Can we talk about food today? It feels like AGES since I’ve posted about …well anything, but specifically food!
So today, how about a recipe? This is great for company because you can make it ahead of time. And it involves bagels… So you really can’t go wrong, in my opinion.
I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow… But this is more of a Black Friday/Small Business Saturday recipe….
Farmer Ben and I were shopping last week and our grocery store was having an insane sale for a random ten minutes… 6 bagels for $1!!!!! It was such a good sale that we bought a dozen. Is there even a question on whether or not one should buy bagels when they are less than 17 cents each? I didn’t think so.
Anyway, we ended up giving ½ dozen to Ben’s dad and step-mom who are in town visiting and had bagels for breakfast one morning… and then I had people over on Saturday and needed counter space, so I moved them to the top of the fridge and promptly forgot about them until yesterday. Needless to say, they were starting to get a little hard.
Now, if you know me, I HATE wasting food. So I perused our cookbook collection to see if I could find a way to use them up. Farmer Ben said he would use them in stuffing, but I had a better idea.
Bagel Pudding. I love traditional bread pudding…but I also love breakfast. Savory breakfast…I’ve been eating a lot of sweet stuff lately and we had all of these delicious garlic/onion/sesame bagels to use up. I’ve also been on a major casserole kick lately, so this was a perfect way to keep that rolling…not to mention, it is stupid easy to make!
This is slightly adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s Breakfast Bread Pudding (from her cookbook).
Everything Bagel Breakfast Pudding
4 savory/salty bagels that are a couple of days old.
2 + TB butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound veal chorizo (but breakfast sausage will also work!)
1 cup of half and half or whole milk
Salt/Pepper/Smoky paprika to taste
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Optional: add your favorite veggies (peppers, spinach, beans, etc)
What to do:
*If you’re using fresh bagels, lightly toast them and let them sit out for a few hours to dry out…
Cut bagels into chunks (I cut mine 4 ways both directions, no need to slice) and set aside.
Place 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add in your onions. Cook until nice and soft (I caramelized mine because Ben’s a weirdo and only likes disintegrated onions, but as long as they are pretty well cooked, that will also work).
Remove onions from skillet, placing into a small bowl, and set aside.
Put sausage into the same pan, breaking up as you cook it. Let brown. Remove from heat. If you have a lot of grease, drain it (this will depend on your sausage).
While your sausage is cooking, whisk together your eggs, cream and spices in a large bowl. I went very light on salt as the chorizo and bagels I used were pretty well flavored, but again, this is to your taste.
Grease a 2 ½ qt casserole dish with remaining butter.
Layer half of your bagel pieces in the dish.
Add half of your sausage and onions.
Top with half of your cheese.
Repeat bagel, sausage, onion and cheese layers.
Pour your egg mixture over dry ingredients. This part is a little scary, but it will fit!
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight/for a few hours.
The next day… pre-heat oven to 350 (you’ll want to take your casserole out of the fridge so it warms up as well). Once pre-heated , place casserole in the oven, still covered. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and bake another 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted, and casserole is firm and crispy.
Eat immediately. This will also reheat well.
Happy Thanksgiving, Shopping and Long Weekend, Friends! Cheers!
Hope you all had a great weekend, I certainly did!
I snuck away to visit the family in Horseheads, NY and let me say, it was so fun (even though Farmer Ben was missing)!
Anyway, here is a brief peek inside my trip… I was a terrible blogger and didn’t take as many pictures as I should have.
I did manage to remember to take pictures at the Horseheads Brewing Co., great beers, great staff. If you are in the area, try the ” hot chocolate,” a mix of their jalapeño ale and chocolate porter!
That’s all for today! Enjoy!
Dinner and dessert, my brother-in-law’s latest craft-cigar box guitars!, Horseheads brewing company randoms and more eats.
It’s the end of August and Foodie Penpal Reveal Day!
I got pretty lucky with my matches this month. I sent my package to Alyson in Philadelphia, click here to check out her blog!
As for me, Mary from NC sent me a box. She’s a physician and I had so much fun talking with her! I loved hearing about all the different foods she’s tried–including raccoon and groundhog! Crazy!
Unfortunately, with my crazy schedule this month, I was a bad foodie penpal and haven’t been able to try some of the items in my package. I also don’t have a photo as I write this…, but I will be adding it later today…
You better believe that I enjoyed this package!
This was a breakfast themed package. My favorite meal, any time of day!
Inside, we had pre-cooked bacon (this was a first! love it!), some syrup, jam, COFFEE (!), along with a variety of different pancake mixes, ranging from red velvet, to an Indian variety (favorite so far!), to a chocolate macadamia nut. Yum!!!
I was so excited to see such a variety and the makings of my favorite meal of the day.
