My team (you may have heard me refer to them as ‘The Girls’. This is a loving term of endearment to this group of fabulous women who work with me. Plus it makes them feel young and happy, which is a good thing!) likes to laugh at my old fashioned attitudes and sayings. Things like: the fact that I refuse to text, as I think it is a waste of money, energy and time. I do not have caller ID or call waiting on my home phone for some of the same reasons, plus I think call waiting is rude. (Oh wait, this other call might be better than talking to you…)I do have it on my cell phone since it isn’t an option not to, though I usually ignore it. A couple of years ago they all wanted me to do a My Space page so I did one up mainly for them. Leslie is kind enough to update it on occasion for me, otherwise I would just let it sit. So now there is Facebook and Twitter and who knows what else. I don’t have the time for these things and when I take on such a project I tend to feel overly responsible and that just adds to my workload and stress. Why do it?
I have been bugged by many to get on Facebook lately. So I finally signed up and I have reconnected with friends from my past, which (I will admit) is rather fun. Mostly it is annoying with many people (you KNOW who you are!) who feel the need to update their status every 30 minutes or so. I have given myself permission to not be overly responsible with it and just plain ignore it some days. My Google homepage tells me if there are updates on it so I can check it without even going to the web site, which is convenient for me. I plan to keep it entirely personal and not use it as a business tool because the enjoyment I am getting out of it stems from friends from my past lives. I tell you all this as background to get here: We are now on Twitter. Leslie can be persistent and irksome with her techno-geekiness and yet she knows of what she speaks. So I listened. She knew I had been wanting to keep the web site updated with the daily specials and that I needed an easier way to do that than opening my site management program each time. Now I just go to my Google home page, type the specials into my Twitter box (now THAT sounds funny!) and it automatically updates our web site and facebook. Leslie can text the special in herself from her phone, too, which is a big help.
Sigh. So there I am. I have to say that I think this Twitter thing is a great business tool. I do not understand on any level (here is the old fashioned thing again) the desire to update, or be updated on, anyone’s life, several times a day. Most of us are not that interesting. This blog was a stretch for me and usually about the time I wonder if I am wasting my time talking to myself (cathartic as it can be), one of the three of you who reads this will send me a message about it and it makes it all seem worth while. Plus it is kind of fun thinking that maybe someone would get something interesting out of it. So I will keep it up for now. My web site is the true work of art for me, and our email newsletter is the other form of communication that I work hard on. Those are the best reflections of us and our business, and I find them to be 2 of the most valuable tools in my toolbox. Once in awhile someone will give me fabulous feedback about one or the other, and it feels great! I really pour my heart and soul into our cafe, and when others get a glimpse of and really SEE that, it feels good.
I haven’t had any fabulous meals out lately, though we did provide some amazing food for some special orders that we did this past week. Pink peppercorn encrusted beef tenderloin, and brie en croute were served at one mother’s day table this weekend. She may or may not have taken credit for it, and I think they were very happy with the meal. Our Mother’s Day meal was a brunch served to both my parents and Mark’s, as well as my sister and my sister-in-love who came all the way up fromBingen, WA to spend the weekend with mom. We had several things out on the table, though the frittata was the main course, and a big hit with everyone. I went to the Poulsbo Farmer’s Market to see what I could find for it and found arugula and broccoli rabe, as well as eggs. Frittata is an easy dish that doesn’t need constant tending, so it is perfect for a party or a busy work night. You can make as little or as much as you like, and if you like leftover eggs the more you make, the more meals you will have. Here is the recipe I used to feed 8 people and send leftovers home with all. Remember, I don’t measure stuff so these are estimates and you can cut it way down for fewer people. Drop me an email if you want more guidance with this or any recipe.
Spring Veggie Frittata
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper
4 small bunches broccoli rabe (also known as rapini)
a couple of hands full of arugula (you could use spinach, or any green you like)
2 tsp garlic, minced
4 cups milk (I mixed 2% and 1/2 n 1/2 to make whole milk. Many use heavy cream instead)
bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
any fresh herbs you like, chopped
grated pecorino romano (or parmesan, or asiago)
grated sharp cheddar
I used a heavy bottom, 12 inch, deep sided skillet with a lid.
Saute the onions in the olive oil with some salt and pepper until they begin to be transluscent (3-4 minutes)
Tear the rapini off of the stalks and drop that in, salting it a bit more. Stir in until wilted enough to have some room to add the arugula.
Add the arugula, a bit of salt, and stir it around. All those greens will wilt into the pan and you will know when it is time to add the eggs.
Meanwhile whisk the eggs, salt and pepper them, and whisk in the milk. Make sure it is all combined before you pour it in. Reduce the heat to low, spread the greens all around the bottom, scatter the parsley in on top with the garlic and fresh herbs, then pour the eggs in. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to stir it all around and make sure everything is combined nicely. For the first 5-10 minutes stir the bottom of the mixture, scraping it all up as if you were making scrambled eggs. After the first bit of cooking do not stir the eggs again.
Put the lid on the pan, leaving it askew just a bit so the steam can escape. Make sure it is on low (I have a gas stove; electric may be different)and let it cook. I did not time the frittata, you will want to check it every 5-10 minutes or so, and it will take close to 30. Do not stir the eggs. When the eggs are mostly set, (you can tell by giving the pan a little shake) with just some wet eggs on the top layer, turn off the stove and heat up your broiler. Sprinkle the cheeses over the top (as much cheese as you like) and set the pan under the broiler, on low, for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it; you want the cheese melted not crispy. The eggs will be completely set by then.
Now here is where you can get real fancy or, if you are like me, you just serve it out of the pan. We put it on hot pads on the table, covering the handle with more hot pads, and cut wedges into it, like serving a pie. It came up very easily that way. If you want to be fancier let the frittata rest for about 10 minutes. Run a paring knife around the edges of your frittata, loosening the sides as best you can. Invert a plate over the top of the pan, suck in your breath and hold it, then flip the pan and plate so they are reversed: the plate is now on the bottom, the pan is on top, and if you are good the frittata came out of the pan and landed on the plate in one glorious piece. You can either serve it like that, cut into wedges, OR invert yet another plate on top of the frittata and flip it again, so that the cheese is back on top.
In Spain they eat this sort of thing at room temperature. I like it hot. Of course, if it gets to looking messy, just serve it up as fancy scrambled eggs and no one will ever know. It will still taste fabulous!