Sunday, November 15, 2015

Eggs For Dinner: How To Make A Perfect Frittata

I love dinner for breakfast. Not just because I rarely get the chance to splurge on a big breakfast in the morning (usually its oatmeal around here!), but because it makes it so easy to get a filling and nutritious meal on the table for dinner.

This recipe was in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine and I absolutely love it. I used an applewood smoked gouda cheese and it was absolutely perfect blended in with the mix of baby kale, spinach, chard and arugula. Its a fantastic way to get your greens without just chowing down on what tastes like a bowl of grass.

Frittatas are wonderful because its basically a way to make a giant omelette without standing over the stove. Plus they're really customize-able - you can add in whatever you have in your fridge! Some of my favorite additions are mushrooms (sauteed first), leftover cooked bits of bacon or sausage and basically any cheese. The gouda pairs really well with the hearty greens in this recipe, but if its not your favorite kind of cheese just add in whatever you like.

What are your go-to dinner for breakfast recipes?

Smoked Gouda Frittata with Winter Greens

12 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk 
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 oz. smoked gouda cheese (I used an applewood smoked gouda)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 loosely packed cups of hearty winter greens (I used baby kale, spinach, chard and arugula)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (crumbled)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 and whisk together the eggs, milk, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper until well combined. Stir in the cheese and set aside while you prepare the greens.

Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat (I used my cast iron skillet, which is basically nonstick at the point due to the seasoning). Add the greens, garlic, rosemary and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just barely wilted. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper before pouring the egg mixture in.

Stir the mixture once or twice to combine and let it sit for about 1 minutes (without stirring!) on the stovetop. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the frittata is set and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes in the skillet before serving.

This frittata is delicious with warm crusty bread or a side of breakfast meat.

Recipe barely adapted from Food Network Magazine

Continue Reading...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Back to Balanced: Oatmeal Whole Wheat Bread

It has been months since my last post on this blog. I have no idea if anyone really noticed, but figured I should address it before sharing my latest recipe just in case! Honestly, life has been a bit overwhelming over the past few months. Nothing necessarily bad, just a lot going on and challenges in balancing work, volunteer obligations and family. I stepped away from writing for awhile to get a better handle on balancing my life.

I'm far from perfectly balanced (I know you're laughing out there Mom!), but have put daily practices into habit that have brought my life and priorities better into balance. I had allowed myself to say "yes" to too many things, even fantastic opportunities, and in taking too much on I heaped expectations on my own head that ended up making me feel burnt out and exhausted.

After 30 days of focusing on overall "wellness" by practicing yoga (almost) daily, making sure to get the water and nutrients my body needs, spending quality time with my husband and daughter and focusing on making time with God a priority every day I feel like I am finally ready to take on projects this little food blog I love so much.

Fall is upon us (finally!) here on the East Coast and I am thrilled. Its one of my favorite times of year, full of warming spices, hearty produce and delicious flavors. For some reason when the weather turns chili I always want to bake bread. My daughter (now 3 years old) loves to dump and stir and help me back, so bread is the perfect recipe to bake with her.

This bread recipe is seriously yummy and pretty customizable. The original recipe called for whole oats but I was out so I used steel cut. When I went in the pantry for honey I realized we had used it all so I used organic maple syrup instead. Guess what? It worked! This bread is perfect as-is or lightly toasted with a little butter and jam for breakfast or a snack with tea.

Check out the recipe below and share in the comments your favorite seasonal dishes! I'm glad to be back and excited about cooking and sharing recipes again with you.

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Maple Bread

1 cup water
1 cup milk (I used whole)
1 packet active dry yeast
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup...leave Mrs. Butterworth on the shelf for this one)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups AP flour
1 cup steel-cut oats
4 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
1 tbsp, kosher salt


1. Pour water and milk into a microwave-safe bowl or large glass measuring cup and heat 45-60 seconds until the mixture is about 115 degrees. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle in the yeast. Gently stir in the syrup and let it sit for about 10 minutes until the mixture is foamy.

2. Add in both flours, the oats, butter and salt then stir using a dough hook on medium speed for about 6-7 minutes. You want the texture of the dough to be smooth and elastic with just a little stickiness to it.

3. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and transfer the dough to that bowl, covering lightly with a clean tea towel. Set in a warm area to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

4. Once the dough is doubled, punch it down and press it out into about an 8x8 square. Tuck in the sides (like you're rolling a burrito) and roll it into a log shape. Place into a lightly greased loaf pan.

5. Cover with the tea towel again and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes until the loaf is browned on top and sounds hollow when you tap it.

6. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling to room temperature (if you can wait that long to taste it!) before serving.

Original recipe adapted from Girl Versus Dough

Printable Recipe

Continue Reading...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mysteries & Savory Scones

I love to read, its a bit of an addiction, but one I hope to cultivate in my daughter as well. I usually try to read 100 books each year, but this year I've found quite a few series I like and have read even more than usual - its only August and I've read 84 books! One of the genres I enjoy is foodie lit, especially if they include recipes. Stacey Ballis is one of my favorite authors in that genre, so is the fabulous Ruth Reichl.

