Friday is my no work-no sitter-no plans day. I love hanging out with my two littlest ones, baking something yummy to snack on, and leisurely enjoying a cup (or two) of coffee... This past Friday, I found a can of canned pumpkin in my cupboard and I had some leftover butternut squash in my refrigerator so my younger daughter and I made pumpkin squash bread. It was delicious - gone in a day!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
|Chorizo and Cheddar Frittata|
I have never bought chorizo before, but it recently appeared in my winter CSA delivery from C-Saw Hill. Chorizo? A spicy Spanish pork sausage coming from the foothills of North Carolina? I was intrigued... I couldn't wait to cook it up and test it out. I wasn't disappointed. It was delicious. Now I need to check in with Brandon and Lisa from C-Saw Hill to see if I can get my hands on more of it...
A frittata is basically a crustless quiche with a lot less milk than you would use to make a regular quiche. One of the things I like about making a quiche or an egg strata is that you can make it earlier in the day or even a day ahead of when you actually want to eat it. The other thing that I love about a frittata is that you can throw in just about any ingredient you have on hand ... today I had sausage and cheese so this version is super simple.
|Farm fresh eggs|
1 lb. ground chorizo (or similarly tasty pork sausage)
8 to 10 eggs (I started with 8, but ultimately used 10)
|Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar|
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a deep dish 9 inch pie pan or a 10 inch pie pan.
2. Cook the crumbled sausage until it is completely done. Drain any extra grease, if necessary.
|Delicious chorizo sausage from C-Saw Hill|
4. Whisk together 8 to 10 eggs. (My pie dish is huge so I used 10.)
5. Add in 1/4 cup of milk and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Whisk again.
|Grated Cheddar Cheese |
Sprinkled over the chorizo ... Ready for eggs!
7. Cook at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes until the frittata looks done. You don't want it to be too jiggly in the middle although it will continue to firm up a bit after you take it out of the oven.
8. Gently run a knife around the edge of the pie pan to separate the frittata from the edge while it is cooling. You can let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes or for a few hours. This tastes great hot or at room temperature.
9. Serve it! If you are daring, you could even try to flip the frittata out of the pie pan by placing a large plate over the top of the pie pan, flipping it once so that it is upside down and then taking another plate and flipping it again so that it is right side up. Or... just cook it in a pretty pie plate and serve as is...
|Dinner: Chorizo and Cheddar Frittata with Fresh Veggies|
Some notes about the ingredients ... Since this recipe requires very few ingredients, use ones that you really enjoy! Choose your favorite ground sausage, your tastiest cheese, and some delicious eggs and you have got yourself a super simple meal. The New Englander in me always seeks out Cabot cheese - you will always find it in my fridge - but choose your favorite and experiment. A monterey jack or pepper jack, for example, would also be delicious in this dish!
Did you know that you can freeze this for later? This is the perfect recipe to double up, eat one, and save one for later. After the frittata has completely cooled, wrap it a few times with plastic wrap and then wrap it in foil. You can thaw it later, and heat it up or thaw it out and eat it cold!
Monday, January 9, 2012
|Super simple egg salad with dill from our herb garden|
We get our eggs locally and they seem to last forever. Even my husband, not seen in the kitchen too often, has even noticed a difference in the taste since we completely switched over to securing farm-fresh eggs. I don't think I can ever go back to supermarket eggs after being spoiled with these beauties from our NC chicks.
|Beautiful North Carolina Eggs|
The first step to make a great egg salad is to to hard-boil some eggs. I guarantee you hard-boiled egg success every time if you follow these simple directions...
How Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs ...
|My egg punch|
2. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water - the water should be about 1/2 inch to an inch higher than the eggs.
3. Turn the burner to high and set your timer for 20 minutes.
4. At the end of 20 minutes, turn off the burner, carefully pour out the hot water, and set aside the eggs to let them cool.
5. When it is time to peel the eggs, roll the eggs around a bit under the palm of your hand to loosen the shell from the egg white.
