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Freezer Egg, Potato and Bacon Burritos

Freezer Egg, Potato and Bacon Burritos

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

This month, for Food ‘N Flix, I’m sharing freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos. I was inspired this month by the movie The Martian.  And while potatoes might have been an obvious one for this movie, I couldn’t resist, since they are without a doubt one of my favorite foods.  A favorite story definitely deserves a favorite food.

So in case you haven’t seen or read The Martian, it is, in short, an amazing story about the possibilities and beauty of science.  The book by Andy Weir came out in 2014.  I adore sci fi, having grown up on reading Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein.  When I saw The Martian in the bookstore, I snapped it up quickly and spent a happy weekend lounging on the couch and reading it.

I was skeptical about how good the movie would be.  I’m a hard critic when it comes to movies that started as books.  It turned out that I also loved the movie.  Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut left behind on Mars after a dust storm forces a mission abort.  The crew of the Ares III mission believe Watney to be dead, so leave him behind.  This starts his journey of survival until the Ares crew comes back to rescue him.  There’s lots of NASA control room drama that goes on throughout, in addition to following Watney’s path to survival.  It’s such a great pop-some-popcorn-and-stretch-out-on-the-couch-with-the-dog movie.

Potatoes factor heavily into the plot line, as Watney survives by growing potatoes.  Now in fairness, I would imagine Watney would probably not ever want to eat a potato again.  I probably wouldn’t want to either, and I really love potatoes.  Still, I wanted to do a shout out recipe to the humble spud.  These freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos are one of my favorite foods.  You might have guessed that they can be frozen – which makes them a perfect breakfast or lunch on the go food.

 

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

I opted to use these pretty blue, red, and yellow potatoes.  I don’t really notice much difference in flavor between potato types.  That said, I love the fact that potatoes come in so many varieties, so tend to cook with a mix.

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

The potatoes get mixed with a chopped up onion and roasted until they are crispy.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

I like to serve these with some salsa and some guacamole on the side (but wouldn’t you know it – none of my avocados were ripe when I made these).  I’m going to enjoy these freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos for lunch this week and imagine being on Mars.

Want to participate in Food ‘n Flix? Check out this month’s announcement post at http://adayinthelifeonthefarm.blogspot.com/ and drop by the Food ‘n Flix site to learn more!

Freezer Egg, Potato and Bacon Burritos

Ingredients

  • 8 small potatoes, washed and sliced into small chunks
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 pieces of crispy bacon
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 8 large flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, combine the chopped potatoes, chopped onion, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once half way through the cooking time.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, milk, cumin, coriander and ground black pepper. Use a fork or a whisk to combine until the eggs are fluffy. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and allow to set. When the eggs are nearly cooked through, fold and cook until they are fully set, gently scrambling. Set aside.
  3. To make the burritos, place 1/8th of the scrambled eggs in the middle of a tortilla. Put 1 piece of bacon on top of the egg. Put 1/8th of the roasted potatoes on top of the egg and bacon. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on top. Roll the burrito by folding up the top and bottom and then rolling the remaining tortilla over the folded part.
  4. Roll the burritos in aluminum foil and freeze. To reheat, remove the aluminum foil and wrap the burrito in a paper towel. Microwave until warm and serve with salsa and guacamole if desired.
  5. Makes 8 burritos.
  6. Enjoy!
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Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

matcha white chocolate mini muffins

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately creating recipes like these Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins that make use of my mini-muffin tin.  Mini muffins are such a perfect work snack.  I love having a couple of muffins with coffee first thing in the morning while I figure out what my day is going to look like and prioritize my to-do list.

Plus, we are getting close to St. Patrick’s Day, and I feel like I’d be remiss as a food blogger if I didn’t eke out at least one sort-of-green recipe.  Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins aren’t intensely green, but definitely have the light spring green hue of matcha going on.  I love the intense green tea flavor that matcha brings to these, as well as the soft sweetness of the mini white chocolate chips.  As yummy as these are with my morning espresso, they are also great as a treat served with more green tea.  My two favorite green teas (outside of matcha, of course) are Moroccan Mint Green Tea and Genmaicha, which is a green tea combined with toasted rice.  Trust me, it’s delicious.  These are even better when served alongside matcha white chocolate mini muffins.

