Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sausage and Pepper Frittata

"Brinner" (Breakfast for dinner) is delicious but it's hard to make eggs to order for a group if you want to actually spend time with your guests.  To solve that problem I decided to make a frittata, which is essentially a large, thick omelet started on the stove and finished in the oven.

This recipe calls for a dozen eggs but I used 8 and felt like that was plenty.  Some reviewers used 6 and that was probably fine, too.  I wanted more protein since we were feeding a bunch of boys.

Thanks, Anne Burrell and Food Network!

Sausage and Pepper Frittata



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a nonstick 10-inch saute pan with olive oil. Add the sausage and brown. Add the peppers and saute until they are soft.
In a bowl, add the Parmigiano to the beaten eggs and season lightly with salt. Using a heat-proof rubber spatula, stir the eggs into the pan with the sausage and peppers. Stir the eggs to evenly distribute the sausage and peppers throughout the eggs. Once the eggs set on the bottom and around the sides of the pan, place the pan in the preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through. Remove from the pan. Cut into wedges and serve hot or a room temperature.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


We received a waffle iron/griddle for our wedding three years ago and used it once.  Once!!  It's ridiculous!  Luckily W wanted to have people over for the Pats/Broncos game and I wanted to have breakfast for dinner so we got an opportunity to bust out the waffle maker.  After a little research (and a friend's blog) I found this recipe for "Waffles of Insane Greatness" on the Food Network site.  The waffles were exactly what I hoped for, and I made extra so we could freeze them and have them for breakfast during the week.

Thanks to The Cooking of Joy for pointing me in the right direction!  I made them with buttermilk because that's what other reviewers suggested and I liked the results.  I also appreciated how I didn't have to spray my waffle iron with cooking spray. I love non-fussy recipes!

Waffle of Insane Greatness


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter and syrup, for serving


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Back in 2003 my family and I attended a friend's graduation at Berkeley and after the ceremony they served light snacks.  I was really impressed by the presentation of the snacks, but I was mostly impressed by the madeleines.  It was my first time having this light, buttery, cake-like cookie and I vowed for it to not be my last.

When we moved to Connecticut I was exploring a thrift shop and found a madeleine pan.  I bought it and went home to start making cookies.  I came across this recipe from Tasty Meals at Home (I use their beef noodle soup recipe) and have never looked back.  I even brought the pan with me to California to make madeleines for my family and they loved them.  A container of madeleines is one of my favorite gifts to give friends.

Thank you for this beautiful recipe, Tasty Meals at Home!


What You Need:
  • Madeleine pan – there are mini size ones as well as the regular large size ones. We used a mini pan.
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • powder sugar for dusting (optional)
What to Do:
First off, combine the eggs and sugar and whip till smooth. It will be easier to use an electric mixer.
Next, add in the salt, honey and vanilla.
Add baking powder into a separate bowl. Sift flour into the bowl as well. Using a rubber spatula, add the mixture into increments and mix until all is incorporated and smooth.
Melt the butter and add into the batter. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
Preheat the oven at 375 F. Generously grease the madeleine pan. You want the cookies to come out in one piece with the shell like design, so yes..grease it up!
Now, is the somewhat tricky part. In order to fill the pan, we found it easiest to use a makeshift pastry bag. We tried to fill it up by just spooning the batter onto the pan, but it was difficult to do. Since we did not have a pastry bag handy, we just used a regular ziploc bag and filled it with batter. We then cut a small corner of the bag off, and wa la–makeshift pastry bag.
It is important to not to overfill the molds! We filled ours to the top initially and ended up with huge hunchback looking madeleines. We later found out that it is best to fill it up a little more than 1/2 way.
Once you have filled the pans, tap the pan onto a working surface to roughly distribute the batter into the molds. Then, slip it into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes…it may take longer depending on the oven that you have. When using our oven, 10 minutes was too long, so keep watch around the 8 minute mark to figure out how long is long enough. These cookies are done once the edges are golden brown.
Now, if you want to make these cookies a little more decadent, sprinkle on some powdered sugar!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

I can't get enough of mac and cheese.  We grew up eating a packaged version (not Kraft, surprisingly) and I loved it with chili and occasionally with tuna.  As much as I like Easy Mac, I've been looking for an easy recipe to make from "scratch" that didn't involve baking it.

Simply Recipes to the rescue!   I happened to have a small block of cheddar that worked really well once I shredded it and added a little bit of cornstarch.  I wouldn't recommend using already shredded cheese because the caking agents they add makes the cheese stringy.  I added some mixed vegetables (previously frozen) to make it a little healthier, and I didn't add ham because we were eating it with leftover meatloaf.

Thanks, Elise!

Quick Macaroni and Cheese


  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lb cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups, packed)
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ham, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
  • Freshly grated black pepper


1 In a medium sized bowl, mix corn starch into the grated cheese, so that the cheese is coated, set aside. This will help the cheese from getting too stringy.
2 Bring 2 quarts of water with the tablespoon of salt to a boil in thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the elbow macaroni and follow the cooking time instructions on the package, minus about 2 minutes. (If your macaroni doesn't come with instructions, start checking at 7 minutes). Cook until al dente - cooked through, but still slightly firm. Drain the water from the cooking pan.
3 While the macaroni is cooking, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Slowly dribble in the milk, while whisking (to avoid clumping) until the sauce is smooth. Slowly add the grated cheese, while whisking, until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the cooked, drained macaroni and ham. Do not over-mix. Sprinkle in some freshly grated black pepper.
Serve immediately.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Apple Cake

One of my favorite things about W is that he's very thoughtful when it comes to food.  He called me from our college convenience store when they had my favorite ice cream flavor in stock, and he often brings me back cookies or other treats from work to this day.  While we were dating he had a piece of cake at a church event and thought it was delicious- so he brought a slice back for me after a long day of class.  The cake has a crunchy exterior but a nice soft, cakey interior that's lightly spiced.  I tracked down the baker for the recipe and she graciously shared it.  

I recommend Granny Smith apples for the cake.  I usually increase the amount of apples to 2 1/2 cups to make myself feel like it's healthier.  I always make it in a bundt pan cuz I don't have a tube pan.  The batter is really thick (almost cookie-like) so don't be alarmed when you're scooping it into the pan.  I don't make it unless I know we're going to be able to share it- and people don't seem to mind when I bring it.  

Thanks to Judy M. for sharing this recipe!  

Apple Ring Coffee Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional- I love walnuts but nut allergies make me nervous so I usually omit them.)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups peeled, chopped tart apples
Powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 10 inch tube pan; set aside.

2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into large
bowl. Stir in walnuts. Combine granulated sugar, oil, eggs, and
vanilla in medium bowl. Stir in apples. Stir into flour mixture just
until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

3. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes
out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from
pan; cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle powdered sugar over cake.