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A dozen tips for Easter egg cooking and decorating

April 1, 2010
FROM: The Iowa Egg Council - Eggs are an essential part of springtime celebrations, which is why it's important to be egg-stra careful when cooking and decorating with eggs. Here are a dozen cooking and decorating tips that will ensure a safe and enjoyable Easter:

1. Wash hands, utensils, and work areas with hot, soapy water before and after cooking with eggs.

2. Keep uncooked eggs in their carton and store on a refrigerator shelf instead of the door, since the door is the warmest part of a refrigerator.

3. Use hard-cooked eggs within one week after cooking and store in the refrigerator.

4. Cook eggs thoroughly, make sure the egg white is completely firm and the yolk is thickened.

5. Avoid taste-testing egg-containing foods before they are thoroughly cooked.

6. After eggs have been hidden and found, keep them refrigerated.

7. When preparing hard-cooked eggs for an egg hunt, be on the lookout for cracks in the shells. Even tiny cracks can allow bacteria to contaminate the egg. Eggs that have cracks should be discarded.

8. If you're hiding eggs outside, choose the cleanest hiding places you can, and avoid areas that pets or other animals might visit.

9. Use non-toxic crayons, pens, paints, glue and other art supplies on any eggs that will be eaten.

10. Keep track of time to ensure that the hiding and hunting time don't exceed a cumulative 2 hours. And remember, the eggs that are found must be refrigerated right away - or discarded if the two-hour limit is exceeded.

11. Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate eggs one week to 10 days in advance of cooking.

12. Prevent the green ring around hard-cooked eggs by following these simple steps:

a. Place a single layer of eggs in a saucepan. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling.

b. Remove saucepan from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs; 18 minutes for extra large).

c. Drain immediately and serve warm. Or, cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water, then refrigerate.



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