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Hi Friends!

Guess what!?!

It’s snowing again!! YAY!!!

Yes, that was sarcasm.

I’ve seen enough of the white death, thank you very much.

Want to know something pathetic about me?

I was VERY disappointed (dare I say angry?) that my beloved Oprah was preempted by “Winter Storm Watch 2011”. What I really want to know is who sits around watching the 24 hour snow updates? It makes me batty.

Thank you for listening to me.

I feel better now.

I was trying to decide what we should chat about today.

And I decided I should round out the week with another vegetarian dish option… this time for breakfast or brunch. I threw in a side dish for all of you carnivores too. I’m posting this on Friday so you have a chance to gather up the ingredients prior to the official start of your weekend.

Brunch makes my life.

Holla if you hear me.

Today, I bring you crepes.

Don’t go away!! Don’t be scared!! They are easy!!

Here is what you’ll need:

A blender

1 cup of flour

2 eggs

3/4 cups milk

1/2 cup water

3 T. melted butter

Put it all into a blender.

And then pulse it. Pulse it. Pulse it. Pulse it.

That is 4 pulses at about 5 seconds a piece.

And this is what it looks like all blended.

Crepe batter is very similar to a pancake batter except much much runnier.

Because I was making a sweet breakfast crepe, I decided to add a t. of vanilla and 1/4 c. of sugar to the batter at this point.

Your crepes will still be delicious if you leave that out. If you were making savory crepes, you could add a little salt, pepper, and any herb you like.

Crepes are very versatile.

And they are also pretty bubbly immediately after blending.

So, to get the bubbles to subside and to make your crepe making easier, pop that whole blender into the fridge for an hour or so.

This step isn’t completely necessary, but it makes the batter a little easier to work with.

Truth be told, I don’t really do the refrigeration step.

But I feel I should tell you the way that crepes are SUPPOSED to be made so that someday if you have a French crepe master in your home, you’ll know every bit as much as he or she does.

Er. Something like that.

Here is the one thing that you will absolutely need for crepe making success… a nonstick skillet.

And a little bit o’ butter.

Put your skillet and butter over medium heat.

I like to use a 9″ in diameter non-stick pan because the crepes come out the perfect serving size.

For a 9″ skillet, I use approximately 1/4 c. of crepe batter for each crepe.

The recipe above made about a dozen crepes.

They are supposed to be a very thin treat.

So, pour in your first 1/4 c. (doesn’t have to be precise) of batter.

Quickly, lift the pan up to coax the batter to thinly coat the entire bottom of the pan.

Allow the crepe to cook only about 30 seconds.

Then, give the crepe a flip.

After another 30 seconds, remove the crepe onto a dry flat surface to cool down to room temperature.

Continue on with this process until all of your batter is gone.

I want to warn you… the first crepe you pour into the pan almost always is disastrous. I have no clue why this happens, but I have made several batches of crepes, and the first pour always ends up not spreading evenly and being weird. So, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED. It is normal to have your first try go awry.

And, if you happen to have success with your first pour, please don’t tell me.

I’ll probably develop a complex.

Why doesn’t my first crepe come out perfectly?

What is wrong with me?

I guess I’m just not good enough to make the perfect crepe.

Anywho, after allowing all of your crepes to cool, stack them up or pack them up.

Cooked crepes can last in the fridge for 2 weeks when stored in an airtight bag or container.

You can freeze them for up to 6 months. When you want to use them, simply pull them out of the freezer and set them on your counter until they thaw. Then have at them!!

Here is what I topped my Sunday Brunch Crepes with…

1/2 c. of strawberry jam

1/2 c. fresh strawberries, shopped

1 kiwi, chopped

1/2 c. fresh blueberries

I popped all of that into a small saucepan, and turned the heat to medium.

I stirred it up.

And watched it cook.

Do you have any idea how good this smells?

Like candy.

I let it bubble a bit around the edges, and then I turned the heat as low as it would go to keep the sauce warm until I was ready for it.

I also chopped up another round of fresh berries, kiwi, and blueberries.

To make my crepe, I put one glorious crepe onto my plate.

And I topped it with the chopped fresh fruit.

Then I added a drizzle of my fruity syrup that has been warming on the stove.

Then I folded it up.

And then I looked at that big ol’ plate, and thought my crepe looked a little lonely.

I thought and thought about what would complete my brunch while staying within the French breakfast theme.

And this came to mind:

Croissants

1 T. of Dijon mustard per croissant

Black Forest Ham

Gruyere Cheese (the best melting cheese on the planet)

I cut my gloriously buttery croissants in half to start to build my French breakfast sandwich.

I slathered the bottom half of the croissant with the dijon mustard.

Then, I drooled a little as I piled on some of that ham.

