Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

eggs in a frame 1 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

Having just returned from 10 days at the Fairmont JPL, it’s a tough re-entry back to the world of dog hair, laundry, unironed sheets and hollandaise withdrawl.

But-good news! The sink is in, and we’re not doing dishes in the bathtub anymore. The kitchen is close to finished – it needs the backsplash and an overhead fan for the stove, and the fridge is all wonky so that needs to be dealt with, and it needs some paint in places. And everything isn’t unpacked into the drawers yet – that will be my weekend plan. But we have electricity and water and it’s looking like an actual kitchen. Still, I wasn’t quite prepared to cook last night.

eggs in a nest 6 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

I’ve been mildly obsessed with an idea I came across in the new (and hilarious) Portlandia Cookbook, in which you cook eggs not in the usual toast frame, but in a grilled cheese sandwich with a hole cut out of the middle. Brilliant, no? I wasn’t raised on these – birds in a nest, toad in the hole, whatever you grew up calling them – but poached eggs on toast and grilled cheese sandwiches have always been comfort foods, so to combine the two is the most brilliant conspiracy ever.

eggs in a nest 8 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

You make a grilled cheese – in their case, spreading the bread with mayo instead of soft butter, and sprinkling it with grated Parmesan – then grill it, cut a hole out of the middle with a cookie cutter or rim of a can, return it to the pan, add a bit of butter to the empty hole and crack an egg inside.

eggs in a frame collage 2 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

Because it’s thicker than toast, it’s tough to cook all the way through – once it was set on the bottom I flipped one and made it over easy, which worked well but doesn’t look as pretty; the book says to slide the pan into the oven with the broiler on to cook the top, which worked well too.

eggs in a frame collage 1 Eggs in a Grilled Cheese Nest

Bonus: you get this gooey round grilled cheese sandwich to nibble while you wait for your egg to cook.

You’re welcome.

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November 18 2014 | sandwiches | 12 Comments »

Classic Gingerbread Cookies

IMG 1966 585x739 Classic Gingerbread Cookies

Apologies again for the sudden leap into the realm of Christmas cookies – but you’ll understand my premature sharing of gingerbread cutouts when I tell you I spent the afternoon decorating a hundred or so of them with Elizabeth Baird. (They were all baked from scratch this afternoon to decorate a tree that’s being auctioned off for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.)

gingerbread collage 2 Classic Gingerbread Cookies

The pastry team at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge made an enormous bowl of royal icing, which we scooped into small parchment decorating bags to pipe onto cookies shaped like mittens.

gingerbread collage 1 Classic Gingerbread Cookies

But my favourites were the ones we spread with icing on the cuff, then immediately sprinkled with coarse coloured sugar, making it look like a band of sweet faux fur.

gingerbread cookies 585x313 Classic Gingerbread Cookies

One of the CIN guests walking by took a photo of us through the window! Myself, Elizabeth, Emily and master mixologist Micah Dew. (In the reflection you can see our view – the trees around Lac Beauvert and the east face of Mount Edith Cavell – a nice spot to be baking cookies on a chilly afternoon.)

photo 585x384 Classic Gingerbread Cookies

Classic Gingerbread Cookies

From Canada’s Best Recipes by Elizabeth Baird and Rose Murray (Whitecap)

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup fancy molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp each baking soda, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 tsp each cloves and salt

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in the molasses. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In three additions, stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture, stirring until the dough is smooth.

Divide the dough into 2 discs; wrap and chill until firm, about 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. On a well-floured surface, roll out one disc at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out any shape you like and place them an inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake until slightly darkened underneath and just firm to the touch, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. (Make-ahead: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 1 month.)

Makes lots.

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November 11 2014 | cookies & squares | 10 Comments »

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