dippin’ eggs

DSC00461dippin’ eggs….are my new best friend. anything i can cook in one pan…and then continue to eat out of that same pan is A++ in my book. ¬†another great thing? you can literally eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner — or all three, which is what i have succumb to. i saw the original recipe on the londoner¬†and did not stop thinking about it until it was in my belly (and on my shirt.) fail. anywho, it is quite simple to cook up and actually the hardest part about it is waiting for the eggs to cook on top…because by that time, you will be salivating.¬†sausageDSC00428eggs

dippin’ eggs (serves 2-4)

  • 2 links of italian sausage or chorizo (casings removed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/2 can of tomato sauce
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • a few eggs (up to you!)
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • handful of soft cheese (feta, goat, boursin)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • s + p
  • sourdough or multigrain bread

here’s how:

first off, if you have a cast iron pan on hand – use it! if not, any regular one will do. first, start off by adding your olive oil to the pan over medium heat. once its hot, add your sausage and garlic and let it fry up for a bit, maybe 6-8 minutes. now, add your peppers and cherry tomatoes then pour your canned tomatoes over it. season with some salt and pepper, teaspoon of paprika, tablespoon of honey, pinch of red pepper flakes and give it a good mix around. once this is bubbly, turn the heat down to medium low and let it cook down and reduce, about 15 minutes. by now, about 1/3 of the liquid will be cooked off and you can add about half of your chopped cilantro.

now the fun part! add your eggs on top, however many you choose. just plop them wherever and let them cook like any old egg. i found this took longer than expected, so i covered the pan to make the eggs cook faster! this is a great time to toast up all of your dipping bread. when the eggs are just about done, add your cheese – i used boursin. sprinkle the rest of your cilantro over the top and let it cook a few more minutes until its semi melted and gooey. now take to the table and eat right out of the pan – but don’t burn yourself like i did:)

eggs in sauce

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dippin’ eggs

hibernation food: pork ragu

pork raguwelcome to hibernation station. clearly, its the end of january and i actually just want to ¬†hop in a hot air balloon that takes me to somewhere warm, say, belize. i think that would do. but at this point, ill take 20. it was a few weeks back during one of the negative days that i decided pork ragu was in order. thanks to DALS, this recipe has been on repeat this winter. it is the perfect weekend meal and the worlds best leftovers. like, i actually can’t stop counting down the minutes until lunch when i can eat this the rest of the week. salivating. the pork falls apart in your mouth, the wine makes it rich and the herbs bring out a freshness. IT JUST WORKS GUYS. so if you find yourself wondering what you are going to eat this weekend and you have a few hours to spare, i promise you won’t regret it when this fills your home with the yummiest aromas. happy friday!¬†DSC00340DSC00356

pork ragu over pappardelle (serves 6ish)

  • 2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small pat butter
  • 1 large can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • small handful of fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness
  • pappardelle, cooked to your liking
  • freshly grated parmesean

here’s how:

first off, if you don’t have a large enough pot to do this in the oven or just love your crock pot to pieces, don’t worry — you can use either. i’ve done both and either way works well. if you do decide to go the crock pot route, i would do it on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until the meat is falling apart. now the fun stuff!

preheat oven to 325¬įF. take the pork out, salt and pepper both sides, don’t skimp on the s + p. add olive oil and butter to large dutch oven or stock pot and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn, about 1-2 minutes. add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.

add the onion and garlic to the pork and saute for 1 minute. then throw in your tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. once it starts boiling, cover, and put in oven. braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. the liquid should always come about 1/3 up the pork so add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed, i usually opt for the wine for richness. pork is done when it’s practically falling apart. take it out of the oven and grab out any stems from the thyme and oregano. next, pull it apart with two forks or mash everything with a potato masher, my preference. when it’s is ready, put pappardelle noodles in individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of parm. dig in!

ragu

hibernation food: pork ragu

wellness wednesday: adobo chicken salad with lime vinaigrette

DSC00416i’m going to start with it says it feels like -20 right now and i never want to leave my big comfy chair. as i am positive no one else wants to leave their bed. that has absolutely nothing to do with this salad, forgive me. yesterday, i watched this video on ‘a cup of jo,’ and in turn made me want to cook up something fresh and healthy. my mother always says “only shop the perimeter of the store” and let’s be real, that usually doesn’t happen — but yesterday, i succeeded! as i am sure most of you do, i find it way harder to eat healthy in the winter when all i want is comfort food…hello french onion soup. i will say though, this salad was light but filling and the chicken is out. of. this. world.

