Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I've been eating Chicken Cordon Bleu since I was a little kid. You know those stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken Divans you can get in the freezer section at your grocery store? Yeah, those are what I grew up on. And you know what? I'd still eat them now (because personally I think they're delicious), except I have a few variations on how to make my own sans preservatives and chemicals! This particular recipe isn't breaded or fried, and it's served with a sauce over the top. So that's a little different than your typical Chicken Cordon Bleu, but it's got all of the same flavors. 
I made this for the French five course murder mystery dinner I mentioned in the Creme Brulee post. This was the main course that evening and was a huge hit with our guests. As you can see in the picture, I served this (on my trial run at home) with some sauteed zucchini and spaghetti with browned butter and parmesan. This would also be good with green beans or roasted veggies. 

This recipe starts with a chicken breast that's stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese, sauteed until browned then simmered in a wine/broth until the chicken is cooked through. When the chicken is done, you make a sauce out of the pan juices with some cream and you pour that over the cooked chicken. Mmmmm so good! This is another one of those knock-your-guests-socks-off recipes, and only you will know how easy it was. Those types of recipes are my favorite!! 


6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3T all purpose flour
1t paprika
3T butter
3T olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1t chicken bouillon granules
1T cornstarch
1c heavy cream
chopped basil for garnish (optional)

Pound breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces. 

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine/broth and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. 

Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl and slowly whisk into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened and pour over chicken. Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee... doesn't it sound fancy? Doesn't it seem complicated? It is kinda fancy, but it's definitely not complicated! Basically, it's a chilled custard with a burnt sugar/caramel top. This is great for entertaining because you can make the custard a day ahead and brulee (burn) the top when you're ready to serve. It also always gets rave reviews and it will knock your guest's socks off. 

The first time I made this for a Murder Mystery Dinner a college student produced to earn money for tuition. I collaborated a five course French dinner menu, and this was dessert. I also made fresh raspberry and blueberry sauce, that's what you see drizzled on the plate. That night was so fun, and this dessert was the highlight of the meal!

There's all kinds of variations on Creme Brulee, like lemon, orange, coffee, chocolate and coconut. This recipe is your basic Creme Brulee, flavored with vanilla. It's a great place to start. And no worries if you don't have a torch to burn the sugar, you can use your broiler in the oven. Just make sure that the broiler is rippin hot, you don't want to heat the custard, just melt the sugar. 

Whether or not you've had Creme Brulee, or you're just looking for something new to make for dessert, this is a fun, delicious and decadent dish to try!


Ingredients
1 extra-large egg
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
Directions
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it's very hot to the touch but not boiled. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into 6 to 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.

* Propane Torch Safety

Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat, open flame and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They should be used only in well-ventilated areas. When lighting a propane gas torch, place the torch on a flat, steady surface, facing away from you. Light the match or lighter and then open the gas valve. Light the gas jet, and blow out the match. Always turn off the burner valve to "finger tight" when finished using the torch. Children should never use a propane gas torch without adult supervision.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Meatless Monday: Cappellacci di Zucca (Pumpkin Ravioli)

I was so excited to try this recipe! I was intending to copy a butternut squash ravioli I'd had at Il Fornaio in Seattle. Their version is described as: Fresh ravioli filled with butternut squash and walnuts; tomato sauce, brown butter, parmesan and crispy sage. It was nothing short of amazing. I hadn't thought of recreating it, but I came across another recipe on Pinterest that reminded me of it. So then I went in search of an original Cappellacci di Zucca and found one that sounded like it had all of the components required.

Did you know that you can use won ton wrappers for homemade ravioli? Well, you can! It works great, and takes ravioli making to a more accessible level for the average person. Also, the cool thing about squash recipes is you can usually swap out different kinds of squashes. Butternut squash, pumpkin, delicata squash, and hubbard squash are all fairly interchangeable. I had a few hubbard squash from my parent's garden sitting in my pantry, so I roasted one, pureed it and used instead of the pumpkin.

Now, this was not a complicated recipe, but there are a few steps to it. You have to assemble the ravioli (easy), and make two sauces (easy). I adjusted the amounts of ingredients to use an entire package of won-ton wrappers, the package I bought had 45. I don't know about you, but I can't eat 45 raviolis at once, so I froze half of the batch. You can leave them on the cookie sheet so they can freeze individually, then you can package them together. Oh, and trust me you'll want a batch of these in the freezer because this recipe is amazing!

