Holy Technical Tuesday: Perfect Poached Eggs

Hey look!  A blog feature!

Welcome to Holy Technical Tuesday, where I tackle various cooking endeavours that some people might find daunting because they’re “precise” or “finicky” or “easy to mess up”.

Pfft.

Today we’re tackling egg poaching.  Now, I know poaching an egg isn’t really that hard, but I was quite frankly surprised by the amount of people I know who are completely undone by it.

I don’t get it.  Its not even that scary, as far as scary food techniques go!  Its just simmering water and a vortex!  Easy peasy.

But whatever.  I’ll walk you through it, and show you the light.  Because putting poached eggs on everything you eat ever is actually the greatest way to eat everything ever (mostly).  And then you can throw out these stupid things because seriously, they don’t fucking work.

Step One: put some water on.

CRANK IT

CRANK IT

You’ll want to crank it so it’ll get to the right heat fast.  Let that baby bubble.

Step Two: crack an egg.

Farm fresh is much better, but we can't all own a trio of chickens.  Don't worry, I have extras.

Farm fresh is much better, but we can’t all own a trio of chickens. Don’t worry, I have extras.

Into a ramekin, if you please.

Step Three: start the vortex.

Right about here is where you’ll want to turn the water down to a simmer.  Then, with your implement of choice (I like a fork) start swirling the water to make a little whirlpool in the middle.  

….

Here comes the big one.  You ready?

Step Four: pour in the egg.

Careful, now.

Careful, now.

Keep your whirlpool going until the egg hits the water, and pour low into the center of the pan.  From there you’ll want to take a slotted serving spoon (or some variation thereof) and sort of nudge the water around the egg to keep it swirling/keep the white chilling out around the yolk.  In about four minutes, BAM!  You’ll have a poached egg.  Pull it out with the same slotted spoon you were nudging whites with earlier and dry (I generally just SUPER GENTLY go at it with a paper towel, keeping it on the spoon; I’ve never had good luck with moving it onto paper towel before dumping it on my food.

Presto!  Egg poaching made easy.  Go forth, friends, and enjoy.

Okay I'm boring and just ate it on toast but it was still delicious, alright?

Okay I’m boring and just ate it on toast but it was still delicious, alright?

Got any requests for next week’s HTT?

 

*horrible photography brought to you by…my phone and terrible lighting.

Hey! Where’d she go?

So yeah, I’ve been sucking on the post count the last week or so.

(Weirdly enough people have still been stopping in to like and follow and comment, which, awesome?  I’m pretty happy that y’all keep coming by, just sayin’.)

Its been a crazy week.  Work has been nuts, for starters, and life in the venue of Other Things hasn’t exactly been quiet, either.  Things that have fallen off the edge of the map: sleeping, getting in my usual amount of gym-time, and also blogging.  That one was the first casualty.

Life happens, I guess.  And what are you going to do about it, really?

GIF - dumbles

BUT ITS SO SAD.

So sad.  I ran for the first time in, like, two weeks this morning.  (And it was a pitiful run, ugh, but it was so awesome.  My legs were just down there pretty much shouting “yes, Mistress Bee!  We have missed this.  Thank you for granting us use, we are forever grateful.”)

(No, my legs cannot actually talk.  Don’t be ridiculous.)

Anyway.  That not blogging thing?  I promise that’s going to stop.

Pinky swear.

Please contain your excitement.

Or don't.  I won't tell.

Or don’t. I won’t tell.

Unwrapping…E.L.F Beauty Bundle January 2014

The ELF Beauty Bundle may not be the most exciting of my subs, but its definitely up there in the favorites ranking.  Here’s the deal:  for $20 every other month, you get a box crammed with $40 worth of stuff.  And now the best part: not only do they actually make pretty quality makeup, its cheap and easy to get your hands on.  Seriously, just find yourself a Target and you’re home free.

(They also have sales on their website…well, pretty much every day of forever, just because they really want you lookin’ pretty.)

What that means, though, is that when I find something I love in an ELF box (which is frequently, let’s be real about this) I don’t actually have to hem and haw about whether I want to shell out $40 for the full size, knowing that the full size is only going to be marginally bigger than the sample I got.  I just go buy it.  Added bonus, they really like to include brushes in the boxes– so I have two full sets of good-quality makeup brushes.  Do I need that many?  No.  But its nice to know I have backups.

Or something.  Maybe I just like how they look in a jar on my bathroom counter.

So, we’re here to talk about the box, aren’t we?

Aw!  ELF, you're such a flatterer.

Aw! ELF, you’re such a flatterer.

