Easy-as-Pie Frittata~

Today, I had a delicious frittata for breakfast. Well, it wasn't really a frittata so much as it was a plate full of scrambled eggs, loaded with fresh spinach, chunks of mushrooms, roasted red peppers and smothered in mozzarella cheese. I loved it and forget how simple it is to make this good-anytime-of-day treat. In a nutshell, here's whatcha do:
Whip up some eggs with a bit of whole cream or heavy milk, fresh ground pepper and salt (you can also add a spoonful of cottage cheese which just makes the eggs creamier).
Pour it into a heavily buttered frying pan and toss in fresh basil, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.
Heat on low heat for about 10 minutes 'til the bottom starts to set and then toss in the oven and bake on 350 for about 15-20 min. til done.
When cooked through, toss on a bit of shredded cheese and broil for a minute or two and then, it's done and done.
Really easy and delish. I'm sure all my timings are completely off, but you get the jist...just watch the eggs if your nervous, for the love of God.

Gigantic Wild Mushrooms

Dscf2337On Sunday, I was out an Nichol's Farm shooting a bit for a TV show I'm doing (Farm2Kitchen) and someone had found this crazy-ass, wild mushroom.  The thing was huge and just plopped itself right on the hood of this big rig.  The chef that was there cooking (Todd Stein from mk) decided to grab one of the monsters, slice it up and cook it in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  It was so delicious and meaty, I couldn't believe that it had just been plucked from the woods that morning.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that food is totally simple, completely unexpected and there for the taking if you just know where to look; it's really all around you. Think:  There was life before supermarkets, yeah?

Decorating With Forks: Stone Brilliant

A while back, I was at a party with/for a randy fella named Chef Stu. He is this super-passionate chef that hosts a weekly gathering for 14 people (in his world-class kitchen), and each week he whips up the most innovate, 4-star meal for very special invites (basically, are you cute? handy in the kitchen?, hysterical?). I was there covering him for a story I was writing for Time Out Chicago and I'd forgotten about this handy little tip I'd snapped a photo of until just today.
He made these incredible lemon tarts with fresh fruit and to dress the plate, he'd taken two forks and crossed them on the plate. Then, he sprinkled powdered chocolate and powdered sugar over them, removed them, and viola! Instant plate decorating. I thought it was just so clever and definitely an easy way to dress up a plate (as if I'm ever having a party....just a total loner)....but, still....good to know, good to know~

Farmers Market Bounty: Stuffed Mini Peppers w/ Spinach & Mushrooms

Dscf2048All this week, I've been infiltrating various farmers markets filming for a new show I'm doing and last night, I finally had a minute to take a breather and make some of the goodies I'd been buying all week (seems like I spent thousands).  I managed to create the most wonderful dish with these adorable mini bell peppers (I'd never really seen tiny bell peppers like these and I'm sure the farmer thought I was nuts when I took dozens of photos of them).  Here's the recipe I whipped up...now keep in mind, I am NOT a recipe type of girl.  Even when I have one, I stray from almost every single detail and always manage to come up with something that's just a tad to more to my liking.  I'm like a wild frenzy in the kitchen, not all peaceful chopping and jazz muzak like some folks.  So, this one had no recipe, just kick-ass ingredients...and you can't really go wrong with that. 
And, can I tell you that these baby bella mushrooms sauteed in ONLY butter were the best thing I've eaten all summer?  They are for sure my new addiction.

Continue reading "Farmers Market Bounty: Stuffed Mini Peppers w/ Spinach & Mushrooms " »

Tres Leches Cake: Cottage Living Does it Right

Dscf1313In this months Cottage Living magazine is a super recipe for Tres Leches Cake (3-Milk cake, if you've never had it, is one of God's finest creations) and this weekend, while I was home in TN, my mom and I whipped out her bright red Kitchen Aid and went nuts.  Not only did we make this awesome cake, we whipped up Mini-Pumpkin Breads and Upside-Down Blueberry Poundcake Muffins.  I had never used a Kitchen Aid before and I can see now why people go nuts over them.  They're just so damn smooth and efficient.  I'm already thinking of recipes that I can make on my next trip home.  Any ideas, shoot me off an email~
+The recipe was great, by the way, so click on the link above to see it in full.

Shrimp Cocktail, Greek Salad, & Corn on the Cob: The Last Days of Al Fresco Dining

Dscf0953_1Summer is almost over (is that even possible?) and I'm using all the final days of good weather to take advantage of my awesome back yard.  I love nothing more than crispy, buttery corn on the cob, Greek salad with tart feta cheese and piles of fresh shrimp cocktail with bursts of lemon.  Mix all that in with a little red wine (I like it on ice...) in my breezy back yard and you'd think I was somewhere in the Mediterranean.  Oh, toss in a game of Scrabble (I am the queen of maker-upper words, but you'd never be able to convince me of that) and I'm golden~
I will say, I do love fall, though and cannot wait to don full chill-resistant body armour just to take advantage of the fact that I have a rockin' backyard.

The Iceberg Wedge: A True Classic

Dscf0386This salad is the best summer salad there is.  This version was created by Chef Stu & Co. for one of his Wednesday night shindigs (see my new article in this weeks Time Out magazine for the lowdown).  Just a simple wedge of a whole head of iceberg (must be very well chilled to maintain that crispiness) that's covered in a most addictive homemade thousand island dressing (the secret ingredient?  Bits of egg actually in the dressing) and then topped with little chunks of crispy, fried bacon.  It's literally a meal in itself and pure joy for the tastebuds.

Scrambled Egg Delight

Dscf0549There is nothing in the world like a fluffy scrambled egg sandwich with gigantic slathers of mayo on toasted white bread.  This little creation is a total blast from my past.   When I used to live on the mountain in TN (way back in the day), my mom would whip up this exact sandwich for my dad, brother and me a couple times per week.  With a gigantic glass of icy cold chocolate milk by it's side, this was pure belly nirvana to me.  Still is, friends, still is.

Sweeter than Ever Michigan Blueberries

Dscf0524If you've never had blueberries from the farmers market (especially Michigan blueberries) and all you've managed to taste are those little tart blue bombs from the grocery store, you have no idea what you're missing.  I live to buy mine from my Sunday farmers market in Roscoe Village and then mix them with a big bowl of Greek yogurt (Fage, of course) and some deep drips of honey.  I've been rockin' this flowery honey that I picked up on the way out of Baja wine country a few months back and seriously, this is one of the most delicious treats that I have ever put in my mouth.  Plus, blueberries are good for you (unlike the plateful of French Fries I shoved down at the Golden Apple at about midnight last night).  C'est la vie~

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes: Easy as Pie to Make

Dscf0396The other day, I was witness to someone whipping up a quick side dish of roasted fingerling potatoes, which he'd just picked up from a local farmers market.  They were literally the most delicious thing I'd put in my mouth in so long.  Crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside...and so easy to make.  Just a quick whirl around in some olive oil, a bunch of fresh rosemary and some fresh ground pepper with a sprinkling of sea salt.  Pure and utter taste sensation.  I've said it before and I'll say it again and again~I friggin' love potatoes.