However, thanks to goodreads, I stumbled upon a series of mysteries that also have a cooking/magic element (2 of my favorite things!) by Bailey Cates last week and quickly blew right through the first 4 books (my library doesn't have the 5th yet). I decided to try one of the recipes featured in the book this week and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was.

This recipe for savory Cheddar Sage Scones from her book "Brownies & Broomsticks" is perfect to accompany a soup or salad for a lunch or light dinner, or serve them alongside an afternoon tea for a yummy snack. Scones are so easy to make, the keys to perfect ones are to use super-cold butter and not over-mix them. These turned out flaky, tender and delicious, I can't wait to try them again. I just used some leftover mild cheddar I had in my fridge, but I think they'd be fantastic with a sharp white cheddar. This is a great base recipe too, you can always switch up seasonings and cheese or even add dried fruits. I love the sweet/salty combo of fruit with cheese so white cheddar and dried cranberries will be my next attempt!

Cheddar Sage Scones

2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp, kosher salt
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage (I like to use Penzey's)
6 tbsp. butter (cut into small cubes and frozen for at least 15 minutes)
2/3 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (I used whole)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set aside ¼ cup flour in a small bowl. In a medium bowl combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and sage. 

Add chilled butter and cut into flour by rubbing with your fingers or using a pastry blender until the consistency of rough cornmeal. Add the grated cheddar to the ¼ cup flour and toss to coat. Shake to remove excess flour and add to pastry mixture, tossing with your hands to evenly distribute the cheese. 

Whisk together the egg and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring lightly with a fork until ingredients are moistened and just hold together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead twenty times. 

Add more flour to the surface if needed. Pat into an 8-inch circle, slightly higher in the center than on the edges. Using a very sharp knife, cut eight equal wedges. Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, slightly apart from one another. Bake for 12–14 minutes, until golden brown.

Recipe courtesy of Brownies & Broomsticks by Bailey Cates

Click Here To Print The Recipe

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How To Spice Up Your Weeknight Pasta {With Chicken}

I love a good pasta dish and the sauce in this one is amazing. Don't get me wrong, I love the classics like homemade marinara, alfredo, etc., but this tomato cream sauce is so delicious! I love the concentrated tomato flavor that's mellowed out just a little with the creaminess.

The seasoning on the chicken is perfect too, packs a little bit of a heat kick that really balances out the creamy sauce. I had never thought to use a steak seasoning on anything but steak, but adding it to the chicken is going to be a go-to technique in my pantry for the foreseeable future! If you don't want to buy a separate seasoning blend for this recipe you can easily mix up your own. I would suggest including salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne and ground sesame seeds.

Simple dishes like this are some of my favorite weeknight fare. Comforting and easy to put together, but still really flavorful and delicious.

Creamy Tomato Pasta With Seared Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless, thin-sliced chicken breasts
Montreal Steak seasoning (McCormick brand was readily available in my grocery store)
1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter (use 4 tbsp. if not grilling chicken)
2 tablespoons olive oil (use 4 tbsp. if not grilling chicken)
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chicken broth
12 oz canned tomato sauce
1 cup half and half (or light cream)
Kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 tbsp. dried parsley
8-10 fresh basil leaves (chopped)

Season both sides of the chicken breasts with the steak seasoning. If you have a grill, go ahead and cook these on the grill or grill-pan. I went with a cast iron pan, melted 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Then I added the chicken and cooked for 4 minutes on each side (working in batches). Set the chicken aside to rest while you cook the pasta and sauce.

Cook your pasta in well-salted water according to the package directions (8-10 minutes). While the pasta cooks you can make the sauce. I just used the same skillet I cooked the chicken in and heated Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium. Once melted, add in the garlic and cook for just 30 seconds or so. Pour in the chicken broth and let it simmer and reduce by about half. 

Once the broth has reduced, stir in the tomato sauce. If you use no-salt added sauce, make sure to season well with salt and pepper at this stage. Then add in the dried parsley. Stir to combine and add the cream. Taste and add additional seasoning if you need to before turning off the heat. Add the fresh basil into the sauce, then add the cooked pasta to the sauce, stirring well to coat all the noodles with the sauce.

Serve the pasta in individual bowls with sliced chicken on top (this recipe makes great leftovers too!).

Recipe adapted from Kevin & Amanda and The Pioneer Woman

Continue Reading...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Frozen Treats: How To Avoid Your Oven This Summer {2 Recipes!}

I don't know about where you're from, but it has been insanely hot here on the Eastern Shore this week! I'm talking over 100 degrees with the heat index and all those scary flashing red warnings all over the screen whenever I check the weather.

So I had a quandary...I love dessert, but really couldn't think of anything I wanted to do less than turn on my oven (except go outside!). With that in mind I want to share two of my new favorite no-bake/freezer desserts. They're similar, but one has a creamier cheesecake/mousse feel and the other relies on frozen berries for a different texture. You can really swap any of your favorite seasonal fruits into these recipes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and peaches have been big hits around here.

Perfect for entertaining or just enjoying on a hot, humid summer day...these are definitely going in my permanent summer dessert repertoire!

No-Bake Summer Berry Cheesecake (courtesy of The Chew)

Frozen Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse Squares (courtesy of Kraft)

Continue Reading...