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 Easter Eggs

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Astraea

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PostSubject: Easter Eggs   Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:53 pm

Silk Tie Dyed Eggs {tutorial} http://www.skiptomylou.org/2011/04/06/silk-tie-dyed-eggs-tutorial/ (for pictures, and such)
posted by cindylouh on April 6th, 2011 | Easter |

We had fun this weekend coloring eggs.

I have been wanting to try this process for years after seeing it on Martha Stewart! So we gathered some old silk ties.

How to dye eggs with silk ties

Cut the silk ties apart removing the lining until there is enough silk fabric to cover an uncooked egg.

Wrap the silk around the egg tightly. We wrapped it like a piece of candy with twisted ends and then tucked the ends behind.

Make strips from an old sheet or other fabric.

Tie a strip tightly around the egg to secure the silk.

Tie another strip around the egg the other way.

Put the eggs in a non-reactive pan (stainless steel, glass or enamel). Cover eggs completely with water.

Put 3 tablespoons of vinegar in the water. Simmer eggs for 20 - 30 minutes. Ours simmered for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove eggs from water and allow to cool.

Now for the best part. Unwrap the eggs.

It is always a fun surprise to see what you get!

We had fun and they turned out beautifully!
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Astraea

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Number of posts : 2726
Age : 56
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: Easter Surprise Eggs   Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:29 pm

Easter Surprise Eggs (the easy version) http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2010/04/01/easter-surprise-eggs-the-easy-version/

colorful Easter eggs

Earlier I made Chocolate Easter Surprise Eggs. I really enjoyed making them but realize, of course, how complicated they were. I am clearly a crazy person. Here is something similar but much easier to make. To sum up: dyed eggshells filled with candy and/or toys and sealed at the bottom with paper.

Before:

a yellow egg with a tag that says Crack Me

After:

cracked egg, with candies spilling out

You will need:

enough time to let dyed eggs dry overnight
one dozen eggs (or however many you’d like to make)
boxes of both regular and neon McCormick food coloring
assorted candies or toys small enough to fit into an egg
mini muffin papers, or paper nut party cups, or regular paper, or big roundish stickers
glue
a cookie cooling rack, or skewers stuck in some styrofoam, or six sets of takeout chopsticks stuck in a vase (for drying the dyed eggs upside down)

Handy but not necessary:

an egg topper or a Dremel

colorful eggs in tissue paper grass

These are a re-do of surprise eggs I made ages ago. (I think that was one of the first tutorials I put on this site.) I took inspiration from both Kinder Eggs and Cascarones, eggshells filled with confetti usually cracked over the head of a friends or family. (Note: some of the images below were reused from my earlier tutorial, so they might look familiar.)

Emptying the eggs

emptied egg shells

To prepare the eggshells I followed Martha’s Stewarts instructions for making chocolate filled real eggshells. I didn’t have a Dremel so I used an inexpensive egg topper to cut the bottoms of the eggs.

showing the teeth of the egg topper

This egg topper isn’t the best tool for the job and often leaves jagged edges. If you don’t have this you can use a pushpin to carefully crack an opening, and I’ve seen mention of using nail scissors to carefully cut a tidy hole. Really though, you don’t need to worry about beauty here as we’ll be gluing something over the edges of the opening at the end.
Sterilizing the eggs

This again is from Martha Stewart’s instructions. I carefully rinsed out each eggshell, using a finger to scrape away the last bit of the egg white that is attached inside. Submerge in a large pot (I could fit a dozen eggs in a 4-quart pot) and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Skim foam from the top as it appears, if you forget about the pot it will cook into a weird stiff foam.

To cool the shells lift them them one by one from the pot, letting the hot water run out, and submerge them into a bowl of cool water. If you just fill the pot with cold water the boiling water will linger inside the eggshell, so be careful. (Go on, ask me how I learned that.)

