Recipes

Food and Drink

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms {Vegetarian}

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Sadly, I think my photography skills are getting worse. I don’t have my food photo area set up anymore after I’ve moved. I’m still in a temporary living situation so that wont change anytime soon. Plus, I have a tendency to want to inhale anything I spend hours cooking, so by the time I get to the photo session I get impatient, snap a few shots, and satisfy my primal urges.

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Besides the high contrast photos, life has been good. I’ve been participating in a 31 Days of Horror (movie) Challenge. So far I’ve been able to watch 9 movies in 11 days. I have a little catching up to do, but I did discover a new favorite series, Dead Snow. Bask in its glory.

If you’re a fan of Evil Dead or Dead Alive, you need to watch Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2! So many fun references, great humor, and even better Nazi zombie gore scenes. Foodie McBooty gives these two thumbs up!

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Okay, back to the food. Every fall pumpkin and squash everything seems to appear everywhere (lattes, shakes, spaghetti, ravioli) come out of the woodwork (along with all of the creepy crawlies), and I love it!! I’m definitely one of those people who takes full advantage while she can. My apologies to anybody around me who has to deal with my (slight) addiction, but if I see a pumpkin or squash related item on a menu, I’m most likely ordering it.

This is a recipe I’ve made before but haven’t posted until today. I added mushrooms to my lasagna this time because I picked some up at the farmer’s market last weekend. I have to warn you now, as this lasagna bakes in the oven you might go a little crazy. The smell of warm butternut squash, garlicky spinach, and bubbling, browning cheese might drive you nuts. Or at least, it drives me nutty, which is why by the time I pull this out of the oven, I can’t take any decent pictures. Everything goes dark and before I know it, I’ve eaten half of the pan of lasagna and I have crummy pictures on my camera.

I regret nothing.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

    Butternut Squash Filling:
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree (1 medium cooked squash or frozen works in a bind)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (more, if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 ground nutmeg
  • Spinach Filling:
  • 1 pound spinach, washed and stems trimmed
  • 6-ounces of your favorite mushroom, washed and diced (I used oyster, but white or cremini would work great too)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Other Ingredients:
  • 10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked or oven-ready
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning

Directions

    Prepare the Butternut Squash Filling
  1. Cut the end of the butternut squash off, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place squash in a microwave safe container and add 2 teaspoons of water. Cover and microwave 6 minutes on high (you can also roast your squash in the oven if you have the time). Scoop out the cooked squash and place in a food processor. Add the thyme, ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick.
  2. For the Spinach Filling
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium-size pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, toss, and season with salt and pepper. You may need to add more olive oil as mushrooms tend to absorb a lot of liquid. Cook until the mushrooms are browned or cook down a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and toss until wilty, 1-2 minutes. Lastly, add the minced garlic and stir almost continuously until fragrant. Put the mixture into a medium bowl and add the ricotta and mozzarella cheese while the mixture is still hot. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the Lasagna
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 11 inches x 8.5 inches x 3 inches dish with butter or non-stick spray.
  6. Spread about a 1/3 of the butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked or oven-ready lasagna noodles, being careful not to overlap them.
  7. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles. Top lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  8. Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  9. Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
  10. Spread the last layer (1/3) of butternut squash filling over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese (should be about 1/2 cup of mozzarella). Generously sprinkle the cheese with Italian seasoning.
  11. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/butternut-squash-lasagna-with-spinach-and-mushrooms-vegetarian/

Grilled Cheese with Cauliflower “Bread”

Good day to you fine people! I mean, how can a day NOT be fine with this beauty?

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I have to admit, I have a slight obsession with cauliflower as of late. As you know, I love, love, love my Cauliflower Crust Pizza, I have been roasting cauliflower for side dishes like nobody’s business, and now I’ve arguably taken cauliflower too far. I’m not sure, all I know is that I might be due for an intervention.

You’ll have to pry this grilled cheese out of my cold dead hands first!

For all of you people who want to cut down on your intake of bread (and in my case, sugar) and add an extra serving of vegetables to your diet, this “bread” is a great substitute!

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The key to this recipe? Make sure your cauliflower is DRY. Dry as a bone. Dry as an old woman’s… handbag. Dry, dry, dry! If your cauliflower is too moist (I really dislike that word btw), your “bread” slices will turn out mushy. So try to practice some patience with this step. This is very important!

The end result turns out surprisingly bready! You still get your crispy satisfaction of bread in your grilled cheese, but with cauliflower instead.

