Easter Deviled Eggs

So I had some older eggs hanging out in my fridge and have taken a liking to making deviled eggs. Being that Easter was coming shortly, I decided to try making dyed deviled eggs. This was my adventure.

Start with the standard hard boiled eggs.
Start with the standard hard boiled eggs.

Hard boil eggs. I’ve been using large eggs and have found the following method to work quite well. Put the eggs into the pot with cool water. Turn the heat on High. When the water boils, turn off the stove, cover the eggs and let stand for 12 minutes.

Of course this time around, I got distracted and let the eggs boil for a couple minutes before getting the heat turned off. So I have a little bit of the green around the yolk :(.

Cracked the shell.
Cracked the shell.

I rolled the egg around on the counter, trying to get cracks all over the shell. Some turned out better than others.

Dyed the eggs with cracked shells.
Dyed the eggs with cracked shells.

I made egg dye using food coloring, water, and vinegar. The McCormick food coloring site gives nice directions on how to make this. 1 cup warm water, 1tsp vinegar, about 20 drops of food coloring.

I used the Neon food colorings for this, mostly because that’s what I have in my cupboard. I always tend to like bright colors if I’m going to the effort to use food dye. My purple mixture looked straight up black, but the eggs came out looking nice.

Left the eggs to dry.
Left the eggs to dry.

I tossed my eggs back in the carton to dry, as I didn’t care too much if I ended up with spots on the shells where they touched. Loving the colors that the eggs ended up.

The outcome.
The outcome.

Interestingly, the blue dyed eggs ended up with a lot of color…. the purple ones definitely didn’t. And my old eggs may have been a bit older than would be preferred as they didn’t end up very round. Good thing these were just for me anyways.

Yolks were all over the place in these eggs.
Yolks were all over the place in these eggs.

To top up the odd shaped eggs, my yolks were all over the place. You can see that small dark ring around the yolk I was talking about earlier. That’s from my distracted boiling and not knowing how long they boiled. Perhaps that’s the one time I should have been paying more attention.

I slice my eggs using a sharp knife, making sure to wipe the knife between each egg because there is always a bit of yolk stuck and I don’t want that all over the next egg I’m cutting.

Filling makings.
Filling makings.

Popped all the yolks out. I just give them a gentle push from the outside and they usually come out easily. If there’s a little still attached it doesn’t really matter because they get filled right up anyways.

For my filling with 9 eggs, I used about 1/4 cup mayo, 2 tablespoons dijon (I like the mustard flavor, lots of people would probably rather have less than this), about 1/4 salt and pepper. Give it all a good mix until it’s smooth. Super simple.

The best bag filing method.
The best bag filing method.

I use a pint glass with a sandwich zip top bag as my filling method. It’s super easy to fill the bag when you shove it in a cup and turn the top over the edge of the cup!

It works so well!
It works so well!
Clip the corner, no fancy bag needed.
Clip the corner, no fancy bag needed.

To get the piping bag thing going, just smooth the air out of the top of the bag and seal, then clip the corner. Presto, piping bag!

The final eggs.
The final eggs.

Not claiming I have the best piping skills ever, but that goes well with my odd looking eggs.

I probably won’t go to the trouble to dye eggs to make deviled eggs again, unless I come up with some better dying method as these don’t even show up that well. But it was a fun experiment!

Day 43 – The Beautiful Annecy

Pretty much the only reason Lyon was on my original trip plan was because it made for a nice day trip to Annecy. The fact that it was a very interesting city in it’s own right, I didn’t know until we got there.

Today was the day for the trip to Annecy. It’s about a two hour train ride from Lyon to Annecy, so we left around 8:00. The ride was quite pretty as it goes along another lake on the way.

We got to town, and saw one sign for tourist info, and then couldn’t find it. Luckily the hotel we popped into didn’t get too mad and had a map. Once we figured out how to get there, we set off for the city center area, which is along a few canals/rivers and not too far from the lake.

The water is only a couple feet deep, and is absolutely clear.
The water is only a couple feet deep, and is absolutely clear.
This is a little island in the canal. The building on the end is an old prison!
This is a little island in the canal. The building on the end is an old prison!

We quickly ended up by the lake, looking at the boat rentals. We saw a lot of sailboats out, and both knowing how to sail, went off to try to find how to get one. Turns out, you can rent catamaran boats (which neither of us have sailed before) and you need to know how to rig them from nothing. There were little boats which I’d say are similar to sunfish which I’ve sailed plenty, but they were only for the sailing school/camp. So that didn’t happen.

Can barely see the tiny sail boats in the distance.
Can barely see the tiny sail boats in the distance.

One of the things both Amy and I had found as a “thing to do in Annecy” was to check out the prison. I seem to have forgotten to take any pictures of this, but the signs and explanations going through were pretty good. Especially for still being in France, the fact that anything was in English was a huge plus.

