Monday, April 23, 2012

Green Eggs In a Pan

My mom gave me this idea via pinterest - eggs cooked INSIDE avocados! 

I love eggs cooked in holes, like when you cut a circle in toast and cook it.  It is an almost-fool proof way to cook eggs while guaranteeing you won't overcook the yolk.  I absolutely hate when I overcook my yolks, so cooking with holes is my insurance policy.  However, I think bread is a horrible breakfast, so I don't eat bread very often in the morning.

To cook in an avocado hole, your best bet is to grab the very middle of the avocado.  This is the biggest slice, hence the best.  However, if you are making multiple eggs-in-holes, then you can cut smaller slices.  So what I did was essentially cut my avocado into thirds - the middle slice (about an inch thick) and then the bigger two end pieces.

I removed the seed and cut a slice in the peel, so I could peel it.  If you leave the peel on, you won't be able to see it under the egg and run the risk of eating the peel.  Not good!

Toss the avocado slice down on a frying pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Crack your egg so the yolk goes right into the hole.  Don't worry about the white.  It will pretty much cover the whole avocado and that is okay.

Cook for awhile on this side.  I waited until my white was pretty much set, and then I flipped it.  The avocado even made it easier to flip - bonus!  Make sure you cook long enough when you flip it, as the avocado can make it a bit harder to see how well the white is cooking.  Rejoice in the fact that even if you cook the egg for longer than normal, the hole will help protect your yolk.

Then, admire your handiwork and enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Legends Pub and Grill

For my friend's birthday Sunday, a group of us went to dinner at Legends Pub and Grill.  The restaurant is right next to Edwards 22 Cinema (7609 W. Overland Road Boise 83709), which makes it very convenient if you are hoping to catch dinner and a movie.  They are a full service restaurant, bar, and small event center.  Next door to the eating area, they have an entertainment center with pool tables and darts.

The bar is open until 12:00 am every night and has two happy hours - one from 3 - 6 pm and the other from 9:30 -11 pm.  During happy hour, it is half price on rotating microbrews and all domestic bottles and drafts (16 oz and 22 oz).   Also, we went on a Sunday and she told us it was happy hour all day!  It was totally awesome because happy hour also includes half off well alcohol and special appetizer prices.

They have a $6.95 lunch menu, which I am going to keep in mind for the next time I check out a matinee.  I love a good soup/salad deal for a light lunch.
The dinner menu is what I had to work with, and the picture won't post large enough to be of any use to you. They basically have a little bit of everything - appetizers, salads, burgers, pasta, soups, specialties, steak, salmon, pizza, sandwiches and wraps.  The most expensive menu item is the Rib Eye Steak (12 oz 100% Angus certified rib eye, seasoned and grilled your way) for $18.  The cheapest item is a cup of Soup de Jour for $3.99.  Most items fall in the $9-$12 price range, so this is definitely an affordable restaurant.  
Yelpers rate Legends a solid 3.5.  Positive reviews cite the "friendly staff," with a "quality happy hour menu and a regular menu to suit just about everyone" plus "great food."  Negative reviews seem to disagree with the friendly staff comments, and say, " Waitstaff sucks!" and "the waitresses were incredibly unfriendly," with food that is "poor quality and prepared with average skill and imagination."

Most of the negative reviews are from a year or so ago, and the positive reviews are from more recently, so maybe management or staff has changed recently.  When we were there, our waitress was an absolute DOLL.  She was fabulous, very attentive, split the check perfectly, and got us everything we needed.  I even told her they had poor yelp reviews and she was single-handedly proving yelp wrong!

To eat, I split a California BBQ chicken pizza with my friend.  I think it was $15.50 for a large pizza (good size) which probably had about 8 slices.  I love California BBQ pizza, so it is hard for me to be critical any time I eat such a delicious pizza.  However, there really isn't anything negative to report.  The pizza was great!

I only had to pay $22 (including tip!) for THREE Rose Kennedys (vodka, soda water, splash of cranberry with limes) and half a pizza.  Quite the deal.

