52Weeks · Breakfast · Home Cooking

To Positive

Cinnamon Waffles with Cinnamon Vanilla Apples

Disclaimer: Nothing about this recipe is healthy, but sometimes indulgence is a good thing.  This week the challenge for /52weeks was an ingredient challenge featuring cinnamon.  I debated doing a savory dish for a while, such as a curry, but then decided I wanted to do more of a special breakfast recipe.  In the end it came down to a cinnamon sugar bread pudding or waffles, but that was before checking the bread supply.  However cinnamon waffles isn’t enough for a cinnamon challenge, so I decided to make up a some cinnamon vanilla apples to go on top.  After all, if I’m going to go down the unhealthy road I might as well go all the way.  The end result was a cinnamony treat perfect for a special brunch or making a breakfast special.

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Sometimes it feels good to veer from the normal diet and indulge in something delicious and not so nutritious.  This certainly isn’t an every day breakfast but as a sweet treat, why not?!?

Slow Cooker

Gonna Be

Israeli Eggplant Stew w/Poached Egg

or Shakshuka

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but recently Joe and I went to NYC for a belated birthday celebration.  While there we got lunch at Hummus Place, a local chain that specializes in hummus and other Middle Eastern delicacies.  I decided to branch out and order something that I had never heard of before, Shakshuka.  According to Wikipedia shakshuka is “is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, often spiced with cumin.”  The dish I got came with two eggs over easy and eggplant and it completely blew me out of the water.  All of the tastes combined to make an amazingly rich and filling dish, with everything working together in delicious harmony.  I knew right away that I wanted to give this dish a go once I got home, which is when the Googling started.   I borrowed some from the dish I tried at Hummus Place while adding spices of my own that I thought would work.  I doubt this version is anything like a traditional Shakshuka but it is insanely good and comes together with little work, just a bit of cutting.  I also put my slowcooker to work, which resulted in some great smells when I got home from work.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 medium vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 lb eggplant. cubed
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 cup whole stewed tomatoes, with juices
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 fresh eggs (optional)
Directions:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion.  Cook for 5-7minutes, or until onion starts to turn golden.  Add the eggplant and the green peppers, and cook for an additional 10minutes until the eggplant starts to become soft.  
  2. Add the onion, garlic, eggplant, and peppers to the slow cooker, along with the tomatoes and spices.  
  3. Cook on low for 6hours, adding more liquid as desired.  
  4. Turn slow cooker to high for the final 30 minutes, adding more seasonings as needed. 
  5. Meanwhile, poach the eggs in either a deep frying pan or a small sauce pan.  I used this guide and it worked great!  Serve the stew in bowls and then top with the poached eggs.

For those in a hurry this dish can also be prepared directly on the stove top, just allow the dish to simmer for at least 45minutes.  The other advantage of cooking on the stove top is that is allows for the eggs to be poached directly in the dish.  Yummy!

Salad

Our House

Potato Salad

This past week has been totally surreal and I feel like I need a week long vacation to recover from everything.  There were lows and highs and lots of people and even more food.  I now have a lot more respect for the ladies of the yellow rose who did an amazing job this past Thursday, and are just truly wonderful women.  One of these ladies did an amazing bruchetta and my new mission is to figure out who made it so that I can find out what was in it.  I promise that once I get the recipe I will share it because this was easily the best bruchetta I have ever had.  While I wasn’t allowed to bring a potluck to Thursday’s event I was able to bring something to the picnic potluck this past Saturday for Joe’s family.  I actually wound up bringing three items: Berry Basil Muffins, Strawberry Banana Bread, and my mom’s Potato Salad.  I have always taken her potato salad for granted, and it wasn’t until someone asked me for the recipe that I realized it wasn’t written down anywhere.  So to make sure that doesn’t happen I am sharing it with the internet so that I can insure it will always been around.

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)

  • 2.5 lbs white or butter potatoes, halved
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil based mayo
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
Directions:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Cook the potatoes until they are tender, then drain and rinse with cold water before placing in a large bowl.
  2. Add the eggs and onion to the potatoes then mix in the mustard, mayo, and pickle juice.  Season to taste with salt/pepper and if needed add more mustard/mayo to taste.  Add the paprika, stir and then cover.  Place in fridge to chill for at least two hours.  Serve and Enjoy!  
If it lasts that long this salad is also great the next day, just add some more paprika.  I have also been told that Old Bay also goes well with this but since I’m not a fan I can’t really comment.

 

Simple and In Season

Truly Scrumptious

Farmers’ Market Quiche

Fresh local vegetables are starting to show up at the local stores once again, which is my favorite time of the year.  There is something about eating a piece of broccoli knowing that it spent its entire life in a 10mile radius.  It tastes sweeter, earthier, and just all around tastier!  To make it even better I found a new monthly blog group via Maison’s Cupcakes that celebrates local seasonal vegetables.  Simple and In Season is a linky match-up group that celebrates local seasonal produce in all of its splendor.   I have been looking for an excuse to make a quiche for the past few weeks however I couldn’t find the right vegetables.  However last weekend everything changed, and suddenly the corn was from the Eastern Shore instead of the Carolinas while the broccoli was from my county.  The cilantro?  From my front porch! This quiche is the perfect celebration of everything to come as the weather gets warmer!

