Spring Fritatta

Spring Fritatta

This is perfect for a spring brunch! You can make any vegetable variation. I used an 11 inch skillet.

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, use 8 eggs for a 12-inch skillet
  • ¼ cup milk (or soy, rice, almond)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli or broccolini
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 C cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400.

Whisk eggs, milk and salt, set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10 or 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

Add the broccoli, and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender but still bright green, 5 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms and cook until tender.

Add the egg mixture and gently shake the pan to distribute. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the eggs are set. Season to taste and serve.

Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos

These really need no explanation. Super quick for a week night. We made this the meal as it was so filling we did not need the main dish!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (I used half a can)
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, or a combination (2 cups shredded or more)
  • 1 small jalapeño (optional)
  • 1 pound rotisserie chicken meat (from a 4 to 5-pound chicken) or cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 cup salsa (I used a combo of Chunky and Peach Salsa)
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag restaurant-style tortilla chips (I used Blue Corn)
  • Guacamole for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Prepare the following, keeping them separate: Drain and rinse 1 can black beans. Drain 1 can sliced black olives. Thinly slice 1 small jalapeño, if using.
  3. Shred 1 pound cooked chicken into a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup salsa and toss to combine, use the remaining to add where needed.
  4. Build the nachos: arrange about half of a 16-ounce bag of tortilla chips on the baking sheet in an even layer. Top with half of the seasoned chicken and a handful of shredded cheese and some of the beans. Layer the remaining chips on top, followed by the remaining chicken, beans and cheese as the last layer.

Apple Crumb Bars

Apple Crumb Bars

This came together quickly and is so wonderful. My husband had clients in and I had to make something quick
and this was perfect! Since I was in a rush I did not take a lot of photos. But trust me this is good!
Crumbly, buttery and perfect for a cold day or even breakfast. From the blog The View from the Great Island.

Ingredients

crumble

  • 3/4 cup ( 96 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 Tbsp  (85 grams) unsalted cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts (pulse in a food processor)

base

  • 3 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced, this will be under a pound after slicing
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) milk or cream
  • 1 1/4 cups (178 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9×9 baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, if you like.
  • Put the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and blend everything together with your fingertips until there is no more raw flour.
  • Make sure to break down any large clumps of butter so there is a somewhat uniform crumbly texture. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, along with the milk or cream.
  • Spoon the batter in to the pan, and smooth out evenly.
  • Top with the sliced apples. There’s no need to arrange them precisely, but try to get them in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Lay a loose layer of foil over the top if the crumble is browning too quickly.
English Muffin Toasting Bread

English Muffin Toasting Bread

This is from a King Arthur Flour recipe. This bread comes together very quickly. About an hour and a half, start to finish. One of the easiest breads I have ever made and SO good. My friend Elizabeth shared this recipe with me. The fabulous thermometer shown below is one of her Pampered Chef items that I find myself using all the time. https://www.pamperedchef.com/pws/eatinwithe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Unbleached flour (King Arthur) 
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9g) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon fast rising yeast
  • 1 cup (227g) milk
  • 1/4 cup (57g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil
  • cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Be sure to stir the liquid well before measuring its temperature; you want an accurate reading. If you don’t have a thermometer, the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.
  3. Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. 
  4. Using an electric beater, or stand mixer with beater attachment, beat at high speed for 1 minute; the dough will be smooth and very soft. If you don’t have an electric mixer, beat by hand for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and starting to become elastic.
  5. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
  6. Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
  7. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn’t be more than, say, 1/4″ over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn’t very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  8. Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, till it’s golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

