April 22, 2014

The Incredible Edible Egg (and many diversities therein)

We couldn't help it. Just as our precious chickens began to increase their daily production to nearly two dozen eggs, a certain booklet serendipitously arrived at our front doorstep. [Well, it arrived at our storage room doorstep...told you it must be more than coincidence.]
"50 Deviled Eggs," the coversheet screams, accompanied by a bright photo of a perfect classic example.
Inside, pages are lined with variation upon blessed variation on the foundational mashed-yolks-in-white method. We can choose from the odd Frito Pie to the clever Green Eggs and Ham to the dubious All-White to the upscale Bagels and Lox.
Actually, we can't choose from those; so we choose them all. One batch a week.
Initially in the heat of the moment, Brian and I decided to nix the ten least appetizing recipes to reduce our egg-intake from nearly a year down to 40 weeks (since that is so much shorter). After consideration, I have a feeling that once we make it that far, we'll push through for the last few.
We're not just making and eating these half-shell morsels of goodness, of course. Immediately we constructed a rating system, allowing each variation a score of up to 20. 10 points for taste, and 5 each for texture and presentation. The two of us will share and average our private ratings.
I anticipate a pretty broad range of results, although one must consider that each one is a deviled egg. It's going to have to try to not be delicious.
It was only appropriate to start the eggcitement with an obvious success--California Roll. It delivered what it offered, rolling in a 15 (texture was the main downfall). Presentation banked a 5 from both of us; check it out.
Soy sauce, wasabi, and diced cucumber added to the mayo and vinegar, topped off with flaked crab, chopped avocado, and dried seaweed.
Not as good as actual sushi, but what is?
I'll try to keep you updated as we continue on this eggscellent journey.

February 16, 2014

'Snow Day Like Today!

That was my overriding personal opinion when the excessive snowfall effectively shut everything down. Oh the joy and possibilities of a surprise day at home!
With the help of some leftover coffee, I was in project mode all day long. All of sudden, my latent creativity screamed for release.
So I made a shelf! No impressive carpentry nor actual technical skill involved, but I don't feel like I need to hide my slight hubris at the results.
Take some boards from your in-laws' dairy barn. They may or may not retain a slight "aroma," if you know what I mean.
Then take some bricks from your landlords. Prior consent is recommended, but running upstairs and asking while your husband is in the process of bringing the bricks inside may also be effective.
Clean the bricks, because they just might be real dirty.

Next you alternate stacks of bricks with boards, which is a neat trick with bricks and blocks, sir. You can also make a quick trick brick stack, then a quick trick block stack. (Dr. Seuss shoutout!! I couldn't help it.)
Stuff wads of used crossword papers in between the bricks when the wobbling is just too much to ignore or the boards just decide to stay warped.
Then you have a shelf!!! And you can fill it with your favorite things.
Like old Mason jars and cookbooks.

January 16, 2014


High five if you read the title in an appropriate Fiddler on the Roof voice.
I love traditions. There's just something right about certain things always being.
Especially when holidays roll around, I think more about how much I enjoy traditions. Asking others what their traditions are lets you catch a glimpse of who they are; we can all be celebrating the same day or event yet with that individual flair that makes it something much deeper.
I look forward all year to my family's Christmas Eve with seafood chowder, spinach dip, and It's a Wonderful Life. (I considered making this post about the chowder--but then I realized if I spilled the secrets, our family wouldn't have a monopoly on the recipe, and then where would we be?)
Now that I'm married, I get to share my family's traditions with Brian, experience his family's, decide which ones to incorporate into our lives, and make up new ones just for us. Last week we celebrated with the Millers and what Christmas tastes like to them: mini pizzas, baby carrots and ranch, and Reese's peanut butter trees.
Considering this is only Brian's and my second Christmas together in a "normal" setting (i.e., not in Kenya), we haven't set a prolific number of traditions in stone yet. So far, we have rather arbitrarily decided that our Christmas meal must always include seafood, mangoes, and creme brulee--for this year at least. Here are Tuesday's results [having effectively postponed our festivities so as to prolong the joy of the holiday...] :

Poached catFISH with sweet rice and tropical/MANGO salsa, citrus green beans, and sweet potato crescent rolls.

Sweet potato CREME BRULEE and (decaf!) espresso.
 Mmm. The creme brulee recipe (I made up the rest...), coming up soon. Until then, find chances to honor the moments in your day by both commemorating in tradition and expressing in spontaneity.