Sausage Asparagus Frittata

Here is the honest truth about this recipe.  One day, I bought a giant bag of fresh asparagus.  We ate this asparagus for a solid week.  By the end of the week, there was still more asparagus.  Hence, a Saturday morning egg dish with asparagus was born. IMG_0329That story is factual.

Ask my hubby.

He told me that he could not physically handle the taste of asparagus for at least another 7 days.  He was exaggerating…I think.

However, this frittata was so yummy, that I beg to differ.  I could certainly eat this again.  Like real, real soon!IMG_0330This dish is pretty easy, looks pretty fancy, and it’s mighty tasty!  It has ground maple breakfast sausage and feta cheese hiding out underneath the asparagus.

I’m telling you, this recipe would be a big hit at a breakfast or brunch get together!  It is gluten free, full of protein, and fairly low carb when compared to other standard breakfast dishes! IMG_0337

Sausage Asparagus Frittata

  • Servings: 4 large squares
  • Difficulty: EASY
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What you need:

  • parchment paper
  • 16 oz chub of ground breakfast sausage (I used maple for some sweetness)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • bunch of thin asparagus (about 20 or so depending how thin)

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).  Line an 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper.  I measured two identical long, narrow pieces against the dish that were long enough to reach across the dish and narrow enough to line the inside of the dish.  I arranged one across the other, kind of in an X. Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium sized pan on the stove and brown the breakfast sausage according to package instructions until no longer pink.
  3. Transfer cooked sausage to a bowl by spooning it out, leaving excess grease in pan.  Set sausage aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, scramble the eggs, milk, cheese, BBQ sauce, salt and pepper, and onion powder together. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared glass pan.
  5. Layer cooked sausage into egg dish and place in oven carefully.
  6. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
  7. While the eggs are in the oven, prepare the asparagus by rinsing it and patting it dry to remove moisture.  Snap the tough edges of the asparagus off so they fit inside the baking dish.
  8. After ten minutes, take the dish out of the oven and lay the asparagus on top, as close together as possible.  Place back into oven and bake for 15 minutes more or until egg dish is firm and barely golden.
  9. Let dish cool for 5 minutes or so and transfer from baking dish to cutting board by pulling up on parchment paper.  It should be transferred easily.
  10. Slice dish and serve immediately!
  11. ENJOY!

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Pecan Shortbread Biscotti

The word “biscotti” literally means twice baked in Italian.  The fact that we are baking something twice might make this recipe sound complicated, but it’s really not!  This biscotti is sooo- buttery and very light and sweet.  You will enjoy it down to the last crumb.IMG_0269BISCOTTI.

This is special biscotti.

This recipe is more like biscotti meets shortbread cookie meets butter pecan–and then dip it into a steamy hot cup of joe.

It is SO. STINKIN’. GOOD. IMG_0293Making biscotti is really not any more advanced than making cookies.  You really don’t have to do anything fancy other than separating it into two log shapes.IMG_0262And then once that is baked, you slice it as thin or thick as you would like, and put the slices back into the oven.IMG_0273Flip those bad boys over and put the pan into the oven for its final hurrah!IMG_0299.jpgI’m telling ya, invite some friends over, and watch those caffeinated comrades of yours devour every last bite of this delectable biscotti!  Ciao!

Pecan Shortbread Biscotti

  • Servings: 36-40 slices
  • Difficulty: Not difficult, time consuming
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What you need:

  • 3 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together at medium speed until creamy (just a minute or so).
  3. Add extracts and beat in eggs one at a time, mixing into butter/sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together flour and baking powder with a fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to creamed butter/sugar/eggs and mix until well combined.
  6. Fold pecans into batter.
  7. Shape into two logs.  (I would divide the dough into two similar-sized sections, then shape them into two log shapes.  They should be 2″ wide and about 10″ long.)
  8. Place the logs side by side on prepared baking sheet and place in oven.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  10. Remove from oven and slice logs into slices- should make 18-20 slices per log.
  11.  Turn slices flat to one side on the cookie sheet and bake in oven for additional 15 minutes or so.
  12. Remove from oven, flip slices over, and bake for the final 15 minutes until crispy and golden.
  13. ENJOY with a hot cup of coffee!

