It’s All About the Presentation

Bacon and eggs, mmmm…. Bacon and eggs altogether in one bite, double mmmm….

Bjorn: Wow, why such a fancy breakfast today?

Me: Fancy, but so simple and easy to make!

Bacon and Egg Muffins

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 strips of uncured bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, pre-cook the bacon for about 3 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat.
  3. Pour a little bit of the bacon fat into each of the muffin tins; this will prevent sticking.
  4. Line the muffin tin with the strip of bacon, crack an egg in the middle, and season with sea salt and black pepper.DSC02264
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

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Crock Pot Love – Part 2

Last night’s dinner is today’s … breakfast?

Yep, you heard me right.  Not leftovers for lunch or dinner, but leftovers for breakfast.  Typically, we think a big breakfast consists of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and butter.  Oh, and a nice tall glass of O.J.  Don’t get me wrong; I love those types of meals, but am a bigger fan of  a healthy and protein filled breakfast.  Please also put a hold on the high fructose corn syrup (24 grams of sugar in 8 oz of O.J.!!!!).

Today’s breakfast was last night’s crock pot dish.  A day later, this crock pot dish is much tastier, juicier, more flavorful.  After I cut up the pork last night, I placed it back in the sauce from the Crock Pot and it’s been sitting in there ever since, soaking up the fantastic flavors.

Heated this baby up in the microwave, fried an egg, and topped with slices of buttery avocado.  Had this with a cup of Jasmine tea and I’m ready to start my Sunday!

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Photo below captures one of the best loose leaf teas from Teavana and my favorite – The Perfect TeaMaker!  You place the leaves inside, add boiling water, and let steep for a few minutes.  When done, place the apparatus on top of a mug and the tea will flow right into the mug!

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Weekend Brunch… Now where’s my mimosa?

One of the main reasons as to why I started this blog was because I wanted to show people that it’s super easy and simple to cook fresh, healthy, and restaurant quality meals at home.  It’s definitely nice to go out to dinner once in awhile (hubby and I always try a new restaurant or visit a favorite at least once a week), but with some extra love and care in the kitchen at home, you can be your own little super chef of the household.

I don’t need to explain my love for eggs. (If you are really interested, see my numerous posts which include the delicious egg: Over easy, medium, or hard?, Shakshuka me baby!, Deconstructed Omelet)  I recently bought this egg gadget from Home Goods – it’s called the Lil Poach (HOW CUTE?!).  It’s a silicone cup for poaching eggs.  Thought I’d give it a try, though eventually, I’ll have to learn to poach an egg the “real” way, hehe.

Products13849-800x800-558877Here’s the breakfast that I made yesterday, to kick off a nice and relaxing weekend…

Smoked salmon wrapped asparagus with poached egg

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 asparagus stalks, grilled
  • 2 oz of smoked salmon
  • 1 egg, poached
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  1. In a medium skillet over medium to high heat, place both asparagus stalks and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.  Grill evenly for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Place the asparagus stalks on your plate and wrap with the smoked salmon.
  3. Poach your egg (using your Lil Poach) or the traditional way (I’ll share the instructions with you when I master this!).
  4. Top your smoked salmon wrapped asparagus stalks with the poached egg.
  5. Break the egg and watch the yolky goodness ooze all over the plate and EAT UP!

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Deconstructed Omelet

Breakfast is my favorite meal.  During the week, breakfast is always on the go – grab a protein bar, have some cereal, make instant oatmeal in a paper cup with the hot water from the coffee machine at work … A full and complete breakfast, with eggs, bacon, toast, & coffee (or a mimosa ;)) signifies the weekend to me; a time to decompress and relax from a long week of work.

Today’s breakfast was inspired by the following:

  1. Watching too much Top Chef; which gave me the idea of a deconstructed omelet.  They seem to always be deconstructing traditional dishes on that show.  It never gets old.
  2. Too many clothes in my closet; which has made me start shopping for really fun (and perhaps useless) kitchen gadgets.

I was shopping at Marshall’s the other day and came across this awesome gadget that makes your egg a perfect round circle when cooking!  Haven’t we all experienced that issue before?   You crack the egg into pan and then the egg whites just fly everywhere.  You try to save it, get super frustrated because it won’t go back into the shape, and then realize it’s way too late and your fried egg is a hot mess.  This “roundy egg ring” by Joie will solve all of those problems!

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Since I now had the opportunity to make a perfect round fried egg, I had to make the perfect round components to go along with it!

Deconstructed Omelet

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 slice of uncured bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 slices of wheat toast (optional for those Paleo folks)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. In a small skillet over medium to high heat, cook your bacon until it becomes nice and crispy.
  2. Using the bacon fat as your cooking oil, toss in onions, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. On low heat, fry your 2 eggs, using the awesome “roundy egg ring” tool.
  4. As the eggs are almost done, toast 2 slices of wheat bread.  Use the rim of a drinking glass to cut out the round shape on the toast.  (There’s a kitchen gadget for this, but I don’t own one yet…)
  5. Remove eggs from skillet.
  6. Layer your deconstructed omelet – Lay 1 piece of toast, then top of bacon hash, then with a fried egg, and repeat process until ingredients are used up.
  7. ENJOY with a nice cup of coffee to start your day off right!

