Wednesday, July 10, 2024

How To Make A Perfect Poached Egg


Let me begin this little cooking lesson by telling you that I love poached eggs.  I love eggs made any way but I am especially fond of poached because I love runny egg yolks!  Some of you may already know how to poach eggs....there are how to's all over the Internet that's for sure.  And if you watch cooking shows, you are sure to see a TV chef making them at one point.  But my way is simple. It's tried and true and fail proof.  Nothing special like making little ripples in the water or adding vinegar.  No need to buy special poaching pans or tools. You don't need any of that.  Just follow my simple instructions. 

How To Make A Perfect Poached Egg 

1 large fresh egg 
salt and pepper 
toast for serving 

First crack your egg in a small bowl. We want to slip the egg slowly into the water, rather than dropping it right in and running the risk of breaking that beautiful yolk. 

Next you want to add about 3 inches of water to a skillet with deep sides.  Turn the heat to medium and bring it to a nice simmer.  You do not want your water to boil.  You want just tiny bubbles all over the bottom of the skillet. A gentle simmer.  

Once you have those nice tiny bubbles in your water, slip the egg in by gently pouring it out of the glass bowl.  The outside edges of the egg white may swirl around a little in the water but don't worry, the main part of the egg white will be just fine. Don't panic.  If you want you can take a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and nudge the white closer to the yolk but it's really not necessary.  You'll see. 

Next cover your skillet and turn off your heat. Let the egg sit in the water for about 4 minutes with the lid on.  If you like your yolk even runnier you can leave it there for 3 minutes but four minutes will give you a perfect poached egg. 

After 4 minutes, get a slotted spoon and scoop out your perfect poached egg.  Any loose white will fall off as you scoop, giving you a nicely shaped egg.  

Got your buttered toast ready?  

There’s nothing quite so wonderfully comforting as a piece of warm buttered toast with a poached egg on top.  

So how'd we do?   Look at that yolk.  Perfection! 

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Saturday, July 06, 2024

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

 Grilled Chicken Kabobs

What’s a summer without Kabobs?  You have to have at least one cookout with beef, shrimp or chicken kabobs.  The best thing about them is that you can put just about anything on some sticks and they turn out great.  You can be creative with your meat or veggies and make a different meal every time!  I love to mix and match veggies with whatever kabob I make and of course chicken is always a favorite covered in a sticky sweet glaze.  Yum!

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
1 green or yellow bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red onion cut into 1 inch pieces
Cherry or grape tomatoes

Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic and salt and pepper in a large bowl. 


Add the chicken, bell peppers, tomatoes and red onion to the bowl. Toss to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

Soak wooden skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes. 


Preheat grill to medium high heat. Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers.  Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through.    


Serve on skewers or remove from skewers and serve over rice.


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Beef Kabobs with My Favorite Marinade

Beef Kabobs with My Favorite Marinade

When my Dad comes over for a cookout, he calls these his “favorite food on a stick.” Let’s face it, that’s what it is and they are delicious when you make them correctly. You just don’t throw some meat on a skewer and throw them on a hot grill and hope for the best.  

There is a trick to getting tender and juicy kabobs. Whether you make them with pork or beef the trick is the marinade. I only use one and I have been using it for 20 years.  You will love this marinade because not only is it delicious, it will also tenderize and add flavor to any meat.  I make it ahead of time and keep it in a mason jar in the fridge for up to three weeks.
My favorite Marinade
1- 1/2 cups olive oil
3cup soy sauce 
1cup Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons dry parsley flakes
1cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic 
1cup teriyaki sauce
1cup honey 

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend for about a minute. Add meat to plastic bag and pour in marinade. Squish it around to make sure it's covered and lay the bag flat on its side. Keep in refrigerator overnight or for at least for 8 hours.  You can use this marinade for chicken too but do not marinade for more than 5 hours or it will ruin the chicken.

Beef Kabobs

2 lbs boneless top sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 bell peppers, any or all colors color, sliced into 1-2 inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced into 1-2 inch wide pieces
cherry tomatoes, optional
Soak wooden skewers in water for about an hour prior to using. Remove meat from the bag and dispose of used marinade.  Thread the meat and veggies onto the skewers.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place skewers on the grill and cook, with lid closed for about 8 minutes, turning as needed. 

Don’t crowd your skewers. You want a little space between your meat and veggies so your food grills on all sides.  I like to cook mine for 8 minutes for rare and 12 minutes for medium. 

Remove from the heat, cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes prior to serving.  Serve your kabobs with rice or any vegetable. I  like to remove my grilled veggies and meat from the skewers and serve on a bed of rice.

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Thursday, July 04, 2024

Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Custard

Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Custard

There’s nothing prettier than a fresh fruit tart for summer gatherings.  They are just so pretty and so bright and don’t they just shout out summer dessert?  I like to use whatever fruit I can find that is perfectly ripe and ready to use. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and kiwi work well. Mandarin oranges add a nice citrus touch. I also like to make smaller 4 inch tarts so each person has their own. These make wonderful gifts too! So easy to make and so delicious!

Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Custard


2 tablespoons heavy cream, very cold
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Whisk the cold heavy cream, egg, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the cubed butter on top and cut in using a pastry cutter or two forks until the entire mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs-- a few larger crumbs is okay.

Pour the cream and egg mixture on top and stir to combine. Use your hands to make a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour .  Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a 9-inch circle. Place into a greased 9-inch tart pan and press it down into the pan and up the sides until it is even all around.  Trim off excess dough. Place in freezer for at least a 20-30 minutes. It is important for the dough to be very cold before it goes into the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove crust from the freezer and bake for about 20 minutes. Use a fork to prick a few holes into the bottom of the crust and bake for 5-6 more minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before filling.


3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
Yolks from 2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in the milk until smooth.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, and whisking constantly, boil for four to five minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk in about one cup of the hot-milk mixture. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and, whisking constantly; simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly thicker. Remove the pan from the heat. 

Add the butter and vanilla, and stir until the butter is melted. Strain the custard through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.


Your choice of fresh sliced fruit
2 tablespoons orange or apricot preserves 
1 tablespoon water

Garnish the tart with fresh fruit. Mix the preserves with the water and warm for about 15 seconds in the microwave or melt it on top of the stove in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Brush glaze on top of the fruit.  You can also pour it on top. You just want to make sure all the fruit is glazed and shiny.  The more gloss, the prettier the tart. Slice and enjoy! Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.

I used these 6 inch tart pans for individual tarts. This recipe should make 4 of them.

I used these 6 inch tart pans for individual tarts. This recipe should make 4 of them.

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