Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Monte Cristo

Last night, Ethan and I went to the ale house across the street with Joe & Devin. A couple that we love. Gosh, they're great. It's so hard to make friends after college, let alone couples. Yay for double dates that don't suck! Anyway, after some beer, Joe ordered a Monte Cristo for dinner. Oh man Joe, what a good choice. How come I never think to order that? We reveled in his choice for a beat, and then Ethan spoke up. He didn't know what Joe was eating. 

Cue cheesy double take.... "WHAAA?"

So we explained. It's a ham & cheese sandwich, fried french toast style, and topped sweetly with powdered sugar and jam. He was with us in our excitement until we got to the "sweet toppings" part. 

Cue cheesy double take.... "WHAAA?"

It made me think of my first MC. I was with my mom (whom I call MAAAAAAAmmmmm) at the Issaquah Cafe (great local diner, check them out). She ordered it, I was curiously wary. I tried it, and BOOM. My eyes and tastebuds were opened to a whole new world. 

After our dinner with Joe and Devin, I knew I had to make it for Ethan. And according to him, a Monte Cristo is like the best parts of breakfast for dinner without sacrificing the dinner part. As of this morning, he's still weirded out by the sweet and savory combo. But that's what makes this sandwich great. Embrace the weird, folks. 
Embrace   the   weird.

  • 2 pieces of bread (I used Essential Baking Co Multi Grain) 
  • 1 tablespoon greek yogurt (or mayo)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (I buy Mustard & Co ... so good)
  • 6 slices fresh ham
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere Cheese 
  • 2 eggs
  • Splash of milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Honey, jam, and/or powdered sugar for topping 

In a shallow bowl, crack 2 eggs and add a splash of milk, a couple grinds of pepper, and a few dashes of salt. Now, if you accidentally drop your pepper container in the bowl, pick it up, dry it off, and keep moving. You gotta whisk all those ingredients together!

Get two pieces of bread and spread the yogurt and mustard on one side of both. Put the cheese on piece and the ham on the other. Smoosh the bread together and then proceed to dredge it in the egg wash. 

Heat butter over medium heat in a large pan. Once the pan has heated and after dredging the sandwich on both sides, put the sandwich in the pan. Fry on both sides (about 3 minutes per side). 

Serve with raw honey, fresh jam, and/or top with powdered sugar. And enjoy! Enjoy the weird! It's delicious. 

As always, eat well! Be well! 
And follow by email below to never miss a beat!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Breakfast Fried Rice

A couple weeks ago I woke up inspired. I had less than an hour to get ready for work, but I just NEEDED a fresh, fun, filling new breakfast. I looked into my fridge. I usually dread this ritual because my fridge is not always the most cohesive and useful tool in my kitchen. Ha, that's some truth for you right there. Something that I always need to work on is details. It takes a lot of patience and willingness to see the bigger picture when you're setting up your fridge. Have you washed, sliced, prepped your fresh fruits and veggies? Did you cook your grains ahead of time?

It's a lot of work. Work that I usually don't have time for, or at least don't make time for. 

But that morning a couple of weeks ago, the stars aligned and I had just the right combo of items already prepared to have that fresh, fun, filling new breakfast. So there I was in my PJs, with ten minutes left to go until I needed to be in the car headed to work, taking pictures of this awesome breakfast on our deck. I just had to share it with you. 

It's fried rice with 2 eggs instead of just 1, wilted greens and roasted sweet potato. And I mean, wow, I can't wait to have it again.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste 
  • 1 cup roasted sweet potato, sliced into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 handful greens (about 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs, scrambled 
  • Feta cheese for topping, optional
  • Hot sauce for topping, optional


Start with a large pan and heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat. After about 1 minute. Dump the sweet potatoes into the pan and begin to stir fry. To learn how to roast the sweet potatoes, click here. Cook for about 5 minutes. 

Next, add the rice to the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes and then add the greens. Add some salt and pepper to your liking. Once you see the greens wilting, push everything to the side. Whisk the eggs and add them to the newly cleared space in the pan. Scrape the eggs back and forth on the pan until the set. 

