Homemade Popcorn Has Ruined Microwave Popcorn

Happy Friday, everyone!

It has been a while since I wrote about food and cooking, my apologizes! If you don’t know, I am a self identified foodie, meaning that I love to find the perfect recipes and improve the foods I eat everyday. Its a creative outlet of mine, and I love to share my discoveries with you.

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with a few items that just make life more flavorful – one of them being homemade popcorn. Sure microwave popcorn tastes good, but it usually makes my stomach feel awful after eating it. Also, microwave popcorn is full of additives that are unhealthy and in my humble opinion, affect the taste of the popcorn.

While listening to a recent Splendid Table podcast about a month ago, the topic of homemade popcorn came up, so naturally I had to experiment and find the best way to make flavorful popcorn. WARNING: After making homemade popcorn, you won’t go back to microwave popcorn. The options with homemade popcorn are endless – it can taste sweet, salty, cheesy, spicy. Your imagination is the limit!

I’ve included the best and easiest recipe for making homemade popcorn on the stove below, from Simply Recipes. My success rate with this particular recipe is fantastic, and never has resulted in burned popcorn. If you aren’t excited about the prospect of a hot stove, check out America’s Test Kitchen taste-test review of popular packaged popcorn brands you can find in the grocery store. However, if you are up for making your own popcorn, I use an air popcorn machine that works great for when you don’t want a big batch and keeps the house cool in the summer. I’ve also included five of my favorite flavor combos and popcorn recipes below – enjoy!

For the best homemade popcorn use this fail-safe recipe from Simply Recipes: Click here for the link.

If you are looking for a definitive list of the best pre-popped popcorn to buy from your grocery store (the kind of popcorn you find in the chip isle) check out The Splendid Table’s feature of America’s Test Kitchen review on packaged popcorn: Click here for the link.

Favorite Popcorn Flavor Recipes

Note: Always toss the popcorn with the oil or butter first, to make sure all the pieces of popped corn are coated and so the spices will adhere to the popcorn. Also, if using multiple spices, mix them in a bowl first, then sprinkle over the popcorn so every taste of your popcorn will be amazing!

Original: 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil/Butter + 2 teaspoons of salt

Garlic Lover: 2 Tablespoons melted butter + 2 teaspoons of garlic salt

Italian: 2 Tablespoons melted butter + 1 Tablespoon freshly & finely (a micro plane works great!) grated Parmesan + 2 teaspoons of garlic salt + 1 teaspoon oregano + 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Dragon Breath: 2 Tablespoons Butter + 2 teaspoons of paprika + 2 teaspoons of salt + 1 teaspoon curry powder

Sweet & Spicy: 2 Tablespoons Butter + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

{Do you have any favorite popcorn flavor combos? Share them in the comments below.}

Until next time, eat well and happy cooking!

5 Tips for the Beginner Hiker: Safe Summer Hiking

Recently, I went on a hike up to a famous spot in San Diego, Potato Chip Rock. (Another blog will tell the details of that adventure.) And, it just so happened to coincide with the beginnings of the first heat wave I’ve experienced while in Southern California. I observed during the hike that too many people were taking on the steep incline and 8 mile round trip hike without so much as an 8 ounce water bottle. This shocked me, and as I talked about it with a friend, we determined that it must be because the spot has become particularly famous for cool social media pictures. In fact, it was probably these individuals’ first time hiking such a distance in hot weather. The views at the rock are almost 360 degrees of the San Diego skyline, so I don’t mind it becoming so popular among those looking for a cool social media picture – but I was worried for these individual’s safety.

Make no mistake, it is very unsafe to hike in the full sun, in almost 90 degree weather without the proper amount of water, especially during long hikes. Our group had the proper amount, and we all ran out of water at the end of the hike, even though we packed more than we thought we would need.

