Showing posts with label Cookbooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cookbooks. Show all posts

Friday, August 17, 2018

"The Spy Who Dumped Me" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the comedy "The Spy Who Dumped Me" as well as DVDs "Overboard" and "An Inconvenient Sequel."  The Book of the Week is Joanna Gaines' new cookbook "The Magnolia Table."  I also bring you up-to-date with "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with Sergei Eisenstein's "October."]

The Spy Who Dumped Me

Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) are best friends who unwittingly become involved in an international conspiracy when Audrey discovers that the boyfriend who dumped her is a spy.

Right on the heels of the summer's big blockbuster, "Mission Impossible-Fallout (which I reviewed last week)," comes another spy film, an obvisous spoof of the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me," but this time it's a comedy where the bad guys are trying to get yet another flash drive.

Audrey and Morgan are best friends and roommates.  Audrey works at a grocery store, is hesitant about life and can't seem to finish what she starts.  Morgan is an out-of-work actress who lives life unafraid, wanting to experience everything life has to offer and if you have ever seen Kate McKinnon on SNL, you know as an actress she also lives life unafraid. 

Audrey's boyfriend, Drew (Justin Theroux) has dumped her via text message, so she is bummed until he inexplicably shows up and she discovers that he is a spy and broke up with her because he didn't want to put her life in danger.  But just before he is gunned down in front of them, he tells Audrey she must take something to Vienna - it's a flash drive hidden inside a fantasy football trophy - and deliver it to the right people (what's with flash drives this summer? Same thing everyone was after in "Skyscraper)!  

So Audrey and Morgan head to Vienna because, well, Audrey decides she is finally going to finish something and, besides, they really don't have anything else to do and, hey, they both wanted to see Europe!  The two engage in a series of dangerous adventures around Europe and the fun is seeing how these two fish out of water get out of some sticky situations.

Kate McKinnon is one of those comic actresses who will go full tilt for a laugh.  If you have seen her on SNL, then you know what I mean.  Here she steals the show from Mila who is basically there as McKinnon's straight woman but that's OK.  We all need a straight woman and Mila holds up her end.

One of my favorite scenes is when the two are trying to outrun the bad guys in a car with an Uber driver who admits he is on meth.  Lots of room for screaming and for some reason screaming in comedies makes me laugh.  When something bad happens, the lead characters decide that screaming is the best way to handle the situation.  That's funny.

And that's how I judge a comedy. 

Is it funny?  And yes, this one is mostly funny except it fell apart at the end with a too long sequence with McKinnon on a trapeze.  One can't help but make comparisons with Melissa McCarthy's "Spy," and it's not quite up to that level, but this one celebrates female friendships and I'm all for that.
Directed by Susanna Fogel (screenplay by Fogel and David Iserson), the film is surprisingly violent for a comedy and that can be jarring at times.  You don't know whether to laugh or be horrified. There is a scene where Audrey cuts off a guy's thumb that is particularly cringeworthy. 

Mila is a cult figure with young women these days, especially young mothers, ever since "Bad Moms," another rather raunchy movie that had a sweet side.  Unfortunately the filmmakers had to ruin everything by rushing a sequel into the theatres to capitalize on the popularity of that movie and came out with "A Bad Mom's Christmas," which was, well, bad.  But Mila is back on top with this one.

Justin Theroux makes a handsome ex-boyfriend but it's our Jamie from "Outlander" who stands out as Sebastian (Sam Heughan), another spy we're not sure about. Is he a good guy or a bad guy?  Not sure, but one thing I DO know for sure is that he is one handsome fellow even without Jamie's long hair, and I am glad to see him getting some feature film roles. Gillian Anderson, Paul Reiser, Jane Curtin all also make come funny appearances.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a summer comedy that celebrates female friendship and delivers some laughs.  What more could you want? I mean, hey, it's summer!

***Some Movies You Might Have Missed***
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)!


Overboard (2018)

A rich playboy falls off his yacht, hits his head and can't remember who he is which gives a woman he fired a chance to take revenge.

The tables are turned in this remake of the 1987 Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell original.  In that one, Goldie was the rich person who needed taking down and Kurt was the vengeful ex-employee.  This time, Eugenio Derbez, who made a splash (pardon the pun) in last year's "How To Be A Latin Lover," is the spoiled rich playboy, Leonardo Montenegro, and Anna Faris is Kate Sullivan, a single Mom who takes advantage of the fact that Leonardo doesn't remember who he is after his accident.  

