Monday, June 28, 2010

bird's nest breakfast

On most days, I would much rather have a hearty breakfast than a muffin or a bowl of cereal.  What can I say?  I'm a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl.  The problem with hearty breakfasts, though, is that they are generally complicated and take a lot of time to prepare.

Not this one.

This is one of those perfect fill-me-up-quick-with-little-fuss breakfasts.  And, it looks cute.  'Nuff said.

You need three ingredients - a potato, an egg, and some butter.  Really, though, you could do without the butter - just use cooking spray.  And you could use egg substitute or egg whites if you like.  And I'll bet that frozen hash browns would also work (although nothing beats the taste of a freshly shredded potato!). 

Shred your potato (or bust open that bag of frozen hash browns).

Heat a nonstick skillet on medium and melt a pat of butter (or spray cooking spray).

Plop your shredded potato on top of the butter and put a little hole in it to make it look like a nest.  Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Now that you've got a nest, plop an egg in it!

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt another pat of butter on the skillet.

Flip the entire nest over on top of the melted butter, and continue to cook until the egg is set and potatoes are done.

And voila!  You have a bird's nest...that's a breakfast!

Dig in!

Bird's Nest Breakfast
1 potato, shredded
1 egg
2 t. butter or margarine

Melt 1 t. butter on nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Place shredded potato on top of butter (arranging with a hole in the middle, like a nest); cook for 4-5 minutes.  Place egg inside hole and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Melt other 1 t. butter on the skillet, and flip the nest over on top.  Cook for another 5 minutes or until egg is set and potatoes are cooked through.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition (calculated with Smart Balance Light): 387 cal, 9g fat, 3g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 211mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 69g carbs, 8g fiber, 3g sugar, 14g protein, 15% vit. A, 121% vit. C, 7% calcium, 21% iron.

IBS variation - peel potato and use cooking spray and egg whites.

Note: Check out today's FoodBuzz daily special - a Chef'sChoice AngleSelect Knife Sharpener.   FoodBuzz has daily specials going all summer long - check back every day to find the best deals on kitchen ware!

This recipe is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday , Tasty Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table

Thursday, June 24, 2010

spinach vegetable soup

One of the nice things about being a girl is that you are never too old to have a tea party.

I had the fortune to be invited to a tea party the other day, hosted by my friend Stacia.  Stacia not only makes delicious food, but she also publishes her recipes on her own blog, The Domestic Engineer.

My oh my, this tea party was fun.  Stacia made shortbread cookies with lemon curd (check out her recipe for lemon curd).

She also served some beautiful s'mores scones alongside strawberry lemonade and peach tea.

Another guest brought delicious peanut butter cookies (notice the addition of some fun chocolate chips!).

And at each place setting was a magnet with the guest's initial.  Here was mine!

My contribution to this girly get-together was a light and delicious spinach vegetable soup, which we served alongside chicken salad sandwiches.

Now, yes, I know that this soup isn't the most photogenic of dishes.  It's because I made it in the slow cooker.  You see, when cooked on the stove, the spinach stays a bright green and the carrots stay a bright orange.  When cooked in the slow cooker, the vegetables come out a bit duller (probably all of that simmering).

Another feature that might have affected the photogenic quality of this dish is the fact that I added evaporated almond milk instead of real cream.  When you add real cream, it gives the dish a beauty that is unparalleled by most soups.

I am not exaggerating!

But, for now, you'll have to live with the fact that I used my crock pot and added almond milk.  Believe didn't affect the taste.

This soup is wonderfully easy.  You start with a few carrots, a few potatoes, and a package of frozen chopped spinach.

Slice up the carrots...

...peel and chop the potatoes...

...and use a knife to separate the frozen spinach into smaller bits (helps to break it up).

Toss all of this into a pot.  You can choose to do either the slow cooker method or the stove-top method.  If you go for the slow cooker, add one can of chicken broth to your veggies.  If you decide to cook this on the stove, you will probably want to add two cans of chicken broth.

