I love fried eggs. They are really good on top of almost anything –– in fact, just yesterday, I had one on top of a hamburger (whoa!) for the first time and it just proved this “theory” of mine to be true. I must say though that there’s something magical about a fried egg oozing over a really fresh spinach salad that makes me think –– THIS is the best way to eat a fried egg. Runny and hot out of the pan eggs slightly wilt the spinach and take things to a whole new level of flavor. Finish this salad off with some perfectly sweet, crispy carrots, gorgeous candied-stripped beets (AKA Chioggia beets) and some whimsical fennel and it’s an Easter Salad with Fried Eggs for your favorite bunnies to enjoy.
Sure our winters are fairly mild and autumn’s are light sweater wearing time but the real reason I think most of us adore Texas, is for the spring. Blue bonnets, primroses and wild flowers galore gracing the shoulders along the highways, gardening season is back in full swing and the 70 to 80 degree temperatures return to the south. It’s a glorious season and time to get outside before the high heat of summer creeps back in. The first thing I usually think of (because I am always thinking of food), is getting the grill fired up. Dust it off, clean it up, fill’er up and get it lit because grilling makes everything easier in my opinion. You can put almost anything on the grill to give it a deep, rich flavor and is it just me or are there really less dishes when you grill? This week we made Black Peppercorn Sliders with Creamy Brie Cheese and Arugula. Fresh, ground, grass-fed beef from the farmers market wrapped with a slightly sweet and peppery crust then grilled, topped with a slice of creamy brie cheese and spicy arugula made this inaugural grilling dinner tops. Time to get grilling!
Roll the outer edges with black pepper mixture before grilling.
When you have kids, you have many “events” to attend. Most of these functions include a serving of pizza along with a cake or some cupcakes. Most of the pizza served at these functions is delivered and the parents running the event don’t really have a lot of options to choose from. After 8+ years of this, I can honestly say I am tired of pizza and I am really picky about it should I choose to eat it. Thus, if and when you happen to see a pizza here you will notice it’s not your typical pepperoni or cheese pie –– it’s a little more grown-up and includes some fresh farmers market produce.
This week I was inspired by Kala’s Kuisine Award-Winning Spinach Pesto –– if you are short on time and in the area –– I highly recommend picking some up. In a pinch, you could certainly use that on this pizza but since we ate ours before we could walk in the door (it’s THAT good!) and I had some fresh spinach from Johnson’s Backyard Garden on hand, I made some of my own for this Spinach Pesto & Bacon Pizza. My five year old can be difficult to please at times and if he had his way, he’d want to live off pizza so when serving this to him I was apprehensive. Remember he used to have a “thing” about green things? And he is a pepperoni-only kind of kid. He put on his apron to help me make the pizza and talked about not wanting green stuff to touch his slice. Acting like I didn’t hear him –– we moms are good at tuning out –– I quickly spread the spinach pesto out onto the dough, topped it off with mozzarella cheese and B-A-C-O-N and threw it in the oven before he could repeat himself. He waited, watched through the oven window, and ooh-ed and ahh-ed. Once it was ready, I simply sliced it, let him pick “his” piece, and served it up. He ate it while continuing his ooh’s and ahh’s and then wait for it … asked for a second slice.
There are those accidents that are not so happy (you know the ones) and then there are those that are not only happy but delicious, too. These last few weeks seem to have been nothing but one loooooooong birthday celebration for my favorite 8 year old. We’ve done the BIG trip to Legoland, Florida. We’ve done the slumber party with a house full of 8 boys –– holy, moly who knew there could be such a smell in the wee hours of the morning from such adorable kids? And on the official day, he decided on sushi for dinner to be served alongside one of his favorite side dishes –– roasted potatoes. The sushi was a go and easy to cover and I thought the potatoes would be just as easy given that I’ve made them hundreds of times before.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep from all of the said celebration time, or maybe I was just not paying attention because I’ve done the recipe so many times before but … some how, instead of grabbing the ground black pepper, I reached for black sesame seeds and managed to sprinkle those instead. Whoops! “Oh no,” I thought “I’ve ruined the birthday boys favorite side dish.” What to do? Rinse it all off and start over? or continue and try to save the side dish? I opted for the later and crossed my fingers. Adding in some nutty tahini paste, sprinkled in with some regular sesame seeds and onion powder to create Tahini Roasted Potatoes — yum. The real test? Seeing if the big kid would go for it and not have a complete it’s-my-birthday-and-I-can-melt-down-if-I-want-to moment. I put them on the plate without saying a word, set them down in front of him, and walked away holding my breath. The result? Silence, then “Huh? These are even better than my usual potatoes, mom,” he said. I exhaled and poured a glass of wine — this party is officially over.