I’m still in disbelief that today is the last day in August and the end of the Eat Local America Challenge. Â 31 days, 614 photos, and 27 recipes later, the blog has hit a few milestones this month. Â Crossed the 100 post mark earlier this week, became a finalist in CBS’s Minnesota Most Valuable Blogger award, and as of this writing have had more than 9,400 unique views. Â No small feat for a wannabe foodie. Â Many thanks to all of you who have checked in to see all the month’s dishes. Â In case you missed any, here’s a recap of all the great local dishes the kitchen partner and I ate in August:
Day #1 Zucchini Quesadillas
Day #3 Mac N’ Cheese
Day #16 Zucchini Primavera
Day #24 Black Bean Enchiladas
Day #17 Grilled Pork Chops with Cucumber Dressing
Day #28 Eggplant Parmesan
Day #9 Lamb and Eggplant Kebabs
There is the noticeable absence of desserts on this list. Seasoned locavores know that desserts with only local sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, etc.) are tough to come by. Â At least ones that still taste like dessert. Â There’s usually some refined sugar in there. But for 31 days, I’ve managed to survive without dessert and have lived to tell you all about it. Tomorrow evening when I am home from work however, you can bet that I’ll be putting on my apron and baking pie. One day of bending the rules (and lemon merengue) never hurt anyone.
When I started posting the recipes this month, I wanted to demonstrate that eating local in Minnesota is not only affordable and tasty, but also 100% feasible for a 20-something in today’s food economy. If one time per week for 27 weeks, each of us prepared a recipe I posted this month, we would all be eating 27 fresh local meals, making 27 contributions to the local economy, and making 27 more environmentally sustainable choices. Multiply that by all the folks who have read my story this month, and you have the beginnings a meaningful change in our food system.
So without further delay, here’s the final Eat Local America Challenge recipe. Kudos to The Curvy Carrot for the inspiration. And thanks again to everyone who has followed along! Happy Local Eating!
Baked Eggs in Two-Cheese Tomato CupsÂ
Adapted from The Curvy Carrot
4 large slicing tomatoes Homegrown
1/4 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded Mullin’s Cheese, Mosinee, WI
4 eggs Farm On Wheels, Kenyon, MN
4 Tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese Mullin’s Cheese, Mosinee, WI
1. Pre-heat the oven to 425Â° F and prepare a small baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Wash and remove stems from tomatoes.
2. Gently cut a thin slice from the bottom of each tomato to create a flat edge (no more than 1/8″ removed).
Flip each tomato over and cut the top off at about 1/4″ Spoon out the core and the seeds leaving as much of the outer edge of flesh in the tomato as possible.
3. Evenly distribute the mozzarella cheese into each tomato cup and gently crack an egg into each cup. (*Warning: this takes a bit of practice and a sense of humor. Don’t worry if your first egg runs down the side of the tomato!). Place each tomato cup in the baking dish.
4. Bake for 10 minutes or until egg white just begins to set. Top each egg with the parmesan and return to oven for 10-15 minutes more or until eggs are set and parmesan forms a golden crust.
5. Garnish with black pepper if desired. Serve warm.