Bacon-Eggy Cups

baconeggysSo these quick bite, travel-friendly, pop-and-go, egg-delicious bites have been floating around the internet for a while now. Clearly I’m not the inventor, but I do believe I’ve customized a new version I haven’t seen anywhere else. After scouring the interwebs for far longer than I will confess here, I found several different combinations, tips, and guidelines…giving me this wonderful recipe! Although simple, they do take a little time to put together, but a Sunday night is perfect for this, and it makes several, which will give you lots of servings for the week!

I made two sets for a test, I wasn’t sure how easily the eggs alone would hold up, even in the muffin tins. I love baked eggs, and being familiar with them, no matter how much you grease them, or how long you whip them, they’re hard to take out of the dish (which is why you use a pretty cassoulet, and leave it in!) and they deflate quickly. Some suggest putting muffin liners in to keep from sticking to the pan, but they still stick. I find if you have something of a base, these will pop-out of your muffin-tin effortlessly, and best of all, no scrapping!

Because my special person loves hash-browns…ding-ding! That’s what I used. You can use the shredded if you want, HOWEVER, if you’re looking to save some effort and time, if you buy the pre-made frozen patties, you can put them on the same grate as your bacon in the oven and they can partial cook at the same time. This will save you from dirtying another dish as well…my favorite. The shredded frozen is cheaper, but they do need to be partially cooked before becoming the base of these morning delights.

Although I love adding all kinds of different ingredients and flavors into my eggs, I kept it really simple this time. Bacon is so flavorful, as long as you add the right amount of salt and pepper, the eggs and bacon will speak for themselves! BUT… if you do want a little something-something… Buy the jarred jalapenos, if you toss a few of those in, make sure you add in just a little of the juice as well!! Or kale. I love chopped kale!

Bacon-Eggys

6 eggs
8 slices of bacon
3 hash-brown patties
1 full handful (or about 1/2-3/4 cup) of shredded cheese of your choice
1/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder

Full size muffin tins, not the mini’s

1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Place a metal cooking rack ontop of a large baking sheet lined with tin foil. Line your bacon on the rack leaving enough room on one side for the hash-browns. Using the tin foil will allow you to wrap up all that grease for easy cleanup. My stove is electric. I can cook bacon faster, in larger quantities, and more easily in the oven! Bake for 12-15 minutes. You want the bacon to be almost cooked, but not too much or it will break when you wrap it in the muffin-tins.
3. While the hash-browns and bacon are in the oven, whisk the remaining ingredients in a bowl, and spray your tins with non-stick spray.
4. When the bacon is finished, dab it with a paper towel on each side to remove the grease. Then cut the rectangle patties into thirds. This will be the base.
5. Place your third of hash-brown in the tin, press down a bit to make sure it covers the bottom. Then take your bacon and wrap it around the edge of tin (I cut the extra off so it didn’t overlap, and set them aside for my morning sandwich!), try to get it along the outside of the hash-brown base. Take a 1/4 cup, and under-fill it a little and use this as measurement for your egg mixture, you want the tins to be 3/4 full.
6. Bake for 25 minutes. I took a knife while it was still hot and scrapped around the edges, then just a large spoon to remove them. Let them cool completely before you store them in your fridge.

Re-heat for 1 minute in the microwave.

Baked Apple Dutch Baby

dutchbaby3I have been eyeing Dutch Baby recipes for well over a year, but have had yet to test one out until this morning. One thing that always drove me away from these is the 20 minute bake time…which is silly that, that was the only thing scaring me away. Bacon, waffles, pancakes, french toast take just as long, so what was the big deal, I’m a fool.

I was able to skim down the recipe to make just a single portion, which was awesome, because the only thing that should ever be allowed to re-heat in the breakfast department is a casserole or french toast.  Have you ever tried to microwave a pancake or a waffle….no where near the same. Albeit, if you’re going to…here’s a tip. Use the toaster. Seriously.dutchbaby1

A Dutch Baby, German Pancake, or Puff Pancake is a cooked in a cast-iron pan, if fluffs up as you bake it, and then when you take it out, it will deflate. It’s an interactive presentation,so if you have kids, it’s a great way to get them involved in the process so they can see it change forms…and let them add their favorite toppings! Traditionally served with cinnamon or lemon, I of course decided swerve off the beaten path. I began by baking some apples with lemon, cinnamon, and sugar, the perfect topping, along with a fried egg of course. I think round two is going to have to involve toasted almonds!

