Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Zucchini "Parmesan"

Zucchini...I love love love it. Did you see how many "loves" I wrote there?

It is my favorite vegetable. I love it grilled, oven roasted, sautéed...well you get the picture.

Growing up, my mom mostly cooked Italian food, or Italian inspired food. This was because she was Italian and she learned from my grandfather. My grandfather was a wonderful cook, and in turn, so was my mother.  This was one of my mom's recipes...but you never know. It could have been my grandfather's that she adapted to her own! Either way, it is one of my favorites.

She called it Zucchini Parmesan, but it does not resemble what most would consider zucchini parmesan.  This is a great recipe that can be served as a main dish ( I would double it if it is the main dish) or as a side dish with some delicious grilled steak, chicken or fish. Over the years my mother experimented with different versions of this recipe. Some were successful, and others...not so much.

If you love eggplant, give that a try instead of zucchini. If you want to do without the breadcrumbs, just dredging the zucchini (or eggplant) in just flour and then sauteing also works well.  I have to say though, the bread crumbs bring it over the top though. This is a simple dish that gives you a lot in return.

Play with it a little, try other veggies, or make it as is! Enjoy!

Zucchini Parmesan
1 1/2 lbs of zucchini
1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
1-2 eggs beaten
2 -3 plum tomatoes sliced
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1  tsp of salt
1/4 cup of olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 8 x 8 inch square baking dish. Cut zucchini into rounds. Dip zucchini into egg and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat with all zucchini. Next heat oil in a skillet. Sauté zucchini in skillet until golden brown. Cover bottom of baking dish with zucchini. Next top with tomato slices. In a bowl, combine sour cream, salt, oregano and pepper. Spread evenly over the tomato slices. Then sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted. and zucchini is tender.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easy Mushroom Frittata {+ some other Easter Brunch Recipes!}

Mushrooms are my favorite!

I just love them, so, needless to say, I take every opportunity I can to sneak them into whatever I make. Sneak is the key word, because unfortunately, everyone is this house is not as big of a fan as I. This easy mushroom frittata was delicious and, as the name implies, easy! It was a cinch  to whip this one up along with another frittata that would delight my most pickiest eaters. The mushroom lovers of this house loved this delicate egg dish, filled with mushrooms and topped with a layer of freshly grated parmesan cheese. 

Perfect for Easter Brunch. Perfect for breakfast anytime. 

Want the recipe? Check out my Kids in the Kitchen with Girl and Her Kitchen post on Little Lake County this month. I will provide the recipe, step by step instructions, more pictures and a few delicious variations of this frittata. You don't want to miss it!

Looking for other brunch recipes? Look no further! Check out these from previous postings we have done. Click on the name of the recipe to be taken right to the page with instructions! Delicious!

(Warning: Some pictures are from my very early blogging days and are hard on the eyes! Proceed with caution and forget you ever saw those photos! Only concentrate on the delicious recipes you will create from them. Banish the photos from your brain! )

Looking for more? Just check out my recipe index and search under "Breakfast and Brunch" and the "Easter" heading. You will find a ton of delicious recipes perfect for any holiday gathering! 


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sweet and Savory Bacon

So...we are going to talk about bacon.

THIS bacon here.

This bacon might be the best thing you have ever eaten. I am not kidding. I was unsure at first because, I mean, how can bacon be any better than...well...bacon?

This really is. The flavor is out of this world. It is just a little jazzed up recipe to grace your brunch or breakfast table and is perfect to add a little zing to something ordinary.

I can hardly call bacon ordinary, but you get what I am trying to say.

Warning: Do not make too much of this because you might want to eat it all. Eating whole packages of bacon is sometimes frowned upon.

I am just saying.

Sweet and Savory Bacon

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika in a pinch)
1 lb package of bacon

Cover a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top. On a plate, toss together brown sugar, chili pepper and paprika. Dredge each bacon slice in the spice mixture and place each slice carefully on the baking rack. Bake for 20 minutes until bacon is cooked through. Take pan out of the oven and let sit for five minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy.

Want more bacon? Have you tried this Pig Candy recipe guest posted by my uncle a few years ago?

Oh man. You NEED to try this. 


