What to do with leftover egg yolks

Broken eggSo you’ve made a recipe that called for egg whites and now you’ve got leftover egg yolks?

Whatever you do, don’t throw them out. You’ve got options!

Here’s what I mean…..

Did you know you can freeze egg yolks?

To prevent the texture of the yolks from getting gummy, you’ll need to first whisk them and add either salt or sugar (depending whether you’ll use them later in something savoury or sweet). Add 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar per 1/4 cup of egg yolks (that’s about 4 yolks). Pour them in a container, cover and label it (so you know later if you’ve added salt or sugar and how many yolks you’ve got). Freeze for up to 4 months. One tablespoon of thawed yolk can be substituted for one fresh yolk.

If you’ve got an ice cube tray that will hold about 1 tablespoon of liquid in each section, you can pour the whisked eggs into the sections in the tray. Once the yolks are frozen, pop them out of the tray into a freezer bag. Label the bag (date and contents) and thaw just the quantity of yolks you need at a time.

You can also…..
– Put the yolks in a small container, cover them with a little water so the yolks don’t dry out, then cover the container and refrigerate it for two to three days until you have a use for the yolks. When you know what you want to do with the yolks, carefully drain off the water before using them.

– Whisk a yolk with a little milk to thin it slightly and brush the mixture over an unbaked pie crust or bread or bun dough before popping it into the oven. This wash will give your baking a lovely sheen.

– Add a couple yolks to your omelette or scrambled eggs mixture, or to fried rice or Pasta Carbonara.

– Make crème brulee, hollandaise sauce, pasta, ice cream, zabaglione, mayonnaise, egg drop soup, chocolate mousse, lemon curd or an assortment of other recipes that call for yolks. Jen at Food & Family blog has a great list of links to recipes that use from 1 to 12 egg yolks. Thank you, Jen!

– Add yolks to your beauty regime. Check out these facial treatments that include egg yolks courtesy of Alberta Egg Farmers.

What other ideas can you add?

Talking about eggs: Join the online chat!

bigstock - cracked egg_12878183I’ll be talking about eggs this afternoon – favourite recipes, what to do with leftover hard-cooked (hard-boiled) eggs from Easter, etc. – with food writers from across Canada. It’s happening online at 1 p.m. EST.

You’re invited to join the chat, contribute to the discussion and get your egg questions answered.

Here’s more information.

Talking eggs with Leanne Cusack of CTV Ottawa

I was pleased to be invited to Ottawa yesterday to talk about eggs and Easter with CTV News at Noon host Leanne Cusack, St-Isidore egg farmer Marcel Laviolette and chef Jason Laurin of Essence Catering. (Video links below!)

Having worked for many years as the Food and Nutrition Specialist for Egg Farmers of Ontario, I’m always happy to talk ‘eggs’ with anyone who will listen!

Eggs with Leanne Cusack at CTV OttawaMe with egg farmer Marcel, host Leanne and chef Jason

Here in Canada, we are fortunate to have a system of supply management in place that ensures our eggs are fresh, local and readily available. Within this system, there are over 1,000 Canadian egg farmers caring for the hens that lay the eggs we enjoy year round, and revere especially at this time of year when eggs are not only eaten, but decorated and celebrated.

Eggs have long been considered a symbol of life, birth and renewal, concepts celebrated especially during spring and Easter (although bunnies and chocolate do their utmost to vie for attention at this time!). People in ancient civilizations used to give gifts of eggs to one another at spring festivals. And according to mythology, it was believed two halves of an egg formed heaven and earth.

Prized for their nutritional quality, culinary versatility and delicious flavour, not to mention all the craft and decorating possibilities they possess, it’s fitting to showcase eggs anytime of the year, and really appropriate to do so this week as Easter approaches!

Here are links to the video segments with Leanne – part 1 and part 2, and to Easter recipe suggestions and egg decorating techniques from Egg Farmers of Canada.

Oh, and a list of the nutritional attributes of eggs, in case after watching part 1, you’re wondering exactly how eggs help our eyes do what they’re supposed to do!!

Chocolate Crepes

Want a decadent brunch or dessert recipe? Perhaps something to serve this Easter weekend?

At the Chocolate class I taught at Thyme to Cook in Guelph a couple weeks ago, one of the recipes I made was Chocolate Crepes with Cream Cheese Filling.

You could easily use another filling of your choice for these crepes: chopped fruit, caramelized bananas, ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt, pudding, or ????  What do you suggest?

Or, you could simply roll up the crepes and drizzle them with fruit syrup, maple syrup or chocolate sauce.