Kate is a single Mom who works two jobs while studying to become a nurse.  She delivers pizzas and also cleans rugs.  When hired to clean a yacht, she runs afoul of rich playboy Leonardo Monenegro who insults her and eventually gets her fired. Leonardo's Dad, who appears to be dying, wants to hand over his business to Leonardo who is basically not interested and just wants to party.  His sister, Magdalena (Cecilia Suarez), is not happy about that because she is the one who believes she deserves to run the company so when Leonardo is knocked overboard from his yacht and can't remember who he is, the stars align for Magdalena to seize control of the company.  Basically she fails to identify him.  

Enter Kate, who when she sees Leonardo in the newspaper listed as a homeless man with amnesia, remembers what an ass he was and sees an opportunity to teach him a lesson so with the help of her friend and pizza shop owner, Theresa (Eva Longorio), she forges some documents, goes to the hospital, identifies herself as his wife and takes him home with her where she informs him that he is a construction worker; he does all of the work around the house as well; he doesn't drink; and he has decided he can't have sex until he has 30 days of sobriety under his belt so that's why he sleeps in the garage. Naturally - and even if you hadn't seen the original film, you can see this coming from miles away - despite this bad start the two grow on each other.

Written by Rob Greenberg, Leslie Dixon and Bob Fisher and directed by Greenberg, don't waste time wondering about how realistic this is or ask why a hospital would release a person with amnesia to someone without more verification or some of the other silly plot lines.  This is your classic fish-out-of water story about a guy who has never heard an alarm clock before, never worked a day in his life, and never shopped in a grocery store, so it's fertile ground for some laughs though the laughs are totally based on the charisma and charm of the two lead actors.

Faris is a Goldie Hawn lookalike and plays some of the same kinds of parts that Hawn did back in her heyday.  She is also a local Seattle area girl which explains all of the Seahawks logos displayed in the film. But Derbis is the one who really creates the laughs. He is a huge star in Mexico and has been working to expand his base which started with his American debut in "How To Be A Latin Lover."  He has a sort of confused, deadpan look most of the time that is amusing as he tries to navigate this confusing world he finds himself in.

Rosy the Reviewer know how I feel about remakes.  Did we need this one?  No, but at least this remake tries to change it up a bit and Faris and Derbis are enjoyable.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)

The follow-up to Al Gore's 2006 Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" where he brought the issue of climate change to the forefront.

The film begins with comments from people who had viewed Gore's first film "An Inconvenient Truth."  That film was called "hyperbole," and "hysterical."  Gee, I wonder if this film is going to dispute those comments and show how right Gore was after all.

Yes, it is.

However, sadly, this film doesn't quite have the drama and heft of the first one.  

This one is more about Gore's Climate Leadership Training road show that he takes around the world educating people about climate change and reminding people of what he warned us against over ten years ago.  And yes, his first film was just the beginning of what has transpired since.  The hottest years in world history have all been since 2001 and the hottest year ever was 2016.  Yes, there are cold days as climate change deniers like to say but hot days are far more numerous.  Glaciers are melting which in turn raise the tides that causes routine flooding in Miami, something I wasn't even aware of.

The film shows how efforts to use other forms of energy have been blocked - President Trump doesn't believe in solar energy.  Propaganda about doing anything about climate change abounds with lawmakers saying that even if Al Gore is right, changing our way of doing things would be so expensive it would cripple the economy.  Not true.

Though this is an important film, it suffers from its own sort of global warming.  It is very, very dry, though, ironically, it's Gore himself who comes off much warmer than I remember him, and I couldn't help but wonder if he had been like this when he was campaigning for President he might have had a clear victory.

But the proof of climate change is here - fires, floods, storms, even refugees from drought ridden countries - these are all related. Syrian refugees were in flux because of drought well before the civil war. The dots connect so why doesn't our government do anything?  Climate change is real and has a trickle down effect that even affects refugees and immigration.

The film highlights the Paris Accord and congratulates the countries who were part of it, of which we were one.  Ironically, when the movie was released they didn't know that President Trump would pull us out of it.

Rosy the Reviewer says...though this film doesn't have quite the same impact as the first one, that doesn't change the message.  Climate change is real and something must be done before it's too late.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

130 to go!

Have YOU seen this classic film?

October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1927)

The beginning of the Russian Revolution and how the country went from the overthrow of the Romanov monarchy in St. Petersburg to Aleksandr Kerensky's "Provisional Government" to Lenin's victories.

