When my husband Ted, Cousin Martin and I visited Trinidad many years ago, we spent a week as houseguests of Kathleen, who lived in Arima, an Afro-Caribbean community in the center of the island. An amazing cook, she introduced us to all of the Trinidadian specialty dishes, washed down with her potent homemade ginger beer. It was the first time I experienced ginger in such a vibrant form, and I've never forgotten that taste. True Caribbean gingerbread overflows with the strong flavors of molasses and fresh ginger root, making it both sticky and spicy, and in no way resembles the gingerbread made from a box mix. I'm not usually drawn to dishes with a strong ginger flavor, but I ate a large square of this gingerbread. And then I ate another, and a third one after that, and Ted did, too. Kathleen would approve.
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What's in a name? In the case of this egg, spinach and two cheese crustless quiche, you could call it an egg casserole, breakfast casserole, even a frittata. In our house, we use the generic term "eggy cheesy thing". Crustless quiche -- the dish we make when we're watching what we eat, and don't want the added calories and carbs in a crust -- accommodates mix-ins of leftover cooked pasta, vegetables, beans, or even shredded rotisserie chicken, in any combination. At least once a week, we eat eggy cheesy things for dinner, because I always keep eggs and cheese in the pantry and the dish comes together with a minimum of work. When I have dark leafy greens like spinach in my refrigerator, I like to make this quiche and portion it for a week's worth of breakfasts, so I know I'm eating my vegetables right at the beginning of the day.
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It's school vacation week, and you've got your hands full. Why not toss a few ingredients into the slow cooker, and let dinner cook all day while you're making snow angels or going to see The Hobbit with the kids? This Italian pot roast tastes great on the day you make it, served with boiled potatoes or egg noodles, and even better the next day. The balsamic vinegar and olives lend their perky tang, and sun-dried tomatoes deepen the sauce, turning a humble chuck roast into a divine stew. Dinner doesn't get much easier, or more comforting, than this.
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Everything about Miami Beach has changed since my dad treated me to my first taste of scrambled eggs with lox and onions at Wolfie's, an old Jewish delicatessen on Lincoln Road. Wolfie's has closed; Lincoln Road is now a chic mall for shopping and bar-hopping, and the part of Miami Beach where my grandparents lived (in the Cardozo Hotel, an Art Deco landmark) no longer abuts the water, thanks to a beach reconstruction project years ago. I haven't eaten eggs with lox and onions for years, since my dad passed away, but recently I've been craving that combination of creamy eggs and salty smoked salmon. I decided to reconstruct the scrambled egg dish just a bit, and turn it into an egg and cheese breakfast casserole, with bits of smoked salmon, leeks from the garden, and mild mozzarella cheese. I added parsley, as a tribute to the sprig of curly parsley that Wolfie's always threw on the plate, whether it needed to be there or not. Enjoy this egg casserole for a holiday breakfast.
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