Sunday, March 01, 2015

What's in the fridge?.....Fancy Breakfast

Ever wake up from a late night out and NEED a filling breakfast? Pretty sure we have all been there. The problem is that most of us look into our fridge and if we don't see a plate of food waiting for us we automatically think there is nothing to eat. One thing I have learned living with Cheffy is that you can make a fancy meal with just about anything in your fridge and cabinets. This particular morning we woke up late and HUNGRY and as we looked around the kitchen we started pulling items that either sounded good to us or needed to be used up...for instance the lunch meat and red onion and tomato were nearing their expiration date. What sounds good....hashbrowns, eggs but not just any ole egg -Poached eggs and toast. A standard breakfast by anyone's definition but today these simple ingredients would become FANCY breakfast. 


2 potatoes
1/2 red or any kind of onion
1/2 tomato
5 eggs
Lunch meat of any kind or bacon
1/4 cup parsley
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup White vinegar
Makes 4 portions.

How to:

Add salt to a bowl half way filled with warm/hot water. You will be grating the potatoes in this.
Dice up garlic and red onion. If you want you can grate your onion into the bowl but be prepared to cry...a lot. 
Grate potatoes into the bowl of water (see 3rd photo)
After you have finished grating the potatoes mix them around a bit in the water. This washes away some of the starch making for a crispier and fluffier hash brown. 
Taking one handful of hash browns at a time squeeze as much water out as possible before transferring to a new bowl. 
Add a 1/4 cup of flour and all of the parsley, garlic, and onion; toss lightly. 
Finally, add one egg and mix thoroughly. 
In a medium-low pan (I use a cast iron) put about two tablespoons of oil. Once the oil heats up spread the hash browns evenly in the pan pressing them down. 
Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges start to color and the hash browns move easily around the pan then flip. 

To poach the eggs: 
In a saucepan bring 1 and half quarts of water and 1/4 cup vinegar to a boil. Crack eggs into a bowl. Slowly drop eggs into the boiling water and stir to shape the eggs and keep them from sticking. Reduce temp. to med heat stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until the eggs are slightly firm to the touch. (see video) Remove from water gently and place on a side plate to drain. 


Cut the hashbrowns into 4 portions and transfer to plates. In the still hot pan warm the lunch meat. Meanwhile slice the tomato and place the slices on the hash browns. Salt the tomato and add the warmed lunch meat and poached eggs. 

The perfect poached egg for fancy breakfast. 
Looking for hollandaise sauce? Go Here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Easy tips for mixing prints....

Prints are pretty mixable across the board.

Pants: Target $19.99
Shirt: Target $11.99 last year
Shoes: Curphew Wedge $39.99
Denim Jacket: Good will $1.29

Easy tips via Cosmo
Tip 1 - Match colors not prints
Tip 2 -The simpler and more graphic the print the easier they are to mix.
Tip 3 -Spread your prints across your outfit
Tip 4- Break up the look with solids.
and one from me?
Tip 5- Don't take your clothing too serious....Have fun with what you wear. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A night under the Big Top-Very very Kurios

Reality is Relative

Had the great pleasure of witnessing an amazing assortment of stunts and acrobatic that challenged my perspective. 
KURIOS by Cirque Du Soleil.

Yes, the acrobatics were jaw dropping and the contortionist...out of this world but what I found to be so entertaining was the way Cirquedusoleil pulled everything together and placed you a state of bewilderment. Hand puppets and an invisible circus filled me with childhood delight. The over-the-top costumes and haunting background melodies spellbound me as my eyes tried to keep up with the performances. To see everything one would need to see the show numerous times. For me it was the perfect way to celebrate Valentines.....I always tend to enjoy giving moments and time rather than material gifts. 

If you look closely you'll see some of the performers up on top of the tent before the show. 

Mirror image or NOT?

Cheffy and I just had to try on some of the items for sale. Little hats and goggles -too much fun.

Have you been to a Cirque Du Soleil show? If so, Where? and what did you think?

Happy Valentines Day. 

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Tomato Sauce and Homemade Pasta

Food will talk to you so listen closely at what it is saying....

Long overdue.... I am aware.
I mentioned Here that I would quickly write up the recipe and now 4  months later I have returned to do just that and just in time for Valentines. What's better than a deep red sauce to show your special someone that you care and desire them then a homemade meal. 

