August 22, 2014

20 ways to recycle eggshells

Posted in Uncategorized

Don’t you love when trash suddenly becomes a treasure? Here are 20 awesome uses for the shells, after you’ve already enjoyed the egg.

  1. Calcium water – Soak eggshells or use the (cooled down) from your boiled eggs, then water plants.
    Photo credit: theelliotthomestead.com

    Photo credit: theelliotthomestead.com

  2. Homemade chalk – Mix flour and hot water, and then add eggshell powder until it’s a thick paste. Add food-coloring, press into mold, let dry for a few days and voila!
  3. Soil additive – Add to the soil in your garden or houseplants to keep slugs, snails, cutworms, and cats away.
    Photo credit: freshorganicgardening.com

    Photo credit: freshorganicgardening.com

  4. Treat skin irritations – Dissolve shells in apple cider vinegar (for a couple days) and use the liquid to treat itchy, irritated skin.
  5. Get rid of coffee and tea stains – Crumple up some shells, place in mug/cup and fill with hot water. Let sit overnight, wash and POOF stains are gone!
  6. Fishing – Dump into water and draw fish to your boat.
  7. Cleaning – Use shells + soapy water to clean pots and pans (a natural abrasive).
    Photo credit: sheknows.com

    Photo credit: sheknows.com

  8. Sharpen scissors and knives - Cut through shells repeatedly to sharpen.
  9. Decoration – use the shells as a little floral/succulent centerpiece.
    Photo credit: blog.downthatlittlelane.com.au

    Photo credit: blog.downthatlittlelane.com.au

  10. Healing cuts and ingrown nails – Peel away the thin inner membrane of the shell and cover area that needs to be treated.
  11. Unclog your drains – place in sink strainer to trap solids. When they break down they will clean pipes, too.
    Photo credit: onegoodthingbyjillee.com

    Photo credit: onegoodthingbyjillee.com

  12. Facial – Crush dried eggshells and mix with egg white: smear all over your face and allow to dry before rinsing off for a really healthy, skin-tightening facial.
  13. Coffee – Add to coffee grounds to reduce bitterness.
    Photo credit: praguestepchild.blogspot.com

    Photo credit: praguestepchild.blogspot.com

  14. Laundry whitener – Toss some shells in a mesh bag and into your laundry, the whites will become whiter. (Note: I’ve never actually tried this! But would love for someone to report back with some *hopefully great* results.)
  15. Compost – Crush or grind them and add to compost.
    Photo credit: growveg.com

    Photo credit: growveg.com

  16. Calcium supplement – For dog: crush into fine powder (a little goes a long way) and add to food. For humans: clean shells by putting in hot oven for 5 minutes, let cool, grind to fine powder and add to your liquids.
    Photo credit: dreamdogz.blogspot.com

    Photo credit: dreamdogz.blogspot.com

  17. Chicken feed – Give them back to your backyard chickens (if you’re lucky enough to have them). It’s a great calcium supplement and they’ll happily chomp away at it!
  18. Egg art – People are using shells to make everything from sculptures, to textured paint.
  19. Gelatin or chocolate mold – For a fun treat: fill shell with jello or chocolate and let your guests peel away for a surprise.
  20. Seedling starter – Poke a hole at the bottom of eggshell, then fill with dirt and one or two seeds. Once the seedling starts to grow, break a bigger hole in the bottom and then plant, shell and all!
    Photo credit: apartmenttherapy.com

    Photo credit: apartmenttherapy.com

 

 

August 19, 2014

Open-faced breakfast taco

Posted in Recipe

Open-faced breakfast taco

Ingredients

  • pasture-raised eggs
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar salsa
  • corn tortillas

Directions

Step 1. black-beans-vitalfarms
Heat up tortillas on skillet and beans and salsa in separate sauce pans
Step 2. Put a skillet on medium heat and add 1 tbsp of butter
Step 3. Crack pasture-raised eggs in pan and cover until cooked (you want the yolk runny!)
Step 4. avocado-vitalfarms
Assemble open-faced taco by laying out the tortilla, adding black beans, putting sunny-side egg on top, then avocado and salsa
Step 5. Enjoy!
August 12, 2014

