A little about Chicken Eggs

November 17, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Posted in Eggs | Leave a comment
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Medium white eggs in carton

Medium white eggs in carton

Chicken eggs are graded by size, for the purpose of sales. The United States Department of Agriculture sizing is based by weight per dozen. The most common US size of chicken egg is ‘Large’ and is the egg size commonly referred to for recipes. The following egg masses have been calculated on the basis of the USDA sizing:


Modern Sizes (USA)
Size Mass per egg Cooking Yield (Volume)

Jumbo Greater than 2.5 oz. or 71 g
Very Large or Extra-Large (XL) Greater than 2.25 oz. or 64 g 56 mL (4 tbsp)
Large (L) Greater than 2 oz. or 57 g 46 mL (3.25 tbsp)
Medium (M) Greater than 1.75 oz. or 50 g 43 mL (3 tbsp)
Small (S) Greater than 1.5 oz. or 43 g
Peewee Greater than 1.25 oz. or 35 g

(According to WIKI)



Interesting Facts About Chicken Eggs – Very good site with a lot of facts about Eggs.





Did you have eggs for breakfast this morning? There are endless recipes for great tasting dishes with eggs, so there’s no reason you can’t enjoy them for breakfast every day.

Eggs are all-natural and packed with a number of nutrients. One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals in varying amounts, high-quality protein, unsaturated fats and antioxidants, all for 70 calories.

Eggs’ nutrients can help you with weight management, muscle strength, eye health, brain function and having a healthy pregnancy. Particularly important for aiding healthy brain function and pregnancy is choline (pronounced KOH-leen), which is amply present in eggs.

Eggs are the perfect choice for breakfast. The protein in eggs provides steady and sustained energy that starts your day off right. Now, what’s for breakfast tomorrow?


New kinds of steak hit menus….

November 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM | Posted in BEEF | Leave a comment
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Came across this article, on several different sites, on new cuts of Steaks and thought I would pass it along.



New kinds of steak hit menus….
By David Pierson

October 26, 2013, 5:00 a.m.

For generations, beef shoulder was a blue-collar cut of cow, fit for the meat grinder or crockpot but not much else.
But where others saw pot roast, Tony Mata saw potential.

Mata is a Dallas meat scientist whose mission is to find hidden gems in rough parts of the steer. He and a team of researchers came up with the industry’s newest steak by mining the muscle under the shoulder blade for a tender pad of flesh.

Unveiled last year at a trade show, the meat is starting to land on restaurant menus. At about $6 a pound, it sells for twice the price of hamburger and has a catchy name to boot: the Vegas Strip Steak.

“People think I’m crazy trying to look for new steaks in an animal we’ve domesticated for thousands of years,” Mata said. “But as an industry, we’ve ignored all these other muscles. I truly believe there’s still two or three more steaks out there.”

Mata’s persistence is a testament to changing fortunes in the beef industry. U.S. per capita beef consumption has been falling for decades as consumers have shifted to lighter fare. Pricey prime rib and filet mignon have vanished from many American tables in a sluggish economy.

That has the beef industry scouring the animal for affordable delicacies — cuts that will fetch higher prices than burger without breaking the bank for shoppers. Now steaks with names like ranch, petite tender, Denver and Sierra are popping up in meat cases alongside familiar names like sirloin and porterhouse.

“Any time you can make something steak-able, you’re bringing more dollars back to the carcass,” said Jake Nelson, a meat processing specialist at Oklahoma State University who worked with Mata on the Vegas Strip Steak.

Such efforts began in earnest more than a decade ago. That’s when the U.S. industry’s promotional arm, known as the Beef Checkoff, funded research to find cuts tasty and tender enough to turn into inexpensive steaks.

Researchers at the University of Nebraska and the University of Florida studied more than three dozen muscles, focusing mainly on the shoulder or chuck, as well as the round, which is the back leg. They measured tenderness, trimmed the gristle and spent hours in test kitchens cooking up the results.

Top-quality steaks have traditionally come from the steer’s midsection, which is supple and easy to butcher. Chris Calkins, a University of Nebraska professor who worked on the project, said skepticism abounded among meatpackers that anything valuable would be found in the animal’s ropy front and behind.

But in a portion of the chuck known, unappetizingly, as the shoulder clod they found a large pocket of marbled meat. All it required was some nimble knife skills and suddenly there were the makings of an elegant steak. They dubbed it the flatiron because it resembled an antique steel clothing iron.

