Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Baked Egg Caprise June 14, 2012

It’s hard to believe I’ve lived in Indy for 6 months now. It was an adjustment, getting used to living in the city, since I’ve lived in small towns my whole life. But there are so many benefits. I’m close to work, there’s so many great restaurants and bars and breweries here. I’ve made so many new friends I can’t even count them.

Another benefit I have discovered this summer is that the farmer’s markets are much better here too. More people = bigger venues = more vendors. I have not made it downtown yet, as the market is on Wednesdays while I am at work. But the one just north of me is wonderful.

I picked up a couple of tomatoes this weekend. I normally associate tomatoes with late summer, but these looked so good I couldn’t pass them up. I’ve had leftover roast chicken the last three nights, and while it is delicious, I was ready for something new. This was the perfect remedy. I just did one in a custard cup, but you could do this easily in a muffin tin if you are feeding a family or a group! Would be great for breakfast too!

Image

Baked Eggs Caprise
Original Recipe

1 tomato
1 egg
1 basil leaf, torn or cut into pieces
Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut the top off the tomato, and with a spoon, scoop out some of the insides. Leave plenty of meat on the tomato though!

Place in greased custard cup.

Crack egg into tomato. Top with basil and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until whites are set.

Eat! I didn’t do this tonight, but I bet some good quality olive oil would be fantastic drizzled over the top. Or some balsamic? YUMMMMM…

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Vermicelli with Peas May 30, 2011

I’ve been finding myself a little burned out lately. I’ve been working a lot of overtime, and just not really taking much time for myself. Even my weekends have been busy. This long weekend was much needed. I had a graduation party Saturday evening, so I went home for that. But that was my ONLY event the whole three day weekend. And OH how I relished the peace. I watched scary movies, drank some wine, visited with some friends, and caught up on my YouTube Subscriptions (PhillyD and Shaytards. I love them.). I finished a book, and started another.

Today was a little bit more productive. I cleaned my kitchen, did some laundry, made stock. I cut up a fresh pineapple and put the rind and core in vodka to infuse for a week. And the big one–I mowed my yard! Ok, just the front part. I still need to do the back half. This was the first time I’ve ever mowed. My neighbor has done it for me a few times this summer, but it was time for me to learn to do it on my own. The only problem? I couldn’t get my mower to start. I had a friend come over and take a look at it. He jostled a few bits around and got it to start for me. Oh man, mowing is hard work. I have a GIGANTIC hill in the front of my house, and that was not easy. I’m just a little too short, the mower a little too big, and the hill a little too steep. I can’t pretend that there wasn’t lots of cussing and more than a few tears. But I got it mowed. I’ll do the back half another day…or I may just find some high school kid who I can pay to do it. I’m not afraid to admit I felt more than a little defeated.

The rest of the afternoon I just relaxed. I watched a movie and listed to some music. I was planning on just popping some popcorn for dinner, but, as usually happens on my productive days, I decided to play with my food. The following is what came out of that little game. Very springy tasting, very fresh (even if the peas were frozen). The sage is what is left of my herb garden last year–it grew back! And the purple flower was mixed in with that super plant. Pretty (I didn’t eat it, don’t worry)!

Vermicelli with Peas
Original Recipe

6-8 oz vermicelli
2 Tbsp Butter
1 half white onion, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
Handful Sage leaves, minced
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
Juice of one lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
Parmesan, Optional

Boil and salt a pot of water, add your pasta. Cook until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, melt 2 Tbsp butter in a saute pan over med-low heat. Add onions and cook until golden brown and soft. Add garlic and sage, cook another 2 minutes.

Add peas, cook until heated through. Add lemon juice and a Tbsp of pasta water.

Drain pasta and add to pea mixture. Salt and pepper to taste, serve with Parmesan.

 

Eggs and Tomatoes March 23, 2011

I will always love winter. My friends give me hell for it, I mean, we live in Indiana after all. Sure it’s not the upper Midwest, but it gets COLD here. And the ice. And the snow. And did I mention ALL THAT ICE???

Don’t get me wrong, I love the spring. Summer not so much. For all of you balking at that–get sun-poisoning where you can’t walk for 3 weeks. Then you’ll understand. Plus, my migraines always hit really hard this time of year, as the temperatures and pressures go up and down and up and down.

All of that said–it is GORGEOUS out today! (I’m writing this Monday night, but you guys won’t see it until Wednesday.) I normally swim on Mondays, but I couldn’t wait to get home and head to the park for a walk. 72 degrees in March? Yes please! I’m dog sitting my Mom’s “princess” and the two of us had a blast walking around Morrow’s Meadow.

