Saturday, January 22, 2022

Vegetable and Bacon Frittata




If raiding your fridge and bringing a meal together easily is your kind of thing, then a frittata is just what the home chef ordered.  I’ve always appreciated the easy touch and elegant finish that goes into making this Italian variation on an omelette.  

And while deciding what to make this past Sunday—that would match the ingredients I had on had (yes, I raided my fridge for this) and also yield a healthy, delectable bite—a frittata seemed to be the perfect fit.  Reminiscent of a crust-less quiche (or mini quiches), it is adaptable to whatever you want to toss into the skillet.





From a prep perspective, I cooked my turkey bacon and sautéed my vegetables before pouring in my cheese and egg mixture.  From there it was off to the oven to bake and set-up into a beautiful, golden finish.  And whether you’re indulging for breakfast, brunch, or anytime, it’s a superb dish to serve when feeding a crowd or a party of one.  Bonus? If you find yourself with leftovers, the individual slices make for the best ready-made breakfast in the days that follow.  


So now that I’ve hopefully piqued your desire to bring this dish to life (or a variation matching what you have on hand), let’s get on with what’s most important….


Happy Eating!


Vegetable and Bacon Frittata


Ingredients:

9 large eggs

3 scallions

1 sweet bell pepper

1 Chile pepper

5-6 strips of turkey bacon (cooked)

1 tbs. Olive oil

4 oz. Shredded cheese

1/4 cup milk

Cherry tomatoes, halved

A bunch (a couple of handfuls or so) of raw kale greens

Italian parsley, finely chopped

Parmigiano Reggiano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Method:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Set aside.


Add oil to an oven-safe skillet and heat over medium-high heat (cast iron recommended, if pre-seasoned or enameled). Add in scallions, bell pepper, and Chile pepper and sauté until softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the cherry tomatoes, kale and bacon and continue sautéing for another 2-3 minutes.  Pour in the egg mixture and place skillet in the pre-heated oven.


Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top is set and golden-ish in color.  Remove from the oven (remember to use oven mitts!) and garnish with parsley and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve and enjoy!


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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Merry Christmas + Homemade Biscuits


Holidays and baking go hand-in-hand for me, so this past Sunday, I decided to slow down and finally bake homemade biscuits.  Yummy, right?!  

They truly were, with a savory, herbaceous twist, that makes them great for devouring morning, noon or night (i.e. for breakfast, brunch or dinner).  So with that said, I wanted to share the recipe with you in case you decide to follow my lead and bring them to your holiday eating repertoire.  

I'd actually been eyeing these since I saw the recipe in my November issue of Bon Appetite magazine, so it felt good to finally bring them to life in my kitchen. I'm so thrilled to say that they didn't disappoint.  To the contrary, they came out wonderful--with beautiful layers (the hallmark of a great biscuit, no?) and are easy to bring together.



I baked a few to enjoy and photograph for the blog :) and froze the rest of the batch for homemade biscuits on demand, whenever the notion--or craving--hits.  

So whenever you decide to bake them, I hope you experience the same Happy Eating.

Blessings for a Merry Christmas!

xx, Dawn

Stuffing Biscuits 


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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Hot Skillet Cornbread


Food has always been a love language in my family. From my earliest memories, I recall the rallying call it represented to gather, nourish, strengthen bonds and demonstrate affection.  



My grandmother, in particular, would often call us and read off her dinner menu, ending with the invitation to come over and share in the bounty. It was code for, “I want to see you and spend time with you and share my love for you.”  And no few times, whether the menu was on the grander scale, or relatively modest, skillet cornbread was on the menu.  


I can still see her pulling a hot cast iron skillet from the oven with the same common touch that one might give to grabbing a pre-made dish from the fridge.  It was such a common occurrence that it’s forever etched in my memories—and heritage.  Similar scenes were recreated by my mom in our home, albeit on a less frequent rotation due to working mom life.)






