Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Boil an Egg

I know, I know...laugh all you want, but the perfect boiled egg isn't actually boiled at all. If fact, if you boil an egg for very long, the shell breaks or the egg turns out rubbery or tough. Not very appetizing and you can't dye the broken eggs for Easter. So! With Easter fast approaching, this is how you boil an egg.

Place the eggs in a saucepan. You can do two or a dozen, it doesn't matter. Cover the eggs until the water is about half an inch above the egg. Turn the burner on high.

Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pan and immediately remove from the heat. The egg is continue to cook in the hot water. Set your timer for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, take the pan to the sink and run cold water over the eggs. This will stop the cooking process. You can eat the eggs right away for refridgerate them for up to a week.

Another little factoid I've learned recently is that fresh eggs are much more difficult to peel than older eggs, but seriously unless you are gathering your own eggs from the heirloom chickens you raise on your Connecticut estate, you aren't necessarily going to know the age of your eggs.  To skirt this issue and to make the eggs easier to peel, drain the hot water from the pot and immediately add cold water and two or three trays of ice cubes.  The sudden drop in temperature will make the eggs easy to peel.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hot Apple Pie Dip

I picked up this recipe at the grocery store. It was printed on one of those little pull tab thingies. The combination of apples and cheddar cheese peaked my interest. The family eyed it suspiciously at first, but gave it rave reviews after tasting it.


8oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 apple, chopped
1/4c cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp pecans, chopped

Mix cream cheese, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl until blended well. Stir in half of the chopped apples. Spread into a pie plate or small casserole dish. Top with the remaining apples, cheese, and nuts. Bake at 375˚F for 10-15 minutes. Serve with Wheat Thin crackers.

Blueberry Drop Cake

The original name of this recipe was Blueberry Crunch, but one of my girlfriends calls this kind of dish a 'drop cake' because you drop the ingredients into the casserole dish. I kinda like that so I'm offically changing the name.


3c blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2c sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1 large can crushed pineapple
1/2 box yellow cake mix
1/2c pecans, roughly chopped

Grease 9x13 with Pam. Cover the bottom of the pan with pineapple. Pour blueberries over the pineapple. Sprinkle sugar over blueberries. Add dry cake mix and butter. I add the cake mix a little at a time and drizzle the melted butter over the cake mix evenly. I original recipe calls for the whole box of cake mix. I use about half the cake mix and put the other half in a Ziploc bag to use later. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the cake mix. Bake at 350˚F for 45-50 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lime Chicken Tacos

Tacos get a little boring for me. So I'm always looking for a way to switch it up a little. I've been working on this recipe for awhile now. When I try a new recipe, I like to follow the instructions first...then make adjustments for my family's preferences. With this recipe I cut down on the chili powder. If you like your tacos to fight back a little, double the chili powder.

4-5 chicken breasts
2 limes (about 3Tbsp lime juice)
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/4c honey
1c frozen corn
1c chunky salsa
12 flour tortillas
Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatos, avacado, sour cream...whatever you like to dress your tacos with...

Put the chicken breasts in a crockpot. Combime the lime juice and chili powder and pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and allow to cool slightly. Shred the meat with two forks. Add the honey to the juice in your crockpot and stir. Return meat to slow cooker. Stir in corn and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve in tortillas with toppings of your choice.

Lemon Basil Pasta with Grilled Chicken

I've started an herb garden in my kitchen window. I'm learning that the herbs I use the most are basil and cilantro. This is one of my basil recipes. (Just a warning for my friends, growing an herb garden is kind of cool. When I start talking about raising my own heirloom chickens, it's time for an intervention.) Anyway, My kids love this recipe. You can use more or fewer lemons depending on how lemony you like it. We love lemons, but found that four lemons was a little too much. Of course, this recipe is best when fresh lemon and basil are used.


4 Grilled Chicken Breasts, sliced
1 lb penne pasta, cooked
1/2 stick butter
2-3 lemons
3/4c heavy cream
1/4c half and half
1 1/2c parmesan cheese, grated
20 Basil Leaves, chopped

Cook pasta. When you drain the pasta water, reserve one cup. Set pasta aside. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeese in the juice of 3 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half and half. Whisk until hot. Add the cheese and continue to whisk until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a little pasta water as needed to loosen up the sauce if needed. Toss the pasta and sauce together in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the pasta with fresh basil. Serve with chicken breast.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baked Potato Soup


3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper
3c chicken broth
2 large baked potatos, cubed
1c half and half cream
Shredded cheese
fresh parsley, minced

In a medium soup pot, cook bacon until crisp. I usually cook 4 or 5 slices of bacon because I live near a bacon black hole. It starts to disappear as soon as it comes out of the pan. Drain the pan, reserving about a Tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Crumble the bacon and set aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil, and pepper. Mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil and stir for two minutes. Add the potatoes and cream. You can peel the potatoes if you like, I just scrubbed them before I baked them. Heat through, but do not bring to a boil again. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley. Prepare for the marriage proposals that will follow.