Last week, I included a story in the food section about a variety of kitchen gadgets: good and bad. One of them was supposed to make peeling hard-boiled eggs a breeze. All it did was make a mess, wrote the testers.
Betty Schuchmann of Belleville read the review and sent me a letter about the success of a kitchen gadget she has had for two years — and it does double duty with great success, she says. The Microwave Egg Boiler not only “makes perfect hard-boiled egg,” but also “peels easy and clean every time.”
She got hers through a Miles Kimball catalog, but the device, which cooks up to four eggs in the microwave, is also sold through Target and called the NordicWare Egg Boiler ($9.99). You can order it online and pick it up at your nearest Target with no shipping cost. Or, Google microwave egg boiler and take your pick. The device looks like a giant egg in which four eggs are nestled upright. It takes less than 10 minutes to make the eggs.
Betty’s best testament to how happy she is with the gadget is that she’s given it as a gift to a variety of friends and “they all love it.”
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Sounds like a winner.
ON THE “ALL-NATURAL” BANDWAGON: Restaurant chains are facing a nutritional conundrum Go all natural, or suffer the consequences of losing customers who are slowly becoming more aware of what is in their food and, therefore, being put in their bodies.
A week ago, Bloomberg Business reported that Papa John’s was cutting artificial ingredients and other additives from the menu. The company plans to eliminate 14 ingredients, such as corn syrup, preservatives and artificial colors, by the end of 2016, an effort that will cost about $100 million a year.
McDonald’s most recent announcement on this theme was that the company will use only chickens raised with minimal antibiotics and vague plans to explore more localized ingredients, says Bloomberg.
Five other chains also recently have decided to go big with commitments to cut artificial ingredients: Subway, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Chipotle and Panera Bread.
PATIENTLY WAITING: I found this recipe in the Schnucks Cooks magazine for Summer 2015. I am a fiend about peaches this time of year and can’t wait until our local crop comes in. Meanwhile, I have been buying Georgia peaches where I can find them. They seem to be sweeter than the ones from California.
Peach Crumb Bars
Nonstick cooking spray
1 small lemon
1 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (about 3 cups) or 1 package (16 ounces) frozen peaches, thawed and drained
1 3/4 cups flour, divided
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 large egg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. From lemon, squeeze 2 tablespoons juice.
2. In a medium bowl, toss peaches and lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over peaches. Toss gently until peached are coated.
3. In second medium bowl, stir baking powder, remaining flour, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. With pastry cutter or 2 knives used a scissors, cut butter in to flour mixture until pea size crumbs form.
In a small bowl with whisk, beat egg; sprinkle over flour mixture and continue cutting until egg is evenly distributed.
4. Firmly press half the dough into prepared pan to form crust, evenly spread peach mixture over crust.
Lightly crumble remaining dough mixture over peaches. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 3 strips, then cut each strip into 3 bars.
Makes 12 bars, each with 210 calories, 8 grams fat, 150 mg sodium, 34 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 21 grams sugar, 40 mg cholesterol, 3 grams protein.
SEEING GREEN: I can never get enough avocado, no matter what time of year it is. One of the advantages of this luscious mashup is that the good fat in the avocado replaces the bad fat in mayo. The recipe is from Tablespoon.com.
Creamy Avocado Tuna Salad
2 (7 ounce) cans tuna
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/2 red onion
2 celery stalks
1 clove garlic
Dice the celery, carrots and onion. Grate the garlic with a microplane. Strain the tuna.
Remove the avocado from the skin and mash. Salt and add lemon juice right away to prevent browning. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
Serve on a sandwich or in a salad. Makes 5 servings.
Note: If saving some, be sure to push plastic wrap directly on the surface of the tuna to prevent browning.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, 618-239-2664 or follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.