I loved everything about these raviolis! The combination of flavors is unbelievable. You get a spicy marinara, a slightly sweet pumpkin ravioli and then the sage-spiked nutty browned butter sauce drizzled over the top. Wow. It's a different combination of flavors, but once you've had it you'll understand. To make this dish even more special, I used my homemade ricotta recipe! Now, I will mention if you plan on serving this to kids, you'll want to cut down or omit the chili flakes from the marinara because it definitely has a kick to it.

This is perfect for the Fall, and it's a sure hit for you squash lovers (or even a squash hater!!). So make, and enjoy!


Cappellacci di Zucca (Pumpkin Ravioli)

1 cups pumpkin puree, can butternut squash, hubbard squash, etc
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 T brandy, I used 1T Marsala wine
3 T ground pine nuts (I used a food processor to get a good consistency)
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1 package wonton wrappers

1/4 cup + 2 T unsalted butter
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped in half or thirds at the width
2 T dry white wine

1 1/2 cups plain marinara sauce
salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste

parmesan shavings for garnish/extra deliciousness

Ravioli:

Mix together the pumpkin puree, ricotta, brandy, pine nuts and brown sugar until incorporated.  Place in a sieve over a bowl for a couple hours to let the mixture drain.  Once firm, scoop the mixture by the teaspoonful and place in the center of the wonton wrappers. Fold the wrapper in half diagonally, then fold each of the corners in, to create a little hat-like thing. Place them on a generously-floured cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving time.

Brown butter sage sauce:

In a small saucepan, melt the 1/4 cup of butter on a medium-low heat.  Midway through the melting, throw in the sage. Stir occasionally until the butter reaches a golden brown color.  Remove from heat.  Pour 2 T white wine into the butter for bite.

Spicy marinara:

Warm the marinara with the reserved 2 T of butter.  Add about 1 teaspoons of chili flakes (less if you don't like it too spicy), salt and pepper to taste.  Let simmer.

Create a bed of spicy marinara sauce in the center of a plate.  Boil your ravioli (I only boil for 90 seconds or so), place in a circle around the sauce, then pour a healthy serving of the brown butter sage sauce on top.  Finish with a piece of crispy sage and a parmesan cheese shaving atop each pillow, and serve.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Freezer to Crockpot Lime Salsa Chicken

I've been really into the idea of meals that go right from the freezer to the crock pot. For the most part, you're just chopping veggies, adding spices/herbs and adding it to a Ziploc then popping it into your freezer until you're ready to eat. Doesn't that seem super awesome? In theory yes, but in my experience there are some recipes where it doesn't work well. Some veggies don't freeze well (potatoes), and some veggies can't stand up to a long cook time in a crock pot (peppers, zucchini). Because of this, I've had a few freezer-to-crock pot recipes that didn't turn out well. However, I came across a few that seemed really promising and I'm happy to report this one was a winner!

It was really easy to put together, and reminded me of fajitas! I served the chicken mixture in tortillas with sour cream and cheese and we had Cilantro Lime Brown rice on the side. So so yummy, and close to no work at all! I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try.


Lime Salsa Chicken from Kojo Designs

Juice from one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
1.25-oz. package taco seasoning
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)
3 lbs. boneless chicken breasts or thighs (I used half thighs, half breast tenderloins)
1 chopped red pepper (I used an orange pepper)
1/2 onion, chopped
24 ounces salsa

Add all ingredients except salsa to a gallon sized ziplock bag and freeze.

When ready to eat, add contents of the bag and one 24-ounce jar of salsa (Kojo used mango salsa, but I used regular salsa) to the crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

Serve in corn tortillas (I used flour) with rice.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What to Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers - 7 New Recipes

Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and this pregnant lady is SO excited! I love Thanksgiving food. Turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, stuffing, rolls, etc. Sounds like a carb fest, and you know... I'm totally ok with that. I've been getting the same question lately about Thanksgiving leftover ideas, so I thought I'd compile a list of recipes I've seen in the last few weeks that utilize your leftover bounty. In our house, we do a lot of turkey sandwiches with my Mom's special mayo, which reminds me that I still need to share that recipe with you! But let's face it, turkey sandwiches get boring after awhile. So here's some fun ideas for you and your family. Keep in mind that leftover chicken would work here as well!


I saw this recipe on ABC's The Chew, and it hails from Daphne Oz (Dr. Oz's daughter). I loved this recipe because it uses up your leftover stuffing, gravy and turkey! She melts Grueyere cheese over the top of the peppers and serves them with a dollop of Greek yogurt. I definitely want to try this recipe this year. 

Another recipe from Daphne. This would be great the morning after Thanksgiving! With sweet potatoes, leftover turkey, apples, onions, thyme and a fried egg over the top. Packed with flavor and great nutrition!