Huge thank you to Mary, it was a pleasure getting to know you and I so loved the box I received! You’re great!
Interested in Joining FPP? Here’s some more info:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions. -You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! -The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination! -You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!) -Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. -Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th!
I love local food…especially when it’s coming straight out of the garden or from a farm down the road.
Even though the growing season has been slowed down with all the rain, we’ve been very blessed with loads of arugula, radishes, swiss chard, beets and beet greens, chives, scallions, cilantro and lettuce. We’ve also been picking up beans, carrots and other veggies, along with local meats, eggs and cheeses at the market or our co-op.
My favorites (potatoes, tomatoes and peppers) are coming along and I can’t wait… we’re also going to have a squash and bean surplus…perfect for the freezer!
Anyway, here is a peek at how we’ve been using up all of our greens lately (please forgive my less than stellar photography skills):
I was on a butternut crust pizza kick a few weeks ago:
But we always love our giant salads…
And we’ve had a few other tasty hot meals:
And here are some of my meals I’ve been packing for breakfast/lunch:
What about you? What’s your go-to summer meal? What’s been on your plate lately?
Oh boy… this cake is sinful. And comforting…can something be sinful and comforting at the same time? If this cake is any indication, then yes….It’s like a warm hug from your great, great aunt…followed by a slap in the face…does that make sense? Or maybe I have that backward…
The cake is fluffy…like a pancake, but the cinnamon swirl adds pretty marbling and buttery goodness…enough buttery goodness to satisfy old school Paula Deen. The frosting is just the right amount of sweet and creamy.
Sidenote: This was actually made as a sample dessert…my amazing friends are getting married at the end of the summer and I am lucky enough to be doing their wedding dessert (cake wasn’t the only option).
I followed this recipe… mostly. I didn’t have any cupcake liners, so I used two 8 inch rounds, I also cut the sugar in half, made a couple of ingredient additions and substitutions and used my own frosting recipe (which has drastically less sugar).
The frosting recipe is a little more complicated than a regular frosting, but it is so worth the extra step or two. Trust me.
Also, please see my notes on the frosting regarding quantity and sweetness.
By popular demand, here is my version.
Cinnamon Bun Cake
Adapted from Every Craving, via Tasty Kitchen (see link above)
FOR THE CUPCAKE:
- 2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
- 2-½ teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon smoked Salt
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 1 scant cup sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
FOR THE CINNAMON SWIRL:
- 1/2 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1/3 cups Brown Sugar
- 1-½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoons Salt
*NOTE: I followed the original recipe instructions for the swirl, but it made too much… so I am cutting it in half to save your insulin levels.
FOR THE FROSTING*:
- 8 oz (I think) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 8 oz. Mascarpone, room temperature
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
- 3/4 cups Confectioners Sugar**
- A splash Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup (please use the real stuff to avoid breaking my heart!)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
*Note: This makes more frosting than you’ll need. I would suggest dividing your frosting into two dishes then adding the maple syrup and cinnamon to one, saving the other half for a different dessert (mixed with crushed up Newman O’s, or on red velvet cake? Anyone?)… OR you can just half this recipe…I know mascarpone is a bit fancy for a regular old cake, but trust me, it’s worth it.
**Second Note: You’ve probably figured out that I am not a huge super sweet frosting fan..so adjust to your taste.
What to do:
Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease two 8 in round cake pans and set aside.
Make the Cinnamon Swirl
- Melt butter in a small-medium sized bowl over double-boiler. Once melted, remove from heat.
- Stir in cinnamon, sugar and salt until smooth. Set aside.
Make the cake
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl (I use my trusty pastry blender for this…you can also use a mixer).
- Beat in eggs, one at a time (If using the pastry blender, switch to a solid serving spoon or rubber spatula for beating).
- Stir in vanilla and sour cream.
- Beat in milk and flour mixture, adding a little of each at a time until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- This is going to make a pretty thick batter. That’s okay, don’t panic.
- Divide half of the batter into each of the prepared pans.
- Give the cinnamon swirl a quick stir and lightly drizzle 1/3 of it over batter.
- Divide the rest of the batter into each pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread evenly. Drizzle 1/3 of the cinnamon swirl over the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting.
Make the Frosting
- Whip cream to soft peaks, place in refrigerator/set aside.
- Place mascarpone and cream cheese in stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until combined and smooth.
- Beat in vanilla and add in powdered sugar, a little at a time, until completely incorporated.
- Fold in whipped cream by hand (I use a rubber spatula)
- *Refrigerate until ready to use. *See note above.
- Right before frosting, add in remaining ingredients.
- Frost your cake, top with remaining cinnamon swirl.
