Brussels Sprouts and Egg Breakfast Boats

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I haven’t participated very much in Dom’s new Simply Eggcellent. I guess I can’t even call it new, because I think he’s been running it for the last year. I think I only have one other submission. Each month he gives a theme and bloggers from all around the internet make an egg dish based on the theme. This month’s theme was all about being healthy, because so many people have resolutions to start the new year healthy.

This is healthy for two reasons: for two pieces of this, it was only 366 calories (so one piece of stuffed bread is only 183 calories) and eating breakfast is supposed to be a way to start your day on a good foot!

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I’m really bad about eating breakfast. I’ve been trying all week to do it and even bought some easy meals, cereal and yogurt and granola, but I’m just so slow in the morning that it makes it difficult. But because it’s Saturday now I really have no reason.

So, I decided to start my weekend off with a delicious breakfast.

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While I’m early for Breakfast Week (January 24-30), this definitely a simple breakfast you can make either for breakfast week or any morning! Use whatever veggies you have in the house, smother it with cheese, do your thing!

Brussels Sprouts and Eggs Breakfast Boats

Ingredients
2 sandwich rolls, split in half lengthwise
1 tbsp Brummel & Brown yogurt spread (or butter)
4 brussels sprouts, sliced into shreds
4 eggs
2 slices of pepper bacon
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat to 375. Scoop the bread out of the middle of the sandwich rolls large enough to place an egg in the hole. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and put your bread in the dishes.
  2. Smear the inside of the bread with your butter substitute or butter.
  3. Fill the holes with brussels sprouts.
  4. Push the brussels sprouts down. Put an egg in the middle of each hole.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes.
  7. While your bread is baking, cook up your bacon. Cut it into small pieces.
  8. Sprinkle the top of each bread boat with bacon.
  • makes 4 boats

weekend cooking

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Shrimp Pasta with Spinach Sauce Topped with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

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I didn’t really know what I was making when I was making dinner tonight. I had three recipes in front of me, that somehow morphed into one dish. It all worked together very well. I had the pasta, a dipping sauce for the shrimp, the shrimp and tomatoes, and the brussels sprouts all separate. I took a step back and realized this dish would be perfect as a pasta dish (instead of having the pasta on the side.) And I was right.

Had I known I was going to do this, I would have thickened the spinach sauce up a bit – but the flavors were all great.

Though this was not the dish I had intended to make for this month’s Pasta Please, I figured I should share it, because as life seems to prove time and again, I’m bad at getting blogs done. So if I have something that qualifies, I should get it in!

Pasta Please is a fun monthly roundup, hosted by Tinned Tomatoes, but this month at SliceOffMe.

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Shrimp Pasta With Spinach Sauce Topped with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
8 oz dried spaghetti noodles
juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb uncooked shrimp, deveined and peeled
1 lb Brussels sprouts
olive oil, enough to fry the brussels sprouts
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup baby spinach
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook per the box’s directions. Drain and set aside.

2. When the pasta is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Add the shrimp and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

3. To prepare the Brussels sprouts, trim the stems. Peel back and separate the leaves of the Brussels sprouts. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a cast iron skillet pour in the vegetable oil to sufficiently cover the bottom. Heat until sizzling. Add the Brussels sprouts leaves and fry, flipping continuously so they don’t burn. Once they have browned and begin to fold, remove them from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place on the lined baking sheet.

4. In a blender or food processor combine the spinach, green onions, yogurt, milk, vinegar, mustard, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Process until smooth.

5. Place the drained Brussels sprouts leaves in a bowl and toss with red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Heat a skillet with Pam over medium heat. Cook the shrimp and cherry tomatoes, for approximately 3 minutes or until the shrimp are no longer pink.

7. Toss the pasta with the sauce, shrimp, and tomatoes. Sprinkle the Brussels sprouts leaves on the top.

* serves 4
* Besides Pasta Please, this dish is being shared with Small Victories Sunday

Christmas Dinner 2013

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Though my 12 days of cookies may have fallen into oblivion (though I do have some cookies to share in the next few days that I did end up making,) December always for me is a month of cooking. I made cookies for Matt’s family for Christmas, I made my doggy chicken jerky, and I made my dad homemade barbecue sauce in two different flavors.

What always becomes a cooking marathon though, is Christmas Day. Some families go BIG and invite everyone they know for Christmas. My family is the opposite. My parents moved to California from Ohio in the ’80s and because none of our extended family is around, we tend to keep it small. We go for fancy meals instead of meals that serve a lot of people. Christmas is always a time that my mom and I spend the whole day in the kitchen, making sure we make our meal perfect.

This was another year of perfection.

