Easter Eggs!


(photo courtesy of Pixabay)

We love our holidays and none is more important to us than Easter. Firstly, it marks the resurrection of Jesus, but it also taps into our creative nature. One is never too old to decorate and hunt for Easter eggs.

Easter eggs have a history that predates Christianity. In pagan times, eggs were considered symbolic of new life, fertility and rebirth. Christians, however, see the Easter egg as "symbolic of the resurrection of Christ."

In the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, painting Easter eggs is tradition. Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood Christ shed on the cross. The eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal vigil and distributed to the congregants who crack the eggs. The egg's hard shell egg is symbolic of the sealed Tomb of Christ, and cracking the shell represents Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  (via HuffPost, Barooah, Jahnabi, 4/11/2017) 

While there are many commercial dyes that can be purchased to decorate eggs, you can create your own beautiful colors from natural ingredients. These five ingredients can produce a wide range of lovely colors for your decorating: beets, onion skins, tumeric, coffee, and red cabbage.  

To make your dyes you'll need the following:

Red-cabbage dye:  4 cups chopped cabbage
Turmeric dye:         3 tablespoons turmeric
Onion-skin dye:     4 cups onion skins (skins of about 12 onions)
Beet dye:                  4 cups chopped beets
Coffee dye:               1 quart strong black coffee (instead of water)

To make your dyes - with the exception of the coffee -  boil your ingredients in one quart of water with 2 Tbs of vinegar for 30 minutes, then strain.  The depth of your color depends on how long you let your eggs soak in the dye.

For a deep gold, boil egg in tumeric solution for 30 minutes. Pale yellow is achieved with room temperature tumeric. Light blue eggs result from soaking in room temperature cabbage dye for 30 minutes. For a cobalt blue soak over night in room temperature cabbage dye. Lavender is achieved by soaking eggs in room temperature beet solution for 30 minutes followed by 30 seconds of the room temperature cabbage mixture.  

For chartreuse, soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature cabbage solution, 5 seconds. If you want brown eggs, you can achieve a deep, rich brown by boiling the egg in the coffee solution for 30 minutes. For a paler brown, soak 30 minutes in room temperature coffee. Soak eggs in room-temperature onion-skin solution, 30 minutes for orange eggs.

Light pink eggs can be achieved by soaking in room temperature beet solution for 30 minutes. For salmon eggs soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature onion-skin solution, 30 minutes. (via MarthaStewart.com)

Experiment to see what beautiful shades you can create for your Easter egg creations!


(photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Brunch after the Easter Bunny

Stuffed French Toast
After the Bunny's hit the trail, try this twist on a classic brunch French Toast recipe (McCormick's)

Stuffed French Toast
serves 8


1 tub (8 ounces) whipped cream cheese

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 teaspoons McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract, divided

16 slices Italian bread (1/2-inch thick)

1/2 cup apricot preserves or jam

5 eggs

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, divided


1. Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla in small bowl until well blended. Spread 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture on each of 8 slices of bread. Spread 1 tablespoon of preserves on each of the remaining 8 slices of bread. Press one each of the bread slices together to form 8 sandwiches.

2. Beat eggs in shallow bowl. Stir in milk, remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until well blended. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture, soaking for 2 minutes on each side.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in large nonstick skillet on medium-low heat. Place 4 of the sandwiches in skillet. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining sandwiches, adding remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Serve French toast with maple syrup, if desired.

Holiday menu: Rack of Lamb with Artichokes


If you aren't ready for your holiday meal, here's a lovely last minute and super simple yet elegant suggestion from Academia Barilla

The wesbite is a veritable encyclopedia of Italian gastronomic tidbits as well as a market place and cooking school. 

Is there any thing the Italians don't do with understated elegance?