because what is life without good food?

Posts tagged “Bacon

Crab Artichoke Dip with Asiago & Bacon

Crab Artichoke Dip with Asiago & Bacon ~ www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com

My latest creation … please go over to my blog’s new “home” www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com for the recipe!


Sweet Onion Melted Gouda (SOMG!) BLT

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich (SOMG BLT!)

This is such an amazing sandwich. It’s really so simple. But it takes the whole concept of Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato to a new level.  All you have to do is add a little bit of sweet onion and some gouda cheese, get that cheese really good and melty and OMG you will be drowning in heaven when you eat your sandwich. So that’s why it’s a Sooo OMG BLT.  SOMG = Sweet Onion Melted Gouda. How sweet is THAT?

The most necessary thing for this sandwich is a fresh-from-the-garden tomato.  If you don’t have a garden (or a friend or relative who has a garden who will share a tomato), one from the farmer’s market will do in a pinch. If you’re going to use a grocery store tomato, just skip this whole idea. Go make something else. Because to get the true essence of a really great BLT, you need a really good fresh garden tomato.

The sweet onion and the melty gouda cheese elevate the bacon and the heavenly homegrown tomato taste and then the mixed greens come along and top it all off with their beauty and crunch. You really must have at least one of these beautiful sandwiches during tomato season … I have had two so far and I’m SO tempted to make another one … SOMG they are SO good!

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich (Soo OMG BLT)

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich (SoooOMG BLT!)

For each sandwich:

  • 1 nice thick slice of bread (homemade bread works the best … I used my dad’s whole wheat yogurt bread)
  • 3 slices of lower-fat, naturally smoked, thin-sliced bacon
  • Thinly sliced sweet onion
  • Fresh garden tomato slices
  • A few slices of Gouda cheese (I used Dofino Gouda that they sent me … )
  • Mixed greens

Directions:

  1. Cook the bacon strips to your liking. I like mine a little floppy, but my sisters hate the way I make bacon. My kids love it though. (HA! For once I am validated by my kids.) Use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to soak up the excess fat from the bacon.
  2. Set the bread on a baking sheet covered with cooking spray. Cover the bread with a layer of bacon, then several slices of the sweet onion, then make sure you cover the whole thing with fresh tomato slices. Cover the tomato with slices of gouda cheese.
  3. Bake at 400 for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the cheese is really good and melted and bubbly.
  4. Remove the sandwiches from the oven and carefully transfer each sandwich to a plate and add a good tumble of mixed greens. Then revel in the joy of a purely wonderful sandwich.

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich (Soo OMG BLT)

I want to thank Dofino cheese for sending me some of their wonderful Gouda cheese and my amazing friends from the BOHO tribe for helping me name this sandwich! It was Uncle Gary from Uncle Gary’s Gourmet Peppers and Pepper Jelly that thought of this name.

This is an #onionlove post.

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Click here to see all the other great #onionlove posts …

This recipe was also shared at Share it SaturdayScrumptious Sunday, and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.


Happiness & a Mushroom Tomato Skillet Frittata

Smoky Mushroom & Tomato Skillet Frittata

Last night my facebook page zoomed past 10,000 “likes” when I wasn’t looking. I was out having a glass of wine with my friend, talking out all the things we needed to talk about, sharing things we probably wouldn’t ever tell anyone else.

How did it zoom by without me so quickly? I think it’s because I’ve been doing an A-Z health challenge on my facebook page. Every day there is a letter, you choose one thing that starts with that letter and share the health benefits of your chosen thing. A was Avocado, B was Basil, C was Cilantro, D was Dill. E was Eggs. F was Flax. Yesterday was G and I chose Garlic. Somewhere along the way I invited my foodie friends to join in and share facts or recipes on my page. That’s when things really got fun. Suddenly I wasn’t talking to myself anymore … everyone was joining in and we had such a spread of beautiful recipes and wonderful conversations going on everywhere.

10,063 likes on facebook

Today is the letter H and because I’m so HAPPY, I’ve asked everyone to share what makes them happy. And I thought I better take a minute to share what makes me happy. Each and every one of you that comment, visit, or like me on facebook or Pinterest or twitter: you make me happy. You are what makes all of the time and effort I put into this blog worthwhile.

What makes me happy?

Snuggling, hugs, curling up with my cat, the many shades of green leaves on the trees, joking with my son, hearing my daughter sing, seeing her dance, visiting my parents, talking with my sisters, playing with my nieces and nephews, going for long walks and hikes in beautiful, natural spaces, a text or visit from a friend, yoga, a genuine smile. Art. Live music. Singing. Beautiful architecture. History and Books. Sunrise on the lake.

Beautiful morning at Big Stone Lake

Thunderstorms and rain, rainbows, blue sky, clouds, flowers, sunshine, seeing a deer or beautiful bird or a bat flying in the sky. Dragonflies and butterflies. Mountains. Plants. ANYTHING purple. Looking at the stars somewhere away from the city where you can see so many more of them. Riding on a boat, canoeing, sailing. Swimming. Camping. Dancing. The sound of waves and the feel of water and sand on my toes. Opening the windows and feeling a slight breeze through my house. Travelling. Meeting new people and seeing new things, trying new foods and seeing the world from a different perspective. Coming home. Breathing freely. Being healthy and so grateful to be alive.