Retailing for about $6 a pound, the flatiron is now America’s sixth most popular steak, overtaking the porterhouse last year. And it has changed the economics of beef. Experts estimate that it has helped add $50 to $70 to the value of the average steer — impressive considering that an entire animal goes for about $1,600.

The flatiron has enabled restaurants to serve a hearty steak at relatively affordable prices. The Tender Greens restaurant chain offers a sliced flatiron plate with side dishes for $11.

Although the flatiron is the runaway sales leader among the newer cuts, nothing can beat the recently introduced country-style ribs for sheer imagination. These “ribs” are boneless — and they aren’t found near the animal’s rib cage. Instead this meat is sliced from the chuck.

Erik Oberholtzer, co-founder of Tender Greens, said he slow-cooks these faux ribs for hours over hickory wood, then tops them with a homemade chipotle barbecue sauce.

“They come out soft, juicy and fall apart without the mess of bones,” he said.

Other industry innovations amount to little more than smaller portions. Take the New York strip fillet. It’s essentially a typical 1-pound New York strip steak split in half. That might seem like cheating, but beef marketers defend it as good value for consumers on a budget.

“They’re still enjoying a high-quality steak but at a lower cost,” said Trevor Amen of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn.

Economic conditions have long spurred reinvention when it comes to America’s favorite red meat.

The Great Depression gave rise to the lowly cube steak, a slice of top round or top sirloin so tough that it needs to be pulverized with a mallet to make the meat fit to chew.

Still, getting consumers to embrace new cuts like the petite tender has been anything but a slam-dunk.

“I’ve never heard of them,” Justin Nathaniel, 25, who was grocery shopping recently at a Hollywood Vons, said about the new cuts. “I prefer the porterhouse. I want lots of marbling.”

Some meat experts are dubious too. They say the beef industry is trying to dress up second-tier cuts with fancy names.

“We already know about all the good stuff,” said Lou DeRosa, a third-generation butcher at Marconda’s Meats in Los Angeles. “Those new cuts are pretty rough.”

But other industry veterans say the value steaks are a nice addition to their lineups.

Meat supplier Brandon Lobaugh, president of iQ Foods in Fayetteville, Ark., says the key is preparation and cooking.

To peddle the ranch steak to his customers, he brines the meat in a salt solution to ensure that it stays moist. A petite tender is roasted to a pink center and sliced into medallions like a pricey tenderloin. When pushing the Denver, he says the key is to grill it medium or medium-rare to prevent it from toughening.

Lobaugh said most of his clients happily gobble down the samples. But getting them to order it for their supermarkets and restaurants is another story.

“A lot of these chefs in big chains and accounts are real skeptical,” he said. “They’ve been trained to work with the traditional cuts, and to come in with something new just takes them out of their comfort zone.”

Food scientist Mata promotes his Vegas Strip Steak as a flavorful alternative to the New York strip, but at half to one-third the price. He has trademarked its name and launched a quixotic attempt to patent the butchering process needed to extract the steak from the shoulder blade.

At 63, the native of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, says he’s not done yet. Mata is still exploring the beef shoulder and back in search of the next big thing.

“Get back to me in two years,” Mata said. “I’ll have another steak by then.”

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

November 25, 2012 at 1:40 PM | Posted in cooking, Food | 3 Comments
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Cooking Onion Rings? Make sure you fry only a few at a time to prevent them from sticking together and to ensure even cooking.

2nd Hint of the Day!


For the best French Fries, soak cut potatoes in ice-cold water in the refrigerator for an hour; this will harden them so they absorb less fat. Dry them thoroughly, then fry them twice. First cook for 6 – 7 minutes, drain well, then sprinkle them lightly with flour( this step makes them extra crispy and crunchy ). Then fry them again for 1 – 2 minutes until golden brown.

September 8, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Posted in cooking, Food | Leave a comment
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BBC AMERICA to premiere its new original series from Executive Producer Jamie Oliver, CHEF RACE: U.K. vs. U.S., with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, October 2. Ahead of the premiere, BBC AMERICA will present a special preview of the first episode on Saturday September 29, 10:00pm ET, following the mid-season finale of Doctor Who. Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S. premieres with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday October 2, 9:00pm ET and 10:00pm ET. The series continues in its regular timeslot on Tuesday, October 9, 10:00pm ET.

Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S. pits 16 chefs – eight Brits versus eight Americans – against each other as they race across the country using their culinary skills and business savvy in the hopes of winning a grand prize of $100,000 dollars. Michelin-starred London restaurateur, Richard Corrigan (Masterchef), serves as a mentor and judge and Claire Robinson (5 Ingredient Fix) hosts the new original series.

