Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Today was one of those days when I didn’t have a minute to myself—ever have days like that?   I didn’t think I would have time to make dinner, before I needed to turn around and go back out again.  Whew!  Somehow I managed to cook up something that turned out quite good, so I thought I would tell you about it, so when you have “one of those days”, you can do what I did, and still feel that you’ve put something healthy and hearty on the table for dinner.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Food Network Magazine that was called Grits with Bacon and Beans.  Instead of making grits which can take some time, I made an omelette, thereby saving on time, reducing the carbohydrates and increasing the proteins. To work this into my time crunch, after lunch when I had about an hour, I made the mixture of bacon and beans adding in some diced ham, again to increase the protein content.  With this mixture made in advance, I only needed to reheat it while I made an omelette.  Then I made some rye bread toast to go with it.  Mr. D. raved about this meal.

This was really good!!

This was really good!!

Besides being a quick meal for dinner this could be served for a brunch.  I think eggs cooked just about any way would be good with this mixture of vegetables and ham.  I love a recipe like this that can be adapted several different ways.  Try it!  Next time I make this, I’ll make cheese grits to spoon the ham-bean mixture over.  I’m looking forward to that meal 😀

OMELETTE, WITH BACON, HAM AND BEANS

Yield;  Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped collard greens, kale, or spinach, thawed and drained

    Beans, tomatoes, and frozen "greens".

    Beans, tomatoes, and frozen “greens”.

  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1  (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1  (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas (do not drain)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • small amount of milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet or shallow sauce pan over medium heat until almost crisp, about 8 minutes.  Add the vegetable oil and increase the heat to medium high;  add the peppers, onion, collard greens, cayenne and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 8 minutes.

Cooking up the vegetables.

Cooking up the vegetables.

2.  Add the tomatoes, black-eyed peas (with their liquid) and ham and bring to a simmer, cook 15 minutes.

Dice up some ham to add in.

Dice up some ham to add in.

Season with salt if needed.    Note:  all of this mixture can be made in advance and reheated when needed.

3.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, about 2-3 Tablespoons milk, and salt and pepper.  Melt butter in an omelette pan or skillet.  When hot, but not browned, add the egg mixture and cook over medium heat, lifting the edges as they become set, and let uncooked egg run underneath.  When all the egg mixture has been cooked, except for the “wet” top, sprinkle with half the shredded cheddar,  fold the omelette in half, and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese.  Cover and turn off the heat.  Allow cheese to melt.

Cheese omelette, ready to serve with the vegetable-ham mixture.

Cheese omelette, ready to serve with the vegetable-ham mixture.

4.  Serve omelette with the ham and bean mixture on the side.

Cook eggs in your favorite style and serve with this vegetable mixture.

Cook eggs in your favorite style and serve with this vegetable mixture.

SOURCE:   adapted from Food Network Magazine

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes.

Those of you who know me by now, know that I adore anything with pumpkin spice, in fact I have a whole board on Pinterest, devoted to it.  That board gets visited a lot so I figure there are lots of other folks who love pumpkin spice anything as much as me.   Usually those foods revolve around dessert of some sort like cupcakes, pies, cookies, bars or even ice cream….but with pancakes I can bring my addiction to the breakfast table.

These are a perfect fall breakfast and a great way to use up  small amounts of pumpkin leftover from your other baking endeavors.  Sprinkling the tops with cinnamon sugar and adding just a drizzle of syrup is all these need in the way of topping.  I made these on a rainy Sunday morning when we could enjoy a leisurely breakfast.  They were wonderful !

PUMPKIN SPICE PANCAKES

All the ingredients ready.

All the ingredients ready.

Yield:   8 – 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground ginger
  • Dash ground cloves
  • 1 cup milk  (I used 1/3 cup skim milk and 2/3 cup pumpkin spice coffee lightener for extra flavor.)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter

Directions:

1.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with a whisk to combine.

2.  In another bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, and oil or butter.  Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk together just until combined.

Add egg-pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients.

Add egg-pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients.

The batter may still have a few lumps–that’s okay.

3.  Preheat the oven to 200*F.  Have an oven safe platter or serving dish ready.  Heat a greased griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Once the griddle is hot,  spoon on the pancake batter.  Let cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more.

Look how they puffed up!

Look how they puffed up!