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If you don’t like cauliflower, you wont like this recipe. The amount of cheese or even the act of grilling in delicious butter doesn’t hide the flavor of cauliflower. But if you like cauliflower, you have to try this!

Disclaimer: If you get addicted, don’t blame me. Just please bring me with you to your addict meetings.

Grilled Cheese with Cauliflower “Bread”

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yields: 2 grilled cheese sandwiches

Grilled Cheese with Cauliflower “Bread”

Ingredients

    Cauliflower crust “bread” slices
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grilled cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

    Cauliflower Bread
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and place a rack in the middle.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and liberally grease it with olive oil. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor rice the uncooked cauliflower florets (it should be evenly chopped but not completely pulverized).
  4. Transfer cauliflower rice (about 3 cups) to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, no water, until cooked.
  5. Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze as much moisture as you can (I squeezed out over a cup of liquid). Lay out on a flat surface for five additional minutes. Then squeeze out excess liquid again.
  6. Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl, add egg, mozzarella, salt, pepper and mix well.
  7. Grab some of the cauliflower mixture and spread onto the lined baking sheet. Shape into 4 equal squares.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes until golden.
  9. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before peeling them off the parchment paper.
  10. Grilled Cheese with Cauliflower Bread
  11. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of cauliflower crust bread.
  12. Place one slice of bread in the pan, buttered side down, sprinkle with the cheese and top with the remaining slice of cauliflower crust bread, buttered side up. Cook until golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes. Gently flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 to 4 minutes.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/grilled-cheese-with-cauliflower-bread/

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Lemon

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In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Okay, I didn’t quite fly over the sea, but I did fly a plane today. I had a lot of help from my instructor, but he let me take off and land the plane on my own. He even commented that most people don’t turn as quickly or as sharply as I did on their first flight. I think I’m a natural. He probably thought I was crazy.

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Either way, I’m hooked. I will get my pilot’s certificate. And then maybe my glider pilot license. I can see myself soaring through the air without the noise of an engine – just peaceful, serene, and practically weightless flight.

Heroes Reborn is premiering on television right now. I am so excited for this show! I watched the original and was practically heartbroken when it went off the air (mid-season too)! Seems good so far. I guess we’ll see.

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Save the cheerleader. Save the world.

Anywho, my grandparents are settled in their new home and my mom and I have been sorting through their things. We’ve found some pretty interesting stuff already. It’s amazing what Polacks in their 90’s have held onto over the years. For example, I found an opened Pillsbury crust mix box that read, “New! 6¢.”

Made me smile.

Lots of updates in one post. I’ll write again soon. For now, I leave you with this easy, one-pan meal. Chicken, tomatoes, broccoli and lemon. Shove it all into a cake pan, bake for 20-25 minutes, and inhale. Chewing is optional.

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Lemon

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 5 oz.
  • 4 oz. cherry or whole tomatoes, halved or cut into small pieces
  • 8 oz. broccoli tops, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 thin slices

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking dish with 2 tsp. of the olive oil.
  2. Pound the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap until each piece of chicken is the same thickness, about 1/2-inch thick. Place the chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the tomatoes, and broccoli around the chicken. Drizzle everything with the vinegar and 2 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  3. Top each chicken breast with 2 lemon slices. Drizzle the remaining 2 tsp. olive oil over everything.
  4. Bake until the chicken is opaque throughout, 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/baked-chicken-with-tomatoes-broccoli-and-lemon/

Simply Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Sometimes a simple chocolate chip cookie is all I need to make everything right in the world again. There is something so warm and inviting about fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies. I love the taste, the chew, and how intoxicating my home smells when I make cookies. Every step of the baking process (including the eating part!) is completely comforting to me, like being wrapped in a warm blanket fresh from the dryer. I will make these cookies, specifically this recipe, until the day I die.

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The thing I’ve learned through baking batch after batch of cookies, is that every cookie spawns from the same basis recipe. If you mix sugar, butter, flour, leaveners (etc.) you end up with some type of cookie. Some recipes I’ve tried result in puffy cookies, others are crispy, and some are just plain… well, plain.

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Personally I love a chewier, golden cookie and I’ve found the perfect ingredient to make that happen every.single.time – melted, brown butter. I’ve had the best luck achieving this by using melted butter and if you let the butter brown, your cookies will taste as if you added caramel to them. Sooooooo yummy! I think this cookie recipe is pretty darn perfect but I’m always open to other learning differen baking tips. Share some of your own cookie tips in the comments below!

