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Breakfast

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

May 27, 2016

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We are so excited to have a long weekend with slow mornings, and time to linger over coffee, cartoons and these muffins. There is something about rhubarb, with its bright, slightly sour flavor that perfumes everything it touches. And the strawberries right now are so incredibly delicious and sweet that I had to add these to this recipe (the original one from Saveur had just rhubarb and almond flavors, but I’ve adapted it here without nuts and with strawberries).

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Whenever I use rhubarb, I always think of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I love everything about this book, where the author writes about a year of living with her husband and two children on a farm where they only eat what they can grow or get within a 50 mile radius (in Southern Appalachia, this excludes grocery stores or box stores of any kind).

When the author’s 50 birthday takes place in the summer of their year of eating seasonally, they served their birthday guests huge vats of strawberry rhubarb crisp instead of birthday cake, and of course its completely delicious.image

When I made these muffins, I thought about that scene, because this recipe is really so versatile that it could be easily made into a delicious breakfast coffee cake (or birthday cake as the case may be) just by adding 15-20 minutes of cooking time. It is also very reminiscent of strawberry rhubarb crisp – which I posted here awhile ago – since it has a streusel topping. I love having another way to use strawberry and rhubarb together other than dessert. (Not that I haven’t eaten Strawberry Rhubarb crisp for breakfast.)

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And since I subscribe to the more is more philosophy, I made a quick and easy compote with strawberries, rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water + 1 tsp. lemon zest (totally optional). This is fantastic on anything your memorial day weekend could bring your way – ice cream, angel food cake, toast. And it turns out to be delicious on these muffins too.

Warning: just licking the spoon of this stuff will cause extreme distraction due to the explosion of flavor in your mouth. So, so good.

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The sour cream gives the batter such a moist, tender cake, and the juicy fruits bursting out of it with the sugary, buttery streusel crust with hints of lemon is amazing.

So if you’ve been dreaming of some from-scratch flavors, give your baking tools a spin over this long weekend.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Muffins (printer version here):

MAKES ABOUT 18 MUFFINS

For the Streusel

½ cup flour

½ cup sugar

2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar

½ tsp. lemon zest

¼ tsp. kosher salt

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed

 

For the Muffins

2 3/4 cups flour + ¼ cup to mix with fruit

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1 cup sour cream

1 cup sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup canola oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

2 stalks rhubarb, cut into ¼” pieces

1 cup strawberries, cut into ¼” pieces

 

Instructions

Make the streusel: Whisk together flour, both sugars, zest, and salt in a small bowl. Add butter, and using your fingers, rub into mixture until smooth and large clumps form. Transfer to refrigerator; chill until ready to use.

Make the muffins: Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour muffin pans; set aside. Whisk together 2 34 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, both sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla; pour mixture over dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. In a small bowl, toss remaining flour with rhubarb and strawberries until evenly coated, and then stir into batter. Working in batches, place cup batter in muffin cups, break streusel up into medium-sized clumps, and sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

To make a cake instead, preheat oven to same 350 temp. Pour batter into greased and floured 8″ round cake pan or 9×9 inch pan, top with streusel, and start checking at 35-40 with a toothpick for doneness.

Muffin Recipe adapted from www.saveur.com

Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

In a saucepan, combine: 2 stalks of rhubarb, cut into ½ pieces, 1 cup strawberries, quartered and hulled, ¼ cup water, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. lemon zest (optional). Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to medium high, for 6-8 minutes or until fruit has broken down.

Chive, Herb Goat Cheese and Tomato Frittata

April 26, 2016

 

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Spring has finally sprung here! One of the first sure signs of spring are chives bursting up out of whatever dirt they are planted in.  I love seeing their determined and totally autonomous efforts peeking out under dead lives and even the last chunk of snow. There have been chives at every house we have ever lived in, so I am guessing I am not alone? At our current house, these huge containers were on the deck when we moved in filled with chives. I will add a lot more herb pots after memorial day, but until then, these have already made their way into our dishes.

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I always celebrate spring by making eggs with chives. Usually its scrambled eggs or an omelette, but last week, I wanted to make it even more of a celebration and I made this chive, herbed  goat cheese and tomato frittata for lunch and proceeded to eat it for the next 2 days for every meal, it was so good.

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I think a frittata is such a wonderful base for seasonal produce, a great way to use up a weekly CSA, fast-growing garden produce or just sad winter root veggies still in the vegetable drawer. At the hight of summer, corn, zucchini and tomatoes are all delicious with your favorite cheese and a sautéed onion. So versatile and so quick.

I really loved using the herb goat cheese in this one. (This trio from Trader Joes is also great to keep in your cheese drawer for when company comes over in a delightfully unplanned event. You can put out some crackers, maybe some jelly on top of the plain one and have a lovely cheese spread). Since I won’t be able to put my herb pots in until after memorial day, having them in the goat cheese was the next best thing to adding fistfuls of thyme and parsley. If you don’t love goat cheese, this frittata is equally good with feta or cheddar.

