SQUASH IT!

LASDI©

LASDI©

Cooking is my love language to others. Food itself is one of my own love languages. I think this is so for most of us. This is the reason I wrote the book A Life of Flavor. It is a book about finding the joy in the dark times life brings us, with matching recipes for comfort. Everything we DO revolves around food, and for my family, we are usually talking about the next meal to come during the one we are sitting together for!

One of the things I really like to do for The Hubster is cook a Saturday morning breakfast. There are very rare times we have a free Saturday morning, so when we do, I like to express my love for him by making something awesome to commemorate the opportunity!

Also, because I want to keep him around for as long as possible, I try to make it as healthy as possible. I’m not ALWAYS able to do so - #RealLife - but do the very best I can. I am the low-carb girl of the family, so I also do my best to keep it that way for him, too. All of those things do not make for an easy-but-awesome breakfast.

Challenge. ACCEPTED.

Here we have a bacon (uncured with no nitrates or preservatives, of course!), egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich. The clencher? The “bread” is butternut squash panny-cakes!! And boy-oh-BOY were they delicious and perfectly bread-like!

I know it is really easy to take a couple of slices of bread out of the package or whatever bread of your choice for a morning sandwich; hear my cry!! This is SO EASY, and SO WORTH YOUR HEALTH.

PS It is PERFECT for September as we transition out of Summer and into the Autumn season!

So try it! Let me know how you like it!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PANNY-CAKES

2 cups butternut squash

extra virgin olive oil

1 cup almond flour

4 eggs

sea salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp baking soda

coconut oil

For my butternut squash, I bought pre-peeled and cubed at the grocery store. It’s just easier and faster. I tossed them with a little bit of evoo and placed them on a baking sheet. I broiled them for about ten minutes until they were cooked through, and then put them into a standing mixer bowl. If you don’t have a standing mixer, a hand mixer will do just fine! Place all other ingredients up to coconut oil into mixing bowl and mix unil blended into a loose batter consistency.

Heat heavy pan (I use my cast-iron griddle, flat side!) without oil for about two minutes. Add about a tablespoon of coconut oil before each panny-cake prior to cooking, and adjust heat with each one accordingly. Ladle or pour desired amount onto pan and cook over medium heat until browned. Just like a regular panny-cake, when you see the bubbles on the upside, flip it carefully and cook the other side until brown.

NOTES: This was to be bread for the breakfast sandwich; however, if you would like a sweeter panny-cake, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the batter and add your favorite syrup after cooking and prior to eating! I just squashed the bacon, egg, and cheese right between two huge pieces and watched it disappear with a smile on The Hubster’s face!

I LOVE WAFFLES

lovewaffles

.....and The Hubster.  I love him enough to do THIS to his waffles.  I mean, let's be real here: marriage is hard work in order for it to be successful, and the only extra time this took was about a minute longer to use a cookie cutter to cut them out.  That's not hard work.  That's love, if you'll pardon the cliché.  I used a mold for the egg and fixed the plate up all purty-like and he loved it!  And he loves me.  And I'm ever-so-grateful.  Grateful enough to share my vanilla waffle recipe with you!!  It's fast and easy, and you'll love them!  (And maybe you'll learn to love me, too.)

VANILLA WAFFLES

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tbs baking powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tbs sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp vanilla

1-1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup canola oil (or other medium-to-high heat oil)

Get your waffle iron going by preheating it while you make your batter.  Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Make a hole in the center of your dry ingredients and and add the eggs, vanilla and milk. Stir like a crazy person until well-combined, though your batter may be just a tad lumpy.  Add the oil to your batter and stir again.  Using a ladle, pour desired amount of waffle batter onto your preheated waffle iron, and cook until desired brown-ness (is that a word?).