The batter for these muffins is silky and lovely.  After mixing the ingredients, it takes just a scant tablespoon to fill up each muffin cup.

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

The muffins bake for about 20 minutes (or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean).  They definitely need to cool, as the matcha seeps a bit while the muffins are still warm.  Once they’ve cooled though, they are heavenly.

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Enjoy these Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins with a cup of green tea, while gazing out the window and looking at the daffodils blooming.  Trust me, it will be worth it.

Matcha White Chocolate Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Matcha tea powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup mini white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, matcha powder, and Greek yogurt and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time until all the dry ingredients are combined.
  4. Add the mini white chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
  5. Butter or line each cup of a mini-muffin pan. Spoon a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each cup.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a knife or toothpick entered into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!
  8. Makes 24 mini-muffins
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Check out these items similar to those I’ve used in my post:

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something from this post, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  I only include products that I use, love, or want for myself.  Thank you for supporting Fix Me a Little Lunch. 

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

I’m craving spring flavors like those found in this Kale and Gruyere quiche.  I’ve had too many days of gloomy PNW weather.  I love the rain, but found myself outside yesterday in the morning doing my best to soak up the few sun beams we got.  Our cats were positively ecstatic – two of three parked themselves on the cat tree right in front of the window and basked in the sun.  Even Daisy found a sun spot on the carpet and took a good long time warming her belly.  We are all seriously deprived right now.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche to the rescue.  I love the creamy texture of eggs and cheese in a quiche.  Kale is a versatile vegetable and can be a harbinger of both fall and spring.  While I love having kale in pasta dishes in the fall, there’s nothing better in the spring than a good bunch of kale sauteed and tossed into a quiche.  I used lacinato Kale or dinosaur kale because I love the deep green flavor it brings to dishes.  I sauteed it until it was soft and then drained and pressed out the excess moisture in a colander.  This helps keep the crust from getting soggy.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

I used a quick olive oil crust for this kale and Gruyere quiche.  I’ve been known to go crustless for my quiches, but this week just felt like that extra little touch might be in order.  One tip for baking the quiche – put the quiche on a baking sheet and put it in the oven.  This way, there’s no slopping of egg and milk into your oven.  Yes – I learned this the hard way.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

One advantage of using Gruyere cheese is that it melts so well.  I also tossed in a few red pepper flakes to add some heat.  I could have gone either with red pepper flakes or with nutmeg – either would create a nice flavor, but nutmeg is to autumnal for me.  I also used a bit of fleur de sel this time around.  Really, it’s a perfect early spring dish.  I’ll be eating this throughout the week with a quick spinach salad on the side.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • Olive Oil Crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Instructions

  1. To make the crust, combine the flour, salt, olive oil, and water in a small bowl. Combine with your hands until the crust holds together. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to the size needed for an 8 inch pie pan. Transfer the crust to the pie pan and refrigerate while you are making the quiche.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Saute the kale in the olive oil for 7 minutes or until it is wilted. Salt to taste. Drain and press out any remaining moisture. Set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs and milk together in a small bowl until frothy. Add the cheese, red pepper flakes, and ground pepper.
  5. Place the sauteed kale at the bottom of the chilled pie crust. Pour the egg/milk/cheese mixture over the top and redistribute the kale as needed.
  6. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown and the eggs are set. Enjoy!
  7. Makes 4 hearty servings.
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This post is linked up to Tinned Tomatoes: Meat Free Mondays.  Check out the great posts that Jacqueline posts each week!

This post is also linked up to #CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie and Hijacked by Twins.

Hijacked By Twins
Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Cookie Baked Oatmeal

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Cookie Baked Oatmeal

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Cookies Baked Oatmeal

Disclosure: This post contains sponsored content brought to you by Flavahan’s.  I received free products to use in this promotion, but all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. 