Jamie Oliver, Executive Producer, Fresh One says: “The restaurant business is one of the toughest in the world and to be successful in it these days takes so much more than just being able to cook. You’ve got to have a good business sense, vision, leadership and so much more. This series is the first time that anyone has really dug deep into what it takes to be successful and it’s going to take an incredible individual to win it.”

The race starts on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, where Team U.K. and Team U.S. are stripped of their cash and credit cards and challenged to cook to survive, prosper and win. In the 10 one-hour episodes, the teams battle coast to coast from Los Angeles to New York City, with the chefs living off their cooking skills, resourcefulness, ingenuity, leadership and finesse to survive and make it to their next destination. They’ll need to make enough cash, and maybe a few friends, in order to make it to the next checkpoint. In the beginning, they will work as teams and cook to turn a profit. The team with the biggest profit moves on and the losing team faces team member elimination by way of a cook-off. In the end there will only be one winner.

The chefs range in experience – from working in Michelin-starred restaurants to having studied at prestigious culinary institutes to no formal training at all. The 4,000 mile road trip has them competing in Los Angeles – Albuquerque and Sante Fe, New Mexico – Grand Mesa, Colorado – Dodge City, Kansas – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Fort Smith, Arkansas – Memphis, Tennessee – St. Louis, Missouri – Springfield and Chicago, Illinois – Detroit, Michigan – Bedford, Ohio – Baltimore, Maryland and New York City.

From dealing with an entire bison in New Mexico, fishing in the Great Lakes and maneuvering a mobile pizza oven in Chicago to tackling serious barbeque in Memphis and whipping up their best crab cake in Maryland, these chefs must prove they’ve got what it takes when thrust into the rich diversity of American cuisine. Not only will they have to prove their culinary weight, they’ll be forced to stay formidable against teammates with big egos and sharp tongues. Resourcefulness, ingenuity, leadership and finesse will be just as important on their 4,000 mile adventure as the tastiness of their delectable creations.

Chef Race: U.K. vs.. U.S. is produced by Fresh One Productions for BBC AMERICA. Jamie Oliver (Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution), Amy Chacon (The Amazing Race), Stef Wagstaffe (Undercover Boss), Roy Ackerman (Reagan, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution), SebastIan Grant (Lilly Allen and Friends) and Jo Ralling (Jamie’s American Road Trip) serve as executive producers for Fresh One Productions.


‘Food Network Star’ Recap: ‘Dinner Party for Wolfgang Puck’

July 18, 2011 at 10:11 AM | Posted in baking, Food | Leave a comment
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Food Network Star’ Recap: ‘Dinner Party for Wolfgang Puck
Michael Pascua
One contestant upsets Wolfgang Puck when they make a bad risotto.

[Food Network Star – Season 7 Episode 7]

After almost being eliminated, Whitney called her boyfriend and complained the judges thought that she was being too uptight. Her boyfriend responded by saying, “You are uptight.” This woke her up to the fact that while she has to be serious while cooking, she has to balance the personality that the judges thought she lacked.

The contestants arrived to their next challenge and Bobby announced that it was midterms. All the contestants would be evaluated from their weeks of competition. Two people would be eliminated, and the remaining six would go to New York City. Bobby announced the Camera Challenge which was to create a signature dish and give a two-minute demo. Bobby suggested different things for the contestants to work on.

Jyll – Bobby talked to Jyll about wanting to be surprised. She decided to make Carpaccio and tried to make a pushy “Don’t change the channel!” remark and it flopped completely. The judges hated her attempt.

Whitney – Whitney’s continued criticism came from her lack of personality and warmth. Through her gazpacho, she tried to explain the story of her visiting sorority sisters. The judges liked both her dish and the story.

Chris – Bobby warned Chris that his shopping list of food was an issue. He also had continued problems with his personality on camera. In his camera presentation, Chris talked a lot but never did any demonstration. Bobby questioned his maturity level.

Jeff – Jeff had energy, but lacked the warmth that a Food Network Star needs. He explained his chicken vesuvio and while he tried to be warm, he had no energy in front of the camera.

Mary Beth – As a writer, Mary Beth continues to talk well, but Bobby was hoping that she could talk to the audience/judges in such a way that she invented the dish. Mary Beth had to figure out what the unique selling points of her dish were. She made spaghetti and meatballs and in her presentation made no explanation to why her dish was special.

