Monday, December 26, 2005

Turkey, Ham, and Cheese Breakfast Strata

Turkey, Ham, and Cheese Breakfast Strata

serves 2 to 4

This recipe is something like a savory bread pudding with breakfast ingredients. It's prepared the night before, then put in the oven for an hour the next morning while you go about your business. I love it on Sunday mornings and holidays.

you will need a bread pan


butter (to grease the pan)
2 1/2 english muffins, halved
8 slices of peppercorn deli turkey, sliced thin
8 slices of white american cheese (from the deli, not kraft singles), sliced thin
8 slices of deli ham, sliced thin
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
maple syrup

1. Grease the pan

2. Put a layer of 2 and a half english muffin halves on the bottom of the pan, nooks and crannies facing up.

3. Put a layer of 4 slices of turkey on top of the english muffins. Put a layer of three to four slices of cheese on the turkey. Put a layer of 4 slices of ham on the cheese. Then put a layer of cheese on the ham.

4. Put another layer of 2 and a half english muffin halves on top of all of that, nooks and crannies facing up.

5. Put another layer of turkey and ham, but no cheese.

6. Mix up the eggs and milk in a glass or bowl, then pour it in the pan over everything.

7. With a spatula, squish down the strata so the egg mixture gets it wet.

8. Cover it and put it in the fridge for at least an hour and up til overnight.

9. The next morning preheat the oven to 350 F. Then put the strata in for an hour. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for ten to fifteen minutes, then serve it from the pan with maple syrup on the side.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Turkey Gravy

For some reason it is something my mom is always fretting over, so I figured there have to be other people who have tiny panic attacks when it come time to make it. So here is my quick and easy gravy recipe.

Serves 4 to 8 people.


2 T butter
2 T flour
pan juices
garlic powder
onion powder
thyme (dried)
kosher salt

1. Melt 2 T. butter in a small sauce pan on medium to medium-low heat.

2. Add in 2 T. flour and whisk together til smooth.

3. Add in pan juices a little at a time, whisking as you go. Make sure the mixture is smooth each time before adding more.

4. Add in broth a little at a time until it gravy is a little thinner than your desired texture, whisking as you go.

5. Add in spices to taste. Whisk.

6. Turn up the heat a little and let the gravy reduce down to your desired thickness.

7. Done!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Deep Fried Apples with Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a great "I can't believe I forgot dessert!" dish for the holidays or just an interesting twist on traditional apple pie. I wanted to create something that would be interesting and good and festive that wouldn't take very long and really could be made with things one normally has around the house especially around Thanksgiving (hence the beer batter!) so it could be whipped up without much fuss.

Serves 8


1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. sugar

2 egg yolks
1/2 t. vanilla
1 12oz. beer (I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale)

4 apples, peeled (if there is time) and cut into 1 1/2 cm wide slices, sprinkled with lemon juice to keep from browning

vegetable oil (canola or other oil can work too)

powdered sugar
vanilla ice cream
honey (optional)

1. Preheat oven to "warm" and put a plate or baking sheet inside. Put a double layer of paper towels on a separate plate next to the stove.

2. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar together in a large bowl.

3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Put both egg yolks and the vanilla in the well and pour in a bit of beer. Slowly mix in flour with a fork.

4. Add the rest of the beer and mix everything together with a whisk until the batter is smooth and light.

5. Put 2 to 3 inches of oil in a pot on a burner set on high. Let oil heat up. (You will know the oil is hot enough by dropping in small amounts of batter. If the batter starts frying instantly it is at the right heat. As you continue be sure to remove the small stray bits so they don't burn and make the oil taste bad). When the oil is at the right heat turn the burner down to medium or medium-high.

6. Dip the apple slices in the batter and coat on all sides, then place 3 to 5 at a time in the oil (depending on the size of the pot) with a fork. Be careful not to splash! Let pieces fry until a light golden brown. Then remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on the paper towels.

7. To keep the slices warm let them drain for a few minutes then transfer to the plate in the oven until they are all finished.

8. When the slices are all finished, sprinkle them with powdered sugar (or regular sugar if you don't have any powdered on hand). Divide among eight individual bowls with vanilla ice cream. Drizzle both with a little honey and enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pecan Romano Cookies

When I made my "Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Apple, Prosciutto, and Honey Roasted Pecan Spread" my friend Christy tasted the spread alone and said, "This would make great cookies!" I experimented a bit and i think i came up with some unique, tasty cookies that will be especially handy around the holiday season. Let me know what you think!