 

Ham Carbonara

It’s an easy, hearty recipe that is loaded with ham and bacon and can be thrown together in a flash.  Meaty, creamy, and satisfying! IMG_0228

I am currently sitting in my Colorado home, wishing it was one of our “300 days of sunshine”.  But it isn’t.  It’s kinda gloomy out!

Things are pretty quiet around here today because my partner in crime is a under the weather,  He actually has pneumonia.  Bleh!

I’m being his caretaker and practicing my “I mean business” face this week.  I have to force him to lay on the couch and REST.  He is a real busybody and likes to work hard, so this has been a little challenging for him.

He usually just smiles and shakes his head when I’m “being firm” because no matter how hard I try, I just can’t do it.  I literally stare at him, furrow my brow, and clench my teeth.  Try to picture that ….yeah, exactly.  That usually makes me seem more funny than ferocious.

I guess that’s not the worst thing, right?  IMG_0237 Are any of you like that?

Like, I am so nice sometimes that I wish I could be mean.  I always think of Sandra Bullock’s character in the movie The Blindside.  She has that firm, direct, tough demeanor.  I wish I could be firm and direct and tough like that.  IMG_0244

 

Ham Carbonara

  • Servings: Feeds 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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What you need:

  • 1 fully cooked ham steak, cubed (any ham will work)
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled bacon bits (I chopped 3 slices of cooked bacon)
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup of milk (any milk)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • package of spaghetti noodles (any noodles, really)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • bag of frozen peas

What to do:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, strain, and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat.
  3. Place cubed ham steak and bacon into skillet and top with garlic and onion powder.
  4. Brown cubed ham steak and bacon until heated through and sizzling.  Stir often.
  5. Add can of cream of mushroom soup, milk, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to skillet and stir to combine.
  6. Heat soup mixture on stove for 3-5 minutes, add 1 cup of frozen peas, cook another 2 minutes.
  7. Add strained noodles to skillet and toss to combine.  Toss until noodles are well coated.  Heat through.
  8. Top with extra parmesan cheese, serve immediately.
  9. ENJOY!

 

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re gluten free, you’ll love this recipe.  Even if you’re not, you will love this recipe! The peanut butter flavor is exploding out of these crumbly, delicate, little cookies.  It’s like eating peanut butter from a jar…well, minus that awkward stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth feeling.  Peanut butter, sugar, and mini chocolate chips.  NO FLOUR! Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 2 Are any of you guys angry eaters?

Like, okay, we have all heard of emotional eaters.  But I am not going to call myself an emotional eater because A) that sounds like a horrible condition, and B) I don’t get hungry with every emotion I feel.  If I am sad, I’m sad.  Don’t shove a hot dog in my face–I want a hug, sheesh.  If I am exceptionally happy, I am happy and I want to buzz around and be energetic and productive and maybe even a little annoying. I don’t have time to think about eating.

I do a pretty good job watching what I eat throughout the day.  I have a pretty balanced diet and try to not to overdo it.

Wellllll…make me angry…and that’ll all change reeeaaal quick.Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 1

I had a long, crazy day at work and I just wanted to come home and relax for five whole minutes before I had to make dinner.  I walk in the front door, and the first thing I see is my husband and he is up to his elbows in WORK.  He brought work home with him…grrr.  So there’s that.  Then, I realize he has already eaten something for dinner so now I can’t make what I was planning on anymore.  A handful other things bug me on my way to our room; my totally not leak proof water cup tips over as I am carrying it under my arm and water seeps out all over me and I trip on my way into the closet as I am trying to kick off my heels.  Game…OVER. Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 3I am ticked.  Hangry at this point.  I don’t want to make anything.  I am scrounging through the cupboards and opening the fridge again and again in my attempt to find a quick fix.  I grab the caramel corn.  I eat a handful of that.  I see the bag of mini marshmallows and shove some of those down, too.  I’m pacing around the kitchen blowing off some steam.  Finally, I walk to our tall cabinet and I just stand there staring into it, processing everything that has just occurred.  Then something catches my eye…it’s Cap’n Crunch.  Crunch Berries, of course.  I ate it.  And, it wasn’t even that good.

