Lazy Leftovers- Spinach Salad Frittata

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I love leftovers. . . because I’m lazy. If I am going to put the effort forth to prepare a big meal, then all of it is going to be eaten. If not today, then tomorrow. It’s not that I hate to waste food. It’s that I hate to waste time, and any food not eaten is wasted time in my book. Naturally, this compels me to make a lot of repurposed leftover dishes. I don’t like to spend a lot of time on breakfast either. I’m a bagel and cream cheese kind of girl, but if I can make a somewhat impressive meal with leftovers and very little time, I am a happy, happy girl. So when I had left over spinach salad from Christmas #3, (yes we celebrated Christmas three times this year) I made sure to save it… along with the 1/4 of a loaf of sourdough french bread, because I knew there would be a delicious Lazy Leftover meal in my near future, especially after all of the meticulous planing and preparing I had done on the previous Christmas meals.

So this is what I did…

Dice the leftover french bread, and toast in a 2 QT baking dish in oven while preheating to 350 degrees F.

leftover spinach salad frittata with eggs bacon caramelized onions

Meanwhile, warm and wilt spinach salad . . . all of it. Just toss it in the skillet with a little olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Once wilted remove from heat and allow to cool slightly while preparing eggs.

leftover spinach salad frittata with eggs bacon caramelized onions

Whisk together 6 large eggs (or 7 small, if you grow them yourself like I do) and 2 ounces of heavy cream (1/8th of a liquid measure cup.)

leftover spinach salad frittata with eggs bacon caramelized onions

The bread should be slightly toasted by now. Dump it in the skillet, and toss it around a little with the spinach. Grease your baking dish. Spread spinach and bread evenly in baking dish and poor egg mixture over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to sit, so bread can absorb some of the egg mixture. . . and try to find some way of entertaining yourself for ten minutes or so. . .

leftover spinach salad frittata with eggs bacon caramelized onions

. . . reheat your coffee for the third time, and swear you will drink it while it is still hot this time . . .

. . . stare at the cream spilled on the counter, and wonder if it will miraculously wipe itself up . . .

. . . poke at the bread a little in hopes that it will absorb the egg faster. . .

. . . finally decide the cream will not clean itself up, and wipe it up yourself . . .

. . . season frittata with salt and pepper, because you forgot to do it earlier, and, let’s be real, eggs without salt and pepper would be sacrilegious . . .

. . . poke at the bread a few more times out of pure boredom . . .

. . . okay I think that’s long enough. Go ahead and put it in the oven, if for no other reason than you can’t wait any longer. Bake it for 15-20 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. I recommend checking it at 15 minutes, and then adjusting time accordingly.

Finally, divide into 6 servings, reheat coffee for the 4th time, and enjoy.

leftover spinach salad frittata with eggs bacon caramelized onions

 

Ingredients:
~2.5 c diced leftover sourdough
~2 c leftover dressed spinach salad (I used Pioneer Women’s Spinach Salad, the caramelized onions and bacon are perfect for this breakfast dish.)
6-7 large eggs
2 ounces heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 TBLS Olive oil

Directions:
Dice bread and toast in baking dish.
Warm and wilt salad with a little olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
In seperate bowl, whisk eggs and cream together.
Toss toasted bread and spinach together in skillet.
Grease baking dish.
Spread bread and spinach mixture in dish.
Poor egg mixture over top.
Allow to set about 10 minutes.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

50 things I love about Fall

So technically fall doesn’t start for 2 more weeks, but I couldn’t wait to post this. It is raining here in the Pacific Northwest (shocker! I know.) We had some awesome thunder and lightning storms today and my mums are already blossoming, so I’m going to go ahead and just pretend it has started already. I can’t wait. After all Fall is my favorite season. Sadly, I never even knew Fall existed, let alone liked it, until I moved to Oregon. I grew up in the Sacramento valley of California. We don’t have fall there. Okay, technically everywhere has an Autumn season, but ours did not have the idilic color changing trees and weeks of cool weather. Fall was identified as those two weeks, between the sweltering triple digits and the rainy season. I am so glad I moved somewhere we have all four seasons. I just love the fall. I love it so much, I decided to write a song about it… Just kidding. I am so not musically talented. I would have if I could have, so instead I made a list of all the things I love about it.

