real life test kitchen: eggs in hell

I first read this recipe in the February/March issue of ReadyMade. Taken from M.F.K. Fisher‘s book “The Art of Eating”, “Eggs in Hell” is a fanciful name for a dish that’s equal parts thrifty and delicious. Fisher created the recipe during World War II, when rationing meant getting creative with meals. So the ingredients are simple and inexpensive — a can of tomato sauce, an onion, a garlic clove, some basil or Italian herbs to taste, and eggs, served over bread. (Fisher also suggested a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top “if you can get it.”)

Two of my favorite things to eat are eggs and marinara, so I was itching to give this one a try. The results were amazingly tasty — for a new cook like myself, it’s a revelation how good tomatoes and onions can be (I also added about a cup of fresh spinach). My one caveat is, though Eggs in Hell (which I’ve made twice now) hasn’t tasted overly onion-y at all, you do get a lot of chunks of onion in every bite. So if you aren’t a big onion fan, I’d suggest cutting back on them a bit and adding some chunky tomatoes to the mix. I cooked the eggs in the sauce about ten minutes as suggested, and they were just about hard-cooked, so maybe eight minutes if you like your eggs over-easy style. And actually, I found the marinara so tasty, this would be a good recipe over pasta with no eggs at all. Get the recipe online at the Washington Post. –Mary T.

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stay up all night with watchmen nite owl coffee

Okay, all you movie-loving, coffee addicts! Here’s new treat for your pantry. Watchmen Nite Owl Dark Roast . It’s the perfect thing to keep you up for that 3 a.m. screening of the highly anticipated film early early tomorrow morning. This blend is actually created by the film’s amazingly talented unit photographer Clay Enos, who just happens to run the Organic Coffee Cartel in his spare time. One of Enos’ photos of Nite Owl adorns the can, which is sure to become collectible, $15 each. Click here to read more!

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real life test kitchen: one-pan pasta with garlic and oil

There’s a pasta dish I cook so often, that is so simple, I don’t even consider it a recipe. I saute some finely chopped garlic in a bit of olive oil, toss in some al dente spaghetti, finish it up with some grated cheese and red pepper flakes, and voila! My favorite comfort food. In last week’s Dining In section in The New York Times, there was a recipe that turned my pasta techniques upside down: One-Pan Pasta with Garlic and Oil. It was a part of the story Do You Need All That Oil To Boil Pasta? The idea behind it is that you can save energy by not using so much water to cook pasta, and not bringing the water to a boil before adding the pasta. I know! Sounds crazy, right? But there’s a wonderful side effect from this concept: You create amazingly starchy, flavorful pasta water that can be used to make yummy sauce.

For this recipe, first you cook some garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil in a large pan. Remove the garlic once golden, and then stir in eight cups of cold water, and add in the pasta and two teaspoons of salt. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. One small problem I found: the stiff pasta that poked out of the water got a little burned on the edge of the pan. Just a tiny bit, because it softened quickly and then it was all submerged. Once the pasta is cooked, you pour the cooking water off into a bowl and set aside. To the pan with the pasta, add in the cooked garlic, more oil, fresh parley, and then some spoonfuls of the cooking water until it’s lovely and slightly creamy. After adding my usual cheese and red pepper flakes, I dug in and was AMAZED at how flavorful it was. The pasta had a nuttiness to it that was so interesting, and all the ingredients really clung to it nicely. It really elevated the dish to a whole new level. I will definitely to it again! Click here for the full recipe. — Angela M.

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new obsession: greek-style yogurt

I recently started eating something I always thought I hated: plain yogurt. Oh, but not just any plain. Greek-style yogurt, with a texture and taste so creamy and rich, a friend calls it “dessert yogurt.” Add a little bit of honey or some frozen fruit, and suddenly my breakfast seems incredibly decadent. My absolute favorite right now is Fage, which tastes just as rich even when it’s 0% fat. Though I haven’t yet, this is a yogurt that begs to be added to recipes — and they supply some, too. My first runner-up is Greek Gods, which is available in several sweetened (but nowhere near as sweet as traditional yogurt brands) varieties like fig and pomegranate. And now I find that making my own yogurt is not only possible, it sounds sorta, well, easy, according to Beekman 1802 (a gorgeous site just learned about, where the above photo was taken). There will definitely be yogurt-making experiments in my culinary future. –Mary T.

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site we’re psyched about: jme at

We’re big fans of Jamie Oliver here at Shelterrific. Just today I fell further in love with the man. I stumbled upon and had so much fun browsing the Jme Shop. According to the site, “Jme features some of the world’s best designs, created by talented people who care about delivering inspirational products at a great price.” Well I agree wholeheartedly. I think I like his product plugs as much as his recipes! –Erica P.

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