Sunday, February 24, 2013

Recipe: Sausage & Feta Omelet

 
I wish I could've come up with a better name for this omelet. A name that intrigued others to try it, rather than think, ewww. But what can I say? I suck at titles, and I love putting together weird ingredients. This omelet was really quite delicious and a very satisfying breakfast.
 
I don't really measure when I make a thing like this, so these measurements are guesses. If you think you'd enjoy a little more or a little less, definitely feel free to tweak it.
 
Ingredients:
 
1 egg
1-2 tbsp. milk
Sausage, about the size of one patty, cooked & crumbled
1 1/2 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. chopped tomato
1 tsp. chopped green onions
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper, to taste
dollop of sour cream
2 tbsp. butter
 
Everyone has their own method to making a good omelet. Some add the ingredients toward the end once the egg mixture is starting to set, but I like to mix it all together first. That way each bite is filled with deliciousness. So, here is how I make an omelet:
 
In a medium sized bowl, add egg and milk and beat well with a whisk or fork. Whisk in salt, pepper, and parsley. Now add cheeses, sausage, tomato, and green onions. Stir just to coat all ingredients.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter but do not burn!
 
 
Pour egg mixture into pan. DO NOT STIR! Unless you want scrambled eggs instead. Let cook for a minute until edges are firming up and bottom is starting to set.
Using a spatula, lift one side of the omelet and let the runny stuff spill over to the other side. Hold it there for a second and then fold that side over on top of the other side.
Cook for another minute and then flip it over to finish the other side. If you want to get real fancy you can try to flip the omelet in the skillet without a spatula! It's actually quite fun and not too difficult thanks to the butter.
Once both sides are cooked evenly transfer to a plate and top with a dollop of sour cream.
 
 

Recipe: Baked Sausage Penne Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce


This dish is heavy and filling, and oh so delish. It happened by accident when I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to make and just started throwing stuff together. Those are often the very best meals...

Ingredients:

1/2 lb mild Italian sausage
2 cups penne pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley*
1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil*
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes **

* It's ok to use dried if you don't have fresh. I would use only 1/2 tsp each of dried.
** Optional, if you want a little more kick

Preheat oven to 350°. Meanwhile, fill a pot with salted water and turn on med. heat. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook for 8 min. or until al dente.
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook and crumble sausage. Drain grease and set sausage aside.
In the same saucepan, not wiped out so there is still a tiny bit of grease in the pan, add garlic and onions and cook just until soft and fragrant. Add cream, tomato sauce, and parmesan and cook for several minutes. Add to that the basil, parsley, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Combine sauce, sausage, and penne pasta and toss to coat. Pour into baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15-20 min until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 




Friday, February 22, 2013

Recipe: Balsamic Salmon Salad

This has been a rough week. I have several craft DIYs on the back burner but I'm having trouble finding the time. There was a death in our family on Valentine's Day that was "expected", so to speak, but still so hard and heart breaking anyway. My husband was out of town for work and hopped on the first flight home Friday morning... Leaving his car and luggage at the hotel hundreds of miles away. It was a long week for the both of us, and I haven't had time for leisurely crafting but eating was a necessity! And good food can help heal a broken heart. So I have yet another recipe post and a few more to come. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
 
For the Salmon & Salad--
 
1/2 lb. salmon filet
1/8 tsp. course salt
1/8 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
Mixed greens of choice (I use 50/50 blend)
Crumbled feta cheese
 
For the balsamic glaze/dressing--
 
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. honey
 
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. of oil.
I don't know about everyone else, but I hate the skin on salmon. I've seen it made with it and without it, and I personally prefer without. So first, I cut the skin off my salmon (which is a bit of a process!) and then sprinkled both sides generously with sea salt and cracked pepper. Add salmon to saucepan and cook approx. 3 min on each side or until center is no longer hot pink. 
Remove salmon from skillet and let rest while you prepare your balsamic glaze/dressing.
In a medium saucepan (I just used the same one) over med-low heat combine balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, oil, honey, and Dijon mustard and mix well. Add garlic and let simmer until just beginning to bubble. Don't over cook or it will become VERY thick and sticky. Taste test to see if it is sweet or sour enough for your liking. Remove from heat.
Build your salad: I laid down my greens and sprinkled them with a generous amount of feta, because I adore feta, then added the salmon and chopped it loosely with my fork. Then drizzled the glaze over all of it and tossed it to lightly coat.
 
Yummo!



Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recipe: Mint Parsley Ice Cream


I know what you're thinking.... "Mint parsley ice cream" probably sounds so weird, but hear me out! The parsley just gives the ice cream a hint of freshness and a natural green tint that we know and love from mint ice cream. I promise you, it's good.
I don't own an ice cream machine, although I hope to get one very soon, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from making this frozen deliciousness! So, I used my blender. Here is how to make your own, if you are curious enough... And I do hope you are.

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In your blender combine all ingredients and put the lid on tight. Blend until thoroughly mixed and creamy, and parsley is reduced to tiny little bits. If you have an ice cream maker and prefer to use it instead, just process your parsley in a food processor or something similar before adding it to the cream mixture.
Pour mix into a freezer safe container with a secure lid and let freeze 6-8 hours (or over night).
Serve with chocolate chip cookies and milk :)




Sunday, February 3, 2013

Recipe: Sweet corn hush puppies w/ bacon & brown sugar



Hubby and I went out to dinner with my in-laws to O'Charley's this week. I just love O'Charley's.We ordered their new hush puppy appetizer and man oh man, it was delicious! I'm pretty picky about my hush puppies, as I only started to appreciate them within the past few years. As a kid I absolutely hated them. Ick. These weren't ordinary hush puppies, though. They were sweet and spicy and served with apple butter. We enjoyed them so much that I needed to figure out how to make my own. I will not call this a copycat because they are not nearly as good, but they'll do the job until the next time I can get out to O'Charley's for the real deal.

Ingredients:

1 cup white cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp white sugar
1/4 cup sweet corn, chopped or processed into tiny pieces
2-3 tbsp chopped onion
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
2-3 slices bacon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Oil, for frying
Apple butter, for dipping

First, cook your bacon until good and crispy using your preferred method. Drain on paper towels and then crumble into tiny tiny bits. I used a food processor for this. I also used a food processor to chop the corn into small pieces as well. Feel free to skip that step if you don't mind large corn chunks in your pups. 
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, bacon, and cayenne pepper and set aside:

In a separate small bowl beat eggs and milk together.
In a medium bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, white sugar, sweet corn and chopped onion. Mix in egg mixture until a firm batter forms:
If batter is too runny, add a little corn meal a tsp at a time.
Pour oil into a large pot or cast iron skillet and heat for several minutes on medium. Let the hush puppy batter rest while oil heats up.
Scoop batter by tablespoonful and form into a basic ball shape. Drop into brown sugar mixture and roll around to lightly coat.
Drop brown sugar covered batter balls (that's a mouthful!) into hot oil 3 or 4 at a time and fry until golden brown. As your oil continues to heat, this will take less time so keep an eye on them in order to not overcook.
After making several hush puppies, take the time to scoop out the crumbs which have likely started to burn in the oil. If you don't do this, you may end up with an ugly stench and a little smokiness in your kitchen. Not that I would know anything about that.
 Let hush puppies cool for a minute or two before diving in cause they will be hot, hot, hot! Serve warm with apple butter.



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