Tag Archives: International Incident

Smile Like the Sunrise

Salted Caramel Apple Bliss

SaltedCaramelAppleBliss

Another month, another fun challenge from the amazing International Incident Party.  This month the not-so-secret ingredient was: salt.  Normally I try to cut as much salt as possible from my diet, thanks to some fun health problems.  However there is one salt combination that I LOVE, one that is worth upping my water consumption beyond my normal amount. Salt & Caramel.  A match made in heaven, or in the very least a match made in my mouth.  The first time I came across this amazing couple was while living on the Cape back in college.  There was this little bitty candy shop right off the main road in Hyannis Port and not only did they have amazing handspun milkshakes they only had a few dozen types of fudge.  Among their remarkable collection was their caramel fudge, which they topped with salt.  One bite was all it took to convince me that this combination was just right 🙂 I wanted to do something that included that pairing, but was lighter on the calories considering all the holidays right around the corner.  Enter the apple juice.  I am a huge fan of warm apple juice, and I know from numerous experiences that caramel and apple get along just right.  The result: a warm drink just right for the winter just around the corner with the right amount of sweet and salty…and some whipped cream with more caramel to make it even better.
Ingredients: 
2 cups apple juice (aim for organic/no sugar added)
2 1/2 tbsp caramel syrup (Monin if you can find it!)
1 tsp sea salt plus more for topping
whipped cream 
Directions:
1. Heat the apple juice, caramel, and salt in a tea pot until hot.  Pour into mugs and allow to cool slightly. 
2.  Top with whipped cream and at least 1/4 tsp sea salt!

Now to have real fun you can make your own caramel whipped cream.  All you need is one of these and some of these.  Pump 5tbsp caramel syrup into the carafe then fill with heavy whipping cream until the line on the inside of the bottle.  Use one of the canisters as directed and chill for around 5minutes, or as long as it takes the apple juice to heat up.  Then top it off and add the sea salt.  Yum! 

Silver, Gold, or Brass

Irish Eggs

So last month I participated in an egg challenge.  This wound up opening the door to the world of eggs, a world that I wasn’t very familiar with prior to the International Incident which in a way was the point of the exercise.  I wound up going thru my cook books and checking out all of the egg recipes I had skipped over, yet I kept going back to baked eggs.  So I decided to keep experimenting with them and seeing what other delicious taste combinations I could find.  Once upon a Thanksgiving ago I found that mashed potatoes and eggs go together really well in the form on a delicious mashed potato omelett.  I decided to take that concept and add to it, while changing it from a cheesy omelett to the power house that is a baked egg.  Some googling let me know that this was actually very similar to a dish known as Irish Colcannon minus the meat…and with some veggie changes.  So in tribute to that ancient recipe I am dubbing these Irish Eggs.

Ingredients:

1 lb potatoes, diced
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 lb spinach, thawed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 eggs
2 oz cheese, shredded

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Cook until the potatoes are tender, then drain and mash.  Add seasoning to taste along with butter and milk.  
2. Preheat oven to 375.
4.  Spread the mashed potatoes on the botton of an 9×9 pan.  Add the spinach over top.  Create four wells in the spinach/mashed potatoes add crack the eggs into the wells.  Top with cheese
5. Bake for 15minutes, or until eggs are fully cooked.  Enjoy!


Another simple dish that is perfect for a filling breakfast or a light dinner.  I am now officially a fan of baked eggs and I look forward to figuring how many other ways I can prepare them.  I am also going to attempt to do a poached egg as well at some point…maybe…

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and

Lavender Crepe 
with 
Lavender Raspberry Cream

Confession: I have never eaten or cooked with Lavender before.  I once saw a Lavender Scone at a bakery outside of Pittsburgh but didn’t order it, instead I went for the classic Maple Scone.  So when I saw that lavender was the “secret ingredient” for the International Incident Party I was nervous.  I thought about skipping this month or feigning a last minute illness and then realized that this was a good thing.  I normally stick to recipes that are vegetarian version of the comfort foods I grew up with, or the vegetarian versions of meals I see at restaurants.  This was a chance to branch out and do something different.  So I decided to go all out and not only use a new ingredient but try a new cooking technique.  When I was growing up occasionally my dad would go all out and become a short-order chef for the morning.  Mostly we stuck to simple egg orders but every now and then he would make crepes for us.  Delicious yummy crepes with random stuff inside of them or just a basic crepe with some cream cheese and maple syrup.  So I found an old school recipe for crepes and started experimenting.  After finding the right batter I decided it needed more than just a normal filling, it needed a special lavender infused filling.  So I got out the food processor and had some fun with that as well.  In the end only one crepe survived…something about over greasing and then under-greasing the pan…but just needed one crepe for the picture with the right filling and that’s what we got.
Ingredients for Crepe:
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp lavender, crushed
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
For Filling:

2 oz cream cheese
1 tsp lavender, crushed
1/2 cup raspberries

Directions:
1. Mix the egg, milk, flour, lavender, salt, and vegetable oil.  Chill in the fridge for one hour.
2.  Heat a lightly greased skillet over medium heat.  Spoon 1/4 of the mixture in the skillet and tilt in order to cover the bottom fully.  Cook for three minutes, until bottom in brown, then flip and cook the other side an additional three minutes. remove
3. Meanwhile cream the remaining lavender with the cream cheese and the raspberries.  Spoon into the cooked crepes, roll, and SERVE!

This recipe should make four delicious crepes if you aren’t a spaz like me.  Enjoy!

Party Don’t Stop

Greek Baked Eggs

Here it is: my first group blogging activity.  this is coming to you courtesy of Addictive and Consuming and Tasty Trix and their International Incident: Eggs Party.  This was a group effort on many levels and two Birthday gifts really made this all possible.  My sister got me these amazing oven-to-dinner dishes, the kind you would use for French Oven soup but that can serve other purposes as well.  I also got a number of cook books including a really wicked one from Joey, the Marie Claire Seasonal Kitchen cookbook.  This book had two recipes for baked eggs, something I had seen before but never had.  Both of these recipes were very meat heavy so I decided to take the concept and alter it for my purposes.  The result was a tasty amazing treat that was rather easy to prepare and the perfect fuel before the 8 mile hike we had planned.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 eggs
3 tbsp Feta Cheese

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Use some of the butter to grease two oven-to-table style ramekins.  
2. Put the remaning butter in a small frying pan and heat over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, then add the onion and peppers.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the onion starts to turn translucent.  
3. Divide the vegetable mixture between the two ramekins.  Crack the eggs into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.   Pour into the ramekins and then top with the Feta Cheese.  Bake for 15-20minutes, or until the egg is cooked all the way through.


Fast, simple, filling, and delicious! The perfect meal for weekend morning, or even a light dinner.  I’m hoping this blog party will be the first of many…I just need to make sure I note the time difference better next time!