New Year's resolution: Eat more eggs

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We've all got that friend: the one who's constantly giving unsolicited conversational advertisements for his/her latest discovery, whether it's a new gym, a makeup product, or possibly Jesus. Well, I'm about to be that friend, people. Get ready for your eyes to glaze over as your head starts nodding involuntarily.

Here's the deal: you can hard-boil eggs in the oven. If you're like me, you love the convenience and portability of protein-packed hard-boiled eggs, but you hate waiting a million years for water to boil and you get stressed out over the precise timing that the traditional method of boiling eggs takes. Baking eggs in the oven saves time, plus it's easy to do a bunch of them at one time.

Some of you have known about this method for a while now, and I understand it was popularized by Alton Brown a couple years ago. I read about it on lifehacker (Thanks, Chris!) over the summer, and I've been very impressed with the results. The yolks are creamy and soft, and the whites don't turn greenish or slimy. White shells may turn brown in spots, but this discoloration doesn't affect the taste of the eggs. I will probably never go back to true hard-boiling again!

You will need:

  • Eggs

Steps:

  1. Start with a cold oven. Place eggs directly on the oven rack, or place them in a muffin tin. (I like using the tin, just in case any eggs should crack open.)
  2. Close the door and set the oven to 325 degrees F. Once it has reached that temperature, set a timer for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove the eggs from the oven and plunge them into a bowl of ice water so they can cool. 
  4. As soon as they're cool enough to handle, you can peel them or put them in the fridge to keep for later.

It doesn't get much simpler than that!

Tofu 101

In a recent post, I mentioned that the key to cooking tofu well is to prepare it properly. There's an excellent tutorial titled "How to Make Tofu Really Freaking Delicious" over at Herbavoracious. I haven't tried the salted water method myself (and I certainly don't buy my tofu from a specialty store), but I think Michael's explanation is simple, helpful, and worthwhile. Definitely check it out if you're still hesitant to try making tofu at home. If you follow his instructions, you'll be just fine!

Guide to plastic-free produce storage

Here's a great resource for those who are more environmentally-friendly than I: How to Store Vegetables/Fruit Without Plastic. It gives great advice on how to keep produce fresh once you get it home, whether the answer is leaving it out on the counter, wrapping it in a damp towel, or keeping it in an airtight glass container. Sure, it's easy to throw everything in a Ziploc once you get it home, but in some cases, that will actually make the food go bad faster. Maybe this will help me finally get potatoes to stop sprouting before I can eat them!

More tips on avoiding food waste

This week, The Kitchn had two great features on avoiding food waste. One article named three simple rules: use a dry-erase board to keep track of what needs to be used up, shop from a list instead of buying on impulse, and record food items you do throw away. I've already tried that first tip, and it worked well for me until I forgot to keep up the habit. I need to start doing that again though! The second tip helps you prevent yourself from buying things you don't really need and won't have a chance to use up. The final tip forces you recognize patterns in your food shopping so that you can cut back on or even stop buying items you often end up wasting. It's a good system!

The second article led to a feature from Salon about seven ways to cut back on food waste. Most were not new to me; however, I didn't know it's possible to freeze milk for later! I'll have to try that sometime.

One another tip I'd like to contribute: organize your online recipes with Google Bookmarks. This site allows users to create custom lists for their bookmarks and then label the individual bookmarks within those groups. I label each recipe with its key ingredients so I can later go back and gather ideas for ways to use up what I have in the fridge or pantry. For example, I have a few springs of leftover rosemary from the other night, and a quick search through my list helped me decide to make Ina Garten's rosemary roasted cashews later in the week. Score!