Bacon-Wrapped Eggs

I’m sitting here with a mug of fabulous tea we found at yesterday’s farmer’s market, listening to the giggles and babbles of the adorable toddler in the apartment above us, and my stomach is full from the fourth straight meal I’ve made from scratch since the semester ended: I am very happy.

There’s still quite a lot on my to-do list that must be done in prep for next semester. I’ve been told we must “hit the ground running” with my research and so I decided I’d spend Winter Break reading a book on data analysis and getting somewhat familiar with SAS. Last semester I all but ignored my volunteer work, which is really important to me, so I’m also determined to not only catch up in that but figure out a way to keep it in my schedule. Oh, and of course there’s exercise (which my poor body thinks is simply walking up 3 flights of stairs now), brushing up on my Japanese (I have a willing conversation partner I’ve completely ignored), and – of course – cooking! …but I gave myself one full week to be a complete and total bum first, and believe me I’ve taken full advantage of it!

Until yesterday, I only went as far as to throw on a hoodie and yoga pants each morning this week. I made myself some tea and, for the first four days, spent nearly all my waking hours (which were reduced significantly, by the way: I slept about 12 hours a night up until Friday, haha) reading Game of Thrones – which seems to be the official Book Of Halifax. No joke: everyone from my students to coworkers to professors has recommended this series to me. I know the HBO show‘s been getting a lot of buzz, so I gave in and read the first book. I’m usually pretty picky when it comes to SciFi/Fantasy, but Haligonians know what they’re talking about. If you’re a fan of political intrigue, blood, sex, betrayal, and generally all things medieval (oh, and did I mention the walking dead?) you should give this series a chance. My favorite character so far is Arya followed very closely by Tyrion. Usually my favorite characters are always the ones who end up getting killed, but I’ve already been warned that nearly everyone meets untimely ends in this series so I’m prepared for the worst.

Getting back to the food, my brother linked me this cute breakfast idea a while ago and I promised to give it a go. Ever since the apple sundaes my family’s been sharing recipe ideas they want me to try. Usually the recipes are ones I wouldn’t have chosen on my own, but they’re almost always fun and interesting so I figure why not? Just because I’m taking what I eat more seriously doesn’t mean I can’t have fun while making it. 😀

Bacon-Wrapped Eggs (via my bro, slightly adapted from RecipeCards)

* makes enough for 2 servings of two eggs each *

Ingredients:

4   eggs (free-range if you can)

6   slices of bacon (I love applewood-smoked)

½   C   shredded cheese of your choice (I used a mix of Pepperjack and Havarti)

chopped fresh herbs, optional*

salt and pepper

* Note: It kills me not to have my potted herbs anymore (live plants are not allowed to cross the border and for good reason) and I simply can’t justify buying a bagful of fresh herbs from the store because – even when I try – I never seem to use it all before it goes bad. May the kitchen gods forgive me, I used dried dill here…and I’m asking for a basil plant for Christmas, haha.

Procedure:

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook 5 slices of bacon on Medium-low heat until browned but not crisp. Set slices aside on a paper towel-lined plate and pat with another paper towel to dry. Turn up the heat to Medium and cook the remaining slice of bacon until crisp – you’ll be using pieces of this one as bases for the eggs. Dry this slice as you did the previous ones.

2) Line the bottoms of 4 ramkins (muffin tins work just as well) with pieces from the crispy slice. Wrap a piece of bacon around the circumference of the ramkins and crack an egg into each. Top with shredded cheese, herbs, and salt and pepper as you prefer.

3) Place ramkins on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until eggs are set. If you like your yolks slightly runny (as I do) remove when whites have solidified but yolks are still jiggly when gently shaken (they will continue to cook a bit after you remove them from the oven) – about 10 minutes. If you like your yolks fully cooked, bake for the full 15 minutes or until the yolks themselves turn opaque and are only slightly jiggly.

Beezer’s Notes:

To be honest, these turned out much better than I had anticipated. They were very cute, nicely bundled eggs that were easy to eat alone or on toast. Brad put his directly onto a toasted bagel and had a breakfast sandwich. Aside from missing my fresh herbs, the only thing I’d change in the future is how I pack the bacon into the ramkins since my eggs seemed a little sunken in their wrappings. Havarti and Pepperjack were the cheeses I had on hand, but the goat cheese & chive blend used in the source recipe looks delicious as well. In general, I prefer my bacon so crisp it’s almost burnt so I’ll probably save this recipe for when folks visit (it’ll be so easy to whip up a dozen of these babies – did you watch the video?) or when I want to entertain kids.

