Thursday, December 29, 2011

Egg Pie with Sausage, Onions, and Potatoes

Hello friends!  Here we are, on December 29th.  It's just flying right by isn't it?  And only a few more days until we ring in the new year!  Goodness gracious.  I might have said it before but, I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season so far.  Especially since it's all wrapping up. 

Well, I hate to jump right to the gifts I received this past weekend but....Remember a while back when I made the foodie gift guide?  Well it turned out to be the best thing I could have done.  I ended up receiving some of the things on the list as gifts.  How wonderful are the people I have in my life?  Pretty. Darn. Wonderful.  I think I'll start making gift guides for every holiday...including flag day, valentines day, veterans day...just kidding, that would be absurd.

Within the next couple months I will be posting about some of the fun things that I received, but for today...we will be oogling over the HOMEMADE cookbook that Kaston's wonderful parents gave me.  I can't even explain to you how much I love this cookbook.  I actually haven't stopped carrying it around...just in case, you know.

I even carried it alllllll the way to Bolivar to visit my precious suitemate from Mizzou, Kaitlin.  After a trip to the grocery store and another to Wal-Mart, we settled in for a day of cooking, crafting, and the Dixie Chicks.  A combination that simply can't be beat.  Especially when I get to spend the entire afternoon with the Roweton family.  And speaking of that little family...the Roweton ladies both have spectacular blogs.  You have to check them out.  Kaitlin has Small Things and Sue, her momma, has Life Moves Pretty Fast.  Go read and love on them! 

And then come back to drool over this yummy egg pie/omelette that Kaitlin and I made...

Egg pie...
with sausage, cumin, potatoes, and spinach


Print Me! 
  • 8oz sausage (I used sweet Italian)
  • olive oil for frying
  • 10oz spinach, washed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 large potato, washed but not peeled, thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, briefly toasted in a dry pan
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ball buffalo mozzarella
1. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet.  Brown meat.  Remove from pan when meat is done and drain on paper towels.
2. Throw the spinach into the same pan, on high heat.  When all of the leaves are cooked, transfer to a colander in the sink to drain.
3.  Heat a bit more oil in the skillet, and add the onion, green pepper, and potato slices.  Cook half covered with a lid for approximately 10 minutes on medium heat.  Turn occasionally.  Remove the lid and turn up the heat, allowing the potatoes to become crispy on the edges.

4. Preheat the broiler.
5. Beat the eggs, cream, cumin seeds, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

6. Pour egg mixture over the veggies in the pan.  Shake the pan back and forth in order for the egg to spread out evenly.

7. Spread spinach and sausage over egg mixture and cover with mozzarella slices.

8. Place pan in the oven until egg is done.  Approximately 10-15 minutes.

 9. Let everyone dig in!

10. Serve in thick wedges.

11. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cranberry Cinnamon Pecan Bread

It's been a while hasn't it?

I'm sorry.  I told you I was going to be a busy girl.  And I wasn't kidding.  I don't think I've stopped running around since I got here.  But with such limited time in Ozark I must squeeze in everything that I well as eat everything that I possibly can.  Seriously, I think the whole eating thing is starting to take its toll...and I love it.

Surprisingly, I haven't done a lot of cooking since I've been here, mainly because we eat out for every meal.  However, I have done a bit of baking the past two days.  And when I say a bit, I mean 7 (yes 7!) pans of cinnamon rolls, a couple loaves of cinnamon/cranberry/pecan bread, and some salted chocolate peppermint bark.  The cinnamon rolls and peppermint bark were a bit excessive but at least made for good holiday gifts.  And the bread was well...divine.

And since it was divine...I think I need to hand over the recipe.  It takes a bit of patience due to the rising time but it's ohhh so good.  And perfect for the holiday weekend.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and Christmas if you're celebrating!

Cranberry Cinnamon Pecan Bread
 Ingredients: Makes 2 Loaves
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons shortening at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup water at room temperature
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
 1. Start by combining flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and yeast in a large mixing bowl.

