Egg muffins

I had a bunch of left over veggies in my fridge. None were enough for a meal, so I decided to make egg muffins with them!  Sometimes I feel I get stuck in a breakfast rut. I tend to stick to the same foods for a few months and then eventually become sick of them. My go-to’s have been kashi cereal and english muffins with peanut butter.  When I’m lucky, my husband will wake up early and make me an egg sandwich….awww what a guy! Recently, I’ve started eating more oatmeal and now I’ll have to make these egg muffins again and again! What I love about them is: 1. TASTED GREAT!! 2. Are so easy to prepare in advance and reheat in the morning 3. They make a great snack 4. You can add any type of vegetable you have in the fridge! This recipe was inspired by the egg muffin recipe from skinneytaste found here

I used zucchini, cherry tomatoes, scallions, and spinach, and I got to use my spiralizer for the first time!!

Spiralize zucchini

Slice zucchini, scallions, tomatoes, garlic, and ham

Saute in pan until tender

Add spinach and saute until wilted

Mix together eggs, milk, flour, salt, pepper, and cheese

Add to sprayed muffin tin

Bake at 350 for28-30 mins. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 5-6 green scallions, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • Zucchini, peeled, and either grated, sliced, or put it through spiralizer. I had about 1/3 zucchini left, so I used all of it
  • 3 slices of ham, diced
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin pan with olive oil spray.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for 1 minute. Add scallions, tomatoes, zucchini, and ham and cook another 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the cheese and cooked veggie mixture to the bowl.
  5. Pour into prepared muffin pan and bake for 28-30 mintues.

WEEK OF April 26th

I didn’t use many online recipes this week.  Everything is from La cucina di Stevenson.  This week I used a lot of leftovers in the fridge from the week before, like the black beans, sourdough bread, and mushrooms. By planning my meals around what’s already in the fridge, it accomplishes two things: 1 – save money and 2 – cuts down on meal planning time. 

Monday-Black bean quesadilla with avacado.  Happy meatless Monday!  I’m not a vegetarian but do enjoy eating  vegetarian meals occasionally.  This is another very easy meal! Didn’t follow a receipe, but for people who still like steps, here they are!

Ingredients 

  • Black beans – drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Mexican cheese
  • Flour wraps
  • Avacado 

1. Heat skillet over med-low heat

2. Layer black beans and shreeded cheese over half of your wrap and fold in half

  

3. Place wrap on heated skillet for 2-3 minutes per side. Cook until golden brown and cheese is melted

  

4. Slice avacado and layer on top of cheese and beans. Serve with salsa and/or sour cream

  

Tuesday– Grilled sirloin steak topped with mushrooms with baked sweet potato and a spinach side salad. My husband is in charge of the grill, so I can’t help you with how long or on what tempature the steak was cooked. But I can tell you we used the left over mushrooms from last week’s chicken and mushroom risotto.  To cook the mushrooms, I melted one tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and cooked the mushrooms for about 8-10 mins until soft and tender.  The sweet potato was baked at 425 degeres; don’t forgot to poke holes in it! 

  

WednesdayEggplant panini. I used the leftover sourdough bread from last week for another super easy dinner.    And I’ll use the left over eggplant for another recipe this weekend.  Whenever I buy eggplant (usually for eggplant parm), I have left overs and then don’t know what to do with it.  If you have any good eggplant recipes, please comment! I would love to try something new! 

  

 

Thursday– Grilled salmon with broccoli and rice.  I LOVE, LOVE grilling salmon. It tastes a million times better than cooking it in the oven.  You barely need to season it (in my opinion) and it still tastes great! I want to get a wood plank to grill the salmon on in the future.  Anybody know where I can buy one???

  

Friday– BBQ beef ribs with sweet potato fries and grilled zucchini and squash. 

1.  Season ribs with salt and peper and lots of bbq sauce.  Wrap in foil and bake in oven for 2 hours at 350 degrees

2. Slice zucchini and squash and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper

3. Remove ribs from foil (careful of steam), lather in more bbq sauce and place on medium-high grill for a couple mintues on each side

4. Place sliced veggies in grill basket and cook on medium high grill for 20-25 mins, flipping once half way through

  

5. Scrub and peel sweet potato, sliced into thin strips. Season with olive oil, salt, pepper and bake at 450 degrees for 20 mins, rotating half way through 

  

  

Eggplant Rollatini

Whenever I buy an eggplant, I never use all of it!  I’m only cooking for two people and there’s only so much eggplant parm one can eat!  This time I orginally used the eggplant to make a panani so only needed four slices, and I was left with a little more than half of the eggplant.  So I thought, I always LOVE ordering eggplant rollatini at resturants, I’ll try to make it at home!

I loosely followed this recipe from Taste of Home, but cut mine in half since I didn’t have a whole eggplant.  I found even with cutting it in half, I had a lot of left over ricotta mixture. So stay tuned for a recipe next week using the rest of the mixture.

