Baked Egg in Tomato Cup

So I mentioned that we've been eating a lot of eggs over the past few weeks, right?  In an effort to keep things interesting and not drive both my husband and myself crazy over eggs, I tried to mix it up a little bit. So when I saw this recipe I was so excited to try it.  I remember eating baked eggs when I was little, and I thought it was such a treat.  It was something besides your plain ol' scrambled eggs, and I loved the surprise of melted cheese at the bottom.  So not only did this recipe take me back to my childhood, it added a bit of a twist that was new.  So I had a new way to try eggs, which was probably good for my marriage.  Furthermore, aren't tomatoes just the perfect indication that summer is on its way???  So even with all the rain we've been getting, and our crazy busy schedules, this recipe looked certain to inspire us to keep going, to make it through the few rough weeks where summer would be waiting on the other side.  It did not disappoint.  Not only is the flavor good, the presentation looks much fancier than the amount of work it took.  So you can make any overnight guest feel special.  When they wander sleepy-eyed into the kitchen for a cup of a coffee in the morning, have this yummy, and easy, dish waiting for them.  But only do it if you want them to come back for another visit.  Because when you cook like this, they definitely will.


4 medium sized tomatoes on the vine (any tomato will do, but this variety is sturdier to stand up to being baked)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Freshly minced or dried basil (or any other seasoning of your choice)
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice off the tops of tomatoes. Carefully scoop out the pulp. 

Sprinkle the cavities with grated cheese.  Place tomatoes in a show baking pan. Crack an egg into each tomato cup. Add ¼ tablespoon butter.  Sprinkle with basil (or other seasoning of your choice) and season with salt and pepper. 

Bake 20 to 25 minutes for runnier yolks or 25 to 30 minutes for a more firm yolk.

Top with remaining cheese and serve immediately.

(Recipe from

Buttered Rosemary Orange Nuts

Sometimes you feel like a nut.  Sometimes you don't.  Or that's what they say anyway.  Pretty sure after you taste these nuts you'll always feel like a nut.  So move over Mounds.

I don't even have the words for how good these nuts are.  Like you can't stop eating them good.  Like you might want to half the recipe so there aren't as many for you to eat in one sitting good.  Furthermore, they're really easy to make which makes them dangerous because you can make and enjoy them on a whim.

If you can resist eating the entire pan before your guests arrive, these nuts are perfect to set out as an appetizer.  Careful, though...they might ruin your guests' appetite for anything else you've prepared.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups raw mixed nuts
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest (about 2 oranges worth)
Salt to taste


Toast the nuts until they begin to brown, about five minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt if desired.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the honey and stir.  Add rosemary, orange zest, and nuts and toss until well coated.  Let cool on a baking sheet or piece of parchment paper.

(Recipe adapted from

Honey Apple Cheddar Melt

Grilled cheese sandwiches are one of the greatest comfort foods in my life.  Maybe it's because melted cheese is probably good enough to be a food group on its own.  (I actually have a friend who doesn't like cheese.  That's right.  Doesn't like cheese.  I can't decide if I feel sorry for her or if I feel the way my father used to feel when we told him we didn't like turnip greens and he responded with "Good!  More for me!"  But I digress.)  Maybe it's the greatest comfort food because it's one of the first things my mother would let me make by myself.  I have such good memories of being in the kitchen with her.  And I felt so grown up when she let me do something by myself!

Whatever the reason, a grilled cheese sandwich can, in fact, turn any terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day into the best.  (Alexander clearly should have eaten a grilled cheese sandwich that day).  I mean, really.  Look at this thing!

For some reason, last week out of the blue I decided I would make a grilled cheese with an apple on it.  Something about an apple combined with savory melted cheese just sounded unbearably delicious.  I go to my local farmers' market every weekend and my favorite part of my Saturday is sampling and buying my cheese for the week.  Nashvillians, if you haven't tried Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese you are doing yourself a serious disservice.  This local cheese-maker sells raw cheese, and not only do they have at least 25 cheeses to choose from (everything from tomato basil cheddar to cranberry havarti) but their personnel are beyond friendly.  And knowledgeable.  I blame them for making my cheese outing to the farmers' market one of my favorite parts of my week!  So do yourself a favor and buy some Kenny's cheese today.  (You don't even have to go to the farmers' market because Whole Foods and Produce Place, among other vendors, sell it).  And then make this sandwich.

