Beer-Baked Eggs with Peppers and Onions

Beer Baked Eggs

I dusted off my blog this weekend. After nearly six weeks of silence, what follows is a wordy one. In an effort to throw the readers whose interests rest solely on the recipes a life line, I will start by saying this one is worth trying if you are looking to shake up your weekend brunch. Or perhaps find something new to prepare for dinner. Beer-baked eggs with peppers and onions seasoned with plenty of spices and wrapped in warm tortillas. I’m already thinking of when to make this dish again. One word of caution, per the author:  the dish does not keep well, so plan to eat it all. Fresh out of the oven is always better anyway. Enjoy!


A solid three weeks into 2016, and I finally feel ready to focus on the new year. When I flipped the page of my calendar four Fridays ago, thinking about the resolutions I should set, I decided I should take a good look at what I had been up to for the past 365 days. In the spirit of learning from the past and all.

In 2015, I started a new job that taught me a lot, even if that happened to be a lot of what not to do. On the same day I walked into my new workplace, I watched my Buckeyes win a national championship. An inconceivable feat just four months prior.

I wiggled through Jazzercise and Zumba for the first (and last) times. I learned about chakras one February afternoon and took stock of core desired feelings over a weekend in May.

I volunteered for two beer festivals, dined at three beer dinners, enjoyed one beer brunch, traveled on one beer field trip, painted pints with friends, and worked part-time at a growler shop. I homebrewed for the first time – once by myself and once in a group – and neither brew turned out all that great. (When you brew an oatmeal porter and end up with a sour, something unexpected has occurred.)

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In the midst of all that beer, I joined a monthly meetup of Whiskey Women. I have not yet learned to love whiskey, but I certainly appreciate its craft.

Some girlfriends and I dined at Kindred before Bon Appetite pegged it one of its top 10 new restaurants. Over the year, I proceeded to enjoy dinner at six other restaurants I had never tried before, one on a night where Hepatitis A was later reported.

I got vaccinated against Hepatitis A.

I made four new friends and a few friendly acquaintances, which is always nice. I think that is going to be my goal every year for the rest of my life: make one new friend. Everyone says how hard it is to make friends as you settle into adulthood, but I meet nice girlfriends all the time. Meeting a nice boy remains elusive.

Girls trip to Asheville! I ran four miles in a race at Highland brewery, and I haven’t set out on a jog since.

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I failed at quite a few things, like not running, and I tried a few things that were, essentially, bummers.  I never did get around to participating in the foodie book club at a local book store. Joining the local chapter of a national professional organization was a sheer waste of time and money. My first WordCamp was a minor bust. I learned I don’t much care for live storytelling as a form of entertainment.

A local community college offers a course about how to start a food business in North Carolina. I took that course, but I have not started a food business. Then I took another course to learn HTML and CSS. I have not practiced it since, so I imagine I have unlearned most of what I paid for.

I joined a CSA, which resulted in my first taste of garlic scapes and late nights making lots of pickles.  I went to a house concert, a new farmer’s market, and was introduced to a new sandwich shop. I took a marbling workshop, which connected me back to my 12-year-old self who liked to mess around with crafts.

I celebrated at two wedding receptions. One of my best friends had a baby. My sister lost a baby. I didn’t realize I could feel so sad.

Mom and Dad visited me. I visited a friend in Denver. We drank beer, ate desserts, and saw Florence + the Machine at Red Rocks on a night when a full moon rose straight up out of the ground. If you have never seen the moon rise up out of the horizon, please find a way to do so.

I attended my second Relish dinner at a home with a pool in the backyard and three kitchen islands, which made me wonder why I had not set the bar higher in terms of choosing a career that would result in a revolutionary income. I went on a microbrews cruise at the White Water Center (overrated) and a Feast Food Tour uptown (underrated).

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I attended two marketing conferences – one large and one small. I went to Boston for work; the first time I’d been there since I was a kid. While there, I saw Sophia Amorusa, Aziz Ansari, and Chelsea Clinton speak and Amy Schumer entertain.

I went to Ohio. Got my ear pierced. Returned home and listened to Of Monsters and Men at another concert.

I learned about vanilla. You know the saying, “Champagne taste on a beer budget?” That is how I feel about vanilla. Fruity and divine, Tahitian vanilla is my champagne, but Mexican vanilla fits my beer budget.

I ate too much at Taste of the World. I ate apple cider donuts and drank cider for breakfast at Windy Hill Orchard. I ate two slices of pie at my friend’s pie pop up. (Are you starting to understand why failing to run is a problem?)

I missed out on hearing Liz Gilbert speak in Asheville because I started a new job the week she was in town. (Yes, two new jobs in one year, but the right thing came along). I bought her book anyway.

Events ramped up as the year wound down. I chatted with talented gals at Bright Blog Bash. Completed a yoga challenge that, after doing said challenge for the first time a few years ago, said I would never do again. Attended my first regular-season NFL game (Go Panthers!). I made a wreath, caught a cold, had drinks with friends on New Year’s Eve, and was home by the responsible hour of 8 p.m.

