April 5th, 2012

Naturally-Dyed Easter/Eostre Eggs

Eggs colored with turmeric, beet juice, and blueberries

Turmeric, beet juice, and blueberries give eggs a soft color and beautiful watercolor texture.

Decorating eggs was always one of my favorite Easter traditions as a kid.  I was never a huge fan of Easter baskets because they invariably had a huge chocolate bunny and lots of other chocolate-covered or filled concoctions, those mediocre colored marshmallow eggs, and a couple marshmallow Peeps.  The only part I liked were the Peeps.  In later years, a Reese’s egg was added which I liked because they have more peanut butter than chocolate.

But the egg decorating, oh that was fun.  What with those tricksey plastic wrappers, the paper stands that never stayed together, the vinegar-scented dyes, and don’t get me started on the flimsy wire dippers with hard-boiled eggs precariously balanced on top.  Egg decorating was serious business! I enjoyed it, but even as a kid my little hippie-brain I wondered about natural dyes, created from food and plant materials.  I never got to try it until last year, however.

Eggs blown out and dyed with onion skins

Onion skins give eggs a beautiful brown marbling

I never got around to posting about it, but those colored eggs up there? The Sprout and I made them last year.  This year we experimented with wrapping the egg shells (I blew out the eggs beforehand) in onion skins, then boiling them for 15 minutes.  It created that lovely marbling.  I have to say, I am completely enamored of these earthy eggs.

Why dye/color eggs with food rather than coloring kits or food coloring? Well one reason is to avoid the chemicals.  This appeals to me because I try to keep as few chemicals as possible in our home.  Another reason, and my main attraction is to do things as they’ve been done for hundreds of years.  Why use chemicals when you don’t have to? I like to create the things I use, and egg decorating is no exception! I guess you could say I just find it fun! :wink:

Closer shot of onion skin-dyed eggs

The instructions for dying eggs with onion skins can be found over at Instructables, along with instructions for other naturally-dyed eggs.  Boulder Locavore also has a great tutorial on naturally-dying eggs.  Wikihow taught me how to blow out eggs.

Now tell me: have you already decorated your Easter eggs this year? If not, are you going to, and how do you plan to do it?

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February 1st, 2011

Va Va Va Voom

Well hello, darlin’.  Notice something? Do you like it? I had Cindy take just a tad off the sides and…

Oh I’m sorry, you meant the website.  Well yes, it did just get a new look and I do quite fancy it myself.  But then it took me about two weeks to fully implement even working a little almost every day, and I’m still not quite finished.  But it’s a doll.

Along with the new pinup and colors I made some other subtle changes:

  • The navigation is now, you might have noticed, at the top where it is a bit easier to find.
  • I have added a few new pages: “Cast” explains a little about The Grump and his daughter, “Ingredients” lists some of my most common ingredients in baking, and “Weekly Menu” is the meal plan I make every week.  I’ll change it when I remember to.
  • I am working on a recipe index, so that should be up…soonish.
  • Posts now have tags.  These are for things that aren’t really categories but can be grouped together like Domestic Badassery, Homemade Convenience Food, etc.  They are visible at the bottom of each post.
  • The comments are now threaded! You can now reply to individual comments (I should have done that ages ago).  I still need to tweak the formatting for it slightly though…
  • I intend to update my links, but that’s not a top priority.

Little Miss “Let’s Eat Out” had been flirting with viewers for almost a year and frankly darlin’, I am the sort of person who needs frequent change.  And this new design is warm and inviting to me.  I hope you like it too.

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March 6th, 2010

New layout!

I got tired of the last layout…it was pretty, but the color scheme was a bit dreary. I’m excited for spring, so I had to bring some more cheerful colors into my life. And cater to the “sex” part of the title. :wink:

The painting I used is called “Let’s Eat Out” and it’s by Gil Elvgren, who has been called the “Normal Rockwell of cheesecake.” More of his work can be found here. The layout is titled, appropriately enough, “Cheesecake.”

There are a couple of things I still need to tweak with this, but they’re pretty minor so I’ll deal with it later.  I wanted to get the actual theme up & running.  Be back soon with some actual recipes!

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September 29th, 2009

Update from the Design-front

In my last post (in the comments I think) I mentioned that I am currently working on a not-for-profit design project that will be really good for my portfolio. Now that things have calmed down a little, I can do some ‘splaining.

I found the band, Doug Ratner & the Watchmen, via Craigslist. They were looking for a band promoter, and although I have no idea how to do that, I replied to the ad and offered my design services, pro bono. Band promotion is something in which I’m really interested, and I don’t have any of it in my portfolio. I thought this would give me something for that, and some good experience. Of course, “free” is a magic word, and Doug replied saying, “let’s meet up!”

Read the rest of this entry »

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September 13th, 2009

Testing

So the new layout is finished and installed, and on my monitor, looks great.  On Brian’s monitor it looks like shit.  Literally.  Baby shit green.

The background is supposed to be a greyish blue.  Please let me know what you see so I can fix it if I need to.

Thanks!

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