Monday, April 25, 2011

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

We used these instructions from Apartment Therapy to dye eggs naturally! And the results were pretty great for a first try!

Step 1: Hard boil eggs and set aside to cool.

Step 2: Roughly chop up purple cabbage and place in a large pot with enough water to cover the cabbage and to completely cover the number of eggs you plan to dye. Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Set outside to cool to room temperature.

Step 3: When the pot and contents have cooled, strain contents into a flat bottomed pot or jar large enough to submerge the eggs in.  Add about 1/2 cup vinegar (all we had was Apple Cider Vinegar) and stir to combine.

Step 4: Place the eggs in the mixture and place in refrigerator.  We let ours sit overnight.

A couple observations to consider for next time...
- The un-dyed spots you see on the eggs were the sides siting on the bottom of the pan.
- I picked the eggs up out of the dye matter with tongs and it appears to have scraped the dye off!  So next time I'll be more gentle!
- Apartment Therapy suggests rubbing the outsides with a bit of olive oil and I bet that would be a good idea too!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our 2011 Spring Garden

We've started off the spring with a tea plant, romaine lettuce, chives, dill, thyme, sage, chamomile, mint, rhubarb, blueberries, arugula, and tarragon!

More Spring Blooms

We've got tulips spouting everywhere!  These beautiful pink ones are blooming in our front yard.

And brilliant red ones in the back.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fiordland National Park

I think Fiordland National Park on the South Island of New Zealand is the most beautiful place that I've ever been to.  It's hard to imagine some place more amazing then this.  I hope some day we are able to go back and spend more time here.

We took a cruise on Milford Sound.

And drove along the gorgeous Milford Highway.

We even spotted a Kea bird begging for treats along the roadside.

We kayaked Doubtful Sound and lived to tell the tales of the horrendous sand flies!

And we even spotted a Fiordland Crested Penguin!

Slow Cooker Sundays: Bacon, Chard, and Shallot Risotto

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pound bacon, cut into 1 inch slices
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry apple cider
2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup manchego cheese, grated
2 tbsp butter

In a medium pot, bring the broth to a simmer with the lid on, set aside and keep warm.
In a large pan, cook the bacon. Be careful not to burn it and transfer the pieces to the slow cooker.
Pour the majority of the bacon grease out of the pan, leaving only about 1 tbsp.
Add the chopped shallots and chard, cook until shallots are translucent and chard is soft.
Add the dry apple cider and stir until the cider has reduced by half.
Stir in the rice and cook until most of the cider has been absorbed.
Scrape the mixture into the slow cooker.
Add the hot broth and cover.
Set on high for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
The risotto is done with the rice is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the 2 tbsp of butter and the cheese until melted.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Blooms

All of the tree's in Seattle are starting to bloom as Spring slowly slowly slowly makes it's way to the Northwest.  When we moved here we had this kind of ugly and scrawny looking bush in our front yard with green leaves, turns out in the spring it blooms with these beautiful and vibrant yellow flowers.  

We've also got oodles of hyacinth flowers coming up in our front yard along with some tulips!