Martha’s Good Eggs

Well here’s an exciting thing that happened to me…

One of my projects was chosen as a finalist in the Martha’s Good Eggs contest on the Martha Stewart website!

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I really like internet contests so… I entered the Martha’s Good Eggs Contest through Instagram by tagging some photos of my Easter eggs dyed with natural dyes and patterned with flowers, moss, and other small plants and herbs.

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Voting only lasted about 12 hours on Thursday… I didn’t win but it’s OK because I think I was more excited about being featured on the Martha Stewart website!

Wow!      Cool!      Awesome!     Happy face!     Ahhhh!

There are also so many other cool egg decorating techniques featured. If you are looking for something to do tonight, why not try one out!

Check out my photo on the website under Best Egg Decorating Techniques: Masked Eggs. The how-to on the website is a little different than my own instructions (I didn’t “glue” my leaves down with egg white). Try it out for yourself. Here’s another post I wrote about the first time I tried dying eggs with onion skins.

Thanks to those of you that voted! Follow me on Instagram @marisagrams

Happy Easter!

 

Sunday brunch at POUR

I had a brunch date with my husband on Sunday. Brunch just might be my favorite meal to go out and eat. It is always relaxing and fun whether it be with two people or a bunch. You could dress up in your fancy pants, or dress down in jeans and bring along your market bags. It’s a great way to start your day.

Dan and I decided to try POUR on Prince Street. It was kind of a rainy and cold day so we couldn’t sit outside. It was cozy inside and they have awesome coffee that warmed us up from the cold.

POUR has a small but well put together menu that had a nice variety of brunch choices. We both chose egg dishes that included some delicious meats. I had the toad-in-the-hole which was topped with two local sausage links. The bread was a piece of thick cut brioche with a fried egg inside a cut out ring. My only slight disappointment was that the egg was really runny. I like a runny yolk but I don’t like when the white is runny… a little too much slime for me. The sausages were delicious and topped with a mustard gravy. Very Oktoberfest, appropriate for fall, and very tasty.

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Dan had the steak and eggs. His egg was poached perfectly- soft yolk and cooked white, not too slimy. The steak was also cooked exactly how he ordered it (medium). The wild chanterelle mushrooms on the side made this dish a step above your regular steak and eggs breakfast. Everything was served atop creamy grits. Of course I had a taste, a little bite of all of it, and it was delicious.

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We finished up brunch with an order of drinks instead of dessert. The beer menu is impressive here, pretty well curated. Dan ended up with a Hennepin from Ommegang Brewery. I had a Bloody Mary – ordered a little less spicy than they normally make it. It was garnished with some of my favorite things… meat, cheese, an olives… so I loved it!

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One thing that I really wanted to try was the charcuterie offerings. I was so stuffed that I couldn’t create a tray for myself this time but I will be ordering it first next time I come to POUR. They had a variety of meats and cheeses that seemed to all catch my eye. You choose the ones you want and they create a board just for you. This is right up my alley… I need to go back.

Yard Sale Success

I made it through making food at my first yard sale of the season! I did make a net profit – not a huge one but at least I covered my costs and made a little spending money…

I did had a fun morning… I knew it would be fun. A lot of my friends came to visit and I sold a bunched of pickled items too!

I forgot to take a few good pictures of my setup. I thought I did a pretty good job – I set up a table with my Cuisinart Griddler (one of my favorite kitchen appliances), a toaster, and a buffet server to keep things warm.

Here’s my baked goods:

I used this recipe for the trail mix cookies, with some substitutions… I swapped the walnuts for almonds and I added roasted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. They came out really good… so good that I ate about 4 of them today. I also made these muffins that I named “Power Muffins” and they were awesome! I usually make zucchini muffins but I wanted to try something a little different. I read that these freeze pretty well so I made a double batch… although I don’t really know if they will last that long because they are so good. I did sell a bunch of them but I have enough left over that I can take them for my afternoon snack at school this week.

Here’s my eggs and sausages in my buffet server.

They look pretty nice, though I was disappointed in the buffet server, it didn’t stay hot for very long and it was hard change and relight the sterno. I ended up just heating everything on the Griddler – which worked out great! If you don’t have one… get one! You can heat up anything in a flash! You can also make great Panini sandwiches and the heat plates are interchangeable so you can turn it into an electric griddle. I could have done everything today with just this appliance.