Chocolate crepes filled with chocolate ice cream and topped with strawberries and a sprinkle of icing sugar

Chocolate Crepes with Cream Cheese Filling

(Makes about 18 small crepes or 10 large crepes)

2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) cocoa
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) melted butter
Vegetable oil
Continue reading

Best places to eat breakfast in Ontario

Eggs Benedict at Cora's

Eggs Benedict at Cora's

Yes, there are poached eggs on English muffins under all that Hollandaise sauce! This breakfast plate of Eggs Benedict, fruit and home fries – served at Cora’s, a restaurant chain found in most of the provinces in Canada – was pretty tasty!

Besides Cora’s, there are many other great places to enjoy breakfast in Ontario. If you want to find some of the hot spots for brekky in your home town or perhaps another place in this province, look no further than www.getcracking.ca. That’s where you’ll find Ontario’s Best Breakfasts, a search tool created by Egg Farmers of Ontario.

(You’ll also find my new blog – Everything Eggs – with egg recipes, cooking tips, news about egg nutrition, egg cooking equipment, and more!)

And, if you have a great breakfast restaurant you’d like to recommend, please add it to our list.

Mini scones make a perfect little dessert or tea time treat

Watch out! These bite-sized scones are more than a little addictive. And since they’re small, it’s easy to pop one, then another,  and another in your mouth without keeping count!

Scones with jam and whipped cream

Scones with jam and whipped cream

That said, they pair perfectly with tea and are great for a party when you want to serve something a little different as a sweet. Just set out a bowl of jam or fruit spread and a bowl of clotted cream, stiffly whipped sweetened heavy cream (35% M.F.) or Cool Whip, along with a couple of knives and watch the mini mountain of sweet little biscuits disappear.

Cream Tea Scones
(Makes about 20 1-3/4 inch (4 cm) scones)

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour or 1 cup (250 mL) each all-purpose and cake & pastry flours
2 tablespoons (30 mL) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
1 egg
2/3 cup (175 mL) milk or light cream

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk egg; reserve 1 tablespoon (15 mL) to brush on tops of scones before baking. Stir together remaining egg and milk.

Using fork, stir egg mixture into flour mixture to make a light, soft dough. If dough seems too sticky, stir in a bit more flour. (I find I usually need a tablespoon or two (15 to 30 mL) less milk than called for so I hold back a little and only add it if necessary.)

Gather dough into a ball; on a lightly floured surface, lightly knead dough a few times until smooth. Gently flatten with hands or a rolling pin to 3/4″ (2 cm) thickness. Cut into 1-3/4 inch (4 cm) rounds with a cookie cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with reserved egg. Sprinkle sugar over tops, if desired.

Bake in a preheated 425F (220C) oven until golden brown, about 9 or 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature if scones begin to brown too quickly.

Recipe Source: Prizewinning Preserves by Yvonne Tremblay, Prentice Hall Canada, 2001. Recipe originates with food writer and author Carol Ferguson.)

* Pronounce it “skawn” (like yawn) or “skown” (like groan), as you wish!
* Don’t twist the cookie cutter when cutting out the scones or the edges will be pressed together and the scones won’t rise as high.
* Instead of mini scones, you can use a 2-1/2 inch (7 cm) round cutter or a glass to make approximately 10 larger scones.

Hard-cook eggs and bake muffins at the same time with Egg in a Nest muffins

Eggs in a Nest Muffins - the eggs hard-cook as the muffins bake!

Egg in a Nest Muffins (image from Egg Farmers of Ontario, circa 1990)

This “recipe” for Egg in a Nest Muffins has been around for awhile. Perhaps you can tell by the dated look of the picture. I scanned it from a photograph found in the archives of the Egg Farmers of Ontario; it was probably taken about 20 years ago. But the idea is still a good one and a fun festive way to say “Happy Easter” at breakfast tomorrow.

With this easy multi-tasking recipe, you hard-cook eggs and bake muffins at the same time. If you want to make things super-easy, use a muffin mix instead of your favourite muffin recipe.

Fruit, yogurt and juice would complement these protein-packed muffins nicely and make for a simple but delicious breakfast that will allow plenty of time to hunt for treats left by the Easter Bunny.

Egg in a Nest Muffins

Ingredients for your favourite muffins
Medium or large eggs, in their shells (1 per muffin)

Prepare muffin batter. Rub eggs lightly with vegetable oil. Fill lightly greased or paper-lined muffin cups with batter. Gently place one uncooked egg, in its shell, partially into each “muffin”.

Bake in a preheated 400F (200C) oven for 18 to 20 minutes.

Let cool 15 to 20 minutes before serving as eggs will be hot.

To eat, remove the egg from the muffin, peel off the shell and enjoy with the muffin.

* For a pretty Easter look, use paper liners with an Easter design and coloured eggs. A little of the color may bleed into the muffins, but it won’t affect the taste.
* Serve warm or cold but refrigerate if not eaten within a couple hours.

