And just like that, this is post number 100 for Wisconsin Fun Next Exit.


Over the past couple of years I have truly enjoyed writing here- in this tiny space of the atmosphere- and I hope you have liked it, too. While I may not tell you enough, I am always thinking about you. I hope that you have found something that made you laugh or think or want to get your buns into the kitchen. It makes me infinitely happy that that is a possibility.


Now I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but lately I’ve been spending weekend mornings listening to 1970s Rod Stewart on the record player and cooking eggs. And because this is my 100th post, you just might want to listen to me. A couple of weeks ago I told you about eggs in purgatory. This morning I adapted an idea from Heidi Swanson (she calls it sun toast) and made eggs in Wisconsin: Melt a hunk of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Take a round cookie cutter (or a Wisconsin one, if that suits your fancy/ is all you have) and cut a shape out of the middle of a piece of bread. Put the bread (both parts) into the skillet and toast both sides. Next, carefully crack an egg into the hole. Flip it with a spatula and cook the egg to your liking. Just before serving rub a garlic clove all over the toast. Or, if you are Dan, skip the garlic and grate sharp white cheddar all over the darn thing. A salad of arugula and olive oil is nice on the side. And coffee. Keep it coming.

If you are up for a little bit more flavor and punch, my other suggestion is to make ranchero breakfast tostadas, from my new cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen. These are easily adapted to what you have in the fridge- I used whole yogurt instead of sour cream, a yellow onion instead of green and whole wheat flour tortillas in place of corn. They were delicious all the same.



Ranchero Breakfast Tostadas

Serves 2
Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen

1 cup cooked black beans
1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt (and more for topping the tostada, if you like)
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
ground cumin
pinch salt
red pepper flakes
2 whole wheat flour tortillas
2 eggs
shredded sharp white Cheddar
avocado (optional- if you have one, it’s delicious)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lime
Hot chili sauce


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Warm the beans in a saucepan (if using a new can, drain them first) over low heat. Add a little luke warm water, the yogurt, onions, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes and mash them up a little with a fork. Turn off the heat, but cover to keep warm. Fry the eggs in butter, olive oil or coconut oil. Meanwhile, place the tortillas in the heated oven until they become a little crisp. Assemble the tostada by topping a tortilla with 1/2 of the bean mash, an egg, avocado slices, shredded cheese, yogurt, cilantro, hot sauce and a squeeze of lime.


It’s above twenty degrees and I’m off for a run. But be on the lookout- Dan and I have a surprise up our sleeves. A new corner of the universe where we will share the things that make us happy. Until then, thank you for reading.


An invitation

I have stopped and started writing this post in my mind several times over the last couple of weeks. I wanted to say something profound. Comforting. Something that would help us make sense. And now I find myself on the eve of the new year with the thought that, very often, the world simply does not make sense. But I wanted to offer something, so here it is, stolen from Bob Dylan’s ‘Goin to Acapulco:’

“It’s a wicked life, but what the hell, everybody’s got to eat.”

And now I’ll tell you what to eat: Eggs in purgatory. I have fallen madly for The Yellow House and yesterday I made this recipe after a cross-country ski adventure with Dan. We mowed it, along with Luna Coffee Stouts from Hinterland.


I followed the recipe as is, and while mine did not look quite as beautiful as hers, it tasted like heaven.


Eggs in purgatory (Uova al purgatorio)

From The Yellow House

1 loaf thick country-style bread, sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 ounces canned, peeled whole tomatoes and their liquid (or blanched, peeled whole tomatoes)
8 ounces canned tomato purée
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
A handful of flat-leaf Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Parmigiano or asiago, shaved


Toast the bread and set aside, covering with a clean dish towel. It’s okay if it cools a bit.

In a thick-bottomed, oven-proof pan or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Sauté the onion over medium heat until translucent and aromatic, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to brown.

Add both the whole tomatoes and the tomato purée, stirring and using a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer, allowing excess liquid to boil off and the sauce to thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Is the sauce too acidic, too sweet? Adjust as needed—sometimes it needs a pinch of brown sugar, a splash of red wine vinegar, or a dash of red pepper flakes.

Keeping the sauce at a low simmer, start the broiler on high. Using the back of your wooden spoon, make small wells in the sauce and gently crack one egg into the well. The sauce should still be on the stovetop simmering, so the eggs should start cooking immediately. When all the eggs are situated in the sauce, turn off the range and slide the pan under the broiler.

Broil, keeping a close eye on the eggs, until the whites are set and yolks have reached the desired doneness.

Place slices of bread on plates, and scoop eggs and sauce on top. Sprinkle liberally with parsley and top with cheese. Serve immediately with more black pepper.