Susie – Bobby suggested focusing on teaching the audience how to cook. While Susie made traditional enchiladas for the judges, her demonstration was about making tortillas. The problem was she never got to explain what the tortillas had to do with the enchiladas. Judge Bob pointed out that she lacked a map and needed direction.

Penny – Like every week, Penny continued to come off a bit rough around the edges. Bobby suggested fixing her likability. Apparently her “likeability” came in the form of cultural knowledge of Istanbul. Penny was so nervous that it sounded worse. The judges all agreed that her food tasted good.

Vic – Bobby had an issue with Vic’s knowledge factor. He hoped that Vic would be both an expert and a strong teacher. He prepared a seared Sea Bass which was less “Mama’s Boy” and more Vegas. Vic had a nervous energy and sounded like a shopping list of food. Time ran out before he got to do his demonstration.

The judges announced that Whitney was the clear winner. She would be given an advantage in the next challenge. The following challenge would announce which two would be eliminated. At the contestants’ home, Bobby knocked and announced the next challenge. Bobby wanted the contestants to create an over-the-top dinner party meal. Bobby forced the contestants to use only food found in the house. Luckily for them, it seemed like not only was their kitchen well stocked (there were four whole chickens for Whitney to select), but there were several cuts of meat conveniently packaged in butcher paper. As the winner of the Camera Challenge, Whitney was the person who selected order and got to pick the two people to buy decor. She chose Mary Beth and Penny.

First Course: Jeff
Second Course: Vic
Third Course: Mary Beth
Fourth Course: Penny
Fifth Course: Jyll
Sixth Course: Whitney
Seventh Course: Susie
Dessert: Chris

The contestants would all have to share the one kitchen where only eight pots or pans could fit on the burner. Whitney, as the winner, tried to gauge what everyone was doing. As second course, Vic wanted to do something involving cheese. Susie wanted to do a cheese platter as a closer. While there were no Mexican cheeses, she found Feta which had similar tastes to a Mexican cheese. Whitney picked the main meat dish for her to make sure she impressed the judges. Chris didn’t have measurements for the cake he planned to make. Everyone else got nervous for him as they know one wrong proportion could mess up his cake. Whitney talked to Jyll and she decided to make a risotto. Mary Beth wanted to work with a sweet and spicy butternut soup. With two ovens, Whitney took the big oven to fit her four chickens. Mary Beth and Chris had to share the smaller oven for both of their dishes. Jeff decided to do a salad with a rib eye, even though it wasn’t a sandwich. Vic only had white bread so he planned on making a mozzarella carozza. Chris started to freak out because the small oven was at 450 instead of 300. He started screaming that he was sabotaged.

Penny and Mary Beth headed to Target and, as good cross-promotion, Sabrina Soto from HGTV gave the most useless information about decorating to Penny and Mary Beth. They came back with bags from Target and somewhere in-between cooking, everything was unpacked and the table was set up. Penny decided to cook prawns and, unlike last episode, she was on time. Mary Beth wanted to make sure her food was good and she adjusted the heat of the oven. Chris complained to her about the oven temperature. Mary Beth then decided that she could just finish the rest of the cooking on the stovetop. Jyll cooked her risotto and it was a bit mushy for Whitney just looking at the texture. Jyll asked Whitney if it was okay and Whitney really didn’t answer. Mary Beth added a bit of cayenne pepper to add a twist to her food. With time running out Jeff put on his headband and plated.

The contestants welcomed the judges and Wolfgang Puck to their house. As part of cross-promotion we were told that Giada and judge Susie loved the decor. Jeff introduced his salad and was funny with his comments. The salad turned out well and was dainty. He impressed the judges. Vic introduced his mozzarella carozza with scallops and arugula. Wolfgang liked the crispy texture. The judges realized that Vic’s more charming with the audience, but not with camera. Mary Beth introduced her butternut squash with her cayenne twist. The soup was too spicy. Wolfgang thought it sounded better than it actually tasted. Penny presented next and her dish was pretty and Wolfgang liked her use of spices. Like Vic, she was warmer in person. Jyll was worried about her risotto but explained how she also placed asparagus and corn in the dish. Wolfgang reamed her for making a bad risotto and walked Jyll to the kitchen.

Wolfgang gave the contestants an explanation of the risotto in the kitchen. Vic was totally embarrassed for Jyll. Bobby pointed out that any chef needs to learn from mistakes and continue cooking. Wolfgang liked that she kept a smile, Susie F. and Giada wanted real emotions instead.

