Everday I’m Waffling

I decided last night that I was going to make waffles this morning for breakfast. I wanted to play around with my usual recipe, which I get from the ultimate cooking bible…
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Seriously, this cookbook is one of my favorites. It literally has EVERYTHING you could ever think of to cook in it. For waffles, there are the “Everyday Buttermilk Waffles,” “The Quickest, Easiest Waffles,” and “Whole Grain Waffles.” I usually don’t have buttermilk or whole grain flour, so I go with “The Quickest, Easiest Waffles.”

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (I usually add 3, sometimes 4 if my husband is home. He likes REALLY sweet batter)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups of milk (or you could use sour cream or yogurt)
2 eggs
1/2 stick of butter-melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional…you could even add more if you like, which I do.)
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Then gently combine and mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Do NOT over mix!!!
Spray your waffle iron with Pam or brush with oil. When it is ready, start waffling!

So for my variation, I chopped up some bacon and added it in to a spoonful. Then I made a spoonful with shredded Colby jack cheese. Then I made a spoonful with both bacon and cheese. So yummy! The girls devoured them! One of the best things about making waffles is having leftovers to freeze for future breakfasts! Just let them cool, then wrap them up in aluminum or put them in plastic baggies. Pop them in your toaster, and you have a homemade breakfast better that those frozen ones from the store! 003

Frittata Fun

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Tonight, I just wanted to make something quick and use up a few things in the fridge so they wouldn’t go bad. I love making frittatas, because you can add whatever you like in them. I cooked a pound of bacon in my cast iron skillet, added a container of mushrooms in the bacon fat, and let them cook down a bit. Next came spinach; I just added it to the mushrooms and cooked until wilted. I took my veggies out and placed them in a separate bowl.

I spotted some stale French bread in the cabinet, so I broke off a chunk, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and added it to a tablespoon of oil in my greasy bacon fat pan to toast it up. While the bread was toasting, I cracked 9 eggs, whisked them with a touch of heavy cream, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of Parmesan. I poured some veggie mixture and 4 pieces of cut up bacon to my eggs and stirred them together. Then cook until the bottom is set, add some cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella, colby, and jack).

Then I transfer it to the oven on high broil for about 5-6 minutes, or until the top is perfectly cooked. Then run your spatula under the frittata and place it on a cutting board or serving platter.

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Cut with a pizza cutter into desired sized slices!023

I let the rest of mine cool on the plate in the microwave so my dog won’t steal my masterpiece! You can eat it hot, room temperature, or cold. You can also eat this for any meal, anytime of the day! Since it doesn’t matter what temperature you can serve it at, it is perfect for brunch with friends or family. You could make a big one Sunday morning and have leftovers for lunch the next day, or you could throw literally whatever you have in the fridge or cabinets together with the eggs after you get home from a long day for a quick supper! The possibilities are endless!

What would your favorite combination be?

Pac-Man Frittata
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Panini love

Tonight I am hanging out with my family at the hospital. My husband brought some take-out from Figo, an Italian place that has antipasti (they have these amazing aranchini, rice balls), homemade pastas, salads, and paninis. Everything I have gotten there has been yummy, but I’ve never had one of their paninis. I chose the prosciutto and mozzarella panini with arugula, tomato, and rosemary mayonnaise. Delish! Sometimes the most simple ingredients make the best sandwiches!

sandwich

I will definitely recreate this sandwich at home! Every time I go to a restaurant, I always love to get something different each time. This way, I get to try new foods and different combinations. Then, I like to see if I can recreate the meal in my kitchen putting my own spin on it. You will probably see a lot of sandwiches on here…my family loves them!

What is your favorite sandwich combinations?

Living a Dream

Last night, I had a dream I cooked a perfect medium rare Porterhouse and ate the entire steak by myself, but there was no one there to appreciate my feat. So tonight, when I went to Publix to buy dog food, pool snacks, and try to find inspiration for dinner, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. You know how right when you walk in to Publix they have all their sales, which is usually some meats, veggies, and a potato or bread; good meal combinations, right? Well, there it was…a Porterhouse. On sale… A Porterhouse steak on sale. It must be divine intervention, right? A Porterhouse steak for under $10. The universe is telling me to live my dream. Challenge accepted!!!

