Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Small-fry Frittatas
Okay, this isn't so much a recipe as it is a great idea I found in an old Family Fun magazine (March 2005) to solve the problem we have in our house of making omelettes for people with differing tastes (yes tomatoes, no tomatoes, yes tomatoes or peppers, yes ham...etc...).
You bake the eggs in a muffin tin! Pour in the egg mixture, have the mix-ins available and let everyone make one or two of these to their own taste. My Kindergartener swears they taste better than regular omelettes, too.
For 12 frittatas:
8 large eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp salt
assorted mix-ins (shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, peppers, chives, bacon bits, sausage bits, ham bits....)
Heat the oven to 350 and spray 12 muffin tins. Whisk together the eggs, half and half and salt in a medium bowl, then evenly distribute among the muffin cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of mix-ins to each cup. Bake until they're puffy and the edges are brown- 20 to 25 minutes. Loosen with a really cool crepe flipper, or with a knife.

Easy Chicken

Need an idea for chicken?
Take four chicken breasts, and butterfly them. (Or use chicken tenderloins). Cook in a fry pan with a little olive oil, turning them as needed and season with garlic & onion powder, some tumeric and paprika. When the chicken is almost done, top each piece with a heaping spoonful of mango or peach salsa, (your favorite brand). Add some fresh chopped tomatoes if you have them. Top with some grated mozzarella cheese, and place in 500º oven until cheese is melted. Serve on a bed of fresh, steamed spinach. Make sure to drizzle all the sauce from the pan over chicken when you serve it. Yum!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Favorite Summertime Dessert

Blueberry Buckle

When we lived in Connecticut I used to visit the pick-your-own blueberry farm, and I came home looking for a recipe that would help me use up my buckets of blueberries. Now I make this every summer, even if the blueberries are from Costco. It is kind of like a big, delicious blueberry muffin made into a cake! Very good, and good for you if you consider blueberries are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. (Can't really say the same about the streusel topping, though!)

Why is this dessert called a Buckle? Buckle is a New England dessert developed by colonists which combines fresh seasonal fruit, a rich cake batter, and a streusel topping. The result is a rich, dense cake with a moist crumb which is sometimes compared to coffee cake. While blueberry buckle is a classic version, the dessert can also be made with peaches, nectarines, raspberries, and any mixture of other fresh fruit. So in eating this you are not just taking a bite of a delicious dessert, you are actually taking a big, yummy bite of American history!

1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
3 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)

Heat oven to 350º. Grease and flour 10 inch tube pan. (Or, a 9x13 will work as well). In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In large bowl, beat sugar and 1/4 c. butter until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat well. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Spread 2/3 of batter into greased and floured pan, top with blueberries. Spread remaining batter.

1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly, add nuts. (Looks like I also added some oatmeal for texture, it's up to you.) Sprinkle over cake batter. Bake at 350º for 55 to 65 minutes or until cake is deep golden brown. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cook's note:
This recipe calls for a tube pan to make a ring-shaped cake that you can turn out of the pan. If you'd rather just use a 9x13 baking dish to serve it out of, that works too. I have also found that this comes out just a little short on the batter- there's never quite enough to divide up so I tend to just make all the measurements "heaping" portions-except for the salt- in the measuring cups- does that make sense? Just to make the batter stretch a little farther.
Now I know that every recipe on the internet promises to be the best thing ever- but in this case it's really true. It's probably second only to fresh peach cobbler in my book!