Egg Muffins: Easy Back to Campus Breakfast

Kids are finally going back to school campus after a year of distance learning. WHOOOHOOOO! I celebrate for them and for us parents! They are amazing. We are amazing. After all the crazies we’ve overcome, it’s now time to relearn how to get them fed before 7:30am. These are delicious and nutritious and super easy to reheat before the coffee kicks in.

Early Morning Egg Muffins

Adapted from Pig and Quill’s recipe (https://themomedit.com/cheesy-bacon-egg-muffins-recipre-aka-the-homemade-answer-to-starbucks-egg-bites/)

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 ricotta or cream cheese
  • 3 oz shredded Colby jack cheese (or any melty cheese you desire)
  • Any veggies that have been sautéed and chopped
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Add a rimmed pan with 1” of water to the bottom rack. Your muffins will cook on the middle rack above the water.

Generously spray or grease a mini muffin pan – I got this pan from Williams Sonoma and didn’t need silicone liners. But if you’re wary of sticking, get the mini silicone liners and put those on your pan before cooking.

Add everything to the blender except 1 piece of bacon. Blend for 20 seconds or until frothy. Add in the chopped bacon.

Pour the mixture until almost filling each cup. Bake for 25-30 mins. They’ll jiggle a little in the center. That’s ok because they’ll keep cooking in the tray once you pull it out. Let it set for 10 mins. Then eat, freeze or refrigerate for easy early morning breakfast.

Chicken Adobo

Pure comfort in a bowl. Paired with Mom’s pancit and it’s the holidays in February! I made this on a Sunday and it fed us a couple more times for lunch and dinner. And, I’m already craving it again!

Chicken Adobo

  • 6 full chicken legs, skin removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water (if needed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP whole peppercorns
  • 2TBSP canola oil

Heat oil in pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 mins or just until fragrant and slightly tender.

Add chicken legs, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns. Legs should be at least halfway submerged under the sauce. You can add a little water if needed or more of the soy sauce and vinegar if you need more than a little bit of sauce.

Bring to boil. Then, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is falling off the bone (being sure to flip the legs every 20 mins).

Pull legs out of sauce once tender and shred with a fork. Put chicken back in sauce and serve with rice. (Legs don’t have to be shredded but it allows the sauce to get all up in the chicken.)

Enjoy!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Have you watched The Chef Show with Jon Favreau and Roy Choi? They’re adorable- kinda like an old married couple talking about experiences and eating amazing comforting food.

Well, I finally made the spaghetti and meatballs from the “Roy’s Italian Cuisine” episode and it’s soooooooo good. This will be a go to for a very long time.

This is one of those recipes you need to prep for. So, go roast a head of garlic and pick up the ingredients (including ordering some fennel pollen – really, you need this in your spice collection)

Roy Choi’s (Adapted) Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground meat (70/30 if you can get it)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 1/2 garlic head, roasted
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped then blended in the blender with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp fennel pollen
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

Sauce

  • 1 large can san marzano whole tomatoes
  • Shiitake mushrooms (two handfuls)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • A head of garlic, cloves deskinned
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.

Put 1/4 cup of sauce oil into a small sauce pan. Set on medium low heat and add the garlic cloves from the sauce ingredients. Let that simmer on low until the garlic cloves get soft and golden brown. Takes about 15-20 mins.

Put the water and shiitake mushrooms in a small pot. Let simmer on low for 20 mins.

Mix everything from the meatball ingredient list together except 1 T of the olive oil in a bowl.

Pan fry a bit of the meatball mixture until cooked so you can taste for salt. Adjust seasoning if needed in the meatballs.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or douse the sheet with some oil.

Roll the meatballs into 2”-2.5” diameter balls. And place on sheet.

Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake for 20-22 mins. They should be medium rare.

While meatballs are cooking, add the garlic that’s been simmering in the oil (not the oil) to a medium pot. Add 1 cup of the mushroom broth and the tomatoes. Simmer on low for 40 mins or until slightly reduced.

Blend the sauce in the pot and taste for salt.

Take meatballs out and add some to the sauce for added deliciousness.

Cook a pot of spaghetti. Serve with sauce and meatballs. Top with Parmesan and enjoy!

New Years Hoppin John

Yes. It’s been more than a month since I made this. Don’t judge – says me to myself. Grandma Mary was very superstitious. Among other musts, having hoppin’ John on New Years day is a must for a healthy and happy year. We are it last year but well we know how that ended. Trying it again this year resulted in much better outcomes thus far.

Hoppin’ John

  • 1 lb dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight (or precooked black eyed peas)
  • 2 lbs ham hocks, smoked
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beef broth (don’t need if using precooked peas)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Rinse beans, cover with fresh water and cover with lid and soak overnight in a nonreactive pot. Drain and rinse again and pull any beans that are discolored.

Rinse ham hocks and set aside.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook veggies for 5 mins until tender. Add spices and cook for 1 min. Add stock and bring to boil.

Transfer to crock pot. Add beans and ham hocks and stir. Cook on high for 5 hours or 8 hours on low. For last hour, smash some of the beans to thicken sauce. Also cook last hour without the lid on. (You can also add fire roasted diced tomatoes for a little more depth.)

Pull out the ham hocks at the end of the cooking process and shred with meat off the bone (slice bigger pieces). Add meat back to pot.

Enjoy with cooked rice and comfort in knowing your year is going to be great.

Vera Cruz Snapper

I love the freshness of fish with a balance of brine and sweetness. This recipe perfectly satiates the craving.

Vera Cruz Snapper

  • 1 lb snapper
  • handful of green olives, sliced
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • Minced garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven 425.