Next time I go to the movies on a Sunday, I will make sure to hit up Legends for a happy hour cocktail prior to the film.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Last weekend I also went to see Lockout (not my choice - it was for a friend's birthday and the birthday boy got to decide).

The basic concept of the movie is there is a prison in outer space where prisoners go, are placed under sedation, and sleep for their entire sentence.  Emilie, who happens to be the President's daughter, goes in her role as a psychologist.  She is trying to determine the side effects of the sedation drugs, which are thought to cause aggression.  She begins by interviewing prisoners, and the prisoners get out, wake each other up and all hell breaks loose.

Guy Pearce plays Snow:
 and Maggie Grace plays Emilie Warnock.

Rotten Tomatoes critics give the movie 33% and audience members rated it 53%.
One critic who didn't like the movie put it this way - "It is the kind of movie where someone tumbling in space above the earth's atmosphere opens a parachute and lands gently on earth without even gasping for a breath." Another called it "85 minutes of shoddy plotting, direction, and full on boredom."
Those who liked the movie seemed to see past the predictability, with one critic saying "it is cliched, ridiculous and very entertaining," and another says they did a fine job of "coming up with obstacle after obstacle for our two leads to dodge - not the least of which happens to be good old-fashioned logic." 
So yes, it may not be the most thoughtful, revolutionary, or barrier-breaking movie.  But let's be honest - you can go to The Flicks for that.  Sometimes it is nice to sit down for a good old action movie and let your brain take a break.

I do agree with the critic who said it is the type of movie where the parachute opens and they land gently.  That sums it every very well - everything seems to constantly, magically, work out exactly as it should.  Also, the movie attempts to be smart with "unique" subplots, but I think they were totally confusing and didn't add much to the movie without a more thorough understanding of what was going on.  It was like they decided, "we need to make this more 'intellectual'" so the writers threw in some twists.  The add-ons seemed totally irrelevant to the rest of the movie and were never hanging (in the way where you know they will desperately attempt a sequel).

I would say go see this movie if you want action, explosions and good looking people.  Don't see it if you want thoughtful, intellectual, or deep.  If you go with the right expectations, it can be an enjoyable movie.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

This was quite the weekend because I went to see TWO movies!  One was for a friend's birthday, and the other was because it was Saturday and I didn't want to go out.  Nothing sounded better than a movie.

Saturday I went with my friend Emily to see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

The basic premise of the movie is a wealthy sheikh wants to be able to go salmon fishing in the Yemen river.  Money is no obstacle and Emily Blunt plays Harriet, his investment adviser.  She tracks down Ewan McGregor's character, Dr. Frank Jones, who is a salmon expert working for the British fisheries department.  He thinks the idea is preposterous, but due to circumstances beyond his control, he gets involved.  The movie is what unfolds on a mission to bring this idea this life.

The movie has Emily Blunt in it, whom I absolutely love (she is the girl above).
Rotten Tomatoes critics rate the movie 69% and audience members rate it 75%.  

Pleasant reviews say, "this cast, director, and writer, make it all come off as unlikely a delight as the very fishy story is it built on," and call it a "a charming little movie."  Those who didn't like the movie called it a "clunky melodrama" that "half-heartedly tries out wacky comedy, sweet romance, and inspirational drama."

Overall, I loved the movie and would recommend it as something worth watching.  I think charming is a good way to characterize it.  However, I do see where the negative reviews are coming from - it does seem a bit long, and at times seems like it is going for too much.  There were a few developments that seemed to happen very quickly and a little too perfectly.

But, this is a movie about life and you know how I love movies about life!  It isn't a particularly depressing one, and there are a few twists you wouldn't expect.   A perfect Sunday matinee.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Salsa De Chipotle

To be honest, I am not quite sure what I spent the last two weeks so busy doing.  Last weekend was my boyfriend's birthday, so I spent part of the time drinking mimosas and the other part lying on the couch :)  I also haven't been feeling 100% so I think that had something to do with my absence.
I have spent almost the entire week eating quinoa + goat cheese, and tacos (corn tortilla, black beans, cilantro, pico de gallo, red onion, lime juice and avocado = magic).  In my taco frame of mind, I had also purchased the necessary supplies to make Salsa de Chipotle, so I decided to make that today.

