How-To: Cook An Egg

Recipes March 15, 2015

You think it’s such a simple thing, but a perfectly cooked egg is actually kind of an achievement, particularly when you’re trying to get a specific result. Anyone who has served their share of rubbery scrambled eggs knows that well. That said, they’re also awesome. They’re cheap, they’re packed with protein and healthy fat, and throwing one on top of pretty much anything makes pretty much anything a meal; for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


1 egg

  1. Fill a small saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Using a spoon, gently slide in the egg and set your timer.
  3. Keep an eye on the water while the egg cooks, and try to maintain a soft boil.
  4. When the timer goes off, remove the egg to an ice water bath for one minute to stop the cooking.
  5. Crack, peel, and enjoy.
  • For a soft-boiled egg with set whites and a liquid yolk set for six minutes. This is what you want for ramen, or eggs & soldiers.
  • For a perfectly hard-boiled egg with a slightly soft center set for nine minutes. This is what you want for salad niçoise.
  • For a completely cooked through yolk set for ten minutes. This is what you want for egg salad, a snack, or deviled eggs.


2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter

  1. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and season with a very generous pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.
  2. Add cream, and beat the eggs with a fork until they are a uniform light yellow color.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small non-stick pan over high heat.
  4. When the butter melts and begins to foam, pour in the eggs and immediately turn to low. Stir with a spoon or spatula constantly as you cook.
  5. When the eggs are just set but still look too moist, remove them to a plate (they will continue to cook a bit as they rest).


1 egg
2 teaspoons white vinegar

  1. Fill a small saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  2. Add vinegar to water, and crack the egg into a small bowl or ramekin.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to stir the water, creating a whirlpool, or vortex.
  4. Gently slide the cracked egg into the vortex—it should spin around a bit. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
  5. After 10 seconds, use a slotted spoon to gently move the egg, making sure it hasn’t stuck to the bottom of the saucepan.
  6. Let the egg cook at a low simmer until it has reached desired doneness. For us, that means around 2:30 for just-set whites and completely liquid yolks, or around 3:30 for runny yolks with a little more structure.
  7. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then either serve immediately or cool, refrigerate, and reheat in simmering water when ready to eat.


1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Heat olive oil in a small, non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. Crack the egg directly into the pan and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Continue cooking the egg over medium heat for about three minutes, or until the white is set and slightly crispy around the edges, but the yolk is still quite runny.


1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. The over-easy egg starts off exactly the same as the fried egg.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small, non-stick pan over medium heat.
  3. Crack the egg directly into the pan and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook for about two minutes, then use a spatula to flip the egg, being careful not to break the yolk.
  5. For a runny yolk, turn off the heat and let the egg sit for one minute. If you prefer a slightly more cooked yolk, turn the heat down to low and cook one to two minutes.

The Shared Wonder of Film

Paideia January 9, 2014

“Evidence suggests that humans in all ages and from all cultures create their identity through some kind of narrative form.

From mother to daughter, preacher to congregate, teacher to pupil, storyteller to audience; whether in cave paintings or the latest uses of the internet, human beings have always told truths through parable and fable. We are inveterate story tellers.

But where in our increasingly secular and fragmented world do we offer communality of experience unmediated by our own furious consumerism? And, what narrative, what history, what moral code are we imparting to our young?

Cinema is arguably the 20th centuries most influential art form. It’s artists told stories across international boundaries, in as many languages, genres, and philosophies as one can imagine. Indeed, it is hard to find a subject that film has yet to tackle.

During the last decade we’ve seen a vast integration of global media now dominated by a culture of the Hollywood blockbuster. We are increasingly offered a diet in which sensation, not story, is king.

What was common to us all 40 years ago, the telling of stories between generations, is now rarefied. As a filmmaker it worried me, as a human being, it puts the fear of God in me. What future could the young build with so little grasp of where they’ve come from and so few narratives of what’s possible?

The irony is palpable. Technical access has never been greater. Cultural access, never weaker.

Purists may feel that fiction dissipates the quest of real human understanding, that film is too crude to tell a complex and detailed history, or, that filmmakers always serve drama over truth. But, within the reels lie purpose and meaning.

As one 12 year old said after watching The Wizard of Oz, “Every person should watch this because unless you do, you may not know that you too have a heart.”

