Let’s Get Saucy! In Which Our Heroine Joins a Cookbook Swap

This past week has been pretty hectic. At school, we’ve moved past eggs and breakfast and onto roasting, which meant producing full roasted dinners two nights in a row. At work, we’re setting goals for the rest of the year and settling into new ownership. On a more personal note, I helped my Little Sister (I’ve been a Big Sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters for three years this month!) and her family move into their very own apartment, after a really tough year of moving around from family guest rooms to hotels. I couldn’t be prouder of them, and it was such an amazing and humbling experience to be part of their special day.

And here in the blogosphere, I got to take part in my very first ever cookbook swap! I participated in the Food Blogger Cookbook Swap, hosted by Alyssa of www.EverydayMaven.com and Faith of www.anediblemosaic.com. I sent a cookbook to a food blogger and someone sent me a cookbook, too!

I think I kinda hit the cookbook jackpot. I received Faith’s cookbook, “An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair.”


I’ve always been a big fan of Middle Eastern food, but my experience has pretty much been limited to what I can get in restaurants. This book breaks down the components, the vocabulary, and the cooking methods of Middle Eastern food so beautifully, I feel silly for ever being intimidated by the idea of trying to cook it at home.

It was really hard to choose a recipe to cook for this post. All of them looked so colorful and sounded so delicious. I finally settled on Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce. This cookbook does a really good job of walking you through all the pieces of the puzzle before diving into the recipes that put the whole picture together for you, but if you’re still just a little bit unsure this particular recipe uses ingredients most of us have heard of and are probably familiar with.

Medium sized skillet with a lid
Cutting board and knife
Can opener
Spoon for stirring
Measuring spoons and cups
Mis en place bowls (if you do all your prep first)

Ingredients (I cut the amounts in half because I was cooking just for me, but I’m giving you the full amounts here):
2 T olive oil
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 small hot green chili pepper (I used a jalapeno), minced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tomatoes, diced
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 T tomato paste
1/2 C water
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

As usual, I recommend that you get all your mis en place together first. (The fact that you can see my sink in this picture means you all now know exactly how small my kitchen is.)

Heat the oil in your skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and the onion and sweat them until they’re soft.

Add the jalapeno, garlic, salt and diced tomato and cook for about 2 minutes, then add all the spices stir them in. Cook everything for about another minute.

Add the water and the tomato paste and stir them into the cooked veggies to combine. Bring the heat up to boiling, then back down to a simmer and cover. Let the sauce cook for about 10 minutes. Faith recommends taking the lid off of the pan for the last minute or so to let the sauce thicken up.


Use the back of your spoon to make four little indentations in the sauce. Crack one egg into each little dent, and then put the cover back on and let it them cook for about 5 minutes for a runny yolk, and maybe another minute or so longer for medium set.

Garnish with the parsley, and serve!


What I really loved about this recipe (aside from the fact that I’ll use any excuse to eat a runny yolked egg on my food) is the blend of spices and the little bite from the chili pepper in the sauce. They just brought so much flavor to the party! This recipe was also super quick to put together, so if you wanted to add a little excitement to breakfast, this would be the way to do it.

There were 39 other bloggers who participated in this year’s swap. We’ve all written about the cookbooks we received, and it’s been a lot of fun learning about everyone through their posts about this swap. Go check them out!
A Baker’s House
An Edible Mosaic
avocado bravado
Blue Kale Road
Blueberries And Blessings
Cheap Recipe Blog
Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Create Amazing Meals
Cucina Kristina
Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Cupcake Project
Dinner is Served 1972
Done With Corn
Eats Well With Others
Everyday Maven
Flour Me With Love 
From My Sweet Heart 
Great Food 360° 
Healthy. Delicious. 
Je Mange la Ville 
Karen’s Kitchen Stories 
Kitchen Treaty 
Olive and Herb
OnTheMove-In The Galley 
Our Best Bites 
Paleo Gone Sassy
poet in the pantry 
Rhubarb and Honey 
Rocky Mountain Cooking
Shikha la mode 
Shockingly Delicious
Sifting Focus 
Spoonful of Flavor 
Tara’s Multicultural Table 
The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler 
The Suburban Soapbox 
The Whole Family’s Food 

Spicy Harissa Shrimp

Harissa spiced shrimp and veggies

9 medium tail on shrimp
four mini sweet peppers, sliced
1/3 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
1/4 red onion,
1/2 of a large tomato, chopped
2 tsp harissa
1 T olive oil
sea salt to taste

warm the olive oil on a medium high heat. when it gets shimmery, toss in the shrimp and saute for about 2 minutes, then season with salt and 1 tsp of the harissa. stir well to coat, then add the onions and saute for another minute or so. then you can throw in the rest of the veggies, season with another good pinch of salt and the rest of the harissa, then turn the heat down to medium low. let it simmer for another 7 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and started creating a sauce. give it all a big stir to make sure everything is coated in the sauce, pour it in a bowl, and eat it.

serves 1 just like this, or probably two if you serve it over rice or couscous.