…but eating 23 is surprisingly easy.

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Andra’s right, eating 50 eggs is difficult.  But by the time we eat our sandwiches for lunch today, we will have eaten 23 (two dozen hard-boiled eggs, save one that the cook ate to ensure they were cooked perfectly).

How, you ask?  That’s four sandwiches for lunch yesterday and because my kids went to bed without dinner last night (on Easter??  Yep, we’re that mean), my husband and I ate them for dinner as well.  Our Monday After Easter menu is shaping up to be pretty spectacular:  lamb, rosemary potatoes, asparagus, and any remaining Easter candy for dessert.

I’m sure Andra’s Egg Salad is delicious, but I’ve never eaten hers while fuming over the behavior of a 4 and 2-year old.  My egg salad pairs nicely with kid’s Easter candy.  Trust me.

– Catherine

Egg Salad For a Rough Easter

23 hard-boiled eggs

1 cup mayonnaise

2 stalks celery, finely diced

8 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard

8 teaspoons lemon juice (about two lemons)

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

2 Tbsp chopped dill

Kosher salt (about 1 tsp)

Ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and use a potato masher to break up eggs until coarsely chopped.  Serve with fresh white pita or ciabatta bread with watercress or any crunchy lettuce.

No one can eat 50 eggs

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But we’re going to try.   The eggs have been boiled, dyed, hidden and found.   It’s a pretty convoluted way to get to egg salad but so worth it. Every year, as I’m peeling what seems like 50 eggs to make egg salad, I have a vision of Paul Newman lying prostrate on a picnic table with a swollen belly and a huge smile on his face.  If you haven’t seen Cool Hand Luke, you should stop what you’re doing right this minute and download it now.  It is one of the greatest movies of all time.   Surprisingly, it’s full of a lot of really useful parenting tips.  As a mother of two boys, the following lines yelled from the bottom of the stairs at bed time have been invaluable.

” Any man not in his bunk at eight spends the night in the box.  Any man playing grab-ass or fighting in the building spends a night in the box.  Any man with dirty pants on sitting on the bunks spends a night in the box.  Any man don’t bring back his empty pop bottle spends a night in the box.”

Except pop-bottle is replaced with dirty clothes, but you get the idea.  If we’re still at an impasse, a well-timed, “What we have here is a failure to communicate” will usually convince everyone to step back in line.

Here is my recipe for egg salad. As with all holiday sandwiches that come together in the form of a leftover, it’s best served on the whitest, softest and most unhealthy bread you can find.  In the South, it’s Bunny Bread and in the North it used to be Wonder Bread.   Unfortunately, all I had today was wheat bread.  Next year, I will have to remember to ask the Easter Bunny to leave a loaf of bread in my basket.  Enjoy!

-Andra

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Egg Salad

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

1/2 cup mayo

2-3 T of Dijon mustard

1 t of celery seed

1 stalk of celery

t T chopped fresh dill

Cayenne pepper to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper, taste

Place eggs in a large bowl and with a potato masher, mash the eggs leaving them somewhat chunky.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.

A math problem?

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The morning after our snow day we had a problem to solve.  We had baked too many pieces of prosciutto for our grilled panini the day before.  Not ones to waste food, we formulated a plan for how to use the rest of the prosciutto while we ate our panini.   Some might call planning a meal while you’re eating another “a problem”.

Our plan came together in the form of a McMuffin style sandwich with a little more panache than the type that comes in a paper wrapper.  We added a little sprinkling of Grana Padano cheese to the bottom of the English muffin as well as to the top of a fried egg to melt it just ever so slightly.  The egg was still a little runny and the prosciutto was crisp and savory.  You will be happy to know that all of the prosciutto equaled all of the eggs and English muffins leaving us with no leftovers.  How’s that for kitchen math?

-Andra

Linguine with Fried Eggs and a Weekly Dinner Evolution

My husband ran the Wildwood Half Marathon here in New Jersey on Sunday morning.  I wish I could say that running 13.1 miles was something unusual for him, but he does it most weekends.  He just usually does it alone.  On the occasion when he’s running an official race, we treat it like a special occasion and do unusual things like skip Happy Hour and eat as many carbs as possible the night before.

We’ve talked a lot about what constitutes the best pre-race dinner over the past year.  Andra is convinced that the unique combination of complex carbs and protein in Polenta, Swiss Chard and Eggs makes it the best choice.  I’m convinced it should be meatless, but I still vote for pasta.  As of Saturday night, I believe we have a new winner.

I made a variation of Mark Bittman’s Spaghetti with Fried Eggs.  In the step where the olive oil is infused with garlic, I added a sprig of rosemary.  I didn’t have spaghetti, but I loved the heartier linguine with it.  I used five eggs for one pound of pasta and there was enough for the four of us with seconds and leftovers.

The run went so well that we didn’t skip happy hour on Sunday.

For dinner on Sunday, I made our weekly staple, “Quiche with Whatever You Have Without Going to the Store”.  (That’s the official name of it.)  We eat this often, as you can see here and here.   Here’s the rundown of the easiest, last-minute dinner (other than pasta) in my repertoire.

Preheat the oven to 375° and defrost the frozen (gasp), roll-out pie-crust.  Crack six eggs and whisk them with a cup of cream, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg.  Roll out the pie crust into a pie dish, tart pan or springform pan.

Clean vegetables and sautee them in olive oil, butter or (best yet), saved bacon grease (that’s what’s in that tall ramekin).

Pour vegetables into the crust.

Top with cheese.  Any kind.  We like goat cheese.

Top with egg and cream mixture.

Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes or until the center is no longer jiggly.  Yes, I said jiggly.

Serve with salad.

– Catherine

Quiche. Again.

Quiche is in pretty heavy rotation here, especially during the summer.  My plan was to make a mushroom and asparagus quiche, but the asparagus was way past its prime.  (Actually, my plan was to make the coffee-rubbed steaks I didn’t make on Sunday, but my steak was also past it’s prime.  I feel incredible guilt for both.)

So, quiche to the rescue again.  Specifically, a ham, mushroom, scallion and cheddar quiche.

I will make those coffee-rubbed steaks tonight.  I can’t let a steak recipe become my Everest.

– Catherine

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