Category Archives: Eggs

Mexican Wedding Cookies

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2L classes have finally come to an end. It’s amazing how quickly this semester has flown by. In honor of the last day of class, I made some cookies for my clinic seminar on Monday. I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (I swear by the Williams-Sonoma recipe) and, one of my personal favorites, Mexican Wedding Cookies (also known as polvorones).

I’ve been making variations of these cookies since I was in high school. Personally, I like the traditional version, but know that you can easily switch things up and satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. By making some substitutions, these can be transformed into a nut-free and/or dairy-free treat. I’ve tried many a recipe, but these have definitely become my favorite. They are soft and easy to make, plus no fancy equipment required (alway a win in my book).

My fellow tastetester, Jocelyn!

Also, Happy Birthday to my dear friend Jocelyn who puts up with my crazy shenanigans, accompanies me on random restaurant outings, humors (and tastes) my cooking experiments, listens to my life rants, helped me fight mice in my last apartment, willingly subjects herself to appearances on this blog, and is just a lovely person all around. Happy Birthday, Joss!! <3s you!

Happy eating!

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Post-Travel Breakfast: Baked Eggs

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Why, hello there! Sorry for going MIA again. It’s beginning to turn into a talent, if I do say so myself.

So what have I been up to for the past few weeks? Well, let’s see:

  1. I finished my scholarly note. For those of you with a law student in your lives, you are probably well-aware that this behemoth of a legal paper is the bane of our existence. That being said, it felt incredibly rewarding when I turned in that thing. After massive amounts of editing, restructuring, then restructuring my restructuring, I was actually somewhat proud of the finished product–in that it contained at least one intelligible sentence. I consider that a success, don’t you?
  2. I caught the plague! There was no Easter celebration at our house this year. Yours truly came down with the stomach bug from hell within 24-hours of reaching my mom’s house. I couldn’t keep anything down for two-and-a-half days. I’ll spare you the details, but  know that I ruined everyone’s holiday. May it never be said that I lack impeccable timing. I didn’t know it was possible to subsist on a diet of soup and Gatorade for as long as I did, but I managed. On the plus side, I am now back to eating normal food.
  3. I took the MPRE. That is all I will ever say on that matter.
  4. I’ve been out of town. After weeks of prep, I spent the larger part of the past week traveling with my clinic to Jamaica. While we didn’t have much downtime, I did take pictures of food and will post them as soon as they are developed (i.e. once I use up the rest of the pics on the disposable camera). Jamaican cuisine is delicious, and this trip reignited my love of scotch bonnet peppers.

So that’s what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks. I’m a bit tired, but feeling accomplished–especially given how well the trip went.

Whenever I get back from a trip, I like to make myself a decent breakfast the next day. Sunday was no different. Eggs have been on my mind lately.  They’ve always been one of my favorite foods, but I tend to forget how wonderful they are. After a full day of traveling, nothing quite screams satisfaction like some runny eggs. This breakfast actually comes together quickly and is easily modified to serve a crowd or to incorporate whatever is lying around the fridge. Happy eating!

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Recipe Rescue: Sugar-Crusted Citrus Loaf

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Today’s recipe was borne from a lapse in thinking.

I had been craving lemon bars for the better part of a week when this loaf was made. I bought some Meyer lemons from Whole Foods and came home intent on making a tray to bring in to school. I juiced six lemons and a blood orange that I had lying around. The butter was perfectly softened, and I was ready to make some dessert.

Until I read the recipe wrong.

Somewhere between juicing those lemons and creaming that butter, I got it into my head that the recipe called for 1¾ cups of sugar in the crust.

It does not. That goes in the filling.

But of course that didn’t occur to me until I had successfully combined all of the butter with all of the sugar. So then I had to brainstorm ways to save those ingredients that I basically ruined. The end result was a sweet, dense pound cake, studded with lemon zest with the underlying tang of Meyer lemons and blood orange. The best part might actually be that the extra sugar crusted on top, making for a great crunch. Paired with a citrus-y glaze, this is one screw-up that didn’t turn out half bad!

I’m going to go ahead and call this recipe a success. Sure, I cannot read may be losing my mind, but at least I avoided a major baking flop!

Happy eating!