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Now you see it… Now you don’t!

My 5 day juice cleanse ended on Friday.  I sure was doing my happy dance at the end of it!!! Man, it was tough, but I’m glad I did it.  I’m always open to new experiences, good and bad, but especially ones that can help to improve my health.  I’ll post about my overall experience shortly…. But until then, I wanted to share one of the first meals that I had to break the cleanse.  A huge spinach salad, topped with beets (YUM, and my new favorite vegetable), sundried tomatoes, hard boiled (cage-free) egg, and a 4 oz. piece of organic chicken breast (grilled to perfection with some olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper).  And last but not least, drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Bjorn: You’re going to eat a salad (out of all things)?  You don’t want pizza? Ice cream? A nice juicy piece of steak?

Me: Those all sound pretty tempting, but I’m beyond excited to dive into this right now. (In all honesty though, my body was craving this salad.  They other junk food sounded all fine and dandy, but my body didn’t want that.  I guess one of the things that the cleanse has taught me is to make healthier and better decisions when it comes to food…)

Bjorn: It does look really good.  Let me try (grabs a fork and dives in with me).

Me: Well?

Bjorn: If all salads were like this, I’d eat this all the time!

Me: mrgreen

**Several minutes later**

Me: (scraping up the last pieces of the crumbled egg yolk off the plate)

Bjorn: Wow, you must’ve been really hungry….

Now you see it…

Now you don’t! 😛

 

Over easy, medium, or hard?

How do you like your eggs cooked? Over easy for me, please!  My husband likes them over hard.  What’s wrong with him?  As a matter of fact, what’s wrong with all of you people that enjoy your eggs over hard?  Add that to the list of things in life that I’ll never understand.
Sausage scramble topped with a fried egg

Ingredients

  • 12 oz package of Applegate chicken sausage (or any sausage of your choice), chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 sundried tomatoes in olive oil and herbs (adds a really nice flavor), chopped
  • 6 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 4 large handfuls of spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. In a skillet over medium to high heat, drizzle olive oil and add onions and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes until the onions become translucent.
  2. Add sausage, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms to the skillet.  Mix well and saute for 5-7 until cooked through.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Throw in spinach, cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, while mixing the spinach in with the other ingredients.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. In the same skillet, over medium heat, drizzle olive oil and fry your egg to order (optional).

 

Dinner for one

Bjorn wasn’t home tonight for dinner…. so dinner alone.  Even better though because then that means I can eat whatever I want!  The old me would’ve had a fluffer-nutter sandwich or a banana and Nutella sandwich or one of  Trader Joe’s infamous frozen entrees.  But guess what — you can put together a quick and easy dinner with fresh and simple ingredients.

Based on what I had in my fridge, I decided on a salad.  I’m not really sure if this post calls for a recipe… Many people know how to put together a salad right?  Hehe.  The flavors of this salad were fantastic – didn’t even need any dressing on top.

A note to those who dine alone – always eat at the dining room table.  Don’t plop yourself on a couch in front of the T.V.  This is how over-eating happens!! You’re so fixated on the T.V. show and you’re just shoving food into your mouth.   Meals should be savored and enjoyed till the very last bite.  Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to catch up on your T.V. shows after you eat dinner… but just make sure you don’t bring the tub of ice cream with you. 🙂

PS – I’ve made this salad before… Bjorn says: “If all salads were like this, I’d eat it all the time!!”

PSS – I used the big plate for this one 😉

Baby Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • 6 oz. chicken breast, grilled
  • 4 sundried tomatoes (not marinated in oil), sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Lay baby spinach on a plate; top with eggs, sundried tomatoes, and avocado
  2. Season chicken breast with sea salt and black pepper.  Drizzle olive into skillet and grill over medium to high heat for about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  3. Slice up chicken breast, place on top of salad and enjoy!

Shakshuka me baby!

Honestly, how can you go wrong with any egg dish?  If I could, I would eat eggs for every meal of the day… hard boiled, over easy, poached, scrambled… I love a good runny yolk.  When I was younger, my favorite breakfast would be a scoop of white Jasmine rice, topped with 2 over easy eggs, and a few dashes of Maggi soy sauce.  Dive right in, break the egg and watch the contrasting bright yellow yolk and dark black soy sauce merry with the pure white rice.  This was seriously perfection.

I found this recipe for shakshuka – a middle eastern breakfast.  The base is a wonderful mixture of onions, garlic, red bell pepper, tomatoes and spices and the very last step is dropping in the eggs so they are poached in the delicious tomato “sauce”.  A lot of recipes say this is best made with a cast iron skillet, which I don’t have, so I’ll be adding that to my Christmas list!! (Bjorn, are you reading this???)

Shakshuka

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • A pinch cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (I didn’t have this on hand, so it’s not shown in the picture)
  1. Place skillet (or preferably a cast iron skillet) over medium heat.  Add olive oil and onions and sauté for a few minutes.  Mix in the garlic and continue to cook until the onions become tender.
  2. Add the chopped red bell pepper to the skillet and mix well – for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika and cayenne pepper.  Add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.  Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Crack the eggs into the skillet on top of the tomato mixture and make sure they are spaced evenly.  Cover the skillet and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.  The eggs are ready when there is no more clear liquid.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!