Showing posts with label eggs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eggs. Show all posts

Friday, April 15, 2016

Eggs for Dinner - Shakshuka

I may be strange, but I do not like to eat eggs for breakfast. I prefer sweets in the am. I'm all about French toast, donuts and cinnamon rolls for starting my mornings. I like to reserve eggs for the evening hours. 

And why not? Who ever said that you need to eat eggs only for breakfast? You eat chicken for dinner, so why not eggs? Especially when they are in such a savory dish as this shakshuka.


I have seen this recipe around the internet for a while now and I even say it on a few menus while visiting Istanbul last year. I only recently got around to trying it out and I'm so mad at myself for not trying it earlier. I imagine that it would have been amazing in Istanbul, with fresh feta and vegetables.

Even though I didn't get the feta a eggs from my local farmer, this meal was still absolutely amazing. We had it for dinner one night and I ate the remaining portions for lunch for the rest of the week. Once you prepare all of the vegetables, the dish comes together very quickly, with very little fuss. In about thirty minutes you can have this amazing and flavorful meal prepared, perfect for a weeknight meal.

Don't let the strange name scare you off from trying this dish. And definitely have it for dinner!

One Year Ago: Spring Risotto
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Macaroon Brownies
Three Years Ago: Rosemary Chicken & Potato Pizza
Four Years Ago: Potato & Choriquo Gratin
Five Years Ago: Mango Shrimp Curry


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Swiss Chard, Pear & Gruyere Tart

Sorry I skipped out on posting a St Patrick's day recipe yesterday. It's actually one of those holidays that just pass me by. I don't go for green beer and I'm not particularly fond of corned beef. The boyfriend and I went to the local diner last night and had eggs and toast. Nothing was green and it was terribly un-festive! If you feel like I really dropped the ball, here is a recipe I made a few years ago for March 17th...

Moving on to something that I am a huge fan of... Tarts! 


I love how you can throw just about anything into a tart and call it dinner. This one takes advantage of those delicious pears that are out in the markets right now. The filling is full of vegetables, making this the perfect option for a "Meatless Monday" dinner. Or an everyday meal in my world!


You'll notice that only half of my tart is topped with pears. That's because the boyfriend hates pears. I know, he's insane. In order to ensure that he ate dinner, I just ate the rest of the raw pear myself. No complaining from either side!


The flavors of this tart were amazing. It might have something to do with the copious amounts of gruyere and parmesan cheese that have been shredded over the top! Whatever the reason, I wound up eating a full quarter of the tart for dinner, then another large slice for lunch the next day.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

CTB 2014 - Williams-Sonoma - Italian

I always have three easy meals in my back pocket. A few things that I can always whip out in case of late hours at work or an empty fridge. These three meals are 1. Risotto, 2. Omelets, 3. Quiche. Any of these meals also acts as an "Empty out the fridge" kind of meal. To this end I always have Arborio rice, eggs and a pie crust in my house. Always.


Each recipe is pretty much the same. Brown/saute some items in a pan. Cook the main part of the dish (rice or eggs). Combine the sauteed food with the main ingredient and finish the dish. Dinner is usually ready in thirty minutes (22 if it's risotto!).


This week I made another quiche (I always made some omelets yesterday). Why? I didn't have time to go to the grocery store this weekend. Because I was busy playing in the park. Totally legit excuse.

What are your go to dinners when you don't know what to make for dinner?

One Year Ago: Funfetti Mallomars
Two Years Ago: Parmesan & Garlic Salad Dressing & Cranberry Salad Dressing
Three Years Ago: Mango-Lime Muffins

Quiche with Sweet Peppers & Sausage
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma - Italian

1 rolled, refrigerated pie crust
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 ºF.  Unroll pie crust and press into a deep dish pie pan.  Top with a piece of aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake pie crust for 8 minutes.  Prepare filling while the crust bakes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Lightly coat skillet with cooking spray. Add sausage and onions.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until sausage is browned and onions are starting to soften.  Add peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they begin to soften.  Add parsley, salt and pepper and stir to coat.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs.  Add contents of the skillet and stir to mix.  Pour egg mixture into the partially baked pie crust.  Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Pie crust should be golden on the edges and the egg should be set in the center (it shouldn't jiggle when shaken).

Slice into 6-8 pieces and serve.  You can go wild and grate some Parmesan cheese over the top!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

CTB 2014 - La Tartine Gourmande

With all of this traveling, I definitely miss a home cooked meal. So does one other person - the boyfriend! After I returned home from my most recent trip, he complained that he was tired of trying to figure out what to have for dinner. I'm thinking of leaving him with a bunch of casseroles and freezer meals when I leave for my next trip.


Something that makes for a perfect make-ahead meal is a quiche. I'm a fan of fresh quiche, cold quiche the next day for breakfast and microwaved quiche for dinner later in the week. It's such a versatile meal too! Go meatless and add all of the vegetables from your crisper drawer. Make it manly and add sausage and hunks of cheese. The quiche is one of my favorite - Empty out the fridge - meals.


