When in Doubt, Make Eggs

It’s true.  Eggs are incredible.

Meaning they cook fast.

But I have to tell you a secret.  Come closer.  Shield your screen from those nosy onlookers.

There was a time when I couldn’t stomach eggs.  I didn’t like them.  I wouldn’t touch them unless it was what was served and I was ravenous.

Unless it was a Bird’s Nest, prepared with love and exasperation by my father.  What’s a Bird’s Nest, you ask?

Well, it was one of those magical dishes that only parents know how to make to trick their kids into eating things that are good for them.   I’m not certain of the origin of the Bird’s Nest, but I’m pretty sure it was invented by a mom who was one step away from pulling every last hair out of her head because all her kids wanted for breakfast were sugary pastries.

It’s basically a piece of bread with a hole cut (ripped?) out of the center with an egg fried underneath so that the yolk poked through the top.

Whimsical?  Yes.  What kid would argue with that?  Next to a grilled cheese sandwich, you can’t beat it.

I dressed mine up with some caramelized onions

and topped it with a few chunks of sharp white cheddar.

And that, my friends, is how you overcome a dislike of a food.

To all you parents out there with picky kids, make this for them.  They will eat their eggs without an argument.

You’re welcome.

Of course, I served myself some roasted brussels sprouts alongside mine tonight.

I wouldn’t serve those, though, unless you have the least picky kids in the world.  They’ll learn these little cabbages in time, just like I did.

Just don’t expect them to stop asking for Bird’s Nests-  ever.




The Last Birthday

Last night was my Mom’s birthday.  It’s the last family birthday of the year, so we can all chill out on the celebrations for a few months.  Phew.

My nephews think that she’s “fifty eighty three years old”.  Yup, 5,083 years old.

I have to say, she looks remarkably good for her age! 😉

In celebration, my family made a FEAST.

These were the leftovers that I partook in for lunch today.  I didn’t actually take many pictures of the actual dinner.  Just this one:

and this one:

Yeeaah, here’s the thing.  When you’ve got two crazy nephews running around like a couple of hooligans and 5 adults trying to wrangle them all while making dinner, things get a little chaotic and pictures were the last thing I was thinking about.  I don’t know how Mama Pea does it.

Needless to say, I didn’t just forget to take pictures of my beautiful Thai Chicken Salad Pizza, I also forgot MY CAMERA at my parents’ house when I left.  The horror.

The above pictures are of the un-Thai’ed pizza and the eggplant parmesan.  The recipe I used for the pizza was inspired by Rachael Ray (recipe here) but I “kicked it up a notch”.  Was that an Emeril reference?  Gee, I watch too much Food Network.

For the pizza, roll out pizza dough (I used one that was store bought to simplify the process- making one from scratch at this party would have been unwise, trust me) and spread with a thin, even layer of duck sauce or sweet and sour sauce, which is what I used.

Then top with shredded mozzarella, monterey jack or provolone (or all three, we don’t judge here) and julienned strips of red bell pepper.  Bake on top rack of oven at 425° for about 12-15 minutes until the cheese gets bubbly and starts to brown.

After that, I made a sort of salad/slaw to top the pizza with.  It’s similar to Rachael’s but I beefed it up.  I julienned 1/2 a seedless cucumber, 1/2 bag of packaged coleslaw mix (the kind with cabbage and carrot), a little bit of diced bell pepper and some chopped scallions.  I tossed the mix with a combo of 2 parts white wine vinegar and 1 part honey, seasoned with salt and pepper.

The original recipe called for peanuts and peanut butter, but since my nephews have nut allergies, I modified the recipe.  The chicken that I came up with (totally by accident because I went a whole different direction) was AMAZING.

I’m not giving you the recipe yet because I’m still toying with it and have big ideas for some variations, but just use any grilled chicken recipe you like.

Top the baked pizza with a heap of the slaw and some strips the chicken and that’s what you get!  So good.

Yeah, that’s the un-topped pizza again.  I ran out of the salad-slaw for the leftovers.  I rule.

We also had eggplant parmesan, garlic bread and salad, followed by angel’s food cake with strawberries.

Nope, my family doesn’t like to eat at all.

Happy belated birthday, Mom!

Papa’s Pizza Party

Today is a very special day.

It’s hump day.

A new episode of Modern Family aired tonight.


It’s my dad’s birthday!

Pay no attention to the fact that I look like a crazy person in this picture.  Blame the photographer, my sister.

To celebrate, our family went out for a good ol’ fashioned pizza party at California Pizza Kitchen.

Glamorous, I know.

What can I say?  My nephews are suckers for a good cheesy pie.  And contented children = uneventful dinner = happy family = untraumatic birthday celebrations!

I like CPK a lot, but I know that it’s really easy to eat enough calories to feed a sumo wrestler for a week with some of their dishes.  Now, I’m not a calorie counter but even I can appreciate the value in controlling my intake when I’m faced with an artery-clogging menu like this.

So what did I do?  I checked out the nutritional stats on CPK’s website before we went.  There’s some new legislation out there that requires larger chain restaurants to post nutritional info- check it out, it’s pretty eye-opening.

After perusing the menu online, I decided to go with the Asparagus Soup as an appetizer.

Not only does a cup of this soup weigh in at just over 100 calories (there’s no cream in it), it was really good for my ever-persistent cold.

I ordered a half-size of the Original BBQ Chicken Salad as my entrée.

Usually my bottomless stomach would scoff at the idea of a half salad, but a) my appetite has been wavering since I came down with this stupid cold (the horror!) and b) CPK’s salads are huge.  Like, bigger than my head huge.

We, of course, ended the evening with some cake.  It wouldn’t really be a celebration without one, you know.

Although he did evade the infamous birthday crown.  Lucky man.

Happy birthday, Papa!  You’re still my favorite dad. 🙂

What are your family’s birthday traditions?