Tag Archives: recipes people ask me for

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

8 Dec

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese FrostingWouldn’t it have been nice to wake up this morning to warm, sweet, soft cinnamon rolls, straight out of the oven?

I agree, especially poring over these pictures on this snowy morning!

These Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect to serve when you are hosting a crowd; or make them a tradition to serve your family on a birthday or holiday morning.  Along with the Bagel Bake, they are on any brunch menu I have a hand in (given that I have time to prepare the dough the night before). They are perfect to bring to a friend who has just had a baby, or someone who is recovering from surgery. And I have never heard anyone object to keeping the leftovers!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-3I love seeing the cinnamon and sugar bursting at the seams. It’s all I can do to not take a bite of the dough … the only thing stopping me is knowing how much better the finished product will be.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-4

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-5This batch is ready to go into the oven, in a disposable or reusable dish, destined for a colleague who recently had a baby. Note there are only 9 here – I saved 3 for myself, to experiment in a muffin pan. It didn’t go well. Stick with the larger pan.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls - SquareThe below picture is the same batch, baked, pre-frosting.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-6And therrrre’s the frosting.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-9

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-7

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-8

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-11… I baked and saved the uneven ends for myself.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls-12

Ingredients:

For the dough:
– 4 egg yolks, room temperature
– 1 whole egg, room temperature
– 1/4 c sugar
– 6 T unsalted butter, melted
– 3/4 c buttermilk, room temperature*
– approximately 4 c flour, plus additional for dusting
– 1 package instant dry yeast
– 1 1/4 t kosher salt

For the filling:
– 1 c brown sugar, packed
– 1 T ground cinnamon
– pinch of salt
– 1.5T unsalted butter

For the frosting:
– 1/4 c cream cheese, softened (low-fat will work)
– 3 T milk
– 1.5 c powdered sugar

How do I make it?

  • For the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or, by hand), whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
  • Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined.
  • Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook.
  • Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed until the dough is soft and moist but not sticky, adding more flour if necessary. Knead on low speed a few minutes more, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. It’s ok if it doesn’t completely double in volume.
  • While the dough is rising, make the filling: Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated, and set aside until ready to use.
  • Butter a baking dish (either 9″ x 9″, or 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish).
  • When the dough is done rising, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface (I just use a clean granite countertop, but you can use a smooth cutting board or a special mat made for this purpose. Using a floured rolling pin (or a floured wine bottle, I don’t judge), shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Continue to roll it, pretty much as large as you can get it, or 12″ x 18″.
  • Brush the rectangle of dough with the 1.5 T of melted butter. Leave a small border at the top. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving the same border along the top edge.
  • Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight tube. Roll it so the seam side is down. Using a bench scraper or a serrated knife, slice off the little ends. Then slice into half. Slice each of those halves into half, so you have four equal portions. Then slice each of the four portions into three pieces, so you have 12 rolls.
  • Arrange rolls in the baking dish with the cut sides up (and down). Try to arrange them with the seam facing another roll, so those ends don’t get too crunchy when they bake.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day: Microwave a large Pyrex filled with water until the water boils, and then move it your oven, which should be off, on a law rack. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, and place in the oven above the water. With the oven door closed, let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy, approximately 30 minutes, then remove the rolls and the water from the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 350. When preheated, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven to cool.
  • While they are cooling, make the frosting: Whisk the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or whisk by hand) until smooth and creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the cooled rolls and serve immediately.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls - bite

More info please?

I never buy a carton of buttermilk; instead, use skim milk and a fresh lemon. I use a Pyrex measuring glass, and place 1 to 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice in the glass, and then fill it up to 3/4 c with milk.  Let it sit until it curdles and comes to room temperature, about 5-10 minutes.

Original link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/overnight-cinnamon-rolls-recipe/index.html

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Roasted Potatoes

28 Nov

Roasted Potatoes-7

I am often asked what my favorite dish to cook is, but today I was asked what my favorite food is. Not something that I have been asked in a long time,  and it took me a minute to answer as the kid in the candy store that was my head ran around in circles.

“French fries.”

But as the words came out of my mouth, I found myself running through different cuts of french fries. If I went to a restaurant that offered thin cut, thick cut, steak cut, waffle cut … what would I choose? And what about thin and crisp potato skins? What about fully loaded potato skins? Twice-baked? So many options. My mind raced. And then it hit me …

I love potatoes.