Pecan Romano Cookies

makes about 2 dozen cookies


1 1/2c. ground honey roasted pecans
1/2c. plus 1/4c. finely grated romano cheese (plus extra for later)
1/2t. garlic powder
1/2t. ground ginger
2 T. olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1/2c. sugar
1/2 c. plus 6 T flour
3 T. very soft butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine ground pecans and romano cheese in a large bowl.

2. Add garlic powder and ground ginger. Mix.

3. Add lemon juice. Mix. Add olive oil. Mix.

4. Add juice of half a lemon. Mix. Add sugar. Mix.

5. Add in 1/2c. flour and combine.

6. Mix in very soft butter. Add up to 6 T. flour so that batter sticks together and is smooth and shiny.

7. Take batter one teaspoon at a time and roll each teaspoon into a one inch ball in your hands. Balls should be three inches apart on the cookie sheet. When sheet is full, take the bottom side of a glass and squish each ball so it is about 2 inches across. Sprinkle each disc with some romano cheese.

8. Bake cookies for 8 minutes. Remove from oven (checking that they are done) and let cool on tray for two minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

9. Repeat steps 7 and eight with remaining dough.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Apple, Pear, and Persimmon Saute

i got tired of cluelessly looking at and reading about persimmons this time of year. They're so pretty and yet i have no idea what to with them, so i made this up after buying one at the store. It's a good side dish.

Apple, Pear, and Persimmon Saute


1 med apple, diced
1 med pear, diced
1 med persimmon, diced
4-5 thinly sliced pieces of deli ham (you could substitute prosciutto-- of course!)
1/2 T. butter
1 t. whole grain mustard (like grey poupin)
1/8 t. ground clove
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 t. minced garlic

1. Melt half of butter in pan over medium heat. Add garlic. When garlic started to sizzle, add the ham, shredding it with your hands into several pieces. Stir.

2. After two minutes add the diced apple, pear, and persimmon. Stir.

3. Drop in mustard, clove, nutmeg, and remaining 1/4T. of butter. Stir. Cover pan and let sit for six to eight minutes (apple should be easy to pierce with fork).

4. Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve as a side dish. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oeufs en Cocotte (a la On The Fly)

Oeufs en Cocotte

Read about in "Julie and Julia", given a start by Ms. Julia Child, and made into my own. Delicious.


(in each ramekin-- or in my case small glass bowls-- "2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, 1 1/2 inches deep" according to Julia)

1/2 T butter
2 T heavy cream
1 egg
1 and 1/2 chopped grape tomatoes
1 t. garlic and herb soft cheese (Boursin was used, goat cheese would also work)
1/8 t. curry powder
romano cheese (grated)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Put ramekins in a deep pan, then fill pan with water so it is 1/4 of an inch or a little more from the top of the ramekins. Bring water to a simmer.

3. Place 3/4s of the 1/2 T of butter in the each ramekin. Add 1 T. cream. Add tomatoes, soft cheese, and curry. Crack eggs individually, placing one in each ramekin.

4. After about five or 6 minutes add the other tablespoon of cream, the last quarter of the butter, and a sprinkling of romano cheese (not too much).

5. Place the whole pan in the pre-heated oven for nine to ten minutes (Julia says less but I like to know my eggs are done). Be careful not to slosh the water into the ramekins.

6. Remove from oven, place ramekins on individual dishes and serve with fresh bread.

I ate this as a light dinner and drank it with a white bordeaux (Chateau La Commanderie de Queyret 2003) which went really nicely (as far as I could tell anyway). Obviously this is also great for the morning, or any time of day really. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Challah French Toast stuffed with scallion cream cheese

Stuffed Challah French Toast
*with honey butter syrup

this is super simple and really good, especially on these cold fall days. I actually served these for dinner with some soup!

serves 4


1 loaf of challah bread (unsliced)
scallion cream cheese
2 eggs

1) Preheat oven to 150-200 F. Put a cookie sheet in.

2) Cut eight thick slices from the challah, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Slice those pieces down middle, almost to the bottom, so they open like a book. Spread the inside generously with cream cheese, then press back together gently.

3) Crack eggs and whisk, adding about 1/4 c. milk.

4) Dip both sides of each stuffed slice in the egg/milk mixture and set aside. (You can do this all at once or one at a time as you cook them. I tend to pour the mixture onto a plate for extra easy coating of each side)

5) Heat skillet and put 1/4T. butter in to melt. One at a time (or two if you have a large pan) put coated slices in the skillet, let cook to a golden brown on one side, then flip and let that side cook. As you go, add butter to the pan as needed. When slices are done, place them on the cookie sheet in the oven to keep warm while you make the others.

