Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hash Waffles

I know I'm late to the waffle party - I haven't made much other than actual waffles in my waffle iron although I've been wanting to try the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls since Hannah told me they work great.

We're not big potato or hash brown people in general but this recipe has been popular around our house.  Well, after the first time when my husband though it was an actual waffle and poured syrup all over it.  I'll typically make one and split it between the two of us as a side with eggs or omelets.  There's a picture of this with the fritatta in the last post.

Recipe notes . . . I buy the frozen hash browns that don't have extra ingredients - that are basically just the potatoes.  I imagine you could shred your own and it would be the same but I usually take the short cut and keep a bag in my freezer.  Where the recipe says "Other seasonings," I've tried this with diced green chiles and cumin and usually put hot sauce on it after it's cooked.  You could do chopped spinach, other diced veggies, cooked diced bacon etc.

Hash Waffle (makes 1 large waffle)

3/4 cup frozen shredded hash browns (thawed)
1 egg
3 T egg whites (about 2 large)
salt and pepper to taste
any other seasonings

Preheat waffle iron.  Beat eggs and seasonings in a bowl.  Stir in thawed hash browns and mix well.  Spray waffle iron with non-stick spray.  Pour mixture into iron and spread evenly.  Cook until browned and cooked through - or when your waffle iron light comes on (or goes off?)

3sp

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Butternut Squash Fritatta

After a busy April, I'm back on the blog for May!  In case you forgot what we all look like (or want to see how quickly my kids have been changing and growing), here are a few recent photos.



Crazy right?  Some days I look at her and wonder where my little Big went . . . sigh . . .

I've been on a "breakfast-for-dinner" kick since Valentine's Day.  I think it started with my new waffle iron and my discovery of the hash waffle - hash browns in the waffle iron.  These are two of my favorite recent recipes and I think you'll love them for breakfast or for dinner.

Look at this yummy base for the fritatta!

Butternut Squash Frittata (6 slices)
from Emily Bites Blog

1.5 tsp canola oil
2 cups butternut squash (cut into bite sized cubes)
1.5 oz proscuitto or center cut bacon
1 cup fresh spinach
8 eggs
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 oz parmesan cheese (grated or finely shredded)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat an oven safe skillet on the stove top to medium high.  Add the oil and butternut squash and stir to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the proscuitto or bacon and cook, stirring, for another two minutes.  Add the spinach and cook for two more minutes or until the spinach is wilted and everything is nicely browned (like in the photo above).

While the squash is cooking, crack the eggs into a large bowl, then add the yogurt, sage, thyme, and parmesan cheese.  Whisk to combine into a smooth custard.  Season with salt and pepper.

When the squash, proscuitto, and spinach are cooked, spray the pan (get the edges and any part that doesn't have some oil from the proscuitto) with olive oil spray.  Then, pour the egg mixture over, stirring slightly to evenly combine with the squash mixture.  Cook on the stovetop at medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the very outside edge looks cooked.  Carefully transfer to the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the center of the fritatta is set.

Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then slice and serve!

 5sp per slice

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Balsamic Roasted Chicken and Veggies


Okay, super easy and healthy weeknight dinner coming up!  My kids ate this (they picked out the veggies they didn't like and ate the ones they did) and I chopped the vegetables earlier in the day so I could throw it all in the oven after we were done at tennis practice that afternoon.

You can substitute dried herbs for fresh if you want (reduce to 1tsp each) or breasts for thighs but I think both the fresh herbs and thighs make this melt in your mouth!  You can also add different vegetables.  Just make sure that the chicken and vegetables don't touch (don't crowd the pan - use two if you need to) so it roasts instead of steams and that you cut your vegetables into similar sizes so they cook at about the same rate.

Balsamic Roasted Chicken & Veggies (serves 4)
from Skinny Taste blog

1.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs
10 medium asparagus, trimmed and cut in half
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 red onion, cut into chunks
5 oz sliced mushrooms
2 zucchini, cut into long wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 T balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 T chopped fresh sage
1 T chopped fresh thyme or oregano
cooking spray
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and spray rimmed baking sheets with olive oil or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine everything (chicken, veggies, vinegar, olive oil, herbs) and massage with your hands.  Add more salt and pepper if you'd like.  Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
(8sp)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

No more 3 year olds!


One of my favorite ages (so far) has been 1.5 - 3 years old . . . I love hearing their ideas and discoveries and their general enthusiasm for life at this age.  So, this week the baby turned 4 and I will never have a 3 year old again!  While that did make me sad for a little while, we had a weekend away with the girls and I can honestly say they are a lot of fun (even after 3 years old!) and my favorite people to be around!

Here are some photos of Little and a couple of recent stories.  The other day she asked me, "I know that babies come from the belly, but where do grown ups come from?"  I thought I explained it pretty well (that babies grow into kids who grow into big kids who become grown ups) but then at my mom's  house, she still wasn't sure where they come from.  My mom used some of my old photos as a baby and kid to help out.