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adobo chicken salad with lime vinaigrette (serves 2)

for the chicken:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo (i used la morena – usually in the mexican section of your market; save one chipotle pepper and chop it)
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

for the vinaigrette:

  • 1 lime, around 2 table spoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil

for the salad:

  • 1.5 heads of lettuce (i used a mix of red leaf and romaine), rinsed and chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • handful of cilantro, chopped

here’s how:

are we ready to rumble? add the chicken to a baking dish or ziploc bag and season with salt and pepper. then, add all ingredients to your dish or ziploc bag. toss so all of the chicken is evenly coated. marinate until you can’t wait any longer to start cooking. in theory, it would be great to let it sit for 2 hours or more, but who has that time at the end of the day? i marinated mine for about 45 minutes and it was still fab. when you are ready to cook the chicken, get out your non stick skillet and place it over a burner on medium-high with a small splash of olive oil. once its heated, add the chicken to the pan. cooking times will vary depending on the cut of chicken. breasts will take around 6 minutes per side with the pan covered. tenders will take 3-4 minutes per side, uncovered.

now let’s chat about the vinaigrette. put all ingredients into a food processor or jar and mix to combine. taste, then add more lime or oil if desired. that was hard.

to make the salads, add your lettuce to the bowl then top with even amounts of corn, beans, tomato, and avocado. sprinkle your chopped cilantro on top. add desired amount of chicken then top with green onions and dressing. pour glass of wine and serve!

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wellness wednesday: adobo chicken salad with lime vinaigrette

the ratatouille, from ratatouille

ratatouilledo you like veggies? i like veggies. do you like tomato sauce? i love tomato sauce. do you like pretty food? i sure do. should we be besties? why not. if you answered yes to all of the aforementioned questions, then you will no doubt love this ratatouille, especially now that were besties. ¬†this is one of those meals that looks a little tricky and time consuming, but in all seriousness, the hardest part is cutting the parchment paper. it is perfect for so many different occasions, a sunday meal that can be taken for lunch the rest of the week or for a little dinner party with friends. and let’s be honest, a perfect excuse to watch remy whip up some rat-tastic meals. i’ll leave you with that and promise to never make up words about rats (blegh) ever again.ratatouille ratatouille ratatouille ratatouille

ratatouille 

  • 3/4 yellow onion, finely chopped and divided in two bowls
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 can tomato sauce/puree
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¬†eggplant
  • 1 ¬†zucchini
  • 1 ¬†yellow squash
  • 1-2 red bell pepper
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves pulled off
  • salt and pepper
  • a few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving
  • parchment paper

here’s how:

preheat oven to 375 degrees F. next, chop your veggies. i like to start with the main ingredients: eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper. trim the ends of the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. for the red pepper, trim the end and remove the core very carefully.

now let’s get to slicing. with a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper very thinly — probably about 1/16 of an inch if using a mandolin. for me, i usually use my mandolin for the yellow squash and zucchini and a knife for the eggplant and red pepper as its easier, but feel free to do whatever works best for you! next, chop your onion and garlic so you can start assembling.

now comes the fun part! pour in half of the tomato sauce to your oval baking dish or until the bottom is covered. to this, add half of your onion, half your garlic garlic, one tablespoon of olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.¬†arrange slices of sliced vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a teeny bit of each flat surface is visible (see in above pictures), alternating vegetables. usually i have leftover veggies, so i do another layer! if you’d like to do the same — pour the remainder of the tomato sauce, onions, and garlic over the first layer and repeat.

drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the veggies along with your little thyme leaves and season with S + P. cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper that fits inside (picture below). i forewarned you, this is the hardest part. bake for 40-50 minutes or until the veggies are clearly cooked and the tomato sauce is bubbling up around the outskirts of the pan. take out and let cool for about 5 minutes.

serve with a dollop of goat cheese on top over any grain you like or dunk some bread into it, whatever you fancy. i happen to fancy couscous. enjoy!

ratatouille

adapted from smitten kitchen.

the ratatouille, from ratatouille

thee classic blossom cookies

IMG_1370IMG_1342 IMG_1347weekends are meant for cooking….and sleeping, having champagne and going on shopping sprees that your mother lectures you on. but mostly, for cooking. do i have time to roast chickens or braise pork on tuesdays? no. does anyone? probably not unless you are the luckiest peep ever. which brings me back to my first point, weekends are for cooking — and in this case, baking. a dear little friend of mine, she’s not literally little like a child, but that was supposed to be an endearing way to describe her. anyways, said friend sent me a picture of her making these cookies way back in my beloved cleveland, i died and went to photo heaven and needed to have these like yesterday. i immediately stopped in my tracks (actually, at the time i was ice skating, so really i stopped mid glide) and decided we would be going to the store for blossom ingredients. i must say, for not being an avid baker, these are pretty fab. and simple to make, which makes them all the more yummy in your tummy. so now…as we are nearing the weekend, please get your pantry ready to take one of the worlds finest flavor combos (PB & chocolate) and make them into these little guys to take to your annual cookie exchange, because i know you are going to one. i just know it.IMG_1353 IMG_1359

peanut butter blossoms

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a little additional granulated sugar
  • hershey’s kisses (about 36), whatever type you like!

