Eggs in a Spinach Nest

Make this! Make it just for yourself or make it for a family gathering. It is so delicious and comforting and simple and lovely. It says “spring time” on your plate and delivers sunshine to your belly. 

  
Eggs in a Spinach Nest (adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen)

• 12 eggs

• 2 lbs fresh spinach

• 1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced

• 8 roasted garlic cloves in oil

• 1 shallot, sliced thin

• 4 TBSP unsalted butter

• 1 cup heavy cream

• a pinch of salt

• 1/4 cup grated parmesean 

Add a bit of olive oil to a large frying pan. Heat and add half of your spinach and wilt, about 30 seconds. Add the rest of your spinach and wilt again.  Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Then chop.

Melt butter over medium-low heat in frying pan and cook shallots and mushrooms until soft. Stir in cream, salt, and chopped spinach. Remove from heat and place in 9×13 baking dish. Stir in parmesean.  (You can cover and put this in the fridge to cook the next morning or go ahead to the next step if you’re eating it today.)

Make 12 wells in the spinach/mushroom mixture. You’ll crack each egg into each well. 

Straight from SmittenKitchen: When you’re ready to bake the dish, or about 30 minutes before serving, put oven rack in upper third of oven and heat oven to 450°F. Crack an egg into each well. Bake until whites are firm and yolks are still runny. Takes anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. The range is long due to different ovens and baking vessels. It’s better to have to check more often than to let them overcook.

[Cooking note: It is nearly impossible to get all 12 eggs to cook evenly. The ones in the center will be more runny; at the edges, they’ll be more firm. But don’t fret. I’ve found that almost all people have an egg preference (more runny vs. more firm) and each egg manages to find the right home. Just ask people their preference as you serve them.]

Remove dish from oven, sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, plus grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Everyone loved this one!!

Gluten-free Breakfast

I think the worst thing about trying to be gluten-free is breakfast options. I was a pastry every day girl. Now? Well, now it takes a bit more effort. But in truth, it’s delicious. Like cold cuts, pickles and hard boiled eggs. Or yogurt with granola and chocolate sprinkles. But this has to be my favorite concoction. It’s a little like chiliquiles and huevos rancheros. It’s super satisfying both in taste and texture and is so darn delicious even my gluten-full family members love it!   

 Gluten-free Cal-Mex Breakfast

  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 egg, fried
  • 1 slice of bacon, fried and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pinto beans, heated
  • 1/2 zucchini sliced and cooked with a bit of cumin and olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • A dollop of salsa
  • Chopped cilantro

Tear apart the corn tortilla and put on the bottom of a plate. Add beans then bacon then zucchini. Top with your fried egg then salsa and avocado and cilantro. 

Enjoy!!

 

Sunday Browns

One of my absolute favorite one pan breakfasts – this is Sunday Browns. Not only is it delicious and filling, its a great way to clean out the fridge of leftovers or those last 5 cherry tomatoes. 

All you need are potatoes, onions and eggs as your base. Then get creative. I like to sauté my onions, add some peppers, potatoes and ham (or bacon or chicken or steak). After its all a bit brown, add greens, tomatoes, herbs. 

Plop it in a bowl with a dallop of sauce (pesto, tomato, cheese) and then a fried egg. 

Yummmmm!! 

   

Scrumptious Breakfast Bars

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. Like she says, it’s a recipe that is really flexible. Whatever your little breakfast heart desires, you can add to these bars (well, maybe not sausage or chicken fried steak breakfast desires but any dried fruit, nuts, seeds, flours…ya’ know, California type breakfast stuffs 🙂

These are perfect for the kiddos heading off to school for a quick and hearty breakfast to go. Truthfully, I liked them at all times of the day.