And then I drooled a little more as I shredded the gruyere.

I seriously, seriously have a cheese problem.

I think I need an intervention.

Now, you have a couple of options. Pop those bad boys into the oven at 350 for 5-7 minutes (until the cheese gets melty) or you can pop them into a toaster oven like I did.

I wrapped up the tray that I had them on in foil so that I had one less kitchen item to clean.

Oh sweet sassy.

My dear Gussie.

Look at these mamas when they came out of the oven.

Help me.

Now, pop the lid on your sandwich.

Drizzle a little more of that fruity syrup on  your crepe.

Oh, hey there whipped cream.

You’d like to go on the crepe too?

You got it!

Top off the crepe with the slightest dusting of powdered sugar.

That is joy on a plate if you ask me.

Sure joy is full of lots and lots of calories. But, it’s brunch! And it’s the weekend!

And this meal made my morning so gloriously lovely.

And I know it will do the same for you.

Brad has been having crepes for dessert this week with the leftovers I have stored in the fridge. He pops out a crepe, puts it on a plate, spreads a thin layer of cream cheese down the center, and then tops that with some strawberry jam. He puts the whole kit and caboodle into the microwave for about 10 seconds.

I tasted his treat last night, and it is GOOD!

I just feel like before we go, we should look at that food again.

Ah.

Lovely!

And delicious!

And I think I have thoroughly forgotten about the 6 inches of snow on the ground.

Finally, I will leave you with this… my dogs have the smelliest gas on the face of the planet.

They have accosted me the entire time I have written this post.

You are welcome for that little piece of information.

It’s Friday, people!

Have a great weekend.

XO,

Leah

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The main man and I have not stopped eating crustless quiche on a regular basis. I have just failed to share my quiche creations with you.

Because I’m selfish like that.

I learned a new fact recently. Want to hear it? Here goes… breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

So maybe that isn’t a new fact, but I do declare that it is still true.

There was a time in my life (namely most of high school and college) where I went without breakfast. Sometimes if I was feeling motivated in the morning, I would have a piece of cinnamon toast. But man, breakfast was not my thing. I regularly found myself opting to snooze for 10 more minutes rather than wake up and eat something.

Then I’d slip on my oversized J. Crew sweater and Doc Martens and head off to school where I remained grumpy until my blood sugar finally rose after the lunch hour.

I have no clue how I survived.

Now that I’m an old lady, I can’t make it until 9:15 without feeling like I’m going to pass out if I don’t eat breakfast.

For me, a small bowl of cereal or a bagel does not stick to my ribs enough to carry me through until lunch.

I need me some protein.

Holler if you hear me.

So, in my constant pursuit of an easy-peasy breakfast, I find myself reinventing the crustless quiche.

It is kind of a fun little challenge.

What do I have in my fridge today? And could those items make a delicious quiche?

This little self-imposed challenge has led to a few less-than-sharable quiche recipes.

However, this most recent creation is quite delectable.

I might even go so far as to call it Gooo-oood.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Here is what you’ll need:

Let’s see…

4-5 slices of bacon

1/2 c. chopped turkey breast (I just use good old deli meat)

1 tomato

1/4 c. chopped cilantro (more or less can be used depending on how much you love the stuff)

4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (that is 1/2 c. for those of you that don’t speak ounce language)

6 eggs

Splash of cream

2 heaping tablespoons of salsa

salt n’ pepa

Start by frying some bacon until it is crispy. I almost always buy Center Cut Bacon because it has less fat, and is slightly healthier for ya. Note: I said slightly.

Now, chop up your turkey, your tomato, your cilantro, and shred your cheese.

I also almost always buy cheese in a brick rather than pre-shredded in a bag.

Why?

Pre-shredded cheese is coated with an additive that keeps the cheese from clumping.  I don’t know exactly what that additive is, but I don’t like it.

Cheese is not meant to be separate little shreds. It is meant to clump because of its milky goodness.

Yes.

And yes.

Now, crack your eggs.

I almost always buy organic free range eggs.

Do this experiment for me… buy non-organic eggs and organic eggs, and have a taste test.

I kid you not, non-organic eggs have a fishy flavor. Sick.

Plus, this is where non-organic eggs come from:

And here is where organic free-range eggs come from:

Yes, organic eggs are more expensive. But, they have been proven to have a healthier nutritional profile.

You, my friends, are free to do whatever you desire (much like the free-range chickens) when you make your egg purchase.

I’m just trying to use my powers of blog persuasion to support a happy little chicken lifestyle.

Anywho…

I digress.

Crack 6 eggs into a bowl.

Add in a splash (about 1 T.) of heavy cream.

Then, add in a pinch of salt.

