Easter Eggs: 4 Quick and Easy Dyeing Ideas

Dyeing Easter eggs is fun and entertaining, it challenges your creativity, and it is an excellent way to spend time with your kids.

The tradition of dyeing eggs is important in any household. Parents gather with their children and dedicate some time to dye eggs using different colors, techniques and objects. No two eggs are alike. This is also a great opportunity not only to spend time with your kids, but to keep the Easter tradition alive. So go purchase some eggs, colorful dyes, masking tape, rubber bands, circle stickers, and herbs such as parsley and cilantro and use one or several of the following techniques:

Rubber Band Easter Eggs

Place egg in very lightest dye (let’s say pale pink) for just a touch of color. Let them dry and wrap several rubber bands around the egg, but leave plenty of pale pink spaces in between. Dye in medium color dye (such as hot pink, or magenta). Let them dry one more time. Remove rubber bands. Dry again. Wrap several rubber bands around egg, but not where the magenta is. Again, leave some pale pink stripes. Place in darker dye, like red or purple. Let them dry. Remove rubber bands and you’ll have the most colorful Easter eggs you’d ever seen!

Click on this link to learn more: http://thecraftyhostess.com/?p=3110

Fern Adorned Easter Eggs

All you need is a pantyhose, some dyes packets, and different kinds of leaves. Grab the pantyhose and cut about 6 inches from the toe. Tuck an egg (previously boiled) and one of the leaves into the pantyhose segment. The leaves have to be nicely fanned out. You can use cilantro, parsley, bamboo, geranium, or Japanese maple leaves. Twist the open end of the nylon and tie off the end. Use the dye packet and follow its instructions. After 2-5 minutes, take the eggs out of the liquid; let them dry, and voilà!

This site tells you the step-by-step process: http://mamastaverna.com/how-to-dye-easter-eggs/

Tape Easter Eggs

Cut ¼ inch strips of masking tape and wrap the egg with them leaving equal distances. Make sure to press the tape down so it sticks to the egg. To make the dyes, put boiled water in water glasses. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and one of your favorite food colorings to one glass. Repeat the process with the second glass using a contrasting food coloring. Place the eggs with tape in the first dye. Take the egg out of the dye and let it dry. Do not remove the tape from the egg. Then add horizontal strips of tape to the egg and place them on the other dye.

Here’s a very useful blog to learn how to dye eggs with tape: http://amadorpuppy.blogspot.com/2011/04/creative-dyed-easter-eggs.html

Polka Dot Sticker Easter Eggs

All you need is boiled eggs, a dye kit, and stickers. Add circle stickers to the eggs and press them firmly. Use the dye kit and follow the packet instructions. Add the eggs to the dye and when they are ready, pull them out and let them dry. Peel off the stickers. You will have really cute polka dot Easter eggs without spending much time dying them!

This blog explains you this technique more in-depth: http://lilluna.com/polka-dot-easter-eggs/

 

Spring Recipes: Strawberry Arugula Salad

It’s the beginning of spring! Since the weather starts to warm up, a lot of Americans enjoy preparing meals with fresh and green ingredients. So, why not welcoming spring by making a delicious salad? Try preparing this colorful Strawberry Arugula Salad recipe. It is very easy to make and it won’t take you more than 20 minutes!

Ingredients:

  •  2 cups torn fresh arugula or baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup quartered fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

  1. In a salad bowl, combine the fresh arugula (or baby spinach), fresh strawberries, the almonds, the Gorgonzola cheese, and the red onion previously chopped.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, orange juice concentrate, vinegar, orange peel and ginger. Pour over salad; toss gently to coat. 

Let’s Get Green in St. Patrick’s: A Heavenly Irish Dessert

One of the greatest things about this month is that we get to celebrate St. Patrick’ Day. This Irish festivity is well-known for its green ornaments, lucky clovers, parades, and most important, drinking and feasting. Many bars and clubs in the US celebrate St. Patrick’s Day so, why not hosting a party from the comfort of your home? We challenge you to try these delicious Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Whiskey Filling and Irish Cream Icing from the All Recipes website. It’s like tasting a piece of heaven!

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup Irish stout beer
  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon Irish whiskey, or more to taste
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioner’s (icing) sugar, or more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons Irish cream liquor, or more to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  3. Bring Irish stout beer and 1 cup butter to a boil in a saucepan and set aside until butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Mix in cocoa powder until smooth.
  4. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
  5. Beat eggs with sour cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low until well combined. Slowly beat in the beer mixture, then the flour mixture; beat until the batter is smooth.
  6. Divide batter between the prepared cupcake cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 17 minutes.
  8. Cool the cupcakes completely. Cut cores out of the center of each cupcake with a sharp paring knife. Discard cores.
  9. Bring cream to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat; stir in bittersweet chocolate until melted.
  10. Mix in 2 tablespoons butter and Irish whiskey until butter is melted; let mixture cool to room temperature. Filling will thicken as it cools.
  11. Spoon the filling into the cored cupcakes.
  12. For frosting, whip 1/2 cup butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  13. Set mixer to low speed and slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and spreadable. Beat in the Irish cream liqueur; adjust thickness of frosting with more confectioners’ sugar if needed.
  14. Spread frosting on filled cupcakes.

