The egg

I absolutely love weekends spent in town when you really don’t have much on the agenda except errand running. There was so much that I needed to catch up on around my house; we were able to get through quite a bit of it this weekend. Ikea, wedding band shopping, a good long run with Suzie, Lowes, etc… And we still somehow had time for a 5 hour impromptu block party with the neighbors and the dogs.  
My neighbors recently purchased a “green egg,” which I knew little about before them. But every weekend on Sunday afternoon, Ryan will be out back with the green egg fired up. Lucky for Wes and me, we get to be their guinea pigs. This weekend Ryan smoked a brisket on the egg.

This was about thirty minutes into the process. It stayed on for several hours after this photo was taken and was eventually wrapped in foil.  I made sure to take pictures early.

While we were hanging outside, the dogs had a pretty good time running around.

The green ball was the apple of both their eye, but they somehow managed to share just the one.

Lizzie looks like she is modeling in this picture… walking down the catwalk with her long strides.

Since the neighbors were providing the main course for our Sunday night dinner, I whipped up a few sides including my favorite coleslaw, tomatillo dip, and a new recipe jalepeno mac ‘n cheese quinoa. The jalepenos from the green egg picture were what I used.

Jalepeno Quinoa Mac ‘n Cheese 
Inspired by Monica Nelson’s recipe

3 cups water
1 1/2 cup quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
2 jalepenos, seeded and chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp barbecue sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 1/2 cup mexican blend cheese, grated
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large deep skillet, add olive oil, quinoa, jalepeno, tomatoes, and garlic.  Simmer on high for about 4 minutes. Add in water and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, place lid on skillet and turn heat down to low. Let simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, paprika, salt, and pepper.

When the quinoa is cooked through, remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes.  Slowly pour the milk combination into the quinoa, stirring as you pour.  Once combined stir in the mexican blend cheese.

Pour quinoa mixture into a greased 8×8 pyrex dish.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs on top. Bake for about 35 minutes.

Top with salsa, green onions, more cheese… whatever you prefer!!

Remember a few weeks back, when I wrote about the sugar cake we had when we went to visit one of Wes’ friends?  Well, his friend, Jeremy, went home this weekend and brought back a whole cake because I loved it so much and pretty much couldn’t stop talking about it.  It is the most amazing cake I have ever had. And I’ve had a lot of cake.

It is so dense, and perfectly sweet. Super sweet even. We shared a bit of it with the neighbors, but I just don’t have it in me to bring this cake to work. I love it too much. So, I think we are going to try freezing parts of it.  Or, I will just live off of this cake, and only this cake for the next week.

The jury’s still out.

But, now that I have it here, you better believe I’m going to be making several versions of the recipe I came up with to try and find the exact one.  Sure I may gain five pounds in the process, but I’m willing to do that in the name of research.

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