I’m sure many of you are preparing for a relaxing Labor day weekend. Ah, the dream. In this house we are preparing for back to college and school, and whatever counts as normalcy around here. Is there a normal? It feels like this summer has been as un-normal as it’s ever been, thanks to having a new puppy. I never realized that bringing home a new puppy was like bringing home a newborn. I’m sure that experienced dog owners don’t feel as tired by the experience as I have, but I needed the break I had over the past two weeks. While we were away on vacation, we boarded Pepper with a trainer, who then kept her an extra week. She returned today and everything feels much calmer now than during the weeks leading up to her stay. I only hope it continues.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to maximize my time off from puppy vigilance as much as I would have liked this week because I picked up a small stomach flu that plagued me during the mid part of this week. Too much food on the road is always a dangerous thing. I’m feeling somewhat better now, and wanted to get in one post before the long weekend.
Although I wasn’t feeling great, I still cooked meals all week because, as I said, too much road food is a dangerous thing. I just didn’t eat that much of it. However, I did want to tell you about the surprising dish I made earlier in the week, this recipe for Rachael Ray’s Eggplant Shakshuka. I’ve been seeing Shakshuka recipes in a number of food magazines this year. I’d call it a trend. From what I understand, it’s Mid-Eastern dish where eggs are poached in some kind of vegetable and tomato base. I decided to try it because it looked fairly easy – one of my major requirements for dinners these days.
As the pan was simmering on top of the stove, I began to doubt my choice. It didn’t seem particularly substantial for a meal for four. Also, it’s supposed to be served as you see it with yellow yolks showing, but my family voted against yolks that looked that uncooked. Therefore, I popped it into the oven for about five minutes to cook the yolks through, and the final result looked like these white filmed blobs in the middle of the tomato base, not nearly as pretty and dramatic looking.
However, when we finally dug into the dish it turned out to be both delicious and satisfying. I love when a recipe fills both our appetite for flavor and satiety, don’t you? I believe the olives added a lot of flavor and fill. And, although Annie isn’t a big fan of eggplant in all of its forms, she really liked it in this dish.
This one’s a keeper.