March 31, 2010

Easter Bread in time for Easter

It's as easy as making bread-- Well, okay... it DOES take some time-- two rising times... so be prepared to give yourself a lot of time for prep! It's worth it, though! I love finding and trying new recipes! This one is in honor of a woman who I hold very dear to my heart... A very cute and funny lady, named Anna (Annie) who was Sicilian/American. I used to call her "Nona" (grandma). She used to make these every year as part of her Easter tradition and give them out to friends..

Annie passed away in July 2006 while I was away on a trip with friends (just before I moved to France). I remember getting the phone call from my friend, Margo... and though Annie's health wasn't great, because of her diabetes and other issues, I thought she'd keep going another 10 years, at least... Just on her energy and pep, alone! Annie was a source of comedy in Little Italy... She was a little lady who could cuss up a storm... It was hilarious! I have such fond memories of her... from her little red cart that she used to ride around... GO ANNIE... to her elaborate Betty Boop collection and her very sweet smile!! Her smile and laugh could melt an iceberg! I really loved her and miss her a lot! These are for you, sweet Annie... Happy Easter!

Annie is in the far right corner with me in braids leaning over her shoulder.. back in 2004. From left to right-- Richard, Margo, Mary, me, Annie. Our little Motley Crew at Cafe Italia, Little Italy.

Here's the recipe if anyone is interested. Click HERE.
*Note: I used the zest from one large orange and cut up pieces of candied orange. I didn't use anise seeds or nuts... or any other spices, but my friend, Tonio, uses orange juice in his Easter bread... I don't know how much but I will find out...
Also: My uncooked dyed eggs didn't cook all the way- the yolk was still undercooked (a little liquidy) after 25 minutes of baking... Not sure why, but it may have to do with the fact that I have to lower the temp on our oven so it didn't cook at the recommended temp. Some recipes do say that you can used cooked hard eggs-- If I do it again next time, I may cook the eggs partially. Let me know if you make this... Enjoy and Happy Easter!

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