I’m partnering with Flahavan’s for this Santa Fe chocolate chip cookie baked oatmeal recipe.  Flahavan’s is an Irish company that’s been milling oats for over 200 years.  I always think it is kind of wonderful when a company has been around since the late 1700s and has been family run throughout multiple generations.  Both of these are true for Flahavan’s.  They also are a company that values environmental sustainability and sources from local farmers.  In addition to being available via Amazon, Flahavan’s products are also available at Whole Foods here in the PNW.  Happy day – when I run out of the box they sent me, I can go buy more!  I was really delighted with how flaky and easy to cook the oats were.  Best yet, they produce an instant steel cut oatmeal that can be microwaved.  My favorite go-to breakfast when I’m traveling is oatmeal, as it can be easily packed and made (if necessary) using a hotel room’s coffee maker to heat up water, so the instant steel cut oat packets were perfect for my quick business road-trip this week.

instant steel cut oatmeal

Back to the Santa Fe chocolate chip cookie baked oatmeal.  I’ve been looking for an oatmeal recipe that both Clay (my husband) and I can enjoy.  I love oatmeal – the texture doesn’t bother me a bit.  But Clay is not a fan, at all.  At the same time, we both know that oats are incredibly healthy to eat and we probably don’t get enough whole grains in our diet.  I had Clay try the Santa Fe chocolate chip cookie baked oatmeal when it came out of the oven and his response was enthusiastic – he really likes the texture of the baked oatmeal.  We have a winner and a new recipe to add to our weekend breakfast repertoire.

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

I opted to add in pine nuts on this one because the combination of chocolate chips and pine nuts always transports me back to New Mexico.  While I’m a perfectly happy PNW transplant (yay for rainy weather this week!), I have a special place in my heart for Northern New Mexico.  Some of my best vacations were spent with Clay in Santa Fe and at Ojo Caliente (which is a hot springs resort close to Taos, New Mexico).  Pine nuts are a frequent ingredient in New Mexican cooking and I’ll always remember my first taste of a chocolate chip cookie with pine nuts.  The flavor evokes the smell of a burning pinion in a fire in a kiva, the smell of creosote after the rain, and the smell of warm pine in summer.

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is so incredibly easy to make.  It took me about 5 minutes to gather all the ingredients and mix them up and then it went into the oven for 40 minutes and came out a perfectly moist, slightly chocolatey-gooey, wonderful breakfast.  The leftovers held up just fine in the fridge and I’ve been taking a serving with me each day to heat up at work in the afternoon for a coffee break snack.

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Santa Fe Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, salt, pine nuts, and chocolate chips. In a larger bowl, combine the milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Pour the mix into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the oats are soft and the top looks lightly browned. Enjoy!
  6. Serves 4 – 6
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Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins are my anecdote to winter weather, which I’ve had enough of to last me several years.  I know I’m not the only one feeling this way – it’s been a brutal winter across the US.  We do have tulips and daffodils poking their heads out of the ground finally.   I had a moment this morning where there was that elusive hint of spring in the air.  Still, I think real spring is about a month away still.  So for now, I’m going to spend lots of time fantasizing about tropical beaches and warm weather.

I have some very happy associations with the flavors in these muffins: macadamia nuts, coconut, and chocolate.  I lived in Majuro in the Marshall Islands for two years,  fourteen years ago this year.  I will never forget my trip to get there.  For one, I had never flown by myself before and I was absolutely petrified of flying as it was.  I remember the fear I felt getting on the plane to Honolulu, which was my intermediary stop between the US and there.  But I also remember landing in Honolulu and being so overwhelmed by how beautiful it was.  I was exhausted that first night, so went to the corner ABC store and bought a tuna fish sandwich, Maui chips, a papaya salad, and chocolate covered macadamia nuts.  I flew back and forth through Honolulu during that two year time stretch, and that meal became my Honolulu ritual.

So anytime I’m feeling dreary here in the PNW, I’ll do my best to catch those flavors again.  Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins are a great way for me to lose myself to the sounds of the ocean and feel of that beautiful humid air in Hawaii.