Simply Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simply Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12-ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • Flaky sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 360°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a light-colored saucepan over the lowest heat possible. Swirl the pan occasionally to ensure the butter is cooking evenly. The butter should begin to foam. The butter will progress from a light yellow-brown color to golden-tan then a dark, deep nutty brown. When you smell a nutty aroma, your butter is browned. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Set aside. Pour the melted butter into a large bowl and whisk in the sugars until all lumps are gone. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until just combined. Stir in the vanilla. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir in the dry ingredients until barely blended (do not over mix or you will have tough cookies!) Gently stir in the chocolate chunks.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for 5 minutes and then roll into 1 heaping tablespoon rounded discs and gently press each cookie into a bit of flaky sea salt (or you can lightly sprinkle sea salt on top and press the salt into the dough). You wont need much salt to make an impact. Arrange on the prepared pans leaving 3 inches between each cookie. Bake until the tops are cracked and lightly golden, 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes, the move to a wire rack to cool completely.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/simply-delicious-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Recipe adapted from Seven Spoons and Cook’s Illustrated.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham {Slow-Cooker}

Colorado never ceases to amaze me.  It’s May and we’re still getting snow.  Well, we got inches of snow last weekend, but still… SNOW!  In MAY!  What happened to Spring?

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Oh well, before you know it the sun comes out and melts everything away.  Plus, snow is an excuse for me to dust off the ol’ crock pot and make something that is warm and makes the entire house smell like awesome.

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Like these scalloped potatoes for example.  Oh my yum.  These are hot, cheesy, and the perfect amount of salty from the ham.  Just… drool-worthy.  I burnt the roof of my mouth because I couldn’t wait to get this into my mouth.

Totally worth it.

Snow and scalloped potatoes… who needs Spring?  Okay I do.  But for now, I have these flowers.
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Scalloped Potatoes and Ham {Slow-Cooker}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yields: 6-8 servings

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham {Slow-Cooker}

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (NOT extra-sharp cheddar)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups diced thick-cut ham, cooked

Directions

  1. Prepare your slow-cooker: Fold a sheet of parchment paper into a 3-inch strip and place inside perimeter of slow-cooker insert (along the sides). Lightly spray parchment paper with cooking spray. This will prevent the potatoes around the edge of the cooker from burning.
  2. Par-cook potatoes: Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons cream in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until the edges of potatoes are translucent, 6-8 minutes, shaking bowl (without moving plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.
  3. Whisk broth and cornstarch in large liquid measuring cup until smooth. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth mixture, remaining cream, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, add cheeses, whisking until smooth. Add ham and combine.
  4. Pour half of sauce into slow-cooker insert. Arrange potatoes in even layer over sauce and pour remaining sauce over potatoes. Cover and cook on low until potatoes are tender, 5-6 hours. Let cool 20 minutes. Remove parchment and serve.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/scalloped-potatoes-and-ham-slow-cooker/

Bacon and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich with Sunny Side Up Egg

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I love Sundays.  It’s a day to sleep in.  It’s a day to wrap up all of the laundry that has piled into the hamper throughout the week.  And it’s a day to make brunch.

This sandwich is a frequent go-to in our household.  I love the combination of salty, crispy thick-cut bacon with creamy, cool avocado.  Slap a runny egg on top of anything and I am in brunch heaven.

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For the bacon part of this sandwich I did something a little different – I made a bacon weave.  I cut my strips of bacon in half and made a 3×3 weave.  It’s super simple and guarantees that every inch of your bread is covered by bacon. #winning

And don’t forget, brunch isn’t really brunch if you don’t have a mimosa or a bloody mary, so cheers to Sunday!

Bacon and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich with Sunny Side Up Egg

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Serving Size: 2 open face sandwiches

Bacon and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich with Sunny Side Up Egg

Ingredients

  • 1 package of thick-cut bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-2 avocados
  • Toasted bread (your choice, we used whole wheat today)

Directions

  1. Prepare a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Cut 12 strips of bacon in half. Place 3 half slices of bacon on the parchment paper and weave in 3 more pieces, like a basket.
  2. Pop the pan into a cold oven and set it to bake at 375 degrees. Set your timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn your jelly roll pan around in your oven. Set your timer for another 5-10 minutes or until the bacon is cooked. Remove from the oven and drain bacon on a paper towel.
  3. As the bacon drains, cook your eggs. Take a few tablespoons of the bacon grease and place it in a medium pan. Heat the pan to medium heat and crack the eggs into it. Cover with a large lid and wait about three minute, or until the whites of the eggs are cooked but the yolks are still runny.
  4. Make your sandwich: place the toasted bread on a plate, cover with slices of cool avocado, add your bacon weave and top with a hot egg. Serve with your favorite hot sauce. Enjoy!
http://foodiemcbooty.com/bacon-and-avocado-breakfast-sandwich-with-sunny-side-up-egg/

Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa) {Vegetarian}

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Attention pickle lovers – you MUST try Pickle Soup!!