I found this recipe on Pinterest. It's your basic Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, but uses turkey instead and is made in the crock-pot! It's got onions, carrots, celery and you don't even have to cook the wild rice first. Score!


This is a Rachael Ray recipe. It's reminiscent of a stroganoff, but there's no sour cream. It's a cream sauce with turkey, fennel and onions that she serves over buttery Parmesan egg noodles. It's also a make-ahead meal! She gives instructions for that at the bottom of the recipe.

Another RR recipe here. This is definitely on my radar for leftover turkey! It's essentially a Mexican lasagna, b/c you're using tortillas instead of noodles. There's a sauce you make for this recipe with poblano peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro and cream. That all by itself is what made me want to try this! This is layers of a turkey, corn, mushroom mixture, then the delicious sauce, then cheese, then tortillas. In the words of Rachael, YUM-O! Also a make-ahead meal.

Another Rachael Ray recipe, but I found this guy on Pinterest! It's turkey, stuffing  cranberry sauce and white cheddar all rolled into pizza dough and when cooked, are dipped into leftover gravy! How fun is that?!


This recipe also comes from ABC's The Chew, but it's made by Carla Hall (Top Chef season 5 & 8). I'm suggesting this sandwich because I'd personally never thought to make one with all of these ingredients. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, arugula, pickled onion, mayo and brown mustard. Sounds like a fresh and yummy spin on a traditional after turkey day sandwich. 

So there you have it, seven not-so-typical recipes for using up your Thanksgiving leftovers. I hope this gives you some inspiration! I know I'll be trying a recipe or two. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing


I was just about to say that blue cheese isn't something I've always liked, that it's something I've acquired a taste for as I've gotten older. I realized I've said that a few times here on the blog. It's funny how your tastes change as you get older. Now if only I could develop a taste for fresh tomatoes! Ha! Anyway, I didn't start liking blue cheese until three or four years ago and it all started with a bite of a friends's Blue Cheese Wedge Salad while we were out to dinner. It was a wedge of iceberg lettuce, drizzled with blue cheese dressing, topped with crumbled bacon and more blue cheese (hold the tomatoes, obviously). It was divine. Heaven on a plate I tell ya. So what did I do after having a bite of this salad? Decide I need to make it at home, of course!

So, I went in search of a recipe. This was pre-Pinterest for me, so I browsed all kinds of different recipes from Ina Garten, to Alton Brown and the winning recipe came from Martha Stewart. I liked the use of buttermilk, and the addition of chives and shallots. The use of celery salt seemed a little different to me, but I followed the directions to a "T" and let me tell you, it's perfect! So don't omit the celery salt.

Now, I personally like a more mild blue cheese so I tend to use Gorgonzola, but definitely use whatever you like! If you're new to blue cheese, Gorgonzola is a great place to start. We don't always serve this dressing as a blue cheese wedge salad. Actually more often than not, we eat it over romaine or red/green leaf lettuce.

 I also wanted to mention a few changes you can make here. If I don't have chives or shallots on hand, I just substitute 1/4 cup of finely diced onion. If you're out of lemon juice, use vinegar (apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white vinegar, etc). And if you forgot to buy buttermilk, you can make your own! Here's how: Place a Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line. Let stand for five minute. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.

So there you go, lots of easy substitutions, and hints on how to ease yourself into liking blue cheese :) I hope you'll give this a try, it really is delightful!


Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot, I sometimes use 1/4 cup of finely diced onion in place of the shallot and chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, I've used vinegar in a pinch
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 cup crumbled domestic blue cheese, Gorgonzola is my favorite

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, shallot, chives, lemon juice, coarse salt, pepper, and celery salt in a small bowl. Fold in blue cheese. (I just shake everything up in a jar. Saves on dishes, and it's ready to store!) Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

I don't know what my problem has been the last couple of months, but I've been going way over our food budget each month. I was trying to think of ways to cut down on spending, and one thing I thought of was cooking a whole chicken once a week. By doing this I can get two, maybe three meals out of one chicken. Here's how:

Dinner #1: Roast Chicken of some kind
Dinner #2: Repurpose leftover chicken into a new meal
Dinner #3: Use chicken bones/neck/giblets for stock, then make soup from the stock

Please ignore the bad picture, we already tore into one of the legs!
Seems like a really good idea, right? I thought it did, so I started looking for new ideas for roasted chicken. I have a fabulous go-to recipe for Classic Roast Chicken on the blog, but you know me... I can't leave well enough alone, and I like trying new things, so eating the exact same thing every week isn't going to work for me. I pinned a bunch of new and different roast chicken recipes, and the first one I'm trying this week is a buttermilk roast chicken. The original recipe used chicken pieces, but I wanted to use a whole chicken, so I cut the backbone out so I wouldn't have to change the cooking time. Did you know that cutting the backbone out of a chicken reduces the cooking time by almost half? Well, it does! If you haven't cut the backbone out of a chicken before, check out this website for some pictures. It's really easy, you just use some kitchen shears and cut both sides of the backbone, completely removing it.