Rather than share the recipes, I’m linking you to the recipes we followed.

2013 Christmas Menu in Pictures

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The star of the show was a beautiful Beef Wellington. My mom’s made Beef Wellington in the past, but we followed a new recipe this year. It was my first time ever making one. This dish took all day, but it was worth every second it took making it. The beef tenderloin was so juicy and tender, having cooked with the pate, mushrooms, and proscuitto wrapped tightly around it. Though my taste buds would have enjoyed eating all 3-lbs of the tenderloin, this is so rich that one slice was all the rest of my body could handle.

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As a side dish we had Mushroom & Leek Bread Pudding from the cookbook that can do no wrong. I gave my mom Barefoot Contessa Foolproof last year for Christmas. She cooks out of the cookbook a lot and has told me everything in it is divine and flavorful and yet, easy to make. We decided to make this bread pudding and it hit the mark.

We also made Roasted Brussels Sprouts, but I did not take a picture of those. We seasoned them with salt and pepper and tossed them in some olive oil and roasted them. Though simple, this decadent meal needed a simple veggie.

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To put an end to our Christmas meal, we had Vanilla Roasted Pears with vanilla ice cream. The fruit dessert was a great end to the meal. My aunt had sent us pears for Christmas. This was a great way to use them. They were so soft and delicious.

What did you have for Christmas this year?

* This recipe is being shared with Full Plate Thursday

Christmas Dinner 2012

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Every year at Christmas we try to do something different. Last year for Christmas we had a German-inspired meal. We always have several dishes that require more effort than a normal night’s dinner. My mom and I spend most of the day and most of Christmas Eve preparing for the meal. It’s small, just the nuclear family (though we typically have an honorary guest, this year a dear friend of mine from childhood who happened to be in the area, my dad’s cousin, and his girlfriend.) But the reason we do it small, is because we typically like to do something more intensive than what you could easily serve a bigger group.

I posted the Christmas Dinner Menu earlier this month. The only changes to that menu were that instead of the breaded Brussels sprouts we had balsamic glazed Brussels, we switched crown roast recipes though the concept was essentially the same, and instead of the mixed berry sauce on top of the panna cotta, there was a cranberry sauce instead.

I’m not sharing all of the recipes, I’m only sharing the recipes that I personally cooked or was involved because they’re the ones I know the changes we might have made. All the dishes are shown though, because you need to see the meal!

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The star of our meal was the Crown Roast of Pork with Apple and Hazelnut Stuffing. Our crown wasn’t the prettiest crown there is, because there are definitely better butchered crowns, but given the store didn’t charge more for it than the cost of the pork chops individually, it’s hard to complain.

The brine called for a lot of salt, which we ended up halving because the recipe called for 9 cups of salt which is a lot. The problem was that even then, the salt didn’t all dissolve into the water, and frankly, all the seasonings in the brine really didn’t come through in the meat at all. All in all though, the stuffing was a show stopper and was delicious. The pork was really just pork chops, but they were perfectly cooked and yummy. I’m not going to share this recipe besides giving the link to the recipe we followed because my mom made some changes, but I am unsure what she did. I was in charge of the stuffing portion which we followed absolutely to the recipe.

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We also had a side of Burgundy Mushrooms from the Pioneer Woman. My mom had seen this recipe and was very excited to make it. The flavor of the mushrooms was divine. The only problem is that the bouillon contains so much salt and my family doesn’t really eat much salt, so we couldn’t eat very many mushrooms without needing to drown in a glass of water. But the flavors of the wine, butter, and mushrooms was great. I’m also not sharing this recipe because it wasn’t made by me.

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I promise, this isn’t just a picture post. I made sweet potato rolls. Mine didn’t come out quite as beautiful as those on Food Done Light, but the flavor was perfect. The oven I was using is a little cool I think, so I had to bake them longer than the recipe said. The flavor of the sweet potato is extremely mild in these rolls. In fact, if I hadn’t told you there was sweet potato in it, you probably wouldn’t know. The rolls were soft and even two days later haven’t gone stale (we finished them off tonight with a spaghetti squash casserole.)

Sweet Potato Rolls

Ingredients
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, divided
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups to 2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

1. In a large pot boil water over high heat. Add the sweet potato for about 20 minutes, until soft. Once the sweet potato is soft, remove from the water and smash. Place in the freezer until needed.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, yogurt, salt, 1 egg, dry milk, and whole wheat flour. Beat with the paddle attachment, mixing on low speed until the dough starts to hold together. Add 1 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour and mix more. Slowly add more all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a soft dough that is not sticky.