Also stir in about 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.  Don't skip the nutmeg.  It sounds odd to put nutmeg in a soup, I know, but it absolutely makes this dish.  Without the nutmeg, this soup would just be a pile of veggies topped with wilted spinach.  We don't want that.

At this point you could also add some cooked chicken to your soup - it's delicious!

If using a slow cooker, cook on high for about 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.  If using the stove, bring soup to a boil.  Then, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.

In the last 15 minutes of the slow cooker method, or once the vegetables are tender using the stove-top method, add one cup of cream, half and half, milk, evaporated milk, or something similar.  Cream or half and half will yield the best results; however, I've never found reason to complain when I've used evaporated almond milk.  It's up to you!

To evaporate your own milk, boil 2 cups of milk in saucepan until the milk is reduced to 1 cup (stir constantly!!!).  This works well with non-dairy milks.

Let soup cook another few minutes or until the cream/milk/whatever has been heated through. Serve immediately!  It serves 6.

Spinach Vegetable Soup
1 cup cooked chicken (optional)
1-2 cans chicken broth
2 carrots, sliced
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach (cut into squares)
1/2 t. nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cream (or half and half or fat-free half and half or milk or non-dairy milk or...)

Slow cooker method: Combine 1 can broth, carrots, potatoes, spinach, and spices in slow cooker.  Cook on low for about 4 hours or high for 7-8 hours.  In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add cream.  Cook an additional 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Stove-top method: Combine 2 cans broth, carrots, potatoes, spinach and spices in a stock pot.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add milk and cook on low until heated through.  Serve immediately.

IBS variation - make the soup a blended soup!  Toss it in the blender and let 'er rip!

Nutrition (calculated without chicken and using 1 can of chicken broth and fat-free half and half): 222 cal, 1g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 2mg cholesterol, 216mg sodium, 48g carbs, 6g fiber, 5g sugar, 7g protein, 179% vit. A, 39% vit. C, 12% calcium, 10% iron.

Note: Check out today's FoodBuzz daily special - a Sous Vide Supreme, SVS 10LS water oven.   FoodBuzz has daily specials going all summer long - check back every day to find the best deals on kitchen ware!

Linked up with This Week's Cravings: Soups!

Monday, June 21, 2010

peanut butter lava cookie

I just love friends.  I especially love them when they give you incredible ideas.

 Take my friend Kristen.  She has a wonderful blog called From My Tiny Kitchen that I've mentioned several times on this site.  Last Friday, she posted this recipe for chocolate chip cookie lava cakes.

 Picture stolen borrowed from From My Tiny Kitchen.

This recipe intrigued me.  It looked amazing, and it got my mind spinning of all of the possibilities that could branch off of it.  There are so many different types of cookies in this world - what if each one was made into a lava cake?  An oatmeal cookie with butterscotch lava would be divine.  A chocolate chocolate chip cookie with marshmallow lava.  A peanut butter cookie with Nutella lava...well, you get the idea.

For my lava cookie, I decided to use up some ingredients that I had lying around.  I made some of my 4-ingredient peanut butter cookie dough and then grabbed the chocolate chips and caramel sauce that were left over after making those amazing oatmeal carmelitas.

Have I mentioned that this isn't going to be healthy?'s not.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

I sprayed the inside of a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and pressed peanut butter cookie dough into the bottom and up the sides.

Then, I filled the middle with chocolate chips...

...and then I drizzled caramel sauce over the top until I'd filled in all empty space between chocolate chips.

I almost grabbed a spoon and started eating right then.  Wouldn't you?

Remembering that chocolate is often better when it is gooey, I decided to forgo the early eating and finish the thing.  I topped the concoction off with more peanut butter cookie dough...

...and then I baked it at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

I let this beauty cool for about 10 minutes, and then I flipped it over onto parchment paper (all my dishes are packed for our move!) and drizzled it with caramel.