This recipe comes together really quickly and easily . You mix some salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, and paprika into buttermilk, then pour it over your chicken. You let it marinade for 2-48 hours, then pat dry and roast. That's it! Also, it's beyond delicious. My husband said it's the best chicken he's ever had :) It was juicy, tender, flavorful and downright perfect. I love getting the bone-in roasted chicken flavor in only 40 minutes. You can't get those flavors and that texture from boneless chicken. Not to mention that cooking a whole chicken is cheaper!

We'll definitely be making this chicken again. It took no time to make the brine, or prep for cooking on the night of. Our daughter even ate quite a bit of it, and she's not a huge meat/poultry eater yet. This is a great alternative for your usual roast chicken, and since it cooks so quickly it works great for a weeknight! If you pair it with some buttermilk mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, your family will be singing your praises!


Buttermilk Roast Chicken adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups buttermilk
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, plus extra for sprinkling (I used Hungarian, a smoked one would also be delicious)
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
3-4 pound chicken, backbone removed
Drizzle of olive oil
Flaked or coarse sea salt, to finish

Whisk buttermilk with garlic, table salt, sugar, paprika and lots of freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Place chicken parts in a gallon-sized freezer bag (or lidded container) and pour buttermilk brine over them, then swish it around so that all parts are covered. Refrigerate for at least 2 but preferably 24 and up to 48 hours.

When ready to roast, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil (not absolutely necessary, but Nigella suggested it and I never minded having dish that cleaned up easily). Remove chicken from buttermilk brine and place in dish. Pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle with additional paprika and sea salt to taste. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until brown and a bit scorched in spots. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Creamy (No-Oil) Hummus

I didn't discover hummus until I was in my twenties. It's now one of my favorite snacks because it's high protein, and this recipe in particular doesn't have any oil in it! It's a great alternative to high fat/calorie dips as well. I've tried a few different hummus recipes, but none can hold a candle to this recipe in my opinion. I was purchasing store bought hummus for awhile, but I prefer to buy organic hummus and it's not always easy to find. It's also not always delicious. So I started making my own again, and surprise, surprise it's also cheaper when you make it yourself, especially if you use dried beans like I do! I like to cook beans in my crock pot, then I portion them out into 1 and 2 cup portions and pop them in the freezer. Easy peasy.

Hummus is very easy to make, you put everything into a food processor and let it go until it's smooth. That's it! You can also experiment with other types of beans. I've seen recipes for black bean and white bean hummus. This recipe makes a lot, so if you don't think you can finish it within 5-7 days, go ahead and and freeze some!


Creamy (No-Oil) Hummus from The Biggest Loser Diet Book

3 cups chickpeas (2 15oz cans)
1/2c warm water
1T tahini
3T lime juice
1 1/2t cumin
1t salt
1T minced garlic
2T chopped cilantro, I left it out

Place the chickpeas, water, lime juice, tahini, cumin, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth, about 4 minutes.

Add an extra tablespoon or two of water if necesary.

Transfer to a bowl. Stir in Fresh cilantro.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Whole Wheat Fontina Portobello Pizza

We love pizza at our house, and we like to try new pizza combinations. I came across this recipe on one of my favorite blogs How Sweet It Is. This is not your typical pizza, as it doesn't have red sauce. Instead it is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped garlic. It also features a whole wheat crust, crimini mushrooms, fontina cheese, provolone cheese, bacon and parmesan. It's wonderfully flavorful and delicious!

This is our new favorite pizza crust! It's a blend of whole wheat flour and white flour so you get the fluffy crust of a white flour but you also get the depth of a whole wheat flour crust. The flavors of this pizza are incredible. Even though this isn't a meat-packed pizza, you won't notice because you get meatiness from the mushrooms and the flecks of bacon throughout don't hurt either ;-) Oh, and a little tip for you... Sometimes it's hard to find specialty cheeses, even though most grocery stores nowadays have a specialty cheese case. But the place I'm able to find all kinds of cheeses at very reasonable prices is Trader Joes. So if you have one nearby, that's a great place to buy your cheese. They also have a growing selection of cheeses from grass fed cows, and they have nitrate/nitrite free bacon.