Butter Chicken

This has a lot of ingredients and steps but it is actually really easy. I made it on a work night and had left overs for the next night. I will be making again! Adapted from Milk Street. I halved this recipe and it was perfect for us. Serve with Basmati rice. I broiled the chicken but you could also grill to get the chicken a bit more charred. If you wanted to go vegetarian you could maybe try grilled eggplant, or tofu.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons garam masala, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut crosswise into 3 strips
  • 1 cup roasted salted cashews
  • 4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into 2 pieces, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, paprika, cayenne, 3 tablespoons garam masala, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon ginger and 2 teaspoons salt. Add the chicken and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the broiler element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, set a wire rack in the baking sheet and mist it with cooking spray. In a blender, puree the cashews with 3/4 cup water until smooth, about a minute. (You can also use creamy cashew or peanut butter). Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of ginger and the garlic, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon garam masala and the remaining 1 tablespoon cumin. Add the cashew puree and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and 2 cups chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick enough to heavily coat a spoon, 12-14 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Arrange the chicken, with its marinade still clinging to it, in an even layer on the prepared rack. Broil until well browned and lightly charred on both sides, 15-20 minutes, flipping the pieces once about halfway through. Transfer to the sauce, bring to a simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the cilantro and line juice, let stand for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve over rice.

Amish Sugar Cookies

Amish Sugar Cookies

A SUPER simple, wonderful cookie just in time for Christmas. I like these better than the traditional rolled sugar cookies. These would be great to make with kids. You could add sprinkles (but they don’t need it!) Chai powder, lime or lemon or other flavorings. These are, to quote Robert Palmer, “simply irresistible”. Thank you to my Cousin Judy for sharing her recipe. I used a small ice cream scoop to make the rounded shape but a spoon would work, too. Adapted from Taste of Home.

The dough must be thoroughly chilled. No short-cuts. Completely chilled dough is a must.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, oil, and sugars until combined.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  4. In two additions, add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined. Do not overmix. Dough will be kinda fluffy and light!
  5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookie, or until edges and bottoms are lightly browned.
  8. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Recipe Notes

These are good for at least a week, but best within the first 3-4 days. After a few days, they get crumbly and a bit on the drier side – still a delicious cookie though. 

These freeze really well!

Pumpkin Empanadas

These make a wonderful appetizer. Or dessert, a little like a hand pie. They are sweet and you can make them a bit more savory by reducing the brown sugar. They are addicting. Adapted from By Tablespoon Kitchens

Ingredients

Pastry Dough:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons ice cold water
1 egg

Pumpkin Filling:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg (for egg wash)

Directions

Set oven to 425 °F.

In mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Add butter and mix with beater until well blended. Add vegetable shortening; mix. Stir in water and egg and beat until well blended. The dough should stick together when held in your hand. Place mixture in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling: In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in the brown sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved into the butter. Stir in pumpkin and cinnamon. Stir over heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and place pumpkin mixture in refrigerator to cool off completely. Filling must be cooled.

Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Take chilled pastry dough out of refrigerator and divide it in half. Return the remaining half to refrigerator. Divide dough you have into 6 balls. On a floured board or table, roll each ball into a circle with a rolling pin. Fill each circle with about 2 tablespoons cooled pumpkin filling. Fold one side of circle over and press down on the edges. You must press edges together to keep filling from running out. Take the remaining egg and put it into a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of water and beat. With pastry brush, brush egg wash on top of each empanada.

Place the first 6 empanadas on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until they are golden and the edges are lightly browned.

Take the rest of the pastry dough out of the refrigerator and follow the same instructions. When you are finished, you should have 12 empanadas.

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This was so good, I wanted to just eat it straight from the bowl. Warmed up perfectly. I am always strapped for time on Thanksgiving and doing anything ahead, is, well, gravy…I think I adapted this from My Italian Kitchen blog.

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Ingredients

  • 2 turkey thighs
  • aromatics, garlic, carrot, onion, celery, sage, thyme
  • 3 boxes of turkey stock or chicken, low sodium
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE GRAVY:

  • one half cup plus probably a couple more tablespoons all purpose flour if you can find it, if not, regular all purpose flour would be fine also
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of Gravy Master or gravy Bouquet it should be found in the spice aisle. (optional)

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375.F place turkey thighs in a baking dish, not too deep, salt and pepper the parts and add aromatics like garlic, celery, onion and herbs.

Drizzle with olive oil and pour a little broth in the bottom of the pan.

Roast for maybe 1- 1½ hours or until nicely golden brown.

Transfer everything into a stock pot, all the veggies, turkey and every bit of those drippings.

Add enough stock to cover the parts, I added 2 boxes of turkey stock, but you can also use a mix with water or chicken stock. Don’t drown it just cover it, add in some salt and pepper.

