Sunday, May 29, 2011


     This Thursday I made a mocha angel food cake (with hot chocolate sauce and mocha whipped cream) for my cooking club's lunch.  The recipe called for 12 egg whites, leaving me with 12 egg yolks to use for something else. 
     Also this Thursday in the Taste section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune was a very timely article that began:  "You have 12 egg yolks.  Lucky you.  Here are just some of the foods you can make...
*  Homemade mayonnaise
*  Butterscotch pudding
*  Lemon curd
*  Hollandaise sauce
*  Kolache dough
*  Chocolate mousse
*  Spaghetti carbonara
*  Lemon tart
*  Avoglemono soup
*  Key lime pie
*  Creme brulee
*  Egg Yolk pasta
*  Zabaglione or sabayon
     All good ideas!  Since we had friends coming over for dinner I was considering the lemon curd to make a tart since I also had a big bag of lemons on hand.  What I settled on was the following dessert which one of my cooking club members made for one of our past lunches.  It turned out so silky and delicious I'm sorry I didn't double the recipe.  Now I still have 6 egg yolks to use a.s.a.p.!

This should be made one to two days before you plan to serve it.
*  3 cups half and half
*  1/2 cup sugar
*  1-1/2 tablespoons honey
*  3/4 teaspoon almond extract
*  3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
*  6 large egg yolks
*  Garnish:  Toasted almonds/Blueberries/Choice
     Combine half and half, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer; remove from heat; and stir in the almond extract and cardamom.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. 
     Preheat oven to 325ºF.  Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl to blend.  Gradually whisk in half and half mixture.  Place six 3/4-cup custard cups or souffle dishes in a roasting pan.  Divide custard mixture among custard cups.  Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cups.
     Bake custards until set around edges and center moves only slightly when cups are gently shaken, about 45 minutes.  Remove custards from water.  Cool.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  
*  Source:  Adapted from "Bon Appetit", February 1999.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bruce Cockburn in Concert

This week Kevin & I went to see Bruce Cockburn (with special guest Jenny Scheinman) at The Cedar Cultural Center on the West Bank, Minneapolis.  It was amazing!  Cockburn (pron. "Coburn") is a Canadian acoustic musician.  Here is a video of one of his most popular songs, "Lovers in a Dangerous Time".

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


     According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, mangoes are the healthiest fruit, and one of the most nutritious foods of all food groups.  One cup of mango provides 80% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C, 25% of the RDA for vitamin A, 3 grams of fiber, some potassium, and is one of the best sources of beta carotene.  They are also one of the least likely of all fruit to contain harmful pesticide residues.*  Even in Minnesota they are available year round. 
     Green mangoes may never ripen but, otherwise, they will fully ripen at room temperature.  Mangoes have a large seed that tends to cling to the fruit.  To remove the fruit, cut the mango vertically, sliding a sharp knife along the seed on one side, then on the other and, finally, along the sides.  To remove the fruit from the skin, place a piece of mango skin-side down on your cutting board and slide your knife between the skin and the fruit. 
     Here is one of my favorite salads that use mangoes.

*  Nonstick vegetable oil spray
*  1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
*  6 tablespoons olive oil (split)
*  3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (split)
*  1 cup pecan halves
*  1 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
*  1 large mango, peeled, pitted and cut into thin wedges
     Spray sheet of foil with nonstick spray.  Stir sugar, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until sugar melts and syrup bubbles, about 3 minutes.  Mix in pecans.  Stir until nuts are toasted and syrup coats nuts evenly, about 7 minutes.  Turn nuts out onto prepared foil.  Using two forks, separate nuts and cool completely (coating will harden).
     Combine spinach, mango and cooled pecans in large bowl.  Whisk remaining 5 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl to blend.  Season dressing with salt and pepper.  Toss salad with enough dressing to coat.
*    Nevertheless, always wash mangoes before using.
**   Source:  "Bon Appetit", April 2000

Monday, May 16, 2011


A real friend knows you are a good egg even if you are a little cracked!

Yesterday, I noticed something large moving in my garden. It was big and brown and, upon investigation, it turned out to be a wild turkey. Wild turkeys - many, many wild turkeys - have resided in Sunfish Lake and surrounding communities for as long as we’re lived here. In fact, I once counted 19 parading through my garden!

Well, I really don’t like large critters in my garden so I went out to shoo it away. Despite my loud noises, and despite how close I got to the turkey, it was definitely NOT budging. I returned to the house and went on about my day. Later, I went out to investigate, and here is what I found!

Okay, they weren’t in the egg carton but there were six large turkey eggs! Not knowing what to do with them I asked our friends Diane and Dale if they knew anything about turkey eggs. Here’s what they learned from their farming friends:

“Yes you can eat the turkey eggs just like you can eat duck and goose eggs. All 3 of those are a bit rubbery compared to chicken eggs. Since it takes about 25 days for the eggs to hatch, they're probably very safe yet at this time. If you crack it open and there's a spot of blood on the yolk, you can remove the blood and still use the egg.”

I suppose I could have left the eggs in the garden to see if they would hatch into six little turkeys to add to the huge number already in residence. However, in the interest of culinary science, the following photos show what I decided to do with the eggs:

To summarize, I found that the eggs were larger than extra-large chicken eggs found in stores, with especially large yolks. They fried up just like chicken eggs and, for me, had the same taste, except that because of the large yolk, the egg tasted much “richer” than chicken eggs.

Let me know if you want to come on over for breakfast!