Sunday, March 31, 2013

Leftover Easter eggs?

 I originally posted this a couple years ago, and I figured it was worth posting again. Enjoy!!

Originally posted Easter Sunday, 2010......
So, I woke up on this morning, just about to get cooking, and I happened to read an article about what to do with all of your leftover hard boiled eggs. Not that there's anything wrong with having Classic Egg Salad or Deviled Eggs, but maybe you'd like something more!
I loved the ideas and figured they were worth sharing, so here there are! Let me know if you have any other quick ideas, and I'll add them to the list!
Happy Easter!

Southwestern Egg Salad Sandwich: Mash chopped eggs with a potato masher or a fork along with some mayo, a little chipotle in adobo or chipotle chile powder, lime juice, salt and sliced scallions. Place on a sandwich roll along with sliced avocado.

Egg Quesadilla: Brush one side of a burrito-size flour tortilla with olive oil. Place oiled side down on a baking sheet. Scatter shredded pepper Jack cheese over the tortilla, top with sliced hard-boiled eggs, green salsa and cilantro sprigs. Top with more cheese and another tortilla. Brush top of tortilla with oil and bake until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is crisp.

Eggs in Purgatory: Make a spicy tomato sauce with onions, garlic, a little bacon (if you like), tomatoes and some cayenne. Slice hard-boiled eggs about 1/2-inch thick, place in a shallow pasta bowl and spoon sauce over.

Potato and Egg Salad: Boil Yukon gold potatoes in their jackets until tender. Drain; peel while still warm, cut into thick slices and toss with a little vinegar (I like sherry or rice vinegar, but it's really your choice). Let sit 30 minutes then toss with hard-boiled egg slices, finely chopped red onion, a little mayo, and a little mustard. If you like, jazz it up with some ham, shrimp or cooked chicken.

Eggs with Asparagus and Parmesan Cheese: Do a riff on an Italian classic that usually has poached or fried eggs atop roasted asparagus. Trim ends of asparagus, then cut them in half crosswise. Place in a bowl, toss with olive oil to coat and roast at 400 degrees until lightly browned and crisp-tender. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and panko breadcrumbs and roast a few more minutes until cheese has melted. Top with chopped hard-boiled eggs and chives, and if you like, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
Quick Egg and Vegetable Hash: Cook some chopped onions, diced red pepper, and thinly sliced peeled carrots in a combo of butter and vegetable or olive oil until the onion is golden brown and caramelized. Add diced cooked potatoes and cook until the potatoes are nicely browned. Add chopped hard-boiled eggs and just a little cream or half-and-half; cook until eggs are heated through.

Not Your Usual Egg Sandwich: Use a baguette or a couple of slices of thick whole-grain country bread. Spread hot pepper jelly on both sides of the bread and top with arugula, sliced prosciutto and sliced eggs.

Warm Bacon, Spinach and Egg Salad: Cook a few slices of bacon until crisp, save the bacon fat and whisk it together with red wine vinegar, red currant jelly (or a little brown sugar) and toss while still warm with fresh spinach and sliced sautéed or grilled portobello mushroom caps, hard-boiled eggs cut in wedges and crumbled bacon. If you don't want to use bacon, omit it and make the dressing with olive oil.

Rich and Creamy Salad Dressing: Halve hard-boiled eggs and separate yolks and whites. Push yolks through a fine-meshed strainer. Whisk in olive oil, mustard, a touch of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss with a hearty lettuce, such as romaine, and garnish with chopped egg whites. Variation: Combine sour cream, mustard, yolks, and mayonnaise for a creamy thick dressing.

Norwegian Butter Cookies: This treat is a perfect use for egg yolks. In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, 2 mashed hard-boiled egg yolks, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat until well combined. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and, if you like, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom. Fold in 1 cup all-purpose flour. Using a teaspoon measure, drop cookie dough mixture 1-inch apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until golden around edges and set. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Meatloaf with Eggs: Put together your favorite meatloaf mixture. Pat half of it into a loaf pan, then make a trench lengthwise down the center and place a row of hard-boiled eggs in the trench. Top with remaining meatloaf mixture, patting it down to enclose the eggs and bake.

