me in Melbourne

wrapped in a blanket of sunshine <3

Well friends, I made it to a new continent and a new country I’ve been wanting to visit for most of my life – Australia! I’m all settled in my apartment in Melbourne, and trying hard not to think about having to leave in four short months.

So I knew the coffee culture was big here, but no one informed me of the FOOD! I want to eat everything I see on the street, in the markets and at every cute café… and I probably would were it not so expensive. One of the best features of my apartment is that it is right next to the Queen Victoria Market, a huge (takes up 2 city blocks!) farmers & artisans market where I can score some great deals on the typically pricey produce. The indoor portion of the market is filled with artisan made yogurts, cheeses, breads, pestos, dips, cereals, pastries, chocolates… you name it. They seem very into quality and fresh foods here and I love it.

Some other things my food-obsessed self has noticed since being here… Continue reading

Advertisements

Overnight Christmas Strata

kale, herb + gruyere strata

It’s about time I added this recipe to the blog, after it appeared on our table many a Christmas morning and days after while we had family at the house for the holidays. Let me tell you what’s great about this breakfast/brunch dish:

  1. you prepare it the night before so all it takes is a pop in the oven in the morning,
  2. the herbal aroma warms your whole house as it bakes,
  3. the combination of eggs, good bread, cheese and herbs is comfort food at its best for cozy winter mornings,
  4. its appetizing looks make you quite the impressive cook when you have guests around,
  5. everyone loves it (even my non-dairy-eating sister can’t resist).

Unfortunately I didn’t get to share this before prime holiday time and all those family gatherings, but perhaps you can try it as your hangover cure on New Years Day, or for your next lazy Sunday morning brunch. The recipe is not strict about add-ins or spices, so feel free to change it up with different kinds of bread, cheese, no cheese, or different combinations of greens and herbs. This is my favorite version, and I’m not a big cheese eater so I would also love it without.

DSC_3627

Overnight Kale, Herb + Gruyere Strata, adapted from Good Housekeeping

  • 6 large eggs (can substitute liquid egg whites for 3 of the eggs)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • salt + pepper
  • big handful of spinach or kale
  • a bunch of chopped fresh herbs – basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley
  • 1 loaf French bread OR multigrain loaf OR rosemary loaf
  • 6 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded Continue reading

huevos rancheros over polenta

So, if you read my blog, you know that a savory breakfast of mine will include some combination of eggs, beans, corn, salsa, cheese, and veggies. To me it’s like peanut butter and bananas, chocolate and coffee, toast and jam – it just goes together, no matter how you dish it up.

I’ve never “officially” made huevos rancheros, but with all the polenta existing in my kitchen as of late, the idea came to me to fry up some ranchero-ed huevos and serve them atop of fried polenta cakes in place of the traditional corn tortillas. Ohh how creative I am.. ;]

And well… it turned out great! The polenta was crispy on the outside, soft and grainy on the inside, and melted in perfectly with the rest of the ingredients just the way I like it.

I made this for myself, so the recipe is for 1 generous portion, but it’s an easy one to adapt for more people.

Huevos rancheros over polenta, by me :]

  • leftover polenta, spread about ½” thick in a pan/baking dish and chilled (see my basic polenta recipe here)
  • dash of chili powder
  • 2 T red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup black beans (I highly recommend Trader Joe’s Cuban-style black beans!)
  • ½ cup salsa fresca or pico de gallo (I use Trader Joe’s mild fresh salsa)
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • feta, cotija, or cheddar cheese to garnish
  • chopped cilantro to garnish

Cut chilled polenta into 2 squares or rectangles, sprinkle with chili powder and fry in a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat, until crisped and golden on both sides.

Meanwhile, lightly oil another skillet and heat over medium. Add chopped onion and garlic, sauté until softened and then add black beans and ¼ cup of the salsa. Stir and let cook until mixture thickens a bit. Fry or scramble the eggs to your liking. Top the polenta cakes with bean mixture, eggs, and garnish with the rest of the salsa, cheese, chopped cilantro, and a dash of Texas Pete!

This would also be good with some sautéed greens and/or other veggies thrown in the mix, but somehow I forgot (…what?! I never forget my veggies!)

This is one. delicious. mess.

mich