Yep, that’s salt. It some fancy stuff from our travels to Kauai. It has a red color because it is sea salt that is harvested in an area where the shallow sea salt meets the red clay land.

Put in about 1/2 t. of pepper.

Drop in your chopped turkey, cheese, tomato, and cilantro.

Mix it up.

Now, put 2 heaping tablespoons of salsa into the bowl.

I like my salsa hot, but you can use whatever floats your boat.

Whisk it up.

Chop your bacon and add it to the fiesta.

Then pull out your pan.

I use a quiche pan, but an 8 or 9 inch cake or pie pan would work just fine.

Give it a coating of non-stick spray.

And add your filling.

Pop it into your oven for 20 minutes.

You’ll know that it is done when you give it a  little shimmy shake and nothing jiggles.

If the center still has some significant movement when you shake the pan, pop it back into the oven for 3-5 more minutes.

Now, as much as I love some protein for breakfast, I feel no breakfast is complete without a sweeter or carb-ier accompaniment.

So, I whipped up a batch of my blogger-friend, Geni’s, Pineapple Coconut Muffins.

These guys are amazing.

I’m thinking that my spicy South of the Border quiche and sweet tropical muffins are going to be the perfect start to every day of my cold and snowy work week.

Give them a whirl… you’ll be glad you did.

XO,
Leah

I love food that is easy.

Just like I like my men.

Ahem.

Is this thing on?

Hello?

I love food that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, yet is delightfully delicious.

And that is why I love this little granola recipe. The original recipe came from a magazine (Real Simple, I think) a few years ago. I have modified my little recipe card each time I have made this granola, and I now think that it is perfection.

If I do say so myself.

Preheat your oven to 350.

And grab these ingredients:

4 c. Oats (NOT the quick cooking kind)

1 c. Sliced Almonds (or any other nut if you prefer it more)

1/2 c. Unsweetened Coconut (find it in the baking aisle)

1/4 c. sunflower seeds (the original recipe called for pumpkin seeds, which you may just have on hand this time of year)

1/2 c. maple syrup- PLEASE use the REAL and GOOD stuff- no Mrs. Butterworths here, I beg you

2 T. oil

1/2 t. salt

1 c. dried fruit

Now, here comes the very challenging and precise part of this recipe.

Take everything that I mentioned above and dump it into a Tupperware bowl- preferably one that has an air tight lid.

I’ll stop for a moment and state that you can use any dried fruit that you prefer. I have made this with raisins, cranberries, and apples. This time around I used 1/2 cup dried pineapple and 1/2 cup dried cherry flavored cranberries.

That dried fruits section at the grocery store (usually either by the canned fruits or by the salad toppings- think croutons and nuts) has more choices than one would think possible. So, have at it!

Ok, I interrupt your viewing of the granola building once again. I’m stepping on my soap box.

Please, please, please, forever please use REAL maple syrup. Yes, I know it is expensive. But there is a reason for that. Real maple syrup is harvested from a maple tree. Fake syrup is harvested from high fructose corn syrup.

The difference in flavor is overwhelmingly better.

Just ask my daddy-o.

He is a syrup snob.

Once you’ve topped your mix off with the salt and oil (use canola or vegetable), mix it all up and pour it out onto a sheet pan. Pop it into the oven for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, wipe out your Tupperware container. When the granola is finished, this will be your storage container.

After 15 minutes, pull out your granola and toss it up. Make sure you get everything that was on the bottom rotated up to the top.

Then, stick it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

At 10 mintues, start checking on it. You want it to be a golden brown, but not a dark brown!

It should look just about this color when it is ready.

Put your finished and slightly cooled granola into your storage container.

Now, you can eat this a million different ways.

I often will pack a small bag of it to nibble on while I’m at work.

I’ll also toss some on cottage cheese, ice cream or yogurt (as seen below).

Brad will pour some into a bowl, and top it off with milk to eat the granola in place of a bowl of cereal.

You are only limited by your imagination.

That sounds like a line from an after-school special.

Of course, thank you to my loyal Sous Chef. She faithfully caught ever little oat that flew off of my pan and onto the floor while mixing.

Have a happy Tuesday.

It is fall, and it is crisp outside yet sunny. Doesn’t get better than that.

XO,
Leah

This year, for the first time, Brad and I participated in a CSA.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

So last spring we purchased a half share. And once a week, we took a trip to the local farmer’s market to pick up our goods.

I absolutely loved the surprise of discovering what local seasonal goodies were tucked into our bag. It ranged from blackberries to corn to peppers to potatoes to zucchini to cucumbers to tomatoes to melon and so on!

There were weeks when we had so much corn and so many potatoes that we had to give some away to friends and co-workers!

But I’m not complaining. The produce was amazing, and it was nice to know exactly where our food was coming from.

