ADDED ROASTED BROCCOLI TO MY SANDWICH AND WATCHED IT POPPED!!

One of my dietary plans for this year is to include more fresh and wholesome fruits and vegetables in my meals. So, true to my plans, I decided to  roast a few florets of broccoli. Roasting brings out the nutty and natural sugar in veggies.

With the drizzle of a little olive oil (any good oil will do), salt/pepper to taste and a piece of crushed garlic, I placed florets on a baking sheet. Florets took approximately 12 to 15 minutes in an oven at 385 degrees turning once.

I served on roasted broccoli on toasted rye sandwich with a very sparse spread of light mayonnaise. With a few small pieces of left over baked ham (still have that),Havarti cheese, a fried egg and tomato slices, my sandwich was complete. As you can see, the roasted broccoli was the main player in my sandwich. The florets still maintained their natural green hue and stood out. And of course, the flavors were superb.

I was happy!! As always, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates.

Advertisements

INSTEAD OF ONE BIG QUICHE, HOW ABOUT 1,2,3….CUPCAKE-STYLE?##CRUSTLESS

I was in the mood for something quite cheesy with my eggs. I thought of quiche but knew I didn’t have any crust. So I raided my veggie tray and grabbed a few spears of asparagus and broccoli.

I rendered a few strips of bacon and then drained my skillet of extracted fat. Then I drizzled a couple teaspoons of olive oil and added a little finely chopped onions. After I blanched my asparagus and broccoli, I dried and added them to the skillet combining them with the sauteed onions. And set those aside.

In a bowl, eggs were whisked with a dash of milk. I seasoned with salt/pepper along with chopped parsley and a little chives I had on hand. After veggies were cooled I added this to the egg mixture.

In muffin tin I did a sparse wipe of oil with paper towel in six spaces. Mixture was then added.  A little sprinkled cheese and crispy pieces of bacon were added and then placed in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes with an additional 2 minutes under broiler for a brown top.

I served my crustless cupcake quiches with chopped tomatoes.

Ingredients for crustless cupcake quiches
Ingredients for crustless cupcake quiches
Uncooked cupcake quiches ready for oven
Uncooked cupcake quiches ready for oven

Ingredients:

  • Eggs (3)
  • Bacon (2 to 3 strips)
  • Asparagus (3 to 4) 1″ pieces
  • Broccoli (1 spear)
  • Finely chopped onions (2 tbsp)
  • Salt/pepper (pinch)
  • Cheese (2 tbsp)
  • Parsley/chives
  • Olive oil (2 to 3 tsps)

A CAULIFLOWER/SPUD SOUP TO GREET A PERFECT FALL AFTERNOON

I love the season that nature has bestowed on us. Guys, it’s Fall and I know for some of you in certain parts of the world, the temperatures feel like summer and winter for others. However, where I’m in South Florida, U.S.A., we’re experiencing the best time ever! Okay, sorry to be bragging. You see, for a great portion of the calender year we have sizzling temperatures and humidity, but, I’m not complaining.

We might not be beholding the transformation of the autumn leaves in their beautiful hues, but on this day, this gorgeous day that God has made, the humidity has taken a nose-dive and the temperatures are super mild. Oh, I’m happy.

Guys, I’m wearing a sweater, an orange at that. Of course, you know that orange screams fall. The skies are brilliant blue and the puffy white clouds are quite evident. Did I mention the sun? Oh, I didn’t; it’s shining in all its glory. And the palm and mango trees are swaying to a light breeze.

On a day as perfect as this, I’ve flung open my sliding doors and windows. And guess what? Comfort food is on my mind. To be specific, I’m thinking of soup. A couple of days ago, I purchased a five-pound sack of potatoes for $2.99 (a sale price they said). I still have a half of a ‘tight-ass’ cauliflower from when I made mashed ‘cheesy’ cauliflower. Oh boy, that was a treat.

So guess what guys, I’ve decided to ‘rock’ a hearty pot of cauliflower and potato soup. You see, when the temperatures are this divine, my palate leans towards good old soup. There are so many to choose from but I’ve the goods for a cauliflower/spud soup.

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower (1/2lb)
  • Irish potatoes (2)
  • Onion (1small)
  • Thyme (sprig)
  • Scallion (1 stalk)
  • Celery (1 stalk)
  • Black pepper/salt to taste
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Chicken stock (1 &1/2cup)
  • Milk (1/2 cup whole)

Method:

1. In a sturdy stock pot, add milk, chicken stock and water.

2. Chop potatoes and cauliflower in small portions and place in liquid and bring to a boil. Add salt, black pepper, chopped celery, onions, thyme, scallion and any other seasoning of preference.

3. Cook for approximately 12 minutes or until fork tender.

4. Cool and then place in blender. Puree to the consistency you desire.

5. Sprinkle with cheese while soup is hot and top with crispy bacon and herb of choice.

Guys, I paired  my soup with poached eggs, tomato slices and crispy bacon on opened-face toasted rye with a spread of strawberry jam. They worked phenomenal. My taste buds were satisfied on this perfect day as this.

To say that I was happy is an understatement. Guys, was over the moon! Hmm, all I needed was a siesta. As always, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates.

 

 

A FRITTATA TO FILL YOU UP AND WHET THE TASTEBUDS

I love eggs. I could partake of them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I enjoy them fried, poached, scrambled, or in an omelet form. The wonderful thing about eggs is that they keep me satiated for a long time. Moreover, they are packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidant like lutein and many other nutritious values.

