Friday, March 29, 2013

Recipe Swap: Chicken with Mushrooms in Balsamic Cream Sauce

Another Blogger's Choice Recipe Swap and I was lucky enough to receive Katie's blog again. I make a lot of dishes from her blog; in fact, I ended up making two different recipes. The second will post soon but I wanted to talk about this Chicken with Mushrooms in Balsamic Cream Sauce for the swap.


When I chose this recipe I kept thinking I'd made something like it before. A quick search through my archives revealed that I did make something similar way back in 2007. That dish was served over orzo, which would be great here. I decided to do mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli since that's what Katie made, although I did add a few crushed garlic cloves to the potatoes for a mild garlic flavor.

I modified the recipe slightly, coating the chicken in seasoned flour, adding more chicken broth to increase the amount of sauce, swapping half and half for the heavy cream and leaving out the red pepper flakes since Baby Girl balks at spicy food. We all cleaned our plates.

Chicken with Mushrooms in Balsamic Cream Sauce
As seen on So Tasty So Yummy

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, sliced
1 pound baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup half and half

Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Add salt, pepper and flour to a plastic food storage bag. Add chicken and toss to coat the chicken in the seasoned flour.

Add the olive oil and butter to a large sauté pan and heat over medium-high. Brown the chicken on both sides, remove to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and mushrooms; sauté until caramelized, about five minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and vinegar; add the red pepper flakes, if using. Stir in the half and half. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grasshopper Mint Brownie Bars

I love brownies, I love mint and I wanted to make something fun (and green) with Baby Girl for St. Patrick's Day, so I turned to this recipe for Grasshopper Mint Brownie Bars, which I had drooled over when I saw them in my Google Reader. I've been wanting to make something like this for awhile (the cream cheese layer and the frosting on top sounded utterly divine), so I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy it looked.

grasshopper brownies

These are insanely good and insanely rich. Baby Girl and I had a ton of fun making them, especially the green cream cheese layer, and she was a big fan of the finished product. I thought I was going to end up in a sugar coma after eating one bar, but man was it good. Like dream about it the next day good.

In the interest of our waistlines I sent most of the bars to work with SP where I'm told they were a BIG hit. One of his coworkers was rendered speechless and another referred to them as the baking equivalent of crack cocaine. If that isn't a stellar review I don't know what is. I froze about 3 1/2 bars and I'm hoping the cream cheese layer survives the freeze because I can't wait to have another one of these in a few weeks.

Grasshopper Mint Brownie Bars
As Seen on Stick a Fork In It, originally from Pillsbury
Yields: 24 bars

1 family size brownie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
Green food coloring (optional)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter

Prepare the brownies according to the package instructions, then cool completely.

Meanwhile, beat the 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, mint extract and green food coloring, if using. Spread evenly over the cooled brownies.

Place the 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/3 cup butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave again for 10-15 seconds as needed until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Pour evenly over the filling, and gently spread to cover.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars. Store in the refrigerator.
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes

I love sandwiches for easy weeknight meals but I couldn't tell you the last time I had a Sloppy Joe. We didn't eat them growing up so they just aren't on my radar. But I had some ground beef in the freezer, a hankering for guacamole and I'd printed out Tara's recipe for Tex Mex Sloppy Joes awhile back so I decided to give them a try.

tex mex

Since I'm not a beer drinker I cut the amount of beer down to 6oz from a full 12oz bottle, which was a good call because there was plenty of beer flavor with just those 6oz.

This is a messy but yummy sandwich. A lot of my filling spilled out of the bun with my first bite. Baby Girl's sandwich had a lot less filling so she managed to eat hers without too much trouble.

This was a momentous meal for two reasons, the first being Baby Girl finally likes tomatoes and has rediscovered her love of avocados/guacamole. Avocado was one of her first foods, mashed up and fed to her with a spoon, so when she started turning up her nose at it I was sad. I absolutely love avocados and eat them plain with some salt and lemon juice frequently. I offer her new things or things she's previously disliked every time I make it - my rule is she has to try something but if she doesn't like it she doesn't have to eat it. Tomatoes have been something I've offered countless times over the years and she will dutifully take a bite, spit it back out and say "no thank you, mommy." The night I made these sandwiches I was chopping grape tomatoes for the guacamole and offered her a piece. She chewed, swallowed, asked for more and proceeded to eat most of the tomatoes I'd just finished cutting. And then later, when I'd mixed up the guacamole, she asked for a chip so I told her she needed to try the guac as well. She did, asked for more, and later asked for more with dinner. It was a banner night, I'm telling you.

