After all of the devastation here in Colorado, we are still in clean up mode. Areas in the foothills are still in a state of emergency. A lot of the water around us has receded in our town, but many neighborhoods are still underwater. We are very lucky.
There are ways you can help if you can. There are many families left without homes who did not have flood insurance. Colorado is a dry, wildfire-prone place. Most insurance companies don’t mention flood insurance when you buy a home out here. Due to vast burn areas, the land here wasn’t able to soak up the heavy rain we received and thus, flash floods. You can see some amazing photos of this tragic event here.
As I said before, we are very lucky. We didn’t have any damage and were able to continue safely drinking our tap water. We were, however, stranded for a few days and ate whatever we had on hand to get by – mostly junk. The highways are finally open and the grocery stores receiving shipments again. I was able to buy some fresh produce. This is one of the first things I made.
I was craving fresh avocado and tomato – one of my favorite combination of flavors. I had provolone on hand so I added it to my omelette but mozzarella would be a good, salty cheese to use too. I have to say, it was extremely satisfying to eat something so light and fresh for a change. Things are looking up.
It’s funny, this event has physically separated families and loved ones, but somehow has brought this community closer together.
Spray a small non-stick pan with non-stick spray and heat it over medium heat. In the mean time, whisk the eggs, salt and pepper, and dry mustard and cayenne (optional) in a small bowl. Add the egg mixture to the pan and turn the pan so the egg coats the bottom of the pan and part of the sides. After you see the edges turn from yellow to white (cooked egg), sprinkle tomatoes around the egg, and add the cheese. Fold the omelette in half, cover with a lid, and lower the temperature to low. Continue to cook until the inside of the omelette is cooked and the cheese is melted, about two minutes. Remove from heat. Top with fresh avocado slices and sprinkle a couple more tomatoes on top and serve.
Summer may be “officially” over but that doesn’t mean the BBQing has to stop! I’ve been on a skewer kick lately. For me, skewers are always a favorite at a party because they are simple to put together and are hand held so guests can simply grab one and go.
This was the first time I had grilled tofu on a skewer before and it turned out really well! The marinade is packed with so much flavor, you don’t need to do anything else with your vegetables except add a bit of salt and pepper. The tofu really is the star here. Because tofu is basically a blank slate protein, the longer you marinate the tofu the better. Keep that in mind as you prepare these.
Vegetables (we used peppers, onion, mushrooms and zucchini), cut into large chunks
Skewers (soaked, if you are using wooden skewers)
salt and pepper
Slice tofu into one to one and a half inch thick cubes.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade and place in a medium sized ziplock bag. Place the tofu in the the bag and tightly close the bag. Allow the tofu to marinade for at least one hour (the longer the better), turning at least once.
Preheat your grill to medium heat and grease the grate. In the mean time, carefully slide the vegetables and the tofu onto your skewers. Lightly salt and pepper the skewers then grill them for 5-6 minutes on each side. Baste with extra marinade if desired.
Do you know what that means? September means the air is crisper in the morning, school season starts and pumpkin season is just around the corner! What better way to celebrate pumpkin season than with pumpkin donuts? These drop donuts taste just like mini pumpkin pies. Yum!
Now, I don’t have a donut pan so I stick to drop donuts (who needs a donut pan to make great donuts at home anyway?) Okay, these aren’t gourmet looking by any means but they are rustic and absolutely delicious. Make sure you have some friends or family members around when you make these, otherwise you’ll eat them all by yourself. Which, your taste buds will love but your tummy might not.
The most important thing to keep in mind when making drop donuts is to make sure you drop small amounts of dough into your fryer oil. If you make the donuts too large, the inside will not be able to cook completely and the inside of your donuts will be doughy instead of fluffy.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all spice and cloves. Mix pumpkin, milk, oil, vanilla and egg in a separate bowl. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Drop by teaspoonfuls into hot oil 5-6 at a time. Fry 2-3 minutes, on each side, until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. Mix sugar and cinnamon; roll warm donuts in mixture and serve.
