Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs, Decorating Eggs, An Easter Egg Hunt & A Pony Ride

Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Blog, Breakfast, Crafts, Meat & Poultry, Special Occasions, Traditional Holidays, Travel & Local Adventures | 4 comments

 

I considered a non-food related, no-recipe blog post about our pre-Easter weekend extravaganza. However, after a little thought I changed my mind and decided on a post about “perfect” boiled eggs, how to color them with simple food coloring, as well as to share a few crafty ideas for decorating eggs.

Before we get to the cooking and decorating of eggs, I’ll share what I really wanted to write about, which is our pre-Easter weekend extravaganza at the Irvine Regional Railroad Park.

EASTER EXTRAVAGANZA

We took Bebe E to what I will refer to as her first “public” egg hunt and she had fun. (Mommy and Daddy might have had even more fun simply watching her!) She seems to remember last year’s egg hunt in Yin Yin and Papa’s (her paternal grandparents) backyard and how her cousins helped her hunt for eggs and put them in her special quacking-duck-Easter-basket, so she was excited when we told her that we were going on an egg hunt at the park with other children; a first for Bebe E.

Parents were given rules:

1) No running (we “walked” fast).
2) Maximum of taking home only 8, repeat EIGHT, eggs (we had to remove 4 eggs about twice).
3) No opening eggs, peeking inside, trading them for other eggs on the ground (we were good, we didn’t behave badly).
4) Parents are not allowed to touch the eggs – period, repeat, parents not allowed to pick-up eggs, do not touch! (I touched some, you know, to remove the excess eggs from Bebe E’s basket. I also shook a few, making comments that it seemed too heavy to have a train ticket in it.)
5) Parents ARE allowed to POINT to the eggs, guiding children to pick them up (Mommy is guilty of excessive pointing).

Bebe E had a REALLY fun time. She was caught up in the frenzy of picking up eggs and candy that were scattered all over the grass but she was all smiles.

While Bebe E didn’t secure a much coveted complimentary train ride ticket, she did however enjoy her very first pony ride!

Last Spring, Aya-chan and I took her to the same park for a pony ride, and she was very interested, up until the point where we met the pony. We encouraged her to pet the pony and try sitting in the saddle but Bebe E would have nothing to do with it. What a difference a year makes….

As we stood in line for a pony, I wondered whether Bebe E would sit in the saddle or shyly back out. Daddy pointed out the saddle to her, and explained how she would sit on the saddle and hold onto the horn. She eagerly nodded her head and seemed happy about riding a pony. Three times around the track with “Echo” the pony and she was ready to go back again for more pony rides. We’ll be seeing you again soon, Echo!

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COOKING A BOILED EGG

If you’re a home cook like myself, without any culinary training, perhaps you’ve gently tossed a few eggs in a pot of water and placed them on the stove. After you saw the water boiling for what seemed like a “good enough” amount of time, you turned off the heat, drained the water and maybe ran some cool water over your hard boiled eggs.

Perhaps sometimes you forgot they were on the stove and boiled them until the water evaporated (yes, I’ve done this before). In the end, some of the eggs looked great while some of them may have cracked under pressure. Have you ever peeled the shell, hoping you cooked them long enough so that the yolks were hard boiled and not raw?

That’s how I used to boil my eggs.

Did you know that Food Network, Fine Cooking, Emeril Lagasse and a host of other Food TV stars have recipes devoted to boiling the perfect egg?

Who knew.

Here’s what I learned….

Recipe for Perfect Boiled Eggs

1. Gently place eggs in a saucepan. Cover them with cold water, about an inch above the eggs. Add a pinch of salt.

2. Set the pan on medium heat. Bring to a brisk simmer. As soon as the water is simmering, start your timer.

3. When you’re ready to peel your eggs, keep in mind that the fresher your eggs, the more attached the shell and harder to peel. For this reason, using eggs that are a little older might be considered ideal.

♦ for soft-boiled egg:

1. Use a timer.

2. Once the water is simmering, cook for 2 minutes. Don’t let water boil.

3. Drain and cool the eggs in cold water for 2 – 3 minutes or until warm.

4. White of the egg should be solid but the yolk should be runny. Place your egg in an egg stand (pointy end, up) and gently crack the side of the egg with the edge of a spoon and create a large enough hole to scoop out your soft-boiled egg.

♦ for medium-boiled egg:

1. Use a timer.

2. Once the water is simmering, cook for 4 1/2 minutes. Don’t let water boil.

3. Drain and cool the eggs in cold water for 2 – 3 minutes, or until warm.

4. Egg white will be firm and the yolk is solid with a dark orange – yellow color.

♦ for hard-boiled egg:

1. Use a timer.

2.  Once the water is simmering, cook for 8 minutes.

3. Drain and cool the eggs in cold water for 2 – 3 minutes, or until warm.

4. Yolk will be completely solid and light yellow. If you see a grey or light green ring around the yolk, this means that your egg is over-cooked, not “done” as I previously believed.

So there you have it. All that you need to know about boiling the PERFECT soft, medium or hard boiled egg!

