because what is life without good food?

Eggs

Egg on a Salad with Sundried Tomato Ranch

Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion, Hosta Flowers & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

Let’s re-define the idea of egg salad, shall we? I mean, who decided that “egg salad” should be a bunch of chopped hardboiled eggs with mayonnaise on bread? Excuse me, but how is that a salad? I don’t mean to knock the traditional egg salad sandwich … there’s a comforting charm in a well-made egg salad sandwich, but I have to tell you, when I think salad, I think greens. To me, a salad really needs greens before it deserves to be called a salad.

Yesterday I redefined the whole concept of “egg salad” in my mind. I put a fried egg on my salad. Really, it’s nothing new, but it’s new to me … it’s been done before … I’ve seen it, but the idea of putting a fried egg on a salad sounded completely crazy to me. A fried egg? on a REAL salad? With greens? Seriously?

Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion, Hosta Flowers & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

It sounded so completely weird to me until I made this sundried tomato ranch dressing. And my friend Melissa said to me: it would be great on eggs. Oh. my. gosh. YES! A fried egg, over easy, with that beautiful bright yellow messy, runny yolk … and toast … and crunchy green salad … oh let’s toss on some avocado too … oh yes! It’s brilliant! I could eat this forever … I made it again today. It’s like the quickest meal ever. And it’s SOooooo goood!

It is the sundried tomato ranch dressing that makes this brilliant. Without it, it’s just eggs oozing all over my greens and yeah not really that exciting at all … but add that dressing and some crunchy toast and I’m happy as a clam.

(Are clams really happy? I sure hope so, cuz otherwise it would make NO sense to say “happy as a clam” … then again, we don’t really know that they are happy, so why do we say that?)

Whatever. This egg salad made me happy. Like giggly from my toes to my nose kinda happy. I will never, ever, think of egg salad the same way again.

Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion, Hosta Flowers & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

I got so excited talking about the salad I forgot to tell you about the flowers! They are hosta flowers … the flowers of hostas, like hosta leaves, are edible. You probably have some growing in your yard. They taste like salad. And they are insanely beautiful, on or off a salad.

  • Mixed spring greens with spinach (or whatever greens you’d like to use …)
  • Green bell pepper, chopped
  • Sweet onion, sliced and chopped
  • Avocado, sliced and/or cut into chunks
  • Organic hosta flowers (or other edible organic flowers … totally optional but they look pretty! make sure yours aren’t sprayed with nasty lawn chemicals before eating, though)
  • Eggs, 1 for each salad
  • Thin slices of french bread or baguette, toasted
  • Sundried tomato ranch salad dressing (recipe here)

Directions:

  1. First mix up the dressing and set it aside.
  2. Make a good bed of greens in your salad bowl and tuck in some onion, avocado, and bell pepper. Add a few flowers if you like, around the edge, leaving a good space in the center for the egg.
  3. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and heat to medium heat. Crack a fresh egg into the pan and season with Red Robin Seasoning (or salt) and freshly ground pepper. Cook it sunny side up or over easy, whatever you prefer.
  4. Toast the bread while the egg is cooking, then spread the ranch dressing on the bread slices.
  5. When the egg is done to your liking, set it gently on top of the salad. Top with the ranch (or serve on the side), and serve with the toast.

Fried Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic ThursdayFit & Fabulous FridayFoodie Friends FridaySummer Salad Sunday and Manic Monday.


Roasted Asparagus, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Omelet

with fresh tomato, dill, garlic scapes and red onion

Asparagus Bacon & Smoked Gouda Omelet with Tomato, Dill, & Garlic Scapes

I needed something hot, hearty and healthy for breakfast this morning … after the big fundraiser last night, I was so exhausted, all I had for “dinner” was snack mix and beer. So I remembered I still had a bit of asparagus in my vegie drawer … what could I make with that?

I scrounged around and found half a tomato, some red onion, smoked gouda cheese, and a bit of bacon. Sounds like great omelet, right? It was perfect: just what I needed. Delicious, comforting, hot, and it gave my body all the things it needed … the only problem was I loaded it so full of good stuff, I had a hard time sliding it out of the pan. (This is a common problem with my omelets … I tend to overload my eggs!) No matter, I thoroughly enjoyed this delectable mess.

