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Color Eggs Naturally + Peanut Butter Eggs + Opera Cream Eggs

PastedGraphic-3Today I chatted with Anna Mitchell, as usual, about Bible foods & herbs on the Sonrise Morning Show. We talked about eggs and how they’ve become an important symbol during Lent and Passover.

I’m also sharing my annual recipes for naturally colored eggs (I’ve clarified the recipes a bit), along with 3 other faves!



Along with Job and Luke, which have passages about eggs, there’s this one in Jeremiah that’s my favorite!


Jeremiah 17:11 –Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay are those who gain riches by unjust means. When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them, and in the end they will prove to be fools.



Easter’s coming soon, and there will be a lot of eggs boiled and colored.  Eggs were an important part of the Biblical diet.  How did people of Bible days prepare eggs?


Egg cookery was highly developed in Old Testament times. Among the ancient utensils was one with separate cavities to keep eggs whole and separate while cooking.  (Forerunners of our electric egg poachers!) . Eggs were also roasted in hot ashes. And I have to think some were boiled as well. Eggs of all fowl were considered delicacies. Besides the chicken, eggs from ducks, geese and partridges were eaten.


The Easter egg is a symbol used for Easter.

Here in the United States, lots of Easter egg hunts are part of our celebration. What about other parts of the world?


The blessing of eggs by the parish priest is a tradition in many parts of the world. When you think of the origin of the Easter egg, it’s a symbol of the Resurrection. When you look at an egg, it appears lifeless, yet there’s so much life inside of it. Compare that to the tomb of Jesus which appeared lifeless, too, but Christ arose from there.



The origin of the Easter egg is also rooted in the practice of fasting during Lent.


In ancient times and still today some Christians abstained not only from meat but also from eggs and dairy, and this was done all through the season of Lent, not just on Fridays.  So by the time Easter comes, everybody’s  happy to eat meat, and eggs, again. And the thought is that the tradition of Easter eggs developed after the end of that fast.  end of this fast developed into the tradition of Easter eggs.


And remember during the Passover seder supper, the hard boiled egg the symbol for mourning.



Health aspects of eggs


Eggs don’t contain as much cholesterol as once thought, and they have a huge amount of protein in the whites, plus the whole egg really is the perfect food. Eggs contain all 9 of the essential amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.and one of the few foods that contain vitamin D!


What about the color of eggs – are brown more nutritious?


No, the breed of the hen determines the color of the egg.




DSCN6936 Onion Skins



Color eggs after boiling. And when using onion skins, etc., a few more is OK. You don’t have to be exact here.

Adding vinegar: To every cup of liquid, add about 2-3 teaspoons clear vinegar. 

Teal Blue
 Cut 1 head of red cabbage into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water or enough to cover the cabbage.  Cook until cabbage loses its red color and looks a bit gray. Strain and stir in vinegar.

Amber to Orange
 Take the skin of 6 or more yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add vinegar.

Brick Red Do the same with red onion skins as you do with yellow.

Faint Red-Orange
 Stir 2 Tbsp. paprika into 1 cup boiling water; add  vinegar.

 Stir 2 Tbsp. turmeric into 1 cup boiling water; add vinegar.

 Simmer 2 Tbsp. dill seed in 1 cup water for 15 minutes; strain. Add  white vinegar.

 Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.

 Cut 1 large beet or 2 medium beets into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Strain. Add vinegar.

 Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.





This is the same recipe I use for Ohio Buckeyes. But I add a secret ingredient to make them taste like Reese’s peanut butter eggs: very finely ground salted dry roasted peanuts, about 1 generous cup to a batch.


3 pounds confectioners’ sugar


1 pound real butter, softened


2 to 2-1/2 cups peanut butter or more as needed (I like a bit more)


1 cup finely ground dry roasted salted peanuts (optional but good)


1 tablespoon vanilla


Chocolate morsels – your choice milk chocolate, semi sweet, etc. and Crisco for for coating (2 cups morsels and 1 tablespoon Crisco, melt and let cool a bit before dipping). You may need more for a full batch.


Blend everything to make dough. The more you mix, the smoother the dough becomes. You can always add a bit more peanut butter if the dough is crumbly.  Form into egg shapes.  Put into the freezer while melting the chocolate.  You can melt the chocolate in a nonstick pan over low heat, in a microwave or even in a double boiler.  When you dip the frozen eggs into the melted chocolate (let excess drip off) they start to set up immediately.  Put them on cookie rack to finish setting up.


Packing the peanut butter filling into each egg half for Reese Eggs




Georgia, a Kentucky lady, has been making these for 40 years. Her sister, Sue first told me about these. “Everyone just loves these – better than any commercial brand”, she said. You can free-form these, as well.


4 oz cream cheese, softened


1 stick butter, softened


1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla


6 cups confectioners sugar


Semisweet or dark chocolate morsels for coating


Cream cheese and butter, then add vanilla. Add sugar 1 cup at a time. Mix well slowly. Form into shape and chill.


To make in molds:


Melt some chocolate and brush molds with melted chocolate. Place coated molds in frig 15 minutes. Break off a piece of the filling and press into mold. Brush with chocolate to seal bottom. Place in fridge and chill. Release from molds.


Tip from Rita’s kitchen:


You can also dip the  egg  into melted chocolate after they are formed instead of brushing the molds with chocolate.  After they chill, I dip them into the cooled melted chocolate quickly to cover all over, then put them on a cookie rack until coating is set. Store in frig.

Make your own dipping fork! Just break off the 2 center tines of a sturdy plastic fork.



PastedGraphic-2Marbled Eggs

I first saw these done by Pam Freeman, colleague, and ownder/editor of  www.pamsbackyardchickens.com.  They’ve been a favorite ever since!


Fill cup with 1 tablespoon each of clear vinegar, canola oil and dye of choice

Fill cup with warm water (just enough to cover boiled egg)


Stir and quickly drop egg into water, then quickly remove

Dry egg with paper towel


Cover with cold water by an inch or so, bring them to a nice boil, put the lid on, turn the fire off and let them sit about 12-15 minutes.  For small eggs, 12 minutes is enough. For larger eggs or eggs straight from the frig, go for 15 minutes.  They turn out perfectly cooked. To remove the shell, pour the whole pan of eggs into the sink, drain and add cold water. I peel them under the water and that works well.


                          Fresh eggs are hard to peel!  Why?


As eggs age, they gradually lose moisture through the pores in their shell and the air pocket at the tip expands. The pH of the whites also changes, going from a low pH to a relatively high pH, which makes them adhere less strongly to the shell. Farm-fresh eggs will always be tricky to age. That’s why you should buy your eggs a week or two before you plan to boil them and let them age in the fridge.


Far too often, the shell crumbles in a million pieces. Dump the whole pan of eggs into the sink, run cold water on them right away to cool, Roll the egg around on the counter to break the shell’s surface. Then peel. If you still have trouble peeling, peel the eggs under cold water.











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