The Egg Nest, Nid d’oeuf

Someone shared a Russian video about making these fabulous looking egg nests on my facebook page.  I was absolutely enchanted the moment I saw them and thought: I wanna try.  The tricky part is that I have to be in the mood for breakfast for lunch or dinner and that might take a while (there’s no making an elaborate breakfast for, *gasp* breakfast).  I also had to figure out what they were called to search for them in English… and then Pinterest saved me.  Someone pinned a recipe for it and viola… and experiment was born!  Even better: it was based of a French recipe (I have a not so secret love of French cuisine and anything to do with France).

Now, usually, I whip egg whites by hand; a carry over from my days working at a living history site, but I live in this wonderful 21st century and decided to make my life easier.  I used my hand held mixer that has a whisk attachment.  Boy, was that so much faster and easier.  I’ve been converted…for now.

The recipe I found calls for grated Guyere cheese and this writer used parmesan, but I had none of these.  I usually do have some parm. but not today.  Digging in the frig, I found some shredded cheese I use for tacos, fajitas, etc.  I wasn’t sure if it would work and if it would be too heavy so I went light on the cheese, just two pinches.  I’m going to have to find some Guyere and give that one a try.

Nid d'oeuf!  So yummy!

Nid d’oeuf! So yummy!  Forgive the blurry quality.  The tremors in my hands were bad today.

I followed the directions, though I used cooking spray rather than parchment or the mat.  My yolks did break so I was worried, but never fear.  You only put them in for three minutes so it doesn’t mess with the yolks too bad, depending on how badly you broke them.  While I fretted for the combined total of 6 minutes (you split the cooking time), I didn’t need to; they came out beautifully.

They taste just as good too!  Like eggs over easy, but the whites are airy and light.  I’m horrible at flipping eggs (I always, always break them), so this alternative is brilliant.  I don’t have to compromise that yummy yolk sauce and the whites are delicious and filling.  This one is a keeper.  Actually, this might be a good ‘show off’ recipe.

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Period Little Biscuits

Short and sweet, just like this biscuits…

So what happens is this:  I work at Greenfield Village and therefore, work the farm life and living histories areas where we cook (and much, much more) but that means that many of us take home these recipes and make for ourselves and for our families…because they are just so yummy.  Therefore, all the trial and error happens there and less at home, though converting from a coal stove to a modern stove does have some whoopsie moments.

Look at those discs!  Perfect for soup bowls.

Look at those discs! Perfect for soup bowls.

These South Carolina Biscuits are found in the Buckeye Cookery which I’ve referenced before and since it’s still being printed, I can’t really give out the recipe like I want, but look this book up.  It’s glorious and has so much info in it besides period recipes.  These biscuits are described as good biscuits for a lunch (taken away from the house) but they are also good for a quick bread for dinner.

Now, I should say that they are not super fluffy biscuits but have some nice layers to it.  This lack of fluffiness made my family shrink back from them, which is sad because there’s just a hint of sweetness to this little goodies.  I adore them.  They’re easy to make and easy to eat.  You don’t need jelly, jam or butter on these babies.  So I was somewhat sad to know that I was the one eating them up.

You win some, you lose some I guess.  I’ll try another biscuit recipe later on and fool them…but check out this cookbook.  I swear, you’ll love it!

Brownie Pie

Whew, busy and crazy week, no?  But I’m finally getting around to the brownie pie I made last Sunday… and later today I’ll get something up about some yummy period biscuits that are great for soup days.

A brownie pie is just that: a brownie in a pie crust.  It’s not exactly a new revelation but I can honestly say that I thought to toss it together before I went looking to see if there were any legit recipes for it.  Turns out there are plenty but they are all pretty much the same, so don’t worry about that.

You can see my squished side there...whoops...

You can see my squished side there…whoops…

My original plan was to make a graham cracker crust but the danger of keeping graham crackers in the house are that they get eaten before you can make a crust but that’s alright.  Another time maybe.  With that out of the equation, I threw together my basic sweet crust and halved it to just make the bottom part of the pie.  Some recipes have you bake the crust before baking the brownie but I baked them together and actually think it turned out better than if I had just baked the crust first.

Once the pie crust was done, I threw together the brownie recipe from the first post I made on this blog.  I want to try another, healthier recipe but when grocery day is the next day you don’t have all those healthy substitutes on hand, but that’s alright.  Brownie pie doesn’t lend itself to healthy eating but it is delicious.

Soft and goodie on the inside and the pie crust just frames it nicely.  No lost crumbs.

Soft and goodie on the inside and the pie crust just frames it nicely. No lost crumbs.

Bake it for the length of the brownie, though about 15 minutes in, put some foil around your pie edges so that they don’t burn…just don’t squish down your lovely crust like I did…equally on both sides so at least they were symmetrical.  Ah well, tastes the same right? In the end you have a lovely pie that’s moist and would do wonderfully with some fruit topping.

Something-For-Everyone Cake

This is the second dessert I made for the family.  Everyone seems to like a different type of cake so I set out to please everyone and came up with this.  It’s a decadent dessert and no where near as healthy as my latest attempts at dessert but now and then, you just need to blow all that healthy eating out of the  water, am I right?  It isn’t for everyday so that’s okay.  Plus, I did substitute eggs for egg whites, that’s something, right?

from what I remember for the midnight cake: 2c brown sugar, 1/2c butter, 2 eggs, 2 oz chocolate, 1c coffee, 2 c flour, vanilla... I think...

from what I remember for the midnight cake: 2c brown sugar, 1/2c butter, 2 eggs, 2 oz chocolate, 1c coffee, 2 c flour, vanilla, 1/2c milk with soda dissolved in it… I think…

It’s a layer cake, one white and one chocolate.  It’s also a cake of something old and something new.  The white cake is the recipe from a previous post, so nothing new there.  The bottom layer is a cake recipe from one of the period cookbooks we use on the farm at Greenfield Village called Midnight Cake.  I can’t remember if it is from the Buckeye or Mrs. Owen’s, but both are free on Google Playbooks, and I recommend adding them to your library.  It’s a dense, rich farm cake, so beware of that and I usually use it as a ‘brownie’ when at home (since I get the dense/heavy complaint when I mention it’s a cake).  I’d post the recipe but I worry about copyright, so I’m just going to point you in the direction of those two books and if you MUST have it, let me know and I’ll try to privately message you about it.  It is, basically at its heart, a chocolate cake.