This recipe is one that can be used just as is but I have found over the last 4 months that it is also the basis to so many different sauces. 
When I have made this meal myself (without cheffy to help) I have opted out of making fresh homemade pasta and focused my attention on the sauce. I have now made the pasta twice myself for two different types of noodles and found that although it has been great it takes a lot of arm work and time. 
Pasta recipe:
6 egg yolk
1 egg
tsp milk
1 tsp olive oil
1-3/4 all purpose flour
I quite simply place the flour on my wood board in a nest. (use a big one) reserving about 1/4 cup of flour off to the side. A nest...yes a nest. A nest of flour that you can hold all the liquid ingredients without losing its walls. 
Slowly and I mean slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid in the middle with one or two of your fingers. You are developing the gluten which will make the pasta hold together. When the dough begins to thicken, use a pastry scraper (or a flat spatula) to lift the flour up and over the dough that is starting to form. Cut in the flour with the scraper. At this point, with your hands, bring the shaggy dough together and form it into a ball. Knead the dough a few times by pressing it in a forward motion with the heels of your hands, not folding it over on itself like you would do with bread. Re-shape the dough into a ball and repeat the kneading motion several times. The dough will be moist, but not sticky. If you find that it is too sticky then incorporate the flour you had set aside early little by little until your dough is moist. Let it rest for a few minutes before continuing. Here is where the real kneading begins: Dust the work surface with flour. Knead the dough in the same manner as before, pushing it forward with the heels of your hands, and re-shaping it into a ball. Keep kneading in this way until the dough becomes silky smooth. The dough is ready when you can pull a finger across the top of it and it wants to snap back into place. This process will take from 15 to 20 minutes, but knead as a long as it takes to pass the pull test. If not, the dough could collapse when resting. I found that it took more like 30 minutes to get it to the right consistency. Double-wrap the dough in plastic wrap to ensure that it does not dry out. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before rolling it through a pasta machine (or rolling out by hand). The dough can be made a day ahead, wrapped and refrigerated, but bring to room temperature before you continue. Roll the dough out to the thickness you desire then cut and cook. Fresh pasta only takes approximately 4 minutes to cook.

Sauce Ingredients:
A large can of whole tomatoes
Two cloves of garlic
One yellow onion
Optional Fancy Ingredients (I recommend this option for Valentines)
Panchetta or bacon
Red wine for cooking
Fresh rosemary

Dice up the garlic and onion. (I will vlog how to do this easily another time)
Warm up a sauce pan on med heat. Add approximately 2 tbls of olive oil. 
Once the oil has heated up add the garlic and onion and let them "sweat" Sweating is releasing the flavor without adding color...meaning do not have the temp. high enough to turn the garlic and onion golden brown. We are just releasing flavor here. Once the garlic starts to turn color add the whole can of tomatoes. Simmer the sauce while breaking up the whole tomatoes (I use a whisk to break up the tomato) Add basil and a little sugar to combat the acid and then let simmer. Let the sauce reduce to half its size while stirring and breaking down the tomatoes. This could take approximately a half an hour. 
Dice bacon and place into a med heated saute pan. Add freshly cut rosemary and just enough wine to add flavor, about a 1/4 cup. Listen to the panchetta- is it popping? if so it is at too high of a heat. Once the wine cooks off you can add the bacon and rosemary to the sauce. Rosemary and Panchetta add such a different flavor to an ordinary sauce. 
It is hard to describe the flavor. To sum it up I would say sultry, playful, and confident. 
This step just takes a few minutes for the bacon to cook so I won't start this until my sauce is nearly ready. 
Mix the cooked pasta into your sauce and serve with a little chopped parsley on top. 

Remember....Food will talk to you so listen closely at what it is saying. 

Happy Valentines Day 

Next Recipe we shall use the sauce as a base and make Seafood Nage (my favorite)

The pasta recipe is actually from the French Laundry cookbook by Thomas Keller. We have adapted it a little to work with our home and equipment.  

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I'm Back

Has it really been over a year and a half since I blogged? Life sure has a funny way of turning out. Never really what is expected or .....wanted for that matter. So what have I been up to? Currently I live in a tiny rented room that I call my dorm room with two men whom I am getting to know.,,,very New Girl but probably not as funny. What are some of my new hobbies and interest? Cooking! One of my roomies is a chef in Seattle and currently opening up a brewery so I am getting loads of insight on how to cook quickly and with simple ingredients but with the most amazing results.
First lesson....when cooking at home always, and I mean always have a drink in hand. "No problem" This was actually my first lesson and it does make the whole feeling insecure about cooking diminish, well at least lessen it a bit. So what shall I show you how to make? My first "food" lesson was Tomato sauce. Just three main ingredients with a twist.
We'll get back to this recipe..,I promise! But for now a little life update.

Where did my house go and where is my family?
Hmmm good question.
Funny story: Late June of 2013 my husband went for a walk and didn't return for a month. No, it was not some charity walk across the United States but quite possibly a Forest Gump "finding" of himself ~ instead of jogging he took a long walk and then a longer drive and drove to California, found a small place to stay and decided that our 23 year marriage was over. Why the sudden life decision? Very simply he was caught cheating (again) and because my son was the one that caught him he was scared and ran. The Funny part of the story is that I was the last to know. My son walked in on him on a Thursday, He went for his walk on Friday, and finally called me on Sunday to tell me what happened. He returned a month later minus his wedding ring telling me that he is moving on...I looked around for someone to explain it all to me because in my mind we still needed to talk about things and see if there was a possibility for us to work things out. As I left that bar in shock a man stopped us and asked if we were having a meeting about getting a divorce; It was pretty much a scene from Jerry Springer. That was 1-1/2 years ago and in that time I had to keep living; my son graduated from high school, my daughter was starting her last year of college and I had to start figuring out what my new life would be. Although it isn't clear where this life will lead me, I am enjoying the journey; the small joys and the person I am finding within myself.
Next post: Tomato sauce and home made pasta.