So, with the tons of potatoes we have on hand, I waited for a cool evening and fixed them up my favorite way… oven roasted. Mmmm.

Here are just a few of the potatoes that we had to use:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Start by giving those guys a good scrub.

Here is something that I find curious. When I was a kid, my mom would get potatoes from the grocery store and we would have to scrub them because they had clearly been dug up from the earth with dirt still left on them.

Now, at the store they are shiny and dirt free. I guess it is nice that the potato people wash them for us??

The farmer’s market potatoes are clearly freshly harvested, and they need a good scrub.

So roll up your sleeves and have at it.

Then dice them up into squares, and spread them out on a large sheet pan.

Bathe these guys in some extra virgin olive oil.

Use enough to get at least a little oil on each and every potato, but not so much that you have any oil pooled in the bottom of you pan.

Think tanning oil application… enough to coat, but not so much that you ruin your towel!

By the way, don’t use tanning oil. It is bad for you. Use sunscreen.

Thanks.

How about a sprinkle of coarse Kosher salt.

I have mentioned it before, but I think it is time to mention it again.

I believe in coarse salt.

If it is possible, I think it tastes saltier and better.

And I like the Kosher stuff myself.

I used a little more than a teaspoon for the entire pan.

Now, add about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

I like the freshly ground goodness.

Chop up about 1/2 tablespoon of fresh rosemary.

There are a few herbs that I refuse to use the dried version of. And rosemary is one of them.

When rosemary is fresh, it has the texture of a chewable leafy substance.

When it is dried, it feels like a twig made its way into your food.

If you are cool with twig texture, then by all means use the dried rosemary.

Chop up 2-3 cloves of garlic.

Chop it up pretty finely.

Or use a garlic press if you don’t want to smell like a hoagie.

Sprinkle that on your taters.

Now, the fun part.

Get your hands dirty and mix all of that together on the pan.

Then pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.

After they have roasted for 30 minutes, your house will smell like heaven.

A garlicky, rosemary version of heaven.

Pull out the potatoes.

And give them a toss.

You may need the help of a spatula to pull the potatoes off of the pan.

The bottoms of the potatoes should be slightly browned like this:

Now, you could serve these at this point.

I like my potatoes a little crispier and a little browner. So I threw the pan back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

And they came out looking like this:

Perfection.
I tossed them into a bowl and topped with some chives and a dollop of sour cream.

The perfect side dish.

Now I had plenty of potatoes left over, and that is good by me.

Because these potatoes are the perfect base for a hearty breakfast.

For the breakfast, warm the potatoes in the microwave, the oven, or in a toaster oven.

Scramble up some eggs and toss them on top.

Shred some cheese and top your taters and eggs with that.

Throw the whole hot mess under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese.

And enjoy!!

Isn’t food the best?

Yes, I think so.

Have a great day my dear friends.

XO,

Leah

When I was growing up, I had it good.

Really good.

I would come home from school, practice, or a friend’s house and my mom would have a well-rounded dinner prepared.

Every night.

The meals would always contain a salad, protein, carbohydrate, and a vegetable.

And we always, ALWAYS sat around the table together (yes, all seven of us- many times with extra friends there as well) to eat and talk and spend at least 30 minutes together as a family every day.

And look how well we all turned out!

You know, even in my teenage years when I could be a little less than pleasant (shocking, I know!) dinner around the table was just what we did. There was no complaining… it was a routine, an expectation, and in retrospect it was one small thing that kept us all informed and engaged in one another’s life.

As a side note, Brad and I keep the same tradition now. I think it is far too easy- especially when it is just two of us- to plop in front of the TV with a plate of food on our laps. But I like the sit down, no distractions, focus on each other, focus on the food dinnertime plan.

And look how happy we are!

I grew up in a healthy food environment.

I’m forever grateful for it- I know it has helped shape me into an independent healthy eater that loves to try new things.

Additionally, my  mom made sure that her kids all had basic kitchen skills before we left the house to be on our own.

Let me say it again- I know that I was crazy fortunate to have a home cooked meal every night and about a billion other blessings as a kid growing up.

There is one area, however, that leaves me feeling slightly gypped.

We never, ever, EVER had breakfast for dinner.

I did not even know this was a thing until later in life.

And when I encountered breakfast for dinner for the first time, I knew my life was forever changed.

I think there is something calming and homey about a hearty breakfast after a long day of work.

And thankfully, breakfast for dinner is about as easy as it comes in the preparation and execution department.

The other nice thing is that I almost always have enough of the breakfast ingredients on hand that I can whip something up without having to stop at the store for anything to complete the meal.

And after a long, frustrating, or particularly tiring day, there is nothing better than breakfast comfort food for dinner.

