February 28, 2007

The Incredible Egg Slicer

When I was little I always wanted to help my mom in the kitchen and one of the kitchen tools that fascinated me was the egg slicer. Of course the first time I borrowed it from her kitchen, I broke it while trying to put some Play Dough through it. So she showed me all the handy ways this was meant to be used. With Easter just around the corner, this handy dandy little tool can slice peeled hard-boiled eggs into even slices – especially great for all those leftover Easter Eggs. It also works well slicing mushrooms. There are so many shapes and sizes of these wonderful tools, but I like the one from KitchenAid the best. It lasts longest, and as quickly as I go through them, this is the one with the best value. It comes in three colors: red, white or black.

You don’t have to wait until Easter to try these tasty salads. Yum, I am making one as soon as I get home.

Zesty Egg Salad For Two

The perfect amount for a lunch for two.

Ingredients

3 hard-cooked eggs
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 Tbs. prepared mustard
1/8 Tbs. salt
1/8 Tbs. pepper
1/8 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. minced green onion

Directions

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Stir in eggs with a fork, chopping them into bite-sized pieces. Add green onion.

Makes two servings.

Lemon Dill Egg Salad

With a few more ingredients, this egg salad is truly delicious.

Ingredients

6 hard cooked eggs, chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 strips bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. dried dill weed
3/4 C. reduced fat ranch salad dressing

Directions

Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 1 hour. Good with sliced tomatoes and lettuce leaves on a French roll.

February 27, 2007

The Glory of Caffeine

I am not a highly caffeinated person. I do not need a cup of coffee in the morning nor do I ingest cans of pop during the day. In fact, I rarely crave the jolt and am usually quite content with plain and simple water. But today, caffeine is my savior. I was fading fast at my desk at work, going into food coma after an unbelievably satisfying curried lunch of Indian food, when my illustrious co-blogger Caley offered me some of her Chocolate Tea. (She recently joined the Adagio Tea of the Month Club and gets these fancy new teas in the mail, which she generously shares!)

Now you may be perplexed by the idea of chocolate tea. For a chocoholic such as myself, the smell was intriguingly rich with the distinct aroma of brewing chocolate-flavored tea. The flavor is subtle, yet strong and can get bitter if the leaves are left too long in the pot. But for me this was the perfect pick-me-up: chocolate-flavored caffeine.

If you’ve never ventured into the world of tea, it can certainly be a bit overwhelming. Black, white, green, herbal – there are lots of options to choose from. Check out our article on The Truth About Tea for a full breakdown of the different types. Not all tea is caffeinated, so don’t be intimidated by the manic nature of my post – feel free to stick to the herbal varieties where over-caffeination is not a risk.

Also, check out these teas that you can make at home:
Sugar-Free/Caffeine-Free Hot Spiced Tea Mix
Honey Apple Tea
Relaxing Tea Blend
Chai Tea
Spicy Green Tea

February 26, 2007

Cookie Monster’s Little Helper

I have a confession to make. Most of my adult life I’ve been addicted to fatty and salty foods. Cakes, cookies and candy were not on my radar. But something happened after I started having children. I started to crave chocolate on a daily basis. Of course, recent research has found that chocolate in small quantities is actually good for your heart and helps lift your mood.

Health benefits aside though, I really love a good cookie, especially the kind that comes straight from my oven and contains chocolate chips. And being somewhat of a control freak, I’ve spent years and tons of time trying to get every cookie the perfect shape.

Then one day, a miracle happened. I was given the Crate & Barrel Cookie Dough Scoop. This modern metal marvel is basically a smaller version of the good old fashioned ice cream scoop. But instead of the average ½ cup measurement of the ice cream scoop, this little baby makes perfect cookies in ½ to 1 tablespoon sizes. Now all my cookies are perfectly shaped and baked to perfection. What more could a Cookie Monster want, except some really great cookie recipes? Not all of them require a cookie scoop, but all of them are delicious.

February 23, 2007

Texas Holdem and Sticky Fingers- A Big NoNo

I don’t know about the rest of you but this week has been too long and thank god it is finally Friday! No offense to my job (because I do love it!) but I can’t wait to get out of the office and head home to greet some friends and fire up a game of Texas Holdem Poker.

Usually it is the same group that gets together and plays every other weekend and we all try to switch it up when it comes to who is hosting it and tonight is my night. Whenever it’s my night to host I like to be that “person” who not only can set up a poker table and count out chips but who also entertains the guest with fun food to munch on.

Usually the men out weight the women when it comes to playing poker so I keep that in mind when it comes to what kind of snacks I want to serve. So just a few minutes ago I was browsing on Recipe4Living for some creative dips and found one for Buffalo Chicken Dip. I think this would be perfect to make tonight- when you think about it, men (and some women who don’t care about getting their face and hands a little messy) love buffalo chicken wings…right? This way no one will get any cards sticky and we can all still enjoy the taste of buffalo wings. Here is the recipe if anyone else is interested.

Ingredients
12 oz. cooked chicken, shredded
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 C. ranch dressing
3/4 C. Frank’s Hot Sauce
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
Frito Scoops

Directions
Mix together chicken and hot sauce. Let set for 30 minutes. Meanwhile beat cream cheese and ranch dressing. Fold in shredded chicken. Spread mixture into pie plate sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Add cheddar to top and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with Frito Scoops.

You could serve this dip for any party really. Especially if you are having some friends over to watch a sporting event. That way you will have no worries when it comes to messy hands getting all over the furniture due to serving buffalo wings.

Well wish me luck everyone and have a great weekend!

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