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

 

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain or honey flavored)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks, chopped into smaller pieces)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, and Greek yogurt and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time until all the dry ingredients are combined.
  4. Add the macadamia nuts, flaked coconut, and chocolate. Stir to combine.
  5. Butter or line each cup of a mini-muffin pan. Spoon a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each cup. If your pan only makes 24 mini-muffins, you'll need to make two batches as this recipe easily makes 36 - 48 mini-muffins.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a knife or toothpick entered into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!
  8. Makes 36 - 48 mini-muffins
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This post is linked up to The Baking Explorer for February’s Treat Petite.  Check out both The Baking Explorer and Cakeyboi, the hosts of Treat Petite.

Rainbow Marmalade Pop Tarts

Rainbow Marmalade Pop Tarts

Fandom Foodies #Nyanuary is the inspiration for my rainbow marmalade pop tarts.

via GIPHY

Ok – so not the original Nyan cat, but who doesn’t love Pusheen?  The whole Nyan cat thing got me down the road of homemade pop tarts, and I happened to have blood orange marmalade on hand, so decided to make rainbow marmalade pop tarts.  I couldn’t resist a cat-inspired challenge, since our much loved cats both inspire me daily (inspire me to take more naps, relax more, and enjoy my food with great relish).

I couldn’t resist – they are so adorable!

Ok – back to the food.  I’ve thought about making pop tarts for quite some time – they are pretty easy to make, since they are basically pie dough, filling, and frosting.  They make a great coffee treat first thing in the morning, as well as go well with afternoon tea.  I had so much fun playing around with these – who doesn’t enjoy decorating with rainbow sprinkles, after all?  Creating a good Nyan cat out of pop tarts, frosting, and sprinkles turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected.  Clay came in at one point and told me my creation was #nailedit.  Ok – that might be a fair assessment of the final product.  Still.  I did all my photos and then realized I needed at least one photo with my maneki-neko cats and a rainbow marmalade pop tart.

rainbow marmalade pop tart

Here’s the Nyan cat attempt:

rainbow marmalade pop tart

And here are some better photos of the actual pop tarts – both frosted and un-frosted:

rainbow marmalade pop tart

rainbow marmalade pop tart

Put it all together, and you definitely have #Nyanuary

rainbow marmalade pop tart

Hope you enjoy making these rainbow marmalade pop tarts as much as I did!

Rainbow Marmalade Pop Tarts

Ingredients

    For the dough
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 - 6 tablespoons cold water (or as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 jar of marmalade
  • For the frosting
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk (or as needed)
  • Rainbow sprinkles to decorate

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, butter, and vanilla in a small bowl. Use a pastry cutter or knife to cut the butter into small pieces and incorporate into the flour until the butter/flour/vanilla mixture is the consistency of small peas. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough starts to hold together. Knead a couple of times and then refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the chilled dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut the dough into rectangles that are 2 inches x 3 inches. I was able to get 16 rectangles out of the dough for a total of 8 pop tarts.
  3. Place half of the rectangles single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put 1 tablespoon of marmalade in the middle of each rectangle. Cover with the remaining dough and crimp the edges using a fork. Using the fork, poke three rows of holes on the top to reduce the amount of marmalade that spills out. Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting, combine the powdered sugar and milk and stir. Add more powdered sugar or more milk to get to the desired consistency. Frost and sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles. Enjoy!
  5. Makes 8 pop tarts
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This recipe is linked up to Fandom Foodies #Nyanuary, hosted this month by Pretty Cake Machine

Top Five from 2016 and Five Goals for 2017

Top Five from 2016 and Five Goals for 2017

Like many, I’m glad to see the end of 2016.  I was doing pretty well avoiding whole scale resentment for the year, and then George Michael died.  And my reaction was, really 2016?  Bowie, Prince and George Michael, all in the same year?  And in case you are wondering if my musical tastes are primarily stuck in the 80’s, I’m incredibly sad about Ralph Stanley, Merle Haggard, Leonard Cohen, and Sharon Jones, too.

