Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back in the Kitchen! Easy Fritatta

I'm finally off bed rest and my pain meds are down to about a quarter of what I started out with so I felt safe enough to be near knives and fire again. I still can't do any heavy lifting for another month, so I won't be draining any pasta pots anytime soon. I woke up this sunny Sunday morning and nobody else was up yet (well, Garrick headed to work at the restaurant at 7:30, but I knew he wouldn't be here) so I had to fend for myself as far as food goes.

I wasn't quite sure what was left since I haven't been in the kitchen for the last week & a half, but I knew my Mom went shopping for some stuff she thought we needed before she headed back to NY yesterday so I knew there would be something. There was a dozen eggs, a pound of bacon, some assorted shredded cheeses, and some bagels she brought earlier in the week so I thought a fritatta would be a good idea because I didn't have to stand at the stove and watch it like a regular omelet. I baked the bacon in the oven right along with it on a sheet pan so I didn't have to babysit that either. Here's how I made the eggs:

Easy Fritatta

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs minced onion
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9" pan or pie plate with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30 minutes. If your fritatta (like mine...mine always take longer than a recipe says)) isn't set at this point, take it out of the oven re-mix the mixture so the runny stuff isn't all in the middle; crank the oven up to 425 degrees F and bake the eggs an additional 5 minutes. Works every time without drying them out!!!

I served mine with bacon and a toasted, buttered poppy seed bagel YUM!)

I'm glad to be back and hope to enjoy this recipe!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I'm home from the hospital and my surgery was a success. I'm going to have to take it easy and let the rest of my family do the cooking for a while so you may not see anything new from me here for a couple of weeks. I hope you will all check back then!

Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

Broke out the ice cream maker again yesterday! My oldest son, Garrick, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, Boston last year... He's cooking his way up the ladder at a seafood restaurant in Nashua, NH. I asked him yesterday "How do you feel about strawberry ice cream?" He shrugged. I said that I'm making some because the strawberries we got at the market looked amazing this week. I look over the recipe I have & gather the ingredients and it calls for fresh lemon juice...I ain't got no lemons. Hmmm...My eye lands on the bottle of balsamic vinegar. Balsamic & strawberries go together! So I call from the kitchen "How do you feel about Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream?" His reply was "Om nom nom!" *sheesh* It IS really good!
Here's how I made it:

Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 3 cups fresh, ripe strawberries, stemmed & sliced
  • 4 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving the juices. Puree half of the berries.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla, reserved strawberry juice, and pureed strawberries. Turn your ice cream maker on and pour the mixture into the freezer bowl. Freeze according to the manufacturers directions. Add the remaining strawberries 5 minutes before the freezer cycle ends. Ours finished soft serve after 25 minutes and we transferred it to a sealed container in the freezer to get a firmer set for about 2 hours.

After my surgery next week I hope to bring you some creations by Garrick as he and my husband take over the cooking duties while I recover from surgery on the 16th. There may even be a dish or 2 from my Mom if she travels out from NY to lend a hand as well!


Friday, March 4, 2011

A Burger on the Grill

I just couldn't take it any more! My gas grill had been buried under two feet of snow since just after Christmas and just this week I was finally able to get to it to fire it up! I didn't care that it was 18 F degrees with a wind chill of 5...I just had to cook something on an open flame! We normally grill all year long but this year it has been an extra snowy winter and the dogs were lucky we were able to plow them a path out into the yard, never mind digging out everything on the deck! There's still about two feet in the yard, and the snow drifts at the end of our dead end street are still over 5 feet, but the slow thaw has begun! The crocus and daffodil shoots are starting to appear in the raised beds. The birds have been singing their little hearts as well, so it won't be long before I'm complaining about the unending rain... Now I'm rambling, so let's get back to the burgers! No buns needed for these bad boys! I just served them up with some sauteed onions, steak fries, and a salad. They're super easy too! Here's the mix:

Hamburger Steaks with Grilled Onions

  • 2 lbs ground beef (I used 85% lean)
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt (I used Goya Adobo)
  • 1 Tbs liquid marinade (I used KC Masterpiece Steakhouse Marinade)
  • 2 sweet onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • salt & pepper

Mix seasoning salt and marinade into the ground beef. Form into 4 to 6 patties (I made 6) and cook on a pre heated grill until done to your liking. We like ours pretty pink, so I cook then about 7 minutes a side on a medium flame and let them rest for 5 minutes for med rare. If you don't have a grill (or yours is still buried) you can cook these in a skillet on medium high.

Heat oil and butter in a skillet on medium high. Add sliced onions. Season with salt & pepper. Saute for about 12 minutes until they are soft and start to caramelize.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Macaroni & Ham Casserole

Comfort food. It's what I like to cook and eat best I think. It's been a rough winter weather wise, and I've been having some medical issues (ongoing women stuff) that I need to tend too so it's been such a comfort to be able to get into the kitchen and make some feel good food for myself as well as my family. I just found out yesterday that I need to have some surgery done to try to resolve my health issues in two weeks. If it goes easy, recovery will be about 2 weeks. If it's more complicated when they get in there and have a look around, recovery could take 2 months. I'm going to try to be optimistic and plan my life as if it'll be a 2 week recovery! One of the meals I made last week while I was having a particularly rough day was this macaroni & ham dish it was super easy and so comforting that it made me feel better for a while! Here's how you make it:

Macaroni & Ham Casserole

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 1/2 Tbs butter
  • 3/8 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 10 oz can cream of celery soup
  • 16 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (green beans, carrots, peas & corn), thawed
  • 3 cups ham, diced (I used ham steaks)

Boil pasta according to the package directions. Drain it and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F. Saute onion in butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Stir in the soup & milk. Heat thoroughly, stirring. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish. Add ham, vegetables, pasta, Worcestershire, and pepper and stir to combine. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes.