How to Hard Boil A Perfect Egg in 6 Easy Steps

How to Hard Boil an Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
How to Hard Boil an Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
A perfect hard boiled egg.  Great for salads, deviled eggs, breakfast, protein source and more.  Whatever use you have for hard boiled eggs, it is so easy to make them so they turn out perfectly every time.  No green ring — no rubbery white — no stubborn shell that refuses to come off — everything comes out right. 

2Place in single layer
Step 1:  Place eggs in a single layer on the bottom of a large pan.     For easy to peel eggs, choose ones that are at least five days old.  New or farm fresh eggs are hard to peel and are notorious for taking chunks of white with them.   I usually have older eggs in the refrigerator since they are one thing I always try to have on hand, but for Easter or when I know I will want to serve egg salad or have deviled eggs, I buy an extra dozen about a week ahead of time. 

3Cover with an inch of water -
Step 2:  Cover the eggs with water to a depth of 1 to 1 1/2 inches above the eggs.  Water temperature should be on the lukewarm scale — not hot and not cold. 

How to Make a Perfect Hard Boiled Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
Step 3:  Place pan over medium heat, uncovered, and heat just until water begins to boil.  Time will vary depending on the number of eggs and size of pan. 

How to Make a Perfect Hard Boiled Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
Step 4:  Turn off heat.   Cover tightly and let set for 12 minutes (14 for larger eggs). 

6 Cool immediately
Step 5:  Remove cover from pot and, using tongs,  plunge eggs immediately into cold water.   You can also drain hot water (carefully and away from little ones)  and fill pot with cold water or ice cubes.  The cold water stops the cooking process so the white does not become tough and the green sulfur ring does not form.  It also helps separate the shell from the white. 
How to Make a Perfect Hard Boiled Egg in 6 Easy Steps -- A Pinch of Joy
Step 6:  To use eggs later, return them to their original carton after cooling and store in the refrigerator.  Marking HB on the carton,  at least,  and preferably each egg is the rule at our house. IF not marked, remember hard boiled eggs will spin and raw ones will not.  (Why do you think I know that little tidbit?  See above rule / guideline / mom said thing.  Got it? )  Hardboiled eggs will keep for up to one week, refrigerated.   When ready to use, break the shell by tapping the egg on its large end where the air bubble rests.  Gently separate the shell from the egg and enjoy! 

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Crock Pot Lasagna

Crockpot Lasagna -- A Pinch of Joy
Crockpot Lasagna -- A Pinch of Joy

Another crockpot special to feed the work crew during the kitchen remodel!   I mooshed a several different Crockpot Lasagna recipes together to come up with this. 

I would make this crock pot lasagna again – but flavor it up a little bit.  Normally we don’t do spicy, but this was a little bland for us.   Since I did not have a stove, I used ground beef that I browned before freezing and added dried onion flakes and minced garlic from a jar.   I think this would be better with a small/medium onion chopped and sauted with about twice the garlic I used.  It probably would also benefit from using a more flavorful jarred sauce so feel free to use your favorite instead of the plain.  Or add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning.  Remember to keep the meat and sauce layer thin enough to sort of see the noodles beneath and add just a taste of meat on each layer.  My tendency is to pile it on and I always run out before I get to the last layer :-)   The amount of spaghetti sauce could vary from 24 ounce size to 28 ounces so use the full container.  The extra bit of water helps soften the noodles and they very nicely absorbed the full amount of moisture, without being dry or mushy.   Because the guys weren’t ready to quit right at four hours, I set the crockpot on warm for an hour or more to hold it with no problem.  A good basic recipe. 

Crock Pot Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef, approximate
  • 24 ounce container spaghetti sauce, plain
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8 ounce package regular lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 ounces cottage cheese (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup additional shredded mozzarella or shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Spray inside of slow cooker pot with cooking spray
  2. Brown ground beef, if not pre-browned.
  3. Stir sauce into browned meat and spread one fourth of the mixture over the bottom of the crockpot.
  4. Arrange a single layer of uncooked noodles over the sauce, breaking as necessary to fit.
  5. Combine cottage cheese, mozzarella and seasonings in bowl, then spoon one third of the mixture over the noodles.
  6. Repeat layers of meat, noodles and cheese two times.
  7. Top with remaining sauce.
  8. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  9. Remove cover 10 minutes before serving. Add additional ½ cup of mozzarella or parmesan cheese to top.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/04/crock-pot-lasagna/

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Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup -- A Pinch of Joy
Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup -- A Pinch of Joy

Simple, delicious, filling, nutritious, warm goodness on a cold night.  This chicken noodle soup is wonderful.  I’m not a big fan of chicken noodle soup but . . . this is not your ordinary soup with its perfect combination of vegetables, tender chicken, light seasoning and rich noodles!   Cooked all day in a slow cooker,  chicken noodle soup is an almost effortless dinner! 

Like many soups, this is what I call a “flexible” recipe.  Chicken doesn’t always come portioned perfectly in one pound chunks.  It doesn’t matter if you have ¾ pound or 1 ¼ pounds.  If you have what you think is enough chicken, but there is one lone little piece lingering in the bag – add it to the pot!  We like the thick homemade style noodles sold in our area as “Amish” noodles.  You might like the thin, almost spaghetti like noodles or the wide and flat kind, with or without egg yolks.  All good!    As noted in the recipe, chicken broth comes in  many different sized containers so choose whatever combination gets you close (more or less) to 52 ounces and then add enough water to make the total 60 ounces.  (1 cup = 8 ounces).   If you use canned broth, each can is usually 14.5 ounces.  Three cans would total 44 ounces so you would add, 1 ¾ cup water to make a total of 60 ounces of liquid.  Four cans would total 58 ounces so you would only add ¼ cup water to make 60 ounces.  Remember a little math keeps your brain cells from drying up and blowing away (or assign one of the kids to figure it out, if it’s been a hard week! ) 

This is a good dinner for a hard week!   Prep the night before in just about ten minutes.  Place the chicken to thaw in the refrigerator , set out the chicken broth and cream of chicken soup,  chop the vegetables.  Next morning, put it all in the crock pot on low .  Come home 8 hours later to a delicious aroma, shred the chicken, add the noodles.  Thirty minutes later you are dishing up a complete dinner in a bowl.  You could add a small salad, or a piece of fruit for dessert or a crusty roll if you like – but it’s great by itself.  Six hearty servings between 1 2/3 cup to 2 cups for each serving. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 3/4 cups

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

. . . this is not your ordinary soup with its perfect combination of vegetables, tender chicken, light seasoning and rich noodles!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast (3 large or 4 small to medium)
  • 52 ounces* of chicken broth (low sodium) *see note below
  • 1 cup water*
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 large ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 8 ounces egg noodles

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in crockpot
  2. Add chicken broth and water. Chicken broth comes in many different sized containers so choose whatever combination gets you close (more or less) to 52 ounces and then add enough water to make the total 60 ounces. (1 cup = 8 ounces).
  3. Add cream of chicken soup. For thinner soup, use one can; for thicker soup use two cans.
  4. Add vegetables.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  6. Remove the chicken and shred using two forks to pull the meat apart and return to the crockpot.
  7. Add seasonings to taste. If soup is thicker than you like add water to your liking.
  8. Add egg noodles, cover and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/03/slow-cooker-chicken-noodle-soup/

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