Category Archives: Breakfast

Chili Roasted Pineapple Fries

Some recipes are barely recipes.  They are more about me needing something to go with something, and well, I have this pineapple…

This dish defies any predetermined meal placement.  I served this with a side of BBQ chicken, but it would be just as good with a scoop of ice cream for dessert, or alongside a couple of scrambled eggs for breakfast.

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants is this little place in my home town, run by a Mexican lady who is always singing.  Last time I ate there, she gave me a couple of little tins of spices that she’s planning to start selling. I scored ground cinnamon and this wonderful ground chipotle pepper.  I’ve been putting it on everything!  You may think peppers and pineapples don’t go together, but you’d be wrong!  The kick from the peppers and the sticky sweet touch of honey is the perfect combo.

Chili Roasted Pineapple

Chili Roasted Pineapple

Chili Roasted Pineapple Fries

Fresh Pineapple
Honey
Ground chipotle pepper (or any ground chili/red pepper powder)

Preheat oven to 400˚. Slice pineapple up into whatever shapes you like.  Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Lightly brush tops of pineapple with honey and sprinkle with ground chili pepper.

Cut into whatever shapes you like.  I prefer little stick shapes.  When I cook these on the grill, I do big sticks, the height of the whole pineapple.  Or you can do skewers of chunks if you prefer.

Cut into whatever shapes you like. I prefer little stick (french fry) shapes. 

Roast for 10-15 minutes, until just starting to turn brown. If you prefer grilling to roasting, these are perfect on the grill!

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April’s Eggs Florentine

“Florentine” seems to be the vague describer of anything with spinach.  I never knew that spinach and Florence were that closely connected but that seems to be the case.  Is it the birth place of spinach?  Or just the first place they thought to put eggs and spinach together?  Who knows? All I know is that it’s a pretty yummy combo.

If you look up recipes for Eggs Florentine you will find a pretty wide variety.  Everybody has their own little spin. But usually, it’s some sort of riff off Eggs Benedict.  There is some sort of bread, spinach, poached eggs, and some sort of sauce – sometimes it’s hollandaise, some times Mornay, or something else.

I usually make this just for me, so cooking up a fancy sauce for one isn’t always practical. Instead, I usually mix together a quickie sauce that in actuality is closer to a salad dressing.  It’s a little lighter, and definitely quicker.  And if you don’t want to mess with it, honestly sometimes I just skip it altogether.

April's Eggs Florentine

April’s Eggs Florentine

April’s Eggs Florentine

1-2 pieces of sourdough bread (usually the sourdough I buy is giant so I just cut one piece in half)
1/2 tsp. vinegar (any kind)
2 eggs
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 tsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
Dash of dill
Dash of cayenne
1 tsp. lemon juice

In a small skillet, add a pinch of salt and vinegar to about an inch of water.  Bring to a boil.  Break eggs into the water and turn down to medium.  Cover. Stick the bread in the toaster.  When the toast pops up, the eggs should be done.  Scatter fresh spinach on top of toast and, using a slotted spoon or spatula, lift eggs, let water drain off, and place onto spinach.  In a small bowl mix mayo, dijon, dill, cayenne and lemon juice.  Drizzle over the top of eggs and serve.

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Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo

There’s just something about food made in tiny individual forms that makes me happy.  I’m really not sure why.  They are so cute and delicious and let’s face it, it’s fun to say you ate 4 quiche for dinner.

Instead of the traditional pie crust, I used phyllo dough for the crust in these.  I was in the mood for something light and flaky and it was the perfect solution!  As an added bonus, they were also really pretty and had a satisfying crunch.  Since you’re making individual servings they are also really easy to customize to different tastes if you have a mushroom or feta hater among you.

This recipe makes a dozen quiche, but don’t be surprised if everyone eats three or four.  If you have some left over, they are great for breakfast the next day, but the phyllo will lose its crunch after a night in the fridge.

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo.  How pretty is that?

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo. How pretty is that?

Individual Spinach Quiche in Phyllo

1 package phyllo dough (you will probably only use half of it)
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 oz. mushrooms
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half n half
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper
Feta cheese
Pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Spray a muffin pan (regular size, for 12 muffins) with cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half n half, nutmeg and a bit of salt & pepper.  Set aside.

Unroll your phyllo dough and cover with a slightly damp towel so it doesn’t dry out.  On a clean surface, lay out one sheet of phyllo dough.  If you haven’t worked with phyllo before, be warned it is quite fragile, but it’s not tragic if it tears. If it does, just set the pieces side by side and keep going.  Brush lightly with melted butter (it does not have to be perfect).  Top with another sheet and brush lightly with butter.  Repeat with another 3 to 4 sheets, until you have a stack of 5-6 sheets of dough.  Cut into 6 squares.