I am 50% Polish and 50% Filipino. Probably haven’t heard of that one before, huh? My unique heritage could explain why I love so many different types of food (or maybe I just like to eat good food?) Every time I visit my family in Wisconsin I have to indulge in the local European cuisine. The same goes with my Filipino family in California… lumpia and pancit all the way. Today, my Polish heritage won out.

The process of pickling has been used to preserve foods for decades. In Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, pickled baby cucumbers in hot broth was the winter counterpart to the summer offering of cold cucumber soup. Fun fact for the day. So pickle soup might sound weird to us, but it’s a big dish in Eastern Europe.

When I first tried this soup, one spoonful in and BLAMMO!!! I was hooked. This recipe may not have started in my family, but I will pass it on to my friends and family! It’s so stinkin’ good!

Because soup is very easy to make, you have no excuse NOT to make this. My recipe uses a cream base where others use a tomato base. You could also make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. This is a good base recipe to work off of. I add carrots and celery to the broth when I have them on hand too. It’s a poor man’s soup, so anything goes really! Make it your own, just don’t forget the pickles!

Polish Dill Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 6 servings

Polish Dill Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3-4 dill pickles (about 1 cup), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup liquid from pickle jar
  • 2 large russet potatoes (about a pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Add olive oil and melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir the thick mixture constantly for 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth, potatoes and veggies. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Test and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In a small bowl, temper sour cream mixture with a little hot soup and whisk together. Pour the sour cream into the hot soup, whisking until combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add dill, old bay, pickle liquid and pickles. Adjust seasoning if necessary. The soup can be left chunky or pureed to a velvety consistency. Serve immediately with your favorite crusty bread or croutons.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/polish-dill-pickle-soup/

Cheesy Polenta with Garlicky Spinach & Runny Egg

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Hello blog buddies,

2015 has already been such a busy year!  It’s amazing how little the weather affects life here in Colorado.  When there is snow, the people will play!  When it’s warm and the sun is shining, which is almost every day, Coloradans are outside and enjoying the outdoors.  I love being surrounded by people and places that are always hustling and bustling.

This is going to be a big year in regards to travel.  We were already saving up for a trip to London but now two friends have announced their wedding dates and we have an opportunity to visit family in Florida on the “cheap.”   That’s a lot of travel in one year for us (and a lot of $$$$ too)!  I’ve had an itch for awhile to travel internationally, but with everything else that is going, we are really going to have to pinch our pennies to make that happen.

Queue Salt-N-Pepa: “Puh-pinch ’em real good!”

Doing my best to prepare, I have been budgeting and saying no to things I want to do on the regular.  I know I need to nitpick and prioritize if I want to make every single one of my travel goals this year.  I plan to make more meals at home and eat the leftovers for lunch for as long as they last.  I will have to get creative with pantry ingredients too – like our very own series of Chopped!  This Cheesy Polenta dish is definitely on the cheap and tastes like a million bucks!

The polenta was super easy to make, just use a whisk and add plenty of liquid to make it smooth.  The Spinach adds a nice garlicky, spicy kick while adding some nutrients too.  And the runny egg on top really adds some richness to bring it all together.  Plus the egg adds some protein to help make this meal last longer.

When in doubt, put an egg on it!

I have always been good at budgeting, but this tight of a budget will be a challenge for me.  No useless shopping, no overspending when I go out for coffee, no nothing…

It’s London (and two weddings and maybe Florida too) or bust!

Wish me luck!

P.S. Sorry about the quality of the photo.  It’s off of my Instagram feed.  My laptop is still fighting with my camera. I’ve put them both in a time-out so here’s hoping that changes something.