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Chocolate Panettone Bread Pudding

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Hi friends!

I haven’t forgotten about you. I swear. Things are a bit backed up here–partially because of my schedule and partially because my camera’s having uploading issues. Hopefully, all will be resolved this weekend. Til then, here’s a quick recipe for a chocolate-studded panettone bread pudding. Sorry for the lack of pictures–these are the only ones that would load!

Happy eating!

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Breakfast Quesadilla

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The tortilla is a staple of my breakfast diet. I’m not much of a toast person. This tends to shock most people considering that I could easily devour half of a crusty French baguette if you let me. I think it comes down to my abhorrence of sliced bread. One loaf will actually languish for months in the freezer–at which point it’s developed a severe case of freezer burn, and I’ve decided that it’s disgusting to keep bread in one’s freezer for that long and chuck it.

But back to the tortilla. The tortilla has become my go-to breakfast vessel on days when I actually manage to eat breakfast. I am a big fan of eggs, and tortillas just make eating them on the go so much nicer. They just taste more delicious when all rolled up in burrito form. Ever slathered a tortilla in cream cheese and just eaten that? No. Well, get to it, people! Totally unhealthy and totally delicious. These are the things that dorm life taught me.

Plus, the handmade tortillas from Trader Joe’s are just so freaking soft and delicious…

Anyway, I was hangry yesterday morning. Yes, that is an “a” not an “u.” I was ravenous, tired, and cranky, and  desperately wanted either a quesadilla or some eggs (both of which are very legitimate things to want at 8.30am).  This is the result of my cravings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy eating!

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Brunching: Lavagna

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Brunch Buddies

You’d be hard-pressed to find people who love brunch as much as my friends and I do. My love of brunch fits perfectly with my love of almost all breakfast foods and bubbly drinks. So when my friend Jocelyn and I were trying to come up with a time to meet up, brunch seemed like a natural solution. We invited my friends Amanda and Christina along for the ride and wound up at Lavagna over by Eastern Market.

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Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

Some foods are just naturally associated with comfort. Mashed potatoes. Mac n’ cheese. Roasted chicken. Chicken curry. They are the things that I find myself making (or, in the case of curry, asking my mother to make) when I’m frustrated and in need of a foodie-hug. This past week was just one of those weeks where nothing seemed to be going my way. I consistently got up late and had to rush in the mornings; I forgot things left and right; I didn’t meet personal deadlines for papers. Mostly, I felt tired and a bit run down. Which of course all culminates in frustration with myself and a need for comfort.

To break my funk, I decided to make gnudi. Having lived with the greatest host family on the planet my junior year, my list of comfort foods has grown to include all things Italian. Gnudi are essentially pasta, designed to emulate the filling of ravioli (hence, they are “nude.” Get it?). They are ricotta-based, mixed with herbs and greens (traditionally spinach), then boiled before being topped with either a simple tomato sauce or some brown butter and sage. Since I was too lazy to dice up tomatoes last night, I opted for the latter.

Despite their appearance, gnudi are incredibly easy to make. They require few ingredients–most of which can be found in your kitchen already. Plus, because they are protein-based, I find that 6-8 of these are incredibly filling, so you wind up with plenty of leftovers.

There is something so wonderful about simple, comfort food. Here’s to a better week ahead. Happy eating!

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It’s been awhile . . .

So, I’m really sorry.  Really sorry.  My last post contained Christmas cookies . . . that’s how sorry I am.

I have been busier than I have ever been ever.  I am juggling full-time graduate school, full-time teaching, and what seems to be a full-time job search.  That’s a lot of full-time.  I am also writing my Master’s thesis, so when there are two minutes for me to relax, the last thing I really want to do is more writing.  So sorry.