“I take it back. Potatoes.” ZA and I shared a moment when she revealed that she, too, loved potatoes and thinking about it, would probably answer her own question the same way. So simple, so versatile, such a staple.

I used to get frustrated that I couldn’t get the texture I wanted from roasted potatoes – well-done inside, and crisp outside – until I realized two tricks: 1) You need to start with potatoes that are baked, rather than raw; and 2) The less you mess with them while they are cooking, the better!

Ingredients:- 6 medium russet potatoes, baked (can be altered, but I recommend using smaller potatoes, and budgeting more than one per person)
– 6 cloves garlic, peeled (smashed if you would like!)
– 2 T extra virgin olive oil
– 1 t dried oregano, or 1 T fresh oregano
– 1/4 – 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

How do I make it?

  • {To bake potatoes, either toss a few in the oven while you are cooking something else (prick them with a fork first) – 45 to 60 minutes at any temperature between 350 and 400 should do it. Or, prick with a fork and wrap in paper towel, and microwave one at a time for 6 minutes. Cook before handling!}
  • Preheat the oven to 400 and, if you have a heating element on the top of the oven, set a rack in the top 1/3. If your heating element is only on the bottom, set the rack in the middle of the oven. You will want your pan to be close to the heating element, but you don’t want to over-brown on the bottom of the pan.
  • Cut the potatoes into 1″ cubes. This is why I like to use medium potatoes – you can cut them in half once the long way, then in half again the long way, and then easily chop into cubes that will cook at a good rate (and most importantly, all of the pieces will have skin on them!).Roasted Potatoes
  • Transfer the potatoes to a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Make sure they all fit in a single layer.
  • Add the garlic cloves to the pan.
  • Drizzle the oil over the potatoes and garlic. Add the oregano and red pepper flakes. Top with freshly ground pepper, if you would like.
  • Using your hands, toss the potatoes, garlic, oil, and spices together in the pan, making sure to coat the potatoes with the mixture as much as possible.
  • Roasted Potatoes-2Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, without stirring the potatoes around. After this time, give them a good flip. You should start to get a nice golden crisp on the potatoes.
  • Return the potatoes to the oven and roast for another 20 minutes.

Roasted Potatoes-5

 

If you like this, you may also like:

Food_013_

Quinoa Breakfast Cakes-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterscotch Granola Blondies

8 Nov

Butterscotch Granola Blondies-4Do you go through food phases, like me? For weeks or months at a time, I can’t get enough of smoothies, or egg white and cheese sandwiches, or green tea. For a period during law school, granola was my jam. One day I reached for one of the specialty brands that are sold on the highest shelf in the cereal aisle, and a love connection was made.

Heartland Granola is not sold everywhere, but I buy it locally at Harris Teeter. I hope, for your sake, that you can find it locally (or online). If not, any granola that isn’t too cluster-y would work. But because I found this recipe on the side of the Heartland Granola box, I am partial to that brand. I recently found that they post a whole list of recipes using their granola – I can’t wait to try them out!*

I have said it before and will continue to repeat it – recipes “on the side of the box” showcase the product you are buying, and can be some of the best you will find. Not every recipe will suit you of course (and sometimes the cross-branding with other products is irking), but I assure you I have put many of these recipes into my rotation.Butterscotch Granola Blondies

I brought a batch of these blondies in to work this week, and although many people seemed to be initially skeptical of butterscotch, you should have seen how eyes lit up at Bite #1! My colleagues commented on the doughy center, and the almost oatmeal cookie taste (“but different”). The granola bakes in, and loses its crunchy texture, but still lends the blondies some structure. I would not generally say that I like butterscotch, but try butterscotch baking chips. They mostly just taste like sugar, and a bit like white chocolate (which is mostly just sugar). If you are looking for something just a little different to bring to a party or to work, or to have around the kitchen for the weekend to snack on, and don’t have a ton of time, may I recommend this recipe. I can assure you that you – and anyone who takes a bite – will not be disappointed.

And, if I do say so myself, they are quite photogenic.