"We have the right to be proud that to us fell the good fortune of beginning the building of the Soviet State and, by doing so, opening a new chapter in the history of the world." - V.I. Lenin

So begins this silent film by Sergei Eisenstein that commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Bolshevik victory. Eisenstein shot this film in the very sites where the incidents occurred.  

The film was shot in a documentary style but, surprisingly, Eisenstein used no documentary footage at all, just dramatic reenactments that feel very much like actual footage of events with crowd noise sound effects and music by Shostakovich.  There are also some very dramatic images such as the statue of the Czar being pulled down and a baby carriage falling down one side of an opening drawbridge which smacked of the baby carriage falling down the stairs in Eisenstein's 1926 film "Potemkin.

I guess I can see the historical significance of this film, but I can't really see anyone today settling down in front of his or her TV with a glass of wine to enjoy this silent film. I needed three.  I guess if you wanted a dramatized history of the beginnings of the Russian Revolution this could work so it's a good Russian history lesson but it could have been a little less arty and much shorter.

But I will give it props for demonstrating once again the power of film - silent films may be difficult for our 21st century technologically oriented brains to deal with but they do demonstrate the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words and it doesn't take many words to tell a story.

Why it's a Must See: "There is no denying that [this film] is a masterpiece, but figuring out what kind is a real challenge.  As a means of 'explaining' the revolution, the film is simply ineffective.  For many audiences, sitting through it is a real chore...[But this film] is the purest, most cogent example of Eisenstein's theory and practice of cinema."
---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die"

Rosy the Reviewer says...for once I agree with these folks.  I can see the filmic masterpiece part but it was really a chore to get through.

***The Book of the Week***

The Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines (2018)

If you have been missing Joanna, you can bring her into your home by way of her recipes and homespun wisdom about cooking.

I came to the Chip and Joanna Gaines cult late in life.  My daughter-in-law turned me on to them and their show "Fixer Upper," so then I binge-watched all of their shows only to find out that they were leaving HGTV - and just when I became addicted to their perky personalities and clean, homey style.

But now here is Joanna just in the nick of time to share her recipes and way of life in her new cookbook.

"This cookbook is a celebration of bringing people together.  I share many of my favorite personal recipes as well as some from friends and family, and of course from our restaurant, Magnolia Table...Similar to my design philosophy about making your space uniquely yours, I want you to feel inspired to personalize these recipes and adjust them as you need for your family's tastes...There are no gospel truths on these pages.  I'm not a professional chef.  I'm just a busy, working mama who loves to cook and share recipes."

And needless to say, she is also a multi-millionaire!

But this is a lovely cookbook.  It's beautifully illustrated and each recipe has a little homey introduction from Joanna.

For example, for her "Eggs Benedict Casserole" recipe, she says:

"Eggs Benedict is one of Chip's favorite dishes, but he tends to get it only when we go out.  I think this classic is more typically a restaurant dish because it's so time consuming in a home setting to serve up a bunch of individual plates of toasted English muffins, fried Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. But putting those ingredients in a casserole gets you all the flavor in a fraction of the time -- and there's no last minute composing.  Now Chip gets his favorite breakfast and I get a lot more time to sit and enjoy it with our family."

Divided into Breakfast, Lunch, Soups & Salads, Appetizers & Starters, Side Dishes, Dinner, and Desserts, the book provides lots more yummy recipes like that:

  • Overnight French Toast
  • Curry Chicken Salad
  • Layered Arugula Salad
  • Mom's Bulgogi (Joanna's Mom is Korean)
  • Dulce de Leche Apple Pie

But the cookbook also includes many classic dishes with Joanna's spin: Mac & Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie, corn bread, guacamole, and more.

A great cookbook with lots of homespun recipes and thoughts.  And it's perfect for the inexperienced cook as well as the experienced cook.

As Joanna says, "No matter what happens, try to enjoy the process.  As Chip told me early on: If you mess up, there's always pizza."

Rosy the Reviewer says...a beautifully produced and accessible cookbook that feels very much like watching Chip and Joanna on their TV show so if you are a fan you will enjoy this but even if you aren't, it's still a great cookbook with delicious recipes.

Thanks for reading!

See you next Friday 


"Crazy Rich Asians"

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

 and the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before 

I Die Project." 

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to copy and paste or click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.

Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 

Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Rosy's Test Kitchen #5: Cooking Successes and Cooking Conundrums - "Eggs!"