  1. Hunting season- I get to spend time outside with my hubby doing something we both enjoy. I believe it brings us closer every year. (and PS if you are against it, I’m sorry. You are entitled to your opinion, but so am I… and I love it.)
  2. Hiking in the rain- Seriously! It’s not hot and the air is so clean. Plus all the fall colors are beautiful!
  3. hot chocolate
  4. coffee (and all coffee related beverages)
  5. hot apple cider
  6. hot toddies
  7. scarfs
  8. sweaters
  9. boots
  10. wool socks
  11. pea coats
  12. layers
  13. hats
  14. mittens
  15. fall colors
  16. pumpkin patches
  17. corn mazes
  18. carving pumpkins
  19. designing Halloween costumes
  20. Thanksgiving
  21. back to school shopping
  22. back to school schedules- No, really. I am a creature of habit. While the freedom of Summer is fun, I secretly love an organized schedule. It satisfies the type A person in me.
  23. Daylight savings- getting dark earlier means more cuddle time on the couch.
  24. breaking out the quilts for the couch- I love cuddling on the couch with my hubby or my girls under a big warm cozy quilt, next to a blazing fire.
  25. firing up the wood stove- blazing fire, warm quilt, cup of hot beverage- need I say more?
  26. the smell of the rain
  27. the sound of the rain- I actually sleep with my window cracked quite often, so I can hear the rain better. I LOVE the sound of the rain.
  28. thunder & lightning storms
  29. apple picking
  30. apple cider
  31. caramel apple cider
  32. apple sauce
  33. apple pie
  34. canning apples
  35. pumpkin pie
  36. pumpkin doughnuts
  37. pumpkin muffins
  38. pumpkin lattes
  39. chai lattes- they just taste like Christmas to me.
  40. picking pears
  41. canning pears
  42. pear tarts
  43. pear sauce
  44. pears and fancy cheese
  45. cool misty mornings
  46. changing leaves
  47. naked trees
  48. the view of the sun rising through the naked trees
  49. mums
  50.  And the number one thing I love about fall (or number 50 in this case) spending time with family. Fall brings Holidays which means more time spent with family, and that, my friend, makes me a happy girl. . . Especially when I get to cuddle with them under a big quilt, next to a blazing fire, while listening to the rain come down, drinking hot toddies and wearing matching wool socks.  Wink wink. Okay, they don’t have to match, but that just makes it more fun.

Well my dear friends, I hope this fall brings as much fun and love for you as it does for me! Until next time, have a blessed day. Bye bye now!

Mango-Blueberry Freezer Jam

This stuff is magical. Seriously. It has me under a spell. Just look at it. It even sparkles.
Mango Blueberry Freezer Jam
The best part? It was super easy to make. If you hurry, you can probably still grab some mangos at your local grocer, and if you are like me, and picked gallons of blueberries this year, then you should still have a few in your freezer. Get to it girl. You can thank me later.
Mango-Blueberry Freezer Jam
via The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard
(I doubled the following recipe with no problem. It made about 8 1/2 c. of jam)
Ingredients:
2 3/4 c super fine sugar
1 c finely chopped mangoes (aprox 2)
3/4 c chopped fresh or frozen blueberries (note: the measurement is after chopping; before chopping it was about 1 1/4 c)
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
Directions:
1. Place sugar in oven proof shallow pan and warm in 250 degree F oven (120C) for 15 minutes. This helps sugar dissolve better.
2. Combine mangoes, blueberries, orange rind and warmed sugar in a large bowl and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add pectin and lemon juice, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
4. Ladle jam into clean jars or plastic containers to within 1/2 in/1 cm of rim. Cover with tight fitting lids. Label jars and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set up.
5. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for longer storage.
Makes 3 1/2 cups.
Fabulous Tips:
  • I suggest removing the skin, cutting the fruit off of the mangos and then pulsing in the food processor. It will save a lot of time and energy not chopping by hand.
  • Make sure sugar is completely dissolved before adding pectin and lemon juice to avoid a grainy consistency.
  • Try this jam on ice cream, in yogurt, on pancakes, or in Easy Cheater Hand Pies. It’s pretty much good on anything.

Butterscotch Blondies with Dark Chocolate Chips

Oh my. My, my, my. It’s all I can say after tasting this little experiment. This “blondie” started out a lot like my PMS Cookies. I had a serious hankering for a good chewy chocolate chip cookie, but didn’t have all of the ingredients necessary. Then I remembered a blondie recipe I wanted to try, and again, didn’t have all of the ingredients, so it was up to my creative whim to come up with something new. This is not actually uncommon for me, but what is uncommon is for the results to be successful enough to want to share them with you.  This time, however, I actually impressed myself! Hopefully I can impress you too!

Butterscotch Blondies

1.5 c flour
1 small box cook and serve butterscotch pudding
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 stick of butter (1/2 c) softened
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
~2 c dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease 8×8 baking dish with butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pudding mix, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla. Slowly incorporate flour mixture until well combined.
Mix in chocolate chips.
Turn out batter into prepared dish and smooth it out a little. Batter will be very sticky. Don’t worry about making it look pretty, the batter will smooth itself out the rest of the way as it bakes. Bake for 40 min or unit tester comes out moist, but clean.

