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Posts tagged ‘brunch’

All This Started Because I Put Cheese Puffs Down The Garbage Disposal

Living with a physicist is weird.

For starters, I never took physics and have no idea what it is.  This does not bum me out.  It just means I don’t notice when Scott does physics in the house.

Take this morning, for example, when I put his physics thingy down the garbage disposal.  This is the conversation that followed:

Scott:     Nooooo! You threw away my science experiment.

Me:     I did? Crap.  [pause]  Wait. . .what experiment?

Scott:     There were cheese puffs floating in that bowl.

Me:     I noticed that, yes.

Scott:     I was dissolving them in water so they’d turn into cornstarch goo.

Me:     . . . .

Scott:     And cornstarch goo is fun to play with.

Me:     Rrrrrright.  I just have one question–

Scott:     ?

Me:     Is it possible your love for cheese puffs is a clinical problem?  I mean, it’s a Saturday morning and you’re deep into a soggy white cheddar situation.  That’s just not normal.

Scott:     Very funny.

Me:     Well, tell me this: Is it possible it took you a million years to finish grad school because you were playing with cheese puffs while the teacher was talking?

Scott:     That’s. . . not how grad school works.

Me:     AHA!  You didn’t deny it.

Scott:     No I didn’t!  Wait.  I mean yes.  DAMMIT.

Me:     It’s okay.   I won’t tell anyone at your fancy fluid mechanics job.

Scott:     That’s. . . not what I do.

Me:     Solid state physics.

Scott:     Nope.

Me:     Optical engineering.

Scott:     Wrong.

Me:     Quantum Electrodynamics: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.

Scott:     ? ? ?

Me:     I’m just reading titles off your bookshelf now.

Scott:     Oh my God, please go away.

So I went away, and while I was gone Scott dissolved a pound of sugar in some boiling water.  He says it’s going to crystallize into rock candy, which I think is a lie.

Our bowls are covered in a sticky glaze.   They’re sitting in our pots, which are dripping ice water all over the counter.

Our dinner options are limited.

If something like this happens to you in the future, I recommend poaching some eggs in a skillet with chickpeas, tomatoes and feta.  All you need is one cast-iron skillet and a cutting board.

This tasty dish is awesome when scooped into pita bread for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The recipe calls for finishing the eggs in the oven, which is why you use a cast-iron skillet.  If you don’t have one, you can just cover your skillet for a few minutes at the end, on the stove, so the steam will cook the eggs.

And if you feel like a bacony blue cheese quiche instead, hit up The Bite House for this recipe, which Bryan made up for Scott.  (Thank goodness, because Scott was running out of new ways to consume bacon.)

Skillet-Poached Eggs with Chickpeas, Tomato and Feta {Download & Print Recipe}

(Adapted from this shakshuka recipe in the December 2011 volume of Bon Appétit)


2 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. diced onion

2 large garlic cloves, diced

2 tbsp. diced jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed (or more–2 tbsp. is good for people who don’t like spicy food)

1 15-oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 c. fresh spinach (packed)

1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes (preferably the fire-roasted kind)

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

dash of pepper

1 c. feta cheese, crumbled

4 eggs

a small handful of fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

pita bread


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a 9 1/2″, 10 1/4″ or slightly larger cast iron (oven-safe) skillet over medium-low heat.  When the oil is warm, add the onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Sautée until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic.

Add the chickpeas, cumin, cinnamon and paprika and cook 2 minutes longer.

Add the spinach, the diced tomato with its juices, the salt and the pepper.  Cook until the spinach is wilted. Taste it and add more salt if desired, keeping in mind that the feta will be a little salty.

Sprinkle the feta crumbles over the top of the skillet. Using a spoon or ladle, make a divot in the skillet deep enough to cradle an egg but not so deep that you hit the bottom of the skillet.  Crack one of the eggs into a bowl.  Transfer the egg to a ladle or a measuring cup.  Gently pour the egg into the divot you made in the skillet.

Repeat with the remaining eggs, placing them equidistant from each other in the skillet.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the eggs have set to whatever consistency you prefer.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cilantro if desired.

Spoon portions into warm pita bread or rip the pita up and eat from the skillet.


Serves 3


This meal is filling, but you can also add 1/2 lb. lean (7%) ground beef.  We liked it without the beef, but the beefy version wasn’t bad by any means.  Here’s what we recommend: Leave out the oil.  Just brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic and jalapeno.  You won’t need to drain any beef fat after if you’re using lean beef.  Proceed as directed above, but double up on the spices (cumin, cinnamon, paprika) and leave out the spinach.  You’ll need at least double the kosher salt–we found 1/2 tsp. wasn’t enough, but taste it and see what you think.  Otherwise, follow the directions above.


After I ruined science in the kitchen, I got in trouble with Thunder in the back yard: