5 Delicious Meals to Make with Eggs

Eggs

Well, it has happened: our hens are laying like crazy!  That means lots of eggy meals for the Groens!

If you haven’t had a farm-fresh egg from a happy semi-free-ranging chicken, you’re missing out. The yolks are creamier and the whites are fluffier than store-bought eggs.  Here’s an Internet round-up of some of my favorite recipes to make with eggs — and they’re not only for brunch!

Roasted Asparagus and Prosciutto

You simply can’t go wrong with Ina Garten’s recipes.  This one is so delicious and easy: fried eggs, asparagus, and prosciutto with a drizzle of Holandaise sauce.  Yes, please!  It makes a delicious light dinner.

Pepperoni Spinach Quiche

This quiche is amazing.  It’s flavorful and savory with a tiny hint of spice.  Plus, you don’t have to make a crust because it uses refrigerated crescent rolls.

Egg Salad on Pitas 

This is a pretty basic and traditional egg salad, but that allows you to put extra toppings like pickles, avocado, or cheese on your sandwich.  I specifically like this egg salad on a pita or on open-faced rye bread (not a big closed-face sandwich fan here!).

Breakfast Ham Cups

I have made this for breakfast/brunch several times and I never get to eat any of them!  Yep, they’re that yummy!  Plus, because they’re a little bite-sized morsel, they’re really popular with kids and made terrific finger food.  Need I say more?

Frittata – Leftover style

I hate leftovers… like really hate them.  But, I have found that I can stir almost any leftover veggies into eggs and make a delicious rustic frittata.  Here’s how:

Saute 2-2.5 cups of veggies lightly.  (Mushrooms, spinach, onion, broccoli and/or shredded brussel sprouts are particularly delicious.)  Meanwhile, beat together 6 eggs, 1/4 cup milk or cream and 1/4 cup cheese of choice.  Pour into well-greased pie plate or oven-safe skillet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

How do you like your eggs?  I’m always looking to expand the repertoire!

Katrina

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What I’m bringing to Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgiving, I’ve been tasked with bringing the appetizers.  This can be dangerous territory for me because I tend to want to make a million complicated miniature versions of foods I love.  Tiny tortes?  Terrific!  Bite-sized burritos? Bring them on!  Quaint quiches?  Quick, grab one!  (Okay… I admit that last one was a stretch).

The problem with making a million tiny appetizers is that it takes forever and being the person who is freaking out over finishing up the appetizers before guests come over is lame.  Trust me.  I’ve been that person.  It’s lame.

So, I’ve allowed myself to make one miniature bite-sized app and one less labor-intensive (but no less delicious) app that can me made a day in advance.

Here are the recipes!

Stuffed mushrooms with words

Ingredients: 

stuffed mushroom ingredients

Process:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the cream cheese for 10 seconds or until it is soft.  Stir together all the ingredients.  Stuff each mushroom with about a tablespoon of filling.  Place stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.  After 12 minutes, switch to the broiler and cook for 2 additional minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

 

Bleu Cheese crumble with words

This recipe comes from Chris’ Aunt Karen.  As you can see from the photo above, I am clearly NOT a food stylist.  Every time I make Bleu Cheese Crumble for a group, the plate is empty before I even get a chance to taste it.

Ingredients

Bleu cheese crumble ingredients

Process

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least an hour (but preferably overnight).  Serve on crackers or slices of baguette.  It is also delicious on a burger or a steak, if you are lucky enough to have leftovers.

I wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!

Katrina

Salted Caramel Apple Crisp

Caramel makes this the ultimate apple crisp!
Caramel makes this the ultimate apple crisp!

Step aside, pumpkins!  Nothing says autumn in the northwest more than apples: apple pie, apple bread, apple cider, apple sauce, apple butter, apple slices … apple everything!

I typically find apple crisps a little misleading. Sure, their name says “crisp,” but they’re usually about the consistency of baby-food.  Plus, like baby food, they’re often unbearably bland.  C’mon, ‘Merica, you can do better!