Tips for healthy eating

“Eat At Home Missouri” website offers tips for healthy eating

The Eat At Home Missouri website seeks to encourage consumers to eat together as a family, help people plan better meals, and prepare healthier choices.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Obesity has become a raising concern in America. For instance, the National Center for Health Statistics states that obesity rates have more than doubled in adults and children since the 70’s. In addition, employed Americans work an average of 7.5 hours per day on weekdays, according to the Time Use Survey published in 2010 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These two factors have a direct effect on people eating unhealthy and expensive food on the go.

As a response to these issues, Missouri Grocers Association has created the Eat At Home Missouri website in order to fight back the alarming numbers of obese people and promote family values. According to Janelle Haik, EatAtHomeMissouri.com Communication and Events Coordinator, “the objective of this website is to provide consumers a learning resource so they can learn how to cut calories from their daily diets, determine the quality of the food they are eating, and become budget friendly.”

Some of the founding pillars that are promoted on the website include that eating at home helps consumers save money, develop healthy habits, and spend more quality time with…

Full Article: “Eat At Home Missouri” website offers tips for healthy eating

Eating Habits: Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day

It is the 40th anniversary of the National Nutrition Month! This year’s theme is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”, so let’s start taking care of your nutrition by eating healthy food. You decide the time, the place, and the food type!

You know that what goes in your mouth has positive or negative consequences in your organism. For that, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has developed the National Nutrition Month. The objective of this educational and informational campaign is to encourage individuals to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits. According to the Eat Right website (http://www.eatright.org/nnm/#.UT5ELDeO73F), the “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” theme focuses on “personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices.”

To join this great campaign, all you need to do is make the “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” your new motto:

Eat Right

There are several steps you can take in order to start eating healthier. One of these is to watch your portion size. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that you can achieve this by sharing food with someone, eat off smaller plates, and have small portions of all the foods that are served on the table instead of big portions of one food type. Also, you can make slight modifications when preparing food. For instance, instead of frying the food you can grill, steam, or bake it; or you can also season it with low-fat seasonings and flavorful spices.

Your Way

We all have different eating habits that make part of our lifestyle. Are your eating habits unhealthy? If so, just keep this in mind: It is not about starving or having to sacrifice your favorite meals or treats; it is about incorporating healthy eating habits into your lifestyle. According to the Fitness Health 101 website, all you need to do is small changes in your diet, such as consuming a wide variety of foods (particularly fish, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains), consuming moderate portions, drinking plenty of water, and minimizing food high in sugar, salt, and refined processed grain products. It might be hard to get used to it at first, but if you follow these tips daily, you will make them part of your eating routine.

Every Day

The worst you can do to your body is skipping meals. You need to eat at least three meals a day. The benefits of having breakfast, lunch, and dinner are numerous. You can learn some of them by visiting this link: http://eatathomemissouri.com/in-the-kitchen/three-meals-a-day/. Many experts recommend consuming five small meals daily in order to fight hunger and maintain a healthy weight. Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis suggests consuming 400 calories every three hours throughout the day. By doing so, you can “prevent your blood sugar from crashing and keeps you satisfied”, says Diekman.

Support National Agriculture: Kansas City Style Pork Back Ribs

As we have mentioned, March is the month dedicated to National Agriculture. A good way to celebrate and support this initiative is by buying cattle, poultry, and pork meat, as well as legumes such soybeans at grocery stores. You can prepare delicious, colorful, and tasteful meals with these ingredients. For that, we provide you a yummy pork recipe with a touch of Kansas City Style from the Pork Be Inspired website:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 5

Ingredients

3 slabs pork back ribs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup paprika
3 tablespoons seasoned salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup honey

Directions

  1. In pint-jar with tight-fitting lid, combine sugar, paprika, seasoned salt, chili powder, black pepper, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, ground sage and dry mustard. Place lid on jar and shake jar to combine thoroughly. Set spice rub aside. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
  2. In small saucepan over low heat, stir together barbecue sauce and honey. Heat through, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Set barbecue glaze aside, keep warm or at room temperature before using. (If storing for more than 2 hours, cover and refrigerate. Reheat gently before using).
  3. Pat ribs dry with paper towels and season generously with spice rub, using about 4-6 tablespoons for each slab of ribs. Grill over indirect heat in a covered grill or smoker for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn ribs once during cooking, about halfway through. Ribs are done when the meat is very tender (insert a paring knife between ribs to determine); they will pull apart fairly easily. About 20 minutes before ribs are done, baste heavily with barbecue glaze. If you like your ribs extra sticky, baste again 10 minutes before removing from the grill.

