I love finding super sneaky shortcuts. This recipe for tasty flaky palmiers lets you make something "homemade" without dirtying a bowl or cracking an egg. Now, I'm not saying I condone substituting readymade for homemade on every occasion, but sometimes you can cut a corner without sacrificing a beautiful result.
I yoinked this recipe (if you can even call it that) from Joy the Baker. It's stupid simple. Just let some storebought pastry thaw on a bed of sugar. Then flip over and roll the ends toward the center line. Cut 1/2 inch slices and arrange them on a sheet pan. Bake then for 15 minutes at 400 degress. Don't overbake them!
Switching up the sugars would add all kinds of variety. I used turbindo sugar, but I bet vanilla sugar would be just delish. Ooh and savory palmiers! I bet a mixture of finely grated parmesean, salt and pepper could easily be substituted for the sugar. I bet those would be awfully good with a little tomato soup.
It's either love or hate with beets, there is no in-between no "meh." I love them just like this, sliced and glistening.
This beet was roasted in a hot hot oven, squeezed and peeled from its skin, sliced, covered with some delicate feta, sprinkled with toasted pinenuts and dressed with salt, pepper, olive oil and just a sprinkle of white wine vinegar.
This works as a deeply satisfying snack or start to a meal. The beets taste like dirt, in the best possible way. The pinenuts have a forest fire smokiness and the feta brings in a bit of civilization. This dish is the antithesis of a wedge of iceberg with nonfat ranch (shudder).
After enjoying them in a sunny backyard, I admit . . . I licked the plate.
Sorry for all the quiet around here. I've been suffering from Spring Fever. That means more walks to the beach and a few fits of cleaning. It wonderful to look around and see that all the laundry is done, the floor is swept, tchotkes are dusted, and the furniture is polished. That's right, furniture polished!
Anyhoodle, in a few spare moments of Etsy browsing I ran across a fabulous shop. The Untamed Menagerie has all sorts of wonderful jewelry in whimsical designs. It reminds me of all the stuff I loved from the now defunct Paraphenalia.
I guess I've been on a bit of an egg kick lately. Though polenta and eggs are very tasty, I think Eggs in Hell are my current favorite breakfast. Just look at that pan of savory bubbling sauce and delicate eggs.
For me, the key is a highly flavored sauce. Check out this glorious sauce for Eggs in Purgatory (video with sound) that Jill Santopietro made her in her Tiny Kitchen video for the NYTimes. Since my version is veggie, I don't want it to be bland. I make sure that it's got plenty of zing.
I start with a little olive oil in the pan, thinly sliced garlic, a few sliced mushrooms, a handful of torn spinach or fresh basil leaves, maybe a little onion and then homemade tomato sauce in a relatively smooth state. You don't want a chunky sauce to overwhelm the smooth fragile eggs. I also recommend some healthy lashings of tabasco or sriracha. When I say eggs in hell, I mean eggs in HELL.
Once the sauce is bubbling and a bit reduced (watery eggs are terrible!), create two wells for your eggs. This will keep them contained while they cook. Gently crack the eggs into the wells, season with salt and pepper, and cover for 2-3 minutes. I like my eggs with a cooked white and runny yolk, so I don't let them go very long. Take them off the heat and let them cool for a minute while you round up your coffee, tea, plate, fork, what have you . . . and now it's time to gently spoon them out.
If you're virtuous and have toast, this is fine for two people. If not, this is perfect for a stick to your ribs breakfast for one (it's really just two eggs and some sauce, right?). The combination of custardy, runny and creamy egg with the highly-flavored tomato sauce is a satisfying and beautiful meal.
No matter how old you are, your mom has to gleefully accept your handmade gifts. It's just a rule. My mom has always been good about this and even still carries a little woven yarn wallet that I made her when I was just a wee thing. I think she uses it to hold tissues.
So, when I find myself a little uninspired as far as gifts so, I break out the beads and make mom some earrings. She never buys them for herself, but who doesn't like a few more accessories?
These are just as simple as can be. The glass beads struck me as something she would like (she loves roses) and the simple sterling ear wires don't detract from the shape and detail. Oh, you'll also see that I used a single pink sequin between the headpin and the bead. The hole was much too large for all of the sterling headpins, but I couldn't find any beads that wouldn't overpower the lines of the bead. The flat sequin is almost invisible from the front and unobtrusive otherwise.
The backing card was clipped from my stash of vintage wallpaper. I wish I could find more of that beautiful grasscloth!
It was my mom's birthday this weekend. We had a nice little dinner with a tasty bottle of champagne. My family will break out the champagne for just about any occasion. I consider it one of the benefits of being a part of our clan. There aren't many of us in this country, so that means we need to step up our champagne consumption. We can't let the French side of the family put us to shame!
Anyhoo, one of the things I love about my mom is that she's always setting aside things (articles, odd bits of paper, containers, etc) that she thinks I will appreciate. For example, these adorable little figurines that come from her boxes of Red Rose Tea. She saved them for me and even made sure I knew that there's a whole collecting mania about them. She also knows I really like teeny tiny things and knew these would make me happy.
Now I have to decide, I am I crazy enought to buy a teeny tiny pet shop for these guys?
But now I've discovered a way around the guilt.
All you need are stamps and a partner in crime. That's right, I'm talking about actually (gasp!) sending them. Just find someone else with the same card guilt and start sending. Not only do you have all the joy of receiving really mail, but then you get to keep the card guilt free. Why hasn't someone thought of this before?! Oh . . . right.