Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh frittatas... where have you been all my life??

We love eggs for dinner.  Fried, in omlete form, scrambled, poached... you name it.

But for some unknown reason, the frittata has always scared me.

I suppose I've always imagined that no matter what, it'd end up glued/burned to the bottom of the pan and dinner would be a failure.

But last week... I tried one for the first time. A lovely Leek and Asparagus frittata since I had leeks and asparagus (and mushrooms, which the recipe calls for, and potatoes, which the recipe doesn't call for, and some Chilean cheese, which the recipe doesn't specifically call for).

While the recipe was already in progress I will admit that I freaked... I was using a pan that is "stick resistant" and not "non-stick" and I was convinced it would be a disaster. 

So pretty!!

And tasty. 

And how did it come out of my merely "stick-resistant" Calphalon anodized pan??  (My buddie That Word Guy turned me on to this pan... seriously... so worth it.  It's like the "crack" of this product line... they sell it cheap and get you hooked.  And if you add it to your basket in Amazon and just keep an eye on them, they can get as low as $30-$40 bucks and it is SO worth it)


Yeah... didn't stick to the bottom because really, the whole point of a fittata is that the eggs cook to the "brown" stage, where they should release from the pan anyway.

I liked it so much, I tried it agiain tonight... a purely veggie affair of some "ancient red" peppers (when I see an ingredient I've never even heard of at the grocery store... I must buy...) and shallots with the egg....

This one was also lovely.  Even if it stuck a little bit.

And it paired up nicely with some lovely slabs of browned Spam....

That's just the Spam, people.  No flour or coating needed... the Spam will get all brown and crispy and good on its own.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Recipes that SHOULD be redone

Yeah... it's been quiet around here. Lots of work at work, lots of work at my side gig, and trying to get in enough reading time to finish Gail Carriger's "Changeless" and Jim Butcher's "Changes"... and hey... I just realized those titles are similar... both were extremely good reads even if I did have to wait two extra days for the hubby to finish his copy of "Changes" so we could discuss.... but anyway... meals around here have been easy or repeats for the past two weeks, but hopefully I'm getting back into the swing.... so... back to your not-so-regularly scheduled program....

So... I've been a subsciber to Cooking Light magazine since about 2001, I think.

You subscribe to any recipe magazine that long, and you will start to notice that they repeat things.

Cooking Light always apparently needs to repeat/revisit things I wouldn't had touched in the first place. And apparently, they don't bother with recipes that they probably should give another go.

Enter, Meatballs and Peppers.

I was looking for something to do with ground beef. I actually mixed up and baked off the meatballs last night, since my ground beef was nearing the end of the usability period. Threw the cooked meatballs in the fridge, and when I got home I just whipped them out, and then heated them up with the brother and the peppers.

Um.... my... that picture is a little blurry. Sorry about that.


It was easy to do with the already cooked meatballs, and then I finished with some white balsamic vinegar rather than the white wine vinegar.

Very tasty.

And something that changed my world.....


I love polenta. The hubby hates it. So it's really only ever worth making a single serving of it, and it can just be a smidge of a pain for "just one person" even when that person is me.

Cup of water, 3 tablespoons polenta, a pat of butter, then 3 minutes in the microwave followed by a sprinkle of cheese and a little more salt and pepper.... ohmyword. I can do this?!?! Like... seriously..... I can take leftover meatballs with me to work tomorrow, and then just microwave up my own polenta, fresh???

Happy me. Happy, polenta-filled-tummy me.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!!!!

Is everyone else out there as full of Easter food as I am??
There was much to celebrate this year... after last year, knowing layoffs were looming and having a week of furlough before the holiday, I threw myself into food prep for Easter and went nutso... so far as to make my own pierogies.
Yeah, not this year.
While there is much to celebrate, like being employeed again and having a beautiful new sink......
(ain't it purty?? The first pan I washed in it made me so excited I had to run upstairs to the computer room to tell the hubby "IT'S SO AWESOME!" I mean, seriously... I knew a 6 inch sink was seriously lacking, but I had no idea that two more inches of sink would make such a HUGE difference. It's nice to not get my whole shirtfront wet when I try to wash a pot)
... back to the story....
... this year, I'm just burned out. Don't know if it's all the work (had some extra stuff pop up in the part-time contracting job also) or what, but my whole attitude about Easter this year was "meh".
We were already committed to bringing the cheesecake that has been taking up freezer space since around Valentine's Day (someone at the hubby's work has a kid that uses them for fundraising, and while they are pretty darned good cheesecakes, that's a lot of freezer space to sacrifice!). I did want to make a Gingerbread cake from some little Cook's Illustrated special issue thingy that I bought since the hubby wanted to try that. Other than that, I was pretty content to not worry about bringing much - especially since my brother in law and his family weren't going to be eating with us this year.
But, well... sometime during the last week I got a craving for good ole Knorr spinach dip in the big old Hawaian bread bowl. Easy enough to make and bring.

Oh, and I know that my favorite part of spinach dip is the water chestnuts, so I figured I'd double up on the water chestnuts that I added. The verdict? I loved it and everyone else was "oh... this is sooooo good!"
Double water chestnuts.... good thing.
Can't find an online (free) source for the gingerbread cake. It was in a "Best of 2010" or "Best for 2010" issue thingy. I did make the decision to ditch my silicone bakeware and went and bought a real bundt pan to make it. Worked like a charm.

Hubby loved the cake, everyone else said they liked it also. If it gets made again, I might cut back on the ginger in the glaze since it crossed just over into the "too much for me" category. But all said... still good.
And now, for the late-night munching... it's frozen pizza time since the hubby walked into the kitchen and said "I want something that is not eggs or tuna or ham or polish sausage". Bring on the frozen pizza, baby.
Which does leave me in a pickle for dinner on Tuesday since the new Jim Butcher novel comes out that day and we'll each have our noses into our own copies of that book during the evening, I wager. I figured frozen pizza would be A) quick and B) easy to eat while reading. Hmmm.