Slice fish into 2 pieces. Salt and pepper each side.

Mix olives, tomatoes, garlic and capers.

In a loaf pan, add a glug of olive oil and a Tbsp of mixture. Put one piece of fish down. Layer olive oil and a bit more of mixture. Then add final piece of snapper. Top with remaining mixture.

Bake for 15-20 mins or until easily flakes with a fork.

Eat with a baguette or tortilla chips.

Super Bowl Wings

I’ve heard about smothering mayo on poultry before baking it but have never tried it – UNTIL TODAY! So. So. So. Good.

  • 8 wings
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sat
  • 2 tsp Korean pepper or other spicy powder
  • 1 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 400. Wrap a cookie sheet in foil. Place ovenproof rack on top.

Mix mayonnaise with spices. Smother wings with sauce. Then place on the rack

Cook for 45 mins. Increase oven temp to 450 and cook for another 5-10 mins until browned.

Serve with ranch.

Peach Melba Popsicles

You might have the last few fresh and local peaches at your farmers markets or grocers. If you don’t, snag some from your freezer. This is a good reminder of summer weather before the fall settles in.

Peach Melba Popsicles

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole raspberries
  • 2 cups peeled chopped peaches in small/medium chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt or non-dairy vanilla ice cream of your choice, slightly softened (think: soft-serve consistency) Or peach ice cream (https://scrumptiousbits.com/2018/08/29/nectarine-ice-cream/)

Heat sugar and water in a medium pot. Once dissolved, pour 1/4 of the syrup over the bowl of raspberries.

Add the peaches to the remaining syrup in the pot and simmer on low until soft.

Blend the peaches with the syrup and set aside.

Blend the raspberries with their syrup and set aside.

Now assemble the popsicles by adding a little bit of raspberry puree, a little of the peach purée and then add the ice cream. Freeze overnight and then enjoy!

Green Goddess Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

I’m holding on to the last glimmers of summer with this fresh dinner option. When a meal is loved by all the family members we say, “definitely put this on the menu” for our make-believe family restaurant that we’ll never open. This meal got that stamp of approval.

The perfect last bite with crispy skin

Green Goddess Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

  • 2 lbs salmon cut in 2 pieces
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, zested and then thinly sliced
  • 3 TBSP plain yogurt
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 3 TBSP capers
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Blend basil, garlic, anchovies, lemon zest, yogurt, and mayo until thick and uniformly green. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and set back in the fridge.

Heat a medium pan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Salt salmon fillets on both sides. Layer top of salmon with thinly sliced lemons. Add to pan salmon, skin side up, lemon side down. Cook for 5 – 7 mins depending on thickness. Flip to skin side down and cook until salmon begins to flake when pushed on. Remove skin (it should come off easily). Cook the grey side of the salmon. Set aside. Add back in the skin and cook on both sides for an additional 3 mins each. Set salmon skin on paper towel to drain.

While salmon is cooking, heat another pan on medium with olive oil and add potatoes and salt. Potatoes should sizzle gently. Cover. Cook until crispy on the edges and tender inside (approx 15 mins). 1 minute before serving, add capers so they get a little crispy too and season with pepper.

Serve a slice of salmon with skin on top, dressing on the side with potatoes and any other veggies.

Enjoy!!

Tomatillo Chili

I inadvertently signed up for 2 CSAs this season (probs because I knew getting to the farmers market was going to be difficult this year). I love these farms (Fifth Crow Farm and Sweet Farm) and man, do I miss the farmers market. But the CSAs are bring bunches of creativity out of me including this recipe. Seeing tomatillos and strange squash required some exploration. This tomatillo chili is the delicious outcome.

That’s one of the squash quartered. No idea what variety but it tastes and cooks like a zucchini.

Tomatillo Chili

  • 7 tomatillos, shell off and cleaned
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of cannelloni beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained (or 2 cobs of cooked corn)
  • 2 jalepenos
  • 1 cup squash of choice (can be zucchini or yellow squash), chopped in 2” chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP oregano
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 6 stems of kale, chopped
  • 3 sliced cooked bacon, sliced
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Lime

Broil tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, garlic and squash until just starting to blacken and blister (approx 7 mins). Watch that the garlic doesn’t go too long.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and add spices, beans and corn. Once fragrant, add the broth, kale and broiled squash. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 mins.

Blend, tomatillos, onion, jalapeños and garlic. Add to chili.

Cook until kale is softened (approx 20 mins).

Season with generous amount of salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with wedges of lime, crispy bacon toppings and a cook drink of choice.

Enjoy!

Peach Crumble Bars

It’s peach season and we adopt a tree from Masumoto’s Farm each year. This year, we had an abundance of peaches. This bar was a total hit with the hubby as it was sweet and hearty with a tinge of salt – just like him. Hahahahaaa. I crack myself up.

Peach Crumble Bars

Adapted slightly from Pastry & Beyond

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled fresh peaches, diced (I bet you could use frozen but I haven’t tried yet)
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • Nuts for the top if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 11×7 or 13×9 baking pan. line with parchment paper so you can pull the bars out of the pan once cooled.

In a medium bowl, mix peaches, lemon juice, extract. Then add cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix everything but the melted butter. Then add the melted butter.

Using half the oat mixture, line the bottom of the pan. Add the peaches but not the liquid. I actually drained each scoop of peaches to make sure the liquid was left in the bowl.

Then squeeze walnut sized chunks of the remaining oat mixture and drop it on top of the peaches. It’ll clump together and make a crunchy top. I also added sliced almonds. I think pecans would be really good too.

Bake for 33-35 mins or until the top is light brown. Cool completely before trying to cut.

Would be great with a side of ice cream! Enjoy!!