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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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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!

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!

cookonceeattwice-2

Squash Blossom Quiche

Squash Blossom Quiche

I planted one summer squash plant this year for one purpose alone: to have access to squash blossoms for this squash blossom quiche.  Squash blossoms seem like they have become a thing, like kale and bacon.  I suspect I was first introduced to the fact you could eat squash blossoms through reading Martha Stewart’s magazine, but I think the first time I actually tried one was at a coastal restaurant that served them stuffed with shrimp and cheese and deep fried them.  At the same time, we had a farmer at our local market that would come to market each weekend with trays and trays of both baby zucchini and squash blossoms, so I decided to experiment and see what I could make of them. 

The simplest preparation for these that I cook is to throw several into a quesadilla.  The blossoms add a mildly peppery taste.  The most complex preparation that I cook with these is this quiche.  I really like the combination of egg and blossom, and this is a recipe that freezes up nicely, so is great for lunch with a simple salad to accompany it.  It also makes a great weekend brunch recipe.

squash blossoms 2

quiche pre-bake

squash blossom quiche baked

plated squash blossom quiche

Squash Blossom Quiche
Serves 4

4 small potatoes (or 1 large)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup Swiss cheese (or other mild cheese)
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 or 5 squash blossoms, stamens removed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Slice the potatoes to ¼ inch thickness.  Layer them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and drizzle with the olive oil.  Bake for 25 minutes or until both sides are slightly crispy.

Drop the temperature on the oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the eggs and milk and beat until combined.  Add the Swiss cheese, salt and black pepper and stir until combined. 

In a non-stick cake pan or pie pan, layer the potato rounds so that they overlap a bit and cover the bottom of the pan.  Gently pour the egg, milk, and cheese mixture over the potatoes.  The potatoes may float – they’ll settle into the bottom as the quiche cooks.  Lay the squash blossoms on top.  Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until the egg is fully set (check for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the middle of the quiche – if it comes out clean, the quiche is done). 

Travel Thursday: NOLA and a Stay-Cation

Travel Thursday: NOLA and a Stay-Cation

I’m adding a new feature to the blog – Travel Thursday.  I doubt this will be every week, but occasionally, I’ll recap some of my recent travels, both local and afar, along with any tips I gain along the way about making travel more comfortable.  You’ll likely see many photos here as well.

For this first one, I’m doing a re-cap of the last week.  In the last week, I traveled to New Orleans for a conference, to Salem for meetings, and then did a stay-cation in the Portland/Vancouver area.

I’ll start with New Orleans, sort of.  I’ll really start with the top reason why Portland International Airport is my favorite airport in the entire United States: the Oregon local store sells Oregon wine.  The Oregon local store is past security, which means it’s possible to buy a bottle of wine, take it on the plane (the clerks there are great about carefully bubble wrapping the wine), and have a great bottle of wine at your end destination.  Given that I lived in the Umpqua Valley region for six years, I have a soft-spot for Umpqua Valley wines.  I was thrilled to spy a bottle of Abacela’s Abariῆo.  Here’s the bottle posed with my traveling black sheep in my hotel in NOLA:

abacela and black sheep

This was a light and fruity white wine, which paired great with my two room service meals while I was in NOLA.  The problem for me of traveling for work is that I’m often fully ensconced in a conference all day long while, which was the case this last go around.  I’m a sufficient enough introvert that after I’ve been around people all day long, I kind of just want to hide.  So while it was so very tempting to go seek out good food (and New Orleans really does have good food), it was also tempting to land in front of the t.v. and have food brought to me (and enjoy a great view of the city from my hotel room).

NOLA sunset NOLA French Quarter1

Fortunately, the Marriot where I stayed had decent food that represented the region, so on night one I had a shrimp and oyster Po Boy and some fried green tomatoes:

shrimp and oyster po boy fried green tomato

And on night two, I had a seafood omelet with soft shell crab, shrimp and crawfish tails:

seafood omelette

The Marriot also had really good snacks during the conference:

macaron and praline

On the way to New Orleans, I had all my snack food (see a recap here).  On the way back, I bought a really awful chicken sandwich at a restaurant in the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and ate just the bread, cheese and tomato off of it.  No pictures – it was ghastly.  Fortunately, there is a Burgerville near PDX (this is a regional chain of happily farmed food with seasonal favorites, like fried asparagus, Walla Walla onion rings, and so on).

