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 *
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.
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.
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: ♥ ♥ ♥