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Hard Boiled (or Steamed) Fresh Eggs

February 18th, 2015

You’ve probably heard hundreds of times how fresh eggs are difficult to peel when hard boiled. The key to easy peel fresh eggs is to steam the eggs instead of boiling. I’ve tried pretty much every method out there like salt and/or baking soda in the water and Julia Child’s method, which is quite involved. Then I read about steaming eggs, I tried it and it worked perfectly.
hard boiled eggs 1
hard boiled eggs 2
All you need to do it set up your steamer, get the water boiling, add eggs, and cook for 8-12 minutes depending on the size of the eggs and how you want the yolks cooked. Remove from the steamer and plunge into ice water. They eggs should peel like a dream. These eggs were only two days old when I cooked them.
hard boiled eggs 3
Now the the only difficulty you’ll find after boiling eggs is trying to figure out what to stuff them with. On this occasion I used avocado and lime juice and sprinkled the tops with chipotle powder. Curried deviled eggs are also fabulous. There’s a jar of pickled beet juice in the fridge just waiting for hard boiled eggs as well. I love having deviled eggs in the fridge for quick healthy breakfast or snacks. Nothing beats the incredible edible egg!!!

What’s your favorite deviled egg recipe?

Homegrown Goodness

February 10th, 2015

The other day I noticed that I have oodles of winter squash still sitting in the pantry. I hit my cookbooks and the internet for recipes and came across loads with squash and sausage – perfect! Last night I made butternut squash puree topped with sausage and onions. It was quite tasty, though we both agreed that it needed something texture wise, perhaps sage croutons or something crispy.
butternut harvest
I always grow loads of winter squash, mostly because it’s so easy to store. As long as you cure them properly they will keep for almost a year in a cool room (some will keep for more, I’ve had squash last for 2 years before). It’s awfully nice to lessen the preservation chores come autumn, no canning/cutting/blanching/freezing needed for winter squash!
squash
I also have a recipe for butternut squash and sausage frittata that sounds wonderful, along with various soups and other goodies. I think next week I might make shepherd’s pie with squash puree on top.
My favorite use for squash is in this Butternut Squash and Chipotle Soup. I try other recipes and keep coming back to this one when I have squash on hand. That doesn’t stop me from trying to find a new favorite, I’m always happy to find new flavor combinations.

Do you have any great squash recipe to share?

Some Like it HOT

January 26th, 2015

My dad was recently in Thailand for two weeks and when he asked me if I’d like him to bring something back for me I immediately said “RED CURRY”! I love.love.love red curry, it’s one of my favorite flavors.
Red Curry
He got me tons of it in a few different flavors. As you can imagine, I’m ridiculously excited to try it. In fact I may to drive to the lobster pound to get a few pounds of clams just to try it. Clams with red curry is one of my favorites! Here is a great recipe if you’re interested. I’m interested to see how this curry is different from the curry I’m used to buying here in the US, no doubt it’s going to be AMAZING, and hopefully a lot hotter than the curry I get here.

What’s your favorite ethnic spice?

Friday Favorite: Toasted Spices

January 16th, 2015

One of the things I love about making ethnic food is the toasting of the spices. After doing this for the first time many years ago I’ve been toasting spices every since. It really helps bring out the flavors from dried spices.
toasted spices
Last night I found myself toasting these fragrant spices to make duck pho and it reminded me how much I love them. If you’ve never given this a shot I’d highly recommend it! All you need is a hot dry skillet, I use cast iron of course. Add the spices and shake the skillet for 30 seconds or a minute and that’s it. You’re finished, your spices will be fragrant and the flavors will be enhanced. I guarantee you’ll take the time to do this from now on.

Do you toast spices before using them?

Freezer Soup

December 9th, 2014

I’m a cook from scratch kind of person and I really hate producing food container waste. Thus I have all sorts of wide mouth pint mason jars in my freezer filled with all varieties of ingredients. When I’m cooking I often double or triple a recipe and freeze some. I do the same when preparing individual ingredients. Thus I can make a pot of delicious soup with ingredients from my freezer is only an hour and it will taste like it has been simmering all day!
Soup 1
Yesterday was the perfect soup day, but I was busy running errands and working until about four. No problem, I went to the basement freezer and came upstairs with: chorizo, black beans, red beans, green peppers, sweet corn, chicken stock, and spinach. I pulled onions, carrots, and garlic from the pantry along with a few spices and a soup was born. I love using wide mouth half pint mason jars for freezing because with only a minute or two submerged in warm water the contents will come out quite easily. They defrost quickly in a pan on the stove and are the ultimate homemade convenience food.
Soup 2
In about 30 minutes I had a delicious pot of soup, a big one to eat on all week for lunches. Some of it will probably end up back in wide mouth jars and in the freezer for when we need a bowl of soup in minutes. Best of all, it’s healthy, mostly homegrown, and best of all there was not one can or package that had to be thrown away!

What’s your favorite quick meal during the cooler winter months?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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