 2. Add water, shortening, lightly beaten egg, and whole milk.

 3. Stir everything together with a large wooden spoon.  Add more water or flour if the dough seems too sticky or too stiff.

 4. Move dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes by hand.  Dough should be soft and pliable. 

 5. In the last 2 minutes of kneading add in the cranberries and pecans. 

6. Try to distribute cranberries and pecans as evenly as possible.

 7. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, rolling around to coat.  Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to double for about 2 hours.
8. After 2 hours, split dough in half and place in 2 lightly oiled bread pans.  Cover with loosely with plastic wrap and allow dough to double again.  About an hour to an hour and a half.
9. Preheat oven to 350° and place loaves on the middle rack.  Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the pans 180° for even baking.  Bake for another 20-30 minutes.  The top will be golden brown.

 10. Immediately remove loaves from pans and brush with butter.  Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle on top.

11. Let the bread cool.  Cut.  Serve.  Slather with butter (optional).  Oooh and Aaaah.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Foodie Gift Guide 2011

Well everyone, I'm about to throw another "Not a Meal Plan Monday" post at you for the second week in a row.  However, I think I have another solid excuse for the week....

Kaston and I will be heading back to the great state of Missouri in two days and therefore I'm hoping that our meals will come out of one of our momma's kitchens or from some of our favorite restaurants that we've been missing.  So to both of our moms...please be prepared.  Your kiddies are coming home and want some of your cookin'.

Instead of a Meal Plan Monday do you feel about a little gift guide for your favorite foodie friend?  You like that?  Okay wonderful!  Let's get to it.

1) For the reader:
I can't even lie to you.  I've had my eye on this little gem for quite some time now.  Food stylist, chef and illustrator Yvette van Boven has created the ultimate DIY guide to cooking.  With over two hundred sweet and savory recipes for making everything from homemade chocolate to making an oven smoker in just under two minutes, there's something to satisfy the cravings and curiosities of everyone in HOMEMADE.
2) For the entertainer:
Fun fact: Every girl that loves to be in the kitchen should have a beautiful apron.  I was given one for my birthday this past year and I adore it.  And I'm 99.9% sure that cooking in a cute apron makes the food taste better.  So head on over to Anthropologie and check out all of their beautiful aprons for your favorite entertainer.  Or if you're super crafty...make your own!

3) For the one with a coffee addiction:
Oh me, oh my.  A french press coffee maker.  I know all of you out there have at least one friend or family member that has a major coffee addiction.  And I know that this is true because I have developed a coffee addiction and we're friends, right?  So, let me just tell you...if there is someone in your life that has a devotion to coffee like I do AND they don't have a french press coffee maker PLEASE go get them one for Christmas.  They will love you.  Really they will.  You can find them anywhere, but this is an 8 cup Bodum Chambord French Press with a locking lid from Williams Sonoma.

4) For the guy:
Peanuts.  Maple syrup.  Spices.  And bacon.  All tossed together and roasted.  Some have claimed that it's the best beer nut in America.  What more needs to be said?  I mean everything is better with bacon, right guys?

5) For the playfully chic:
Jonathan Adler.  Oh, Jonathan Adler.  He has created a domestic goddesses dream.  Everything created by him is playful, fun and oh so chic.  Obviously my favorites include his kitchen goods.  Especially the salt and pepper shakers, which I find hilarious.  However, these Utopia Cowboy and Indian Mugs totally caught my eye and I adore them.  "Utopia travels to the wild, wild west."

6) For the decorator:
Graphic Anthology is an adorable little Etsy shop with a lot of cheap and fun wall prints for the kitchen.  Have a friend that isn't necessarily a "foodie" but loves to decorate?  This is perfect.  And besides everyone loves cute wall art.

7) For the vintage lover:
Vintage pyrex was just brought to my attention by the lovely Ashley over at The Uniqueness of Being and it's B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.  If I had just a tiny bit more room in our apartment I would be collecting this stuff like mad.  This would be a great gift for anyone that loves to cook and also loves anything vintage.  The one pictured is from this Etsy shop, which also features several other great little pieces.