This got me thinking, if beginners don’t respect the dangers of hiking in such heat, maybe I should write a few quick tips on what you should do if you go hiking in the summer to get that cool Instagram picture. I know it seems like common sense to a lot of us, but it’s important for those enjoying their first high intensity hike to respect nature and protect themselves from the elements.

  1. Hike early in the morning – We planned ahead and knew when the temperatures would be the worst, so we could get down the trail before temps rose. Even though we hiked in the coolest part of the day, it still felt really warm!
  2. Carry 1 gallon of water when hiking in weather over 80 degrees PER PERSON – It sounds like a lot, but you will be so thirsty and will need to replace everything you are loosing through exercise and sweat. If you bring your dog, you need to pack AT A MINIMUM twice as much water, or only hike out 2 miles and turn back. It hurt my heart to see too many dogs on the trail who were overheated, and trying to take refuge in what little shade was available – all because their owners hadn’t been giving them enough water.
  3. Hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses – These items will help keep you cool, and help prevent sunburns. They also help with preventing headaches and heatstroke.
  4. Proper shoes – Regular tennis shoes work okay for flat terrain without any loose dirt. But most trails that lead to summits have steep inclines that require a running trail shoe or hiking shoe. Your feet will thank you if you invest in the proper shoe. Many hiking shoes will last you years, so they are a great investment.
  5. Take your time – Hiking in direct sunlight is tough even for the most experienced hiker. If you find shady spots are rare on the trail, take a moment to stop when you find one, look at the view, and catch your breath. This helps to ensure that heatstroke won’t set in, and you will be a much happier hiker anyway! 🙂

I hope these tips help a few people so they are better prepared for their first high intensity hike. Remember, it’s not about how quickly you get to the summit, but rather, if you enjoyed the journey.

Until next time, happy trails!

Movie Review: Wonder Woman

This post is long over due. I saw the Wonder Woman movie on the Friday it debuted, but I was fearful of giving my readers spoilers. So, if you still haven’t had a chance to see the movie and don’t wish to be spoiled, please skip this post.

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First, I’ll start with the one disappointment I have with the movie: it needed more action in the first half. The beginning seemed a bit slow for a super hero action flick, but I also understand since this is Wonder Woman’s origin story it had to set her background. As the story line progressed, the slow beginning made more sense, which slightly redeemed how slow it began.

Second, a few antidotes of what I really appreciated about the film. I appreciated the realistic way the beginning of the movie portrayed relationships between strong women. In the first battle scene the “shield!” maneuver deeply resonated with me. It seems to be a metaphor for what can happen when strong women (and men) work together: they launch each other to new heights. In the real world, I have been blessed to experience professional relationships and personal relationships with many strong women, who have done this for me. I also have experienced opportunities to help launch others. It is definitely an ideal that should be repeated again and again among workplaces, families, and friendships around the world.

Another part of the film I greatly appreciated, is how the director portrayed a strong super hero who was vulnerable and had a moral obligation to protect others. In the most recent super hero films (both Marvel and DC) directors lost sight of the fact that these are HEROES. Meaning, they have moral motivations for fighting, instead of fighting just to fight. Previous films were too focused on the big explosions, rather than explaining why the heroes were standing up to fight. Wonder Woman’s director understood that the why for the fighting is just as important as the big explosions and special effects.

Overall, Wonder Woman receives 5 out of 5 stars. This super hero movie has redeemed the super hero industry in a big way, and reminds us that everyone has a choice to be a super hero for someone else everyday in the real world.

Until next time, be a super hero for someone! Everyone needs a little help at some point, so they can be launched to greater heights.

 

Update: Patio Garden

You win some and you lose some. An appropriate line for this post, as you will soon find out. It has been about two weeks since I posted about my tiny patio garden, and I know you all are DYING for an update. Well, I think I’ll just let these pictures speak for themselves.

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Peppers and basil are looking great!