Transfer the cooked pancakes to the oven safe dish, and place in the oven to keep warm.   Repeat with rest of the batter until it has all been cooked.

4.  Serve warm with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and butter as desired.

Nice robust flavor!!

Nice robust flavor!!

Served with breakfast sausages.

Served with breakfast sausages.

SOURCE:   adapted from Martha Stewart

Spirit-Lifting Cherry Coffee Cake

 Cherry Cream Coffee Cake


Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

“Forget your troubles, come on, get happy,  you better chase all your cares away”

The words to that song come to mind when I think about this coffee cake.  It’s guaranteed to be a spirit-lifter for anyone who tastes it.  Just looking at it makes me happy.

This recipe was featured recently on the blog “Rantings of an Amateur Chef”.  The blog author has been using Greek yogurt in a variety of dishes as a substitute for higher fat and calorie laden foods such as sour cream and cream cheese.

That is a technique that I also use on many occasions, so when I saw this recipe for Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, I knew I had to make it, not so much because of the substitutions, but because it contains almond flavoring.  My all-time favorite flavor in the world!!   But since I, too, would be incorporating the substitutions, I purchased 0%-fat Greek yogurt in Black Cherry flavor as a match-up with the cherry pie filling that is part of the cake’s filling.

Looks luscious.

Looks luscious.

“Shout Alleluia,  come on, get happy,”

The aroma of this cake baking was so enticing I could hardly wait for it to cool sufficiently before sampling it. While still a very rich cake, the yogurt did its job in making a very creamy layer of filling below the cherry pie filling.  The over-all texture is mouth watering and tender with a little crunch provided by the sliced almonds.  And the combination of cherries and almond flavoring is a classic that I love.  This cake could be served as a dessert,  as a fancy coffee cake for a brunch, or just for breakfast.  I would not hesitate to make and take it as a gift for someone whose spirits need lifting.

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“The sun is shining, come on, get happy”.

CHERRY CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE

YIELD:  8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

Crust ingredients.

Crust ingredients.

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour ( I substituted in 1 cup white whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sour cream ( or 0%fat Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

For the Filling:

  • 1 package ( 8-oz. ) cream cheese, softened ( I substituted 8-oz. Black Cherry flavor 0% fat Greek yogurt)

    Filling ingredients.

    Filling ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 can ( 21-oz.) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 350*F.  Pan needed:  9 – inch springform pan with removable bottom,  ungreased.

2.  In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Cut in butter until crumbly.

Cutting in the butter.

Cutting in the butter.

Reserve 3/4 cup crumb mixture and set aside.

Reserve some crumbs for the topping.

Reserve some crumbs for the topping.

Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt to remaining crumb mixture.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg, then add sour cream and almond extract.  Whisk to blend.  Stir into the crumb mixture to form a thick dough.

Mix together the egg, sour cream and almond extract

Mix together the egg, sour cream and almond extract

4.  Press onto the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the springform pan.

Press crust into bottom of pan.

Press crust into bottom of pan.

5.  Make filling:  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese (yogurt), and sugar for 1 minute.  Add egg; beat just until combined.  Spread over crust.

Pour on cream filling.

Pour on cream filling.

Carefully spoon pie filling over the top.

Spoon on cherry filling.

Spoon on cherry filling.

Sprinkle with almonds, and the reserved crumbs.

Top with sliced almonds.

Top with sliced almonds.

Sprinkle on reserved crumbs.

Sprinkle on reserved crumbs.

6.  Bake at 350*F for 50 – 60 minutes or until center is set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen;  remove sides of pan.  Store in the refrigerator.

Out of the oven.  Isn't that beautiful?

Out of the oven. Isn’t that beautiful?

Looks luscious.

Looks luscious.

Tastes as good as it looks.

Tastes as good as it looks.

SOURCE:  Taste of Home via Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Baked Grits with Eggs

Happy Labor Day, everyone.  I hope you are enjoying the long holiday weekend.

Grits with baked eggs.

Baked Grits with eggs.

To start off the weekend I wanted to make a really satisfying breakfast that would sustain us for quite a while, since we planned to do some serious shopping.  (Shopping sure makes me hungry, and I tend to eat the wrong things when I’m out).  I had two new breakfast recipes to try out, but since I already had some of this one partially cooked, I went with this one first.  The other one I’m making tomorrow, and I’ll be telling you about it later.