A hot cup of chai on a chilly morning, dinner on the patio, a really good smooth dark chocolate. Having a drawer full of different wonderful cheeses, a bottle of wine and several lovely dark beers in my refrigerator. Picking berries, vegetables, herbs or flowers and eating them fresh. Hot soup and the smell of fresh bread baking on a cool or rainy day. Thai food. Or Mexican or Greek or anything funky and ethnic. Baking cinnamon rolls with my daughter, making up new recipes with my son. A beautiful salad. Little toasts! Pizza. Cold sweet ice cream on a hot day. Cooking. Having a handsome man cook for me and rub my back or my feet. Growing herbs. Foraging. Writing and reading and sharing with all of the wonderful foodies that have graced my life with their presence.

Smoky Mushroom & Tomato Skillet Frittata

Smoky Mushroom Tomato Skillet Frittata

Cheese is one of those things that send me into a happy oblivion. Dofino cheese noticed this and sent me a bunch of cheeses. One of the cheeses they sent me was this smoked havarti which is very creamy and has an intense smoky taste, which blends so well with mushroom, tomato and eggs and a bit of smoky bacon.

  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 1/4  - 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach or swiss chard
  • A small handful of fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme)
  • 2 – 4 eggs (depending on how fluffy you want your frittata … I used 2, but it was a little flat)
  • 1 slice lean bacon, fried crisp, cooled and crumbled or chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, smoked havarti, & asiago, mixed)

Directions:

  1. In a skillet pan, melt the butter, then add the mushrooms. Sautee for a few minutes, add the tomato & onion. Cover and cook for a few minutes, then uncover and sautee until the onions are soft. Add the spinach and sautee briefly until wilted.
  2. Put the vegies in a bowl, mix with the herbs, and set aside. Clean out the pan. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with a spoonful of water for each egg. Sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning (or just salt) and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Heat the skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour in the eggs and let them cook for just a moment to start setting up. Quickly spread the vegie mixture over the eggs, sprinkle with bacon and top with the shredded cheese. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and let cook till the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and serve immediately in wedges.

Smoky Mushroom & Tomato Skillet Frittata

What makes you happy? I would love to know!

This recipe was shared at Share It SaturdaysScrumptious SundaysRecipe of the WeekKatherine Martinelli’s Tomato Bloghop and Everyday Mom’s Meals.


Bacon Cheddar Spinach Dip

{a guest post for The Black Peppercorn}

Bacon Cheddar Spinach Dip

My friend Steve over at the Black Peppercorn is off on vacation, so I’m helping tend his blog while he’s away!

Steve is a great blogger who has some great recipes and beautiful photography. I’m proud to count him as one of my foodie friends.

So pop over to the Black Peppercorn for the recipe!

Bacon Cheddar Spinach Dip Recipe

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday, and Weekend Potluck.


Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip

Calling this a shrimp dip is a little misleading because it’s got SO much more than shrimp in it … there’s bacon, and asparagus, and grilled corn cut off the cob, sweet onion, Havarti, Gorgonzola and cream cheese, greek yogurt, some seasonings of course… and then, to give it a little summer heat, some Sriracha sauce. It’s like a taste of summer in every bite.

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip with Bacon, Asparagus, Corn & Sriracha

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip

  • 1/3 cup roasted asparagus, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cooked corn (I cut the kernels off a cob we had cooked on the grill, but thawed frozen corn would be fine too)
  • 1/3 cup cooked, chopped shrimp (tails removed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning (if you don’t happen to have any, you can make your own with this recipe)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cooked, chopped lower-fat bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 – 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or more (add more or less according to how spicy you want the dip)

Directions:

  1. Heat a frying pan up over medium heat till it’s hot, spray with cooking spray, and sautee the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and soft. If the mixture gets dry or starts to “burn”, add a splash of wine, then cook until the liquid from the wine has disappeared.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix the onion/garlic with the rest of the ingredients until it’s all thoroughly mixed. I started with the cream cheese because the heat from the onions will melt the cheese and make it easier to blend with the rest of the ingredients, then added the other things one by one.
  3. When I started cooking, I really meant this as a hot dip, but I ended up eating it cold because it’s SO hot outside … but really more because I was soo hungry by the time I finished it that I didn’t want to wait for it to bake. So hey, if you want, you could put this in an oven-safe baking dish and bake it up till it’s all hot and bubbly … or serve it cold with toasted pita chips, crackers, baked bagel chips or tortilla chips. Or vegies. Vegies always make good dippers.
  4. Garnish with a shrimp and some snipped green onion or chives.
(By the way, thank you Patti and Tara and all my Boho tribe friends for helping me name this one!)

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip with Bacon, Asparagus, Corn & Sriracha

This recipe was shared at Patriotic Potluck, Everyday Mom’s Meals, Scrumptious Sundays, KM’s Seafood Bloghop and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.

It was also featured at Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen’s Seafood Frenzy Friday.


Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelized Onion & Bacon Dip

Yeah, I’m on a dip kick lately. I’ve been feeling kinda down, and I like to munch and dip when I’m sad. My ultimate “comfort” food is potato chips and french onion dip (the kind made with real sour cream), but I have come to realize that eating it just makes me feel worse than before, so I kinda stay away from that store-bought stuff now. Today I tried making my own home-grown version of french onion dip. With bacon. Because bacon makes everything better, right? And the greek yogurt has the same rich texture as sour cream, but it’s good for you, so it makes you feel BETTER after eating it instead of sinking you deeper into depression.

