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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

Frittata

October 4, 2012 6 comments

Matt’s Kitchen Sink Frittata

Recently a fellow blogger, posted about writer’s block. Mike (at Made by Mike) was suffering from it and I know that feeling all too well. I haven’t posted in over a week and wondered if maybe that was my issue too. But I don’t think so. I’ll chalk it up to not feeling well the last week or so. Caught a cold at my nephew’s wedding (it was worth it) and I am suffering with fall allergies. Spending time clearing the summer garden and working on the fall garden does not help my allergies but it helps keep me sane.

Combine puniness with learning new software at work and it’s no wonder I’m not cooking, blogging, and taking food photos! So, with little fodder for the blog, I turn to my husband, Matt, for this recipe – Kitchen Sink Frittata. It’s his latest creation. I’ve slowly corrupted Matt. When we first met, he was a recipe follower, but not so much these days. He got the inspiration for the frittata from one of his favorite cookbooks, The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book. However, we had leftovers so he used them instead of following the recipe. He cleaned out the refrigerator and used leftover creamed spinach, the Cutest Potatoes Ever, and the Layered Summer Vegetable Bake. It was delicious. Have I mentioned lately that I love having a husband who enjoys cooking?!? I am allergic to eggs (and sensitive to dairy), but I ate some anyway, it was totally worth the rash and itching. Typical medical disclaimer: if you are allergic to any of the ingredients please do not risk it by trying this recipe! I have dealt with food allergies for so long, I know my limits. Disclaimer over, and now back to the recipe…

Frittata (Print recipe)

8 eggs

1½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup half-and-half

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, Greek basil, thyme), roughly chopped

2 cups potatoes (I would do more), thinly sliced

2 cups roasted veggies, chopped and/or thinly sliced (tomatoes, onions, peppers, artichokes, eggplant, summer squash, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic, etc.)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup creamed spinach (or other greens, add cream cheese and/or more cheese if just using regular spinach)

1 cup grated cheese*

Frittata and FredBread ToastPreheat oven to 425º F. In a large bowl, combine eggs, water, half and half, salt, and pepper. Beat until combined. Add herbs and half of the cheese, beat some more.

Note: this step assumes you are using up leftovers and everything is cooked. In a large oven safe skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Make sure you have some oil on the sides of the pan to prevent sticking. Reheat ingredients according to their thickness and ability to handle heat – heat the potatoes first, then the veggies, and then the spinach. As soon as everything is warm and reasonably well combined, add egg mixture. Stir slightly so that ingredients are evenly distributed, then let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until it starts to set on the edges. Pop it in the preheated oven.

Cook for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the remaining cheese. Pop it back in the oven until cheese melts (about 2 to 4 more minutes).

To serve, loosen frittata from skillet by easing it up around the edges. Use a good metal spatula to loosen the bottom, and then gently slide it onto a platter. Makes: 6-8 servings.

*You can use cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, or another cheese of your choice. You can also use more if you prefer. You really can’t have too much cheese with the amount of eggs in this frittata.

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Spicy Gold Smoothie

August 17, 2012 4 comments

Spicy Gold Smoothie

My last post featured a way to preserve fresh peaches – in frozen peach cubes. This post includes a fruit smoothie recipe that uses the peach cubes. The name, Spicy Gold Smoothie, is a little silly but it is descriptive. This smoothie has plenty of golden fruits (peaches, Rainier cherries, and pineapple) and a nice spicy kick thanks to generous pinches of cayenne pepper and ginger. Use as much or as little as you like. I like icy heat, so I add plenty of spice. This smoothie is a great way to kickstart your morning!  It also makes a nice afternoon snack.

Special thanks to my mother-in-law and father-in-law for the beautiful birthday table linens from Sur La Table. I love this store! We visited one when we were in Seattle. It is probably a good thing we do not have one near us. Thanks to my in-laws, we now have placemats, napkins, and beautiful dish towels! They are almost too pretty to use. But we will :-). I will also use them as photo props and decorative accents in the kitchen. Yes, I just wrote decorative accents. For those who know me, you know how strange that sounds! I am no Martha Stewart. But with these kitchen and table linens, I can pretend!!