PS. How to use up the leftover frosting, two ways:
I wanted to make the Lean Green Bean’s Frozen Yogurt Bites, but I didn’t have any granola on hand…and I didn’t feel like making any.
took everything out of the cupboard that was almost gone and dumped it into a bowl improvised. I think I did pretty well…but I’ll let you be the judge.
These bites are so easy to make, it’s just silly. Seriously, I can’t even call this a recipe. I’m going to give you two ways to make these, the first what I actually made and the second, what I would have done if I had these items on hand.
The sky is the limit with these, so play around with your ingredients!
Fro-Yo Bites-2 ways:
First Way-What You’ll Need:
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt, I used Strawberry
- 1 small banana chopped
- ~1/4 cup flax-seed meal
- ~1/3 cup chopped cashews
- ~1 cup Heritage O’s (or Cheerios)
- ~1/3 cup cocoa nibs
Second Way-What You’ll Need:
- 1+ cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt.
- 1 small banana, chopped
- ~1 cup puffed/crispy rice cereal
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
- ~1/4 cup cocoa nibs
- Optional: coconut flakes, to taste
What to do-Either Way:
Combine ingredients until everything is well coated. You may need to add another spoonful or two of yogurt, depending on your taste (I did).
Scoop mixture into ice cube tray and place in freezer until mixture hardens. If you don’t have a free ice cube tray, you can also line a pan with wax paper, freeze and cut into bars.
If you’re feeling adventurous, dip frozen bites into melted chocolate. Re-freeze. Definitely do this step with the second variety. Yum!
Makes 14 bites. Store in freezer.
I went a little granola crazy this weekend. The hubs and I decided to do snacks and foodie items for Christmas this year, so I made two batches of granola. It went fast.
The first was adapted from this recipe by Joy the Baker. I also got the mason jar idea from her. Genius.
Not gonna lie, I wasn’t sure about the goji berries, but they were awesome!
The second was something I sort of made up on the fly because I was running out of oats. And it was absolutely amazing. It was also super festive because I used red quinoa, cherries and pistachios. Did I mention that it was delicious?
This is a super savory granola, but if you want to sweeten it up, feel free to add more agave nectar. I don’t think it needs it…
The quinoa and cocoa nibs give this an awesome crunch and the coconut oil gives a super savory, rich flavor. I think this is my new favorite granola!
Look at this recipe as more of a guideline than something set in stone.
Crunchy Quinoa Granola
4 cups rolled oats.
2 cups red quinoa, uncooked–be sure to rinse and drain it!
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup cocoa nibs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut-I like the flakes because it adds some awesome texture
1 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (I chopped mine a little too much, you’ll want big chunks for that beautiful green color!)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 pinch smoked salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried cherries
What to do:
Preheat oven to 325.
Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
Combine all dry ingredients except the cherries in a large bowl, give it a good toss to make sure it’s well mixed.
Heat coconut oil and agave nectar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until combined.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
Add to dry ingredients and mix well, ensuring the mixture is well coated.
Pour granola onto baking sheets, making sure to spread evenly.
Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown, pulling out twice to toss mixture (so it doesn’t burn).
Let cool completely and add dried cherries. Granola will last several weeks in an airtight container. Serve over milk, yogurt or by the handful.
Ah Monday, the beginning of the week. A time to get back to routine.
I hate it. Okay, maybe I don’t hate it. But it was definitely hard to get myself in the groove this morning…
I had an amazing weekend. Here’s a little recap:
Friday: Worked at job 1. Scored a super sweet groupon deal with Canvas on Demand. Then headed to the restaurant. We had a local band playing, so it was a fun…and slightly crazy night. I was bowled over by something that was said to me-more on that later-and had a really good night. I ended up doing a little bit of everything, including getting to enjoy the music!
After work, I headed out for a quick 3 mile run. I had wanted to get in a few more miles, but it felt good to let loose after a semi-stressful week. And I was surprised by my time.
Saturday: Ben let me sleep in. This was glorious. When I dragged my butt out of bed at 9:45, we headed to one of our favorite breakfast places. It’s about a twenty minute drive from our house, but they have the best homemade roast beef hash I have ever had. Worth it. After filling up on coffee and hash, we decided to check out our last legs for the ragnar relay, as they were only about 10 miles away.
My last leg is going to be gorgeous, it runs along the Ausable River and is a relatively flat, winding route. Ben’s is going to be a bit more difficult. He not only starts at the bottom of a small hill, but most of the run is heading up a steep hill, with no relief at the end. We have some work to do.
After our little drive, we headed home to relax for a bit before work. Then we had tacos for lunch. Win.
There was a crazy storm in the early evening and the result was a beautiful, full double rainbow over the lake. Gorgeous!I have a few decisions to make in the next few weeks and I took this rainbow as a sign that He’s got my back.