Asparagus, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Omelet with Fresh Tomato, Dill & Garlic Scapes

Roasted Asparagus, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Omelet

with Fresh Tomato, Dill & Garlic Scapes

  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • Several spears of fresh asparagus
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • Chopped red onion
  • Chopped tomato
  • Snipped dill
  • Garlic scapes (the green part of the garlic plant), snipped into small bits
  • Shredded smoked gouda cheese + shredded Italian blend of cheeses

Directions:

  1. Prepare your chopped vegetables and shred the cheese.
  2. Set the asparagus on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and set in the toaster oven (or the oven) to roast at 400 for about 5 minutes or until it’s crisp tender.
  3. While the asparagus is cooking, in the same pan you would cook the omelet in,fry the bacon till it’s crisp, then remove the bacon to a clean towel and dab the top to soak up the extra fat. Pour the bacon fat out of the pan (save it for making things like bacon popcorn!) and wipe out the pan with a clean towel so there is just a very thin layer of bacon fat there. Crumble the bacon into bits
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, egg white, and 1 tablespoon of water till fluffy. (Use water to keep the eggs moist without sticking to the pan.) Season with salt and freshly ground pepper (and/or my favorite: Red Robin seasoning). Add the snipped dill and garlic scapes and whisk briefly to combine.
  5. If you do this quickly enough, your skillet or omelet pan will still be hot. Turn the burner to medium-low heat, pour the egg into the pan and rotate it a little to spread the egg out over the bottom of the pan.
  6. Quickly sprinkle the herbed egg with the cheeses, chopped vegetables, and crumbled bacon. By the time I got done adding everything, the egg was cooked and the cheese was melted. Still I covered the omelet and cooked just briefly to make sure everything was cooked through. The omelet should be just lightly browned on the bottom.
  7. With a spatula, carefully fold over one side of the omelet onto the other, then slide it out of the pan onto a serving plate. Hopefully you’ll have better luck with that than I did … those tomatoes you see on top there? They were actually INSIDE the omelet when I started. Oh well! As long as it tastes good, right?
I can only eat about half of one of these omelets at a time … but that makes for a perfect quick meal later. Today this was breakfast AND dinner! Now I’m all ready for yoga and then a glass of wine. Ah what a perfect day!

Asparagus, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Omelet with Fresh Tomato, Dill & Garlic Scapes

This recipe was shared at  Trick or Treat TuesdaysCast Party WednesdaysTastetastic Thursday, Fit & Fabulous FridaysThis Week’s Cravings: Eggs and Fabulous Friday.


Hashbrowns Supreme

Hashbrowns Supreme with Spinach, Prosciutto, Mushroom, Onion, Egg, and Gouda and Sharp Cheddar Cheese

My kids love to go to IHOP … frankly, I would much rather stay home and eat … it’s usually much tastier and it costs so much less, but once in a while I give in and we go. I will spare you my whining about paying $7 for a plate of pancakes that I can make for less than $1 … oh wait, did I say that? This coming from the same woman that will spend $5 on a small pack of raspberries to go with the chocolate stout cake or $8 on a single glass of wine. Yeah, I know it makes no sense, but you know, we all have different priorities …

But really, both of my kids get so excited about going to IHOP when we go that it is a joy to go. Never mind having to fight the SUVs for a decent-sized parking space because their compact parking spaces might possibly be big enough for a motorcycle. But the people there are usually  friendly. And the food is reasonably good. And my kids LOVE the pancakes. They debate over how to order so they can each get pancakes and hashbrowns and sausages in just the right portions. When I order coffee, I get a whole big pot of it, which is good in my book. And the hashbrowns are pretty good. I often just order a side of hashbrowns and  coffee.

But IHOP completely surprised me on our last visit. They had this thing they called “hashbrown stacks” … which was mounds of vegies and cheese and eggs and all kinds of yumminess on a bed of hashbrowns … oh, I had to have one of THOSE!

It wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped, but I don’t fault IHOP for it. They did come up with a pretty dang awesome idea. So of course I had to try it at home …

Hashbrowns Supreme with Spinach, Prosciutto, Mushroom, Onion, Egg, and Gouda and Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Hashbrowns Supreme

  • Hot cooked hashbrowns
  • Spinach, thawed and warmed, with the excess juice squeezed out
  • Mushrooms & red onions, sauteed and seasoned to taste
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Small slices or shredded cheese (I used slices of gouda and sharp cheddar)
  • Tomato, for the top (I thought of this after the fact, but a bit of chopped tomato on top would have been just perfect.)
First, make a flat layer of hashbrowns on your plate.

Hashbrowns Supreme with Spinach, Prosciutto, Mushroom, Onion, Egg, and Gouda and Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Top with spinach, then prosciutto.

Hashbrowns Supreme with Spinach, Prosciutto, Mushroom, Onion, Egg, and Gouda and Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Now add the mushrooms, onions and top with egg.

Hashbrowns Supreme with Spinach, Prosciutto, Mushroom, Onion, Egg, and Gouda and Sharp Cheddar Cheese

And finally top with cheese (and tomato) and put in the microwave for a minute or two to get the cheese all good and melted.

Hashbrowns Supreme with Spinach, Prosciutto, Mushroom, Onion, Egg, and Gouda and Sharp Cheddar Cheese

I think you could do this on a larger scale in a glass casserole dish if you have a crowd to feed. I would love to try that … maybe at the next family get together.