Butterscotch Granola Blondies-3

Ingredients:
– 1/2 c butterscotch chips
– 3 T butter
– 1 c brown sugar, packed
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 t vanilla
– 1.75 c Heartland Granola Cereal (original variety)
1 c flour
– 1 t baking powder
– 1/2 t kosher salt

How do I make it?

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a heat-proof medium or large bowl {be sure to check your bowl for its intended usage!}, melt butterscotch chips and butter together. You can do this in the oven as it’s warming, in the microwave, or on the stove top. Cool a bit.
  • Stir in the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and granola.
  • Then stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Spread batter in 8″ x 8″ pan.
  • Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Set the timer for 25 minutes, and take a look. When it’s done, the edges will get a bit firmer than the middle and will seem to swell up a bit.
  • Cool before cutting.

Butterscotch Granola Blondies-5

 

Butterscotch Granola Blondies-2

Original link: http://heartlandbrands.com/page/recipes/granola-recipes/

*Although, as with all printed recipes, it’s important to read them carefully. This recipe online states that an 8″ x 8″ pan of blondies, cut in to 2″ squares, will make … 36 bars? I am NOT a math person, but cutting an 8″ square pan in to 2″ squares should make 16 blondies. The cardboard remnant I have from the side of a box from over a decade ago does not have such measurements on it!

Brownie Bark

15 Oct

Image

When you have a homemade brownie, do you go for a center piece, or an edge piece? I mix it up. I love the fudgy center, but the crispy edge has its own allure.

What is Brownie Bark (aka Brownie Brittle)? It is a thin layer of that crispy brownie edge – no soft center, just a crunchy cookie. It satisfies a sweet tooth without inducing a sugar overload. Brownie Bark goes really well with coffee as a dunker, and would be delicious crumbled over (or under) ice cream. I am always in search of baked goods to bring to work meetings that have quick preparation (because I usually remember at the last minute) and are easy to transport (for the commute); this recipe works well for that purpose. {Insert furlough joke here – but I am sure one day I will have another work meeting!}

Image

Ingredients:
– 2 egg whites
– 1/2 c sugar (heaping – a little more than 1/2 c is totally fine)
– 1.5 T dark cocoa powder
– 1/4 c vegetable oil
– 1/4 t vanilla
– 1/4 t salt
– 1/4 t baking powder
– 1/2 c flour
– 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
– a few additional Tablespoons of mini or regular-sized dark chocolate chips

How do I make it?

  • Preheat oven to 325 with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a heavy duty 13×18 inch jelly roll pan with a silpat (preferred), or parchment paper.
  • Whisk the egg whites until foamy (a minute or two). Gradually whisk in the sugar, then whisk in the cocoa powder, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Finally, whisk in the salt and baking powder.
  • Add the flour and stir until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the brownie batter onto the lined cookie sheet and spread as thinly as possible using a silicone spatula. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven; using a pizza cutter or knife, cut it into pieces, without separating. You can do triangular pieces, long strips, or rectangles or squares. Endless possibilities!
  • Return the pan to the oven for 5 more minutes.
  • During these 5 minutes, prepare a glass of milk.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely. Once it is cool, break the pieces apart.

More info please?
If you are using parchment paper, you need to hold it down pretty firmly to make sure it doesn’t slip around while you are spreading the batter – silpats are made for moments like this. You may find it helpful to not mix the chips in to the batter, and instead add them after you spread the batter out – it will spread more smoothly using this method. I think it tastes a little better when they are in the batter as well as on top. But it’s pretty similar – whatever works for you!

Original link: http://www.cookiemadness.net/2012/10/brownie-bark/

If you like this, you may also like:

Brownie ThinsGraham Cracker GranolaChocolate Chip Mandel Bread

Chicken Tortilla Soup

12 Oct

Chicken Tortilla Soup-5

The primary reason I started this blog was to catalog my tried and true recipes – those in my repertoire that I make with some frequency, but still can never quite seem to put my hands on when I have a craving for them.

This Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe may have been one of the first soups I ever made, and when I was learning to cook it was so satisfying to combine the ingredients and end up with this awesome creation. Now that I know how to cook, it is mostly just satisfying to eat – which of course, is not at all a bad thing – but it always brings back great memories from over the years, when this soup was shared with friends, or thrown together after an exhausting day, or simmered on a cold rainy night and sipped on the couch in front of catch-up DVR (like tonight).