Cheesy Polenta with Garlicky Spinach and Runny Egg

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal and 2 cups water (or 1-lb pre made polenta)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen spinach, drained and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the polenta: Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium-side pot, then turn the heat down to low and slowly pour in the polenta while stirring briskly with a wooden spoon or whisk (stirring while pouring is crutial to keep the polenta creamy and smooth - no lumps!) Once the cornmeal becomes smooth and thick, place a lid on the pot with the spoon still in it so the steam can escape. Allow to cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, add a bit of olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Let them cook until you can smell them, about 1 minute. Add spinach and toss. Allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Drain and place contents into a bowl. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  3. Wipe the spinach pan with a paper towel and add a bit of olive oil then put it back on medium heat. Crack the two eggs into the pan and cover with a lid. This will steam them, making sunny-side-up eggs with fully cooked whites. You can also flip if you'd prefer over-easy eggs.
  4. Add some romano and lots of salt and pepper to the polenta (to taste). Add the corn now if you are using it. Heat until the cheese is melted and scoop the polenta into a pair of bowls. Divide the spinach evenly between the two bowls and add an egg to each too. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Good and Cheap: http://bit.ly/1APscGu

http://foodiemcbooty.com/cheesy-polenta-with-garlicky-spinach-and-runny-egg/

Pumpkin Cookies with Chai Tea Icing

Baby it’s cold outside!  Denver’s forecasted high is 2 degrees today.  I am so thankful to Santa for bringing us a heated blanket.  I know we (and our kitty) appreciate the warmth on these bitter cold nights.

The holidays are typically a time of reflection for me.  I think about what I have accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) during these last 12 months and make new goals for the new year.  I also remember to show my appreciation to my family and make sure they feel the same warmth and love they make me feel, especially during these cold days.  I also love to share in memories with my friends and extended family here in Colorado.  There is nothing like cozying up to loved ones and talking over a mug of something warm.

If you love a cup of spicy chai tea as much as I do, then you will love these cookies.  They have just enough spice to make everything nice and the pumpkin flavor really comes through too.  I hope you enjoy and have a splendid new year!

Recipe originates from Reclaiming Provincial.

Pumpkin Cookies with Chai Tea Icing

Ingredients

    Cookies
  • 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup of butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Icing
  • 2 cups of confectionery sugar
  • 4 tbsp milk, plus additional milk if necessary
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 chai tea bags

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until creamy, then mix in dry ingredients until just combined.
  3. Drop tablespoons of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies for 15–16 minutes, or until they begin to have just a hint of golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool complete before frosting.
  4. For the icing: Melt butter in a saucepan and add milk. Steep chai tea bags in the liquid for 5 minutes, then discard. Combine together with sugar, vanilla, and milk, and mix until a smooth icing forms. If the icing is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you have a smooth, velvety glaze.
  5. Dip the cookies and place in the fridge to cool.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/pumpkin-cookies-with-chai-tea-icing/

Crispy Quinoa Burgers

quinoa burger

Blog warning:  This post is filled with extreme excitement.  Only food lovers should continue.

I am a huge veggie burger fan.  From Gardenburgers, to homemade Black Bean Burgers, I love veggie burgers of all shapes and sizes.  I have eaten many veggie burgers in my day, too many to count, but this quinoa burger takes the cake.

I have to say, I’ve made many dishes that I have enjoyed. Heck, I love food so that’s not too difficult to understand, but to be honest, I haven’t been this passionate about a meal in quite awhile.

Until now!

quinoa burger

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this crispy quinoa burger!!  The combination of the sweet and tangy beer caramelized onions, gooey swiss cheese, runny egg and crunchy potato chips is extremely messy and completely SATISFYING!  This is a burger that even a meat-eater will love.
This is definitely my new ‘go to’ when I am craving something comforting and vegetarian.

SO YUMMY!  The egg comes highly recommended but whatever you do, don’t skimp on the potato chips.  This burger needs that extra crunch!!  Call these burgers QuinWOW burgers.

QuinWOW Burgers with Beer Caramelized Onions and Swiss

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 4-5 Burgers

Serving Size: 1 Burger

Ingredients

    Quinoa Burgers
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (cooking your quinoa in vegetable broth will add a TON of flavor!)
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, mashed
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms, cooked (I used baby bellas)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 of your favorite burger buns (I used brioche), toasted
  • 4 eggs cooked to your liking, optional but highly recommended
  • Potato chips, plain or salt and pepper chips are recommended
  • Beer caramelized onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup or so beer (I used a lager)

Directions

  1. In a bowl combine the quinoa, mashed cannellini beans, mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, chile powder, salt and pepper. Mix well to moisten the ingredients and then mix in the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well again and form into 4 or 5 equal burger patties. Place on a plate and put
  2. Caramelize the onions. Heat a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and salt and cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently.
  3. At this point you want to slowly add the beer, let it cook into the onions, add more and let it cook. Do this until the 1 cup of beer is gone or the onions are caramelized to your liking and the beer has mostly evaporated. Remove the onions from the skillet and keep warm.
  4. In the same onion skillet add 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil and heat to medium-high heat. Grab the quinoa burgers and smash them into the pan until they form a patties, about 1/2-inch in thickness. Cook until golden and crisp, about five minutes per side. During the last minute or so of cooking add the swiss cheese, cover the pan and cook 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  5. To assemble the burgers, place each burger on a toasted bun, top with equal amounts of caramelized onions, the runny egg and crispy potato chips. Grab some napkins and DEVOUR!

