Hard-Boiled Eggs – Baked vs. MY way

Tonight we are going to dye our Easter eggs, which means that we need more hard-boiled eggs in our house. I already posted on an easy, no-frills way to make perfect hard-boiled eggs earlier this week, but saw an idea on Pinterest from The Burlap Bag that looked easy too – baking them. Since I needed to make a lot of eggs, I thought this would be the perfect time to test the two out together and see which one I liked better.

For the oven method: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the eggs into the compartments of a muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes.

As I was filling the remaining compartments up with water, I decided to fill one of the compartments with an egg in it with water as well to see if it changed the outcome.

Meanwhile: I boiled the water for my method. After it came to boiling, I put the eggs in. Since I knew for sure that my way would work, I did more of the eggs that way.

Worked again – not a single broken egg.

I started boiling the water when I put the other eggs in the oven. I finished with the stove-top eggs nine minutes before the oven ones were done. So, my way was faster, but the oven way is definitely easier: preheat, cook, forget about them until the timer is done.

Round 1 (cooking): My way – 4 points (faster, but more steps); Oven way – 5 points (slower, but one-step)

After cooking the eggs, I let them sit in a cold water bath. I’d check on the water every bit to make sure the water hadn’t warmed up. If it had, I just dumped out the warm water and filled it up again with cold water. When moving the eggs from the muffin tin to the water, tongs is the easiest way to go.

After they sat in the water, it was time to judge the appearance of the eggs. On the outside, they all looked the same. No spotting, just like normal eggs.

Then I peeled each of them to see how easy they were to peel, and judge how well they had cooked.

Yikes! The oven eggs were a little tougher to peel (some of the egg came off with the shell), and had some internal brown spotting. The oven way with the water inside actually browned more (but less concentrated), and some of the egg still came off with the shell. The other egg peeled fine, and looked normal.

Appearance: My way – 5 points (all looked normal); Oven way – 3 points (outside looked normal, inside had a couple of brown spots and some bits of egg peeled off as well as the shell)

Now came time to judge the internal appearance, texture and taste of the eggs. Here’s how they sliced up:

All three of the eggs had a similar, very nice texture. They were easy to slice through, and all well-cooked. The oven eggs both had a little grayish ring around the outside of their yolks, but it wasn’t bad. The stove egg had no ring.

Internal Appearance/Texture: My way – 5 points (perfect); Oven way – 4.5 points (slight docking for grayish ring)

As far as the taste was concerned, they all tasted pretty good. The oven-baked eggs seemed to have a more “eggy” taste to them (even in the whites), where the stove-top egg did not have that taste. If it hadn’t been for the contrast of the stove egg, I probably would not have thought much of it.

Taste Rating: My way – 5 points; Oven way – 4.5 points (slight docking for taste)

Overall Score: My way – 19 points; Oven way – 17 points

Depending on what you’re going for, either of these would be fine. If you need an egg to dye and don’t mind the brown spotting on the inside of the egg, the oven way is a bit easier and the finished egg still has a great texture, is fairly easy to peel, and tastes good. My way is an all-around good way to do the egg, takes slightly more work in the prep (carefully dropping the eggs in the water), but still gets done faster, and has a great texture, taste and appearance.

Happy Egging!

MyFitnessPal

My sister tipped me off to this website, and it is awesome.

It allows you to enter your weight, height, age, and weight goal. It then will give you the number of calories you should eat in each day to help you meet your goal.

I am pretty happy with my current weight, but I love the idea of knowing how much I am eating to know where I am at. It is also nice to have the accountability too. I have noticed myself consciously not eating something because I don’t want to enter it. Or not feeling guilty for eating one extra mini Hershey bar at the end of the day because I still had calories left to eat.

My sister started this in the middle of January, and has lost 11 pounds. She actually had to start eating more to lose weight (she is a nursing mother). Both of my parents are doing it as well, and have both lost weight. The recommended is a pound per week.

I started logging my food yesterday and was amazed at how many things could be found in the search function. Here is my log:

They even have off-brand foods listed, which is great. Also, notice the line with the red dot. Here’s a close-up:

The Lasagna Toss from last night – already programed in! I entered it in the search bar on a whim, and there it was. This seems to be VERY painless, compared to other sites I have seen.

Give it a try! Let me know if you try it, and how it works for you.

Lasagna Toss

This is a recipe that I found from Kraft Foods back when they would send their magazine to you for free in the mail. It is one of my favorite lasagna recipes: not only is it tasty, but it is very easy. As in dump-a-bunch-of-stuff-into-a-pot easy.

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef

1 jar spaghetti sauce (around 24 oz.)

1 2/3 c. water

1/4 c. Italian dressing

2 green peppers, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

12 oven-ready lasagna noodles, broken into pieces

1 c. Mozzarella cheese (or other, if desired)

 

Step 1: Brown the beef. Or, usually I will cook up a bunch of beef ahead of time and freeze it in baggies in one pound portions. Then I microwave to defrost and it makes dinner prep all that much faster.