Yes, it looks like paper.  It even feels like paper.  But it tastes like dough.  It's magic!

Yes, it looks like paper. It even feels like paper. But it tastes like dough. It’s magic!

Place each square into a muffin well, pressing to shape the square to the bottom of the well.  Repeat process with another 6 sheets of dough, and press into the other wells, making 12 pie crusts.

Tiny pie "crusts"

Tiny pie “crusts”

Saute mushrooms in a small skillet until browned.  Put a few mushrooms in the bottom of each quiche.

Mushrooms.  Don't like mushrooms?  Just leave them out.

Mushrooms. Don’t like mushrooms? Just leave them out.

Squeeze liquid from thawed spinach.  Place a wad of spinach in each quiche and spread out a bit.

minispinachquiche4

Top with a few crumbles of feta cheese (or any other cheese you’re fond of).

minispinachquiche5

Pour egg mixture over the top of the veggies and cheese, being careful not to overfill.  This is most easily accomplished by using a measuring cup with a spout or a small ladle. Top each quiche with a few pine nuts.

minispinachquiche6

Bake for 20-30 minutes until egg mixture is poofed up and crust is golden brown.  Let sit for 5 minutes or so to cool and set up.  Use a butter knife to carefully lever each quiche out of the pan and transfer to a plate.  These are great served with a big green salad.

When they are done, they look like this.  Yum!

When they are done, they look like this. Yum!

 

 

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Thanksgiving Leftover Fritatta

Fritattas are my favorite dumping grounds for leftovers.  I have used everything from potatoes to rice to tortillas for the base, but up until now, I’ve never used stuffing.  But I had a bunch left from Thanksgiving and, while I’d happily just eat a bowl of it, I forgot to snag any gravy from mom so this time I decided to do something different with it.  I also added some of the leftover roasted veggies.  Now you could also add a little turkey if you want…but I saved mine for sandwiches.

Thanksgiving Leftover Fritatta

Thanksgiving Leftover Fritatta

Thanksgiving Leftover Fritatta

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup mixed veggies (I used leftover roasted carrots and green beans)
1 cup Thanksgiving stuffing
4 strips bacon
5 eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Heat a 10″ skillet over medium heat.  Cook bacon until crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Discard the grease in the pan.

One of the most useful things I've learned on Pinterest.  Put a piece of foil in a bowl, pour your grease into it.  When it cools and solidifies, simply crumple it up and throw it away.  Genius!

One of the most useful things I’ve learned from Pinterest. Put a piece of foil in a bowl, pour your grease into it. When it cools and solidifies, simply lift it out and throw it away. Genius!

If needed, add a drizzle of olive oil.  Sauté the onion for 1-2 minutes.  Then add the roasted veggies.  Stir and cook until onion is tender.

Leftover veggies.

Leftover veggies.

Add stuffing and cook until heated through.  Chop bacon and add to stuffing mixture.

Stuffing and bacon into the mix.

Stuffing and bacon into the mix.

In a bowl, beat eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper.   Pour eggs over everything and swirl around to coat.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t cover everything.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Almost there!

Almost there!

Turn heat down to medium low, and cover.  Cook 10-15 minutes, or until top is set.  Cut into wedges and serve.

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Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

I’ve given up buying cereal.  Whenever I do, we each have a bowl and then watch it sit on the shelf thereafter, slowing going stale.  Suffice it to say none of us are big fans of the stuff, in spite of the occasional craving.  I feel better and less hungry throughout the day when I have a bit of protein in the morning instead.

This delicious omelet makes a perfect breakfast or lunch.  The pine nuts add a nutty touch that works beautifully with the spinach.  Add them near the end of sauteing the veggies, since they burn easily.

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

Spinach-Feta Omelet with Pine Nuts

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tsp pine nuts
2-3 tbsp. feta cheese
2-3 eggs
Salt & pepper

Beat eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper and set aside.

Heat a medium skillet (I prefer a 10″ skillet for omelets) over medium heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and rub around skillet to coat entirely.  Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes, until tender.  Add spinach and pine nuts.  Cook, stirring frequently another minute or two, until spinach is slightly wilted.  Remove veggies to a plate.

Cooking the veggies.  I only cook until the spinach is just barely cooked.

Keep an eye on the veggies so your pine nuts don’t burn!

Add eggs to the skillet.  Swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan.  Using a spatula, push or lift the edges of the egg, tilting the pan so the runny egg fills the empty spot.  Keep doing this until there is no runny egg.  You will end up with a bumpy, moon crater surface of an omelet, with the egg mostly cooked but still glossy on top.