Hi, I’m Nicole and I am a hollandaise sauce junkie. I love ordering it in restaurants but I have made some dreamy, creamy, restaurant-quality hollandaise sauce at home too. More often than not you’ll catch me licking my plate clean, but behind those satisfied eyes lies a face full of guilt. I feel guilty knowing what I just put into my body.
It’s an internal battle for me. My tastebuds argue, “It’s soooo good! Eat some more. That’s not enough sauce, you should put another gallon on top of those eggs!” While my heart screams, “What in the world are you thinking?! I thought you liked me!!”
Because I do love and respect my heart, I thought I would try making a “skinnier” version of this sauce. I used light greek yogurt and a bit of mayo to accomplish the same mouth feel. The lemon and the greek-style yogurt add a familiar zing like you would find in a traditional hollandaise sauce. Although, it’s not perfect and it’s not the quite same as hollandaise, it did satisfy my craving.
Have you tried a recipe similar to this before? What do you do to lighten your “heavy” sauces? Do you have any favorite substitutes?
8 large leaves of basil (or you can use wilted spinach)
slices of tomato
1/4 cup lemon low fat yogurt
1 tablespoon light mayo
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
fresh chives (to garnish)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Combine lemon yogurt, mayo, dry mustard, salt and cayenne in a small saucepan and whisk gently on low heat until warm and smooth
Fill a medium pot with 2 inches of water and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Bring water to a boil and reduce heat to a low temperature where the water is still consistently boiling but very low; crack one egg into a small dish and gently pour it into the pot, doing the same for each additional egg, one by one. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until desired doneness, spooning hot water over the yolk until slightly opaque.
In the meantime, toast the english muffins. Place toasted muffin halves on two plates and top with basil leaves (or spinach) and tomato slice(s).
Carefully remove eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, letting the excess water drain away; place on top of tomato; drop a dollop of sauce on top; garnish with chives and a sprinkle of cayenne.
Vegetable skewers are a great way to showcase the best of your summer bounty. Whether your vegetables are from your own garden, from the local farmer’s market, or they were on sale at your grocery store, grilled vegetables are my favorite way to accomplish crisp, tender vegetables.
Skewers are such an easy meal! Just skewer, grill and eat. You can get creative with marinades or keep it simple with a little drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. You can feature these as an entree or as a side dish. Aren’t they beautiful?
If you decide to marinate your vegetables, my favorite base marinade is olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, a citrus of some kind and any herbs I have on hand. Just add everything into a large ziplock bag, toss and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Then skewer the veggies onto metal or soaked wooden skewers (alternating your veggies) and grill. This is a nice alternative for the vegetarians in your life at your next BBQ.
Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and skewer them onto metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternating vegetables as you go. Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper them to taste. Place kebobs over the heat and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Remove from grill when the vegetables have grill marks and are tender. Serve as is or with warm tortillas.
Today is my birthday. My, how times flies. Because this is such a sweet day I thought I would post something sweet for you!
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m more of a cook than a baker. I feel more comfortable cooking, a mad scientist of sorts, experimenting with new ingredients here and there. Baking is more an exact science, which is why I usually stay away, but I do like to dabble once in awhile.
One of my favorite desserts to indulge in is pie. I love how fresh fruit bursts and becomes ooey and luscious after it bakes in a flaky pie crust. Yum. Because it is prime strawberry season, these seemed absolutely perfect to make.
If you’re a pie crust maker, feel free to make your own crust for these pies. I cheated here and used store bought crust for my pies. I hear these make good leftovers for breakfast the next day too (if you have any leftovers)! Don’t ask me how I know that, just trust me.
I um, got a little too ambitious with the filling so my pies leaked a bit more than they normally would. A personal thank you to the person who invented parchment paper!
About 2 pounds of strawberries (3-4 cups, chopped)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
pinch of salt
Pre-made pie crusts (4 single rounds total)
sanding or granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the strawberries, sugar, corn starch and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl. Let sit and prepare the crusts.
Use a large biscuit cutter or large mouthed glass or mug and cut as many 5-inch rounds as you can. Combine any leftover scraps of dough and roll it flat with a rolling pin. Cut another 5-inch round from the combined scraps.
