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This should be easy right? I mean, how hard is it to scramble an egg?

Reasons your scrambled eggs are tough and rubbery: you are cooking them too long at too high a temperature. Eggs are mainly protein and proteins like to be handled gently.

So, how do you make creamy scrambled eggs?

1. Lightly scramble your eggs in a bowl with a fork (whisks incorporate too much air).

2. Heat your NON-STICK (it’s just easier in a non-stick) pan over low to medium-low heat. Got that? Keep the temp relatively LOW.

3. This is optional but you can add some butter to the pan. Like a teaspoon or two. It sorta prevents the eggs from sticking… Let it foam up and then…

4. Put eggs in pan and scramble with your spatula or what have you. Want big curds? Scramble less often. Small curds? Mix it up more often.

5. Want them even more creamy? Yep – add butter, milk or cream to the pan. You could to this in step 1 as well.

6. This is the key – turn the heat off when the eggs are set, but still a little underdone (watery looking). The residual heat will continue the cooking. You can add your seasoning (and cheese!) at this point.

Voila! No more rubber eggs! And when you go out for brunch you will realize the eggs you get at your corner diner or $50 brunch buffet are dang nasty compared to the ones you can make at home.

 

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I’m back…sorta.

So a few years ago I started this blog cause I wanted to keep track of recipes I had made. Then…I started to get sucked into the whole blogging thing – arranging food for semi decent pictures (I was even considering buying a super expensive camera JUST for this purpose). I spent time trying to market the blog and spent lots of time writing content. And then…it wasn’t fun anymore and became an obligation. So instead, I’m just going to keep this as a personal food diary. That’s it.

We’ll see how long this lasts…

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Transports you right to France - although I've bastardized it by adding Feta and Mascarpone

Transports you right to the south of France - although I've bastardized the effect by serving it with Feta and Mascarpone

 

AKA – Food only chicks like

My husband has an aversion to olives. Most men seem to share this trait and I simply do not comprehend it. I do try to help cure him of this ailment, but to no avail. Unbeknownst to me, he also has an aversion to capers. And sundried tomatoes. And basil. After 10 years together, I JUST found this out. And sadly, these are a few of my favorite things.

As I was reading The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, I came across a delicious sounding dish that had all of the above in it. A Provencal Tomato Spread. Paired with bread slathered with mascarpone and feta cheese shot under the broiler and a nice salad, what could be better? This is my kind of eating. Too bad my husband doesn’t agree. 

What else could you do with this?

Toss with pasta. Serve over chicken. Wish fish. It’s highly versatile. I’m quite certain it will end up with pasta by week’s end – that is, if I don’t tire of loading it on top of fresh bread first.

Provencal Tomato Spread

From Kathleen Finn. Read her book for more great recipes (and a lot of fun too).

Ingrediants

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 red medium bell pepper, peeled, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped (1 ½ cups) 
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (1 cup) 
6 to 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (¾ cup)
12 Nicoise olives, chopped
3/4 tablespoon capers
2 cups chopped fresh basil

Steps

  • In a small sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat.
  • Add bell pepper, onions, and garlic and cook until soft.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and capers and cook gently.
  • Remove from heat. 
  • When cool, add the basil.
  • Add coarse salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy! 

Ms. Pantry Raid

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Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze 
 

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze

Tasty AND dairy-free 

I generally pride myself on the fact I can come up with a dish for any occasion. So when a friend asked me to bring a dairy-free dessert to cap off our meal together, I thought “no sweat! Give me a real challenge!”. I obviously had no idea just how much dairy I use on a daily basis. I scoured my books – always a bit of cream, a smidge of butter. Oh dear, am I going to fail? This was no good! The only thing I could come up with was Sabayon over berries – one of my all-time favorite desserts – but its transportability is nil.  And I’m quite sorry, but berries sans Sabayon are not a dessert in my book.

I finally remembered an olive oil cake I made a few years ago. Spiked with rosemary, it was…different. But in a complex “adult”  way. The only thing bad about it was that it was a touch dry. Something a little dairy could probably help fix. But alas, not today.

So I dusted off the recipe and whipped up a batch. Thinking that it would somehow benefit from a Meyer Lemon glaze, I threw that over top while it was cooling.

The taste of the cake is very interesting. A mild olive oil flavor shot through with the piney tinge of fresh Rosemary.  Make sure to use an olive oil you like the flavor of. I had two in the pantry. The cheap one was fruity with no strange aftertastes. The expensive one was more complex, but had a peppery bite at the end. Definitely NOT cake material! And it’s pricey, so my pocketbook is glad it got the boot.

As I said before, this cake turns out pretty dry. BUT it makes outstanding breakfast bread. Toast it, slather it with Lurpak (or your favorite European butter) and have Jeeves serve it with your morning tea.  Your IQ will immediately shoot up 10 points.

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze

Cake courtesy of Babbo Cookbook – Mario Batali

Serves 8 – 10
Ingredients

4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For glaze (I’ll be completely honest here, I have no clue what I did for the glaze. But this one seems kinda right. I think I only did half a recipe though.)

1/4 cup   fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup  granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners sugar

Steps

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Using the whip attachment, beat the eggs in a mixer for 30 seconds.
  • Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold the rosemary into the batter.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when it is golden brown, springs back when touched, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling. Glaze while still hot.

WHILST THE CAKE IS BAKING, make the glaze

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and granulated sugar, then whisk in the confectioners sugar until the glaze is smooth.
  • Strain any lumps as necessary.
  • Pour glaze over hot cake.

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  Winter Caprese Salad - how to use those nasty, mealy hothouse tomatoes.
 

Winter Caprese Salad - how to use those nasty, mealy hothouse tomatoes.

Well, I know we on the cusp of spring, but we are months from decent tomatoes and I’m craving them. This  Winter Caprese salad makes use of oven roasted tomatoes, which are so sweet and flavorful, I’m just sure you will fall in love with them. They are much different than their chewy sun-dried counterparts. If you haven’t already, give them a whirl. 

Of course, fresh basil is, strictly speaking, not to be had in winter either. You can make yourself feel better by turning the basil into a pesto, but since I just love the taste of fresh basil at any time of year, I’ve left it as is. Served over a little fresh mozzerella, a spritz of good vinegar and olive oil, smidge of sea salt and voila! It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy!

Winter Caprese Salad

Adapted from Gourmet mag
Ingredients

Makes 4 servings.

1 pound plum tomatoes, quarted lengthwise.
2T olive oil (plus more for drizzling over salad)
1/2 pound fresh mozzerella sliced  1/4 inch thick.
a handful of fresh basil
Balsamic vinegar (for drizzling over salad)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

    Steps

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with a rack in the middle.
    • Toss tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
    • Place tomatoes on baking sheet (with sides to catch the juices) cut side up and roast in oven for 45 minutes or until the skins are wrinkly and the bottoms start to brown.
    • Remove from oven and cool completely.
    • Slice basil thinly.
    • Assemble cheese and roasted tomatoes on a plate, sprinkle with basil.
    • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!


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