Veggie Hash and Eggs

 

Is it breakfast?  Is it dinner?

YES.

I’ve always been an advocate of breakfast for dinner.  Whether it’s pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos, or hash.

Hash – i.e., an excuse to throw any and everything into a saute pan, cover it with an egg, and see what happens.  You really can’t go wrong.

That’s kind of what happened when I first started making this.

I was home alone and left to fend for myself for dinner.  I found some random veggies in the fridge and pantry – a few potatoes, zucchini, squash, a few bell peppers.  My new favorite meal was born.  It’s grown a little each time I’ve made it, and by the third or fourth time I made it, I figured it was time to share it.  I thought it was “too easy” to share and “not really a recipe.”  But we all need ideas to mix things up a little, right?

I can’t wait to take this recipe camping – camp food =/= healthy food like 99% of the time.  This would be great to do over the fire/stove in a cast iron skillet!

One year ago: Bacon Ranch Potato Salad and Watermelon Lemonade
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies and My Favorite Camping Recipes

Veggie Hash and Eggs
a PLFF original recipe
serves 2

3-4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 small sweet potatoes (or regular Idaho potatoes), scrubbed and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large jalapeno, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium yellow squash, diced
2 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 eggs

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes.  Cook 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are almost tender.  Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno (add more olive oil, if necessary).  Saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes.  Add diced squash, season with steak seasoning.  Season to taste with more salt, if necessary.  Saute until squash is almost tender, about 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.

After squash gets added, cook eggs to the style of your choice (over easy is our favorite!).  Divide hash over 2 plates, top with eggs.

Enjoy!

Grilled Fish Tacos with Cantaloupe-Pineapple Salsa

I’m officially obsessed with summer fruits.  Each week I’ve been coming home from the store with something different – cantaloupe, honeydew, mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, watermelon, and now peaches, nectarines and plums.  I’ve been starting each morning with a HUGE bowl of whatever combination I deem worthy that week.

So when I saw these tacos on Shawnda’s blog, I knew we’d love them.  Well, I love pretty much anything Shawnda puts up, to be honest – we have very similar foodie tastes and really, I trust anyone who loves margaritas as much as she does.

And these tacos took just minutes to throw together.  I actually made the salsa a few days earlier (while I was prepping the rest of my fruit for the week), so it really came together in no time.  Was a little sweet, spicy, and perfect for a summer weeknight on the patio.

One year ago: Pesto Pasta Salad
Two years ago: From-Scratch Mexican Rice and Italian Cole Slaw

Grilled Fish Tacos with Cantaloupe-Pineapple Salsa
adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

for the salsa:
1 cup diced cantaloupe
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup red onion
2 jalapenos, minced
small handful of cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime

for the tacos:
1 lb white fish (I used tilapia)
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ancho lime chili powder
tortillas
shredded cabbage

Stir together all salsa ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (can be done in advance).

Heat grill to high.  Combine olive oil, lime juice, salt pepper, and chili powder into a paste.  Rub over fish.  Grill 3-4 minutes on each side until the fish flakes easily and the center is opaque.  Cut fish into smaller pieces.

To assemble the tacos, place the fish onto each tortilla, followed by a generous scoop of salsa and a handful of cabbage.

Enjoy!

Quinoa Burrito Bowls

*tap tap tap*

Is this thing on?

Is anyone still here?

You are?

All 5 of you?

Whew.

I know, I’ve been totally MIA here lately.  I’ve been swamped with a wedding catering job a few weeks ago and have barely had time to cook anything remotely blog worthy.  And even when I do, I’m usually starving and have no energy to try to take a picture of it.  And if I do manage to take a picture, it just sits on my camera for weeks at a time until I have time to edit pics and actually blog them.

Well, luckily that time finally came this weekend.  I’ve caught up a little on life, edited a few pics, and I might actually start haivng some regular posts again.

If you remember correctly, we’ve been trying really hard here at the PLFF house to cut back on processed foods.  We’ve cut out a ridiculous amoung of carbs from our diet and have been filling up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  And in that search for the healthier, I discovered quinoa.

Now some of my favorite blogs have been writing about quinoa for a while now.  Call me jaded, but I was skeptical.  It just sounded… too healthy.  I mean, I like healthy, but I’m not a rabiit food and cardboard for dinner kind of girl.

But quinoa truly is fabulous.  It’s technially a seed, not a grain.  So it’s super nutty, and has a great bite to it, like good al dente brown rice.  Now, will I ever pick quinoa over pasta?  Of course not.  But I certainly like quinoa enough to satisfy my carb craving without blowing my calories for the day.