Recipe pranks for April Fool’s Day


Is it a fried egg?

Be on guard tomorrow. It’s April Fool’s Day.

All may not be what it appears. Even at the breakfast or dinner table.

Nope! It's a Chocolate Egg Pop!

Nope! It's a chocolate fried egg on a stick!

With the following “recipes”, you”ll be the one planning the surprises, serving “cake” for dinner and “spaghetti and meatballs” for dessert. Don’t be fooled into thinking these ideas are difficult. Read on to see how easy it will be to play food pranks on your fellow diners tomorrow, or any day of the year.

If you want more wacky food ideas and recipe pranks, there are additional suggestions and videos at Family Fun magazine’s website.

  • Fried Egg and Toast? – Serve breakfast for dessert. Create a faux fried egg by spooning vanilla yogurt or sweetened whipped cream on a plate in the shape of the white of a fried egg. Add the yolk by placing a well-drained canned apricot or peach half, round side up, on top of the yogurt or cream, a little to one end. Toast a slice of pound cake. Spread with a thin layer of jam. Serve with the fried egg.
  • Drink Up! – Prepare fruit-flavored gelatin according to package directions. Pour into drinking glasses. Place a straw in each glass. Chill until set. At serving time, garnish rim of glasses with fruit. Serve and see how long it takes for someone to request a spoon to eat the “drink”.
  • An Antsy Cake – Turn a layer cake, ice cream cake or cheesecake into an anthill with this easy treatment. On top of the cake, carefully pour crushed vanilla wafers or nuts in a small mound to resemble an anthill. Arrange ants parading around the top of the cake and climbing up or down the side of the cake and/or the anthill using a chocolate-covered almond for each ant body and a chocolate-covered raisin or caramel (e.g. Skor Bites) for each  ant head. Pipe on eyes and legs using a tube of black gel icing.

Meat Loaf Cake

(Makes 8 to 10 servings)

Favourite meatloaf recipe (use 2 to 3 lbs/1 to 1.5 kg) ground beef
Hot mashed potatoes (about 4 cups/1 L)
Cherry tomatoes

Prepare meatloaf mixture as usual but before cooking, divide mixture in two and place into two 8-inch (20 cm) cake pans. Bake as usual, allowing a shorter time since meatloaf will likely cook faster as the mixture will be thinner than usual.

Meanwhile, prepare mashed potatoes using boiled or instant potatoes. The mashed potatoes should be fluffy and spreadable. Keep mashed potatoes warm until meat loaves are cooked.

Once cooked, drain fat from meat loaves. Invert one loaf onto a round pizza pan or heatproof plate. Cover with a thick even layer of mashed potatoes. Place second loaf on top and “frost” the top and sides of cake with remaining mashed potatoes.

If desired, some of the mashed potatoes can be spooned into a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip and piped around top or bottom edge of cake.

Place cake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 10 minutes to warm through. Remove from oven and decorate with halved cherry tomatoes. If desired, write a message on top of cake with ketchup. (If the opening of the ketchup bottle is too large to write a message easily, spoon some ketchup into a clean piping bag or a squeeze bottle with a small top to write your message.)

Spaghetti and Meat Ball Dessert

(Makes 1 serving)

Small slice of pound cake or half of a cupcake
Homemade or prepared icing
Yellow food coloring (if desired)
Strawberry sauce
2 of 3 chocolate malt balls or small truffles
Ground almonds or grated white chocolate
Chopped white chocolate or chocolate chips or candy melts
Lady fingers or biscotti
Toasted coconut
Green sprinkles

Place pound cake in the centre of a plate.

If desired, tint icing with food colouring to resemble the colour of cooked spaghetti. Spoon icing into a decorating tube fitted with a large circular tip; pipe icing in a looping fashion around the sides of the pound cake (don’t frost the top) to resemble spaghetti.

Spoon strawberry sauce (meat sauce) on top of the cake to cover it. Drizzle a little over portions of the spaghetti.

Using the dull side of a knife or a grater, rough up the surface of the malt balls (meatballs). Place them on top of the sauce.

Sprinkle ground almonds (parmesan cheese) over sauce and meatballs.
Carefully melt white chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave oven; stir until smooth. Spread chocolate over lady fingers (garlic bread). Sprinkle coconut (garlic) and green sprinkles (parsley) over top. Serve with spaghetti and meatballs.

A simple supper salad made with fridge finds

Sassy salad greens with poached egg and balsamic vinaigrette-sauteed mushrooms and grape tomatoes

Salad greens with fried egg and balsamic vinaigrette-sauteed mushrooms and grape tomatoes

I get paid to say nice things about eggs. As the Food and Nutrition Specialist for Egg Farmers of Ontario, it’s my job to promote the nutritional goodness of eggs and the many different ways they can be prepared.

