Family Favorites · New Favorite · New Traditions

Egg and Bacon Cups

Let me send a huge compliment to one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girls Eats. Not only is she from Iowa but she eats gluten-free and has many great ideas.  While browsing for egg recipes I saw that she had tried bacon egg cups and I decided to give my own version a whirl. Most of the recipes on the web show that you use a whole egg in each cup but I decided to scramble the eggs and add ingredients.

Next time, I would either cook the bacon even longer or I would precook the bacon and crumble it in the bottom of each cup.  I like my bacon crispy so I’d prefer my bacon slices to be the same.  You’ll also see that the bacon was not on the outside of the eggs cups since the bacon shrinks while precooking but they come out beautifully as cups just the same!

BACON EGG CUPS

6 slices of bacon
6 eggs
1/4 cup cheese (I used cheddar)
pinch of Herbs de Provence
salt & pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wrap a slice of bacon around each of six muffin tins.  Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until almost done to your liking.
  • While the baking is cooking, beat eggs and add cheese, herbs and salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Remove muffin tins from oven and carefully pour or remove the bacon fat.
  • Carefully pour egg mixture into each of the six muffin tins.
  • Bake another 15+ minutes or until eggs are completely cooked through.

 

 

New Favorite · South Beach

Spinach and Green Onion Egg Bake

SPINACH AND GREEN ONION EGG BAKE

For 8.5″x12″ Pan:

5 oz. organic fresh spinach (4 cups packed)
1-2 tsp. olive oil (depending on your pan)
1 1/2 cups low-fat mozzarella
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
8 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste

For 10.5″x14.75″ Pan:

10 oz. organic fresh spinach (I used frozen spinach and skipped the olive oil)
3 cups low-fat mozzarella
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
16 eggs, beaten
1.5 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Spray glass or crockery casserole dish with olive oil or nonstick spray.
  • If using fresh spinach, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add spinach all at once, and stir just until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. If using frozen spinach, thaw and drain the spinach.
  • Transfer spinach to the casserole dish, spreading it around so all the bottom of the dish is covered. Layer the grated cheese and sliced onions on top of the spinach.
  • Beat the eggs with Lawry’s seasoned salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach/cheese combination, and then use a fork to gently “stir” so the eggs, spinach, and cheese are evenly combined.
  • Bake about 35 minutes or until the mixture is completely set and starting to lightly brown. Let cool about 5 minutes before cutting. Serve hot.
  • This dish could be served with salsa, sour cream, or hot sauce.
  • This can be cut into individual servings to keep in the fridge and microwaved for a quick breakfast during the week. Don’t microwave longer than 1-2 minutes or the eggs can get slightly rubbery.

Recipe adapted from KaylynsKitchen.com

New Favorite · Vegetarian

Quinoa Omelette Bites

I am a protein breakfast person.  Straight carbs just don’t last for me.  If I eat cereal or toast, I’m starving in an hour. My typical breakfast is either Greek yogurt or an egg, with a strong cup of coffee. My dear friend, Jan, told me about this wonderful recipe.

I modified the original recipe to fit my taste buds and loved the results. The next morning I reheated in the microwave and they were equally as good and  filling.  Hello breakfast for the week!

QUINOA OMELETTE BITES

1 cup quinoa, warm
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1 egg white & 1 whole egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced green or red bell peppers
1/4 cup minced sweet onion

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
  • Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.  Chop and microwave, on high, the onions and peppers, for 1.5 to 2 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the warm quinoa with the cheese to melt the cheese.  Add the eggs, garlic, salt, spinach, peppers and onion.  Stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Spoon mixture into mini muffin tins, filling to the top.

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin tins.  Run a small knife around the edges to loosen and pop out of the tins.

Recipe adapted from Tablespoon.com

Family · Family Favorites · Holidays

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs are an Easter ‘must have’, and this year will be no different. Everyone in the family loves them so as they say in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’…TRADITION! Back in the day, my Mother would make them from the eggs laid by our own hens. The yolks were deep yellow and it was a lucky treat when we would have an egg with a double yolk.

That was the good part.  I can’t say that gathering the eggs was a treat since the hens were often pretty fussy about having anyone poking around their nests for their eggs. Then there was the washing of the eggs for our use and sale to others.  All in a days work down on the farm.

Today, I usually buy my eggs at the grocery store but found that Chicken Track brown eggs closely resembled the eggs from the farm. This recipe does not include the direct measurements but was taught to me based on feel/texture. The filling should be moist but not runny.

DEVILED EGGS

Boiled eggs
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Dill pickle juice
Salt to taste
Paprika

  • Peel boiled eggs and cut eggs in half, lengthwise.
  • Remove yolks to a separate mixing bowl.
  • Mash egg yolks and add mayonnaise, pickle juice and dash of prepared mustard to taste.
  • Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. Chill before serving.

Other Easter favorites:

Crock-Pot Ham

Crunch Potato Casserole

Mandarin Salad

Fancy Schmancy Asparagus

Strawberry Shortcake

Health · Holidays

2014 Health Goals that make sense

The new year is a time for fresh starts, new goals, and hope for the future. This week I heard an interview on ABC with Dr. Richard Besser that outlined 5 ways that can improve your health without being overwhelming.