One year ago: Pasta Primavera with Goat Cheese and Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa
Two years ago: Blackened Chicken over Garlic Lime Pasta and Mega-Berry Crisp

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowls
adapted from the Shiksa in the Kitchen

1 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken/vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
toppings such as shredded cheese, Greek yogurt, salsa, diced tomatoes, avocado, etc

Pour quinoa in a medium saucepan with chicken/vegetable stock and 1 cup of water (2 cups liquid total).  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Let simmer for 20 minutes (closer to 25 for high altitude folks).  Stir occasionally.

While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add balck beans, half of cilantro, chili powder, cayenne, and 2 tbsp lime juice.  Reduce heat to low.  Season with salt to taste.  Stir occasionally and keep warm until quinoa is ready.

When the quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.  Stir in remaining cilantro and remaining lime juice.  To assemble bowls, divide quinoa between four bowls.  Top with black beans and your toppings of choice.  Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Giveaway winner!

Thank you everyone that entered!  Apparently y’all are way more experienced in eating game than I am – bear and caribou and peacock, holy cow!

Using Random, org, a random number was selected:

and the winner is Beth from Beth’s Blue Plate Special!

Beth, you’ll be getting an email from me shortly requesting your address so I can ship you your new OXO food scale!

 

Thanks everyone, have a wonderful weekend!!

Goat Cheese Mac and Cheese

 

So there’s been a very sad development here in the PLFF house here lately.  About 6 months ago I realized I was lactose intolerant.

Seriously one of the worst days of my life.

I still have day dreams of ice cream.  And brie. And tetrazzini.  And a cold glass of milk with breakfast.

But, I’m surviving.

I buy chevre (soft goat cheese) in bulk.

And I put almond milk in my chai.

And I’ve found an absolutely amazing sheep’s milk pecorino romano that kind of makes my eyes roll back in my head.

And one beautiful day, I decided to combine all of the above.

It was kind of a magical day.

So lactose intolerant or not, you really should make this mac and cheese.  You can use regular milk.  Just don’t brag about it, ok?

And don’t forget to enter the OXO food scale giveaway!  Enter by tonight at 11pm! (MST)

One year ago: “Must-go” Quiche and Roasted Green Beans
Two years ago: Beer Brats and Salsa Chicken

Goat Cheese Mac and Cheese
a PLFF original recipe

8 oz short cut pasta, like shells
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter (or non-dairy substitute)
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme
8 oz chevre (soft goat cheese)
1 cup shredded parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute until just soft.  Add flour and whisk to combine.  cook for 2 minutes, or until just golden brown and thick.  Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until any lumps have dissolved.  Cook 2-3 minutes until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.  Break up chevre and add it and parmesan/pecorino to sauce, whisking to combine.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.  Toss with pasta and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

OXO Food Scale giveaway!

I’ve talked a lot lately about all the elk we’ve been eating.  One of our favorite cuts has actually ended up being the elk roasts.  Now, we get minimum info form the butcher, we have no idea what kind of roast they have been – my best guess is a rump-roast.  Anywho.  When we picked up all this meat from the butcher, it was all wrapped up, very basically labeled with the cut (like “elk roast”) and that’s it.  No weights.

Now the first time I made one of the elk roasts, this proved to be a little bit of a dilemma.  The roast recipe I was using (as many roast recipes do), the timing was all based on the weight – like 20 minutes per pound.  Except I didn’t know what my elk roast weighed!

I tried a few things.

I held a 3lb package of chicken in one hand, the roast in the other.  The roast was heavier, but… how much heavier?  shoot.

I tried putting the elk roast (still wrapped) on the bathroom scale.  No dice.

So I weighed myself (GAH!), then weighed myself holding the elk roast.

It was time for a food scale.

So imagine my elation when I was contacted by OXO about testing one of their new products – a 5lb food scale with a pull-out display.  For free. Score!

And test I did.

It works fabulously.  It has a light-up display in case you like cooking in the dark.  It’s small and compact, which is essential for me and my limited cabinet space.

I might have started weighing everything in my kitchen.

Look at that, the weight of my blackberries factors the weight of the container!

Like I said.  Too much fun.  I’ll spare you the rest.

Oh yeah, the best part? They sent me one for you too!

To enter this giveaway:
Leave a comment telling me what cool kinds of game (or unusual proteins) you’ve tried.  We’re eating a lot of elk – what have you eaten?  If you haven’t been very adventurous with eating game, what would you like to try?

That’s it!  Sorry, no extra entry opportunities this time – equal chance for everyone!  US entries only, please (I own’t ship internationally, sorry!)

Enter by 11:00pm (MST) on Thursday, May 10th.  I will use a cold, random number generator to select a winner.

Good luck!