So, today I was at a crossroad with what to prepare for a brunch. I was leaning towards scrambled eggs or a typical omelet. But then, on close inspection of my refrigerator I realized that I had all the ingredients to make me a frittata. I think I must have read it somewhere or viewed it on a cooking show. The trouble is I have never made that dish before. I thought, “How difficult could this be?”

I was a wee bit anxious and excited. You see, anything with cheese and eggs sound quite exciting to me. Frittata is really an Italian omelet. I decided to take the beautiful plunge.

Ingredients for my first Frittata
Ingredients for my first Frittata

Ingredients:

*Eggs (4)

*Cheese (1/2cup)

*Milk(1/4cup

*Assorted cooked veggies(1cup)

*Crispy beef bacon (bits)

*Oil/butter(2tsp)

*Bread crumbs (sprinkle)

*Salt/pepper (to taste)

Frittata has begun cooking process (bottoms first)
Frittata has begun cooking process (bottoms first)

Method:

1. Veggies were blanched.Blanching means cooking quickly and shocking in a cold bath to stop cooking process.

2. Onions and zucchini were cut in relatively small pieces and sauteed in a couple drops of olive oil in heated skillet. These were seasoned along with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Blanched veggies were dried with paper towel and added to skillet to absorb flavors.

4. In a bowl, eggs and milk were combined along with a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper and finely chopped parsley. All ingredients were whisked and then veggies were added. Grated parmesan cheese was also added.

5. In a heated skillet over low to medium heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil was added and covered the entire pan.

6. The entire mixture was then added to skillet in order to cook bottom.

7. After approximately five minutes skillet was removed and placed in a heated oven under broiler for another three minutes for top to set/cook.

8. Breadcrumbs/cheese were combined and then sprinkled on top of frittata for a crispy finish. This step is optional.

9. Garnish with parsley or any herb on hand.

Finished dish after top is cooked in oven...yum, yum
Finished dish after top is cooked in oven…yum, yum
A wedge of my first Frittata along with bacon/asparagus and fresh OJ
A wedge of my first Frittata along with bacon/asparagus and fresh OJ

I was so proud of yours truly. I served my first frittata with crispy beef bacon on the side and a few spears of asparagus. Of course, it would not be brunch without a refreshing drink. With a fresh squeeze of orange juice I splashed some left-over pinot grigio for a perfect drink. Salud! To Italy!

SOMETIMES, ALL I NEED IS A FRIED EGG OR TWO

So, I went and did what the powers to be want me to do. Guys, although temperatures and humidity were over the moon, I actually completed my workout. Wow, my poor skin was melting. You know something, I do think I love to break a sweat. My endorphins were kicking and so was my appetite. And, guess what? I felt like having something simple and quite filling. Okay, I just didn’t feel like making a healthy smoothie. God knows I’ve had my quota for the week. As I peeked at my frozen blue and strawberries, I could tell they too needed a break.

As I made my way down to the light blue carton in the refrigerator, I got an epiphany. And that’s how I decided to make yours truly a couple fried eggs. Without a doubt, eggs have gotten a bad rap. In the past, many so called experts claim that they contribute to high cholesterol. And, I get it,because of DNA, some of us do have to be cognizant by what we include in the diet. The fact is that eggs are loaded with beneficial vitamins, minerals, lutein, and many other nutrients that are excellent for the body. 

Anyway, as I retrieved my couple of eggs, I gleefully placed them on my counter to come to room temperature. I also nabbed a piece of cheddar cheese and the last English muffin I had on hand. After a quick shower session, I made my way to my kitchen. I allowed my skillet to warm with a drizzle olive oil and a pat of butter on low to medium heat.  I then cracked my eggs and watched them set. I then sprinkle a pinch of salt and a little cracked black pepper. Oh, I love cracked black pepper. After I flipped each egg, I placed a small slice of cheddar cheese on each egg.

Ohhh, and then the hour arrived, on toasted English muffin, I slathered on a teaspoon of strawberry preserve. I’m afraid sometimes,  I’m a little way out, I love savory and sweet all mingled  up. I then placed my fried egg on each piece of toasted muffin and watched the cheese slowly melted on my fried eggs. Hmm,each bite was divine, I was in heaven!

 

 

MACARONI & CHEESE ‘WEAK IN THE KNEE’ GOODNESS

The past week-end, I had the pleasure of having my dear nephews over. Just looking at their tall structures remind me that time has certainly moved on. Anyway, whenever they are around, I know for sure that I’ve to prepare their all time fave, good-old macaroni/cheese. And, the past week-end was no different. They could eat it endlessly.

Like my nephews, I love a good macaroni/cheese dish.I feel like a kid again. I love the smooth and cheesy delight that always puts a smile on my face and set my palate skipping for sheer joy. The trouble is, when it’s really good, I oftentimes overindulge a bit more than I should.However, I’ve found the perfect solution that makes me and my loved ones guilt-free.

My solution lies with my well used muffin tins which I’ve made many cupcakes and muffins over the years. Boy, if only those tins could talk. As a result, the past week-end found me dusting off my twelve cup muffin tins which turned out to be the perfect serving for each person.

In the past, I used to make my macaroni/cheese with different  cheeses. And, I must state that my loved ones had great reviews. However, lately, I’ve been turned on and enticed into making my macaroni/cheese with only sharp cheddar. And, that’s what I did over the week-end.

What I like about cheddar cheese is its tangy and nutty taste. And because it has a complex flavor, it doesn’t need to share the spotlight with other cheeses. It can stand on its own and create an awesome dish.

Therefore, on the week-end when I once again chose to make my cheddar macaroni and cheese goodness, it didn’t disappoint. It was delicious and succulent. Those cheesy cupcake goodness were awesome. And of course they were greatly approved by those tall and handsome nephews of mine. They were happy and so was I.