For the last week or so, she's asked  us to call her "the birthday girl" instead of her name and on her actual birthday, wanted me to tell everyone we met that it was her birthday that day.  We hung out with one of her uncles who she doesn't see often and later said that "seeing her uncle" was the best part of her birthday.  She loves being fancy, taking care of her dolls, and the movie Frozen.  She is an amazing eater and often cleans her plate before her sisters do.  When she grows up, she wants to be "a mermaid, a fairy, a police officer or a hair saloner."  She knows how to spell her name and is often on the lookout (on signs when we drive in the car or in books we read) for the letters in her name.

We love you 4-year-old Mini!


She did not make this snowman but wanted her picture taken with it "like Olaf!"

Look!  It's love!

Future occupation - fairy


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me!

 

My birthday is the day before Valentine's Day and I often make myself a cake.  We had friends over for dinner on Friday night, so I did it early to celebrate with them.  It was a big hit - little kept telling me "you should always make this cake" or  asking "when will you make this cake again?" and ate most of the leftovers herself!  We have meyer lemons on our trees and if you have access to a few fresh lemons, chances are, you also have the rest of these ingredients on hand.  You could even pull this off for Valentine's Day today!  Don't skip the lemon syrup at the end!

How cute is my new spatula?!?

Lemon Bundt Cake
from Martha Stewart

For the cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 c. all purpose flour
2 T finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

For the lemon syrup:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bundt pan with baking spray (or coat with butter and flour).  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes).  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the lemon juice.

With mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and sour cream (beginning and ending with flour mixture) until blended but do not overmix.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Smooth the top with a spatula and tap the pan on the counter to level the batter.

Bake until a tester in the center comes out clean (50-60 minutes).  My cake got pretty brown in the first 30 minutes so I tented the top with aluminum foil for the rest of the time.

Make lemon syrup by combining the lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan.  Whisk it over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Let cool to room temperature.

Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes and then turn out on a rack to cool completely.  Poke holes all over the cooled cake and brush with lemon syrup.  If it won't absorb it all, let it sit for about 20 minutes and continue to brush with the rest of the syrup.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Green bean & Chicken Skillet


I had to apologize to my family for not doing much "real cooking" on weeknights lately.  The combination of working and the kids' afternoon/evening sports has made me rely on grilled cheese, soups that I make on the weekend and reheat, salads, rotisserie chicken, tacos - you get the picture.  I made this recently and it was a hit - easy and quick, healthy, bacon . . . need I say more?  I made some rice pilaf (from a box) to go with it.

I liked the flavor with 1/2 cup of Sauvignon blanc, but if you'd prefer to cook without wine (or to drink it instead of cook with it!), substitute that for more broth.  In a lot of grocery stores, you can buy chicken breast cutlets or you could take 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them lengthwise into cutlets yourself.  


Green bean & Chicken Skillet Dinner (4 servings)

from Skinny Taste blog

4 strips center cut bacon, chopped
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
2 T shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine (or you can do all broth)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
8 oz green beans (I like the french green beans, or haricot vert)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp, stirring often.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  Discard all but a very thin coating of the bacon grease.

Season chicken with salt and pepper (both sides) and saute until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.  I had to do this in two batches.  Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Add the shallots to the empty skillet and saute for 1 minute.  Add a little olive oil if needed.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds more.  Add the broth, wine, thyme and rosemary and scrape up any of the brown bits in the pan.  Increase the heat to medium high and add the green beans.  Bring to a boil and cook until the green beans are tender and the pan sauce has reduced, about 6-8 minutes stirring occasionally.

Transfer chicken and green beans to a serving platter (or plate them individually as entrees) and sprinkle the green beans with salt and pepper.  Pour any chicken juice from the plate back into the pan sauce and stir.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken and green beans and top with bacon.

(3sp/211cal)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins

Another light recipe to help you keep your New Year's resolve.  This is low in sugar, low in calories and filling.  If you use gluten free oats, it's GF and I have been replacing the skim milk with almond milk.   These are a big hit at my house and I made a variation (below) with fresh blueberries when they were on sale last week.  Muffin may be a little misleading - these are more dense (think "filling and nutrient rich") but they are convenient singles to grab for breakfast and eat on the go.  I may have just eaten one for dessert . . .

Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins (makes 1 dozen)
from Emily Bites Blog

2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 c. skim milk (or almond milk)
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of one large orange
2/3 cup halved fresh cranberries

Preheat oven 350.  Lightly spray a muffin tin with cookie spray.

Whisk together the egg white, egg, milk, applesauce, orange juice and zest in a large bowl.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until blended together.  Stir in the cranberries.  Spoon the mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the oatmeal is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  (94 calories/3SP/single)

Lemon Blueberry Variation:  Use 3/4 cup greek yogurt (vanilla or blueberry flavor)  in place of the applesauce and orange juice.  Use lemon zest in place of orange and use 1 cup blueberries (whole, fresh) in place of the cranberries.