Because after I randomly decided I wanted to make a grilled cheese sandwich with apple on it, I happened upon this recipe, which calls for cooking the apple before putting it on the sandwich.  That way the cold apple doesn't cool off the melted cheese.  Genius.  Cooking the apples adds about five minutes to the process of making a grilled cheese sandwich.  But it's well worth it.  I promise.

The day I made this sandwich the husband and I hadn't been home all day so when we got home at 3:00 we were both pretty hungry.  I decided to make the honey apple grilled cheese but the husband decided he was too hungry to wait the extra 5 minutes for the apples to cook.  Kinda like my friend who doens't like cheese, part of me felt sorry for him.  But more than anything, I just thought "good! More for me!"


1/2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon honey
A few shakes of cinnamon
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly

4 - 6 slices of good sharp cheddar cheese  (I used Kenny's aged white cheddar)
4 slices of whole grain bread


Heat the oil in a skilled.  Add the honey and stir until melted.  Add the apple slices and saute, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle cinnamon on the apples and stir. 

Assemble the sandwich putting a layer of cheese and a layer of apples in between two slices of buttered bread.  

Cook on medium heat until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.  Cut (in triangles, because we all know triangle sandwiches are better than rectangles) and serve hot.

(Recipe adapted from

Sesame Carrot Chips

Please.  Before you click away from this recipe because you don't like cooked carrots, hear me out on this one.  Am I the only one whose husband complains that I don't tell him things when in reality I know for a fact I told him and he just didn't listen? This recipe illustrates that fact (yes, it's a fact) perfectly.  A few weeks ago I tried this recipe.  I know the husband doesn't really love cooked carrots, but I do, and I'll be honest and admit that sometimes I cook things even if I know he won't love them.  Just because I will.  Does that make me so selfish?  Nah.  I think it just means I'm lovingly broadening his horizons! 

So we're sitting down to eat dinner, and I'm telling the husband something. I can't remember what I was telling him but I feel sure it was important. It usually is.  And all of a sudden he gets a look on his face like this:

Which clearly indicates to me that he's not paying attention.  Obviously.  He puts his fork down, interrupts me, and says, with his mouth full I might add, "Oh my word.  This recipe has to go on the blog.  Immediately."  I would have been offended that he interrupted me (and clearly wasn't paying attention) except that it took me so off guard because he generally doesn't like cooked carrots.  And although he is my A #1 tastetester, who knew he actually thought about my blog beyond eating the food I cook?  So I kind of laughed and said, "that good, huh."  "No, you don't understand," he says, as if I'm not eating the same thing.  "These are amazing."

Actually, I did understand.  And I couldn't have agreed more.  These carrot chips are, in fact,  I've made them twice since that night as they have quickly become a family favorite.  Last night I told the husband I was going to post this recipe.  He got very, very excited and commenced to tell me that I would, no doubt, double my following based on this recipe alone.  (Again, who knew he even knew that blogs had followers?).  I hope he's right.  But even if he's not, to those of you who are following this blog (and I can't thank you enough), this one's for you.  You will love.


2 pounds carots, sliced into thin rounds

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Sea salt to taste
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet over medium heat, saute sliced carrots in grapeseed oil until soft (about 6 to 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and toss with sesame oil and sea salt. 

Spread carrots on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from oven, toss with sesame seeds, and serve warm.

Printable Recipe

(Recipe from The Real Food Diet Cookbook by Dr. Josh Axe)

Iced Mexican Chocolate Sipper

Let's be honest.  Sometimes you just need a sweet treat.  And sometimes you just need an adult beverage.  So what happens when the need for both of these things hits at once?  Well, you run to your blender as quickly as you can and create this concoction!  It is delish.  And thankfully it is guilt free.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend drinking it in large quantities.  As with any sweet treat, you should consume it in moderation.  Plus, the sweetening agent in the ice cream I used is agave and, like I've said, the jury is still out on agave, so I limit my intake of it to the very occasional use.  Besides, this drink is pretty rich, and it does, in fact, have alcohol in it.  But every now and then it's going to hit the spot perfectly, and you can certainly drink a glass without feeling guilty. 

I used Coconut Bliss ice cream.  Have y'all tried it yet?  You can buy it at Whole Foods or other natural food stores.