Whitney wanted to use her family as inspiration. She used the phrase, “my parents on a plate,” which made me think she cooked her parents. The rice had a strong puff, the food was good but Bob questioned the emotions. Susie used a Mexican dish without any Mexican cheese. Bobby thought that she was resourceful and Judge Susie loved how much soul was in her food. Chris was worried about his dish being too dense. He explained his dish and then admitted that he was sorry for having such a bad dish. He started to make excuses about his food even before the judges got to taste the food. Bob called him a walking apology. Giada thought the cake had a horrible texture. After the challenge, Jyll was in tears in the back because of her time with Wolfgang.

The contestants walked in to judging. Judge Susie explained that two people would be eliminated. Vic was told that he was in the bottom of the pack before, moved to the top, and then stalled in his camera challenge. His food for Wolfgang was great, but he lacks any explanation. Whitney has been consistent. After getting previous judgments of being clinical, Whitney was warmer and more fun this week. Susie has passion and technique, but she still lacked focus. Judge Susie liked her background which would connect her with the audience. She was in tears, explaining how she was 17 and moved out of her family for a better life for herself: She wanted to make her father proud.

Jyll tried to admit that she was digging her fingernails into her hands to try distracting her from the embarrassment. Bob thought cracks in her armor were good. The judges told her that letting go was good. Jeff has always had three strong elements: humor, warmth, and energy. Like rock, paper, scissor, Jeff never has been able to balance all three elements. The salad was good. The judges questioned why he made a salad when sandwiches were his specialty. The judges loved Penny’s food, but her energy disappears when she was in front of the camera. Chris has enthusiasm, but Giada thought she was immature. Bobby thought he needed more experience. He bashed him about the cake. Mary Beth speaks well with food, but her food always disappointed. The cayenne didn’t help with the heat.

The judges announced that Susie, Jeff, Whitney, and Vic were safe. The rest of the contestants were sent back so the judges could deliberate. The judges questioned Penny’s lack of warmth. Mary Beth was smart but relatable. Her food cooking was questionable. Jyll has personality, but it didn’t connect with food. She lacks reliability. Chris doesn’t know who he was and talked down his own food. The judge made their decision and called the contestants back in. Chris and Penny were eliminated, which meant Mary Beth and Jyll were safe. Penny was happy that she got to show her culture and background to America.


Duff Goldman’s new Food Network show to debut Aug. 8

July 7, 2011 at 10:56 PM | Posted in baking, dessert, Food | 3 Comments
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Duff Goldman made famous by Ace of Cakes, has a knack for satisfying America’s sugary curiosity. In his new series, Sugar High, premiering Monday, August 8th at 10:30pm ET/PT, Duff takes a cross-country trek to capture the sweet secrets and tasty techniques that keep the cookies from crumbling in the top dessert destinations around the country. In the six-episode premiere season Duff visits a bevy of sweet spots from diners and snow cone machines to food carts and boutique bakeries, getting a full view of what it takes to sweeten up any soiree. His stops include Los Angeles, Dallas, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia where in each city he brings his expertise and personality to his search to find the nation’s best baked goods.

“As a staple Food Network icon, Duff has developed a loyal following and this new show gives him an avenue to showcase a different side of his personality while celebrating the food category he loves and the people who create it,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Programming & Production, Food Network.

Throughout the season Duff highlights decadent desserts that are anything but ordinary from chilled bread pudding on the Venice boardwalk in California and tableside s’mores in Dallas, to Sno Ballz from the first-ever, shaved-ice machine in New Orleans and a slice of apple strudel in Chicago. Duff also satisfies his sweet tooth with lemon ginger mousse at a hip Asian diner in Boston and traditional rice pudding at a dessert boutique in Philadelphia.

Duff has been cooking since the age of four and started working professionally at a bagel shop in a mall when he was 14, and since then, Duff’s been putting his own crazy spin on food. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with degrees in History and Philosophy, he went on to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California. He worked at several acclaimed culinary destinations, including the French Laundry, the Vail Cascade Hotel, and Todd English‘s Olives before returning to Baltimore in 2000 to become a personal chef. In March 2002, he opened Charm City Cakes where he was able to show off his creativity, and the bakery became a household name on Ace of Cakes, which aired for ten seasons on Food Network. Most recently, Duff and his team have headed to Los Angeles to open a second location of the bakery, Charm City Cakes West, which is scheduled to open in August.

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