“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been”
— Rainer Maria Rilke, poet
Happy 2016! I’m looking forward to the new year and the opportunities it brings. It also marks one year anniversary of this little blog, ciderandblackblog.com and Cider&Black on Instagram. What started out as an experiment has turned into a gratifying creative outlet and even side business. I’m so thrilled to be at the one-year mark, and couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities a new year brings.
As a thank you to my readers, I have a special cocktail recipe to ring in the new year – Prosecco with red currants.
Prosecco with Red Currants
Ingredients (makes 1 cocktail)
- 1/2 c. chilled Prosecco
- 2 T. currant nectar or cassis
- 1-2 slices of starfruit
- 1-2 small bunches of red currants
- Pour the currant nectar or cassis into a wine glass.
- Pour Prosecco over the cassis.
- Garnish with starfruit and mini munches of red currants.
Thanks for reading, and cheers to 2016!
Winter will always be baking season to me. It’s the season to warm yourself around the heat of an oven, whether you’re making cookies, pies or a simple dinner. The latter is what I was after – I wanted to branch out to find a new recipe for a family meal time that was hearty, healthy and maybe a bit more exotic than a typical casserole. Eggs are a standard crowd-pleaser in my house, so I started with them as the first ingredient.
In researching recipes, I came across one that had just the right blend of healthy and exotic – Tunisian Shakshuka. This baked egg dish has many variations, but the basics are the same – eggs, onions, other vegetables, Italian parsley and harissa paste. I decided to make mine with green beans and sweet potatoes.
I found that it wasn’t too difficult to pull together, especially if you prep and cut your veggies beforehand. And I was entranced by the rich, earthy aroma that filled my home while it was baking. Best of all, my family loved it! The warm, gooey-ness of the eggs mixed with goat cheese and the veggies was irresistible. One modification there, I held the harissa for the portion that went to my little lady. So keep that in mind if you don’t like that kind of warmth!
Baked Eggs with Sweet Potatoes and Harissa
Ingredients (makes 6-8)
- 8 eggs
- 2–3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- ½ pound green beans, ends trimmed and snapped in half
- 2 T. olive oil
- ⅓ c. heavy cream
- 1 c. harissa sauce
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- Handful of spinach
- Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Rinse and chop all vegetables.
- In a large cast iron skillet, mix sweet potatoes, onion, bell pepper and string beans with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You may also mix them in a large bowl and then portion out into 6 single-serving skillets.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Pour the cream evenly over the vegetables, then spoon in the harissa and goat cheese. Sprinkle torn pieces of spinach on top.
- Then, gently crack the eggs into the skillet (or skillets) and season again with salt and pepper. Return to the oven and bake another 8–10 minutes or until eggs are cooked to your liking.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
I definitely recommend trying this if you’re looking for a new dish to spice up your baking routine. Although I served it for dinner, it could also be the star of a holiday brunch with friends. After all, this is the time of year to share the warmth. Enjoy!
The future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.
– Irish Blessing
I can’t think of a better sentiment to kick-start Spring. The future is ours for the making, and we can make it into many a lovely thing.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends!