Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spicy Kale and Eggs

Is it odd that when I typed the title, I actually put "Kegs and Eggs" instead? Even though I'm entirely too old for such nonsense (jk - we just call it brunch now). Hopefully some college kids will make the same mistake, click on over, and realize what adulthood is all about. Kale, guys, it's about kale. There is really nothing in the universe that matches the feeling of moral superiority that comes with eating kale.

I'm not sure when it happened, but a few years ago, the universe went nuts for kale. NUTS. It's actually a little comical, except I shouldn't laugh because I was one of those people. I may or may not have had a kale smoothie a few times (not as enjoyable as I had hoped). However, I do love me some kale. Also, I feel that my stance on breakfast is pretty clear (that'd be PRO, for those of you who keep lists of my personal preferences on your fridge), so kale and eggs was a natural fit.

I mostly followed this recipe from Williams Sonoma, except I halved it and skipped the lemon, since I was out. And I used a very tiny about of regular onion in place of the green onion because I was out. Then I put it on toast, because hello. Why wouldn't you do that?



Spicy Kale and Eggs - from Williams Sonoma


1 Tablespoon butter

1/4 of a Small Red Onion, Minced (or green onions, or whatever you have)

1 Garlic Clove, Pressed or Minced

1 Bunch Kale, Chopped

1/2 Cup Liquid (I used veggie broth, you could also use chicken broth or water)

2 Eggs

Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes to Taste

In a large pan, melt the butter.  Add in the onion and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the kale and stir until it begins to wilt.  If it seems like way too much for one pan, do it half and half.  Once it's wilted, add the liquid, and some salt and pepper.

Simmer and stir occasionally until the kale is tender.  It took mine about 5 minutes.

Make a little pocket for your eggs with a spoon and crack them in there.

Reduce the heat to medium, season the eggs, and cover.  Let them cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on how done you like your eggs (I did about 3 because I like my eggs runny, but do you).


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread - The Leftovers Club

Guys, I cannot believe how quickly time has passed this month!  It seems like I just made Leftovers Club treats.

For those of you who don't know, the Leftovers Club is a group of bloggy friends who send treats once a month.  It's a great way to get to know some new blogs and try some tasty treats.  This month, I was paired with Shaina from Take a Bite out of Boca.  She made me some DELICIOUS peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - with banana bread.  I can't even do it justice, you're just going to have to go check out her blog and see for yourself.  And, if you live in Boca (or the area), definitely check out her reviews.  You won't be eating poorly, that's for sure.



Since fall is coming (not ready, but Mother Nature has never seemed to care..), I thought I'd make something a little more seasonally appropriate this time around.  Although my parents, who live in Florida, but further north, have assured me that fall is no where to be found down there, I can't stop thinking about chili, soups, stews, and their sidekick cornbread.

This cornbread uses some of summer's farm share bounty to bump up the flavor.  There are many different ways to make cornbread, and I'm sure someone's lovely southern grandma is having a fit over the way I'm sharing.  But, if you send me her recipe, I'll do that next time.  It's all delicious.



























Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread - Adapted from Cookie and Kate

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1½ cups cornmeal (I actually used a touch more because didn't have quite enough flour)
1½ cups flour 
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Few twists' freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1½ cups buttermilk (you can make buttermilk yourself by adding vinegar to milk and letting it sit, so don't feel like you have to go out and buy special for this)
½ cup honey
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh corn kernels (feel free to sub frozen if it isn't corn season)
1 jalapeno, grated or chopped (I grated it, which I feel concentrates the flavor, so I actually only used half, which was plenty)

Pre-heat the oven to 375.  Put the butter into a cast iron skillet or baking pan and let it melt in the oven for 5-10 minutes, just long enough to get nice and browned. 

While that's happening, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and half the cheese in a bowl.  Set aside. 

In a separate, larger bowl, mix together the buttermilk, honey, and eggs.  Combine the two bowls. 

Remove the butter pan from the oven and VERY VERY CAREFULLY slosh it around a bit to make sure the butter gets up the sides of the pan.  Seriously, be careful, it's hot.  

Add the corn and the pepper to the hot butter and let cook for a minute.  After about 1 minute, add the batter.  Stir to combine.  Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.






















Check out what my friends have made! 