Overall I had a good experience. I am definitely going to set up a stand at my yard sale in a few weeks. It will be even easier to have this at my house. I just have to carry stuff outside and I will be able to use my oven. I also think I might sell more food because we usually have a block sale, so everyone on the block is out and a lot of people in the neighborhood stop by.

I’ll post about my next food table set up soon!

Thanks to all that stopped by and ate breakfast with me!

Yard Sale Saturday!

I have decided to take on a little adventure this weekend and make breakfast at a yard sale. My friend Matt is having a yard sale and asked me if I would be interested in making food. I was a little hesitant at first and I had a lot of questions to ask myself. The biggest problem I was having is deciding what items to make and how many people to prep for. Are people going to want to buy food from me? How much should the items cost? What if I don’t sell anything?… that would just suck.

I decided to just go for it. I know I will have fun and I like a little challenge. If I have a lot left over, I’ll just have people over for breakfast on Sunday 🙂

I am turning all of this stuff and more…

…into the following menu:

Trail Mix Cookies: oats, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, nuts, and pumpkin seeds

Power Muffins: zucchini, carrots, and apples

Breakfast Quesadilla: eggs, cheese, black beans, mild salsa, onions, cilantro, red and green peppers

Frittata: potato, parsley, spinach and onion

Country Turkey Sausage Links: from the turkey lady at market!

Egg Sandwich: toasted oat bread, baked eggs, cheese, sausage and onion

I will have bottled water and some assorted pickled items for sale!

Please come out tomorrow! I know you will get some really cool yard sale stuff and I can feed you breakfast. Bring your dollar bills and change, it is going to be a beautiful day! It’s right around the corner from Queen Street so you can take a lovely stroll down the 300 block as well.

Time: 9am-12pm (or until all this stuff is gone!)

Place: 23 East Walnut Street, Lancaster, Pa 17602

Happy Easter!

I spent last night dyeing Easter eggs with some of my friends. My friend Janeen had a bunch of different egg dyeing kits that we used. I also wanted to try some natural egg dyes, like onion skins and purple cabbage.

Here’s some photos of our creations:

We painted some with metallic dyes…

We also made some really cool patterns by twisting rubber bands around the eggs and dipping them in different colors:

Here’s our eggs we dyed with onion skins. they came out with some pretty neat patterns. We use fennel fronds and cilantro to make patterns by placing them between the egg and the onion skin.

Here’s a link to give you some more specific instructions on how to use onion skins and other natural dyes to color eggs. We didn’t get to use the purple cabbage. I’m saving that one for next year.

Over all, I really like the mix of patterns and colors that are in my egg display this year.

There is no way we are going to be able to eat all of these beauties this week so I intend to pickle a bunch of them!

I followed this night of dyeing eggs with a great baked egg breakfast. I made my favorite frittata with a big salad made with local early spring greens.

For the Frittata…

Scramble 8 eggs with 1/4 cup of light cream and season with salt and pepper.

Mix in 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese, 1/2 chopped ham, 1/4 chopped parsley, and 1/4 cup minced sweet onion.

Pour it all into a baking dish (sprayed with non-stick spray) and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (until the center is firm).

A delicious and easy brunch to start off the day! If you’re lucky enough to have tomorrow off, give this recipe a whirl! It is also great to make and put in the refrigerator. It heats up in the microwave just fine so it makes a great quick breakfast.

I hope everyone had a great Easter!

Vacation Eats – Santa Monica and Venice Beach

On our Tuesday (August 2) in California, we headed down to the beach towns. We strolled along the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica in the morning to window shop and have brunch. We chose a little french cafe in the middle of the promenade called Monsieur Marcel. We sat outside watching passer-bys. I ordered the Benedict Marcel- poached eggs atop a buttery croissant with smoked ham and Hollandaise sauce.

It was good, a solid take on eggs Benedict, but not the best I have ever had… Janeen asked me where the best eggs Benedict was and I immediately replied two places… The Nodding Head Brewery in Philadelphia (they have sunday brunch with excellent bloody marys) and this little shack (can’t remember the name of it) beside a river in Connectitcut that I stopped at on the way back from cape cod.

Janeen had the souffle french toast. I tried it – it was super-good! It was so good I wished I had gotten in. It was soft, fluffy, buttery and it had a slight citrusy taste to it. French perfection, that’s what I would call it. If you ever find yourself eating brunch in Santa Monica, I highly recommend it.