The pepper and basil plants are growing rapidly, and seem to like their situation. Unlike the tomato plant below, which has developed white spots all over the lower leaves, which I think are mildew? Whatever it is, I don’t think there will be many tomatoes in my future, at least from this plant. I thought I did everything in my ability to make sure it received as much sunlight, fertilizer and water as I could supply. If anyone knows what is going on, I beg of you to post in the comments. HELP!

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What is that white stuff on my tomato plant?! :O

Here is the saddest part of this update. Remember that beautiful purple flowering plant?

It got the plague.

Half of it bit the dust one day, deciding it was time to move on. I’m currently devastated about this, because as you guys know, it was my favorite. Also, I think the second half of the plant is starting to die off too. Who knew a few potted plants would be so difficult to keep alive?? The plant was treated to the same amount of water, plant food, and sun light.

Oh the sun!

Have you heard of “May Gray” and “June Gloom” before? Well, I heard about June gloom which makes the southern California coast’s sky dark and dreary for most of June, but I did not know about May. Basically, only shade loving plants will survive here in May and June. Next year, I will grow more shade-loving plants during these months.

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My green thumb at work – HA!

Well, we live and learn from our mistakes, right? If you have any idea what might have  been going on with my plants, please feel free to diagnose the problem in the comments, or supply some tips for me.

Until next time, may your garden be greener than mine!

Top Things To Do In Big Bear, CA

A few weekends ago, my husband and I enjoyed a getaway trip to Big Bear Lake. I had never been to Big Bear, and as a Northern California girl who loves Lake Tahoe, I was eager to see what all the fuss is about.

Big Bear is about a 2 hour drive from Pasadena. The drive was very scenic with tall wildflowers peppering the cliff sides, gorgeous views of the L.A. skyline, and mountain tops dusted with snow.

Here are the top things I highly recommend you consider for your trip to Big Bear this summer.

Hike to Castle Rock Summit

We started our adventure with a moderate hike up to Castle Rock. At the summit the views of the lake were gorgeous! (I took the photo in the title of this post at the summit.)  I recommend the hike for individuals who want more of an uphill challenge. There are a few places where the trail is flat, but you do need to climb up to earn the beautiful view. No pain, no gain, right?!

Tip: The parking turn out is off of the 18, and easy to miss if you are going too fast. Also, getting to the head of the trail from our parked car was a bit tricky, since we had to walk against traffic on the 18. It isn’t impossible to get to the trail, just use caution.

Big Bear Village

In Big Bear Village there is no shortage of places to eat and shop. We tried out the famous Teddy Bear restaurant for breakfast, and it was mighty good! If you decide to go, be sure to get up early, as there are crowds later in the morning. They serve up hearty food, which is perfect after a hike.

Tip: If you have kids, we stumbled upon a crafting and painting shop in the village. I could see how an indoor activity like this would be great for kids when the weather isn’t so great, and you need a plan B to entertain them.

Big Bear Lake

We rented a tandem kayak for a different view of the lake. It was tranquil, and very fun! Since we rented the longest kayak, it felt safe enough to withstand wakes from the occasional speeding boat. Our rental lasted for 4 hours, and although the company offered 2 hour rentals, I don’t think our adventure would have been nearly as fun with the 2 hour limit. For those of you who haven’t kayaked before, I could see how the constant paddling and choppy water can get tiresome. However, as someone who has kayaked before, I felt safe out in the lake, and enjoyed the workout it had to offer.

Tip: Do some research before your trip to save money on a rental. I secured a 4 hour rental tandem kayak for a lot less than the last minute price.

 

Well, there you have it! Big Bear is a wonderful community filled with lots of recreation opportunities during all seasons. While it isn’t Tahoe, it has all the charm of a small lake town, that is especially refreshing for a quick getaway from the bustle of Southern California’s cities. In fact, the small town feel is what I like even better about Big Bear, that Tahoe doesn’t have. Shocking, I know – that this Northern California girl could like another lake town just as much.

Until next time, keep adventuring!

