individual meat loaf

baking meat loaf in cupcake tins cuts the baking time in half!

single serving meat loaf

roasted brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes

popcorn (requested by miss e)


hard “baked” eggs

when i was little i would often pass up red meat so i can eat more eggs.  i like soft boiled eggs the best, and scrambled the least (but don’t confuse that as me saying i dislike scrambled eggs).  a super treat for me is having chinese black tea eggs!  (have i given you the recipe?  well then, you will be getting one soon!)  and i will confess, i eat more than 3 eggs a week!!!  (but, since the exoneration of eggs in the past years, it’s not a sin to say that anymore.)

in the middle of checking e-mail this morning i came across a pin on pinterest about baking eggs instead of hard boiling them.  so i immediately set out to try it.  after all, i had everything that was required to bake the eggs: eggs and a muffin pan (i used a 6-slotted muffin pan instead of the overwhelming 12-slotted one).  i baked them in my toaster oven at 320ish for 30 min.  and now i just heard the timer go off so i will put them in a bowl of cold water and be back to let you know how they peel and taste.

update, 10:12 pm

well, i don’t think i will change the way i cook eggs.  on top of the stove will do just fine for me.  the hard baked eggs were easier to peel, but i wouldn’t say it wasn’t easier by much that i would care to wait an extra half hour to eat an egg.  i didn’t find the egg taste better or eggier or worse.  the biggest difference, for me, was the texture.  hard boiled eggs have a more jell-o like texture, and a hard baked egg didn’t give that slight resistance when i bit into it.

but if i were to make deviled eggs or egg salad for a party in the future i would hard bake the eggs, because peeling all those eggs faster would make a difference.

saying good-bye to microwave popcorn

i am the product of the microwave age.  making food, my computer’s processing time, people’s replies, life events all need to happen faster!  i remember when we got our first microwave oven–mother’s day 1985.  i remember my mom and dad telling me how this box can heat up food and liquid in minutes!  and i also remember how i didn’t really understand why that would be an added benefit to our family life.  nonetheless, i was excited to have the new addition to our home.

many years have gone and i have grown up believing that popcorn can only be made by popping them in the microwave from store bought, artificially flavored, microwave popcorn bags.  the thought of making popcorn from corn kernels that didn’t come in a prepackaged bag was probably going to be harder than making chocolate cake from scratch.  i really thought that.  only people living in the early 1900s would bother to pop popcorn the “slow, old fashioned” way since they didn’t have microwaves.

fast forward to 2012.  miss e loves popcorn.  having to feed a little person has made me more ingredient conscious.  it’s amazing that microwave popcorns doesn’t just contain oil, dried corn kernels, butter, and salt.  so i started to wonder how those people of the 1900s used to enjoy popcorn.  i also remembered i used to go over to a family’s house to work on paintings with the wife, and the husband would often serve us fresh popcorn straight off the stove.  so if he’s still popping popcorn on the stove in the 21st century it must not be that laborious or outdated.

luckily, the joy of cooking has a “recipe” for making popcorn.  yes, i had to look up directions on how to pop popcorn because i followed the instructions on the back of the corn kernel jar and my first batch of popcorns turned out were very miniature.  i initially thought i had bought the mini kernel version.  i threw that batch out and tried again, and then the kernels popped to regular sized popcorns.  now we enjoy fresh popped popcorn from the stove.