Friday, June 25, 2010

Anytime Fritatta

In keeping with breakfast recipes (see last weeks delicious 'big pancake')... I introduce you to Martha Stewart's Anytime Fritatta.

(noticing the cayenne sprinkled on top? whoops! forgot to add it. tasted fine on top, i thought)

Big pancake wasn't your thing last week? Too sweet? (if you answered 'yes' to that, I can't help you) No matter, this is EVERYONE'S thing. Unless you're vegan.

This is easy, it's quick (prep your potatoes the night before) and it's delicious. Great meal for guests, or to keep all to yourselves on a lovely Sunday morning. (Mmm, monday morning leftovers!)

Anytime Fritatta
from Martha Stewart Living

Serves 8

1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup water
4 leeks (about 1 pound), white and pale-green parts only, rinsed well and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt
8 large eggs plus 2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, drained
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush a 9-inch square baking dish with oil. Bring water to a simmer in a medium skillet over high heat. Add leeks, garlic, and potatoes; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until potatoes are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk together eggs, whites, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne. Fold in potato mixture and ricotta. Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Pour mixture into dish, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake until edges are set, about 12 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake until set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 8 squares.

Guten appetit!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Recipe Rewind: Big Pancake

Do you eat 'Brinner'? (Breakfast for dinner)

We do, occasionally. When I have a craving or am feeling lazy, or maybe I just need a sugar fix that only syrup can fulfill. Whatever the reason, when I make Brinner, it usually turns out to be my favorite dinner of the week. Maybe because it feels a bit devious, I'm cheating and scoffing at the dinnertime hour by eating breakfast. Or again, maybe it's just because my pregnant belly needs the sweet sugary syrup.

This past Wednesday, I HAD to have big pancake (aka: dutch babies). And let's be honest here, I'd already made it as a legitimate breakfast on Monday morning. However, my craving had not been fulfilled.

Tim's also decided that he likes big pancake better than regular pancakes. He says they're more 'eggy'. I concur. I lather mine in not just syrup, but do more of a french toast style with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and then syrup. Mmmm.

This weekend is definitely calling for big pancake! If you haven't already, click HERE for the recipe.

Make it happen, folks.

Guten appetit!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chocolate Cobbler

I may start exclusively cooking from the Pioneer Woman's website. And her spin-off, Tasty Kitchen... um yeah, tasty in my kitchen (thanks to all the wonderful cooks and contributors)!

Yee-haw cow-pokes. Starve yourself for a week, if you must. Ride a few broncos, or bucks, or steers (whatever they do on the range), or if you're a city slicker, hit the gym. You want these calories. Your body neeeeeeds these calories. After I ate my serving and our guest left, I was eating spoonfuls out of the pan. Shameless pregnant woman on the loose, with chocolate cobbler. Beware.

I can't tell you how sad I was to realize I missed the Pioneer Woman's book signing in Seattle! But chocolate cobbler made me feel better. A little bit. I'm still bummed.

Yeah, yeah, I hear you... there's IS a recipe coming. And guess what, it's the EASIEST, happiest, most delicious, crowd pleasingest dessert recipe I will ever give you. By far. Hands down. I love this recipe. I love this dessert. Yum.

(sorry, couldn't get a very good shot - but look at the chocolate cakey part mixed with some gooey!)

Thank you, Pioneer Woman. For making it all possible.

Chocolate Cobbler
submitted by S.H. on Tasty Kitchen

1 cup All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
7 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder, Divided
1-¼ cup Sugar, Divided
½ cups Milk
⅓ cups Melted Butter
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ cups Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1-½ cup Hot Tap Water

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, and 3/4 cup of the white sugar. Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar.

Stir in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish.

In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining white sugar (it should be 1/2 cup), the brown sugar, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.

Pour the hot tap water over all. DO NOT STIR!

Bake for about 40 minutes or until the center is set.

Let stand for a few minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Guten appetit!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Healthy Snacks for Kids

Kids are bouncing off the walls, all hyped up for summer!

