Category Archives: Breakfast

New Year’s Day Breakfast: Individual Yummy Eggs

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday celebration with lots of joy and good food.  New Year’s Eve is just a few days away and it’s hard to think about more planning after Christmas and Hanukkah.  My vote is for a feel-good Sunday breakfast that is easy to prepare.  We have a family recipe called Yummy Eggs that is deliciously dense with eggs and cheese and always a favorite on weekend mornings.  I have modified the ingredients a bit and use a muffin pan (instead of a casserole dish) to ensure even cooking, with less oven time.  The individual Yummy Eggs are perfect for New Year’s Day breakfast because they’re simple to make (the oven does the work for you) and packed with rich, savory flavors. Along with the eggs, these little treasures are flavored with onions, green chiles, sharp cheddar cheese, fontina cheese, cottage cheese, butter and jalapeño.  And they’re finished off with some chopped chives, sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper. 

To dress up our breakfast plates, I added some fruit skewers tossed with honey and chopped basil (or mint).  We received some pears for the holidays so I used one along with some watermelon cubes.  The pears were too fragile to skewer so next time I will use pineapple chunks or strawberries.  The Yummy Egg casseroles are just as good the next day and reheat well in the microwave (low heat) or toaster oven.  And for a special lunch, add a spinach salad dressed with some balsamic or Italian vinaigrette.

Best wishes for a prosperous and peaceful New Year in 2012.  This has been a wonderful year with much to be thankful for, especially lots of delicious food and readers of my blog posts!   Thank you – I sincerely appreciate your interest, support and encouragement.  For those who like stats, this is my 49th post of the year, and year-to-date Foodie for Two has had over 7,300 views since I started posting in March of 2011. Wow!  Here’s to many more engaging conversations about food next year!  Cheers!

Eat well and share the love!

Individual Yummy Eggs
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies plus leftovers, makes 6 individual casseroles

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon soft butter, for greasing muffins tins
5 large eggs
1 ¼ cup (combined) grated sharp cheddar and Fontina cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
One 4 oz. can of chopped green chiles
¼ cup finely diced onion (yellow or red)
1 tablespoon chopped Italian Parsley (flat leaf)
1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
2 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh-cracked pepper
Garnish
Chopped Chives
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375° F and well-grease a 6-muffin pan with butter.

In a medium glass bowl, add the eggs and beat with a wire whisk until eggs are mixed well (about 30 seconds).  Add 1 cup of the grated cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for topping), the cottage cheese, green chiles, onion, parsley, jalapeno, melted butter, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and stir well to incorporate all the ingredients together.

Add ½ cup of mixture to each muffin tin and top with reserved grated cheese.  Place pan on center rack of oven and cook for 18 to 20 minutes until casseroles are golden brown on top and firm to the touch.

Let rest on the stove top or cooling rack for 2 minutes.  Remove casseroles by running a butter knife around edges and gently lifting out.  Garnish with chopped chives, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

We had fun at home last weekend and didn’t have to hassle with any Holiday traffic; with over a foot of snow still on the ground, we cut some sled trails on our property and laughed it up! 

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Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins, Christmas Tree Cutting & Tailgating in the Rockies

Yesterday we tagged along for another year of Christmas tree cutting with the Bergman’s.  They have carried on the tradition for over ten years in the Pickle Gulch area, about an hour northwest of Denver (elevation 9,100 feet!) and we’re glad we get to tag along.  It was only about 25 degrees warm but we had a great time with lots of fun moments.  I’m not sure what we looked forward to more, hiking through the snow in a beautiful area to find that perfect tree and taking it home, or the smorgasbord of food that was waiting for us to unpack after the hike.  To make sure we had enough energy before the hike, I made some strawberry chocolate chip muffins and simple fruit skewers which we enjoyed on the drive up.  The muffins are dense but with a fluffy texture, and studded with sliced strawberries and chocolate chips – such a great combination that is different from the typical muffin!  For the fruit, I cut some fresh pineapple and watermelon into cubes, tossed them with wildflower honey and fresh mint and added them to skewers to make them easier to eat; they were a huge hit too.

One of my highlights: A photo op with Smokey the Bear before we headed up the trail.

It took five people to carry the Bergman tree back to the car; thank goodness they have high ceilings back at home because it is a TALL tree!

We were all starving by the time we got back to car, and ready to get the tailgate started.  I forgot to take a picture of the table of food because I was so cold and hungry and had a one-track mind: EAT FOOD.  I did remember to get a shot of my plate though, notice it has olives – yeah!  We feasted on cheese and sausage from Oregon (thanks, Kristen!) Sloppy Joes (Holly made her Mom’s recipe and packed it in a thermos to keep it warm – brilliant), potato salad, mocha coffee with peppermint schnapps and whoopie pies for dessert.  Everything was devoured and it was a great way to kick off the Holidays with friends!

