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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gelato and Ice Cream… not for the dairy resistant

We thought we would end our month of eggs with ice cream and gelato! Summer is creeping up on us, and there is nothing like homemade ice cream on a hot day. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can find one relatively cheap… it may be worth it, especially if you go into hyper ice cream eating mode during summer (we wouldn’t know ANYTHING about that!).

We’re going to share with you 2 recipes, one for ice cream, and one for gelato. Don’t fret, if you’re not interested in our recipes, we’ll link you to some basic recipes.

 Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato

2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
½ cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter chips
¼ cup peanut butter

Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter chips (we just did this in the microwave).

In a medium saucepan, mix milk and cream. Warm until foam forms around the edges.  Remove from heat and stir in melted chocolate and peanut butter chips.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until frothy. Slowly add the milk mixture to the yolk and sugar mixture (we did this by ladle) whisking constantly. Return the mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture gels slightly and coats the back of the spoon.

Remove from heat and add peanut butter, stirring until peanut butter melts into mixture.

Pour the mixture through a sieve or fine strainer into a bowl. Cover, and chill for several hours or overnight.

Freeze gelato in an ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer to harden.

*we added chocolate pieces after the mixture had gone into the ice cream maker, to make it a little chunky and fun!

We decided to continue our ice cream adventures with a honey lavender ice cream. We took this recipe from Epicurious and adapted it to our liking. Find the original recipe here, and ours below.

 Honey Lavender Ice Cream

2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup honey (we used a local wild flower honey)
1 Tbsp. dried edible lavender flowers
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt

Bring cream, half-and-half, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove pan from heat. Let steep, covered, 10-15 minutes (depending on how much you like the taste of lavender).

Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and toss the lavender flowers.

Pour mixture into a pan (you can use the same one, just make sure it’s been cleaned) and heat over moderate heat until hot.

Whisk together eggs and salt in a large bowl. Slowly add 1 cup of the hot cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly (we did this by ladle, not trusting ourselves to pour directly from the pan).

Pour tempered egg mixture into the remaining hot cream mixture and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes (make sure nothing boils!).

Pour custard through sieve into a bowl and cool completely, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.

Freeze custard in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

If our recipes aren't to your liking, find links to good base recipes below and create your own:


Ice Cream – custard style

Ice Cream- no eggs (this goes against the egg theme of the month, but I think the chickens will forgive us…)

Remember you can lighten these up to make "frozen dairy desserts" by using fat free half and half, or milk (any percent).

Have fun with these recipes, and please share what kinds you made!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What to do with a Dozen Eggs

This is another one of those recipes we “borrowed” from k2’s Aunt Judy. In Maine, where blueberry is king (cranberry is queen), it’s a tasty way to serve them up.  It makes a great dish for a group breakfast or brunch.  WARNING -- it does require some plan ahead time since it should really be prepared the night before and baked off the day.  But as always, SO well worth the wait.

Blueberry Strata

1 dozen eggs (yeah, we mean 12)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 loaf cinnamon swirl sliced bread (we like Pepperidge Farm)
6 oz blueberries (one small container)

Beat together eggs, milk and vanilla in a large bowl.

In a 9x13 baking dish, lay out a single layer of cinnamon bread slices (2 rows of 3 1/2 slices).

Toss half of the blueberries on top of the first layer and pour half of the egg mixture over it.

Lay down a second layer of bread slices, toss on the rest of the blueberries and pour the rest of the mixture into the dish, making sure that all the bread gets covered (meaning wet).

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and set in the fridge overnight. This allows the bread to soak up the egg mixture.

You can see that the bread is puffed up with the egg mixture when you take it out of the fridge.  When it bakes up, it will be even puffier.

Next day, bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes (until the egg looks cooked and bread is slightly browned around the edges). Serve warm with syrup and your favorite breakfast meat on the side (ours is turkey sausage in case anyone was wondering).

For a smaller group or a more "individual" serving, halve the recipe and bake it in a 9x9 or 7x10 baking dish for 30-45 minutes or until it looks done (unless you like leftovers cuz this is just as good reheated, so never mind).
We could recommend substituting some other berry for the blueberries, but why mess with perfection?  Trust us, you can't go wrong with this recipe. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg, with a Side of Egg Salad

Tired of overly hard, hard boiled eggs?? Well we have the solution for you. In fact, we have TWO solutions for you.