This is the “New Year, New You” box, so..like all kinds of stuff that makes you feel like a prettier human in the non painted-on-face sense of the word.  Awesome.

Studio Daily Moisture Stick [retail: $6]

Moisture Stick - ELF 1.23.14Do not smell your hands after you use this guy.  They will smell exactly as awful as you’d expect a very bland moisturizing stick thing to smell like, which is to say fairly awful.

That’s my biggest con, though.  This was in a previous bundle a few months back, and its really convenient for when you’re just a little bit scaly and don’t want to mess with full-on moisturizer– or when you’re in a rush– or for rubbing gratuitously into your cuticles– etc.  My favorite thing is to rub it all over my fingertips (for some reason that I’ve never quite understood, the tips of my fingers sometimes get really dry and it feels so weird and I want to scream).  I’m never big on getting duplicates of things when I’m expecting New Product Adventures, but I’ll let it go because I’m stoked that now I have one to keep in my gym bag and another for my actual bag.  Aw, yeah.

Studio Lip Exfoliator [retail: $3]

Lip Exfoliator - ELF 1.23.14This thing is SO WEIRD AND I LOVE IT.  Its like St Ives for your lips.

I KNOW, RIGHT.

It looks like a lipstick, so +1 for application convenience, but what you’re actually getting is a fuckton of little exfoliating sugar beads encapsulated in a moisturizer.  Bam.  One stop shopping.  And so much easier than all that Vaseline/toothbrush bull.

Studio Eye Refresh [retail: $3]

Eye Refresh - ELF 1.23.14

I mean, I guess this stuff feels pretty neat under my eyes.  I haven’t noticed any visible brightening, but that could be because a) I’ve been using it so sporatically or b) I have really, really not been paying attention.

Equally possible.

Studio HD Lifting Concealer [retail: $3]

Lifting Concealer - ELF 1.23.14

I had high hopes when I pulled this out of the box– hey, concealer with actual benefits!  Awesome! — but got super apprehensive when I actually opened the tube– this is the lightest shade, and it looks freakishly yellow on the applicator.  And it felt way too loose to do any damage as a concealer, to me.

Lesson, kids: go with your gut.  This stuff covers and blends way better than I thought it would.  I’m impressed.

Mineral Eye Brightener [retail: $3]

Eye Brightener - ELF 1.23.14

Honestly I still haven’t tried this yet.  SHH.

Prism Eyeshadow Palette [retail: $10]

Prism Shadow - 1.23.14

PARDON MY HAPPY DANCE.  I am gaga over their eyeshadow palettes because a) I never buy myself eyeshadow so its nice that someone wants to keep providing me with a variety of them and b) they’re actually awesome.  The coverage is smooth and pretty damn long-lasting.  And the colors are puuuuurty.

And also shimmery.  I’m a magpie, I like shiny.  Sue me.

Mineral Face Cleanser [retail: $8]

Mineral Cleanser - ELF 1.23.14

When I read the package instructions my first thought was “well that’s super weird.”  This is a powdered cleanser, so you’re supposed to wet your face, dust some of this onto your palms, and go to town scrubbing.

Interesting.  Just gonna say, it felt real weird to be rubbing powder onto a wet face.

Studio Makeup Remover Exfoliating Cloths [retail: $3]

Makeup Remover - ELF 1.23.14

I think I have psychic subscription boxes.  They keep knowing my needs (i.e. spending nights over at Other Places and not wanting to be That Girl who shows up with a whole bag chock full o’ stuff and looks incredibly high-maintenance in the process) and trying, apparently, to accommodate them.

NEAT.

So these went into my bag last Saturday night when the above situation was a situation I was in.  I was pretty excited that they’re an exfoliating/cleansing duo, too– excellent, one less thing I have to worry about bringing.  Also, points for pretty much ensuring I looked dewy and awesome and not like a red-faced hot mess.  +1 for effective no-fuss face cleaning.

Essentials Slant Tweezer [retail: $1]

Tweezers - ELF 1.23.14

News flash: they tweeze!

Not the best roundup of ELF stuff that’s made it my way, but definitely stuff I’ll be using until it dies on me.

Cool story, I know.

Meatless Family: in which Mama and I Meet the Sandwich Gods

True story: I sent my mother a link to this sandwich last Monday.  Her reply was to yell at me for making her hungry, and then continue to bitch about how good it looked (first world problems if I’ve ever heard them) through half of dinner that night.

Egg in the Basket Grilled Cheese

Yes, that is a Bon Temps Hawks pint glass in the background. Buy yourself one and fill it up with Sam Adam’s Cold Snap and you too can be as cool as I am.

