Friday, August 31, 2012

Broccoli and Arugula "Cupcakes"

So it was a fairly normal Thursday at my house except for the nasty ragweed allergy season that has struck, oh and the poison ivy.  Yeah.  Poison freaking ivy.  I had gone to pick up the children from school and stopped by my favorite farm for my last load of veggies before Elizabeth went on vacation ***insert sadness***.

Anyways!  I went home, washed everything and started cooking my face off.  Not sure what the hell phase the moon was in but I started making 1 new dish that turned into 3 new dishes.  Alright, it could be the undiagnosed ADHD that I probably have but, whatever.  That's when it happened.  A knock at the back door, my dog going nuts and my neighbor, Kim, standing there with an enormous basket of veggies!  Obviously I welcomed her, and all the kale a girl could possibly want, into the house...and poured her a glass of wine.  I may or may not have then poured myself a vodka tonic but let me not get sidetracked.  Elizabeth, the best farmer on the planet, had sent her to me bearing gifts!  And what gifts they were!  I usually like going with one new recipe at a time but with everything staring me in the face I couldn't resist.  I had seen an intriguing recipe on Pinterest (shocker) for these baked cheddar broccoli rice cups and while I didn't have all the ingredients, it did get me thinking.  Love that!  This is my version of what came of it and I must say, it's amaze-balls!
This photo could totally be better but Kim insisted this needed to be my next post!  LOL!

Here's what you need:

  • 1½ cups Brown Jasmin Rice, cooked
  • 10 oz Broccoli, frozen or roughly 2 cups fresh, blanched.  I used fresh and chopped it.
  • 1½ cups Arugula, chopped
  • ¾ cup Cheese, ½ cup Monterey Jack and ¼ Parmesan
  • 2 large Eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant, trust need this in your life.
  • 6-8 sprigs Thyme
  • Muffin tin, regular or large
Preheat your oven to 350℉.
Sooo, throw all of it (except the Parmesan!) in a bowl large enough to get a good mix on things.  Seriously. All I ask is that you do spend the time to really incorporate the ingredients.  Then once the ingredients are all mixed thoroughly, divide your batter into your muffin tin.  They won't be rising so just fill those buggers to the tipity top.  Then top the "cupcakes" with your Parmesan.

Now, I used the large muffin tin and this made six FULL "cupcakes".  Next time I won't be so short sighted and I will double the recipe.  It was that big of a hit.  You all know how I feel about recipes that all 3 of my lovelies enjoy!  Once they are filled, pop them in the oven for 30 minutes or so.  I would start checking them at 20 minutes since the old cooker can vary dramatically from one to another.  I served them with some sauteed trombocino squash and onions but a salad and nice bread would work great here as well.  I liked that the Parmesan was nice and golden and...damn, now I want to make these again!

And don't you worry...the other two recipes will be coming your way soon!  ❤

Bon's time to eat!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Frittata with Goat Cheese

As I've said before, having a frittata in my "bag of Mommy tricks" makes life a little bit easier for me.  Of course you don't have to be a Mommy to have a bag of tricks...everyone should have said bag and an amazing frittata is a good item to included in it!  Let's also remember that a frittata can be eaten for any meal, as a main or side dish. V.  You can put any fillings and cheeses that you wish as well in it.  I always use the base of onion, garlic, 10 eggs and milk.  The rest is all up to you really.  I love that!  This was a dish I had made for some of my favorites (non-family favorites that is!).  It was a huge hit and it does my heart good to cook for people I adore.  It's a win-win in my book.
I love serving the frittata right on the cutting board!

Here's What You Need:
  • 1 Large Shallot, sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 2 Small Zucchini, sliced
  • 2 Small yellow Squash, sliced
  • 2 Portabello Mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ Cup Arugula, chopped
  • ¼ Cup (total) Basil and Parsley, chopped
  • 4 Ounces Goat Cheese
  • 10 Large Eggs
  • ½ Cup Milk, whatever "strength" you like
  • Oven proof pan (mine is a 12")
  • Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant and Garlic, optional

Preheat your oven to 350℉

I find myself not even bothering to put Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper on the ingredient list because really, in my opinion it's just a given that you will need them to cook any savory dish well.  So with that said, get  2-3 tablespoons of Olive Oil in your pan and saute the shallot for a few minutes on medium to medium high, then add in the garlic and S & P.  Once you can smell the garlic (about 45 seconds) it's time to get the zucchini and squash in your pan.  A little more S & P here again.  Give them 2-3 minutes and then add in your mushrooms and cook it all for a good 7-10 minutes.  The times will be different if you like less color on your veggies.  I caramelize mine quite a bit.  While the vegetables are happily sauteing away in your pan you can get your eggs and milk prepared in a bowl.  Whisk them together and add a little bit of S & P.  See what I mean about salt and pepper?  The arugula won't take any time at all to cook so add it once you're happy with where your other fillings are at and then go ahead and toss in your herbs.  Thyme would also be good or tarragon or...let me stop now.

