Saturday, March 26, 2016

low-carb ham and cheese quiche





Breakfast.  Lunch.  Dinner.

That's when I ate this dish the handful of days it was in our fridge.  And I promise you it got better with each day.

About six weeks ago, in an effort to calm down joint inflammation, I began significantly lowering my carb intake.  There is no doubt I absolutely love my bread and pasta and sweets, but trying to get chronic low-back and hip issues under control trumped that love.  I still have some of those preferred staples, but I really attempt to fill up on protein, dairy and veggies first, and then top it off with the "good stuff."

I actually came up with this recipe for a brunch last week and I'm planning to make it again this week.  It really turned out light and creamy and would be a b-e-e-autiful addition to your Easter table tomorrow.  I decided to use an immersion blender to mix up the eggs and cream, so I'm fairly sure that's why the result was so tender.  I couldn't have been more pleased.

I know quiche traditionally has a crust, but I am here to say you won't miss it.  It would certainly work fine with it, but low-carb eating or not, I prefer it this way.

I hope your Easter Sunday is lovely.  For more Easter eats, you might like to try this, this, or this.

Low-Carb Ham and Cheese Quiche

makes one 9x13 pan
printable recipe
  • 2 cups diced fully cooked ham
  • 2 cups finely shredded cheese (a cheddar works very well)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (green parts only)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 9x13 pan.

2.  Evenly spread diced ham and cheese on bottom of pan.

3.  Melt butter over medium heat and saute' onions until soft.  Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about
30 seconds.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.

4.  In mixing bowl, whip eggs, cream, salt and pepper until light and fluffy.  Using an immersion 
blender worked great here, but you could add air into the mixture by using a hand mixer, if you don't have an immersion.

5.  Stir onion/garlic mixture into eggs and stir.

6.  Pour egg mixture over ham and cheese.  Cook 30-35 minutes, or until knife inserted into center
comes out clean. Take care to not overcook.

Recipe inspired by Taste of Home.







Tuesday, February 23, 2016

me and oprah's corn fritters




John and I have been married 19 years this May.  Wow.  I've heard myself say that out loud a couple of times in conversation over the last few weeks, and it sounds really strange.  But what is even more strange is seeing it in writing.  Nineteen years?  Where did they go?

Right before we married, I graduated college and worked part time in the business office of my university, waiting as patiently as possible for a job in the music industry - landing one was a dream of mine.  In the meantime, I was learning to become a wife, and for me, that meant learning to cook.  On my days off, I would do everything I could to make sure and catch Martha Stewart in the morning and Oprah in the afternoon, hoping for anything "domestic" to increase my spousal aptitude.  With pen and paper in hand, I would madly write down the ingredients to an intriguing dish and add it to my stash.  You can find one of my all-time Oprah favorites, here!

This past New Years Day, I pulled out that stash and reminisced.  As crazy as it sounds, there are some pieces of paper with recipes of which I can remember the exact moment I wrote them.  Nineteen years ago...

Almost.

Six months after graduation I did finally land my dream job, so Martha and Oprah were no longer a daily habit.  I worried about falling by the wayside when it came to my growing ability in the kitchen, but little did I know my new boss was a domestic goddess and food queen.  I learned so much from her that I carry with me to this day.  But once in a while, as I did here, I pull out an Oprah just for old times' sake.  Oh, how I love memories.

These corn fritters are a great addition to many tables.  Served under tangy barbecue, in a bowl of soup, or alongside a stew, they are super-tender and savory.  We recently enjoyed them with this soup I posted not too long ago.  A wonderful blend of flavor and texture, go ahead and add this one to the menu pronto!

Oprah's Corn Fritters

  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn (I prefer frozen or fresh)
1.  Preheat griddle or cast iron skillet.  

2.  Mix first four ingredients until smooth.  Stir in corn.

3.  Using "fat" of choice, melt butter/bacon grease or heat oil to medium-high.  

4.  Drop 1/4 cups full onto hot surface and let sit until bubbles form and edges start to dry (similar to pancakes).  Flip and cook until set and cooked through.  

5.  Remove from heat and place in warm oven to keep until ready to serve.

6.  Serve with butter, but for a sweet touch, serve with honey or syrup.  





Wednesday, February 10, 2016

chocolate cobbler




What do you get when you cross my puppy with my camera's SD card?  Yep.  No more pictures.  It was totally my fault.  I even told myself when I laid it on my nightstand that it could happen, but optimistic me thought it would be OK for one night.  And it was... until I heard crunching the next morning.

Ugh.  So disappointing.

I had several pictures of new recipes I was looking forward to posting, and I had only moved over a couple to my Google Drive.  There's just nothing I can do, so I have to choose to let it go.