Opinions are like....


Everyone has the best method.
(You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you?)

I think that eggs are probably the perfect food.  

They are low in calories, full of protein and it turns out that eggs were not the cause of our high cholesterol.  It was our overindulgence in everything else! They are also versatile because you can prepare them in many different ways and, yes, everyone has their own way of doing it.

As you know, I love to read and collect cookbooks, and I have noticed that many cookbooks tackle the issue of cooking eggs. I am amazed at how different many of the methods are.  And everyone is certain his or her method is the right one.

So I thought I would share with you how I have been cooking eggs these many years and then test a couple of alternative methods and report back and then throw in a couple of my favorite egg recipes as well. 

I want you to know that I took this assignment that I gave myself very seriously. This was a week-long investigation and I have eaten a LOT of eggs!

And I look forward to what your research has discovered:  your methods and tips when it comes to preparing eggs.

So let's get started.

I am going to compare my techniques with some techniques recommended by "Cooking Light," Joy the Baker, and from the book "How to Break an Egg" by the editors of "Fine Cooking."

First, Hard Boiled Eggs.

Here is my method: I place four eggs in a sauce pan in cold water and when the water starts to boil, I turn the heat off, put the lid on the pan, and let the eggs stand for 25 minutes. Then I drain the pot, rinse the eggs with cold water and add ice to the water.  The ice bath makes the eggs easier to peel later.  However, that's how I did it when I had an electric stove which means that when I turned off the burner, there was still some residual heat.  Now I am cooking with gas (yeah, baby!) and wasn't sure how that method would be affected but just tried it and it still works fine.

Here are some methods from the experts and note how confident they are with titles like "foolproof" and "perfect" - we shall see:


"Foolproof Hard-boiled Eggs"
(Cooking Light March 2017)

Use two quarts of water (not sure why it has to be two quarters - I just cover the eggs), add eggs and bring to a boil.  As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat, move the pan to a cold burner.  Let stand for 12 minutes.  Meanwhile, fill a bowl with water and ice and as soon as 12 minutes has elapsed, drain the eggs, and plunge the eggs into the ice bath. Let stand 5 minutes if using immediately, 10 minutes if saving for later.

"The Secret to Perfectly Boiled Eggs"
("Over Easy" by Joy the Baker)

Bring a saucepan of water to a full boil (she doesn't specify an amount).  Wait until the last minute to remove the eggs from the refrigerator and gently place them in the boiling water.  Reduce the heat to medium and boil 8 minutes for soft-boiled or 11 minutes for hard-boiled.  Remove the pan from the heat, drain and fill the pot with water and a handful of ice cubes.  Let the eggs rest for 5 minutes.

"Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs"
("How to Break an Egg" by the Editors of "Fine Cooking")

Warm the eggs for 4-5 minutes in warm tap water.  This is supposedly to prevent cracking.  Add salt - 1 T. per two quarts of water (no cooking time was recommended so I boiled for 11 minutes as per Joy the Baker).  When finished drain pain and submerge in ice bath.

TIP:  For easy peeling, leave the eggs in the pan after cooking and draining. Put the lid on and shake vigorously.  Once the sound of smashing eggshells stops, remove the pan lid and lift the eggs out of the loose strips of broken shells.

What I learned: In all cases, at least one egg cracked during the cooking process whether there was salt or not, and all of the methods, except mine, of course, produced yolks that were too soft and whites that were slimy, so even though the "foolproof" method was very similar to mine, letting the eggs stand for just 12 minutes did not produce a firm, hard-boiled egg.

Oh, and shaking the eggs in the pan as an easy way to peel them?

You decide.

Verdict:  My method works best for me.  Produces firm whites and firm yolks every time.  And shaking the eggs in the pan?  Not recommended.  The ice water method works best for easy peeling.

Scrambled Eggs:

My method: Crack the eggs into a bowl, add a little water and salt and pepper, whisk the eggs and dump them into a pan of melted butter.  Whisk them around a bit until they are of a consistency I like (soft) and then remove from pan.

Cooking Light's (March 2017) versions:

"Diner-style Scrambled Eggs:"

  • 1 t. butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1/8 t. salt

Melt butter in 8-inch skillet over medium high heat until butter is bubbly.  Break eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork until slightly frothy.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Add egg mixture to the pan and start pulling the eggs from the sides of the pan into the middle.  Big, fluffy curds will start to form.  Keep pulling the eggs for about 3 minutes.  As soon as the runny eggs are fully set remove from heat.