FYI: I DO NOT EAT CEREAL.  LIKE, EVER.

What have I become?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 6

Well, my emotions got the best of me.  I am certainly an angry eater.

I am an angry eater who had nothing but sugar for dinner tonight.

Let’s hope this warm spearmint tea can make me forget.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: Makes 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: You cannot mess this up
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What you need:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
  2. Line ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper (optional)
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl
  4. Form about 1 inch round balls (one tablespoon dough) and place on cookie sheet
  5. Using a fork, press and flatten each ball just slightly
  6. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.*
  7. Let cookies cool completely before transferring from pan
  8. ENJOY with a glass of cold milk!

 

*Note: the cookies should still look semi-fluffy and on the verge of not being done.  10 minutes is typically the longest I have gone.  Be sure to let them cool, otherwise, they’ll fall apart!  I did try to make them in a mini-muffin tin, but they need to cook a bit longer and cool MUCH longer before you can successfully transfer them from the tin.  Perhaps cook them the day before you transfer them?  Let me know if you get creative with this recipe!

 

Karlie

 

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 4

 

Lucky Charms Crunch Bark

I took one of my beloved childhood favorites and covered it in white chocolate.  Holllllller.  To add a sweet/salty snack element, I added white cheddar popcorn to the recipe and served it in a bowl as a snack mix/bark.  I made one pan with popcorn and one without.  I like the one with popcorn better.  However, both are absolutely, positively, “magically delicious”!IMG_8250We are halfway through March, people!  That means that Spring is finalllllly within reach! Halllllllelujah!  It cannot come soon enough.  We have all “sprung forward”, my mom is already asking about our Easter plans, and people are leaving on trips for Spring Break.  And, speaking of Spring Break trips, Joey and I are leaving for good ol’ Mississippi on Saturday.  It will be my first trip to the South, and I’ve never been more excited for humidity, swampland, and authentic Southern food.  More updates on that in the coming weeks!

But for now, back to this chocolate-covered cereal. IMG_8301I figured I had to post something St. Patrick’s Day-ish.  So this is what I came up with.  This crunchy, sugary-sweet bark recipe is stinkin’ addicting.  I made (and documented) the first batch using just Lucky Charms and a package of white almond bark.  You just separate the cereal–marshmallows in one bowl and hard cereal pieces in another–and melt the white chocolate (I used almond bark), combine it, and voila!  It turned out spendidly.  Earlier this week, though, I decided to make another batch for our bible study group.  I just felt like it needed a little more salty-sweet action.  Want to know what I did?  I bought a bag of White Cheddar Smartfood Popcorn and mixed it in!  It was the crown jewel.  My friends could not get enough of it.  (See additional pictures at the bottom of post.) IMG_8033First you separate the hard pieces from the marshmallows (and try not to eat all the marshmallows). If you are adding popcorn like I did, you can layer the popcorn evenly with the cereal pieces at this point. IMG_8071Then you want to melt a pound of white chocolate or almond bark and pour it onto the cereal bits.  You’ll have to mix it together and then spread it out again to make sure it all sticks together in the end. Let’s make it pretty!IMG_8184Add your marshmallows and push down gently so that they stick into the white chocolate.  Let it sit for a few hours and break it all up!  You’ll be in your own Lucky Charms heaven. 