I think she was mostly disappointed that she saw it on her break (by which time she was already hungry) and then was sadly disappointed by the food available to her on said break (because, airport). Hell, she was better off than me, though– I had to make do with almonds and my own tears of food-lust.

Naturally we had a clear choice for this week’s installment of my family’s meatless foray– which is, pretty understandably, going better without my dad’s company at dinner (sorry, dad!).  When I floated the idea of actually making these for Monday, for example, mama countered with “well, we’ll have to save some for when he gets home from work!” Not a problem, mama.  He’ll just eat a burger when he gets home, because that’s his go-to and he’ll be happier than a pig in shit.

She didn’t disagree.

BREAD MASSACRE

BREAD MASSACRE

The only disappointing thing about these sandwiches is that asparagus isn’t in season yet, and the only stalks we could find were thick and woody-looking.  But roasting them helps soften them up a little, and also makes them delicious and that is all I think you should ever do with asparagus.  Except for maybe grilling them.  Or putting them on pizzas or in pastas or frittatas or — okay basically, just eat asparagus all the time.

Its good for you.

Getting my fry-on.

Getting my fry-on.

Interesting fact: January 20th, the night we actually ate this, is apparently National Cheese Lovers Day.  Seems appropriate.

Check out the recipe for yourself at Cooking Stoned.  Trust me, you’ll never want to eat anything else as long as you live.

Friday Favorites – 24 January

I like stuff.  And also things.  Here are the highlights.

S

IMG_1210

Someone I know sent me this book in the mail, unexpectedly, and I think that might’ve been the best way I could have gotten it.  S is the book I never dared to dream about, and here’s why: you know those books you have when you’re a kid, with all the envelopes and letters and interactive everything?  You know how those books were actually the best thing ever?  S is basically that for adults, and what’s more is that it’s a story about a mystery about an author’s story?  So you have the actual novel text to work through, the timeline of the margin notes to work through, the included letters and tidbits as well as the external supplemental materials to work through, and the running mystery to work through.

Added bonus: there’s all kinds of little nuggets criticising reader response criticism, and I couldn’t be happier because reader response is bullshit but I’m not going to talk about it and get on a tangent and this makes it a hot contender for my list of favorite English Major Things.

That said.  I’m super excited about it right now, but I’ve read more than one review that basically says for as great as the concept and the visual/sensory execution is, the literary one doesn’t pull through quite so well– which would be unfortunate.  I have high hopes, though.  As long as JJ Abrams doesn’t insist on shoving polar bears into the picture and then never explaining them.

My Jane Austen Five-Year Journal

IMG_1211

I actually only found out that five-year journals were a thing last week, but I have to say I’m preeeetty in love with the idea: you write a little note about what happened on a given day.  Repeat daily through the end of the year, and again for the next five.  At the end you’ll have a neat little retrospective of where you were in life years before, which is something that’s really very easy to lose track of.  What’s funny is that I actually have something similar of my grandfather’s– a yearly diary that his sister gave him before he shipped off to the Pacific with the Navy during WWII, with multiple years of a single date chronicled on the same page.  (His handwriting and spelling were awful, but I’ll forgive him because a) I loved the guy and b) the completed piece of primary-source-material is really, really interesting to read.)

Now, I’m under no impression that the next five years of my life will be anywhere near as interesting to read in seventy years as my grandfather’s exploits are now.  But if all I get is a cool retrospective on my own life dotted with Janeite witticisms, that’s good enough for me.  Plus it is way easier to reread journal entries written in the same book than it is to do so across about eight different ones.

Moon Candy

Moon Candy - FFvs 1.24.14

I mentioned last week that you’d be hearing more about Moon Candy, and I’m about to make good on that.  Moon Candy is, in short, my current favorite thing to slap on my nails.  I am such a sucker for this stuff.  I’ll go into the store to pick up completely unrelated things and WHOOPS, walk out with more Moon Candy.  There is a distinct chance its becoming a problem.  But to be honest, I don’t..actually care?  Or mind, rather.

The setup is pretty simple: on one end of the bottle you get a solid basecoat (respectable polish in its own right, but I’m a fan of Revlon polish in general so I’m not too surprised) and on the other you get a glittery topcoat.  BUT WAIT.  The glittery topcoat isn’t just any glittery topcoat: the flakes are all different sizes and colors, so the net effect is like someone puked multicolored mother-of-pearl onto your fingernails.

I am in love.

Luke Bryan

I have a thing for pictures of hunting!Luke.  Don't judge me.

I have a thing for pictures of hunting!Luke. Don’t judge me.

New?  No.  Favorite?  Still yes.  Going to see him tonight?  Abso-motherfucking-lutely and I’ve had a hard time keeping it together today with all the anticipation.

