3.28.2012

when pinning = winning


i havent done a weekly pinspiration post lately, but fear not, ye intrepid surfers of the internet, pinterest is still making a huge impact on our DIY life.

jesse and i were enjoying an AMAZING date on saturday night outside by our pinspired firepit on a PERFECT night, and i was talking about how silly it was, but that pinterest really has made our life noticeably more magical. i had had 1.5 glasses of wine at this point, so it went something like, "oh my goooosh, jesse, for real though. pinterest has like, literally, like seriously, made our life better, you knooooow?" and i might have teared up.

12 oz of wine and i am the most earnest mushball you've ever met.

60 degrees, $0, and a 20 foot commute. date night done RIGHT!

i would say that we do/eat/make something found on or inspired by pinterest at least 4 times a week. here are a few of my most recent favorites:

true confession: i can't boil eggs.

this is sad because i LOVE boiled eggs (if any of you have an egg aversion, this is about the get real, so tread carefully). when i was a kid my favorite breakfast was a creation my dad would make for me and him on saturday mornings. he would medium-boil some eggs and then mash them up in a coffee cup (the coffee cup is crucial) with a little butter and salt. and then we would eat them with spoons and watch cartoons. probably one of my most cozy and favorite memories with him just because it's so stupid and simple and he wasnt even trying to be a great dad in those moments, but he was anyway.

so it is slightly heartbreaking that as a college-graduate adult i cannot boil eggs. i can never remember if the eggs go in before the water is boiling or after. i always end up with cracked and watery eggs. and eggwater makes me a little ill. so imagine my delight with my pinbot told me that you could make "boiled" eggs in the OVEN!!! god bless alton brown.


half the ingredients of traditional boiled eggs!

these are mind-buzzingly simple and turned out more consistent and perfect than any egg i've ever cooked jacuzzi-style.

ready?

1. put however many egg you want directly on the rack of a COLD oven. (put a cookie sheet underneath if you're nervous...though i have never had a cracked egg). close the door.

2. turn the oven on 325.

3. walk away.

4. come back in 24 minutes for pefect, fluffy, medium/soft boiled eggs! (30 min for truly hard-boiled).

you still have to peel them, doy...but let's be honest, that tedious task kind of appeals to the freak in me who also enjoys peeling sunburn skin and smoothing tinfoil.

the protein intake of my family has increased significantly since this discovery.


another happy discovery was a trustworthy recipe for pickled red onions. now dont get all fussy on me. if you've never had these, dont get excited and judge. yes, a red onion is a powerful thing. whenever i get them on my subway sammie and taqe it back to work, my coworkers force me to brush my teeth and throw my garbage outside because those little purple buggers are potent to the MAXX.

so the first time i was served a pile of pickled red onions at a restaurant (atop rare salmon) i was skeptical that they would scorch my esophagus and jesse would never make out with me again. not so, padawans! the piclling process takes all the bite out of them and leaves them sweet, crunchy and--the best part--hot pink!

the chick who made the recipe is amazing. balling photographer, cancer survivor, former nasa employee, outdoor studmuffin and amazing chef. she's the one who gave me the espresso shortbreads...damn her. i trust her implicitly.

and in about 10 minutes, i had these beauties (in my only mason jar...the party favors from this amazing wedding)

this is a horrid pic taken before they had even cooled. they are so much pinker now, sitting in my fridge.

my tip for making these: the recipe calls for star anise, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves, none of which i had, and all of which publix wanted over $5 for EACH for these suckers in the spice aisle. being genius (aka cheap/desperate) i shimmied over to the ethnic foods aisle and found them all for less than $2 a bottle. viva mexico!

the blogger recommended serving these atop a signature sandwich, which i totally did. now the only downside of this chef/blogger is she uses top notch fancy pants ingredients that have no made their way to my parochial hamlet as yet. so i had to improvise:

Calabrese Sandwich (recipe adapted from userealbutter.com)

ciabatta roll or bread

pesto

mustard (I like whole grain Dijon)

6 slices of Calabrese or other spicy salami

2-3 slices fresh mozzarella packaged havarti

3-4 slices tomato (unlikely!)

pickled red onions

Slice the roll in half. Spread pesto on one half and mustard on the other half. Layer the Calabrese (salami) on half of the roll, then the mozzarella, the tomatoes, and the pickled onions. Top off the sandwich with the remaining half of bread. Slice in half and serve. Makes 1 sandwich.


-instead of special salami like she used, i just got 1/4 lb of big boars head pepperoni from the deli counter (that was enough for about 6 sandwiches).