As a result, I'm without a camera card for another day or two and used my iPhone last night to snag a picture of this dessert.  It is one of my favorite go-to's, because, more times than not, I have the ingredients on hand.  They're basic staples in many of our pantries.

I ADORE this dish for multiple reasons.  I love that it's fail-proof.  I don't have to worry about over- or under-cooking it.  And I truly, truly enjoy the consistency.  When you scoop into it, you will find a rich, creamy chocolate sauce under a tender crust.  It is kind of like a light brownie and fudge topping all in one.  We had it last night with snow cream.  Vanilla Bean ice cream is perfect any other time snow is not readily available. ;)

Chocolate Cobbler

makes one 9x13 pan

For the cobbler
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 3/4 T cocoa
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the topping
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/4 cups VERY HOT water
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place butter in greased 9x13 dish and put in oven while heating until butter is melted.  

2. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla.  Batter will be very thick.

3. Once melted, remove pan with butter from oven and spoon mixture evenly in pan.

4. Mix together sugar and cocoa for topping.  Sprinkle evenly over batter.

5. Pour hot water over all and bake 30 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

saturday morning special ~ egg-in-the-hole sandwich




The speed of life has definitely returned to normal, and there have been far too many days since my last post.  But I couldn't think of a better one for a Saturday morning return than this one!
I've mentioned before how we love our Saturday breakfasts.  They're not always big, but many times they're more special than the bag of cereal or occasional sausage and piece of cinnamon toast we take in the car during the week.  

This sandwich definitely qualifies as special.  The combination of smokey bacon, slightly sweet and seared potato bread, all laced in warm egg and melted cheese... Yes.  Special.  That's a good word for it.  It is very easy, and so, very filling.  A great way to kick-start a day, for sure.

I'm looking forward to this weekend and a little more time to enjoy my boys and good food.  I hope you have a wonderful Saturday and can find a moment to fire up the griddle for something - and someone - special, too!

Egg-in-the-Hole Sandwich

  • 2 pieces potato bread (like this one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 slices bacon (I prefer thick-sliced for this)
  • 1 slice sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp real butter
  • salt and pepper
1. While griddle is heating, cook bacon in pan until done, remove from pan and lay on paper towels to remove excess grease.

2. Transfer about 1-2 tbsp of bacon grease to griddle, add butter, and heat until butter melts.

3. While butter is melting, cut hole in bread using a 2-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter.  Of course a fun shape, like a heart, would be cute, too!

4. When butter/grease mixture is heated, spread on griddle to cover enough surface for mixture to cover bread pieces when flipped.  

5. Place each piece of bread on the griddle, making sure the hole has adequate butter/grease in it to keep egg from sticking.  

6. Crack eggs carefully, one at a time, and pour in each hole of bread.  Cook until slightly set and flip over, taking care not to bust yolks.

7. Place bacon slices on one slice of flipped bread.  Layer with cheese and top with second piece of bread.  Season with salt and pepper.

8. Flip sandwich one more time to make sure not to overcook bottom egg.  A perfectly runny yolk is key, here. Season again.

9. Remove from griddle once cheese is melted.  Cut in half and serve immediately.

Idea from Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

quickest draw in the south ~ lazy daisy nachos




Snow, beautiful snow... It came in early Friday morning, and it fell and fell and fell.  It was gorgeous. It was peaceful.  It caused the city to stop, for just a moment, and breathe.  What a blessing it was, and as a dear friend said, a wonderful reminder that God is in control.

When both parents and their children work and/or attend the same school, snow days are the best. For four days, we have all been together in our home.  We played a LOT, and we ate even more! With a heads up that this weather was heading in, John called me at work the night before it hit to tell me he and the boys had made a grocery store run.  In his words, we were "locked and loaded."  And we were.  Our junk food cabinet was full, but he also grabbed a few things he knew I would want and need to make big breakfasts and real dinners.  You know... the ones that take a little longer than usual. It was wonderful while it lasted, but reality hits tonight, and I thought I'd share my answer for said reality.

This meal is probably all of my "boys'" favorite.  It's one of my favorites, too, because:

A) I know they love it,
B) it takes NO time to prep, and
C) it requires very, very little cleanup.

It's the card I pull every time I'm in a bind, and I'm serious when I say the family erupts with applause when I announce it's what's for dinner.

I really never thought about posting it until it came up in a conversation with a friend.  When I told her what I do, she enthusiastically responded with a, "Wow.  I never thought to do that.  I'm doing it tonight!"  So, I thought, "Wow.  Maybe I should put this on the blog."  So, here it is.