8) For the baker:
Back to Anthropologie.  I think these Milk Bottle Measuring Cups are sweet as pie.  No more ugly measuring cups that are thrown in the back of a drawer somewhere.  These can and should be put out on display when not in use.  Don't forget to browse through the rest of Anthropologie's kitchen stuff for more gift ideas.  Your foodie friend would love that.

9) For the chocoholic:
Last but not favorite foodie of them all.  The chocoholic.  These people know what life is all about.  However, you can't just throw a plain ole' piece of milk chocolate at them and expect praise.  Instead try these Lake Champlain Chocolates straight out of Vermont.  After Kaston and I came back from our trip to Vermont (that didn't include a trip over to the Lake Champlain Chocolate factory) I discovered that these chocolates were voted in the top 10 of Food & Wine's favorite chocolates list.  I failed...but you won't, because you know not to make the same mistakes.

So there it is.  A foodie gift guide.....that looks incredibly similar to my Christmas wish list.  Coincidence?  Absolutely.

Coming Up: I mentioned earlier that we will be heading back to Missouri in the next few days SO you must cut me some slack when I abandon you for days (hopefully not weeks) at a time.  You have to remember that I'm an only child....meaning that my mother will have an agenda laid out for the next month by the time I step off the plane.  So please be patient with me...and her!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now that I have successfully completed this semester, my life has turned into one big Christmas extravaganza.  I've been busy making presents, baking Christmas cookies, enjoying a little holiday shin-dig (that involved a lot of festive coloring pages), and going to the SoWa holiday market.  I'd say this is quite a step up from the past couple weeks of being buried in textbooks.  And I'm loving it.

I made these cookies yesterday for the little holiday party we attended last night.  We had a wonderful time munching on cookies and coloring some lovely "Christmas" pictures.  Yes, I said coloring.  Friends, food, great conversation, music, and coloring.  Talk about a perfect night.

The cookies are scrumptious and incredibly simple to throw together for a party or give as a last minute gift. sit down with a plateful and a big glass of milk to enjoy all by yourself.  Sounds lovely doesn't it?

Just to get you in the holiday mood while should probably listen to the new She & Him Christmas album like I did.  I'm convinced that it gives the cookies a little extra *umph*.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup peppermint cocoa (regular cocoa works too!)
  •   1.4 oz package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2-2 cups dark chocolate chips and mint chips (if you can find mint chips!)
 1. Preheat oven to 325°.  Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

2. In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa, pudding, baking soda, and salt.

 3. Gradually add flour into butter mixture and beat well.  Mix in chocolate and mint chips.  Drop onto an ungreased baking sheet.

 4. Bake for 11-13 minutes.  Allow to cool for a minute or two and then move to a wire rack.

 5. Time to grab a glass of milk and enjoy!

Coming Up: Keep an eye out on Monday for another non-traditional Meal Plan Monday that will give some gift ideas for all of your favorite foodies!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meal Plan Monday: Finals Week

 I am down to 3 days left of class for the semester and then Missouri here I come!  Can you believe it??  It's flown by and in a very non-stressful manner.  How did I pull this off so easily? 

I guess I shouldn't speak too soon considering this week is still packed with papers, projects, presentations, and exams.  I'm still crossing my fingers that it won't be too horrible.

In order to keep that stress level down and pass my tests/projects/papers with flying colors I've decided that I'm not going to focus on making dinner this week.  I assume that most dinners will be crammed in while I'm studying unless of course Kaston decides to cook up something tasty, which is actually quite possible (no sarcasm I promise!).

So instead of a regular Meal Plan Monday post I'm going to throw out a few old blog posts for all of my fellow college students that are also getting ready to suffer through finals week.   Something that is better than ramen noodles but still easy to prepare is definitely needed in this situation. 

for breakfast:
These Maple Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins involve a bit of mixing and then 20-25 minutes baking.  Quick and easy!  Perfect for a grab and go morning.