It has all the hallmarks of a solid go-to soup recipe. It is an easy one – there is no blending involved; it is a healthy one – all fresh ingredients and no cream; and it is a comforting one – like most non-fussy soups are. And you can’t beat the bright colors for visual appeal!

Chicken Tortilla Soup-4

Ingredients:
– 3 corn tortillas
– 1 sweet onion, diced
– 6 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 bunch of cilantro (about 1/4 c), chopped
– 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
– 4 – 8 c chicken broth or stock {it’s up to you, depending on the size of your pot and how thick you like your soup}
– 1 c canned or frozen corn
– 1 T cumin
– 1 T chili powder
– 4 bay leaves
– 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 1/2 t cayenne pepper

How do I make it?

  • Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. When warm, add extra virgin olive oil and saute the onion until is softens and starts to brown. Then add the garlic and cook until it starts to brown and smell fragrant. Tear or chop 3 corn tortillas into bite size pieces and add to the pot.
  • Add the chopped cilantro and add it to the pot {reserve a bit to serve with the completed soup}. Then add the tomatoes with their juice, and the chicken stock, cumin, chili powder, and bay leaves. Bring the soup to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and add the corn, whole chicken breasts, and cayenne.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts and put aside to cool.
  • Once the chicken is cool, shred it with two forks, or chop it into small pieces, and return it to the soup pot.
  • Serving suggestions: fried tortilla strips, diced avocado, additional cilantro.

Original link: Well, this is not the original link, as I first found this recipe almost 7 years ago and the post in the following link is dated 2012, but it is word for word from the pdf I have saved on my computer … http://reluctantgourmet.com/education/culinary-career-path/item/135-tortilla-soup-recipe

If you like this, you may also like:

Southwest Quinoa BowlSweet Potato & Quinoa Chili

 

 

 

 

Serve with:

Tortilla Chips

Pumpkin – Gruyere Focaccia {Repost – Pictures Added}

12 Oct

 

I am often asked, “What is your favorite thing to make?” I hem and haw and say I can’t pick just one thing … but this Pumpkin – Gruyere Focaccia recipe may be it. I originally posted the recipe, without pictures, in March, but now that we are in full-pumpkin-season-swing, I made a batch this week and wanted to post the pictures. I thought I would also repost the original entry from March here, in case you missed it then or just were not in pumpkin mode. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Gruyere Focaccia-1

This recipe is a Cooking Club Classic (Hostess: TK; Theme: Pumpkin; Date: 10.15.06). I look forward to each fall, when I buy a sugar pumpkin or two, and prepare pumpkin puree to have on hand and bake a few dishes. Although the recipe is titled “focaccia,” it is not at all like a traditional focaccia with herbs and tomatoes and fingerprint indentations. I would describe it more as a sweet bread, and the gruyère adds a savory tang. This bread gets rave reviews and friends often ask me for my secret.

It is so satisfying to make bread from scratch – give it a try!

Pumpkin Gruyere Focaccia-3

Ingredients:

– 3/4 c warm water (100° to 110° – I measure temp with a standard meat thermometer)
– 1/3 c brown sugar (measure when packed)
– 1 package dry yeast (about 2 + 1/4 tsp)
– 3 + 1/2 c flour, divided
– 3 T butter, melted
– 1 c pumpkin puree*
– 1 t salt
– 1/4 t ground nutmeg
– 3/4 c grated gruyère cheese (or more)
– cooking spray
– 1 t cornmeal

How do I make it?

  • Combine water, brown sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 cup flour and the melted butter to yeast mixture; stir just until combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place**, free from drafts, for 30 minutes.
  • Add pumpkin, salt, and nutmeg to flour mixture; stir until well combined. Add 2 1/4 cups flour and half of cheese; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes), or mix in stand mixer with dough hook for a few minutes; add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking (dough will feel just a little tacky).
  • Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, and spray the top of the dough as well. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape each half into an 8-inch circle. You can also make smaller loaves, or dinner roll size portions. Place dough circles on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over dough circles and press lightly to adhere. Lightly coat dough circles with cooking spray; cover and let rise 20 minutes (dough will not double in size). Don’t put it back in the oven for this last 20 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, preheat oven to 400°.
  • Uncover dough; bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until loaves are browned on the bottom and cheese melts (loosely place foil over the loaves to prevent overbrowning, if necessary). Cool on a wire rack.

