<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Fanny. No really – that is her actual name. She is a massive massive massive foodie, and would like to share with you all the adventures on all of the things she puts in her mouth. Wait, no – not like that … I mean … well, you know what I mean. Aw shucks, just hit it already Fanny … </editorsnote>
let’s face it.
i’m the kind of person that loves cracking a bad joke to break the tension in a room. the kind of person that will stick straws up her nose just to get a laugh out of someone who seems a little too serious. but my brain isn’t just full of cheetos and homemade tzatziki sauce. nope. there’s a real thinker up there.
that being said, i’d like to give you some words of wisdom today that aren’t exactly food-related. okay, that’s a lie. everything always comes back around to food in my world. i’m a strong believer in the idea of putting things out into the universe. and i don’t mean throwing a banana peel out of your window. littering is bad and everyone knows that banana peels are only used in cartoons. my parents always told me that if you want something to happen, you’re responsible for making it possible. you can’t just sit around and expect things to fall in your lap. i sure wish a turkey sandwich would fall in my lap right now.
wait, who’s writing this thing anyway…
sorry about that. like i was saying…i believe that if you want things to happen, you have to do your part to help bring them into your life. case and point: about three months ago, i was without a job and very unhappy. although i was spending every day sending out resumes and doing things to get myself out of the house, i still felt very useless. i sat down and reflected on the things i was passionate about. and i don’t mean unattainable dreams like opening my very own starbucks inside my living room. i thought about things that i enjoyed doing everyday and how i could turn them into potential job opportunities for myself. i think i’ve made it clear that i’m obsessed with food. i decided to do some research on local caterers. i wasn’t looking for big time companies with huge staffs. i was searching for individuals like myself who have a passion for food and have turned that into an independent business. i came upon a company named belly bliss and emailed the chef/owner. i told her that i wasn’t necessarily looking for a job, but just looking to be in a kitchen and get some great experience because i was interested in someday starting a similar company. surprisingly, i was greeted back with a warm response and even some compliments on the pictures of my food. this kind stranger also mentioned that although she didn’t have any room on her staff at the present time, she would keep me in mind for the future. yesterday, i received an email from her saying that she had a big event coming up in december that she would like my help with.
i. was. floored.
first of all, please browse through some of her fantastic catering pictures and tell me that you wouldn’t want to dig into this divine food. second, i realize that this is only one tiny opportunity and on the surface may not seem like a big deal–but i can’t explain to you enough how exciting this is for me. the foodie part of my brain has been going crazy recently, hence the insane amount of randomly delicious creations i’ve been whipping up. the more i cook, and the more i write about cooking, the more i’m uncovering this passion that has always been inside of me. not only do i feel like i’ve started to truly find my voice, but my love for cooking and creating things in the kitchen is expanding every single day. this opportunity is hardly a “job.” it’s likely not even going to lead to anything further. but in fanny world, getting the hands-on experience of two hours of prep work with a real caterer feels like hitting the jackpot right now. i believe that not just by putting concrete things (like an email) out into the world, but putting positive energy and hope out there as well…anything is possible.
“with the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere.” ~ c.s. lewis
and now that i’ve filled your hungry brains with deep thoughts and words of wisdom…
let’s talk about eggs.
playing along with the theme of “anything is possible,” i’d like to discuss why it’s important to never be afraid of trying a new dish. i’d like to consider myself an egg aficionado. an eggnado, if you will. i’ll scramble you a pair of eggs that defy gravity and make you a frittata that could change your political views. however, that doesn’t mean that i’m schooled in every form of egg-making. baked eggs is something i’ve seen on very few menus, but have always been intrigued by. the dish originated in france, and is called oeufs en cocotte. oeufs obviously means “eggs” and…well…cocotte translates to “casserole” or “prostitute.”
hey, if you like your eggs with prostitutes–that is nobody else’s business but your own.
i had never attempted making baked eggs at home, but since it was as straightforward as making a casserole (throwing everything in one pan and putting it in the oven), i figured i could give it a shot. i dissected the idea of a baked egg in my head. it seemed as simple as a sunny side egg with whatever toppings i desire. i had read in various recipes that it was supposed to include cream, and while that confused me–i went with it anyway.
when you’re experimenting in your own kitchen, the only person there to judge you is your cat. and seeing how her last snack was a ladybug–she’s not all that picky.
i knew that more than anything, i wanted my eggs en prostitute to be full of flavor. so i REACHED out into the universe (see how i brought you back to our original theme there?) and pulled out some onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes. by the way, in that last sentence: universe = fridge. i roasted tomato slices in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic for some sweetness. *foodie note: not a tomato person? try roasting them at a high temperature in the oven. their flavor becomes sweet, and if you can’t still stand the texture–stir them into a pasta sauce or mix with cream cheese for a yummy sandwich spread so you at least take advantage of their flavor.* i sauteed shitake mushrooms with butter, thyme, and a little white wine. while all of this was going on, in another pan i slowly caramelized red onions in butter and a squeeze of agave (a nectar that is sweet like honey, but less sticky). when all of my elements were complete, i buttered my ramekin and layered the dish. after some sprinkles of muenster cheese, parmesan, and dill–it was time for the eggs. *foodie note: always crack your eggs in a separate bowl. you never know if one will be bad, cracked, or have a baby chicken inside.* i added a touch of milk, wished my breakfast good luck, and slid it underneath the broiler for 5-6 minutes. everything else in your dish is already cooked, so you just need to keep an eye on the status of your melting cheese and the consistency of your eggs. cook to your preferred doneness, serve alongside toasted rye bread, and enjoy.
and there you have it. my first attempt at baked eggs. all because i reached out and tried something new. i put myself out there, and look at what i got in return. so go. follow your dreams. aim for the stars. make breakfast with a prostitute.
you know, whatever.