Put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of the rounds. Brush the edges with the egg wash, then fold the crust in half and create a half circle. Press and crimp the edges to seal. Place the pies on the prepared cookie sheets. Cut a vent into each round then brush each pie with more egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Yes, you are completely right. I am failing you as a food blogger. I have abandoned this website and thus, abandoned you. I just wanted to say that I am so thankful to all of you who have followed me throughout the years. I really am. Even though I may not be showing it lately. I will try harder to post more often. Thank you for your patience!
I’ll be honest, I miss cooking. I really, really do. Cooking is very therapeutic for me. Chopping, sauteing, smelling, creating, making messes – I love it all. Those were the good ol’ days. I spend so much time working, commuting and sleeping that I hardly have time to even check my mail. This new job has been a whirlwind of an adventure. I am thankful for the paychecks, but I still feel lost. It’s been an uphill battle for me personally to find a new routine. I am so lucky to have someone who helps me through all of this.
Okay, back to the main event – Walleye! I could not believe it when we found walleye in a grocery store. Natives of Wisconsin know walleye very well. We look forward to attending Friday Fish Fries to gobble down freshly caught walleye and perch. Walleye is like cod, it’s light and flaky and very mild in flavor. It’s something I miss very much. So when we saw Wisconsin walleye here in Colorado, we couldn’t NOT buy it!
When we decide to fry fish in our household, we typically follow our chip crust recipe. This time, we didn’t have chips on hand so we used saltine crackers instead. We really like the results! The crust was lightly crisp and didn’t overpower the mild flavor of the flaky fish.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large pot over medium high heat to 375 degrees F.
In the mean time, double check the fillets for bones and remove skin if necessary. Cut into uniform pieces if the fillets are larger.
Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside. Combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper in another bowl.
Pour the cracker crumbs into a third bowl.
Test the oil by dropping a cracker crumb into it. When it crackles and pops the oil is ready.
Dip two fillets into the flour mixture, then the eggs, and then press the fish into the cracker crumbs and set them aside on a plate. Carefully lower two fillets into the hot oil. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the fillets if necessary. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining fillets.
’tis the season for fresh strawberries! The recipe is easy to whip up in a few minutes and you’ll have delicious sweet strawberry butter that you can spread on your next bagel, toast, biscuit, homemade muffins… whatever you can get your hands on!
I came up with this recipe idea when I visited the local market here and purchased way too many strawberries for one sane person to buy. I needed to find another way to use them outside of just popping them in my mouth (although I did plenty of that too). I do not have the tools necessary to can or jar fruits (although a goal of mine some day) and thought about my childhood when my grandparents would take me to local farms for their farmer’s breakfast and the farmers would always have homemade varieties of fruit butters (although the strawberry was my favorite).
Those were such treasured times with my grandparents that I will never forget. So in a sense this recipe is a nod to the many times I devoured delicious strawberry butter atop fresh biscuits at those farms with my grandparents.
I never realized how easy this recipe is to make. Granted, I semi-cheated by using butter I had purchased from the store, but still, this easy recipe has inspired me to try to make other fruit butters at home!
Summer always makes me think of the fair. The sights and sounds of the ferris wheel, classic rock concerts and food stands galore! There is always an astounding variety of foods – wrapped in foil, served on a stick and deep-fried every which way. My favorites range from funnel cake to corn on the cob, but sometimes I just want to sink my teeth into a big hunk of meat and gnaw at a tasty bone. Here’s a recipe you can make at home for your own roasted turkey legs. This way you can get turkey and seasoning all over your hands and face and be in the vicinity of a sink.
In a pot, combine water with the salt, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon seasoning blend, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool, then pour into a large container or bowl filled with ice. When mixture is cold, submerge turkey in the brine. Cover the container and brine in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, more if you have time.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry rub ingredients. Remove the turkey legs from the brine and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry. Rub the dry rub all over the turkey legs, getting under the skin when you can.
Roast on a baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and roast for another 30-60 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through and the internal temperature is 180 degrees F. Baste occasionally with juices.
Remove them from oven, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!
