Egg Bake

We just got back from a wonderful few days at Seabrook and have to share two of the recipes that our good friends Jeremy and Shelly brought. This one is an egg bake. It’s got a few steps, but it’s pretty simple to throw together… and worth it! The ultimate one-dish breakfast casserole! It’s excellent left over, and you could even get saucy and put it in a tortilla!

1 package round tater tots
10 eggs
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 package Jimmy Dean sausage (optional, or substitute ham)
1 package sausage or country gravy mix (Durkee is good)
1-1.5 cups cheddar cheese

Put frozen tater tots into a 13 X 9 greased pan. Mix eggs and milk, and pour over tots.

If using sausage, cook it and sprinkle it over the eggs.

Make one packet of gravy. The trick is not to let it get too thick, so it pours easily. Pour over the tots and eggs (and meat if added).

Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top (use 1-1.5 cups) and then cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes.Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes to get it golden brown.

Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche

Hudson had his first sleepover last night, so I took the opportunity to make a savory breakfast. (Hudson can only abide by sweets for breakfast.) It was easy, economical (the website said $6.19 for the whole thing) and delicious. I tweaked it by sauteing some summer squash and cooked, sliced turkey links with the mushrooms, and I replaced feta with the Swiss I had on hand. I barely measured a thing, and it came out great! I wasn’t shy with salt, which I think made it even better. 
Serves: 6

8 oz. fresh mushrooms
½ tsp minced garlic
Non-stick spray
1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 oz. feta cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan
½ cup shredded mozzarella
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If your frozen spinach is not already thawed, thaw it in the microwave. Empty the box into a colander and let it drain while you begin to prepare the rest.

Quickly rinse the mushrooms and slice them thinly. Place the sliced mushrooms in a skillet coated with non-stick spray, add the minced garlic, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-high and saute the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture and no more water remains on the bottom of the skillet (5-7 minutes). Note this is a place to get creative. with other veggies and/or crumbled sausage or bacon.

Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray. Squeeze the rest of the water out of the spinach and spread it out on the bottom of the pie dish. Next add the cooked mushrooms and crumbled feta. (Since I used swiss, I added a large dash of seasoned salt to the spinach.)

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs until fairly smooth. Add the milk, parmesan, and another small sprinkle of pepper. Whisk to combine. (This step can be completed while the mushrooms are cooking) Pour this mixture into the pie dish over the spinach, mushrooms, and feta.

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over top. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet for easy transfer into the oven. Place the quiche into the preheated oven and bake until it is golden brown on top and the center is solid. Every oven is different but this should take between 45 minutes and an hour. (Mine took about 50 minutes.) Slice and serve!

Adapted from Budget Bytes

Kid-Friendly Salmon

I came home tonight, and my husband had cooked this salmon. We’re always trying to eat more fish, but gosh it’s hard. I thought it was delicious, and my son even took a couple bites! Success!!

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbls. vegetable oil
2 tbls. brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. salmon fillet cut into four pieces (individually frozen salmon is great for this!)

In a small baking dish, combine the soy sauce, oil, brown sugar and garlic; mix well. Place salmon in the baking dish, coating with sauce mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cook in skillet for 1-2 minutes per side, and finish in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. (Or just cook 3-5 minutes per side in the skillet.)

Peanut Butter Balls

My friend Jen brought these to my cookie party, and it originally came from my friend Allison. Love a recipe that is good enough to get passed around! They were a hit at my cookie party and with my husband! I think the Rice Krispies are the secret ingredient that takes them over the top! 

1 stick butter (slightly melted)
1 box powdered sugar
2 cups peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
2 packages semi sweet or milk chocolate chips ( I use ghiradelli or guittard)

Mix butter,powdered sugar, peanut butter, and Rice Krispies together to form 1″ balls. Melt chocolate chips on low heat in double broiler. (I refrigerate the balls about 30 min. because it makes them easier to dip.) Dip and cool on wax paper. Place in individual mini muffin cups for display. They will stay in the fridge a up to 2 weeks.

Canyon Ranch Oatmeal Cookies

The dangerous thing about being at Canyon Ranch is that everything is so light, you never want to skip dessert! But their cookies are really delicious, and I was fascinated to find that they have cream cheese. How bad can they be?

¼ cup unsalted butter
⅓ cup low-fat cream cheese
1 cup brown sugar
1 lge egg yolk
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups rolled oats
¾ tsp aluminum-free baking powder
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with canola oil spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix briefly. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add to creamed mixture and mix until all dry ingredients are moistened and a dough forms.

Portion heaping teaspoonfuls of dough (about ¾ ounce) onto baking sheet about 1½ inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Lightly flatten with finger. Rotate baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes.

Canyon Ranch Almond Butter Delight

We just got back from Canyon Ranch, and I had something I had forgotten about. It’s easy,  good, light and satisfying on toast for breakfast. (It has 32 calories per tablespoon.)