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cheddar Bacon Waffles with Fried Apples - Waffle Week 2014

So, yesterday I had the privilege of guest posting at Feed Me Seymour with my buddy Kim. Kim and I first bonded over a mutual love for our furbabies and a mutual loathing of raisins, especially those sneaky ones that hide in cookies.  ICK.  She also has some SERIOUSLY good recipes, like this Grilled Fruit Sangria.  So, obviously, when she invited me to participate in Waffle Week 2014, I was all like DONE - where do I sign (on a non-raisin covered line)?

Now, you guys kind of know that I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  Sure, I taste test all that I make (because I wouldn't want to be rude and give people gross food), but it's just not my thing.  Cheese on the other hand...oh boy.  I might have a problem.  True life: I once told my friend that the cheese section of Wegman's wasn't a safe place for me.  I love it that much.

Therefore, clearly, my waffles were going to involve cheese and not very much sugar.  Just a touch of sweetness somewhere to balance it out.  Growing up, my mom always paired apple and pear pie with cheddar, so I thought that would be a great starting point.  As always, I got by with a little help from my friends at Pinterest.  Seriously, you can find everything there.  Including a ton of awesome recipes for cheddar waffles.  Inspiration - BAM!






Cheddar Bacon Waffles with Fried Apples - Inspired by In Sock Monkey Slippers

For the Waffles:
2 Cups of Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
1 2/3 Cup Milk (I used Fat Free Half and Half, but had planned on using 1%....until I realized it was sour.  I'm pretty sure whatever you usually drink would work fine)
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
2 Eggs
6 Slices of Bacon. Crumbled (I used Thick Cut Applewood Smoked)
3/4 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (I used a combo of extra sharp and caramelized onion, which is just as good as it sounds)

For the Apples:
3 Apples, Sliced (I used Gala, but whatever your preference, you should go for a crisper apple, since you'll be cooking them for a while.  You don't want it to turn to mush)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Ginger, Nutmeg, and Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup McGillicuddy's Apple Pie Liquor (You can definitely use apple juice if you're worried about alcohol content, or if you don't want to buy random booze for this one recipe)

Start out by making the bacon, so it has time to cool.  I do mine in the oven, on a baking rack.  Just pop it into a cold oven and set it to 375.  It should be nice and crispy about 10 minutes after the oven comes to temperature.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.  While that's melting, chop the apples and mix them with the sugar, spice, and everything nice.

Add them to the pan and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.

Then, add the booze/juice and let it simmer until the apples are nice and soft and the liquid has thickened.

To make the waffles, begin by mixing together the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Melt the butter and mix with the eggs and milk.

Fold them together and stir in the bacon and cheese.  Don't over mix!!!  It should just come together; lumps, bumps, and my humps are all ok.

Try not to overfill the mess out of your waffle maker - it just wastes the delicious batter!!  And don't freak out if the first one turns out funny - mine stuck to the top and bottom and completely split apart.  I then asked my friend if he would like a waffle taco in exchange for helping me move a bookshelf - #problemsolver.

Serve the waffles with a scoop of apples on top and an apple mimosa on the side.





These can definitely be frozen and reheated later, if you want to make a big batch to impress your friends and family.  Added bonus of being able to yell, "and in the mornin', I'm making WAFFLES" at sleepovers.

The batter comes together quickly, and most of this stuff is a pantry staple (unless you have to find a million fancy cheeses).  I actually thought that waffles were difficult to make before this and was pleasantly surprised and how easy it was.  I will DEFINITELY be having more brunches from now on! Or just random waffles on a Tuesday, because, why not?

Now, go forth and impress people.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Tomato and Zucchini Pie

So, apparently many of my northern friends haven't heard of the delight that is a tomato pie.  For those of you who are uninformed, it's basically tomatoes in a pie crust with pimento cheese on top.  Then baked.  Don't think about it too much, you'll be sad about the calories.  I can assure you though, it is absolutely worth it.  It's kind of like a combination of my two favorite summer sandwiches: tomato and mayo and tomato and cheese.  Clearly, I enjoy summer tomatoes.

I thought that I'd try to lighten this up a little bit, and add in some other farm share goodies that are about to go bad.  So, I lightened up the cheese topping with Greek yogurt, and added zucchini.  The results?  Amazing.







Summer Tomato and Zucchini Pie:

For the Pie:
2 Medium Tomatoes
1 1/2 Zucchini
1 Pie Crust

For the Topping:
1/2 Cup Mayo (please God get the full fat - the low cal isn't worth it)
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
4 Sweet/Spicy Cherry Peppers (I found mine at Trader Joe's, but any kind of jarred pepper/pimentos would work)

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Roll out your pie crust and place into a greased pie pan.  Poke a lot of holes in it, then pre-bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is a little brown.  Allow it to cool somewhat before filling, but do not turn off the oven.

