes pumpkins and everything you need to carve them. Also includes donuts, cider and coffee. The event starts with pumpkin carving, and trail walks begin promptly at 7:45 and again at 8:15. Open to all ages, preregistration required to be guaranteed a pumpkin.

KDL Lab: Mad Scientist

Oct. 22: Pull on a lab coat and get ready to think like a mad scientist. Create a plush Franken-Beanie creature to take home, create slimy bugs in the Creepy Crawlers Oven and plan your next mad scientist creation with a Franken-creature collage! For ages 6 and older. Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to noon at Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St.

Awesome Autumn Adventure!
at Spencer Township Library

Oct. 22: Celebrate the season with autumn crafts and games. Saturday, October 22, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Spencer Township Branch of Kent District Library, 14960 Meddler Ave. Gowen, MI 49319.

Halloween Open House
at Van Andel Arena

Oct. 23: Celebrate Van Andel Arena’s 20th anniversary with this free family event on Sunday, October 23, from noon to 4:00 p.m. The first 5,000 people through the doors will enjoy a free hot dog, popcorn, and Pepsi, and the first 2,000 people will be given a 20th birthday cupcake. Other activities to enjoy are costume contests, a live DJ, trick-or-treating and bag decoration stations, Halloween photo stations, self-guided tours of the building, ticket giveaways, and more, including a chance to take a slapshot on the ice, shoot hoops on the basketball floor, and have your picture taken with a Zamboni. The event will be a fun-filled, family-friendly day and guests are encouraged to show up in costume to get into the Halloween spirit.

Awesome Autumn Adventure!
at Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library

Oct. 25: Celebrate the season with autumn crafts, games, and pumpkin decorating on Tuesday, October 25, at the Nelson Twp/Sand Lake KDL branch, 88 Eighth St, Sand Lake, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Please bring your own pumpkin.

Fall Festival at Solon Center
Wesleyan Church

Oct. 26: The church presents its Fall Festival on Wednesday, October 26 from 6:30-8 p.m. for families with kiddos 0 to 5th grade. Put on those costumes and come and enjoy games, prizes, snacks, candy, and lots of fun. Bring your friends along too! The church is located at 15671 Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Rd. All welcome!

Trunk or Treat at Courtland-Oakfield UMC

Oct. 29: Enjoy an early start to your Halloween celebrations Saturday, October 29, from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake NE, Rockford. Safe, friendly and fun. We’ll also be serving a free hot dog supper.

Trunk or Treat at East Nelson UMC

Oct. 29: East Nelson United Methodist Church, 9024 18 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, will have its annual Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 29 from 5-7 p.m. Come enjoy games, walking tacos, treats and fun.

Halloween Extreme at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum

Oct. 29: Don’t miss Halloween Extreme at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park on Saturday, October 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. This special evening is for teens and adults, a little to scary for the little ones but loads of fun for our older visitors.

Haunted School House

Oct. 31: On Halloween night be sure to visit the Haunted School House, at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park. This Spooktacular  event will be open from 5:00pm to 7:00 pm. Our volunteers Marie and Nolan Patin along with Phil Mann will transform the one room school next to the museum into a fun and spooky place to visit. This event is suitable for all ages.

Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular

Oct. 31:  The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and churches in Cedar Springs are sponsoring the annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular on Saturday, October 31. Some of the free events include trick or treating from 4:30-7 p.m. at area businesses and City Hall, with maps available at the Library; The Cedar Springs Historical Museum will be having their Haunted School House from 5- 7 p.m.; Apple Cider from the Kent County Traffic Squad and Candy by the Cedar Springs Fire Department at the Fire barn (Maple Street); The Springs Church Trunk or Treating from 6-8 p.m; warm up at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church with hot chocolate and treats.

Trunk or Treat at The Springs

Oct. 31: Creative costumes—check. Oodles of goodies—check. Lots of giggles and loads of fun—doublecheck! You’ll experience it all at The Springs Church at Trunk or Treat on Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be lots of candy for the taking, carnival games, a giant slide, and refreshments. It will be fun for the whole family, and a safe, well-lit environment for kids. The church is located at 135 N. Grant St., in Cedar Springs.