Believe that.

So, with the craziness in our lives lately, I have not been super inspired to get creative in the kitchen.

Here is the quick and super simple dinner (but you can make it for breakfast or brunch) that I whipped up.

I didn’t have a whole lot in my fridge, but I did have some eggs and some potatoes.

For my carb, I decided on some hashbrowns.

Take your potatoes and use a cheese grater to shred them. I had a mixture of red, yellow, and purple potatoes which made for a pretty little mixture.

After they are shredded, use an old (yet clean) kitchen towel to wring out the extra liquid.

Heat a pan over a burner on medium.

Drop in about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil along with 1/2 tablespoon of butter.

Put your potatoes in one flat layer that is no more than a 1/2 inch thick.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Now, leave them alone.

After a few minutes you may want to peak at the bottom.

The goal is for them to brown slowly and evenly.

You’ll know your pan is too hot if it gets extremely brown quickly. If that happens, simply turn your burner down a bit.

If they aren’t browning at all, turn up your heat.

Simple stuff, people!

Once they are a good brown color, flip your potatoes over like a giant pancake.

If you are like me, your hashbrown will break in half and it will no longer be picture perfect.

But that is perfectly ok, because it will still taste delicious.

Salt and pepper the other side.

Take your spatula and divide the hashbrowns into servings.

Shred a little cheese on top, if ya like.

Keep those in the hot pan until you are ready to serve.

Next up, my protein… the incredible, edible egg.

I love a fried egg especially. So, I put a good pat of butter in the pan, and crack in an egg. After it cooks a bit, I give it a careful flip. I like all of the whites cooked, but I love a runny yolk.

But eggs are a great ingredient because you can fix them anyway you like… fried, scrambled, poached, sunny side up… the list goes on and on.

I piled my hashbrown on my plate, and I topped it with my egg.

And then for good measure, I added a little more cheese on top.

I served them with these roasted tomatoes and a simple berry salad.

Oh, breakfast for dinner. I’m so glad to have you in my life.

Have a good one my friends!

XO,

Leah

Ooh, Nelly.

You heard me right.

Steel cut oats.

In a crock pot.

With other yummy things.

Just waiting for you to eat first thing in the morning.

Now, you must learn to pronounce the title of this post correctly.

Whaat?

Spoken like Aunt Linda.

Check her out:

I have two friends. Lets call them Annie and Debbie. You know, to protect the innocent.

Whenever you tell them anything remotely interesting, they respond with a “WHAAT?” spoken just like Aunt Linda.

And for that reason alone, I try my darndest to come up with something to tell them.

The “WHAAT?” is like a drug. I need to hear it.

Anywho, I digress.

This oatmeal is dee-lish.

And it is perfect for anyone with a busy morning routine.

Because this breakfast is waiting for you when you awake.

Not bad, eh?

So, you need steel cut oats to start.

It is absolutely imperative that you use steel cut oats. Do not use instant oats or old fashioned oats. They cook far too fast, and you will be left with a mush of a breakfast.

Steel cut oats can be found anywhere. I bought mine in bulk from a specialty store, but the chain stores have these bad boys too.

They will either be in the cereal aisle or in the fancy-pants-I’m-way-better-and-smarter-than-you-normal-peons-organics aisle.

And you’ll need to pull out your old buddy, Mr. Crock Pot.

Why, hello.

VERY IMPORTANT: Spray your crock pot with non-stick spray for this recipe. You risk having some seriously crusted edges if you do not heed this warning.

My friend Liz suggests those liners you can buy in the plastic bag aisle at the grocery store. I have never purchased them, but after cleaning the crock pot after this recipe… I think I’m persuaded to give them a try.

2 cups of the steel oats go into the crock.

I added two tablespoons of brown sugar.

And a tablespoon of cinnamon.

And because I am trying to learn to accept and love nutmeg, I thought I would give it another chance.

Albeit, a small chance.

This is about 1/4 t- 1/2 t of nutmeg.

If you like the flavor, you could do a whole teaspoon.

I wouldn’t do much more than that because nutmeg is pretty potent.

Now, for real vanilla.

Anytime someone I know vacations to Mexico, I ask them to buy me some of this stuff.

It is delish and cheap.

And real vanilla is the only way to vanilla happiness.

Can I get an amen?

I put in just shy of a tablespoon.

I had this lovely Jonathan apple. I thought apple in my oatmeal would be pretty darn good.

So, I peeled it and chopped it and I dropped it in.

I wanted to add raisins too at this point, but Bradley said no.

Bradley told me raisins would ruin this dish, and that he would never speak to me again if I added them.

And well, I like talking to Brad.

So, I decided I could add my raisins to my individual bowl in the morning.

To make this marriage work, I make sacrifices.

