Oh my gosh! This was so delicious! The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen's Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast. It was everything I love: fast, healthy, full of texture and breakfast-for-dinner! Thank you Smitten Kitchen!

Every time I go out for breakfast, I have poached eggs. I love the delicate white texture contrasted with the warm, gooey yolk, but I find poaching eggs at home to be troublesome. These five minute boiled eggs capture that delightful texture with no hassle! 

My very favorite brunch spot in the world is Tartine in NYC in the West Village. I have so many fond memories of brunches there with friends. While Cate was attending massage therapy school, I would go to her rent control apartment and she would "practice" on me, both swedish and shiatsu techniques. Afterwards, we'd walk down the block for breakfast at Tartine and indulge in the very best hollandaise sauce. On the weekends, they offer Eggs Benedict (with canadian bacon, Dave's fave) or Eggs Florentine (with spinach, my fave) with dark, crusty-browned potatoes, orange juice and coffee. They do booming business with a line that snakes around the block every weekend. 
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Even better than eating outside on a sunny spring day, was being bundled up in winter, waiting in line filled with anticipation. Here's Wendy, Dave & Mike, preparing for our Tartine ritual.
I loved Cate's apartment. It was light-filled and looked down upon one of those rare-Manhattan sights, a neighbor's backyard garden. I remember one warm summer evening, Cate, our friend, Joel, and I, sat out on her fire escape and chatted about the books we were each reading. I had so much time in those days. It never felt like it though. I was always rushing from one thing to the next, but in comparison to my life now, the days were long with vasts amounts of free time. Now the hours, weeks, months tumble by, and I'm trying to learn to better savor each day. I'm attempting to worry less about how things turn out, control only what I can control (i.e. how I respond to the out of control) and to stay present (less regret about the past and less anxiety about the future). I think that's what this blog is about. An attempt to have fun, reflect, be a little creative and an opportunity to practice really tossing things out there.

Last night, the girls were out at a birthday party, so I tried SK's smashed eggs for mine and Dave's dinner, and was richly rewarded with memories of our old Manhattan days. Maybe that's a good formula. Indulging the senses with nutritious and memory-invoking food, blogging about good times with dear friends, and again, remembering to appreciate what I have.
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The ingredients!
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Does everything I love start with shallots?
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SK said to use a "small puddle of water." I'll call this about 2T.
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4 oz. of spinach. Washed but does not need to be dried.
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Just wilted and about to remove to drain in a colander.
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Melt 1-2T butter, saute minced shallots until soft, translucent and fragrant, but before they get brown.
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Add drained spinach
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Add 2T half and half, pinch of salt, a couple of turns of fresh ground pepper.
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Add eggs to boiling water and cook for five minutes.
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Toasted bread thinly spread with dijon mustard.
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Peel eggs under water to remove shell. Be sure to peel away thin membrane, and pat to dry.
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Gushy goodness! Eat with a fork and knife, or just pick it up and eat with your fingers.
Smashed Egg & Spinach on Toast, from Smitten Kitchen

Equipment

small sauce pan
fry pan
fork, butter knife, serrated knife
colander
wooden spoon, measuring spoons

Ingredients
2 large eggs
4 oz fresh spinach leaves
2 slices of hearty bread. I used herb slab sliced in half
2T shallots, minced
2T butter
2T half & half*
1 tsp Dijon mustard
kosher salt & fresh-ground pepper
1T crumbled cheese, such as feta or goat**

*Smitten Kitchen uses heavy cream. I always have half & half for my coffee so I substituted that instead and it tasted great!
**I skipped the crumbled cheese, and for me, it was plenty rich without the extra dairy. 

I have a hard time getting everything to come together at the same time. SK begins the process with boiling the water and then cooking the egg for 5 minutes. I find that's a lot to juggle so I waited to boil my water until after the spinach & shallots were cooked. I think that was a little late, so in the future, I plan to start the water after draining the spinach.

Procedure
1. Mince shallot into very small mince.
2. While washing spinach leaves (no need to dry. Yay!), heat 2T water in skillet over medium low heat.
3. When water bubbles, add spinach. Cook just until wilted. It should still be a bright green color. 
4. Drain spinach in colander, and press excess water out with a fork. Don't squeeze. You want the spinach to retain its shape.
5. Pat dry the pan (though I found the residual heat evaporated the left-over water from the spinach), and melt 2T butter over medium low heat.
6. While the butter melts, start boiling the water for the eggs in a small sauce pan, and slice & toast the bread.
7. Add shallots to melted butter and saute until soft, about 3 minutes or until shallots are fragrant and translucent, but not browned.
8. Add two eggs to boiling water, lower heat a bit so they don't knock around too much, but water is still boiling. Cook for five minutes for a really loose egg.
9. Add the spinach to the saute pan and incorporate. 
10. Add 2T half & half (or heavy cream) and incorporate, simmer for about a minute
11. Add two pinches of kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste. Turn burner off, but it's okay to leave in the pan on the stove to keep warm. 
12. Spread about 1/2 tsp. dijon on each slice of toast.
13. Drain eggs, peel under warm tap water. At five minutes, they are quite jiggly so gently pat dry with a paper towel.
14. Arrange spinach on toast, making a nest with an indented area for the egg to nestle.
15. Place egg in nest, smash with a fork and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, serve immediately.
 
 
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It's another Saturday afternoon, and I haven't been to the store. I look in my pantry and find a great stand-by, canned tuna!

My tuna sandwiches don't have mayonaise. A simple vinaigrette with a few chopped vegetables then eat it on toast, over a salad, or if feeling indulgent, add cheddar and make a tuna melt. I prefer tuna packed in olive oil though I drain off most of the oil in the can and replace with fresh when making the dressing. I add whatever vegetables I have left in the fridge. Any combination of red or yellow peppers, carrots, green onion & celery work great. 

How do you like the retro, 50s, original-to-the house countertop? Our kitchen has matching linoleum on the floor! 

It's definitely not my first choice as the counter is a pain to keep clean–huge gaps at those metal seams along the edges that just collect gunk. I'm still working on my zen attitude towards leaving my work space spotless and not complaining about the clean up. There's always tomorrow!

Someday, I will have a gorgeous, easy-to-clean countertop.
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Mise en place. All ready to go with my crunchy , my heat, my melt, my protein and my acidic.
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First the vinaigrette. 1 tsp. dijon or other ground mustard and a squeeze of lemon juice.
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Add a pinch of kosher salt, a couple turns of cracked pepper, and about 1T of olive oil.
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Whisk continuously while adding the olive oil. The mustard works as an emulsifier and holds the whole vinaigrette together.
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Chop vegetables. A green onion (scallion) or a shallot is always good to include. It gives the tuna salad a little kick.
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Flake the tuna with a fork (separate the layers of packed tuna, instead of smooshing it all together which makes it resemble cat food!)
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Using a cheese planer makes for thin slices which assist in a quick melt.
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Heat 1T olive oil in a pan, or butter bottoms of one side of bread. Layer cheddar and cover with lid to encourage melting.
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Spread tuna mixture atop the cheese, after cheese has melted. *Note: I could have waited until the cheese was more melted. I like to have the tuna cold and vegetables still salad-like and cold while the cheese is very melty. Next time!
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Cover briefly to allow the tuna to sink into the melted cheddar and help the whole sandwich to adhere together.
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Light flavor from the vinaigrette, a bit of crunch from the red peppers, melty goodness from the cheddar, atop my favorite bread from Acme Bread Company in Berkeley!