Have you ever struggled to peel a hard-cooked egg? Me too! So much so, that I started buying those precooked, pre-peeled ones from the dairy case. (I know! Cheater, right?) Well, after much research and trials for a client, I have found the secret formula for easy-peel eggs!
First, pick the sauce pan that is right-sized for the number of eggs you want. (Meaning it’s not too big, where the eggs will rattle around while boiling, but not too small for them all to fit in without rubbing.) Add the eggs to the pan, fill with water to an inch over the eggs. Remove eggs and add a tablespoon of baking soda to the water. Bring the water to a boil.
Meanwhile, grab a safety pin and bend the pin out a bit. You’re going to gently poke a hole into the fat end of the eggs. The key is to just go through the shell but not through the membrane inside. So go slow. The shells are pretty soft though, so it’s not too tough.
When water is at a vigorous boil, add eggs in gently, like with a spoon. Let them boil until they reach your desired level of doneness. See photo below to pick your time. When they’ve boiled long enough, remove them and put them directly into ice water until cooled.
You can peel them now, or keep them in the fridge and peel as needed. No more cursing! They’ll peel like a dream! 🙂 You’re welcome!
I bet I know why!
If you are a hater of brussels sprouts, I would guess that you are above the age of 40 and your mother loved you very much! How could I possibly know this, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Up until recently, most Mom’s who wanted to feed their beloved children a nutritious dinner, would boil their vegetables to oblivion. A boiled brussels sprout is hideous! It’s bitter and mushy and would make anyone hate them forever! Fortunately, we have since learned that roasting vegetables is much better, because fewer nutrients are lost to the boiling water and roasting turns those bitter flavors into sweet flavors, making roasted brussels sprouts an amazing miracle to behold and eat!
So, my plea to you is to give those poor brussels sprouts another try! Just make sure to get them roasted this time!
Delicious roasted brussels sprouts!
I saw this tip about how to prevent a boiling pot from boiling over recently in my facebook feed and thought I’d give it a try. Since these things are usually too good to be true, I wasn’t holding my breath. But, “Shut my mouth and call be Betty”, it worked! Who would have thought!
Did you know that you can cook other things, many other things, in a rice cooker? I didn’t, when I bought mine. I thought it would just be a nice time-saver for cooking rice at a client’s house and I wouldn’t have to babysit it, like I would cooking it on the stove. But since I’ve had it, I’ve tried all sorts of different grains in it and they all come out beautifully! I have successfully cooked quinoa, coarse bulgur, millet, wheat berries, and of course red, wild, brown and white rices. I have even cooked steel-cut oats in it and the oatmeal was awesome. Here’s the kind I have, Oster 14-cup Red, but I imagine they are all similar. Use the grain-to-water ratio that is appropriate for the grain you’re cooking, add a little salt and go. When it dings that it’s done, take it out immediately, because I have found that the warming feature is more of a burning feature and it will burn a good, thick layer on the bottom if you leave it in there. When it dings, I usually unplug the machine and take the bowl out with a towel, because it’ll be hot. I mix in a little butter, more salt and pepper to taste and often some frozen peas or grated carrot or zucchini. Next time you have a hankering for some grains with dinner, give it a try.
I gave a cooking lesson to a young client last week. She wanted to learn how to make bread, so I found a great first-loaf recipe for basic white bread.
We bloomed the yeast, scalded some milk, added some flour and she got to work stirring. We did it the old-fashioned way, with a wooden spoon. She’s a small one, so I’m sure she had a little arm soreness the next day, because mixing bread dough with a wooden spoon is a really great upper-body workout. And kneading was fun for all who gave it a try. We had to wait patiently for the bread to rise. We had to wait patiently for it to rise again after a punch down. We had to wait patiently for the bread to bake, smelling the smell and not ripping open the oven door and devouring it like rabid wolves. And we had to wait patiently while the bread cooled, because if you try to and cut hot bread, it turns into quite a mess. But all of the patient waiting paid off! There is almost nothing in this world better than freshly made, warm-from-the-oven bread, especially if you made it yourself. Success!
I got a request for chocolate soufflé for a dinner party. I had never made one, and so after blithely agreeing to it for my client, I asked around to my culinary pals for advice and tips. Everyone told me it wasn’t a good idea, that they are difficult and capricious creatures, given to failure for the slightest reason, or for no reason at all. Needless to say, I was not filled with confidence. I looked for a recipe on my regular go-to site, epicurious.com. (This site has given me the best recipes over the years. I always go there first.) I found a recipe that looked promising, and relatively simple to make. I gave it a go, and it came out perfect! Imagine my delight, when looking through the oven window, I watched it rise, slowly but steadily up, up until it was as tall out of the dish as it was in. It was like magic! When I ate that trial, it was light and airy and chocolaty! So good! When I made it, for the client’s dinner party, it came out perfectly again. So thankful that it’s not as difficult as I was lead to believe. Or maybe I’m just that awesome. ☺ Who knows…
I love being outside, especially in the evening, before it gets too hot, so I thought I would fired up the grill. It was perfect out, not too hot, not too humid, a light breeze and a concert serenade by a trio of fly-by starlings, a couple of tree frogs and a firefly or two. When I say fire up the grill, I mean with real wood. No charcoal for me, thank you very much. I love the smell and pop of real logs, catching fire and burning down to glowing embers. Dinner was whole flounder, with swiss chard, kale, asparagus, herbs and an onion, immediately harvested from my garden. I layered the veggies and fish in the grill basket, and when the fire was a perfect bed of glowing embers, I put the fish on, skin side down first. It cooked with the lid on for 15 minutes, then a quick turn and another 10 minutes. Perfection! It was really hard not to eat it through the grill lid, because it smelled so good. When I was finally able to start eating, it wasn’t long before it was gone. Best dinner, maybe ever!
Freshly pulled onion
Greens, asparagus, herbs and onion with salt, pepper and a little olive oil
Flounder and veggies in the basket, ready to go
Wood fire, almost ready for fish
Skin side done, just a few more minutes…
Done! Time to plate
Ready to dig in!
All gone! Wow, delicious!