pysanky 2012

easter eggs pysanky

Every year I host a Pysanky Party and invite friends over to learn how to decorate eggs Ukrainian style. I also make some traditional Ukrainian food like paska for my guests. And every year, people tell me they're going to come and then don't show up.

I'm not sure why...but it's a phenomenon that has plagued my Pysanky Parties from New York to Seattle and now to Denver. Everyone seems excited about the activity, but then the excuses flow on the day of the event.

I used to get upset by all the no-shows. While the lame excuses still annoy me, I know like to view it as my "weeding out" process. The people who show up and like it get included on the list for next year...and the no shows? No luck.

I brought the finished eggs to a few friends at church on Sunday morning. It was an effective way of finding new people to invite next year. A few people saw the eggs and were very interested in them and I'm mentally adding them to the invite list for next year.

easter eggs

As for me, I haven't finished my eggs for the year. I'll still do a few more this week before I'm done. So far, my best egg from this year is the blue egg on the right of the picture above. Typically, I start off with ugly eggs and progressively get better, but this one was my first try. I had a few failed designs after that...but I'll finish strong.

The other eggs are from last year.

We did have a few egg casualties. In fact, the people my Mom invited over ALL dropped at least one egg. One of my friends lost an egg in the car on her way home. And our dog managed to ruin one of our older eggs.

How? We had a few on display on one of the end tables. He jumped up and grabbed one. Luckily it was one that was dry inside. He took one bite and realized the egg was rotten inside. I guess that was his punishment.

Lesson? Don't name your dog Rascal, or he'll live up to his name. (He looks so innocent, right?)

Rascal the bichon


pumpkin pesto & pumpkin hummus

pumpkinMaybe I should have posted this a few days ago when it still felt like Fall in Colorado. It's been snowing all day and the scene outside my window looks more like a Winter Wonderland than a Fall Harvest. It probably doesn't help that I'm listening to Christmas music.

Fall will be back tomorrow when all the snow melts. And perhaps it still feels like Fall where you live?

If so, I highly recommend making some delicious pumpkin dishes. I've been on a big pumpkin kick since I made pumpkin puree from 6 pie pumpkins. (If you're not sure how, my post from last Fall will show you how to puree a pumpkin.)

This year I made Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles (delicious!) and I fried my pumpkin seeds instead of baking them. I was in charge of bringing snacks and drinks to a gathering of friends last week and I decided to roll with the pumpkin theme. We drank pumpkin ale with our pumpkin pie snickerdoodles and pumpkin seeds. But I needed something more savory.

I searched the internet for a savory pumpkin dip, but couldn't find anything that sounded very good. So I thought, why not make my own?

With the help of my Mom, I made pumpkin hummus and pumpkin pesto. I was skeptical at first, but both were a big hit.

Make some of this for your Halloween parties...or just to eat for dinner. Both were big hits with my friends and family!

Pumpkin Pesto


1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup nuts (I used pecans)

9 cloves garlic

1 cup olive oil

1 cup parmesan cheese

A splash of Marsala

Salt & pepper to taste


Chop garlic and nuts in a food processor. Add it other ingredients and mix until smooth.


Pumpkin Hummus


1 can of chickpeas, drained

6 cloves of garlic

4 T tahini (or peanut butter)

1 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup olive oil

dash of lemon juice

A splash of chili oil or tabasco sauce

Salt & pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Add more olive oil if needed.


this week I...

1. Made Strawberry Leek Quesadillas (with goat cheese) They are delicious and a great summer meal. You should make them.

2. Had the staples removed from my foot! And my burns are healing nicely...finally!

3. Learned that glass must be heated slowly or it explodes. Apparently thick glass is worse than thin glass since it heats unevenly, causing it to break. Pyrex is specifically designed not to break. Glass can withstand high temperatures when heated slowly and evenly.

4. Was reminded that visits to the ER are not only painful, but also expensive.

5. Dog sat the most adorable little dog in the world. Meet Rascal. I miss him already...reminded me so much of the little Bichon I had growing up named Peaches.

Rascal the Bichon Frise
Rascal the Bichon Frise

6. Went to Dillon, Colorado

7. And read by the lake...

what's your worst kitchen injury?

broken glass shattered in the sink{Picture by Eric Schmuttenmaer}

I planned to post a recipe yesterday about a delicious summer pasta and some sweet iced tea, but my plans were derailed by a trip to the ER, second degree burns and 5 staples in my foot.

One of my friends asked me if I was cooking with grizzly bears.

I poured water that was too hot into glass pitcher and it exploded. Before I knew what had happened, I had fallen on the floor, my legs were burning and my foot was bleeding. Oops! Luckily, someone was in the house to bring me to the ER where they treated my burns and stapled my foot back together.

It could have been least the glass broke in large chunks that fell to the floor instead of exploding into my face. The burns on my legs are painful, but will heal and are of a nuisance now than they are painful.

I've had some clumsy kitchen injuries with minor burns and cuts, but this is definitely the most painful kitchen injury I've had.

How about you? What's your worst kitchen injury? Or am I the only one who manages to send herself to the ER while making pasta and iced tea?