Lucky Charms Crunch Bark

  • Servings: As many or few as you'd like
  • Difficulty: super easy
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What you need:

  • box of Lucky Charms cereal, separated into 2 cups dry cereal and 2 cups marshmallows
  • pound of white almond bark or white chocolate
  • white cheddar popcorn (optional)

What to do:

  1. Get out a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan and line it with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Spread dry cereal pieces onto lined baking sheet. (If you are adding popcorn, do this now.)
  3. Melt your white chocolate according to package instructions- you MUST heat in intervals.
  4. Pour melted chocolate over cereal and mix gently to combine, pat cereal back together to form a layer again.
  5. Before chocolate hardens, top with marshmallows and press down lightly- just enough that you don’t break marshmallows, but hard enough that they stick into the bark.
  6. Let your creation cool and harden.
  7. Break into pieces and serve!
  8. ENJOY!

Notes: If you’re a sweet and salty addict like me, I’d suggest adding the popcorn to the mix.  Check out the photos below:IMG_8444IMG_8446IMG_8497IMG_8508

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

These shrimp tacos are super simple and can be whipped up in a jiffy.  They’re fresh and light and they’ll make you wish you were sitting by the ocean with the sand between your toes.  IMG_7719-2 I am like, a taco addict.  I bet you I could eat a shrimp taco or fish taco every day for the rest of my life and not be tired of them.  They’re just SO good.  I think part of the reason why I like them so much is because I literally never heard of a shrimp taco until I moved to Colorado.  Dead serious.  No joke.  I didn’t even realize that people ate any fish other than catfish, and all I knew was that we ate it at the annual Rotary Fish Fry.  I am not even kidding!  I lived in a tiny town on the Mississippi River until I was 13.  It was Small Town, USA.  I knew Chevy trucks were better than Fords, ground deer meat was a great substitute for ground beef, and the bubbly drink that comes in a can was called “pop”.  Was I sheltered?  Naiive maybe?  Call it whatever you want to call it.  I guess I moved to Colorado and my eyes were opened.  But I’m proud to have Midwestern roots.  IMG_7704-2 I love how versatile tacos are.  If you change the spices and leave everything else the same, it’s a different taste!  If you switch out the shrimp for fish, again, it would taste a little different! Feel free to add or take out anything you want!  This recipe is great for quick lunches on the weekend, or weekday dinners when you are in a rush.  IMG_7725-2These tacos just so happen to be Gluten Free and Dairy Free as long as you follow the recipe!  IMG_7655-2

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs raw shrimp (frozen work just fine too)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime or 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (I used lite soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • small garlic clove or garlic powder
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for cooking
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • avocado, sliced
  • lettuce, or anything else you might want to put on your taco

What to do:

  1. First, we want to make the sauce.  In a small bowl, add the mayo, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, and garlic.  Combine well with a fork or whisk.  Then add chopped cilantro and stir all together.  Set sauce aside in refrigerator.
  2. Next, we cook the shrimp.  If your shrimp have tails, shells, veins, or anything like that, remove them.  Rinse the shrimp until they are clean, then blot them dry with a paper towel.  When they are dry, season them with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a pan on medium high heat.  Add shrimp to heated pan one at a time, making it so they are all in one layer.  Cook shrimp for a minute or two on each side until they change from clear to a pinkish white color.  After they’re done, transfer shrimp to a plate so they don’t overcook.
  4. After the shrimp are cooked, heat up your tortillas.  I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to dampen a paper towel and cover the tortillas with the damp paper towel before you microwave them.  Microwave tortillas for 30-45 seconds or until soft.
  5. Slice up some avocado and lettuce or any other ingredients you want to add to your taco.
  6. Assemble your tacos by adding 2 or 3 shrimp to each taco and loading it with lettuce and avocado and topping it off with the cilantro lime sauce.
  7. Eat and ENJOY!