Gratinéed Eggs: Make a white sauce by melting 3 tablespoons butter and whisking in 3 tablespoons of flour, cooking over medium-low heat until just beginning to turn golden. Whisk in 2 cups milk, a little nutmeg, salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in about a cup of shredded sharp cheddar (or more if you like). Spoon some of the mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish that's been brushed with a little butter. Place 6 to 8 thickly sliced eggs in the dish and top with more sauce. Sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and bubbling.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Honey Bun Coffee Cake

Have you ever had a Honey Bun? It's kind of like a cross between a cinnamon roll and a glazed doughnut. It's got the cinnamon and spiral design of a cinnamon roll, but it's fried and glazed like a doughnut. They're usually sold as an individually wrapped grab-and-go sort of a treat that you can have with your morning coffee. Delish! You can find them just about anywhere in convenience stores and vending machines, but have you ever made them at home?
 My friend Linda recently posted this on Facebook, and I immediately knew I wanted to try it. Since my family always does a fabulous brunch for Easter, I always like to post brunch recipes around Easter and Mother's Day. This is just exactly the type of thing I wanted! So, thank you Linda, for sharing this, and also a big thank you to Mom's Pantry Blog for posting it in the first place. Oh btw,  your whole house will smell HEAVENLY while it's baking. Just sayin.

1 box yellow cake mix
8 ounce tub sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 c. powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. (Or spray with no stick spray for baking).
In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil, and sour cream. Stir by hand until large lumps are gone. There will still be some lumps but that's okay.
Pour half the batter into the pan.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture all over the batter in the cake pan, making sure you cover the entire surface, right to the edges.
Now carefully spread the other half of the batter on top. The mixture will combine with the topping, so don't worry that you're doing it wrong.
Once it's all spread around, take a butter knife and twirl it all through the batter.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Just when it's about done baking, mix together your powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Use a fork, and be sure all the little clumps get broken up.
Once the cake comes out of the oven, pour the powdered sugar mixture over the warm cake. As the cake cools, the honey bun crackle topping will appear. Wait at least 15 minutes to serve.

 Yes, I know it's called a honey bun cake and there's no honey in it. Go fig!
The key to making this taste just like a honey bun is the glaze. Be sure to include it!
I used a white cake mix instead of a yellow cake mix, just because it's what I happened to have on hand, and it worked perfectly. I'm sure the end result was ever so slightly different, but just as delish!
As I was making it, I wondered what kind of variations I could do. Yes, I know that strays from being exactly like a honey bun, but wouldn't it be awesome to add a layer of thinly sliced apples or peaches before adding the second layer of batter? You could also add a sprinkling of chopped pecans, coconut, or even chocolate chips.....hmm...I just might have to try that!! 

oh....and yes...I know there are other meanings for "honey bun" but we're not going there.... !

Sunday, March 17, 2013


 Have you ever heard of colcannon? It's a mixture of leafy greens and mashed potatoes and it's a traditional Irish dish, usually served in winter and spring when kale comes into season. The first time I heard of it was while watching Tyler Florence as he was visiting Ireland and the home of an Irish cook. It immediately reminded me of Bubble and Squeak, with the cabbage and potatoes and all. It's made slightly differently but it's just as good! It's quick and simple and you can serve it as an easy side dish with boiled ham or corned beef. Love it!
 Oh, and be sure to make a well in the center and place a knob of butter in it, so you have a little lake of melted butter. Then you dip a little in the well with each bite.
How can this not be good?

4 russet potatoes (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt and pepper
5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter (with more butter for serving)
3 lightly packed cups of chopped kale, cabbage, chard, or other leafy green
3 green onions (including the green onion greens), minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup milk or cream

 Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain in a colander.
 Return the pot to the stove and set over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and once it's hot, add the greens. Cook the greens for 3-4 minutes, or until they are wilted and have given off some of their water. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more.
 Pour in the milk or cream, mix well, and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium. Use a fork or potato masher and mash the potatoes, mixing them up with the greens. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot, with a knob of butter in the center.

I used savoy cabbage because it looked particularly nice and green at the market. I was originally gonna use kale, but strangely the market was sold out. I suppose lots of people had the same idea I did!
For an easy variation, you can substitute parsnips for half of the potatoes. You can also add chives, leeks, and/or bacon. Mmm...bacon. 
Yes, yes, I know it has lots of butter and cream and carbs and possibly lots of bacon..., but I'm not telling you to eat it every day, now am I??? 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jello Fluff

  Here's a quick and easy dessert that's delicious and looks impressive. It's a snap to whip up, and you can serve it in pretty glasses so everyone will say "oooo" and "aaahhhh" when they see it. I found the recipe on a blog called Linda's Low Carb Recipes and Menus, but you would never know it's low carb unless someone told you so. Actually, I've already tested this theory!
 I invited my friends, Casey and Matt, for dinner and this was the dessert. After seeing how much they enjoyed it, I said "By the way, this dessert was sugar free!" They were amazed! Of course, you don't have to use sugar free Jello. Any kind of Jello will work! But it's nice to know that you can if you want to!
 So keep this one in your dessert repertoire. It's really yummy and it'll make any night feel like a special occasion when you feel like having a treat!