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Patio Garden

Hi there! As you can tell, this post has a REALLY original title. 😉 Anyway, I thought I’d share with you a new endeavor of mine: a herb and vegetable patio garden! Since summer is coming up, and I love adding fresh ingredients to the food I make, this is the perfect time to start gardening. Or so I think. Only time will only tell if I have what it takes to make a patio garden thrive. . . Maybe you all should start taking bets on how this will turn out, because I’m fairly certain the odds are pretty good for those who think it might not turn out.

Here is a little introduction to my little patio garden:

First up, is the (not so) mighty patio tomato plant!

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Next up, (left to right) is a jalapeno pepper, basil, and sweet red bell pepper plant.

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Oh, and I have this random flower plant, that I thought looked pretty, and it promised on the label to attract butterflies. So far, that hasn’t worked out.

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Alright, now that we have established the current state of my patio garden, I’ll be sure to give you regular updates. You know, because you really like plants (or you just want to see if I’ll kill them in two weeks). And who isn’t interested in that?

Happy planting, friends!

Review: Galley Cafe, Newport CA

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting a diner that is so charming, I just can’t keep it to myself! If you are planning to visit Orange County this summer, do yourself a favor and eat a hearty meal at Galley Cafe in Newport.

Situated near Balboa, with views of yachts in the harbor, this establishment is a local favorite. And with great reason! The diner is rather small in size but big in character, and transports all visitors back about 60 years. In addition to the usual diner staples, this restaurant also serves specials that rotate each day. I had two eggs over-easy, breakfast sausage, with a side of fresh berries. Delicious!

After eating, we had a great time walking around the harbor soaking in the scenic views. I definitely recommend arriving early to ensure you are able to secure a table without waiting. This goes without saying, but it is a busy place – so the later it gets, the busier it gets. Something to keep in mind when planning your visit.

For more information about this great find, visit the Galley Cafe’s website here!

5 Things Cake Recipes Don’t Tell You

Do you like cake? Who doesn’t like cake?! (Okay, I think I know one person…You know who you are.) When it comes to making a cake from scratch the pressure can be enormous – especially if you don’t have time to mess one batch up and make another.

The first lesson I received on how to make a cake from scratch was from my grandmother. She stated that all you have to do is read carefully, and be precise in measuring. I would add there are a few techniques that she learned from her mom, and she passed on to mine, which made it’s way to me. However, if this wisdom wasn’t passed down to you for whatever reason, no worries! I’ve got you covered, with a five key pointers when baking a cake from scratch below.

  1. Use real butter to coat your pans, and sprinkle with flour. Even if your pans are non-stick, trust me – after a cake has baked in it, you will need the extra insurance butter and some flour give you. This is especially true for moist cakes.
  2. Make sure the baking soda, and baking powder haven’t expired. Yes, it goes bad! (I learned this the hard way once…) If you use these old ingredients your cake will not rise, and won’t be the right texture.
  3. Let the cake cool off in the pan(s) for 20 minutes before inverting them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Many recipes don’t tell you this, and it is the biggest offender for a cake that has chunks missing. To determine if the cake will freely release from the pans by just looking at it, see if it has pulled away from the sides of the pan and left a small gap between the pan and the cake. If you have buttered and floured the pans, it will help this process.
  4. ALWAYS crack raw eggs into a small bowl before adding to the batter. This prevents the practice of fishing egg-shells out the batter, and ensures that you won’t accidentally dump a bad egg into the cake batter.
  5. Know thy oven. If your oven runs warm, check in on your cake 10-5 minutes early, and if it is cooler, simply keep your cake in longer checking it every 5 minutes or so. DO NOT increase or decrease the temperature. Varying the temperature will result in an uneven baking process, and can result in varying texture throughout your cake.

