Friday, May 17, 2013
Here's a quick meal for you - Frittata with Spinach, Bacon and Onion.
God Bless the Incredible Edible Egg :)
I can bring home the bacon. And fry it up in a pan. . . . .(name that line!!) Typically, I'm a big ambassador of baking bacon, but sometimes you want to fry it . . like in this wonderful, 1-pan meal. And please ignore my stove that really needs to be scrubbed. I vow to never buy another stove with a white glass-top. EVER.
Mmmmmmmmmmmm . . .couldn't resist another bacon shot. If only this was a smello-blog.
While the bacon is cooking and teasing your taste-buds with their aromatic wonderfulness, beat two eggs in your favorite mug. This is not my favorite mug. But it was the only clean mug. Rest are in the dishwasher.
Once the bacon is cooked to your fancy, remove it from the pan and drain it on a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Do not remove the grease from the frying pan.
Now, add a large handful of fresh spinach to the hot pan. Meanwhile, chop up your bacon. As well, dice up some red onion. Saute the spinach until wilted.
Now add your beaten egg.
And thin sprinkle on your bacon and red onion. I just love the sweetness of red onion in this dish.
Now, I'm not a master of flipping eggs in the pan. My hubby is, I am not. And I don't like runny eggs. I like my eggs nice and firm. Hence, I like to put a lid on pan to steam the eggs through. That way, the top gets cooked too . . .and no runny eggs.
However, you can try to flip it. After all, you'll never get it right unless you try. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself ;)
And then plate this baby up and garnish with some sour cream and fresh cracked black pepper. Ooo-lah-lah . . .fancy eggs!
Frittata with Spinach, Bacon and Onion
2-3 Strips of Bacon
1 Cup Fresh Spinach Leaves
1/4 Cup Red Onion, diced
Sour Cream (optional)
Step 1: Cook the bacon in a frying pan. Remove the bacon from the pan once it is cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Do not discard the grease.
Step 2: Add the Spinach to the pan and saute until wilted. Meanwhile, chop the bacon and dice up the onion.
Step 3: Beat two eggs and pour them into the fry pan (and over the wilted spinach). Then, sprinkle the bacon and onion over the top of the egg.
Step 4: Let the egg cook until firm all the way through.
Step 5: Remove from the pan and garnish with sour cream. Enjoy!
Friday, May 10, 2013
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that spring is finally here to stay! It was 65 degrees out the other day - so I ran all over my house to open up the windows and let the fresh air in so it could swirl around and infect us with uplifted spirits general joy. And air the place out. . .who am I kidding?
With the windows open and the sun shining in - I reached way back in my memory to pull out a recipe I hadn't used in a long time: Peanut Butter Crispy Bars.
So easy. So delicious. I could barely wait to devour. But I did. And only barely enough to let them set up properly. Please disregard my ugly hand. I was too impatient to plate this baby.
This is a no-bake recipe, which is great for the summer. I just love, love, love these! You can use any kind of unsweetened cereal. My hubby insisted on using crispy rice cereal this time. I actually prefer a blend of bran flakes and puffed wheat. But hey, they are delicious regardless!
Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
6 Cups Cereal of Choice (must be unsweetened - suggestions: corn flakes, rice cereal, puffed wheat)
2 Cups Peanut Butter
1 Cup Honey or Corn Syrup (I used Honey)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Butterscotch Chips
2 TB Milk
Step 1: Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan. Set aside.
Step 2: In a saucepan over low heat, combine the Honey, Salt, Sugar, Vanilla and Peanut Butter. Heat over medium low, stirring to make sure it doesn't burn, until all ingredients are well combined and the sugar has melted into the other ingredients. Remove from heat.
Step 3: Measure out the cereal into a large bowl. Pour the peanut mixture over the cereal and stir to combine really well. Do this while the mixture is still warm . .. once the peanut butter goo starts to cool off, it's harder to stir in the cereal.
Step 4: Spread the mixture into the cake pan and press down so it is firmly compacted into the pan.
And for the frosting . . .
Step 5: In a microwavable bowl, add the Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch Chips and Milk. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir. If it is not completely melted yet, microwave for another 10 seconds and then stir. It shouldn't take too long to get this all melted together - and you do not want to overcook it! If it still isn't smooth, microwave for another 10 seconds and then stir. Once all melted together and smooth, pour over the bars and spread evenly. Let set before cutting and eating.
I've eaten these many times without the frosting. In fact, don't be afraid to eat them without. They truly are delicious with or without the frosting!
Monday, May 6, 2013
I'm not gonna lie. I've been very busy. And when I haven't been busy, I've been very lazy. True story.
On top of all the usual hockey-related and church-related activities and work, we've had some other craptastic news piled onto us with a sick family member.