NOTES: Since carbs, sugar, and flour are a treat in this house, I at least use all-organic ingredients, including the oil, but this is not a necessity in order for the waffle to taste crazy-amazy.  #LoveYou

 

DINNER FOR BREAKFAST

dinnerforbreakfast

I just don't like to waste food!  I cannot even begin to tell you how it pains me to do so.  So when there are just three or four sauteed yellow peppers (for my obsessive-color-compulsivité for August, of course!) left over from dinner, I pack them in a snack baggie and save them.  Or when there are a few spoons-full left from the yellow squash casserole, I don't throw it away.  I have no idea at the time what I may do with it, but I know I have to do SOMETHING.  I am using those specific examples because that is exactly what I had in the fridge this morning and knew I needed to use it so it didn't go bad.  I also saw a jalapeno pepper on its last leg and felt sorry for it so I took out the leftovers and the pepper.  I created one of the very best frittatas I've ever had in my LIFE.  The recipe will give the measurements of the leftovers, in case it sounds so good, you just want to create it from scratch, but remember: you can use practically ANYTHING in a frittata!  This is also SHEtox Week-Three friendly and low-carb!  So go wild and take your dinner left-overs and make yourself some breakfast!!

DINNER FOR BREAKFAST FRITTATA

Extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 jalapeno, sliced thin *de-seeded if you don't like heat*

4-5 slices sauteed yellow bell pepper and onion, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup yellow squash gratin   (sliced yellow squash, now diced, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, ro-tel tomatoes, mozzarella cheese)

4 eggs

1 tbs milk

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika 

1 tsp cumin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium-sized oven-safe frying pan, sprinkle enough evoo to barely cover the bottom and heat for one minute over medium heat.  Add jalapeno slices and cook leave in oil, making sure they are not stacked, for about two minutes until almost crisp.  Add (left over) yellow bell pepper and onion, and (left over) yellow squash casserole.  Stir and let warm through (see notes) for about a minute.  Meanwhile, put eggs and milk in a small bowl and whisk like crazy.  Add seasonings and whisk again.  Pour over mixture in pan and with a wooden spoon or delicate spatula and gently scrape bottom of pan through egg mixture, and then gently scrape egg edges down toward the bottom of the pan.  Remove from heat and place in oven.  Bake for about ten minutes, or until cooked through and to desired consistency.

NOTES: If you are not using leftovers and are starting from scratch, place the yellow bell pepper and onion, as well as the diced yellow squash a some tomato in the pan with the jalapeno.  Directly before adding the egg mixture, sprinkle the mozzarella over the top of the veggie mixture in the pan.  But a frittata is the perfect avenue for any of your dinner leftovers!!

ONE A PENNY, TWO A PENNY...

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

Hot cross buns!!  Do you remember that nursery rhyme?  It really stands out to me every Easter because I make the savory version to serve with our traditional ham, decadent potatoes, peas and carrots, salami pie, with carrot cake for dessert.  I even served a Cottontail Cocktail with it this year and it brought out the flavor of the raisins and currants in the buns.  If you've never tried them or had them, try this recipe!!  Share them with your family!  And "If you have no daughters, feed them to your sons.  One a penny, two a penny, HOT CROSS BUNS!!"

SAVORY HOT CROSS BUNS

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 dried currants

1 1/4 cups milk

2 large eggs, plus one egg yolk (save the white for later)

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 pkg fast rising yeast

1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tbs ground cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp sea salt

1 tbs baking powder

4 1/2 cups flour

for the baste: 

1 large egg white

2 tbs milk

for after they are baked:

4 tbs melted butter

Combine the raisins, currants, and apple juice in a small sauce pan, and bring to a small boil, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm, and then remove from heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature. When the fruit mixture is cool, mix together all of the remaining ingredients except the milk and fruit. Heat the milk to just warm - don't boil it - and add to the dough mixture.  Fold in the fruit and apple juice mixture.  Let the dough rise for an hour, covered. 
Using a greased ice cream scoop, form about 12 to 14 buns, and arrange them into a greased 9x13 pan.  Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for another hour, or until they've puffed up and are touching each another.  Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it liberally over the buns.  Bake the buns at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven, baste with the melted butter, and transfer to a rack to cool.

NOTES: These are usually served with less savory spices, and with different types of dried fruits.  It usually has a sweet cream cheese frosting drizzled ver it in the shape of a cross; hence the name!  In this instance, I made them much more savory and skipped the sweet frosting and I.  Am. Telling.  YOU.  They were insanely good - like, RIDICULOUS good.  