Check out this genius little device found in K2’s kitchen (well, until it mysteriously disappears… ps, if this does happen, Wendi is not held accountable).

Not only does this timer tell you when you have the perfect hard boiled egg, but it also shows you soft and medium boiled too. You want it, don’t you?? Find it here.

Okay, so you’ve ordered your egg timer, but you want perfectly hard boiled eggs now. Don’t worry, we can help you there too.

1. Place COLD water into a pot, enough to cover your eggs by an inch.
2. Place as many eggs as you want hard boiled into the pot of cold water.
3. Heat your pot over medium heat until it just boils.
4. When you see the water boiling, remove from the heat immediately, and cover the pot.
5. Wait 12 minutes.
6. When the 12 minutes is up, pour cold water over the eggs (You can either leave them in the pot and just flush out the hot water with cold, or you can transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water).
7. Cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (it doesn’t hurt to leave them cooling in the dish of cold water).
8. Peel, and voila, perfectly hard boiled eggs!

So, what do you do with your newly hard boiled eggs? Egg salad of course!!! Below you will find two recipes.

Deviled Egg Salad:

6 hard boiled eggs
½ tsp. horseradish (more or less to taste depending on how much spice you like)
½ tsp. yellow mustard
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
paprika for sprinkling

Cut your hard boiled eggs in half, and separate out your yolks from your whites. Cream your egg yolks with the horseradish, mustard, and mayo.

Roughly chop your egg whites and add to the creamed yolks.

Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika.

Loaded Egg Salad:

6 hard boiled eggs
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
¼ cup crumbled bacon (you can use the ‘real’ bacon bits, or crumble your own)
2 Tbsp. chives
salt and pepper to taste

squish the eggs… that’s right, squish them (or cut the eggs into small uniform pieces if this makes you happy).

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.

If you want a little extra smoky flavor, add a dash of smoked paprika. Easy cheesy (literally) and yum. Serve on toasted Potato bread for a full on loaded baked potato experience!


If you want to make these ‘lighter’ throw out some of the yolk. For example, we used 6 egg whites and only 3 egg yolks for the loaded egg salad. You can also use light or fat free mayo, sour cream, and/or cheese to lighten things up.

Mmm, egg salad. We think it’s time for a sandwich.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Eggily Delicious

Look! It’s a pie! It’s a custard! It’s a custard pie! Two great tastes that taste great together. If you need a simple dessert to throw together, this is a great recipe to have on hand. It’s light and eggily delicious.

Eggy Custard Pie

1 unbaked 9” deep dish pie shell, chilled
4 eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp almond extract
2-1/2 cups milk, scalded
nutmeg, for sprinkling

Beat together eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract.

Scald the milk in a thick bottomed pot over medium-high heat or in a glass dish in the microwave, the very slowly, stir the scalded milk into the mixture.

You want to heat the milk to hot, but not boiling (you don't want to cook the eggs); heating the milk helps dissolve the sugar in the egg mixture.

Pour the mixture into the chilled unbaked pie shell. It will fill the deep dish pie shell to the very tippy top so be very careful when transferring the pan to the oven (we usually put it on a sheet of foil on a cookie sheet to help catch any spillage and make post-baking clean up easier).

Sprinkle nutmeg at will on top of pie before baking (amount really depends on your preference – we like a hearty sprinkling on ours).

Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes. You’ll know the pie is done when you insert a knife and it comes out clean (for the best testing result, insert the knife halfway between the crust and the center of the pie).

Remove from oven and set on cooling rack for 15-30 minutes. You can serve it right away, but we suggest chilling it before serving. We suggest throwing a couple blueberries on the side, they add a nice tart bite to the dish.


Okay, true confessions…it's not that we’re not saying we balled up a piece of napkin and hid it behind the crust to help prop the pie slice up for photographic reasons…because we did. So don’t be surprised if when you slice and serve it up, the weight of the custard overpowers the crust and causes your pie slice to fall back and split down the center. Not to worry, it’s still going to taste great. It’s really going to depend on the crust you use. Because here at TCC, homemade pie crust is a hit or miss thing with us (Wendi – hit, K2 – miss), we demonstrated the recipe with a premade pie shell, but feel free to experiment with your favorite pie crust.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Puff the Magic Dessert Ring

So, our next in the Incredible Edible Egg series -- Choux Paste!  Okay, we know it sounds all French and fancy, but it's actually quite easy to make and very versatile too.  For our example today, we've gone with a sweet dish but once baked, you can use the choux paste for savory or sweet dishes.  You can create small puffs to fill with chicken or tuna salad, perfect for a brunch or to fill with pudding or creme for little bite-sized treats. 

