Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Eggs and Crab in a Basket

Sometimes you just need breakfast for dinner. Last night was one of those nights. I had seen the hearty boys make a recipe similar to this a few weeks ago and was looking for an excuse to make it. That excuse presented itself when I realized that I had a dozen eggs that needed to be used before my trip next week. Viola - an excuse for breakfast at dinner time.

1 tbsp butter
melted 12 wonton squares
6 oz lump crab meat
6 large eggs
6 slices smoked gouda cheese (or whatever cheese you want)
Salt and pepper (I also put fresh chives in between the layers)

Preheat oven to 375Brush the muffin cups with butter and line each with 1 wonton square. Brush the squares with more butter and place the second wonton on top of the first at an angle so that all of the points show. Divide the crab among the muffin cups. Place a piece of cheese on top of the crab and sprinkle some chives on top as well. Break 1 egg into each muffin cup. Sprinkle chives on top and salt and pepper.

Place in the bottom half of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the egg white is firm but yolk still liquid. Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before carefully removing the baskets from the tin.

I got distracted and let the eggs sit in the oven a bit too long, so my yolks were not runny, as I would have liked them to be, next time I will pay closer attention and get runny yolks.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Healthy Cooking: Chunky Apple Bread

While sitting in the airport for 3 hours the other night waiting for my plane to arrive from Dallas. Can I have one tangent here. If I'm in Chicago and I'm flying to Boston, but the plane I'm flying on is stuck in Dallas due to bad weather, why in God's name do I have to wait for that freaking plane. Doesn't the airline have any other planes that they could put us on. Why make a plane full off people, who's flight was supposed to be at 6:00, wait until 9:30 to board a plane. Why, you'd think that they could get us another plane. That's all I'm saying.

While I was waiting for my plane to arrive from the longhorn state, you could say I had more than enough time to browse the local book and magazine store. I came across a magazine called Healthy Living, it was really great and loaded with fall inspired baking recipes. This recipe is from that magazine. My hope is to make a lot of the recipes highlighted in the magazine because they all seemed so healthy and tasty.

I don't think that I let this bake enough, I really think it needed 5 more minutes, but it was still delicious, and without butter, oil or eggs in the bread it really is super healthy and easy to make. Do yourself a favor, make this bread, it is really wonderful in the morning all toasty and warm.

2C flour
1/2C brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4C unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2C peeled and chopped golden delicious apples

Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly spray an 8 x 4 in loaf pan with non fact cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda/powder and cinnamon. Stir in applesauce and vanilla and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in apples.
Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 10 servings.

Per serving:140 calories, 3g protein, 32g carbs, 2g fiber, .33g fat, .05g saturated fat, 91mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

WW Pasta with Lemon Cream

The weekend in Chicago was great. Great in more ways than one; visiting friends, going to the zoo, the field museum, Millennium Park, the Celtic festival, road tripping to Notre Dame.

It really was wonderful; it also was a complete gorge fest on the local cuisine. Thursday night we went to little Italy for dinner, we had fresh bread smothered in roasted garlic and olive oil, then proceeded to have three more courses on top of that consisting of pear raviolis, gnocchi with gorgonzola, seafood salad and of course a bottle of red wine. Not to leave out dessert, we also had a great tiramisu.

No trip to Chicago is complete without deep dish pizza. Friday we headed to the original Gino's for deep dish spinach pizza...mmmm. Friday night still semi full from the deep dish pizza, we headed to Greektown for another three course meal, starting with saganaki (fried cheese) and spicy feta, then moving on the eggplant in a bechamel sauce, and finished with baklava...oh, yeah, throw a few bottles of wine in there too, did I mention there was bread as well.

Saturday morning, we got in the car and headed to Indiana to tailgate for the Notre Dame game. We walked around the campus for a while, then settled in and tailgated for about 3 know what kind of food and drink is involved in tailgating. I don't need to explain that it wasn't in the least bit healthy.

Sunday, our stomach almost stretched to capacity we went to a southern inspired breakfast place...jambalaya omelets.

Needless to say, I came home feeling a little thick around the middle, so I decided to make a weigh watchers meal for dinner. I won't lie; it tastes like a low fat meal. In order to make this meal again, I would really need to add the juice and zest of at least one more lemon, and possibly some parsley and other herbs to give it more flavor. Served hot with a little salt and pepper, it really wasn't that bad, but CB wanted something with a little more flavor and substance. I thought it was a little bland, but after all that rich food, I actually welcomed the simple pasta dish for dinner, and at only 3 WW points per serving it really was good for someone looking to cut calories and fat in a simple easy to prepare meal.

15 ounces lowfat ricotta cheese
dash salt
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp nutmeg
4 cups cooked pasta

Empty ricotta into blender or food processor, using the steel blade. Add salt. Process until all graininess disappears and ricotta has the texture of thick whipped cream. Flavor the mixture with lemon peel and nutmeg. Store in refrigerator. Drain the hot cooked pasta, then immediately return it to the saucepan it was cooked in. Add the whipped ricotta. Toss until pasta is well coated with the sauce. Can garnish with parmesan, fresh parsley or a few thin slices of pitted black olives.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Spring Mix with Dried Cranberries and Candied Pecans

Thank God I didn't buy the bagged spinach! "I'll have the spinach salad, with a sprinkling of E coli. 157."