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Baked Apple, Dutch Baby

1 small apple, peeled and sliced
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
dash of cinnamon

1 egg
heaping 1/4 cup of flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp of sugar
1/4 cup milk (this will depend on your flour as well, you want it to be a runny batter, start with less milk if you need to)
1/8 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon

1. Peel a small apple, and slice into thin pieces.
2. In a small bowl combine apples, 1 tsp of sugar, 2 tsp of lemon juice, and a dash of cinnamon, mix well
3. Put apples on a pan lined with parchment paper and set aside.
4. Combine all ingredients in the batter together, bring it together gently, but you don’t want any air bubbles either. You want the batter to rest for a few minutes, preheat your oven to 400 degrees while you wait.
5. In your single serving cast iron (6″) melt 1 tbsp of butter (on medium), you want the pan to be hot.
6. Pour your batter into your hot cast-iron and place in the oven for 18-20 minutes on a rack in the middle, place the apples on your cooking sheet on the rack below.
7. When finished it should start to puff and the center shouldn’t look doughy, looking golden.
8. Take out of the oven, you can leave in the cast-iron if you wish, I slid my onto a plate, topped with my baked apples, a dash of syrup, and sprinkle of powdered sugar. Oh…and a fried egg, duh.dutchbaby4

Banana Swirl Crunch Bread

bananacrunch2Yum. I love banana bread, that’s not a big secret around here…now is it! :) What I love about this recipe that separates it from the other…few…I have, is the crunch!!! These actually remind of the Cinnamon Crunch Bagels from Panera. My boss spoils us with super amazing coffee…every day, and Panera once a week. My heart wants to eat a bite out of every single one…but I usually try to refrain and just take a half of a cinnamon crunch. Then I drink the Hazelnut Pecan cream cheese spread. Just kidding, but I do this in my head while my hand spreads a tablespoon on my bagel half. See the things I dream about? Eating bags of bagels and drinking cream cheese. My word.

I feel like I need to walk you thru eating this bread. Take a bite, the first thing you experience is the crunch on the outside as your nose just inhales the warm cinnamon. The you hit the fluffy bread, topped with just a little bit of butter….the perfect banana bread bite! See don’t you want to go make this now? It takes five minutes to put together…you can even do it in the morning before you shower. You’re welcome!

It’s summer, and it’s getting hot..I know. But doesn’t this just bring you back to the fall a little bit, beautiful carbs…cough…I mean bread. Everyone has their faults…mine just happen to be chocolate and flour :) bananacrunch1

Banana Swirl Crunch Bread 
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (or 3 small)
5 tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/8th tsp salt

2 tbsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Mix together the 2 tbsp of cinnamon and 3 tsp of sugar in a small bow
3. I liked to line my pan 9×5 (or 1 lb) with parchment paper, but if you rather not, just grease and flour your bread pan well.
4. In a large bowl, combine the egg, butter,vanilla, and sugar.
5. Mix in the milk and bananas with a whisk. Then add your flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring until smooth.
6. Pour half of the batter into the pan, sprinkle with 2 tbsp of the cinnamon sugar, and make swirling motions with a fork or a knife
7. Add the remaining batter, then sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar on top and gently press down.
8. Bake for 20 minutes at 400, then turn down the heat to 350 for another 2o minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean.bananacrunch3

White Wine Stroganoff

WhiteWineStroganoff1Stroganoff has been one of my favorite comfort meals fo—eva. That’s what Sunday’s are for right? Your favorite guilty meals??! Well, this one isn’t too guilty, just super delicious. Strange how as kids we have such different taste than we do as adults. I used to loath mushrooms and onions, and now I find myself wanting to put them in as many dishes as possible. Such savory ingredients for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

This meal is less about it being a pasta dish and really all about the sauce. Slow cooked mushrooms, onions, garlic, and wine melded together make it a delicate sauce that will leave you grasping at every last drop. The longer you let the onions and mushrooms simmer the more fragrant and flavorful the sauce, but if you don’t have the time, it can also be a quick 15-20 minute dish.

Typically the dish uses steak strips, or ground beef, but I reached out a little differently and used spicy sausage this time. I love steak, but the sausage with the heat was a great change-up. Modern Stroganoff also uses sour cream stirred in at the end giving its creamy trademark, but classic Stroganoff however does not. The trade-off of using wine instead of the sour cream allows you to soak out the savory, rich textures and flavors that the white wine pulls out of the ingredients.

