Smitten Kitchen has long been one of my favorite food blogs. Deb Perelman writes in such a way that you almost believe you’re listening to a trusted friend as she lets you in on all of her kitchen secrets. She has been blogging since 2006 and posts mouth-watering recipes for all sorts of dishes: sweets, salads, appetizers, bread, and both meat and vegetarian entrees are just some of her recipe categories.Some dishes of Deb’s that Andy and I have successfully made: my favorite blondies (Love this tidbit of hers: “Gild the lily? Oh, not me. Never.”), sinfully amazing banana bread, classic snickerdoodles, Mediterranean baked feta and tomatoes (so simple!), pleasantly tasty broccoli fritters, a butternut squash and caramelized onion galette (next time, we won’t use quite so much onion), double coconut muffins (because there is no such thing as too much coconut), and garlic hummus. For this brunch, I picked the Smitten Kitchen’s baked ranchero eggs. Full list of ingredients: jalapeño pepper (I used red bell pepper in consideration of the spice-averse guests), canned fire-roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, black beans, tortillas torn into strips, eggs, cheese, sour cream, freshly squeezed lime juice, fresh cilantro, and sour cream. Lots of different ingredients with several steps involved to properly prepare them all. Why I decided to make another new (and elaborate!) thing for a whole dining room full of people, I’ll never know. Like I said, I was feeling ambitious. I rushed through everything, improvising where necessary and employing Andy’s help when he wasn’t photographing for me. I grew hungry as I worked, realizing that it was late morning and I really should have eaten something more substantial than half a toasted bagel by now. But this happens often. The show must go on! Who cares about the cook’s nearly empty stomach? My mom, meanwhile, pulled her baked-French-toast-with-fruit out of the oven minutes before I popped my skillet in. Timing, patience, and cooperation, my friends: that’s what family brunches are all about!
I watched the oven somewhat anxiously. Would my dish be a complete disaster? I had no idea. But it didn’t look too bad:Turned out, this baked ranchero egg dish with black beans and tomatoes not only looked pretty good, it tasted amazing. Of course all my fretting was for nothing and the process seemed involved, but in truth, wasn’t that bad. Here’s a secret: I can be a drama queen sometimes, especially in the kitchen. (I know some of you get frazzled, too!) Brunch was a unanimous hit. The baked eggs were flavorful, thanks to the lime juice, cilantro, tomato, and garlic, and my family and I finished the meal completely satisfied. Isn’t that all anyone is looking for when it comes to good food? The recipe for this dish can be found on page thirty-seven of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Please visit the breakfast section of Smitten Kitchen to find similar recipes, plus a variety of sweet and savory dishes.
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‘What have we always said is the most important thing?’ ‘Breakfast!’ ‘No. Family.’ ‘Oh, right! I thought you meant in the things we eat.’ –Arrested Development