here’s how:

turn your oven on to 375 degrees (that was tough). in a large pretty bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butta, butter and egg with an electric mixer. if you do not have a mixer, use a spoon and get buff. mix until smooth and well blended. next, mix in baking powder, baking soda and flour. do the flour 1/2 cup at a time to make sure it is getting well mixed.

now the fun part! form dough into 1-inch balls and roll around in the additional granulated sugar. on ungreased cookie sheet, place peanut butta balls about 2 inches apart.

bake for about 8-10 minutes, until edges are a light golden brown. immediately press kisses into the center and remove from cookie sheet onto cooling rack.

now eat them all. the end.

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thee classic blossom cookies

white chicken chili

white chicken chili white chicken chili white chicken chililet me tell ya, this doesn’t look like much, seriously, i’ve accepted that. but, don’t let this pile of beans fool ya! it is tasty and the best leftovers you can run home to when your fingers are frozen and the wind won’t stop blowing in your face and you are literally counting down the steps it takes to get to your 3rd floor walk up. that was a mouthful, my apologies. ¬†i constantly make batches of this white chicken chili to feed an army…and then the two of us end up eating all. of. it. ¬†i look forward to it for lunch, i can’t wait to get home to eat it for dinner and i’d probably eat in on toast for breakfast at work but i choose to not get stared at. for now at least. everyone loves a good crock pot recipe that can cook all day while your slaving away and then come home and pig out without having to turn a single knob on their oven, so let’s get it goin’.white chicken chili

white chicken chili 

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cans of cannellini beans (great northern beans work too!), drained and rinsed
  • 2, 15oz cans of corn
  • 2 bell peppers (i used red + green), chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1, 32 oz chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
  • salt to taste

for topping:

  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped red onion
  • cilantro

here’s how:

this is embarrassingly easy, and i almost can’t believe i’m writing this down, but it is too good not to share with the world (aka my little corner of the internet).

take out your 6 quart crock pot, if you have a smaller one, no worries! just cut the recipe in half. arrange the chicken on the bottom. top with beans, corn, peppers, cauliflower, onion, broth, cumin, chili powder. stir it up a bit then cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. at this time, your chicken will be falling apart but feel free to take two forks and shred it to your liking. now, stir in the sour cream, season with salt as needed and ladle into bowls or serving dish. i like to add a dollop of sour cream, minced red onion, cilantro and cheese to my chili then call it a day.

also, let it be known you can change this depending on your likes a dislikes. like things spicy? add some jalapeno. want it thicker? don’t add as much broth (maybe 3/4 of the amount above). let your imagine run wild!! or don’t, cause its good as it is. enjoy!

white chicken chili

sunday supper: easy meatloaf

IMG_0967grated parm

meatloaf. your mind may hate the word, but your taste buds will love it. i cannot remember the last time i actually ate it until today, always shuttering at the thought. but some little bird mentioned numerous times how much he wanted it, so there i went on a mission to make one we both could enjoy. let’s be real, there is no real kitchen expertise you need to throw this together. chop everything up, mix it in a bowl, pour it in a pan and call it a day. i’m on board, one thousand percent.

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easy meatloaf + sauce

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5-6 slices white bread
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup flat lead parsley, chopped
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1.5 teaspoons worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

here’s how:

preheat oven to 350 degrees. pour 1 cup of milk over bread and let soak for 5-10 minutes.

add meat to a bowl and top with soaked bread, parmesan, parsley, red onion, garlic. liberally season with salt and pepper and mix together with your (clean!) hands. now add your eggs and mix together again until blended. put this aside as you make your sauce. whisk together last five ingredients in a bowl to use as a sauce (ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, worcestershire, hot sauce).

now there are two things you can do. you can pull out your loaf pan and pour the mixture into the greased pan as i did. however, if you don’t have one of these guys — no worries! form the mixture into a loaf on a broiler pan which will allow fat to drain. from here, spread 1/3 of the sauce to the top of the meatloaf and put it in the oven for 45 minutes.

after the 45 minutes is up, take out and spread another 1/3 of the sauce to top and put it back in oven for 15 minutes.

pull out of oven when 15 minute is up an let cool. slice it and add remaining sauce as you wish. serve with mashed potatoes and veggies of choice! mmm.

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sunday supper: easy meatloaf