One year ago: Purple Cow (Blackberry) Frozen Yogurt and Monogram Sugar Cookies
Two years ago: My Favorite Guacamole

Chicken and Edamame with Orange Ginger Dressing

So here at the PLFF house we’ve been making a very conscious effort to eat a lot cleaner – we’ve done away with nearly all processed foods in our house.  We still have some ways to go, but we’ve taken leaps and bounds in the past few weeks.

And you know what?

It’s not that hard.

You choose better quality ingredients.

You actually taste your food.

You embrace the whole “less is more.”

And you find that at the end of the meal, you’re still satisfied.

And full.

And after several days without consuming anything processed, you start to notice.

You notice you’re  less tired and bloated.

You notice you have more energy, even though you haven’t had caffeine in days.

Then you wake up one day and realize you’ve drank the metaphorical kool-aid.  And there’s no going back.

And I’m ok with that.

Now don’t worry, that doesn’t mean we won’t still have cupcakes and whatnot around here. But you will be seeing a lot more clean eating recipes.

One year ago: Bug-themed cake and cupcakes
Two years ago: Taco Salad

Chicken and Edamame with Orange Ginger Dressing
courtesy of Confections of a Foodie Bride

1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
salt to taste
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shelled edamame
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 an avocado, diced
small handful of cilantro, minced

While brown rice in cooking, whisk together orange juice, lime juice, ginger and salt.  Add salt to taste.

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil.  Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.  Add in edamame, bell pepper, and cooked rice.  Remove from heat.  Add dressing and stir to combine.  Spoon into bowls and top with avocado and cilantro.

Enjoy!

What’s Baking? Baking with Yeast Roundup!

Like I mentioned on Thursday, I hosted this month of What’s Baking and tortured the gals by challenging them to overcome their fears of working with yeast.

And overcome they did!  Can I tell you about this amazing group of ladies?

This is what I love about the blogging community.  We’re across the country, yet I feel like I’ve known some of them for years.  They are kind, supportive, and the first in line when someone needs a laugh, a hug, or a stick if there’s a jerk making meanie comments on our blogs or stealing our blog content.  Which someone did to me.  And it took them all of like 5 seconds to hop on this other person’s blog and shake their proverbial fingers at her for stealing my content.  For a group of internet strangers, they are pretty amazing women. I can’t wait to meet some of them some day at a foodie conference.

Ok, enough sappy stuff.  Let’s talk about yeast.

We had a lot of yeast rookies for this challenge and rookies they are no longer!  Congrats ladies!  It seems that English Muffins seemed to be the trend, and I certainly don’t hate it!  I’ve been dying to make my own English Muffins. A few of the ladies didn’t have very good luck with their first yeast attempts.  This happens!  There’s a reason people are scared of yeast – its finicky!

To avoid your own yeast disasters, a little yeast 101:
1. don’t kill your yeast.  Bloom your yeast in WARM water, not hot.  It should be barely warm to the touch.
2. Let a stand mixer do the work of kneading if you can.
3. let it rise in a warm area.  If you keep your house freezing like I do, turn your stove burners on low and set the bowl in the middle.  You can also stick it in a barely still-warm oven.

Without further adieu, here are the ladies of What’s Baking!

In case your missed it, I made an insanely buttery Brioche Bread:

Yudith from Blissfully Delicious made a Caraway Rye Bread that just begs for some pastrami:

Jen from Beantown Baker introduced her sister to baking with yeast, with Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bread:

Cara from The Boys Made Me Do It caved in to her boys’ request for homemade bread and made Soft Garlic Knots:

Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks found a no-muss, no-fuss yeast recipe that would be great for beginners with her English Muffin Bread:

Nicole from Seven Ate Nine tried a Brioche recipe (just like I did!) and took advantage of her bread machine to do all the work:

Sandra from She Cooks and Bakes conquered one of the trickiest of yeast breads and made Sourdough Bread:

Melissa from I was Born to Cook is no longer a yeast rookie!  She conquered her fear with a different version of English Muffin Bread:

Ammie from Adventures in my Kitchen may have hated me at first for this month’s theme, but she loved how her English Muffins turned out:

Stephanie and her sister at Brownies and Blondies love carbs so much, they had two submissions – Challah and Pain Polka:

Jaida at Sweet Begainnings isn’t a yeast novice, but she pushed herself to do something challenging when she made Pretzel Hot Dog Buns:

Jessica at the Jey of Cooking found this Yeasted Banana Sandwich Bread to be a piece of cake (bread?):

Carrie from Carrie’s Sweet Life found a super easy recipe that doesn’t require any kneading, I can’t wait to try her Batter Bread:

Catherine from Persuing Domestic Goddess-ness took a risk and made Homemade Pitas:

Thanks ladies for taking those fears head on!  You guys are fabulous!  Next month Ammie is challenging everyone to bake with Spring Produce, good luck!