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White Wine Stroganoff- serves 2

1/2 lb cooked hot sausage ( feel free to substitute in ground beef or steak)

1/4 cup of yellow onion, thinly sliced

4-5 mushrooms, sliced

1 clove of garlic

2 Tbsps butter

1 oz of white wine (I just do a bar pour here if you don’t have a jigger)

1/4 cup of milk + 1 tbsp flour whisked in (you can also substitute cream or half-and-half)

1/4 cup beef broth

s/p to taste

1 Tbsp parsley

2 Tbsp chopped kale

2 cups of uncooked pasta

 

Instructions
1. Slice your onions and mushrooms, add them in a saute pan with butter, garlic, and 1/8 tsp of both salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the sausage (or beef) along with the beef broth. Let this cook for 10 minutes on medium-low.
3. Add the white wine to the mushroom mix, cook for another 10 minutes. Start to boil your water for your pasta at this point, and cook the pasta.
4. Add the parsley,kale, and milk to the saute pan, make sure you don’t let it get past simmer or the milk/cream will curdle. Cook for 2-3 minutes
5. Your pasta should be about ready at this point, drain the pasta, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the water, add the water and pasta to the pan and cook on medium for 2-3 more minutes. I like to sprinkle a little cheese over the top, turn the heat off and put a lid on the pan to melt the cheese before serving.

**If you’re in a rush combine the wine and broth, cook together for 10 minutes instead of one at a time.

Baked Eggs

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I love eggs. Every weekend, eggs are a part of my breakfast in some fashion. It’s a great source of protein, and the perfect extra power-up for my morning weekend workouts.
My favorite thing about making eggs, whether you make them alone or pair them with something else, is everything is interchangeable. You can eat them solo, or pair them with as little or few meats and veggies as you want. Don’t like spinach, don’t use it. Love sausage? Throw it in there. Extra cheese? No problem. I also use my little cheat here for prosciutto in this recipe. Since I use such a small amount, if I don’t have any prosciutto on hand, I’ll just crisp up some deli ham in a sauté pan for a perfect texturized crunch, and it also gives the ham a little smoky flavor too.

spinachI won’t cloud this up with chat, you’re hungry, and the day is ticking away.  You’re 15 minute decadent breakfast awaits you…
Ingredients
1/2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. of Cream (or you can substitute milk)
1 Tsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup of Spinach
2 Tbsp. of Sliced Ham
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Parsley
1/8 Tsp Salt
1/8 Tsp Pepper
2 Tbsp. of Mozzarella Cheese

Directions
1. Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a sauté pan, wilt your spinach with 1 tsp of olive oil.
3. Take your deli ham and slice it thinly to equal out 2 tbsp., and add it to the sauté pan with wilted spinach.
4. In a ramekin, spray with cooking spray, then add your butter, and cream (or milk), crisped ham. CAREFULLY crack your two eggs, not breaking the yolk. Top with salt, pepper, salt, and pepper, and top with cheese.
5. Place your ramekin, sitting in shallow pan with sides. Fill the shallow pan up with a little water so that it comes up to about an inch up on the sides of the ramekin.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
7. Serve with whole-grain toast, pefect for dipping the slightly running yolk and gooey cheese in!

 

 
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Healthy Baked, BBQ Taquitos

bakedtaquitos

Taquitos are everywhere on the web these days, but a whole package of cream cheese to go with your dinner doesn’t appeal to me at all. Here is a healthier version of taquitos with a little added flare for those of you who don’t freak out over Mexican Food like I do. These are so perfect for nights where you get home late, or even a quick snack on the weekends.

I don’t know how you can’t like green chili, or Salsa Verde, but not everyone can be smart…right? I find myself making things in half batches anymore. A normal batch for normal people… and another batch for people who eat like their 5 years old…*cough*  You know how you feed adult children? BBQ sauce, seriously, just douse everything in cheese and BBQ and it will disappear like you wouldn’t believe. Course, I also have a brother in the neighborhood now, and a Dad that works down the street. They’re welcome :) I should make all the men in my life buy me BBQ sauce in mass quantities

*Prep* If you plan to make the shredded chicken, make sure you do so about 5-6 hours ahead of time. In a pinch for time? You can also buy a rotisserie chicken from the store and shred to speed up the process!

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Baked Taquitos

Yield: about 30

Shredded Chicken- 6 hours ahead of time
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 lbs of Chicken (mine were frozen)
1/2 of a 4-oz can La Preferida Diced Green Chiles (I’ve also used the La Victoria brand as well)
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 tsp Ground Pepper
1 tsp Salt

Mixture
Green Chili Taquitos
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 single serving of plain Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (of your choice)

Remaining half of the La Preferida Diced Green Chiles

BBQ Taquitos
for the BBQ- Add 1/2-3/4 cup of BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays) You can add more or less depending on how dry your chicken is.
1/2 tsp Chili Powder

