July is usually the time of big, end-of-season sales for a lot of clothing stores around the metro. Mom and I had a fun shopping day last week taking advantage of the low prices, and waiting for some stores to lower prices even more. I have saved enough money from baking muffins and cookies to buy myself a couple of tops from Zara; with a little pleading, I could actually ask Dad to buy me more clothes. And shoes. And perhaps a bag. And lots of books. Still, I would really rather buy whatever I please with my own money.
I am still unemployed by the way, so with all the free time I have had, I decided to read and reread. I would reread Harry Potter, but I lent the first three books to Kristian (I must make a mental note to have brunch and get the books back) so I read Last Bite instead for about the fifth time. I finally finished reading Pride & Prejudice after three months though! That is an achievement for me considering how hard it is to read.
I am not afraid to admit that I only got to reading when I was late into high school. Growing up, I did read Goosebumps and Harry Potter but that was pretty much it. There was also some browsing through encyclopedias, my Big Book of Question and Answers and Bible Stories for Children, but you get my point. It was a slow progression and it requires a lot of patience, but I'm very happy to have finally developed an appreciation for books. Finding small details in the book, playing with your imagination and really exploring and feeling how the characters feel, and finally crying a bit inside as the book ends, feeling like you've lost a friend. It's a wonderful feeling, really.
Now, on to food. This is a backlog and I'm merely sharing something I've made before, and for all breakfast people, if you have enough time and patience to whip this up early in the morning, I suggest you do because it is delicious. Or you could make them at night and freeze it, then just thaw and cook next morning. I imagine eating this in a well-lit room at breakfast, with coffee and orange juice, reading a good book.
Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Nests
recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
2 potatoes, peeled
1 tsp salt
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
pepper to taste
1. Grease a muffin pan with oil and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Grate the potatoes and transfer to a bowl, filling it with water and leave for 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and press in a paper towel, you want to remove excess water and starch in them. I can't stress enough the importance of draining the potatoes of the excess starch and water to get them crispy.
3. Bring the potatoes back to the bowl and add the salt, pepper, onion and garlic and mix.
4. Press the potatoes to the greased muffin cups, covering the sides too all the way to the top. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the sides are slightly browned.
I remember making this with my cousin, AJ (yes, a man in the kitchen!), so thanks again for helping me with this.
You'll notice I didn't use a muffin pan, that's because I couldn't find mine, so I used whatever tins I did find. Also, I find that you can be creative with your spices with the potatoes; maybe add some oregano or paprika or nutmeg. This was far from perfect since I didn't drain the potatoes enough, so it wasn't as crunchy as I had hoped, but it was still really delicious. The whites were perfectly cooked, while the yolk was still runny enough that it drizzled over the cheese and potatoes.
It's quite an effort for breakfast, I know, but they're delicious and presentation-wise, they are very pleasing to look at especially when you have guests.