There you go! Five pointers for making a perfect cake from scratch the first time. Also, if your cake doesn’t turn out that great, try another recipe next time. It can be difficult to find a really good cake recipe, and even the humidity where you live can affect your recipes, so don’t feel bad about it if the first one doesn’t turn out. 🙂

Speaking of great recipes – recently, I made a chocolate cake from scratch for my husband’s birthday (pictured above on this post). It was super delicious! If you want to try the recipe, click here to visit Food&Wine’s website for a generation tested recipe. These types of time-tested recipes are my favorite. I hope you can pluck up the courage and maybe try it out this weekend.

Have a happy weekend, friends!

What does it mean to be successful?

The creative process involves a lot of reading for me. Reading books, online articles, blogs and listening to Podcasts. Lately, I’ve been seeing many Facebook friends post articles that have titles such as, “13 Things Successful People Don’t Do” or, “10 Things to Start Doing to Become Successful”. Finally, my curiosity got the most of me, and I read a few of these articles.

Please take a deep breath before we proceed. You will need it.

Ready?

Good. Here are a few of my thoughts on these articles:

  1. Success isn’t defined purely by how much money you make, or how much fame you have acquired. Shocking, I know! These articles were all based on the false premise that wealth makes you happy. The articles put the richest people on the world on pedestals, and exclaimed they must have it all together. I challenge this – what if we (as a society) measured success on how many positive influences a person had on others to define their success? I’m sure the list would look much different, and so would our society. We would rather look up to people like Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, and our fourth grade teacher. We should examine what these people did to not only be successful in changing a bit of the world, but how their impact triggered others to be leaders of change and innovation as well.
  2. So, why is our society obsessed with defining success through possession of material objects, rather than lasting relational impacts? I believe this is because it is more comfortable to reflect on material (superficial) objects rather than examine our own shortfalls and what we could change to make our world a truly better place. It’s easy to tell someone to put money away into a 401K early in their career rather than tackle the subject of giving to others, for example. Giving hurts, and the people I listed above sacrificed much for the betterment of our society. Sacrifice is something our society doesn’t see as glamorous – but it should.
  3. How do you define success? After reading these articles some good did come of it. They challenged me to examine what my definition of success really is. What I realized is that I disagree with the articles entirely and believe they reinforce toxic lies about success. What do you think?

One last thing. As I stated earlier, sometimes I watch TEDx videos to get my creativity flowing. One TEDx I watched recently was based on research that has examined the lives of hundreds of men for 70+ years. Take a look for yourself – it’s only 12 minutes – and make your own opinions about what success means. You can visit the video here. We need more studies like this that examine what true success is, rather than superficial articles containing ways to hoard material goods. Lets start storing up prized memories with loved ones today!

 

Caramelized Pork Loin Steaks

Happy (late) Easter to all of my readers out there! I hope you took some time to slow down this weekend. If not, I hope you have the opportunity to do so this week.

Around Easter every year, I get a hankering for some BBQ. Something about the longer days and the temperature warming up, is the perfect recipe for some major cravings for ANYTHING GRILLED. However, if you don’t have access to a BBQ/grill (like me), or the weather won’t cooperate with your food cravings – I have the perfect solution. It’s my caramelized pork steak recipe! This recipe also works great with chicken breasts, just be sure to lower the heat, and cook it a bit longer to ensure it’s not tough and stringy.

I’ve cooked this many times to ensure consistency, but please make sure you have a meat thermometer on hand, as all ovens vary in temperature. Also, I’ve included two variations below, to show you a few of the possibilities for this recipe. What makes this dish beautiful and so yummy is the iron skillet that adds loads of flavor! The toppings on the pork finish cooking in the oven, along with the steak, so be sure not to over cook the toppings or the pork in the skillet on the stove. Enjoy!

Caramelized Pork Loin Steaks

Makes 2-4 servings

Takes about 45 minutes to an hour to prepare.