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes
As seen on Smells Like Home

1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
1 chipotle chile en adobo
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of cayenne
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 lbs ground chicken, turkey, or beef
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz beer, such as a light ale or lager
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 warm hamburger buns
Chopped cilantro, diced onion, grated cheddar or Monterey jack

Add the tomato sauce, chipotle chile (or powder), oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika, allspice, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Brown the ground meat in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain off the fat. Warm the canola oil in the pan with the browned meat then add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Pour the tomato mixture into the skillet along with the beer, ketchup and cilantro. Stir until well combined.

Bring to a low simmer over medium heat then reduce the heat to medium-low heat and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Stir in the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on warm buns with guacamole and other add-ons, if desired.
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Friday, March 22, 2013

Potato Pancakes

It isn't often that I see a picture of something and need to make it immediately but sometimes that craving packs a powerful punch. Melissa posted these Potato Pancakes recently and the photo alone made me start salivating. I just happened to have some leftover baked potato in the fridge from the Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potatoes so I whipped these up for lunch.

potato pancake

Holy yum is all I have to say. I used the flesh of maybe one potato to make two pancakes and with a little sour cream and applesauce these truly hit the spot. Melissa's version with grated potato and onion is more like the latkes my grandmother makes but mine were still nice and crispy, just softer inside.

Potato Pancakes
Slightly adapted from I Was Born to Cook, originally from Allrecipes
Makes two pancakes

1 baking potato, cooked and peeled
1/2 small onion, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
vegetable oil for frying
applesauce and sour cream, for serving

Mash the flesh of the potato with the grated onion in a bowl. Mix in the cornstarch, salt and pepper and flour.

Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Divide potato mixture into two patties and add to the pan. Flatten with a spatula to make 1/2 inch thick pancakes. Fry until golden brown, turning once.

Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

We love anything buffalo chicken and it had been awhile since I'd made anything with those flavors when Mary Ellen chose Ashley's recipe for Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potatoes for a recent recipe swap. A baked potato stuffed with creamy, cheesy buffalo chicken? Sold!

buffalo chicken3

This was a meal that almost didn't happen. I had it on the meal plan for a Monday so Sunday morning I went into the freezer looking for chicken breasts only to discover we were out of chicken. Ooops. Monday I went to the grocery store to pick up a rotisserie chicken, got home and realized we were out of Frank's hot sauce. Nothing to do at that point but sub another dinner from later in the week and push these back. Not a big deal, really, but frustrating when I'd been practically salivating over these potatoes all day.

buffalo chicken2

My baking potatoes were more medium-sized but I still managed to fill 4 of them and have leftover filling, so I froze it for another time. I'm glad my potatoes were on the small side - the filling is quite rich and I wasn't able to finish my potato.

To tie the theme together I made a quick salad of celery, shredded carrot, grape tomatoes, romaine and blue cheese crumbles with ranch dressing. It was the perfect accompaniment.

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potatoes
As seen on Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations, originally from Cheesecurd in Paradise

4 baking potatoes
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
6 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the potatoes or heat in the microwave until tender (mine took 25 minutes in 5 minute intervals since I was cooking four). When they are done, allow to cool slightly then cut off the top and gently scoop out the insides, saving the potato flesh for another time, to make a well for the filling.

Mix the shredded chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch dressing, mozzarella cheese and 1 tablespoon blue cheese.

Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and spoon the chicken mixture into the potatoes. Top with the cheddar cheese and the remaining blue cheese crumbles.

Bake for about 20 minutes to melt the cheese.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Land O Lakes® "Kitchen Simplifiers" (CLOSED)

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Wendy. Please check your email to claim your prize.

