Frittata with Turkey Sausage, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

Guys, why have I never thought to put meat in a frittata?? What is wrong with me???

Frittata with Caramelized Onions, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

I went to visit my bestie in Dallas, since it had been way too long and I hadn’t met her bebe girl yet. I actually got to see my friend Hannah as well and her new little boy. Girls’ brunches are the best—look at those nuggets! They were quickly losing patience with us…

girls brunch babies

The day before, Kristine and I had a girls’ brunch with some other friends at her house. We didn’t want to go to a ton of trouble, but knew we’d all be starving so we needed to make hearty food. We also needed to make sure it was dairy-free since dairy seemed to upset the baby…and that does limit things a bit.

Frittata with Turkey Sausage, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

Finally we settled on French toast (with almond milk) and a frittata with goat cheese, which was deeeeelish! We basically made a “kitchen sink” frittata, meaning I cleaned out her fridge of veggies and just threw them all in there.

frittata with turkey sausage parsnips & goat cheese french toast

The surprise in this, besides the turkey sausage, is the parsnips. I feel like parsnips don’t get enough love. They’re sweeter than a potato, milder than a carrot, and easier to prepare than a turnip (ugh, peeling turnips is the worst). When sauteed or roasted, they caramelize into this delightfully nutty sweet crunchy awesomeness. We had some extras in the fridge because we made my shepherds pie with goat cheese carrot parsnip mash (amazeballs) the night before. I used the parsnips and onions as the base or “crust” of the frittata, then we also piled in more onions, spinach, and tomatoes, as well as the goat cheese and turkey sausage.

‘Nuff said. [Read more…]

Balsamic Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

That’s right, we’re still on a healthy kick! And it’s delicious!

Balsamic Chicken & Brussels Sprouts

This recipe had been calling my name for a while, but getting decent brussels sprouts is kind of hard right now, and I also kind of avoid chicken when I can. Chicken’s kind of boring.

Balsamic Chicken & Brussels Sprouts done

This chicken isn’t boring at all—it’s got a richness from the balsamic, a crunch from the walnuts, and serious fiber from brussels sprouts. It came together super fast and made for great work lunches for a few days.

Balsamic Chicken & Brussels Sprouts with sides

Throw in a side of spaghetti squash and butternut squash and you’re on healthy overload! Seriously, the whole thing is a 20-minute meal, was super easy, and totally delicious! [Read more…]

Churro Popovers

Oh my word, THESE POPOVERS.

Churro Popovers

These are heaven. They are light, puffy, buttery, cinnamony-sweet heaven. And they’re so fast and easy!

Churro Popovers done

I halved the recipe, since I was only cooking for me (yes, it still made 7 popovers, DON’T JUDGE ME). It’s so insanely fast, you just blend up the ingredients in your blender (or with a whisk) while the oven heats up, and like 20 minutes later you have piping hot popovers. It’s impressive, really. [Read more…]

Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies

This is a very simple cookie.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies

It came about because I was visiting my best friend in Dallas last month. We were craving sweets but she’s given up dairy for a while because it seems to upset her baby’s tummy. We wanted to make chocolate chip cookies but that was out because of the dairy in the chocolate chips. So after some recipe searching, we found these lovely, comforting cookies.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies baked

These are basically like oatmeal raisin cookies, without the raisins (because, ick). We gorged on them and sat on the couch and watched “10 Things I Hate About You” and it was wonderful. These ended up being dinner that night at the airport, as well as breakfast with my coffee the next morning at work.  [Read more…]

Healthy Eating in 2015…Back to Basics

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I don’t judge people for making them or anything, but I’m more of a believer in making a change as soon as you see the need for it, not waiting for some contrived start date. Plus, if my old gym was any indication, few people keep them. It was nuts there the first few weeks of January, then back to normal within a month.

