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 home brewed 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.)
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 Appetit 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.
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).
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.
Beer Baked Eggs with Peppers and Onions
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, diced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 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
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- In a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-proof saute pan), heat the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, salt, ancho chile powder, coriander and cumin seeds over medium-high heat for five minutes or until dark brown.
- Add the bell peppers and jalapeno pepper (remove the seeds for a milder dish) and toss.
- Add the beer and cook down by about half.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the peppers and onion are soft, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Uncover, reduce the heat to low, and make a well for each egg (4 to 8, depending on how many eggs you would like to use).
- Gently crack one egg into each well, recover the skillet, and simmer for two to three minutes until the egg whites begin to set.
- Remove the cover and transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for two to three minutes until the egg whites are set but the yolks remain runny.
- While the eggs bake, toast the tortillas over an open flame, about 10 seconds per side, flipping with tongs. Working will all four stove burners can make this job faster. Wrap the tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm.
- When you take the skillet out of the oven, sprinkle each egg with fleur de sel and cilantro.
- Serve with the warm tortillas and lime wedges.
If you do not have ancho chile powder, you can substitute a dash of cayenne pepper for heat.
This dish does not keep well, so plan to eat it all soon after you make it.