Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

When I think of dyeing Easter eggs, PAAS is the first thing that comes to mind. For those of you who did not grow up with the neon, staining, metal egg dippers included, brand, PAAS is the mother of all Easter egg dyeing kits. If Easter was a a game of Monopoly, PAAS would be the Atlantic City Boardwalk. I have nothing against PAAS; it’s given me and my family wonderful memories of pink and purple tinted fingers, eggs dripping with a myriad of colors onto newspapers and plastic tablecloths, writing our names on the eggs in crayon before dipping… the list goes on. BUT, for the sake of trying something new, this year I made my own *natural* Easter egg dyes out of vegetables.

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The colors of the *natural* rainbow

The process was truly exciting for me. I loved seeing the colors emerge from the boiling plants, and enjoyed it even more when they transferred beautifully onto the eggs for the first time. This process does take longer than ripping open a box o’ PAAS, but I highly recommend it if you have the time!

I combined two sets of directions, from The Kitchn, and Food52.

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Beet, turmeric, red cabbage, yellow onion, red onion.

INGREDIENTS:

1 dozen hardboiled eggs

5 cups water

1 heaping cup chopped red cabbage

1 heaping cup red onion skins

1 heaping cup yellow onion skins

1 heaping cup shredded beets

5 tbsp white vinegar, separated

2 tbsp turmeric

1 tbsp vegetable oil

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The ingredients

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Boiling veggies

DIRECTIONS:

In 5 separate saucepans, combine 1 cup of water with 1 of the vegetable/spice ingredients listed above (not the vinegar). Bring each to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the color has reached its desired intensity. Bear in mind that the color will appear several shades lighter on the eggs.

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Eggs taking a dip in the dyes

Let mixtures cool. Once cooled, strain using a fine mesh sieve into whatever bowls or cups you’ll be using for dipping the eggs. Add 1 tbsp of vinegar to each color mixture, and stir.

Dip eggs into mixtures. Remember: the longer you keep an egg in the dye, the more concentrated the color will be. Wipe off with a paper towel upon removal. Once sufficiently dry, dap with a tiny bit of vegetable oil.

TAKE THAT, PAAS.

 

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Beautiful eggs!

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They almost look like Cadbury eggs. Almost.

Baked Occasions Strawberry Cake

I’m always trepidatious when it comes to trying desserts with fruit in them. Fruit-bearing desserts almost always have way too much fruit, and way too little butter and cake and brownies and chocolate. For example, “berries and whipped cream” are almost always a bunch of blackberries and strawberries with a tiny dollop of whipped cream; I’m not in dessert for the fruit, I’m in it for the dessert.

In spite of my clearly defined feelings toward fruit masquerading as dessert, this Strawberry Supreme Cake, as it’s called in the cookbook Baked Occasions, caught my eye. I kept flipping back to the photo of the elegantly whimsical cake, on which three strawberries were neatly perched. The cake to berry ratio seemed to be in my favor. I skimmed the recipe and though it calls for multiple cups of fresh or frozen strawberries, it also calls for butter, heavy cream, and sugar, so my fruit fears were abated. (I want to reiterate, it’s not that I don’t like fruit, it’s just that it has it’s place, and that’s usually not on my dessert plate, or in salads… generally speaking, I find fruit in salads to be a bit wonky).

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This cake is probably the best homemade strawberry cake you’ll ever make. It’s fluffy and moist, thanks to the shortening and meringue in the batter. The frosting, which contains three sticks of butter, is fluffy and enchanting in texture. The strawberry preserves, which lie under the whipped cream filling, round out the cake perfectly. To be honest, I doubted whether I could finish my slice since it’s so, so sweet, but somehow I managed.

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Due to copyright laws I can’t reprint the wonderful recipe here, but hopefully the pictures will inspire you to buy the book, or try a strawberry cake recipe of your own!

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 Enjoy!