Tag Archives: breakfast

Eggs Florentine

9 Jan Eggs Florentine, poached egg

To conclude my weekend of cooking last November (I also made a yummy salad for lunch and Chicken Tarragon for dinner that weekend), I woke up Sunday morning and made a semi-fancy breakfast of Eggs Florentine. This is another recipe from my favorite kitchen goddess, Giada de Laurentiis and her book “Weeknights With Giada”. However, her recipe is under Breakfast for Dinner. While I do occasionally enjoy my french toast at 7pm, I mostly like it for breakfast or brunch.

I love Eggs Florentine (and various versions) when I go out for breakfasts because a) it’s delicious and b) it seems too fancy to make at home. Well I finally bit the bullet and made it myself. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, especially since I had never poached an egg before. Giada topped hers with baked prosciutto, alas, I did not have any sitting around. I also used grated mozzarella instead of grated romano. And finally I had no onions hanging around my kitchen (you can hit me later dad), but I’m still including that part of the recipe. It turned out to be pretty delicious, although a lot of work for the morning, lol. I think this is a morning person’s dish.

*Side note: I tried doing it again, however my water wasn’t hot enough when I put the egg in and when I tried to remove it, it had stuck to the bottom and I ended up breaking the yolk. You can see a picture below the nice one at the end.*

Eggs Florentine Ingredients L-R: Olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, egg, english muffin, grated mozzarella, nutmeg, spinach, lemon juice

Eggs Florentine Ingredients L-R: Olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, egg, english muffin, grated mozzarella, nutmeg, spinach, lemon juice

EGGS FLORENTINE (serves 1)

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 of Small Onion (can do without)
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Cup Baby Spinach
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream (I used milk)
  • 2 Tbsp Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or Romano)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 English Muffin (or just a half if you wish)

First prep your onion and chop finely and set aside. Then mince your garlic clove and set aside. I highly recommend doing mise en place for the rest of your ingredients so they’re ready to throw in the pan as this is a fast-moving recipe.

Fill a small pot with about 3 inches of water. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and the lemon juice. Over medium heat bring the water to a simmer. While waiting for the water to simmer, crack your egg into a small bowl, taking great care not to break the yolk. The best way to crack an egg is on a flat surface to get an even crack. Once the water is simmering (and you must be patient for it to simmer), carefully slide the egg into the water. As long as it doesn’t sink down to the bottom your water is hot enough. Using a wooden spoon, carefully stir the water around the egg, so as not to disturb the egg.

Poaching an egg

This is right after the egg was slid into the simmering water.

Poaching an egg

You can see the egg just below the surface. The white stuff floating is the cooked egg white that has broken off.

Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes in this manner, stirring only occasionally, until the white has set and the yolk is still soft. On a small plate place a paper towel doubled or tripled folded. Using a slotted spoon remove the egg and place on the paper towel to drain and cover to keep warm.

poached egg

The egg is ready to come out of the water.

In a medium skillet, heat your olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in your chopped onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently, then add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Add in your spinach and a pinch of nutmeg and cook until the spinach has wilted. Add the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until it has thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, salt and pepper. Then cover to keep warm.

Eggs Florentine, spinach and cream

Making the spinach mixture (sans the onions).

*Side Note: Giada has you make the spinach mixture first, however, I found that by the time my egg was done, my spinach mixture had become cool and not as liquidy. (Yes, I made up that last word.)

Eggs Florentine, poached egg

Topping the english muffin with the spinach mixture and then the poached egg.

Toast your English muffin and lightly butter each side and lay out on your plate. Spoon your spinach mixture onto one side of the muffin and set the poached egg on top. If you care, top the egg with crispy prosciutto or bacon. Enjoy with a lovely cup of coffee (I prefer Peet’s) or a glass of orange juice and savor the morning.

Eggs Florentine, poached egg

A beautiful poached egg ready for eating.

Broken poached egg

My second attempt at poaching an egg didn’t turn out quite as well.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

10 Nov

I did a poll on Facebook the other day to see which post had more interest, banana muffins or sausage, and the muffins won. But don’t you worry sausage fans, that post will come soon! Bananas are, in my opinion, one of the best fruits out there. They’re not messy, easily transportable, loaded with potassium and you can bake with them even after they go bad! Talk about not wasting your food. My dad sent me two recipes while I was in college for banana bread: “regular” and “healthy”. The big difference? Use whole wheat flour and substitute 1/2 cup of wheat germ for 1/2 cup of flour. Boom-healthy banana bread. At some point after I moved to Los Angeles I started making muffins instead of bread. They’re a great snack (especially late at night!), but I love having one with breakfast, a little extra health kick at the start of my day. You can also put a lot of add-ins to the mix like other fruits and/or nuts, whatever suits you. Whether you decide to make bread or muffins, the recipe is essentially the same. So next time you have too ripe bananas rather than throw them away, turn them into something yummy!