* To make my own pumpkin puree, I cut a sugar pumpkin (the small ones) into chunks. I remove the seeds, and place it flesh-side up on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 8-10 minutes. The skin will remove easily, and the flesh will puree nicely in a food processor (I add a little water while pureeing if it seems too thick). {Also see this recent post on How to Make Pumpkin Puree}

** To create this magical place to let the bread rise, I set a rack on the lowest track in the oven – which is OFF. I set a glass baking dish on the rack, and pour a kettle full of boiling water into the dish. It is pretty fool-proof: the steam helps the dough rise and I do not worry about drafts.

Original link: http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/best-pumpkin-recipes-00400000058808/page6.html

Chicken Burgers {Portobello, Edamame, Red Onion}

2 Sep

Chicken Burgers 3

In this recipe, you make your own ground chicken. Are you both intrigued by, and skeptical of, that statement? I admit that I would have been, before I first processed my own meat. I promise you though: a food processor will make short work of chicken breasts; add a few mix-ins and you have a healthy, fast dinner with a complex taste.

This recipe uses a bit less meat than a normal burger, but I promise you it will be filling; it is a great way to trick yourself (or others) into a healthier dinner. If you have a food processor, you can assemble the ingredients in 5 minutes, and cooking only takes about 10 minutes more. Chicken burgers are a great option to assemble on a Sunday and then toss on the grill or range on a Monday night.

Ingredients:

1 portobello cap, roughly chopped in to pieces that are about 2″ x 2″
– 1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped into a few pieces
– 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed {this has always been confusing to me, so I will clarify – “shelled” means “not in the shell”; to thaw, just pour the edamame into a bowl, and cover with very warm water for a minute}
– 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 oz each), roughly cut in to pieces that are about 2″ x 2″
– 1-2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
– 1/4 t cayenne pepper {add a bit more if you like spicy food!}

How do I make it?

  • In a food processor, process mushroom cap, onion, edamame, and garlic until finely chopped – this should take only a few pulses.
  • Add chicken, soy sauce and cayenne. Pulse until chicken is chopped and ingredients are combined – this should only take a few pulses as well.
  • Empty the mixture into a bowl, divide the mixture in half, and form each half into 2 patties, for 4 total patties (or more, if you would like to make sliders).
  • Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the pan is heated, add a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  • When the oil is heated, swirl it around the pan, and add the patties. When the burgers look like the outside is a little more than halfway cooked (the cooked carmelization creeps toward the top, and the bottom is a pretty-but-not-burned brown}, flip the burgers. This should be about 5 minutes. I recommend spraying the pan with cooking spray while you are flipping and the burger is off the pan.
  • Lower the heat to medium and cook on the second side until the bottom browns. This should be about another 5 minutes.
  • At this point, the burger should be done, but until you are confident in your timing, I strongly recommend sacrificing one of the burgers and cutting it in half, checking to ensure all the chicken has turned white.
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce, or with lettuce, tomato, and avocado slices on whole wheat buns. Or top with hummus, like avocado hummus {recipe coming soon!} and eat it on its own.

Chicken Burgers 4

More information please?

One of the reasons I like to process my own chicken to make ground chicken is that it gives me control over what I am eating. I can buy certified organic boneless chicken breasts when/if they are on sale, and trim off the little pieces that I find unappetizing. I am happier when I know what I am eating!

If you don’t have a food processor, you need to chop the mushroom, onion, and edamame as small as possible – and use pre-ground chicken.

Chicken Burgers 2

Original link: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2013/03/spicy-chicken-burgers

Serve with:

Cucumber - Avocado Salad Food_013_How to: Roast Asparagus

Bagel Bake {Bagel + Egg Overnight Casserole}

24 Aug

Bagel Bake 1When my friend from law school SYH heard I started a blog, her first question was, “Is the Bagel Bake on there?! Tell me the Bagel Bake is on there.” She had had the bagel bake once, over four and a half years before. The Bagel Bake was also proclaimed by Bachelorette MMH to be her favorite.

It is just that kind of awesome.