We honor reading, why not honor watching with the same passion? Consider Citizen Kane as valuable as Jane Austin. Agree Boys ‘N the Hood, like Tennyson, offers an emotional landscape and heightened understanding that work together. Each a piece of memorable art. Each a brick in the wall of who we are…an opportunity to discover what it is to be human and no less helpful to understanding our life and times as Shakespeare is in illuminating the world of Elizabethan England.

(Our young) they are neither feral nor myopically self absorbed. They are like other young people, negotiating a world with infinite choice but little culture of how to find meaningful experience.

We appeared surprised at the behaviors of those who define themselves by the size of the tic on their shoes, yet acquisition has been the narrative we’ve offered. If we want different values, we have to tell a different story. A story that understands that an individual narrative is an essential component of a person’s identity. That a collective narrative is an essential component of a cultural identity, and without it, it is impossible to imagine yourself as part of a group. Because, when these people get home from a screening of Rear Window and raise their gaze to the building next door, they have the tools to wonder, who, apart from themselves, is out there, and what is their story?”  – B E E B A N   K I D R O N

Other films mentioned in Kidron’s TED talk:
Miracle in Milan – “…to pass the button of concern and hope to the next generation.”  – B K  Commentary on slums, poverty and aspiration.
Mr Smith Goes to Washington – “…values independence and propriety. It shows us how to do right, how to be heroically awkward. It is also an expression of faith in the political machine as a force of honor.”  – B K
Slumdog Millionaire
Hotel Rwanda – “…explores genocide of the most brutal kind. It provoked tears as well as incisive questions about unarmed peacekeeping forces and the double dealing of a western society that picks it’s moral fights with commodities in mind.”  – B K
Schindler’s List
Pickpocket – “…starts a debate about criminality disenfranchisement.”  – B K
To Sir With Love – “…ignites a teen audience celebrating a change in attitude towards non-white Britain’s but railed against it’s restless school system that does not value collective identity unlike that offered by Sydney Poitier’s careful tutelage.”  – B K

Review questions to ask after watching a film:
Who was right?
Who’s wrong?
What would you have done under the same conditions?
Was the tale told well?
Was there a hidden message?
How has the world changed?
How could it be different?

DO FilmClub – An education charity helping transform young lives through film.

Creamy Chicken with Biscuits

Cozy Cooking, Recipes November 12, 2013

Comfort food has to be full of carbohydrates, able to be eaten with a spoon and served in a bowl. To me, bowl food equals soul food. And this recipe hits the mother lode. It’s a southern classic that my grandmother used to make, but I’ve changed it to make it my own. It’s easy to prepare and simply delicious. Serve it with turnip greens, scalloped apples, grilled peaches or quartered figs, and a glass of wine, though personally, I like to eat it with some peace and quiet.

3/4 pound carrots (about 4), cut into 1/4 inch lengths
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (about 8)
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup heavy cream

In the slow cooker, toss together the carrots, celery, onion, and flour. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle with poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the wine and broth.

Cover and cook on low for about 4-5 hours. The vegetables and the chicken should be tender.

Thirty minutes before serving, prepare your favorite biscuits. This is the important carbohydrate part that completes this dish.

Ten minutes before serving, add the peas, cream, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more.

To serve, place the bottom halves of the biscuits in shallow bowls, then top with the chicken mixture and remaining biscuit halves.

serves 6

Quick Tip: Poultry seasoning usually contains a mix of dried thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, and black pepper. It’s a great way to add flavor to chicken dishes. To make your own, combine equal parts of these herbs and store in a tightly sealed container.

Anything Schools Can Do, We Can Do Better

Paideia October 19, 2013

SCHOOLING School is not just a repetitious and regular place to learn mathematics or literacy.  It is not some small world of one’s own experience. A whole world’s worth and a whole history’s worth of knowledge is conveyed through an education. As it is meant to teach, a child will take away from the classroom thoughts on what is important, who is important, thoughts about the order in life, how to relate to the world, their place in the world, and how to be adults. Given the weight it carries, convention may need to be reconsidered, and at the very least, parents must know that if they think it is important to pass on their worldview, they must be active participants in so much as they possibly can.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a revolution going on. It started in the 60’s, post-counterculture author John Holt’s landmark book “How Children Fail.” Up from the underground came a new age of homeschooling. I’m not talking about American frontier settlement or the Amish barn-raising homeschooling most readily associated with the idea. I’m talking about contemporary homeschooling, a democratic and efficient practice free of political corruption that offers unparalleled levels of academic attention and flexibility in scheduling, in addition to a sense of family cohesion. Yes, there are still communities who believe that public schools threaten their moral values and choose homeschooling in order to instruct in ways complimentary to deeply seeded beliefs, but the widespread infrastructure of homeschooling groups, websites and networks is populated with people who wouldn’t consider themselves either religious or counterculture. Homeschoolers today are very eclectic, yet they are united by similar frustrations and desires about their children’s education.