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

  • 1 9 in crust (I used Joy of Cooking’s recipe for Press-in-Pan Butter Crust)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn off the cob
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp cilantro

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Press the crust into a 9 in quiche pan and cook for 15minutes.  Turn oven to 425
  2. In a large bowl mix the eggs with the milk until the whites disappear.  Add the broccoli, onion, and corn and continue to stir well.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the precooked crust.  Bake for 30minutes.  Remove and top with the cheese and cilantro then bake for an additional 15minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean out of the center and the crust is slightly brown.  Enjoy!

The best part about quiche is that it serves well cold, making it perfect for a light snack.  If having the quiche for dinner then it makes a simple breakfast for the next day, just cut and eat!

Uncategorized

Silver, Gold, or Brass

Irish Eggs

So last month I participated in an egg challenge.  This wound up opening the door to the world of eggs, a world that I wasn’t very familiar with prior to the International Incident which in a way was the point of the exercise.  I wound up going thru my cook books and checking out all of the egg recipes I had skipped over, yet I kept going back to baked eggs.  So I decided to keep experimenting with them and seeing what other delicious taste combinations I could find.  Once upon a Thanksgiving ago I found that mashed potatoes and eggs go together really well in the form on a delicious mashed potato omelett.  I decided to take that concept and add to it, while changing it from a cheesy omelett to the power house that is a baked egg.  Some googling let me know that this was actually very similar to a dish known as Irish Colcannon minus the meat…and with some veggie changes.  So in tribute to that ancient recipe I am dubbing these Irish Eggs.

Ingredients:

1 lb potatoes, diced
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 lb spinach, thawed and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 eggs
2 oz cheese, shredded

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Cook until the potatoes are tender, then drain and mash.  Add seasoning to taste along with butter and milk.  
2. Preheat oven to 375.
4.  Spread the mashed potatoes on the botton of an 9×9 pan.  Add the spinach over top.  Create four wells in the spinach/mashed potatoes add crack the eggs into the wells.  Top with cheese
5. Bake for 15minutes, or until eggs are fully cooked.  Enjoy!


Another simple dish that is perfect for a filling breakfast or a light dinner.  I am now officially a fan of baked eggs and I look forward to figuring how many other ways I can prepare them.  I am also going to attempt to do a poached egg as well at some point…maybe…

Uncategorized

Sharp Knife

Linguine alla “Carbonara”

Spring : Salads :: Fall : COMFORT FOODS!

There is something about this time of year that makes me yearn for the foods I had growing up, those items that make me regress back to being south of my teens. There are a number of dishes my mom made while I was still at home that I have been working on converting to vegetarian dishes and this is one of them. I will be honest that this was probably the easiest dish to convert, however switching the one meat item for the veggie item in a way “destroys” this dish as far as my Italian brethren are concerned. So as a quick and easy disclaimer: yes I understand that by removing the pork this dish is no longer a true Carbonara. I have also had some heated discussions regarding the use of half & half in this dish and if that is or isn’t authentic. After much googling it seems that it might be a regional dish, but since I am being true to the dish I grew up with I kept it in. However to the people on certain blogs claiming that cream doesn’t go with garlic, I just have to say you are missing on because garlic goes with everything. So without further stalling here is my mom’s vegetarianized Carbonara dish.
Ingredients
– 1 tsp Olive Oil
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 lb baby bella mushrooms, diced
– half onion, diced
– 1 cup half & half
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup parm cheese. grated
– 1 lb pasta, linguine or fettuccine
Directions

1. Cook the pasta according to directions on box until al dente.  Drain and return to pot.
2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil is a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the mushroom, garlic, and onion and cook for 10minutes stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside
3. Mix the eggs and the parmesan cheese until well blended.  Add the half & half, mixing well.  Pour this mixture into the pan containing the cooked pasta noodles.  Stir well until fully mixed, DO NOT let the eggs become scrambled!!!  Add in the mushroom and onion mixture and turn heat to low.  Cook for 10minutes or until the sauce is nice and warm and cheesy. Serve!

This dish is extremely easy to prepare and the only tricky section is just making sure that the eggs don’t scramble when being added to the pasta.  I have never managed to do this, but my roommate in college did so I know that it can be done.  For those looking to make this dish in the other traditional method, substitute the cream with some of the water used for cooking the pasta if you are wanting a thinner sauce.  One of the best things about all Italian dishes is that they allow for so many variations in order to perfect it for the individual.

Uncategorized

Party Don’t Stop

Greek Baked Eggs

Here it is: my first group blogging activity.  this is coming to you courtesy of Addictive and Consuming and Tasty Trix and their International Incident: Eggs Party.  This was a group effort on many levels and two Birthday gifts really made this all possible.  My sister got me these amazing oven-to-dinner dishes, the kind you would use for French Oven soup but that can serve other purposes as well.  I also got a number of cook books including a really wicked one from Joey, the Marie Claire Seasonal Kitchen cookbook.  This book had two recipes for baked eggs, something I had seen before but never had.  Both of these recipes were very meat heavy so I decided to take the concept and alter it for my purposes.  The result was a tasty amazing treat that was rather easy to prepare and the perfect fuel before the 8 mile hike we had planned.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 eggs
3 tbsp Feta Cheese

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Use some of the butter to grease two oven-to-table style ramekins.  
2. Put the remaning butter in a small frying pan and heat over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, then add the onion and peppers.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the onion starts to turn translucent.  
3. Divide the vegetable mixture between the two ramekins.  Crack the eggs into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.   Pour into the ramekins and then top with the Feta Cheese.  Bake for 15-20minutes, or until the egg is cooked all the way through.


Fast, simple, filling, and delicious! The perfect meal for weekend morning, or even a light dinner.  I’m hoping this blog party will be the first of many…I just need to make sure I note the time difference better next time!