There are a few things that are nagging at me, but I think the biggest one is probably the changes on facebook. Yeah, I know, my life is really easy if all I have to be upset about is the changes on facebook, but you see the social connections I’ve made on facebook are really important to me. I’ve met a lot of foodie friends on facebook (7,264 of them as of this moment) and every single one of them is precious to me. Most facebook users probably aren’t even that aware of the changes or how they impact the pages they “like” on facebook, but what facebook did is cut back the views of our posts unless we pay to “promote” them.  It feels like my fan base that I worked so hard to build was just cut from 7,000 to 700. Ouch.

But the worst part is now when someone tags my page, I can’t see that they tagged me, and vice versa.

We foodie pages used to communicate by tagging each other in our status … we did virtual parties on facebook and the invitations were lists of facebook tags. Everyone would bring a drink or dish … the way we would do this is to go to one of our food photos and tag the person having the party (plus a bunch more pages usually … hey, the more the merrier!). We did “shout-outs” telling our fans about other pages we thought were awesome and you always knew when someone else shared your page so it was easy to say thank you by tagging them back. We shared recipes amongst ourselves and tagged the creator of the recipe. Now, if someone shares my recipe or my page, unless it is directly shared from one of my own posts, I have no way of knowing it. There are no more parties. No more shout-outs. No more thank you’s.

It makes me really sad that I can’t see the posts of my friends unless I take time out to go visit their page. They are my inspiration and joy. Oh, yes, there is an alternative: I can make a “list” of my favorite pages from my personal facebook page, but this has several disadvantages:

  1. I have to leave my page to go there
  2. I can share to my page from my personal page, but it’s cumbersome, tricky and easy to screw up
  3. I can’t comment as my page from my personal page
  4. How the heck am I going to make a list of thousands of people from memory? Okay, not all of my “likers” are facebook pages, but still, there are thousands of them, built up over time. Trying to make a list of all of them is harder than putting together a list of people to invite to your wedding. You’re going to forget someone … and in my case it’s a LOT of someones.

Foodies are a tight-knit group and we are feeling right now like facebook is tearing us apart. I think many of us are turning to Pinterest to fill the gap. At least I can always see my friends’ pins on Pinterest. We have group boards that a bunch of us contribute to, and you can comment and like things just like on facebook.

We’re trying to roll with the punches, but I have to tell you it’s very disheartening. I know this is not personal, facebook is just trying to make some money off of this service they have offered us for free for so long, but can’t they do that without tearing us apart? At least let me know when someone mentioned my page. That’s business networking and analytics 101: you want to know who your referrers are. That’s how you build your network. How can you thank your referrers and help them out in turn if you don’t know who they are?!?

Sorry about the rant, I just needed to get that out … let’s get back to the dip at hand, shall we? It’s a lovely dip with the sweet taste of caramelized onions and the salty, smoky bacon, along with creamy cream cheese and tangy greek yogurt and a few chives for spite (and color). Thinking on it now, I bet some smoked paprika would be nice in this too … I’ll have to try that next time.

Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip

Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip

Inspired by one of my foodie facebook friends: Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 2 oz. lowfat cream cheese
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of lowfat mayonnaise (or plain nonfat yogurt)
  • 2 slices of lean bacon, fried till crisp and chopped up
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat your frying pan up to medium heat and swirl around a teaspoon of olive oil in the pan. Add the onions and reduce head to medium, stirring pretty much constantly to keep them from burning. When the onions start to brown, add a bit of the wine and cook some more, stirring the onions till the wine has evaporated, then add a bit more wine and stir and cook some more, and repeat until the onions are brown and sweet and all the wine has evaporated. This might take 20 minutes or so, but it’s worth it, believe me.

Remove the onions from the heat and put in a bowl with the cream cheese and stir. The heat of the onions should melt the cream cheese and make it easier to mix in. Add the rest of the ingredients, reserving a few bacon crumbles and snipped chives to sprinkle on top before serving. If the dip is too thick, add a little plain nonfat yogurt (not greek yogurt, the regular thinner kind) or a teaspoon or two of milk.

Serve with crackers and/or vegetables and/or chips. Whatever you prefer. You’ll need a sturdier chip, though, like a kettle chip, if you want to use chips.

Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayNewlyweds Recipe LinkyFull Plate ThursdayIt’s a Keeper ThursdayTastetastic Thursday, and Weekend Potluck.


Garlic Ranch Potato Bake with Mushrooms

Garlic Ranch Potato Mushroom Spinach Bake

I was in a potato mood. This was just one of those things that just happened one day. I walked into my kitchen, pulled out things that ought to go with potato, snipped some fresh dill from the rogue dill plants that just volunteered to grow in the pots I brought inside and suddenly I had this crazy potato mushroom spinach bake all hot and ready … it was the perfect potato lunch.

Before you can make this baby, you need to make some of this skinny garlic basil ranch dip … go do it … you won’t be sorry …

Garlic Ranch Potato Mushroom Spinach Bake

Garlic Ranch Potato Bake with Mushrooms

This is for a small bowl of potatoes, just right for one person for lunch, but you could easily scale it up to make a big casserole dish full. I ate it as a meal, but it would make a nice side dish too.