Green Eggs & Span (ish Chorizo)

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

There are up sides and down sides to my obsessive compulsivity.  I know a lot of people can't imagine what the up sides could be, but I can tell you that for Life As She Does It, they scream volumes about the Bohemian Glitter Girl I am, and help me reach The Masses (that's YOU!), all while being a cathartic-and-helpful outlet.  The particular obsessive complusive part of me I'm referring to (Yes.  There are several) is the monthly themes.  I've been doing it for as long as I can remember.  It stretches from clothing to food, too.  So for example: March = Green or Irish.  Yes, I'm Italian, but the OCD transcends that fact.  I wear green every day in March.  Please don't ask me to explain in one post, just trust that there is a method to my madness.  As far as food in March, I either cook green food items, or Irish food.  This last Saturday morning, I created a Spanish take on green eggs and ham by making scrambled eggs loaded with cilantro with some Spanish chorizo and avocado on the side.  The Spanish chorizo was quite salty, so I drizzled some of the leftover mustard sauce  I made for the corned beef a couple of nights before, and it was absolutely luscious.  Stay tuned for the monthly themes to come; in the meantime, eat green to your heart's content and know Spring is right around the corner!

CILANTRO SCRAMBLED EGGS

4 eggs

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbs cumin

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1` cup packed cilantro, chopped coarsely

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

2 tbs butter

In a medium-sized bowl, scramble the eggs using a small whisk or fork for a solid minute.  

I EATS ME SPINACH

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

What does one do upon waking up on the first day of unemployment for both yourself and The Hubster?  You sleep in, smell the coffee brewing to wake up, and COOK AN AWESOME BREAKFAST!!  No feeling sorry for yourself in THIS HOUSE!!  This is Life As She Does It, after all!  So what I made was this incredible take on tortillas de espinacas  It is a Spanish tapa, which usually consists of spinach made into a 'tortilla' with cream cheese and potatoes.  I omitted the potatoes and added BACON!   And we all know......bacon makes everything better.

TORTILLAS DE ESPINACAS (She-Style)

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1/2 onion, chopped finely

4 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed

sea salt

pepper

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp mustard powder

3 eggs, scrambled

1 tsp water

1/2 brick cream cheese, room temperature

bacon or turkey bacon slices, cooked

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

In a heavy pan (I used my cast-iron skillet, of course!) sprinkle enough evoo to cover the bottom, and heat for one minute on medium heat  Add onions and garlic, and let cook for about two minutes, stirring from time-to-time to avoid them getting too dark.  

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Squeeze spinach over the sink a handful at a time to remove excess water.  Sprinkle into the pan, using a wooden spoon or small spatula to mix with the onion and garlic and spread out throughout the pan  Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper, then add cumin, nutmeg, and mustard powder.  Stir again, then spread out throughout the pan.  Add the water to the scrambled eggs and gently pour over the spinach mixture to ensure it is evenly distributed throughout the pan.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Change heat to low and let cook about three minutes or until firm on the edges and loose in the middle.  Cover and let cook another three minutes until firm in the middle.  Remove from heat and let rest for a minute  

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Using a spoonula or butter knife, spread the cream cheese over the spinach-egg mixture.  Let rest another minute.  Slice like a pie, and top with bacon  Take your coffee cups and say "cheers!" and then..ATTACK!

NOTES: I use neufchatel cheese, which is super-creamy, but has less fat than cream cheese.  I also served this with some watercress sprinkled with balsamic and it was a perfect complement.  Still inclined to feel bad or sorry for yourself?  Just add a mimosa to this combo and all will be well!

 

Pizza - It's What for Breakfast

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

I really love making breakfast for the Worship team; it helps me try to challenge myself BIG TIME.  On this particular Sunday, I really tried to stretch and make due with what I had available, but still make something different.  Sooooo...I do what any red-blooded American Girl would do (unless it's all going into a soup!).  I MADE PIZZA!  I had The Hubster make the dough.  I did that for a reason:  HE'S THE BEST AT MAKING THE DOUGH.  This turned out great and we even had a little leftover to send with him for breakfast for the week!