This breakfast dish consists of creamy grits and baked eggs.  It turns out to be a hearty meal that takes just a few minutes to create and can be increased to feed a crowd (hello, unexpected guests!).  My preparation was even quicker than that because I had some  grits with corn and cheese leftover from my Shrimp and Grits dinner.  Whenever you have some already cooked grits on hand, this is a good way to use them up.  It makes a comforting breakfast that is packed with protein, keeping you satisfied for a long time.  Try it out soon!

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BAKED GRITS WITH EGGS

Yield;  Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 3/4 cup quick grits
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 large eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Brush four  8-ounce ramekins or other small ovenproof dishes with oil.  Prepare grits according to package instructions.   Stir in 2 Tablespoons cheddar cheese, and cook until cheese melts, about 30 seconds.  Season with salt and pepper.

2.  Divide grits among dishes.  Make a well in each, then crack an egg into each well; season with salt and pepper.  Bake on a rimmed baking sheet, until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 20 minutes.  Just at the end of baking time, divide the remaining cheese among the ramekins and keep in the oven till cheese melts.

3.  These little casseroles are cute served with a side of bacon or sausage and toast or English muffin.

A hearty and nutritious breakfast.

A hearty and nutritious breakfast.

Zucchini-cheese Pancakes

Zucchini-Cheese Pancakes

Zucchini-Cheese Pancakes

For everyone who is a gardner growing zucchini, you are probably starting to say “gad zukes, what will I do with it all?”  If you are not inundated with zucchini now, you most likely will be very soon.  So I’m going to feature some recipes that utilize zucchini in the starring role.  Look for them on Thursdays, which I am designating as “Theme Thursdays”.   After zucchinis, I’ll see what other food items there might be that I can do the same thing with.  It’s kind of fun to see how many different ways a particular food can be incorporated into the various categories of dishes.

Last summer at the farm stands near me, I saw a few yellow zucchini, and I tried one.  Except for the color it is the same as the green variety.  This year, I’m seeing a lot more of them.  In fact my neighbor was selling some really large ones for $1.00 each.  Of course, I bought several, thinking how apt they would be to feature on a blog called “Delicious on a Dollar”.  Watch for them to show up in some of these posts.

Yellow zucchini.

Yellow zucchini.

Today we will start with these pancakes that are moist, savory and delicious hot from the griddle;  or warm,  at room temperature….even cold.  They can be for breakfast,  or dinner, whenever you are in the mood for some non-traditional pancakes.

For breakfast with sausages.

For breakfast with sausages.

I have experimented with these pancakes and added an ear of cooked corn, cut from the cob.  They were delicious served with salsa and sour cream.  You can also vary the cheese used and get a somewhat different flavor.   And if you don’t have scallions, try grating a sweet onion instead.   Many recipes that use zucchini have you squeeze the liquid out of the zucchini, but this recipe doesn’t require that as long as you cook the batter just after it is made.  If you let it sit a while the zucchini will add too much moisture and the batter will become wet.  If that happens, just add some more flour to compensate.

Recipe:  ZUCCHINI-CHEESE PANCAKES

Yield:   about 20 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup chopped chives or scallions;  about 1 bunch scallions trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried basil**
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano**
  • 4 cups coarsely grated zucchini; about one 10″ zucchini
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ** substitute 2 tsp. Pizza Seasoning for the dried herbs, if desired. reducing salt to 1  1 /2 tsp.
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, cheddar, Monterey Jack or other cheese  ( or a combination).

Preparation:

1.  Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat;  If you have an electric griddle, set the heat to 400*F.

2.  Beat the eggs with the oil, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.

3.  Add the herbs, scallions, zucchini, and cheese, stirring to combine.

4.  Stir in the flour.  This will be a very thick batter.

A very thick batter.

A very thick batter.

5.  Grease the hot griddle lightly.  Drop the batter in 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle; spread the batter to about 3 1/2″ to 4″ diameter.

Spread batter to about 4" rounds.

Spread batter to about 4″ rounds.

6.  Cook the cakes for 3 minutes, or until they’re brown on the bottom, and bubbles have appeared on their tops.  The top surface will appear somewhat dry and set.  (My pancakes did not get bubbles on top.  Lift the edges, and peek at the bottom.  If brown, turn them over.)

Turn over when they start to get brown.

Turn over when they start to get brown.