Let it simmer slowly for around two hours partially covered, you’ll see the meat fall off all the bones and the veggies will be super soft and fall apart.

Let it cool down a bit then take a mesh strainer over a large bowl and throughly strain all the turkey and veggie contents, pressing down with the back of a spoon to help get all those tasty drippings into the bowl, take your time and let it all drip down.

Place strained broth/drippings into containers and refrigerate overnight so the fat can rise to the top.

MAKING THE GRAVY;

Skim the fat off the top of your broth before starting to make your gravy.

You’ll need two saucepans, one to warm up your broth so it’s not ice cold then a separate one you place the stick of butter into to melt.

When butter is melted whisk in ½ cup of flour, and keep whisking until it’s nice and golden about a minute or two, then pour the warm broth in and keep whisking until its thickened to your liking. I ended up putting 2 additional heaping tablespoons of flour into mine. In a separate small bowl I placed the additional flour and enough water to make a non lumpy consistency then poured and whisked it into my gravy mixture to make it thicker which I needed.

Taste for additional salt and peeper if needed.

At this point you can refrigerate the gravy into a container in the fridge a few days before Thanksgiving or just freeze it and take it out to defrost the day before Thanksgiving, either way just heat up and serve while the turkey is resting and being sliced. The fuss and mess will be done ahead of time for you and you’ll will be stress free at the crucial time before eating on the big day.

Bread Stuffing

Bread Stuffing

I can’t believe it is almost time to think about Thanksgiving. A lot of us won’t be traveling home or gathering with our loved ones. I think the holidays will look a bit different for most of us. When I started writing this post last year after Thanksgiving it was with the thought of making it for people gathered around my table. So this year, while I may be making it for just my little family of three, last year I loved this so much I wanted to write it down before I forgot. Being able to make part of this ahead of time was a game changer. It was some of the best stuffing I have made. Adapted from New York Times.

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INGREDIENTS

  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 6 to 8 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (I used a baguette)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or sage, crumbled
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chicken or turkey broth
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

PREPARATION

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large, deep skillet, Dutch oven or casserole. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add celery and cook about 5 minutes. Add nuts and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add bread crumbs and tarragon or sage and toss to mix. Turn heat to low. Add salt, pepper and scallions. Toss again; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add parsley and stir. Turn off heat. (You may prepare recipe in advance up to this point; refrigerate, well wrapped or in a covered container, for up to a day before proceeding.) Before cooking toss with the chicken broth.
  3. Roast in an ovenproof glass or enameled casserole for about 45 minutes, at 350 to 400 degrees; you can bake this dish next to the bird, if you like. (Or you can cook it up to 3 days in advance and warm it up right before dinner.)
Butternut Squash, Pine nut and Sage Risotto

Butternut Squash, Pine nut and Sage Risotto

This was adapted from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook. Autumn makes me want to start cooking with all the wonderful squash that starts appearing on the shelves. I roasted the squash which I thought brought out the flavor. It also called for Hazelnuts but I though pine nuts worked perfectly (and what I had in the pantry). This could be a vegetarian main dish with a salad but pairs perfectly with a grilled pork tenderloin or Chicken.


Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
  • 5 tsp. chopped fresh sage or 1 Tbs dried sage
  • 4 Tbs toasted pine nuts (or hazelnuts)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Put butternut squash in a bowl, toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast squash for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender and getting caramelized.

In a medium, heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and sauté the onion, stirring frequently, until it is soft and light brown, about 10 minutes.

In a medium, heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and sauté the onion, stirring frequently, until it is soft and light brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until a white spot appears in the center of the grains, about 1 minute. Add the wine and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the broth, adjust the heat to simmer, if needed, so that the liquid bubbles and is absorbed slowly. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the liquid 3/4 cup at a time and stirring almost constantly, until the rice starts to soften, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking, adding the liquid 1/2 cup at a time and stirring almost constantly, until the rice is just tender but slightly firm in the center and the mixture is creamy, about 10 minutes more.

Add the roasted squash, Parmesan cheese, 3 Tbs. of the nuts, the pepper and salt. Stir to mix well.

To serve, spoon the risotto into a serving bowl or onto plates. Garnish with the remaining 1 Tbs. fresh sage, if using, and the remaining 1 Tbs. nuts.