Cookbook review: The best-laid plans for egg-centric cooking

‘The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook: Over 100 Fabulous Recipes to Use Eggs in Unexpected Ways’ by Lisa Steele (Harper Horizon, $27.99)

There’s an old French adage that the 100 folds in the towering white hats, or toques, worn by chefs represent the number of ways chefs can cook an egg.

Lisa Steele is not a trained chef, but her repertoire of egg dishes easily surpasses that culinary school standard. Not only does she know how to make a popover pop and a souffle rise but also she can grill eggs alongside burgers, freeze eggs in and out of the shell, and cure the yolks in salt and sugar for grating like cheese.

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Her laboratory for experimenting is the kitchen of Maine farmhouse she shares with her husband, various pets, and a mixed flock of chickens, ducks and geese who keep her well-stocked with her favorite ingredient.

That’s where she started Fresh Eggs Daily — first as a Facebook page filled with her chicken photos, and then as a blog for dispensing advice to others tending backyard flocks. She has since written six books on the subject, been dubbed “queen of the coop” by national media, hosted a TV show, and launched a natural poultry supplement line. Through it all, she has continued to pursue her lifetime passion for cooking and baking instilled in her by her Scandinavian heritage and small-town New England upbringing.

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In the introduction to “The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook: Over 100 Fabulous Recipes to Use Eggs in Unexpected Ways” (Harper Horizon, $27.99), she tells her story of growing up surrounded by chickens in rural Massachusetts before earning an accounting degree and moving to New York to work on Wall Street.

She soon realized the rat race wasn’t for her, and eventually returned to farm life and the joy of starting each day with a freshly-laid egg gathered from her own coop.

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You don’t have to raise your own chickens to appreciate her abundance of egg tips and simple but creative recipes that include Double Dill Scrambled Eggs, Tomato Caprese Quiche, and Cardamom Half-Pound Loaf Cake.

It’s highly unlikely Steele will run out of new ideas anytime soon. As any chicken keeper knows, she writes, “when your hens are laying, you’ll have more eggs than you know what to do with.”

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at

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