Potato Spinach Gruyere Frittata

This recipe was concocted with the leftovers in my fridge.  Very versatile and easy to whip together, this dish is a lifesaver.  Feel free to change the add-ins and eat whatever time of day you want!

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Potato Spinach Gruyere Frittata (makes one pie pan)

1 1/2 cups Home Fries (or any type of cooked potato)

1 1/2 cups of cubed Gruyere cheese

6 cups of spinach

6 eggs

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for the pie dish)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

grated parmesan to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Coat the inside of a pie dish with some olive oil.  Place in the oven for 3 minutes so it gets hot.

Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl.  Add the salt and pepper.

Place the olive oil in a skillet with the spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted at medium heat.  Add the home fries and cook until everything is warm.

Place the skillet mixture in the warm pie plate.  Place the cubed cheese on top.  Pour the egg mixture over all the other ingredients.  Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top.

Place pie plan on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and cook for around 50 minutes.  The center should be set and the edges nicely golden brown.

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I mean just look at that cheesy goodness!  I love Gruyere cheese because it is firm and keeps the frittata solid instead of runny.  You could also use Swiss or Gouda.  Next time I think I will add in minced garlic when I am cooking the spinach.  Hope you like it!

unnamed-2This was me trying to be artsy as I flipped the frittata out of the pie plate.  However, I think I prefer it unflipped because you can see the cheerful eggy color.

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Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes

For all you chocolate lovers, this is a great one. These cakes are super rich, and extremely chocolatey- perfect for a fancy dessert! They’re a little bit more tricky to make than a normal chocolate cake because they have the molten center. But I promise it’s worth the extra work! This is french recipe, so sorry all the measurements are in grams. But here is a website that does the conversion incase you do not have a scale: http://calculator-converter.com/converter_g_to_c_grams_to_cups_calculator.php.

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This recipe makes about 6 cakes.

Ingredients for the chocolate cake

140 grams of dark chocolate

110 grams of salted butter

3 tablespoons of heavy cream

1 tablespoon of flour

1 tablespoon of corn starch

50 grams of brown sugar

2 eggs

Ingredients for the molten center

100 grams of dark chocolate

50 grams of butter

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Directions

To prepare the melted center: Melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave. Then mix in the cream. Separate the mixture into a silicon mold like this one: Image

Any mold will do, as long as the separate compartments are small. (These are about an inch in diameter). Then put the mold in the freezer for the chocolate to harden.

For the cakes:

1. Beat together the eggs and brown sugar until the mixture becomes a light color. Add in the flour and the corn starch. Continue to beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

2. Melt together the chocolate and the butter. Add in the cream. Add this chocolate mixture to the previous egg and sugar mixture.

3. Line a muffin tin with small pieces of parchment paper or paper lines. Fill six compartments about half way with the chocolate batter. Then press two chocolate frozen disks into each cup. Cover with more chocolate batter.

4. Cook in the over for about 15 minutes at 200 C.

5. Enjoy these cakes while they are still warm, so that the center is still melted!

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Baked Eggs with Kale and Leeks

This recipe is absolutely delicious and healthy. Full of vitamins and protein! Kale and leek are great winter vegetables, but hopefully spring is coming soon! I adapted this recipe from Foolproof Living – it’s a great idea for a quick meal.

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Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced thinly
  • 4 cups kale, washed and sliced
  • 1 big clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ½ cup Gouda cheese, grated (You can use gruyere or swiss as well)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly grounded
  • 1 tablespoon butter, for gratin dish

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F Degrees. Butter the Gratin dish.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté leeks until wilted, for 7-8 minutes, in medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minute.
  3. Add kale and continue to sauté for 2 minutes until kale is softened.
  4. Gradually whisk in the half and half, stirring constantly. Let it come to a boil. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes or until it thickens. Season it salt, and pepper.
  5. Take it off the heat.
  6. Put the leeks and kale in a dish.
  7. Using the back of a spoon, push filling to the sides at different areas of the dish to create crevices for the the eggs.
  8. Crack eat individual egg into a hole.
  9.  Sprinkle the dish with cheese.
  10.  Bake them for 15-20 minutes until the eggs are cooked.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.

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Chicken Florentine

This meal is amazing.  Full of fantastic flavor, it is a meal fit for a king.  I love the sweetness of the balsamic, paired with the creamy goat cheese, and the tanginess of the sundried tomatoes.  If you want to add a funkier element, switch out the goat cheese for blue cheese!  I used a recipe from Ellie Krieger (picture below), but added a balsamic vinegar sauce (second picture down).

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Chicken Florentine

One 10-ounce package fresh spinach

4 medium sun-dried tomatoes

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

4 ounces soft goat cheese (chèvre)

salt

freshly ground black pepper

4  skinless boneless chicken cutlets (make sure they are thin, you can pound them if needed)

1 tablespoon olive oil (probably will need to add more)

¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400F

Chop the sun-dried tomatoes, grate the cheese, chop the spinach, crumble the goat cheese, and chop the basil.  Pile each ingredient by itself on a cutting board.

Sprinkle on each ingredient to the top half of each chicken breast, roll up, and secure with either rope or toothpicks. Sprinkle the chicken rolls with the salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a cover over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken until golden, 5 minutes per side.

Place the chicken on a cooking pan and pour the broth on top.  Bake until the chicken is cooked all the way through which took me around 15-20 minutes.

