Perfect Breakfast!

Eggs En Cocotte With Spinach & Prosciutto Fingers - Breakfast

Eggs En Cocotte with Spinach Puree & Prosciutto Fingers



  • 6 slices prosciutto, halved lengthways
  • 6 breadsticks


  • 2 T Butter
  • 1 Box Frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 T Crème fraiche
  • 2 T Finely-chopped chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black peppper
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 C Gruyere cheese finely grated


  1. For the prosciutto fingers, wrap 2 strips of prosciutto ham around each bread stick and set aside.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 6 ramekins or similar-sized ovenproof dishes. Place the frozen chopped spinach in a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring, until the spinach has melted into a purée. Turn up the heat and cook the spinach until there is no watery residue. Remove from the heat and stir in 5 tablespoons of the crème fraiche and the chopped chives. Season well.
  3. Spoon the spinach purée into the base of each ramekin; crack the egg into each one. Mix the grated cheese with remaining tablespoon of crème fraiche. Carefully place a small amount of the cheese mixture on top of the eggs. Place the ramekins in a roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  4. Cook in the oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the yolks feel just firm to the touch. Serve immediately with prosciutto fingers on the side.


I found this recipe originally in House & Garden and have adapted it to my taste. You can use polenta in place of the spinach puree for a variation of taste. Both work perfectly with the eggs. Just make sure you don’t overcook the yolks so you can dip the bread sticks in the yummy yolk.


Mortgage Approval vs Pre-Approval

With the current competitive nature of the Real Estate market buyers have to be overly prepared.  If you aren’t one of the fortunate buyers in today’s marketplace able to purchase for cash, lenders have up-ted the anti for you. Quicken Loan’s calls it “Mortgage First”.  Designed to position a buyer requiring a mortgage more competitively, they process all necessary documentation through the underwriting process. Touting this mortgage to buyers as the next best thing to being a cash buyer it does provide you with the certainty you are fully qualified and not just pre-approved. From a sellers perspective that is one more question answered and does strengthen your offer. Though there is still the appraisal process that must be completed for final lender approval, this loan does provide an advantage for buyers requiring a mortgage to purchase their new home.

Guaranteed Rate recently provided a list of documents buyers need to provide their lenders to complete the loan process.  The list of financials that you need to pull together before you buy a home are included below. If you want to be a stronger buyer in this market place, ask your lender if they can process you through underwriting and not just provide you with a “pre-approval.”


Income – W2 Employee

  • Most recent two paystubs
  • Most recent two years W2s
  • Most recent two years Federal Tax Returns (all pages and all schedules)

Income – Self Employed

  • Most recent two years 1099
  • Most recent two years K1s
  • Most recent two years Personal Federal Tax Returns (all pages and all schedules)
  • Most recent two years Business Federal Tax Returns (all pages and all schedules)


  • Most recent two months statements from all asset accounts. This would include: Checking, Savings, IRA, Stocks, 401k etc. Complete statements are needed; this means every numbered page even if they are blank. Transaction histories and screen shots will not be accepted by the underwriter.

This article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation. The information in this article is not an indication of program availability. Always consult with a mortgage professional before making a decision on a home loan

The Cavalier Restaurant – San Francisco


Anna Weinberg (Marlowe, Park Tavern, SF Chronicle’s Restauranteur of the Year 2012 ), James Nicholas and chef Jennifer Puccio opened The Cavalier in 2013 within SoMa’s Hotel Zetta. Already deemed one of  Zagat’s 2013 Top 25 Restaurants, the Cavalier features a terrific English Pub Menu. My favorite, Duck Scotch Eggs. Welsh Rarebit Souffle, Pork Bangers and Stout Custards share the menu with Smoked Duck Breast and Roasted Marrow Bones. Elegant, English hunting decor meets electric California—complete with one of designer Ken Fulk’s “secret” rooms. 360 Jessie St., 415-321-6000;



Time to Repaint?