Don't be fooled by the name.  It doesn't taste like coconut (although they do have a coconut flavor).  It is named "coconut bliss" because it is made from coconut milk.  The ingredients in this particular flavor are: organic coconut milk, organic agave syrup, organic vanilla, and organic cocoa.  Regardless of the flavor you choose, the basic ingrediants are the same.  There is never any added sugar, and coconut milk is always the base.  I grew up saying ice cream and french fries were my favorite food (and you wonder why I told my father I was going to grow snacks and desserts when I grew up).  And I promise you, even to someone who L.O.V.E.S. ice cream like I do, it is really, really good.  Some of the best I've had actually.  And when you add milk, cinnamon, and BOURBON to it, well, it hardly needs any explanation.  Just mix.  And enjoy.


1 cup all-natural chocolate ice cream (I prefer Luna & Larry's)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup bourbon


Place the first four ingredients to a blender.

Blend until smooth.  Stir in bourbon.  Serve immediately over ice.

Printable Recipe

(Recipe adapted from Southern Living May 2011)


I'm back, y'all!!!  And rarin' to go!  My goal is to post three to five times a week from here on out, so y'all check often and you won't be disappointed.  That's the plan anyway.  I mean, who plans to disappoint, right? Maybe I should say check back often and I hope you won't be disappointed!

In case you're wondering why I fell off the face of the blogosphere, the past two months have been IN.sane.  Not to complain, because some of it was self-inflicted, but between several serious medical issues in my family, one death in the family, a 200-hour hot yoga teacher training, a dying vehicle, and a full time job I've hardly had time to plan my menus or even cook much of anything.  I think I went to the grocery store twice, maybe three times, in the past eight weeks.  And we've eaten alot of these to hold us over: 

After all, they're easy to prepare, pretty versatile (egg salad sandwich, anyone?  How about scrambled eggs?  Baked eggs?  Fried eggs on cheese toast?), and we know where they come from (a local farmer) so we can trust them in a hurry.  I did manage to cook a couple of actual meals, and one of them was this spaghetti.  But before I get to that, let me put in another plug for hot yoga since I just finished my teacher training.   

Original Hot Yoga Poses

If you're in Nashville, come to one of my classes at Hot Yoga Nashville.  If you're elsewhere, find another studio and teacher you love.  This particular yoga series (illustrated above) is designed to work out your entire body: every muscle, joint, ligament, tendon, and fiber down to the cellular level.  So many benefits.  To name just a few, the heated room warms your body up so you can (eventally) go more deeply and effectively into the postures.  The sweating (and it is intense) promotes detoxification.  Did you know that sweat is the number two way our body detoxes?  Hot yoga combats a number of physical maladies, everything from arthritis to cancer.   I know this is a food blog, not an exercise blog, so I'll stop singing the praises of hot yoga.  But give it a try.  You will love.

Now.  Back to the spaghetti.  I grew up on pretty much the best spaghetti ever, so I'm what you might call a spaghetti snob.  The sauce below, though, passes the test.  I originally saw it on my friend Lauren's blog.  It is really fun to read because her little boy is so darn cute.  On Fridays she has "Foodie Friday" and posts a new recipe she's found.  So check it out.  And while you're there, find out about Sweet Lou's, her new business venture: all-natural baked goods that are truly to die for.  She found the recipe from The Pioneer Woman who apparently can do no wrong in the kitchen.  If this spaghetti is any indication, I think she might be as good as everyone says she is.  The recipe with my slight adaptations is below.  I also recently learned a new method for preparing the noodles.  Cook the noodles according to the package directions, but drain them about two minutes early.  Then add them to the simmering spaghetti sauce for a few minutes.  The flavor cooks into the noodles slightly.  Plus, you know how noodles get dried out if you try to save them?  Well, the combination of the sauce and the noodles prepared this way keeps the leftovers moist (am I the only one who doesn't hate that word?) so you can just reheat the whole dish.  And you will likely be reheating it.  This recipe serves a five to six good-sized portions.


1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons coconut oil or grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, minced in a food processor

1 lb. grass fed beef
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
1 28-oz can + 1 14.5-oz can crushed or diced tomatoes, pureed in a food processor

2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb. dried pasta (I used spaghetti noodles)
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or 3 tablespoons dried basil)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresly grated Parmesan chese (I used asiago), plus more for serving


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate large pan, cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink and starting to brown, 5 - 7 minutes.  Add the onions, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the wine to the pan and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions, until about 2 minutes before tender.  Drain the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking, finish the sauce.  Stir in the nutmeg, basil, cream, and remaining 1/4 cup wine.  Simmer for 5 more minutes. 

When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it and the parmesan cheese to the pan and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. 

Serve.  Top with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

(Recipe adapted from Ina Garten)