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 potato, sliced thin
  • 3 – 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • Chopped onion
  • Fresh spinach and/or arugula leaves
  • Lowfat garlic basil ranch dip (recipe is here … or I suppose you could substitute another ranch dip if you have some on hand)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • A bit of bacon, cooked till crisp, drained on a clean towel, and crumbled
  • Fresh dill, snipped
  • Green onion, snipped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the potatoes and mushrooms on the pan.
  2. Mix the olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and brush the potatoes and mushrooms lightly with the oil. Sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) and pepper. (If you want you could roast the onions alongside the potatoes and mushrooms as well. I wanted my onions crunchy.)
  3. Roast the potatoes and mushrooms at 400 F for about 10 minutes or until they are tender.
  4. Now take a bowl (or casserole dish if you are making this on a larger scale) and spray it with cooking spray.
  5. Make a layer of potatoes on the bottom, then top with mushrooms, onion, dabs of ranch dip, a bit of cheese, a few bacon crumbles, and dill. Top with some spinach leaves, then start another layer of potatoes.
  6. Repeat the layers until you run out of potato, ending with potato slices on top. You can sprinkle a bit of cheese on top if you like. I was trying to limit the amount of cheese and bacon to keep this dish light and healthy.
  7. Bake for 15 – 30 minutes (depending on the size of your pan), or until the cheese is nice and melted.
  8. Sprinkle with fresh dill and green onion and serve.

Garlic Ranch Potato Mushroom Spinach Bake

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayTastetastic Thursday and Full Plate Thursday.


Bacon, Onion, Avocado & Gouda Breakfast Sandwich

on Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Bacon Onion Egg Avocado & Gouda Breakfast Sandwich

This is a hearty breakfast that is a little high in fat, but it contains a lot of good things for your body. I needed something substantive for breakfast today after Zumba last night, and then I waited too long to eat breakfast till I was STARVING.

While Gouda cheese is relatively high in fat, this kind of cheese is healthier for you than other cheeses, and it melts so nicely. I love the creamy rich taste of it.

Eggs of course have lots of health benefits too, and avocados are rich in the “good kind” of fat.

And the bacon? Well everything’s better with bacon, isn’t it? I just used a bit of bacon to get that taste of bacony goodness, but not so much that it would totally ruin the health benefits of my sandwich …

Bacon, Onion, Egg, Melted Gouda and Avocado on Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Bacon, Onion, Avocado & Gouda Breakfast Sandwich on Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

For each sandwich, you need:

  • 1 egg, beaten and sprinkled with Red robin seasoning (or other seasoned salt or just plain salt if you prefer) & freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 slice of bacon
  • A couple tablespoons of chopped onion
  • 1 wedge of jalapeno cheddar beer bread (recipe here), sliced horizontally … or your bread of choice
  • A couple thin slices of gouda cheese
  • A few thin slices of avocado
  • (I think I would have added a slice or two of tomato if I’d had any on hand)

Directions:

  1. Cook the bacon in a pan over medium high heat until it is crispy. Set it on a clean towel (that you don’t mind getting bacon fat on), cover with the towel, and press to soak up all the excess fat, then crumble the bacon and add it to the beaten egg.
  2. Cut your wedge of bread and toast it lightly.
  3. Pour the bacon fat out of the pan and wipe out any excess fat. Add the onion and sautee for a minute or so on medium high heat until it is softened.
  4. Lower the heat to medium low and pour the egg/bacon mixture over the onion. When the egg starts to cook and set up a bit, shape it into roughly the shape of your wedge of bread with your spatula.
  5. Arrange the gouda cheese slices over the egg, lower the heat to low, cover the pan and cook until the egg is cooked and the cheese is melted.
  6. Carefully lift the egg out of the pan with your spatula and onto the bottom of the bread. Top with avocado (and tomato) and the top of the bread and enjoy!

Bacon, Onion, Egg, Melted Gouda, and Avocado on Toasted Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

This recipe was shared at Midweek FiestaNewlyweds Recipe Linky, Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange and Cast Party Wednesday.


Bacon Mushroom Beer Cheese Soup

Bacon Mushroom Beer Cheese Soup

I had the urge to make beer cheese soup the other day … and there was just a bit of bacon sitting there needing to be used, and then while retrieving the garlic, I ran across some mushrooms … so they hopped in the soup too. And then I stumbled across some pumpkin puree in the freezer, and because it was so good in the macaroni and cheese, I threw in some pumpkin puree too. And that’s how this soup happened.

Bacon Mushroom Beer Cheese Soup

Bacon Mushroom Beer Cheese Soup

Makes 2-4 bowls of soup, depending on how big your bowls are.

  • 2 slices of uncooked bacon
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 -3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups of 1 % milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 loose cup of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (gently place the cheese in the cup so it fluffs up–don’t pack it in)
  • 1/2 loose cup of shredded gouda cheese (again, very loosely placed in the cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of Red Robin Seasoning (if you don’t have any, here’s a recipe … or use your favorite seasoned salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup brown ale (or your favorite brew–I used the Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown Ale)
  • For garnish: crumbled bits of bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan (I mean the pan you’re going to cook the soup in), fry the bacon until it’s crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and crumble it up into little bits. Set it aside for now.
  2. Pour some of the excess fat from the pan, then add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Over medium-high heat, sautee them in the bacon fat until the onions are soft and translucent and the mushrooms are limp.
  3. Add the flour to the pan and stir, coating all your little shrooms and onions and garlic bits in flour.
  4. Add the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5 – 10 minutes or so or until the mixture thickens.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree, shredded cheeses, most of the bacon bits (reserving a few for garnish), and the seasonings and cook for a few minutes longer until the cheese melts.
  6. Just before serving, stir in the beer. The soup will froth up for a moment, but then it will calm down again, just in time to serve it.
  7. Pour into bowls and top with shredded cheese, the reserved bacon bits, and fresh parsley leaves. Some people like to put popcorn on their beer cheese soup. That’s fun too.

