Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

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Lots of egg whites are handy for this recipe. One gram of protein in each cookie!

Ingredients

3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Beat until the whites form soft peaks. Slowly add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form, and mixture becomes glossy. Fold in cocoa and chocolate chips.

Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Servings Per Recipe: 18, Amount Per Serving  Calories: 47 | Total Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0 mg

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I NEVER Win Anything

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My first class on Raising Chickens at Oakhurst Garden took place in the Fall of 2009. Andrew Wordes, who has made a name for himself fighting city council to keep his pet chickens in Roswell Georgia, taught the class. He explained the difference in chicken breeds, how to hatch them from eggs, raise them from various stages of life and spoke of all the benefits of having chickens. He spoke about their housing and feeding needs and what was required on a daily basis to keep a flock of chickens happy. I was touched by this man. He truly loved his birds!

Notice that blue bag of Layena chicken feed I would win shortly after Andrew taught us about chicken health and happiness!

Two pretty important questions needed to be asked. How long do the chickens lay eggs? And how long do they live after they stop laying? As a vegetarian, I could not kill these animals, so how long they would be pets only was important. It turns out chickens can live for QUITE a while – ten, fifteen, even twenty years in optimal circumstances. Hmmmm, that’s a big commitment! The proud owner of five rescues, two cats and three dogs, commitment wasn’t a problem for me thus far. But chickens are not dogs or cats. Would they respond to humans in the same way? It was something to consider.

As the class was ending, Andrew directed us all to look at the number written at the top of the handout we received when we arrived at the Garden. A little girl was asked to pull a number out of a hat, and it was lucky number seven. Guess who won a bag of Chicken Layer feed? While I was pretty excited, as I NEVER win anything, Oakhurst Garden received a donated bag of chicken food that day!

Immediately after the class, I purchased the book Chicks in The City. Still very much intrigued by the idea of raising chickens, this book would guide my decision one way or the other…

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Check out pictures from Oakhurst Garden!

Fried or Poached? Or Both?

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I’ve received a few ideas on how to cook eggs.  All the credit goes to Rob Zanin’s mom for this unique cooking method!

Coat your skillet with butter, oil, or Pam (whatever you like) and let the pan heat up. Crack open the eggs, drop into the pan and allow to sizzle just until you see the bottoms turn white. Then drop an ice cube or two (depending on how many eggs you have in your pan) and quickly place a lid over the pan. Allow to cook to the consistency of your preference.

Eggs cooked this way have a wonderful texture with no dried edges, but not as wet as eggs submerged in water. YUM!

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

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The egg. The expensive organic egg from the humanely treated chickens at Country Hen that I was buying for $3.00 per HALF dozen. The price really didn’t matter. It was simply the cost of refusing to buy the usual commercially grown caged hen’s eggs. (The reasons not to buy typical commercially grown eggs will be the topic of a future post at some point.)  BUT, I definitely consumed fewer eggs because of the higher cost.

The Chickens at Oakhurst Garden

The Chickens at Oakhurst Garden

I was introduced to Oakhurst Community Garden which was close to my place of employment at the time in Decatur, Georgia.  An avid organic gardener, I ventured to the garden in search of organic seedlings. What I found instead were chickens!

From the time I was born, I have loved animals – ALL kinds of animals.  Animals have magical powers. Children inherently recognize these powers. But we somehow move further and further away from this connection as we grow older…and as the conceptual space between food production and consumption widens.

The Oakhurst Garden’s chicken coop was beautiful! It certainly didn’t smell bad and the chickens were running around scratching, cackling, eating bugs and soaking up the sunshine. There were several different varieties and all were clean, healthy and clearly enjoying their lives. I was in love. I was intrigued. I signed up for a class on Raising Chickens!

And so my journey began with an expensive egg. Little did I know the joy that was ahead of me!

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By the way, if you are interested in the answer to whether the chicken or the egg came first, check out this article. The debate continues.