My team played on New Year’s Day. I had to be at a bar by noon.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Beer-Baked Eggs with Peppers and Onions
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 or 4 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1, 12 ounce bottle light-colored beer
  • 4 to 8 eggs
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • fleur de sel for sprinkling
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, quartered
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. In a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-proof saute pan), saute the olive oil, onion, garlic, salt, ancho chile powder, coriander and cumin seeds over medium-high heat for five minutes or until dark brown.
  3. Add the bell peppers and jalapeno pepper and toss.
  4. Add the beer and cook down by about half.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the peppers and onion are soft, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Uncover, reduct heat to low, and make a well for each egg (4 to 8, depending on how many eggs you would like to use).
  7. Gently crack one egg into each well, recover, and simmer for two to three minutes until the egg whites begin to set.
  8. Remove the cover and transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for two to three minutes until the whites are set but the yolk remain runny.
  9. Toast the tortillas over an open flan, aobut 10 seconds per side, flippping with tongs. Working will all four stove burners can make this job faster. Wrap the tortillas in a clan towel to keep warm.
  10. Sprinkle each egg with fleur de sel, cilantro.
  11. Serve with the warm tortillas ans lime wedges.
Notes
If you do not have ancho chile powder, you can substitute a dash of cayenne to your taste for heat.
Remove the seeds from the jalapeno slices for a milder dish.
This dish does not keep well, so plan to eat it all.
 

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

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♪ It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ♪

That is how I feel when the first warm day of spring rolls around. The feeling returns when the pool opens for the season. I feel that way again when the first bit of autumn chill relieves the heat. And it is how I feel this Christmas season.

It is often difficult for me to feel cheery and merry when people are hurting, and unfortunately, the world is full of crazy amounts of hurt this holiday season. When something miserable happened, I used to feel guilty about going on with my life as usual when others could no longer do the same.

Lately, I’ve realized a more productive use of my emotions are to feel grateful. I am full of gratitude that I sleep in a warm bed, enjoy my work, get paid well for my work, have friends I laugh with often, can call up my family to say hello whenever I please, know how to read, have free time to bake on the weekends…the list goes on and on.

Bourbon chocolate chip cookies

Today in particular I am grateful to be a part of a community where food bloggers send each other cookies every year, i.e. the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This year, I sent bourbon chocolate chip cookies on their merry way to Alicia at The Baker Upstairs, Carrie at Fresh From Oregon, and Jennifer at Take Two Tapas.

I received chocolate tahini rugelach from Amy at What Jew Wanna eat, a cinnamon cocoa nib butter cookies and grapefruit browned butter shortbread cookies sampler from Joy at The Joyful Foodie, and the loveliest iced sugar cookies from Teri at The Freshman Cook.

In other words, I received cookies to gorge myself on (Rugelach, where have you been all my life?), cookies to nibble on with my evening tea, and cookies to flat out admire with my eyes before enjoying with my taste buds.

While all this cookie consumption is certainly something to be grateful for, it is eclipsed by my pleasure to be a part of something bigger than myself. 475 bloggers and our brand partners OXO, Dixie Crystals, and Land O’ Lakes raised over $7,000 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Contributing to our food blogger community and supporting a great cause…now that is something to feel good about. Happy holidays!

Bourbon chocolate chip cookies

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature (you will need only the egg yolk from one of the eggs)
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugars, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about two to three minutes.
  3. Add one whole egg and just the yolk from the other egg and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Next add the bourbon, and again mix until combined.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips, cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. When the dough is chilled, scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees F until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
 

Recipes of Cookie Swaps Past

2012: Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies 

2013: Triple Ginger Cookies 

2014: Almond Orange and Chocolate Biscotti 

Minty Rocky Road Brancamenta Brownies

Minty Rocky Road Brownies

I recently learned there are those among us who strongly dislike mint paired with chocolate. These are people who enjoy a bite of chocolate and do not hesitate to pick up an after-dinner mint, but put the two together and nope, no can do.

On the other hand, I am absolutely delighted by the match. From scoops of bright green mint ice cream dotted with chocolate flecks to the green and brown layers of an Andes mint, I have no argument with the combo. Hence, these minty rocky road brownies.

Minty Rocky Road Brownies

Flavored with Brancamenta – the mint version of the digestif Fernet-Branca – these fudgy brownies have a mint flavor that is subtle but not over the top. What puts them over the the top is, well, their topping.

For that, I turned to another of my favorite things to pair with chocolate, marshmallows, to create a rocky road topping complete with mint chocolate chips and walnuts. Not a bad way to enjoy a dessert. Enjoy!

Minty Rocky Road Brownies

Brancamenta Brownies with Minty Rocky Road Topping
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • For the brownies
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup high-quality chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup Brancamenta, divided
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • For the brownie topping
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup mint chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (or other nut of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Cut the butter into large pieces and place in a heatproof bowl with 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
  2. Melt the mixture in the microwave or over a saucepan of simmering water. If using the microwave, heat the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes then stir and return to the microwave for 1 minute increments until melted. If using a saucepan, stir occasionally until just melted.
  3. Once melted and combined, stir 3 tablespoons of the Brancamenta, the sugars, and the salt into the bowl.
  4. Next add the eggs and stir to combine.
  5. Finally, add the flour and stir until just combined.
  6. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan, line with parchment paper, and then butter the paper.
  7. Spread the brownie batter in the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with moist crumbs attached when done.
  8. Remove the brownies from the oven and brush their top with the remaining tablespoon of Brancamenta.
  9. Next sprinkle the tops with the marshmallows, mint chocolate chips, and nuts.
  10. Return to the oven another 3-5 minutes until the marshmallows are puffy and the chocolate chips are shiny.
  11. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares for serving.
Notes
Cutting the brownies is a messy proposition that will go much more smoothly if you lightly spray the blade of your knife with non-stick cooking spray.
This post was created in celebration of National Brownie Day. I received a Whole Foods gift card to help offset the cost of ingredients for this recipe.