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Easter Eggs and Easter menu ideas

Instead of my usual Silk Transfer Easter Eggs, I went another route this year. On Pinterest, I found Cocktail Napkin Easter Eggs.

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I hard-boiled 9 eggs and used the technique explained on This Site for the first eight eggs. Then on whim, I tried another technique and ended up with the egg above. I love the end results and will show you how to do both.

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Plus I’m putting up links to all of my Easter recipes as listed on the Complete Recipe Index – over there on the left, in case you are still trying to figure out what to make.

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Cocktail Napkin Easter Eggs

8 to 12 white hard-boiled eggs, cold
Printed paper cocktail or lunch napkins
1 egg white, lightly beaten

napkin squares ready

Open the napkins and separate the printed top layer from plain second layer if napkin has two layers. Discard any plain sheets.

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Cut each napkin into four squares, along the folds.

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Dip a small pastry brush into the beaten egg white and use to adhere and apply a square onto the front center of an egg.

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April 17, 2014   5 Comments

“The Rebel Within” Knockoff

There is so much I have to tell you about this recipe that I hardly know where to begin. So, how about at the beginning?

pot pantry cards

Almost exactly one year ago, on January 30, 2013, I wrote about how Marissa and I had gone into a kitchen store in San Francisco and found wonderful watercolor postcards of famous dishes from various San Francisco restaurants. We framed the postcards and they now hang in Marissa’s kitchen. One dish in particular caught our fancy. It is a breakfast muffin from Craftsman & Wolves.

firm yolk

The next day, 1/31/13, I tried to recreate “The Rebel Within” at home. Although the end product was tasty, it was not at all what I was looking for… there was no runny egg yolk in the middle of a baked muffin.

within

Fast-forward almost a year to January, 22, 2014, when I wrote about how Marissa and I finally went to Craftsman & Wolves and tasted “The Rebel Within” for ourselves and about my renewed passion to try to recreate it at home.

Just as I had done back in January 2013, I went online to research what I could about how it would be possible to bake a whole egg in a muffin and get it to be “soft-boiled” with a runny yolk.

3 eggs

Via

First, I stumbling upon this website and read up on “egg cookery” – I then found out that two wonderful women had “cracked the code” to The Rebel Within. They went through dozens of eggs and baked more muffins than I would have ever had the patience to bake… and they did it!

hot or cold

Via

Tuesday morning, I used their method.  The result?

not perfect

Although my “Rebel Within” was not as beautiful, or as perfect, or as tall and well-shaped as the muffins at Craftsman & Wolves or as the muffins the brilliant women at Follow Me Foodie baked, it tasted exactly like the muffin Marissa and I enjoyed at Craftsman & Wolves!  And the yolk – it was perfectly runny!

runny

If you would like to make this masterpiece at home, I’ve posted the recipe here, the majority of which is copy/pasted from the Follow Me Foodie post, with just bits and pieces of my own additions and omissions.

I still strongly suggest you go to the Follow Me Foodie recipe post and read from top to bottom about their trials and tests and all of their tips and suggestions. It’s truly amazing and a really good read, even if you do not plan to bake the muffins. There’s a whole boatload of interesting information, dedication, perseverance and patience to be seen there!

If you don’t have the time to read it all, allow me to let you in on a few of the notes that I found to be more important:

2 eggs cracked

The recipe makes six muffins. Even so, I suggest you start with 12 eggs, as I did, when you’re making the Extra-Soft Boiled Eggs. Of the 12 eggs I started with, seven turned out perfectly.

5 bad eggs

Another two would haven been “usable” but were less than perfect … and the remaining three … completely unusable.

cracked eggs

It is imperative that you “warm” the eggs before dropping them in the boiling water. Use hot tap water to do so. I actually brought the eggs to room temperature first, and then let them sit in the hot tap water for the amount of time it took the water that the eggs would be cooked in to come to a boil. Even so, two of the eggs cracked almost immediately as they were placed in the boiling water. I took those out and discarded them straight off the bat. They were two of the “completely unusable” eggs mentioned above.

breakfast sausage

Via

The Follow Me Foodie women used bacon for their recipe, I used breakfast sausage, just as they do at the C&W. As much as I love bacon, I’d suggest going with sausage for this.

