Wednesday, July 24, 2013


This is one of those dishes that I had never heard about and then all of a sudden I started to hear about it in different places.  It's a North African egg dish - the eggs are cooked in a yummy tomato sauce with lots of spices and feta cheese.  The sauce freezes well if you want to make extra.  It's a little bit on the spicy side, but our kids don't seem to mind.

There are lots of different variations but the one we've liked and used is from David Lebovitz.


 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
12 – 1 chile pepper, stemmed, sliced in half, deseeded, and minced
112 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet
34 teaspoon ground cumin
12 teaspoon turmeric
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 cup (20g) loosely packed greens, such as radish greens, kale, Swiss chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped
4 ounces (about 1 cup, 115g) feta cheese, cut in generous, bite-sized cubes
cilantro (optional)
4 to 6 eggs

Heat the olive oil, in a large, deep skillet or sauté pan, over medium high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the chile pepper, the salt, pepper, and spices. Cook for a minute, stirring to release their fragrance.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, and vinegar, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened somewhat but is still loose enough so that when you shake the pan it moves around. Stir in the chopped greens.

Turn the heat down to medium and drop the feta into the tomato sauce. Make 6 indentations in the sauce. Crack an egg into each indentation.

Keep the sauce at a gentle simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, taking some of the tomato sauce and basting the egg whites from time-to-time. Cover, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your liking.  Top with cilantro, if using.

Serve with good bread to soak up the sauce.

Serves 4-6

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Quick and Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches

We like to make things from scratch - ice cream, cookies, caramel sauce etc....but sometimes life gets in the way and it's just not possible.  For those days when I need a fun dessert or am just craving something sweet but seem to have no time for anything...all I need  is a few minutes and few ingredients:

Take 2 of these

Spread a little of the caramel sauce on the insides of both cookies and put a small scoop of chocolate ice cream in the middle

Close the cookie up, add a little shaved chocolate and voila!  A tasty, tiny treat!  They can be a bit messy especially with a 3 year old "helping", but that's part of the fun of it :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grilled Salmon with Brown Sugar and Salt

Growing up in Seattle meant eating a lot of salmon.  At our house that was about once a week.  My dad was always (and still is) in charge of the fish and the barbecue.  We NEVER (and I mean never) cooked fish inside the house.  My mom hates the smell of fish in the house.  So rain, shine, sleet, or hail my dad had to barbecue our fish outside.  And he always made it the same way: rubbed with brown sugar and salt. It has this delicious sweet and salty taste to it and to this day it is my favorite way to eat salmon.  


The amounts listed in the ingredients are rough numbers.  You really can't go wrong.

1 lb salmon
1/4 cup brown sugar (a good sized handful will do)
1 tablespoon good quality, course sea salt (a good sprinkle or a very generous pinch, is all you need)
optional: wood chips

Preheat your gas or charcoal grill.  If using, add the wood chips (make sure to follow the directions on the package). Remove the bones from the fish and rub with brown sugar and salt.  Cook the fish for about 15-20 minutes (depending on the heat of your grill and how well done you like your fish).

Remove and serve immediately.

It is great served on top of a salad or with rice and vegetables.

Serves 2.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vegetable Stock

In an effort to eat less meat and more vegetables we purchased a cookbook from this vegetarian restaurant, in Madison Park, called Cafe Flora.  Included in the book is this recipe, which is more like a guide, to making vegetable stock.  And it is nothing like the vegetable stock you purchase at the store.  It has lots of flavor.  And the best part's basically free.  You just freeze all of your vegetable scraps until you have enough to make about 16 cups of stock.

Before I get to the ingredients there are some general guidelines:

1.  If you're using organic vegetables you don't need to peel them
2.  If you can't find fresh herbs, just leave them out
3.  Use all of the scraps, the mushroom stems, the onion peel, etc....
4.  Don't use any strong flavored vegetables (such as peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or cilantro) or anything with a distinct color (such as beets) - I tend to stick with carrots, celery, mushrooms & onions
5.  Mushrooms are a must, the more, the better. They give the stock a really good flavor.
6.  Freeze the stock in the amounts you want to use i.e. I freeze mine in 2 cup containers


1 gallon bag of frozen vegetables
6 garlic cloves, slightly smashed
Sprigs of rosemary
Sprigs of thyme
Sprigs of oregano
2 bay leaves
2 potatoes
Little bit of salt

Put all of the ingredients into a large pot.  Cover with 412 quarts of water and add a bit of salt.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and then simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Makes about 16 cups.

Adapted from Catherine Geier's, CAFE FLORA COOKBOOK