Scatter cheese all over the surface, and then put the veggies just on one half.

Yum!

Yum!

Cook a minute until cheese starts to melt, fold omelet over, slide out of the pan and serve immediately.

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Kale Over Easy Tostada

After my Halloween debauchery, I decided to detox from all the sugar with a three day juice fast.  I drank four fresh vegetable/fruit juices per day, and ate a light vegetarian dinner each day.  I think it did the trick.  After a splitting headache for two days, I felt much better and stopped craving sugar.  While the juices were delicious, by the time my fast was done I was juiced out.  But still had a lot of juicing veggies left.

While I normally eat a lot of vegetables, kale and chard are not among my favorites, so I’m trying to find creative ways to use them up.  I really liked how this tostada turned out.  The onions and garlic add so much flavor to the kale, and a quick sauté brightens the taste and softens the texture.  With the yolky egg on top, it was a great combo.  I might actually buy kale to make this again.

Kale Over Easy Tostada

Kale Over Easy Tostada

Kale Over Easy Tostada

For each tostada:
1 tostada shell
2-3 kale leaves, coarsely chopped (discard stems)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 eggs
1 oz. shredded cheese (I used white cheddar)
Salsa (optional)
Salt & pepper

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet.  Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and kale and cook another 2 minutes,  until kale is slightly wilted and onions are translucent.

Just cook until kale is wilted but still bright.  You don't want to cook it to death.

Just cook until kale is wilted but still bright. You don’t want to cook it to death.

If desired, heat tostada shell for a few seconds in microwave (just so it isn’t cold), and top with kale mixture.  Break eggs into the same skillet, sprinkle with salt & pepper and cook until they are done as much as you like.  I like mine over easy, which means cook just until the whites are set (not clear), then flip or cover to cook the other side briefly, removing them while the yolk is still runny. Place eggs on top of kale.

Top with cheese and salsa and enjoy!

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Hearty Red Potato Fritatta

When you hear fritatta your mind might automatically head for breakfast-land.  But this also makes a dandy lunch or dinner, served with a side of fruit or salad.  This week it landed in brunch territory, alongside three cups of tea and a pile of Honeycrisp apple slices.

I often use leftover baked potatoes for this one, but if you don’t have any, a quick spin in the microwave will do just fine.

Hearty Red Potato Fritatta

Hearty Red Potato Fritatta

Hearty Red Potato Fritatta

2 red potatoes
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup red pepper
2-3 strips bacon
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
5 eggs
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

If you aren’t using leftover baked potatoes, poke all over with a fork and stick in the microwave.  About 4-5 minutes on high should have them fork tender.  Remove and dice.

In a small bowl, beat egg with a pinch of salt & pepper and set aside.

In a medium skillet (I like to use a 10″ skillet for these), cook bacon until crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain and dispose of all but a tablespoon or two of the bacon grease.  Add onion and pepper to the pan and sauté a couple of minutes until tender.  Add potatoes and a pinch of salt & pepper.  Stir to combine.  Add spinach and stir into the mixture.  Make sure veggie and potato mixture is evenly distributed in the pan.  Pour egg mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Turn heat down to medium low and cover.  Cook another 5-10 minutes until top is completely set.  Slice into wedges and enjoy!

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Tomato Quiche Cups

I love quickie breakfasts.  Even more, I love quickie breakfasts that are delicious.  Baked eggs are an easy and very tasty way to start the day.  Ever since I bought my ramekins, these have been coming out of my oven on a regular basis.  What I really love about them is that there are so many variations!  Whatever your imagination (and refrigerator) can dream up will most likely turn into a tasty breakfast.

Sometimes I just break the eggs into the cups on top of the veggies and meat.  But I was in the mood for something a bit fluffier so I added a little cream and beat it into the eggs for a more quiche-like texture.  The result?  Fluffy, light and oh so good!

Pretty and so good!

So pretty and so good!

Tomato Quiche Cups

For each cup:

1plum tomato, diced
1 oz. hard salami, cut into matchsticks or small cubes (1-2 tbsp)
2 slices brie cheese
2 eggs
1 tbsp. heavy cream
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray your ramekins with cooking spray.  Place tomatoes and salami in the bottom.

Tomato & salami.  Feel free to sub bacon or pepperoni, or leave out for a vegetarian version.

Tomato & salami. Feel free to sub bacon or pepperoni, or leave out for a vegetarian version.

Top with brie.

Top with brie.  Feel free to use a different cheese if you prefer (or no cheese).