What you will need:

  • 10 inch iron skillet
  • Meat thermometer
  • 2-4 pork loins about 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Begin by adding flavor to your iron skillet, by making one of the two toppings below. This will add depth and flavor to your pork. Once you have made either the Crispy Onion Topping or the Roasted Bell Pepper Topping, heat the iron skillet to medium and add 2 Tablespoons butter coating the entire pan. Sprinkle the pork loin steaks with salt and pepper on both sides, then add then into the hot skillet.

While the pork is cooking make the caramelizing sauce, by mixing the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and honey in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. After the pork has been cooking for two minutes, flip them over and add 2 more Tablespoons of butter to the skillet. After about one minute, spoon about half of the caramelizing sauce over the pork. Add either the Crispy Onion Topping or the Roasted Bell Pepper Topping to the top of each pork loin steak. Then add the remaining caramelizing sauce and add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter on top of the toppings.

Pop the skillet into the 300 degree heated oven, for about 15-20 minutes to finish cooking. Be sure the internal temperature of your pork reaches 145 degrees, then let it rest for five minutes. Voila! Now you have scrumptious grilled pork, without the grill.

To make with Crispy Onion Topping:

You will also need:

  • 1/2 cup yellow sweet onion sliced into rings
  • 4 additional Tablespoons of unsalted butter

Heat a 10 inch iron skillet on low heat and oil with two Tablespoons vegetable oil. Finely slice 1/2 cup of a yellow sweet onion into rings. Add the onion to the pan, along with a dusting of salt and pepper. Caramelizing onions on low heat will take a while, but the flavor will pay off later. Resist the temptation to heat the skillet higher than low. Once the onions are translucent, or begin to bubble, add 2 Tablespoons butter to the skillet. After about ten minutes, they should begin caramelizing, and smelling fantastic! This is when you need to keep a keen eye on the skillet and add the additional 2 Tablespoons butter. Also, to prevent too much sticking, make sure the onion always has enough butter to soak up. After the onions have been cooking for about 15-20 minutes, and look golden on the edges, take the onion off the skillet and reserve for later.

To make with Roasted Bell Pepper Topping:

You will also need:

  • 2 bell peppers (yellow or red are the most flavorful)
  • 2 additional Tablespoons of unsalted butter

Heat a 10 inch iron skillet on low-medium heat and oil with two Tablespoons vegetable oil. Slice bell peppers into strips, and add to the skillet. The peppers should be cooked only until the edges are caramelized. For these, if you need to turn the heat to medium to hurry up the process, that’s ok! Just keep a sharp eye on them, because you don’t want to fully cook them, just get the edges caramelized. Add the butter about a minute into cooking on the skillet. Set aside for the topping later.

 

 

 

 

5 Tasty Treats to Try At Universal Studios (Hollywood)

It had been 10 years since I last visited Universal Studios, and since then they added a lot of new rides, so it was naturally time for a visit! I’m not only interested in the rides, but the FOOD. Who isn’t? So, I’ve got a list below of the top 5 things you should eat at Universal Studios in Hollywood, if you get a chance to go this summer.

DISCLAIMER: If you do eat all this, you should take the stairs to the lower lot, trust me, you will need to.