"Creamy Soft-Scrambled Eggs"
Same ingredients, skillet and egg beating as above except this time you will be using medium-LOW heat and when the butter melts and you add the eggs, you will quickly start stirring with a rubber spatula and keep stirring.  After a few minutes, steam will rise and the eggs will thicken and small curds will form.  If you start to get large curds lift the pan from the burner to cool it down, stirring all the while.  Cook stirring constantly until the eggs hold together like a soft-custard that can spread slightly like risotto.

Here is what Joy the Baker thinks is

"The Secret to Fluffy Scrambled Eggs"
Whisk 3 large eggs, 2 T. milk and 1/2 t. soy sauce (soy sauce?) in a small bowl.  She also uses clarified butter (1 T.) in a skillet set over medium-low heat.  Add eggs and let them sit in the hot pan for 10 seconds and then using a rubber spatula, push and flip the eggs around the pan stirring constantly for four-five minutes until the eggs are just cooked through.  Squeeze with fresh lime juice (lime juice?) just before the eggs are done.

Joy also likes to make "Folded Eggs" to use in a breakfast sandwich.

She uses a ratio of 6 eggs, 6 t. whole milk, 6 splashes of soy sauce (she really likes that old soy sauce in her eggs), 1/4 t. black pepper, 6 t. black pepper and 3/4 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese BUT she only cooks one egg at a time so this recipe makes 6 sandwiches so cut this recipe down as you see fit.
Basically you pour the egg mixture into a 6-inch skillet tilting the pan to create a very thin, almost crepe like layer. Add the cheese and using a very thin spatula fold the sides of the egg over the cheese creating a small square.
This is what it's supposed to look like:

Not as easy as it looks. 

Here is what mine looked like:

What I learned: Adding soy sauce to the eggs gives them a little smoky flavor but I didn't find that it substituted for salt and there wasn't enough of it to really make much of a difference.  The eggs still needed salt.  The "fluffy scramble" only took 2-2 and a half minutes to cook.  If you go 4-5 minutes, I think they will be too dry and I never really got the fluffy part. Also didn't think I would like the soft scramble but it was really good.  You can actually spread the eggs on the toast.  Oh, and I learned that I wasn't very good at folding eggs. 
Verdict: Soy sauce is an unnecessary distraction, didn't like the lime juice and except for the folded eggs, no matter the method, they all kind of came out the same depending on whether or not you like your scrambled eggs soft or dry. And milk or no milk?  Couldn't really tell the difference.  So you might as well just whisk your eggs, dump them in the pan and scramble them until they are the consistency you like.  You can't really mess up scrambled eggs - unless you try to fold them!

Fried Eggs:

My method: Whether sunny side up or over easy, I just crack the eggs on the edge of the pan and dump into the pan and let them sizzle until they look good (flipping the egg over at the last minute for over easy), season and then slide onto a plate.

But of course, the experts think otherwise:
"Frizzled Sunny-Side Up Eggs"
(Cooking Light March 2017)
You might want to use a splatter screen for these.
1 T. canola oil
2 large eggs
1/4 t. black pepper
1/8 t. salt
The pan needs to be really hot.  Break the eggs into the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let them sizzle and pop.  Don't move the eggs at all for about 4 minutes or until the edges are crispy and beautifully browned and the whites are set.
"Pristine Sunny-Side Up Eggs"
(Cooking Light March 2017)
Same ingredients as above except this time you don't want the pan to be as hot.  You want the heat to be medium-low.  Crack the eggs into the pan and you do NOT want to hear crackling and hissing.  Cook 3 minutes.  After 3 minutes tilt the pan and let the oil pool on the edge and baste the egg whites (not the yolks) with the oil.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
"The Secret to Great Fried Eggs"
("Over Easy" by Joy the Baker)
Basically her recipe is the same as the "Pristine" eggs above but she uses clarified butter.  I suppose there could be a debate on the merits of butter over oil - I prefer butter though I don't go to the trouble of clarifying it like she does.  However, she cracks her eggs into a fine-mesh strainer which supposedly keeps the watery part of the egg white out thus creating a nicer looking and more compact fried egg.  Nope.  Too much trouble.
Tip: For a delicate fried egg, once you have the eggs in the pan and seasoned, add 1 t. water to the pan and immediately cover with a lid.  As the eggs, cook, they will steam.  Cook until the egg whites are set and the yolks are to the desired doneness, about 3 minutes for over easy.
Tip: For a crisper egg, once you flip the eggs, use the spatula to press down on the edges of the egg as it cooks, which will create a crisp egg-white edge.  Cook to the desired doneness about 3 minutes for over easy.
If you want an over easy egg, just flip the egg after the three minutes.

