Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Vegetable Frittata

IT'S VACATION TIME!!!! It's finally hit me that we will be in Maui very, very soon! Sunscreen and bathing suits are on the checklist...oh, and cleaning out the refrigerator too. I can't stand coming back from a trip to find soggy vegetables in the fridge. That's why this weekend I woke up with an idea of what to do with all of the farmer's market finds from this week. Seriously, this recipe can be made with any combination of vegetables, meat, cheese that you like. I had all of my favorite's on hand, along with a fresh log of goat cheese! So, if you're heading out of the house for a summer trip and need to get rid of those veggies, do yourself a favor and cook up a frittata. Super easy and delicious!

Cleaning out the fridge...
  • 8- large eggs, well beaten
  • 1-small bunch asparagus spears, tops trimmed. Cut into 2 inch long spears.
  • half pkg. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-scallions, sliced. Reserve 1 Tbsp. for garnish
  • 3-Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed, chopped
  • 1-cup fresh baby spinach, washed & torn
  • 1/2-log goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2-Tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 3-Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped for garnish
  • 1/2-cup shredded parmesan cheese for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In a 10 inch OVEN PROOF saute pan, heat olive oil to medium. Add asparagus, mushrooms & scallions and toss until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and spinach and stir until heated through. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour beaten eggs into pan and cook for just a few minutes, gently lifting up edges for egg to set. Crumble goat cheese on top and using hot-pads, transfer to oven. Cook 8 minutes, or until eggs are set. Garnish with reserved chives, parsley and parmesan cheese. Cut into wedges and serve immediately or at room temperature.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baked Oatmeal...oh so good!

Oh soooo good!!!! I can't believe it's taken me so long to find this recipe! This warm & cozy breakfast/snack recipe comes from a cookbook that was put out by our church, which has recipes compiled from many of the women (past & present). A sweet lady submitted this recipe and I've been eyeing it for a while. We've had a lot of fog & cold mornings here on the coast lately, so I decided one morning to bake this oatmeal up for my kiddos. It was super easy and I fell in love with it instantly. The kids really enjoyed it too (no mushy-ness).
I mean, regular old oatmeal can get pretty boring sometimes, but Baked Oatmeal will never be boring in my book! Try it on a cold morning and then heat up leftovers for a snack or for the next morning.

INGREDIENTS: (adapted recipe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
Mix eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the egg mixture; stir in milk. Bake in a greased 9 by 13 baking dish at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm with a little milk & maybe a sprinkle of brown sugar on top or some fresh berries.

Cheddar Burgers with Balsamic Onions and Chipotle Ketchup

Honestly, there's nothing like a good burger! I'm a HUGE In & Out fan and can easily put away one of those burgers (and still be hungry for another)! A good burger has got to have all of the right components...a good bun, juicy meat and some killer cheese. I'm not a huge onion fan and usually scrape them off if they are raw, but I'll take grilled onions any day!
I found this recipe a while back from Epicurious (my favorite iphone app). Gave it a try one evening, made some sweet potato fries to go alongside, and this easily became a favorite burger!

INGREDIENTS: (Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2008)
Makes 6 Burgers

1 lb. red onions, cut crosswise into 1/3 to 1/2 inch-thick rounds
Olive Oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Chipotle Ketchup:
1 Cup Ketchup
1 1/2 Tsp. Chipotle Salsa (I found it at Trader Joes)
2 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar

2 1/4 lbs. ground beef (15% fat)
Kosher salt
6 thick slices sharp cheddar cheese
6 large hamburger buns, cut sides grilled
6 tomato slices
2 cups fresh spinach leaves