On the other hand, I’ve cooked a lot of good food this year, including the five most popular recipes here on Fix Me a Little Lunch.

Eggnog Ricotta Pancakes were hands down the most popular recipe this year.  I can see why – who doesn’t love eggnog?  These pancakes were so fluffy and so very, very rich – I’m thinking I’ll be making them again for New Year’s Day brunch.

My Crockpot Posole was also quite popular this year.  It’s such a great slow-cooker recipe, I wasn’t surprised.  We made up a batch of this for Christmas Eve this year and froze several more nights worth.  One of my favorite things about this recipe was that it was the first time I participated in Cook the Books.  I’m really excited about all the inspiration that will come from next year’s book picks.

Greek Spaghetti Squash was a big hit this year, as well.  This was my last office lunch for the year, as we ended up with four snow days and then vacation right around the same time I made this.

Greek Spaghetti Squash

I had a great time this fall going out to Sauvie Island to get winter squash.  As always, I bought a few too many squash, but it wasn’t a problem, since my over indulgence inspired me to make Winter Squash Stuffed Shells with Pesto.  If I had to pick a favorite of my own from this year, it might be this one – mostly because I love cheese, squash and pasta.

And last, but certainly not least, is my Mandarin Orange Mule.  I’m glad I finally got with the times and bought a copper mug for Moscow Mules, as they are now high on my list of favorite cocktails.

Mandarin Orange Mule

So there we are – the top five from 2016.

I’m looking forward to 2017.  I know there are likely to be some major changes on the way (more on that in future blog posts, I’m sure), but I’m hopeful they won’t impact my time working on my blog.  I like to spend a little time reflecting on the year before, as well as looking forward and setting goals moving forward.  So – in no particular order – here are my five goals for Fix Me a Little Lunch for 2017.

  1. Keep improving my photography.  I had one photo accepted by foodgawker this year for my Red Kuri Risotto recipe and would like to keep working on lighting, composition and so on in 2017.
  2. Create and mostly stick to an editorial calendar.  I started working on this in December and realized it wasn’t that hard to plan out December 2017’s blog posts.  Now let’s see if I can fill in all the other months of the year. Some of this is product dependent, of course, as I’m committed to keeping Fix Me a Little Lunch all about seasonal foods and recipes.
  3. Continue to be inspired by blog challenges – Cook the Books and Food n’ Flix were my favorite inspirations this year.  The books and movies kept me inspired, as did the community of other food bloggers who created some really fantastic recipes.
  4. Explore the whole affiliate/sponsored post thing.  I’m a little wary of ads – I’m not a huge fan of navigating them on others sites, so not sure I want to do this on my own blog.  On the other hand, I’d love to share some of the products that I love with my readers.
  5. Grow my email list to at least a 1,000 subscribers.  Right now, I have seven.  I love those seven people who are interested in reading my posts regularly – and would like to find some more.  To this end, I’ll be starting a monthly newsletter in January that will include a round up of my favorite recipes from the month before, a bonus recipe featuring a seasonal veggie or fruit, and a profile of a seasonal veggie or fruit.  Sign up to be on my email list and be on the lookout for my first newsletter.

Happy Near Year everyone!  Let’s hope that 2017 is prosperous and happy, and let’s keep eating good food!

Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English Muffins are one of the tastiest breakfast treats to make.  They take a bit of time, but are absolutely worth it.  With about two hours of your time, most of it hands off, you’ll have the fluffiest Homemade English Muffins.  Who wouldn’t want a homemade English muffin, smothered in butter and jam?

I’ve always had a fondness for English muffins.  Their craggy surface is just begging to be toasted and have a bit of butter drizzled over them.  For years, I’d eaten store bought English muffins and wondered if there was a particular secret or trick to making them.  English muffins were kind of like bagels in that regard – something made with yeast that was too complicated to make at home.  Ok, so I haven’t made bagels yet, but when I made homemade English muffins a few years ago around the holidays, I realized they weren’t that hard at all.

