Monday, March 2, 2015

Meatless Monday Breakfast for Dinner

Today is Meatless Monday, the day each week that I try to feed my family of carnivores something other than beef, pork, chicken or fish.  Every Monday they roll their eyes at my offering, eat it grudgingly and then sheepishly admit that it was better than they expected.  I've gotta say....this can hurt a girl's feelings when all she is trying to do is include a little bit healthier fare into their lives.

But tonight it was different.  Tonight there were no sighs...there were no eye rolls.  There was an "Oh, this kind of reminds me of a dish from home" from Ting and a "very good, dear" from Frank.  It made my heart sing.  Perhaps I should do breakfast for dinner more often on Meatless Mondays.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are aware that we raise laying hens (and other animals as well).   It is coooooold here so our layers are not laying as well as they do when the weather is nice but they are still giving me 2 or 3 eggs each day so we are not lacking.  Normally, we have more eggs than we know what to do with so my sister in love, Mary, sent me this cookbook that she found in California.

My meal for today was taken from this book.  I have made many frittatas and they always turn out well but I had all the ingredients on hand for this recipe and so decided to give it a go, with adaptations, of course.

The recipe called for fresh basil and Mozzarella.  I used Gourmet Garden Basil and packaged, shredded Mozzarella.  The recipe also called for 10 eggs but I only had 8 although one was a double yoker so I guess I had 8 1/2.   I also sprinkled the top with Parmesan cheese before baking.  It was delcious.  Light and fluffy and chock full of goodies.

Combine the tomatoes, Mozzarella and basil in a bowl.
Season with salt and pepper, set aside.

Whisk together the eggs and cream with a little salt and pepper.

Start it off on the stovetop over med low heat.
When the edges start to set, place it in the oven to finish cooking,

I had a beer bread mix in my pantry that I had bought at a fundraiser from Tastefully Simple.
I threw that together earlier in the day.
The mix, some beer and some melted butter.
I don't normally use boxed bread mixes but this was delicious.

While the Frittata baked,  I grabbed what fruit I had and made a quick salad.

Dinner is served.

Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Frittata
adapted from Eggs by Jodi Liano

1 bunch fresh basil, chopped or 1 T. Gourmet Garden Basil.
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
8 eggs
1 T. heavy cream
1 T. extra virgin olive oil

Mix together basil, cheese and tomatoes in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the eggs and cream, season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over med low heat in an oven safe 10" round skillet.  Add the egg mixture and stir gently, without scrambling, until eggs begin to set.  Add the tomatoe mixture and gently combine with the eggs.  Let cook over med low heat until the edges begin to set.  Place in a preheated 350* oven and bake until the eggs are set and firm in the middle, about 5 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve.  Print Recipe

A Couple of Recipes from our After Dive Party

Yesterday we hosted our After Dive Party from our trip to Statia.    I had shared my menu for the party with you here.  As with all menus there were some changes.

The fish was lovely.
Not only was the presentation colorful but the fish was tender and delicate.
One of my guests gave me a huge compliment by saying it was better than any of the fish dishes we enjoyed while on the Island and we had some GREAT fish dishes while there.

I couldn't find Grouper so I used MahiMahi.  I was feeding 20 ppl so instead of wrapping the ingredients in foil, I put them all in a covered roaster.  It was delicious!  The recipe was taken from the Statia Cookbook that I purchased when we were there.  I am giving you the version for 4 servings but don't hesitate to make it for a crowd.....easy peasy.

Image result for statia cookbook

MahiMahi with Peppers and Onions
adapted from Grouper in Papillote from The Statia Cookbook.

4 Mahi Mahi Fillets
1 red or yellow pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 c. olive oil
salt, pepper and thyme to taste

Place MahiMahi fillets on a large piece of aluminum foil (or in a baking pan).  Sprinkle with salt pepper and thyme.  Scatter the peppers and onions on top of the fish.  Pour the olive oil and white wine over all and seal the foil or cover the baking pan with foil.  Bake in a hot oven (450*) or place foil packets over a hot grill for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Print Recipe

Image result for Kitchen Fare International Menus Cookbook

The second recipe I would like to share with you is one I often serve at parties when I want to impart an "Island" feel.  I found this Pineapple Chicken recipe in a cookbook called International Menus.  I always serve it with Rice Mingle Salad which is from the same cookbook.  This chicken is a great meal to serve to a crowd.  It can be made ahead of time and reheated or served at room temperature.

I handed Frank the platter to place on the buffet table and asked him to please take a photo as well.
I guess he was distracted and didn't think to remove the tongs LOL.
I tripled this recipe and made 30 pieces of chicken.
I have printed it here as presented in the cookbook.
I used panko bread crumbs and I omitted the MSG that was included in the original recipe.

Pineapple Chicken
adapted from Kitchen Fare, International Menus Cookbook

2 chickens, cut into serving pieces
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 (6 oz) can frozen pineapple juice, thawed
1 1/3 c. panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. melted butter
1 1/3 c. flaked coconut

Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces.  Combine undiluted, thawed pineapple juice and egg in a shallow bowl or pie tin.  Combine bread crumbs, salt and pepper, butter and coconut in a plastic, sealable bag. Coat chicken pieces in pineapple mixture and then shake in coconut mixture.  Place on 2 shallow baking sheets that have been lined with aluminum foil.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 40 minutes. Reverse baking sheets positions in the oven and bake an additional 40 minutes.  Print Recipe

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Clams with Black Beans for #SundaySupper

Hello and Happy Sunday.  I love Sundays.  Sundays in our house are normally family days.  Quiet, relaxed and comfortable.  I have joined up today with Sunday Supper Movement.  A movement that is working to bring back the idea of slow cooking, family gathered around the table and memories made.  Won't you join us!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

This week we are having a Beantastic experience.  We are celebrating all types of beans with delicious recipes.  You will find all of our groups recipes at the bottom of this post.  Please stop by and take a look at all the wonderful creations that they worked so hard to make for you.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that we took in a Chinese exchange student about 8 years ago and made her our own.  She has become our daughter and has now blessed us with our first grandchild, a beautiful little miss named Melody Elizabeth.

So, we cook Chinese food around here every once in a while because besides her family, Ting also really misses the food from home.  I bought a cookbook a while back by Eileen Yin-Fe Lo called My Grandmother's Chinese Kitchen.

Image result for my grandmother's chinese kitchen

When we celebrated Chinese New Year last weekend I found a great recipe for Clams with Black Beans (See Jop Chau Hin) that I thought would be great not only for our family gathering but for today's post.

Clams with Black Beans (See Jop Chau Hin)
very slightly adapted from My Grandmother's Chinese Kitchen

2 T. oyster sauce
1 t. soy sauce
1 t. sesame oil
1 T. Chinese cooking wine
3/4 t. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
pepper to taste
5 oz. vegetable stock

30 Cherrystone Clams
3 T. peanut oil
1 T.ginger paste
1 T. minced garlic
2 T.  Black Bean Garlic Sauce  

Mix all ingredients for sauce and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add clams, bring back to  boil and cook, stirring occasionally. As the clams begin to open remove them to a bowl and set aside.

Heat wok ove high heat.  Add oil, ginger, garlic and Black Beans, stir and mix until fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes.  Add clams, stir and mix for a couple of minutes.  Pour in sauce. Stir continually until sauce thickens and clams are coated.  Print Recipe

And here is what the others brought to the table for Sunday Supper.

Beantastic Beginners:

Bean-a-rific Soups and Stews:
Bean-a-licious Sides:
Incredi-bean Main Meals:
Amaze-beans Sweet Endings:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Prepping for the Party and the Weekly Menu

Today will be spent running around and getting everything we need for tomorrow's big splash.....get it??....Dive Party? Splash?   Oh, never mind.......