7.  Flip the cakes, and cook them for about 3 – 4 minutes on the second side, or until they’re as moist/cooked as you like when you break one open.

8.  Continue cooking until you have used all the batter.

9.  Serve warm with butter and grated cheese, salsa and sour cream, or applesauce.  Store any leftovers, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator.  Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven, if desired.

Serve with butter and grated cheese.  YUM!

Serve with butter and grated cheese. YUM!

SOURCE:   King Arthur Flour

Pimiento Cheese Omelet

Pimiento-Cheese Omelet

Pimiento-Cheese Omelet

You know those open-faced pimiento cheese BLT sandwiches I wrote about here?  Well, there was just a tad of cheese mixture left over, and not being one to throw out or waste food, I put it into the fridge.

So now, here it is Sunday morning, and I’m making an omelet,  when out of the blue I thought of the pimiento cheese in the fridge.  Bingo!!  I’ll  put it into the omelet.  Instead of putting the cheese into the egg mixture, I partially cooked the egg/omelet and while the center was still wet dropped gobs of cheese on it.  Then folded it onto itself, covered the pan and let the heat finish cooking the egg and melt the cheese.  WOW!  moments of genius come at the most unexpected times! 😀

IMG_4467

This was so good it was incredible.  The cheese was just the right amount so that it did not overpower the delicate egg, yet added an extra wonderful flavor.  I think it might be worth having a small tub of pimiento cheese mixture in the refrigerator at all times just for such moments.  When genius strikes, one needs to be ready!!

PIMIENTO CHEESE OMELET

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 eggs, beaten lightly with a whisk,
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 – 2 tsp. water
  • 1 – 2 tsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. pimiento cheese

Lightly beat the eggs with a whisk in a small bowl.  Add salt, pepper and a little water.  Mix well.

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, melt butter.  Swirl pan to coat.  Pour in the egg mixture and allow cooking to begin,  As the edges become set, lift gently and allow the liquid egg to run underneath at the edges.

When as much liquid egg has “run under”, but the top is still wet,  spoon small dabs of pimiento cheese over the top.  Then lift one side of egg and fold to the middle, lift again, and fold onto itself.  Turn off the heat, cover for a short time and allow the cheese to melt.

Fold the omelet in thirds and let the heat melt the cheese filling.

Fold the omelet in thirds and let the heat melt the cheese filling.

Serve warm with toast and breakfast meat or with a salad for a dinner entree .

IMG_4469

SOURCE:   a Carolyn Original

Baked Coconut French Toast with Tropical Fruit Compote

Baked Coconut French Toast with Fruit Compote

Baked Coconut French Toast with Fruit Compote

We are now officially into summer.   The weather is sunny, hot and beautiful; and I’m cooking up something special for our breakfast.  Something with a tropical vibe to it.

What started me down this path was a recent purchase  of a large bag of unsweetened, flaked coconut, (read, large flakes),  by Bob’s Red Mill.  Don’t ask why I bought this when I already have two bags of the standard, sweetened flaked coconut on hand.  In addition, I’m not one to use a lot of coconut, even though we like it, because of my concern for the oil content.  Well, not everything I do always makes perfect sense, so now I must devise ways to use coconut.  Expect to see more recipes featuring coconut popping up in the near future. 😀

IMG_4377

Baked French Toast, a somewhat “showy” breakfast, is really easy for me to serve on a weekend morning.  I assemble it all the evening before, put it in the fridge overnight, and just take it out and bake it in the morning.  While the toast is baking, I put together a fruit mixture, that I’ll loosely call a Tropical Fruit Compote, so you’ll think I really spent a lot of time planning for how this was all going to go together.   😀

The French Toast and fruit mixture complemented each other nicely  and provided a “summery” feeling to a breakfast that we enjoyed eating out on the deck.IMG_4379

BAKED COCONUT FRENCH TOAST

Yield:   Serves 4

For the Toast:

  • 8 slices ( 1/2- inch thick ) diagonally cut Italian bread
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk ( or almond milk)
  • 4 large eggs, or 1 1/4 cups egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract ( to increase coconut flavor, use coconut extract)
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut

1.  Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.   Arrange the bread slices snugly in the dish.