Here is what makes the recipe special.

Extra Autumny Special.

Apple Cider.

I lurve the apple cider.

Add in 4 cups of apple cider.

Then, 4 cups of water.

I only added in 3.

And I definitely should have added in 4.

So, 4 it is.

Stir it up.

Put a lid on it, and turn on low for 8 hours.

Make sure you time it right so it is ready for you in time for breakfast.

If you have a super sonic Crockpot like me that seems to cook everything a little aggressively, you may need to cut it back to 7 hours.

Go to bed.

Then, wake up to the smells of cinnamon and apples and warm hearty deliciousness.

Please note my hot pink robe sleeve.

This picture really was taken early in the morning.

My oatmeal still got a little crusty around the edges.

I blame my overachieving crock pot.

I just scooped from the center though, and it was perfection.

I added in those raisins I wanted.

And because it was Monday.

And because I was feeling naughty.

And because I was mad at my crock pot for overachieving and causing crusty edges.

I added a splash of half and half.

Hey, at least it wasn’t full on cream. That is what I really wanted.

Stir it up and serve with a large coffee.

Making mornings more bearable everywhere… Crock Pot Oatmeal.

Enjoy!

XO,
Leah

Note: Click on the recipes tab above this post for the full catalog of Seven Hills Recipes.

I don’t know why, but I have an aversion to quiche with crust.

Perhaps it is something that happened to me as a child.

Mom, Dad… what did you do?

As a result of some traumatic crust encounter, I never make my quiche with a crust.

Or maybe it is because crust making involves baking.

And baking is the devil’s work.

After a few weeks’ break from the eggy goodness, I’m back to the weekly quiche.

This week, I thought I would make the classic Quiche Lorraine.

It is sinfully good.

And when you see the ingredients, you’ll see why.

I didn’t make up the recipe- it is actually printed on the bottom of my quiche baking pan.

Here is what you’ll need:

12 slices of bacon

1 c. gruyere or swiss cheese… if I have a vote in your house, I vote for gruyere

1/2 of a medium-sized onion, chopped

6 eggs

2 cups of cream (PLEASE NOTE: the recipe calls for 2 cups… out of fear of falling over dead from the richness of the dish, I just used just a splash- sue me)

salt and pepper

crushed red pepper flake

It feels as if it has been far too long since we have talked about bacon.

If you could marry bacon, I would leave Brad.

To marry said bacon.

Sorry, Brad.

I would.

We would live a happy life together.

Bacon and me.

Fry up a dozen slices of bacon.

And while you are by the oven, turn it on to 400 degrees.

Next, grate 1 cup of gruyere.

If there were something that would cause me to have an affair on bacon, it would be cheese.

And gruyere is up there in my top 5 cheeses of all time.

Please note that I blurred out the price.

It is expensive.

And it’s only Tuesday.

I don’t deal well with judgement on Tuesdays.

Put that grated cheese in the bottom of your pan.

And then crumble your bacon on top.

Spread your chopped onion on next.

Lets get our eggs together.

6 eggs in a bowl.

Salt and pepper.

You don’t need a whole lot of salt.

Because bacon is salty.

And so is gruyere.

And too much salt causes swollen ankles.

And no one likes a swollen ankle, right?

Add in some crushed red pepper (I threw in a little cayenne red pepper too). 1/2 t. of the crushed red pepper

Now a splash (or 2 full cups) of cream… whatever floats your boat.

Stir it up, little darling.

Because I’m wildly rebellious, I decided that this quiche needed some spinach.

I think it is some sort of strange, girl justification.

If I eat a quiche that is cream, bacon, and cheese heavy- it isn’t so good for me.

But add in a healthy vegetable like spinach, and I can eat the dish guilt free.

Have I mentioned that I’m crazy?

Cause I am.

Pour your egg mixture over the top.

Pop ‘er in the oven for 20 minutes.

And it comes out like this.

Salty, savory, bacony, quichey goodness.

Happy eating friends!

As always, thanks for stopping by.

XO,
Leah

During the work week, I never eat breakfast at home.

First, I love sleep.

Love, Love, Love it.

And I hate the alarm.

And I love the snooze button.

So, by the time I actually get out of bed, I have about 15 minutes to get ready for work and out the door.

I know myself.

And so I prepare by showering at night, setting out my outfit, packing my breakfast and lunch the night before, and getting the coffee maker set up at night so I can be greeted by my addiction when I do make it out of bed.

I recognize that 3 out of 4 of those steps mirror a first grader’s routine.

I’m cool with that.

Also, I’m never hungry first thing in the morning.

But at 9:30 I would tackle you for a morsel of food.

So, I’m constantly on the lookout for easy make ahead breakfasts.