And then...the moment of truth...

YES!  The ooey-gooey chocolately caramely deliciousness that filled this peanut butter cup was absolutely amazing!  It was also so rich that I can't imagine eating an entire cookie by myself...unless I had a massive glass of milk.

Thanks, Kristen, for this wonderful idea!  I hope it inspires a whole host of filled cookies.

Now I want to hear...what lava cookie would YOU create?

This recipe is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday , Tasty Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table

Thursday, June 17, 2010

jalapeno bacon cheeseburger...risotto!

I wanted a cheeseburger.  I wanted a cheeseburger bad.

And I didn't want just any old cheeseburger.  I wanted one of those massive, juicy, spicy, bacon-y, delicious numbers that you have to pay at least $6 for at any respectable fast food establishment.

Then I remembered that I'm supposed to be avoiding wheat right now...and there went my dreams.

Just kidding!  Since when have I ever let my diet dictate what tastes I'm allowed to enjoy?  I decided that I was going to have my cheeseburger, even if I couldn't eat the bun.  And have it, I did!

This recipe requires just a few basic ingredients: ground beef or turkey, bacon or turkey bacon, beef broth, arborio rice, 1-2 jalapenos (diced), about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, and the optional addition of cheddar cheese (not pictured).

In my attempt to prepare for a trip to the beach, I used turkey products.  On any other occasion, I would probably spring for real hamburger meat and bacon.  Whichever you decide to use is up to you - you won't be disappointed either way!

To prep, put all of your beef broth in a pan on the stove, and turn it to low.  You will want it to warm up for later.

Toss your ground meat into a nonstick skillet.  Cook it, remove it, and keep it warm.

Dice up about 6 pieces of bacon (or more...or less) and cook those in the same skillet until they get crispy.

Remove the bacon and keep with the hamburger meat.  You'll need these later!

Now, right into the bacon grease, toss in your mushrooms and jalapeno.  Cook on medium heat until the mushrooms are tender.

At this point, you are ready to throw in the rice.  I found it necessary to plop in a pat of butter because my turkey bacon didn't produce enough grease.  If you used real hamburger and bacon, you won't need the butter.  If your pan is looking a little dry, though, get out the butter or margarine of your choice and drop a spoonful in.

Add 1 cup of arborio rice to the skillet and cook and stir on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.  You can also add any seasonings you want.  I suggest creole seasoning or just plain old salt and pepper.

At this point, you want to add your beef broth, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Each time you pour the broth in, you need to stir it into the rice and cook it until all of the moisture is absorbed.

I've heard from a lot of people that risotto is too scary of a dish to make - how do you know when the rice is done?  What if it's too al dente?  too mushy?

Well, my friends, there's an easy answer to that dilemma.  You taste it.

Yes, reach a spoon into the dish and taste it.  I'm of the belief that if I'm the one who is going to be enjoying the risotto, then it is done when I say it is.  I continue adding liquid until the rice has reached the consistency I want.  It's a good rule of thumb, and I've never been disappointed.

I generally add all of the 4 cups of broth, and sometimes I throw in another half cup of water.  Just keep adding liquid, cooking and stirring, and tasting (one half cup at a time) until you get it just right.

Once your rice is cooked, add that meat back in.

And then, to give it that truly cheeseburger taste, add about a cup (or more!) of shredded cheddar cheese.

Stir until the cheese is melted, and then serve it up!

I tell you, this risotto totally hit the spot and cured my craving.  DE-LIC-IOUS!