There were other variations of cornbread that my grandmother served, like cracklin cornbread, prepared stovetop with cracklins mixed into the cornmeal batter that was fried in hot oil, yielding a savory pancake-esque bite, only crispier and more satiating.  Still, my favorite was the hot skillet cornbread that often stood, very well I might add, on its own as the bread course—making everything from collard greens and pot likker, to fried chicken, chili and more, that much better.  Hot, buttery, tender crumbs, with crispy a top and edges, have a way of doing that.





And then there was the reincarnation into phenomenal cornbread dressing, another family staple, served mostly during the holidays.  As traditions go, I've kept this one alive with my slightly adapted iteration of this forever family (and cultural) staple in my kitchen.  From stuffed cornbread, to cornbread dressing, to herbed cornbread madeleines, or on its savory, delicious lonesome, cornbread will always have a place in my heart and home.


I’m sharing this recipe with all the sentiments of love and togetherness that it represents for me, and I hope you take it, enjoy it, and create your own fond memories filled with…


Happy Eating!


Hot Skillet Cornbread


Ingredients:
1 stick (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs 

Heavy drizzle of honey (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Add butter to the skillet and place in the preheated oven for approx. 8 minutes, until butter is melted and golden.  

While the butter is melting and the skillet is heating through, in a medium bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and stir to combine. To the large bowl, add the milk, eggs and honey (if using). Toss in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. 

Pour or spoon the batter into the skillet.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the cornbread is golden brown and the edges are browned (don't overbake!).  Remove from the oven, serve warm and enjoy! 


Baker's Note: Cornbread used for dressing can be made ahead and stored in the freezer for up to a month.




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Friday, September 17, 2021

Peach Shortcakes





With Summer officially on its way out in less than a week, I thought one last hoorah was in order on the seasonal eating front.  With everything happening in our world currently, sometimes a bit of happy eating is a welcomed respite from the chaos.


And this season’s eating couldn’t have been any happier than when I was taking in (and taking down -:)) my favorite stone fruits.  As if it was a kiss from above, I’ve had the good fortune of landing on the sweetest, most delicious peaches over the last while.





Mostly I’ve indulged in them in their natural, ‘perfect as is’ state, but considering how easy it would be to throw together a classic favorite with only a bit of extra effort, I went all out last weekend and baked my homemade shortcakes, whipped my sweet, vanilla cream, and sealed the deal with slightly macerated, gorgeously hued, peaches.  


And just like that, happy eating was once again reborn in my kitchen.  So now I’m spreading the happy with my easy recipe, adapted from my Berry and Balsamic Shortcakes, and invite you to indulge once again in the season’s bounty before we turn the page and embrace a new season.





I’m counting on you to do it and I know you, like me, will know the supreme joy of…


Happy Eating!


P.S. If you’ve got extra peaches on hand, indulge further with my Peach CobblerPeach Crisp and Peach Caprese Bites for even more goodness!



Peach Shortcakes


Ingredients:

Fresh peaches, thinly sliced with peel on (*optionally, you can peel your peaches if desired)

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 recipe for shortcakes

1 recipe for whipped cream


Method:

Combine sliced peaches and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl.  Toss to combine and set aside to allow the peaches to macerate and develop sweet peach juices.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.


Prepare shortcakes according to recipe instructions.


Prepare whipped cream according to recipe instructions.


Assemble shortcakes layering the peaches and cream on top of the halved shortcakes (in as many layers as you like!).


Enjoy!


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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Peach Crisp


I feel as if I blinked and we entered a whole new season—and the second half of 2021.  In the words of the gifted songstress, Anita Baker, “It’s been so long…I’m missing you baby.” And it’s good to be back. 


As seasons go, I’m also glad to be back to one of my favorites—for seasonal produce.  And as the 2nd half of this year goes, I’m believing it will be better, healthier, calmer, safer and more of what we all need (individually and collectively.). My faith remains on ‘go’ and my gratitude remains in flow. (Did I just rhyme?!)


