Monthly Archives: December 2013

Baked Huevos Rancheros

bhrAre you going out tonight? Or are you staying in and fighting to stay awake with some small thing who will insist on seeing the ball drop? I will be in the latter category.

Regardless of the category you are in, you will want an easy breakfast. You may need something to help chase away that little bit of extra champagne, or just give you a kick in the pants to wake you up! I have an ideal breakfast for both scenarios! These Baked Huevos Rancheros are made in a muffin tin. Isn’t that the trick for getting kids to eat? Prepare their food in a muffin tin? And here’s the really good news! Not only is it in their favorite shape, your kids can make this for you! Let them leave off the salsa if it isn’t their thing. I left two cups salsa free for my kids.

Baked Huevos Rancheros
6 eggs
Milk for scrambling
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded cheese – I used sharp cheddar
One tbsp salsa for each cup

1. Scramble the eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Make them nice and fluffy.
2. Add the cheese and stir around. You can also add some bacon crumbles or some pre-cooked spicy sausage.
3. Pour some egg mixture into each cup of a muffin tin you have sprayed with cooking spray. I used a large muffin tin and had enough eggs for six cups. If you use a regular sized muffin tin, you should be able to make 12.
4. Top with salsa.
5. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

In a very funny coincidence, another food blogger I occasionally come across on Facebook posted a very similar egg recipe. You can find it on Whatagirleats.com. In her recipe, she lines the muffin cup with a piece of tortilla. I think that’s a nice touch. It will definitely make removing the eggs from the cup a lot easier.

Throw a dash of tabasco on top to really chase away the remnants of your New Year’s revelry.

Happy New Year! Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Soup

CCS2Yesterday, Frank of Tales From a Middle Class Kitchen was talking about some Indian spices he ordered and then he went and bought a bunch of stuff at a local Indian store. This made me want Indian food. Our local grocery store has a very nice International Foods section where I can get everything I need to make foods from many different cultures, or at least some Americanized version of them.

So Indian food it was yesterday! Or this soup which is sort of Indian-esque or maybe kind of Thai. All I know is that everyone in my house said they would eat it. Win win!

Coconut Curry Soup
Four cups broth of choice. I used chicken.
One can of low fat coconut milk
Four sliced chicken thighs
Two tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup onion or something onion like. I used leeks
2 crushed cloves of garlic
Curry – I used about a tbsp
Cayenne – I used about 3/4 a tsp. It was HOT!
3/4 cup lentils of choice. I used Urad Dal, the little black lentils that, when huskless, are white.

Now pay attention! This is a hard recipe to follow.

1. Put everything in a slow cooker and stir it up.
2. Turn the slow cooker on high for four hours. Stir it once in a while because it’s going to smell really good and you will want to get close to that delightful aroma.
3. Serve either plain or over rice.

It’s a miserable cold and rainy day in Central Maryland. The midwest is in a very severe and dangerous deep freeze. This is a soup that can be made as spicy as you like to chase the cold away. Please also note that if you leave out the chicken and use vegetable broth, you will have a lovely vegan version of this soup.

Stay warm and dry today. Relax on these last few days of your winter break.

Enjoy!

Great Green Smoothie

aaagreen2Today was another food recovery day for me. I truly enjoyed our feast last night, but I woke up and I still felt full. I ate a lot more rich food than I usually do. It was a lovely meal with my family and I cherished it, but I needed something to help me feel like a human being again. Enter the…

Great Green Smoothie
1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
A handful each of spinach and kale
A whole apple, cut into sections and cored,  OR an orange, peeled and sectioned
1/4 cup water
3-6 pieces of ice

1. Put everything in a blender in the order listed.
2. Start blender on low and slowly increase speed to high.
3. Serve!

Notice, there is no sweetener in this smoothie. If you need to add a little sugar, I won’t judge. I’ve had this enough that I can drink it without the sweetener. And I’m happy to report that there’s at least one other person in my house who will also drink this. He doesn’t jump up and down shrieking, “Yay! Mommy made me a green smoothie!” He does understand the benefits of this drink and enjoys getting his green food box checked early in the day.