With just those two examples, you can see that the Bagel Bake has become a fan-favorite among my friends. I discovered this recipe many years ago, and since then, one delicious weekend morning at a time, it has become a staple at most brunch-type gatherings where I have any input into the menu. It is easy and satisfying, has a wide appeal, and can be altered a bit to suit your tastes. And you prepare it the night before! Who wants to cook first thing in the morning after a night of merriment? Not I.

If you take just a few minutes to assemble these ingredients tonight, THIS will be on your table tomorrow morning with no hassle at all. Planning on needing to shake off the cobwebs from an awesome night? Serve with some coffee (aka the most asked-for brunch item at MH’s Bachelorette Bash) and fruit, and you will be set for the day (because you will continue to snack on this all day – I assure you).

Bagel Bake 2

Ingredients:
– 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled or chopped
– 1/2 – 1 c diced sweet onion, cooked in a bit of extra virgin olive oil (or a bit of bacon grease) until softened and starting to turn brown
– 3 bagels, any type, sliced into pieces thinner than halves (depending on the size of the bagels and how you slice them, you may want to have a few more on hand)
– 1 c shredded cheddar cheese (or put the ends of a variety of cheeses left over from a cheese platter through the shredding disc on your food processor and use that!)
– 12 eggs (this can be changed up to substitute some egg whites for whole eggs. But I recommend at least 10 eggs total – 2 egg whites count for one whole egg)
– 2 c skim milk
– 2 t chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
– 1/4 t freshly ground pepper
– 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

How do I make it?

  • Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Arrange 6 bagel slices to cover the bottom – it is fine if you have to rip them to make sure they fit. I like to put the bottoms of the bagels on the bottom of the pan.
  • Cover the bagel slices with the bacon, the onion, and the 1 c cheese. Top with the remaining bagel slices.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and pepper, and add the parsley and stir to distribute.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bagels. Press down on the bagels so they soak up the egg and milk.
  • Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  • When you are ready to bake it in the morning, remove it from the refrigerator and press down on the bagels again. Let it come to room temperature a bit while you preheat the oven to 400.
  • Bake until the eggs set, about 45 minutes. It will puff up and brown and look awesome. You won’t be able to wait to eat it, but use a spatula to press down in the middle to make sure the eggs are not runny.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve it up!

More information please?

While the recipe calls for bacon and onions, when entertaining for a crowd, sometimes I only put the bacon and onions on half, so vegetarians or the non-onion crew can also enjoy. It takes no more time to do so, you just sprinkle the good stuff bacon and onions over half. You could also add spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, or other small chopped vegetables you have on hand. I would add them raw; they are in the oven for up to an hour, so they will cook during that time.

Bagel Bake 3

Original link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bagel-and-Cheese-Bake/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Thumb&e11=bagel%20and%20cheese%20bake&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe%20Search%20Results

Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Casserole

9 Aug

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What started out as a simple request for breakfast pastries and a late-night treat turned in to a whirlwind weekend of family-style brunches, and plentiful finger foods and snacks (and breakfast pastries and many late-night treats). In the end, the weekend was filled with as many laughs as calories. {Do not be dissuaded – this recipe is healthy!}

To celebrate the upcoming nuptuals of the sparkly and delightful MMH, we, her nearest and dearest, rented a house in a quaint vacation town, and did it up right. If I could start every day of my life seated at a long farm-style table surrounded by a dozen laughing friends, with warm, sweet and savory filling brunches and coffee flowing like it would not quit – I guarantee I would do it. Two such days last weekend will have to suffice for now, I suppose! Most other details from the weekend will stay in the vault.

The Quinoa Casserole was a dark horse. Originally planned as an experimental dish for our gluten-free crew, I figured one 8 x 8 pan would last them for two mornings, supplemented with roasted potatoes and fruit. Negative. The whole group could not get enough of it, and we had one pan each morning – in addition to a plethora of other dishes {stay tuned for more recipes!} – and everyone dug in. If you have eggs, milk, quinoa, and some sort of green vegetable, you will be loving this in an hour. It is a great way to start – or end – the day. I just made one for dinner!

