Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cheesy Quinoa Cups

Dunkley, originally from IowaGirlEats

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded or diced vegetables (I've used steamed broccoli and sauteed spinach)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup diced meat or additional vegetables (I used ham)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped (omitted)
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • salt & pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. 
  3. Liberally spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray and spoon mixture to the top of each cup. 
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cups are golden brown. 
  5. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the mini muffin tin.

I had some quinoa left over after making a few batches of Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro for a neighborhood party. Luckily, my friend Sarah had just posted Cheesy Quinoa Cups on her blog. I dug through my refrigerator and had all the ingredients except parsley on hand. Voila! A delicious, portable snack.

Next time I make these, I may try using shredded Swiss (I love ham, spinach, and Swiss cheese together), or add some spices or herbs. Really any flavor combination should work!

Liz's Rating: 8.5/10
Tim's Rating: 8/10
Henry's Rating: ate three

(Yes, we have a new little guy in our life. He's 11 months old, and we'll blame the blog hiatus on him. Luckily, he loves to eat-- anything and everything. I'll include him as a rater from now on.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beet, Orange, and Apple Salad

Tim's newfound love of beets and

  • 1 1/2 pounds beets
  • 2 cups shredded beet greens
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored
  • and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted

  1. Wash and dry beet roots and greens. Shred greens to measure 2 cups and set aside.
  2. Place beets in a sauce pan with enough water to cover. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow to cool.
  3. Trim and peel off skins; cut into 8 wedges.
  4. Peel and section orange. In a bowl, combine orange sections, beets and apples.
  5. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic. Pour over beet mixture and toss well.
  6. Arrange 1/2 cup beet greens on 4 salad plates. Top with beet mixture, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve.

Notes: Loved this recipe. It's not for beginners--kind of time consuming--but it's delicious. Next time I'll double the dressing recipe and keep the salad ingredients the same. I may also add in an extra orange.

Tim's Rating: 9/10
Liz's Rating: 9/10

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

I love, love, love Carbonara. It's one of my comfort foods. Tim isn't a huge fan, so I eat it when he's working late or has other plans. It's so easy to make and perfect for a cold night in.
This recipe is from Tyler Florence.

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  1. Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian "al dente.") Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

  4. Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

Liz's Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Best Breakfast Casserole

My sister Ellen made this over Thanksgiving, and we made it again for Christmas morning. It's hands down the best baked breakfast we've ever had. You must try it!
Recipe from Johnsonville.

  • 1 package (12 oz.) Johnsonville® breakfast sausage links
  • 6 English muffins, cut into 1-in. cubes
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (omitted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper (omitted)
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits (omitted)

  1. Cook sausage according to package directions. Cool slightly; cut into ¼-in. slices.
  2. In a greased 13in. x 9 in. baking dish, layer half the English muffin cubes and half the cooked sausage. Repeat layers.
  3. Drizzle with butter and top with the cheese, onion and red pepper.
    In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over casserole. Sprinkle with bacon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
  5. Uncover and bake at 350˚F for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let stand 5 minutes.

Liz's Rating: 10/10
Tim's Rating: 10/10

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

Rachael Ray

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 6 cups miniature pretzels, chopped

  1. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.

  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and peanut butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined; stir in the peanuts.

  3. Place the pretzels in a bowl. Using a 1 1/2-inch-diameter cookie scoop and working in batches, drop a few balls of dough in the bowl and toss to coat. Place the cookies on the prepared pans. Bake, rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until golden but still soft to the touch, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before transferring to racks to cool.

Notes: So good. I love that salty-sweet combination!

Liz's Rating: 9.5/10
Tim's Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fusilli Alla Crazy Bastard

Food & Wine
I was looking for a recipe to use up some Swiss chard, and who could resist a recipe with the name "Fusilli Alla Crazy Bastard"?

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 pound beet greens, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 pound soft goat cheese, thickly sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the walnuts for 7 minutes, until lightly browned; let cool slightly. Coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Raise the oven temperature to 450°. On the rimmed baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for about 10 minutes, until browned in spots.
  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 2 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, beet greens and crushed red pepper and cook, crushing the tomatoes slightly, until the greens are just wilted, 3 minutes.
  4. Drain the fusilli, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta, the reserved cooking water and the sliced goat cheese to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, tossing to coat the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, garnish with the chopped toasted walnuts, top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.

Notes: Make this recipe if you really, really, really love goat cheese. Otherwise adapt it. The goat cheese flavor was a bit overwhelming. I did like the combination of walnuts, pasta, goat cheese, and chard, and the roasted tomatoes were delicious.

Liz's Rating: 8/10
Tim's Rating: 7/10