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So, I came home, fed the dog, and fired up my trusty cast iron skillet. I was not going to trust this incredible piece of meat to just any cooking apprentice. No, it has to be the king of all cookware. So once I was sure it was screaming hot, I placed my well salted and peppered steak into the pan. You have to hear that magic sizzle, a culinary symphony for the ears. Now, I like my steak medium rare, as stated per my dream. I kept it on the first side for 6 minutes. Do not touch the steak until the time is up…step away from it. Pour yourself a nice glass of Merlot, Cabernet, Shiraz, or maybe even a nice Chianti. Sip and relax. Then once you have finished about half a glass, you may turn the steak. No grill marks here, just crusty yumminess. Leave it on the second side for 5 minutes and IMMEDIATELY take it off and let it rest for about 10 min or so. That is it! C’est tout’

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Total Steak domination!!! Now that I have a blog, I have all the recognition I want…well, if anyone is actually reading my blog.
Yes!!! I did it! I didn’t have a salad, veggie, or potato, but I did eat the end piece of a French baguette. Challenge accomplished!
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HEALTHY muffins for nurses

As I mentioned before, my eldest daughter is battling Cancer. While her recent scans were NEGATIVE(!!!!!), she is still battling serious lung issues. She was in the PICU for over a month, but now she is back in Aflac, the cancer and blood disorder wing, starting her rehabilitation. The other 2 girls and I are going to have a visit tomorrow, so we thought we would bake up some goodies. We have done this a couple of times; sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brownies. While they all seem to appreciate the baked goods, I know how getting lots of baked goodies and food in the break room can add pounds on the hips or extra time on the treadmill; so I made them some healthy, but still yummy muffins.muffins

Healthier muffins- preheat oven to 375
Cream together your wet ingredients-
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup lite sour cream
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
Mix your dry ingredients together, then add them slowly in the mixer to your wet ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups of berries
Cook for 25-30 min

Tip: Gently fold in your berries- I Used half blueberries and half raspberries in different batches. My daughters added them on top to the muffins after I added the batter to the tins. One LOVES blueberries, while the other LOVES raspberries. Normally, I would just pick one and add them all the mix, but when you cook with kids, anything goes!

Dinner for one

No, I didn’t get the night off, but I did have a craving for salmon and spinach. Weird? Does anyone else get weird cravings like this?
So much of a craving that I decided to trek to the store for the ingredients.

salmon

Salmon in a pouch, or Salmon en papillote (which really means parchment, but aluminum works just as well), as the French call it. You can add anything you like. I took 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoons olive oil, juice from one lemon, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and liberally put salt and pepper into a bowl to mix together. This was the marinade for my salmon. I let it sit for about 5 min (you don’t want any ingredients to overpower the fish) then used my hands to massage the fish. Then I put it in its “papillote” and in a 400 oven for 5-10 min. And viola! Magnifique!

Tip: When buying salmon, get the good stuff. This time, I got sockeye. If you are confused, check out the sustainability of fish at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

On to the spinach, but not just any spinach, creamed spinach. I bought a bag of organic pre-washed spinach. I took a med. size pot and heated up some oil and garlic on low-med. heat. You don’t want to burn the garlic then I added a bit of mozzarella cheese, parm cheese, and of course cream. In all honesty, I just kinda eye-balled the cheese and the cream to my liking. Just add a pinch of each until you get the right consistency. You will know when you get the right combo.

creamed spinach

R and K ate Applegate turkey dogs and Alexis waffle fries. They pretty much cleaned their plates. I offered my meal to the girls. R tried and liked the spinach. K tried and liked the salmon. I consider that a success for now!

Sunny-side Up Leftovers

My girls LOVE runny eggs, sunny-side up is their favorite. So when I was trying to sell the leftover Chinese food we had in the fridge, I knew I had to top it with these beautiful eggs. B is an egg drop soup fanatic, so when I topped her beloved soup with an extra egg, she thought she had hit the jackpot. For my dinner, I defrosted some homemade chicken stock, added lo mien noodles, broccoli, and chicken. Of course, I love runny eggs as much, if not more than the girls, so I topped my faux pho with an egg as well. For K, my 4 year-old?  Well, she is going through a bit of a phase where she doesn’t want her food to be combined. So her chicken, rice, and egg were all on her plate, but not combined. It was still pretty, but before I could snap a pic, she had already almost finished her entire egg.

For a perfect sunny-side up egg…heat your pan to med. heat Melt a pat of butter and crack the egg. Once you see the egg start setting, take some melted butter and put on top of the whites. Delish. If you don’t want to add butter, use a non-stick cooking spray, and once the egg white is almost cooked, take it off the burner and cover with a lid for just a few seconds. This will cook the egg without cooking the yolk. Don’t leave the lid on too long!

Tip: Invest in farm fresh eggs;  they are so worth the extra money. In the summer months, the chickens eat the bugs in the soil, and this diet makes the eggs taste extra rich and earthy. Even if you just buy them when you are making the eggs the star in a dish, you will thank me!

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