I highly recommend that you try this pronto! And if you're new to a whole wheat crust, this is a great recipe to start with.


dough: [I used my standard dough, use whatever dough you'd like.]

1 cup all purpose flour + 3/4 cup regular whole wheat flour

3/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

toppings:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms

3 slices bacon

3 garlic cloves, minced

6 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated

4 ounces provolone cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup grated parmesan + a bit more for topping

fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Combine water, yeast, olive oil and honey and mix with a spoon. Let sit for about 15 minutes until yeast becomes foamy. When I made this pizza I actually used my stand mixer + dough hook for simplicity, but you can also do it by hand. Add in flour and salt and mix until a ball forms and dough comes together (with the mixer, I mixed for about 5 minutes). Using your hands, knead dough for 1-2 minutes until it is somewhat smooth. Place in an oiled bowl (in a warm spot) and let rise for 60-90 minutes. Punch down the dough, then let rise for another 15 minutes.

When dough is almost ready, prepare your bacon so it is half-cooked with just a bit of fat rendered. I stuck mine in the over at 375 for 10 minutes, but you can fry it or even microwave it. Just make sure it is lightly cooked and then cut it into pieces.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly flour your workspace and using a rolling pin, roll dough to the shape you want. Brush dough with olive oil and cover in minced garlic cloves. Add half of each cheese onto the dough, the cover with mushrooms and bacon. Add remaining cheese on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is golden and crust is crispy. When pizza is done, top with additional parmesan and chopped parsley.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meatless Monday: Chloe's Fried Egg with Dill and Cheddar Sandwich

A few years ago I belonged to a Book Club, and I absolutely loved it! One of the books we read was The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. It's fiction, and was so easy to get enthralled with. Here's an excerpt from Amazon "Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters."

It was a wonderful book, and now one of my favorites. The reason I'm telling you about this book on a food blog is to share a recipe that's actually from the book. One of the characters  Chloe, works at a cafe and the way the book describes the sandwiches she makes literally leaves your mouth watering and the author provides recipes for those sandwiches on her blog! One sandwich was a Grilled Tomato and Three Cheese Sandwich, but since I'm not a huge fan of fresh tomatoes on a sandwich I made the other sandwich mentioned in the book, Fried Egg with Dill and Cheddar Sandwich.

It's by no means a complicated sandwich, but cooking the egg in butter, sprinkling it with dill, topping it with cheddar and serving on toasted and buttered sourdough bread just makes me and my tummy all kinds of happy. It's just one of those perfect combinations that begs to be shared. And that's what I do, I share amazing recipes you may have never come across if it weren't for me ;)

So if you're looking for a fun new book to read, give The Sugar Queen a look. And if you are a sucker for an egg sandwich, you'll want to try this fun and amazing new combo!


Chloe's Fried Egg with Dill and Cheddar Sandwich

Slices of sourdough bread, buttered and grilled beforehand
2 eggs
A pat of butter
1/4 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese
Pinch of dill
Salt and pepper to taste

Put a pat of butter into a hot frying pan or skillet.

When the butter melts, crack the eggs into it, close enough for their whites to merge.

Flip them carefully when the edges began to turn golden brown, then wait until the yolks
firm ever-so-slightly. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper and a pinch of dill.

Top with shredded cheddar cheese, allowing the cheese to melt slightly.

Scoop the eggs up with a spatula and put them on buttered, grilled sourdough. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sunday Morning Oatmeal from Ina Garten

The other morning I wanted to try something different for breakfast. I had just seen Ina Garten make what she calls Sunday Morning Oatmeal, and I just happened to have everything on hand for it!

It's decadent from being cooked in milk, and the fruit makes it surprisingly sweet without any added sugar. I didn't have an entire half cup of dried cherries, so I added some chopped dried apricots. You could use any dried fruit I would imagine. I topped my oatmeal with a touch of brown sugar and a pat of butter. If you're a gluten free eater, then you could absolutely use a gluten free option in place of the oats. Cooking time may or may not be affected.

This is a great twist on boring everyday oatmeal, it takes a little longer than just making it in the microwave, but you can't beat the taste!

Sunday Morning Oatmeal from Ina Garten

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole milk, plus extra for serving
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
Pure maple syrup or brown sugar, for serving

Directions
Heat the milk plus 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan until it starts to simmer. Add the oatmeal and salt, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Off the heat, stir in the banana, cherries, and raisins. Place the lid on the pot and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Serve hot with maple syrup or brown sugar and extra milk.