And a little bit about health benefits of smoothies. From what I can see, they exist IF you limit the amount of sugar in them. That means try to keep them free of sweetened yogurt, sweetener and a lot of fruit. Many of my smoothies have at least one vegetable in them. If you are scared to go completely green, start with something like zucchini, like in my Apple Pie Smoothie.

I know this is one of about 60 million gazillion green smoothies floating around. This is just my version of something that’s very popular right now. I like it. I really like that I can get my fussy child to drink it. I hope you’ll try it and like it too.

Enjoy!

Drunken Cupcakes

dcI have posted a couple recipes for desserts that are pretty fast and easy. These recipes are great to keep handy when you have unexpected guests coming, or when you need to bring a treat to a party and don’t have a lot of time to make something fancy.

A coworker of mine makes an amazing rum cake. When she told me her secret, my jaw fell open. It was so easy and I am not kidding when I tell you that her cake is usually devoured within about 10 minutes of her announcing that there is cake. I have taken her recipe and modified it a bit to make:

Drunken Cupcakes
1 box of yellow cake mix prepared according to directions – you can also use chocolate
1/2 to 1 cup whiskey instead of water – don’t waste the good stuff on this!

Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup chocolate chips – I used Nestle Dark Chocolate

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the instructions, substituting the whiskey for all or part of the water.
2. Bake like they tell you to on the box. I made mini cupcakes and baked them for 20 minutes at 350.
3. While the cupcakes are cooling, start the Ganache. Heat the cream and chocolate until it’s nice and smooth. You might want to use a double boiler.
4. Let the ganache cool a little and then dip the tops of the cupcakes in the ganache and let cool before serving.

I have made this recipe in the form of cupcakes, mini-bundt cakes, and a regular bundt cake and it is always well received. I have a batch ready to take to work tomorrow. They’re even better if they can sit around for a day or two in a covered container to let the flavor mature. Hopefully, I can protect them from the hungry hoard in my home so there are some left for my co-workers.

So Happy Holidays and Enjoy!

 

Golden Onion Soup

gosFor several weeks now, I’ve had a desire to make some sort of Onion Soup. This probably stems from the fact that I ended up with about a dozen onions of different types. Not a clue how that happened.

The obvious first choice was French Onion Soup, but I have to be honest. I’m not a fan. I won’t go into details.

As you may have noticed, many of my soups are smooth or have small pieces of meat or veggies. This is done to keep them desk friendly. I end up eating lunch at my desk most days. My IT department would prefer if I kept my soup in its container or in my mouth, as opposed to on my computer. I do my best to comply.

Back to the Onion Soup. I had sweet onions, red onions, shallots, leeks, and that relative of the onion; garlic. I decided that I would simply saute them all in olive oil, add some broth, puree and call my creation:

Golden Onion Soup
2 cups chopped onions of any variety you like
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 quart broth – I used chicken
1/2 cup cream, half and half, milk or other dairy product of your choice
1/2 cup shredded smoked provolone or another smoky or hearty and flavorful cheese

1. Saute the onions in the olive oil until soft. I kept the heat low. I was doing other things and didn’t have time to babysit. My faithful assistant did stir for me from time to time.
2. Add the broth and salt and pepper and stir.
3. Using an immersion blender or another blender, blend until as smooth as you like.
4. Add the cream and cheese.
5. Serve!

I would serve pretty small portions of this. It’s quite flavorful and very filling for a one cup serving. I could see adding a little sherry and some lobster to make this the base for a heavenly Lobster Bisque.

There’s been a request for fondue for Christmas Eve so I will probably add some butter and flour to a cup or two of this and turn it into a nice fondue for bread. Too bad I don’t have the old fondue set from my mom’s house. We’ll just have to tough it out old school with little individual cups and forks.

Let me know what else you would do to this soup. Enjoy!