Yummy Breakfast Bars

Thick and Chewy Breakfast Bars (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

  • 1 2/3 cup quick rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour (just blitz the oats in a blender to get flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups dried fruits and nuts chopped (I used cherries, raisins, apricots, pecans, flax seeds, chia seeds, and macadamia nuts)
  • 1/3 cup peanut or other nut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP water

Directions pulled directly from SmittenKitchen: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. (Alternately, after about 20 minutes you can use your parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way. This can speed the process up.)

Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. If bars seem crumbly, chill the pan of them further in the fridge for 30 minutes which will fully set the “glue”, then cut them cold. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

Making Room In the Fridge For Thanksgiving

We often have remnants of veggie odds and ends in our crisper. I’ll usually make a quick soup with the veggies, broth and some thyme and oregano. It’s a family staple. But I thought I’d try something new since I also had a bunch of eggs from the girls (our chickens).

This is also a quick meal you can prepare in the “week before Thanksgiving” calm.

Cleaning the kitchen frittata

Egg and Veggie Frittata (kinda)

  • 4-5 eggs, beaten
  • Any veggies cut into bite sized pieces (I used broccolini, cabbage, leeks, peas and zucchini) Leeks are really good in this.
  • 3 TBSP goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in a large non-stick pan. Add all your veggies and cook until just tender. Reduce the temperature to medium/low. Add the eggs and goat cheese. Move the bottom of the eggs around so they begin to cook through (but don’t stir). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Flip the egg mixture and cook until fluffy.

Enjoy with a nice salad or toasted bread!

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Do you ever have a craving that the grocery store just can’t satiate? Add to that an overwhelming desire to just sit on the couch and do nothing, and you might not be able to curb that craving. However, this recipe is so easy and delicious it’s super easy to get motivated.

Make this for your day after Thanksgiving breakfast treat and you’ll be happy to put a pot of coffee on and continue being thankful for life’s little joys (like not cooking after days of slaving over the stove).

This can be made 3 days in advance…it only gets better with time.

blueberry crumb cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake (by SmittenKitchen)

Serves 8 in big wedges or 16 in the 2×2-ish-inch grid I cut mine roughly into

Topping:
5 tablespoons (40 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup, 2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
Pinch of salt

Cake:
2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (i.e. 1 3/4 cups + 3 tablespoons or 240 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup, 2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint (2 to 2 2/3 cups, 12 to 16 ounces, or 340 to 455 grams; see Note) fresh blueberries, clean and dry
1/2 cup milk, whole is ideal, any kind should work
1/2 cup (55 grams) walnuts, chopped medium fine (optional)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Heat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch round baking pan (with at least 2″ sides) and dust it lightly with flour; line it with a round of parchment paper.

Prepare the topping by mixing the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt, then cutting the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and zest together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture until just combined, followed by 1/2 the milk; repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, finishing with the dry mixture. The batter will be very stiff, but don’t fret. Fold blueberries into cake batter until evenly distributed.

Scoop cake batter into prepared pan and smooth so that it is flat. If using walnuts, scatter them on top. Sprinkle with prepared streusel. Bake in heated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free. You can let the cake cool complete in the pan on a rack, or just cool it in the pan for 20 minutes before flipping it out onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper lining, and flipping it back onto a plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using.

Do ahead: Cake keeps covered with plastic or foil at room temperature for three days. If longer, it might be best to keep it in the fridge. It gets more moist each day.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Breakfast Fried Rice, a family staple

Ever since munchkin started eating solids, rice has been the starch option for the majority of our dinners. I make it at night for our dinner and then use the leftovers for her favorite breakfast: steamed rice and eggs (often with spinach or other greens in the eggs). (pro tip: steamed rice freezes perfectly. Put it in individual ziplocks and just pop it out of the bag when ready and microwave for 30 seconds.) Munchkin adores her rice and eggs for breakfast. But what she loves even more is breakfast fried rice. Who wouldn’t with all that soy sauce and bacon?