For a frame of reference, I LOVE dips, so I decided to make this with the intention of dipping carrots and other crunchy vegetables into it.  I think I went through a month long period a few years ago where I literally only ate dips and the food I could dip into it.

6 Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup sunflower oil or vegetable oil + 1 tsp
1/4 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 chipotle chiles in adobo (go to the Mexican section of the grocery store; they are in a little can)


1) Preheat oven to 350*.  Cover a baking sheet in aluminum foil.  Cut tomatoes in half and place them on the baking sheet. Roast for 1.5 hours.

2) In a medium pan, heat 1 tsp oil.  Saute onion and garlic until golden brown.

3) When the tomatoes are done, put them into a large blender.  Add onions, garlic, cilantro and chiles.  It will seem like two chiles isn't very much, but it was perfect for me.  Add more if you want more kick.  Blend and gradually add oil.  Keep blending until smooth.

4) Eat with your favorite dipping items, or on tacos.

WARNING: I would suggest making this for a crowd.  If you are home alone, you are going to find it very difficult not to eat the whole thing!  This stuff is incredible.

Big thanks to Glamour May 2012's feature presented by chef Julieta Ballestero, which is where I got this recipe from.  I can't wait to try to recipe for "The Perfect Guacomole."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jeff, Who Lives At Home

I LOVE going to the movies.  Whenever I have some free time, I like to spend it at the movies.  There is always a huge list of movies that I want to see, so I never have trouble picking something to suit my mood.  The love of movies came from my Dad - we would see movies almost every weekend growing up.  I think it helped that Enumclaw had such a cheap theater, with tickets around $6 and affordable pop/popcorn/candy.

One of my favorite theaters in Boise is The Flicks.  See my blog post all about The Flicks here: #001 Best Place to Catch an Indie Flick in Boise. My favorite snacks are to get the herbed goat cheese with french bread (only $3) and huckleberry italian cream soda. Of course, about half the time I bring my own frozen yogurt, so I don't need to purchase any snacks.

Today I decided to go see a matinee showing of Jeff, Who Lives At Home.  The movie is only 83 minutes and I wanted to watch a fairly short one.  That way, I get the perks of a movie, but I still have time to go grocery shopping, hit up the library, and watch Desperate Housewives and GCB!

Jeff (Jason Segel) is a 30-year-old who lives at home in his mother's (Susan Sarandon) basement.  His brother is Patrick (Ed Holmes) a middle-class husband with a struggling marriage to his wife, Linda (Judy Greer).  Both brothers have very dissimiliar world views - Jeff looks for meaning in signs that the world provides him, while Patrick seems to care only of his own opinion.

The plot centers around Jeff following the signs from a mysterious phone call of a caller looking for "Kevin," and the adventure the two brothers end up on while trying to determine what Patrick's wife is up to wife another man.  There is also a subplot of Sharon (Susan Sarandon) and a secrete admirer (or a prank?) at her workplace.

This movie is genuinely funny, and one of those movies about life that I love (kind of like how The Descendants and Vicky Cristina Barcelona are about life).  Because of that, I thought it would have one of those slightly odd ends where the movie ends, life goes on, and there isn't much resolution.  Where you sit and think, "that's it?!?"

Jeff, Who Lives At Home, is not like one of those movies.  There is a great twist at the end and it has a really wonderful, all wrapped up ending.  They don't spell everything out for you, but I promise you will leave satisfied.  I was almost tearing up with an awwww kind of happiness, but no matter how you react, I completely recommend this movie.

Rotten Tomatoes agrees with me: 74% of critics liked it and 75% of viewers.  Roger Moore say it takes the Duplass brothers' art to a "newer, deeper place" and Rolling Stone says this film "hits you where you live."  Some who didn't enjoy the movie said that it "never quite got around to being funny" and another says, "It's short of that essential added spectacle, the visceral, tumultuous event that really shakes up the characters and creates a journey worth taking."  I disagree, but you should see it and decide for yourself.

