Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm Eggstatic to be back! :)

The thesis is done and submitted and I'm 99.9% sure I'm passing! My Masters in Public Administration is finally complete. Which means that I can get back in the kitchen again!

Waking up yesterday morning I was hit with the delicious knowledge that I did not have to spend my Saturday hunched over a computer. I could have a long leisurely breakfast, take a nap, run some errands and even - if I wanted to have friends over for dinner. I admit I was slightly unsteady for the first few hours of the day having been hit the day before with my first ever migraine headache (complete with vision problems and everything). Oh the joys of the body releasing pent up stress.

So what better way to get over it then with my most favorite and comforting of all breakfasts. A soft boiled egg in my favorite yellow stoneware cup. When I was a kid I loved soft boiled eggs. Mom would make it for me and because I hated the thought of scraping it out of the eggshell - she'd mix it all up for me with a little salt and a pat of butter in this bright yellow cup that I think came from my grandparents kitchen. When she and Dad were packing up the house in Brooklyn before the great NJ move of 2006, I made sure I got last two yellow cups from the cabinet.

The perfect soft boiled egg is actually fairly simple. Cold water + Cold Egg over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once it hits a rolling boil, turn off the gas and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid for 2 to 3 minutes depending on how soft you like your eggs. I like mine where the white is just set and the yellow is still runny so I go just to the two minute mark. To scoop out the egg, I run it under cold water, then whack it in half with a butter knife and scoop it into the yellow (and only the yellow) cup! Mix in butter and a little salt to taste. Serve with buttered toast and maybe a little fruit salad. Yum. I might go make myself another one right now!

Dinner yesterday turned out to be quite an unplanned success. To make some room in my freezer I had taken out a large pork shoulder and decided I'd turn it into pulled pork in the slow cooker. I made a dry rub of garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and rubbed it all over the pork. One large vidalia onion and a few garlic cloves were sliced and placed in the bottom of the slow cooker. The pork went on top and covered with about 2 cups of water and 3/4 jar bone suckin bbq sauce. The slow cooker goes for 8 hours and about halfway through I turned it so that both sides could get really tender. When its done, shred the meat with two forks and then put it back in the slow cooker with some additional bbq sauce to heat through. I serve mine on potato buns.

To go along with the pork, I cooked up some kale with bacon, mustard seed and cider vinegar, a homemade mac and cheese with cheddar and smoked gouda and some homemade beer battered onion rings. As you might have guessed this meal is NOT endorsed by Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or The Biggest Loser :-). But it was delicious and was a special indulgence. The onion rings were exceptionally good. The beer batter was light and crisp and didn't fall off the onion when you bit into it. Will definitely keep that recipe tucked up my sleeve!

I rounded up a few friends to help with all the eating - but also because I needed their help with another special project. My nephew's 6th birthday is today and I wanted to make him some extra special cupcakes. So I got my favorite crafty Eberhart sisters to come over and after plying them with food and booze we set to work on panda's straight out of the Cupcake cookbook. It was hot and humid in my Washington Heights apartment, and their little faces were drooping (the panda's - not the Eberhart's) so we only made 6 bears and left the rest as cookies and cream cupcakes. Still beautiful. Still delicious. I'll give the panda's another shot when the weather cooperates but here are the 6 we managed to make :).

Stay tuned for more culinary adventures!

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