  1. Pumpkin Juice – If you are a Harry Potter fan, this needs no explanation. For those of you who aren’t, pumpkin juice tastes like a lovely crisp fall day. No other way to explain this one. Also, if you are familiar with the Harry Potter books, most people rave about the butterbeer, so you might be wondering why I like pumpkin juice better. It’s simple – the butterbeer was too sweet for me, and I loved the fall spices in the pumpkin juice. {Located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.}
  2. Lard Lad’s Maple Bacon Donuts – These dangerously delightful and monstrous (there’s at least 6 servings in one doughnut) sugary creations will immediately undo ANY exercise you worked on while at the park. I might be guilty of eating 3/4 of one, but I’m not going to confirm this allegation. Anyway, they use hickory smoked bacon on top of a classic maple glaze, inspired by the Simpsons. All I can say is, “Mmmm…donuts…” {Located in Springfield.}
  3. Full English Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks – With healthy helpings of ham, eggs, sausage, pudding, potatoes, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, tomato, croissant, and your choice of a beverage, you really can’t go wrong with this meal. Since we woke up really early, we were hungry for second breakfast around 10:30, which was a perfect time to eat. There was no line, and the atmosphere in the Three Broomsticks is an attraction itself. {Located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.}
  4. Frozen Butterbeer – Surprisingly, the frozen butterbeer was my favorite of all the types of butterbeer. It’s a bit like a slushie, which I preferred because it cut down on the sweetness that the plain butterbeers contain. They serve 3 types of butterbeer at the park, at least while we were there: cold, warm, and frozen. {Located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.}
  5. Anything from Honeyduke’s – Honeyduke’s is a candy store and bakery shop that contains lovely sweets like chocolate cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties, chocolate frogs, and caramel dipped apples. If you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely a must see. {Located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.}

That’s it! I promise my next post will be more healthy… Maybe I should sign up for a marathon next or try a kale salad recipe? Nah, all things in moderation, right? 🙂

Dyeing to Make Easter Eggs

An Easter celebration is not complete without beautifully colored eggs. They are easy to make, and the process is rather fun! I enjoy having a few around during Easter, they are great decorations and look so much better than the plastic ones.

After some research, I found two different techniques to try for dying Easter eggs. The great news is, you likely already have all the ingredients you need to get started! I found the techniques below from Martha Stewart’s website, (Real Simple) while the techniques were easy, they did take some time to egg-za-cute. But don’t let that intimidate you – start creating!

Do you also love dyeing eggs the traditional way? Share your favorite Easter egg dyeing techniques below in the comments!

What you need for Easter eggs
Cast of characters for dyed Easter eggs

1.Traditional – Need: Hard boiled eggs, food coloring, boiled water, vinegar, slotted spoon and egg carton.

This method is very easy. Just boil 1/2 cup of water, add teaspoon of vinegar (can be apple cider, like I used). Then add food coloring into a bowl. For the blue green color, I added 15 drops of green and 5 drops of blue. For the pink/red color I added 20 drops of red food coloring. Next, place a hard boiled egg into the mixture. For a lighter color, only dye for about 2-3 minutes, for the darkest color dye for 5 minutes. Place into carton for drying.

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Traditional method dyed eggs

2. Wax designs – Need: Everything listed in traditional plus: wax crayon, foil, and cookie sheet.

NOTE: This method takes the most time because of the designs, but if you have older kids helping I’m sure it could go much faster. With the wax designs you can create some very intricate eggs, or keep it simple. It’s your call – have fun with it!

Heat oven to 225 degrees.

Begin making a light color dye on a hard boiled egg as outlined above in the traditional technique. Once dried, draw designs onto the egg with the crayon. Keep in mind, wherever you draw with the crayon, it will reveal the lighter color later. Place the egg back into the same color dye for about 5 minutes. Let the egg dry in the carton. Once the egg is completely dry, place on a cookie sheet lined with foil, and place into the oven. After about 5 minutes, take the egg out, and gently rub off the crayon wax.

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Wax design dyed eggs

3. Speckled – Need: Everything listed above in traditional plus: olive oil, sandwich plastic bag, foil, and cookie sheet.

NOTE: This method is really fun, but I found that some of the eggs responded to the treatment better than others. If you are looking for a fun, rustic look, use this technique.

Heat oven to 225 degrees.

Again, begin making a light color dye on a hard boiled egg as outlined above in the traditional technique. Once dried, place about a teaspoon of olive oil into a plastic bag, and then place the egg into the bag, coating the entire surface of the egg with olive oil. Next, place the egg into the same color dye. Let dry. Place eggs onto foil covered cookie sheet and place in oven for about 5 minutes. When the eggs start sweating, take them out, and gently dab them with a paper towel.

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Final products … Eggs-cellent!