Here is the trailer:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lentil Spread

Wow! I do not know how I went two weeks without blogging.  Okay, to be honest, I do have somewhat of an idea.  Here is an idea of what my last two weeks looked like: Come home, pour a glass of red wine/7-up, get out a bowl of lentil spread and carrots, and park myself on the couch to reach Catching Fire/Mockingjay (Yes, I have jumped on The Hunger Games bandwagon!).

I finally finished the series, which is bittersweet.  It ended well, but it is always a little sad when you have to say goodbye to characters and a series ends.  I still have the movie to look forward to, which I am hoping to see in the next few weeks.  Today I am going to go to the public library to look for something to read next.  It will probably be something that doesn't capture as much attention (the newest murder mystery, perhaps?) so I can still manage to feed and clothe myself during the week :)

Yes, that is really the Boise Public Library above.  So cute!

Back to the lentil spread that served as my sidekick to reading - the one delicious thing I do want to write about.  This spread would be great on sandwiches, makes a great dip with baby carrots (or any other dipping vegetables) and it awesome with garlic naan or pita bread.  It is very similiar in texture to hummus, but with a slightly different flavor.  I got the recipe from Bon Appetit April 2012 and it is the recreation of a recipe from the Rock Center Cafe in NYC.

The Rock Center Cafe is at Rockefeller Center and is apparently a great place to eat, as it has stunning views of Manhanttan and the Rock Ice Skating Rink.  They are known for their breakfasts and "contemporary American" lunches and dinners.  The restaurant has a cute prix fixe menu to choose from for their skating and dinner combo - one appetizer, entree and dessert per person, plus an ice skating package.  It is $45/person, but I have a feeling that isn't expensive for NYC. 
Sign me up for the Crystal Valley Farm Organic Chicken, Chocolate Blackout Cake, and Roasted Beets with Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese...sounds amazing.

I can't find the lentil dip on their menu, but the point is, I want you to feel like a fancy New Yorker, overlooking the city of Manhanttan, eating your $20 lentil dip, just because you can.

Lentil Spread

1 head of garlic - get the real stuff, not the preminced stuff.  We are going to roast it
1 Tbsp olive oil plus 1/2 cup olive oil (I only used 1/4 cup but that did effect the texture)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 Tbsp chopped carrot
3 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp or more fresh lemon juice (I used three tiny little lemons)

How to

Roast the garlic
1) Preheat oven to 375*.  Make a tin foil platter by folding tin foil into a square and making a bit of an edge.  Cut the top half inch off the head of garlic and drizzle and place on the foil sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, then put into the oven.  Roast for about 50 minutes - garlic will start to brown a bit.  Don't let this concern you too much. When done, let garlic cool, and take out the roasted cloves.  I did this by piercing them with a fork tine then pulling them out of the skin - they pull right out.

Warning: You should probably make a few heads of these if you are going to the trouble of roasting garlic.  Roasted garlic is *amazing* and you are going to wish you had more to add to about anything and everything you eat.  I even eat it straight out of the skin, with nothing else.

Preparing the dip ingredients
2) Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a lare heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper.  Leave herbs in sprig-form. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Note I was short on rosemary so I just used more thyme.

3) Add lentils, stir for two minutes.

4) Add wine, simmer until almost all is evaporated, about 4-5 minutes.

5) Pour in chicken broth to cover lentils.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer.  Add more brothe every 5 or 10 minutes, as needed.  Cook until lentils are tender - about 30 minutes.

6) Let cool and discard herbs.

7) Put lentil mixture and garlic cloves in a blender.  Add 1/2 cup olive oil (I only added 1/4 cup olive oil, but this made the spread chunkier, so be warned) and lemon juice.  I found the more lemon juice I added, the more delicious, so keep in mind you can add a lot. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with carrots or other dipping vegetables, with pita or naan, or on sandwiches.