Speaking of produce, few compare to Summer’s bounty.  From (my favorite) stone fruit—bring on all the peaches, plums, cherries, and more!—to luscious watermelon, sweet corn and perfect tomatoes, I can never get enough.  Until the Fall season forces me to do so, at least.  And as one who’s tried indulging my passion out of season, I don’t recommend it.  So while we have Summer, we should definitely make the most of it and indulge.  Deal?





If you’re with me, even slightly, then I have a dessert that’s sure to please and become a recurring favorite in your Summer baking repertoire.  While you know my love for apple crisp, making it with peaches (still in awe that last Summer was my first time doing it) is as delicious and satisfying, with the bonus of coming together easily, as a Summer dessert should.


So without further adieu, take your Summer to new heights with a dessert that's guaranteed to induce...


Happy Eating!


Peach Crisp

 

Ingredients: 

¾ cup flour

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, and diced into cubes

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 

5-6 peaches

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Method: 

Preheat oven to 375° F.

 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, salt,  cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.  Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal.  Add oats and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. Place in freezer to chill while you prepare the peaches.

 

In another large bowl, toss peaches with lemon juice and ½ cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the oat topping mixture.  Place in preheated oven and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 to 65 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving—and enjoy!


 

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Thursday, May 20, 2021

5 Essential Tips For The Best Road Trip




Growing up, road tripping was the de facto way of travel for my family. From summer vacations to the beach, to family reunions, and everything in between, if we went—it was a road trip. (In fact, I didn’t board my first flight until I was in college.)

Times have surely changed—for my family and likely most travelers—with the road trip being eclipsed by air travel as the more common way of travel. 

And then came a global pandemic that changed everything. 

Now, as many are preparing to travel this Summer and beyond, the road trip is taking center stage once again as a popular way to go and explore against the ongoing pandemic backdrop. 

If done right, road trips are travel goals for taking in more than a singular destination, going at your pace, soaking in scenic routes and attractions, and bonding with travel companions on another level. 

Here are my 5 tips for making your journey one to remember—for all the right reasons:

1. Know Thyself.
Your travel personality (get there already, stop & smell the roses along the way, or a mix of both) will be key for embarking on a road trip that feels like a joy vs. a cruel sentence. Knowing how you typically like to go and flow (with some flexibility built in for surprising yourself) will put you in a positive space for embracing the journey ahead.

2. What happens in the car—matters. 
One of my most memorable road trips growing up was one where we sang all of Whitney Houston’s new (at the time) album. I knew every song by heart by the time we were done. Talk about fun! So prepare your playlists (music, podcasts, audio books & such) to keep the good vibes in gear. 

3. Food, food and more food. Keep the “hangries” at bay with a good stash of stacks. A mix of healthy snacks (fresh fruits, nuts, popcorn, flavored waters) and indulgences (chips, jerky, cheese and crackers, sweet treats, etc.) can go a long way in between stops and fuller meals. And if you have kids, it's a non-negotiable for keeping everyone sane and satiated. :)

4. Prepare for a safe journey. 
Be sure to check your car, stash a first aid kit, extra gallons of water, chargers and more, before hitting the road. 

5. Add travel resources to your arsenal. 
Roadtrippers, AAA, and other road trip apps, are essentials for seamlessly planning the perfect getaway. 

I wish you a safe, healthy Summer and lots of...

Happy Traveling!


Photo Credit: Bon Traveler
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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

5 Recipes for Delicious Spring Eating

Spring is here! And while some days it's not easy to tell if it's Spring, Summer, or Fall by the range in weather, the calendar reassures us that Spring has, indeed, arrived.

 

As the daylight lingers longer and the temperatures become warmer, before morphing into all-out hot Summer, I enjoy the segue from the heartier foods of the colder months into lighter, fresher fare.   From pastas, to soups, to desserts, and more, Spring eating is a delight.

 

And to get you going along these lines, I’ve rounded up five of my favorite dishes that are perfect for Spring. 

Pasta Primavera

Spring Popsicles - Coconut x Lime x Rose x Raspberry

Shaved Vegetable Salad

Chilled Red Pepper Soup

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

 

I hope you enjoy this ready-made Spring menu and all of the Happy Eating it’s sure to bring! xx

 

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