Set them upright on a cookie cooling rack or a kitchen towel to drain and dry a bit while you’re preparing to dye. (I found eggs taken right from water and put into dye didn’t do as well. I could be wrong.)
Dyeing the eggs

seven eggs, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and magenta

Since I find empty eggshells too delicate to decorate after sterilizing I wanted color to be the main attraction, so I spent time finding the right number of food color drops to create really vibrant color. I wasn’t necessarily going for a rainbow but that’s what I came up with.

You might also consider doing all the eggshells one color and using candies that coordinate well. (Oh man, am I really suggesting you coordinate your eggshells to your candy? I am, but it’s pleasantly striking in the chaotic world of color that is Easter decorations. I show an example below.)

one egg in dye in a Pyrex measuring cup

You’ll want to dye the eggs in a non-reactive (not metal) container. I used Pyrex measuring cups and porcelain mugs. Don’t agitate the eggs, I learned the hard way that this makes them blotchy, instead just turn them over about half way through the dyeing time.

seven colored eggs on a plate

These instructions are for the familiar McCormick food coloring you can find in any grocery store, one box of regular colors and one box of neon colors. Each below will cover one egg at a time, you can either double the ingredients or let a second egg soak just a bit longer.

For each of these I used:

2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup just-boiled water
10 minutes of soaking, turning the egg over half way through (15 minutes where noted)

red

10 drops neon pink
1 drop neon purple
2 drops red

orange

20 drops yellow
5 drops red
soak for 15 minutes

yellow

15 drops yellow
2 drops neon green
soak for 15 minutes

green

20 drops neon green
2 drops neon blue
1 drop green
soak for 15 minutes

blue

6 drops neon blue
1 drop blue

purple

7 drops neon blue
5 drops neon pink

magenta

10 drops neon pink
2 drops neon purple

If you’d like to make your own colors know that I found starting with neon colors and adding regular colors to tone those down worked the best in most cases for me.

lifting egg with a skewer

I used skewers to lower and lift the eggs out of the dye. I let them dry by hanging them on more skewers stuck in a styrofoam cone I had in the house. I dabbed with paper towels to catch drips.

eggs at the end of skewers stuck into styrafoam

You could also simply set them on your cookie cooling rack, or hang them off of takeout chopsticks that have been arranged in a vase, anything that will allow them to drip downwards and have lots of airflow so they can dry. Last tip? Wear your least favorite black clothes, the drops of food coloring seem to get everywhere.
Filling the eggs

colored eggs with various candies

If your eggs are for kids I suggest buying slightly larger candies that will be easy to separate from the shards of eggshell, maybe sticking to wrapped candies. It can be frustrating to pick shards out of everything. (Though, egghshells are edible, as my father always liked to remind me.)

If you’re making these for adults (may I suggest those who are cubicle bound?) there are a number of surprisingly delicious and itty bitty candies I found while making the previous version, these are my favorites:

Valrhona Perles Craquant (bb-sized dark chocolate around crunchy centers, found near the fancy cheeses at Whole Foods, you should use these on everything)
dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds from Trader Joe’s
chocolate and candy coated sunflower seeds
those tiny peanut butter cups also from Trader Joe’s
Robin’s egg blue candy coated caramels from The Confectionery in Seattle (I found similar versions at Peet’s coffee thanks to a tip from somebody on Twitter).

One candy I wish I’d found are the tiny wrapped hard candies called Glitterati, made by Chipurnoi. They are available in bulk online, but I’ve seen them in smaller bags at Trader Joe’s around Christmastime.

blue, gold and dark chocolate candies

The easiest way to make it a bit more elegant is to stick to three colors. My favorite was to dye the eggshells to match (well, almost match) some Robin’s egg blue caramels. Then I only used gold and dark chocolate candies inside. Keeping it to these three colors made for a nice presentation. You could do the same with silver. And metallic Jordan almonds may be cliche at weddings but I still find them pretty/shiny and very worthy of using here.