Once the eggs are set, combine everything. Cook for just a little while longer until the eggs show a little brown-ness. Get a bowl out, top with fresh radish, hot sauce, feta. Serve with fresh fruit and fresh coffee. Now breathe in the morning and know you've done something good for yourself. 

And remember, sometimes that extra effort is totally worth it.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hello, from Texas

Warning, not a normal post!
I just got home, but wanted to share where I was this weekend :)
Stay tuned for a fantastic breakfast  next week!

Instead of the usual romantic Valentines weekend I would normally have with Ethan, I pushed plans back and went to Texas with one of my best friends. "That's different", you say? "BRILLIANT", I say. When do you really get a chance anymore to spend uninterrupted time with your best friend anymore? For four days no less!

We ate, we drank, walked from one side of Austin to the other, we yoga'd, we uber'd. And then we did it all again. It was simple, straight forward, and a complete blast. I left that city with a renewed sense of self, and even more hope for the love I have yet to experience in my life to come. And the best of it all, I experienced breakfast tacos for the first time. Ha, get ready for that post soon. 

Anyway, I encourage you to go for an adventure with your best friend some time soon. It'll test you, remind you, and enlighten you. There's more to celebrate during Valentines than just romance. Pick up the phone, and get ready to be humbly inspired. 


(See you Sunday for our next FOOD post!)

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Lost Recipe Files: A Greek Cheese Tart

Most weekends I wake up late, let the light stream in from the dark floor to ceiling curtains my landlord picked out, and just let the next two days happen without much plan or thought. This last weekend, however, was much different. I woke up early and jammed the last two days chalk full of learning to fill me up, motivate me to make progress on the blog, and, more importantly, connect with other beautiful like-minded people. I was at The Pantry, a cooking school in Ballard, where I spent two days with Molly of the world-renowned Orangette Blog. Please check out this wonderful human being right now. 

We sat at a long butcher block table and wrote stories of our past and of memorable food. Molly encouraged us to bring out rich, concrete imagery and human emotion to our food writing. And we practiced over and over again, letting pencil hit the page and letting our fears go. I feel like I have uncovered a voice within me that I had been buried a long time ago. So, I hope you all are ready for some deeper and richer stories ahead.

Since I was so busy at the butcher block table this weekend, along with a great baby shower for my sister and a Super Bowl Party, I didn't have time to prepare a fantastic dish for you this week. And I also just realized that this blog has been active for over a year! As you can imagine, I have had many ups and downs in the kitchen this year, failed recipes and tears over a huge dumping of cinnamon in a Mexican meal that should have been chili powder. So I took stroll down memory lane and looked through my own personal archives, not knowing exactly what I would find. And then I came across a recipe that I never posted! 

Meet the Greek Cheese Tart. I think I made this last spring and it totally surprised me. I'm not sure why I never posted it, because it is delicious. It's a lighter and fluffier version of the cheesecake and the crust is phyllo dough that puffs up around the sweet insides like a flavor pillow. Here are the details...


  • 1 package phyllo dough (find it in the fridge section of your grocery store)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2.5 cups ricotta cheese 
  • 4 tablespoons thyme scented honey (plain works too!)
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon (plus a little more for dusting on top) 


Let your phyllo dough sit in the fridge while you prep the filling. You'll need a springform pan that you've buttered the sides of when you're ready to assembly everything. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 

For the filling, beat eggs in a bowl, add sugar and flour and then beat together until fluffy in texture. Next, add the cheese, honey, and cinnamon. Mix well. 

Roll out the phyllo dough on a floured surface and line the 10 inch round spring form pan. Let the extras hang down around the pan, you'll wrap the tart in these extras once the filling is in. Once the dough is set in the pan, pour in the cheese mixture. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes on a baking sheet. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle more cinnamon on top (while it's still hot). 

Makes a super great, sweet breakfast. I hope you have enjoyed this edition of the lost recipe files.....And thank you for a wonderful year. Here's to many more, cheers!

Eat well! Be Well!