April 21, 2011

A Different Kind of Egg Salad


Tis’ the season for egg salad as I’m sure most of you will have a lot of these soon.


This is not a typical mayonnaise and mustard egg salad. It starts with toasted mustard seeds, followed by caramelized onions and curry powder and then finished with fresh cilantro. It’s tangy and a little spicy – perfect piled on a hearty cracker or slathered between a couple slices of toasty bread.


Last week I had some girlfriends over to dye Easter eggs and to sample some recipes from Super Natural Every Day, the new cookbook by Heidi Swanson of the blog 101 Cookbooks. I made the avocado salad from her book, which is what this egg salad recipe is based on. I simply subbed eggs for the avocados and tweaked the ingredients a bit.


Note: I don’t recommend putting both your dye and your cocktail in Mason jars. It can lead to a mouthful of vinegar.

Dying eggs was awesome, even more fun than I remember as a kid.



The dyed eggs are so cheerful. I had to peek in the carton every time I opened the fridge.






Ahhh, they just make me smile. If you find yourself with a surplus of these lovelies give this unique egg salad a try.



6 hard boiled eggs

the juice of one large lemon

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

2 Tbs olive oil, divided

2 tsp black or brown mustard seeds

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp Indian curry powder

2 small serrano chiles, minced


Peel and roughly chop eggs. Place eggs, lemon, salt and cilantro in a medium bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and cover. Heat until mustard seeds stop “popping”, about a minute. Add the onion and saute until translucent and starting to brown. Add garlic, curry powder and chiles. Cook another minute until curry is fragrant.

Remove onion mixture from heat and gently stir into egg mixture along with additional tablespoon of oil.

Serve with crackers, over greens or in a pita or sandwich.

Serves 4-6.


April 12, 2011

Pendant Necklace from Earrings


I can never find the exact piece of jewelry I have in mind so more often than not I end up making something. However, in all of the craziness getting ready for my mom’s wedding there just wasn’t time. So, I bought a pair of earrings and a necklace that I liked and spliced them together.


Have a I mentioned how much I despise the mall? Don’t get me wrong, I love my students. But spending 40+ hours a week with middleschoolers is all I can take. I don’t want to hang out with them on the weekends. Sometimes, though, it’s unavoidable. My iPhone freaked out on the way out of town to the wedding and the nearest Genius Bar was smack dab in the middle of the mall. Since I was looking at a two hour wait, I decided to leave the somewhat creepy cocoon of the Apple store and venture out. I went into Forever 21 (the accessory one, not the clothing one) and came out with a bag full of cheap jewelry including a pair of silver filigree earrings and a beaded necklace.


To combine them, first I decided how long I wanted the finished necklace to be and removed the unneeded beads. I took a chunk right out of the middle of the necklace, leaving the clasp intact.


Then I took apart one of the earrings so that I had two medallions. I attached one medallion to each side of the necklace and then connected them with a leftover bead and jump rings.



I took two of the leftover beads and attached them to the earring hardware and used the remaining beads for a bracelet. For less than $5 and 10 minutes I got a necklace, earrings and a bracelet. Not worth braving the mall, but still a pretty good deal.


April 1, 2011

DIY Pink and Orange Brunch Reception


My mom got married over spring break to the love of her life. After a concise but personal ceremony, we headed over to the community center in their little town for a brunch reception. The community center was built in the 40’s and was a skating rink in its previous life.


Elderly ladies were popping by throughout our preparations to check out our progress. It’s amazing to think about all of the events this little building has witnessed.

The theme of the reception was loosely, “spring brunch”. We made a kazillion poofs out of tissue paper and tulle.


This little lady was the poof queen. She made poofs tirelessly long after we were completely sick of it.


The poofs were strung from fishing line back and forth across the room.


My mom made buntings out of sparkly scrapbook paper and strung them on thin strips of tulle. We hung them with hook and loop Command hooks.



The tables were topped with vases of white roses, a bright fabric runner and boxes of chocolates.


My mom’s friend made the chocolates and packaged them up in individual boxes for guests to take as favors.



I made labels for all of the food.



We used yellow metal tubs to hold all of the goods on the mimosa and Bloody Mary bar.


For the younger guests, we topped the table with sand buckets overflowing with toys and craft supplies. We also set up a bowling lane in the back corner of the room. The kids LOVED it and were fully entertained so their parents could relax a bit.




The star of the reception, besides the bride of course, was the photo booth. The guests could choose from all sorts of silly props including chalkboard thought bubbles. These served as a guest book as everyone could write their well wishes on the bubbles.



Yes, even a palm tree. All of the high class toys were purchase from Oriental Trading Company.