Directions
1. In a crock-pot, add your Shredded Ingredients in the order listed. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, chicken should shred easily with two forks.
2. Once your chicken is cooked, shred and allow to cool a bit, you want to be able to work with it without burning yourself.
3. Combine your softened cream cheese, Greek Yogurt, lime juice, paprika, cumin, pepper, and shredded cheese, mix well.
4. Split your mixture in half between two different bowls. One bowl will be for your Green Chile, the other for the BBQ.
5. In the Green Chile bowl, add the remaining can of green chiles.
6. In the BBQ bowl, add the BBQ sauce and chili powder.
7. It took about 3 packs locally made 8″ tortillas to get thru 3 lbs of chicken. They come in a pack of 10.
8. Warm the tortillas in the microwave if need be in small batches to make them more easy to roll, so they don’t crack.
9. On a 1/3 section of the tortilla, place about 2 tbsp of the chicken mixture, wrap as tight as you can get it. Place seam side down on a baking sheet. I tend to pack these in pretty tight, it helps keep their tight shape the more you pack them in together.
10. When you have a pan filled, spray VERY lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425 or until browned.
11. Freeze what you don’t use! (reheat at 375 for about 20 minutes, or microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Cooking them in the oven will keep their crisp shell, microwave will soften it-perfect for kids!)

Lasagna Soup

lasagnasoup1I’ve really, really been into soup lately. It’s easy, it smells delicious, and there is something about being able to let all your ingredients soak into each other for hours that just grabs my attention. We typically do a Sunday soup in the winter because I can start it at noon, and let it stew and come together slowly in the crockpot or Dutch oven. By the time I get home from errands and a trip to the gym, I can open the door and become immediately engulfed in the perfect pairing of stewed meat, garlic, and whatnots that have been nestling together all day. Boom!

Normally I would have attempted this recipe with Spicy Italian Sausage, but I still have a couple pounds of extra lean deer meat in our deep freeze, sold! I just can’t get enough of it, and I love adding it to soup or pasta dishes to switch things up a bit. Next time I’ll try the sausage, but it makes me nervous, this combination was so stinkin’ good I just can’t imagine it any other way right now. Even Brad was all about eating leftovers for several days…which NEVER, EVER, EVER happens.

Everyone knows I love homemade ricotta. I will ALWAYS recommend making your own, as long as you have the people in your house to eat it. Freshly made ricotta really doesn’t last more than about a week in your fridge, which is a shame, so it’s hard for me to finish a whole batch by myself (but making Ricotta Cheesecake with the leftovers is a great idea!). I really, really, dislike store bought ricotta. I tend to ‘give it a shot’ a couple times of year, and it’s just not appetizing. In fact I don’t think it tastes like anything, I always end up trying to doctor it up, or use it for texture in another dish. I guess that’s my personal punishment for making ricotta from scratch at home, it will just never compare to anything that comes from the store. If you ever make your own, you’ll notice a night and day difference between the smell, taste, and subtle sweet flavors, it’s bizarre.

This particular recipe combines the ricotta with grated/shredded cheese, so I didn’t mind as much purchasing the smallest container at the store I could find, since I’m not eating it solo. Really it’s about the texture here since the shredded cheese and salt/pepper mask the ‘twang’ the store bought ricotta has. I compare the ‘twang’ to leaving your tea bag in your cup for too long. It’s still drinkable, but it gets almost a little bitter….see what I mean, a ‘twang’. :)

*I used my Dutch oven for this round, but feel free to use your crockpot, set on the lowest setting possible. Also if you’re in a time crunch, you really only have to let it simmer for 30 minutes if you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table.

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Adapted by A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

Lasagna Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 ground pepper
1 lb. ground venison (hamburger or sausage will work as well)
1 cup of onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground oregano or 2 tsp of dried
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (cut this in half if you’re spicy sensitive)
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes
3 bay leaves
8 cups water plus 10 tsp of beef bullion

2 cups Cavatelli Pasta, prepared (feel free to substitute another shaped pasta)

Ricotta Topping
I made this for two bowls of soup, so you can half it if you’re using it for a single bowl reheat.

4 Tbsp. of ricotta
4 Tbsp. of Italian Cheese blend (Mozzarella or Parmesan work great too)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Directions
1. In your Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat, then add your venison. Cook until browned.
2. Add your onions and let cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. You want them to reduce in size by half.
3. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
4. Add tomato paste, make sure to mix very well, incorporating completely and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and prepared water/bullion, stirring to combine.
6. Bring pot to a boil and then reduce heat to low. If you’re using a Dutch oven, cover with Dutch oven lid. Even on low this will simmer with the lid in place, simmer for 3-4 hours on low or until you’re ready to eat.

15 minutes before serving

7. Prepare you pasta al dente separately right before you’re ready to serve. By adding in the pasta separately the pasta stays firm instead of getting mushy from absorbing the soup liquid. While pasta is boiling, prepare your ricotta mixture.
8. Combine your ricotta, cheese, s/p. I used a fork to really smash it all together. The consistency should be enough to form it into a loose ball.
9. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
10. To serve, add 1/4 cup of prepared noodles into each bowl, ladle desire portion of soup, then split the ricotta topping between the two bowls. Garnish with fresh basil.