Peach Cubes, Etc.

Spicy Gold Smoothie

4 peach cubes

½ cup frozen Rainier cherries (fresh would also work if you have them)

½ cup frozen or fresh pineapple chunks or cubes

¼-½ cup water or juice (tangerine, apple, orange, white cranberry, carrot, pineapple etc.)

6 ounces yogurt or kefir (~½ cup, any kind works – soy, coconut, regular)

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of powdered ginger

pinch of turmeric

Optional add-ins: protein powder, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cloves, ice cubes if you use fresh fruit (I like cold smoothies)

Pour contents into blender container. Cover with the lid. Blend until smooth and golden. Sprinkle with more spices if you want. Enjoy!

Servings: 2 snack-sized servings or 1 meal-sized serving.

Peach Cubes

August 6, 2012 7 comments

Fresh AL Peaches!

Peaches are plentiful at farmers markets throughout North Alabama. We bought a small basket at the Greene Street Market last week. I enjoy eating them fresh, but there were a bunch in that little basket. So, I thought of ways to put them up and enjoy them this winter. Usually, I slice them and freeze them. Sometimes with a little lemon juice to keep them from browning. I might also add a bit of sugar. Frozen peaches are great for making cobblers, smoothies, peach pies, etc. However, depending on how you freeze them you can end up with a huge block of frozen peaches! Not the easiest to handle; unless you measure the quantity you need for a specific recipe and only freeze that amount in each container (I freeze 5 cups of peaches for cobbler).

I freeze pesto, tomato paste, yogurt, herbs, etc. in ice cube trays so why not pureed peaches!?! This weekend, I made pureed peach cubes! While making them, I vaguely recalled my mom doing this when I was a kid. The peach cubes are kinda boring looking, so I did not take a photo of them. A special thank you to Marilyn Evans for the beautiful photo of peaches available at the Greene Street Market at Nativity. I will take photos when the cubes are transformed in a recipe…maybe a smoothie, daiquiri, popsicle, fruit slush, something.

Peach Cubes

1 pound peaches, pitted and sliced  (you can peel them if you want or just spot-peel as needed)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Put the peaches and lemon juice into a blender container (or food processor container). Puree until smooth. If you want to leave a few large pieces, that is fine, whatever you prefer! Pour into ice cube trays. Freeze. Remove cubes and store in resealable plastic bags in the freezer.

Coming soon…what you can do with the peach cubes!

Sausage Cheese Balls

July 29, 2012 7 comments

Sausage Cheese Balls

In a previous post, I mentioned a variation of cheese straws – sausage cheese balls. Well, here is a quick recipe with only three main ingredients (optional seasonings can be added). It’s a fairly versatile recipe; you can use pork, chicken, or turkey sausage. If you want a vegetarian version, you can use soy or TVP (textured vegetable protein) sausage. You can make a gluten-free version using a gluten-free biscuit mix. I even prefer this to the traditional biscuit mix. I have not tried a vegan version with soy cheese and veggie sausage because I have not found a biscuit mix that it is vegan. This is a great recipe to make ahead and freeze. Just thaw, heat (optional), and serve.

Sausage and Cheese Balls (Print recipe)

1 pound sausage (pork, turkey, chicken, soy, or TVP)

2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

3 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick or a gluten-free variety)

¼ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pepper flakes, or Aleppo pepper, optional

¼ teaspoon garlic powder, optional

Cook and drain the sausage (this makes the final cheese ball less greasy). While sausage is cooking, let the cheese come to room temperature. Combine the sausage, cheese, biscuit mix, and optional seasonings. I use my hands to mix it well. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350º F. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack. Serve immediately or you can freeze them. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes: about 4 dozen sausage cheese balls.

 

Coffee Concentrate

Coffee Concentrate

Iced coffee is great year round, but I especially like it in the summer. Matt, on the other hand, prefers traditional hot coffee. This coffee concentrate is perfect for both of us since it is versatile and makes a great iced coffee or hot coffee.