And now I offer you an invitation for the new year. It comes from a Native American elder and I first heard it while hiking across southern New Mexico. Our backpacking guide, Kate, read it to us one night using the glow from her headlamp. I then wrote it in my brown journal that I carried with me all 120 miles of the trip. When words fail me, I rely on the words of others and I found myself thinking about these words today.

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive… It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company that you keep in the empty moments.

Here’s to daring to dream in 2013. Happy New Year.

Ashley’s sayonara breakfast

Happy heat wave.

This afternoon as I sat idling in sweltering contruction traffic on Willy Street my eyes were drawn to the sign posted outside the gas station that stated: “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” Pondering this, I decided no truer words have ever been spoken. At least not today.

It’s been a week since Dan and I rolled up in my dusty car after 23 1/2 hours on the road from our trip to Wyoming. I’ve got loads of stories and even more photos, I’m not even sure where to start. So I’ve decided to begin at the end, with Ashley’s breakfast.

Ashley was one of our two lovely hosts when we were in Jackson and she made us a delicious breakfast of egg sandwiches with truffle aioli and arugula the morning that we had to skip town. The truffle aioli made the sandwich and I intend to pick up a bottle of black truffle olive oil as soon as I win the lottery this week (maybe from the aforementioned gas station).

Forgive me for not having the exact recipe, but all great recipes are meant to be experimented with and modified (for example, I asked Ashley to hold the bacon on my sandwich.) Any way you slice it, it’s going to be delicious…


Ashley’s sayonara egg sandwiches with truffle aioli


English muffin



black traffle infused olive oil


cheese (optional)


Fry an egg over medium. Mix together a small amount of truffle olive oil (maybe a tablespoon) and a couple of tablespoons of mayo (to taste). Toast an english muffin. Spread the truffle aioli on both sides of the english muffin. If you feel so inclined, slice a piece of white cheese and place on one side of the muffin. Place the egg and a layer of arugula (the spicer the better, says Ashley) on the muffins. Make into a sandwich and eat. Enjoy.


I’ve got to run (into a lake), but stay tuned for more stories, recipes and photos from Wyoming… Until then, stay cool.

Transcendent eggs

Okay my friends, this is going to be a quickie because I have a Packer playoff game to get ready to watch, but I made something so delicious for breakfast this morning (afternoon technically) that I feel that I need to share it right away. I don’t think that I have ever seen Dan so excited about something that I have made to eat before- he even declared that it transcended eggs and cheese and became a “miracle.” Whoa.

My mom got this recipe from her college roomate and it is called “Baked Roquefort Eggs.” My mom would make them for me when I was growing up when I begged her to… they are not the healthiest, but so delicious!

Ready to go into the oven

Here is how my mom wrote the recipe in the cookbook that she made for me about 10 years ago: “You need an oven proof dish- custard cup size. I put about a tablespoon of butter in the dish. Add 1/4 teaspoon spaghetti sauce seasoning. Then I put this in the oven briefly until it melts. Then crumble bleu cheese or roquefort cheese (amount is your choice) into the melted butter. Crack the egg and add it to the dish. Put a little more butter on the top (optional), salt and pepper and let it bake 10-12 minutes in a hot 450 degree oven. The 12 minute time will give you a hard yolk. This is good with toast.”

When I woke up this morning I knew that I wanted to make these for breakfast- Dan gave me four custard-size dishes for Christmas for the purpose of making these eggs- but I had neither bleu cheese nor spaghetti sauce seasoning. Instead of running to the store, I decided to adapt the recipe. My first instinct was to use a hard parmesan cheese that I had purchased at the Willy Street C0-op. Then I grabbed a softer white cheese and pondered that for a moment before finding a container of shredded parmesan that my mom had left behind in our refrigerator. Upon discovering that the shredded cheese was from Illinois I disgustingly put it back in the fridge- you do not use cheese from Illinois on Packer game day. Searching further I opened some moldy-looking feta (when my mom comes for Christmas from Oklahoma she brings the contents of her refrigerator to merge with our fridge here and always leaves me some goodies behind), threw it away and returned to my original plan of the Wisconsin parmesan cheese. It was a good call. Instead of the spaghetti sauce seasoning, I found some Country French Vinagrette seasoning from Penzey’s Spices. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly as written (except I used about half the amount of butter).

Ready to eat

We enjoyed these eggs with a piece of whole wheat toast, as my mom suggested, and coffee. Cue Dan declaring the bit about these eggs transcending food. Yum. I am off for a quick run to burn off some of that butter and then it is Packer time. Go Pack Go. Happy Sunday!