Notes

Inspired by: http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/epic-crispy-quinoa-burgers-topped-sweet-potato-fries-beer-caramelized-onions-gruyere/

http://foodiemcbooty.com/crispy-quinoa-burgers-with-caramelized-onions-and-swiss-cheese/

Quick Breakfast Casserole

quickbfastcass

Breakfast casseroles are delicious.  They’re a warm, cheesy, eggy, potatoey (yes, that’s a word now) one pan package.  The issue I have with breakfast casseroles is that they take at least 24 hours of planning.  Unless I’m having a really good day, I tend to do things on a more ‘last minute’ basis.  This version of breakfast casserole is a quicker version of the breakfast casserole we all know and love.

In our household, we tend to have all sorts of leftover odds and end by the weekend.  We have pre-cooked breakfast meat in our fridge/freezer and pre-cooked potatoes of sorts (either a leftover baked potato, or frozen potatoes or hashbrowns).  You can toss these into a baking dish with some scrambled eggs, go and do some chores and by the time you’re done, this casserole will be bubbling and ready to devour.

Easy peasy.  Of course, this recipe is dependent on items you may or may not have on hand, but I hope it at least inspires you to make a quick breakfast casserole of your own!

Cheers!

Quick Breakfast Casserole

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 4 servings

Quick Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4 hashbrown patties, shredded hashbrowns or cubed breakfast potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup of cooked crumbled sausage
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika, for color

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray. Layer in the potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, breakfast meats, and onion.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, cayenne (if using) salt and pepper. Pour over the casserole. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and paprika (for color).
  3. Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, cut and serve.

Notes

Double for 9x13 casserole.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/quick-breakfast-casserole/

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

CaramelMaccCups

I used to be that girl who drank her coffee black.  I was a coffee purist.  I still am that coffee purist at heart, but recently I discovered Caramel Macchiato drinks.  (Please don’t tell the coffee beans, I don’t want them to know that I am cheating on them).  What a mistake! Now I am hooked on high sugar, caffeinated beverages!  You probably think I’m exaggerating but I swear I get the shakes if I don’t have one every 48 hours.  I admit it – I have a problem.

That is, after all, the first step right?

So, what better way to celebrate these deliciously sweet and caffeinated beverages than with a cupcake?  My challenge with these cupcakes was to ensure that the coffee was the star of the show and there was just enough caramel to make these perfectly sweet.  I used a Starbucks double shot and caramel macchiato coffee creamer in the cake mix.  I think it turned out PERFECTLY!  I brought these to work and the girls couldn’t get enough of them.  You’ve been warned, you may need an intervention after eating these cupcakes!

CaramelMaccCups2

This is one of those recipes that already has so much going on that I “cheated” with a few of the ingredients.  I used cake mix and frosting from the store.  I used the mix and frosting as a base and spruced them up with other yummy ingredients.  Saved me a headache, that’s for sure.  I’ll leave it up to you if you want to do the same!

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Calories per serving: I don

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate cake mix (if you use a different brand, make sure the number of ounces on the box are the same)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons Starbucks double shot drink
  • 1 cup Caramel Macchiato Coffee Creamer
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cans vanilla frosting
  • 1 packet of caramel flavor frosting flavor-add in
  • Caramel syrup (store bought or homemade)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix cake ingredients as directed, replacing the water with Starbucks double shot and coffee creamer. Divide evenly in cupcake liners, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake immediately for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool. Note: If your mix sits for too long your cake will not be as light and fluffy. Make sure to mix well before pouring if needbe.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the strong coffee and milk. Place all cooled cupcakes onto a sheet pan and poke numerous times with a chopstick or skewer. Carefully pour a bit of the coffee/milk mixture into each cupcake so it soaks up the mixture.
  3. Combine the frosting with 1/2-3/4 of the caramel flavor packet, to taste (I don't like my frosting too, too sweet). Frost the cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/caramel-macchiato-cupcakes/

 

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