Recipe: Mollet Eggs Florentine

At some point in our almost-two years of marriage, Johnny and I realized and accepted the fact that we have the television taste of people much older than us. Watching Jeopardy! at 7:30 makes any day better, and we had a long run of a Friday night in-house date to watch Dateline (spoiler: the husband always did it, and he was always having an affair). Living so close to the home of PBS means that our limited channels include 4 PBS stations, so we’ve also gotten familiar with Cook’s Country, Julia Child, and Jacques Pepin. The latter is where today’s recipe comes from (slightly edited).

I was skeptical at first (I think it’s the French accent), but Johnny cajoled me into trying Mollet Eggs Florentine, and we’re pretty much hooked. They seem much more complicated than they really are – it’s just a matter of three separate but simple parts: eggs, spinach, and sauce. They make a delicious and filling addition to brunch, or on their own for dinner. Equally good with meat or without, they can be a great Friday option. The recipe is also easy to scale up or down, and can be mostly prepared ahead of time.


Serves 2 hungry people, or 4 as part of a larger brunch

  • 4 large eggs


  • 9 ounces fresh spinach (or whatever reasonably-sized bag you find)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons grated Swiss cheese (the original recipe calls for Gruyère or Emmenthaler, which are probably superior since they’re made out off dollar bills)

Mornay Sauce:

  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For Serving (optional):

  • 2 English muffins or slices of bread
  • Ham or bacon



Bring 4 to 6 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. With a pushpin or thumbtack, prick a small hole in the rounder end of each egg (this will help prevent the shells from cracking during cooking).

Using a slotted spoon, lower the eggs into the boiling water, and let it come back to a simmer. Cook for about 6 minutes.

Pour the water out, run cold water over the eggs, drain again, and shake the pan to crack the eggshells. Cool thoroughly.

MolletEggs-27Gently shell the eggs (to prevent breaking them) under cold running water.  If it’s your husband’s first time peeling eggs, provide a little guidance or just take over and let him do the sauce.



Bring about 1/2 inch of salted water to a boil in a stainless steel pot. Drop the leaves into the boiling water and boil, covered, for about 1 minute, until wilted. Drain the spinach in a colander and immediately run under cold running water to stop the cooking and keep the color. Drain again, pressing on the spinach to extract as much water as possible.

Put the spinach on a chopping block and coarsely chop.


Melt the butter in a skillet over high heat and cook until it turns brown. Add the spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, mix well with a fork, and cook for 2 minutes.

Arrange the spinach in the bottom of an broiler-safe dish large enough to accommodate the eggs (I use a small round cakepan). Sprinkle the Swiss cheese on top, and arrange the cold eggs on the spinach, with a little space between them.MolletEggs-31



Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the flour until smooth and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until the mixture froths, without browning. Add the half-and-half, whipping constantly with a whisk, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Stir in the seasonings (but not the cheese) and continue cooking over low heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly with the whisk. Cool for 6 to 8 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Add the egg yolk to the sauce, whisking very fast and hard.


Coat the eggs with the sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese while making your “cheese-grating face.” Place under the hot broiler (not too close, so the eggs have a chance to get hot inside) for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is nicely browned.



While the eggs are cooking, make your toast (English muffins are best).  You could butter it if you’re so inclined, but given the sauce you’re about to add, even I think that’s overkill. Heat your meat, if using. When the sauce is dappled with brown, remove from over and serve immediately over bread and meat. Serve immediately and sigh happily.



Housekeeping Announcement: The Virtual Recipe Box


I've added a permanent page to the sidebar (to the left, under my photo) called The Recipe Box. It's mostly just for my own reference, a place to keep track of recipes that I find myself googling constantly. I haven't done individual posts about them, but everything on the page is a go-to recipe for me (made as written). Anyway, I don't expect this to be a heavily-trafficed page for anyone else, but if you find yourself asking, “What is Holly's favorite brownie recipe?”, you now have a place to find it. (The answer would be these, by the way)


Maddy at Two Months


Here we are, another month gone! A lot has happened, especially in the last couple weeks, and Maddy is much more alert and engaged with the world. She's also a lot bigger – up two and a half pounds and two inches in the last month (that's 92nd and 90th percentiles, respectively). Hearing that put her occasional fussiness in perspective; it can hardly be comfortable to grow that fast.

She has kind of organically outgrown her mom-given nickname of “Squish,” since she has a lot more structure now. I don't think there are any new favorites for a consistent nickname (besides “Maddy,” of course), but as she finds her voice, I frequently find myself shortening it further to “Mad.”


She's a huge fan of her stuffed Mickey Mouse, so I've been spending a lot of time making him dance around for her. In a twist that's shocking to no one, I still don't do voices, so Mickey pretty much talks like me and meep-meeps her nose like the Roadrunner.