What does that mean for us moms? Well, nothing for me really, as our son isn't in school yet. But for those of you with school-aged children, it means they'll be home most days. In addition to having a good time with activities, outings and at-home leisure, you'll have to step up the meal offerings. Not only will they want lunch, but probably snacks too. Summertime is hard work for our little monsters, I mean 'darlings'. They need to refuel.

While my Chef's Helper isn't in school, that only means I'm always preparing his food! I needed new ideas (help! if you have any that your kids love). I found this great list of healthy kid snacks, and decided to share it.

I hope it helps give you some ideas and quick go-to snacks for your family. Happy summertime!

NOTE: Some of the suggestions below include meat. Omit or adjust to your family's diet preferences.

From both Fun & Food Cafe and

1. A Banana by itself. Or dip it in yogurt, then coat with crushed cereal and freeze.
2. Stuff a whole-grain pita pocket with ricotta cheese and apple slices, and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon.
3. A bag of ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit and nuts, all tossed together (great for on-the-go).
4. A bowl of low-fat vanilla yogurt topped with crunchy granola and berries (blueberries would be excellent).
5. Microwave a small baked potato. Top with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and salsa.
6. Kebabs, made with fruit and cheese on toothpicks (or try grapes and cheese on pretzel sticks!).
7. A whole grain waffle topped with fruit and honey, or low-fat yogurt and peaches
8. Spread peanut butter on apple slices.
9. A sandwich on wholegrain bread with cilantro, cheese and tomatoes.
10. Sprinkle grated monterey jack cheese over a corn tortilla; fold in half and microwave for 20 seconds. Top with salsa.
11. Instant oatmeal topped with craisins and chopped walnuts.
12. A cup of tomato or vegetable soup with whole-grain or cheese crackers.
13. Fill a waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.
14. Toast an English muffin, drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella cheese.
15. Rocky Road - Break a graham cracker into bite-size pieces. Add
to low-fat chocolate pudding along with a few miniature marshmallows.
16. Banana Split - Top a banana with low-fat vanilla and strawberry
frozen yogurt, topped with your favorite whole-grain cereal or walnuts/pecans.
17. Spread mustard on a flour tortilla. Top with a slice of turkey or ham, low-fat cheese and lettuce. Then roll it up.
18. Homemade Granola Bars. Try these.
19. A simple cheese sandwich - cheese and bread, or cheese mustard and bread.
20. Celery sticks and cherry tomatoes with cheese cubes.
21. Smear a scoop of frozen yogurt on two graham crackers and sliced banana to make a yummy sandwich.
22. Blend low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana for 30 seconds to make a smoothie.
23. Make a mini-sandwich of tuna or egg salad on a dinner roll.
24. Mix together corn flakes and peanut butter in a bowl. Shape into balls and roll in crushed graham crackers.
25. Spread mustard on a deli slice of turkey. Wrap around a sesame bread stick.
26. Parfait - Layer low-fat vanilla yogurt and mandarine orange slices or blueberrie, in a tall glass. Sprinkle the top with granola.
27. Make a sandwich on whole grain bread. Using a large cookie cutter, cut the sandwich into fun shapes.

Guten appetit!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Spaghetti with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Another winning recipe from the Vegetarian Times magazine. I saw the picture (recipes should ALWAYS come with a picture, in my opinion) and had to make it.

There were many reasons the recipe grabbed my attention... I got to make my own sauce (I dream of having some fantastic marinara sauce recipe that comes from old world italy, simmers for hours, and people rave about - that recipe has yet to be found), the title is 'chunky' and I'm feeling a bit chunky myself these days, and it was spaghetti, which seems like such an excellent spring, transition type food.

The recipe is easy, and it's light but filling. You could even prep the veggies the night before, for faster cook time. And I love the fact that the recipe tells you to chop your veggies in the food processor! How often do you see a recipe telling you to take the easy way out?! Helping you prep faster and get food on the table sooner. Kudos to the Veg Times cooks.