Making The Egg Salad ...
About 1 hard boiled egg per little person, 1 1/2 eggs per adult
A dollop (or more) of mayonnaise
Finely chopped onion
A few sprigs of fresh dill
A dash of salt (Jane's Krazy Salt is the house fave)
1. Peel the hard boiled eggs and gently chop them.
2. Add the finely diced onion and give a gentle toss with your fork.
3. Add a dollop of mayonnaise - about 1 generous teaspoon for every two eggs - depending on how creamy you like your egg salad.
4. Gently combine with a fork. Add chopped fresh dill.
5. Serve and enjoy!
Serve it up ... In our house, I prefer my egg salad naked - egg salad in a bowl with a fork. Perfect. My husband prefers his served as a sandwich. For the kiddos, we serve it on a bed of lettuce with assorted chopped veggies around it. And yes, we call that dinner.
Friday, January 6, 2012
|Chocolate Cheesecake with a Gluten Free Cookie Crust|
A cheesecake is really an easy dessert to make gluten free. If you have a favorite cheesecake recipe, chances are that it is probably gluten free already - except, of course, for the crust. The beautiful part about making a cheesecake crust is that it is made up of crumbs and butter. Any kind of cookie crumbs will do ... you might be used to making a cheesecake crust with graham crackers but we had mini gluten-free chocolate chip cookies on hand so we tossed those into the food processor ... voila! Crumbs for a cheesecake crust. Crumbs are crumbs. On with the cheesecake...
|Mi-Del Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies|
20 mini chocolate chip cookies - about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Ingredients for the cheesecake:
4 packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips, melted (I used Hershey's dark chocolate chips)
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cornstarch
|Crumbs + butter = delicious crust|
2. In a stand mixer, mix the softened cream cheese. Add the sugar and cornstarch and mix again - there should be no lumps - the batter should be completely creamy.
3. Melt your chocolate chips at half power in the microwave, one minute at a time, stir well until all the chips are melted.
4. Add melted chocolate to the cream cheese and sugar mixture. Add the vanilla. Mix again.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix briefly after each egg just to combine.
6. Pour the batter into the springform pan and place pan on a cookie sheet. Cook for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees until the center is just set. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit for about 45 minutes to an hour before removing it to the counter to finish cooling. This will help prevent the top from cracking.
7. Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to separate the cheesecake from the sides of the pan and let it continue cooling before you put it in the fridge to chill for a few hours before serving.
|Cook the cheesecake in a spring form pan on a cookie sheet|
Let it cool in the oven to prevent (big) cracks!
What is a spring form pan? A spring form pan is the perfect pan for baking cheesecake because you can carefully remove the sides of the pan when you are done without damaging your dessert. A spring form pan costs about $10 to $15 and can be found anywhere that sells kitchen essentials - Target, Sears, Sur la Table, etc. You don't need to spend a lot of money on this great pan and it will make it so much easier to bake a beautiful cheesecake!
Sunday, January 1, 2012
|Sunday Morning French Toast|
|Cinnamon Chip Bread|
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or another orange flavored liqueur
Sliced bread ... approximately 12 slices - maybe more
1. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Add in the liqueur (or a splash of vanilla extract).
|Eggs, milk, and cognac|
3. Dip your bread, one piece at a time, in the egg mixture, let the excess drip back into the bowl and place your bread on the hot griddle. You should be able to cook four slices of bread at a time on a standard square griddle pan.
|Tongs are so handy for dipping the bread|
|Cook for a few minutes|
|Turn the bread and cook for a few more minutes|
5. Add more butter if necessary in between batches. Cook remaining pieces of toast. Serve with a little bit of maple syrup and powdered sugar.
Keeping it warm ... if you are serving a crowd, set a baking dish in a 250 degree oven and add the french toast to the baking dish as you cook and then serve your family all at once - if you can hold them off!
|Yum! Sunday morning french toast with strawberries and fresh whipped cream.|