Lazy Leftovers- Spinach Salad Frittata

IMG_0984

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.

5 Steps toward going ‘zero waste’ in the kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most essential places in the home characterized by high level of waste productions. However, you can manage the level of wastes produced in your kitchen in various ways to promote the ecofriendly nature of the environment. The five ways whereby you can manage and minimize the waste products from your kitchen are by shopping with re-usable containers and buying groceries in bulk. You can also set up a nice garbage disposal system in your backyard and make certain things from scratch to avoid packaging. Moreover, the disposable wastes could be discarded.

Details of the ways whereby you can manage wastes produced from the kitchen are

  1. Buy things that has recyclable packages

This is to ensure that wastes and refuses are minimized to zero level. You can buy the needed and essential articles in glass jars because you can easily wash, clean, and store them to be re-used in future. Most persons prefer shopping with glass jars, which are highly re-usable.

  1. Purchase foodstuffs in wholesales

When you purchase items in wholesales, you are buying them in re-usable packs, which is the ideal thing. This means that when you buy large quantities of stuffs, you are reducing the packaging, which is cheaper and much more ecofriendly.

  1. You can construct a nice refuse feed structure in your patio

The soil is in need of manures and fertilizers. Therefore, there is the necessity to recycle these household wastes from the kitchen in order to enrich the ecosystem. The refuse structures could be constructed as wooden boxes, plastic buckets and drums, or metal containers with lids to generate heat, which will enhance decay. You can introduce earthworms into the compost and refuse dump sites to enhance quick decomposition and disintegration.