The next day, I was off to Salem, Oregon, for more meetings.  Fortunately, I have a favorite government building deli in Salem, so had this Cobb Salad for lunch:

salem favorite cafeteria cobb salad

The rest of the week and weekend was stay-cation time.  The primary highlight that I want to showcase here was a wine tasting adventure in Clark County, Washington. Clark County includes Vancouver, but also includes some smaller towns, including Battle Ground, Camas, Ridgefield, Yacolt, and Washougal.   It’s also an up and coming region for vineyards and wineries.  Two of the three we went to are small endeavors – one has a temporary tasting room in a tent while they build their permanent tasting room.  The third, the Rusty Grape, is a bit more established and has a great snack/tapas style menu to enjoy with the wine.

tasting room three white wines

red and white vineyard 3

vineyard and umbrella three wines

From left to right, the wine bottles are Northwest Gold and a 2009 Pinot Noir (both from Rezabek Vineyards).  The third is Reformation Red from The Rusty Grape.  We also tasted at Heisen House Vineyard.  Their wines were a little sharp for me – though I really enjoyed their ciders.

Last, but not least, for the stay-cation was a trip into Portland.  This was a nostalgia trip for me.  For many, many, many years, I’ve traveled to Portland on business, vacation, and to visit family.  These trips have always been quick turnaround affairs – a few days at the most and are usually coupled with something else: the Portland Marathon, a conference, a holiday.  Now that we live in the Portland Metro area, we can spend a day in Portland without breaking the bank and enjoy some of the things we’ve not had a chance to do before (or have done, but always felt rushed doing so).  In this case, we had a busy day of brunch at the Tin Shed, where there is always a long wait, but it is always worth it for their biscuits and gravy:

tin shed biscuits and gravy

And then wandering the stacks at Powell’s (which is my favorite, favorite bookstore – no photos here – was too busy browsing), and going to the Oregon Zoo (which for some reason, I only snapped pictures of the condor exhibit and some fish).

oregon zoo condor oregon zoo fish

On Wednesday, it was business as usual and back to work.  Fortunately, I had good food prepared for a little lunch so all was right with the world.

Spicy Sunday Frittata

Spicy Sunday Frittata

 This is the first weekend in over a month that we’ve been able to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning and actually cook brunch.  It’s been so, so very nice.  The whole weekend has had a leisurely air to it, starting with a mid-morning trip to the farmers market yesterday.  It’s the season for lots of spring green vegetables – particularly my favorites of broccolini, rapini, and asparagus. I also discovered a chorizo vendor:  we bought a pound of the spiciest green chili chorizo that they had.  Half of it went into a brunch frittata and half of it will go into something else – we haven’t figured that part out yet.

finished spicy frittata

Spicy Frittata
Serves 4

½ pound chorizo
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 bunch broccolini, finely chopped, florets and stems separated
6 eggs
¼ cup milk or heavy cream
¼ cup salsa
¼ cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Preheat the broiler.

Sauté the chorizo in an oven-safe non-stick or cast iron pan until it’s browned. 

Add the olive oil, the onions, garlic and chopped stems of the broccolini and cook until soft.  Add the florets from the broccolini and cook for 3 more minutes. 

Combine the eggs and milk/heavy cream and mix with a fork until fluffy.

Remove the chorizo and vegetable mix from the pan and set aside.  Pour enough of the egg mixture on the bottom of the pan to cover the pan.  Let this set, then spread the chorizo and vegetable mixture over this layer.  Pour the remainder of the egg mixture over the vegetables and then put the frittata into the oven.  Broil until set and top is lightly brown.  Pull out the frittata and spread the salsa over the top and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Put back under the broiler until the cheese is melted.  Pull out and let the frittata sit for 5 minutes to rest.

If I’m Not Eating, I’m Dreaming About Gardening

If I’m Not Eating, I’m Dreaming About Gardening

On my top five list of things I do that aren’t work, gardening is not very far behind cooking.  It’s one of the reasons I so love living in the PNW, as there are so many flowers and vegetables that grow happily here.  I particularly enjoy the fact that there are any commercial flower growers that have display gardens around here that are open to the public.  I stumbled on one last spring by chance – Schreiner’s Iris Garden has fields of iris that adjoin I-5.  I don’t even recall why I was on that stretch of I-5 at that time of year, but had to pull off to go wander the iris fields and take home several dozen stems of assorted iris.

I’d heard rumor of a similar tulip garden, as well as a dahlia garden.  Today, we made it to the tulip garden – it’s at the Wooden Shoe Tulip festival near Woodburn, Oregon.  I spent an hour wandering the fields and taking pictures.  Good thing we’d had brunch first.

Brunch Southwest Omlette

Southwestern Omelet at the Kitchen Table Café

20160403_180309_resized_1

A Duo of Sausages, Warm Potato Salad, Red Cabbage, and Sauerkraut at Gustav’s.

Of course, after, we also had to have a good dinner.  Now that I’ve shared the obligatory food photos, on to the tulips.

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I have one day out of the office tomorrow, so won’t be cooking lunch until tomorrow night.  I’m pretty sure I’ll have several recipes with spring greens coming up this week, as I need to finish a tub of baby kales as well as a bunch of curly kale, along with some cheeses from last week.

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