Bacon Mushroom Beer Cheese Soup

This would go great with hot, crusty, fresh baked bread, or even better, in a bread bowl. I didn’t have any of that, though …

This recipe was shared at Sunday Night Soup Night and Full Plate Thursday.


Mexican Style Breakfast Bake … Olé!

Mexican Style Breakfast Bake Ole!

Yesterday I saw a post at Becky’s Root Cellar for Mexican Style Baked Eggs and it looked so colorful and delicious I immediately wanted to try it. Reviewing the recipe, I just felt it needed one more thing: potatoes.

I substituted several of the ingredients with some of my corn and black bean salsa, which took care of a bunch of things that the recipe called for and I just happened to have some already mixed up in my fridge, like it was just waiting for this dish …

Oh man this is good.

Mexican Style Breakfast Bake Ole!

Mexican Style Breakfast Bake … Olé!

Serves 2 – 4. You could easily scale it up to feed a crowd with not too much more effort.

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 med-large potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups corn & black bean salsa (recipe here - if you don’t like things too hot, just cut down on the amount of jalapeno)
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 strips bacon (optional), cooked & crumbled — but I think some cooked chorizo would be amazing in this!
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
  • Fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat, then add the potatoes. Cover and cook, opening and stirring frequently, until the potatoes are tender and cooked through and lightly browned on the side. Add salt (or Red Robin seasoning) and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper and sautee for a few minutes longer until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the salsa, black beans, bacon (if you are using it) and cook a few minutes more until the entire mixture is good and hot.
  5. Stir in the tomato, oregano and cheese.
  6. If your pan is oven proof, you can just flatten the mixture, then crack your eggs over top and put it in the oven to bake. My frying pan is not oven proof, so I sprayed my ceramic tortilla warmer with cooking spray, then poured in the mixture, spread it flat, and cracked the eggs on top. (You could also use a 9x9x2 inch baking pan.)
  7. Bake at 375 until the eggs are set. Becky says it takes 8 – 10 minutes, but mine took considerably longer, more like 20 – 30 minutes (I wasn’t really keeping track … working and cooking at the same time!)
  8. Sprinkle with a few fresh oregano or cilantro leaves for garnish and serve with hot tortillas and your favorite Mexican condiments (guacamole, sour cream, cilantro leaves, salsa … whatever you fancy!)

Mexican Style Baked Eggs

This recipe was entered in the November Blog Hop & Giveaway: Favorite Vegetable Recipes on the FaveDiets blog and shared at Melt in your Mouth MondaysFavorite Breakfast Recipes, and Recipe of the Week: Mexican Cuisine.


Shrimp, Basil & Bacon Stuffed Eggplant with 2 Cheeses

Shrimp, Basil, & Bacon-Stuffed Eggplant with Two Cheeses

My mom gave me one of her beautiful white eggplant. The first time she gave me one, my foodie sister was there and she looked at me and said, “the white ones are perfect for stuffing.” Ever since she said that, every white eggplant I meet seems to cry out to me to stuff it with all sorts of deliciousness.

One of my foodie friends suggested stuffing it with shrimp and bechamel sauce. I had fully intended to do that with this one, but I am feeling too lazy today to make a bechamel sauce. So I just did a quick sautee, swirled in some cheese and went with that. I didn’t have as much shrimp as I really wanted to use, but still it turned out lovely. Yes, a white wine bechamel sauce would be heavenly, with some freshly shredded parmesan and nutmeg. But not today.

Today is my lazy Sunday. And this was my lazy Sunday lunch. And it was beautiful and delicious, just like this.

Shrimp, Basil, and Bacon Stuffed Eggplant

If you’re wondering what those dark spots are, they are a couple basil flowers I tossed on just before I baked the eggplant. You might want to toss on the flowers (if you have them) AFTER you cook the stuffed eggplant. Just sayin’ …

Shrimp, Basil & Bacon Stuffed Eggplant with Swiss and Goat Cheese

  • 1 eggplant, about 6 inches long (so once you scoop out the inside, you have about 1 1/2 cups of eggplant–if you have a larger or smaller eggplant, just adjust the other ingredients up or down)
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. chopped bell pepper
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of chopped shrimp (I only had 1/2 cup, but I really wanted more shrimp in this!)
  • 2 – 3 slices of lower-fat bacon, fried crisp, drained and chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese (Asiago, Romano or Parmesan would be nice mixed in as well)
  • 1 oz. goat cheese
  • 2 -3 T. of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 -3 t. of fresh oregano leaves
Topping:
  • Shredded swiss or parmesan cheese and/or breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the insides so you leave about 1/4 – 1/2 inch shell. Scooping out the flesh of the eggplant
  2. It should look something like this when you’re done: Scooped out Eggplant Shell
  3. Take the removed eggplant flesh and chop it up into small pieces.
  4. Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium high heat until it starts to warm. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then swirl around the olive oil in the heated pan. Add eggplant, onion, garlic, and bell pepper and sautee until the onions are soft and translucent.
  5. Add the shrimp, bacon, and tomato and sautee just about 3 minutes more.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses and herbs.
  7. Fill the scooped out eggplant shells with the lovely mixture you cooked up.
  8. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and top with shredded cheese and/or breadcrumbs.
  9. Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted or the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
  10. Serve hot, with fresh basil leaves for garnish (and the basil flowers, if you happen to have some!)