Oh Spring….the time to clean, paint, de-clutter, plant, trim….rendering very little relaxation time. But then again once all the work is done, Summer begins! Once  your home is spruced up then you can enjoy entertaining with friends and family throughout the warm dog days of Summer.
Your home’s exterior is of important concern not only for resale purposes but to avoid costly repairs in the future. If you are planing on selling, the first visual a new buyer sees should be that of  a well cared for exterior. Reflective of the care you have taken with your home, a buyers’ positive first impression can add value to their offer. Curb appeal, you get one shot!
General maintenance on the other hand for a homeowner should include annual exterior inspections to protect the value of your investment. Peeling paint exposes your homes framing leaving it susceptible to insects, dry rot and mold that over time translates into financial complications!
Not sure if you want to choose a new color or love the old one? Check out this link to the Houzz web site, send them a photo of your exterior and they will submit your project to their professionals for their suggestions. Then you can either select a professional to do the painting or tackle it yourself!


Hide Clutter Creatively!

Sarah Bray, contributing writer to House Beautiful recently published an article on how to hide what we all need hidden….clutter! Whether we are working 10 hour days or juggling kids, home and life there is never enough time to pick up everything. But if you are like me, there has to be some method to the madness or quick fix to the mess. Here are a few ideas she suggests to hide what we don’t have time to straighten up.  Personally I love the curtain idea, just pull them closed and pretend nothing is behind Curtain #1!


I’ve always been a fan of barn doors. They lie flush to the wall and can be a thematic focal point instead of just a door.


Save decorative boxes to store papers and trinkets.


Ottoman  Drawer               Recycled Panels               Window Seat

Lamb & Egg Frisee!


Burger Heaven!

The other night we were trying to figure out what we wanted for dinner. More often than not, at least one member of the family is determinative enough in their food craving that they pipe up immediately. But it was the end of the week and fatigue was definitely weighing heavy in the room. Left up to me, I always go with breakfast for dinner…my kids favorite. We used to have it all the time when Dad was traveling. However now that the kids are adults, their culinary tastes are a bit more sophisticated. So I came up with this recipe for Grilled Lamb Burgers on a bed of Spicy Aioli dressed Frisee with a Fried Egg and Sweet Potato Fries.  Nothing was left on the plate!

It’s easy and very satisfying. You can use any type of ground meat, turkey or chicken you like. However if you go with a white meat turkey or chicken I would add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil because you need a little bit of fat for moisture in the burger.


Lamb Burger Frisee

For 4 servings


2 lbs ground lamb

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 clove garlic minced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Mix the ingredients into patties and let them sit while you prep the Aioli.

Spicy Aioli:

In a food processor add the following-

1 anchovy fillet

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon red pepper flake chili sauce

1 teaspoon Sirachi (optional for more heat)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix these ingredients together and then slowly pour in ½ c olive oil

½ cup olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes while you finish the prep.

Grill the burgers to medium rare, cover and let them sit.

Toss the Frisee with a small amount of the Aioli. A little goes a long way, nothing worse than drenched greens.

Fry your eggs. You can poach them if you prefer.

Prepare your plates with a handful of Frisee, then the Burger, the Egg and a drizzle of the Aioli.

We served them with store bought Sweet Potato fries, from bag to oven and they were terrific!

12 Key Decorating Tips

Decorator Confessions

Judith Taylor, award winning Toronto designer, recently commented on the tried and true talent and skills designers use to create your ideal interiors. In her own words, “I hate to break it to you, but designers don’t follow a secret rule book.  There are no hard and fast laws governing what we do.  We are creative types by nature and love to imagine, dream and explore, following out intuition.”  So that being said, if you follow her 12 key decorating tips….and are blessed with a bit of a creative flair….you can create the home of your dreams.

1.  Pick the paint color last.
2.  Give your furniture some breathing room.
3.  Hang artwork at the right height.
4.  Know how to arrange furniture on a rug.
5.  Resist the urge to be too theme-y.
6.  Create a focal point.
7.  Consider sight lines.
8.  Edit your collectibles.
9.  Vary the scale.
10. Add layers of light.
11. Be bold
12. Ignore all principles in favor of creativity!

Her philosophy of going with something personal that makes you smile and, above all, is comfortable is how I’ve always worked a room. “Overly designed rooms don’t really translate in modern life,”she adds. I couldn’t agree with her more, however I might add, check out where your animals sit or sleep, they instinctively know where to find comfort….and usually the best seat in the house.  You can ask my Mother about that one!

Visit the site below for detailed explanations and visuals