Notes:**These shrimp tacos are gluten-free (GF) and dairy free (DF) as long as you use corn tortillas!  They are also fairly low in carbs, I would just count how many carbs are in your tortilla, and maybe switch out the honey for stevia or agave! These tacos are happy and healthy for just about everyone! 🙂IMG_7686-2

Cinnamonkey Bread (Pull-Apart Mini Cinnamon Rolls)

Cinnamonkey Bread is what you get when you make little tiny cinnamon rolls and bake them extra close together so they turn out like monkey bread!  These little bites are soft and moist and full of cinnamon-y cuteness! IMG_7620-2 Well, let me be honest.  This recipe was a big OOPS that I managed to turn into a blog post.  {HOORAY!}  So, here’s the deal.  I thought it would be cool to try to make mini cinnamon rolls for my sister the other day.  I saw a post on Pinterest for Mini Cinnamon Rolls from Iowa Girl Eats. They were totally cute, super simple, and looked they would taste amazing.

I got up, started doing my thing, and I realized I didn’t have my mini muffin tin!  I searched everywhere for that thing.  No luck.  Didn’t find it.  So, being the brilliant dingbat I am sometimes, I decided to just lay them on a baking sheet and cook them that way because surely all I needed to do was just watch the time because they’d bake much faster.  Weeellll, I baked them alright.  I baked them ‘REAL GOOD.  And not only were they exceptionally…um, crunchy, but they spread out and unrolled themselves in the oven so they looked like little blackened Cajun shrimp.  Mmmhm…

The good news is, I shook it off and all hope was not lost.  Fortunately, not all of the mini cinnamon rolls made it onto the first pan!  So after I gracefully incinerated my first batch, I figured I might as well use this as an experiment. The second time around, I decided to bunch them together before I put them into the oven, and the result was WONDERFUL!  I whipped up a glaze using syrup and cinnamon and that was all I needed to delete the memory of the charred cinnamon roll remains that were still on my stovetop.  IMG_7592-2 Here’s how to make this cute little whimsical masterpiece! IMG_7367-2 Flatten out the refrigerated biscuits using your fingers or a rolling pin and then layer them with butter.  Just butter those buns and call them biscuits….hehe. IMG_7395-2 Take each buttered little bun (hehe…I promise I’ll stop) and add your cinnamon and brown sugar. IMG_7419-2 Then you need to roll them up and you will slice them! IMG_7424-2 After that, you’ve got your cute little cinnamon rolls, but to make sure you don’t do what I did, we want to bunch them up together! IMG_7467-2IMG_7483-2 Once they are all nice and cozy, you’ll put them in the oven! After that, wait patiently while your home begins to smell amazing.IMG_7511-2 Tada!  Whip up a little glaze and eat your little heart out.  These are so stinkin’ good. IMG_7582-2 

Cinnamonkey Bread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • tube of buttermilk refrigerated biscuits (6 biscuits)
  • stick of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven according to directions on package of biscuits.  Grease a cookie sheet (a loaf pan would also work) or line with parchment paper.
  2. Lay out the biscuits and flatten each one with your fingers or a rolling pin.  Try to get them as flat as possible, they do start to puff back up a little bit.
  3. Spread some butter on each biscuit and layer with brown sugar and cinnamon. (This recipe has a lot of wiggle room, you can do what you want as far how little or how much.)
  4. Roll each biscuit into a log shape and cut into 5-6 pieces.
  5. Place the little individual cinnamon rolls onto baking sheet or pile them into a loaf pan, sides touching as close as possible.
  6. Bake according to biscuit package directions (about 8-10 minutes) or until golden brown.
  7. After they are in the oven, get a small bowl and whisk together some maple syrup and cinnamon to make a thin glaze. Drizzle glaze over warm cinnamonkey bread.
  8. Pull apart the bread like monkeys and ENJOY! (finger licking is totally okay)

Notes: **The glaze helps make these cinnamon rolls extra moist and delicious.  The recipe works just fine without it!