Blueberry Almond Pancakes

Another successful experiment in pancakes this morning. pancakes are kind of a staple food around here. They are so cheap and easy to make, and you can vary them so many ways; it’s hard for me to get tired of them. This morning’s concoction proved to be especially delicious! They were so moist and chalked full of blueberries that they didn’t even need any additional butter or syrup. Of course if you want to add them, please be my guest! I would suggest real maple syrup or blueberry syrup; just my opinion. Oh! Or add a big dollop of real whipped cream! Yum! I hope you enjoy them as much as my munchkin and I did!

I’ve used the same pancake base for years. It is from the Better Homes & Garden Cookbook. I use their batter and just add my own flare to it.

Dry Ingredients:
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
2 TBLS sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 c buttermilk
3 TBLSP cooking oil
1 egg slightly beaten
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Additional Ingredients:
~2 c fresh or frozen blueberries
~1/2 c sliced almonds

**Note: If you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge, you can place 1 TBLSP white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and fill to the one cup line with regular milk. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before use. For a cup and a half I use 1 1/2 TBLSP vinegar. You won’t taste it I promise.**

Directions:
Combine dry ingredients in med-large mixing bowl.
Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl or 2 c liquid measuring cup.
Poor wet into dry, and stir just until wet through. Batter should be very lumpy.
Set aside and heat large skillet or electric griddle to low-medium heat; about 275 deg F if you are using the griddle.
Very lightly toast almonds, about 30 sec to one minute. They will cook further when added to pancakes. Set aside.
Butter griddle. I just use the stick and run it all over the griddle.
Measure out 1/4-1/3 cup batter onto griddle for each pancake. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
Next sprinkle batter liberally with blueberries and again with almond slices.
Allow to cook until bubbly and edges appear dry.
Carefully flip and allow to cook through.
Butter the pan or griddle again between batches.
Now eat, eat, eat.

Grilled Summer Vegetables and Shrimp Marinara Cocktail Recipe

Being a self proclaimed foody, I’d have to say my favorite thing about Summer is cooking on the grill. Well, that and using the hose to clean up my toddler when she gets dirty, but that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today, I want to bask in the glory of the grill. I think I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. There is just something about food that is cooked over a fire, (the way nature intended) that just makes it… perfect! It seems to enhance the natural flavors of whatever is cooking on it, and adds a little hint of smokiness. You don’t even need to add seasoning. That’s what makes the grill so great! With this in mind, and two drawers full of fresh produce, I decided I needed to grill today. Looking at all of those luscious fruits and savory vegetables, I had to grill today.

It was so simple and easy. I fired up the grill, sliced some zucchini, yellow squash and a nectarine. I tossed the veggies in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, (Although in retrospect, i think lemon juice would have complimented the dish better, but I didn’t really have a plan yet.) seasoned them with a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, then threw the veggies and nectarine on the grill over Med-Low heat (~300 degrees F)

Mmmmm, look at those great grill marks!

Next I hit the freezer for some protein where I conveniently found a bag of precooked shrimp. I remembered the left over marinara sauce from last nights dinner, and it gave me a great idea. I threw the shrimp in a colander to defrost under cold running water, then grabbed my ingredients for my “Marinara Cocktail Sauce.” Starting with about a cup of leftover Marinara Sauce, I added 3 TBLS ketchup, a dash of Tobasco Sauce, 1 tsp prepared horseradish (not horsey sauce, that has mayonnaise in it) and a TBLS Worcestershire Sauce, then mixed it all up. (If it is too spicy or not tangy enough, add a little more ketchup.)

I returned to the grill and flipped everything over. Once the veggies were cooked through and the nectarine had softened a little I removed them from the grill. (Note: the nectarine took less time to cook than the vegetables.)

Finally, I squeezed a lemon wedge over my shrimp and topped it with big spoonfuls of the chunky marinara cocktail sauce, then served it next to the warm grilled veggies for lunch.

Then for dessert, I drizzled vanilla yogurt over the cooled nectarines and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Can we say YUMMMM-Y?! It was delightful. Healthy, yet satisfying. Thank you, my dear grill, thank you.

Cocktail Time: Limey Rum-Martini


I think I have mentioned before that my hubby and I like to partake in a cocktail or two every now and then. Tonight is one of those times. It’s hot. We don’t have air conditioning. Dinner is cooking in the crock pot… outside, because it’s too hot to have inside. We needed something refreshing. I hit the booze cupboard to see what we had, entered the ingredients into google for a little inspiration and this is what I came up with. A cold, boozy, limey, rum-martini. Enjoy. It’s cocktail-thirty!

Limey Rum-Martini
adapted from Siesta Key Lime Martini
1.5 parts Silver Rum
1 part Orange liqueur
1.5 parts lime juice (~2 limes)
~1 c ice
superfine sugar for rim.