So now you are ready to add in the eggs but here's the thing...spread out your filling in the pan as evenly as you can, you shouldn't be able to see the bottom of the pan, and turn your fire down to medium low.  Now take the egg/milk mixture and slowly pour it over the veggies so they aren't disturbed.  You want to have vegetables and egg in every delicious bite.  So your eggs are in the pan and while you are waiting for them to set along the edges you can add in your goat cheese.  I get my goat cheese in log form, not crumbled.  I prefer to crumble it myself...don't ask why.  It's just another one of those OCD quirky things about me.  There are many.  ❤

Once the edges of your eggs start to set and the middle is still very "soupy" put your pan of goodness into the oven on the middle rack.  Let it bake for 13-15 minutes, the egg should now be set in the middle.  The pie will come right out of the pan, I always just slide it out onto a cutting board and serve it like that at the table.
Along with a salad this is a perfect dinner!

Oh and let me tell you...the TJ's Red Pepper Spread is so good alongside the frittata but not necessary.  I really also enjoy it with some grilled bread.  I have a love affair with all things Trader Joe...don't get me started on their Pinot Grigio that goes for a whopping $3.50 tee hee hee!
This is what you would look for!

Bon's time to eat!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

So there I was socializing minding my own business last week at Fat Moon Farm and Elizabeth (my dear farmer friend) mentions her first zucchini bread cook off on the farm.  WHAT?!?!?!  How did I miss this bit of information in her newsletter?  Oh, that's right, I have 3 amazing kids, a dog named Finnegan, a guinea pig named Big Papi, a husband that's wonderful...ahem, most of the time, and my day was just mayhem.   I left that farm so excited and to top it off she was having an "under 18" category as well.  I was already planning what I would do before I left the driveway and the girls would have to agree on what version they wanted to bake.  Then it came.  An email from Elizabeth.  She wanted little ole me to be one of the judges for "Bloggers Choice".  Me?  What?  Well of course I was honored and said yes!  There were two other judges there with me yesterday, Andy from My Untangled Life and Sally from How Does YOUR Garden Grow.  We needed to agree on 2 different entries, one from the "under 18" and the other from the "over 18" categories.  There were 3 breads in the kids division and about 6 or 7 in the adult division...and I am here to tell you that they were all delicious.  We ended up choosing 2 incredible breads that I will make in my very own kitchen and serve proudly.

My babies worked great as a team and made their version of this Blueberry Zucchini Bread.  It was a big hit here and at the bake off, and they won PEOPLE'S CHOICE!!!  I did have to help with a few things and I did monitor the mixing so they didn't go overboard.  I am so proud of my cherubs, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as everyone else has!

Here's What You Need:
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Applesauce
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Honey (we used Big Buzz Apiary honey)
  • 2 cups Zucchini, grated
  • 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cups Blueberries
Preheat your oven to 325℉.  Spray two loaf pans with a non-stick spray.
Add eggs, applesauce, vanilla, sugar and honey to your mixer and combine well.  Next you'll want to incorporate the zucchini.  I've come to the realization that doing this step now helps blend it more evenly and you don't have to worry about the potential for over mixing after the flour is added in.  If you forget this step it's not a deal breaker, add it at the end (before the blueberries) and mix for 10 seconds.  Problem solved.

In a separate bowl combine your flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  This should get added in two parts to the wet ingredients and each addition should be just combined.

The blueberries get folded in to the batter then divide the batter between your loaf pans.  Bake them for 55-65 minutes until the toothpick you stick in the middle comes out clean.  I did lay a piece of tin foil over the pans after about 45 minutes so the tops didn't brown too much.  Let them cool in their pans for 15-20 minutes and then turn them out onto a cooling rack.  I suggest you give them a good bit of time to cool before you taste it...those blueberries are like molten lava when hot!  

Bon's time to eat!