As a tip, I might encourage you to keep freezer bags of seasoned meat, in one-pound servings, on hand for these kinds of nights.  Sometimes I'll cook in peppers and onions with it before freezing.  I am here to say, it doesn't get any easier!  When the meal has finished cooking (about 10 minutes), put the pan in the middle of the table and serve straight from it.  Such a fun and fast way to enjoy dinner with your family!

Lazy Daisy Nachos

1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

3.  Spread nacho chips (these are our favorite) on pan evenly.

4.  Distribute one pound of seasoned meat - chicken or ground beef is our usual - over chips.  You may want to use my favorite taco seasoning.

5.  Layer any items you prefer cooked on top... corn, beans, etc.  If you prefer nothing else, go ahead and spread shredded cheese of choice.  We typically use a fiesta blend.

6.  Watch carefully for cheese to melt and remove from oven, about ten minutes.

7.  Top with what your family loves.  We enjoy sour cream, salsa, jarred jalapenos, cilantro, and chopped avocado, if we have some.

8.  If you have a picky one like I do, adjust nachos as needed.  I always keep a corner free of meat and use just cheese.  One pan.  Suits everyone.  Wad up the mess, and kitchen is cleaned.

Recipe from The Lazy Daisy Kitchen.




Friday, January 22, 2016

SOUP-er Saturday (a day early) ~ Layered Herby Stew




I know it's only Friday, but here in Nashville there's a good chance of snow that might very well hang around for a while.  I wanted to make sure anyone in the area, or those elsewhere with a similar forecast, could make it to the store for this SOUP-er Saturday recipe's ingredients before it's too late.

I don't know that there's a more perfect pot of stew for the coming weather than this one.  I remember when I first made it, early in our marriage, I had very, very little cooking experience.  I, for the life of me, had no idea why in the world it would call for tapioca.  Up until that point in my life, tapioca was what I loved to get on the salad bar at Bonanza when I was six years old.  What would it be doing in beef stew!?!?  Actually, now that I think about it, that may have been the only reason I tried this recipe; it made for a great experiment!  But I promise you, for those of you who don't cook a lot, you will not end up with pudding.  The tapioca just gives it a little body, and all of the herbs drown it in whole lot of flavor!

I'm telling you... this couldn't be any easier!  Just layer all the ingredients in the crock, turn it on, and a few hours later you'll have a really healthy and satisfying meal.  I've tried a ton of beef stew recipes, this has been my go-to for years.

It is definitely cold outside, but this SOUP-er Saturday Friday meal will warm it up perfectly.  You have my word.

Layered Herby Stew

makes 6-8 large servings

  • 2 1/2 lbs lean beef chuck, cubed
  • 1 medium to large onion, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 8-12 small red potatoes, halved 
  • 4-6 carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces or one small bag of baby carrots
  • 2 large celery ribs, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp Worcesterchire sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine, or water
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 tbsp minute tapioca (only 5 if using water instead of red wine)
  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Layer all the ingredients in the crock pot in the order they are given.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

SOUP-er Saturdays - lazy daisy's sausage, bean and green soup





With the temperatures dropping, and an extra day over the weekend, I thought it would be perfect timing for SOUP-er Saturday!  These are some of my favorite times of the year... overcast skies, a chance of snow, and a crock full of something good just hanging out on the stove.

I came up with this a couple of weeks ago when we decided (at the last minute) to ask some friends over for supper and games.  It was the end of the second week of Christmas break, and just a couple of days after an all-night lock-in we had with our youth group, followed by New Year's Eve!  Needless to say, John and I were exhausted.  But we are both really good at trying to eek out every last minute of time off, got a bit of a "second wind," if you will, and John thought it would be grand to have company.  Company we'd have, but I was deteremined to not have to go to the store.

Sooo, I did a little digging in the pantry, fridge and freezer, and wallah!  Lazy Daisy's Sausage, Bean and Green Soup.

For those of you who know our names, pretty fitting, eh?  

Serve this with corn cakes, finish off the meal with apple dumplin's and vanilla bean ice cream, and you're set.  Enjoy!

Lazy Daisy's Sausage, Bean and Green Soup

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 14 oz package, polish sausage, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup sliced celery
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and rough-chopped (or you could sub baby spinach, if preferred)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • fresh cracked ground pepper
1. In a dutch over or medium soup pot, saute sausage in 1 tbsp olive oil until slightly browned.  Remove and set aside

2. Add remaining oil, let heat, and then add onion, carrots and celery, stirring until softened. Add in garlic and stir until fragrant.

3. Pour in beef broth and bring to boil, and turn down to simmer.

4. Place one cup of rinsed beans and a little water in blender and puree.

5. Add pureed beans and stir.  Add in remaining whole beans.

6. Add kale and let simmer a couple of minutes.

7. Add salt and finish off with vinegar and pepper, stirring until combined.

Recipe from The Lazy Daisy Kitchen