Before I signed on for this gig, I was already an egg lover, readily extolling the virtues of eggs. One of the reasons I was – and still am – a fan of this nutritious and economical food is that it’s quick to cook, so versatile and always available.

The other night I came home late from work, tired and hungry. There wasn’t much in the fridge except for some mushrooms, eggs and salad greens. Within minutes I had put together a simple supper salad and was sitting down to eat.

To make the salad I sauteed sliced mushrooms in a little balsamic salad dressing, tossing in a few halved grape tomatoes partway through cooking. Before the mushrooms and tomatoes were completely cooked, I cleared a space among them in the middle of the pan and cracked an egg into it. I covered the pan with a lid and within a few minutes had a steam-basted sunny side up egg that resembled a poached egg. (I cooked the yolk so that it was still runny but it could also be cooked thoroughly if desired. And, instead of “frying”, the egg could have been soft- or hard-poached in simmering water.) The mushroom/tomato mixture and egg were then spooned over a plate of salad greens, and dinner was served!

Easy, fast and very good!

Crepes Galore!


I’ve been eating a lot of crepes lately.

Last night we dined with friends at the Village Creperie on Belmont Avenue in Kitchener. I’d eaten at this lovely, intimate restaurant awhile ago and really should have been back sooner.

On the menu are a variety of appetizers, salads, and galettes (savoury crepes made with buckwheat). The restaurant uses only organic flours, fish, meat, vegetables, fruits and dairy.

I chose the galette special of the day – a fajita crepe with seasoned chicken, sauteed peppers, guacamole and sour cream. It was a winner as were the galettes enjoyed by my fellow diners (Very veggie – spinach, roasted red pepper, caramelized onion, portabello mushroom, goat cheese and pesto; Saumon et salsa – marinated salmon and salsa; and Le Complete – sunny side up or flat egg, aged white Cheddar, mozarella, green onion and ham).

Although everything on the dessert menu (including flambed crepes) sounded very tempting, we opted to share the dessert special of the day – a waffle crowned with strawberries, blueberries, syrup and creme fraiche.

I look forward to returning to the Village Creperie again soon, perhaps on a Saturday morning for a brunch crepe.

For a good assessment of the restaurant, read the review written by Andrew Coppolino, Restaurant Critic for the Waterloo Region Record.

A few weeks ago, work took me to the Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket where I happened upon Crepe Delicious, a kiosk-style restaurant that sells crepes and paninis. I enjoyed a Popeye crepe with its filling of spinach, cheese and tomato. I expected the crepe to be served to me either filled and folded or rolled over like an omelette. Instead, the large crepe was folded in half, filled, rolled into a cone shape, and tucked into a pointed cone cup. The whole thing was then wrapped in foil. The result? A crepe that could be eaten out of hand, on the go, with any juices falling into the cup instead of dripping through your fingers. Genius!

Crepe Delicious has locations throughout Toronto and according to its website, is looking for individuals interested in franchise opportunities.

Back to the crepe marathon…. One night last week we enjoyed crepes with maple syrup and sauteed bananas for dinner. Yes, probably more a dessert than dinner entree, but oh well! They were very good.

The picture above is of the crepes we made when I visited my sister Loreen on Long Island last summer. These crepes were made from a Bisquick recipe. (Stir together or process in a blender 1 cup Bisquick mix, 3/4 cup milk and 2 eggs. Use about 2 tablespoons batter per crepe.) We let the mixture stand for about 30 minutes so the dry ingedients had a chance to absorb the liquid ingredients. This makes the batter less lumpy.

Here’s the recipe for the crepes I made last week.

Basic Crepes

(Makes 16 crepes)

1-1/3 cups (325 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted
Additional butter for crepe pan

In a bowl, stir together flour and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter; pour over dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to let the flour expand.

Heat an 8-inch (20 cm) crepe pan or skillet over medium heat; brush lightly with butter. For each crepe, pour about 1/4 cup (60 mL) batter into the centre of the pan; immediately swirl pan to coat bottom with batter. Cook until top is no longer shiny and bottom is lightly browned, about 45 seconds to a minute. Flip crepe over and cook briefly on the other side, 25 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan with butter between crepes as needed.

* Buckwheat Crepes: Replace half of the flour with light buckwheat flour.
* Herbed Crepes: Just before cooking crepes, stir in 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh herbs (e.g. any combination of parsley, chives and tarragon)
* Chocolate Crepes: Replace 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the flour with 1/4 cup (60 mL) cocoa powder, sifted. Stir in 3 tbsp (45 mL) granulated sugar.

* Crepe batter can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
* Batter should be the thickness of whipping cream. If it is too thick, thin with a little milk.
* Crepes can be made ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before using.