Welcome to Cooking Skool, a four-week series designed for young cooks. Each week serves up three themed recipes and how-to videos. Your kitchen guide is LNP | LancasterOnline food writer Kim O’Donnel, who walks you through every step of the way. Together, we’ll try new things, get creative and learn some math, science and history in between. Belly up to the counter and join us for our kitchen adventure!

Like cars, humans need fuel, and the best time of day to “fill the tank” is in the morning, when our day is just getting started. Breakfast gives us energy and gets our bodies and minds on their way, whether it’s a school day or the weekend, even summer vacation. Cooking your own breakfast is a kool thing to learn and a skill that you will keep forever. 

On the breakfast menu: Granola, French toast and Eggs, 2 Ways.

Eggs, 2 ways

Scrambled eggs are beaten, then poured into a greased skillet. They're gently stirred while cooking to create a “scrambled” texture.

Fried eggs can be:

  • Sunny-side up, which means fried on just one side, with the still-runny yolk looking right at you
  • Over easy, which means that the egg is folded in half, and the yolk is still slightly runny. If you cook for 1 more minute, you'll end up with an over medium egg.

Kool Tidbit:

  • It takes 24 hours for a female chicken (also known as a hen) to lay an egg — and she does it all by herself!
  • You can tell what color eggshells a hen will lay by looking at her earlobes. White earlobes mean white eggs; red earlobes mean brown, blue or green eggs.

Tool Kit:

Small bowl or dish; small skillet (6- or 8-inch); flipper or spatula.

Tips:

  • When you get ready to crack an egg, tap it on a hard surface like a cutting board or countertop (but not the edge of a mixing bowl or skillet) in case the shell breaks.
  • For a fried egg, crack into a small dish rather than right into the pan; this helps keep the yolk intact. When the pan is warm, gently pour the egg into the center.
  • If using a nonstick pan, be sure to use a wooden or plastic flipper; metal tools can scratch it.
  • Once you get the hang of things, feel free to use a larger skillet and cook a few eggs at a time.
  • I recommend oil (instead of butter) while you learn. Butter burns pretty quickly and can be a distraction.
Cooking Skool sunny side up

Sunny-side-up egg and toast.

EGGS 2 WAYS: Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil or olive oil
  • Toast of your choice

Directions:

Sunny-side up

Crack the egg into a small bowl or prep dish and sprinkle a little salt on top.

Place the pan on the stovetop and set the heat to medium (and ask for help if you need). Gradually add the oil to the skillet. It should be just enough to coat the surface. (Try tilting the pan by holding the handle and watch the oil move around.)

Heat the oil for about 1 minute. Carefully pour the egg into the center of the pan and slightly lower the heat to medium-low. As the egg white cooks, it goes from a clear liquid to a white solid in about 90 seconds.

Once the egg whites are visibly set, it's up to you how much more time to cook the egg.

For example: Do you like the edges nice and crispy? (Cook for 1 more minute.)

Do you like the yolk runny enough so you can dip your toast? (Cook for 20 or 30 more seconds). As you practice, you will discover your personal preferences.

Use a nonmetal flipper or spatula to loosen the egg's edges and work underneath so you can easily lift. Turn off the heat. Transfer the egg to a plate.

Serve with toast and eat while hot.

Scrambled

Crack the egg into a small bowl and sprinkle a little salt on top. With a fork, whisk until well beaten.

Place the pan on the stovetop and set the heat to medium (and ask for help if you need). Gradually add the oil to the skillet. It should be just enough to coat the surface. (Try tilting the pan by holding the handle and watch the oil move around.)

Heat the oil for about 1 minute. Carefully pour the beaten egg into the pan and slightly lower the heat to medium-low. Within a few seconds, you will notice the egg beginning to set. This is your cue to stir the eggs with a nonmetal spatula or flipper (or even a chopstick) to help create the “scrambled” texture.

You can also grab the handle and gently move the pan back and forth; the movement gently cooks the eggs and creates the scrambled texture, in about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

With the spatula or flipper, carefully transfer the eggs to a plate and eat hot. Serve with your favorite toast.

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