Avocado toast: sunny-side up

Posted in Recipe

Avocado toast: sunny-side up

Serves 1
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 3 minutes
Total time 8 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly
Website Huffington Post
One of the quickest, easiest, tastiest dishes to make for a big crowd under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1. Toast bread
Step 2. avocado-toast
Place slices of avocado on toast and use back of fork to smash
Step 3. vital-farms-sunny-side
Fry an egg - sunny-side up - and place on toast
Step 4. vitalfarms-sunnysideup-eggs-toast
Season with salt and pepper
August 4, 2014

Italian sausage hash

Posted in Recipe
Mild italian sausage hash with pasture-raised Vital Farms eggs.

Mild italian sausage hash with pasture-raised Vital Farms eggs.

Italian sausage hash

Ingredients

  • 1/2lb Italian sausage (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 2-3 Yukon potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Large Onion (chopped)
  • 4 Large Pasture-raised eggs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 Scallion (sliced)

Directions

Step 1. vitalfarms-hash-ingredients
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare ingredients.
Step 2. Pierce potatoes and microwave until almost tender - 10 minutes - turning occasionally. Slightly cool, peel and dice.
Step 3. Heat butter in oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat.
Step 4. step2-vitalfarms-hash
Add sausage and cook until browned. Add onions and cook until soft.
Step 5. Stir in potatoes, then with a spatula, flatten hash into an even layer in the pan. Cook until the bottom is browned and then flip and cook a few minutes more.
Step 6. addtheeggs-vitalfarms-hash
Remove from heat and using a spoon, make shallow indentations in the hash and crack eggs into holes.
Step 7. Put oven-safe skillet into oven and bake until egg whites are set - about 10 minutes.
Step 8. Mild italian sausage hash with pasture-raised Vital Farms eggs.
Season with salt and pepper, and top with parsley and scallions.

Spigarello with Poached Eggs

Posted in Recipe
Photo and recipe courtesy of Food52.com.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Food52.com.

Spigarello with Poached Eggs

Serves 1
Prep time 3 minutes
Cook time 7 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast
Website Food52
This recipe for spigarello with poached eggs was written by Brooklyn Salt from Food52.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Spigarello (washed and stems removed)
  • 1 Large Clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Pasture-raised eggs (cracked into a small bowl)
  • Course salt and freshly cracked pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Plunge the spigarello into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
Step 2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat and then add in the garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Step 3. With tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the spigarello from the boiling water and put it in the saute pan, tossing to coat. Saute for about 3-4 minutes.
Step 4. Meanwhile, turn the heat on the cooking water down to low. When the boiling dies down, swirl the water in the pot gently and slip the eggs into the middle of the whirlpool. Cook the eggs for 5-6 minutes (or however done you like them).
Step 5. When the eggs are done, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a folded paper towel to soak up any water.
Step 6. Plate the spigarello with the eggs on top. Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper and serve immediately.

The Perfect Poach

Posted in Recipe
Photo and recipe courtesy of bonappetit.com

Photo and recipe courtesy of bonappetit.com

The Perfect Poach

Serves 1
Prep time 2 minutes
Cook time 4 minutes
Total time 6 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Bon Appétit
The perfect poached egg by Thomas Keller found on bonappetit.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Large pasture-raised eggs
  • Course sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Step 1. Pour 1/2 cup vinegar into each of 2 small bowls.
Step 2. Crack 1 egg into each bowl, taking care not to break yolk; let stand for 5 minutes.
Step 3. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Step 4. Using a whisk, vigorously swirl water until a vortex forms in the center. Slip 1 egg with vinegar into vortex and continue to swirl water with whisk around edges of pan until it returns to a boil.
Step 5. As soon as water returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and gently simmer egg, frequently swirling water, for 2 minutes.
Step 6. Using a slotted spoon, lift egg from water and use kitchen shears to trim any stray pieces of egg white.
Step 7. Place egg on paper towels and gently blot; transfer egg to a bowl or plate.
Step 8. Repeat with remaining egg. (If poaching more than 2 eggs, repeat using fresh water.)
Step 9. Season with salt and pepper.
July 22, 2014

How hard is it to make a soft-boiled egg?

