Best iPhone Cooking App

A few weeks ago, someone on Twitter asked everyone what their favorite iPhone apps are. I replied immediately with my answer: Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve been an iPhone junkie for three years or so, and it’s the only paid app I own. There’s a free version that has some sample recipes, so download it and try out a few recipes before you buy a subscription.

This is not a low carb app, but it’s certainly low carb friendly as there are plenty of amazing meat recipes. The slow-roasted beef is the absolute best roast beef I’ve ever had in my life. Generally, every recipe is the “best recipe,” as they test exhaustively until they find the perfect recipe.

The app also has the extensive product reviews that Cook’s Illustrated Magazine prides itself on. Which is the best Greek yogurt? What’s the best brand of frozen peas? I find these really helpful when I find a coupon for a brand I don’t usually buy. I pop on the app, look up the product, and see if the brand is worth buying.

Do you have a favorite cooking app?

Oxo is Amazing!

A few years ago, I purchased some dry measuring cups and a set of measuring spoons from Oxo. They are plastic and nothing sticks to them. My only issue is the measurements rubbed off of my most-used cups and spoons, so I have to guess which one is which!

I finally got so annoyed with my daily guessing game that I emailed Oxo customer service to complain about it. I didn’t expect much more than an apology. Instead, they’re sending me free replacement sets of cups and spoons! It turns out I’m not the only person who had this problem, as they redesigned the cups and spoons to eliminate the issue. How cool is Oxo?

Thanks again, Oxo. I’m looking forward to trying out my new measuring cups and spoons! I think these (below) are the new cups I’m getting.

20120427-172106.jpg

Spinach, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomato Mini-Frittatas

This is in my top 10 best things I’ve ever made, not to mention extremely easy!  I was hungry for eggs, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes, but didn’t feel like a plain old omelet.  I’ve recently seen a lot of recipes for ham, bacon, and/or toast-lined baked eggs made in cupcake tins, so I was inspired to throw this together and see what happened.  I didn’t have ham, bacon, or toast, so instead of whole eggs I thought I’d whip up a frittata-style mixture, as I thought that would help hold it together in the muffin pan.  I was right!

You’ll need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 4 egg whites, or a scant half cup of Egg Beaters
  • 1 10-ounce package of frozen cut spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste (optional)
  1. Whisk eggs, egg whites, salt, pepper, and hot sauce in a large bowl until combined and frothy.
  2. Stir in spinach, feta, and tomatoes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Butter a 12-muffin tin, or two six-muffin tins.  Alternatively, you can use a bit of olive oil to lightly coat the cups.
  5. Pour mixture into the prepared muffin tin(s). Try to make them equal, and try to leave about a half-inch of room at the top as these should expand a little.  I used a liquid measuring cup with a pouring spout to do this.
  6. Bake for 20-28 minutes, until the tops are just barely starting to brown and the eggs look set (see picture above–the top is shiny but not wet).
  7. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan (I used a small spatula to go around each mini-frittata and they all just popped right out).
  9. Enjoy!  The picture below is the cut half of a mini-frittata.  I had already scarfed the other half…

Eggs and Bacon

Is there anything better than eggs and bacon?

This is eggs and bacon the way I like them: extra crispy bacon and runny-yolked eggs.

For the bacon, the oven is clearly the way to go.  It’s so easy, and you can’t really mess it up unless you burn the bacon…which I like.  Set your oven at 350 degrees, lay your bacon strips on a sheet pan, and throw it in the oven for 12-20 minutes depending on how thick your bacon is.  I would check at 12 minutes just to see how it’s going.  Say hi.  I actually talk to my bacon a bit and coax it along into perfection.  I have a crush on bacon.

For the eggs, you want a preheated pan, a little olive oil or butter (or both! go wild), and as many eggs as you’d like.  Crack the eggs into a little bowl and dig out all the shell you got in there while you’re heating the pan on medium, or medium-low if your range runs hot.  After about 5 minutes, check to make sure your pan is hot.  Don’t burn yourself!  Just quickly tap the side of the pan to check.

Put the oil/butter into the hot pan and swirl it around.  Slide the eggs in there, carefully if you like the yolk runny, and cover with a lid or plate.  This helps the egg cook on both sides.  After one minute, check on your eggs.  If they’re still liquid-y, re-cover and let cook for another minute.  Once they look almost done, as in no runny white, you can carefully flip them and turn off the heat.  Let it sit for 30 seconds or so to solidify the egg white while keeping the yolk runny. Don’t be afraid to check on it obsessively like I did when I was first making eggs this way.  Just lift a corner with a spatula to see if the white is cooked to your liking.  When it’s ready, add salt and pepper if you’d like and enjoy!

If you really preheated your pan, this should be a very quick operation.  If you find it’s taking forever, your heat may be a little too low.  If it’s loudly popping and sizzling for more than a few seconds after you put the eggs in the pan, your heat is too high–turn it down to low or medium-low.  You’ll get the hang of it!  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, comment below, whatever you’d like.

Quick Eggplant Snack

This is my absolute favorite way to cook eggplant.  You don’t waste any of the eggplant, and you can use any spices you like in place of the garam masala. I love the cinnamon-y, clove-y, peppery smell and taste of garam masala so I’m always looking for new ways to use it.  Eggplant is a great canvas for many different spices and flavors.  Try these with garlic, hot pepper, or maybe even balsamic vinegar instead of garam masala.  You can double or triple this recipe with no issues.  I have kept the baked rounds in the fridge overnight and they were just as tasty microwaved the next day.

You’ll need:

  • 1 good-looking eggplant
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
  1. Wash your eggplant under cold water.
  2. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the rounds with salt.
  4. Place rounds in a colander over a bowl or in the sink.
  5. Let rounds stand for two hours or so–you can probably leave them overnight in the fridge if you’d like.
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Rinse the rounds under cold water.
  8. Dry the rounds thoroughly on paper towels or kitchen towels; they should be green and leather-like.  If they’re not, dry more!
  9. Brush both sides of rounds with oil.
  10. Sprinkle both sides with garam masala.
  11. Arrange rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet; otherwise, the rounds may get stuck to the baking sheet and fall apart when you try to get them off.  Not that I would know that from experience…
  12. Bake for 20 minutes, or until sliced are soft and browned.  I find this is just enough to get rid of the bitterness of the skin.  If you’d like, you can try cooking these longer to turn them into “chips,” but I haven’t had good luck with that so far.
  13. Enjoy!