We are spending the weekend in NJ, and there won’t be a fridge, so I made a couple things in preparation, just in case Marcy gets hungry and/or won’t eat what we have at our meals. Basically, I wanted something that didn’t need refrigeration (at least for the weekend) and that had some kind of substantial nutrition. First, were zucchini muffins, which I think were more for me in the case that I get hungry, too. 🙂 And then my friend sent me the recipes she uses to make homemade Lara bars for her child. I chose the pineapple (sunshine) version.
The muffins have the perfect sweetness, and could maybe even use a bit more, but it doesn’t matter, because they have the most excellent crumb (I think, because I added some whole wheat flour).
(makes 12 large muffins)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ginger
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 apple peeled, cored and grated
Stir first 8 ingredients into large bowl. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just combined. Stir in zucchini and apples. Spoon into well greased muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
- 1 c. (160g) dried, unsweetened pineapple
- 1/3 c. warm water
- 1 c. (120g) cashews
- 1/4 c. (20g) unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- dash salt
Soak the dried fruit in warm water for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, gather remaining ingredients and pour into a food processor. Drain the fruit and add to the food processor. Process for 30 – 60 seconds or until the mixture sticks together when pinched with your fingers. Pour into a loaf pan and press firmly into bars with a spatula. Chill for 10 minutes and then cut into 6 bars. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.
I came across this WholeFoods recipe on theKitchn and made it for a bunch of guys from our church group who came over for breakfast one morning. I wasn’t sure if it would taste all that great, since I’ve never used a recipe from WholeFoods, but how can you ever go wrong with gruyere? This was super easy, I was able to prepare the entire casserole the night before and just had to wake up and pop it in the oven of the morning of. Served this with some more morning glory muffins and fruit.
- 4 English muffins, split
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/4 onion, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Arrange English muffin halves in the bottom of a greased 9- x 13-inch baking dish, cutting them to fit, if necessary; set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and liquid is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon tomato mixture over the top of the English muffins, distributing it evenly; set aside to let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over tomato mixture, then sprinkle with basil. Cover and chill overnight.
Set dish aside at room temperature for 1 hour and preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle casserole with cheese and bake, uncovered, until puffed, cooked through and cheese is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately.
We’ve begun experimenting with coconut oil recently. So far, we’ve discovered that it’s delicious on toast. I’ve also since learned that it’s the magic ingredient in Magic Shell chocolate. However, the most amazing thing about coconut oil is that it prevents anything from sticking to the pan.
For the last few months, Noah has been trying to find a fool-proof way to make crispy, over-easy eggs that come off the pan easily. He even bought an infra-red thermometer to try to determine at what exact temperature the eggs should be cooked. All attempts with the thermometer have been fruitless. Randomly, one day we just happened to use coconut oil instead, and the eggs just slid right off the pan. Last week I was even able to make an over-easy egg pancake and the entire thing came off the pan intact.
The other day I attempted to make an egg salad sandwich for lunch. Problem was that I didn’t boil my eggs quite long enough (7 mins). It took me forever to peel because they were just slightly too soft, and then once cut, the yolks just ran all over the place. I blame my husband since he previously laughed at me for boiling eggs for waaay too long (2o mins, but for some reason I just can never remember how long you’re supposed to boil for).
Well, I improvised and was still determined to make my salad. Rather than use mayo, I just used the runny yolks as dressing, added some cayenne, salt and pepper, and then topped with some green onions. Oh, and I drizzled some mustard on a piece of toast before combining it with the eggs. I have to say the runny eggs made for an excellent egg salad. It was extremely delectable as the runny yolks seeped through the nooks and crannies of my toasted bread and oozed onto my hands and plate. Definitely something to eat at home with people you’re comfortable with, or, in my case, all alone with no one to laugh at you.
Last (as in not yesterday) weekend, we went camping. If you live in New York City, love camping, but don’t have a car may I recommend Malouf’s Mountain, located near Beacon, NY. We were able to bring our rolling cooler on the Metro-North train, then drop it off in the Malouf’s Mountain shuttle, who then dropped the cooler (along with our other bags) directly at our campsite for us — all while we were hiking in to the campsite ourselves with absolutely no luggage to carry!
