Toast and Nostalgia

Avocado-toast-with-soft-boiled-egg

 

My husband and I have an annual tradition on New Year’s Eve. We go out to a favorite cocktail place, currently Sun Liquor Lounge , and each take the other on a journey through all the pictures we’ve taken on our phones over the past year. Often they are of the same event, but it is always interesting to see what particulars the other chooses to capture and remember. Some shots are maps, passwords or items to remind us to look up something later, which is probably killing our ability to recall on our own. Others are views and vistas, sneaky shots of goofy faces and meals upon meals. I treasure these nostalgic fixes. They are a palpable memento of the thoughts, feelings, confusions, excitements and perspectives over the past year. It is a dose of sweet nostalgia and a healthy reminder that hindsight is 20/20.

 

Pictures through the years

 

 

For example, a chunk of my year was worrying, stressing and feeling morose about where I worked and desperate to find something, anything else. Consequently there were many photos of things I did, ate or went to cheer me up. Looking back at these, I feel quite silly that I gave my miserable job the power to be such a definer of my mood and that I constantly needed distractions to console me. But it did make it all the sweeter to see the times where I attended a Book Larder event, and little did I imagine that I’d get the privilege of working there just months later. A small yet emotion filled rags to riches story. Other memories evolved in the opposite direction. Photos of some dear friends’ merriment in the summer now makes my eyes prick with tears after learning more of their story and where 2014 took them.

A new year also means a new book board. Along with meals, photos and movie tickets, I also keep track of the passing years with the books I read. I started keeping track in 2012 and aim to read between 40 and 50 books a year. These are obviously of varying quality as you can see by the inclusion of the Divergent series. Wish I could get those hours back. Looking back at these covers conjures up memories of where I was while reading each one, whether on my lunch break or on an international flight, and if it inspired a new genre addiction, like food memoirs or YA dystopian love triangles. See 2012, 2013 and 2014 ‘s boards.

So far it, seems like 2015 is going to have some incredible experiences and learning opportunities. Hoping to go through it with more perspective, strength and sense than 2014. Can’t really control much more than that. Leaving you now with a recent lunch that unquestionably hits the spot as we bolster ourselves for 2015.

 

crisp-pitted-avo

 

 

Avocado Toast with Soft Boiled Egg

 

Toast 2 slices of the bread of your choice. Here I used rye sourdough from Trader Joe’s.

Fill a small pot about a third of the way with water and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, carefully place 2 eggs into the water. I suggest using a ladle to lower them in as dropping them in will probably cause the eggs to crack. Set a timer for 5 minutes.

While the eggs cook and the bread toasts, scoop out an avocado and mash it up with some salt, pepper and a bit of fresh lemon juice to taste.

Set up a bowl of water with a few ice cubes and once the 5 minutes is up, put the eggs in the ice water to stop them from cooking. If you have issues with runny yokes (which is incredibly sad and you should get over it as those golden drips are gifts from God) let the eggs cook a couple of minutes more.

Spread the avocado mixture on your hot toast slices, sprinkle some fresh parsley on top and a bit of feta or sharp cheddar. Peel your eggs and slice on top of the toast allowing the yolks to ooze beautifully over everything. Top with a bit more salt, pepper and a dash of curry powder or red chili flakes for punch.

 

Advertisements

Orange Glazed Roasted Potatoes – from Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts

roasted-potatoes

 

Lately I’ve been listening to those BFFS of the moment, Lorde and Taylor Swift. I’ve never been a Taylor fan, except when my wedding guests and I danced and screamed all through”I Knew You Were Trouble” imitating screaming goats. Oh the internet age. The older generation was so confused and just blinked at us while we screeched and stomped, praying it would stop.

Anyway, Taylor equals country music which equals twang which equals I want to tear my ears off my head whenever it assaults me. But I have to admit, her latest album is pretty much my new jam. Looks like I need a prescription for Swiftamine stat! I probably have some sort of reputation to uphold. Lorde is also on repeat, with “Yellow Flicker Beat” empowering my day and encouraging general badass-ery.

Just like I thought Lorde was freaky and Taylor was sappy, I didn’t know that they went together like potatoes and oranges ( Like that segue?) Discovering these young ingenues had actual talent and self awareness was akin to my discovery that starches soaked in fruit juices and roasted until sticky and tart are worthy of repetition.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 

This recipe is from Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts by Aglaia Kremezi , and is just one of many that jumped out at me upon my first flip through. When you get a new cookbook, do you also read through it from cover to cover, gasping, nodding and earmarking along? I’d like to think I’m not the only one.

I am growing quite fond of this Greek themed cookbook. First of all, I’m a fan of books where I don’t need to disregard or heavily modify half the recipes since they contain meat. Secondly, perusing this book brought me straight back into my sunny and delectable Grecian honeymoon. Sometimes all I remember is the feta. Just massive amounts of feta and also that sweltering trek up to the Apocrypha. Med Veg Feasts brought back all the gastronomical memories of copious fresh herbs, bright, zingy citrus flavors and meaty, juicy tomatoes. Packed with simple recipes and inspiring combinations, these meals will transport you, if not to sunny locales than at least to a flavor packed, earthy meal.

 

Earmarked recipes: Baked Feta with Tomato and Pepper, Zucchini Herb and Feta Fritters, Olives and Carrots with Preserved Lemon and Thyme, Cucumber Salad with Feta and Mint, Fava Beans with Coriander Garlic and Cilantro.

 

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Orange and Mustard

– from Aglaia Kremezi’s “Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts

Sauce

  •  2/3 cup olive oil
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano/thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
  • Good pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2- 1 cup fresh orange juice

Potatoes

  • 3 pounds fingerling/baking potatoes halved and cut into large cubes
  • 2 oranges, cut into thick slices
  • Fresh oregano or thyme for serving

 

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Use a food processor or blender to combine all ingredients from “Sauce”. Pulse until thick.

Place potatoes and orange slices in a layer on a large roasting dish and pour the sauce on top, tossing to coat evenly.

Cover loosely with parchment and bake for 40 minutes. Take out, uncover and toss. The potatoes should be bubbly and easily pierced with a fork. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. If the pan is dry, add more orange juice and toss.

Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through with browned edges. If they lack some color, put under the broiler for 2 minutes until they are golden brown.

Sprinkle with fresh oregano or thyme and serve at once!