Halloween Hospitality Center

Oct. 31: Warm up and rest station at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, on Monday, October 31st, from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. Serving hot chocolate and popcorn.

Solon Fire at White Creek Country Estates

Oct. 31: Solon Township Fire Department will hand out candy for kids at the office in White Creek Country Estates from 5-8 p.m. The park is located at 15851 White Creek Ave. Cedar Springs Mich. Bring the kids to meet the firefighters, see the fire trucks, and get some candy. Fun for all!

Algoma Township Halloween party 

Oct. 31: The Algoma Township Historical Society will host a Halloween Party for trick-or-treaters at the Chalmer’s building on the corner of Fonger St. and Pine Island Drive, on Monday, October 31, from 5 to 6 p.m. They will serve hot dogs, chips, punch and candy.

Trunk or Treat at Resurrection
Lutheran

Oct. 31: Parents and kids can both stay warm and dry by trick or treating at Resurrection Lutheran Church’s indoor trunk or treat, from 6-8 p.m. on Halloween. The church is located at 180 S. Third St. in Sand Lake.

Posted in Halloween funComments Off on Halloween and Harvest Happenings

A Smokin’ Celebration

FD-SmokedMeat

(Family Features) If the surge in barbecue and smoking competitions across the country is any indication, grilling has become an art form. This Father’s Day, grab dad and gather around the grill or try a new tech­nique that’s rising in popularity – smoking – to create a masterpiece meal – and plenty of memories – together.

From secret marinades to tricked out grills and smokers, competitive smokers know there is a near ritualistic approach to teasing the perfect flavor out of a pre­mium cut of meat. Follow in the foot­steps of those pit masters and smoke like a pro with these tips from Omaha Steaks Exec­utive Chef Karl Marsh.

Rinse brisket with vinegar, then water.

Rinse brisket with vinegar, then water.

Start with style

The first step is deciding how you’d like to prepare your meat. Consider stepping up your game by smoking your meat. Smoking is a popular choice because it infuses flavor through­out the meat, while extended cook times at low temperatures make it extra tender. Another advantage is the chance to create a wide range of unique flavors using wet and dry rubs, as well as seasoned wood chips and planks.

Dry meat and prepare rub.

Dry meat and prepare rub.

Choose your cut

Virtually any meat can be smoked, but the most popular cuts of meat to smoke are brisket, ribs, pork shoulder or turkey, all of which are typ­ically large in size. Guarantee a great experi­ence with Omaha Steaks Brisket for smoking or Whole Pork Butt, which were created with the competitive barbecue and smoking circuit in mind.

Coat meat generously with rub.

Coat meat generously with rub.

Ready your rub

Rubs are often used to add flavors and surface texture to a cut of meat. For best results, brush meat with cooking oil or another liquid ingre­dient (such as yellow mustard) before adding the rub. Spread the rub on a clean plate and place the meat on it. Coat both sides with the rub by gently pressing the meat on the plate.

Inject brisket with marinade.

Inject brisket with marinade.

Set up the smoker

Some pit masters consider their equipment as vital an ingredient as the meat or flavorings they choose. Preparation varies from one recipe to the next, but one constant is the importance of maintaining a steady temperature. As you prepare your charcoal, be conscious of where you’ll place any wood chips or other flavor enhancers for maximum impact.

Slow and steady

Sensational flavor takes time to build, so plan to dedicate several hours to your task. Often, smoked foods require foil wrapping for at least a por­tion of the cook to retain moisture. Plan to check in at regular intervals to restock wood chips, flip or rotate meat and apply a fresh coat of seasoning or spices.

Find more tips and recipes perfect for a smoking Father’s Day celebration at omahasteaks.com.

Ancho Chile Rubbed Smoked Beef Brisket

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 11-13 hours

Rest time: 1-2 hours

Total time: 13-16 hours

1 Whole Omaha Steaks Brisket for smoking

2 cups white vinegar

2/3 cup yellow mustard

3/4 cup Omaha Steaks Ancho Chile Rub

4 cups Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer, divided (recipe below)

8 cups apple or cherry wood chips, soaked in water

Remove brisket from bag and rinse with white vinegar then rinse with water.