When I got home, I was hungry, but didn’t want to put a lot of effort into the meal. Eggs sounded good, but not just eggs and toast–boooooooooring. I had seen a recipe for a Moroccan-style tomato sauce with eggs on top somewhere. I don’t remember to be honest. It had a bunch of foreign ingredients that I cannot pronounce. But I figured, hey, I can do that my way! So I did. And it was awesome. I would recommend doing this with some heavy Italian bread–my white Wonderbread (don’t hate, it’s good) didn’t quite hold up to the heavy sauce. But the rich creamy yolk and the herby tomato sauce…mmmmmmm….

It wasn’t pretty, so no pictures this time. But this was a great throw-together meal. Just toss in whatever herbs or spices you have on hand. Play with your food!

Eggs and Tomatoes
Original Recipe

1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of herbs, chopped (I used rosemary and sage)
1/2-1 cup diced or crushed tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
2 eggs

Heat some olive oil in a pan. Toss in some onion, garlic, herbs. Let them cook for a minute or two over medium heat, until soft. Add tomatoes, cook for another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper.

Carefully crack eggs over sauce. Cover. Cook until eggs are just set.

Serve with thick, crusty French or Italian bread. Eat in your pajamas in front of the TV. This is not a fancy dinner. Could be breakfast too, if you like savory in the morning like I do.

 

Lemon Oregano Chicken February 28, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Fall/Winter,Lemon,My Recipes,Quick and Easy,Spring/Summer — hmills96 @ 7:38 pm

The weather around here has been pretty crazy lately. I’m not sure what Indiana did to Mother Nature but she is TICKED OFF and is not afraid to show it. I don’t remember a winter this cold or this snowy. Normally, I’m a huge winter fan. Bring on the snow. The problem is, this year I have an hour commute. That makes a really big difference in my winter attitude. There were two days, a few weeks ago where I missed two days of work because of the massive ice storm that hit our area. Then Friday, we got hit hard again. We had enough snow that I couldn’t get up the hill to get out of my neighborhood until noon! I did end up going to work once everything started to melt off, but I was pretty frustrated.

Then last night brought a BOOMING first storm of the season. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard thunder that loud! It poured and poured, from about 9pm to 4am. The ground was already saturated from the snow meltoff, so everything is flooded around here. There were a few funnels, maybe a touch down in the area as well.

Because of last night’s storm, I didn’t get much sleep. I’m a storm fanatic so not only did thunder keep me awake, but so did the adrenaline from studying the storm cells racing across the state. I was up from about 2-3:30! That didn’t make for an easy Monday let me tell you! We were swamped, and one of my teammates is on vacation until tomorrow so things were pretty crazy.

By the time my day was over, I was definitely ready for something delicious. My food budget has been tight so I haven’t been cooking much. But I had some chicken thighs, and a lemon that I needed to use. This recipe came from my head, just a way of using up what I had on hand. You’ll probably recognize the technique, it’s really just a variation of something I do all the time. But the combination of flavors came out fantastic! I threw in some Brussels sprouts and a little butter before I stuck the pan in the oven, and the flavors all caramelized together. It was a really good combination.

Lemon Oregano Chicken

Original Recipe

1 chicken thigh, skin on
1 lemon
1 tsp oregano
Salt & Pepper

Preheat your skillet over Med-High heat with a little olive oil. Preheat oven to 450.

When hot, place chicken skin side down in pan. Brown for about 5 minutes, then flip over and do the same to the other side.

Put pan in oven for 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Serve with roasted veggies.

 

Blueberry Noir Sorbet July 27, 2010

Filed under: Berries,dessert,Ice Cream,My Recipes,Spring/Summer,wine — hmills96 @ 5:42 am
Tags: , ,

I have been a very bad blogging lady lately. I guess I’ve just been all blogged out or something. It’s not for lack of material–I’ve read 3 books, and I’ve made Blueberry Sorbet and Teriyaki Steaks. I just haven’t felt like blogging anything.

I started a journal, and have been recording my many misadventures there, maybe that has something to do with it, I don’t know. Really though, I just haven’t been spending as much time on the computer lately (as evidenced by the overflow of items in my Google Reader). I think I just needed a break.

This weekend was HOT. REALLY HOT. We had a garage sale on Saturday, and then Sunday I decided to go for a walk. Exercising when it’s 90 degrees outside–not a good idea. So I decided to use the last of the graduation blueberries (can you believe they lasted this long??) and make something cold.

I would suggest straining the syrup and freezing this in an ice cream maker. But I was hot and lazy and didn’t want to lug out my mixer, so I just blended it with a boat motor and froze it granita style. It was still really good but the hand blender definitely changed the texture. Straining it will give you a much lighter sorbet.

