Gather friends and family to celebrate the joy of Easter this Sunday by serving a traditional dinner with a new twist or two. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Sweet puffs

Put a spin on the traditional Easter egg by using popcorn to make a fun Easter treat that the family won't want to hide.

Combine 10 cups of popped popcorn and 1 cup pastel-colored jelly beans in a large bowl and set aside.

Microwave 1/4 cup butter or margarine and 1 package (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows in a large glass bowl on high for 2 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed. Stir in 1 package (3 ounces) of blueberry, strawberry or lemon gelatin.

Pour marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and jelly beans. Mix lightly until coated.

With greased hands, shape into 16 (2-inch) eggs.

For other popcorn recipes and fun facts, visit

One egg: 180 calories; 5 grams fat; 34 grams carbohydrate; 23 grams sugar; 1 gram fiber; 2 grams protein; 130 milligrams sodium; 10 milligrams cholesterol

-- Recipe and analysis from The Popcorn Board

Hamming it up

If you'd like to include ham for your Easter dinner menu, but worry about how it will look when you put it on the table, check out a set of carving videos from Jones Dairy Farm.

Philip Jones, a Paris-trained chef and the company's president, offers step-by-step instructions to help you carve an old-fashioned, semi-boneless or spiral-sliced ham.

The videos can be seen at / videos. Also available online are a variety of ham glazes, Easter brunch recipes and ideas for leftover ham.

Surrounded by chocolate

Candy maker Just Born, which has given us marshmallow Peeps in various colors and shapes over the years, has come up with a new idea: hiding its famous little yellow chicks in chocolate eggs.

Hand them out to the winners of your Easter games or put them in the kids' basket. They are available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.99.

Log on to www. for more Peeps information.

Sugary shapes

For a fun, quick and easy family project, gather the kids for some holiday cookie decorating.

The Easter Cookie Decorating Kit by Cookies by Design includes egg-shaped sugar cookies, decorating bags with frosting and sprinkles, and fun decorating ideas. Prices range from $25 to $ 35, depending on the number of cookies in the kit.

For more information or to purchase an Easter Cookie Decorating Kit, visit www.cookies


A cooking class, How to Boil Water, Part Two (Tools of the Kitchen), will be held 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, April 5 to 19, at Roland Park Country School, 5204 Roland Ave., $140. Call 410-323-5500 or visit / kaleidoscope / .

Learn to prepare nine varieties of fish at Bel Air Middle School, 99 Idlewild St., Bel Air. Tuesdays, beginning next week, to April 19, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. $49, plus $33 course fee. Call Harford Community College, 410-836-4376, or visit / schedule / NONCR_CourseMenu.asp for more information.

The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish, Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail

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