And if that wasn't enough . .. my hubby came home one night and said, "Can we make candied bacon for not-tomorrow, but the day after?"
You see, he had an apprentice at work who was graduating from the program and he wanted to celebrate by bringing in candied bacon. Really, it's not a bad idea at all.
Until you have to start chasing around a toddler in addition to chauffeuring around a teenager and sick family members. Then it becomes a rush job with the potential to be a burden.
However, we managed to escape the burden. And hubby helped make it. Which is a HUGE help.
This was rather easy and simple...assuming you like bacon. And what's not to love about bacon? Please note, I made both candied bacon and chocolate covered bacon. I used a 1/2 pound of bacon for each variety.
1/2 LB Bacon, thick cut
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
Prepare the pans in order to cook the bacon. Do you know the easiest way to cook bacon? Bake it. Get it: BAKE-ON :) I love a good pun. All silliness aside, it truly is the easiest way. Line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Place oven safe baking racks on the lined baking sheet. Place bacon on top of the racks. This allows for the grease to drip away from the bacon as it cooks.
For each slice of bacon, take a big pinch of brown sugar and rub it onto the raw bacon. Only do this to one side of the bacon. Make sure it's nice and coated. Repeat this for each slice of bacon to be candied.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Mmmmmmm . .. smells delicious.
Remove from the oven and flip each piece of bacon over. Carefully sprinkle brown sugar on this side of the bacon. Disburse/spread the sugar evenly with a spatula as needed. Return to oven for additional 5-10 minutes.
Remove from oven. Let cool. Resist to eat it while hot. You will burn yourself if you do. Yes, I am speaking from experience.
Chocolate Coated Bacon
1/2 LB Bacon, thick cut
1/2 LB Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Prepare and cook your bacon however you prefer to (I like to bake it). You will need your bacon to be CRISPY for this treat! Drain thoroughly on paper towels and let cool.
In a microwave safe bowl, pour in the chocolate chips. Place in microwave and cook on high for twenty seconds. Remove and stir. Return to the microwave and cook again for twenty seconds. Stir. Caution: you want to be very careful with melting your chocolate. You just barely want it melted. This is why you microwave for small amounts of time and stir. It may look lumpy when you take it out, but once you stir it - it will smooth out. It should take very long to melt it.
Dip the cooled bacon into the chocolate and place on wax paper to set. Once the chocolate has hardened, enjoy!
Storage: Place both the candied and the chocolate coated bacon in the fridge for storage.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Happy Foodie Penpal Day!
If you've been reading anything about the Midwest lately - you may have realized that we are being bombarded with snow this spring. And - it's making everyone a little grouchy. I think we are approaching 6 months of snow. Uff da.
But wanna know what makes my day brighter?
Receiving fun packages in the mail! Even if I have to lug them back to the house through the snow laden driveway.
As you can see - there is some yummy stuff in there:
1. Banana Bread Mix from Trader Joe's - I've only ever baked banana bread from scratch. However, I am excited to try this out - because it's something I would never buy. . .and it's always good to try out new things. Furthermore, I've never ate a banana bread I didn't like. Ever. True Story.
2. Mountain Trail Mix - Nuts, chocolate candies, raisins oh-my! I'm not sure who tore into it first: my daughter or my hubby.
3. Clover Blossom Honey - YUM. I loves me some honey. Especially on waffles. With bacon. Would it be wrong to have that for dinner twice in three days?
4. Dried Mango Strips - now this is something I've truly never had. I do like mango. In fact, my son and I just devoured one the other week (the little monkey thought it was the best fruit he had ever eaten). So, I'm very curious to try this dried version.
Curious about the Foodie Penpal Program? Head over to The Lean Green Bean for more details!
Friday, April 26, 2013
Do you ever just feel a little down and out and a little bit tired but you're not sure why? Well, I call it the winter funk. Everybody is just sick and tired of the snow. And that's where I was when I had been cruising the interwebs and found a recipe for Cowboy Lasagna. I figured this could be the last hurrah for winter . . .and then get the heck outta here and bring on spring.
It sounded pretty good: ground beef, onion, tomato, cheese, tots. What could go wrong?
This recipe is certainly easy enough to throw together. I'll warn you though - 1) it's like a sloppy joe casserole with tater tots and is very sweet. 2) If you are not a corn fan, omit the corn. That's what I'll be doing the next time I make this.
Corn is best consumed by itself - not mixed in with other stuff. And it's not a vegetable. It's a grain. 'Nuff said.