This recipe was shared at Newlyweds Recipe LinkyWednesday EatsThursday’s TreasuresMidweek FiestaFabulous Friday, Gooseberry Patch Comfort Foods and Foodie Friday.


Simple Savory Little Breakfast Cups

Simple Savory Little Breakfast Ramekins

I am not a very good gardener. I try, but the weeds just get away from me … and sometimes my plants bloom, but never bear fruit. I planted some pumpkins one year and the blossoms were so beautiful, but never made a single pumpkin. The flowers would just bloom, then fall off the vine. The same with my tomatoes this year. I have 6 big healthy tomato plants that made lots of blossoms, but produced only three tomatoes.

This is one of them:

My first tomato this year

It was my first tomato. I let it ripen on the vine until it was just perfect, then I wanted to find something really good to make with it.

Then I saw the Wicked Noodle’s 3- minute Breakfast Hash. The name doesn’t sound all that exciting, but her picture was so adorable. I was inspired. I got out my little ramekins, chopped up a bit of my tomato (reserving some for later … oh could I get TWO dishes out of this precious little tomato?), added some onion and cheese and egg and voila! I confess I didn’t use her microwave method–I much prefer to use my toaster oven and let it bake. Baking things has a lovely way of creating a delicious smell throughout the house …

I made two ramekins because I was making this just for myself. One ramekin with toast was breakfast and the other became my lunch. (I have a small stomach! I’m sure a guy could polish off several of these …)

Simple Savory Little Breakfast Cups

Ingredients:

  • Frozen hash browns (or shredded potatoes)
  • Chopped tomato, onion, jalapeno or other vegies as you please
  • Shredded cheese of some kind and/or crumbled goat cheese
  • Crumbles of bacon or sausage if you please (today I added some lovely low-fat, nitrate-free free range chicken-red pepper sausage)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 c. milk
  • Seasoned salt (I like to use Red Robin Seasoning) & fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh herbs if you like

Directions:

  1. Spray 2 little ramekins with cooking spray and cover the bottom of each ramekin with hash browns.
  2. Sprinkle the hash browns with vegies and meat.
  3. Beat the egg with the milk and season with the salt, pepper and herbs.
  4. Pour about half of the egg mixture into each ramekin.
  5. Top with cheese.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the eggs are set. If they spring back when you touch them lightly, they are done.
  7. Top with fresh herbs if you like and enjoy!
Simple Little Breakfast Cups

Asparagus Avec Fromage!

Asparagus smoked turkey omelet

It’s the middle of summer and getting to the end of asparagus season, but I have a precious few spears left that I want to treasure. One of my very favorite ways to eat asparagus is in an omelet. I discovered that asparagus, smoked turkey and cheese blend really well so I love to experiment with adding different herbs and cheeses. This omelet was a little bit of heaven in my day. It’s Asparagus Avec Fromage! (There’s a great story that goes with the “Avec Fromage” slogan, but I will have to tell it some other time when I’m more awake …)

My friends tease me that everything I make has “several cheeses” … well not EVERYTHING I make has cheese in it, but yeah I admit I do love a good cheese.

Asparagus Avec Fromage Omelet

Makes 1 omelet. Yes, just one delectable treat. Better multiply if it you have lots of mouths to feed.

Ingredients:

  • Several fresh asparagus spears
  • 1 slice lean smoked turkey meat, cubed
  • a couple slices of red onion, chopped
  • several chopped fresh basil leaves
  • fresh dill, snipped
  • freshly shredded romano cheese
  • goat cheese crumbles
  • shredded Italian blend of cheeses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 t. water
  • Red Robin Seasoning (if you don’t have Red Robin Seasoning, you can make your own or use seasoned salt, but it’s not quite the same!)
  • freshly ground pepper
Directions:
  1. Spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray. Wash asparagus and cut off any “bad ends”. Place on tray and spray with cooking spray, then sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning. Roast in an oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  2. Roasting the asparagus

  3. Chop and prepare the turkey, herbs and cheeses.
  4. When the asparagus is roasted, chop it into small chunks.Cheeses, turkey, and herbs
  5. Crack eggs into a bowl, add water and sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk with a fork or whisk until fluffy.
  6. Heat up your favorite omelet pan to medium heat, pour in eggs to cover the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to med-low. Sprinkle on the prepared ingredients. I like to start with the asparagus, then turkey and onion, then the cheeses, and top it with the fresh herbs.
  7. Cooking the omelet

  8. Cover and cook until the cheeses are good and melty and the eggs are fully set.
  9. Carefully fold over half the omelet and slide onto your plate. I like to serve with toast. I toast my toast twice: first a light toast, then butter it, then toast it again to get the butter all melted into your toast.

I can usually only eat about half an omelet, but with this one, I ate the whole thing! So if you have someone you are sharing with, make sure to make one for them!


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