Sunday, September 26, 2010

Homemade Toaster Scrambles

My daughter is hooked on these things:
Not the healthiest thing on the planet.  So I decided to see if I could make a homemade version, so I could at least know what was in the food I'm serving my girl.  I did cheat and bought puff pastry dough to work with.  Dough is not my strong point, so I usually chicken out on making my own and buy frozen.  One of these days I'm going to get brave and make my own - in fact, maybe I'll spend a whole day perfecting the craft so I don't have to buy the frozen stuff anymore - but until then, we'll go with this. 

This is what I started with:

4 eggs - to be scrambled
about 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic minced
about 1 cup of ham finely chopped
about 1 cup of shredded cheese - I used sharp cheddar and garlic jack from Loleta Cheese Factory.
2 sheets of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry.

I fried up the onions and garlic in about half tablespoon of butter then added the ham.  I set the oven to preheat at 375 degrees.
 I then rolled out the puff pastry until it was about 1/3 it's original thickness, then sliced it into 6 separate pieces with a pizza cutter.
 I added the 4 eggs to the ham and onion mixture.  Added a sprinkle of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.
 I placed a heaping spoonful of the cooked mixture on each sheet and topped it with the shredded cheese.
 I folded the sheets over and sealed them using a fork along the edges.
 I baked them for 20 minutes, let them fully cool then put them in the freezer on a cookie sheet for about 8 hours.  I then put them in an airtight bag and back in the freezer and they're ready to go when Cordelia is ready for her breakfast toaster scramble.  They won't fit in a toaster, but it won't take long to toast them back up in the broiler - or if you have a toaster oven. 

I did eat one for a taste test, and I have to say it was pretty tasty.  It didn't taste like the boxed ones from Pilsbury, but it was the same concept, and in my opinion, much better.  It tasted homemade.  I'll have to come back and let you know what my daughter's critique is.  Heaven knows, she will be honest.  So we shall see. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Flat Bread Pizza's

I discovered this great recipe to make Naan from my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. I used the Boule recipe which is 3 cups of lukewarm water, 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, 6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white flour. I put all of this in my stand mixer with a bread hook, mix it up, put it in a bowl, covered but not sealed, and left for the day until a need a piece of dough. For the naan I pulled a peach size piece of this dough off, dusted it with flour, shaped it into a ball by stretching the surface around to the bottom on all four sides. I rolled the ball of dough out to a thickness of about 1/8 inch to a diameter of about 8 inches. I heated up my cast iron skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, dropped my dough in the pan, lowered the heat and covered it. I flipped the bread after about 3 minutes and browned the bread on both sides. When the naan felt firm I removed it from the pan.

My kids love naan, so they loved this bread, but we took it a step further and made a whole meal out of it. We topped it with various cheeses, pizza sauce, mushrooms and a few other things. What ever each of us wanted on our naan pizza, put it in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes and we had a delicious dinner that the kids loved and will be asking for again and a again. It was fast, easy, and healthy.


Sunday, September 19, 2010


Lemonade sounded good for some reason today, so I picked up some lemons and made some fresh lemonade.

How I made it:

Simple syrup

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan, heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Juice 4 to 6 lemons to get 1 cup of fresh lemon juice. Strain out seeds.

Combine simple syrup, 1 cup lemon juice and 3 to 4 cups chilled water. Add ice and lemon slices if desired. If this is not tart enough for you, adjust it by adding more lemon juice.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chicken soup for may sick baby

Ok, She's not my baby anymore - she's 11 going on 25, but she's my first and she'll always be my baby' and she was sick this week.  So what do I do?  I go to work fixing food to cure her - specifically, chicken soup and fruit salad and homemade bread. 
I'm in my new house and a new kitchen, and things are still in boxes, but I have my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, and my recipe book holder out and ready to go.
The first thing I did was put together some bread dough so that I could fry up some naan to dip in the soup.  One of Cordelia's favorite things in the world in naan - I figured she could use some good comfort food.
Then I started in on the chicken stock. Which included:
1 5lb chicken
1 1/2 white onions quartered
1 turnip - halved
2 carrots, cut in chunks
3 ribs celery, cut in chunks
a handful of flat leaf parsley
a bunch of fresh thyme
1 whole head of garlic, halved
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 inch fresh peeled ginger
6 whole allspice
1/2 tsp dried dill
enough water to just cover it all.
I boiled all of this for 1 and a half hours. 
And ended up with this
In the mean time, I threw this together:
Fruit is always good for a cold - and my youngest LOVES her fruit.
Then I put the soup together.
The soup included all of the stock I had made and:
2 tbsp olive oil to saute' (for about 6 minutes)
1 medium onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 medium chopped carrots
2 chopped celery ribs
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
I then put in my stock and cooked  the veggies for about 5 minutes then added thin egg noodles that I got from the Jewish food section of Safeway and cooked those for 10 minutes.  Then I stirred in the chicken meat I had stripped and shredded from the whole chicken I had cooked in the stock earlier. I then put in a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley and I tossed in some kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  And this is what I ended up with:
It was delicious and enough for about 12 people - The girls LOVED it especially with warm naan right out of the skillet to dip in the soup.  I ended up with enough for lunch for a couple of days, fed a couple friends at work with it, and have some saved for my love when he comes out to see me for Christmas in December.  I hope it's still good when he gets here, I know my Okiefied friend said it was the best chicken soup she ever had.  That was quite a complement. 

Lunch at Loleta Bakery

My girls and I had a wonderful lunch at the Loleta Bakery last weekend. White chocolate mocha, blue cheese and walnut pizzetta and a bowl of lamb kofta soup and a half pastrami sandwich, with bread made fresh that morning.
Oh, and the freshest salad on the planet!  I'm pretty sure fresh locally grown lettuce, picked that day.