Thanks to this very convenient system, we were able to easily bring our own supplies and cook meals at our campsite. If you don’t want to bring your own food, you can even purchase food from the campground, itself (so easy!).
How and What We Cooked:
Saturday Lunch – BLT & OC Sandwiches (O=onion, C=cheese)
Saturday Dinner – Acorn Squash, Steak, Baked Potatoes
It started getting too dark, so there aren’t pictures of everything. 😦 But, it was a really great camping meal!
Acorn squash was Noah’s idea, and what a great idea it was! Because we cooked it directly in the fire, you had to avoid the charred outside, but inside was yum! We seasoned the squash with some of John’s maple syrup (excellent!) and some of our salt-pepper butter (we basically put butter, salt and pepper in a jar and melted it over the fire), also very good.
The steak was also great, we very rarely cook or eat red meat, and I’ve come to really like just eating it plain, as long as you get good quality meat, it’s delicious.
Dessert – a John & Melissa Surprise!
I liked this dessert so much, it deserves its own section!
John & Melissa brought this down from their campsite above us and threw it on the fire. I had no idea what was inside, but it was a great idea and I was pleasantly surprised.
Sunday Morning Breakfast – Bacon & Eggs
This breakfast was mostly just to use up what we had leftover. We had brought eggs to make steak and eggs the night before, but forgot about the eggs. And, we still had bacon from our lunch.
The bacon was yummy (as usual). And then the only pan we really had was the skillet, which now had a pretty thick layer of bacon grease. So… Noah created deep-fried eggs. It actually wasn’t so bad, the guys seemed to like it a lot. I ate it, because it was there. But, I don’t think I’d really ever want to make it again. We also threw in random vegetables people had leftover (onions, tomatoes, bell peppers) for deep-frying. We did balance the fattiness of this breakfast with some of our friends’ oatmeal (also from TJ’s).
P.S. sorry for the blurriness of that last pic!
At the time of this writing, I am in the midst of making my first Dutch Baby, a really fluffy pancake with more eggs and less flour, that bakes and rises, or soufflés (literally French for to breathe or blow) in the oven. I found my recipe from Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life, which I read from cover to cover pretty quickly. As of right now, the batter is ready, the pan is buttered and I’m just waiting for my husband and our friend visiting from Seattle to wake up so I can put it in the oven and we can enjoy yummy, fresh-out-of-the-oven goodness.
Not sure where the name comes from (is it really Dutch?), but a typical “Baby” is baked in a cast-iron skillet (which we have, but it’s dirty from last weekend’s camping trip). Today I am using a glass pie pan instead, but you can also use a metal or Pyrex cake or pie pan. And again, I’m using our white whole wheat flour, and I substituted whole milk for half-and-half. Also, I decided to experiment and add blueberries and pecans to one half of the Baby. Hopefully, it’ll turn out well!
2 T unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c milk
1/4 t salt
For the topping:
freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put the butter in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet and place over low heat. Alternatively, put the butter in a similarly sized cake pan or pie plate and place it in the preheated oven for a few minutes. As the butter melts, use a pastry brush to coax it up the sides of the skillet or pan.
2. Meanwhile in a blender or food processor, mix together the eggs, flour and half-and-half, and salt until well blended.
3. Pour the egg mixture into the warmed skillet. Slide into the oven, and bake for 18-25 minutes. The mixture will rise and puff around the edges, like a bowl-shaped soufflé. The Dutch baby is ready when the center looks set and edges are nicely risen and golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven. Drizzle — or splash, really; abundance is good here — with lemon juice and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar (I’m thinking of using granulated sugar for texture. Lemon and sugar crepes are my fave). Serve immediately.
Update: Looking good! The blueberry side of the pan didn’t quite puff up, but it was still cooked and tasted great. Next time I would add some vanilla and perhaps some cinnamon to the batter for a little more umph to the dish, but it was still great regardless.
We also had quite a nice breakfast spread. Kelvin came with concord grapes, Fuji apple cider and Irish bacon (grilled in the cast iron pan). A filling, but not too heavy meal. Best breakfast I’ve had in awhile, maybe even ever?