Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bacon & Greens Frittata

My husband and I have decided to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet, so I've been looking for ways to do just that.  One of my go-to easy meals is a frittata.  I usually add vegetables anyway, but this recipe utilizes a vegetable that I was relatively unfamiliar with until tonight.  Apparently, Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals - too many to list here!  It's crazy good for you! Who knew?  Well, I'm sure a lot of people probably knew, I just wasn't one of them.  But I am now!

I've never been a big fan of greens; mustard greens, collard greens, etc.  They're fairly popular where my parents are from; Arkansas and Texas, but I just never developed the taste.  As you can imagine, I lumped Kale in there with the rest of them and assumed I wouldn't like it.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It was very good in this recipe.  Of course the fact that it was accompanied by leeks didn't hurt any (I LOVE leeks!)  A little parmesan cheese went a long way toward the yumminess factor too.  :-)

Ok, enough chit-chat.  On to the recipe, which I found on Eating Well's website by the way, and tweaked just a little to suit me.  I'd love to hear what you think.

Bacon & Greens Frittata
12 Servings

2T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 strips of Applewood Smoked Bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2C. sliced Leeks, white and light green part only
2C. Kale, tough stems removed and thinly sliced
16 Eggs
1/2C. Half n' Half
2C. Parmesan Cheese, shredded
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder


  1. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or other broiler safe skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add leeks, 1/2t. salt, 1/4t. pepper and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the leeks have softened, 4-5 minutes more.  Add greens and cook, stirring, until they are just beginning to wilt, about 1 minute.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk eggs, half n' half, 1 cup of the cheese, 1t. salt, 1/2t. pepper, 2t. Onion Powder, and 2t. Garlic Powder until well combined.
  3. When the greens are just starting to wilt, pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the pan.  Using a spatula, carefully scrape the eggs from the edges to the middle of the pan as they cook, allowing uncooked egg to flow under, about 3 minutes.
  4. When the eggs are nearly set, sprinkle remaining 1 cup of the cheese over the eggs and place the skillet under the broiler.  Broil until the top is cooked and the eggs are slightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes.
  5. Cut into wedges and serve.
I served mine with homemade wheat toast and homemade blueberry jam.  Yum!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crockpot Yogurt

As promised with the Italian Cream Cake post, here is the recipe I use for homemade kefir or yogurt.

I found this on Pinterest also and it originated here.  While I don't have pictures of mine at this point, you can see what it looks like by following the link above.  The original recipe calls for powdered milk and unflavored gelatin as optional ingredients.  I don't use either one.  It's completely up to you though. I started making this yogurt a few months ago and I don't think I'll ever go back to store bought.  Enjoy!

Homemade Crockpot Yogurt

1 gallon 2% milk (whole milk makes the yogurt even thicker and richer).
1 C. Plain or Vanilla store-bought yogurt OR 1 cup of yogurt saved from your last batch of Crockpot Yogurt.


  1. Turn your crockpot on Low, plug it in, and add a gallon of milk.  If you want to maximize production, add more milk until it comes to within 3/4" of the top of the cooker.
  2. Cover and allow milk to heat for 2 1/2 hours.
  3. When the time is up, unplug the cooker and do not plug it in again.  Keep your cooker covered and let it sit for 3 hours.
  4. When the 3 hours are up, dip 3 or 4 cups of the milk into a mixing bowl.
  5. Whisk the cup of live-culture yogurt into the milk in the bowl.
  6. Pour and whisk the bowl contents back into the cooker.
  7. Cover.  Wrap a large towel around the cooker to keep the warmth in.
  8. Let the mixture sit for 8 hours or overnight.
  9. Pour one cup of the new yogurt into a jar and refrigerate until your next batch.  This will be your live-culture yogurt for making fresh yogurt next time.
  10. Refrigerate your yogurt in canning jars or other containers.
Also, if you wish and what I do, you can turn this into Greek-style yogurt by putting the yogurt in a cheesecloth or coffee filter lined sieve over a bowl and draining off some of the liquid.  The longer you let it drain, the thicker it will be.

I also sweeten mine with Agave.  You could also use honey or whatever your favorite sweetener is.  I like to thicken part of the batch and leave part of it the way it is for using in place of buttermilk.  

Italian Cream Cake

While I have a pretty big sweet tooth, I tend to lean more toward cookies or cheesecake than regular cake.  However, I do enjoy a good cake recipe now and then.  Like this one that I found on Pinterest that was shared by "Mom's Mutterings".  This recipe had me at the word "Italian".  I'm not sure exactly how authentically Italian it is, but I am sure that it is really good.

The original recipe called for pecans, which I love and the rest of my family doesn't, so I left them out.  I also switched up the oil called for in the original recipe, which was part butter, part vegetable oil and part shortening.  I simplified it a bit and used coconut oil in place of the oil and shortening.  I also used my homemade kefir (yogurt) in place of the buttermilk (if I don't have the homemade yogurt recipe on the site, I'll be sure and add it post haste).

This cake is pretty sweet and very rich, so definitely not something you want to have every weekend, but for a special occasion this would be perfect.