This weekend, it dawned on me: the Apple Crisp Woes weren’t going to fix themselves.  No! I had to take matters into my own hands.  I had to make a better apple crisp.

It had to taste like fall, so I started with cinnamony, nutmeggy apple pie filling and topped it off with salted caramel.  It had to have a delicious base, so I made a shortbread crust.  After a couple of trials and errors, the newest incarnation received a seal of approval from my colleagues and a few students today. As one of the student taste-testers said, her brow furrowed seriously, “Mr. Groen is a very lucky man.”

Here’s the lucky result!

Ingredients


Crust & Topping: 

1 cup butter (2 sticks) — at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/3 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c. oatmeal

1 tsp. cinnamon

Apple Pie Filling

2 heaping cups sliced apples

Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs cornstarch

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2/3 cup hot water

1 tsp vanilla

Garnish 

3 tbs. prepared caramel sauce

a pinch of kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the apples in a sauce pan. Squeeze the lemon over the apples and stir.  Add the sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and nutmeg.  Stir together until the apples are coated.  Pour in the hot water and vanilla.  Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the water thickens into a syrup.

Meanwhile, in an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt together.  Add it incrementally to the butter/sugar mixture, keeping the mixer on a low speed.

Pour 2/3 of the dough into an 8×8 baking pan and press it down to make a crust.  Spread the apple pie filling over the crust.

Add the oatmeal and cinnamon to the reserved dough.  Mix until the oatmeal is just incorporated.  Don’t worry about getting the clumps out.  Pour the mixture over the apple pie filling.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  When you take it out of the oven, drizzle the apple crisp with caramel sauce and sprinkle the caramel sauce with a pinch of kosher salt.  Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream!


Are you salivating yet?  The creamy, cinnamony goodness will not disappoint!  You can also download a printable version of the recipe here: Salted Caramel Apple Crisp Recipe!

Enjoy!

Copyright Best Coast Living, 2015.  May not be reproduced without express permission of the author.

Washi tape clip art by Teacher Karma.

Easy Tomato Basil Pasta

Tomato Basil Pasta

Pasta is my love language.  I dream in penne, bow ties, orzo, orecchiette, linguine, lasagna… you name it!  However, I have been advised that pasta can’t be my only food group.  Whatever.  Haters gonna hate.

Luckily, the crazy-hot summer we had in the PNW this summer has resulted in the most incredibly sweet tomatoes I have ever tasted.  Our garden has exploded into a cornucopia of deliciousness.

Sweet, amazing tomatoes + pasta? How can you say no!  Answer: you cannot.  One of my favorite and easiest pasta dishes is Tomato Basil Pasta.  Here’s how to make it:

Tomato Basil Pasta – Serves 4 as a light main dish

Ingredients:

2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved

3 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of chopped basil

1/4 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese

2 cups uncooked pasta  (I like penne or bow tie for this recipe)

 

Process:

  1. In a sauce pot, heat water to cook the pasta.  Toss a pinch of salt into the water to season the pasta.  Cook the pasta according to package directions while you’re preparing the tomatoes.

2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet.

3. Add the tomatoes and the basil.  Turn the heat to medium and allow the tomatoes to “melt,” giving up their juices.

Getting Started

4. Salt and pepper the tomatoes as they’re cooking.

5. After the tomatoes have “melted” (it will take about 15 minutes), add the basil and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Melted Tomatoes

6. Drain the pasta, retaining a little bit ( a few tablespoons) of pasta water.

7. Mix the pasta (and retained water) with the tomato mixture.

8. Spoon onto a plate and top with Parmesan.  Delicious!

Tomato Basil Pasta

If you’re wondering what is in the foreground of this picture, I made summer squash chips using this recipe.  They were a yummy side dish!

This recipe is so easy that it’s basically a non-recipe. Plus, it’s light, summery, and delicious!

Copyright Best Coast Living, 2015. May not be reproduced without express permission of the author.