It's time for a giveaway! Recently I was contacted by Land O Lakes® to sample their Butter with Canola Oil, which is made with only three ingredients: sweet cream, canola oil and salt and is spreadable straight from the fridge (which comes in handy when you're making grilled cheese).


I've used the butter on toast, for grilled cheese and in baking and I really appreciate knowing there are no artificial ingredients.


Land O Lakes® has offered one lucky reader the “Kitchen Simplifiers” Kit. This kit includes multi-purpose spreaders, an over-the-sink cutting board with colander, and multi-tier oven rack. This giveaway will run until Friday, March 22 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced by 11:00am on March 22.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a product sample for Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

As soon as I saw Annie's recipe for Broccoli Pesto Pasta in Google Reader I knew I needed to make it ASAP. Broccoli is one of our favorite veggies and I loved the idea of pureeing it into a sauce rather than leaving it whole. I don't know about you but I get into a rut with veggies and how I prepare them so this was a refreshing twist.

broccoli pasta

Like almost every working parent I love easy weeknight meals and this fits the bill. Prepping the broccoli probably took the most amount of time and even though the ingredient list is short this packs a great flavor punch between the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Baby Girl kept sneaking pieces of the blanched broccoli before I added it to the sauce. Proud mama moment right there.

broccoli pasta1

Like Annie's kids, Baby Girl gobbled up her serving and asked for more. I cut down on the red pepper flakes because I didn't want it to be too spicy and 1/4 teaspoon was plenty for our tastes. SP wasn't sure how he felt about the pureed broccoli sauce so I think next time I might keep a few pieces of broccoli aside to toss in at the end to appease him.

broccoli pasta2

I wanted to give a quick shout-out to the end of daylight savings time. I was able to photograph dinner outside for the first time in months. Cue happy dance.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta
As seen on Annie’s Eats

1 lb. broccoli crowns
1 lb. pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, chop the broccoli crowns into florets. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skins of the broccoli stems, and chop the stems into ½-inch discs. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli to the water to boil briefly just until fork-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to a bowl, leaving the water in the pot. (Use a skimmer or strainer to remove the broccoli if you boiled it.)

Maintain the water at a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1½ cups of the pasta water and then drain the pasta well. Set aside.

Return the pot to the heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pot over medium-high heat, heating until the butter is melted. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and cook 1-2 minutes more. Return the cooked broccoli to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes more to heat through. Season with pepper to taste.

Transfer the broccoli mixture to a food processor or blender. Pulse in short bursts, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is finely chopped. Add in the cream and process until smooth. If needed, add the reserved pasta water a little bit at a time just until the sauce is smooth and creamy. (Don’t overdo it – you don’t want a watery sauce!) Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. In a large bowl (or in the pot), toss the pasta with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Recipe Swap: Easy Fudgey Brownies

I can't decide whether I like the themed recipe swaps or the Blogger's Choice swaps better. As nice as it is to pick whatever I feel like making from my assigned blog, the themed ones usually end up challenging me, which is a big part of the reason I enjoy the swaps.

Take this theme for instance - dessert. You all know I'm not a baker so this is usually a tough theme for me. I had a heck of a time finding something to submit but I was very excited to receive Dawn's recipe for Easy Fudgey Brownies. For some reason I've really been craving brownies lately so this was perfect.


I was excited to see how easy this recipe was to make. Mix ingredients, pour into baking dish, bake, serve. Easy peasy. And they were amazing, very fudgey and dense, with great chocolate flavor that made me wish I had some vanilla ice cream on hand.

My dad and stepmom were visiting when I made these so they both had a taste and my stepmom, a chocoholic, pronounced them perfect. She also gave me a tip about freezing the leftovers, which was great because now I have half the pan in my freezer in individual wrappers so I can take one out to enjoy whenever I want (which I already did...twice).

Easy Fudgey Brownies
As seen on Simple Gourmet Cooking

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/3 cups bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or semi sweet chocolate chips)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dish. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. Set aside.

Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Alternatively, place butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate and butter are melted.

Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto the rack. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into 2-inch squares.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pasta with Sausage, Tomato and Corn

This is one of those dinners I threw together after realizing half the ingredients I was planning to use had gone bad. My original plan was to make Mary Ellen's Pasta with Chorizo, but the chorizo had reached a birthday and the red pepper was moldy. Luckily I had some grape tomatoes and Italian sausage in the freezer so I decided to wing it.

pasta with sausage

I seasoned the dish with some creole seasoning to try to mimic the flavors in the chorizo and thought I'd toss in some frozen corn. This ended up being a little too spicy for Baby Girl but SP and I really enjoyed it.

Pasta with Sausage, Tomato and Corn
A Taste of Home Cooking Original

8 ounces short cut pasta
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Creole seasoning, to taste
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving one cup of pasta cooking water once done. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook for about three minutes, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until it's starting to brown.

Add the scallions to the skillet, and cook for three minutes, until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, mushrooms and creole seasoning to taste. Cook another 3 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and the sausage is cooked through.

Add the tomatoes to the skillet, and cook until starting to soften, about another 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and heat for a minute. Stir in the pasta and the cheese, adding some of the reserved pasta cooking water if needed. Season with salt and pepper, if needed, then toss to combine.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta

SP had a work event recently, which meant he wouldn't be home for dinner. When I'm on my own I like to make things he doesn't like so I can enjoy them without feeling guilty that he's only tolerating his dinner. This Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta was right up my alley - creamy goat cheese, roasted red peppers and artichokes combine to make a luscious sauce for fettuccine.

roasted red pepper pasta

This did not disappoint and as an added bonus it was ready in mere minutes. The pasta water hadn't even come to a boil and the sauce was already done. I love easy weeknight meals like this - too bad SP wouldn't have been a fan. Baby Girl, on the other hand, yummed it up. Score one for the ladies in the house.

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta
Marcus Samuelsson

1/2 lb pasta (I used fettuccine)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 cup half and half
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
3 roasted red bell peppers , coarsely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 handful basil
8 oz artichoke hearts, cut into quarters

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve.

Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.

Add the half and half, goat cheese, Parmesan and roasted red peppers and simmer until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and add the basil. Puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Add in the chopped artichoke hearts.

Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve immediately.

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Friday, March 08, 2013

Cajun Ranch Chicken Sandwiches

I love a good chicken sandwich and I've had this recipe for Cassie's Cajun Ranch Chicken Sandwiches printed out for awhile. When cleaning out the pantry recently I found some Tony Chachere's seasoning that my friend Amy sent me awhile back, so I finally put these sandwiches on the menu.


These had a great kick from the creole seasoning and you can't go wrong with bacon, cheddar and Ranch dressing. Simple and delicious.

Cajun Ranch Chicken Sandwiches
As seen on Cassie Craves

4 strips of bacon, halved
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved and pounded thin
Cajun or creole seasoning
4 slices cheddar cheese
Ranch dressing
4 sandwich buns, split and toasted
Lettuce and tomato, for serving

Add the bacon to a large skillet and cook over medium heat to desired crispness. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Season chicken generously with Cajun seasoning. In the same skillet you used for the bacon, cook the chicken until browned and cooked through.

To serve, place chicken on the bottom half of a bun and top with a slice of cheese, two pieces of bacon, and a drizzle of ranch dressing. Top with lettuce and tomato and serve.
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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Mexican Eggs With Chorizo and Beans

I rarely make breakfast for dinner because we take leftovers for lunch and eggs don't reheat well. But when I saw this recipe for Mexican Eggs With Chorizo and Beans I wanted to try it, so I planned it for the night before SP had a working lunch.

mexican eggs2

This was a good dish that could be better with some tweaking. The texture of my eggs wasn't as creamy as the magazine's photo, which made me think there were too many chips in my eggs. I decreased the amount in the recipe below. SP couldn't find dried chorizo in our supermarket so I subbed regular chorizo. Unfortunately it got lost in the eggs, so I upped the amount to 2 links below. I also had to leave out the cilantro because I forgot to ask SP to buy a new bunch and the stuff in the fridge had gone bad.

I really did enjoy this dish, especially with the creamy avocado and sour cream mixed with the eggs. I added some diced tomato for color and freshness and it was great.