We’ve already eaten our quota for 2013! It’s super easy to make for large crowds. I think I made it every day for the Papa visit in HI (of course, bacon was replaced with the HI staple: spam!)

And now since NY Nana and Papa have arrived, we’ve eaten it at least 5 times.

The next time you have guests over for breakfast, skip the pancakes and throw on a pan of breakfast fried rice. They’ll love it!

Breakfast Fried Rice

• 4 cups of steamed jasmine rice
• 1 lb of bacon (or ham or spam)
• parchment paper
• 4 scallions chopped
• 3 large eggs
• 2 TBS veggie oil
• 1/4 cup of soy sauce
• freshly cracked pepper

Heat the oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (do not use the totally flat cookie sheet or all your bacon drippings will be in the bottom of your oven. You need a cookie sheet with at least a 1/2″ lip around it). Place the bacon on the parchment paper and bake until crispy (around 15 mins).

Carefully remove the bacon from the oven. That oil is going to be hottttt! And put the bacon on some paper towels. Then chop up about 4-5 slices into 1/4″ strips. Set aside. (the remaining bacon is for the cook to share).

Scramble the eggs and cook them in a bit of veggie oil (or bacon drippings if you’d like) until done in a large nonstick frying pan. Set aside.

Using the same pan, add the rest of the oil or 1 TBS of bacon drippings and fry the rice for 2 mins. Add in the soy sauce and stir until the rice is no longer white. You may want to add more. Add in the eggs, bacon, and scallions. Top with a bit of pepper. Be sure to taste. It should be salty goodness.

Enjoy!

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Leftovers reincarnated into Sonoma Browns

New potatoes* are everywhere in HMB right now and they’re delicious. Since they don’t take as long to cook, adding them to a weeknight meal means dinner can still be ready in 30 mins. But this post isn’t about new potatoes, it’s about what the hubby inspired for breakfast the next day: A rendition of Hobbee’s Sonoma Browns.
I can’t remember what the prior night’s meal was but it included smashed potatoes (15 min boiled new Yukon Golds, Red fingering and Blue potatoes with their skin still on, drained then smashed a bit with a dollop of butter, a slash of milk and a generous pinch of salt). Before the leftovers were put in a storage container and put in the fridge, hubby says “these would make good Sonoma Browns”. After a quick mental check for ingredients, I knew what breakfast would be the next day.
Does anyone else plan their next meal before finishing the meal in front of them? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

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G Browns Recipe
(makes 1 serving)
• 1 cup or so of leftover cooked potatoes (smashed if they’re still whole)
• 2 TBS pesto (recipe below)
• A bunch of greens (I used arugula but spinach would also do fine)
• Cheese if you’re not a lactose adverse person like me
• 4 cherry tomatoes cut in half
• 1 egg (fresh from the chickens out back)

Put a bit of butter in a nonstick pan. Smash your potatoes and cook until warmed through. It’s better if you get a little bit of golden crunchies so don’t turn over the potatoes too often. About halfway through cooking, add your tomatoes.
Once warmed, put in a bowl, add your greens, and cheese and pesto on top of the potatoes.
In the same pan, add a bit of butter and fry your egg.
Then place the egg on top of the layered scrumptiousness.

Pesto recipe

• 3 handfuls of basil leaves (Purple basil is what was at the market and it adds a bit more spice to the pesto)
• 1 handful of toasted nuts (pine for traditional pesto but you could use pecan, walnut, hazelnut, etc)
• 1 handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
• 3 cloves of garlic smashed with the skins removed
• about a quarter cup of olive oil (more if necessary)
• salt and pepper

Put the first 5 ingredients in a blender (shout out to the Vitamix). Start your blender on low and slowly add more oil if needed. Once done, add salt and pepper to taste.

This freezes really well. But if you’re keeping it in the fridge, you’ll want to press some cling film into the pesto. Otherwise, it’ll turn brown (think guacamole).

* New potatoes are potatoes that are recently pulled out of the ground.