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Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

When we first discovered farm fresh eggs down the street from our Island home back in Washington, my husband suggested it would be THE perfect opportunity to make Dippy Eggs and Soldiers.  Huh?  Flummoxed, I looked at him, scratching my head, and for the next 30 minutes, he recounted stories about who the legendary Soldiers were and why exactly these fine fellas would be joining us for Sunday breakfast.

I still didn’t get it.

But, nevertheless, decided to take his word for it.  We dusted off the egg cups from the drawer of kitchen tchotchkes, in order to prep them for their on-screen debut.  Weekend breakfast is taken rather seriously at our humble abode.  The barometer for success falls into categories of leisurely, lengthy and lip-smacking goodness.  Bracing myself for a spectacular letdown, I began to quietly devise a Plan B in my head.  Brioche French Toast, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Maple Glazed Bacon…

Suddenly, my under-cover menu planning was interrupted.  Breakfast was ready.  The Soldiers had arrived.  So soon?  I swallowed nervously as I was presented with breakfast, perched atop its very own royal throne, looking ever so proud and suitably British.  I’m not sure I ever felt so happy, to be proven so utterly wrong.  Sure, I’ve had soft-boiled eggs in the past, but these tasted distinctly different.  They were Runny, Dippy, Delectable Eggs.  OH BOY.  And the Soldiers!  Those handsome Soldiers!  Lightly buttered, standing at full attention, ready and willing to perform their predestined, exemplary dunking duties.

One dip into this perfectly cooked, gooey, thing of wonder — and, Hallelujah — I get it. I finally get it.

Don’t forget to set your timer when cooking these bad boys.  The three minutes goes by in a blink of an eye.  We used large eggs, so adjust time up/down if using smaller/larger eggs.  I like my eggs super runny, so adjust time accordingly if you prefer yours less so.  Instead of butter, shower Soldiers with grated Parmesan for a little decadence.  Or for a gluten-free option, try roasted asparagus stalks as Soldiers.  The variations are endless.  Report back your favorites.  Happy dipping!

Music Pairing: The Beatles, Love Me Do

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The Incredible, Edible Egg

When you’re little, the world is filled with a constant riptide of experiences both big and small.  Umpteen moments of “firsts”.  First few steps.  First smell of the sea.  First feel of raindrops.  First sight of fallen snow.  First taste of chocolate.  First ride on a bike.  First day of school.  First crush.  First heartbreak.  As we grow older, the first time trying something, seeing something, tasting feels more fleeting.  There’s no longer a shiny new adventure at every turn.  We have to seek it out.  Until – the other day, when I was greeted with an unexpected surprise.  The other day, I ate my first egg.

Or I should say, the other day, I tasted my first egg.  A real egg.  A bona fide farm fresh egg.  An egg so good, its mama surely is the happiest hen in town.  THIS is what an egg was supposed to taste like.  And all this time, I thought I was eating pretty well…buying organic, free-range eggs from the local Island grocery store.  How sadly I was mistaken.

My monumental discovery was right under my nose this entire time.  A neighbor’s home, within walking distance, down the small country road that winds its way to our house.  A stone’s throw away.  A home I’d driven by hundreds of times, tacked with a sign, I’d read silently in my head, just as many times.  FRESH EGGS.  Heeeelllllllllo.  What was wrong with me?  The day I finally came to my senses and stopped in, the owner had sold out of the eggs he gathered that morning, but promised more by evening once his next batch had been cleaned and rinsed off.  I waited impatiently and several hours later, I returned to discover the prettiest dozen eggs I’d ever seen. Light green ones, the color of watery sea glass and Easter eggs, dotted in-between the usual suspects.  Eggs laid, gathered and eaten — all in one day.  I’m a happy girl.  Unbeknownst to my neighbor, he’s become my new best friend.  Do you have a memorable “first”?

(I’ll be back soon with a favorite method to prepare these gems).

organic farm fresh eggs

organic farm fresh eggs

organic farm fresh eggs

organic farm fresh eggs

organic farm fresh eggs

organic farm fresh eggs

organic farm fresh eggs

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Did you know there are a total of 46 ingredients in a Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Bar?

Here goes:  High fructose corn syrup, sugar, strawberries, corn syrup, fructose, glycerin, water, maltodextrin, modified corn starch, citric acid, sodium alginate, natural and artificial strawberry flavor, caramel color, calcium phosphate, xantham gum, malic acid, sodium citrate, modified cellulose, red #40, enriched wheat flour, whole oats, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, high fructose corn syrup, honey, calcium carbonate, dextrose, nonfat dry milk, wheat bran, salt, cellulose gum, potassium bicarbonate, natural and artificial vanilla flavor, soy lecithin, wheat gluten, corn starch, niacinamide, carrageenan, guar gum, zinc oxide, reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin A palitate, thiamin hydrochloride, and folic acid.

That’s nearly twice as many ingredients found in my shampoo.  Eeeks. Not to mention, each bar has a shelf-life that, I imagine, could easily outlast our entire civilization.  Other brands may try to tout less ingredients, but produce an equally scary attribute, emerging as hard as cement.  I’ve cracked a back molar or two taking a bite outta those little suckers.  It’s no wonder my dentist insists on packing a granola bar within each goodie bag I receive twice a year from him.  And here I thought he was just being nice.  There needs to be a better option.  There must be a better option.  And luckily, there IS a better option!

Serendipitously, I had a nice full batch of my favorite homemade granola which I made two days ago.  Next, I eyed what was left of my peanut butter wonder and immediately saw this better option come to life right before me.  Homemade Granola Bars. I was able to make my own granola bars in less time than it would have taken me to get in the car, drive to the market, shop, wait in line, check-out, drive back home and unpack.  How can you beat that?  Plus, homemade granola bars contain one essential main ingredient that can never, ever be found in factory produced ones … and that ingredient is, love.

Made with love, for my Tony.

(awh, shucks).

homemade granola bars

Homemade Granola Bars
Tweaked from Mark Bittman, NY Times Bitten

This is another very flexible recipe that you can adjust to your own likings.  Customizable granola bars – yes!

Music Pairing: Fleetwood Mac, Tell Me Lies

Ingredients

Method

Put the honey, peanut butter, and oil in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Put the granola in a large bowl and pour the sugar mixture over the top while mixing; stir until the granola is well coated.

Press into an 8- or 9-inch square pan and let cool in the fridge.  Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.  Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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