Eat well and share the love!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Recipe adapted from High Altitude Baking
Makes 16 to 17 muffins, recipe is easily halved for two foodies

Ingredients:
2 cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup milk (1 %)
1/2 cup half & half
1 3/4 cups sliced fresh or unsweetened partially frozen strawberries
1/3 cup 60% cacao chocolate chips
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (topping)

Directions:
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease muffins cups well, or add paper cups.  In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt – set aside.

With a hand-mixer on low, cream butter and sugar together in a medium bowl, about 1 minute.  Mix in eggs one at a time, mixing well each time.  Add the flour mixture and milk mixture in 1/3 increments into the butter mixture and mix well with each addition.

Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.  Pour batter into muffin cups (about 1/4 cup each) and sprinkle tops with some turbinado sugar.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until muffins are firm and finger pressure does not make an impression.

Let cool slightly and remove muffins, let cool on a cooling rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Store any leftovers in an air tight container, will last for a few days.

Life still thrives amidst the snow…

Leftovers from St. Patrick’s Day: Corned Beef Hash

Need an idea for what to do with your leftovers from St. Patrick’s Day?  Try this Corned Beef Hash recipe.  It is such a delicious treat for breakfast, or even dinner.  One of my favorite food indulgences (okay, I have many) are fried potatoes of any kind, including hash browns.  I really enjoy the recipe for Corned Beef with Roasted Vegetables from my earlier post and this is a savory extension of that meal.  Each of the flavors meld together (the roasted carrots and onions add a wonderful sweetness) and both sides of the hash develop a crispy crust.  This is different from hash browns because of all the added goodies and the whole potato pieces; hash browns are typically grated and mixed with eggs and onions, like potato latkes.  But like hash browns, the mixture is firmly pressed into the pan and left to cook a bit for a crispy outside.

The only vegetable I don’t use from the St. Patrick’s Day meal is the cabbage so be sure to eat it up at dinner.  When you cook the hash I recommend using a cast iron skillet or a well seasoned pan to make sure you get a crispy crust; non-stick pans won’t do that for you.   The nice thing about a cast iron skillet is that you don’t have to use as high of a heat because it conducts and retains the heat extremely well, and because it’s well-seasoned, the potatoes won’t stick.  The recipe calls for some of the cooking liquid because it has lots of flavor, but chicken or vegetable stock would work too.  The trick is to make sure the potato mixture is moist so it stays together when cooked.

As for the eggs, I will let you choose – prepare them your favorite way.  I know it’s unusual for a foodie but I confess: I can’t stand runny eggs, make them over hard and crispy for me, please!  I have given up on ordering eggs at restaurants because they are never done enough for me and the server usually looks at me weird when I place the order.  As you can see from the picture, we both like our eggs cooked differently.
For even more flavor, add a little of the lime horseradish sauce from dinner to eat with the corned beef hash!

Sláinte!
(pronounced ‘slawn-cha’)  – a common Irish toast meaning Health! and is the equivalent to Cheers!

Corned Beef Hash   (click on link for a printable version of recipe)
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves 2 foodies

2 cups roasted potatoes pieces
2 ¼ cups diced corned beef, cut into small cubes
½ to 3/4 cup cooking liquid from corned beef, or chicken broth
1/3 cup roasted onions
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish
2 tablespoons diced roasted carrots (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Add potatoes to large bowl and mash with potato masher or the back of a measuring cup so three-fourths of the potatoes are broken up.  Add the corned beef, 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, roasted onions, diced onions, mustard, pepper, parsley and carrots (if using) – mix well with a spoon.  If the mixture is too dry, add more liquid; you want just enough so the mixture stays together.

Heat a cast iron skillet or well-seasoned pan (not non-stick) over medium to medium high heat and melt 1 ½ tablespoons of butter.  When melted, add the potato/corned beef mixture and stir around in the butter.  Press down firmly with the back of a spatula to form a flat layer.  Let cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, moving the skillet back and forth every so often to help form a nice crust.  Invert the potatoes onto a large plate or round sheet pan and melt remaining 1 ½ tablespoon of butter in skillet.  (Don’t worry if the shape doesn’t hold together.  You can fix it when it goes back in the pan.)  Slide the potatoes back into pan, browned side up.  Press down firmly and cook another 8 to 10 minutes until bottom is brown and crispy.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with your favorite style eggs.