You can use a fancy cold brewing system or you can use this method. You mix the coffee and water, let it steep overnight, strain it, and store in the refrigerator. Then you add cold water, milk, half-and-half, etc. to make a refreshing glass of iced coffee. Or add hot milk or water to make a great cup of hot coffee.

You can use your favorite medium/coarse ground coffee in this recipe. I like the espresso roast that is roasted in downtown Huntsville at the Kaffeeklatsch. For those who aren’t local, you can mail order coffee and tea from them. Or if that isn’t practical, you can make a New Orleans-style iced coffee, with a can of chicory roast coffee available at many grocery stores. If you are fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can buy their house brand chicory blend, which is reasonably priced. I also like these brands: Cafe Du Monde, Community Coffee, and French Market.

Coffee Concentrate (Print recipe)

1 pound coffee, medium grind                         10 cups cold water

or*

12 oz can of ground chicory coffee                   7 cups cold water

Pour the coffee into a large container that will also hold the water.  I use my large stainless-steel mixing bowl that has a lid. Stir in a cup or two of water. Stir gently. Pour in the rest of the water. Cover. Let steep at room temperature for about 12 hours. I usually mix the coffee and water before I go to bed. Then, strain the mixture using a sieve (I use my large chinois covered with a layer of cheese cloth). I save the grounds – they are great in the garden and the compost. Pour the strained concentrate into a large Mason jar and store in the refrigerator. It keeps for about 3 weeks. Makes about 6-8 cups of coffee concentrate.

 

Iced Coffee

Ice (or coffee ice cubes**)

¼ cup coffee concentrate

¾ to 1 cup milk (soy milk, half-and-half, coconut milk, etc.)

Splash of cold water (I use milk and water, but use what you prefer)

Optional: sweetener, vanilla, chocolate syrup, peppermint, caramel

Fill a glass with ice. Add the coffee concentrate, milk, water, and optional flavorings. Stir and enjoy.

 

Hot Coffee

¼ cup coffee concentrate

¾ to 1 cup water

Optional: sweetener, milk, cream, etc.

Pour coffee concentrate into a mug. Heat water. Pour into mug. Stir and enjoy.

 

Café au Lait

¼ cup Coffee Concentrate

¾ to 1 cup milk (soy milk, half-and-half, coconut milk, etc.)

Optional: sweetener

Pour coffee concentrate into a mug. Heat milk. Pour into mug. Stir and enjoy.

Vietnamese-Style Iced Coffee

Ice (or coffee ice cubes**)

¼ cup coffee concentrate

¼ cup sweetened condensed milk

Splash of cold water

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the coffee concentrate, sweetened condensed milk, and water. Shake vigorously and enjoy. If you don’t have a shaker, just use a glass and stir it well.

Notes:

*Included quantities for either a pound of coffee or a 12-ounce can of coffee. Either quantity works fine, just adjust the water.

**Coffee Ice Cubes: When you have leftover coffee, pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze. Store in resealable plastic bags in the freezer. Make sure the bag is sealed. Otherwise, if the power goes out and the cubes melt, you might end up with coffee all over your freezer. Not that this happened to us or anything :).

Magic Triple Berry Cobbler

June 16, 2012 7 comments

This is a new and improved recipe for Magic Blueberry Cobbler from last August. We had fresh strawberries but not enough to make a strawberry-only cobbler. It takes a lot of strawberries for a strawberry cobbler (5-6 cups)! Probably why you don’t find it on the menu at many restaurants. Since we didn’t have enough strawberries, I added fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries (need to finish last year’s bounty before we pick more). When I re-read the original recipe, it was confusing. So I simplified it.

I’ve used this basic recipe with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and peaches (various combinations). Probably my favorite is the triple berry. Not sure if the recipe would work with apples. I don’t think there is enough moisture in the apples to make a filling. Maybe if I added some water or apple juice??? It might be worth trying one of these days (maybe I’ll make a half batch just in case it doesn’t work).

Magic Triple Berry Cobbler

Fruit Filling:

3½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen berries also work)

1 cup fresh blackberries

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix and spread the berries in a 9×13” buttered baking dish.  Drizzle the lemon juice over the berries and set aside.