You could also fit small toys or gifts inside. For my previous eggs I made miniature crepe paper flower corsages and found small pipe cleaner chicks. I was also thinking about folding small fortune tellers to slip inside.
Sealing the eggs

gluing a baking cup to the bottom of the egg

I found the easiest thing to do was to use a mini baking cup, cut it down to about half the height, and glue it on. If you don’t want to trouble with cutting down the baking cup you can just use it as is. If I’d had the time I would have sought out baking cups that are more colorful.

You can also trim and use nut (or souffle) cups, or just some paper.

gluing a baking cup to the bottom of the egg

In Paris I saw these, which appear to be simply covered with a sticker:

eggs on a counter, the bottoms covered with large, shamrock shaped stickers

I like to include a “Crack Me” message. You could write on the egg using a colored marker, or put a sticker on it. I printed out this little message to include with the eggs and simply tucked it in the glued down cover:

close up of the Crack Me tag

And now one can open the egg by either cracking it, or just tearing off the paper base. Cracking it is way more fun.
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Astraea

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Age : 56
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Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

PostSubject: How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally, Without a Store-Bought Kit   Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:39 am

How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally, Without a Store-Bought Kit

Posted by Blake Royer, April 1, 2010 at 7:30 AM http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/how-to-dye-easter-eggs-naturally-without-a-box-onion-skins-beets-cabbage.html
"A couple of beets, some ground turmeric, and a red cabbage, and I was turning out gorgeous eggs in all three primary colors."

Like most people, I grew up on Paas eggs, glowing with chemical dyes and artificial colors. My memories are vivid: the sulphuric smell of boiled eggs, the sharp hit of vinegar in my nostrils, the metal egg holder shaped like an old person's eyeglasses, and the mystical colored dye tablets. The connection between hard-boiled eggs and the Christian religion is pretty much lost on me, though its symbolism of new life rings true, especially on a Spring day like today. Anyway, it doesn't matter too much—they're a tradition, and that means enough.

Rather than the store-bought kit, my wife grew up following an Easter tradition of wrapping eggs in onion skins and boiling them in a length of white cloth tied up tight with string. Last year while living in Estonia, we dyed the eggs this way, laying sprigs of dill, bits of rice, and whatever grass or leaves we could find in the yard inside the flaky onion skins. A ten-minute boil and the eggs emerged mottled and charming.

It's a far more creative adventure than a store-bought kit: you actually have a say in how your eggs turn out by using whatever materials you want. The thrill and surprise of unwrapping your hot egg brings out the kid in all of us.

If you decide to go the natural route, though, wrapping the eggs in onion skins isn't the only way to dye them naturally. While experimenting with different foods as coloring, I was pretty impressed with how well a few easy-to-find and inexpensive foods worked.

A couple beets, some ground turmeric, and a red cabbage and I was turning out gorgeous eggs in all three primary colors.

So whether you go with the naturally-made dyes (made for dipping eggs just like the chemical stuff) or the onion skin route, it makes the whole process a lot more interactive and fun. Here's how to set yourself up for a DIY Easter Egg year.

Naturally Dyed Eggs
The idea here is to treat the eggs just like you do in the dyeing kits: boil them ahead of time all at once, then dip each egg in a colorful dye to decorate it.

Red and yellow was obvious: If you've ever cut beets on a wood-cutting board, it's probably still stained red, as is your countertop from the last curry using turmeric.

But how many foods do you know that are blue? Strangely, if you boil red cabbage with some water and strain it out, the resulting purplish liquid will stain eggs a rich, cobalt blue. Don't ask me why, but it works.

For red dye: Take 1 to 2 beets (about 3/4 pound) and roughly chop it. Combine it with 1 quart water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid for dyeing.

For yellow dye: Heat 1 quart water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan. Add 6 tablespoon ground turmeric and stir well. Simmer for just a few minutes until the turmeric dissolves.

For blue dye: Take 1 large red cabbage (about 1 pound) and shred it. Combine in a saucepan with 1 quart water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid for dyeing.

To dye the eggs: Simply soak them in the liquids until they are the desired colors. At first, the colors will be quite pale, though beautiful.