Dry completely using paper towels.

Slather brisket generously with yellow mustard.

Rub generously with ancho chile rub and inject with 1 cup Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer.

Prepare smoker using 1 chimney of pure lump charcoal fully lit and one chimney of pure lump charcoal unlit. Make sure water pan is full and adjust vents until smoker maintains a temperature between 225 and 250 F.

Place brisket on smoker fat side up and brush smoking spritzer over top.

Every hour, check smoker temp, squirt with smoking spritzer and add handful of wood chips.

After 3 hours, flip brisket fat side down and squirt with spritzer.

After 6 hours, flip brisket fat side up. Wrap heavy duty foil around the last 3-4 inches of brisket tip to prevent it from drying out. Restock water pan and add lump charcoal as needed. Adjust vents until temperature is between 225 and 250 F.

Beginning at 8 hours, check internal temperature every hour and apply spritzer and wood chips as needed.

Between 11-13 hours, when internal temperature is between 195 and 200 F, if fork slides easily into brisket, it is done.

Let brisket rest for 1-2 hours before slicing and serving.

Ancho Chile Rubbed Smoked Pork Butt

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 8-10 hours

Rest time: 1 hour

Total time: 10-12 hours

1 Omaha Steaks Whole Pork Butt

2 cups white vinegar

1/2 cup yellow mustard

1/2 cup Omaha Steaks Ancho Chile Rub

4 cups Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer, divided (recipe below)

8 cups apple or cherry wood chips, soaked in water

Score top fat so it will melt into pork while smoking and allow more rub to get into meat. Rub pork with white vinegar then rinse with water. Pat dry with clean paper towels.

Rub pork butt with yellow mustard. Rub pork butt with ancho chile rub. Inject pork with 10-12 ounces of Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer.

Set up smoker with 1 chimney using unlit lump charcoal and 2 chimneys using lit lump charcoal.

Adjust vents in smoker until temperature settles between 225 and 250 F.

Place pork butt fat side up and add a lot of wood chips.

Every half hour, add more wood chips and spritz pork with smoking spritzer.

After 2 hours, insert remote thermometer probes. Be careful not to let thermometer touch bone to prevent false readings.

After 5 hours, place pork in foil pan and liberally coat with spritzer. Wrap pan tightly with foil.

Continue cooking without adding wood chips or opening smoker until thermometer hits 190 F (for sliced meat) or 200 F (for pulled meat), about 8-10 hours total.

Let rest 1 hour before serving.

Ancho Chile Smoking Spritzer

Makes: 4 cups

2 cups apple juice

1 cup cranberry juice

1 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons red hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup Omaha Steaks Ancho Chile Rub

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Father's Day, Featured, RecipesComments Off on A Smokin’ Celebration

You Can Be One Reason Mom Feels Loved

Make the day special.

Make the day special.

(NAPS)—From the big milestones to the everyday moments, chances are, you knew Mom would be there for you. So on her special day, you want to find exactly the right way to let her know how much she continues to inspire and encourage you.

A Beautiful Breakfast

To help, you can now start Mother’s Day morning with a wonderful gift from Wolferman’s specialty foods brand. The Mother’s Day Tote is filled with their famous English muffins, decadent pastries and Earl Grey tea, along with clover honey sticks to complete the luxurious breakfast gift. Afterward, the tote can be reused and act as a brilliant reminder of your thoughtfulness. For additional information, visit www.Wolfermans.com.

MOTH-You-can-be-one-reason2Clever Cookies

You can also sweeten her day with decadent gifts from Cheryl’s. The gourmet cookie brand’s Long Stemmed Cookie Flowers is a delicious bouquet of 12 long- stemmed, buttercream-frosted cutout cookies and hand-decorated crunchy sugar cookies. Delivered in a real florist box, this unique and memorable gift can really show you care. Available at www.Cheryls.com.