In the large skillet you cooked the chicken in, add the balsamic vinegar and a little more olive oil if needed.  Heat on high for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens.  Drizzle over the chicken when you are plating.  Next time I think I will add a couple of chopped walnuts on top for a crunch factor.  Dig in!

Smoked Salmon Avocado Sandwich

The recent warm weather has reminded me of brighter days and I can’t believe February is wrapping up.  Although March can be a tricky month, it usually passes by quickly, and then we are finally finished with winter!  This sandwich is a light delicious meal, perfect for lunch and/or dinner.  The pink and green colors shout spring to me and brighten up the plate.  I realize smoke salmon is either loved or despised, so feel free to substitute with a different protein if you aren’t feeling it.

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Smoked Salmon Avocado Sandwich (sorry for pretty relaxed proportions, you do you on this one!)

Toasted pumpernickel bread

Smoked Salmon

Capers

Spinach

Guacamole

Place the spinach on top of the toasted bread.  Then dollop on the guacamole.  Add the salmon and then sprinkle with capers.  I prefer this to be an open faced sandwich.  Enjoy the last week of February!

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Blueberry Scones

This scone recipe from Bon Appetit is so versatile and is the same recipe I used for the Chocolate Chip Scones.  I added frozen blueberries for a change of pace and although it made the batter a little stickier than usual it turned out well.  I would even add white chocolate chips in with the blueberries, but alas my family does not enjoy that combination of flavors.

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Blueberry Scones (makes 12-14)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled salted butter, diced
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup (or more) chilled whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Turbinado (coarse) sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.  Add the butter and mix with your hands until a coarse crumbly texture forms.

Add the blueberries.  Whisk the egg, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl with a fork.  Gradually add the wet to the dry ingredients, mixing with the fork.  Add more or less milk depending on the dough formation.

Place 1/4 cup balls of the dough onto a baking tray and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.  Bake for ~22 minutes or until a tester comes out of the middle clean.  Serve alongside some fresh fruit and you have a delightful breakfast.

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Walnut Banana Bread

This is the same recipe I used for the Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins except I omitted the chocolate chips, added chopped walnuts to the top, and actually baked it in a loaf pan (which I recently acquired).  Not only is this very easy to make, but it is a perfect way to use up those bananas way past their prime.  This recipe is from The Nibble.

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Walnut Banana Bread

1/3 cup salted butter at room temperature

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup roughly mashed bananas (I used two large ones)

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 large egg

1/2 cup Greek plain yogurt

chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter your loaf pan.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium size bowl.

Cream the butter, honey, sugar, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.  I used an electric hand held mixer.  Add the bananas and vanilla at medium speed and mix until it looks broken.

Add the egg, medium/ low speed, and mix until just incorporated.  Turn the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the sifted dry ingredients.  Add the yogurt and fold in with a spatula.  It is VERY important to not over-mix in these last couple of steps.  You want to keep the mixture as light as possible!

Spoon the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle on the nuts.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.  It took me ~49 minutes.  Wait another 5 minutes before taking the bread out of the pan.  Enjoy!

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Evelyn & Angel’s Confectioner

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Evelyn & Angel’s is a chocolatier and coffee shop located in Cambridge, MA.  Recently, I was lucky enough to be gifted with a box of their assorted truffles, and let me tell you, they are delicious!  Made from premium ingredients this is a store I will go back to when I need to give someone a special gift and/or treat myself.

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My favorite truffle was the Force Noir which was a rich dark chocolate ganache covered in semi-sweet chocolate (top row furthest left).  I would buy a box filled with just this one chocolate, albeit they were all scrumptious.  It was so decadent and the ganache was ridiculously creamy inside.  My close second would have to be the Piedmont Hazelnut, which was a milk chocolate filling surrounding a hazelnut, and coated with even more milk chocolate (top row second from the right).  I can’t wait to visit the shop for myself and try more of their chocolates, coffee, and pastries!

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Spinach Avocado Pasta

This pasta dish is so creamy, albeit much healthier when compared to a traditional alfredo.  I adapted the recipe from Teaspoon of Spice.  It takes less than an hour to pull together, so it is an ideal weeknight dinner.

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Spinach Avocado Pasta

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • 8 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 avocados, skin and pits removed
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup pasta water (or as much as needed to gain proper sauce consistency)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • Toasted pine nuts and extra parmesan to sprinkle on top

In a large pot of boiling water cook pasta according to instructions.  Save 1 cup of the pasta water for the sauce before you drain it.

In a large skillet heat the onion, garlic, and olive oil over medium heat for one minute.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted, around 5 minutes.

In a blender, add the avocados, spinach mixture, yogurt, lime juice, salt, pepper, and puree.  Add the pasta water slowly in until it reaches the texture you want.

Mix the pasta with the sauce in a big bowl.  Add the cheese and red pepper flakes.  When serving, sprinkle on toasted pine-nuts and parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

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Linda’s Donuts

Butternut Crunch donuts are one of my favorite indulgent treats and Linda’s always fulfills my craving.  The shop has been a local Belmont favorite for many years, offering home-made breakfasts for amazing prices and filled with cheerful staff.  Their range not only includes the whole assortment of donuts (cake and yeast), but also muffins, and hot breakfast.  Arrive early because it gets busy with such a small location.

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The Butternut Crunch donut had a wonderful fluffy cake interior that was not too sweet.  And when they dunk it in a decadent glaze and nutty topping, it creates an old timer pastry reminiscent of simpler days.  Grab a donut at Linda’s alongside a cup of coffee and your day will be blissfully sweet.

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