Strawberry Puff Ring

Choux paste puff ring (see recipe)
Homemade vanilla pudding (recipe below) or can use instant or pre-made pudding
2 cups fresh sliced strawberries, chilled
Simple glaze

Choux paste

6 tbsp butter
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs

In a medium saucepan, over high bring butter and pre-heated water to a boil.

Add flour and salt all at once and drop heat to medium.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture leaves the sides of the pan in a smooth compact ball.

Remove from heat and add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously until mixture is smooth and glossy.

Spoon dough into an 8” ring shape on a greased cookie and bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Turn off oven and leave pastry ring in for an additional 20 minutes to dry out center.

Remove and let cool to room temperature.

Vanilla pudding

2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp butter

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.

In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Pour mixture into hot milk, a little bit at a time, stirring constantly to dissolve.

Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon – DO NOT BOIL!

Once thickened, removed from heat. Stir in vanilla and butter until butter is melted.

Put into a bowl and cover with plastic so that the plastic touches the pudding itself, this will prevent a pudding skin from forming. Chill well.

Simple glaze

3 tbsp powder sugar
2 tsp milk or water

Combine powder sugar until it reaches a slightly thickened consistency. If too thin, add more powder sugar, if too thick at a tidge more liquid.

To Assemble Puff Ring

Once cooled, slice the puff ring horizontally. Set aside the top half.

On the bottom half, spread a layer of vanilla pudding. Cover the pudding with the sliced strawberries.

(okay, thought this was a really tasty strawberry photo so had to include)

Place the top half of the pastry back on top of the strawberries and drizzle with glaze.

Slice up and serve.


Make individual pastry puffs by dropping 2-3 spoonfuls of pastry together and baking as individual portions.

Use chocolate pudding with strawberries or raspberries, and make the simple glaze chocolately by adding a bit of powdered cocoa to the mix.

Add other berries (blue, black, rasp) to the strawberries to add color or be crazy and substitute fresh peaches for berries.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Turning Benedict on Eggs

And today we bring you Eggs Benedict, a long-standing Sunday brunch food favorite.  But in an act that most would consider treasonous, we are bringing you TCC's own version....with a slight twist (I know, shocking!).

Tradition calls for a poached egg for this breakfast treat (and please feel free to continue to use one if you're so inclined), but if you're like us who prefer an easy fix and have an adversion to squiggy foods, we suggest substituting an egg over easy.  Get the same runny yolk effect with about half the effort -- over easy peasy!

Eggs Benedict a la TCC

Hollandaise Sauce
Eggs Over Easy
Canadian Bacon
Whole Wheat English Muffins

Canadian Bacon

In a small pan over medium-high heat, brown the slices of Canadian bacon before serving.

Hollandaise Sauce

3 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) firm cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground white pepper

Whisk yolks, water, and lemon juice in small saucepan until well blended.

Cook over very low heat (2-2.5 on dial) stirring constantly until mixture bubbles along the edges of the pan.

Stirring will cause some bubbles, but when bubbles start appearing on their own, then you’re ready for the next step.

Stir in butter, one piece at a time, until butter is melted and sauce is thickened.

Remove from heat immediately and stir in salt, paprika and white pepper.

Serve immediately...but if you need to let it sit a few minutes before serving, that’s fine too.  All you have to do is whisk the sauce to smooth up again before serving.

We really like this Hollandaise recipe, the fresh lemon juice really stands out and the paprika gives it nice depth.

Eggs Over Easy

Using a nonstick pan over medium heat, get the pan hot (but not too hot because you don't want the egg to sizzle when it hits the pan). Place egg gently into pan.

An egg has two an outer white and an inner white. The inner white takes longer to set and is the white that you should judge doneness by. Once the inner white is solid, then flip the egg.

After you flip it, let the egg sit about 15 seconds to set the outer white, then flip again.  The encased yolk should still be liquidy under the surface of the white when you touch it lightly.

