Wednesday, April 29, 2009


and yes, I am so excited I must speak in all caps.

I have gotten some flack in the past (a la drew's comment on grinding one own's flour, which I was kind of huffy about until I realized he was totally right, if I had a nifty grinder thing i would totally want to make my own) for my stubborn insistence that everything is better, cheaper and healthier when you cook it yourself. But it's true! (okay, there are some exceptions -- mostly to the "better." artisan cheeses, callebaut chocolate, wine... home cooks can't compete. just about anything else, though...) The tastiness, I think, is pretty self-explanatory (and requires practice!). The healthiness obviously depends on what you use, but since you can't control the ingredients of processed or restaurant food, I'd say homemade wins. But is it really cheaper?

Slate says yes! Mostly. Except for cream cheese and granola, the latter of which is TOTALLY worth it.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter eggs

Sooo, don't know if you noticed, but today was Easter. And what is Easter without dyed eggs? And what is the fun in dying eggs the NORMAL way?

Last night William and I dyed Easter eggs a la Chinese tea eggs. You can read all about it here, where I got the idea.

So first you boil the eggs -- APPARENTLY there is some sort of debate on the intarwebs about whether you are actually supposed to boil hardboiled eggs or not. Some folks say you should bring the water to a boil and then turn it off. Some people say you just need to turn it down to a very low simmer, others just say to keep it at a full boil. What do I know -- I'm clueless! I had to look up how long you're supposed to boil them for! (It seems like more than 10 minutes but less than 20 is about as consistent of an answer as I got... again, I don't have a clue, we did ours for about 15 and there were no disasters) About the only consistent advice is to use oldish eggs (which we did not) and to immediately put the cooked eggs into cold water (which we did!)

While the eggs are cooling, mix up some colored water. I followed the instructions for making egg dye, from the back of the food coloring, except without any vinegar and with cold water. So I guess I didn't follow those instructions at all... yeah, pretty much just mix food coloring with cold water until it's nice and bright, about 20 drops per cup/cup-and-a-half. (Also: while these are based on Chinese tea eggs, I don't recommend using tea -- maybe because the process has been altered, I dunno, but it didn't work nearly as well with tea).

Then crack the eggs like you're about to peel them, but DON'T peel them -- just leave the shell on, all cracked in pretty patterns. Or not-pretty patterns. Whatever. Then drop the eggs into your mugs or cups full of colored water, and leave them in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, peel the eggs, and voila! The hard-boiled egg itself -- not just the shell -- will be covered in a pretty, tie-dyed/spider-web pattern of color. They make pretty ballin' deviled eggs.

I will put pictures up... someday. For now, just take my word for it. Coolest easter eggs evah.