Step 2: Add the spaghetti sauce, water, Italian dressing, green peppers and garlic. Bring to a boil. I actually typically leave out the green peppers out of personal preference, but added about a half of a green pepper this time because we had one in the fridge. The original recipe calls for 2 whole green peppers.

Step 3: Stir in the noodles and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat or until noodles are tender. Stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Remove from heat and add cheese to the top. Recover and allow cheese to melt, about 5 minutes. I used sharp cheddar cheese because that is what we had on hand; both are delicious. I also tend to use maybe 1/2 to 3/4 c. cheese instead. Again, personal preference. The original recipe calls for 1 cup.

Serve up and enjoy! This recipe is a family-pleaser. All three of my kids had seconds. Even my very picky 2-year old.

Happy Eatings!

Glasses, Like NEW

My wonderful mother-in-law read my post on the homemade detergent, where I commented that I had hoped that the detergent would magically take the water stains off of my glasses (which it didn’t, sadly), and called and shared a tip with me.

She and I both got our sets of glasses right around the same time. When she bought hers, it was to replace a set that had gotten very badly water stained over the last couple of years. Ours were our first set of true glasses (after 7 years of marriage….). This was a little over two years ago. As a little “after” picture before the “before” picture, here is the good news of how things ended up when I was done cleaning the glasses:

And here is what they looked like BEFORE I was able to get them clean:

Yikes. Hard water is awesome, right? This is why I was hoping the detergent would be magical. This weekend, my mother-in-law decided to try and tinker around with things to see if she could salvage her glasses before buying a new set, and called me with her good news: she’d found it!

Here is all you need: some Lemi Shine and a Magic Eraser.

That’s it. Lemi Shine can be found near your dishwasher detergents at your local Target, Walmart, etc. It runs around $3.77 or so for a container.

Step 1: Fill your sink with water (lukewarm) and sprinkle in some Lemi Shine. I just filled the water up until the Lemi Shine granules I had sprinkled in were all dissolved. It was deep enough to cover maybe a third or half of each glass when laid down on its side.

Step 2: Roll the glass around in the water. I then just took a washcloth and rubbed inside and outside of the glass with the Lemi Shine water. This step alone was enough to get my glasses clean.

Look at that!!

Step 3: Scrub the Lemi Shine water off with dishsoap and water, and dry with a dish towel. Lemi Shine appears to be made of all-natural ingredients, so you may be okay with skipping this step. I personally don’t mind rinsing and soaping off something that calls itself a dish detergent booster, even with natural ingredients.

They look BRAND NEW!!! Hooray!!! Here is a reminder of what the glasses looked like before, next to what they look like now:

Wow. This is a VERY easy fix to something that was a big problem before.

I have some Pyrex and other glassware that had gotten water stained, but that I have had for almost nine years now and had some more stubborn stains to remove. Here is where the Magic Eraser comes in –

Step 4: While your stubborn glasses/glassware are in the Lemi Shine water, use a Magic Eraser to scrub some of the Lemi Shine water onto the stubborn spots. Here is a ring on the bottom of one of my Pyrex measuring cups. I have tried for YEARS to get this ring gone.

After a dip in the Lemi Shine bath, and a scrub with the Magic Eraser it is………

CLEAN!!!!! I am so happy! Aren’t mothers-in-law wonderful? Thank you so much for the tip!

Handy Paint Containers

This is a tip that I found a couple of years ago from my friend Melissa @ 320*Sycamore. At the time, we were renting a house while going through school, and were not thinking about putting the money into painting something we didn’t own, but I LOVED the idea. So I kept it filed away in my brain, and used it as soon as we started painting things in our house.

It has been great for everyday life moments. Like when your son (who shall remain nameless) decides to use the knob on your bathroom cabinet door to hoist himself onto the counter and does it in just the right way so as to rip one of the hinges clean off of the cabinet. Here is the damage that remained after I re-screwed the hinge on:

Here is the close-up. The screws are one of my favorite parts there. And the dinged up paint.

Looks pretty classy.

BUT, the pain of repair is lessened because I don’t have to drag out my paint can, heave it open, and then debate as to whether I will dip my tiny brush directly into the can, or whether I should go through the pain of dumping the small amount I will need into a dixie cup. No – I know exactly what to do. Just pull my little handy paint container out from my laundry room. Hooray!

All you need are some of the inexpensive Rubbermaid containers, and the paint from your house. These containers are the ones with the lids that screw on so the lid doesn’t pop off if it gets dropped. When you’re ready to use the paint, you can just give it a shake to re-mix the paint, and it is good to go.

That’s all there is to it. When you’re done, you just screw the lid back on and put it back in the laundry room until the next accident occurs, or when you notice a spot that needs a quick touch-up.

Much better! Enjoy!

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