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Archive for November, 2010

Now these mountain eggs go by a few other names, such as eggs in toast, egg in the basket, bull’s-eye, etc..  My husband introduced me to this about 4 years ago when we were still dating and he has just moved into his own apartment.  He called them mountain eggs and since that’s all I knew, that’s the name I gave to them.  Now this isn’t the healthiest breakfast but I do believe we’re all afforded an unhealthy big Sunday breakfast now and again.  Normally we go out to a local establishment that is known for their pancakes (rumor has it Obama flew in the women who own it once to cook at the White House and I know for a fact that he and the first lady frequent one of the locations when they’re in town).  The mountain eggs are all about timing.  Its become my job in the house to make these since I’ve mastered the timing but my husband, well, hasn’t reached that point yet (and he’s been making them longer than me).  If you cook them a little too long you lose the runny nature of the eggs and you basically end up with hard-boiled egg in toast.  The home fries are also a work in progress.  We used to saute them in a pan or bake them and I’ve recently move to a combination of sauteing and baking.  We also eat with some nice vegetarian bacon so if you’re a carnivore doing that may be one way to make it feels a like a healthier meal!

(Serves 2)

Mountain Eggs

4 slices of bread
4 large eggs
butter for bread
salt and pepper

Home fries

5 small red potatoes, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup onions, diced
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Dice up onions and saute in a pan until slightly soft.  Slice potatoes into about 1/4 inch thick cross sections (almost like a thick potato chip).  In a microwave safe bowl, melt the 2 tbsp butter.  Toss potatoes, onions, and melted butter.  Once well coated, spread potatoes on a cookie sheet and salt and pepper to taste.  Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

To make mountain eggs, cut a whole in the middle of each of the slices of bread; this will leave a frame.  Butter each side of the piece of bread and the pieces that have been cut out.  Spray non-stick spray on a griddle or pan.  Warm griddle or pan  but do not burn non-stick spray.  Place bread on griddle or pan and break egg and put it in the hole in the bread.  Cook until eggs are white almost 1/2 through and clear for the other half.  The one side of the bread that is pan side down should be toasted.  Carefully flip the egg and toast to cook the other side of the egg.  Cook for approximately 1 minute so that you do not overcook the eggs. Use the pan to also toast the cut-out pieces of the bread by cooking for approximately 2 minutes on either side.  Salt and pepper to taste.

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Now that the cool fall air is upon us it makes nice, warm, comfort food that much more appealing.  In the past my husband has been in charge of making Sloppy Joes so this was a first for me.  So after a long day of dealing with work related things I headed off to our local supermarket and tried to find some ingredients to throw together Jen’s first Sloppy Joes extravaganza!   I decided to serve the sandwiches with a homemade coleslaw and crinkle cut french fries.  The coleslaw was made with help from my ever handy and life changing Cuisinart that we received as a wedding present.  I popped on the shredding attachment and *wham* coleslaw complete in 20 minutes.  The Sloppy Joes are vegetarian and could be altered to use real beef.  For the coleslaw I apparently got the worlds largest head of cabbage.  As a result, I only needed to shred about 1/4 of it to feed 2 people (and have left overs).

Jen’s Sloppy Joes

1 bag Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 hamburger buns, split

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute onion, pepper, and garlic until onion and peppers are fired.  Add chili powder, vinegar, salt, paprika, and cumin.  Add veggie crumblers, tomato paste, and water until paste is dissolved.  Stir in mustard, barbecue and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to heat until mixture is thick and stewy.

Jen’s Sloppy Joes Coleslaw

1/4 large head of cabbage, shredded
20  baby carrots, shredded
3/4 cup reduced fat vegan mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Using a Cusinart or by hand shred cabbage and carrots.  In a large bowl, combine cabbage and carrots.  Add mayonnaise and vinegar.  Toss until thoroughly mixed.

**Husband’s Corner”

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This was a success/failure dish.  I started out trying to make a pumpkin seafood stew.  As the “stew” was cooking it became increasingly soup like.  Despite the failure in that regard it actually came out somewhat decent.  In the future I would do the following to try to reduce the “soup-like” consistency and make it more like a stew: add the eggplant and zucchini later and decrease the amount of liquid.

Pumpkin Seafood Soup

1 tbs vegetable oil
1 Large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Pie Pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups chopped baby carrots
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 zucchini, chopped
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cashews
Approximately 40 shrimp, defrosted, peeled, and deveined
Approximately 1 cup bay scallops (the small ones), defrosted
3 vegetable bouillon cubes and 6 cups of water boiled
3 tbs flour
1/4 cup dried currants
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbs red curry paste

Directions:

Pour oil into a large pot.  Add minced garlic and half of the chopped onions.  Add pumpkin and saute until slightly soft.  Add carrots, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, garbanzo beans,  mushrooms, currants, and cashews.  Boil six cups of water and add bouillon cubes, coriander, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and red curry paste.  Cook on a low to medium heat for 2-3 hours.  Add flour to reach desired consistency after approximately an hour and a half.  Add shrimp and scallops around that point.  If you add earlier they may get overcooked.

This could probably also be prepared in a slow cooker.

This made about 8-10 servings.

**Husband’s Corner**

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Happy Halloween!

Ah fall.  Pumpkins are plentiful, the air is crisp, and my puppy needs to put every leaf that fell off a trees into her mouth.

I had seen these brain cupcakes for Halloween on a program on the Food Network (http://www.shescribes.com/2010/10/red-velvet-brain-cupcakes-from-food-networks-anne-thornton.html) and I wanted to find some excuse to make it because how often do you get to play the zombie card?  I altered the original recipe in a few ways.  First, I wanted to make pumpkin cupcakes instead of red velvet cause I might as well get my pumpkin fix while I still can.  The other alteration was due to the high quality supermarket I was dealing with.  This supermarket didn’t carry canned pumpkin.  The only thing I could get was pumpkin pie mix.  Now this made it “fun” because I had to try to come up with a recipe on the fly since there was “sugar and spices” in this pumpkin pie mix (way to be specific ingredients!).  The outcome was pretty good but it could afford to be a bit sweeter.  Also the frosting got a little too purple; apparently cream cheese frosting takes coloring very well. The whole “brain” theme kind of went out the window also.  I didn’t have piping bags so I tried to use a Ziploc bag with a decorating tip.  I caused 3 bags to explode as a result.  So it became more 1/4 brain cupcakes and 3/4 pumpkin cupcakes with purple frosting (still festive, right?).  A lot of this is rough since I had to kind of mix and match everything.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Brain Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten until frothy
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
3/4 cup milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl. Mix  butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs. Blend in pumpkin pie mix. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk, blending until batter is smooth after each addition. Spoon batter into well-greased and floured or paper-lined muffin pan cups. Fill about 2/3 full. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Makes about 20-24 cupcakes.

Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
8 tbsp (1 stick) of butter, softened
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating (I used a hand mixer) until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add more  (less) sugar if you would like a more (less) runny frosting.  Add vanilla, and stir to combine.
To get the “brains” look use a pastry bag and a large round tip.  Fill the pastry bag half full with the frosting, and pipe out into a squiggly pile on half of each cupcake top, next pipe the frosting in a squiggly pile on the other half of the cupcake top, making 2 brain hemispheres.
**Husband’s Corner”

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