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That’s right.  My boyfriend plays D&D.  Yeah, you heard me right.  D&D, as in Dungeons & Dragons. They call him the “dungeon master”, which I’m guessing means that makes him extra cool and awesome.  I’m told I’m not to be ashamed.  So I’m not.

How does this affect my life?  Aside from the crazed D&D girl groupies knocking down the door on a day to day basis and the rare appeal that I create a character and play along, not that much.  Except, some nights, dinner needs to get done in a flash in order to allow ample time for D&D shenanigans to play out.  Tonight the deadline was 8:30.   We didn’t get home until late because we were busy doing important things like buying a Trader Joe’s basil plant and arguing about whether grocery bags should be put on the floor of the car where people’s feet go (I don’t care; he cares very much).

Even after coming home with too many groceries and endless possibilities, sometimes you still want the simple things.  Like runny eggs on toast.  Here’s a quick and delicious rendition from Cooking Light magazine (adapted a bit because I like to use butter and Cooking Light doesn’t, and also because I ran out of lemon so I used  bottled yuzu ponzu).

So… I guess the next time we talk, we can pretend we didn’t have this conversation.  Right?

Open-Faced Sandwiches with Ricotta, Arugula and Fried Egg
Adapted from Cooking Light, May 2010

Yields 6 sandwiches


6 slices sourdough bread
unsalted butter
4 cups arugula
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons lemon juice (I used 2 teaspoons Japanese yuzu ponzu because I didn’t have lemons!  Sounds weird but it works)
6 large eggs
1 1/2  cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1.  Preheat broiler to high.  Lightly butter both sides of bread and lay on a baking sheet.  Broil 2 minutes on each side or until lightly toasted (a toaster oven would work perfectly for this)

2.  Combine ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses with thyme and salt to taste.  Set aside.

3.  Combine arugula, 1 tablespoon oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

4.  Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  While the pan is heating, spread toasted bread with the cheese mixture and top with a handful of the lemony arugula.  Arrange on a large tray or plate and set it near the stove for easy access.  Working with 2 or 3 eggs at a time, depending on the size of your skillet, crack eggs into pan and cook approximately 2 minutes.  Cover and cook an additional 2 minutes or until the whites are completely set but the y0lk is still jiggly (that’s a technical term).

5.  With a wide spatula, carefully transfer cooked eggs to tops of arugula and cheese-piled toasts.  Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Repeat the process with the remaining eggs.  Serve, with plenty of napkins and perhaps a side salad (we had a baby heirloom tomato salad with balsamic and basil from our new basil plant!)

A gluten-free aside: For the guys, I used sourdough bread, but for myself, I wrapped my egg, cheese mixture and arugula in a brown rice tortilla.  I’m trying a gluten-free diet for personal health reasons.  It was mighty tasty!


I am quite proud of myself.  I’m slowly but surely becoming a leftover queen.  See, I’ve always aspired to be a leftover queen; to be like my mother who can make something delicious out of bits and pieces of previous meals.   Prior to arriving at my current status of queen-in-training, I was wallowing away in leftover boredom.  I was the from-the-fridge-to- the-microwave type.   I know… shocking that a queen-to-be could come from such humble beginnings.  But no longer!   This girl can  turn a lonely chicken thigh into a hearty fried rice with a little egg and roasted nori.  Overcooked leftover brown rice magically becomes porridge with almond butter and blueberries for a healthy breakfast treat.  And a lonely piece of Niman Ranch smoked bacon, dried out cornbread, and a smidge of leftover cream becomes something comforting and yet oh-so-divine.  Ladies and gentlemen, the leftover queen-in-training presents…

The baked egg  (mini tada!)

You can bake an egg (or 10, as I happened to do…), with just about anything else you have lying around.  In this case, I set my oven to 350° and buttered up a casserole dish, covered the bottom with cubed cornbread and some cream.  Then, I sliced the bacon into 1/2 in. pieces (or lardons, if you want to get all technical) and cooked them on low heat until they got nice and crispy.  Out came the bacon to drain and into the hot pan went some sliced shallots and mushrooms (with a little bacon fat left in… well, because… duh). Once the shallots and mushrooms were browned and caramelized, I added a bunch of spinach to wilt in the pan and seasoned to taste.  This mixture was spooned evenly over the cornbread.   Then the eggs were carefully set atop the layers of cornbread and vegetables.  Finally, another few splashes of  cream atop the eggs (this helps keep the whites from drying out), a sprinkling of fresh thyme and freshly grated nutmeg and in to the oven it went for approximately 12-15 minutes.  Top with any additional herbs you fancy (I had chives so I used those).

Keep an eye on the eggs to make sure they don’t overcook.  As you can probably tell from my photo up top, my yolks were slightly overdone for my tastes.  Yeah, I’m a runny yolk kinda girl.  Adjust the cooking time to suit your yolk personality!

Baked eggs can be made with almost anything (and can be made more waistline friendly than this particular one).  Bread, no bread.  Tortillas? Rice? For sure!  Layer with tomato sauce, pesto, cheeses, leftover sausage or other meats, beans,… oh, the possibilities.  I’ve been on a tortilla and chipotles in adobo kick as of late.  I’m thinking my next version will have a little Mexican flare.  Or maybe Japanese inspired rice casserole of sorts topped with eggs, umeboshi plums, and furikake?  Yum?

What’s your favorite leftover mashup?  And more importantly, how do you like your eggs?