This section mostly just exists because I want to tell literally everyone about this.  You wish you were coming, don’t lie.

Unwrapping…Ipsy January 2014

I love Ipsy’s packaging– especially in the middle of winter.  How awesome is it to get a BRIGHT FUCKING PINK AND SHINY ENVELOPE in your mailbox?

Ipsy 1.22.14

The most awesome.  That’s how awesome.  The bags inside are usually pretty legit as well, though generally less glitzy.

Not my favorite, but they can't all be winners.

Not my favorite, but they can’t all be winners.

Benefit the PoreFessional ($30)

Benefit - Ipsy 1.22.14

I had a date on Sunday (great timing, since my skin and I had a weekend on the outs) and thought, hey! let’s use some snazzy primer that says it’ll make my pores look better.

Excellent call, B.

I used up the last of my pore-covering skin-awesome-making god-product for New Year’s (I had a Birchbox sample and look at that pricetag I’m sure you get why I’m loathe to buy more) so this was a well-timed sample.  Awesome.  Pores went poof and stayed gone under the tinted moisturizer and powder that got layered over them.

Granted this pricetag isn’t much better, so I’d just better hope one of these boxes pulls through with another pore miracle-worker when this one runs out.

Hint.  Hint.

Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm ($12)

Malin + Goetz - Ipsy 1.22.14

I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I like this or just feel like I should and am using that to cover up actual ambivalence.  It smells really, really good, like you’d want mojito lip balm goo to smell like but without the disappointment that stems from many childhood years of generally misleading flavors that taste mostly like wax.

Pros: above scent approval.  And it really does moisturize well.  Its also a little bit shiny, so it can sort of double as a gloss if that’s your kind of thing.

Cons: it doesn’t seem to last long (maybe that’s just because I drink a lot of stuff during the day and its just rubbing off onto water bottles/coffee cups/etc).  Also, its really sticky.  And because its a tube, you can’t really be ladylike about it.  You’re stuck squirting it onto your finger and rubbing away, and inevitably somebody catches you and you’re left with a bunch of goo on your finger.

I dunno, man.  Jury: out.

yaby Liquid Foundation ($13.55)

Yaby - Ipsy 1.22.14

You might’ve caught in my bit about the PoreFessional that I’m not really a foundation person: tinted moisturizer and light, translucent powder are my go-tos for pretty much everything, with maybe a little extra help underneath if I need it.  So I was actually predisposed to not like this sample.

(Sorry, guys.)

The shade I got wasn’t perfect, and it went on a little thick for me to be able to blend it in well as well as I’d like.  But when I was researching, I figured out that you’re actually supposed to buy multiple shades and then mix them to match your skin tone.  Or..something.  Which, awesome idea!  Custom blended foundation!  If you’re willing to shell out the money to match your skin tone perfectly.

In which case this is great!  But if you’re me and you’re really just happy to use your tinted moisturizer/powder super powered combo..not really so much.

Balanced Guru Balm Me Up Body Balm ($12 for 1 oz, $45 for 4)

Body Balm - Ipsy 1.22.14

This is probably going to make someone out there say “oh ew what is wrong with you” but that person is a snob and I don’t actually care about their opinions.  I forgot to toss my moisturizer in my gym bag Monday morning, and when you have dry skin and its winter..that is a bad thing if you plan to wash your face and not walk outside looking like a crocodile.  Luckily I’d thrown my complete ipsy bag in instead (because..logic, obviously) so I had this on hand and thought “well..it’s supposed to moisturize.  Maybe it’ll be okay.”

I’m not proud.

I kept it really light so as to not go overboard on the shine, and extra light on areas that are prone to shine, and I’m happy to say I made it through the day with no scales and actually not that much shininess.  Something in those oils did a damn good job locking that moisture down, and my face smells vaguely like lemon Pez.  I couldn’t be happier.

Actually, scratch that: I would be much happier if a retail size container of this didn’t cost as much as a week’s worth of gas in my car.

A! Absolute!  Make-Up Cleansing Tissues ($6.99)

Absolute! - Ipsy 1.22.14

They cleaned my face!

..I really don’t know what else to say about them.

Overalldefinitely not the best pack that’s come through my mailbox, that’s for sure.  But I like that this one was a little different than what I usually get from Ipsy– of late they’ve been getting kind of crazy with dark eyeliners and really bright red lip colors (which, fine, I like both of these things but what the hell am I going to do with eight vampy red lipsticks when I already have a favorite in my arsenal?)

So I guess I’m happy.  And my lips taste vaguely of mint.