Monday, May 27, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

It was Miss J's birthday this weekend.  I tasked Grammy to make a birthday cake for her.  Originally, we talked about baking carrot cake.  For whatever reason, I've convinced myself that carrot cake is a healthier cake than chocolate, vanilla, and all the other flavors out there.  It's got carrots, right?  Plus, several years ago, I made Mr A a carrot cake for his first birthday too.

But turns out, Grammy also brought with her a huge flat of strawberries this weekend... like an extra double big flat of strawberries, so that we had more strawberries than we knew what to do with.  So to use up some of these delicious strawberries, my MIL decided she'd make strawberry shortcake.  I requested that she make strawberry shortcake in place of carrot cake, rather than in addition to.  I think that was a good idea.

She picked out Paula Deen's Mama's Pound Cake.
I should've known it was a Paula Deen recipe.  It was so good.  Her ingredients are super simple but they are rich.  I will make this again.  I was worried it'd be eggy, but it wasn't.  It was soft on the inside but a little crunchy on the outside.  Sweet but not gooey.  Just perfect.

She macerated some fresh strawberries switch some granulated sugar and then whipped up a pint of whipping cream.  Each person got a piece (or 2 or 3) of cake, spooned some strawberries on op, and put a dollop of whipped cream on top.  So simple, so delish!  When the strawberries were gone, we ate the cake on its own, straight out of the pan.  I'm a little sad there's no more left.  I feel a little guilty there are no pics here.  (I'm hoping someone else took a few.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Frittata

Remember how my crockpot egg casserole was a bust?  Here's my second attempt using a recipe endorsed by a coworker.  It was much better!

2 c broccoli florets
1/3 c cheddar cheese, shredded
12 eggs
1 c of milk
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/8 t garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Saute broccoli.  Cool to room temperature.
3. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
4. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
5. Spread out broccoli in baking dish.
6. Gently pour egg mixture into baking dish.
7. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top.
8. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until eggs are set.

*Other recommended add-ins: spinach, asparagus, ham, sausage, potatoes, goat cheese, etc.

* Add chunks of bread for a firmer casserole.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Butter chicken, take 2

Oh food blogging! I miss thee but life is getting in the way. Mr A turned 4, we moved, and the school year is wrapping up. Why's didn't this post ever make it? Who knows? And what happened to my pictures? Oh well, this will be a no pic update.

Since last time's butter chicken was a mediocre success, I decided it was time to give it another try.

This time, I sautéed a whole, chopped onion in butter and olive oil. When the onions were getting translucent, I added some minced garlic.

Then I add chicken thigh meat that was cubed.

I sautéed that until the chicken was brown. Then I added curry powder and garam masala.

Next, I added a can of coconut milk and tomato paste. I stirred until the sauce was well combined and added salt to taste.

I lowered the heat for the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes, though longer would probably have been better.

I served over spinach, green peas, and rice.

Verdict? Not as tasty as try #1, but then again, I had a cold and couldn't taste much of anything. This one was much saucier, almost too saucy. Hmmm... Not sure I prefer this stovetop recipe.

Crock pot breakfast casserole

It's Mother's Day weekend! My mom is hosting a Mother's Day brunch on Saturday. She's making ham and some other stuff. Since its brunch, I thought eggs and hash browns would be a nice accompaniment.

Actually, this recipe goes back to a high school Facebook friend who posts recipes all the time. I love it. Most of the stuff I wouldn't make in a million years, but everything always looks tasty. Then not too long ago, a recipe caught my eye - a crockpot breakfast casserole! Genius.

Every year, our staff hosts a volunteer appreciation breakfast. Every year, I cop out and bring donuts, water, juice, or something totally lame. So when the crockpot breakfast casserole popped up, I was totally on board. But then I started worrying, what if it's no good? I'd better try it out first but I can't eat a dozen eggs like the recipe calls for! Lo and behold, my mom is hosting brunch. Perfect occasion and a good amount of people.

Now the original recipe, calls for sausage. I love sausage but since some of my parent volunteers are vegetarian, I've been thinking of putting in spinach instead. Then for recess treats yesterday, there were these wonderful broccoli and potato frittatas. Bam! Don't you just love when inspiration strikes you at just the right time?

I made a quick stop at Trader Joe's and picked up 2 dozen eggs, 2 bags of frozen hash brown potatoes, 2 bags of frozen broccoli florets, 2 blocks of cheddar cheese, mushrooms, milk, and the rest of my usual grocery items.  Now, let me just clarify that I bought double of everything to make one breakfast casserole tonight, and another on Wednesday night for the volunteer breakfast.

Man, I had high opens for this one!  Unfortunately, the eggs were a dirty brown color from the mushrooms and all the edges and the bottom were burnt.  Cooking on low overnight for 8 hours did not work out.  I don't know if I'd try this again in the crockpot.  Maybe in the oven.  Such a shame!

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from Iowa Girl

20 oz bag frozen hash browns
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 c broccoli florets
12 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/8 t garlic powder

1. Spray a large crock pot with non-stick spray then place half the hash browns into the bottom. Layer in half the mushrooms, half the broccoli, and half the cheeses. Repeat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then drizzle over top. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours, or until eggs are set.