Washi tape clip art by Teacher Karma.

 

How to Freeze Green Beans

How to freeze green beans

On summer days when she had to work, my mom would leave a list of chores for her four kids.  As summer waned, “Pick and Cut the Beans” perpetually appeared on the list.  As the oldest, I was the Bean Picking And Cutting Czar.  I proudly supervised (bossed around) my siblings (peons) as we (they) picked a plethora of green beans and prepared to preserve them.

Now that I’m a big kid, I have my own garden of beans to pick and preserve.  Here’s how I do it:

  1. Pick the beans!  If you don’t have your own garden, green beans are ubiquitous at farmer’s markets this time of year.  Just look for beans that are ripe but not overripe.  They should be medium in size (not too fat), bright in color, and firm.
Harvest
Obviously, I had more than just green beans to harvest this day: summer in a basket!

2. Wash the beans in a colander.

3. Trim the little stems off the top and bottom, and cut the beans into approximately one-inch pieces. I like to use a chef’s knife and cut 3-4 beans at a time. I usually give the beans another quick rinse after I cut them, just in case I missed any contaminates the first time.Cut the beans

4. When you’re almost finished cutting the beans, heat up a large pot of water until it comes to a full rolling boil.  Cook the beans for about 4 minutes.  The water will probably not be boiling after you throw the beans in.  That’s okay.  You’ll know they’re done when you fish one out (with a spoon!) and it’s crisp-tender. It should retain a bit of a “snap.”  If you have a lot of beans, you may need to work in batches so that your pot doesn’t overflow!

Boil Them

5. While you’re waiting for the beans to cook, fill another large pot 2/3 of the way full of ice and cold water.  The hot beans are going to melt the ice, so don’t skimp on it!  After the beans have cooked, drain them quickly and toss the hot beans into the ice bath.

Ice Bath

6. Once the beans are cold, drain them in a colander.

7. Pack the beans into quart-size freezer bags.  I like to get air out of the bag by sealing it almost all the way, sticking a straw into the bag and sucking the rest of the air out.  I look like a total loser doing it, but air is the mortal enemy when it comes to food preservation.

Done!

8. Put them in the freezer, and you’re done!

Bean Picking and Cutting Czars rejoice!  Home preserved vegetables are a bazillion times sweeter and more flavorful than anything you can buy in a store.  When the weather turns, you’ll crack open one of those little packets of green beans and be transported back to summer!

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Washi tape clip art by Teacher Karma.

Copyright 2015 Best Coast Living.  May not be reproduced except by express permission of the author.

California Caprese Salad: My Favorite Summer Lunch

Main image CCS

Is there anything better than veggies picked fresh from the garden?  I don’t think so!  I love grazing in my garden, and I especially love using garden bounty in cooking!

This quick lunch features my favorite garden ingredients: sweet cherry tomatoes, basil, and green onions.  I like to call this caprese salad a “non-recipe,” because it’s so easy that it’s not even really a recipe — more like a list of ingredients.

I put a little best coast twist on a traditional caprese salad by adding avocado, hence the “California” in this salad’s name!  It adds a delicious creaminess that plays well with the fresh mozzarella cheese.

Is your mouth watering yet?  Let’s make it!

Ingredients

For a “Lunch-for-One” sized salad, I use …

Half an avocado

About 8 cherry tomatoes

2 sprigs of basil

Two ounces of mozzarella cheese

One green onion

Chop all the ingredients.  I like to use a small serrated knife (a steak knife works well) for the tomatoes because it tends to prevent all the juicy goodness inside the tomato from squirting out in the cutting process. Leave no tomato juiciness behind! Layer the ingredients on a plate and drizzle with a little basalmic vinegar.  Sprinkle pepper and salt on the top.  That’s it!  Easy-peasy!

This is my absolute favorite summer lunch.  Doubled, the non-recipe will serve four to five as a side salad.

Is it lunchtime yet? I think an avocado calling!

– Katrina