1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ Tbsp honey
¼ cup almond butter (without added salt)

Combine all ingredients in a blender container and puree until smooth. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

Yummy Waffles

We have a brand new kindergartner starting school tomorrow, and so we started a new tradition in our house. We had breakfast for dinner. My college used to do this the night before finals, and everybody loved it. I make pancakes often, so we decided to kick it up a notch with some homemade waffles. I made some tweaks to the recipe I found online, and they were delicious!

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 T. white sugar
4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
In a blender, blend the egg whites until they are frothy. Then on low speed, add the oil, milk and vanilla, mixing briefly. Mix the dry ingredients separately, then mix again on low in the blender. (The point is to mix the egg whites on high, then mix the rest as little as possible so they stay fluffy.) Pour onto waffle iron, serving with whatever fixin’s you like! Enjoy!

Quick Cheddar Cheese Fondue

We had so much fun with Truman in town seeing us last week. After doing a little indoor skydiving, we went to Dave & Busters and had chocolate fondue. It was such a hit that the next night, we decided to make cheddar cheese fondue. It was loved by all! We served it with three kinds of bread (pretzel rolls, ciabatta and wheat bread), roasted potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli and squash (the veggies we had on hand) and chicken apple sausage. Do this with your kids for a really fun night!

Fondue Ingredients:
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Fondue Accompaniments:
Any kind of bread
Veggies
Chicken sausage

Toss the shredded cheddar cheese with cornstarch in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, whisk the milk, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg, stirring occasionally, until it is hot and begins to gently bubble. Using a whisk, gradually add in the cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth and bubbling. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Pour the mixture into a fondue pot or bread bowl. Serve immediately with accompaniments on fondue forks or skewers.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Cake
1 box devil’s food cake mix, such as Duncan Hines
1 c. water
3 eggs
1/3 c. corn oil (I used Canola)
1/3 c. sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Icing (could be halved)
1 12 oz. bag (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 c. sugar
2/3 c. milk
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º F. Butter 3 non-stick 8-inch cake pans with 1 1/2 inch sides.

To make the cake
Combine the cake mix, water, eggs, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer. Beat on low speed until the mixture is well blended. Increase the speed to medium if using a stand mixer (high for a hand mixer) and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a knife/toothpick inserted into the cneter of the cakes come out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely on the racks.
Or just pour the batter in a 9×13 and cook for about 28-30 minutes.

To Make The Icing
Put the chocolate chips n the metal bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer. Combine the sugar, milk, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil vigorously for exactly 1 minute. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the chocolate. Add the vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken to a spreadable consistency, 10 – 15 minutes. (I turne don my Bosch and let it do the work!)

To assemble (If used the 3 cake pans) place 1 cake, flat side up, on a platter. Spread 1/3 of the icing (about 3/4 c.) over the top of the cake. Top with the second cake, flat side up, and spread 1/3 of the icing (about 3/4 c.) over the top. Top with the third cake, , flat side up, and spread a thin layer of the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake.

Alternative (White) Icing

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 t. vanilla
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
Makes about 2 1/4 cups of icing.
In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.

Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Chinese-Style Glazed Pork Tenderloin

You know you have faith in a recipe when you post it before you even try it. I posted this about a year ago and have made it several times since. It’s so good and is one of the few meats that even gets thumbs up from my son! If you haven’t cooked with hoisin sauce or five-spice powder, you should! They are so good – you can find them in the Asian section. Enjoy!

Leftover pork makes an excellent addition to fried rice or noodle soup. Serves 4-6.

2(12- to 16-ounce) pork tenderloins, trimmed
1/2cup soy sauce
1/2cup apricot preserves
1/4cup hoisin sauce
1/4cup dry sherry
2tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2garlic cloves, minced
1teaspoon five-spice powder
1teaspoon pepper
1/4cup ketchup
1tablespoon molasses
2teaspoons vegetable oil
Lay tenderloins on cutting board with long side running parallel to counter edge. Cut horizontally down length of tenderloins, stopping ½ inch from edge so halves remain intact. Working with one at a time, open up tenderloins, place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to ¾-inch thickness.
Combine soy sauce, preserves, hoisin sauce, sherry, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, five-spice powder, and pepper in bowl. Reserve ¾ cup marinade. Place pork in large zipper-lock bag and pour remaining marinade into bag with pork. Seal bag, turn to coat, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Combine reserved marinade, ketchup, and molasses in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until syrupy and reduced to ¾ cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup glaze for glazing cooked tenderloin.
FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high.
Clean and oil cooking grate. Pat pork dry with paper towels, then rub with vegetable oil. Grill pork (covered if using gas) until lightly charred on first side, about 2 minutes. Flip and brush grilled side of pork evenly with 2 tablespoons glaze. Continue grilling until lightly charred on second side, about 2 minutes. Flip and brush evenly with 2 more tablespoons glaze. Repeat flipping and glazing twice more, until pork registers 140 degrees and is thickly glazed, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer pork to cutting board and brush with reserved glaze. Tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.