I did put quite the layer of frosting on this puppy

I did put quite the layer of frosting on this puppy

Now the center, I used my pudding/cool whip mix and made it up in the sugar free white chocolate style to use in the center of both of these cakes.  Next time I might use it for the whole of the cake as well since I’m liking it better than buttercream these days…which is what the rest of the cake is frosted in.  Good news is that a whole recipe of buttercream frosting is more than enough to cover a two layer, round cake.

You can see the density of the two types of cake: the modern verse the victorian

You can see the density of the two types of cake: the modern verse the victorian

It’s definitely a cake you only need a small slice of but it does hit everyone’s sweet spot.

A Trip to King’s Landing

Yes, I am a Game of Thrones fan and really?  Who isn’t?  If you haven’t seen it or read the books, I highly recommend.  I also highly recommend the official cookbook even if you aren’t inclined to take my previous advice.  It isn’t just for fans but fans of period cooking in general.  The writers of the book have painstakingly searched for period recipes matched in the book’s feasts and translated them for us, even made up modern equivalent for those less inclined to try an ancient roman recipe.

They're petite and just ready for some tea

They’re petite and just ready for some tea

This recipe comes from 1690 for little lemon cake style cookies that are mentioned in the book.  I do like the fact that they provide the original text of the recipe, a translated version (for our modern cooking measurements) and instructions, that way you know for sure you are doing something quite old world.  It’s a pretty straight forward recipe but what I noticed as I made it up was how dry it became.  Maybe it’s a user error but I didn’t form a dough following the exact instructions and measurements, therefore, I added a bit of buttermilk, barely even 1/8 cup to help bring it all together.  Next time I might just cut down the flour and a bit of the sugar.

The end result?  Oh, these are sweet little things, almost candy like in their sweetness so I didn’t add the glaze to it but very lemony.  It’s the zest that does it and bonus?  The house smells deliciously like lemon as you make these up and you really will want to consume vast amounts of them.

While I can’t share the recipe with you, since it’s a book and all that jazz, I will suggest you pick it up.  There’s all sorts of recipes from duck, to salads, to drink recipes (not all alcoholic) to breads.  All meals are represented and almost all seasons so grab it up.  I think it’s a must have for those ‘rustic’ type days.

Green!

This is just a little green appreciation post, which is to say that these are not new recipes so it doesn’t count in that regard but it’s worth a share.

Are they adorable in green?

Are they adorable in green?

I made some green cupcakes (how can you not?) from one of those instant mixes but switched out the veggie oil for applesauce which is my new favorite trick.  It’s a great substitute, not only because it is healthier but because veggie oil isn’t always in the cupboards but the love of applesauce means that there is always, always applesauce.  Of course, I nixed all this healthy alternative by dropping some white chocolate chips into the mix.

I'm not the best froster out there but I cover that up with little lucky charms on top

I’m not the best froster out there but I cover that up with little lucky charms on top

Top all of that off with a bit more Irish flavor, this is St. Patty’s Day after all, with some Bailey’s Buttercream frosting.  It’s basically the same recipe I used for the vanilla buttercream frosting but instead of milk, I put in 4 tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream.  The result is yummy but very sweet, so beware of that… then again, this is frosting and that’s alright in my book.

See?  Aren't they adorable?

See? Aren’t they adorable?

Then, as if a green goodie isn’t enough, I made up some Irish Soda Bread.  It’s one of my favorite quick bread to make so I do whip it up often.  The twist to this: green food coloring!  Yes, I was in a green making mood.  I made the bread into little biscuits and making them green just makes them adorable.  Same taste, just a fun twist.

Add to all of that and I passed this bug onto my mother who made up some green rice, and green beans.  I half expected green eggs and ham.

Cheesy Fish

It’s a two for one today!  But we’ll start with the main course since it’s so yummy.

Now and then, Rachel Ray will make it onto my television screen.  I kinda like her show but it’s always at a time when I’m busy doing other things so I default to The Chew instead but that doesn’t mean I don’t try her recipes now and then.  The Parmesan-crusted Tilapia being a fine example.

Just before hitting the oven

Just before hitting the oven

We eat tons of tilapia in my house.  I’d prefer salmon personally, having an extreme fondness for it and given half the chance in a restaurant, will order it above any other selection of protein and meat.  Sadly, my pleas go unanswered and I have to search about for interesting fish recipes and here is a good one.

Flaky, parm covered and oh so good.

Flaky, parm covered and oh so good.

It’s super easy and requires very little in the way of ingredients and that’s always a good thing.  Most people have these ingredients already in their kitchen and that’s a big bonus with quite a few of her recipes.  If you don’t, they aren’t too expensive to get.  We didn’t have any parmesan handy being fresh out though we usually have it for our pastas.  This time the shredded was picked up verses the grated which worked out just as well.  It isn’t as ‘crusted’ as it probably should have but it tasted just fine.  I might not even ever try this with the grated since I liked the shredded well enough.

Since it is a quick recipe, I’d say it’s pretty ideal for those on the go and those wanting to be a bit more health conscious.  Thumbs up from me and the whole family on this one.