Homemade Biscuits and Gravy are always a good start to a long day of studying.  You can even use canned biscuits to save a bit of time.

for lunch:
Hummus Melts (or Mummus if you prefer to stick with the Halloween theme) are a quick, tasty, and healthy way to get your second wind.

A big protein filled salad with this tasty Ginger Vinaigrette?  Yes, please.  You're tummy and taste buds will love you.
for dinner:
Do you know what's better than coming home from a long day at school?  Coming home from a long day at school to a crock-pot full of Guinness Roast that is just waiting to be eaten.  Just a few quick steps in the morning and then 7 hours later...yummy deliciousness. 

Step away from the Ramen Noodles!  Try this Lemon Basil Alfredo instead.  It's soooo much better!  I promise.

 the rewards:
finals are over and it's time for a treat...
For the non-chocolate lover...Lemon Bars.  One word.  Divine.

And for the chocolate lover...German Chocolate "thank goodness finals are over" Cake
Good luck everyone!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ginger Vinaigrette

Ooooh my goodness.  This dressing.  This marinade.  This has to be illegal.

A couple of weeks ago for my very first Meal Plan Monday Post (which you can find here) I included a big delicious steak salad from The Pioneer Woman.  The salad itself was wonderful and probably a long shot from being healthy with the whole onion strings and candied pecans on top thing but when it comes to something so delicious who really cares?  You answered no one?  That is correct.  Back to the point.  The real gem of this recipe is the dressing/marinade.

I don't believe that I will ever find a better marinade or salad dressing.  I'm telling you I am absolutely, positively in LOVE with this recipe.  So far I have been using it on salads and to marinate chicken and steak.  But have no fear I will find a way to incorporate it into my entire cooking arsenal before too long.

It incorporates everything that a good vinaigrette should have and then goes above and beyond with a few little ingredients that make it explode with flavor.

For goodness' sake please go make this.
  • 3/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced Fresh Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoons Hot Chili Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Are you prepared to be blown away by simplicity? 
  1. Throw everything in a mason jar (or any jar with a lid) and shake vigorously until well combined.  Taste and add a little extra of whatever you think it needs.
I decided to throw together this yummy salad with grape tomatoes, onion, cucumber, yellow pepper, blueberries, goat cheese and leftover chicken (that I marinated in the dressing and made last night!)  Yum.
Here goes the best part.
Ohhhh my goodness!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Turkey Chili...with a Peanut Butter Sandwich

Fun fact: Until the age of 18 (or something like that) I firmly believed that everyone grew up eating peanut butter sandwiches with chili.  It seemed completely logical.

I don't remember the specific incident that triggered the realization that this was not true.  But it was something along the lines of having friends over for dinner, mom's chili to be exact, me asking if they would like a half or whole peanut butter sandwich, and receiving perplexed looks that hinted that I had lost my marbles.  "A peanut butter sandwich and chili!?"

Apparently this was just another strange thing I was raised to eat and think was completely normal.  Her excuse is that this is how they always served chili when she was in school.  And you know what?  I will forever love those lunch ladies for this weird combination.  And do you know why?  Because it is delicious.  I know it's strange.  Really strange for that matter.  But you have to try it.  You will never ever regret the decision to do so.

So this is my request.
1) Make a pot of this chili
2) Slather a few pieces of bread with your favorite peanut butter
3) Slap them together  
4) Dunk the sandwich into the chili
5) Devour
6) Wash down with a big glass of milk
7) Get back on here and tell me how much you loved it
Please and thank you.

Turkey Chili...
with a Peanut Butter Sandwich
  • 2 lbs ground turkey meat 
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained

1. In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and drop in turkey meat.  Brown the meat.
2. When the meat is cooked add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and throw in the diced vegetables and garlic.  Allow vegetables to get soft.  Around 3-5 minutes.
3. Pour in diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and spices.  Stir to combine.
4. Bring to a boil.  When it starts boiling turn down the heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.
5. After 20-25 minutes add corn and black beans.  Let simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
6. Make up a peanut butter sandwich, grab some cheese, and any other toppings you desire.
7. Eat, enjoy, and don't forget to dunk!
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