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The Fegguary Challenge: Eggstra Special Challenge

6 Feb IMG_2238

My friend Jeff started the #Fegguary Challenge a few years ago, and this year he upped the ante to an Eggstra Special Challenge (inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge, I’m sure, but with a focus on health rather than donations).  I was on his first list of challengees (and now I have to challenge 3 people… stay tuned on Facebook for my official challenges).

Luckily, I am always stocked with eggs (because I love them!) and Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs are my favorite (it helps that they are also my favorite clients).


What is not to love about small family farms, a great set of people, and delicious healthy eggs?


So for my Fegguary challenge, I decided to try to make an egg dish I have always loved but never made.  The eggs that are in ramen soup are one of my favorite things on earth.  Also called Ajitsuke Tamago, I turned to Serious Eats for a quick “how to.”  Sadly, I didn’t have sake, so I decided to use rice wine vinegar instead.  This made sense in my head.  I also replaced the sugar with brown sugar because I saw that in another recipe and thought it would be a good change.

First step, boil eggs (since I’m pregnant, I went with hard boiled… which I also turned to Serious Eats for the real story on how to get them perfect… a bit creamy but not raw).

Put eggs covered in cold water.


Bring to boil.


Take off heat and cover for selected time (I went 8-9 minutes).


As the eggs were cooking, I assembled my ingredients and mixed up the marinade per the recipe. (Though I just realized I didn’t add the water… so I guess I had a more concentrated marinade than I was supposed to!)


Then I peeled the eggs (and these peeled pretty well… because they were a few weeks old.  I found out the hard way a few weeks ago that freshies actually don’t peel well when I got all excited about hard boiling some eggs fresh from the farm. Whoops.)


And set the eggs in the marinade.


Then covered them with a paper towel to keep them submerged.


About 11 hours later, I drained off the marinade and stored them in the fridge for another 2 days (only because we weren’t ready to eat them yet).


And then we had them over pastina. While, sadly, not ramen, the egg added a bit of protein and flavor to a simple pasta.



They were “dyed” a really pretty color which went a few millimeters into the whites when cut open.  The touch of sweetness form the marinade was exactly what I was hoping for and it tasted a lot like the ramen eggs I have come to love.  Great flavor.

Thanks for the #Fegguary Challenge, Jeff. You inspired me out of my eggy comfort zone to hatch a plan for an eggceptional project.

And now I challenge YOU, dear readers.  Tag me if you take the #fegguary challenge!


Pregger Vittles

25 Jan

Pregnancy is weird.

Super weird.

My body is no longer my own and it does some really strange things… especially when it comes to food.

Everyone asks what my cravings are… and there is only one answer.  Citrus.


I went to LA the week I found out I was pregnant and was at my aunt’s house. She had fresh oranges and I am pretty sure I ate fifteen of them.  I was perpetually queasy, trying to hide that, and they were making me feel better. I am not sure if it was the cravings that pushed me to oranges that day or the oranges that pushed me towards that being MY food. But it has been 5 months now and I still eat about 3-4 oranges (or something similar) every single day.

My first trimester felt a lot like being hung over and sea sick at the same time.  It was pretty awful, and I subsisted solely on beige foods for a few weeks (pasta, bread, crackers, pretzels, etc).  And if I didn’t eat every two hours or so, I felt even worse. (Thank goodness my doctor told me at about 10 weeks about Unisom, which totally saved me from deciding this would be my ONE and ONLY pregnancy, by curing my morning/all-day sickness overnight)

One food that really saved me was a snack I was generously sent to try: BettaSnax.


I have never seen these before, but they are basically crispy little slices of biscotti.


I first tried the S’Mores since as a S’Mores lover, I was excited.  They were good but didn’t satisfy that gooey S’Mores thing.  I then tried the Fruit & Nut and LOVED them. (The original flavor was also quite good). These were my go-to when a meeting was going too long and I was in need of a snack to hold me over. They were tasty and filling, without being too hard on my stomach.  And pretty healthy as far as snacks go, even in bulk (low calories and no added fat).


