Using a Sieve to Perfectly Poach Eggs

I found some English Muffins in the freezer and then decided I wanted to make Eggs Benedict. I’ve posted before my recipe for Easy and Foolproof Hollandaise Sauce but below is my method for poaching eggs without swirling the water to create a vortex or having too much wispy whites floating around and cloudy things up.

The white parts of eggs have two distinct textures inside the shell. The outermost white contains more water than the white that surrounds the yolk. The older an egg is, the more runny the white will be and the more wispy strands there will be. As most of us don’t have farm fresh fresh eggs, straining the eggs gets rid of the runniest part of the white.

Perfect little egg packages

I serve my poached eggs over toasted English muffins with crumbles of bacon and a generous helping of Hollandaise sauce.

The runny, golden yolks and the perfectly cooked whites of these poached eggs are delicious but when you add the hollandaise sauce, you get decadence for breakfast.

Perfectly Poached Eggs

6 cups water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 to 6 eggs

Bring a large Dutch oven with the water to the boil and then turn the heat down to low. Stir in the vinegar and place a lid on the pot.

Crack the eggs into a fine mesh sieve to allow the loose, watery whites to drain away, leaving the more solid white in place. Place the drained eggs in a measuring cup. Remove the lid from the pot and turn off the heat. Pour the eggs in, one at a time, separated by a few inches. This is why 6 eggs is about the limit for a Dutch oven. Replace the lid and set a timer for 3 minutes.

Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Serve immediately or put in an ice water bath to hold for up to 3 days.

If poaching the eggs in advance, when ready to serve, add boiling water to a bowl, then add the cold poached eggs and submerge for 20-30 seconds or until warmed through. Remove with a slotted spoon, dab dry and serve immediately.


Sourdough Cranberry Coffee Cake

I decided yesterday to make a coffee cake with some of the cranberry relish I found in the pantry. The jar was a little over a cup, so I used the whole thing. You could use cranberry sauce – just make sure it isn’t the canned, pureed stuff because having the cranberries in it is flavorful and adds to the eye appeal.

I went into my files for my version of Hobee’s Blueberry Coffee Cake and and decided to use that as my base (their version vs my version). I did need to extend the cooking time to account for the added liquid.

Light, tart and super tasty. A very good way to start the day and use up leftovers!

Sourdough Cranberry Coffee Cake

1 ½ cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cranberry sauce or relish


5 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8×8 baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, resift flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt

In another mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs. Stir together sour cream and sourdough starter to loosen it up and then add to the sugar/eggs mixture. Mix to combine. Add in vanilla.

Add in the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in the cranberry sauce just until combined. Pour into prepared pan.

For the topping: In a small bowl, mix sugar with the butter and cinnamon with a sturdy fork, until they are blended and no loose sugar remains. Add in pecans and stir to combine. Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a clean toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.

Cool slightly; serve warm or at room temperature.

Amaretto Cheesecake

Michelle has once again outdone herself with making a cheesecake for my birthday. I happened upon a package of Amaretto cookies and thought they would make a terrific crust. I brought the idea to her and she did the rest.

So good! Rich and creamy and very flavorful. I couldn’t get my parent’s to stop eating on it, until I shoved it in the freezer!

Amaretto Cheesecake

2 ½ cups ground amaretto cookies (about 1 and half 7.5 ounce packages)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt (we used 2 % Fage plain)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup amaretto liqueur (we used di Amore Amaretto)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

In a food processor, mix together butter and ground cookies for the crust. Press into a 10 inch springform pan, coming a little up the sides.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and liqueur.

Pour into pan and tap against the counter to bring up any bubbles.

Bake for 2 ½ hours. If it still jiggles, cook for 30 minutes more.

Remove from oven and bring oven temperature up to 500 degrees F. Brown top, about 10-15 minutes.

Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with door cracked open for thirty minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge, about an inch deep to loosen. Leave on the counter to cool for thirty minutes. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before slicing.

Easy Artichoke Dip

When you need a quick appetizer, this is my go-to recipe. It makes about 2 cups and comes together with little effort or time, so you can focus on your guests.

I like it with Ritz crackers but the only limit to the dipping is your imagination.

Easy Artichoke Dip

1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated mix of parmesan, asiago, romano cheese
Dash garlic powder.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chop the artichoke hearts. Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Put the dip in a pie plate or casserole dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until dip is hot and bubbling. Serve with crackers or chips.