We checked out the pier and rode the ferris wheel to get a birds eye view of everything.

Then we took a tip from Erin’s friend and went to The Lobster for a large bloody mary with a giant prawn and olive attached to it. It was a good bloody mary, kind of mild but really impressive looking. It was a nice break from the sun and we got some post cards written.

We rented bikes and rode the sandy bike trail down to the complete spectacle that is Venice beach. We locked the bikes by the skate park where skaters were zooming around the concrete learning tricks. The two headed turtle was out in front of the freak show and it seemed all the usual buskers were out.

We stopped into a cafe that was set back a little from the boardwalk. They advertised Peach Chai, which sounded good, so we decided to try it. Not really that great, it was ok but I would def not go there again. Janeen got an iced vanilla latte that was so sweet she didn’t even really drink it. I can not remember the name at all but I don’t think I’ll be going back.

We walked the whole ocean front, headed back to our bikes, and rode back to Santa Monica. On our way out, we knew there was going to be a lot of traffic and it was going to take a long time to get back, so we got a snack. We sampled the frozen yogurt at PinkBerry. It is all fat free and made with ultra fresh ingredients.

We both got waffle cones. I tasted the salted caramel, a great little bite but a bit too rich to eat a whole cone. I went with pomegranate and mango swirl with strawberries in the bottom of the come. Janeen stuck with the strawberries and got chocolate and original side-by-side in her waffle cone. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I know some people love Pinkberry and some people don’t. It is a chain that I usually only see in big cities, I think they have a good business plan. I thought it was tasty, but wait until you read what we had on Wednesday…

We had to rush once we got back to Erin’s place because we were going to her comedy show in Downtown LA and we didn’t have much time. Erin was nice enough to make us dinner. Arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette with little cukes and avocado slices.

She even cut up some pickled cauliflower (from giardiniera) and added slivered almonds. Great salad Erin! We also had pasta with olive sauce that we got at Global Gardens on our wine tasting adventure.

Erin’s comedy show was great! It was at a theater called the Downtown Independent. Finally a place with some Sierra Nevada! Good beer, good laughs. Thank you Erin for a wonderful evening!

Good Morning

During the summer, I really take time to enjoy the morning. I could sleep in a little bit, relax, read the paper or a magazine and make myself a great breakfast. I have been creating these towering layered stacks topped with eggs. It’s like an open faced egg sandwich with whatever fresh, local, and in-season ingredients I have from the market.

Here are a few examples:

I start with a base of whole grain or some kind of crusty bread. I add a spread on top…two of my favorites are my Green Meanie dressing or Creme Fraiche. I sometimes use cream cheese too. It is really good when it starts to melt under the warm eggs.

Then I add red onions, thin sliced avocados, and some sort of green. I love spring pea shoots which, thanks to the new sprout stand at the market, I am able to find quiet easily now.

Since it is summer and excellent tomatoes are available, I have been putting tomato slices or cut up grape tomatoes on top. Fresh herbs are in abundance as well so I love to add basil leaves or chopped chives.

I usually fry one or two eggs to complete the tower and put a little extra dollop of dressing or creme fraiche on top as well. Sometimes I just turn it all into a scramble, it’s still just as good.

Lancaster Central Market

It seems fitting to begin this blog with a post about Lancaster Central Market. The market is my main source veggies. I avoid buying produce in the grocery store as much as possible because I have this great source of local foods right near my house. I go down to the market at least once a week and I usually base my dinners on whatever is in season.

The market is at its peak right now with fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the farms of Lancaster. I’ve been lucky to go more frequently since it is summer and I have my weekdays free.

I chose some yellow wax beans for a pasta dish from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative today. I love this stand! It always has great food. They only operate from spring to fall but everything they have is local and organic. I also picked up some green tomatillos and jalapenos because I bought a bunch of Jetstar tomatoes earlier in the week from the Wahsington Boro Tomato Barn (more on Jetstars tomorrow). I have a plan to make fresh salsa later.

One of my staple items that I always pick up is a dozen of free range eggs. I love how bright yellow the yolks are and I think they taste better.  I was tempted to buy the duck eggs that I saw at the Farm Fresh stand but I wasn’t too sure about it…maybe next week.

Some of my favorite flowers are coming into bloom right now. I was happy to see the sunflowers this morning.

I decided to take a bright pink and red bunch of zinnia home with me to brighten up the kitchen.

It was a great morning at market!