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FRITTATA: Potato, Leek, Pepper, Mushroom & Cheese

FRITTATA

This version of an Italian omelette makes for a quick breakfast that will fuel you and your family for the day ahead, and it’s also ideal for lunch, or for dinner by adding a green salad, and crusty bread.

Ingredients:

4 medium potatoes (Yukon gold or russet), peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups leeks (thinly sliced)
1 pepper (orange, yellow or red), diced
1 zucchini (yellow or green), sliced
8 oz provolone cheese (you may use cheddar, mozzarella, or any cheese you like), diced
2 TBSP chives, minced
8 large eggs
1 cup egg whites
2 TBSP parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

  • Boil the potato slices for 5 minutes, then drain well and pat dry with paper towel
  • Heat an iron skillet (or a non-stick, oven proof pan) over medium-high heat, and add enough oil to cover the bottom (about 2 TBSP). Once oil is heated, add the potato slices, season well with salt and pepper, and cook until potatoes are a golden brown, then remove potatoes from pan and set aside.
  • Return pan to medium-high heat, add a bit more oil then saute mushrooms, peppers, and leeks, seasoning this mixture with salt to taste.
  • Once these vegetables are cooked (al dente), remove from heat and set aside.
  • Add eggs and egg whites in a large bowl, plus 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. of freshly ground pepper, and whisk together well. Once all whisked, add the chives.
  • Turn heat on low, line the bottom of your skillet with potato slices, then slices of zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and leek mixture, then pour the egg mixture evenly to cover the whole surface of skillet.
  • Dot the cheese cubes on top, spreading evenly, and then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese all over.
  • Put the pan in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the surface has set. You can check with a fork to ensure eggs are cooked all the way through.
  • Remove from oven when cooked, let it cool for 5 minutes, then loosen the frittata with a spatula, and slide it onto a cutting board.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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It’s a Kneady Time of the Year

Few things in life are more comforting during cool, crispy weather than fluffy socks, soft lounge-wear, favorite background music (Beatles, Michael Buble, Rod Stewart, Ed Sheeran for me) and the scent of freshly baked goods.

 

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ITALIAN BUNS

This warm and cozy bread recipe will guarantee that you’ll be
complimented on your hot buns.

 

 

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup + 3 TBSP water (tepid at 100 – 110 F)
  • 3/4 tsp. honey
  • 2 cups bread flour (if you don’t have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 TBSP. olive oil (plus more for brushing)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add water and honey to a small bowl, and stir so that the honey is incorporated with the water, then sprinkle the yeast on top of water, and let set for 5 minutes (or until yeast has foamed). Stir well.
  2. Add flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk together, then make a well in the middle. If you don’t have a stand mixer, do the exact same thing, using a large bowl.
  3. Add the water, honey, yeast mixture to the middle of the flour mixture.
  4. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment and turn on medium, and let it knead until the dough forms a ball. If there is dough on the sides, simply scrape it off and let it continue kneading for 10 minutes. If you are not using a stand mixer, then knead with your hands on a floured board and knead. About 15 minutes.


    NOTE: Here is how you can check if your dough needs more kneading.
    Indent the dough with your fingertip, if the indentation fills back quickly, you’re dough has been kneaded enough and you’re ready to let it rise.

    If it stays looking like a deep dimple, continue kneading.

  5. Lightly oil (with olive oil) a large bowl, then form the dough into a ball, then roll the dough in the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm draft-free area for 1.5 – 2 hours, the dough should be doubled in bulk.

    NOTE: I let the dough rise in the oven with the oven light on.

  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then punch down the dough, form the dough into 12 balls, keeping the rest of the dough covered as you form the balls
  7. Place dough balls on the baking sheet, cover, and let rise in a warm draft-free area for 1 hour (or until doubled in size).
  8. Preheat oven to 400F
  9. Brush each dough ball with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. The buns should be golden, and you can tell if they are cooked by tapping the bottom of the bun—it should sound hollow.
  10. Once baked, remove from oven and put on a cooling rack. Can be enjoyed cooled or warm.

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It’s tangy, hearty, classic & comforting.

 

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Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

This meatless take on a classic comfort food is not only hearty, but it’s filled with robust flavors and you will not miss the meat.

 

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INGREDIENTS:

For Potatoes

  • 3 lbs (8-9 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP table salt
  • sea-salt to taste
  • dash of fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Add potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling add 2 TBSP of salt, and cook until potatoes are tender.
  • Drain well then return potatoes to the pot.
  • Add buttermilk and butter to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Add sea-salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, give it a good stir to mix the seasoning in and set aside.

For Vegetables

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • TBSP butter
  • 2 pounds mushrooms (Portobella are meaty and good ones to use), cut into cubes
  • 1 small Vidalia onion (or any other sweet onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable, chicken or beef, your choice)
  • sea-salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat oven to 350F
  • In a saute pan, heat oil and add mushrooms along with 1/2 tsp. salt, and make sure you don’t overcrowd the mushrooms, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • To the mushroom pan, add: onion, carrots, parsley, rosemary and season with 1/4 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in: minced garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle flour over this mixture, stirring to coat all the vegetables and let cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add broth, peas, corn and stir for 5 minutes.
  • Turn heat off and spoon the vegetables in a casserole dish.
  • Top with the mashed potatoes in an even layer. (If you want, you could add a few dollops of butter on top of the mashed potatoes.)
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the broiler on and broil for 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A threesome guaranteed to please.

