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Friday, March 26, 2010

Fabulous Friday

Today's Fabulous Friday is all about decorating eggs for Easter. I found these tips and tricks from Betty Crocker's website.

Some fresh Easter Egg Decorating ideas to try:

Be sure to use the secrets to a perfect hard boiled egg below our decorating ideas!

Stripes- Rubber bands of varying widths, placed tightly around the egg, will leave strips of the under-color after dyeing.

Wax-resistant patterns- Have your kids use a crayon to create desired image on a hard-boiled egg. The wax will repel the dye when you dip it, leaving your design. Mom can then place the dyed, dried eggs on foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet in 250 degree oven for 10 minutes to melt wax. Remove the eggs, then carefully remove residue with paper towels.

Animals- Create a bunny, hen, pig or even the family pet using the egg as the body and adding ears, tail, and so on. Pipe cleaners, yarn, paper cutouts, non-toxic markers and pompons will bring your critters to life.

Stencils- Tape small stencils to the egg and brush or sponge-on some colorful designs.

Shell games- Use hollowed-out eggshells if you'd like to save your decorations for future use. And don't let the egg insides go to waste. Enjoy them scrambled and topped with Old El Paso® salsa, add to Betty Crocker® Pound Cake Mix, or freeze them for another use.

Centerpieces- For an eye-catching centerpiece, try layering eggs and Easter grass, lasagna-style, in a wide-mouth glass vase (a large tube or cube works beautifully). Eggstraordinary!

Be Egg-stra Careful: Egg Safety Handling Tips

"It's important to be safe and sanitary during fun springtime egg activities," says Cayla Westergard, director of Consumer Affairs at the Iowa Egg Council. Follow these guidelines:

• Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the eggs at every step, including cooking, cooling and dyeing.

• If you won't be coloring your eggs right after cooking them, store them in their cartons in the refrigerator.

• Don't cook or color cracked eggs. Discard them.

• Use food coloring or specially-made, food-grade egg dyes.

• Use non-toxic crayons, pens, paints, glue and other art supplies on any eggs you will eat later.

• When coloring the eggs, use water that’s warmer than the eggs, and refrigerate them in their cartons right after coloring them.

• Don't eat eggs that have been unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.

• If using hard-cooked eggs as a centerpiece or decoration and they will be out of refrigeration for many hours or days, cook extra eggs for eating and discard the eggs that have been left out too long.

• Hiding hard-boiled eggs for your Easter egg hunt may introduce harmful bacteria. Consider using plastic eggs for this purpose if you plan on eating the real ones.

• About 1.5 percent of young children are allergic to eggs, which can cause skin irritation or anaphalaxis, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphalaxis Network (FAAN). To keep your affected youngster safe, have her decorate wooden eggs, available at craft stores, just like the real thing. Read labels on candy carefully to avoid stocking her basket with potential allergens. Children with an egg allergy can most certainly get in on the egg decorating fun at Easter, just not with real eggs. The FAAN recommends decorating plastic eggs with stickers, or painting or decorating wooden eggs with glitter, ribbons, or permanent markers. Another idea is to make paper maiche eggs, instructions are below. Other Easter-type activity ideas include hiding plastic eggs with coins, stickers, themed erasers, or even coupons for inexpensive activities such as movies, roller skating, etc. Easter baskets can be filled with small toys, coloring books, art supplies, or storybooks. The key to enjoying Easter for children with food allergies is to take the focus off of food.

Enormous Easter Eggs

If your child is allergic to eggs and cannot dye Easter eggs, consider the following alternate activity-the only danger is having too much fun!

For this activity you will need:
* Water
* Plaster of Paris
* Disposable squeeze bottle(s) with squirt cap
* Balloons
* Large bowl of water
* Sand paper
* Paints, ribbons, and other decorative materials

Pour 1 cup of water and then 2 cups of plaster of Paris into your squeeze bottle, screw on the squirt cap, and shake vigorously to mix. Attach the mouth of a balloon to the opening of the squeeze bottle. Holding the balloon, gently squeeze half the plaster mixture into the balloon. Tie off the balloon and place it in a bowl of water until plaster hardens (about 30 minutes). Repeat with another balloon.
One squeeze bottle of mixed plaster will make two large eggs. To make more plaster eggs, immediately rinse the squeeze bottle and squirt cap in a bucket of water before the plaster residue hardens, or you may dispose of the squeeze bottle and use a new one for subsequent eggs.Once the plaster has hardened, carefully cut away the balloon, and allow your giant "egg" to cure for several hours. Sand off any uneven parts, and allow your child to pain and decorate with acrylic paints, ribbons, buttons, or glitter as desired!

Secrets to a Perfect Boiled Egg

Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with 1 inch of cold water. Cover pot and bring to boil. Remove pan from heat as soon as boil is reached. Let the eggs stand, covered, in the hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (about 12 minutes for medium, about 18 for extra-large). Cool immediately in an ice-water bath.

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