6) Serve. I served mine drizzled with *Honey Butter Syrup*, which is just half a stick of butter melted in a saucepan and mixed with 1/3 c. honey and 1/8 t. each of garlic powder and salt.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Apple, Prosciutto, and Honey Roasted Pecan Spread

Grilled Cheese sandwiches with Apple, Prosciutto, and Honey Roasted Pecan Spread

makes two sandwiches


Fresh multigrain bread, four slices
sliced apple
eight slices of paper thin prosciutto
thinly sliced Romano cheese
thinly sliced Gouda cheese

for the pecan spread:

1/3 c. honey roasted pecans
1 t. fresh lemon juice
3 T. grated Romano cheese
1/8 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. garlic powder
3 T. olive oil
sprinkle of salt

1) Make the Pecan Spread by first chopping the pecans in a food processor. Then add the Romano cheese, ginger, garlic powder, and salt to the processor. Blend. Add the lemon juice and blend. Add the olive oil and blend well.

2) Spread pecan mixture generously over two slices of bread. Arrange a layer of interspersed pieces of Romano and Gouda cheese. Put a layer of sliced apples over that. Then a layer of prosciutto. Put another layer of bread on top. There should be two sandwiches.

3) Melt 1/4 T. butter in a frying pan over med/med low heat. When pan is hot put one sandwich in pan and press/cover sandwich with a dinner plate. Hold down for a few minutes, then flip the sandwich and repeat. Flip and repeat this process twice more (both sides are grilled twice).

4) Either serve that sandwich immediately, cut in half, or put it in an oven preheated at a low temp to keep warm while you make the other sandwich by repeating number three.

5) Serve and enjoy. Note: the cheese may not be melted all the way-- that's okay it's really good anyway.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Prosciutto and Smoked Gouda Scramble

Prosciutto and Smoked Gouda Scramble
serves 2

2-4 extremely thin slices of prosciutto
1/4c. finely grated smoked gouda
4 eggs
1/4c. milk
1/2T. butter
garlic powder
celery seed
kosher or sea salt

1. Melt butter in frying pan, spreading evenly with wooden spoon.

2. Crack the four eggs into the pan. Break the yolks and stir with spoon.

3. Add milk to eggs and stir.

4. Continue stirring eggs, scraping off the bottom and sides of pan, mixing the egg that is setting with the eggs that still aren't cooked through (makes for fluffier eggs).

5. When eggs are about halfway cooked add the prosciutto, ripped into smaller pieces. Stir, then sprinkle eggs with garlic powder, celery seed, and salt to taste. Continue stirring.

6. When eggs are almost entirely set, but still moist add the cheese in and stir.

7. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ravioli with Wilted Spinach Salad

Ravioli with Wilted Spinach Salad
serves 1

1 c. fresh spinach
1 T. olive oil
2 t. minced garlic
a handful of coarsely grated carrots
2 T. shredded almonds
4-5 premade fresh spinach ricotta raviolis
2-3 T. grated romano cheese
salt (sea or kosher, preferably)

1. Bring water to a boil (add a teeny bit of oil so they don’t stick together). Put ravioli in for 4-5 minutes. Drain.

2. Put 1 T. olive oil and 2 t. garlic in a pan on medium heat. When garlic is sizzling add the spinach, carrots, and almonds. Sprinkle with salt. Stir til spinach is wilted.

3. Place spinach mixture on plate. Put raviolis on top. Grate romano cheese over.

4. Enjoy.

Unique Arugula Pesto

all the following measurements are approximate

makes about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup

Unique Arugula Pesto

1 c. fresh arugula
14 walnut halves
3 t. preminced garlic or 2-3 fresh cloves
3 T. pineapple juice
1/3 c. romano cheese

put all of these things in a small food processor and make sure everything is chopped.

then add

6-8 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


then add

1 T. ground ginger

and blend again

adjust to taste

I’m using mine on a baguette with fresh tomatoes and fresh moz. cheese

Poached Egg with Crispy Salad and Baked Polenta

poached egg with carrots, baby spinach, apple, and romano cheese on seasoned baked polenta.

serves 4

4 eggs
white vinegar
garlic powder
tube of precooked polenta
1/2 c. fresh baby spinach
1 large green apple
3/4 c. shredded carrots
pecorino romano cheese
1 lime

1. Preheat toaster oven (or regular oven) to 300F. Put a large pot or pan of water on high heat. Add 2 T. of vinegar and salt to taste to the water.

2. Slice polenta into 12 1/4 inch slices. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Put in oven.

3. When water boils, turn off the heat and crack the four eggs into the water in four different corners. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how you like your yolk.

