Thursday, March 20, 2008

creativity of another sort

We were going to wait til Saturday to color eggs, but Dylan was too excited to wait any longer. So last night we boiled eggs (with nary a cracked shell), mixed up the dyes, and went for it.

Instead of buying an egg dye kit, I found just regular liquid food coloring but in neon colors, and with a mixing chart on the box for variations on shades. So instead of the usual four or five plain colors, we had nine including shades like apricot, apple green, and raspberry. It was rather fun. No one dropped or otherwise broke any eggs (unusual) and no dye got spilled, splashed, or otherwise thrown about. An upside to dyeing the eggs a little earlier than usual is that the dye has a chance to wear off my fingers prior to Easter Sunday morning, which means my hands won't look so disreputable at church!

We're planning to be at my parents' house for Easter dinner. Mom's making ham and a traditional pineapple/cream cheese salad that we have for every holiday (and which everyone loves). I'm bringing creamed peas and new potatoes and this savory salad from the Food Channel website, courtesy Emeril Lagasse:

Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Baby Beets, Green Apples and a Spring Onion and Orange Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2006

6 to 8 (1 1/2-inch) baby beets, peeled and stems trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 ounces spring onions, tops and stem ends trimmed
4 teaspoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, reduced to 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces mixed baby greens
1 cup small diced Granny Smith apples
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the beets in a small bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the beets with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Place on an oven-proof platter and roast in the oven until tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice into quarters and set aside.

Set a grill pan over medium heat. Set the spring onions in a small bowl and drizzle with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Marinate the spring onions in the bowl with the olive oil for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 hours. Remove from the oil, slice in half lengthwise. Set a grill over medium heat, and place the spring onions, cut side down, on the grill and cook for 3 minutes. Rotate the onions a quarter turn and grill another 3 minutes. Turn the spring onions over and grill on the second side for 3 minutes, then turn and grill a final 3 minutes. Remove the spring onions from the grill and allow to cool completely. Once cool, roughly chop and set in a medium bowl with the shallots, garlic, Dijon mustard, orange juice and vinegar. Use a whisk to blend and slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until completely incorporated. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

To make the salad, combine the mixed greens, apples, goat cheese, pine nuts and the beets in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup of the vinaigrette to the bowl. Toss using your hands or tongs and serve immediately.

Sounds good to me! My brother is coming from Omaha with his girlfriend, her two children, and his two youngest sons. They're furnishing the bread for the meal, plus my brother is making a flourless chocolate torte with fresh raspberries. A lot of heavy-duty cooking going on this weekend. I hope to get some studio time in Friday night/Saturday morning, but we'll see.

Have a great Thursday everyone.


Almost forgot this. Sara tagged me with this and it seems like fun so here goes.

What I was doing 10 years ago: I had an 11 year old and 8 year old son and had no idea that 10 years on I'd have another 8 year old!! I was a church secretary at the time.

5 Things on my To Do List today: Get a haircut; stop at the thrift shop on the way home; finish an ATC for Debbi; laundry, the ever-present chore; dishes, the other ever present chore

Snacks I Enjoy: chips & salsa, dill pickles, popcorn

Things I would do if I were a Billionaire: Quit working and become a full-time artist, design & build a house to our exact needs and specifications, help our kids with school, donate to church & other charities, travel.

3 of my Bad Habits:1. Negative thinking 2. Not trusting my own instincts 3. Worrying about stupid things

5 places I have lived:1. Denver, CO; McPherson, KS; Lake Oswego, OR; Portland, OR and...McPherson KS again. That's it.

5 Jobs I have had: 1. Administrative assistant for a non-profit arts agency 2. receptionist 3. church secretary (twice) 4. picture framer 5. administrative assistant for the general manager of a car dealership (don't go there)


SaraLynn said...

Wow! Can I come to dinner? That all sounds so good! I am going to have to try that salad recipe. How do you make your creamed peas? I have been looking for a good recipe for that!
I can't wait to color eggs either! It will be fun this year. I hope Jaxson is able get in on the fun without too many broken shells...hehehe.
Hope you have a great day!

mrsnesbitt said...

What a fantastic plan! Mmmmmmmmmmm!
Am hungry now.

Lesley said...

Your eggs look great - lovely colours :)

That sounds like a wonderful family meal! I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend with your family :)


katelnorth said...

nice eggs - we are going to dye some tomorrow - also with food colouring - but not so many, I think. For one thing, most eggs here are brown to start with, so that sort of lets out the light colours :) though I did buy some duck eggs today, which are white, so we'll be able to do a few pale ones at least...

CG said...

Those eggs look good. We used to wrap eggs in brown onion peel, then in a bit of rag secured with rubber bands. When you've boiled them, they emerge all marbled in shades of brown.
Our eggs are nearly all brown in the UK so the coloured dyes wouldn't take so well.

downunderdale said...

recipe looks good, Susan.
I will have to try it Happy Easter

Debbi Baker said...

I love the egg colours - just beautiful - makes me wish my boys were little again! Have a wonderful Easter! PS the tag was very interesting - I love finding out more about the bloggers I am addicted to reading!!

Aussie Jo said...

I have some organic beets in the fridge now so we will be having that salad tomorrow night. (Actually tonight it is now 20 past midnight) I usually roast my beets, skin on in foil. I find they are easier to skin.