2.  Combine the milk, eggs or egg substitute, sugar and vanilla, stirring with a whisk.  Pour evenly over the bread.  Turn the bread slices over to coat evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

3.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Remove bread mixture from refrigerator, uncover, and turn bread slices over.  Sprinkle evenly with coconut.  Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle on coconut before baking.

Sprinkle on coconut before baking.

4.  Bake, uncovered, at 375*F for 30 minutes or until coconut is golden.  Serve warm with fruit compote.

Just out of the oven--smells wonderful!

Just out of the oven–smells wonderful!

For the compote:

Colorful fruits go into the compote.

Colorful fruits go into the compote.

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 dark purple plum, pitted and sliced
  • 1 large kiwi, peeled, and sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients.  Cover and chill over night,  or prepare while toast is baking.  Serve alongside the French Toast.

A Tropical Breakfast

A Tropical Breakfast

SOURCE:   Taste of Home

Strawberry and Cream Scones

Strawberry and Cream Scones.

Strawberry and Cream Scones.

After I finished making my Very Berry Strawberry Cookies, I had a partial package of freeze dried strawberries left, with no plan for how to use them up.  Then I noticed a packaged mix for strawberries and cream scones in a baking catalog.  That gave me the idea I needed for how to use the strawberries.

Warm, tender, and flaky.

Warm, tender, and flaky.

Since fresh strawberries can be difficult to incorporate into baked goods, adding too much moisture to the finished product, I reasoned that the freeze dried berries would provide the color and intense flavor of strawberries without the excess liquid.  I rehydrated the strawberries, squeezed out the extra liquid, chopped them up a little and proceeded with my standard recipe for cream scones.  The bright little bursts of flavor turn these into very delightful scones, especially served warm with some strawberry jam.   It was mid-day when I baked these, so when they came out of the oven I had one with a cup of tea, but they are also great for breakfast, too.

STRAWBERRY AND CREAM SCONES

Yield:   Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

The essentials for strawberry cream scones.

The essentials for strawberry cream scones.

  • a generous 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ( I use half whole wheat flour)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

1.  Place freeze-dried strawberries in a small bowl and cover them with warm water.  Leave to soften for about 5 minutes.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.  Chop coarsely and set aside.

2.  Preheat oven to 400*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease lightly.

3.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Cutting in the butter.

Cutting in the butter.

4.  In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and cream.  Add the cream mixture and chopped strawberries to the dry mixture.

Adding in the egg, cream and strawberries.

Adding in the egg, cream and strawberries.

Stir together lightly to make a sticky dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently about 6 times, just until it holds together.  Add a little flour if necessary.  Pat the dough into a 6 to 7-inch round, about 3/4-inch thick.  Cut with a sharp knife into 8 wedges.  Transfer to the baking sheet and brush the tops of them with a little cream.

Brush tops with a little cream before baking.

Brush tops with a little cream before baking.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until set and golden brown.  (Mine were perfect at 15 minutes).

Serve warm with butter and strawberry jam.  Delicious!!!

Asking for some strawberry jam!

Asking for some strawberry jam!

Heaven in the shape of a scone!

Heaven in the shape of a scone!

SOURCE:  adapted from a recipe for cream scones by Rennie Darling:  Muffins, Scones, and Quick Breads

Spring Tonic Quiche

Spring Tonic Quiche

Spring Tonic Quiche

This may seem like an odd name for a recipe, but it comes from Barbara Kingsolver’s excellent book, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral:  A Year of Food Life.  In it she describes a winter of  relying on root vegetables and home-grown  canned goods, so the first green shoots to emerge from the earth in the spring were pounced upon by her family.  The minerals contained in these new shoots were believed to provide renewed vigor and energy for bodies tired of being cooped up all winter.

This recipe uses fresh young asparagus but if you’re in an area where fiddleheads** are available they would be a wonderful replacement for the asparagus.  The quantity of the recipe is designed to fit into a 9″ or 10″ pie pan.  If you’re using a shallower quiche pan  use 3 eggs and cut back the buttermilk to 3/4 cup.

The buttermilk called for in this recipe gives the custard a “tang” that is typical of buttermilk.  If you prefer a more traditional flavored  filling you may use regular milk instead with equally good results.  This quiche cuts and hold its shape vey well especially it you let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving as the recipe suggests.

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SPRING TONIC  (ASPARAGUS ) QUICHE

Asparagus, chives, cheese, buttermilk, eggs and Worcestershire sauce make the filling.

