Dyeing Easter eggs is a favorite holiday tradition for kids and grownups alike. Give your plain dyed eggs a kicky, multicolored twist this year: Add olive oil to the dye solution to create a swirling, mottled effect.H. Camille Smith
Place eggs in a single layer in a deep pot. Fill the pot with cold water — the eggs should be completely covered by one to two inches of water (Image 1). Bring the pot, uncovered, to a rolling boil then remove the pot from heat and add the lid. Allow the eggs to continue to cook for another 12 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, carefully remove the eggs from the pot and place on a towel to cool (Image 2).
Add 1/2 cup water to mugs or small bowls (one for each color), then microwave until water boils. Remove from microwave. To each mug add 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil and at least 20 drops of food coloring. Stir to mix. Because oil and water don't mix, the olive oil will float on the surface.
Use a fork to break up the floating olive oil then carefully roll an egg in the oil before submerging it (Images 1 and 2). Tip: The olive oil will form globules on the surface of the egg which prevent the dye from penetrating the shell. This creates a mottled effect.
Leave eggs in the dye solution a short time for pastel colors or longer for more saturated shades. Use a fork to remove eggs from dye; place them in a paper towel and gently wipe excess olive oil off the eggs' shells (Image 1). Set dyed eggs aside to dry (Image 2).
If you're happy with the single-dyed eggs' appearance, you're done. For an interesting two-tone effect, repeat the dying process in a second color. Tip: If eggs aren't achieving the same mottled effect they did with the first color, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the dye solution.
Display your marbleized eggs in a shallow dish or basket. Note: The FDA recommends that cooked eggs be refrigerated or consumed after only two hours at room temperature. When properly refrigerated, hard-boiled eggs can safely be eaten up to one week after cooking.