First we have to go move a refrigerator.  Our rectory had a pipe burst and the kitchen was destroyed so the priests need to use one of the refrigerators from the food pantry until their kitchen is repaired and new appliances are purchased.  When we get home I will start prepping the food for tomorrow and Frank will make dinner for us....his specialty....Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

The rest of the week is pretty quiet, just normal every day stuff except for Tuesday we are going out for dinner with Frank's family and on Friday my second eldest brother is going in for Triple Bypass Surgery....Prayers are welcome and requested.  I am not sure if I will be at the hospital, taking care of his grandkids or standing vigil at home.  His daughter is going to let me know where I am needed.  I am sure that everything is going to go without a hitch so we have made plans to get together with friends for dinner with the understanding that it is subject to change.

So here is my Weekly Menu.  Stop by each day for photos and recipes and make sure you join us at MPM for great menu ideas.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Sunday-Dive Party
See Menu here-Statia Cookbook, International Menu Cookbook
See some recipes here

Meatless Monday
Cherry Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Frittata-Eggs

Out for Dinner with Family

Oven Braised Short Ribs with Fennel-Things Cooks Love
Egg Noodles

City Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Glazed Carrots

Out with Friends

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Breakfast of Champions

I awoke at my usual time this morning, about 6:30 am, and Frank brought me a cup of coffee.  I caught up on my Words with Friends and Trivia Crack, yes....I am an addict...and then sent Jackie a text asking if she can drive to Zumba today as one of our cars is down.  I got up to refill my coffee cup and as I walked into the kitchen I heard...."pssst, over here".  I looked around, saw laundry folded on the kitchen table waiting to be put away and thought....okay, I will get to you after this next cup of coffee.

I proceeded to pour my coffee, into my cup adorned with my Little there is a great way to start each morning....and I heard again, "Hey, we are over here".  I took a second look around and saw the basket of unfolded clothes next to the folded clothes. Using a very stern voice in my mind....I told them they could wait!!!  Then I heard it again behind me....I turned around and there they were. The cookies I made yesterday to drop off for this week's fish fry.

Now, this was more like it!!!  They didn't need to wait until I was done with my coffee. They could join me with my coffee!  "Yes, yes"...I told that little voice in my mind that kept telling me I ate too many cookies last night.  "I know" I told it as it reminded me that I was going to Zumba in a couple hours.  "Quiet" I said as they told me I didn't even have breakfast yet.  They just would not shut I ate them!  That took care of that!

Seriously these cookies are hard to resist.  They are more like fudge with little pieces of M&M's scattered throughout.  I found the recipe on the back of a bag on miniature M&M's that I had gotten for free with a coupon.

Chocolate Mini M&M Cookies
adapted from back of bag

2 sticks butter, softened
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2  c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 3/4 c. miniature M&M's

Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix together dry ingredients into a small bowl.  Gradually add to the butter mixture at low speed.  Stir in M&M's.  Refrigerate the dough for an hour or overnight.  Bake on parchment lined baking sheets at 350* for 7-8 minutes.  Cookies will be chewy and fudgelike.  You can bake longer for crispy cookies.  Print Recipe

Have a great day everyone....I am going to work off those cookies I couldn't resist!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

10 Reasons why you should enjoy a Lychee Nut Martini

This is the last recipe post from our Chinese New Year Celebration.  Frank made us some delicious Lychee Martinis to go along with our dinner.  Tingting was happy because she loves Lychees.  I had never even heard of them until we found this recipe.  I bought them canned but you can also get them fresh.  I think I will look for them the next time I am at the international market.

According to Wikipedia there are 10 good reasons why you should eat Lychees.

Image result for lychee nut quotes

According to me these are 10 good reasons why we should drink Lychee Martinis, not to mention they are delicious!!

Lychee Martini
adapted from

1 1/2 shots vodka
1 shot peach schnaaps
1 shot cranberry juice
1 shot of lychee juice (from canned lychees)
1 lychee for garnish

Fill martini shaker with ice.  Add all liquids and shake well.  Strain into a martini glass and add a lychee for garnish.  Print Recipe