Once the Unisom kicked in and I could eat things with color again, I found myself NEEDING a custom yogurt parfait every single day for about 2 months.  Luckily, a store on my walk to work allowed me to customize to my hearts content, with fresh fruit, multiple types of yogurt and cottage cheese.  Of course, they each cost about $400, but what’s money when you NEED a yogurt parfait?


Then there was the day I innocently went to grab lunch and somehow came back with this collection of sea salt & vinegar PopChips, tangerines, gummy peaches, and a chicken caesar wrap.  You know… because those things go together.


And then the day Mike talked about an anchovy pizza he had at a restaurant and I could not get it out of my head. So we went grocery shopping and Mike nicely entertained my needs and made me this delicious anchovy and olive “pizza” on naan with pesto.  Partnered with a roast chicken and roast yellow cauliflower.  And it was good.


Then the day I convinced my entire family to get milk shakes, delivered, after a full dinner when we also brought cupcakes. They gave in to my whims.  Good family they are.


And my sister and her fiance were kind enough to get me a Citrus of the Month Club membership, with the first shipment including some Honeybell Oranges and Grapefruits.  This lasted me a solid three days.


And brought me to one of my favorite breakfasts, cut grapefruits with a yogurt parfait (with bananas and grapes and topped with my favorite granola from The NoMad).


But the pizza adventure cracked me up most.  We were on the train and Mike asked what kind of pizza I wanted to order… he started listing some things… “Olives? Mushrooms? Hawaiian?”

YES, YES, and YES!

It wasn’t that I wanted all of those things together, I just was influenced by the power of suggestion and couldn’t decide.  So we got them all!

A funny moment happened when the order came through with all the ingredients as one. So the confused restaurant called me to ask if I REALLY wanted them all together. I clarified the half and half and when it arrived, I was a very happy pregnant lady.


Thankfully, nothing is really grossing me out, which I hear is common, except raw greens aren’t doing it for me anymore (though I still try to eat them).

Halfway through. Wonder what else will be in my food future with this little man making all the calls!

Tursgiving 2014: The Meatballs Recipe

25 Nov

Yesterday I wrote about the amazing feast that is Tursgiving and promised our host’s famous meatballs recipe.

Here ya go!

Tursgiving 2014: The Meatballs Recipe


  • Sauce:
  • 3 cans of Crushed tomatoes ( I like pastene )
  • 1 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 4 bay leafs
  • 2 tbsp each of basil and parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil to start (separated)
  • Meatballs:
  • 1/2 pound each of beef, veal, pork and lamb
  • 1 cup parm cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 green onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped basil
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • Few dashes of worchestire sauce (optional)
  • Flour to dust meatballs


  1. In a large sauce pot... large enough for all your meatballs plus the sauce, add 2 tbsp oil over med/high heat and saute your onions, garlic carrot and celery until onions are translucent
  2. Add the rest of your sauce ingredients starting with the tomatoes and let simmer on a med low for 30 minutes
  3. Keep tasting to make sure its not missing anything
  4. Meatballs:
  5. While sauce cooks, add all meatball ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well making sure everything is uniform
  6. Form into inch and a half sized balls (mixture shouldn't be loose... nor too dry... if too loose add a little more breadcrumbs)
  7. Then coat with a light dusting of flour
  8. Meatballs in sauce:
  9. In order to cook the meatballs, add them to the sauce gently until they are all in the pot (no frying!!!)... and cover.
  10. Then after 5 minutes gently mix with a spoon to rearrange the orientation of the meatballs.
  11. After another five minutes rearrange again and remove from heat and keep covered until they are room temperature.
  12. Tips from the chef:
  13. Make the sauce first so its cooking while the balls are being prepared
  14. I suggest preparing them the day before you want to cook them and then reheat... meatballs are always best reheated!!!

Thanks, again, Mike!