Be certain to boil the eggs for EXACTLY 4 minutes and 30 seconds. If you want to achieve that runny yolk, this is the most important part of the recipe.

popover pan

The Follow Me Foodie women suggest that you either use a popover pan or a large muffin tin. I have 2 popover pans, so of course, I used a popover pan. I can’t begin to imagine how it would work in a muffin tin. It wouldn’t be tall enough.

If you don’t own a popover pan, buy one or borrow one! If you live anywhere near me, you can borrow mine.

lift off

Once the muffins were done baking and had cooled, I found it easiest to remove them by placing a baking sheet on top and flipping it over, then gently lifting the popover pan off. Because of how much they overflowed, I feared that the tops would rip off if I tried to “lift” them out of the molds individually. This is the method that worked for me.

1 good 1 bad

Finally, when peeling the extra-soft boiled eggs, take care to gently crack all over. While peeling the last couple eggs, my mind was wandering and I failed to do so. The egg on the left is what happened as a result of not cracking all over. The egg on the right is an example of how to do it correctly.

Oh, and to those of you who so generously and selflessly volunteered to be taste-testers … I’ll have to soft-boil and bake up another batch. Those first six muffins are long gone my friends!

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February 6, 2014   6 Comments

Overnight Eggnog French Toast

This recipe came from the food section of our newspaper and was provided by our local dairy, Shamrock Farms.

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We didn’t trim our tree until Saturday, once the kids and my mother-in-law arrived. So the night before, I put together this breakfast dish while I waited for Marissa’s plane to get in from San Francisco. It was scheduled for midnight, but delayed until 2:00 AM. I made good use of the extra two hours and wrote out all my Christmas cards as well… blurry-eyed, but I got it done!

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We all enjoyed breakfast and tree-trimming, with carols playing in the background and coffee and hot chocolate mugs in our hands.

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I made a few changes to  the recipe; using actual rum instead of rum extract and subbing cinnamon bread for the firm white or whole wheat that was suggested. Additionally, I’ve decreased the amount of eggs used in the mixture.

This eggnog French toast was a huge hit with the family and will likely become a new holiday tradition for us.

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December 23, 2013   4 Comments

chile, cheese, and chorizo

If there was one food, dish, or recipe that you could eat for the rest of your life; as much as you want, as often as you like, from now until eternity – without gaining an ounce – what would it be?

ice cream

If you would have asked me that question a few weeks ago, I would have said, “Ice Cream!”

Ice cream is my go to answer to any question that begins with “What food would you…”

I love ice cream; the coldness, the smoothness, the creaminess, the richness, the pure happiness that ice cream brings. And that is why we rarely have ice cream in our house!

But ask me that question today – my new answer is, “Chile, Cheese, and Chorizo Bread Pudding.”

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I developed this recipe for my classes at Les Gourmettes and I could not love it more! I am quite certain it is as calorie and fat laden as ice cream, if not more so. It’s full of bread, cheese, chorizo, more cheese, eggs, and milk. And it is SO GOOD!

Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is just perfect, in every possible way. It is amazing! Well, except for the calorie/fat count – on that front – it sucks!

I made it twice last week. First for the class and then again for a dinner party the evening before Thanksgiving that we had with our family and Marissa’s boyfriend, Jeff’s family. One of the guests was vegetarian, so for the dinner party, instead of using a 9×13-inch pan, I made two 8×8-inch pans. One with the chorizo and one without.

The recipe is for the larger pan but the images are of the two smaller pans … just to clarify … so you aren’t confounded by the instructions vs. the photos.

Oh, and if you don’t have time to make the red pepper sauce, it’s still delicious with out it. Just saying!

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December 4, 2013   4 Comments

Thanksgiving leftover trio – part one

If you watched the live Food Network Thanksgiving show last week, you might have seen the round-table discussion at the end of the show. I didn’t see it live, but caught a bit of it online.

Thanksgiving eggs benedict

Some of the leftover ideas the chefs tossed around sounded fabulous – Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict” w/Gravy, Sweet Potato-Cranberry Shortcake, and Turkey Gumbo. Since this was a rapid-fire sort of affair – as in “everyone was talking over everyone else” – there were no recipes given.

Those were the three dishes that caught my fancy, so I thought I’d use their suggestions and create the recipes myself.

Today, the “Benedict” breakfast.
Tomorrow, the gumbo.
The shortcake on Sunday.