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And spring also means that we return to visiting our favorite farm (Rawson’s Farm Stand in Stratham,NH). Eddie is salt of the earth, thee nicest human. He loves letting our kids feed the chickens:

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His feed troughs are always full of squash and corn and bread, so I know his chickens are getting a great diet. I love knowing where our eggs come from and supporting a local farmer.  The fact that they make a delicious frittata is a bonus too.

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I have one more chive recipe to share with you all this week so look for it to come through soon. In the meantime, happy spring!! xoxo Katie

Tomato, Chive and Goat Cheese Frittata (printer version here):
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
coarse salt and ground pepper
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 oz. of herbed goat cheese (or feta or cheddar)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onions and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook about 5 minutes.
Add eggs and season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Sprinkle goat cheese throughout, crumbling with your fingers. Cook, undisturbed, until edges are set, about 2 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until top of frittata is just set, 10 to 13 minutes.
Invert or slide frittata onto a plate and cut into 6 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Tomato, Scallion and Cheddar Omlette.

 

 

Mini Christmas Frittatas

December 21, 2014

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I don’t know about you, but the kitchen is the last place I want to be on Christmas morning. That’s why I love these mini fritattas – they take less then 15 minutes to whip together, and 10 minutes to bake. Plus, for some reason my kids all loved these, which is more then I can say for egg casserole or quiche – both of which I happen to love and are great holiday make ahead ideas but the kids don’t love them.

I think ham, egg and cheese might just be my favorite combo on the planet (asides from fried pickles dipped in ranch).  Western omlettes make me swoon. And so do these. The salty bite of parm with the smokiness of the ham are just a match made in heaven. Plus these are relatively healthy for you – you know, to balance out the egg nog spiked with bourbon. Or if you are doing Whole Foods during Christmas (in which case, you may not want to hear about how I am making these with Egg Nog Challah French Toast).

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And don’t even get me started on a chance to use red and green for Christmas morning.

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Sauteeing the onions and peppers first just lends a sweet, buttery note to the whole little bite. They’re so cute. And you can make the batter the night before and just pour them in if you want to make it ahead.

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We may be totally behind on our gift wrapping and cookie making, but Christmas brunch is covered. Hope you are having a very merry festive week little elves! xo Katie

 

Ham, Cheese and Red Pepper Fritattas (printer version here)

Ingredients

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

8 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 ounces thinly sliced ham, chopped

1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)

1 small red pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray 2 mini muffin tins (each with 24 cups) with nonstick spray.

Heat a pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon butter, then add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the red peppers, cooking for 5 minutes until soft.

Whisk the eggs, milk, pepper, and salt in a large bowl to blend well. Stir in the ham, cheese, onion and pepper mixture and parsley. Fill prepared muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture. Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes.

S’mores Pizza

August 25, 2014

 

You know how I went to that blogging conference a few weekends ago and that is all I have posted about since? This is the last one I promise. I just kept thinking so much about the s’mores dessert pizza they served us at the Saturday lunch. Good thing I blog about food, which gave me an excuse to re-create it and share it.

I have to say, that old adage, ‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good’ really came into play here. I had daydreams of making pizza dough out of graham flour and scouring some dark chocolate spreads to make this. Plus the restaurant had a wood burning pizza oven which I do not (Gwyneth Paltrow scoffs at my foodiness).

In the end, I just pulled out the obvious essentials and went to town:

I could add that I also made this for my kids breakfast. What can I say. Mom of the year for serving Hershey Bars and Marshmellows to my kids. Really, I was busy packing to go up north and again my thoughts drifted to the s’mores pizza when I saw a bag of dough in the fridge that I was tempted to pack (see this post). Not only would I get to taste that amazing combo of textures and oozy chocolately goodness, but I could check breakfast off my list. S’mores pizza for the double win.

But I am so glad I did because it is amazing.

 

I just put marshmallow fluff on one side, Hershey Bars on the other, and a few marshmallows in for good measure. When I folded it over, I cut three slits on top to allow the air to vent, and sprinkled a few graham crackers on top. I cooked it at 425 for 10-15 min (until marshmallow oozed out the end and the pizza dough was hard).

When it was done, I pulled it out and my daughter came into the kitchen and said, mmmm…what’s that yummy smell?

Don’t let the simplicity keep you from making this – you will thank me!  It is so good! It is a new family staple around here. Just probably not on a school morning 🙂

Katie

 

 

Sharebird

May 31, 2013

Wow, has the last month flown by! Having a baby is like going into a time warp, where what was previously ‘a day’ or ’24 hours’ is now equal to ‘feed little people, sleep and maybe shower’. So that means my month hiatus from a blog post is more like a few days in regular time.

In the last month, so many great friends and family have stopped by with delicious meals and treats, I wanted to share some favorites! Also, while I have been nursing I have watched some great cooking shows, so I wanted to share some of the ideas that I can’t wait to try.

1. Have you ever seen French Cooking at Home with Laura Calder?  She is super smart/well-traveled albeit quirky, and she just inspires me to shop for amazing ingredients like tarragon vinegar from Nice and sea salt from the Ivory Coast. I love hearing her stories about France and it is filling in for my inability to travel for the next 15 years nicely.

