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Mar 102016
 March 10, 2016  Posted by  At Home, Easter, Family, Features, Food, Holiday, Hot Deals, Recipes

Easter egg decorating, for some, can be an art. I love the idea of doing something a bit beyond the run-of-the-mill dye kit but I don’t want to spend a fortune or hours to achieve my decorative eggs. In our family, egg dying is a tradition my kids, my mom and I do together on Easter. So it’s important that the techniques I choose are easy enough for the kids,  simple enough that we can still prepare Easter dinner and cheap enough that they won’t break the bank. Looking to put a twist on egg decorating this year? If so, check out these ideas I’ve gathered.

  • Start with a basic egg-dying recipe using food coloring instead of a kit. Use leftover butter or whipped-topping tubs to dye the eggs. Here’s a handy chart that shows how to create certain colors. Check out this list for even more color ideas.
  • Rubber bands plus the instructions above are all you need to create these wavy striped eggs. And if you swap out the rubber bands for skinny electrical tape you’ll end up with these multi-color designs.rubber band eggs
  • These tie-dye eggs are done right in the sink — talk about ease of clean up. All you need are the eggs and a couple of simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry.
  • A few crayons and some creativity are the key to these one-of-a-kind creations.
  • Using craft glue or decoupage techniques, paper napkins or fabric scraps can make beautiful designs on eggs. If using two-ply napkins,  separate the top layer with the design from the bottom white layer.
  • Use scraps of silk fabric (from old ties, scarves, etc.) to create these masterpieces.
  • Hit up your office supply stash to create these circle-design eggs.eggs
  • Who doesn’t have a box full of old, broken crayons laying around?  They’re perfect for these marbled eggs.marble eggs
  • To keep things all natural, try some of these everyday kitchen ingredients instead of artificial dyes.

With all those eggs, you’re bound to have some leftover egg cartons. My recycling center doesn’t take egg cartons, so it’s great when I can find ways to re-purpose them. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Think of your garden. If you plan to start any seedlings in the house before planting outside you can make a perfect seedling starter out of both an egg carton AND leftover egg shells — just be careful when you peel off those beautiful shells so that you can keep them as intact as possible.egg carton seedlings
  • Christmas may not be on your mind now, but if you’re sick of pulling out broken ornaments each year when you decorate the tree, consider saving egg cartons to use as protective ornament holders. If they protect delicate eggs, they will probably work pretty well on your decorations, too.
  • If you’re a baker, you’ll love this idea for holding cake pops. It’s much easier to store and less messy than the big blocks of Styrofoam in my basement now.
  • These little fire starters are perfect for camping or backyard fire pits. Good as part of a housewarming gift for those with fireplaces.
  • If you have budding artists in the house, egg cartons can make great artist palettes.

You’ve dyed the eggs, repurposed the containers —now what do you do with all of those eggs, besides making LOTS of egg salad? Eggs and eggshells have several uses. If you plan on eating any of the leftover eggs, don’t let them sit outside the refrigerator longer than two hours at a time. And if you plan on using the shells, either wash them thoroughly or bake them at 150 degrees Fahrenheit on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes to get rid of any possible bacteria.

  • Eggshells make great fertilizer for your garden or potted plants. Here are some tips for how to get them ready to mix in the dirt. Their sharp edges can also help keep slugs out of your plants, so be sure to sprinkle some on top of the soil, too.
  • There are so many uses for eggshells I can’t list them all. Fortunately this blog lists dozens of options.

When it comes to the eggs, there are plenty of ways to eat them. While they sound old-fashioned, Scotch Eggs are basically egg and sausage all rolled into one yummy breakfast.Scotch eggs

  • While I was growing up, my mom would often make egg gravy, a recipe her mom made. These Creole Creamed Eggs are the closest I could find to that recipe. We just skipped the hot sauce and served it over mashed potatoes alongside a fish dish at dinner.
  • Add a surprise to dinner with this meatloaf recipe.
  • These sandwiches look like a delicious way to use both leftover eggs and Easter ham. Of course, you can use store-bought rolls if you prefer.
  • This warm spinach salad makes a delicious lunch or a nice starter before dinner.

Don’t let all of those beautiful eggs go to waste. There are so many options, you may have a hard time deciding which you’ll try.

Heidi McIndoo

is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, author, and bargain hunter. She loves saving money and finding great deals, and can’t help but share the wealth when she does. She also loves all things food: baking, cooking, buying, eating, and more. She’s written about nutrition and healthy eating for Parents, Woman’s Day, All You, Prevention, and more. She enjoys teaching people how to eat both nutritiously and deliciously. And, in her two latest books she does just that — When to Eat What and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 200-300-400 Calorie Meals. She lives with her family in the Metro Boston area.

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