Monday, March 30, 2015

French Toast Muffins

The other day, we were talking brunch.

You know? Don't you all do that with your kids? Sit around and talk...brunch?

My kids love talking about food. They are SO my children. They love to decide to make something. They love to work on it. They love to finish the recipe and look at it. They love to eat a little and then...

Well, that's when they go back to being kids. They eat a little, and then run off and do something more kid normal, like playing or reading, or getting in a fight with their sibling. You know. Normal.

Anyways, the other day when we were talking brunch, my oldest brought up something ingenious. She thought it would be cool if all of our favorite breakfast foods could be a...wait for it...a muffin! 

They are SO my kids. Have I shared my muffin obsession with you all before. I am sure I have a hundred few times. 

So, she got us to thinking...waffle muffins, egg and bacon muffins, french toast muffins. 

Wait a second...french toast MUFFINS? 

We started brainstorming. Flour, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, A LOT of vanilla when my younger daughter piped in. 

"Why are you baking an actual muffin when you could make just little muffin shaped french toasts?" she asked, basically changing our life. SERIOUSLY.

My eldest and I looked at each other as if she just figured out world peace. I mean, her idea was ingenious.

We got to work and voila! Our muffins were fantastic! They tasted soooo good and were so fun to eat! We hope you enjoy this little brainchild of our little family brunch discussion. We know we did! 

French Toast Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

10 cups cubed bread (we used challah, but feel free to use your favorite kind)
6 large eggs
3/4 cup milk or almond milk (or half and half if you are feeling really decadent!)
1/4  cup dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter, softened
butter for muffin pan or non-stick spray
syrup, for serving, optional

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add the bread cubes and toss until coated. Let sit for ten minutes so the bread can soak up all of the egg mixture. Meanwhile, generously spray or butter the cups in the muffin pan.  Make sure you do this well or the muffins will stick. DO NOT use muffin liners, as the french toasts will stick. Once the bread has soaked, layer the bread in the muffin cup. Do not press together, just lay the bread on top of each other just to the top of the cavity. Dot the tops with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden. Remove from pan and drizzle with syrup.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Perfectly Simple Egg Salad {+ a bonus recipe-How to Boil the Perfect Egg!}

It is almost Easter and time to decorate those Easter eggs. I don't know about your kids, but mine require at least a dozen eggs each to color.  And who am I kidding I love to decorate them too! But who is going to eat 2-3 dozen hard boiled eggs? Not me...

Well, here is my idea.... egg salad. Yep. It sounds simple-but that is the point. A simply delicious venue for all of those beautifully colored eggs.

Listen-it is absolutely delicious and you can serve it for just about anything, even as an appetizer or snack.

Every Easter Sunday we go to my Aunt Mary's house. She makes the best egg salad and serves it as an appetizer, it is truly so delicious and the best part?  It is super easy. I am lucky enough to have the recipe (thanks Aunt Mary!).

Hosting Easter or need something to bring to your gathering somewhere else? Give this a try. Or, save it all for yourself and make the perfect egg salad sandwich to enjoy.

It is your lucky day, because I am actually giving you two recipes in one here. The first one will come in handy this time of year while you are boiling zillions of eggs to decorate. The second is for that egg salad I have been talking to you so much about (see above if you forgot!).

This first one here is my recipe for the perfect hard boiled egg. Not a spec of green in sight. The green around the yolk is ok to eat, I just prefer it not be there.


Directions for Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Place eggs in pot and cover eggs with cold water. Place the lid on the pot, put in stove and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, remove pot from heat and let the eggs sit covered for 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes are over, drain the eggs and run them under cold water until cool enough to handle. At this point you can eat the eggs, use them for your recipe or put them in the fridge. You should use these eggs within 5 days.

Egg Salad Recipe

6 hard boiled eggs
3-4 tablespoons of mayo
2 tablespoons of minced onion ( I usually do this in a food processor)
1 tablespoon of minced celery (in food processor)
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt

First chop hard boiled eggs. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients.
If you would like a smoother egg salad, just mash up the eggs instead of chopping.
Serve with small pieces of toast or crackers.  This recipe serves about 4 people as an appetizer.

Happy Easter!