2. My friend dropped off some yummy chocolate chip cookies with her fantastic meatloaf meal, and I actually texted her for the recipe.  They were dark chocolate and not too sweet, kind of salty, and definitely tasted homemade.  (Those roses are from my husband from the hospital after having Andrew, love him!)

When I saw my friend she told me they were the all natural prepackaged cookies at our local store. Here is the package, go get yourself some! There are such a great chocolate fix.

3. We are lucky enough in Portsmouth to have some great small grocery stores with delicious pre-made food.  I have been living off of Fresh Market’s Curry Chicken Salad and Pesto Chicken Salad. They are both so easy to make I plan to make a big batch at home soon. To make them, just bake 3 chicken breasts at 350 for 30 min, or grab a rotisserie chicken, cube the chicken and toss with mayo. For the Curry Chicken Salad, mix in curry powder + cashews + grapes. For Pesto Chicken Salad,  pesto + walnuts or pine nuts. (You can use store bought pesto in a pinch too). Season well with salt and pepper.  This to me is summer heaven in Bibb lettuce and a Pita, or really thick wheat bread. Or Cibatta. Ok, I’ll stop.

4. This side salad a friend brought over is also on the must re-create at home list. What I love about it are the size of the cucumber and celery pieces, it makes the salad feel so hearty and the dressing is amazing.  Why have I never thought to cut celery so big and include it in a salad? It is in a red-wine vinegar dressing with TONS of dill but not a lot of oil, so it is very light. I am really inspired to toss summer veggies in lots of herbs and vinegar.

I ate this for lunch for 2 days, one day adding tortellini and extra feta:

5. I hope you are blessed with a pizza place nearby that has good greek salads, with the really yummy dressing, soft fresh pita and great salty feta. Because I am.  Nick and Charlies, and if your local, please order from them (you can find their website here) because I really really love them and want them to stay in business.

6. While we are at it, if you haven’t tried Peeper Ale, it is a Portland,ME local brew and we (as in my husband, my extended family, and my friends. A hearty collective) love it.  I am heading to Casco Bay, ME tomorrow and I am having one in advance tonight with the above greek salad.

7. My sister and her husband brought over bags of Steak Burritos and Breakfast Burritos after Andrew was born.  It was such  a great make ahead meal, and they freeze very easily too.  Thinking I will dedicate a Sunday this summer to making a bunch since it is so easy on busy mornings and evenings to toss these in the microwave.  Sharing this idea with you all in the quest for the easiest make ahead meals ever.

8. I love fish, and it feels like a treat because it is not often I can shop for it and cook it on the same day.  Next time I have the chance, I am making this: Ina Garten’s Salmon Sandwiches with bacon and guacamole on Cibata rolls.  I am dying to try these!

Going to snuggle with the littles for family movie night. Have a fabulous weekend!

Easter Brunch

April 5, 2013

Could Easter get any cuter?

 

Combine baby animals + springtime colors and flowers + little kids.

I love Easter.  It is the perfect combo, falling squarely between Thanksgiving ‘relax, it’s all about the food’ and Christmas ‘experience kids’ high-octane delight’. Throw in “Heaven is now open” in the mix for those who celebrate that little tidbit, and there are so many reasons to party, i.e. drink Mimosas.

For the last few years, I have been trying to make something for holiday brunch the day before so I can really enjoy the morning excitement.  Quiche and some pastry has been my usual duo, with some fresh fruit and ‘shrubs’, which is a drink my mom made for holiday brunch.  It is seltzer + juice with a scoop of sherbet and it really tastes like a holiday to me now.

The quiche I made this year was so good, and I used just what I had on hand, though the asparagus fresh and in season really led the inspiration.  It is so easy, just use:

plus the stars of the show, a store cooked pie crust (pre-cooked for 8-10 min, this one has some sauteed onions in it) and Swiss cheese:

 

Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Quiche (printer version here.)

Ingredients:

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup onions

8 asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cherry tomatoes, halved

5 large eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (Jarlsburg or Gruyere)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 9-inch pie crust

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie dough and cook for 8-10 min.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and asparagus spears for a few minutes until soft. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in the feta, Swiss, and mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place asparagus pieces and onions on the bottom of the crust. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables and into the crust. Bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until quiche is set and slightly golden brown. Let quiche stand for 15 minutes before serving.

 Ina Garten’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake. (Find the printer version here.)

This cake was soooo good, and it was so much fun to make with my little Lucy, she loves baking anything, and she was actually a big help! (Sophie sprayed and floured the pan for me, then went out to play with her friend. RJ was skiing.)  I have bought her box mix of this cake before, but I felt like making it from scratch equaled the same amount of work (in case you are likewise tempted to shortcut with her $10 box mix).

My kitchen after cooking with kids (it is so worth it, and I made sure I had lots of time so I would stay patient):

The only ingredient that I had to track down was cake flour, but it gives it a bakery quality.

I may or may not have eaten this cake for breakfast every day this week.

The Egg Hunt with the cousins was so much fun!

Our annual Easter photo – it might be the only one we get each year when we are all cleaned up. And yes I am almost 36 weeks pregnant in this photo. Happy Spring!!!!!!

(Also, check out what to do with your leftover ham bone here.)