Run your lime around the rim of your martini glasses and invert in a saucer of superfine sugar. Set aside.
Combine all other ingredients in cocktail shaker.
Shake shake shake!
Pour into sugar rimmed glass.
Sip. Repeat.

Bistro Table Makeover

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday Week 1: Bistro Table Makeover

It’s amazing what a can of “rattle can” paint can do, isn’t it?! I had grandious dreams of mod-podging the top of this table with bright colored paper, and then sealing it with weather proof seal. After some cleaning and painting, however, I was reminded why I wanted to salvage this old table in the first place. My husband wanted to throw the old bistro table away, because it had seen too many winters outside, but I knew it was structurally sound and just needed tome TLC to make it new again. The simplicity of the black metal and textured glass looks so classy, it really didn’t need any added color, thus making this makeover quite easy and simple.

Step one: Clean. I used a wire brush to scrub the metal and remove the surface rust. I used soft scrub and a scouring sponge to clean the built up gunk off the glass.

Step 2: Mask. Use painter’s tape to mask off all of the glass.

Step 3: Paint. Using a rust resistant outdoor spray paint (i.e.:Rustoleum) paint metal desired color.

Step 4: Dry. Allow paint to set 24 hours in a dry weather proof place, such as a garage or shop. If you leave it outside, dust and bugs may stick to the paint.

Step 5: Polish. Remove tape immediately after paint dries. Use adhesive remover to remove any left over adhesive (such as Goop Off) and polish glass with rubbing alcohol.

Step 6: Dress. Place potted flowers, tea cups, napkins and spoons on table and enjoy a cup of tea with your lover.

He he, that last step is totally optional, but it sounded good to me. Here are some pictures of the final product!

Have a seat!

The table looks so much better after a good cleaning and fresh coat of paint. And to think, my hubby was going to throw it out!

Had to throw in a picture of my new Noritake (Legendary) Sweet Leilani. I scored an entire service for 8 (minus two tea cups I plan to replace) at Goodwill for $40 I can’t wait to use them this Christmas!

Pink and Green Toddler-Size Rag Quilt

Makeover Monday Week 2: The Quilt

I don’t have a before picture for this quilt, but I will give you a quick rundown of the before for this post. For those of you wonderful readers who read last weeks post (Painting the Big Girl Room,) you know that we are giving Little R’s room a little makeover. One of the things I had planned to do was graduate her to a “big girl bed,” but after lots of consideration, Mr F and I decided we would rather her stay in a small toddler bed as long as possible, thus allowing her more floor spacer to play. Unfortunately, while I still had the notion that we were going to buy her a twin sized bed, I designed a twin sized quilt and purchased, cut and began sewing the fabric. So this morning while the rest of the house was still in bed, I pulled the fabric out, spread it out on my kitchen table and completely redesigned a new toddler-size quilt. Although the fabric is already cut up, I think I can use the extras to design pillow cases and shams to match! I’m actually really excited about this makeover. It is a small feat, but it is still exciting to be one step closer to the finished product. Hooray for me! So here is my “after,” which is really more like a before, because it’s not sewn together yet. At least it’s an idea of what the quilt will look like when it is done.

Pink and Green Rag Quilt Toddler Crib Bed spread

 

Pink and Green Rag Quilt Toddler Crib Bed spread

I’m sharing this post on Metamorphosis Monday!

Fabulous Family Fun Friday! Week 2: Indoor Bounce House

A few weeks ago we took Little R to the indoor bounce house in town. It’s a very large room, with several of those blow up “bounce houses,” only way cooler! (yeah, I said “way cooler”) These things are giant, and they have slides and obstacle courses of varying sizes. The tallest slide was about 12 feet tall, and had a climbing wall that you had to scale to get to the top of before sliding down. At first glance I was concerned that most of the obstacles would be too much for our little one, but after about 15-20 min she warmed right up to the bigger ones. Thankfully, they had blow up areas for kids of all ages, so even if she hadn’t warmed up to the bigger ones, she still would have had fun with the smaller ones. The obstacles challenged her gross motor skills, and boosted her self esteem as she overcame each one. This was very exciting and rewarding for Mr F and I to watch. Call me crazy, but I swear she walked just a little bit taller when we left.  Entry to the bounce house was very affordable; kids cost eight dollars, and adults get in free! Totally worth the eight dollars to see her have so much fun and gain so much self esteem in one day. Plus, we had a lot of fun on the slides too!

Here are a few pics to see what kind of obstacles they had. Sorry the images are not very  clear; the lighting wasn’t real great in there.

The “tire” obstacle.

 

The Ball Pit. R with her favorite ball; the green ball.

WEEEEEEEE! The BIG slide!

We had so much fun together, we will definitely be going back again. What kind of fun can you find in your town?

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