This beautiful dish goes so well with a nice glass of  Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.

Shrimp, Basil, and Bacon Stuffed Eggplant with Swiss and Goat Cheese

By the way, stuffed eggplant are the perfect make-ahead convenience food! You can wrap them in plastic wrap or foil and freeze for later. When you need a quick meal, pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw for a while, then bake at 350 until it’s heated throughout. They microwave nicely, too, just make sure to cook them long enough to get the center good and hot.

This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Eggplant Bloghop.


Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

To me, this isn’t really a recipe. I have been fascinated with twice baked potatoes since I started cooking I think, so it’s just second nature to me to take mashed potatoes, mix in some cheese, onion, bell pepper, bacon and bake. You don’t need any special seasonings or spices … just let the onion, bacon, bell pepper and cheese do their magic.

I love to put this mixture back into the potato skins if I have them, but if not, just throw it in a casserole or oven proof bowl and bake till everything is hot and the cheese is god and melted.

It’s so simple and so good. I just had it for lunch and it was oh so warm, comforting, filling, and delicious.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

If you make it with low-fat mashed potatoes and don’t overdo it on the bacon or cheese, it’s even good for you.

Today I used shredded sharp cheddar and a bit of blue cheese crumbles, chopped red bell pepper, chopped onion, crumbled in a bit of crispy cooked bacon. Mixed it all together, topped with a little more cheese, then baked for about 10 – 15 minutes at 350. Then I topped it with a few snips of fresh chives. I like to use fresh onions and bell pepper for the crunch factor, but if you like your veggies soft, you can sautee them first. Sometimes I add mushrooms too, if I have them, and if the mashed potatoes are dry, a little cottage cheese, light sour cream or buttermilk. Sometimes a little dill is a nice addition.  Play with it to find a combination you like. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

You can make this in individual portions like I did today for lunch in my oven-safe bowl, or in a larger casserole for a crowd. It would be a nice touch to bake in ramekins for holiday meals. Larger dishes will take longer to cook.

Mmm. I’m in heaven.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

This recipe was shared at Recipe of the Week: Potatoes and Weekend Potluck.


Blue Devil Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Blue Devil Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

with lowfat Garlicky Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dip (for chasing the vampires away!)

It’s Halloween and FINALLY the last day of October. I am breathing a sigh of relief because I took a challenge to blog about connections through food every day in October. I did it! Perhaps I didn’t do as well talking about connections every day as I would have liked to, but I actually blogged every single day this month. I have made a lot of new friends this month and we’ve shared a lot of recipes, jokes, stories, ideas, and thoughts about food. I feel very close to all my foodie friends.

It was a good month, but honestly I think I cooked a little TOO much. Not all the food that I made got eaten. I had a few recipe failures that I didn’t share, so I had to make something new to blog about. I don’t like to waste food.

In order to make my goal, I started making food, photographing it, and waiting to blog about it until I needed a post on my blog. I discovered I don’t like to blog about something long after I’ve made and eaten it. I want to blog about it in the moment, share it right then. I still have a few things to post that I prepared and photographed, but didn’t get posted yet. I promise you I will post them because they are really good.

But from now on, I am not going to pressure myself to blog every single day.

Blue Devil Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Here’s a Halloween appetizer you could really enjoy anytime of year. I know they don’t look very scary, but watch out. They definitely have a BITE to them. And the garlicky dip will help fend off vampires.

Blue Devil Bacon Jalapeno Poppers (Baked!)

  • About 15 jalapenos
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white (you can also use eggbeaters or all egg whites)
Cheesy filling:
  • 5 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1 – 2 T. blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • 1/3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 – 2 T. bacon crumbles
Breading: (Note: This is way more breading than you will need for your jalapenos. Use the rest to bread other vegies you have laying around–or cut the breading in half.
  • 1 c. bread crumbs (whole grain bread is fine! I used crumbs from my dad’s whole wheat yogurt bread)
  • 1 c. cheese cracker crumbs (I recommend using healthy, lowfat, whole grain crackers and whirring them in your handi chopper or food processor till finely ground)
  • 1 t. Red Robin Seasoning
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder

Directions:

  1. You probably want to make the dip first so it has time for the flavors to blend. So scroll down to the end of this post to whip up the dip.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membrane. You  may want to wear gloves to protect your hands, eyes and other body parts from the spicy jalapeno juice.
  4. Combine cheesy filling ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.
  5. Using a spoon or knife, fill the halved jalapenos with the cheesy filling.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine breading ingredients until well mixed.
  7. In another bowl, whisk the eggs & egg white until frothy.
  8. Dip each cheese-filled jalapeno half in the egg, then set it in the breading and cover. I found it worked best when I used my left hand ONLY in the egg bowl and my right hand ONLY to coat the jalapeno with breading.
  9. As you finish them, set each jalapeno on a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. When you’ve finished breading all the jalapenos, spray them with cooking spray.
  10. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until golden. The cheese might ooze out in some cases, that’s quite all right!
  11. Dip and enjoy! (These can be made ahead of time, kept in the fridge until serving time, then re-heated briefly in a 350 degree oven.)