I had grand aspirations of my first post of 2012 being what I learned in 2011.  Can I still do that?  Am I allowed to discuss what I learned in 2011 when a quarter of 2012 has already passed by?  Well, I’ll keep it to a few points:

  1. I learned that deep-frying doesn’t need to be so scary, but . . . I also learned that it can be a bit tricky.  My first attempt at it occurred over Brandon’s birthday when I deep-fried some of Tom Keller’s delightfully insanely sweet and airy cinnamon-sugar doughnuts.  Later in the year, I tested out his fried chicken recipe and forgot to blog about it . . . sorry, again.  Also, insanely good.  Both recipes were not too hard, but the whole “temperature thing” gets me irritated every time.  Is it just me, or are deep frying thermometers the biggest pain?  I have the hardest time keeping my oil at just the right temperature!
  2. I learned that “healthy” food is not always healthy.  Just because something says “All-Natural” or “Light” it doesn’t always mean that it’s the best option.  Actually, it’s often the contrary.  If something has to say “All Natural,” isn’t that a little strange?  Apples, milk, eggs, and even butter don’t boast “All Natural;” they just are.  “Light” options often have chemicals that make them “lighter.”  Look at the ingredients.  If you see something you don’t recognize, put it down.  Step away from the margarine.  Walk by the whole wheat bread with high-fructose corn syrup.  If a food product contains ingredients you wouldn’t cook with, don’t buy it.  Just don’t.  Your body will thank you.
  3. Iced coffee.  I know this one isn’t very profound, but I discovered cold-brewed iced coffee, and it has changed my summer months.  Every morning, I am giddy to get my hands on my delicious glass of rich, not-bitter icy goodness.  What a difference from my naive days of plunking a few ice cubes into a hot cup of joe.  No longer!

Well, I can’t just babble on forever, and I’m sure you wouldn’t mind a recipe.  To be honest, it is funny I’m choosing today to finally get back to blogging, because today, I started the Blueprint Cleanse . . . and I’m hungry.  Really hungry.  But, I’m leaving Friday for a few days in the sun, so I need a little break from my recent diet of Thai take-out, Italian take-out, Peruvian take-out, Japanese take-out . . . see a pattern here?

Today’s recipe is one we go back to all of the time.  It’s a classic:  Nicoise Salad.  The best part of a Nicoise salad?  No lettuce.  At least, not in mine.  I get tired of lettuce, so this is a terrific alternative:  red potatoes, haricots verts, cherry tomatoes, capers, olives . . . delish.  To top it off, I often just open up a can of good tuna in olive oil, but last weekend, we splurged and seared off some fresh tuna.  If you’re an egg-lover, like my husband, you can also throw in a few of those as well! Continue reading


Breakfast Favorites

As mentioned, breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, but I sometimes find myself in a rut. I adore pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, breakfast burritos, and eggs in almost any form (I refuse to eat them smothered in hollandaise. Weird quirk. I know), and I’m always on the lookout for new breakfast recipes. So I thought I’d compile a list of some of my favorites as of late. If you have a great breakfast recipe, please post it in the comments! I could definitely use some inspiration (and incentive to get going) in the morning. Happy eating!

  • Breakfast burritos: Spinach, feta, tomatoes, and mushrooms make for a great “Greek-style” burrito on the run. Pesto, spinach, asparagus, and some Parm makes for a delicious Italian take. My favorite kinds of breakfast burritos, however, involve salsa. There’s something wonderful about the  the slight zing of cilantro and onions that takes a burrito to a whole new level. Just whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa into a couple of eggs and quickly scramble on low heat. Wrap it up in a tortilla with a bit of cheddar cheese and, if you have time, some sauteed peppers and onions, and you are good to go!


Crostini di Polenta, Funghi e Uova

Sorry about the lighting! This is from the "forgotten camera dinner" last week!

If you can’t tell already, when Caroline and I get together and make dinner, we tend to remake some of our favorite foods from Florence (case in point: affogato, pear and pecorino ravioli, etc.). So, naturally, last week’s dinner followed suit. During our wanderings one day in Florence, the two of us happened across Ristorante il Teatro and decided to stop in for lunch.

In Italy, it’s traditional to order at least a primo (first course) plus either a contorno (side dish) or antipasto (appetizer) for lunch. The two of us both love polenta and adore mushrooms so we had a hard time resisting the crostini di polenta e funghi porcini as our appetizer. It’s an incredibly simple concept: grilled polenta squares were topped with a confit of porcini and caramelized onions. Since we planned on making ridiculously rich hot chocolate for dessert, it seemed like a perfect, light meal to adapt on a Tuesday night–especially when topped with an egg!

Serve this with a side salad for a light winter dinner. Happy eating!

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