HOWEVER, I know that lots of you are making resolutions right now, and I myself have definitely slipped into bad habits over the last few months. I’ve got to lock it down now. Every time I call the Chinese place I want to go all Becca on myself…

Here is my healthy manifesto, though:

1) Healthy doesn’t mean unsatisfying—I believe things can taste good AND be good for you.

2) This is NOT a diet, this is about making good choices most of the time. I don’t believe in diets. Diets involve deprivation, and when you tell yourself you can’t have something it just makes you want it more. They’re unsustainable and that means that eventually people revert to their old ways. Plus, they’re just not fun, and I believe in fun. (And food. I love food.)

3) Quality of food  (i.e. packed with as many nutrients & as few chemicals as possible) is much more important than type, quantity, fat content, etc. And exercise is and always will be critical. Never underestimate the power of walking. Walking is amazing for body and soul.

So I’ve outlined some of my favorite healthy recipes below. This is as much for me as anyone else…for the last few months my schedule has been insane and I’ve been totally exhausted. That means I’ve been choosing convenience over everything else, eating out more often and have lacked the willpower to use portion control like I should. So now that I’ve had a week or so to decompress, I’m getting back to my good habits. [Read more…]

Pear Cake with Honey Glaze

Isn’t it great that breakfast means you can have all kinds of dessert-y things but it’s totally fine because it’s breakfast? Like, people would find you weird if you ate chocolate cake for breakfast, but coffee cake? Totally cool.

Pear Cake with Honey Glaze

This is one of those super-good-desserts-but-also-totally-appropriate-for-breakfast recipes. It’s adapted from an apple cake I made a while ago—I remember thinking at the time that I just HAD to try it with pears (one of my favorite fruits), but never got around to it. This winter break I found myself with several insanely juicy and fragrant Harry & David pears and knew right away what I must do with them.

Pear Cake with Honey Glaze done

This cake really is the best of both worlds. It’s my kind of dessert—lightly sweet, hearty, a mix of warm and comforting flavors. But it’s also really quite healthy. I use white whole wheat flour entirely, which not only gives it lots of fiber but also a wonderful nutty flavor and great texture. It’s made with oil, I cut back on the sugar the original recipe calls for, and it’s full of fruit and nuts as well. As breakfast goes from time to time, you could do worse.

pear cake with honey glaze pears

Look at these guys…aren’t they gorgeous?! [Read more…]

Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuit Topping

Last weekend I had a plan. I knew that I only had two days of work to get through before break, including two work lunches and a dinner with friends, so I didn’t need to cook enough on Sunday for leftovers. I also wanted to be healthy, so I had some brussels sprouts sitting around and I planned to pick up a salmon filet for dinner, call it a day.

Then this pot pie totally derailed my Sunday dinner plans.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuit Crust done

See, last Sunday (and several days thereafter) was just relentlessly gray. Gray, misty, chilly. One of those days where the only then you want to do is curl up in your jammie jams on the couch and read a book, then watch TCM for hours. The kind of day where you get the idea of chicken pot pie stuck in your head and you’re unable to dislodge it despite your best efforts and lazier tendences.

Chicken Pot Pie with Drop Biscuit Crust dipped up

The thing is, I’d never made pot pie before. And honestly, I like pot pie just fine (anything with “pie” in the name, really), my mom’s is good, but pot pie isn’t a thing I’ve ever really craved. Pasta-as-comfort-food is more my style. So I didn’t have a triend-and-true recipe that I was willing to undertake, since I definitely didn’t want to deal with pie crust. In my mind, I was picturing making the filling in a slow cooker, and then topping with a drop biscuit crust—seemed easy enough. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a crockpot chicken pot pie filling recipe I liked (that didn’t include cream of chicken soup) or even a biscuit-topped pot pie for cooking times and so forth, so I decided to make it up as I went, pulling bits and pieces from some recipes and just using my brain for the other parts.

chicken pot pie with drop biscuit crust cooking

This chicken pot pie is probably the best I’ve ever had. Okay, not probably, DEFINITELY. It’s warm and hearty and comforting and feels decadent, but is secretly really healthy and easy and basically perfect. It’s great as leftovers. The biscuit crust is amazing. I could just eat the filling as a stew (which is saying something because I’m not keen on stew). What I’m saying is that you need to make this pot pie now. [Read more…]

Easy Drop Biscuits from Outlander Kitchen

These biscuits are SO easy and SO good!