THE HUBSTER'S HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt (he said to tell you it's a 'palm-full')

1 pkg fast-rising yeast

pepper (he said he sprinkles it over the top lightly)

Italian seasoning (quote, "I COVER THE FLOUR")

(maybe?) 1 tbs oregano

1 tsp red pepper flakes (same palm-full, according to The Hubster)

1 cup warm water

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tbs honey

HIS INSTRUCTIONS: Combine all dry ingredients and mix.  Add warm water, then evoo, then honey.  Make sure the water is not too cool or it will not activate the yeast; or too hot or it will kill the yeast.  Mix with two fingers (to avoid getting your fingers covered in dough) until combined.  Dough will be sticky.  Cover with damp cloth, and let rise anywhere from 15 minutes-to-overnight.  Dump out onto a prepared baking sheet and sprinkle top with flour to help it not stick to your fingers while you press it out to the edges of the baking sheet.  Add desired ingredients to top and bake.

NOTES: I let this sit covered overnight with a damp towel.  It was so much easier to press into the pan in the morning and put the ingredients on top!  He says he puts the warm water first to help incorporate the evoo and honey.  I'm telling you people, it is SO TASTY!

BREAKFAST PIZZA

1 Hubster's Homemade Pizza Dough

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 dz eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tsp mustard powder

6 pieces sandwich-sized pepperoni, diced coarsely

1 full 8-oz pkg shredded mozzarella cheese

garlic powder

pepper

parsley, chopped coarsely, for garnish

In a medium bowl, crack eggs, add heavy cream and mustard powder.  Sprinkle top with pepper and sea salt.  Mix until smooth and frothy.  Cook to a loose, wet scramble in a prepared pan, but DO NOT cook all the way through!  To the prepared dough, pour enough evoo to cover the top thinly (using your hands to spread it out).  Add almost-cooked eggs, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese evenly to the top of the pizza.  Sprinkle liberally with garlic powder and lightly with pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or desired crust-crispyness.  Sprinkle with parsley once cooled.

NOTES: I used the sandwich-sized pepperoni because that's what I had in the fridge.  You can use  bacon or ham......whatever you have on hand!  

Flaco Taco!

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

SO!  Flaco Taco Breakfast Casserole.  In Spanish, that means Skinny (Taco Breakfast Casserole).  I made it for the Worship Team one Sunday morning, and it got pretty rave reviews, and that's a tough (or should I say spoiled?) crowd!  ESPECIALLY if the word 'skinny' is in it, hidden as it may may (try to) be behind a Spanish word-blanket.  

FLACO TACO BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

1 small pkg ground turkey

1 pkg your fave taco seasoning 

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1/2 small onion, diced

cooking spray

1 dozen eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 tomato, diced

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped coarsely

4 tortillas, chopped into about 1/2-inch pieces (I used organic low-carb to help the "skinny"!)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tbs cumin powder

1 tbs paprika

sea salt

pepper

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Preheat oven to 400.  In heavy pot (I use muh cast iron Dutch oven, of course), sprinkle enough evoo to cover the bottom and heat on medium.  Once heated, place ground turkey and onion in, and cook through.  Add your favorite taco seasoning with a splash of water and mix well (see notes).  Turn off heat.  Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray (see notes).  Into the pan, add your eggs, milk, tomato, cilantro, tortillas, cheddar cheese, cumin powder, paprika, and sea salt and pepper to taste.  Mix WELL by scrambling it all together with a fork until liquid is smooth and other ingredients are distributed evenly.  Bake in your preheated oven for 25 minutes.

NOTES: Try to find the taco seasoning with no MSG or chemicals.  If you can't locate organic or (real) all-natural, you can mix a tablespoon each of cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder, and then a teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper.  I try to use organic ingredients whenever possible for clean-eating, and my cooking spray is included.  I buy the organic evoo local store brand.  It's fairly-priced, too!  If you want - and I think you do -  you can garnish with some sour cream and hot sauce.  WOO!