What I’ve Been Eating

To save money, I’ve been eating out less and cooking at home more. I love to challenge myself in the kitchen and see if I can make a meal with ingredients that are found in my fridge and pantry at any given moment. For example, I put together this egg in a ham cup for breakfast at my parents house last weekend.

In the past, my dad and I failed at making eggs baked in ham cups, but on Sunday, my attempt was wildly successful. The key to my triumph? Off-the-bone ham from the deli at Safeway. This ham was on the thicker side which was important because it held its shape and kept the egg neatly inside. I sprayed the muffin tin liberally with Pam before draping the ham pieces in each hole. Then I filled each one with a little bit of chopped tomato and spinach, grated white cheddar cheese, and finely chopped ham. I cracked an egg on top and put them in the oven at 350°F for about 18 minutes. The resulting dish came out of the muffin tins easily and paired wonderfully with avocado toast.

Another delicious egg preparation that I crafted from pantry ingredients was chilaquiles. I made a spicy tomato sauce by simmering tomato puree with sautéed onions, garlic, and chipotle chile in adobo. I added tortilla chips and placed the whole thing in the oven while I fried up some eggs. It was actually quite tasty!

I’ve been into experimenting with open faced sandwiches. It’s the perfect way to use up leftovers. I thinly sliced leftover pork tenderloin and topped it with gruyere cheese and placed it in the oven. I served it on toasted bread, slathered with mustard, and topped with roasted tomatoes. It made a lovely little lunch.

I put together a decent pizza using dough from Whole Foods. I topped it with gruyere, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, plus sliced tomatoes, chopped green olives, sliced onions, a sprinkling of arugula, and fresh thyme leaves.

For a recent party, I made Martha Stewart’s chocolate snowballs. I was really excited about these mini cakes because they combine chocolate with coconut and almond flavorings. However, I ran into technical difficulties when whipping the egg whites for the frosting. I whipped them for over 20 minutes and they just would not get stiff. Has this ever happened to anyone?

I don’t know what went wrong. I improvised by making a quick whipped cream frosting, which was good, but probably not as good as the meringue-like frosting specified by the recipe.

In terms of dining out, I had a memorable meal at Luma in Petaluma. While the name is unfortunate, the food was absolutely superb. Emily and I ordered the bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed dates, the lamb meatballs with African spices, and the potato pizza. Our waitress was a little overbearing, but other than that, it was excellent. I want to go back and sample more of their offerings soon.

I had a nice lunch with my parents at Marketbar. We shared the green salad with midnight moon, the deviled eggs with crab, padron peppers, and sausage flatbread. I was surprised to see padron pepper on the menu, but they tasted just like summer in Spain, so how could we resist them?

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