Blue Devil Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Garlicky Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dip (to scare the Vampires away)

Inspired by Mother Thyme and Alice Q. Foodie

  • 1/3 c. light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. greek yogurt
  • 2 big fresh cloves of garlic
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Several fresh parsley leaves or ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • A few fresh dill twigs or ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Whir all the ingredients in a handy chopper or food processor until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Blue Devil Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

This recipe was shared at Recipe of the Week: Superbowl Snacks, Fit & Fabulous Fridays: Superbowl Edition, and Recipe of the Week: Hot & Spicy Recipes.


Ravioli Salad with Bacon, Herbs & Basil Vinaigrette

Mini Ravioli Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

My kids both love ravioli. Usually I buy it frozen for them … my son makes what he calls “ravioli sushi” … one beef ravioli on the bottom, one cheese ravioli on top, then dips the “sushi” in his favorite pasta sauce. My daughter eats them plain, but she only likes the cheese ravioli.

I wish I could say we make ravioli from scratch all the time (we HAVE done that and they were SO good … someday we shall do it again and next time I will share it with you my foodie friends!), but our busy lives don’t often allow for big projects like ravioli, so yes, I buy it frozen most of the time. It makes for a quick and pretty healthy meal many a night when we’ve been out at the kids’ activities.

Alas, last time I was at the store they were out of the ravioli I normally buy. BUT they had these adorable mini-ravioli that I thought my daughter would just love. And she did love them … she thought they were SO cute! … until she tasted them. Then she said they just didn’t taste good to her. I tasted them and they tasted just fine to me. She is really congested this week, has a cold, so I’m thinking maybe her taste buds are just off?

Anyway, that left me with a bunch of adorable little cooked ravioli that nobody wanted. And I can’t let good ravioli go to waste.

So I made it into a salad for lunch today. I’ve done this before with tortellini and it is really good. Well, okay, when I did this with tortellini I did it as a layered salad with ranch dressing. I didn’t have any ranch dressing made today, so I used my basil vinaigrette which was really lovely with the cheesy pasta.

Mini Ravioli Salad with Bacon, Herbs, and Basil Vinaigrette

Ravioli Salad with Bacon, Herbs and Basil Vinaigrette

Of course you can always adjust the vegetables in the salad to whatever you have on hand. Play! It’s fun to try new combinations of flavors.

For each salad you will need:

  • A dinner-sized salad bowl filled almost full of mixed salad greens
  • A handful of cheese mini-raviolis or tortellinis, cooked and drained
  • Cucumber shards (that is, sliced cucumbers and if they are overly seeded like mine was, cut out the seedy part to make “shards”)
  • Chopped tomato or halved cherry tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced vidalia or red onion
  • Shards of Parmesan or Romano cheese (Thinly slice little “shards” of the cheese from the block … or you can use shredded if you prefer)
  • 1 strip of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • Fresh oregano and/or basil leaves
  • Basil Vinaigrette (scroll to the bottom of this post for the dressing recipe–it IS there, I promise!)

Directions:

  1. Fill the bowl(s) almost full with greens.
  2. Take the cooked ravioli and toss it with a tablespoon or two of the basil vinaigrette. Add the ravioli and dressing to the salad with about half the cucumber shards, onion and tomato.
  3. Top with the remaining ingredients and add more dressing to taste.

I think a little bit of a drizzle of  light ranch dressing would be nice on top of this salad … combined with the basil vinaigrette? Wouldn’t that be good?

Ravioli Salad with Bacon, Herbs, and Basil Vinaigrette

But then after all those lovely greens I needed some chocolate. I had a little bit of a Black and Tan Brownie to finish off my meal. What a FINE lunch! :)


Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza with Asiago & Goat Cheese

Pesto-Chicken-Bacon-Pizza-with Asiago & Goat Cheese

Do you ever have leftover chicken that you just don’t feel like eating? I like to take things like that and transform them.

And one of my favorite food transformations is to make pizza. I make mini-pizza crusts ahead of time and freeze them just for times like this. Good thing I have plenty of pesto on hand too! And fun cheeses.

This one is really a good flavor combination.

Pesto-Chicken-Bacon-Pizza

Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza with Asiago and Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Crust (homemade or store bought)
  • Pesto (I used Basil-Lime Pesto)
  • Leftover cooked chicken, shredded
  • Crumbled bacon (you don’t need much — I used about 1/2 a slice of bacon on my individual pizza)
  • Chopped onion
  • Freshly shredded Asiago Cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Chopped tomato

Directions:

Spread a thin layer of pesto on the crust. Top with chicken and bacon.

Making Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza

Top with onions, then the shredded Asiago. Crumble some goat cheese over that. And then top it all with the chopped tomatoes (or halved cherry tomatoes).
Making Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes or until the cheeses are melty and the top is just lightly browned in a couple spots.

You can be chowing down on delicious gourmet pizza before the Domino’s Pizza guy would even be getting in his car!

Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza with Asiago & Goat Cheese


Corn Chowder, New Mexico Style

corn-chowder-New Mexico Style

Have you ever been to New Mexico? If you haven’t, you must go. Really, schedule a trip to get there. Do it now. You must see this place before you die. It is one of the most enchanting places on earth. I used to live there.

When I first moved to New Mexico from the midwest, it was a complete culture shock. To me, it looked like I had gone from green to brown. I was young (fresh out of college!) and I was alone for the first time in my life. I was scared. I didn’t know anybody there. I had moved from my green, fertile homeland where I had so many family and friends to a barren land where I knew nobody.