Chipotle Ketchup Ingredients
For onions: Prepare barbecue (med-high heat). Arrange onion rounds on baking sheet. Brush with oil; sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. coarse salt and pepper. Transfer onion rounds to grill rack, keeping them intact; close cover. Cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Reduce heat or move onions to cooler part of grill. Close cover and cook until onions are tender, about 10 min. Transfer to bowl and toss with vinegar. **These can be made 3 days ahead. Cover & chill.
For Chipotle Ketchup: Mix ketchup, chile salsa and 2 tsp. vinegar in small bowl. season with salt and more vinegar if it's too thick. **This can also be made ahead, covered & chilled.
For Burgers: Shape beef into six patties. Sprinkle on both sides with coarse salt and pepper. Turn grill to medium-high heat. Place burgers on grill. Close cover and cook burgers about 3 minutes. Turn and cook to how you like (3 minutes longer for medium-rare). Top with onions and cheese. Close cover to melt the cheese. Grill buns, place on plates, spread with ketchup and top burgers with tomatoes and spinach.

For Sweet Potato Fries: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut up 2-3 sweet potatoes into long strips 1/2 inch thick. Place in a pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Quickly strain and soak in ice-cold water. Remove from water then dry on paper towels. Toss together in a large bowl, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and sweet potatoes, just to coat. Arrange on a large baking sheet so fries don't touch. Bake for 10 minutes, flip fries, then bake for another 10 minutes. Season with more salt if desired and serve with the extra chipotle ketchup. These are best if eaten fresh out of the oven!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Banana Pancakes

So many good memories come from these pancakes. I know it may sound silly, but one of my favorite things growing up was having a meal together as a family. Nothing brought more comfort to my soul than to see my family sitting around the table together sharing stories about the day. One of my most favorite meals is breakfast! The smells of pancakes cooking, bacon frying and the sight of my mom standing over the stove to serve us fresh pancakes...that's what the weekends were all about in my eyes!
I have one big breakfast eater in my house (Tyler)...the other one's could do without breakfast, but usually once they see it in front of them, they are asking for more! Banana pancakes were one of my mom's specialties and I requested them often. Well I still love having them and now that I'm a mom, in order to eat them, I have to make them! My mom uses good old Bisquick for her banana pancakes and you can never go wrong with that, but a while back I found this Buttermilk Pancake recipe. I don't always make my batter from scratch, but when I do it's definitely a treat! This makes a large batch so you can freeze some too!

Tyler's pancake creation!

INGREDIENTS: Batter recipe from Cottage Living, Oct. 05 issue
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 bananas, sliced 1/4 inch round
1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, milk, egg and butter in a separate bowl; add to flour mixture, and whisk jut until blended. Transfer to a large measuring bowl, and let stand 10 minutes. Slice in bananas and ladle 1/4 cup batter with 2-3 bananas in each scoop.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus Bundles

A while back my best friend sent me this recipe that she really wanted me to try. She said it was really, really good, but not "low-fat"! Any side dish that has asparagus in it, will be a winner in my book! So the other night we grilled up some steaks and I had wanted to make a simple side dish...then I remembered this recipe. Lucky for me I had all of the ingredients and I also had a new package of prosciutto, so I substituted it for the bacon. I like cooking with prosciutto because it always cooks up nice and crispy!
The picture above is what they look like all wrapped up, but uncooked. I didn't get a picture of them cooked because we were hungry & couldn't wait to eat! The recipe comes from Trisha Yearwood's Cookbook called Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood. I halved the recipe since I was only cooking for the two of us, but I will write the full recipe here.

  • 2 lbs. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed (I like the skinny asparagus when I can find it)
  • 12 slices thin prosciutto (Trisha uses bacon)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide asparagus into 12 bundles. Carefully wrap one piece of prosciutto (or bacon) around each bundle. If you're using bacon, you will need to secure with a toothpick, but the prosciutto is thin enough to hold itself. Lay the bundles in a low sided casserole dish.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil. Pour the mixture over the bundles. Put in oven and roast for 25 minutes, or until spears begin to wilt and bacon is fully cooked. Be sure to remove toothpicks before serving if you've used them.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rustic Boysenberry Tart