While that's cooking, chop the zucchini into circles and the tomatoes into slices.  Place the tomatoes onto paper towels and salt both sides.  Allow to drain for 20-30 min; this helps the pie crust stay firm.

Next, make up your topping.  Since my peppers were large, I threw them into the food processor for a second, so they'd be chopped up.  Mix everything together, adding more cheese if it seems too loose. Salt and pepper to taste!

To make the pie, simply layer the tomatoes and zucchini into the pie crust.



























Top with the cheese mixture and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.



























I like mine a little more on the crispy side, so I did about 40 minutes.




























Allow to cool, then enjoy!

Question of the Day:

What's your favorite thing to make with summer produce? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Liebster Award

So, the other day, something really awesome happened.  I was nominated for a Liebster Award by the delightful Lizzi at Relish the Scoop.  I'm super excited, especially since I never win anything, and am touched that she nominated me.  Also, her name is Lizzi, so she's clearly amazing.  Thanks girl!  And, what a great way to get to know each other better.








The rules for a Liebster Award are as follows:


  • You must link back to the person who nominated you. 
  • You have to answer all the questions you were given by the person who nominated you.
  • You must choose 5-11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (I used Facebook likes), and come up with a new set of 11 questions for them.
  • Let your nominees know they are nominated.
I have chosen the delightful bloggers at:
Bagels to Broccoli




1. How did you decide what you were going to write about on your blog?

It was pretty easy for me; cooking was the only hobby I had that I felt would translate into a blog. I'm not super fitnessy (I go to the gym just enough to moderately offset the cookies), I don't really craft, etc. I do love to read, but I didn't think that would be a great blog topic for the long haul. So, cooking it was.

2. Do you have any children? How do they influence your blogging?

I don't have kids, but I do babysit a lot, so I'm around them. A couple of them have starred on this blog before here.  I try to cook with them as much as possible, since I want them to have good life skills, but I don't think they really influence my blogging. Definitely my life though.

3. What is your favorite thing to read?

Honestly, basically anything.  I just really, really love reading.  A lot.  Right now, I'm reading Conduct Under Fire, which is about 4 American doctors who become POWs under the Japanese during World War II.  I find that time period absolutely fascinating and kind of (definitely) wish that I had lived in it.  Before this, I read The Poisonwood Bible, which is about a Christian missionary family who goes to the Congo right before/during their independence.  I seriously love to read everything, so any suggestions are more than welcome.

4. How has blogging changed your life?

Well, it's definitely made me a more confident cook.  There are many things that I'm not sure I would have tried, had I not thought that putting them on the blog would be fun.  Some of them are fails, which is ok.  So that's maybe the other thing it's taught me - failing isn't the actual end of the world.  Even if you put in on the internet.

5. What is your favorite blog?

Ooooh, that's a tough one.  The first blog I ever read was Cheap Healthy Good, so that obviously has a special place in my heart.  But I think my current favorite is How Sweet It Is.  The women who writes it is absolutely hilarious.  Clearly, we share a sense of humor.  And her recipes...gah.  SO GOOD.

6. What is your happy thought/place?

Milton

7. Do you like to cook, bake, or both?

I used to prefer baking, but I think I've switched and now prefer cooking.  Don't get me wrong, I still love to bake, but I think cooking better lends itself to experimentation.  There is a lot more science in baking, and while I'm a good directions follower (which I swear is really the key to being a decent baker), to be a good cook, you don't have to be as precise to get a delicious result.

8. What could you talk about for hours?

Basically anything.  I'm chatty.

9. Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Oh so very many.  In no particular order: Applebee's, Wendy's, trash TV, day-long naps, Pinterest, Danielle Steel novels....I could go on, but it's just getting embarrassing now.

10. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog person all the way.

11. What is your favorite board game?

Cards Against Humanity.  I love anything that brings out the most ridiculous and sketchy in people.

Now, love ladies listed above, it's your turn!

1) Why did you start blogging?
2) What is your favorite Robin Williams movie?
3) Do you have any pets?
4) If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
5) What's your favorite book?
6) What do you do to relax?
7) If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want the most?
8) Did you go to college?  If so, where?
9) If you could chose to go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
10) What is your favorite 90's television show?
11) What is your ultimate comfort food?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Almond Butter Thumbprints with Espresso Chocolate Truffles - The Leftovers Club

Once again, it's Leftovers Club time, that joyous club in which I make yummy things and then I get other yummy things in the mail; if you have a blog (or are considering starting one), you should totally join.  You get food in the mail.  How is this bad?