Posted in Recipe

My favorite way to eat eggs is to dip toast into a runny yolk. Whether that means a perfectly cooked over-medium or soft-boiled egg, it doesn’t matter. It just so happens that it’s really easy to cook one of those to perfection, the other not so much.

Here I tested out three different methods on cooking a soft-boiled egg, and the results actually surprised me. We’re looking for a firm white and runny yolk, folks. Here goes:

(Much like the hard-boiling process, but with less time on the clock)

Cold boil: 1 medium size egg – TheKitchn.com suggests cooking on simmer for 3 minutes
Fill up a pot with cold water, an inch over the egg. Timer starts when the water starts to boil. Keep the water on the heat but lower to a simmer once the water starts boiling. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove and place in ice-bath.

cold-boil-soft

Result: Overcooked but on the softer side. I would suggest taking these out of the pot at 2 minutes (after the water hits boiling point).

Long boil: 1 medium size egg – Chatelaine.com suggests I cook the egg for only 3.5 minutes
Fill up a pot with cold water, an inch over the egg. Timer start when the water starts to boil. But this time, take the pot off the heat after the water is boiling, cover and cook for 3.5 minutes with no heat, then place in ice-bath.

long-boiled-soft

Result: Way too overcooked! I should have listened! Instead I kept the egg in the pot, cooking for 5 minutes and the result was a way overcooked egg. Assuming the egg would need more time to cook, after hitting the boiling point, was way off. I would take these guys out at 3.5 minutes, just like Chatelaine suggests.

Hot boil: 1 medium size egg – Egg Master- A sophisticated Egg Timer app suggests cooking for 5 minutes
Boil a pot of water. When water is officially boiling, gently place eggs in pot and cook on the same high heat for 5 minutes, then place in ice-bath.

hot-boiled-soft

Result: Almost perfect. The whites were only slightly undercooked near the center, but the yolk was in all its runny glory.

It took a few tries, but I finally got it right. The easiest, most foolproof way to cooking soft-boiled eggs is hot boiling for 5.5 minutes. Get your soldiers ready, it’s time for dippin’!

soft-boiled

July 21, 2014

Hard-boiling – which way’s best?

Posted in Recipe

If you’re not the app type (or don’t have a smartphone), our last blog post is no help for your egg boiling needs. So, we’ve decided to test the cold boil, long boil and hot boil methods the old fashioned way.

Cold boil:
Fill up a pot with cold water, an inch over the egg. Timer starts when the water starts to boil. Keep the water on the heat but lower to a simmer once the water starts boiling. Cook for 7 minutes, then remove and place in ice-bath.

Long boil:
Fill up a pot with cold water, an inch over the egg. Timer start when the water starts to boil. But this time, take the pot off the heat after the water is boiling, cover and cook for 12 minutes with no heat, then place in ice-bath.

Hot boil:
Boil a pot of water. When water is officially boiling, gently place eggs in pot and cook on the same high heat for 12 minutes, then place in ice-bath.

The results:

hard-boiled-eggs-vitalfarms

The long and cold boil method had very similar results: a perfectly hard-boiled egg with no green ring of over-cooked egg. The hot boil was slightly undercooked (but still so delicious), which was surprising since the egg was left in boiling water for 12 minutes.

cold-boiled-vitalfarms long-boiled-vitalfarms

The verdict is, a long and slow cooking process will lead to perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs every time. This is great if you need to leave the kitchen and can’t stare at a boiling pot of water for more than 10 minutes. And our quick tip: placing the cooked egg in an ice-bath immediately after boiling will stop the cooking process and will make it easy to peel without surface craters!

Happy boiling!

July 11, 2014

Never over-boil an egg again!

Posted in Recipe, Uncategorized

Boiling water is one of the easiest things to do in the kitchen. Putting an egg into said boiling water just made things a LOT more difficult. How do I get the yolk just right? How long should I cook and on what heat? Does it matter if I’m on a mountain in Colorado at my grandma Rose’s house?

So we’ve made a list of some egg timer apps out there that may be of some use to you next time you’re in the kitchen with a dozen of those Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs and have no idea how long to boil them for (or scramble, poach or fry them for that matter). We’ve given 10 popular egg timer apps our egg-ratings.