Asparagus, chives, cheese, buttermilk, eggs and Worcestershire sauce make the filling.

Yield:   8 slices

Ingredients:

  • 1 single recipe pie dough, or use 1/2 package refrigerator pie dough
  • 2  1/2 cup asparagus spears or fiddleheads, bias sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1  1/2 cup grated cheese ( your choice, but Swiss, Parmesan and/or Asiago are good)
  • 3 to 4 four large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1.  Preheat the oven to 425*F.  Line a 9 or 10-inch pie pan  or 10-inch quiche pan with the pastry.  Chill the lined dish while the oven comes up to temperature.  This will minimize shrinking while it bakes.

2.  Bake the chilled crust for 10 minutes;  remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375*.

3.  For the Filling:  Spread the sliced asparagus over the crust.  Place the tips around the outside edge for a nice effect.  Sprinkle the chives and cheese on top.

Layer asparagus, chives and cheese in the crust.

Layer asparagus, chives and cheese in the crust.

Whisk together the eggs, flour, buttermilk, and Worcestershire and pour over the vegetables and cheese.

Egg mixture poured over the vegetables.

Egg mixture poured over the vegetables.

I used the asparagus tips to decorate the top.

I used the asparagus tips to decorate the top.

4.  Place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any spills and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the custard is firm 3″ in from the edge and a knife inserted in that spot comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Out of the oven and cooling.

Out of the oven and cooling.

This makes a nice light meal served with a salad.

This makes a nice light meal served with a salad.

**A note about fiddleheads:  These are the tops of ostrich ferns, and they appear in shady woodland spots in early May.  They look like green, fuzzy bumps;  below the brown stalks of last year’s growth.

English: Photo of fiddleheads emerging in the ...

English: Photo of fiddleheads emerging in the spring (taken in Rindge, New Hampshire). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They emerge tightly curled and covered in a brown, scaly papery covering.  They can easily be snapped off when they are no more than 3 or 4 inches high.  To clean them, wash well and remove the papery covering.  Cook in boiling salted water until you can just pierce them with a fork.  Drain and rinse and treat them as you would asparagus.

SOURCE:   The Baking Sheet, King Arthur Flour.

Banana Bread Waffles

Banana Bread Waffles

Banana Bread Waffles

Banana Bread.  Waffles.  Think about those words, say them slowly out loud so you get the full impact.  Banana Bread Waffles!

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I know, they sound impossibly good don’t they?  Well,  just to let you know,  they are!  As usual when bananas are involved it all starts with a few over-ripe ones.  There they were lying sadly, neglected, past their prime.  What would YOU do with them?  Make banana bread most likely, and so would I.  Nothing too original there.  But I wasn’t in a baking mood, so all day I looked at them and felt guilty.  By evening I made up my mind that something must be done with them.  And since the next meal we would be eating would be breakfast and the next day was Saturday, waffles came to mind.

Waffles for breakfast.  What a treat!

Waffles for breakfast. What a treat!

Let me say at the start that they are not all that sweet.  I used a basic waffle recipe, added mashed banana, some sour cream and the typical spices used in banana bread.  The resulting waffle was crisp on the outside, with a thick and soft interior, a lot like the end piece from a loaf of banana bread.  I left the sweetness to be managed by the maple syrup added at the table.  For your further information, the leftover waffles were just great toasted and spread with a little peanut butter, a riff on the favorite Elvis Prestley sandwich!

BANANA BREAD WAFFLES

Yield:   about 6 round waffles

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

    Typical ingredients for banana bread.

    Typical ingredients for banana bread.

  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  •  pinch cloves
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, or greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mashed banana ( about 3 medium )

1.  In a large bowl (A batter bowl works well because you can pour from it directly onto the waffle iron.), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, the spices and salt.  Whisk to combine well.

2.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, milk, sour cream and banana.  Add to dry ingredients and stir to combine, but do not over mix.

3.  Heat your waffle iron and bake the waffles as per the manufacturer’s directions until golden brown and crisp.

Bake in a heated waffle iron till brown and crispy.

Bake in a heated waffle iron till brown and crispy.

Serve with butter and syrup.

Add some butter and syrup at the table for a little added sweetness.

Add some butter and syrup at the table for a little added sweetness.

SOURCE:   Inspiration came from a variety of sources with the basic waffle recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.