This month, I've been paired with Ruthy, from Omeletta.  As always, she's got some delightful looking treats on her blog, as well as a really adorable baby.  I'm a total sucker for a really adorable baby.  And, the baby food she's making looks amazing.  She also has a really cool series called 5 Great Recipes, in which there is a main ingredient or theme and then 5 recipes using it.  Genius, pure and simple.



If you hadn't noticed by the title, I made her some FANCY treats this month.  And, they're totally worth every step.  They're basically a more sophisticated version of the beloved PB thumbprints that people only seem to make at Christmas.  Why is that, it's as if PB and chocolate isn't delicious the rest of the year.

Almond Butter Thumbprints with Expresso Chocolate Truffles: Adapted from The Kitchn

For the espresso truffles
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (10 ounce) bag bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur

1 teaspoon espresso powder

For the Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup almond butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk (I actually used Fat Free Half and Half, because I had it, but I'm sure whatever kind of milk you usually drink will be fine)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate espresso truffles (recipe above)

Start by making the truffles.  Heat the cream over medium heat until simmering.  In a separate bowl, combine the espresso powder, Kahlua, and chocolate. Combine with the cream until melted (I actually mixed it all together and put it over the heat again, but you could also pour the cream over the chocolate and melt it that way, off the heat).

Allow the chocolate to cool for about 10-15 minutes.  Then, load it into a bag of some kind (I just use a gallon storage bag, and start piping.  You want it to be runny, but not overly so.  I think the easiest way is to line a plate or sheet with parchment paper, cut a VERY small hole in the tip of the bag, and go to town.  If the hole doesn't seem big enough, then you can always make it bigger.


























While those are setting, start on the cookies.  Pre-heat the oven to 375.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Beat together the butter and almond butter, then add the sugars and cream together.

Mix in the eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Finally, add in the dry ingredients.

Roll the cookie dough into small balls and place onto a baking sheet.  Push a thumbprint lightly in the middle, so the chocolate has somewhere to go.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes.  Press the truffle into the middle as soon as it's not too hot.


























I absolutely loved these.  So much, that this is the second time I've made them - and I usually don't do that. They're not overly sweet, but instead a lot nuttier than typical PB cookies.  I hugely recommend subbing out some Almond Butter once in a while, this can only lead to good.

Check out what my friends made!!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread - The Leftovers Club

I swear, time is just speeding up over here.  Didn't I just post this awesome cake like three days ago? Anyways, it's that time again.  If you're unfamiliar, The Leftovers Club is a group of foodie type bloggers who send each other food once a month.  If you have a blog, you need to do this.  There are free treats.  In the mail.  Waiting, at your home, for you to eat.  Best. Idea. Ever.  Also, new people come to visit your blog, and you make new friends.  I love all these things.

This month, I have been paired with Kim, who blogs at Feed Me Seymour.  You should definitely check out her blog ASAP; she's got some amazing looking recipes, including Tomato Bacon Jam.  I mean, hello, she made jam out of bacon, she has precious puppies, and she hates raisins.  This is the beginnings of a beautiful friendship.



Anyways, I have this CSA thing in my house, so there is a lot of zucchini.  And lettuce, but I couldn't figure out how to turn that into a baked good that people might want to eat, so I went with zucchini bread. Specifically, the kind with chocolate chips.  Because chocolate chips make everything amazing.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread - Adapted from Mom on Timeout

This is the basic "dump things into a bowl, stir, put it in the oven" type quick bread recipe.  Definitely my favorite kind.


























1 1/2 Cups Mashed Banana (3-4 bananas)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Grated zucchini (most of a decent sized zucchini)
1 1/4 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Chocolate Chips (I don't like to put amounts on this, because it's not up to me to tell you how to live your life.  Put as many as you damn well please in there)

Pre-heat the oven to 325.  While it's heating up, mash the bananas up.

Then, add in the butter, egg, vanilla, and brown sugar.  When that's all nice and combined, stir in the the zucchini. 

Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  

Dump in the chocolate chips.  Stir and put into a greased baking pan. 

Cook at 325 for around an hour, or until a fork comes out clean.  

This stuff is delish, it ships decently, and with the bananas and zucchini, it's pretty much a health food. I did wait until late in the day to bake it, because it's hot.  Milton is melting. 



























Now, go forth and see what other goodies people have made!!