-instead of fresh mozzarella i used packaged/sliced havarti because its my favorite cheese and mozzarella basically tastes like chewy water to me.

-the pepperoni has a little border/casing around the edges...pull those off first or else it will slow you down as you mow through the sandwich...not good.

so so so YUM! sweet and spicy and creamy and zesty and crunchy. and about 4 minutes to make!

this next one blew my little mind. i am an inept gardener, so i cant grow my own free, regenerating food. well, i couldnt, until this pin.

green onions: after you use bunch, put the white parts in a glass of water in a sunny windowsill. they will regrow!!!

seriously? this is amazing to me. food growing using only water and light. god is sort of the smartest. you just trim the roots and change out the water every few days.

i should have started with more stems, but still, eleven days later i have very (too) tall new onions to cook with! goodbye last minute runs to publix to spend $1.20 on a bundle of these.

one pitfall:


sadness! we use this window as our "order up!" area for when we are eating and cooking outside. a few little green buddies got the marie antoinette treatment.


now hold on to your petticoats, because this next pin if going to melt your face. (though it only got one repin when i first pinned it...sad).

this was the best breakfast we've ever made ourselves and possibly the best one we've ever had period. grilled french toast!

here's my plate! *homer simpson drooling food-lust noise*

it's not just that this french toast is grilled, though that plus grilled breakfast sausage is awesome. the recipe itself is just a really really good one; even if you pan cooked it inside.

our family of 4 (every contributed in tackling this) decimated an entire long baguette's worth of frensh toast and a whole package of breakfast sausage in one sitting! me oh my.

Grilled french toast (adapted from ivillage.com)

-6 eggs
-8 slices slightly stale French bread,1" thick (we used and entire baguette, for far more slices, without increasing any other part of the recipe and it was perfect)
-1 cup buttermilk
-1/2 cup half and half
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
-8 breakfast sausage links (or, you know, like 20 )

For Blueberry packet:

-1 cup blueberries (we used frozen ones and thawed them in the microwave)
-1 tablespoon sugar
-1 tablespoon orange juice
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla and orange zest. In a shallow dish large enough to hold them, place bread slices in a single layer. Pour egg mixture over bread slices and turn to coat. Let soak 5 minutes, turning once.


  • Place blueberries on the bottom-right half of a 12x12-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Top berries with sugar and orange juice. Fold the other half of foil over the blueberries and seal the edges to form a triangular packet.


  • Grill sausages, turning occasionally until thoroughly cooked. Place blueberry packet on a cooler part of the grill and cook until packet is puffed, about 5 minutes. Place bread slices on grill and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until they have grill marks and no longer stick to the grates. Turn once and cook another 3 minutes

  • Serve French toast with sausages, grilled blueberries and maple syrup*.



  • the only change i made was in making the syrup more special:

    instead of just topping these masterpieces with maple syrup, i made my own using this approximate recipe (hard to mess this up):

    -1 cup maple syrup
    -1/2 cup OJ
    -1/2 cup sugar (i know, i know)
    -some orange zest
    -the excess blueberry juice from your grill packet of berries

    dump them all in a sauce pan and heat on medium until it's simmering and the sugar has melted and the OJ has reduced down to a thick, syrupy consistency.

    turn your family loose on this amazing brunch!


    blogger is being a mr. prickle-pants and not publishing my posts until like 14 hours after i schedule them...so make sure you check out the 3 previous posts for some awesome giveaways you dont want to miss.

    5 comments:

    1. Yum! That breakfast looks amazing.

      Isn't pinterest great?

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    2. i must go clean up my drool off the keyboard.

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    3. Love that you tried these out and now I can too and know that they're winners. Cheers to Pinterest!

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    4. holy freaking crap. that french toast makes me moan. i ADORE french toast, and GRILLED french toast? i think i might just die. i just did that green onion thing too!! i started with 4 completely white little nubs and had full green onions 2 weeks later. insane. layla is getting cuter by the day. she is adorable. she and i have the same thighs and knees, so we are sure to be soul mates. can't wait to try the red onions. my chilean mom once made a massive jar of those things and they were rad. love love love. i am now leaving to go look up "sinusoidal" and "padawans". no need to sign up for m-w.com's word of the day. i just read your blog.

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    5. just to prove that i was not kidding...
      si·nu·soi·dal
      adj \ˌsīn-yə-ˈsȯi-dəl, ˌsī-nə-\
      : of, relating to, shaped like, or varying according to a sine curve or sine wave

      no wonder i couldn't figure out what it meant...it involves math, to which i am SEVERELY allergic. thanks for giving me a migraine and dry heaves.

      ReplyDelete