Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Master chef....

Our kids have been watching Master Chef this summer.  They are absolutely adorable...they keep saying I should go on the show, and cook my best meals.  I know better.  I am no "master chef,"  I cook to stay alive.  Of course, if I am going to cook it better taste good, but I can't say that cooking is a passion of mine.

However, this summer has seriously cramped my creative style.  I have had very little time to do anything that could be described as creative.  Unless you call cleaning and entertaining children a creative outlet.  So, when my kids challenged me to be like the Master Chef's and make them eggs benedict, I did it.   The kids loved it, and it was good for me to try my hand at something new, and actually succeed.  

Want to try, here is the recipe.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 8 strips Canadian-style bacon
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. To Make Hollandaise: Fill the bottom of a double boiler part-way with water. Make sure that water does not touch the top pan. Bring water to a gentle simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon water.
  2. Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all butter is incorporated. Whisk in salt, then remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm.
  3. Preheat oven on broiler setting. To Poach Eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in center. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate
  4. While eggs are poaching, brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast the English muffins on a baking sheet under the broiler.
  5. Spread toasted muffins with softened butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place 2 muffins on each plate and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Monday, August 8, 2011

For the love of....


It's that season.  School season, oh yea, and summer too.  Long ago in my Michigan days I would go to the Upick strawberry patch and spend the day picking berries with my babies on my back.  Then I would go home, wash the berries, then take the stems off the berries, then make the jam.

It was a long process.  But the results were so great, I had to do it.  It was one of my favorite jobs as a mother.  Providing homemade jam has always been a "need" in our family, and I love that our kids appreciate the difference between real jam and store bought jam.

But, things are different now.  First, I live in the desert.  Second, my time for making jam has seriously eroded.  Who knew having 4 kids could completely eat up all free time?

What's the solution?  In true Sarah fashion, I make jam the easiest way possible.

Step 1- buy the bags of berries from Costco (frozen berries)
this time it was 2 bags of strawberry and 1 bag of mixed berries..
why? because strawberries are cheaper, but the mixed berries are fabulous

Step 2- Defrost the berries by sticking them on an outside table for an hour.  This may take longer if you live anywhere reasonable.

Step 3- Blend up the berries.  We used a handmixer in one big bowl.  It took about 5 minutes.  Maybe.

Step 4- Using the freezer jam pectin from ball (shown in picture above), make jam by mixing packet with 1 1/2 cups sugar and 4 cups of fruit.   Stir for 3 minutes and you are done.

No cooking!  Nothing could be simpler or better!  

Saving time never tasted so delicious!