MOTH-You-can-be-one-reason3A Blooming Good Idea

The Mom’s Tea Party arrangement from 1-800-Flowers.com serves up plenty as a two-in-one gift with a lovely selection of pastel roses, carnations and white daisies, beautifully hand designed inside a reusable floral teapot. For more details, visit www.1800flowers.com.

For this Mother’s Day, send her a breakfast to remember, something to satisfy her sweet tooth and a truly original arrangement that she’ll treasure. That can help her know she’s loved, not just on Mother’s Day but every day.

Learn More

For more gift ideas to celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day, visit www.1800Flowers.com and www.Wolfermans.com.

Posted in Mother's DayComments Off on You Can Be One Reason Mom Feels Loved

Top tips for a perfect Mother’s Day

Make Mother's Day special

Make Mother’s Day special

(BPT) – She’s spent years taking care of you, whether it was mending your first broken heart, helping you pack and move for college, or moving in to help take care of your first child. Mom has always been around to help. For all the times she’s been there for you, now is the time to be there for her. This Mother’s Day, plan the perfect day to show mom just how thankful you are.

Plan a day together. Set aside all other plans and treat your mom to a day filled with her favorite people, places and things. Whether it’s a day spent indoors playing games or reminiscing, or grabbing the extended family and heading to her favorite park, lake or ocean for a picnic, simply sharing in these moments is sure to bring your mom joy and delight.

Host an afternoon tea. While breakfast in bed may have been your Mother’s Day tradition growing up, perhaps it’s time for something new. This year, treat mom to a relaxing and indulgent afternoon tea filled with delicious treats like these Lavender Buttermilk Scones.

Ingredients:

8 ounces self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, plus extra for greasing

3 ounces lavender-flavored sugar, sifted if preferred (see Cook’s Tip below)

1 pint buttermilk, plus extra for brushing

Salt

Your choice of Bonne Maman Preserves

Directions:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the lavender sugar (sifted if preferred) and a pinch of salt and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and mix to combine, making a soft dough.

Briefly knead the dough on a floured surface, then lightly roll out to about 3/4-inch thick. Cut scones with a 2-inch pastry cutter and place on a greased baking sheet.

Brush the top of each scone with a little extra buttermilk and bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned on the top. Cool on a wire rack, dust lightly with flour and serve with your favorite choice of Bonne Maman preserves.

Cook’s tips:

  • To make lavender-flavored sugar, push 2-3 small washed and dried sprigs of fresh lavender into a jar of caster sugar. Leave for at least 24 hours before using.
  • Brushing the scones with beaten egg before baking will give them a shiny golden top.

Give Mom a well deserved day off. Even after a perfect day spent with loved ones, sometimes all mom really wants is a day to herself doing whatever she pleases. While you may not be able to give her just that, Bonne Maman, maker of 100 percent natural preserves and jellies, is here to help through the Share The Love national sweepstakes. Mom can enter for a chance to win a $4,500 day off to spend doing whatever she’d like, plus she can download a $2 off coupon for her next Bonne Maman purchase. For more information and to enter, visit www.BonneMaman.us.

Posted in Featured, Mother's Day, SeasonalComments Off on Top tips for a perfect Mother’s Day

Easter Coloring Contest Winners

Age Group  3-4 Years Old Winner:  Jaiden St. Amour, âge 3, of Sand Lake

Age Group
3-4 Years Old Winner:
Jaiden St. Amour, âge 3, of Sand Lake

Congratulations to 3-year-old Jaiden St. Amour, of Sand Lake,  7-year-old Autumn Passage, of Sand Lake, and 9-year-old Desirae Donley, of Rockford whose entries were chosen as finalists and ultimately the winning entries of our 2016 Easter Coloring Contest.

Three finalists were selected from each age group, 3-4 years, 5-7 years, and 8-10 years. Then our staff voted on which were they’re favorites from each group and that’s how we came up with our three winners.

Winners may pick up their Easter Baskets on Monday, March 28th at The Post, located at 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs, between 10 am and 5pm. Or call 616-696-3655 to make other arrangements.

Age Group  5-7 Years Old Winner:  Autumn Passage, age 7, of Sand Lake

Age Group
5-7 Years Old Winner:
Autumn Passage, age 7, of Sand Lake

Thank you to all that  entered our coloring contest.