Like this,

this,

this,

or this.

Last Saturday night I was chatting with my friend John, and he reminded me of those glorious Quaker Oats breakfast squares that were at one time readily available.

We both lamented the fact that they don’t seem to be around anymore.

And I made him a vow to recreate the bar.

And I have.

YESSSSSSS!

I didn’t take pictures while I was making it, because quite frankly I didn’t know how it would turn out.

Happily, it turned out better than I could have hoped for.

And I now have breakfast for the main man and me this week!

I think I promised John a lifetime supply of these if I perfected the recipe.

I’m hoping he doesn’t hold me to it.

Here is what you’ll need:

2 cups of quick cooking oats

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. milk

1/4 c. lowfat sour cream (oh sure, you could use the higher fat content stuff or the naturally low-fat greek yogurt, I don’t care!)

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 c. chopped nuts (this is optional, and I chose slivered almonds but any nut will do)

1 cup frozen blueberries (you could also use raisins, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, chopped apple… the possibilities are endless, so use your imagination)

Dump all of that in a bowl.

Mix it up.

Put it in a greased 8 x 8 baking dish.

Stick it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

Take in the scents of cinnamon baking away in your oven.

After 30 minutes, it comes out looking like this.

YUM!

I cut it into squares.

And I had to taste test one, of course.

It really is great.

I had one yesterday for breakfast, and it kept me full and it was quite good going down.

I have one packed away for breakfast today.

With everyone headed back to school, back to routine, or just working another work week, it is the perfect solution for a non-morning person like me!

Or if you are a morning person, I’m sure it will work for you too!

Good morning and Happy Breakfast Eating,

Leah Joy

Ever.

I have one more chicken recipe.

Then, I’m done.

Forever.

Because I’m sick of chicken.

OK, I’m done with chicken for this week.

Today I give you my Famous Quiche of the Week.

And by Famous I mean it is famous in our household of two.

This is a heartier little quiche, and it is yummy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

A chicken sausage or a chicken breast chopped up prior to cooking.

Side note: how sick does that raw sausage look?

Some kale- or you can do spinach

Mushrooms- I’m using criminis, but you can use whatever or leave them out- I’ll never know!

Tomato

Green Onions

Shallot

Eggs

Cream

OH, and some vegetable or chicken stock. It isn’t pictured, but it does help the cooking process along.

Let’s get a pan going over medium heat. Add a little extra virgin olive oil:

Pull your sausage out of the casing. Put it in the pan, and cook it all the way through. If you are using a chopped up chicken breast, I’d add a little salt and pepper to give it some flava.

Once that is done cooking, remove it from the pan.

Now, lets get our kale ready. Kale is one of those super foods you read about. I happen to love it. It is super hearty, and it is delicious. If you like spinach, I think you’ll like kale.

Google tells me that kale is high in fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin A, and calcium.

So basically, if you make this quiche you’ll probably live forever.

To prepare the kale for cooking, you need to take the yummy leaves off of the woody kale stalk.

Hold the stalk, and pull off the leafy dark green goodness toward you:

Once all stalks are removed, give it a rough chop.

Also, chop your shallot and your mushrooms.

Throw your shallot into your pan to soften it up.

Then add in your mushrooms.

Mmmm. The kitchen should be smelling good about now.

Now, toss in your chopped kale.

Push it around a bit so that all of the leaves get wilted.

Here is where that stock comes in handy. I think it adds a nice savory flavor, and it helps cook the kale.

I used about 1/4 c.

While that continues to wilt, turn down the heat to med-low, and lets get the rest of our ingredients together.

In a bowl, combine 6 eggs:

and 1/4 cup of cream:

I always use very precise measurements as you can see.

Now throw in your chopped tomato and green onions:

Stir it up, little darling.

Now, to finish our kale. Sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper. If you use the stock, there will be some salt already in the dish. So, give it a taste and see if it needs a little more salt.

Ok, get out your quiche pan/pie pan/cake pan… whatever you are using. I do recommend a little non-stick spray.

Put your chicken on the bottom. You know, if you are a vegetarian feel free to leave the chicken out.

Or if you aren’t in the mood for chicken, you can substitute the chicken sausage with regular sausage.

Basically, do whatever you want!

Next, our kale mixture goes down.

Bonus: this gave me a spinach facial. It is the latest rage, you know.

Top it off with your egg/tomato/green onion mixture:

Truth be told, I am incapable of making a quiche without cheese. At this point in making the quiche, I had a moment of terror. To my shock and horror, I had forgotten the cheese.

So, I scrounged through the fridge and found a nice block of sharp cheddar.

I shredded it on top.

CLOSE CALL.

And I gave thanks for the ooey gooey goodness of cheese.

In to the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes… until the middle is set.

