How to dye Easter Eggs – easy and edible fun!

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How to dye Easter Eggs

I published recently about how to explain Easter to children; this week Miss 2 has been looking longingly at the vast arrays of chocolate eggs that seem to be everywhere we go. I do have some allergy friendly chocolate for us to eat next weekend but it isn’t egg shaped!  I thought instead we’d start a family tradition of making our own (non-chocolate) edible Easter eggs. Messy play afternoon here we come!

There are some stunningly beautiful pictures out there of vibrant colourful Easter eggs, or how to make your own natural dyes, but I was looking for some ideas for the more energy-challenged.

Making your own decorated dyed eggs really is ridiculously easy as long as you prepare carefully – the degree of care being directly proportional to the age of your child. So for Miss 2, I hardboiled the eggs and mixed up the dye while she was napping. I put out all the craft materials we needed plus extra drawing paper to distract her during clean-up. I had paper towels and cleaning products directly to hand; we wore aprons and messy play clothes; I set everything up on a metal kitchen bench with lino floor directly below us; I cleaned up spills that touched anything other than the bench immediately – including the little pot of yellow dye that she knocked over; I ran a hot bubble bath and popped her in it afterwards. Net result – great time, no damage to the kitchen, and we both have normal coloured skin the next day!

FYI  I did try blowing one egg and decorating it once hollow. Miss 2 admired it for a brief time and then experimented with the physics of force meeting a hollow mass. The squishing was pretty much what I expected to happen. It’s less work and more satisfying to just eat the results after decorating them!

Ingredients

  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Food colouring
  • Eggs (hardboiled)

Equipment

  • Little bowls or containers
  • Newspaper
  • Empty egg carton
  • Spoons
  • Optional: crayons, rubber bands, stickers, velcro dots, poster paint, paint brushes, tooth brush, glitter & glue.

Directions

  1. In little containers mix up the water, vinegar, and food colouring. You can use approx. 1/2c water, 1T vinegar, and 10 drops food colouring but it’s pretty forgiving. The main thing is that you need the vinegar to help the dye set.  You can use less water and more vinegar, or adjust to the size of your containers. You might want little bowls to dip or big glass jars to fully submerge several eggs.
  2. Prepare your hardboiled eggs.
    • My favourite was drawing on them with crayon (it shows through the dye).
    • You can obscure parts of the shell with rubber bands, stickers, velcro dots etc., dye it in one colour, remove the obscuring parts, and then dye in a second colour.
  3. Dye the eggs.
    • You can completely submerge them or just dip them (your fingers may get a bit colourful). The colour will vary depending on length of time submerged (i.e. less time means lighter, more time means darker).
    • Try creating colour gradients you can experiment with things like: submerging the entire egg for a short time, then half the egg for more time, then the base of the egg for longer again.
    • After dyeing the egg in one colour, you can ‘paint’ it with another dye. The dye will run so you can to make rings or just splash.
    • Try dipping the egg in two different colours (i.e. half the egg in each).
    • You can let the dye dry and then speckle it with gold or bronze poster paint using a toothbrush.
    • Try concentrated dye (with just a few drops of water to dilute) and then sponging it on.
  4. Let the eggs dry. You can rest them on a drying rack but an empty egg carton is ideal!
  5. Eat and enjoy (or refridgerate for later)

 

 

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Egg in a hole

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Eggs in a hole. Such an easy recipe but one I’ve only discovered recently.

Ingredients

  • Egg (can be gluten free bread)
  • Butter (or dairy-free spread)
  • Bread
  • Optional: Salt & Pepper to taste. Chopped chives. Grated cheese.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free*, peanut free, tree nut free.

Directions

  1. Butter the bread and cut a rectangular window out of the middle.
  2. Heat frying pan (or skillet) and pop both pieces of bread in butter side down. Add a little butter into the ‘window’ and wait for it melt.
  3. Crack an egg into the ‘window’.
  4. Let it cook until the egg white has firmed up and then flip. Also flip your little cut out bread.
  5. Cook for a bit longer so the egg white is firm (you may want the yolk runny).
  6. Serve with any seasonings that you want. The cut out bit of bread is delicious and crunchy and can also be dipped into runny egg yolk.

 

Egg Fried Rice without Soy Sauce


Ingredients

  • 2c cooked rice (refrigerated from previous day)
  • 1c frozen peas & corn (refrigerated from previous day)
  • 2 eggs
  • Sliced green onion
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Chicken stock powder
  • Oil (I like rice bran oil)
  • optional: fish sauce, chilli, lime slices.

Note: Instead of sugar and salt, you can use 1/2 – 1T of coconut amino acids to achieve a similar umami flavour to soy sauce.

You can play with ingredients, i.e. consider chopped ham or bacon, bbq pork, char siu pork, shrimps etc. You want everything to be cut small and to be pre-cooked; you are essentially heating everything through. It’s important that the rice needs to have been cooked earlier, cooled and been fluffed, and then completely chilled in the fridge (cooling for 12 hours changes the type of starches the rice contains).

This is the kind of recipe that you may want to make on the spur of the moment because you have leftover rice, or it may be something that you prep the night before so that you can whip up lunch or dinner the next day quickly.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, peanut free.

Directions

  1. Cook your rice the day before. Personally, I like to use basmati rice in the rice cooker with water, salt, and rice bran oil. Today I used 80% basmati and 20% black rice; this has the fun visual side-effect of dying the basmati a dark purple colour! As your rice cools give it a bit of a fluff (easier if you’ve used some oil in the cooking) and put it in the fridge to cool overnight.
  2. Prepare your vegetables. If you’re using frozen veggies (I used a mix of peas, corn, cubed carrots, and small cut beans) then it’s a good idea to put them in the fridge at the same time as the rice so that it can defrost overnight. Alternatively, you might want to use something like grated carrot.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, heat your wok nice and hot with some oil.
  4. Crack two eggs and scramble them. You can choose either to: (A) cook them as an omelette, take it out and cut into strips, and re-add once the rice is in, or (B) add the rice when the eggs are almost cooked and break the eggs into small pieces while moving the rice grains around.
  5. Add the rice. Keep moving it around to separate the grains and break the egg up.
  6. Add stock powder, sugar, and salt to taste. (You may also want to add a dash of fish sauce).
  7. Add your vegetables (and any pre-cooked meat).
  8. Keep moving everything around so that it doesn’t stick; add more oil if needed.  Serve when hot through.
  9. Serve with condiments if desired (like dried shallots, dried or fresh chillies, lime slices etc.)

 

Why not use soy?

You may not like the taste of soy, or may dislike the sodium content; for us, it’s because of a soy allergy. Salt and sugar (I prefer brown) can be found in a variety of soy free fried recipes as way of substituting for the salty flavour of the soy sauce and also providing a dash of sweetness.