3. Replace the paddle attachment for the bread hook and use the bread hook on the dough for 6 minutes.

4. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise for about an hour.

5. Deflate the dough. Tear the dough into 16 equal pieces. Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Cover the rolls with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

6. Beat the other egg and spread the egg mixture lightly over the rolls.

7. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes at 375. Allow to cool.

* makes 16 rolls

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Like I said above, instead of breaded Brussels like we had originally discussed at the last minute we decided there was a lot of bread going on, so we decided to make a simple balsamic vinegar sauce, roast the Brussels sprouts, and throw in some dried cranberries. It was a yummy addition to our meal. I would give you a recipe, but there isn’t one.

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I’ve never made or heard of creamed onions before making this menu plan. I’m not really sure what inspired them or how I happened across the recipe. But I am convinced that this dish was the star of the meal. The onions get really sweet when you cook them as long as you need to in this dish, and how can you say no to sweet, creamy onions?

I’m not sharing this recipe since I hardly had a hand in it, but click that link above for a great recipe.

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To end this meal we had panna cotta. For as simple as this recipe was I was incredibly intimidated by it and was convinced the whole thing was going to fall flat on its face. Luckily I was incredibly wrong. The panna cotta was delicious. But really, the process of making it was full of fail.

I made them Christmas Eve since they had to set in the fridge. I had sprinkled the gelatin in the bowl. As I went to go get water to add to the gelatin, I go back to find my bowl gone. My mom had loaded it into the dishwasher. Luckily I had more gelatin left. When boiling the cream, I turned my back for a second and the whole thing boiled over. Without me realizing it, it had also boiled over so much it had put the flame out. I didn’t realize for a few minutes and then had to resimmer the entire thing. I got everything into the molds and was sure it had failed.

Christmas Day I was surprised to see the panna cotta had set. When it became time to make the sauce I learned that all the blackberries we had bought to make the sauce with were disgustingly moldy. After scrambling around the kitchen I made the cranberry sauce with blood orange juice and honey. In retrospect I think I should have just served the panna cotta plain. The flavor of the cream was great on its own and didn’t need to be weighed down by any sauce. Also the cranberries were kind of tangy, so there’s that too.

Panna Cotta

Ingredients
2 tsp plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 cups cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 piece of vanilla bean 1 1/2 inches long, split

Directions

1. In a small bowl combine the gelatin and water. Set aside.

2. Over medium heat, combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add the gelatin to the mixture. Mix well until the gelatin has completely dissolved.

4. Pour into 6 1/2 cup molds or ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

5. To remove the panna cotta from the ramekins, run a sharp knife around the sides and then flip upside down. Top with a fruit sauce (or not.)

* makes 6

What did you have for Christmas dinner this year?

* shared with Full Plate Thursday, Catch A Glimpse Party, and Linkin’ up Thursday

 

 

Easy Creamy Sour Cream Chicken Casserole and Spicy Brussels Sprouts

Though it was just the small side of this meal, this post is about how much I typically I hate Brussels Sprouts. When I was growing up my mom had a policy that basically, I couldn’t say I didn’t like something until I’d tried it. This resulted in me taking a lot of tiny bites of food thinking I was going to hate it, and then gagging like I had eaten the most disgusting thing in the world.

As I grew up and began to cook for myself, this pickiness decreased actually much thanks to my mom. I still kept the notion that I couldn’t say I didn’t like something if I had never tried it. For me this also turned into trying foods that I was certain I despised (like spinach) and trying them in a way prepared differently than I’ve had before.

Brussels sprouts and I have been having a go with it. Every time I make them, I still hate them. But I knew there had to be a way I would enjoy the sprouts. There just had to be.

Now, I will say Brussels sprouts are by far not my favorite food in the world, but I have found one way that covers up the taste of them enough to make me enjoy the dish.

Spicy Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

 1. Place the Brussels sprouts in a pot and fill with water. Boil for 30 minutes or until the sprouts are to your desired crispness.  Remove and drain.

2. Season with garlic, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Add the green onions, mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.

* 62 calories per serving
* serves 4

Easy Creamy Sour Cream Chicken

Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 lb
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
25 reduced-fat Ritz crackers
1/2 cup Brummel&Brown yogurt spread, melted (or other butter substitute)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Boil the chicken in a pot of water until it is cooked all the way through. Let cool and then cut into cubes.

3. Spread the chicken cubes over the bottom of a baking dish.

4. Mix sour cream and cream of mushroom soup in a bowl. Spread the mixture over the chicken.

5. Crush the Ritz and cover the dish with the crushed crackers.

6. Pour the melted Brummel&Brown over the dish.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, until brown on the top.

* 483 calories per serving
* serves 4