Book Review: Deviled Eggs (and some Easter Egg hunt tips)

Vegans, don’t freak out on me, just stick your fingers in your ears, go Lalalalalala…and scroll down to tips on Easter Egg hunts with plastic eggs. 😉 Vegetarians and omnivores…prepare for the deviled egg revolution. 😀

First the warning: do not eat Easter Eggs that have been hidden and not refrigerated for hours. My rule of thumb which I’d heard over the years was no diary unrefrigerated for over 6 hours (not a problem for vegans LOL), but this book gives a much shorter time span for eggs. Two hours. Bacteria grow fast in warm environments, so the amount of time they are safe to eat at outdoor temperatures will be shorter — perhaps significantly shorter — than how long they will keep at room temperature. If you want to dye eggs and eat them (perhaps making them into deviled eggs) keep them in the fridge!

Deviled Eggs is sort of an incongruous title to be reviewing at Easter, but we have the Easter Bunny to thank for all the eggs this time of year. I got Deviled Eggs by Debbie Moose as an ebook. My all time favorite deviled eggs recipe is from this book! It (and a couple of others) were printed in a newspaper article years ago which I clipped out. The recipe I locked onto was “Bella Tuscany”. I made it for my next party and the plate was empty before half the guests had arrived! The next time I waited until half the guests had arrived before putting out the platter. They were gone so fast that anyone not there at the time didn’t get any. So I got another deviled egg plate and doubled the recipe, using a full dozen eggs for 2 dozen halves. Gone in nothing flat. Now what I do to make sure that everyone at least has a shot at the deviled eggs is to wait until about half the guests arrive before putting out the first plate, then wait until everyone has arrived before I bring out the second plate. Even so, late arrivals have to move quickly to beat out those just hovering, waiting for more of the Bella Tuscany deviled eggs. 😉

I like this recipe so much that I have adapted it to be an egg salad recipe. If you know anyone who hates egg salad, or deviled eggs (I mean, besides vegans) this will really open their eyes!

There are a number of recipes I want to give a try now that I’ve got the book. However, I do want to give a warning that not all the recipes are vegetarian. There are some that have meat in them though I think you could leave this out of those few. Except for Green Eggs and Ham which pretty much requires the addition of ham because otherwise it would be just Green Eggs. 😉 (If you know a good vegetarian ham substitute that could be chopped up for addition to this deviled egg recipe, please drop a comment.) That’s one of a couple of egg dying options she covers in the book. Myself, I’d like to try the “tie-dyed look” eggs.

I can scarcely list all the recipes in this book that I want to try, because it would cover most of the table of contents. One of the things I like about this book is that most of the time she doesn’t “try too hard” as some cookbook authors do. There’s a tendency in food writing today to try to come up with something, anything that has never ever been done before: novelty just for the sake of novelty. While you could point to some recipes in the book that might fall into this category (depending on where you personally draw that line), the book is well grounded in good kitchen technique, sensible, intuitive flavor combinations, and a surprising number of heirloom recipes and recipes from friends. So, it really has something for all tastes: very traditional deviled eggs — and wild and crazy deviled eggs. And everything in between. If you think your deviled eggs are so bland and boring that they’re not worth the effort to make, you can probably find something here to improve your recipe…or revolutionize it.

Until I made the Bella Tuscany deviled eggs I thought that deviled eggs were boring and not worth the effort. If I want a boiled egg, I’ll make a boiled egg. No need to make it any more complicated. That’s the beauty of this book: it can be as easy or as complicated as you want — and still be delicious!

There are only 50 recipes in the book, but honestly, that’s sufficient for most tastes and just reading the book has given me ideas for different things to try. It’s a bit pricey for such a small book, though there’s more to it than just the recipes, and the photos are also lovely (my Nook HD shows color beautifully). I got my ebook with a gift certificate. Ebooks can be gifted (Amazon, Barnes and Noble). One of the things I like about getting cookbooks as ebooks is that with apps I have stacks and stacks of recipes in my purse or pocket all the time so that I can check ingredients and amounts instantly at the grocery store if I decide on a whim to make something that’s not already on my grocery list. Ebooks are also instant gratification. No searching shelves at bookstores, no waiting for the book ordered online to be delivered. Two seconds after you buy an ebook you’re reading it. So reviewing an egg book on the Friday before Easter doesn’t mean you can’t get the book in time to use up those (refrigerated!!) dyed eggs. 😀

Plastic Eggs: While there’s something lovely about dyed eggs and dying them is a fun project, plastic eggs are the way to go if you do an Easter Egg hunt. That way if you find an egg in the hedge a month later it’s a delightful surprise, not one that makes you cringe. A lot of people fill plastic eggs with candy, but there are other ways to go. You can fill them with small objects like tiny plastic figures, stretchy beaded bracelets, little metal charms (choking hazard, if the children are very young). There need to be an equal number of things both girls and boys will like and the kids can swap off stuff. Though if beaded or silicon bracelets aren’t pink, the boys might not be offended and just try to stack up as many on their arms are they can. 😉 Or you can put slips of paper inside, redeemable for prizes (such as the pretty colored eggs in the fridge, or small delights like stickers, coloring books, puzzles), or more sentimental things like hugs and piggy-back rides. 🙂

Whether Easter is something you celebrate or eggs are something you eat, I hope you all have a wonderful spring weekend! 🙂

Bonus Post: Chocolate Peeps (and everything else…)

The Toasted Cake podcast has done it again! Great flash fiction is a given, but Tina Connolly has once again included a fast easy recipe at the end of the podcast…in which she makes messy chocolate peep blobs and ends up coating half the the stuff in her pantry with chocolate. LOL Fun for Easter or anytime. 😉

Check it out: Glass Future (flash fiction) and chocolate peeps.