Next time I think I will use a whole eggplant because the smaller pieces were a littler harder to roll, but they still tasted great!

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant – (remember I had a little less than half of an eggplant)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Homemade tomato sauce – Click here for recipe.
  • 1/2 cup of onion, finely chopped
  • 2 gloves of garlic minced

Filling

  • 1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley – I didn’t have fresh so used dried
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Coating

  • 1-3 Eggs, lightly beaten – I say 1-3 depending on the size of your eggplant. Start with 1 and add as you need
  • 1/2 – 1 cup seasoned bread cups – same as eggs, start with less and add as you need
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley – again I used dried
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • oil for frying

Steps

1. Peel and slice eggplant length wise into 1/8-in thick pieces. Place in colander and sprinkle with salt and toss. Let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Place sauce in a sauce pan and turn on low to simmer.  Add oil to second saucepan and saute onion 3-4 minutes over medium heat, then add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add to onion/garlic to sauce and let simmer until warm.

3. Drain the eggplant and set aside.

4. Add all the filling ingredients to a large bowl and set aside.

5. Place your eggs (lightly beaten) in one shallow container and breadcrumbs in a 2nd shallow container.  Add to breadcrumbs 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and peper.  Dip eggplant in eggs, then breadcrumbs until both sides are coated. Set aside.

6. If you have an electric skillet, heat 1/2 cup oil to 375 degrees.  I don’t have one so I googled “how to heat oil for frying,” and I found if you heat it over medium heat and place a wooden spoon handle side down into the center of the pan so it’s touching the bottom, little bubbles should appear around the spoon.  Once that happens, you know your oil is hot enough.  This step is very important in order to cook the eggplant correctly. If the oil is too cold, your food will get soggy. If it’s too hot, the food will cook too fast on the outside.

7. Cook the eggplant in batches, 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate. In a shallow baking dish, spoon a layer of sauce on the bottom.

Lay on paper lined plate to dry

 

8. Preheat oven to 375 degres. Spoon ricotta mixture onto eggplant.  Since my eggplant slices weren’t the full length, I had to use much less ricotta mixture, thus leaving me with leftovers.  Carefully roll up eggplant slices and place in baking dish, seam side down.  Spoon remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Cover and bake 30 mins or until bubbly.

I paired this delicious meal with a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Hess Collection in Napa.  My husband and I went to this vineyard a few years ago while vacationing in California.  I love finding their wines on the East Coast!

 

Mother’s Day Brunch

My husband and I have yet to host a holiday. The idea of it makes my palms sweat! Between my very opinionated Italian grandmother and three picky brothers, I never hear the end of “This isn’t how mom makes it!” or “Your cookies don’t taste good, I like mine better,” whenever I try to bring a dish to a holiday gathering.  But I have to start somewhere, so my husband and I decided to host a Mother’s Day brunch for our families.  I figured this is a great starting point since we have no traditional recipes.  I have a blank canvas and can make whatever I want!  My mom is gluten free, but besides that, there are no special diets. My plan is to incorporate a lot of dishes she can eat and throw in some gluten-friendly ones for her too! We will be cooking for 8-9 people (depending on how many of my brothers come home).

Mother’s Day Brunch Menu:

Drinks

  • Mimosas
  • Red and white wine from Saltwater Farms Vineyard – This is where my husband and I got married; if you ever find yourself on the shoreline of Mystic, go for a wine tasting!

Main event

  • Baked ham
  • Spinach, cherry tomatoes, and cheese mini frittatas – I wanted to include an egg dish since it’s brunch, so my egg muffin recipe from last week inspired me to make mini frittatas for Mother’s Day too.  They are just as easy to make as a large batch of eggs but easier for guests to grab and eat.  I’m not following this recipe exactly. I’m going to use cherry tomatoes instead of sundried tomatoes and shredded mozzarella instead of goat cheese. And I’m not sure why it calls for soy sauce??  So I’m omitting that.
  • Fruit salad
  • Rosemary roasted potatoes
  • Spinach salad with walnuts, sliced strawberries, and blue cheese with a DIY strawberry vinaigrette dressing. I  want to serve some kind of green vegetable, but had trouble deciding on one because the oven will be busy in use.  Eventually I decided a spinach salad will be the perfect choice and I can make it ahead of time before any guests arrive.
  • Gluten-free banana bread – Using a box mix for this; since I don’t eat GF, I don’t have any GF flour.

Dessert

 

 

Snapped these photos on Easter. Hopefully the meal turns out just as good!

 

 

National Grilled Cheese Month

April is National Grilled Cheese month, so I obviously wanted to celebrate such a fabulous holiday. Plus, what an EASY dinner idea!  I chose to spice up my grilled cheese with tomato, avocado, and bacon! 