 

Batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1¼ cups sugar

1 cup milk (I use half-and-half with a little water or whole milk)

5 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix well. Stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla. You will end up with a thick batter. Spoon the batter over the berries and spread in an even layer. Use a light touch; otherwise you might end up with berries in the batter (similar to a muffin).

 

Magic Topping:

1¼ cups sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1½ cups boiling water

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch.  Use a whisk or fork to mix it thoroughly. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.  Pour the boiling water over the top of the cobbler.  Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke about 6 to 8 holes in the batter so the water and magic topping can reach the berries.  Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve it warm, at room temperature, or even cold!

Strawberry Habanero Jam

May 4, 2012 16 comments

My mom was a canning fiend when we were growing up on Monte Sano Mountain. She canned jelly, bread & butter pickles (I have her recipe and when our cucumbers come in this summer, I’ll post it), spaghetti sauce, preserves, pickled okra, jam, tomatoes, dill pickles, green beans, apple sauce, pickled peaches, etc. You name it, she probably canned it. Almost everything she canned was from produce grown in our garden.

We moved up on the Mountain on June 29, 1972 (yes, I have a weird gift for remembering obscure dates!), so it was too late to have a garden our first summer. But the next summer, we had a nice little garden. My poor brothers moved tons of rocks (not literally tons, but it probably felt like it to them!) to get that first garden space prepped. They did the bulk of the wheelbarrow hauling, while my sisters and I helped pick the rocks out of the dirt. After a few years and countless hours of work, the garden blossomed (pun intended :-).

My parents were all about edible landscaping. Mom had a beautiful herb/wildflower rock garden with some azaleas and other flowering plants from my mimi’s house. However, the bulk of the landscaping was edible. I think my dad probably got this practical approach to “landscaping” from his father. My grandfather had a huge garden! Big gardens are especially helpful when you have five kids to feed. We grew lettuce, squash, cucumbers, spinach, peppers, horseradish, corn, okra, peanuts, cabbage, potatoes, and prize-winning tomatoes. Yep, Dad won an award one year at the Madison County Fair! He was so proud; we even had the ribbon framed. What I wouldn’t give for one of his tomatoes! They were so good, we’d go out to the garden with a salt and pepper shaker, pick a tomato, and eat it like an apple. Sometimes we sprinkled it with salt and pepper; other times we ate it plain. I can remember how it was still hot from the sun and how the juice would run down my arm. Oops, I got lost in a happy memory, time to get back to today’s topic: jam.

We also grew our own fruit – apples, pears, plums, apricots, peaches, and even grapes. Mom used the fruit to make jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butters. In the blog last week, I posed a question – What is the difference between jam, jelly, and preserves? Well, it made think back to jelly and jam making with my mom and grandmother. I tried to recall what they said about the different types. If memory serves me correctly, these are the six different fruit concoctions we made:

1. Jam: Bits of mashed fruit, pectin, and sugar. I loved my Mom’s plum jam, with fresh plums picked from our trees.

2. Jelly: Fruit juice, pectin, and sugar. It was clear, no pieces of fruit. Mom’s famous jelly was her spiced grape jelly. In the summer, she made it with fresh juice from our grapes. In the winter, she made it with Welch’s grape juice. Wish I could find her recipe.

3. Preserves: Whole fruit, with pectin, gelatin, or something to make it set, and sugar. My grandmother made strawberry fig preserves with whole figs and strawberry Jell-O. It sounds weird, but it was delicious! I’ll post the recipe when our neighbors have figs to share.

4. Marmalade: Citrus peels, sugar, and pectin. Mom and I made orange marmalade once, but I don’t remember much about it…might be time to make some more.

5. Butter: Puréed fruit cooked down with sugar and spices. No pectin needed. Apple butter is my favorite, but I also like pear, sweet potato, and pumpkin butters.

