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Eggs Florentine November 25, 2008


Ingredients: ( Serves 4 )

4 Large Fresh Eggs

2 Cups Sauteed Spinach

12 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Sea Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

To Serve:

4 Slices Crusty Country Style Bread

1 Large Garlic Clove, Peeled

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Place the bread slices under the broiler until golden brown on each side. Place the garlic clove on the tines of a fork and scrape the garlic along one side of the bread. Brush with some olive oil and set on four individual plates to be served alongside the cooked eggs.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 1/2 Cup spinach in each of the four ramekins. Break an egg on top of the spinach, being careful not to crack the yolk. Spoon three tablespoons of heavy cream on top of each egg. Sprinkle each with a little sea salt, cracked pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Bake the eggs for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the yolks are at your desired doneness. Serve with some toasted bread slices alongside each ramekin.


Asparagi alla Bismarck


Ingredients: ( Serves 4 )

1 Pound Asaparagus

4 Large Eggs

6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt & Cracked Black Pepper

Boil the asparagus in gently boiling water until cooked, but still al dente. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Divide the asparagus onto four plates. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a frying pan and fry the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks remain soft. Place one egg on top of each bunch of asparagus. Melt the remaining butter in a small pan and then drizzle it over the melted butter. Sprinkle with a little salt, and some coarsley cracked black pepper. Next sprinkle equally over each plate the fresh parmesan cheese.


Pancetta Zucchini Breakfast Tart

Filed under: Italian Style — byb1 @ 2:06 pm
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On our recent trip to Italy, we stayed at a beautiful country hotel called Relais Villa Giulia in Fano. The one thing I will always remember most about our stay there was the amazing breakfast buffet. There were many freshly baked breakfast cakes and tarts, but there was one savory egg tart that both my husband and I really enjoyed.
This is my version of that tart made with a light airy puff pastry crust and a quiche style filling. You could vary the filling by changing the vegetables, meat or cheese to suit your taste, but the filling ingredients I used in this recipe were what I tasted in the tart we so enjoyed at Villa Giulia. Do not worry if your eggs run over the pastry a bit on the sides as once it is baked it will not matter, and it adds to it’s rustic charm.
Ingredients: ( Serves 6 to 8 )
1 (8 Ounce) Package Puff Pastry, Thawed If Frozen
1 Medium Zucchini, Cut Into 1/2 Inch Dice
1/4 Cup Finely Diced Onion
1/2 Cup Finely Diced Pancetta
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
8 Medium Eggs
1/ 2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
For Garnish:
Thinly Sliced Roasted Red Pepper Strips (Optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring-form pan with removable bottom. Roll out the puff pastry until fairly thin. Place the spring-form pan on the pastry and cut out a circle three inches larger than the pan’s bottom diameter. Place the pastry in the pan carefully pressing it onto the bottom of the pan but leaving the sides free.
In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the pancetta cubes. Cook until lightly brown. Add the onion and zucchini and continue to cook until tender. Cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream until light and fluffy. Fold in the zucchini mixture and cheese. Stir to mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully pour the eggs into the prepared pan, making sure the pastry stays put along the sides. After the eggs are in the pan, carefully bring the pastry from the sides of the pan over the egg mixture just covering the top edges. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned and the eggs are set. Cool for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from spring-form pan and place on a large plate, garnish with pepper strips, and serve.

Spinach, Sausage, And Goat Cheese Egg Casserole


Italians generally do not eat heavy breakfasts, so this is probably not a recipe you would find in Italy. On our recent trip to Marche however, we were surprised to see many savory egg pastries, and baked egg dishes on the breakfast buffet each morning. This was apparently for the benefit of the hotel’s guests, most who were from other European countries. This dish is one I often make when we have company as it is actually best if prepared the night before, and then baked just before serving. You could substitute bacon for the sausage, or even leave the meat out altogether if you prefer.

Ingredient: ( Serves 6 to 8 )

3 Sausage Links, Casings Removed
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Cups Sauteed Spinach, Drained And Finely Chopped
4 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Oil Packed)
8 Cups 1 Inch Cubes Italian Bread
6 Ounces Chopped Fontina Cheese
3 Cups Whole Milk
10 Large Eggs
Salt & Pepper
4 Ounces Goat Cheese
In a heavy frying pan, cook the sausage meat in the olive oil until browned, using a spoon to break it up as it cooks. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft and translucent. Add the spinach and cook another 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Butter a casserole dish large enough to hold all of the bread. In a large bowl mix together the bread, sausage mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, fontina cheese, and season everything with salt and pepper. Place the bread mixture into your casserole dish and press down lightly.
Whisk together the milk and eggs and pour over the bread. Crumble the goat cheese on top of everything and cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Refrigerate at least 8 hours. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and bake the casserole covered for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the eggs are set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

November 16, 2008

Filed under: Optical Illusions — byb1 @ 4:40 pm
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Stare at the blue trash bag in the doorway
for at least 1 minute, and you will see something
really freaky. Don’t cheat. You must stare at the
blue trash for at least a minute, and then your eyes
will adjust and you’ll see it.



Are they walking up the stairs, or down?

Filed under: Optical Illusions — byb1 @ 4:35 pm
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Disappearing Dots

Filed under: Optical Illusions — byb1 @ 4:13 pm
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Hold your head steady and fix your eyes on the dot in the center of the picture. The colored dots will seem to disappear in a few seconds. The effect is due to retinal fatigue which occurs when the afterimage of an object cancels the stimulus of the object on the retina. The effect is most pronounced when the objects do not have well-defined edges that are detectable by small eye movements.

Retinal Fatigue