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Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

29 Mar

This Easter, I challenge you to channel your inner five-year-old and let your creative juices flow.  No, I’m not referring to an elaborate Easter egg hunt (although that could be fun, too).  I’m encouraging you to dye your very own Easter eggs!

Last Easter, I decided to re-live my childhood by making dyed eggs for the first time in two decades.  To avoid looking completely wacko (how many twenty-somethings dye Easter eggs solo?), I convinced my sister and our friend Allie to join.  This made for an afternoon of bizarre drawings and lots of laughter.  My main motivation for dyeing eggs was a recipe I came across for vegetable-based dyes, which seemed too cool not to try.

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The colour possibilities were pink (beets), blue (red cabbage), yellow (turmeric), orange (red onions), and brown (yellow onions).  Brown Easter eggs?  No thanks.  We stuck to pink, yellow, and blue but unfortunately the blue wasn’t very potent so it was a lost cause.  The natural dyes weren’t as strong as their synthetic counterparts so we eventually got out the food colouring for more variety.  Warning: the turmeric is very potent and may stain your pot/utensils if you’re not careful.

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There are lots of techniques for creating interesting patterns on your egg.  My favourite was placing strips of masking tape in a design on the egg before dunking it into the dye.  Rubber bands and hole reinforcement stickers are other alternatives.  The possibilities are endless!

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Wishing you all a Happy Easter, Happy Passover, or Happy Long Weekend (for the atheists out there).

NaturalDyeRecipe

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WANTED: Recipe Ideas for a Box of Scrumptious Produce

12 Sep

I just couldn’t contain my excitement over today’s Fresh City Farms box so I had to share!

Food Box

Clockwise from the bottom left:
White acorn squash, Shitake mushrooms, Pea shoots, Strawberries, Cherry tomatoes, Collard greens (again!), Carrots, Blue grapes, Lobo apples, and Yellow potatoes.

YUM.

Do you have any recipe suggestions to help me enjoy this box of goodies?

Boozy Braised Red Cabbage

4 Dec

Given the title of this post, you might be wondering why I am posting yet ANOTHER recipe involving red cabbage.  I don’t have some sort of weird cabbage obsession, truly.  In reality, a single inexpensive head yields a LOT of cabbage… enough for several dishes.  So I’ve been trying to use up the remainder of the red cabbage head that has been sitting in my fridge for a few weeks now.

A quick search led me to a delicious sounding dish for red cabbage braised in red wine with a splash of gin.  How can you go wrong with a combo like that?  The ingredients are similar to those in the Rotkraut dish but the taste is quite different.  The Rotkraut was sweet and sour while this dish is rich and deep in flavour… kind of like beef bourguignon, minus the beef.  Wondering what to serve alongside your boozy braised red cabbage?  The original recipe recommends beef, game, roast pork, or duck.  I agree.

 

Red cabbage braised in red wine and gin

 

Braised Red Cabbage  (adapted from CanadianLiving.com)

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced
6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 apple, sliced into julienne matchsticks
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp gin
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 bay leaf
3/4 tsp salt

  1. In a large skillet with a lid (or a large pot), heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute until softened.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until cabbage is very tender, about 45 minutes.  If there is liquid left, uncover, increase heat to medium, and cook until evaporated (about 10 minutes).  Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.  Per serving: 56 kcal, 1 g fat, 2 g fibre, 227 mg sodium