6. Spread: Made without sugar and low-sugar Sure-Jell or some other type of pectin. We didn’t make this very often.

My latest culinary experiment was strawberry habanero jam. I made traditional strawberry jam last week, but added some chopped habanero peppers to one jar. I wanted to try it, but didn’t want to commit to an entire batch. I make pepper jelly, but I typically use a variety of peppers. For this strawberry pepper jam, I chose just habanero peppers because I wanted a pepper that had enough heat to stand up to the sweetness of the strawberries. It was really good and the heat was perfect for us. However, feel free to use red jalapeño peppers if you want a little less heat. We bought more Camarosa strawberries from Dennison’s over the weekend and decided to make another batch. This time, I made one jar of traditional strawberry jam and then added peppers and apple cider vinegar to the rest of the batch. It’s pretty tasty with a nice burst of sweet strawberries and then a spicy after-bite that lingers. I think it will be good poured over cream cheese and served with crackers. I could also see it as an excellent ice cream topping. I would probably enjoy the combination of sweet, spicy, and cold!

The recipe and instructions were tweaked from the Sure-Jell package insert (http://www.kraftbrands.com/surejell/howto_cookedjam.aspx).  Canning is new to me so I don’t feel totally comfortable advising people on how to can and process jam. I’ve included some basic instructions in the recipe, but please follow the instructions that came with your canner. I’m hoping to improve my self-taught canning skills by taking a two-part canning seminar at Harrison Brothers Hardware. Yay, I’m excited to learn more and gain some confidence in my canning ability. If you are not local and want more canning knowledge, you might want to check with your local County Cooperative Extension Office or Botanical Garden to see if they offer canning classes. Here is the recipe for my latest experiment with an important note at the beginning…

*Note: Usually I put ingredient notes at the end of a recipe, but this one is important to me. Please use caution when handling hot peppers. I have asthma and the capsaicin from peppers can trigger an asthma attack. So, I use a mask when prepping the peppers – washing, seeding, deveining, and chopping them. I also wear my trusty non-latex gloves. Luckily, I have glasses that usually protect my eyes, but I also have a pair of back-up kitchen goggles if they are extremely hot peppers. I might look like a dork, but I’m a safe dork :-).

Strawberry Habanero Jam

4 pints strawberries (5 cups crushed)

1 box fruit pectin (I use Sure-Jell)

7 cups sugar

¼ cup habanero peppers, finely chopped (seeded and deveined if you want less heat)*

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon butter or margarine, optional (to prevent foaming)

Prepare you jars: Wash your jars and bands in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly. Then, I sterilize them for a few seconds in clean, boiling water and let them drain on a clean towel on the counter.  Pour boiling water over the flat lids and let them soak in hot water until ready to use.

Prepare the strawberries: Wash berries and remove the hulls. Crush the berries 1 cup at a time with a potato masher for the most uniform results. Do not use a blender, food processor, or hand blender. Crushing by hand yields the best results. Measure 5 cups of crushed berries and pour them into a large, sturdy pot.

Measure the sugar in a separate bowl. Seven cups is a lot of sugar, but you must measure exactly if you want the jam to set. If you prefer to use less sugar or a sugar substitute, you can use Sure-Jell for Less or No Sugar Recipes.

Stir the box of pectin into the crushed berries in the pot. Add butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if you want. I tried it once with it and once without it, both batches foamed about the same. So, feel free to leave it out if you want to. Turn the stove to high and bring the berry and pectin mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) while stirring constantly. Stir in the peppers, apple cider vinegar, and the sugar. Return to a full rolling boil. Boil exactly 1 minute, while stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Skim off any foam. Ladle jam into prepared jars, filling to within ⅛-inch of the top. Wipe jar rims and threads with a clean cloth or paper towel. Carefully place the flat lid on the glass rim. Then screw on the band. Place jars on elevated canner rack. Lower rack into canner. Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches; add more boiling water if needed. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Process the jars for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the canner and sit them on the counter. After jars cool, check seals by pressing the middle of the lid with your finger. If the lid springs back, the lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Let jars stand at room temperature for 24 hours.  Store unopened jars in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate open jars of jam for up to 3 weeks. Yield: about 8 cups.