Fresh out of the oven!

BANANA MUFFINS (about 20 muffins or 1 large banana bread)

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour (2 cups if no wheat germ)
  • 1/2 cup Wheat Germ
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Margarine (or Crisco Butter)
  • 1-2 tsp Water (for muffins only)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon (or 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice)
  • 3 Very Ripe Medium Bananas

OPTIONAL ADD-INS

  • Blueberries or Cranberries (dried or fresh), Walnuts, Pecans, Marmalade, Pineapple
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg or Cinnamon (include with dry ingredient mix)

Preheat oven to 350 (375 for bread)

In a small/medium bowl mash the bananas and add in the lemon juice. There should be as few lumps as possible. Set aside. In another medium bowl mix all your dry ingredients together and set aside.

Bananas and Lemon Juice Mixture

If you have a stand mixer I suggest using that, otherwise use a hand mixer (I got a purple Kitchen Aid one at Target) and a large bowl. For my last birthday my parents gave me their old Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer (which I think is older than me, ha!), but for many years I used a hand mixer and it works just as well, plus you get a little bit of a work out, lol. I’ll do a post about mixers soon, as it’s a vital kitchen tool and you have lots of options. So, in your large bowl, cream together your brown sugar and butter. Make sure there are no lumps. Then add your eggs and mix well. Mix on a low speed so it doesn’t splatter, especially if you use a hand mixer. Add your banana mixture next and mix well. Now you’re going to add your dry ingredients and this is where it can get especially messy. If using a stand mixer set it on your very lowest setting and if you have the pouring shield accessory put that on before

Adding the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.

you start this and you shouldn’t have a mess. I unfortunately don’t have one, so I tend to make a small mess, lol. Slowly (very slowly) dump the dry ingredient mix into the mixer. Don’t go too fast, let the dry ingredients mix into the wet ingredients before adding more. If using a hand mixer, add a small amount, about 1/4-1/3 cup and mix in using the lowest setting. Once all the dry ingredients are mixed in you can add any of your mix-ins. For me, I usually add dried blueberries or cranberries (since I usually have them for my morning oatmeal), about a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup, depending on how many berries you want.

Put paper muffin cups into your muffin pan. This recipe makes about 20 muffins, give or take a couple muffins depending on big you like them and how big your bananas were. I use a large soup spoon and scoop the dough mixture into the muffin cups. You should fill them about 2/3 of the way otherwise they will over flow. Place in the oven and cook for about 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven). I always check at 18 minutes with a toothpick. If it comes out clean they’re good to come out. If it has any dough on it, it needs a few more minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack and then put in a gallon size freezer bag and store in your fridge. Heat in microwave for 20 seconds and enjoy!

Pauper’s Breakfast

30 Oct

Breakfast….mmmmm…I get hungry just writing the word! As I’ve said before, I love breakfast, and most mornings I have oatmeal. But on mornings that I work from home, or weekends that I don’t have to go anywhere anytime soon, I love to make eggs. And I’ll make them lots of ways too. Scrambled, over easy, in an omlette, or au plat (thanks to my semester abroad in France). Eggs are another one of those great breakfast foods. Lowers your risk of cancer, good for the eyes, hair and nails, among other health benefits. Check out this article from Women’s Health. Oh, and did you know one egg is less than 100 calories? So my two eggs and a piece of toast with butter comes in at under 300 calories, but with enough protein to last me till lunch and it’s nice to my waistline. Hard not to be happy!

Two eggs au plat and buttered toast

EGGS AU PLAT AND TOAST

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Piece Whole Wheat Bread
  • Butter or Jam

Eggs about halfway done. You can see the edges are white and the area closer to the yolks is still semi-clear.

