Friday, 20 December 2013

Baked Eggs

You know what I love? Breakfast. Which is partly why I'm partial to these baked eggs. They have everything you need: perfect for when you feel like eggs, but can't really be bothered dealing with all the dirty dishes and the longer processes (measuring, mixing…) of what might be eggs benedict, or even scrambled eggs; but you want something a little more exciting - and healthy - than runny eggs and soldiers.

 Packed with about one serving of your daily veg, there is no measuring, no stresses about curdling, just chop, layer, done. Out of the oven comes this unassuming little package, it's top gooey from feta, crumbled there less than ten minutes before. The veggies retain some bite after being cooked, but are still hot and soft enough to meddle seamlessly with the burst egg yolk. This breakfast  really is the prefect balance between being seemingly indulgent and perfectly healthy. And who doesn't love that?

Notes: I said above that there is no measuring involved in this recipe, yet below I have included measurements such as "one tablespoon". These are all approximate measures, because this recipe won't end in disaster if you put a little more or less of each ingredient into the mix. Also, feel free to change it up a bit to suit your tastes or what you have in the fridge. I have included some variation suggestions below the recipe.

Baked Eggs

Serves 1

8cm piece (1 Tbsp) spring onion, finely sliced
small handful (¼ cup, firmly packed) baby spinach leaves
4 - 6 (1 Tbsp, firmly packed) basil leaves, roughly chopped
3 - 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 egg
1 Tbsp feta, crumbled

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease one small ramekin.
Spread the spring onion around the bottom of the ramekin, and place on top the spinach, basil and tomatoes. Keep each ingredient as a separate layer, and do not mix the vegetables together.
Crack the egg on top of the tomatoes, and sprinkle the egg with feta.
Place in oven for 10 minutes or until egg white is cooked and the yolk is just set.
Serve immediately on small plate.

Variations: Replace feta with slices of mozzarella. Add roughly chopped ham or prosciutto, or shredded  cooked chicken on top of the bail before adding the tomatoes.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Chocolate Framboise (Chocolate & Raspberry Cake)

It started with cake. Back in July, I had seen all these impressive, beautiful stacked cakes on Pinterest and I so wanted to make one of my own. But I knew that it would be a waste to just suddenly decide to make one which could serve more than ten people, and offer it to our household of three. So I needed an excuse - and what better than a party?

It's not my birthday and it wasn't a christmas party (though the party favors were somewhat festive). Instead it was simply a summer party. This gathering was reminiscent of birthday celebrations of my childhood, or at least of children's storybooks. I made a treasure hunt; we had egg-and-spoon and three-legged races from between one pair of hay bales to another; and the spread - well, how about I show you…