Italian Cream Cake
Makes one 9" 3-layer cake
The frosting is very generous!
Cake Ingredients:
1C. Homemade kefir (yogurt) or buttermilk
1t. Baking Soda
2C. Sugar
1/2C. Unsalted Butter
1C. Coconut Oil
4 Egg Yolks
1t. Vanilla Extract
4 Egg Whites
2C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1C. Flaked Coconut

Frosting Recipe:
1 (8oz.) pkg. Creme Cheese, softened
1/2C. Unsalted Butter, softened
3-4C. Confectioner's Sugar
2t. Vanilla Extract

Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour three 9-inch, round cake pans.  Combine baking soda and kefir or buttermilk.
  2. Cream sugar, butter, and coconut oil.  Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix kefir (buttermilk) mixture alternately with flour into creamed mixture.  Stir in Vanilla.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites.  Stir in coconut.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Make the Frosting:
  1. Beat together the creme cheese, butter, and vanilla.
  2. Slowly add confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending after each addition.
Store covered in the refrigerator if it lasts more than a day.

Beautiful or what?  :-)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cheeseburger Wraps

Hello!  I'm back again.  I've been away at a job.  I did a little over a month's tour of duty in the cafeteria at my little one's elementary school.  It turns out, however, that this old bod' isn't quite up to that much physical labor anymore.  So, I'm back to full-time mom duty and more blogging.  If you've never worked in a commercial kitchen, let me tell you, it is A LOT of hard work.  I will never again under appreciate a lunch lady. ( If you think "little one's elementary" and "old bod'" don't quite add up you're right.  My "little one" is my grandbaby.)  ;-)

Enough about me, let's talk about food.  For my return recipe I have decided to share with you, today's lunch.

I also had some red seedless grapes, but they were feeling camera shy.  :-)
This yummy grilled wrap is a variation of a recipe I found on Pinterest.  I'm afraid I don't know where the recipe originated from.  Here for your approval, however, is my version.

Cheeseburger Wraps
12 wraps

1# Ground Turkey
2T. Worcestershire Sauce
1T. Ketchup
1T. Minced Onion
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Medium Tomato, sliced
6C. Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
6T. Mayonnaise or Mustard (your choice, or you could do like we do and combine them)
12 Whole Wheat Tortillas
Butter for grilling

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground turkey until completely cooked.
  2. Add Worcestershire, ketchup, minced onion, and salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer five minutes.
  3. Run 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese down the middle of each tortilla.
  4. Top cheese with about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture, 1/2 T. mayo or mustard, and two tomato slices.
  5. Roll up burrito style.
  6. LIGHTLY butter each side of each burrito (just to help make nice grill marks) and grill until cheese is melted and you have lovely grill marks as in the picture.
  7. Serve immediately.
If you'd like you can prepare ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap and hold in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill and serve them.

Each wrap is approximately 193 calories.
Just for fun, serve with french fries and lettuce to complete the "hamburger" theme.....and maybe a thick shake for dessert. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cinnamon Cranberry Crusty Bread

I have given you a recipe for crusty bread before, along with ideas for variations.  This version is one I have been playing with for several weeks, experimenting with; the amount of cranberries, the level of cinnamon, trying different liquids other than water (I tried part apple juice and part water, but the apple juice seemed to make the bread sticky on the outside), just the right amount of sugar......and I think I've hit on a winner.  It has so far received the approval of my family and several of my son's high school friends who have requested I send some to school for their lunch time.  So, here for your approval........

Cinnamon Cranberry Crusty Bread

3 C. All-Purpose Flour
1t. Kosher Salt
1T. Ground Cinnamon
3/4 C. Granulated Sugar
1t. Yeast
3/4 C. Dried Sweet Cranberries
1 1/2 C. Water

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.  Add dried cranberries and mix with a wooden spoon.  Add water and mix with the same wooden spoon until the water is well incorporated and you have a "shaggy mess".  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit 8-12 hours or overnight.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 F.  Place a dutch oven with the lid on into the oven and warm it for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, place your bread dough on a HEAVILY floured board.  Knead a few times and shape it into a ball.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest while your pot warms.  Once your dutch oven is pre-heated, remove it from the oven and place your dough ball inside it.  Replace the lid and bake for 25-30 mins.  Remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 mins. depending on how browned you want your crust to be.  Remove from the oven, let cool, and enjoy!
There's nothing like fresh bread slathered in real butter!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fruit n' Oats Breakfast Casserole

Good Friday morning all!  I am so happy this morning!  The temperature is below 60 and it's going to stay that way all day!  Perfect baking weather!  I am concerned, however, about hurricane Sandy that's supposed to plow into our eastern neighbors soon.  If you're reading this from that area, I and many others are praying for you!

I found this recipe on Urban Nester's website.  I tweaked it some, so if you don't like my version you can check hers out.  This is SO good though.  My entire family loves it.  You can bake it up and eat on it for several days.  You can eat it cold, room temperature, heated up - it's good any of those ways.  I hope you enjoy it!

Fruit n' Oat Breakfast Casserole

Prep Time: 10 mins.
Bake Time: 30-40 mins.
Serves: 6-8

2C. Rolled Oats
1/3C. Brown Sugar
1 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Cinnamon
1/2 t. Kosher Salt
1/2C. Strawberries (halved)
1/2C. Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2C. Vanilla Almond Milk
1 Egg
3T. Butter (melted)
1t. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 F..  Generously spray the inside of a casserole dish with cooking spray and place on a cookie sheet.  
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half the strawberries, half the blueberries, and half the chocolate.
In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla.
Add the oat mixture to the prepared casserole dish.  Arrange the remaining strawberries, blueberries, and chocolate on top.
Pour the milk mixture over everything.  Gently shake the baking dish to evenly distribute the milk in the oats.  If you like, sprinkle a little extra brown sugar over the top for a sweet, crusty top.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the milk mixture has set. 
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

 Enjoy!  :-)

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