This actually was a bagged spring mix salad, but so far so good on the intestinal health.
When I was at Trader Joe's last week I bought a large bag of pecans. I didn't really know what to put on them to make them candied, so I melted some butter with a little brown sugar, tossed the pecans in that, then put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes. It seemed to work well, except next time I will also add a little honey to the mixture. My little sister who was here for the day also suggested adding a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix, which I think is a fabulous idea.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Kind of Town; Chicago Is

Cheeseburger Cheeseburger Pepsi No Coke.
I'm off to the land of deep dish pizza, the cubbies, home of the tootsie roll. That's right the windy City.

See you on the opposite side of the weekend.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Pasta and Haddock Bake

This weekend was a truly fabulous weekend in Boston. It was sunny and crisp and warm. It was also the first weekend in oh, I don't know 87 weekends that I didn't have to fly somewhere for work, or drive somewhere, or go see family or any other malarkey. It was the first weekend where I could finally go to the tailor and get my spring pants hemmed (yes, I realize spring is over, but at least they will be ready for next year), peruse the Trader Joe's grocery store, and go to my favorite bookstore in the whole wide world, Brookline Booksmith, which just happened to be having a big sale. When I first moved to Boston and didn't have a job, I would get up in the morning and walk to Brookline Booksmith and sit among the books for hours. I honestly believe that bookstore is the one reason why I fell in love with reading, and ever since then, my thirst for reading has been insatiable. I ended up leaving with four books which came to a grand total of $22. Don't you just love a bargain!

One of the books I bought was a little $5 book titled 101 Simple Suppers. You know what, they ain't kidding, the book is chocked full of really tasty and simple recipes. Do yourself a favor, try the one I just made, the Pasta and Haddock Bake, the original recipe called for Cod, but I couldn't get it in my fish markt that day, so I settled for haddock. The picture may not scream sexy, but this dish made me come back for seconds, which I never do, I pretty much have a one plate rule, lest we forget the promise I made to myself to never have to wear elastic waist pants.

  • 12oz pasta shells
  • 6 thick slices bacon cut into strips
  • 12 oz tomato sauce; zest of one lemon
  • 1lb cod fillets cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 3tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2oz freshly grated cheddar or parmesan.
  1. Cook pasta in slated boiling water for 10-12 minutes
  2. Cook bacon for 5 minutes, until crisp (drain grease). Add the tomato sause and stir well until it starts to bubble. Stir in lemon zest and add codd (haddock). Cover and cook for four mintes
  3. Preheat broiler. Drain pasta and stir into the sauce with the creme fraiche and parsely. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into shallow heatproof dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top and broil until cheese is melted and golden.

You can substitute shrimp for the bacon, and use dill instead of parsley. Eat It. Stuff Your Face. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Honey Cinnamon Scones

Growing up the only time I generally ingested honey was when it was mixed with a little whiskey and lemon. It was Nana's fool proof cough syrup. I never really understood why she would always give it to us even if we didn't seem to have a cough, nor why I would pass out for hours on end in the middle of the day, but I guess that conversation is for another time, possibly when I'm laying horizontally on a psychiatrists couch.

Moving right along. I love honey, I eat it almost every day, and generally I drizzle it over fresh berries and yogurt. When in VT this past weekend I stopped off at the farmers market for the last time this season and picked up about 7 pounds of honey; dark fall honey, and light summer honey, they were all out of the orange blossom honey.

Realizing that I now have four jugs (tee hee, I said jugs) of honey I decided to put some of it to good use. It's been a while since I baked, so Ta Da. Honey Cinnamon Scones. These really are fabulous. Try them.

2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp B. Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C cream
2-3 tbs honey (you decide how honey flavored you like it)
1 egg

Sift dry ingredients together and cut in butter until crumbly. (Is crumbly a word) Mix milk, egg and honey together then add to crumble mixture. Knead briefly on floured surface about 8-12 times. Pat into a 9 inch circle and cut into 8 equal wedges. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. When finished brush the top with more honey, it will melt into the top and be awesome.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nana's Corn Chowda

I can't be certain, but I think that this recipe probably comes from the depression era. This is my 82 year old Nana's corn chowder recipe. This is from the woman who looks at a moldy piece of bread, cuts off the moldy part, and then proceeds to eat the rest. She doesn't reserve this activity for just bread though, anything that is covered in mold, but retains a mold free area is game for the "cut and reserve" just cut off the mold and reserve the unaffected part; bread, cheese, fruit. Whatever. That is the depression era mentality. Although my Nana hasn't had to deal with the likes of a bread line for over 60 years, she still has a basement full of canned goods and frozen meat large enough to feed the neighborhood for a few months should the need arise to use her house as a fall out shelter. Anyway, this is the chowder recipe that I grew up on, there's nothing flashy here, no addition of herbs or vegetables, its strict depression era corn chowder.

5-6 potatoes cut in cubes or sliced
1 small onion sliced
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can evaporated milk
dash regular milk
1 tbl butter
salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the potatoes and onion with enough water to cover and boil until fork tender. Add both types of corn and evaporated and regular milk, add butter. Simmer until ready to eat, add salt and pepper to taste.

Nothing fancy, but it still tastes good.