Mexican Eggs With Chorizo and Beans
Slightly modified from Food Network Magazine

2 links chorizo, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
1 14-ounce can no-salt-added pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 scallions, sliced
6 large eggs plus 2 egg whites
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup crushed baked tortilla chips
3/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1 small tomato, diced

Cook the chorizo in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it just begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and half of the scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 4 minutes.

Whisk the whole eggs and egg whites with 1/4 cup water and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl; add to the skillet and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until just beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Add the chips, cheese, half of the cilantro, and the remaining scallions and continue cooking, stirring, until the eggs are just set, about 3 more minutes.

Divide the eggs among plates and top with the avocado, sour cream, tomato, and remaining cilantro.
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Monday, March 04, 2013

Pizza Friday: Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula

In the winter we usually have homemade pizza on Fridays. I buy the dough from a local Italian bakery and Baby Girl helps me roll it out and add the toppings. We usually stick with simple toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage or black olives (or some combination). It's a lot of fun to involve Baby Girl in the process - she always wants to sample everything and her favorite part is pressing down the dough to get out the air bubbles.


I had some fig jam leftover from the Baguette with Prosciutto, Gorgonzola and Fig Jam I made for New Year's Eve and no idea how to use it. Then I stumbled upon this recipe for Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula that combined a lot of my favorite ingredients into one pizza.


Baby Girl loved the fig jam straight from the jar but wasn't a fan of the finished pizza. I was also unsure of how I felt about it, although SP loved it. The fig jam is super sweet, the prosciutto is gamey and the arugula tended to fall off as I was eating it. I think this would be good for a party where you're eating smaller pieces - a little goes a long way.

Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula
Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman)

1 ball pizza dough
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
6 to 8 tablespoons fig spread or jam
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 bunch washed and rinsed arugula
1 cup shaved Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, with a pizza stone on the oven rack in the lowest position.

Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread the fig spread over the surface of the dough. Lay the slices of mozzarella on top of the jam. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake the pizza until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately drape the prosciutto slices over the hot pizza. Sprinkle generously with the arugula and Parmesan shavings. Cut into wedges or squares and serve immediately.
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Friday, March 01, 2013

Recipe Swap: Gouda Bacon Cheeseburgers

I was given Nichole's blog, The Cookaholic Wife, for the latest round of the Blogger's Choice recipe swap. I star many of her posts in Google Reader so I knew I'd have a tough time picking something to make. I couldn't decide between these cannoli cupcakes, or the bacon jalapeno popper grilled cheese, or the tomato stack salad with corn and avocado (which I'll be making as soon as tomatoes are in season). I knew I needed to go back to my usual method for these swaps - picking an ingredient like ground beef and seeing what's on the blog.

Despite Nichole's claim to not make a lot of burgers I found a few that sounded incredible and ultimately let SP choose. He picked the Gouda Bacon Cheeseburgers.

gouda burger

I cooked the onions in the morning since they take the longest amount of time. The original recipe called for 3 tablespoons of steak sauce but I only used one - my onions cooked way down and more than 1 tablespoon seemed like too much and I didn't want the flavor to be overpowering.

bacon gouda burger

This is one huge, messy, delicious burger. This was my first time buying smoked Gouda and I loved the flavor. Baby Girl and I split a piece before topping the burgers. I could really taste the smokiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the onions.

Gouda Bacon Cheeseburgers
As seen on The Cookaholic Wife, adapted from Cassie Craves, inspired by Rachael Ray

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon steak sauce
4 slices bacon, cooked
4 slices smoked gouda cheese
4 hamburger buns, toasted
Lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, for serving

Combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and form into 4 patties. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and brown sugar and cook until lightly caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Once the onions have caramelized, stir in the steak sauce until coated. Remove from the heat.

Preheat a grill or grill pan and, once hot, place the burgers on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on their thickness. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger and allow to melt.

Spread mayonnaise on both sides of each toasted roll. Place the burger on the bottom of the roll, top with lettuce and tomato, a slice of bacon cut in half and a generous topping of the smothered onions.

Click on the links below to see other recipes from the swap.

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