1-egg-rating Filibaba Egg Timer by Filibaba AB (free) – When you have to pay a dollar to get rid of a super annoying banner, the app is not worth it!

1-egg-rating Original Egg Timer by Artline Solutions (.99) – This app has one misleading name, it’s actually a timer for games. Definitely don’t boil your eggs for 60 minutes!

1-egg-rating Egg Timer- Boiled Eggs by UGUR CAKMAKCI (free) – If you’re looking for the most simplistic interface ever, I mean EVER, this app is for you. But for the rest of us that would like some customizable options, let’s move on.

2-egg-rating Egg Clock- Kitchen Timer by Raphael Odermatt (.99) – Even though they have an “award winning formula for boiling eggs” there’s nothing special about it to make it worth paying for.

3-egg-rating Egg Timer by Egg Farmers of Canada (free) – The first app that gives you options for cooing different types of eggs – boiled, poached, scrambled and fried. There’s also a list of about 100 recipes that makes this app unique to the rest of the ones on this list. They’re getting a 3-egg-rating because it’s not exactly exciting for the user.

3-egg-rating Gourmet Egg Timer by MARSDEN (.99) – Now we’re getting somewhere. You can create multiple timers to cook eggs at different consistencies at the same time and there’s an interactive interface that makes things a little fun, you can rotate your phone and watch your egg (and the boiling water) move with you. My only complaint – it’s not very visually appealing. Next!

3-egg-rating Farm Pride Egg Timer by Exa Web (free) – This app has got a very cute “farmy” look to it with basic boiling tips and techniques. A decent option for a free app, and three stars because of it’s interface.

4-egg-rating Any Egg Style Timer by Klaas Kremer (.99) – Just like a previous app, this one has a feature to time different styles of egg cooking, and makes it very easy for the user to transition from scrambled to boiled with a swipe of a finger.

Drumroll, please! The winner is…. Well, there are two winners. One will cost ya, and the other won’t. (So, I guess that means the real winner is the free one, but you can make that decision on your own.) UPDATE: The Egg Master app now has a shiny $1 price tag on it.

5-egg-rating The Perfect Egg Timer by Mirko Müller (.99)  - This app prides itself on being the #1 bestseller in multiple countries. It has a clean interface and determines cooking time based on egg size, altitude and temperature. It is so precise, you can actually measure the size of the egg by placing it on the screen and resizing with your fingertips, and it can also tell your altitude through the GPS in your phone. There’s an “egg spy” feature that allows you to actually see what the egg looks like inside while it’s boiling. Can you say, “perfect boiled eggs EVERY time?!”

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.43.35 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.54.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.54.09 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.54.27 PM

5-egg-rating Egg Master- A sophisticated Egg Timer (.99) – This app has a simple and effective interface that has many of the same features as the one above. What I love about this app is the ability to cook multiple eggs at the same time and personalize the time with the name of the egg-eater. The live mode allows you to see how your egg looks inside during boiling and features the same GPS and resizing feature as the previous. Hooray for free and useful!

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.44.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.57.21 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.56.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.56.05 PM

July 8, 2014

Egg and Crab Breakfast Tacos

Posted in Recipe

If you’re lucky enough to live on the coast where fresh seafood is available at your fancy or your local supermarket is having a sweet deal on fresh crab, this recipe should be in your future!
 

Egg and Crab Breakfast Tacos

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 Vital Farms Eggs (scrambled)
  • 1/2 cup Crab
  • 1/2 White onion (chopped)
  • Cheddar cheese (freshly grated)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tortillas

Directions

Step 1. crab-leg-yum
Heat up oil in a pan on medium-low heat and while waiting, shred crab meat
Step 2. cooking-onions-crab
Add chopped onions and shredded crab meat to pan, cook until onions are transparent
Step 3. In a bowl, scramble eggs and season with salt and pepper
Step 4. Pour eggs into pan and scramble with the onions and crab meat
Step 5. cheese-eggs-crab
Sprinkle the grated cheddar on top of the cooked eggs, to melt
Step 6. Heat up tortillas, add the cheesy egg/crab, add hot sauce if you'd like and enjoy!
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