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Scratch That

Okay, so–my story about Ms. F and her Jelly Bean Monster backfired.  You guys were supposed to be outraged on my behalf, but instead everyone was like “What a neat idea!  Love it!  I’m going to use this on my child/spouse/students/employees!”

Take my friend Movita, for example.  She says she’s going to use The Jelly Bean Monster to maintain order in her college-level ballet classes.

That’s a terrible idea.  You know why?  Because her students are going to freak out.  It’s fine to upset a puny second grader, but you do not want to piss off an adult professional ballerina.  They’re strong.  They’re usually a little nuts, too (um, hello–Black Swan?)  And I get the sense that when they’re provoked, they’re not afraid to drop kick you and call it a pas de bourrée.

So, for everyone’s safety, I have to bomb the internet again.  This time I’m posting quiet, relaxing photos of my weekend so that you’re lulled into a deep hypnosis and you forget I said anything about Ms. F. and her methods.  By the time you finish looking at these, you’ll be like “jelly bean what?”



Ahem.  And now for the recipes:

I love deviled eggs, and for the first time I put cumin in them.  Game changer.  We had them as a pre-dinner snack.

Deviled Eggs {Download & Print Recipe}

Adapted from a recipe in Deviled Eggs, by Debbie Moose


6 hard-boiled eggs

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1-2 tsp. cider vinegar (distilled white vinegar is okay too)

1/4 tsp. cumin

dash pepper

salt to taste

paprika for garnish


Peel the eggs, cut them in half, and mash the yolks thoroughly in a bowl.  Combine the yolks with the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. of the vinegar, and the cumin.  Taste it and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add more vinegar to make it more tangy, and add more mayonnaise to make it more more creamy.

Fill the whites with the mixture.  Sprinkle the eggs with paprika if desired, and serve.


I also made this phenomenal strawberry cake.  I call it strawberry pan-cake because you cook it in a square pan and you don’t mess with icing or layers or anything.  But also because the batter tastes a little bit like yellow cake crossed with a pancake.  It’s not sweet.  You know how Bisquick batter is kind of. . . tangy? It’s a little like that.  It’s fabulous paired with the sweetness of the strawberries.

Do not try to invert it and pop it out of the pan.  I did.  Not a good move (see above).  Instead, just spoon servings out and serve plain or with whipped cream for breakfast, or with ice cream or whipped cream for dessert.

Strawberry Pan-Cake {Download & Print Recipe}

Adapted by a recipe for blueberry pudding cake in a special edition of Gourmet magazine called “Easy Dinners”


1/3 c. + 1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. water

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. cornstarch

2 1/2 c. sliced strawberries

1 c. flour

1 3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. whole milk (I didn’t have any so I used 1/4 cream and 1/4 c. skim milk)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle.  Butter a 9″ square baking pan.

In a medium-sized sauce pan, stir together 1/3 c. of the sugar with the water (1/4 c.), the lemon juice, cornstarch and the strawberries.  Bring to a brisk simmer, stirring occasionally.  Adjust the heat downward a little, but keep it at a simmer for another 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 c. sugar.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the milk, butter and vanilla.  Then add the egg and whisk until just combined (but no more).

Spoon batter into the pan and spread it evenly.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the strawberries from their juices and scatter them over the batter.  It’s okay if you get some of the juice on the batter, but the point is to get the strawberries on there without all the watery mess.

Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean and the sides are just a tad golden brown, 25 -30 minutes.  Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then scoop portions onto plates or bowls.  (Do not try to invert the pan to remove the whole cake.)  Serve plain, or with whipped cream (if you want to sweeten the whipped cream, add a little confectioner’s sugar and vanilla to the cream when you whip it).

55 Comments Post a comment
  1. For some reason, those diet coke bottles poked a bit of my brain that made me feel all and nostalgic for being on holiday. And then I looked at Thunder’s big ole happy face again and I was all .. Plus, devilled eggs, BOOM. They are back. They are awesome. I’ll try cumin in mine next time, you try minced spring onion in yours. Youre gonna love it.

    July 30, 2012
    • Ooookay so my comment looks weird. I put some things in those pointy brackets and they’ve disappeared. I was all SIGH and nostalgic, and then I was all GRIN when I looked at Thunder’s sweet face.

      I have no excuse for the missing ‘ in you’re. I hang my head in shame.

      July 30, 2012
      • I didn’t even notice– I just KNEW that you were grinning. I have a really good sixth sense and the cameras I installed in your office and home also help.

        July 30, 2012
  2. I am all *uponz* strawberry pan-cake as dinner. Hard. Core. Although, I think I may replace the berries with jelly beans.

    July 30, 2012
    • Brooke, you’re killin’ me, girl. Killin’ me with those jelly beans. SIGH.