All the houses in New Mexico are brown. The ground is brown. There are very few trees. Lots of sharp pokey cactus. Instead of lawns, they have rock “gardens” with yuccas. They have square houses with flat roofs. And there are roadrunners and black widow spiders and lots of tumbleweeds.  I had one growing in my back yard once and I didn’t know it was a tumbleweed till it broke off and started tumbling about my yard. It made me laugh.

After I moved there, I discovered there are shades of brown. And most of them are really shades of pink or orange. They change color throughout the day. The mountains would turn watermelon pink at sunset. The sky was the most brilliant blue you have ever seen … and there were layers of clouds. Wispy clouds high up in the sky, painting the sky with their beautiful patterns. Lower down clouds. Big angry thunderclouds that in late summer would gather in the late afternoon, storm down from the mountains, dump on the city and be gone within an hour, leaving us in a rush of raging water.

Corn Chowder, New Mexico Style with Green Chiles

I quickly learned the beauty of the colors of New Mexico. I fell in love with the southwestern art. I learned to drink wine at the wine festivals there. But more than that, I fell in love with the food. There is one signature ingredient that you will see in EVERY restaurant in New Mexico (seriously! it’s even at McDonald’s!)–Hatch Green Chile. I really recommend using authentic Hatch Green Chile in this recipe. You can buy it freshly roasted — or pre-roasted, chopped and frozen in New Mexico. Outside of New Mexico, about the best you will get is maybe canned green chile and if that is all you have, use it. It will not give the same flavor or spiciness to this soup that it really should have, but it will at least impart a bit of the flavor of a green chile.

In New Mexico in the fall, the smell of roasting green chiles is everywhere as they roast the chiles right outside the grocery store. You go and buy a “bag”  of chiles (if I recall right, a bag was 38 lbs.) and they roast them for you on the spot while you stand there and smell the intoxicating scent of roasting chiles. Then you take them home, peel off the outside skin, and freeze them for your winter’s supply. I did that many years. Now, when I go to New Mexico, I take along an extra cooler, just for chiles. I buy as many frozen chiles as will fit in the cooler and bring them home. I am very reluctant to share them because I do not want to be without my precious chiles.

If you take my advice and go to New Mexico, bring an extra cooler and pack in as many frozen green chiles as you can to bring home with you. You will be happy that you did. Then you can make delicious dishes like this.

Corn Chowder New Mexico Style, with Hatch Green Chile

Corn Chowder, New Mexico Style

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cobs of corn,
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 c. frozen Hatch green chile + 1/4 c. juices from the chile (or 2 – 4-oz. cans)
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, cooked and roughly mashed with a fork
  • 1 1/2 c. FAT FREE half and half
  • 1 t. adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 t. salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 c. light sour cream

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, fry the bacon over medium-high heat till it’s crispy.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sautee until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the corn and sautee briefly, about 1 minute.
  4. Now if you are using frozen green chile, when you thaw it, some of the juices will collect on the top. This is the best juice for soup. Toss a bunch into the soup along with the chile. (If you MUST use canned green chile, don’t drain it! Toss in everything from the can, juices and all.)
  5. Add the chicken broth and potatoes and let cook till everything is hot and bubbly. If you want the soup a little thicker, add more mashed potatoes and let it cook a little longer.
  6. When you are almost ready to serve the soup, add the half and half and the seasonings, then stir in the sour cream until melted and smooth (that is, no lumps from the sour cream are left).
  7. Enjoy the hot, creamy corn and bacon green chile goodness.

This recipe was shared at Recipe of the Week-Secret Ingredient: Corn


Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Salad

with Feta and Basil Vinaigrette

Bacon, lettuce and tomato salad with Feta and Basil Vinaigrette

Oh it was one of those crazy busy emotionally exhausting days when you barely have time to think, let alone cook. Lunch was a scramble, grabbing whatever I could find in the kitchen. My body was worn out from all the emotional ups and downs life has thrown us lately and was crying out for something super-nutritious. I have a bunch of those gorgeous cherry tomatoes from my friend and some organic spring mix that really needed to be used up. I bet I was in the kitchen 5 minutes. Maybe 10. And back to work. Whoosh!

So what goes with tomatoes and lettuce? Duh, BACON!

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Salad with Feta and Basil Vinaigrette

So this is what I found:

  • 2 strips of lower-fat bacon, fried crisp, drained on a towel and crumbled
  • A bowl full of assorted spring mix lettuce
  • A bunch of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A bit of chopped onion
  • A good sprinkle of tomato-basil flavored feta cheese
  • Chipotle-flavored sunflower seeds
  • Just a few fresh basil leaves
  • Basil Vinaigrette

I topped it with a basil vinaigrette I made the other day after a trip to my friend’s basil “field” … really she doesn’t have that big of a garden but the basil has gone CRAZY this year.

Basil Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

I found this recipe on Farm Fresh Living when I was looking for a way to use up some of my plentiful basil (besides pesto!). I used a LOT more basil than the recipe called for. And I adjusted it quite a bit … like I always do …

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tablespoons Garlic peppercorn mustard (or Dijon)
  • 1/8 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c. rice wine vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Juice from 1/2 orange
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • Several BIG handfuls of basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra- virgin organic olive oil

Toss all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth. Drizzle it over your favorite salad toppings.

I love the color in this salad. It was such a relief on a crazy, crazy day.

Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Salad with Feta and Basil Vinaigrette


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

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