Archive for April, 2011

The Secret to Selling Your Home

April 27, 2011

Trying to sell your home in this down market? Wondering what the secret to a quick sale might be? Recently, a friend of mine found the answer: a chicken coop in the backyard.

She and her husband sold their suburban home a few weeks ago after less than one week on the market. Turns out that the deal clincher was their chicken coop out back.  It seems that the prospective buyers and their children love chickens (as we all do), and inquired whether the chicken coop would stay with the property.  When told yes, then to sweeten the deal the buyers asked that the chickens be left with the coop. Sold!

Who Could Resist?

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Disaster-Proof Raspberry-Chocolate Meringues

April 23, 2011

I’ve been working in kitchens for so long that I have to admit disasters don’t often happen any more. That doesn’t mean things always turn out perfectly, but usually I can rescue things or at least make them better.  Yesterday, however, disaster struck.

It’s what can happen even to an experienced cook when you allow yourself to become distracted.  I was making the Paska for this weekend.  Paska is an egg-rich Ukrainian Easter bread decorated with crosses, flowers and braids made out of bread dough.  I make it every Easter and intended to blog about it this year, although not in the way I’m now doing.  Because I make Paska only once a year I have to concentrate when I make it.  This year I was multi-tasking, what with cleaning, editing and answering phone calls, such that my baking concentration got lost. read more »

Greens, Strawberries and Perfectly-Cooked Eggs

April 18, 2011

I started hoarding eggs for Easter last week. With hard-cooked eggs, whether dyed or au naturel, older is better. I’ve learned the hard way that even week-old homestead eggs can be too fresh for easy peeling. So I’ve found that eggs need to be about two weeks old to peel most easily.

I can gather eggs from my girls, of course, but if you’re buying them from the store, I recommend that you get your eggs as soon as possible.

While everyone longs for every hard-boiled egg to peel perfectly, it doesn’t always happen. Don’t despair of those less-than-perfect eggs. Here’s a wonderful salad recipe from my book that I recently taught in a class (recipe below) that includes eggs, and imperfections will not lessen the fabulous mix of flavors and colors. Plus, I’ve included tips for perfect hard-cooked eggs.

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