My only comment would be that it makes a lot of sauce. 1/2 package of spaghetti was just about the perfect amount for 2 adult dinners, but we have tons of extra sauce (I love leftovers!). The sauce makes enough for 4-5 adults (6, if you are serving the pasta with a couple of side dishes). In the future, I can also imagine playing with the veggies - for example, adding zucchini when it's growing like gangbusters in your garden!

It was a perfect blend of flavors - nothing was too much. A delicious dinner in 30 minutes or less! I definitely urge you to make this one soon.

Spaghetti with Chunky Tomato Sauce
from The Vegetarian Times, April 2010

8 oz. (2 cups) sliced white mushrooms (I think I used more like 1.5 cups)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 large leek, white part cut into chunks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes (muir glen is my new favorite brand)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 15 oz. can, rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup red wine
8 cups baby spinach leaves (I only used about 5 cups)
8 ounces spaghetti (1/2 of a 1 pound package)

Place mushrooms, bell pepper, and leek in bowl of food processor. Pulse until ingredients are coarsely chopped.

Heat oil in large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add mushroom mixture and garlic, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables are softened and most of liquid has evaporated. Stir in oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes, and cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and wine, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach, and cook 3-5 minutes more, or until spinach has wilted.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Serve spaghetti topped with sauce.

Guten appetit!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Holy Toledo

A couple of things today...

There will be no recipe. I have news.

We're having another one of these, in September:

Yay, yay, yay! But - oh, goodness! What is going to happen to my cooking?! Having a baby is well worth my lax, barely lift a spoon (except to eat) attitude for the year following birth. But, I just got back into cooking, and posting and reading my favorite food blogs. Oh, dear.

I fear what this will do to the Vegetarian Hausfrau. I will try, I promise, to post. And maybe I can wrangle some of my fantastic foodie friends into a few guest posts.

Second, I WANT TO EAT THESE TACOS SOOOO BADLY, it's killing me:

Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onion Tacos
picture and recipe
from Tasty Kitchen

I can't do it, though. I stick to the rule of no soft cheeses during pregnancy, even if it's 'probably' OK. These tacos would not taste nearly as good without the cheese, I just know it. Sigh. They will be mine. Oh yes, they will. Come end of September, you can bet your bottom dollar what I'll be eating.

Wishing happy (taco eating) days to you and your family.

The VH

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lemon Cake

Happy Easter weekend! It's hard not to love this time of year... tulips and other bright flowers, hints of warm sunny days ahead, and cooking light fresh dishes again.

I'm sharing a mother-in-law recipe today because it seems like a good start to spring. It's a moist, spongy (is that a word?) and zesty (this should be a word, if it isn't!) cake. Kind of retro too, calls for jello. Anytime I use jello, I think of my parents generation. It was like crack for the suburban housewife... 'what?! I can mix water with this packet, refrigerate and give my kids a treat they will eat?!'. However, what was with all those jello molds that included cottage cheese?? Gross. This is NOTHING like that though, nothing. Forget I said that.

This past visit, my MIL made this cake for her special 70th birthday. I think we ate this cake for an entire week (there were only 4 of us, and it makes a fairly large cake). It was good. Remember: moist, spongy, and zesty. Yum.

With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I was in heaven!

This was a secret lunch portion I snuck on the side, so no ice cream. Shhh.

If you're looking for a spring weekend treat, or maybe you have a special birthday coming up for someone that doesn't like icing cakes, I recommend giving this one a go.

p.s. I'm making Pesto, Pasta and Peas again tonight - sooooo good! Want to come over?

Lemon Cake Squares
from my Mother-in-law

1 package Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 package lemon jello
3/4 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
1 cup water
2 lemons - juiced and rind grated
2 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Empty cake mix into a large bowl and make a hole (think volcano crater) in the center. Add the next 4 ingredients (through water) and mix.

Bake in an 8x10 or 9x12 size pan - you want to be able to cut the cake into squares.

Make a glaze by stirring the lemon juice, rind and powdered sugar together. Spread on cake as soon as it's taken out of the oven.

At this point, you can freeze the cake (reheat in the oven) or cool to room temperature and serve.

Guten appetit!