The tour covers some of the cells used to hold prisoners; the kitchens, which at one point in the buildings life were used to mint coins; the courtrooms and judges areas; additional cells which were used during WWII when the area was Nazi occupied; and the courtyard and chapel. Perhaps I missed an area in the naming, but I was surprised by how large the place was. It certainly didn’t look it from the outside. The toilets in the building were holes that simply fed directly into the canals. Ew.

On that note, we were off to lunch. One of the blogs I found in my search for things to do in Annecy listed restaurants. And food to try. This caught my attention:

Tartiflette – Your waistline’s worst nightmare and your stomach’s dream come true.  A large dish of potatoes, onions, and bacon melted into heavy cream and Rebluchon cheese. Just pretend it’s fat free and shove it in your face.

Also listed was the restaurant Le Chalet which she ate this at. Luckily it’s a small town and at some stop we found wifi and looked the place up. It was right on the canal. And even though it wasn’t winter, it luckily wasn’t a sweltering day, because Amy and I were both set on this dish. And when in France, with someone else, a bottle of wine with lunch is a must. And believe me, we both followed the instructions above. These dishes were empty when we finished.

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After lunch we hiked up the hill to the Chateau. I was hoping there would be some stuff about life as it was lived here, but it’s actually museums. One of which was an aquarium, one which explained bits of the history of Annecy. A weird bit about the discovery of some mermaid remains…. Ah legends.

However, the Chateau was on the top of the hill (I’m no longer surprised by this choice for locations).

Quite the view.
Quite the view.
Us looking out over the view.
Us looking out over the view.

We had been debating renting bikes to see around the lake a bit farther, but they were expensive, and a paddle boat was a similar price and got us onto the lake. The lake is an insane teal color, that my camera refuses to capture. And man, we had both forgotten how much work a paddle boat is. Thankfully we both enjoy exercise. It’s like biking, with a really poorly sized bike.

The view back towards Annecy.
The view back towards Annecy.
Boat time!
Boat time!

We lucked out that they said our time out was shorter than it was, so an extra half hour for free!

After this we wandered around town a bit more, checked out another park, finally wandered past the tourist info spot, and then decided to head back to Lyon. Being that our train ride was going to be around dinner time, and that lunch had not been cheap, we opted for the, ever fabulous, train picnic. (That is not a sarcastic statement. I love this.)

Map pieces made good placemats and everything!
Map pieces made good placemats and everything!

This was a full day, so we each headed home when we got back to Lyon. I would definitely go back to Annecy again, or one of the other towns nearby on Lake Annecy or the other lake the train went past (which might be a tad bit less touristy).

Day 25 – Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, Dutch Dinner

I started my day off heading to the Rijksmuseum (which is pronounced rykes museum, not sure what the ij combo into a y thing is). This is a large museum that has what seems like a little bit of everything. One of the main attractions is that it has Rembrandt’s Night Watch. I decided to head up there right away, in the hope of there being less people.

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This painting was pretty well guarded. Not surprising. This main gallery had a lot of the more famous Dutch artists and therefore ended up being rather full, rather quickly. If you know me, crowds aren’t my favorite thing, so I was happy to be there fast and then move on to the other areas which were much less crowded.  Over all I really enjoyed this museum.

Your cannon isn't very intimidating with this on the end.
Your cannon isn’t very intimidating with this on the end.

It turned out that I enjoyed it enough, that it took me way more hours to wander around than I ever thought possible. When I got out, I had intended to head over to the Van Gogh Museum, but there was simply no hope of spending any more time in a crowded museum.

So instead, I headed over to the Anne Frank House. Less of a museum right? But really, it was less crowded. The Anne Frank House is one place where you can’t buy tickets from any of the ticket locations in the city. Your two options are to buy them online, WAY ahead of time, or to stand in line and buy them at the museum. I was going with the line option. Luckily, it was a shorter line than a lot of days, and only took an hour and a half I believe. Met some nice girls in line that were doing a Europe tour at a super fast pace!

The museum was great to see, but super horrible at the same time. If you get to Amsterdam, it’s a must see.

After this day, I decided I should have some real food for dinner, and went to a place that was suggested by my hostel front desk man as a place for good traditional dutch food. Surprisingly, they’re not so easy to come by now that the city is such a mixing pot. A lot of the better food and more popular places are actually the immigrant food styles.

Dinner

Started off with cider and some herring. Yes, I know, strongbow is not dutch.

They serve herring with onions and salt. It is served raw and I was super apprehensive about it (not the raw bit, just the fish in general). Turns out that I actually really enjoyed it! I followed this up with Stamppotten, which is a meatball on top of mashed potatoes with some sort of veggie mixed in. The traditional version is with carrots, so that’s what I went with. I guess I could be Dutch because this was pretty much right up my food alley. Nothing to complain about. This was also the first place I’ve been that had a gluten free menu, but more exciting, gluten free bread. This area is so big on bread that I’ve actually been missing it.