I ended up getting out of work early, so I did some errand-running and then waited for the hubs to get out of work. We enjoyed a glass of red wine and went to bed after watching some little gems on YouTube.
Sunday: What a great day! Ben and I got up and went to church. We also enjoyed a bagel with lox and cream cheese for breakfast. I really enjoyed the sermon, it was one of those times when I felt like He was speaking directly to me…it definitely has me prepared for the week ahead.
After church, we took a short nap and then headed out for a five mile run. The first couple miles were hard, but I soon found my stride and went on auto-pilot. It really helped to clear my head.
I felt so good after our run, that I did some planks. My body is protesting a bit today, but I know it’ll thank me later!
After the run, I dropped Ben off at work and then I headed to job 1 to do some catch-up work. It’s amazing how much I can get done in a few hours when left by myself.
I stopped into the restaurant and enjoyed an absolutely delicious dinner of steak and veggies over pasta with a glass of one of my favorite red wines. It was the perfect end to my weekend, and was a nice opportunity to just relax. I waited for Ben to finish work and then we headed home. After catching up on my food journal (this was a bit painful), I drifted off to sleep.
Today, Ben and I are heading down to tackle that Ragnar route. I’m a bit nervous about the hill, but I am looking forward to a night off and the chance to run with Farmer Ben. It’ll be a great way to start the week and get some hill-work in! I can’t wait!
Two weekends ago, Farmer Ben and I went for our semi-regular Saturday morning coffee date, followed by the farmers’ market.
I ordered my usual-unsweetened iced coffee with cream…Ben went for a froo-froo drink.
Actually, allow me to clarify; I contemplated getting a kicked-up, flavored, slushy, coffee drink, but changed my mind, partially because I got the judging eyes from Ben. Then I ordered my iced coffee and he ordered the drink I had decided against.
My jaw dropped and I let him know how shocked I was… and then, something amazing happened. Our barista gave me a brilliant idea.
“You know,” she said, “Chocolate whipped cream on your iced coffee would make it so much better!”
I had never thought of that!
“I’ll allow it,” I replied.
It was delicious.
I’ve been thinking about chocolate whipped cream ever since. It’s the perfect combination, light and fluffy but with just enough give. Not too sweet, yet full of flavor. So simple…yet, just the right amount of … extra.
I’ve felt a need to whip some up and last night was the perfect chance. The hubs and I both had the night off so I volunteered to make dinner.
As the weather has been especially hot as of late, I opted for something simple. Lentil patties over a salad with yogurt sauce…and raspberry sorbet for dessert.
Don’t get me wrong, I love raspberry sorbet as is… but last night, I needed that something extra.
So I made chocolate whipped cream. Then I chopped up a dark chocolate espresso bar that had been hanging out in our cupboard and sprinkled some over the top. Suddenly, a simple dessert was taken to the next level of delish.
I apologize for the photo quality but I couldn’t stand it any longer-I had to wolf this down!
And now, without further ado, here’s the recipe! Per my usual M.O., I didn’t really measure, so the best way to make this is to taste. Enjoy!
Chocolate Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup (1/2 pint) Heavy Cream
- 2-4 tbsp. Powdered Sugar- do this to taste… I prefer a creamy flavor rather than a super sweet, using less sugar.
- 1-2 tbsp. Cocoa Powder- again, to taste. I didn’t really measure but 1 or 2 tbsp. is a good amount.
- A Splash of Vanilla (1-2 tsp.)
Pour heavy whipping cream into a bowl and beat using an electric mixer.
When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder to taste, continue to beat.
Add in splash of vanilla.
Beat just until stiff peaks form.
If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.
Serve over ice cream, fruit, cake or with your favorite coffee. It’s a great life decision.
In case you were as blissfully unaware as I, yesterday was Eggs Benedict Day. How could I have missed this?! Not gonna lie, I am a little upset that I did not partake in the holiday… but I suppose it’s okay to celebrate any time.
And thanks to The Pioneer Woman, it doesn’t seem that difficult to do. Check out her post on the Happiest of Hollandays (get it?).
And if you want to get even more fancy with your breakfast (or …non-breakfast?) options, check out Joy the Baker’s (gluten-free!) Lunch Waffles. Wowowow.
Or Smitten Kitchen’s Carrot Cake Pancakes for those missing some sweet in their life.
…Or, if you’re an egg lover looking for a little change, try this Skinny Omelette Recipe from 101 Cookbooks.
If you can’t tell, I am REALLY feeling breakfast today… if it involves an egg…0r 75, it’s a winner in my book.
…I’m also super excited because my Canvas on Demand canvas came in!!! AH! Great stuff people!
Do you have a favorite breakfast? Or weird breakfast (like green smoothies)?
Lots of Love. Have a great day!