Cowboy Joe Casserole
1.5 lbs Ground Beef
1 Small Onion, diced
1 Can Tomato Soup (condensed)
3 TB Mustard Powder
2 TB Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Can of Corn (optional), drained
1 Small Jar Pickled Pepperocini's, diced
1 TB Worcestershire Sauce
2 Cups Cheese (I used Colby)
1 Bag Tater Tots
Spray pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large skillet, add the meat, onion, mustard powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire and ground black pepper. Cook on medium high heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Cook until well done. At this point, stir in the can of tomato soup (do not dilute), the corn, and the pepperocini's. Stir well. Pour into the prepared pan. Evenly distribute the cheese. Next, evenly distribute the tator tots. Bake for 1/2 hour - 45 minutes or until the tots are golden brown.
I do have to admit though, this did taste better the next day as leftovers for lunch :)
A few notes for the next time I make this:
1) My family (myself included) thought this was a little sweet - I would ditch the tomato soup and use salsa or diced tomatoes instead.
2) I would also omit the corn
Friday, April 19, 2013
Chicken Marsala . . .sounds fancy, doesn't it? It really isn't. Don't let the name fool you. It is, indeed, quite delicious though. It's one of my favorite dishes - and when it's done well, it absolutely fantastic. But, when it isn't done well - well, it's horrible! And I've had a few horrible renditions of it from restaurants. What exactly is it? Chicken Marsala is lightly coated chicken breasts in a brown sauce that uses Marsala wine and mushrooms. It's a little bit sweet and also savory. Often, you'll see it served with either pasta or mashed potatoes. It's completely delectable either way.
Where do you even get Marsala? You can either purchase it at your favorite liquor store (buy SWEET Marsala) or at the grocery store. Most grocers have some cooking wines stocked - our local store places them near the vinegars.
1 Pound Chicken Breasts, Boneless and Skinless
1 Envelope (about 1 oz) Brown Gravy Mix
1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Morton's Nature's Seasoning (OR 1/2 Teaspoon Salt and 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
2 Cups Fresh Mushrooms, Sliced
2/3 Cup Marsala Wine
Prepare the gravy mix as directed on the packaging. Set aside for later use.
Combine the flour and Nature's Seasoning in a pie plate or shallow dish until well blended.
Next, heat the oil in a large frying pan and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. A few pieces at time, dredge them in the seasoned flour and add to the hot frying pan. Continue to do so until all the chicken is coated and cooking in the pan. As well, add the chopped onion to the pan at this time in addition to the mushrooms.
Once the chicken is no longer pink inside and mostly cooked through, add the Marsala to the skillet. Let it heat through and be sure to stir everything and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Those little bits are very flavorful!! Add the prepared brown gravy and stir to coat chicken/mushroom/onions. Continue to heat until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the sauce is warm.
Personally, I prefer to eat this dish with pasta. However, it's equally delish with mashed potatoes. Regardless, you'll want something nice and starchy to sop up all that nummy Marsala sauce!
Please note, in the above picture I served it with some cute little pasta shells (I just tossed it all together into a large serving bowl). And if by chance you have leftovers - it also reheats well! And your coworkers will be all jealous too . .. it smells that good and tastes even better.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Comfort Food. In April. This is wrong. I shouldn't need comfort food in APRIL. For Pete's Sake! April showers are supposed to bring May flowers . . . and by showers, it should be RAIN showers, not snow showers! However, here we are in MN with snow showers in April. I really shouldn't be that surprised. After all, I am a lifelong Minnesotan (except for those college years). And many, many moons ago - it snowed on my
senior junior prom night . . .which was in May. Any who, as I am rambling . .. the snow showers thwarted the spring in my step and the grayness outside coupled with the cold, wet snow made me hungry for Oatmeal Cake. By far, this is one of my favorite cakes. Whenever my mom would make it, I could hardly stand the wait to eat it. Or to sneak/pick at the coconut when she wasn't looking :)
Mmmmmmmm . .. so soft, moist and laced with cinnamon. You can't even tell there is oatmeal in it. And look at that frosting . . .if that's what you want to call it. I prefer to call it caramelly, coconutty l-o-v-e. Yes, yes . . .my love. Just look at it . ...all browned with all that butter and toasted - how could I not pick a strand or two of coconut off the top when Ma wasn't cooking?
1 1/2 Cups Boiling Water
1 Cup Quick-Cooking Oats
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Place oats into bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Stir and let stand until cool (I usually do this at night and let it sit until morning).
Combine the sugars, shortening, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla into mixer bowl and mix well. Add in the oatmeal continue to mix. Add remaining ingredients and all combined.
Pour into greased 13x9 cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes.
Coconut Caramel Glaze
6 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 Cup Milk
1 Cup Nuts (Walnuts or Pecans are great)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Coconut
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and incorporated together. Spread the warm mixture over the top of the cake. Broil until browned.
And I will leave you with these final words: yes, you can have it for breakfast. It's oatmeal. Especially since it's April. And still snowing.