* * * * * * * * 

CRAFTY EGG DECORATING IDEAS

Colored Eggs

Supplies:

  • 15 – 20 drops food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Roughly 1/2 cup room temperature water
  • Plastic / paper bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • Hard-boiled eggs
Instructions:
1. Mix food coloring, vinegar and water.
2. Turn eggs in the water using a plastic spoon. The longer they soak, the darker they become.
3. Let the eggs dry.
* * * * * * * * 

Tie – Dyed Eggs

Supplies:

  • Rubber bands
  • 15 – 20 drops food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Roughly 1/2 cup room temperature water
  • Plastic / paper bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Instructions:

1. Wrap rubber bands around hard-boiled eggs in different designs. Try a few rubber bands or a lot of rubber bands.

2.  Make dye and soak (see above instructions for colored eggs) eggs.

3. Allow the eggs to dry and remove rubber bands.

* * * * * * * *

Marbled Eggs

Supplies:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 15 – 20 drops food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Roughly 1/2 cup room temperature water
  • Plastic / paper bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Instructions:

1. Mix food coloring, vinegar and water. Add oil.

2.  Soak eggs in the dye, turning them over in the bowl. The longer they are left in the dye, the darker they will become. There should be some areas that are white or leave white streaks for a “marbled” effect.

Alternatively, try coloring the eggs first in a non-oil dye, then moving them into the oil dye.

3. Let the eggs dry.

* * * * * * * *

Crayon Art Eggs

Supplies:

  • White, yellow or other light colored crayon
  • 15 – 20 drops food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Roughly 1/2 cup room temperature water
  • Plastic / paper bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • Hard-boiled eggs
Instructions:
1. Draw on uncolored hard-boiled eggs with crayons. Write names, draw, create designs.
2. Make dye and soak eggs. The longer you soak them and the darker they are, the better your crayon art will show up.
3. Let the eggs dry.

* * * * * * * *

Two weeks ago my BFF came over to watch Bebe E while I ran an errand and they colored eggs together. Bebe E remembers coloring eggs with Auntie BFF last year, and was very excited about coloring eggs with her once again. They made several pretty eggs and Bebe E proudly offered them to us to eat for breakfast.

This weekend, we’ll be coloring eggs again and Bebe E is very excited about getting together with her cousins. She is also looking forward to a visit from the Easter Bunny on Sunday.

She was full of questions:

Bebe E: “Eastah Bunny going leave my basket outside?”
Mommy: “No, he will probably leave it inside the house so it doesn’t get dirty.”

Bebe E: “Eastah Bunny going visit me and say ‘hi’?”
(FYI, we hung out with the EB (Easter Bunny) at South Coast Plaza today and took pictures with him.)
Mommy: “No, he has many children to visit so he probably won’t stop to say ‘hi’. He’ll magically stop by, just like Santa stops by when you’re sleeping.”

Bebe E: “How he going come in my house?”
Mommy: “EB has magical powers so he can magically come inside and drop-off an Easter basket ALL for you! But you need to be a good girl, use your manners and always listen to Mommy and Daddy.”

Bebe E: (squealing) “Ohhh! I’m a goo-d girl, Mommy.”
Mommy: “Yes sweet pea, you’re a good girl. But you need to behave and use your manners, listen, and  be kind and talk nicely ALL the time. Ok, baby? The EB knows whether you’re behaving.”

Bebe E: “Hurr-ray! Eastah Bunny coming visit my house! Yay!”
Mommy: Thinking to myself . . . “Wait, did she get that last part that I just told her?!?

Happy Easter!

Judy

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    Haha!! Too funny & too cute! Love the pics and thanks for the tips on the PERFECT boiled egg. I’m not sure why, but I must have an instinct to boil eggs pretty good. I don’t exactly time it, kinda know when they’re ready. There have been a few times where it was a lil undercooked, but I don’t mind a half raw yolk. :) I Loooove boiled eggs! My lil one just likes the whites. Hmm…and I think my lil one is too old for easter egg hunting and taking pictures with the Easter Bunny (which I never did, due to my Buddhist association) this year.

    Hope all is well!

    Aloha!!

    • avatar

      LOL. Thought it was important to include a “food tip” and it was appropriate. :) That’s definitely a good instinct – LOL. I’m horrible about boiling eggs and lazy about the timer. Yes, yours is definitely too old for an egg hunt – LOL. It’s OK, I’m a fellow Buddha-head but we celebrated Easter every year, growing up. We had egg hunts in the backyard and usually a lunch or dinner.

  2. avatar

    So cute!! We are actually taking J to one on Saturday. He’ll be one of the big kids (maybe the last year? :(…) The last time we went when he was about 3 or 4 and all the big kids were racing around getting all the eggs. Hopefully he’ll be nicer. Even though D is Jewish, we do both Easter and Passover. lol. Easter is more of an “American” holiday — the whole egg and Easter bunny part. SO cute about Bebe E being excited about the Easter Bunny coming to visit! Enjoy it!!

    I love all your decorating methods! Such beautiful eggs!

    • avatar

      Thank you, Melissa! Have a great time tomorrow at your egg hunt! I’m certain J will be nice to the little kids. He is such a sweetheart. :) I agree, Easter, for my family anyway, has always been a fun “American” holiday. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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