1 small package sugar free jello, any flavor
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
About 2 cups ice cubes

In a medium bowl, dissolve the jello in 1 cup boiling water, stirring 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2-2 cups ice cubes and stir until the jello starts to thicken; about 3 minutes. Remove any unmelted ice. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add a small amount of the jello (2 tablespoon or so) to the cream cheese. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add the cheese mixture to the rest of the jello; beat on high until foamy. Pour into servings dishes and chill until set.

Makes 4 servings
2 net carbs per serving

Any kind of Jello will work. Strawberry, Peach, Orange, really any kind at all!
My friend, Mary, wanted to do a chocolate version of this. She mixed vanilla almond milk into chocolate Jello instant pudding and then blended it with the cream cheese. Of course, this changes the amount of carbs (if you're counting), but her family loved it!
Oh, btw, I topped mine with whipped cream and fresh berries, so be sure to add those carbs to your count as well.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reen's Rabe and Roasted Red

Here's another amazing dish from my sister, Reen. She loves throwing together all kinds of delicious appetizers by using fresh ingredients and they're ALWAYS incredible and ALWAYS easy to make! That's exactly how I would describe this one. It's SO delicious! Your family and friends will RAVE about it. They'll think you went to a lot of trouble making it, but they don't have to know how crazy simple it is to make. Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me! You should try it!
Thanx Been!

Broccoli Rabe
lots of fresh garlic
olive oil
roasted peppers
shaved Parmesan cheese
sliced hearty crusty bread

Rinse and chop the broccoli rabe, removing any
woody ends. Blanch it in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain.
Then saute in a frying pan with garlic and olive oil until tender. I serve it
with roasted peppers, sharp cheese and crostini as an appetizer, or I
mix it with sausage, short pasta and Parmesan cheese as a meal.

The ingredient amounts are to your own taste. Do you like a lot?Add a lot!
You can buy roasted peppers in a jar, or you can roast them yourself. If you're not sure how to roast them, have a quick look at my video How to Roast Peppers.
If you're serving it with sausage and pasta, you can slice links of Italian sausage into little wheels and then saute it, or remove the casing completely and then fry it up in the pan before tossing it with any kind of cooked short pasta.
To make crostini, simply arrange the slices of crusty bread in one layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and then bake at 350F until lightly crispy. Be careful not to burn them!
Btw, if you leave out the bread and pasta, this is a great dish if you're low carbing. And even if you're not!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Reen's Fried Tomatoes

Plum tomatoes
1 or 2 eggs (or more, if needed)
Panko bread crumbs
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
Vegetable oil for frying

 Whenever I stop over at my sister Reen's house, she's usually improvising a new dish. She loves to go to a produce market, see what looks good, and then come up with some sort of dish using that ingredient. And when I hear of a great dish that she's made, I always say "Take a picture of it and write down what you did!" But often times, it gets gobbled up before the picture is taken, and the dish was basically a little of this and a little of that.
 Well, at least THIS time, I was able to get her recipe for fried tomatoes. They're absolutely delicious and SO simple to make!! It's the same principal for breading anything, (wet into dry, dry into wet, then wet into dry again) but the addition of the ranch dressing mix is the thing that sets it apart. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce as a fabulous appetizer, with a burger instead of fries, or even on top of a salad. No matter how they're served, they're sure to be gobbled up!
Thanx Been!

Cut the tomatoes into thick slices, and don't leave a rounded end
(since the crumb coating won't stick to it). Prepare 3 bowls: one
with flour, salt and pepper; one with beaten egg; and one with Panko
bread crumbs mixed with dry Ranch Dressing mix. Dip the tomatoes into
the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Fry in vegetable
oil. Drain on a rack. (This also works with onion rings.)

Plum tomatoes are the right choice for this particular recipe because they have more meat to them, and less liquid in the center. It makes for better breading.
If your tomatoes are quite juicy, let them sit on a wire rack (you know, like the ones you use to cool a cake after baking) and place the rack over a baking tray. Let them drain for a while. You could also help them along by patting them with a paper towel.