How to Separate an Egg and Everything Else About Eggs

15 Oct

I started this as a post about how to separate eggs and then it turned into everything I know about eggs. So here is every trick and fact that I know about eggs.

There are two really great ways to separate eggs. The first way that I do it is to crack the egg in half and then pour the yolk back and forth from shell to shell until all of the white falls out into the bowl below. This way is great it works most of the time for me. The second way of doing it is to crack the egg right into your hand and let the white fall through your fingers into the bowl below. This way virtually eliminates the chances of a yolk breaking into the whites; which is very important for making meringue. My mom has one of those plastic egg separating thingys. I really don’t see the value in using them. They are awkward, inconvenient and leave one more thing to wash. These two ways really work the best for me.

I always by the biodegradable egg containers and have found that when cracking eggs it works well to put the shells back into the container and then throw the whole thing into the compost. This may be a little unsafe regarding salmonella if you allow the cracked eggs to drip onto the unused ones but as long as you are careful not to do that you should be just fine. Use your best judgement.

If you drop egg shells into the eggs there are two kind of cool ways of getting them out of there. Other than chasing them around with your fingers. The first way works the best. It is simply to use part of the shell to fish the other bit out. Shells are drawn to each other for some reason. It’s actually quite amazing to me. The other way is to just let the bowl sit for a while and the shells will sink to and stick to the bottom. Then you can just pour the eggs out and the shells will stay in place.

If you have hardboiled eggs in the fridge and they get mixed with raw ones just spin them on the counter. The hard-boiled will spin fast and the raw will spin slow.

If you want the shell to peel off of hard-boiled eggs better, add a couple tbsp of baking soda into the water. I’ve heard that vinegar works this way too.

A fresh egg will sink to the bottom of a sink full of water and an older one will float. Older eggs peel easier.

Brown chickens lay brown eggs and white chickens lay white eggs. That is the only difference.

Eggs are one of the few foods that are a source of vitamin D.

The blood occasionally seen inside of an egg is just a blood vessel from the yolk that has been ruptured. It is not unsafe to eat.

If you drop and egg on the floor, pouring salt on it will make it much easier to clean up.

Cloudy whites are a sign of freshness.

Eggs are put into the cartons large end up to keep the yolk from moving around too much.

A Nifty Trick for Separating Cupcake Liners

15 Oct

How many times have you struggled to get those stupid cupcake liners to come apart? Half the time they end up bent and misshapen and then so do your cupcakes. Well, a few years back I learned that if you simply dip your fingers into icing sugar before you take the liners apart they just slide apart without any struggle at all! and of course the icing sugar won’t impact the taste of your cupcakes at all. So viola! Something that used to drive me crazy was turned into something that I still marvel at every time I see how amazing it is!

Working with Avocado

9 Oct

Avocados are one of the most amazing foods in the world in my opinion. They are delicious and so good for you. People are always excited to see avocado on the table. Here are a few of the things that I’ve learned about avocados.

How to pick ’em and ripen ’em

They do not ripen until they are picked so if you want the freshest ones pick the ones that a rock hard. They should be bruise and blemish free. You should not be able to hear the pit moving around when you shake it.

You can ripen them up at home by placing them in a paper bag. To speed the process even further you can add a banana to the bag.

How to store ’em

Hard avocados don’t belong in the fridge but the life of soft ones can be extended by a couple of days if you put them in the fridge.

Avocados can be frozen but I myself have never tried. From what I have read some people say the best way to freeze them is to just throw the whole thing in there and when you are ready to use it just thaw it out and treat it like you always would. Other people say that way is terrible and they swear by pureed avocado freezing the best. Either way I would say avoid freezing them unless you have no choice.

Avocado turns black as the air hits it. There are two ways to avoid this: 1. Spoon any left over avocado onto a sheet of wax paper and roll it up like a tube of cookie dough.Twist the ends and fold them underneath. This will prevent air from touching it and stop it from turning black ( I got this idea from Elton Brown on his show Good Eats). 2. Spoon the avocado into a tall skinny jar or glass and refrigerate it covered with plastic wrap. This way only a very small part of it will be exposed to the air. Simply spoon that part off when you are ready to serve it again.

How to prepare ’em

The best way to take the pit out is to cut all around the avocado and twist it so that you have two halves. Put the half with the pit on the counter and with your veggie knife (a big knife) give the pit a whack. The knife should sink into the pit and get stuck so all you have to do is pull up on the knife (Alton Brown also). When wielding large knifes around in a chopping fashion it is always a good habit to get into to put your free hand behind your back to prevent any chopping accidents.

To get the pit off the knife simply tap the pit against the side of your sink until it falls of. Don’t try to pry it off with your hand. Avocado pits are slippery and knives are sharp. It’s not a good combo.

I’ve heard that if you cut open an avocado an it’s not quite ripe yet you can simply spread a little lemon juice on it, close it back up, wrap it with plastic wrap and let it ripen as usual. I have lost a few avocados in my life to wishful thinking and I’m going to try this next time.

Fun Facts

Every Hass avocado every grown has come from a plant spliced off of the same orignal mother plant!

Naked Cake!

2 Oct

This is one of my first attempts at making a naked or tomboy cake. I love the frilly frosting it just looks so beautiful in a no fuss sort of way.

To create this look just pipe with a Wilton 1M start piping tip to fill in between layers like you normally would. Put a little extra emphasis on the very outer ring of frosting so that it looks really ruffled. Then stack the cakes. The top layer should be flattened out and smoothed in such a way as to leave the frill around the outside.

It is very helpful to have a spinning cake decorating tray and an off set spatula to create this effect.

I have found that the American butter cream frosting is much too sweet for this cake. Swiss meringue is the way to go. Trust me on this one I love sweet stuff and the American butter cream made me sick to my stomach on the first taste test. This was a yellow cake. There is no way that a white cake should ever look that brown on the edges. If a white cake were to be browned at all it would be over cooked.