Emily’s First Egg

posted in: Life | 0

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On a cold, rainy Tuesday in early June, I rushed to the post office to pick up 10 chicks. Yep, I’d ordered baby chicks online and the day they hatched, they were shipped to me — via USPS in a cardboard box with holes poked in it! For about six weeks, I had them in a brooder, which was really just a large plastic tub with a heat lamp over it. It’s safe to say that I was obsessed with them.

Only six were for us; I was raising four for friends. Eventually, our six girls were big enough to move into their coop — a beautiful chicken home my brother-in-law and nephew built for us.

Since then, I’ve been doting on them, feeding them table scraps as treats, and waiting patiently (okay, perhaps not quite so patiently) for our first egg. And then, last week, it finally came!

I went out in the morning to check on them after the temperature had dropped more than 40 degrees overnight. I know that sudden changes in weather can be stressful, and even deadly, for chickens, so I was thrilled when I opened their little pop door and they all waddled down their little ladder. Though they are all “especially cold hardy” breeds, I was half expecting them to be dead. What I was not expecting was my Buff Orpington, Buffy, to squat and drop an egg in the middle of their run.

chickens
Left to right: Tia, Buffy, and Snooki Elizabeth Fopkins

I was overjoyed. It was a perfectly imperfect, beautiful, speckled, little brown egg.

All Rights Reserved © Feed Me Creative 2014
It really was small. Our egg, on the left, compared to what I thought was a small brown egg from a local farm.

Then, within a couple of hours, I found another one in the nesting box (where the chickens are supposed to lay their eggs). I suspect it was from our Black Jersey Giant, Snooki Elizabeth Fopkins (long name, long story) who’d been hanging out in the nesting box all morning. I wanted to eat them, but I waited until my husband got home from work so I could show him — because I was so freaking excited! Since we were going out to eat that night, I decided to save them for the morning when I found a third egg!

Since then, I’ve been finding one to two eggs a day — which, for six very young hens in this cold weather, is really quite impressive.

In case you’re wondering, yes, we’ve been eating them all — fried with runny yolks. And they are so, so good.

Chipotle-Bacon Guacamole

posted in: Recipes | 0

We developed this smoky, salty guacamole for foodandwine.com, and they’ve heaped plenty of superlatives on it in the past few months (10 guacamole recipes you have to try before you die…15 party dips guaranteed to get you laid…467 bacon recipes that will send you straight to Flavortown, and the hospital).

And to be honest, if less than humble, it’s deserving of all accolades. After all, it’s guacamole, which is inherently delicious, with bacon and chipotle peppers, which are also delicious. Oh, and you eat it with pork rinds. Basically, it’s a bowl of delicious mixed with a pile of delicious served with a bag of delicious.

guacamole with bacon and smoky chipotle peppers

Smoky Chipotle and Bacon Guacamole

total time: 30 minutes
servings: 2 cups

3 ripe Haas avocados
8 ounces bacon, cooked
2 canned chipotle peppers, dried and diced
¼ cup finely diced white onion
1 lime, juiced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Kosher salt

1. Scoop the avocado into a bowl. Coarsely mash it with a fork. Stir in the bacon, chipotle, onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt. Serve with tortilla chips or, even better, pork rinds.

Make Ahead: Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate overnight. Leaving one of the avocado pits in the guacamole will also help reduce oxidation (browning). Because science.

 

Coffee Cream Soda: A Refreshing Caffeinated Treat

posted in: Drinks | 0

Coffee and Cream Soda Together

I drink coffee. Lots of it. Too much of it according to my husband. Most of the time, I drink it hot and black, maybe with a shot or two of espresso for an extra boost. When it’s warm out, though, I prefer something chilled, like iced coffee, or even better, toddy — coffee that’s cold brewed. I also believe that everything is better with bubbles, and believe it or not, I’ve found a way to combine the two.

Earlier this summer, bloggers were making a big deal about coffee with tonic water. And that’s good, but if you want something a little sweeter, I suggest trying cream soda. It’s been my go-to bubbly coffee drink since I worked for a coffee roaster a few summers ago. One painfully hot day, I started playing around with mixers, and figured cream soda might work because the flavors would mimic the cream and sugar people often put in coffee. I was right, and the result was a refreshing, slightly sweet caffeinated treat.

The proportions don’t really matter; I mix mine about one to one. While I prefer toddy, regular coffee that’s been chilled works just fine, too.

Summer Squash “Linguine”

posted in: Recipes | 0

If you skipped ahead of this painstakingly crafted introduction and have already looked at the recipe, I know what you’re thinking: “You said this was linguine, but I don’t see any linguine in this recipe, and I’m starting to feel like everything you’ve ever told me is a lie.”

First of all, calm down; you’re way too emotional about this whole linguine thing, and you seem to have serious trust issues. Secondly, I used quotation marks around the word “linguine,” which we all know means, “kind of but not really.” Thirdly, take a look at the photo below and tell me these julienned summer squash “noodles” don’t look just like linguine …

That’s what I thought. Now shut up and go enjoy this summer squash “linguine.”

yellow squash linguine

Summer Squash “Linguine” with Shrimp and Asparagus

active: 20 min
total time: 20 min
servings: 6

When julienned on a mandoline, lightly sauteéd summer squash does a great job of imitating pasta, making a light, healthy, gluten-free dish when tossed in olive oil with shrimp and asparagus.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
3 medium yellow squash (or combination of yellow and green), julienned on mandoline
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over moderately high heat. Add shrimp and asparagus and cook until the shrimp is cooked through and the asparagus tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the squash over moderately high heat for two minutes. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the shrimp and asparagus and serve.

 

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