Age Group  8-10 Years Old Winner:  Desirae Donley, age 9, of Rockford

Age Group
8-10 Years Old Winner:
Desirae Donley, age 9, of Rockford

Posted in EasterComments Off on Easter Coloring Contest Winners

Easter Jokes for Kids

 

Q. How did the soggy Easter Bunny dry himself?

A. With a hare-dryer!

Q. Why did the Easter Bunny cross the road?

A. Because the chicken had his Easter eggs!

Q. What did the rabbit say to the carrot?

A. It’s been nice gnawing you!

Q. How did the Easter Bunny rate the Easter parade?

A. He said it was eggs-cellent!

Q. How does the Easter Bunny travel?

A. By hare-plane!

Q. How does the Easter Bunny stay fit?

A. Eggs-ercise and hare-robics!

Q. Why did the Easter egg hide?

A. He was a little chicken!

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, EasterComments Off on Easter Jokes for Kids

Five unique ways to enjoy your favorite Easter candy

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Family Features 

The best parts of holiday celebrations are the special traditions that form lasting memories. Make Easter the most egg-cellent holiday by inspiring new traditions and creative activities, crafts and recipes for your family to enjoy for years to come.

1. Sweet Egg Decorating

Many people celebrate the Easter holiday with brightly decorated hard-boiled eggs, but why not decorate chocolate eggs, too, for a sweet twist on a traditional favorite holiday craft. You can use frosting and additional candy to decorate chocolate eggs, such as Cadbury Crème Egg Candy, in similar fashion to traditional eggs.

2. Candy Dish Treats

Think candy is only reserved for Easter baskets? Try filling a glass vase with your favorite colorful candies to create a colorful, delicious candy dish the whole family can enjoy. Place faux flowers in the candy-filled vase and tie a bow of festive ribbon around it to create a simple, sweet arrangement.

3. Share with the Easter Bunny

Santa isn’t the only one who likes sweets; this year, leave candies out for the Easter Bunny, too. Share this “hoppy” new tradition with family and friends using #HersheysEaster and make it part of your annual Easter Eve ritual.

4. Easter Egg Hunt Prep

Step up your Easter egg hunt game by setting up prep stations with everything your family will need. Equip them with decorative baskets to put their eggs in, leave clues of where the eggs are hidden on festive note cards and get them started with a sweet treat, such as their favorite candy, to kick it off.

5. Cooking with Candy

An Easter basket isn’t the only way you can enjoy sweets. Get creative in the kitchen and find new ways to enjoy your favorite candies, such as this recipe that combines ice cream, cookies and Cadbury Crème Egg Candy for a one-of-a-kind dessert.

For more Easter inspiration and delicious recipes, visit CelebrateWithHersheys.com.

EAS-Five-ways1-treatsCandy Egg Ice Cream Sandwiches

Serves: 4

2 cups vanilla ice cream

3 Cadbury Crème Egg Candy

8 large sugar cookies

1/4 cup Cadbury Mini Eggs Candy

Set ice cream on counter for 15-20 minutes, or until it begins to thaw and is easy to scoop.

Unwrap and chop egg candy into small pieces. Pour candy pieces (including gooey center off knife and cutting board) into medium mixing bowl.

Scoop ice cream into bowl with chopped candy. Using plastic spatula, stir candy and ice cream until well combined.

Pour ice cream mixture into rectangular or square 2-quart dish and spread into even layer, making sure candy is evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and place dish in freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until ice cream has set again.

In food processor, pulse mini egg candies until finely chopped.

Remove ice cream from freezer.

Place chopped mini candies in shallow bowl wide enough to fit a cookie. Place 4 cookies bottom up on plate. Top each cookie with scoop of ice cream then top ice cream with another cookie (bottom facing ice cream). Press down on sandwich until ice cream reaches cookie edge.

Immediately roll ice cream edges of sandwich in chopped mini candies, turning sandwich until all edges are coated. Place sandwich on a dish and return to freezer. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, EasterComments Off on Five unique ways to enjoy your favorite Easter candy