There is a two-step process to cooking the muffins. The first step is to brown them on both sides in a cast iron or non-stick pan.  Then, they bake in the oven for just a little while to bake all the way through.  I don’t see the need to use English muffin rings, as the dough holds its shape.

The one difference is that homemade English muffins aren’t quite as craggy – there aren’t as many air pockets in them.  Still, they toast up really well and have a nice, dense and chewy texture that goes so well with butter and jam, as well as holds up to various breakfast sandwich ingredients.  They also are absolutely heavenly as the base for Eggs Benedict.  These make a great weekend baking project, as well as a yummy treat.

Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon active yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk until it is warm to the touch (110 degrees if you have a thermometer). In a medium sized bowl, combine the warm milk and the yeast and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. Combine the flour and salt in another bowl. Add the flour and salt mix, the softened butter, and the egg to the milk and yeast. Combine until you've made a shaggy dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for six to eight minutes. You may need to add a bit more flour to keep the dough from sticking. Once the dough has formed a smooth ball, return it to the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm spot for an hour.
  4. After the first rise, turn the dough out on a floured surface and divided it into 6 or 8 pieces (depending on the size you'd like your English muffins). Roll each segment into a ball and flatten slightly. Place the English muffins on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside and let rise for an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Preheat a cast iron skillet or a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When your skillet is hot, add the English muffins, four muffins at a time (or more, if you have the room in your skillet). Cook the English muffins for 5 minutes per side (or until each side is golden brown).
  6. Place each browned English muffin on the baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or lightly oiled). When all English muffins are browned, bake in your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes or until the muffins are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
  7. Let the English muffins cool slightly before splitting them open. Enjoy!
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Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

One of the great joys of the holiday season is creating and trying out new recipes, like this Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict.  I’d never eaten Eggs Benedict before we moved to Washington.  I’ll confess that I have been fairly intimidated by runny yolks on eggs.  It’s just one of those quirky things.  As a kid, I absolutely hated eggs.  I could sort of tolerate them scrambled, with plenty of salt and butter.  My grandmother, who was a firm believer in eggs as a key protein, would make pancakes that were more egg than pancake to disguise the eggs, but still get me to eat them. I really thought that hard-boiled eggs were the absolute worst; they struck me as a rubbery abomination.

Fortunately, I grew out of my egg aversion with a vengeance.  I started eating hard boiled eggs when I lived in the Marshall Islands.  They were a cheap and easy source of protein and with enough salt on them, they weren’t too bad.  My relationship with eggs really changed when I met Clay – he makes the most amazing fluffy scrambled eggs and when combined with fried potatoes and avocado in a breakfast burrito, I’m in foodie heaven.  Of course, when we moved to Oregon and I started getting farmer’s market eggs, I learned that not all eggs are created equal.  My first encounter with a really fresh egg with a deep golden yolk was transformative.  Since then, I’ve been really curious about what people see in a runny egg yolk.

I eased into Eggs Benedict, starting out by ordering hard poached eggs.  And then one day, I didn’t bother and experienced a lovely golden egg yolk running all over my English muffin.  Oh, yum.

So this year, I decided it would be great fun to make my own hollandaise sauce, my own English muffins, and recreate my favorite Eggs Benedict dish with bacon and avocado.  This Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict would be the perfect way to start the New Year.  Timing wise, this makes an ideal brunch.

The biggest challenge I encountered with this was the timing of all the parts.  So here’s what I learned:

  1. I recommend making your own English Muffins.  My recipe is linked.  You can start the dough the night before, taking it all the way through the first rise.  Punch down the dough and put it in the fridge overnight.  Take it out thirty minutes before you shape the dough into the English muffins and proceed as directed from there.
  2. Cook the bacon in advance and reheat it.
  3. Cook the Hollandaise and then set it aside while you poach the eggs.  Reheat it gently over very low heat until it is lukewarm.  Be sure to keep whisking it as you do this so the emulsion doesn’t fall apart.
  4. If you aren’t into poached eggs, fry your eggs instead.  You’ll never notice the difference under all the Hollandaise.