Blueberry Noir Sorbet

Original Recipe

2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 sprig rosemary (optional)
1 cup Pino Noir

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients except the wine. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Strain out juice into a bowl. Stir in wine. Chill in fridge.

Freeze in ice cream mixer per manufacturer’s instructions. Will probably need to let this set up in freezer for another 30 minutes to an hour.

 

Watermelon Margaritas July 5, 2010

Filed under: alcohol,Cookout/Potluck,Poem,Spring/Summer — hmills96 @ 9:46 am
Tags: , , ,

Wow. Just Wow guys. I am overwhelmed. Yesterday’s post was the most viewed post I have ever had! 66 views! Before that, the most views I had were something like 42 in one day. I usually average around 25.

Now, Pioneer Woman would faint if she only had that many in one day. She gets thousands. But for me and my little blog, 66 views is awesome!!! I’m so happy that you guys are enjoying my blog and that more and more people are coming to see what’s going on over here. I enjoy this so much, more than I ever thought I would. In October, when I started, I thought it would be short-lived. Just an experiment. I’m so bad at keeping these kinds of things going. I’ll start a project and keep it up for a week or two, maybe a month. But after awhile I’ll get busy and forget about it. Not this.

As long as I’m able, I will cook. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE sharing that with you all. I especially love getting feedback from everyone, so please comment! I read all your comments and try to reply as much as I can! I would also love recipe suggestions. If you have a dish you want to see on here, tell me, I’ll test it out for you and put it up here for you to try yourself!

I hope you keep enjoying the blog (and because I’m greedy like that, spreading the word to all your friends!). I tweeted yesterday, it’s been fun to see which of my friends like to cook. Some have surprised me! Keep it up, I love hearing about your experiences!

Ok, now on to the recipe. Oooooooooooooo these margaritas. Can I say yum??? What says summer better than watermelon? Nothing. It’s so cool and refreshing. That’s just what these drinks were like. There is no ice in them. For me, they were better the second day, after the liquid froze solid and I could scrape it up with a spoon. It was much more margaritay that way. I would recommend making these the day before your party in a big bowl (not a pitcher), then scraping them out individually as needed, keeping the bowl in the freezer so it stays hard.

Oh and if you don’t have an immersion blender (or boat motor, as Emeril calls it), just pop the cubes into a blender or food processor, no big deal. Just do it a little at a time so you don’t overwhelm your appliance.

1/2 the melon made enough for me to have 6-7 regular sized margaritas. I still have some in the freezer. Unless you’re having an ENORMOUS party, I wouldn’t use the whole melon.

Watermelon Margaritas
Adapted from The Kitchn

1/2 large watermelon
Juice of 4 limes
1- 1 1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup sugar
lime salt (recipe below)

Cut melon into cubes, place in large bowl. Using an immersion blender, puree the watermelon and add the remaining ingredients. Place in a freezer until solid.

Rub lime around rims of serving glasses. Press rims into lime salt. Scrape watermelon mix into glasses.

Lime Salt
From The Kitchn

1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 tsp lime zest

Mix together by rubbing between thumb and forefinger. You could also use a mortar and pestle if you have one.

One more thing, I owe you a poem. If you remember this post, I explained that some of my recipes are printed on the back of poems, since I use scrap paper in my printer. This was one of those. I promised to share those poems with you as they came up. The theme of this poem was completely accidental, but absolutely perfect!

Drink to Me, Only With Thine Eyes

Drink to me, only, with thine eyes
And I will pledge with mine;

Or leave a kiss but in the cup
And I’ll not look for wine.

the thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine:

but might I of Jove’s nectar sup
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee, late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,

As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.

But thou there on did’st only breathe,
And sent’st it back to me:

Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.

–Ben Johnson

Roberts, Edgar V., ed. Literature:  An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall, 2001. 690

 

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan June 19, 2010

Filed under: Quick and Easy,Side Dish,Spring/Summer,Vegetarian — hmills96 @ 1:47 pm
Tags: ,

Here’s leg two of last night’s dinner. I try to eat as much asparagus as possible when it’s in season. It’s so good for you, and has such a unique flavor. It’s definitely a produce that is NOT good out of season.

I’m sorry I don’t have any photos of these dishes. I tried to snap a few quick ones but they turned out horrible. I always feel weird about taking food pictures with company around.

Stay tuned for Monday’s post about the Scampi!

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Parmesan

From Cooking Light Easy Summer Meals

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 tsp EVOO
Salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded

Toss asparagus with oil, sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 for 6-7 minutes. Toss with zest and cheese.