 
Ingredients for one sandwich

  •  Sourdough bread (or any kind of bread of your liking) 
  •  Tomato, sliced 
  •  Avocado, sliced and peeled 
  •  2 strips of bacon, cooked 
  • Sliced cheddar and gruyere cheese 

 1.  Cook bacon according to packaged directions. 

2.  Lay sliced cheese on bread slices.  I used a panni press to melt the cheese, instead of using the stove top.

 3.  Layer bacon and tomoato on sandwich and place on panni press or on frying pan on stove.

 

 


 4.  Grill until cheese is melted, then top with avocado slices.

 

Week of April 19th

MondayChicken mushroom risotto with spinach side salad. I usually make risotto in the winter, but I realized I didn’t make it once this year! When I saw mushrooms on sale for BOGO (Buy one, get one), I couldn’t resist.  Plus I’ll use the other mushroom container for a meal next week.

TuesdaySteak and snow peas stir fry with rice.  We don’t cook steak often at home, but this meal helped curb the craving I was having — and no, it’s not that kind of craving ;).

Wednesday– Grilled marinated chicken with baked gruyere and cheddar mac and cheese and a side salad.  Where do I start to explain my love for mac and cheese? If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be mac and cheese.  It’s my favorite comfort food and can be so versatile with types of cheese, adding veggies or lobster (YUM!) I normally prefer creamy stovetop, but I decided to change it up and I tried this baked gruyere and cheddar mac and cheese instead.  Let’s just say there was no leftovers!

I used this marinate for the chicken.  Honey mustard is one of my favorite combos. I use it often to marinate fish, but it tasted just as good on chicken.

Thursday– Grilled cheese with gruyere and cheddar cheese, bacon, tomato, avocado on sourdough bread. It’s national grilled cheese month! Of course I had to celebrate!  This grown-up grilled cheese has  great flavor and the toasted sourdough bread adds the perfect crunch!  More to come later this week on this dish.

Friday– Stuffed spinach and feta cheese turkey burgers with a side salad.  I wish I could take credit for creating these burgers, but unfortuately I can’t! We picked them up from a local market, but maybe one day this summer we’ll do a DIY burger. For now this will do! These healthy burgers tasted great with the built in flavors. Top it off with a toasted bun and this is a great Friday night meal!

Week of April 12th 

How is it the middle April and it’s still this cold!? This past week was still in the 30’s!  I want to work on my garden so hurry up warm weather! Anways, this week’s dinners have a little bit of everything, from chicken to homemade pasta!  Click on the italicized link to bring up the recipe I used! 

MondayBeef and cheddar casserole- This is the first time I’m making this dish. It sounds delicious and will be great heated up for lunches later in the week. 

TuesdayBreaded chicken cutlets with stuffed artichokes and rice. White rice is another food that can be so BORING!  But when cooked with a little bit of chicken stock, it can make a world of difference.

Stuffed Artichokes– recipe is for 1 artichoke.

  •      Artichoke
  •     1 /2 cup breadcrumbs
  •     1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  •     Salt and pepper
  •     Olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon dried parsley
  •     Grated parmesan cheese (optional)


First, bang artichoke against counter to open the leaves. Next, drizzle with olive oil. Then, in a small mixing bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, minced garlic, and parsley. Start at the bottom of the artichoke and stuff with breadcrumb mixture about ½ way up the leaf. Once finished, drizzle with olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Add 1-1 ½ inches of water to small pot and place artichoke inside. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered for 1 ½-2 hours.  Leaves should be tender when done.

Breaded chicken cutlet– Nothing fancy. But its a great go-to receipe and even better to prepare on Sunday and reheat later in the week. 

  • Flour
  • Egg-whipped
  • Breadcrumbs

If using thicker chicken breasts, you will need to slice it in half the long way and pound until flat.  Find three shallow/wide containers and fill one each with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.  Dip chicken piece 1 at a time. First in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Heat olive oil over frying pan and cook 7-8 mins per side over medium-low heat, or until chicken is cooked through. 

Wednesday– Pork tenderloin with mashed potatos and lemon garlic roasted asparagus – Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite meals! Whenever it is on sale I’ll stock up.  I made a pre-seasoned pork tenderloin that has a bbq marinade already on it.  For whatever reason, when I cook a pork tenderloin it ALWAYS takes longer than the package directions say.  From trial and error, I’ve found the best tempature to cook the pork is 425 degrees, and it usually takes about 45 minutes.  Your best bet is to use a meat thermometer and cook until internal tempature reaches 150 degrees. 



ThursdayThai veggie quinoa bowl. This vegetarian bowl has great flavor, and the peanuts give it that little extra crunch.  Try adding grilled chicken or shrimp if you’re extra hungry. 

FridayHome made gnocchi. Ever since trying the gnocchi in Italy, I have been wanting to make my own.  So, I decided it’s time to open a bottle of red and attempt to make Amalfi Coast inspired gnocchi.  More to come later in the week on this dish.