More Daddies in the Kitchen: 5 Male Cooking Trends

Moms are not the only ones who enjoy cooking. A recent study conducted by Kraft Cheese found out that 99 percent of dads in the US are cooking for themselves or others every week.

The technological era has brought a very interesting phenomenon: many dads throughout the US spend time in the kitchen organizing their meal plans, and preparing and cooking delicious meals. Most of them, according to Kraft Cheese, are eager to try different recipes and use technology to search and print diverse recipes. This recent trend shows that dads are and adventurous and spontaneous while cooking, since they always want to try something different.

Some of the interesting findings that the Kraft Cheese survey yielded are:

1. Dads love dinner

Men want to make their significant other and their kids happy. One of the ways they do this is through their stomachs. Since dinner is usually when families have more time to spend together, dads prefer to cook for this meal time (63 percent) than for breakfast (22 percent) or lunch (7 percent).

2. Dads love cooking main dishes

According to the Kraft Cheese survey, the most common meals that dads usually prepare are chicken (84 percent), pasta (74 percent), sandwiches (67 percent), and burgers (64 percent). They also enjoy adding cheese to the different recipes they make. Their preferred types of cheese are Cheddar (24 percent), mozzarella (17 percent), American (10 percent), and Parmesan (10 percent).

3. Dads enjoy cooking

As mentioned above, dads are creative and spontaneous when it comes to cooking. In other words, they don’t see cooking as a chore but as a hobby they really enjoy doing. For instance, the website All Recipes conducted a survey in 2011 and found out that 82 percent of dads are enjoying their time in the kitchen.

4. Dads are better cookers, say wives

Over half (58 percent) of the women that were surveyed by All Recipes, said that their husbands are better cookers that they are. This percentage is growing since men decided to get involved in the kitchen and use their creativity to make amazing dishes.

5. Dad’s best friend in the kitchen is technology

Since the XXI century is dedicated to the millennial generation, dads use computers to print out recipes and smartphones or tables to search for recipes. Also, almost ¾ (70 percent) of the men surveyed by All Recipes said that, on their free time, they prefer to visit a men’s food website than a general food site. This might be because dads of this generation appreciate customization and specialization, both characteristics that they can find on a men’s food site.

Kitchen Life Skills: 5 Lunch Packing Tips

Concerned about having enough time to pack lunch for your kids? Wanting to take your own lunch to work but can’t figure out what to include? If this sounds familiar, here are five tips that will simplify your lunch packing.

We are constantly in a hurry. If you are like the typical family, both you and your significant other work between 7 and 8 hours on weekdays. During your free time, you just want to lie down on the couch and watch some TV or just rest. However, you know that your kids are not eating what they should or you and your significant other have to settle with food on the go.

For these reasons, we want to provide you some tips that will make your lunch packing a lot easier:

1. Use leftovers. Repurpose the leftovers you saved from dinner and turn them into a whole new dish. This not only saves you cooking time, but also helps you save some money.  For instance, if you had pasta for dinner you can put some extra cheese or sauce and give it a different flavor. It’s all about being creative!

2. Keep it simple. Packing lunch for your kids, your significant other or for yourself shouldn’t take more than 12 minutes. Don’t look for complicated recipes with tons of ingredients. Instead, make simple meals such as turkey or ham and cheese sandwich or fruit cups. Buy food that you hardly need to prepare it such as yogurt, crackers, fruits, juice boxes, and snack bars. Laura Fuentes from The Nourishing Home website suggests staying away from anything that requires special gadgets, elaborate ingredients, processed foods and lengthy recipes.

3. Have containers ready to go. Buy several reusable, divided containers so you can put in each section of the container a different type of food. Just make sure that the containers are cleaned the night before because you don’t want to be washing them at 6 or 7 am in the morning so you can pack lunch.

4. Prepare ahead of time. You can start preparing for a weekly lunch packing by doing a quick lunch box grocery list and going to the grocery store on the weekend. Colorful fruits and vegetables, dairy such as yogurt, dips, and cream cheese; and cereals and snacks such as crackers, cereal, granola bars, and snacks are some of the things you need to include in your grocery list. Put all the food that doesn’t need any preparation inside the lunch box the night before.

5. Make your kids participate. You can teach your kids how they can prepare their own lunch box and make it their morning chore. The Cozi website recommends that this should become a habit. That way you will have some extra time for yourself and your children will learn that packing their lunch is their job.