Jalapeno Bacon Cheeseburger Risotto
4 cups beef broth
1 lb. hamburger or ground turkey
6 slices bacon or turkey bacon, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1-2 jalapenos, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup shredded cheddar (optional)

Heat the broth on low in a saucepan.  Meanwhile, brown hamburger or ground turkey in a nonstick skillet; remove and keep warm.  Cook bacon in the same skillet until crispy; remove and keep warm.  Add mushrooms and jalapenos to the skillet; cook and stir on medium heat until mushroom is tender.  Add rice and cook and stir for 4-5 minutes, adding butter if skillet is too dry.  Add 1/2 cup of broth, cooking and stirring until liquid is completely absorbed.  Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until liquid is completely absorbed, until rice reaches desired consistency.  Add cooked meat and stir in cheddar until melted.  Serves 6.

IBS and lower-fat variation: leave out the cheddar cheese, use only ground turkey breast, and cut down on the amount of meat

Nutrition (for recipe as printed above): 348 cal, 15g fat, 6g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 86mg cholesterol, 867mg sodium, 27g carbs, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 24g protein, 4% vit. A, 2% vit C, 16% calcium, 17% iron.

Before you gasp at the amount of fat in this recipe, may I direct your attention to the nutritional information for the Big Mac?  Thank you...thank you very much.

Note: Want to serve fries with your risotto?  I did!  What's a cheeseburger without fries?  Check out today's FoodBuzz daily special - a Crossini Nonstick French Fry Baking Sheet.   FoodBuzz has daily specials going all summer long - check back every day to find the best deals on kitchen ware!

This recipe is linked with Foodie Friday!

Monday, June 14, 2010

oatmeal carmelitas

You can't make me calculate the nutritional info for these...I won't do it!

I won't!

Wild horses couldn't drag it from me! (name that movie...)

I will, however, say that the above picture just does not do these little beauties justice.  They are amazing.  A brown sugar and oatmeal layer topped with a chocolate layer topped with gooey caramel topped with more brown sugary goodness...oh my!

I got this recipe a few years ago when my neighbor locked herself out of her apartment.  I let her use my phone and hang out in my living room until the locksmith came.  In return, she made me these!  They were so good that I begged and begged for the recipe.  I am so glad she gave it to me.

To begin with, you're going to need some quick-cooking oatmeal, flour, salt, brown sugar, baking soda, and butter.

Place 3/4 cups of butter in a mixing bowl, stick it in a microwave, and melt it.

Add 1 cup flour...

...1 cup quick-cooking oats...

...3/4 cup brown sugar...

...and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Mix together to form a crumbly mess of deliciousness.

Press half of this gooey mess into a 9x9 inch pan (or a pan of similar size).  Notice that I said half.  This is important - you'll want the other half later.

Toss your pan in the oven, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Then, pull it out and grab these two items:

Yes, that's right.  You want a cup (or slightly more, if you are like me) of chocolate chips, and a half cup of chopped pecans.  Sprinkle these babies right over the top of your oatmeal mixture.

And now for something amazing - combine 3 tablespoons of flour with 3/4 cup of caramel topping.

Spread your caramel mixture over the top of everything else and then proceed to lick the spoon you used to stir it up with...and the spatula you used to spread the caramel with...and then the bowl that you stirred it in.  And then ignore the fact that I ended everything in that previous sentence with a preposition.

Now, remember how you saved half of that oatmeal mixture?  Well, if you haven't eaten it already, sprinkle it over the top of your caramel.

YUM!  But don't eat it yet!

Bake 15-20 minutes longer at 350 until it's nice and golden.

But wait!  Don't eat yet!

You need to chill it for 1-2 hours.  Trust me!  This dessert is fabulous all hot and gooey...but it's also amazing after it's been chilled.  And, if you plan on cutting it into bars and serving individual pieces, you are going to want to chill it first.

Oatmeal Carmelitas
1 cup flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
3 T. flour

In a large bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, soda, salt, and melted margarine.  Blend well at low speed to form crumbs.  Press half of crumbs into bottom of 9x9" pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans.  Blend caramel topping and 3 T. flour; pour over chocolate and pecans to cover.  Sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until golden brown.  Chill 1-2 hours.  Cut into bars.

This recipe is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday , Tasty Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table
Related Posts with Thumbnails