This past weekend, I decided to use my brand new skillet for the first time by making an egg breakfast. I love our cast iron griddle, but this is my first cast iron skillet and I’m so excited to be using it! They may look like fried eggs, but these were actually cooked in the tomato sauce in the oven. Next time, I would love to add some mushrooms or some crumbled bits of chorizo to further enhance it.
INGREDIENTS (makes for four eggs):
2 cups tomato sauce (I used the Trader Joes Puttanesca sauce which has olives, capers, and anchovies that give it a great flavor)
1/2 large white onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
In a medium sized skillet I sautéed some chopped onion before adding the tomato sauce to give it more flavor. After sautéing onions in the olive oil until they’re lightly browned on the stove top, add the tomato sauce and let it simmer for about a minute. When the tomato sauce is evenly warmed up crack your eggs right into the sauce. You can make little ‘pockets’ in the sauce before adding your eggs so they can submerge into the sauce a bit more. Lightly salt for taste and put skillet into oven for about 2 minutes for over easy eggs and about 5 minutes if you want the yolks to cook through. I quickly learned that it may continue to look like the yolk is soft, but it cooks very quickly using this method.
We ate this with some toasted corn tortillas, but if served with bread, or even alone it’s just as delicious.
We spent last weekend in Ville de Québec, Canada. We first thought of this trip a little over a year ago so that James could shoot some footage for a project that he is working on, but we decided to do it in mid September as a birthday/anniversary/engagement trip. We were able to practice a little bit of our French (which I’m committed to working on this year before the honeymoon), and even though we only had a couple of days, we were able to fully explore Vieux-Québec. It was a perfect romantic weekend getaway.
Here James is very excited to be walking along Terrasse Dufferin outside Le Château Frontenac. This grand hotel is the most prominent feature on Cap Diamant, and we spent a lot of time admiring it during the day and night, exterior and interior.
We stayed very close by at Hôtel Cap Diamant. It was a small bed and breakfast tucked away on a quiet, charming little street. As you can see, I was quite tired after a full night of traveling.
There are a number of wonderful edifices built by both the French and English throughout the city. This building is where the Ministry of Finance is located.
Within the walls, everything feels so European. It’s crazy to think that this is just a short hop away from the northeastern United States.
The weather was a bit chilly with scattered showers. I was all too excited to wear colder weather clothing, as I don’t get the chance very often.
Sometimes it looked like we had the whole city to ourselves. Perhaps the rain kept people away.
We walked along the ramparts and saw all of the surviving city gates. This one is Porte Saint-Louis.
This châteauesque structure is Gare du Palais, which has now become James’ favorite train station that he has ever visited.
We loved how much Canada uses coins. Here is a loonie (one dollar coin) commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the Montreal Canadiens.
To get from Haute-Ville to Basse-Ville, we mostly walked, but we also took a ride in the funicular. The varied terrain of Vieux-Québec creates spectacular views looking both down at the rooftops, and up at the promontory.
I like to find souvenirs that aren’t typically marketed toward tourists. We found a book shop on the outskirts of the city where I found a children’s book with classic Québécois stories (all in Québécois French of course).
I loved that every place had café au lait, which I needed a couple of times to keep me awake and going through the day.
Apparently this is a classic French Canadian dish – poutine. It’s something that I’ve eaten before without realizing it had an official name. It’s french fries, gravy, and cheese, and it’s as good as it sounds.
We found some vending machines for these ‘Emanuelle’ gummy candies while waiting for the ferry to Lévis. It was a short inexpensive ferry ride that offered great views of the coastline.
The city looked just as beautiful at night as it did by day.
The boat from the city’s coat of arms was on some of the windows of Le Château Frontenac.
We decided to have drinks and dessert at the bar at Frontenac on the night of my birthday to celebrate. We ordered the crème brûlée, and we got three different flavors. I can’t tell you which one was the best because they were all too good.
We each had a bellini as well. Our favorite Champagne cocktails are actually Italian 75’s but these are also delicious.
It was even more fun than I could have imagined. We had a wonderful anniversary trip and it was a great way to start my 26th year of life.
I’m sure there are hundreds of recipes on the internet for guacamole claiming to be the best. I do not claim that mine is ‘the best’ because I haven’t tried everything out there, but I will say that anyone who has ever tried my guacamole thinks it is absolutely delicious. Like with most of my recipes, I rely on fresh ingredients to make it work. Avocados are still in season, and living in Los Angeles means endless amounts of avocados around every corner. I made this with the help of my mini food processor, which has been one of the best purchases I have made for our kitchen. Prep time was less than ten minutes – so little time needed for so much goodness.
3 Large ripe avocados
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 large yellow onion
3 ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons oregano
salt to taste
Slice the avocados in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado with a spoon. I like to slice the avocados into little cubes while still in their shell to make the mushing process easier before scooping out the good part. Combine cilantro, onion, and tomatoes in food processor and give it a rough chop. Add chopped ingredients to bowl with avocado and mash with a large spoon. I like to leave some globs of avocado but you can mash as much as you like. Add the juice of about two lemons and some salt to taste (I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons of fine sea salt). Top off with minced oregano.
The countdown toward wedding day has started. Although perhaps a bit early, we decided to send out our save the dates a year in advance. It will give our guests more than enough time to get any affairs sorted before flying out to New England. We’ll be traveling a lot in the upcoming year to plan, and I am a little nervous about planning a wedding that will take place across the country, but excited nonetheless.
It was difficult to find the right shade of paper, as well as figuring out the mailing labels. It seemed that every idea that we had was faced with a great challenge. We decided to create a pseudo train ticket format to signal out the date of our wedding by creating a calendar box and punching out the holes for the month and day. It took quite a bit of ingenuity to modify the hole puncher that we bought, seeing as there was a size problem. In the end, we figured it out by using a blow torch, of all things. Despite the obstacles, it is exciting that the first project for our wedding is now complete.