My husband’s birthday is the day before Christmas, which means that Christmastime is basically a celebration of him in our household as neither of us are religious. We put up a tree and give gifts and celebrate the season — that is, the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the solstice. My husband’s favorite dessert is cheesecake. He loves it so much that we almost had it at our wedding. He grew up eating Snicker’s pie on his birthday made lovingly by his mother, and while it’s delicious I find that I can’t stomach much more than about a half a slice simply because it’s so rich. I was also eager to start creating our own Christmas/birthday traditions. I had never made a cheesecake before, so I went to Alton Brown for his recipe as they are fool-proof although sometimes complicated.
My friend Amanda over at Rooster & Wheat posted her own version of baked eggs & kale a while back, inspiring me to do something with my greens other than blend it into a fruit smoothie. I tried her recipe the very day she posted it. (I LOVE eggs.) It was delicious, but I did something wrong. I mustn’t have the deft hand that she did, or perhaps my cheap gas oven (ah, the joys of renting) was creating a wonky result. Either way, I couldn’t get my egg whites to cook properly and my kale, on the other hand, was much too undercooked.
Then came my September 2012 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. In it: Perfect Baked Eggs Florentine. Taking a page out of Cook’s Illustrated, and using kale instead of spinach, emerged my own version, so delicious that it’s a weekend go-to although it requires a bit of patience, something I’m often lacking after “accidentally” sleeping in.
Not gonna lie, this recipe resembles something you’d find on that drunk, blonde woman’s show “Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee.” It’s a combination of lots of store-bought products that come together to make something super delicious. I’m also not going to pretend that it’s super healthy or nutritious. But, it IS good. Like, make-again good.
This soup was inspired by my new, oven-safe ramekins that I am finding more and more uses for every day. French Onion Soup is one of my all-time favorites, but let’s be honest, I’ll eat anything with bread and bubbly cheese involved! This soup costs about $6 to make and serves about 5 (4 if you’re my husband and I). While you’re at it, might as well double the onions you caramelize and stash some away in the fridge for the million other things you can put them in (frittatas, sandwiches, etc.).