Oh my goodness...I've been in heaven with these sweet and juicy berries!!! A good friend was generous to share their crop of Boysenberries and I jumped at the chance to buy a flat. Although, I'm thinking I was crazy to buy just one and not two flats! I loved boysenberries as a kid, partly because they are so incredibly addicting and partly because I knew it meant summer...oh yea!! It's been really hard to find them since we've moved to the Central Coast and honestly, blackberries just aren't as flavorful (to me).
So, the afternoon I got them, I took out a little basket to wash and suddenly I had 3 little ones and a husband all with arms reaching into the sink to grab some berries! I knew these would go fast! My plan though, was to make a cobbler or crisp or pie. Well, I went the "easier" route and settled on a rustic tart. The beauty of the rustic tart is that it's a "free form" pie, so perfection isn't necessary! Yay for me and those who cringe at the thought of the perfect pie crust! Just plop the filling on the rolled out dough, then fold up the sides of the dough, brush with some egg wash and in the oven it goes!! Oh, and I splurged and made homemade vanilla-bean ice cream to go alongside...I just love summer! Don't you want to go out and find some boysenberries now??

The dough recipe came from Joy of Cooking and I kind of made up my own filling recipe.

  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. (3/4) stick unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your handy little fingers.
2. Make a well in the center of the crumbs and add the yolk, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir with your fingers until the dough comes together. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll to make a 9 1/2 inch - 10 inch circle. **Don't worry about keeping the edges from breaking...that's what makes it rustic!!
3. Line with parchment paper an edged baking sheet. Carefully place rolled out dough onto baking sheet. Pile fruit onto the center of the dough and carefully fold up edges around the fruit.
***Whisk up one egg yolk with 1 Tbsp. water. Brush the egg-wash over the outside edges of dough and sprinkle with Raw Sugar. Bake @ 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on rack; serve warm with vanilla ice cream!

  • 5 Cups fresh Boysenberries (you can really use any fruit for this recipe)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 Cup sugar, depending on how sweet your fruit is.
  • 1/4 Cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp. juice from an orange (optional)
**Carefully mix all ingredients together and let sit for 15 minutes.

Boysenberries...need I say more?
The nice thing about a "rustic" tart is that it doesn't have to look pretty

All wrapped up, just waiting for an egg wash and a sprinkle of Raw Sugar

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Sweet and Salty Glazed Onions by SARA FOSTER

This was the entree to our Sunday dinner last weekend and honestly, I could eat this every night! The pork cooks throughout the day, which makes the house smell amazingly comforting! It's such an easy recipe...anyone can make this! It's one of my tried & true recipes that I keep going back to time and time again because it tastes so darn good! The meat is so tender, it just falls apart when you put a fork in it. We rarely have left-overs, but if we do, I'll use it to make tacos another night. Again, this recipe comes from my favorite cookbook FRESH EVERYDAY by SARA FOSTER. Please do yourself a favor and make this!!!!

  • 1 (4 to 5 lb ) boneless pork shoulder, at room temperature, rolled and tied
  • 6 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 6 fennel fronds, finely chopped (go to your local farmers market to find fennel)
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Cup apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Rub the pork all over with the sage, fennel, salt, and pepper. I was in a hurry to get it in the oven, so I didn't finely chop my sage, but it wasn't a big deal. Place pork, fatty side up, in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof skillet. Pour cider and 1/2 cup water around the pork. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and roast the pork, undisturbed, for 3 hours. This is the part I like!! Uncover and cook another 30-40 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and the pork breaks apart easily with a fork. Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting into it. Serve warm, with a spoonful of the Glazed Onions on the side.
***I also roasted some potatoes, carrots and fennel, seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh parsley and served them alongside the Pork.

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. red or white pearl or cipollini onions, peeled (put onions in boiling water for 3 min. to loosened skin and peel easily)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. red wine
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
*Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute and stir 4-5 min., until tender and lightly brown. Add the vinegar, wine, and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 min., until the onions are tender and the liquid has reduced to a thick glaze. Stir in the rosemary and serve warm, sprinkled with additional sea salt.


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