Get those leftovers out and make these recipes along with me…

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November 29, 2013   No Comments

Migas for the crew

Before I get into today’s post – I want to take a moment to wish my mother-in-law, Patricia Hopkins, a very happy birthday! I love you. xoxo

I made brunch for the fabulous crew from Forevergreen Landscape Designs, Inc., the great group of guys who’ve been redoing our front yard and patio area for the past month.

brunch on the patio

The project was supposed to wrap up last Friday, but because of a mistake by the rock delivery dude, who delivered the wrong color rocks, the project is ongoing… it should be done by the end of this week with a reveal sometime next week.

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Long before the nasty gray cement-like rock was delivered, I’d promised to make the guys breakfast or lunch on what was to be their last day… we settled on brunch. And since the majority of men on the job are Hispanic, I decided to make Migas.

As you can see, I was very stealth and snapped a couple photos through the screened windows of them enjoying their meal.

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Mexican or Tex-Mex Migas is a traditional breakfast dish consisting of scrambled eggs mixed with strips of corn tortilla, diced onions, chile peppers, diced fresh tomatoes, and cheese.

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My version uses crushed tortilla chips, minced serrano, and Parmesan.

Chip Custer is the owner of Forevergreen Landscape Designs. He is the very talented landscape designer who did our backyard. If you go to his website HERE, you can check out photos 2, 3, 8, 10, and 12. Those are a few of the before and after pictures of the backyard project we did with Chip five years ago.

Now you see why I happily cook for these guys!

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November 13, 2013   4 Comments

lobster + eggs = indulgence

I made Connor a special breakfast to celebrate his birthday. As I’ve mentioned before, Connor loves lobster!

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This lobster dinner, 13 years ago in Maine, was to celebrate his birthday too.

lobster soft scrambled eggs

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May 25, 2013   5 Comments

Les Gourmettes #wow #pow dessert

Last week Les Gourmettes owner, Barbara Fenzl, made this beautiful and delicious dessert for her classes. Everyone was wowed.

Meringues plus Berries and Cream. They made for a glorious presentation! Light, refreshing, and perfect for spring. This will continue to be the ultimate dessert throughout the upcoming summer months.

Orange Flower Water

Orange Flower Water is one of the special ingredients. Although it is added to three different components of the recipe, less than 1/2 teaspoon is used in total.

Measure carefully and do not be tempted by the notion that if a little is good than more is better. Like Rose Water, Orange Flower Water is potent and if too much is added, your dessert will end up tasting like perfume. Not a good thing!

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April 27, 2013   1 Comment

Herb Crêpes Eggs Benedict Florentine

crepe eggs benedict florentine

I admit it, this recipe looks VERY intimidating. It is long. There are many components. It looks complicated. But I PROMISE it is not hard to do. In fact, it is a wonderful special occasion entertaining dish. For a crowd, no less!

How is that possible, you ask?

It is because none of the components are difficult and all but one can be done 1 or 2 days in advance. So in reality, it comes together quickly and seamlessly at the end.

Even the final, last minute component, the Hollandaise sauce, is foolproof. I know, you may be ready to quit reading right now… Hollandaise Sauce – Absolutely Not!

But really it is foolproof! No stove is involved! All you need is a blender. You’re still skeptical? This sauce comes from Chef Tyler Florence. It works perfectly and is easy as can be, I may never make traditional Hollandaise sauce again!

too small

As I was beginning to make the crêpes in my usual crêpe-pan, I decided that they were too small, so I switched to a larger skillet. This was a personal choice, if you don’t have a medium size skillet (about 10-inches across the top) a smaller regular crêpe-pan is fine. Above you can see the two pans I’m talking about, and below the difference in the crêpe sizes.

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April 3, 2013   1 Comment

double trouble

taco

Via

For Day Two of Week Three of the “Detox Cuisine” Cleanse they had you eating the same thing for lunch and for dinner, which I have to guess was a mistake. As a result, I’m improvising and switching out the lunch for the thing that I think sounds best out of all the lunch and dinner meals… TACOS!

Another heads up for today – you have to start preparing your breakfast the night before – happily, I caught that in time.

The original muesli recipe had you soak the oats and dried fruits in 2/3 cup water overnight in the refrigerator. That doesn’t sound very tasty to me, I soaked mine in 1/2 cup almond milk instead. Very tasty!

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February 19, 2013   1 Comment