Most importantly, enjoy!

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict

Ingredients

    Makes 4 servings
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup slightly softened butter, cut into tablespoon sized slices
  • Eggs Benedict
  • 8 strips cooked bacon
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 4 English muffins, split in half and toasted
  • 8 poached eggs
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

    To make the Hollandaise Sauce
  1. Off the burner, combine the egg yolks, water, and lemon in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Put the saucepan over a burner set on low heat. Whisk constantly until the eggs begin to get frothy and start to thicken. There will be a noticeable change in the egg mixture - they will begin to increase in volume as well as will start to get thick enough you will be able to see the bottom of the saucepan as you whisk. When this occurs, take the eggs off the heat and whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. When one tablespoon of butter is fully incorporated, add the next until it's all been added.
  3. To assemble the Bacon Avocado Eggs Benedict
  4. Split each strip of bacon into two pieces. Lay two pieces of bacon on each half of the English muffins. Lay one or two slices of avocado on top of each English muffin. Lay the poached eggs on top of the avocado and then divide the Hollandaise sauce equally over each muffin. Grind fresh pepper over each.
  5. Enjoy!
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Biscuits and Gravy with Cacio e Pepe Scones

Biscuits and Gravy with Cacio e Pepe Scones

If you are looking for a post-Thanksgiving brunch recipe that doesn’t involve turkey, look no further than biscuits and gravy with cacio e pepe scones.

For some years, I’ve wanted to make the perfect biscuit, which is basically the biscuit of nostalgia – the biscuit that my grandmother used to make.  I watched her make biscuits for years: in fact, my first cooking experiments were rolling out a bit of biscuit dough and adding sprinkles and other oddball ingredients to them.  My grandma would dutifully bake these biscuit cookies along with the biscuits for dinner and I’m sure that my grandfather equally dutifully would eat and praise them.  For as long as I watched, though, I don’t actually remember what ingredients she used.

My husband, Clay, experiences the same nostalgia.  He has a biscuit memory from his grandma’s cooking, which we haven’t been able to pinpoint or reproduce, though we’ve tried.  I realized, though, after making scones some time ago that my scone recipe is remarkably biscuit like: light, fluffy, and buttery.  I’ve wanted to try out a savory scone/biscuit and then make gravy.

So this weekend, make up a batch of cacio e pepe scones and smother them in sausage and gravy – you won’t be disappointed and I think both our grandmothers would approve.

biscuits and gravy

 

Biscuits and Gravy with Cacio e Pepe Scones

Cacio e Pepe Scones
Makes 12 scones

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano or similar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper.  Cut the butter into slices.  Add the butter into the dry mixture and either use a pastry cutter or your hands to incorporate the butter until it forms pea size chunks.  Add the cheese and mix it in.  Add the heavy cream and egg gently incorporating until all the flour/butter mixture is wet and sticks together in a shaggy dough.

Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and form into a circle.  Cut the dough into twelve pieces that radiate out from the middle of the circle.  Gently separate each piece – you want just a bit of space between each scone so that they can rise.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the scones are golden brown.  These can be frozen and reheated wrapped in aluminum foil at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes.

Cream Gravy with Sausage
Serves 4

6 links cooked sausage, cut into small pieces.
1 tablespoon drippings from the cooked sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk
Black pepper to taste

Heat the drippings and oil over medium heat in a small saucepan.  Add the flour a bit at a time, whisking constantly.  The flour may clump a bit and that’s fine.  Once all the flour is incorporated, add the milk slowly, continuing to whisk.   Bring to a low simmer and cook until the gravy begins to thicken.  Stir the entire time to keep the milk from burning.  When the gravy is to your preferred consistency, take off the heat and add the sausage.

Serve the cream gravy with sausage over one or more Cacio e Pepe scones, split in half.  Enjoy!

This post is linked to Cook Once Eat Twice November at Searching for Spice.  Check out the other great recipes!

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