Author & Founder of CraftBoxGirls.com Shares Her Super Secrets for Celebrating the Holidays with Budget Friendly Recipes & Craft Inspiration
Easter is coming early this year on April 1. Lynn Lilly the founder of CraftBoxGirls.com and author of Screen-Free Crafts Kids Will Love! had some timely recipes and craft ideas for making this a memorable Easter holiday.  The Easter holiday involves many traditions, and celebrating the religious holiday is at the top of the list. For many people Easter is a holiday that involves bringing family and friends together. The renowned craft and DIY expert, Lynn Lilly, shared some food, fashion and decorating tips to help everyone get creative with their Easter festivities.  

Take Easter Baskets to a new level this season with the new Kinder Joy, an egg-shaped treat. It is like no other with two separately sealed halves: a treat side made of two deliciously creamy layers of chocolate covered wafer bites that are filled with cocoa cream, and a second half containing an exciting mystery toy! Kinder Joy is available nationwide at mass grocery, drug and convenience stores, while supplies last. Kinder Joy has been loved all over the world since 2001, and is now available in stores in the US, while supplies last. For more information, visit www.kinder.com
An easy way to wow guests is with a beautiful dessert. Cupcakes are great for a Easter celebration, they are delicious and can be creatively decorated. A great Spring recipe are Banana cream cheese cupcakes, topped with a frosting make with Arla Original Cream Cheese frosting.  Arla Crèam Chesse is made from only four simple ingredients: cream, milk, cheese culture and salt. So anyone can feel good about severing it. It’s sure to be a big hit with  guests this Easter. For more information, visit www.arla.com

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 18 regular or 36 mini cupcakes

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
3 ½ ounces (1/2 package) Arla Cream Cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup AP flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed, about 3/4 cup

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin cups with paper liners (18 regular or 36 mini) and lightly spray with pan spray.  

Remove the peel-off lid from the cream cheese and, using a fork, mix the whey into the cream cheese.  In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, beat ½ the package of cream cheese with the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and, using high speed, gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer to medium and add eggs one at a time, just until combined.  

Measure flour and stir in baking powder and salt. Using low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture just until combined.  Clean the beaters and, using a large spoon or spatula, fold the mashed bananas into the batter just until combined.  

Using an ice cream scoop, fill the lined cups 3/4 full with the batter.  Place the cupcakes in the oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  If making mini cupcakes, bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown.  

Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough to frost 18 cupcakes

3 ½ ounces (1/2 package) Arla Cream Cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted or whisked to remove lumps
Flaked salt for garnish, optional

In a deep, medium bowl, using a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Beat in the caramel sauce using high speed.  Using low speed, carefully add the sugar and when the last bit is added, increase to high speed and beat an additional minute until smooth, light and fluffy. 

Consider including soup with an Easter dinner and a favorites is Imagine. Made with real, wholesome ingredients, Imagine products contain no added MSG and are non-GMO showing what it truly means to be ingredient proud. Imagine's new line of Super Soups is a combination of real, nourishing beans, vegetables and body-boosting plants and spices to keep your taste buds satisfied. All Imagine products are available at natural and conventional retailers nationwide. Made with real, wholesome ingredients, Imagine products contain non-GMO ingredients and no added MSG, showing what it truly means to be ingredient proud. For more information, visit www.imaginefoods.com

A great tradition to start is to create a beautiful Easter Table and Macy’s is a great destination for entertaining essentials. Macy's has everything needed to be the hostess with the mostess including place settings, flatware and creative displays and tiered cake stand. They have cute salt and pepper shakers from Martha Stewart, that are adorable. Also, they have gold plated silverware that is part of the Hotel Collection that is stunning. This 4-piece plate setting and napkin set is from their Lenox line and can be used year-round. All available exclusively at Macy’s or www.Macys.com. Easter memories are made in the details and this is truly a table you friends and family will remember.