When life hands you lemons, simply add rosemary and olive oil—best threesome you’ll experience for the taste buds. For an extra kick and spice things up in the kitchen even more, chili peppers joins the threesome.

 

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Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Loaf

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup un-bleached flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, beaten
2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup boiling water
1 lemon, (grate it to get the rinds, and squeeze for the lemon juice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 to 2 tsp. cayenne or chili peppers (this is optional, if you like some spice with the sweet)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 F

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, or if you don’t want to use parchment paper, lightly grease the pan

Pour the boiling water in a bowl then add the lemon rind, and let sit until the water is cool.

When the water is cool, add the beaten egg, white sugar, brown sugar, lemon extract and olive oil, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, add: flour, baking soda, salt (and if you’re using any chili peppers this is where you would add them in), and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend well.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center.

This loaf is delicious with or without a glaze. If you want to kick up the sweetness a notch, then while your loaf is baking, mix together 2 cups of icing (confectioners’) sugar and 1/3 cup of lemon juice, until smooth.

When loaf is baked, let sit for five minutes, then drizzle with the lemon glaze.

 

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Have a date with a sweet loaf.

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This exotic fruit is not only deliciously sweet, it is also packed with a plethora of health benefits, from lowering cholesterol, adding protein to your diet, rich in vitamins and fiber, to promoting digesting.

You can enjoy a few a day instead of candy (seriously, they do taste like candy) or you can bake with them.

 

Nutty Date Loaf Bread

 

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup chopped dried dates
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 cup nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans—any nut you enjoy, your choice)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 350F

Lightly grease a loaf pan.

In a bowl, mix together; dates, coconut oil and boiling water, then set aside and let it cool. Once cooled (make sure it is cooled as you don’t want to cook the egg), mix in the beaten egg and white and brown sugars, and mix until mixture is smooth and creamy.

In a separate bowl, mix together; flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt, mix well.

Add dry ingredients to the wet bowl, and blend.

Add nuts and vanilla, and blend well.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes (toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center).

Chocolate Heaven in a Cupcake

Get your Irish on to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (or any day) with these rich, divine, chocolaty, sweet, spicy, salty and Guinnessy cupcakes.

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

 

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Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Guinness (any beer will do, but Guinness is highly recommended)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnaom
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 slices of bacon

 

Directions for Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 325F

Line muffin tin regular-size cupcake liners (recipe makes 24 cupcakes).

Turn stove top element on medium heat, and add beer and butter in a saucepan and whisk together until the butter is all melted.

Once butter is melted, remove from heat.

In a bowl, add: sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa and add sugar, cinnamon and ginger to the cocoa, then slowly whisk the cocoa/sugar mixture into the beer mixture in the saucepan, and keep whisking. (The mixture will look lumpy, and that’s okay).

In another bowl, sift flour and baking soda together and then add it to the saucepan mixture.

Mix it all together, until the mixture looks like an even chocolaty color.

Fill the cupcake liners (about three-quarters full with batter).

Bake for 27 – 30 minutes (until the center of cupcake comes out dry when tested with a toothpick).

While cupcakes are baking, cook 6 slices of bacon until crispy, then blot with paper towel, let cool and then crumble and set aside.

Once cupcakes are baked, let them cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup un-salted butter, softened
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups icing (confectionery) sugar
  • 6 TBSP cream
  • pinch of salt

Directions for Buttercream Icing:

Beat the butter until it’s light and creamy, you want a smooth, creamy consistency, then add the icing sugar, until it is all incorporated.

Add the cream and a pinch of salt, incorporate the cream into the mixture.

Add the vanilla then keep mixing until icing is fluffy and thoroughly combined.

Pipe each cupcake with icing, and sprinkle crumbled bacon on top.

 

 

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Souper easy & delicious #recipe #crockpot

Show your crock pot some love and whip up a batch of soup laden with a sprinkling of sexy spices, healthy protein, and a super carbs for those lunches and dinners when you want to swing the vegetarian way.

 

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Sweet Potato, Chickpea, White Beans & Spinach Soup

 

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Ingredients:

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cans of chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1 can of white kidney beans (or canelli beans) (drained and rinsed)
1 Vidalia onion (or sweet onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 cups broth (your choice, vegetable, chicken or beef)
5 cups of fresh baby spinach
2 TBSP. freshly squeezed lime juice
5 tsp. Kosher salt
3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. olive oil

(Optional) If you like it spicy, then add some chili flakes or hot sauce.

Directions:

1. Heat a small pan and add the oil to heat up, then saute the onion and garlic until they are transparent.

2. Transfer garlic and onion to crock pot and add: sweet potatoes, chick peas, white kidney beans, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, broth, salt and pepper.

3. Stir all ingredients well.

4. Cooking times: High for 4 hours – OR –  Low  for 7 hours

5. Once it’s finished cooking, unplug the crock pot, turn it off and add the baby spinach leaves and lime.

6. Stir and serve.

This recipe freezes well and also keeps in the fridge for a few days.

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