To Assemble

Toast the English Muffin halves, cover each with two slices of Canadian Bacon, then place your Over Easy Eggs on top and smother with Hollandaise Sauce.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quiche Please!

As part of egg month, it would just seem wrong to not include quiche, really it doesn’t get too much eggier than that (eggier, it’s a word!).

Like most of our recipes, we couldn’t just deliver the conventional to you. We have decided to give you mini quiche, with a wonton ‘crust’.

Feel free to use your favorite quiche recipe to put in your wonton crust, or use the recipe (with variations) that we’ve provided in today’s post.

Basic Quiche:

24 Wonton wrappers
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Place one wonton wrapper in each cup (fold the sides of the wrapper until they fit in the cup).

Beat together eggs, flour, salt and pepper  (sure the below mixture has a few more things than just eggs, flour, salt and pepper, but go with it).

You can stop with the ingredients here, or you can get fancy. If you choose to stop here, spoon ¾ to 1 Tbsp. of egg mixture into each cup. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes (the filling will be puffy and set as it comes out of the oven).

Time to get fancy…

We did two separate, super fancy quiches (okay, not SUPER fancy).

Bacon and Blue Cheese Quiche:

Start recipe as above. To the egg mixture, add ¼ cup cooked crumbled bacon, and ¼ crumbled blue cheese. Fill wonton cups and bake as above.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche:

Start with basic quiche, to the egg mixture add 1 finely diced Roma tomato, 1-2 oz. crumbled goat cheese and 1 Tbsp. of finely chopped chives. Fill wonton cups and bake as above.

You can of course do any combination that your heart desires. Share with us your favorite quiche add in ingredients!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christos Anesti! (it's all Greek to us)

Happy Easter to all of our friends who celebrate this day, and to those to don’t, happy spring Sunday to you!!

Before we get you started with today’s recipe (and p.s. it really is a good full day’s worth of work) we’re going to answer the question that is obviously been burning through your minds for the past month.

Last month we didn’t tell your our theme. We thought it would be fun, and it was (at least for us). After many, many… many guesses we finally got the correct answer from not one, but two lucky TCC fans, Emily and Juilet (and ps, you ladies will be receiving your prizes soon).

So, the mystery? National food holidays!!
We won’t make you guess this month’s theme, because we’re afraid we might lose some readers if we do. We’ve decided to dedicate this month to eggs! And to start the month, we are giving you a Greek Easter Bread recipe.

While doing research to find a traditional recipe, we became completely overwhelmed with the number of variations there are. In keeping with that theme, we threw everything we liked from the other recipes into ours.

Although this bread is titled Easter bread, we won’t tell if you make it on another day.

Greek Easter Bread (Tsoureki):

1 ½ Tbsp active dry yeast (two packets)
¼ c warm water
2 Tbsp. plus 3 ½ to 4 c sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp honey
1 c sugar
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
2/3 c milk, scalded and cooled
2 tsp. ground anise seed
14 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp orange extract
Oil for greasing bowl and pan
Sesame seeds for topping
1 egg, beaten for topping
4 red-dyed hard-boiled eggs for decoration

Mix yeast with water. Add 2 Tbsp flour and honey. Stir, then let stand in a warm place until mixture bubbles and foams, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl beat the 4 eggs. Add sugar, cooled milk, anise seed, melted butter and salt. Stir in yeast mixture, and extracts. Add 3 ½ cups of flour to egg mixture to make a stiff and elastic dough (add more flour as necessary to get your dough stiff and elastic). Dough will be very sticky. Knead well on a floured board for about 5 minutes. Or use dough hook of an electric mixer.

Place dough in a greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel. Let rise until almost double in bulk, about 3 hours.
Punch down and turn over in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel and let rise again until almost double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously flour work area before rolling out dough. Separate dough into 6 balls. Roll each ball into 7-inch-long ropes. Braid 3 of the ropes for one loaf, and 3 for the second. Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet and let rise about 45 minutes until double in bulk.

Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Arrange 1 red egg at each end of both loaves. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until golden.


We found that it took more flour than called for in the recipe, so don’t get nervous if you find that you have to keep adding beyond the 4 cups.

To dye the eggs, you can use the normal dying method, or go to this website, which tells you how to die with yellow onion skins (this is what we did).

We tweaked the recipe from The NY Times, if you want to see their recipe, go to this link.