How was your Independence Day? I hope it was filled with good people and good memories. And here’s hoping you don’t have to work until Monday!
After all of that alcohol and BBQ, it’s nice to treat your body with an easy vegan meal. Salads are great, but sometimes I need something more substantial. These fajitas are great for that. Seitan is my absolute favorite non-meat. To me, the texture resembles chicken breast. I spiced these up and added this seitan fajitas for Mister and he didn’t even know it was a Vegan meal until I saw him going back for seconds and mentioned, “Not bad for a meatless meal, huh?”
Fajitas are great because they are so versatile. We put onions, peppers and mushrooms in ours, but you can really customize it according to your likes and dislikes. You can add slaw, avocado, corn, etc. to your own fajitas.
1 10-ounce chipotle flavored package of seitan (or omit the chipotle if you want milder fajitas)
1 cup bell pepper strips
1 small yellow onion, cut into strips
1 cup mushrooms, sliced in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoon canola oil
Salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc. (optional)
Cut the seitan into 1-1/2 inch strips of a moderate thickness. Add the salt, cumin, chili powder, and both types of pepper, and toss together until evenly coated. In a large skillet heat the canola oil. Add the onions, pepper strips and mushrooms and stir fry quickly over medium high heat until they barely soften. Add the seitan and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until seitan is warmed through! Do not overcook! Because seitan is already “cooked” all you need to do is just add it at the very end.
Warm the tortillas and keep them covered so they don’t cool off & dry out. Serve these buffet style with toppings and sides.
Happy weekend to you all! I hope this post finds you well. If you haven’t noticed, I have been very busy here outside of blogland. My new job is keeping me out of trouble and the commute is time consuming. Because I spend most of my weekday away from home, I haven’t been cooking as much as I would like to. This has been a big adjustment for the two of us. We used to work together, commute together, and spend many waking hours together. Now, I leave before the Mister wakes up and return home as the sun sets. It’s been a challenge, but it is something we are working out. Most nights, he has taken it upon himself to cook our dinners so we can spend less time working and more time relaxing together. I can’t express how grateful I am to have such a wonderful partner who has been so supportive.
Anywho, that’s the news with me. Are you getting excited for 4th of July? Are you the type of person who really goes out each year? Typically we grill something up with friends or go hiking and watch the fireworks from the top of a mountain. I’m not sure what will do this year. Here’s hoping we can do a little of both!
To keep with the 4th of July BBQ theme, I thought I would post this beautiful grilled pizza. The dough recipe is from Weber’s Way To Grill and is one of the best dough recipes I have tried to date. You can always tell that something is going to taste good because it smells good …and this dough smells absolutely FANTASTICAL when it is cooking! The neighborhood smelled like a pizzeria the second this dough puffed up on the grill.
Mozzarella cheese (shredded or sliced and ripped into smaller pieces)
Any other veggies your heart desires really!
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Stir briefly and let stand for 5 minutes or until the top surface has a thin, frothy layer. Add the flour, oil, salt, garlic powder and oregano. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and mix on low speed for about 1 minutes or until everything is combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until the dough is slightly sticky. smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn it over to coat all sides and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (1 1/2 to 2 hours).
In the mean time, prepare your sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature.
Once your dough is risen, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Lightly brush eight, 9-inch pieces of parchment paper with olive oil. Using your fingers, flatted each pieces of dough on a sheet of parchment paper to create 8 rounds. Each round should be about 1/3-inch thick and 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Lightly brush the tops with oil. Let the round stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature of the grill to medium heat. Brush the cooking grates clean. Working with 4 rounds at a time, place the dough on the cooking grate with the parchment paper facing up. Grill over direct heat, with lid closed as much as possible, until the dough is well marked and firm on the bottom, about 2 to 5 minutes, rotating as needed for even cooking. Peel off and discard the parchment paper. Transfer crusts to a work surface with the grilled sides facing up. Repeat with the 4 other rounds.
Spread the sauce, cheese (and toppings) on each crust. Return the pizzas to the grill and cook over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is crisp, about 2 to 5 minutes, rotating the pizzas occasionally for even cooking. Transfer to a cutting board cut and serve.