They don't work equally well: the red dye sets very quickly, and the turmeric isn't far behind. But after a minute or two in the blue dye, the egg had hardly changed at all. To achieve a truly rich blue, the egg needs to soak for a few hours.

Knowing I had all three primary colors, I did a little experimenting with using two dyes on the same egg: yellow and blue to make green, red and yellow to make orange. It wasn't entirely successful, though I did come up with a nice subtle green and a slightly brownish orange.
Onion Skin Eggs

Unlike traditional egg-dyeing, these eggs are not pre-boiled before coloring. Rather, the cooking and dyeing process happens all at once.

You'll need the skins of at least 8 to 10 onions for every dozen eggs. (The onions themselves should then be used sooner than later.)

In addition to the onion skins, which will color the eggs nicely by themselves, you can also collect leaves, flower petals, leafy herbs, uncooked rice, etc. to leave impressions against the outside of the eggs.

You'll also need cloth to wrap the eggs with: for a couple dozen eggs, say a yard or two of inexpensive muslin or other white fabric. Cut it into large squares and build your egg on top. To tie the eggs, lightly colored yarn or kitchen twine works well. Make sure to wrap yours up distinctively so that it will be easily recognizable once they all head into the pot.

Boil for 10 to 12 minutes to set the colors and cook the eggs. Then unwrap them and see how they turned out!
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Astraea

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Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
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PostSubject: Vibrant Eggs, Dyed Naturally   Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:36 am

Vibrant Eggs, Dyed Naturally

Colored Easter eggs have wandered in many directions from their historical origins: Dyeing them red in remembrance of Christ's blood. Just take a look at Martha Stewart Living's current feature on whimsical Easter egg designs, or ask most kids, who will tell you they dye eggs to make them look like jelly beans.


I prefer the less design-y and more rustic approach. After all, they're eggs you might be stashing somewhere in the lawn. Also, with a toddler in tow, a project like this at our house isn't likely to involve X-acto knives and electrical tape. Easter is a reminder of fertility and abundance so I say turn on the color and let loose.

Last year I wrote about dyeing eggs with onion skins, which gives a pretty spectacular result, especially if you rub them with oil to add shine. This year I took the idea of coloring eggs with vegetable scraps a step further and created a larger palette.
How To Make Vegetable-Dyed Eggs

Keep in mind the effect of the dyes varies depending on how concentrated the dye is, what color egg you use, and how long the eggs are immersed in the dye. I used half a purple cabbage, shredded, to dye four eggs. Err on the side of more rather than less when creating your dye.

Hard Boiled Eggs, room temperature, or white and brown eggs, preferably not super-fresh
Purple Cabbage (makes blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs)
Red Onion Skins (makes lavender or red)
Yellow Onion Skins (makes orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs)
Ground Turmeric (makes yellow)
Red Zinger Tea Bags (makes lavender)
Beets (makes pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs)
Oil (canola or olive)

Clean the eggs so there are no particles sticking to their shells.

To prepare a colored dye, first chop the cabbage, chip or peel away the dry skins from the onions, or shred the beets. In a stainless steel saucepan, boil enough water to generously cover the number of eggs you'll be dyeing. Add the dye matter and bring to a boil, turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15-30 minutes. Dye is ready when it reaches a hue a few shades darker than you want for your egg. Examine a sample in a white dish. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (I put the pot on my fire escape and it cooled off in about 20 minutes).

Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into another stainless saucepan, or into a bowl then back into the original pan if that's all you have. Stir in the vinegar. For the dyeing, it's best to use a pan with a flat bottom, like a Dutch oven, or a large jar as pictured above. Arrange the room-temperature eggs in the pan in one layer and carefully pour the cooled dye over them.

Place in refrigerator until desired color is reached. Massage in a little oil to each, then polish with a paper towel. Keep in refrigerator until time to eat (or hide.)

Note: You can also start with raw eggs and cook them in the dye bath as described in the previous post about onion-skin eggs. I found with dyes like the Zinger tea and beets, the color was more concentrated with the refrigerator method. Of course, this method requires clearing out some space in the refrigerator.
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