      I had strawberry cake for lunch yesterday when I dumped it out of the pan. It just seemed like I had no other option at that point. Then I had it after dinner, and this morning I had some for breakfast because the cereal was stale. It’s been a good 24 hours.

      July 30, 2012
  3. I love deviled eggs and thats a cute dog!

    July 30, 2012
    • Aren’t deviled eggs the best?! I have an entire cookbook of deviled egg recipes (the one I linked to). It’s one of my very favorite books in the kitchen.

      July 30, 2012
  4. Amy #

    Those pics are all gorgeous. I wish that I could sleep as peacefully as Thunder for just one night…or even a nap! I don’t know what jelly bean story you’re referring to at all… 😉

    July 30, 2012
    • Amy, the fact that she takes 20 naps a day makes me even more jealous of her sleeping ability. She almost falls asleep when she’s sitting up and you rub behind her ears. I can’t fall asleep on airplanes or on chairs and sometimes not even in bed. Scott has never–not ONCE–fallen asleep before me. Grr.

      July 30, 2012
      • I mean after me, obviously. If I weren’t so SLEEP DEPRIVED, maybe I could say what I mean properly. 🙂

        July 30, 2012
  5. Ginger Cobl #

    can’t wait to try the cumin in deviled eggs, bet they’re even better with fresh eggs!

    July 30, 2012
    • Ginger, I bet they’re freaking fantastic with fresh eggs. And I bet the color is even more orange! Tell your girls to step on it. 🙂

      July 30, 2012
      • Also, I can’t believe that two of your chicks are turning out to be roosters. I hope this isn’t a repeat of what happened last time. I hear a stew pot clanging in the distance. . .


        July 30, 2012
  6. Stephanie #

    How come I can’t have that Strawberry Pan-Cake thingy with ice cream for breakfast if I want? Why limit it just to a dessert? Ice cream is a nice source of milk, and everyone knows you should have milk for breakfast. 😉

    July 30, 2012
    • You make an excellent point. Reading over it again, I am embarrassed at how I appear to have gone to great lengths to distinguish between mealtimes and the propriety of ice cream. Which is just not cool. To prove my change of heart, I promise myself (and you) that I’ll have ice cream for breakfast tomorrow, with or without cake (I don’t think it’ll last that long. It’s going fast!)

      July 30, 2012
  7. You know your hypnosis might be working …no body has mentioned the J word….love deviled eggs and your recipie ….my aunt makes an exotic and really fatty variety where she mixes the yolk with fish or chicken and then fries the egg with the stuffing …so your version is awesome…easier and healthier (that sounds like an organic grain commercial..sorry!!)

    July 30, 2012
    • Your aunt’s version sounds kind of like a Scotch egg! Except those are made with sausage, aren’t they? I saw a recipe for them the other day, and wow–like you said: exotic and not as good for you by a long stretch! I’m surprised I haven’t had something like your aunt’s version yet in Alabama. . . but we’re going to the state fair in a month or two, and I’ll be on the look-out.

      July 30, 2012
      • My aunt does exotic…I mean yes its supposed to be with sausage, but she creates her own versions now and then…you know they are not particularly healthy…but at that moment in time…they are yum….hope you get some at the State fair…otherwise drop in…I did learn the recipie from her 🙂

        July 31, 2012
  8. You and Movita crack me up. I have to read both your blogs just to keep up with storylines. It’s awesome.

    July 31, 2012
    • Ha. That IS awesome. I love that woman to pieces.

      August 1, 2012
  9. I love that pretty white plate you have your peach on!

    July 31, 2012
  10. I love just cumin in deviled eggs, but usually I use a curry powder that has cumin as well as a bunch of other lovely spices. I’ve never tried adding Worcestershire and I LOVE Worcestershire! Boiling the eggs now! Thank you!

    July 31, 2012
    • Yum! I am always trying to make curried tuna or egg salads. Do you have any special tricks?

      August 1, 2012
      • Well, being from the south, I put boiled eggs in my tuna salad too. I thought everyone did until I brought tuna salad sandwiches to a board meeting once (We all brought food since we met through lunch only once a month.) and someone asked me what I had added to my egg salad. “Um, tuna, since it is tuna salad,” I said. She was most astonished. Apparently they don’t do that in Michigan. Anyway, what I do is, take out the hard-boiled yolks, mix them with the mayo and mustard or whatever your other moistening ingredients are going to be, add the curry powder (plus salt, pepper, etc.) to that mix and, THEN, add to the dry ingredients like egg or tuna, and, of course, the chopped egg whites. I also add grated onion because no one likes to find a big chunk of onion in their salad but it adds a lot of flavor. The onion addition applies only to salad and not deviled eggs. I do the same for potato salad too, by the way. The egg thing. Not the curry powder. Reading back, this is kind of confusing. So to be clear: separated eggs and grated onion in all mayo-based salads. Curry powder in deviled eggs. (But curry powder would also be great in a chicken salad. The English do it and call it Coronation Chicken. Which I love.) I’ll stop now.