What I learned:  I need to get used to my new gas stove.  I seem to burn everything!


That's not a piece of toast that egg is sitting on.  That's the white after sizzling and frizzling!

Verdict: Forget the sizzling, frizzling egg at four minutes, the clarified butter or putting your eggs through a strainer- three minutes on low heat seems to fry a perfect egg sunny side up. 

Poached Eggs:

My method: Boil the water in a shallow pan, crack the eggs into the water and boil on a medium heat for three to four minutes and then using a slotted spatula, remove the eggs and place on a piece of toast or some fancy schmancy dish I have made.

Cooking Light (March 2017) has a "Swirl" method and a "Shallow pan" method:
For the "swirl," bring a pot of water with a T. of vinegar in it to a gentle simmer.  Using a whisk, create a little whirlpool in the simmering water and slip in the egg.  Using a slotted spoon, swirl the water around the edge of the pan, gently shaping the egg white.  Cook about 3 minutes.
For the shallow pan method, pour about 2 inches of water into a shallow pan (add vinegar) and bring to a gentle boil.  Add the egg and cook for 3 to 3 and a half minutes and remove with a slotted spoon or spatula.
What I Learned: Despite the fact that I thought the swirl method would be too time-consuming it actually worked.  The egg came out looking much better than when I just let the egg white take its course.
Verdict:  When I feel like having a pretty poached egg, I will adopt the "swirl" method but otherwise, shallow pan, boil the water, crack the eggs and three to four minutes later, I have poached eggs.

Final Verdict:

When compared to the experts, when all is said and done, even though my egg making is very basic and I eschew most of the steps and tips that many cooks adopt such as cracking the eggs into a separate dish and sliding them gently into the pan or adding vinegar to the water, I think I do OK in the egg-making department.  Like life, I tend to just crack the egg on the pan and let things fall where they may and that has worked out fine so far.

Finally here are a couple of my favorite egg recipes:

"Egg and Tater Bake"
(Woman's Day Magazine)

  • 4 c. frozen tater tots
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-in. pieces
  • 8 oz. cremini or white mushrooms, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 1/2 bunch fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
Heat over to 400 degrees.

Arrange the tots on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, season with 1/2 t. salt and pepper, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add the red pepper and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, 5-6 minutes.  Toss with the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.  Fold in the spinach and tots.
Make 8 small wells in the vegetable mixture and carefully crack an egg into each.  Spring with the cheese and bake the eggs to desired tenderness, 15 to 18 minutes for slightly runny yolks.
What I Learned:  The yolks were not runny at 15 to 18 minutes so if you like them that way watch your oven.
Verdict:  Yum!

"Brunch Strata"
("Taste of Home" January 2013)

  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 med. onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)
  • 1 med. green pepper, chopped
  • 2 c. cubed cooked ham
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. half and half
  • 12 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 c. day old cubed bread
  • 3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the veggies and ham; cook and stir until the veggies are tender. Add the garlic.  Cook 1 minute longer.  Drain and pat dry.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and half and half until smooth.  Gradually beat in eggs.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and vegetable mixture.

Transfer to two greased 11 x 7 in. baking dishes.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

What I Learned:  This recipe can easily be halved and it also makes a great vegetarian dish - just leave out the ham.

Verdict:  When entertaining guests, make this dish the night before and have it ready to just pop in the oven in the morning for an easy and fast but elegant breakfast dish.  Your guests will say, "DIVINE!!!"

Hope you enjoyed this latest installment of "Rosy's Test Kitchen."  I would love to hear your tips for the best way to prepare eggs and for you to share some of your favorite recipes.

Oh, and if you like my new apron, you can thank my daughter and her Hubby.  It was a well thought-out and lovely Christmas present.  And speaking of presents, anyone who gets the Housewives homage from the picture should get a special present (that doesn't mean you will, but you should)!

Until next time, you fill find me here this coming Friday for my usual reviews.

Thanks for reading!


See you this Friday 


for my review of 

"The Post"

The Week in Reviews

(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)


 and the latest on


"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before 

 I Die Project." 



If you enjoyed this post, feel free to copy and paste or click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at