Top with brie. Feel free to use a different cheese if you prefer (or no cheese).

Whisk together eggs, cream and a pinch of salt & pepper.  Pour over veggies and cheese.

All ready to go in the oven.  Be sure to make on a baking sheet, just in case they spill over just a bit as they cook.

All ready to go in the oven. Be sure to make on a baking sheet, just in case they spill over just a bit as they cook.

Place ramekins on a baking sheet (sometimes they poof up so much you get a little overflow so this is a good idea).  Bake 15-20 minutes until eggs are set.  The quiche will be poofed up when you first take it out.

Let sit for a couple of minutes.  The eggs will settle as it cools, looking more like this:

Deflated a bit after cooling a few minutes.  Dig in!

Deflated a bit after cooling a few minutes. Dig in!

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Baked Huevos Verde

On the rare occasion I have leftover enchilada ingredients, my favorite thing to use them for is breakfast.  If you don’t have leftovers, this sauce takes mere moments to make and will keep in the fridge for a week.  Use beans, meat or veggies you might have left over or just use eggs and cheese.  Either way you stack it, it’s going to be delicious!  I had a bit of black beans and chicken, mixed with a dab of sour cream (my enchilada filling) so I used that in mine.

Baked Huevos Verde

Baked Huevos Verde

Baked Huevos Verde

For each ramekin:

Corn tortilla
Leftover chicken and/or black beans and/or veggies (optional)
2 tbsp. salsa verde (see below for recipe)
1-2 eggs
Queso fresco
Salt & pepper

Verde Sauce:
12 oz. tomatillos (7-8 large)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped roasted green chiles (or one 4 oz. can)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Preheat oven to 375˚.

To make verde sauce:  Remove husks and stems from tomatillos and put in a small saucepan.  Cover with water; boil for 10 minutes or until tender.  Drain and transfer to a blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients.  Blend until smooth.

Homemade verde sauce.  So quick and easy!

Homemade verde sauce. So quick and easy!

Use a knife to cut your tortilla, making 4 slices, but leaving the center uncut.

4 small slices, going from the edge toward the center, leaving about an inch in the center uncut.

4 small slices, going from the edge toward the center, leaving about an inch in the center uncut.

Spray your ramekin with cooking spray.  Fold tortilla into the ramekin in a little bowl shape (if you cut all the way through it’s no big deal, just stick it in there anyway, overlapping the pieces to fit).

Overlap the cut edges to make a little bowl shape in the ramekin.

Overlap the cut edges to make a little bowl shape in the ramekin.

Add a bit of veggies, meat or beans if you are using them.

Beans, meat or veggies on the bottom (if using).

Beans, meat or veggies on the bottom (if using).

Add 2-3 tablespoons of verde sauce.

I love love love this sauce.

I love love love this sauce.

Break 1-2 eggs into the ramekin on top of the sauce.

Add eggs.  Depending on the size of your ramekin and how much veggies you added, you may be able to fit two eggs in here.

Add eggs. Depending on the size of your ramekin and how much veggies you added, you may be able to fit two eggs in here.

Sprinkle with queso fresco and a dash of salt & pepper.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until eggs are set and whites are cooked.  Serve hot!

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Lemon Zucchini Bread

We received a garden gift.  Four GIANT zucchini.  After four loaves of zucchini bread I still have two of these monsters left.  I’m debating about what to do with it.  Zucchini tacos?  Zucchini soup?  Nah…probably just more of this bread, because it was fantastic.  This one in particular was even better because it was made with love by my daughter, Claire.  Have I mentioned that teaching that kid to cook was a great idea?

The original recipe for this had a glaze over the top.  If you want to add that, it’s simply a mixture of powdered sugar and a little milk, spooned over the cooled bread.  We left it off…now we can call this healthy, right?  In any case, this was a delicious twist on an old favorite.  (Get it?  Twist?  Lemon?  Yikes.)

Scrumptious Lemon Zucchini Bread

Scrumptious Lemon Zucchini Bread

Lemon Zucchini Bread
(adapted from NancyCreative.com)

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
1 cup grated zucchini (unpeeled)

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs well, then add canola oil and sugar, and blend well. Then add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and blend everything well. Fold in zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and blend everything together, but don’t overmix.

Pour batter into prepared 9×5″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (if your oven tends to run hot, check the loaf after 40 minutes; also, if you make this in an 8×4″ loaf pan, your baking time may be a little longer…about 5 to 10 minutes more). Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.

Yum.  Is it cool enough to eat?  I think so.

Yum. Is it cool enough to eat? I think so.

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