Overall Enjoyment:   ♥   ♥   ♥

Spinach Quiche

Wow, it’s been so long since my last post! I told myself I wouldn’t even try to hold to a regular blog schedule – my life is too unpredictable and I don’t ever want the site to become a chore instead of fun – but I still feel guilty. Good thing I have a new stockpile of entries lined up for a bit! My work has been keeping me hopping the last few weeks and my days will only get busier as school begins. I haven’t stopped cooking, but I’m either too hungry to bother with documenting my dishes or I simply forget to snap photos. The upside to this is that I find I am more willing to just whip stuff up and experiment with my limited free time. The other night I came home from work at around 6 a.m. (my job has me on-call for area hospitals 24/7) and was starving! I couldn’t stand the thought of yet another bowl of cereal (my go-to food when I’m in a rush) so I grabbed a pack of parmesan chicken sausage and cooked it up with some caramelized onions, garlic, white wine, and mushrooms. Pseudo-gourmet food in the wee hours of the morning, haha!

This entry is not about chicken sausage, though. While you may be disappointed, I promise you: this spinach quiche from Smitten Kitchen is just as good. Now that I’m writing about it I’m remembering just how good it was and am now planning on making it again for dinner tonight. 😛 Recipe below…


Spinach Quiche (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

For the Dough*…

2  ½      C     AP flour, plus extra for rolling

1          t        salt

1          t        sugar

8        oz.      cold, unsalted butter (2 sticks) **

¼ – ½   C     ice water

* Note: The source recipe says to use Martha Stewart’s Pâte Brisée recipe, but the link has since gone bad. I searched Martha’s site and found many Pâte Brisée recipies, so I decided to use the one from her Leek and Swiss Chard Tart (which also sounds like something I’m going to have to make in the future, haha). Feel free to try another if you’d like, there are plenty to choose from!

** Note: If you only have salted butter, that’s fine. Just omit the 1  t  salt.

For the Filling…

1    3-oz.   package of cream cheese at room temp.

1/3    C     Half & Half

3    eggs

10    oz.    fresh spinach leaves, washed

2       T     EVOO

½     C      grated cheddar cheese

¼     C      grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to top

6 – 8         fresh chives, sliced

¼       t     salt

¼       t     pepper

1             plum tomato, sliced

1     ¼”    slice of white onion, rings separated

Note: The source recipe also called for frozen spinach, but I was deliberately making this recipe to use up a large bag of fresh spinach I had bought at the Farmer’s Market. If you are using frozen spinach, just thaw, drain, and chop – no need to cook.

Procedure:

  1. Prepare the dough: pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Chop the chilled butter into small pieces and add, pulsing until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter. Evenly drizzle a Cup of ice water over mixture. Pulse/mix until dough just begins to hold together (it should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water – 1 Tablespoon at a time – and pulse/mix.
  2. Divide dough in half and shape both into balls. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Since only one half is needed for the recipe, the other half can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  3. Once dough has firmed, remove one ball (½ of the original total) from the fridge and roll it out to a flat disc at least 10″ in diameter. Gently transfer the disc to a 9″ pie dish or tart pan. Press down gently to shape the base and trim the edges. Return the dish and crust to the fridge.
  4. Cook spinach in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat with the EVOO until wilted and tender – about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in the Half & Half and eggs. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  6. Poor the filling mixture into the prepared crust. Top with sliced onions and tomato. Finish with extra cheese if desired.
  7. Bake about 25 minutes or until and crust is golden brown and the filling has set. Allow quiche to cool 10 minutes or so before serving.

Beezer’s Notes:

Well, I’m sorry I don’t have a better “finished-product” photo of this delicious quiche for you. There were three of us waiting to dig into the thing as it sat on the counter cooling, and I just barely remembered to take a picture at all before we cut in. I didn’t change Deb’s recipe much, just added the tomato and onion along with using fresh spinach leaves and some extra cheese. As I said above, though: now that I’m writing about it and remember just how yummy this recipe is, I’m planning on making it again this weekend. I’ll try to snap a better photo then. The Farmer’s Market is tomorrow, so I’ll grab another fresh bag of spinach and bake it up after work. Can’t wait! 🙂


Overall Enjoyment: ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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