One year ago: Mango Margaritas and Strawberry Lemonade
Two years ago: Taco Pasta Bake

Amazing Buttery Brioche

Guess who’s hosting What’s Baking this month?!

And guess who decided to torture the girls this month?

*insert evil laugh*

One of the biggest kitchen fears, for both novice and seasoned home cooks, is yeast.

I don’t know what it is about yeast, but it seems to scare the bejesus out of everyone.

Well, for the What’s Baking Gals, it was time to conquer those fears and see that yeast isn’t so scary.

I’ve been saying that for months.  I even have a tag for all of my favorite yeast breads.  Every time I post one, I tell y’all to be brave and take the plunge.

Raise your hand if you still haven’t.

Yep, that’s what I thought.  Well, enough of that.

Today, I post my next yeast recipe.

Monday?  I show you over a dozen amazing women who conquered their yeast fears and took the plunge into some insanely amazing breads, pretzels, english muffins, you name it!  These gals took this challenge seriously and really pushed themselves!  I can’t wait for you to see. And try for yourself.

Until then….

I leave you with a slice of the most buttery bread you could possibly imagine.

This bread has butter, butter, and more butter.

So much butter that I ate 2 slices.  Then decided that there was no way this bread could stay in my house.

So I wrapped up the whole loaf.

And wrapped up the loaf that had been sliced into and sent them to work with my husband.

I find out later that day that he shared the whole loaf.  It was devoured.  He hid the partial loaf at his desk.

So if any of his coworkers are reading this?  Check his drawers.  There’s more.

For the rest of you?  Make this bread.  Then make plans for it – like Monte Cristos or french toast or bread pudding.  Or have people over so they can help you eat it.  You can’t say I didn’t warn you.  I’m not responsible for any weight gain that results from eating an entire loaf by yourself.

One year ago: Buttermilk Chive Biscuits and Salted Caramel Blondies
Two years ago: Margarita Cupcakes and Authentic Red Beans and Rice

Brioche Loaves
courtesy of Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours

2 packets active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (warm to the touch, not hot)
1/3 cup warm whole milk (warm to the touch, not hot)
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature

for the glaze:
1 large egg
1 tbsp water

*Note: recipe must chill overnight.

Put the yeast, water, and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until yeast is dissolved.  Let sit a few minutes until bubbly and frothy. Ad the flour and salt, and fit the mixer with the dough hook.  Turn the mixer on and off in a few short pulses just to dampen the flour.  Gradually increase the speed to medium-low speed and mix for 1-2 minutes, until flour is just moistened. The dough will be dry and shaggy.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes, until dough forms a ball.  Reduce speed to low and add the butter in 2 tbsp-sized chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next.  You’ll have a dough that is very soft.  Increase speed to medium high and continue to beat until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl that’s been coated with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40-60 minutes.

Deflate the dough by lifting up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap into the bowl.  Recover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.  Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours.  Leave covered dough in the fridge to chill overnight.

The next day, butter and flour 2 loaf pans.

Pull the dough from the fridge and divide into 2 equal pieces.  Divide each half into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long.  Arrange crosswise in the bottom of each pan.  Cover pans lightly with wax paper and leave loaves at room temperature until the dough fills the pans, 1-2 hours.

Center a rack in the over and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To make the glaze, beat the egg with water.  Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze. Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30-35 minutes.  Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes.  Then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Cool for at least 1 hour.

Enjoy!!

Cranberry Orange Muffins

I love making muffins when we have house guests.

First off, people love baked goods.

And it’s a great way to ensure a good breakfast each morning without having to get up early and make it.

And this recipe makes a bajillion muffins.  So there’s plenty for the whole weekend.

But even if you don’t want a bajillion muffins, then you can easily cut the recipe back.

But I recommend baking all bajillion.  They keep well in an airtight container.  Breakfast for the whole week!

One year ago: Ramen Noodle Cole Slaw and Poppy Lime Fruit
Two years ago: No-booty Blueberry Muffins

Orange Cranberry Muffins
courtesy of The Pastry Queen Cookbook, as seen on Homemade by Holman
Yields 20 muffins

3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 orange
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
raw sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 20 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and butter, and whisk until well combined.

In another mixing bowl, add sugar and orange zest.  Use your fingers to rub orange zest into sugar.  Add in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.  Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.  Fold in cranberries.

Scoop into prepared pans, filling each cup about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle about 1 tsp of raw sugar on top of each cup of batter.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until tops are just brown and tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Enjoy!