5 Ways to Improve Your Health in 2014

1)  Lose 5% of your weight:  We all have the desire to lose weight and, in reality, more than 5%; however, 5% is a great step toward improving our health. I can do that!

Day 2/365 - New Years Resolution

2) Take 5 Minutes and Move:  Our society is a ‘sitting society’ at work, at home, driving, etc. Take 5 minutes several times a day to get up and walk around, take a few flight of stairs…move!  When I was working at home one of my doctors suggested I set a timer that went off every 20-30 minutes to remind me to get up, stretch and move around.  We know that we are supposed to exercise 30 minutes a minimum of 5 days a week, but if that isn’t doable, chunk it down into smaller increments several times a day.  Beats nothing!  In 2014 my goal will be to increase my yoga practice and walk more (now that the darned boot is off!).

3)  Take 5 minutes every morning:  As Mom always said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’ve always been good about breakfast, grabbing a Greek yogurt or a boiled egg. Take 5 minutes to make/eat breakfast and improve your mental state for the day and curbing binges later in the day.

English: American healthy breakfast in Chicago...

4) 5 Things You are Grateful for TODAY:  Each day focus on the positives in your life, taking mental note of the little things that make a difference. Did someone say hello to you today, open a door, call you to chat, etc.?  At the end of the day, before bed, think of those 5 things and perhaps jot them in a Gratitude Journal.  A few years ago, I pledged to review a daily reading in two different books and keep a gratitude journal.  I made it through the year and found it very inspiring.

Gratitude Journal

5)  Take 5 Minutes for You:  Time is such a precious commodity and most likely time for you is at the bottom of the list.  It was for me for many years.  There were too many family and work commitments and just not enough time for me.  I’ve learned the hard way that unless you take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else.  The suggestion made by Dr. Besser was to meditate twice a day for 5 minutes.  Meditation, in my definition, is to clear your mind of all thoughts.  Clear the clutter and stress from your day and start anew.  While I do not practice meditation regularly, I find that when I do, it is wonderfully refreshing and I feel at peace.

For me, Prayer is also a critical piece of the formula for peace and comfort each and every day.

2014 is full of surprises and we will do the best we can do. My advise to those that are killing themselves with stress from work and family…slow down…enjoy and appreciate the little moments with joy and laughter…take care of yourself…and have a healthy, joyous New Year!

New Favorite

Italian Pie…Buon appetito!

Italian Pie is a family favorite for my good buddy, Jan.  She suggested I give it a whirl. I can certainly see why it’s a favorite.  The crisp crust paired with the hearty meat layer and the yummy cheese layer result in a wonderful, easy meal for your family. Pair with a nice salad, French bread and you’re set!

Next time, I plan to serve it with a side of marina sauce for those that may enjoy a little extra tomato flavor with their pie.  Buon appetito! 

ITALIAN PIE

1 refrigerated pie crust

  • Bake a pie crust (I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust). Pierce unbaked crust with fork and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.  While the pie crust is baking, brown the meat layer:

Meat Layer

1 pound ground chuck
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper

  • Cook ground chuck, onion, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings until cooked through.  Drain.

Cheese Layer:

1 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
garlic salt & pepper
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Combine all cheese layer ingredients together

Assembly:

  • Pour cooked meat layer into baked crust.
  • Top with cheese mixture.
  • Sprinkle top of Italian pie with 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
  • Sprinkle with dried parsley.
  • Place aluminum foil around the crust edge to protect from over baking.

  • Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua Butterfly Conservatory … and Spaghetti Nic style!

The tortillas were made and the coffee roasted. Now we were off to the 600 square foot Butterfly Conservatory on the FEV property.

The Conservatory is magical for visitors and is also used to teach local children about the lifecycle of the butterfly.  I thoroughly enjoyed it but my daughters would probably freak out…they aren’t big on any flying insects.

The foliage that surrounds us every waking moment is magical, as if we have arrived in a fantasy world.  Everywhere I look there are flowers more beautiful and unusual than the last.

Beehive Ginger (Zingiberaceae)

Beehive Ginger (micrófono in Spanish) is a spectacular plant.  The plant can grow 6 to 8 foot tall, beginning yellow in color, and turning red as they age, particularly if they are exposed to sunlight.

Pink Buds opening to yellow flower (name unknown)
Hydrangea growing wild at FEV

I was in awe looking at the Hydrangeas, thinking back to the white Hydrangeas that graced the tables at daughter Megan’s wedding.

Heliconia psittacorum

A busy afternoon and we were ready for dinner.  Spaghetti was on the menu, topped with a boiled egg, complimented by a glass of Tribu Merlot from Argentina.  I am curious about the egg on top of Spaghetti.  My web search has been futile so my theory is an egg adds protein to an otherwise carb-rich meal.  I call it Spaghetti Nic Style.

Spaghetti with Boiled Egg
Tribu Merlot, Argentina

The sun was down, the woodstove burning hot, and my head was ready to rest on my pillow in Tucan Lodge.

Buenas Noches. Hasta Manana.