In a small skillet (I use an 8 inch skillet) spray with cooking spray (I use Pam) and put on medium heat. Or if you want something a little richer (and a few more calories) you can use about 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil or butter. When making an omlette I find that works a little better as there’s less sticking to the pan. But alas, I digress, for over easy/medium/hard (however you like your eggs) or au plat, spraying with Pam is the way to go. Once the pan is warm (I hold my hand over it and when I can feel the heat I know it’s ready, usually about 30 seconds or so), crack one egg and open over pan about an inch or two above, then repeat for the second egg. (If you like 3 eggs then repeat a third time.) I like to put my eggs near each other in the pan so they kind of act like a dam to each other and the ends don’t get too thin. The egg whites should go from clear-ish to white and look soft, and the edges should be slightly browned. I take a spatula and slide under the eggs and move around the pan a little bit, just to make sure they’re evenly cooked*. Then I remove from the pan to a waiting plate.

Once I crack the eggs I put my bread in the toaster. It’s usually done just before my eggs are done. Spread with butter or jam/jelly and it’s a delicious addition to my eggs. I love dipping my toast into my yolks-yummmm! Enjoy with a mug of your favorite coffee (mine is Peet’s) and enjoy your morning.

*If you want to do the eggs over easy/medium/hard, this is the point to carefully flip over each egg. I usually do mine over easy, so they only cook “over” for less than a minute. The harder you want the yolks, leave it longer until the yolks are cooked how you like them.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal

15 Oct

I LOVE breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. It’s also an important part of your day. I know some of you don’t eat breakfast, or you just have coffee or tea, but seriously, you’re doing your body a disservice. A good breakfast can help your body burn more calories during the day and curb cravings. Plus, breakfast foods are so yummy! Who doesn’t love pancakes?

Steel Cut Oats

My go to breakfast, especially on busy mornings, is oatmeal. It’s healthy, gives you great energy, and can be made with lots of different add-ins! Most of the time I eat instant maple & brown sugar with fruit (usually fresh blueberries or dried cranberries). It has just enough sweet for me since oatmeal tends to be bland by itself and the fruit adds that extra goodness. It’s also fast and easy to make. But every now and then I have time to make traditional steel-cut oatmeal, which is even more healthy! Wait, is that correct grammar? I think it is, I’ll assume it is. So how healthy is oatmeal? Well I found a great article from the Nutrition Diva that talks all about the different forms of oatmeal and the benefits.Β  Why re-write what she has already said so eloquently?

While I usually make this on a Saturday or Sunday morning, because it takes some time, many people make it the night before. I use Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats, which I can usually find at Ralph’s, but Whole Foods always has it. I have my mom to thank for teaching me about steel-cut oatmeal. This is her breakfast everyday, although hers is like the ultimate super oatmeal and deserves it’s very own post on another day. As for me, I like to keep it simple: steel-cut oats, fruit and brown sugar.

Steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar and blueberries

STEEL CUT OATMEAL-SIMPLE (4 servings)

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
  • 4 cups water
  • Fresh Blueberries (or other fruit of your choosing) or Dried Fruit of your choosing
  • Brown Sugar (optional)

After about 15 minutes of cooking.

In a large pot that has a cover bring to a boil 4 cups of water. (Red Mill also suggests adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt, it’s optional and won’t change it one way or another.) Add 1 cup of steel oats, reduce the heat to low and cover. Stir occasionally. The package says to cook 10-20 minutes, but I have found that it takes more like 20-25 minutes to get the consistency I like, which is fully cooked through and just mushy enough but not too mushy. (Mushy is another one of those technical terms, like yummy.) You want all the water to be absorbed into the oats so you’re not drinking your oatmeal. Unless you like it that way. When making in the morning I eat one serving fresh and put the rest in Tupperware in the fridge. One serving equals 1/2 cup. I put about a spoonful of brown sugar and a small handful of fresh blueberries (which is about 20-25. Yes, I counted them. On my instant it’s only 15 since it’s a smaller amount of oatmeal. Insert laughter here.) Stir it all up and enjoy! I enjoy it with a hot cup of Peet’s coffee. Mmmm!

FOR THE FRIDGE & RE-HEATING:
Include about 3-4 tablespoons of milk in the container. The milk helps re-hydrate the oats when re-heating. Pull one out in the morning and heat in microwave for 1 minute. Then break up the oatmeal in smaller chunks and heat for another minute. Add your brown sugar and fruit of choice and enjoy!

OTHER ADD-IN OPTIONS:
Strawberries, Bananas, Blackberries, Raisins, Dried Cranberries, Nuts of your choosing, Honey, Cinnamon, Nutmeg

What do you put in your oatmeal? Or do you have any suggestions? Leave a comment below to share with everyone!

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