This quiche comes from La Tartine Gourmande cookbook, with a few minor changes. The recipe called for Jerusalem artichokes and I just couldn't find them at the grocery store. I'm pretty sure it was also supposed to be a frittata, but I don't have a large non-stick pan. I did however have a pie crust and no one is going to complain about a buttery pie crust.

One Year Ago: Granola Cookie Wedges
Two Years Ago: Cookie Dough Fudge
Three Years Ago: Cookie Dough Egg Rolls

Potato, spinach & asparagus Quiche with Cumin
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande

1 pre-packaged pie crust
10 stalks of asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
Olive oil
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
7 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon cumin

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Roll out pie crust into a deep-dish pie pan.  Line pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake pie crust for 10 minutes.  Begin preparing vegetables while the pie crust bakes.  Let it rest on a wire rack while you finish prepping the veggies.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes, until they are bright green.  Drain water and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large bowl while you prepare the remaining vegetables.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove and add to the bowl with the asparagus.  Add 1 tablespoon more oil to the pan and add red onion.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are softened.  Add the potatoes and spread evenly over the pan.  Add 1/2 cup of water and cover with a lid.  Cook for 15 minutes, remove lid.  Cook until potatoes are tender.  Add contents of the pan to the asparagus and spinach.

Add eggs and cumin to the vegetables and stir to combine.  Pour vegetables and eggs into the pre-baked pie crust.  Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the center of the quiche is set and no longer eggy.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Wrap the quiche tightly.  Quiche re-heats really well and will be a great meal for the rest of the week.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Restaurant Wars 2013 - Olive Garden

The biggest problem with going to Olive Garden? Getting a table. It seems no matter what day of the week you go, you will be waiting for a table unless you arrive at three o'clock for dinner. Yet for some reason, people are willing to wait over an hour for soup, salad and bread sticks. Well wait no more, make it all at home.

In order to test out the OG, boyfriend and I ventured out to dinner on a very specific night. February 13th. This year February 13th was both the day before Valentine's day and Ash Wednesday. When we arrived at 7:30, we were escorted right to a waiting booth. That's a first in my book.

The person who really likes OG in my house is BF. He calls it classic Italian comfort food. What you would want your bowl of carbonara to look and taste like. The dishes are all simple, straightforward and require no fancy words to describe. It's not the food your Italian grandmother would prepare, unless she was cooking for two dozen. 

To keep with that classic OG menu, BF and I both got simple dishes. BF went with a chicken Parmesan and I decided on a chicken and shrimp carbonara. Both meals came with the traditional OG soup/salad and bread sticks, and I ordered a cherry Italian soda to round out my meal.

First, do not order the cherry Italian soda unless you have a real love of children's cough syrup. It was dead on in flavor and probably had twice the amount of sugar. I took a sip and ordered a water as replacement.

Next, the general rule with the bread sticks is a follows - eat them before they get cold or prepare to sword fight with them. Once these little gems cool off, they take on a other worldly strength. I had ideas on how to avoid this issue at home.


Our meals were just as expected. BF dove into his chicken Parmesan whole heartily, until he realized he ate too many bread sticks and couldn't eat anymore. My carbonara came out looking creamy and delicious, and incredibly oily. I found out the next day as I had my leftovers just how much oil was in my dish. I love carbonara and this was good, it's just not something I could eat on a regular basis.

The plan for home. Recreate the OG experience from bread sticks to salad to main course. Lighten the fat load and try to maintain the flavors. 


Olive Garden salad at home is pretty easy.  The salad itself is just lettuce, pepperoncini, black olives, red onions and croutons.  Black olives are gross, so I omitted those.  It's pretty true to when I go to the restaurant.  The dressing has quite a few copycat recipes online that I based my final recipe on and apparently those are very similar to the actual OG recipe (I couldn't believe that they actually use mayonnaise in their recipe).  Where I took a big left turn is with my carbonara recipe.

Want easy and delicious bread sticks?  You need two ingredients.  Pizza dough and garlic salt.  I used a pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store and cut in into eight pieces.  I rolled each piece into a bread stick-like shape and spritzed them with cooking spray.  After a light sprinkle with garlic salt and eighteen minutes in the oven, we had bread sticks that didn't harden up in two minutes.  A little denser than the OG variety, but BF and I both liked the pizza dough sticks better.


The OG carbonara dish I received was covered in cheese and dripping in oil.  I made a simple and classic carbonara with grilled chicken.  BF was a little sad that my version wasn't under a layer of cheese, but it was something I could actually have before going to the gym.  After our dinner at the OG, we went home and melted into the couch.

Next time you want some Olive Garden and don't want to wait for a table, just pick up a few ingredients and make it at home!  Or you could sit in the bar area, they serve the full menu at the bar and the wait is usually much shorter!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Quiche

Don't worry, boyfriend and I are all good.  My new love?  It's Rock Climbing!

This new love goes back a few months now.  It all started in Alaska.  Boyfriend and I were docked in Skagway and it was his birthday.  To celebrate his big day, I got us a rock climbing/zip lining/rappelling excursion.  Nothing like making someone leap off of a high platform for their birthday. 