Maddy celebrated her two-month birthday with vaccinations – three shots and an oral one that was bad in it's own way. After a minute of bloodcurdling screams, she forgave me. I wonder…if I teach her to associate shots with birthdays, will that be a deterrent from overindulgence on her 21st? Hey Maddy, come on! Birthday girl does shots! Hey…why are you crying and in the fetal position?


All in all, she's just a happy, laid-back baby who's picking up new tricks every day. We're totally in love with her and can't wait to see what she learns in the weeks to come!

Also, her chins. Love her chins.



Maddy’s Baptism


I've had this sitting in my Drafts folder for while now, thanks to Maddy's nap-on-mom-only stage, but I'm adapting (aka, getting better at typing one-handed).

We chose the date for her Baptism well in advance due to our families' schedules, and realized after the fact that it would be Laetare Sunday. I loved this because the offertory text for that day is one of my favorites: I rejoiced at the things that were said unto me: we shall go into the house of The Lord… For a fitting soundtrack to this post, play this video while reading.

Johnny pointed out that the day's introit was also appropriate for our nursing baby: Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation.


Maddy's dress was sewn by my mom, and she wore a sweater and bonnet knitted by Johnny's great-grandma many years ago.



The Baptism was in the Extaordinary Form, which meant that Johnny and I handed Madeleine off to her godparents and were just observers for the whole ceremony. As a priest friend once wryly remarked, “This rite dates back to a time when they assumed both parents would be dead by now.”




That morning, I bet Johnny and Father that Maddy would unleash some sort of… baby excretion right at the exorcism (which is a truly awesome part of the ceremony, by the way). Sure enough: Depart and vanish from this servant of God Madeleine Christine. For it is He who commands thee- [unmistakable sound of diaper filling]

It was later suggested that we burn the “demon diaper.” Throwing it away in a church garbage can had to suffice.



The Baptism took place between Masses at our parish, so we all went to Mass immediately after, and then to a party with great food, lots of libations, and an awesome cake (and I don't say that lightly!).


Meanwhile, the guest of honor and new Catholic felt pretty good about the whole thing:

In case you're dying for more, video of the Baptism is here.



Triduum Recap (and What We Wore)

Happy Easter to all!  We made it through various Triduum liturgies mostly unscathed, though I’m glad to be reunited with Mommy’s Little Helper on this side of Easter.

We attended Good Friday and Holy Saturday liturgies at the convent near our house, which turned out to be a really good fit.  Sure, there was nowhere to hide, and every slurp of our noisy nurser resonated forever, but there was a pretty small (and understanding) crowd, and no unnecessary liturgical hijinks.  I did reach a new level of Mom-Life during the Vigil, though.  We got there just a couple minutes early, and we weren’t quite settled in when the whole church went pitch-black.  Johnny was caught outside the pew but managed to find his way back.  I started nursing Maddy and was just thinking about how convenient it was to have a dark church for bedtime nursing, when she spit up all over.  All.  Over.  Johnny took her while I spent the Exultet cleaning off every garment and surface with baby wipes by the light of a tiny Vigil candle.  I may need to write a verse about the glorious new mission of the inextinguishable light.  To Maddy’s credit, she was quiet as, well, a church mouse, and we easily made it through the whole Mass.


No matching tie for Johnny. He’s lucky I ran out of time.

On to what we wore Sunday.  I worked at breakneck speed on Saturday to finish my skirt, so by Sunday morning, all I needed to do was hem it.  My solution was, shall we say, temporary but sufficient, and I’ll do a real job this week.  Maddy’s dress went from zero to done between 8:00 and 11:00.  There are also some rough edges there, but I blame weird pattern instructions as much as anything.


I figured that there’s a relatively small window for us to wear matching outfits, so I decided to take advantage of it.  My skirt was easy enough but gave me to opportunity to learn how to sew pleats (and pockets!  and buttonholes!).  I only needed to consult the pattern help hotline (aka Mom) a couple times.


It came out a little smaller than I would’ve preferred, so there’s a definite hourglass silhouette made possible by control top nylons (time to put the jogging stroller to use).  Maddy’s dress was the smallest size offered by the pattern (for 6-12 pound babies, supposedly).  I think it’ll still fit her next Easter.  Still, it was fun to sew all the gathers (or “frounce,” as the pattern offered).


I was glad for the opportunity to wear my yellow wedding shoes, which kill my feet but make me happy anyway.  They’re pretty much a perfect match for this outfit.

And here’s the main event, tired out from a long weekend and big Easter party, but still a little ticklish.


Check out more Easter outfits at Fine Linen and Purple!