4. While eggs are poaching, use a sharp knife to shave pieces of the romano cheese. There should be about half a cup.

5. Also while the eggs are poaching, slice the apple in 1/8 inch thin slices.

6. Take out polenta. Arrange three on each plate, so one is overlapping the other in a circle. Then arrange a thin layer of romano cheese, a layer of apple, a layer of carrot, and three or four spinach leaves.

7. Remove eggs from water (you may have had to do this already). Put an egg on each plate on top of the spinach (be careful, they’re slippery).

8. Then top each egg with more slivers of cheese and arrange a few carrot shreds on top of that for garnish.

9. Squeeze a quarter of a lime over each plate, making sure to drizzle over everything.

10. Serve carefully (again, slippery those eggs!) and enjoy.

Bacon, Onion, and Tomato Tortilla

B.O.T. Tortilla
serves 2

3 strips of bacon
1/4 c. chopped onion
8 to 10 grape tomatoes sliced and seeded
1/4 c. grated american cheese
1/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
2 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 lime

1. Make bacon, place on paper towels. Pour out some of the bacon grease but leave at least half in the pan.

2. Put the pan back on the heat and put the tomatoes and onions in. Squeeze lime over the veggies, only using some of the juice. Sprinkle with salt and thyme. Stir and let cook until onions are soft and starting to be translucent. Transfer to paper towel.

3. Put 1 tortilla in same pan. Sprinkle with 1/8c. american cheese and 1/8 c. of cheddar cheese. Wait til cheese is melting, then add half of the veggies. Fold tortilla over, tranfer to a plate and squeeze lime over it.

4. For second tortilla repeat step 3.

5. Serve warm and enjoy.

Cornmeal Pancakes with Pumpkin Dumplings, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

The cornmeal pancakes are from the Jiffy box and the pumpkin dumplings adapted pretty much as is with a few changes from (awesome website!) The rest is all me.

Cornmeal Pancakes with Pumpkin Dumplings, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

serves 4


1 box of Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 eggs
8 oz or so of goat cheese
2 handfuls of walnut halves
ground cloves
canned pumpkin
1/2c. flour
baking powder

1. Mix together pancake batter and set aside (for everything involving the pancakes, just follow the instructions on the side of the Jiffy corn muffin mix box)


Whisk together 1/2c. of canned pumpkin, 1 egg, 1/2t. salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove (ground) to taste, 1/8t. baking powder. Then whisk in 1/2c. of flour.

Boil water salted to taste. Once water is boiling, dip a teaspoon into the water and then, a teaspoon at a time drop in balls of the pumpking mixture, dipping spoon in water between each spoonful (it keeps it from sticking). Let boil for 10 minutes, then take out with a slotted spoon and let sit in a colander to let drain. Work in two batches. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 125 F.

Put some butter in a skillet on medium heat. Pour in pancake mixture and swirl around so the pancake is large, almost the same size as the pan. Make 4 pancakes, transferring each to the plate in the oven to keep warm. Add more butter to pan in between pancakes if necessary.

After the pancakes are in the oven keeping warm, add a 1/4t. or so of butter to the skillet and add the dumplings. Put a handful or two of walnut halves in the skillet as well. Pour 2T. honey in the skillet over the dumplings and nuts and stir continuously for two or three minutes, making sure both sides of the dumplings are browned. Remove from heat.

Take pancakes out of oven and transfer one to each plate. Evenly distribute dumplings and walnuts on top of each. Crumble 2 to 3T. goat cheese on top of each. Drizzle 1T. of honey and 1T. melted butter on each.

4. Serve hot and enjoy.

Peach Puffs

Peach Puffs


frozen puff pastry
plain goat cheese

1. Thaw frozen puff pastry, cut into quarters. Put into muffin cups.

2. Fill muffin cups with (in this order) 1 to 2 T. plain goat cheese, 1 to 2 t. honey, and fresh sliced peaches.

3. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes at 400 F. Let cool for as long as you can stand to wait and eat.

Poached Egg with Aged Gouda and Honey Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Poached Egg with Aged Gouda and Honey Toasted Sunflower Seeds

1.Poach one egg

Put one tablespoon of white vinegar and salt to taste in 2 to 3 inches of water in a pot or small pan. Bring to a boil. When the water has been boiling for a minute, remove pan from heat and crack one egg into it. Let stand for three to six minutes, depending on if you like your yolk runny or not. White should be opaque

2. Remove egg from water with slotted spoon

3. Put egg on plate and grate aged gouda over egg

4. Sprinkle with honey toasted sunflower seeds

available in various fine food stores, definately at William Sonoma
5. Enjoy!