So what do these homeschoolers of various backgrounds have in common? There’s no denying that the modern homeschool movement was born out of a desire to shake off ineffectual school bureaucracies and to sidestep the uncertain mission of public schools, which is set by adults with often conflicting priorities for children. A century of ideological struggles has defined the hodge-podge taught in schools, and they persist to this day. Interesting to me is that in this great American melting pot, we have taken people of immensely varied ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds and made idealized assumptions on what unification looks like in an education system. Points of contention and conflict among these very different peoples is constant in American public education and is polluting any progressive attempts made to transform it. For example, evolution or intellectual design? Safe-sex or abstinence? To encourage the arts or treat them as distractions? Mathematical self-esteem or mathematical competence? American literature classics or insulation manuals and plant inventories?

In addition, in-home schooling opens doors that schools leave closed. Imagine being introduced to statistics driving to Florida for spring training or flying to Europe to see the great art and architecture and walking through the Forum to learn about ancient Rome. Have you considered the possibility participating in a fife and drum corps, playing colonial and traditional patriotic music, marching in parades, learning not only music and history but also teamwork, perseverance, and discipline. What about joining a Shakespeare troupe and staging a complete play every year. How about starting a robotics team and building robots to compete in regional, national and international events? Textbooks and workbooks are one way to receive an education, but there are better ways. I wish I would have received a homeschool education.

Fortunately, I can give my child an education at home, and with the support of my husband, that is what I intend to do.

So, yeah, I’m homeschooling. What’s your superpower?

Have you seen?
Hackschooling – When 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.
Do Schools Kill Creativity? – Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
Waiting for Superman – An exhaustive review of public education, surveying “drop-out factories” and “academic sinkholes,” methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. Waiting For “Superman” was in theaters in 2010, but that doesn’t mean the movement to reform public education in America has ended. Keep up with the latest news in education reform and innovation from

Beef Brisket with Yams and Prunes

Cozy Cooking, Recipes October 4, 2013

Braised beef brisket is the quintessential Jewish holiday dish for Passover or Rosh Hashanah. It also makes a festive main course at any time of the year, for any faith. I’m a big believer in the fall season so I like to make this recipe when the weather outside requires that I wear an oversized sweater. The sweet-sour yam-and-prune mixture that cooks with the brisket is one of many versions of the traditional accompaniment know as tsimmes, a Yiddish word that also means “mess,” capturing its appealingly chunky character that goes great with my sweater. You can substitute carrots for the yams and dried apricots for the prunes. Many fans of braised brisket swear that it’s even better reheated the next day.

1 marbled beef brisket, about 3 lbs
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 yellow onions, cut into chunks
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups pitted prunes, halved
2 1/2 lbs small yams, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

Trim away excess fat from the surface of the brisket. In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the meat.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the brisket, fat side down, and cook until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set in the slow cooker, fat side up.

Add the onions to the pot and sauté over medium-high heat until they start to brown, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Stir in the broth and ketchup and bring to a boil.

Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker, spooning some of the onions over the brisket. Add the bay leaves and sprinkle in the thyme. Cover and cook for 4 hours on the low heat setting. In a large bowl, combine the yams, prunes, orange juice, and brown sugar, tossing to coat the yams and prunes. Push the yams and prunes into the cooking liquid around the brisket and drizzle the juice-sugar mixture over them. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 more hours until the meat and yams are tender.

Transfer the brisket to a carving board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm and let rest for about 15 minutes.

Carve the brisket across the grain into slices 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Arrange the slices on a warmed platter and top with the cooking juices and vegetables. Serve at once.

If you plan to serve the brisket a following day, place the slices in a storage container and cover with the cooking juices. Keep the vegetables in a separate storage container. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours.

serves 6-8