        August 2, 2012
        • Stacy, this is awesome advice–especially the part about mixing it up and THEN adding the tuna or whatever. When I lived in New York I used to get a killer curried tuna salad at a place in the Chelsea Market called The Lobster Place. I’ve never been able to recreate it. It had lots of red onion in it, I remember.

          I adore coronation chicken too! When we went to Scotland and had high tea, I was secretly devastated that none of the tea sandwiches were coronation chicken sandwiches. Happy sandwiching to you, Stacy!

          August 12, 2012

    I have no fear.

    July 31, 2012
    • I think the only person you should use the jelly bean monster is 2.0. I leave the details of that to you.

      August 1, 2012
  12. Throw some pulverized Smithfield ham in those deviled eggs and you’ve got HEAVEN on a plate.

    July 31, 2012
    • WOW. That is an amazing idea. Three cheers for THAT.

      August 1, 2012
      • Don’t mention it. Happy to be of service to Thunder and Seymour’s Peep.

        And hey….while you’ve got some pulverized Smithfield ham handy, keep some in the processor (assuming you pulverized it in a food processor), throw in some cream cheese and drizzle in some olive oil to taste. Voila! Instant HEAVEN on a cracker topping.

        Oh…the many uses for a Smithfield ham. Doesn’t get any better does it?

        Stuart’s Peep

        August 1, 2012
  13. Lulled… I am lulledzzzzz… Skooch over, Thunderzzzzzz

    July 31, 2012
    • It’s funny you say that because Thunder knows the command to “Scooch over!” She always hops into the driver’s seat of the car when I open the door. So I tell her to “scooch over” and she goes and sits in the passenger’s side. Neat, eh?

      August 1, 2012
      • Cuteness! And congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

        August 1, 2012
  14. I just really nerded myself out reading this post. So, I just got a job where I will have nights and weekends off and I won’t be working in the mall anymore. This means I will get to see daylight. We also just got a dog, so all of those relaxing photos you posted just made me yell, “That can be me! That is me! I will have time to bake and take photos of my dog relaxing! I can finally be happy!” But then I realized how psychotic I sounded, so I thought I should just let you know that your blog posts inspire moments of psychotic happiness.


    July 31, 2012
    • CONGRATULATIONS!!! I hope that store is giving you a huge going-away basket filled with the most expensive candles.

      That is such great news. I’m really happy for you. I can’t believe all you told me was “we just got a dog.” What KIND? Boy or girl? What is it like?!

      What’s the new job? Perhaps you’ve answered all these questions on your blog since you got back from vacation. Will check.

      August 1, 2012
  15. I love that coffee cup! (and everything else, too, but really the cup is rocking!)

    August 1, 2012
    • I love it too! I got it at a thrift store in the basement of a church on Hudson Street in New York, near where I used to live. It cost a dollar or two.

      August 1, 2012
  16. estherlilysmith #

    those photos were awesome! r u a professional?

    …jelly bean what?…

    August 1, 2012
    • Hey hey! You are very kind to ask, but I am SO not a professional. If you ever have time (and the patience) to look at the photos I was taking when I started this blog, you will see how terrible they were when I started a year ago. But who cares, right? It’s so fun to get better at things. Have you gotten better at something in the past year? I bet you have. xo

      August 12, 2012
  17. Jelly bean WHAT? Those photos are just lovely. And now all I can think about is cake.

    August 2, 2012
    • If I had a dollar for every morning I woke up thinking about cake, I would be rolling in dough. (HA. Get it? Dough? I crack myself up.)

      August 12, 2012
  18. Oh, Katherine, I just had to hop on to comment and tell you that I heart, heart, heart your blog! So glad to have stumbled upon it! And Jellybean Monster? I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Totally forgot all about it after being lulled into summer smiles by photos of your pooch and all that glorious food! Your photos are incredible and such an inspiration. Great work! Look forward to many more future posts =)

    August 4, 2012
  19. Christina, you are too kind. I love love love your recipes. I can’t wait to make your spiced yogurt with candied ginger. This one!

    August 12, 2012
  20. Cumin is one of my favourite spices! You should try to experiment more with it – you won’t regret it.

    August 13, 2012
  21. Wow, I love love love your photos, and the classy simple style of your blog. You’ve found a new follower! 🙂

    November 3, 2012

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