Quinoa Casserole 4

Ingredients:
– 1/2 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
– 8 eggs {it would work to use just 7 eggs, or 6 eggs and 4 egg whites, but I do not recommend a higher ratio of egg whites than that}
– 1 1/4 c skim milk
– 1 T minced garlic
– 1 t chopped thyme, or 1/2 t dried thyme {I have also added 1 T pesto – experiment with different herbs and flavors!}
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 2 c packed baby spinach, roughly chopped {I have also added 1/2 c chopped raw broccoli, and had there not been a slight preference by the crowd against mushrooms and onions … sauteed mushrooms and onions probably would have made their way in}
– shredded, grated, or shaved Parmesan-Reggiano cheese {definitely experiment with other cheeses!}

How do I make it?

  • Preheat oven to 350. Although, there were no numbers on the stove (next time I will also tie one hand behind my back), so I think anything from 350-400 would be fine.
  • Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with olive oil spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the vegetables and cheese.
  • Stir in the vegetables (don’t use the whisk – they will get stuck!), and pour mixture into prepared pan.
  • Cover the pan tightly with foil, then rock the pan a bit so the quinoa settles toward the bottom.
  • Bake just until the eggs set – it will look a little puffy, and no liquid should remain on top of the middle of the pan. This should take about 45 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and sprinkle the top evenly with cheese to your taste. Return the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes more, until the cheese is brown and crisp.
  • As soon as it cools a bit, slice and serve!

Quinoa Casserole 3Original link: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/quinoa-egg-bake-thyme-and-garlic

Aaaaannnd, your moment of zen:

Quinoa Casserole 2

Chocolate – Hazelnut Spread

6 Jul

ChocHazelnut Spr_017_One night in law school, I had plans to go out for frozen yogurt with a friend. She called about a half hour before to ask if I was ready, and I looked at the spoon in my hand sheepishly. “Um, I think I can’t go for ice cream. There was an incident … involving a jar of Nutella … and a spoon.” I am thankful that my sometimes uncanny memory is not letting me remember how much Nutella I actually had that fateful day, but suffice it to say, I always want more Nutella.

People routinely ask me how I can cook and bake so much and not eat entire roasts and cakes. I always answer that I have just convinced myself that I can’t eat an entire batch of whatever, if I want to live a reasonably healthy life. There are a few things I make, though, that push my willpower to the max. This Chocolate – Hazelnut Spread is one of those dangerous recipes. Accordingly, I highly recommend two things, if you are going to make this recipe.

  1. Have plans later that day (lest you stay home and finish the 3 CUPS that this recipe yields), and
  2. Have some jars on hand (like those pictured in this post, which were under $2 at the Container Store), to pass on the love to your friends.

With those disclaimers, on to the good stuff!

Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
– 1 c hazelnuts (may be called “filberts” at the store)
– 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli bars – they are so thin that they are easy to chop and melt)
– 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
– 1 can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free – hey, every bit helps, right?)
– pinch of kosher salt
– small pot of boiling water

How do I make it?

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • In a medium ovenproof skillet, melt 1 T of the butter. Add the hazelnuts and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until they just start to brown, about 3  -5 minutes.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the nuts for 5 – 10 minutes, until the skins blister. Keep an eye on them! It’s ok if they get a little dark – this will help you get the skins off later.
  • Transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub off the skins. I worked in batches and had to transfer to about 4 kitchen towels (the skins stick to the towels), so have a few on hand just in case. By the time you’re done, the nuts should be cool. If you’re super-fast and they are not yet cool, let them sit until they are.
  • In a food processor, combine the hazelnuts with both chocolates and process until the nuts are finely chopped and the chocolate just begins to melt. It will melt just from being processed. This took only about 30 seconds for me, but may take a bit longer depending on the chocolate you use.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the sweetened condensed milk with the salt until hot. This will not take long – maybe 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add the hot sweetened condensed milk and process until incorporated.
  • Add the remaining 7 T of butter and process until smooth.
  • Add boiling water, 1 T at a time. Process until creamy and delicious! If you have to taste it along the way, for “quality assurance,” I promise you I will understand.

ChocHazelnut Spr Square

More info please?

You should keep this refrigerated once made. If it is cold and you want to thin it out a bit for spreading, just add a little boiling water and stir. You won’t be watering it down, I promise! Just add a tiny bit at a time.

Original link: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/hazelnut-chocolate-spread

ChocHazelnut Spr_020_

A very special thanks to ARB for her help with the VERY difficult task of selecting the right pictures for this post!