Pull it out of the oven, and you get this:

Breakfast for another work week!

I have some fun late summer recipes planned for this week, so come on back and see me!

Happy, Happy Monday!

Leah

Dare I say that I had the perfect weekend?

Friday night, the main man ran off to my brother’s bachelor party. So, I headed about an hour north to have dinner, do a little shopping, and then indulge in some ice cream with my dearly beloved friend Maria. I love the time I spend with her.

Then, on Saturday one of my dearly beloved lifelong friends, Jenni, came over. She was in town for a wedding, and we spent our time together walking my two ding-dong dogs and laughing and chatting and catching up. I love the time I spend with her too.

So far, so good!

Saturday night rolled around and the main man and I went to church.

After, we headed out for a night on the town to celebrate six years of marital bliss.

The obligatory timer photo of ourselves. Why do we both look like we are in pain?

I assure you that I was not in pain.

We had dinner at a fancy pants Italian joint called Nicolas in downtown Cincinnati. To say it was delicious is an understatement.

And, our waiter… he was a delightful man from Tuscany.

He kept saying things like “Grazie!”, “Prego!”, “Delizioso!”, and “Bellissima!”

He was great.

And so was the wine:

iPhone photo in the dark= not the best picture ever

The food was incredible. We shared a scallop appetizer, and then I had the goat cheese salad and the four cheese gnocchi for dinner.

Ooh la la.

Did I mention that I then had a nice slice of mascarpone cheesecake for dessert?

Talk about cheese overload.

Again, with the iPhone.

It was a perfect night. The main man and I sat and enjoyed each other’s company for over three hours. We shut the place down.

After our perfect Saturday night, I didn’t want the fun to end. So, Sunday morning I decided to make a special breakfast, since breakfast is the main man’s favorite meal.

I ran off to my garden/bakery (AKA the farmer’s market) to pick up some goods.

Now, I MUST introduce you to the Blue Oven Bakery. This place is the jam.

Let me give you a tip… when you walk into a farmer’s market and see a line like the one below, get in said line.

Whatever they are selling is worth buying.

The guy in the hot green/yellow shirt is finally at the counter.

You must wait your turn and practice patience to receive the gift of the deliciousness.

This is what I got…

Tortano- a rustic farm loaf:

Apricot Walnut Cranberry Bread:

And the best bread I’ve ever had in my life, the Frocaccia (it has caramelized onions and cheese baked into the top).

And yes, it really is Frocaccia not Focaccia.

Side note: When checking out with the guy working the counter, I practically shouted at him “This Frocaccia has changed my life! I cannot go through the rest of my life without it.” He smiled sympathetically back at me and took my money and gave me my bread.

I have been accused of exaggerating from time to time, but I really meant what I said about this bread.

All of their breads are cooked in a wood fired oven.

So, If you live in the Cincinnati area, I highly recommend you check them out.

Unless you are on a low-carb diet.

Then, I pity you. For a lot of reasons.

But namely because you can’t ever eat this bread. Or carbs in general.

And that is living life unfulfilled.

While at the market, I also picked up some organic eggs, fresh fruit, and veggies. Man, I love the farmers market.

I got home (Brad was still sleeping), and threw some bacon in a pan… I know my main man, and bacon is one thing that gets him out of bed.

In that moment  I decided that I could not have been married to someone that did not love bacon with their whole heart and soul and mind.

I gave thanks that I chose my partner wisely.

While that was frying up, I said good morning to my love.

Then, I sliced two thick pieces of the tortano bread. If you don’t have access to the Blue Oven Bakery bread, I recommend a white bread with a crunchy crust and a chewy inside like a sourdough.

I got out my shot glass.

Because it was time to party.

And by party I mean make a hole in the center of the bread. At this point, this recipe should be looking familiar!

Drain your bacon, but leave a little of the grease in the pan.

Why?

Because I’m feeling naughty.

That’s why.

Throw your bread into the hot greasy pan.

Then crack an egg into the center of the hole.

Wait until the egg sets a bit, then give ’em all a flip.

Oh man.

Looking good.

Finish them off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Now, onto the plate! With bacon!

And maybe some of those delicious fruits from the market:

Talk about a good start to a Sunday morning.

The main man and I rounded out our Sunday with some errands and lounging. Then, we topped off the weekend with a trip to Chef Michael’s house for dinner.

At Mike’s, we dined with old friends and new. Our new friends were six folks from Switzerland in Cincinnati for a visit.

I thanked them for their contribution of their Swiss cheese and for Swiss Miss of course.

I told you.

The weekend was perfection.

By the time you read this, the magical weekend will be over and it will be the dreaded Monday morning.

But my mind will be lingering on all of the above.

Happy Monday!

LW

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