Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Favorite Sandwich: Pesto and Prosciutto Poached Egg Sandwiches

I know what you're thinking- poached eggs? We're not 80 years old. Don't only grandpas eat that with wheat toast and tea?
Ok, maybe you're not thinking that, unless like me, you didn't grow up eating poached eggs. I'd never had a poached egg until I tried these sandwiches a couple of years ago. This recipe, from Cooking Light, poaches eggs in ramekins placed in a pan of boiling water. No fancy schmancy egg poachers needed!
The sandwich is a toasted English muffin, topped with pesto, a poached egg, and prosciutto (we use ham since I don't normally have prosciutto on hand). The whole meal takes about 15 minutes to make and is a nice change from the norm!!
Pesto and Prosciutto Poached Egg Sandwiches
adapted from Cooking Light 
Yield:  6 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

6 pasteurized large eggs
Cooking spray
6 teaspoons commercial pesto (I make my own)
4 whole wheat English muffins, lightly toasted
1 ounce very thin slices prosciutto

Add water to a large skillet, filling two-thirds full; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer. Break eggs into each of 6 (8-ounce) custard cups coated with cooking spray. Place custard cups in simmering water in pan. Cover pan; cook 6 minutes or until yolk is just set or until desired degree of doneness. Remove custard cups from water.
Spread 1 teaspoon pesto mixture on cut side of each of 6 English muffin halves. Divide prosciutto evenly among 6 English muffin halves.
Run a small rubber spatula around outside edge of each custard cup; slide 1 egg onto each muffin half. Drizzle each egg with 1 teaspoon remaining pesto mixture. Top with remaining muffin halves, cut side down. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TWD- Coffee Break Muffins and Party Cake!

Well, after a few birthdays, a week in Italy, a week recovering and getting kids in pre-school, I'm back to TWD! This week's recipe was for Coffee Break Muffins. We don't drink coffee, so I substituted cocoa powder for the espresso powder, and whole milk for the coffee. I also omitted the nutmeg. These muffins are SO good. They don't require a stand mixer- just a large bowl and a glass measuring cup. They come together in about 5 minutes and take about 18 to bake. I halved the recipe and wished I made the whole thing!
My kids loved them, too. I'm a big fan of chocolate and cinnamon together. They're moist and not too sweet- perfect for a fall breakfast!
Chocoholic Anonymous has the recipe (and a great blog)!

And I made a party cake for a 13th birthday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

CS Bakers- Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

This month's Cake Slice Bakers recipe was for Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. I'll have to be honest, I haven't loved all the recipes from this book. This one for me was kinda gross. Maybe I did it wrong, but it was oily with not much apple flavor. The brown sugar glaze was yummy, though- caramel-y and buttery.

I omitted the nuts and added 1 tsp of cinnamon. Looking forward to next month's cake- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip loaf!

September’s Cake: Fresh Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
(adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)
Makes one 13x9inch sheet cake or two 8-9inch round cakes
Fresh Apple Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups finely chopped apples

Brown Sugar Glaze
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp evaporated milk, half-and-half or cream

Method – Fresh Apple Cake
Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 13 by 9 inch pan or two 8-9 inch cake pans.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir with a fork to mix everything together well.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a wooden spoon or a mixer at low speed until pale yellow and foamy. Add the oil and vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon and continue stirring the batter just until the flour disappears. Add the apples, stir to mix them into the batter until fairly uniform. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is golden brown, springs back when touched lightly near the centre and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Place the cake (still in the pans) on a wire rack and spoon over the glaze while still hot.

Method - Brown Sugar Glaze
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Then cook for 3-5 minutes.

To Finish
Spoon the hot glaze all over the hot-from-the-oven cake. Let the glazed cake cool completely before serving straight from the pan.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010


My husband and I went to Italy for a week. Finally! He travels there a lot for business, but this is the first time we've gone together. His good friend was getting married in Puglia so we went for the wedding, and then up to Rome. Since this is my food blog, I'll only cover all the eating we did :) 
First off, the place we stayed was AMAZING. A beautiful bed & breakfast in Matera, where "Passion of the Christ" was filmed. 
Our typical breakfast was a pastry, sometimes with cream, sometimes just plain. Heavenly.
These pics are just SOME of the food we ate at the wedding. Yes, the eating began at 3pm and ended around 9pm. Granted, there was some dancing in between there (not by us), but it was mostly eating. And eating.
They had several (I mean, SEVERAL) kinds of marzipan goodies.
Just one of the antipasti platters. Speck is now my favorite food group.
I could've eaten this whole plate myself. Mozzerella. Tomatoes. Ricotta.
Uh, yeah. I didn't eat any of these.
Ever seen fish in a jar? Now you have. I didn't eat this, either.
The groom knows we love, LOVE sushi. So he told the reception center to serve some. This is what they came up with. Arborio rice, cooked al dente, soaked in olive oil, wrapped in seaweed with tuna in the middle. I couldn't choke it down.
One of two pasta courses. This one was seafood. The other was mushroom. And really good.
Did I mention I liked the cheese?

And of course, dessert. There was a very LARGE fruit platter with lots of stuff I've never seen before.
And LOTS of little plates with various sweets on them like this one. Now, I know you're thinking there's NO WAY you're going to eat something that looks like chunks in brown stuff, but you would be missing out on quite possibly the yummiest thing ever. Don't cringe when you read the name.
Chocolate sausage. I know. What? There's no sausage in it, just so you know. It's chewy chocolate with some kind of crunchy cookie numminess. I don't know. But it's goooood.
The wedding cake. It was HUGE. I wasn't convinced the whole thing was cake, but the groom's father said it was. There will be a lot of leftovers! :)
The highlight of our time in Rome was meeting the wonderful, talented, very knowledgeable Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina. We spent our last day with her at the Vatican Museums and had the best pizza. Grazie mille Natalia!!