Easy Drop Biscuits from Outlander Kitchen

It’s no secret that I adore biscuits. They’re buttery and flaky and warm, you can put jam and honey on them, and they feel so good in my belly! But there are two things about biscuits that I don’t love. I really hate having to cut cold butter into flour—it may be irrational, but I really hate it. And while biscuits are amazing straight out of the oven, they’re usually dense, dry balls of bread that get stuck in your windpipe and try to choke them to death when you eat them as leftovers.

Easy Drop Biscuits

But no more! For Thanksgiving this year I needed to make another kind of bread for our hungry horde. We already had rolls, so I thought some kind of biscuit. The problem is that making regular biscuits for a big group is time consuming, and if they have to sit around for a while they’ll start to get dry and stale. Enter these amazing, easy drop biscuits…

easy drop biscuits raw

These use melted butter, and stirring everything together takes a couple minutes tops. You get this shaggy dough that you can use a spoon or ice cream scoop to plop directly into the pan, so no cleanup from having to roll out and cut the biscuits. And the taste and texture! Not only are they amazing right out of the oven, but we re-heated them for dinner that night and scarfed the last couple the next morning, and they still were light and fluffy as leftovers. So basically perfect. [Read more…]

Thanksgiving Streusel Pie “Two-Fer”: Pear-Apple Pie & Bing Cherry Pie

I love pie. Pie is the best. But for a holiday where pie plays a major role, I don’t really love Thanksgiving pies.

sunset

Thanksgiving’s a big deal in my family. We always come home. We get together not only all day on Thanksgiving, but pretty much every other day that weekend. We play football. We play cards. There are glorious sunsets. There is SO much food. This year I think we actually set a record.

Bing Cherry Pie with Streusel done

Every year I make a fruit pie or two, because pumpkin, German chocolate, and chocolate chip pie are just not for me (though I love me some pecan from time to time). There’s usually a pear-apple, pear-banana, or some similar combination. This year I was really at a loss for what else to make, and then my mom found a frozen bag of dark cherries.

Bing Cherry Pie with Streusel

After looking up a number of recipes on Pinterest, I had to basically make up the recipe and hope it would work (I had visions of it just being this giant pool of juice, the soggiest pie ever). It was actually super simple and so easy to throw together. The cherry pie ended up being my favorite, and I had it for lunch, dinner, breakfast the next morning, and the tiny sliver that was left the next morning as well. This pie is my everything. I have no idea why, but it’s amazing.

Pear-Apple Pie with Streusel

The pear-apple is a recipe I made up years ago and make all the time. I love the texture and sweetness that the pears add, and almond extract, ginger, and cardamom pair (ha, pear) particularly nicely with pears. It’s an oldie but goodie. And both pies barely have any added sugar, so you don’t have to feel an iota of guilt for having a big slice for breakfast as well. [Read more…]

French Onion Pasta

When I first saw this recipe, I was suuuuper excited, because I love french onion soup. I mean really lurve it.

French Onion Pasta

I will say that this pasta doesn’t quite live up to that level of insane richness, but the idea is still there.

french onion pasta thyme chopped

You start by caramelizing onions down to the point of sweet jamminess, then add broth (and a little wine in my case). Let those flavors hang out for a while, let the pasta soak up all that delicious liquid, and top with arugula and parmesan. Done.

french onion pasta onions cooking

My one complaint with this dish is that I feel like the onions end up getting lost in all the broth…I was hoping for more onion. I think if I made this again I’d use at least one more onion, and I’d look at using something more like the melty Gruyere that true French onion soup uses, vs. parmesan (which never melts quite as luxuriously for me). But all-in-all, this was warm and comforting. [Read more…]

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