The rock climbing portion of the excursion was to take place on a vertical stone wall.  This was not one of those rock gym walls, with all the big and colorful grips.  We were going to be going straight up this 100-foot wall.  Nothing like jumping in head first when it comes to rock climbing.  Luckily we were being belayed by some pretty muscly college dudes.  (Here I am below!)


Climbing those cliffs was fun and exhilarating.  Both boyfriend and I wanted to stay there all day and climb the wall.

Shortly after Alaska we decided to go rock climbing in New Jersey.  We signed up for a belay class to become a certified belayer for each other.  Pressure was on to not drop each other on the ground.  We learned how to tie knots, properly clip in and catch a climber in a fall.  Then, we got to climb.


We've been back four times since our first class, passed our belay tests and started strengthening our climbing muscles.  Did you know you really use those little muscles in your wrists and forearms while climbing?  Also, don't do your nails just before deciding to go climbing.


Now we just have to buy our own shoes and harnesses and we'll look totally professional while climbing at the rock gym.  We'll look professional while on the ground at least, once we start climbing all bets are off.  We're still learning the actual art of rock climbing.  It's not a graceful effort right now!  At least it's a great workout!  And I haven't dropped boyfriend once yet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Frittata, Spring Arugula Salad & Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry gelee

Is there a time of the year that is any better than spring?  Personally, it is my favorite season and there are so many reasons why.

First, spring means that I can break out my cute dresses and strap on some adorable sandels.  I'm saying "see you later" to my winter coat and donning my favorite black satin spring jacket (seriously, it's so adorable, I'm sad I can only wear it in the in between weather times!).  Now that I'm a non-grad student type person and have all this weekend free time, I live in dresses as soon as the weather agrees with it!


Next, tulips.  Tulips are the most awesome flower, ever.  I will carry tulips down the aisle whenever I get around the getting married.  I have a vase of pink and yellow tulips sitting on the table next to me at this very moment.  Tulips are so much more amazing that roses because they have a little personality.  I think it looks like they are sighing.  When I see my first few tulips of spring, I'm a happy banana.


Finally, the farmers market.  I fell in love with the idea of a weekend market during my time in Madison, WI.  The market on the capitol square rivals all other markets I've been to, including all the ones I've stopped by in NYC.  I miss the Dane Country farmers market, you could do all of your grocery shopping there.  While our local one isn't quite so large, the produce is fresh and local.  It's also a ten minutes walk away.  While the pickings are scarce right now, soon natures bounty will start to overflow the farm stands.


To celebrate spring, Frigidaire was kind enough to sponsor a series of spring posts via Foodbuzz. In keeping with the fresh and local theme, I headed to the farmers market and picked up everything that I could from the stands (the rest was filled in by our local Whole Foods). Farm fresh eggs with crisp spring asparagus and herbs. Sweet raspberries and peppery arugula. Local cream, flavored with bright green basil and finished off with sweet-tart strawberries. This meal gets me ready for spring and looking forward to the bounty of the farmers market.


This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin's springtime recipes at www.maketimeforchange.com, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children's U.S. programs. Plus, you'll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with SymmetryTM Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens (that can each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Orange Challah French Toast

The first time I ever worked with yeast, I decided I was going to make a braided challah. Talk about ambitious. It was in my fourth year of grad school, I had just moved into a new apartment and I was in the mood to cook. My roommate owned a breadmaker and she churned out loaves of bread with minimal effort. The apartment always smelled wonderful and she had warm bread to go with dinner. I thought that if a machine can make bread, then it can’t be that hard. Let’s say I was just a little naïve.





Back at this point in my culinary career I was the proud owner of about ten cookbooks. Leafing through the nearly pristine pages of my Bread Bible, I fell upon a picture of a braided challah. It was gorgeous. Golden, shiny and delicious looking. The instructions also seemed doable, some time to knead, a few rise periods and an egg wash before baking. I could definitely do this.


I just forgot to take a few things into account. First, I had no idea what I was doing. Okay, I guess that isn’t a very good first. Let’s start again… First, my kneading technique consisted of rolling the dough around on the counter, gently nudging it and poking it. This was after I added about one additional cup of flour, the dough just would not pull away from the countertop! Second, I had no idea how to tell when it was kneaded enough, I just went with what the book said, ten minutes. Third, it was winter. Wintertime in Wisconsin is a rather chilly time and our apartment was equally chilly. Gentle breezes also permeated the windows and doors, keeping my dough cool and preventing the proper rise. In the end I wound up with a braided challah. It was edible, but not the light and airy challah I was used to in New York.


My braid went a little crazy in the middle there...
Now, ten minutes of gentle nudging and poking most likely wasn’t enough to develop the gluten necessary for this bread. Lesson learned. Also, bread needs a little warmer environment than I had provided. These days I like to do laundry at the same time as I make bread, it heats up the apartment. Finally, I know to slowly add liquid ingredients, rather than try to bring the dough back with more flour. It’s been four years since my first attempt at braided challah and this recent attempt shows how much I’ve learned.


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