Tag Archives: eggs

2014 Round Up Top Five Posts

Looking back on 2014, I am happy of all the things I accomplished in my art life, but cooking took a backseat this time….  I won’t lie, most popular posts were from previous years! Number one was Creamy Pesto Sauce from 2013 for some reason in April of this year:

creamy pesto ravioli2

It is a really good recipe, I have to say — check it out!

The top posts of this year were Adventures with Jello — also in April (am I sensing a trend here?):

flubber jello

Check out my Flubber Jello!

California Dreamin’ — our recent trip to California and my mom’s yummy Migas!

With refried beans, crema, and chopped scallions

With refried beans, crema, and chopped scallions

And Tex Mex Scramble (another fav I always cook) and my illustrated recipe of it for They Draw and Cook:


Click to view larger

Click to view larger

And last but not least — another easy weeknight meal: Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions and Mini Pizzas!

pizza 2

Hope everyone has a wonderful, exciting, prosperous 2015!!!  See you next year! 🙂

2015 copy


Filed under Art Related, Dinner, Eggs, Pasta, Vegetarian

California Dreamin’

June and me

June and me

It’s been so long since I’ve posted, I feel like I’ve almost forgotten how!  In the past few weeks, I’ve had a ton of deadlines and events, and in June, we made a visit to California.  It was my 30th high school reunion, and we had a book signing in my home town of Lompoc on the Central Coast.  Life has been a whirlwind and now I am catching up!

Air travel and the time difference makes life so surreal… It was hard to believe that the same day we left Brooklyn, we later found ourselves driving around in sunny Los Angeles in a rented car.   After a lunch of the requisite In-n-Out burgers (which are nowhere to be found in New York),   we hopped on the 405 and headed north to Lompoc.  On the way there,we made a quick visit to a Barnes and Noble store in Westlake Village where we met June Sobel, the author of B is for Bulldozer, and the two of us signed books there.  I illustrated this book over ten years ago, and June’s son, to whom the book is dedicated and was inspired by, just graduate from Stanford this summer!  We had just met in person finally this year in NYC, and it was great to see her again. 🙂

Then, the next thing we knew, we were in beautiful Santa Barbara at the wonderful Chaucer’s Bookstore where I got to sign more books!

Jamie and me with Truck Stop by Anne Rockwell

Jamie and me with Truck Stop by Anne Rockwell

It was so great to finally make it to Lompoc after 15 hours of non-stop traveling!

I’m totally dating myself when I say it was my 30th reunion, but honestly it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long! Lol.  Some of my classmates whom I haven’t seen in 30 years were in town and came to a book signing we had at The Bookstore–a wonderful independent book store in Lompoc.  I don’t think we’ve changed THAT much.  It was so great to see these lovely women again after so many years!

sarah me barbie karen


bookstore karie, donna, lisa


There were several reunion events during the weekend.  What fun it was to see everyone again and reconnect.  It was  kind of weird to talk to people who remembered things that happened that were shared experiences that had no recollection about…!  And so amazing to realize that we had all watched each other grow up and now here we were in the present so enmeshed in our respective adult lives and identities!  It was also nice to be able to introduce Denis to everyone and meet my classmates’ significant others and tie the two worlds (past and present) together.

While in Lompoc, we stayed with my mom, of course.  I hope I have her energy when I’m 84….

My mom tree trimming on her property.

My mom tree trimming on her property.

The whole time we were there, I think every meal I ate except for maybe one was Mexican!  I so miss the food I grew up with, and here in our part of Brooklyn, great, cheap Mexican food is not to be had….  My mom made her yummy enchiladas (I did a post on it here and again here!), and I literally ate a burrito I got in town and brought home (it was as big as my head) for about five meals.  lol.

For breakfast, my mom introduced us to a delicious and so so easy to make Mexican Migas that a friend taught her to make recently.  Basically it is scrambled eggs with salsa and leftover cut up corn tortilla.  It is SO good!  Total comfort food.

You start by frying the corn tortilla in a bit of oil:

migas 1

Then you add beaten eggs:

Note the Japanese influence of cooking with wooden chopsticks...

Note the Japanese influence of cooking with wooden chopsticks…

Then you add salsa:

migas 2

Serve and eat!

With refried beans, crema, and chopped scallions

With refried beans, crema, and chopped scallions

I’ve seen other migas recipes made by sauteing onion and pepper first, but my mom’s recipe is easier– you could do it in your sleep – or at least before your first cup of tea or coffee!

I think it also tasted so good because my mom made it for me. 🙂

Hope you enjoy it!

me jamie mom in lompoc

Mexican Migas

2 corn tortillas

1 teaspoon oil

2 eggs, beaten

about 1/4 cup salsa or more to taste

1.  Cut up corn tortillas.  Heat oil in skillet.  Saute tortillas until soft.

2.  Add beaten eggs to skillet and stir. Cook until no longer translucent.  Stir in salsa and cook until heated through.

3.  Serve with shredded cheese, chopped onions, beans, sour cream if you wish.

Makes one to two servings.


Filed under Books, Breakfast, Eggs

Tex Mex Tofu Scramble and They Draw and Cook

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hope everyone had a good one! 🙂  

I’m still recovering from a Hidden Pictures Retreat at Highlights this past weekend–lots of work to catch up on!   It was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones.  The folks at Highlights are the best.  I stayed in the cutest little wooden cabin, and we artists spent all day Saturday learning all about Hidden Pictures!  I have done a few of Hidden Pictures for the magazines for the younger set, Hello! and High Five.  But I grew up with Highlights for Children (the most popular of their magazines), as did almost everyone else in this country.  It is such an honor being able to contribute to the magazine from my childhood.  🙂  I will have to do a post about it in the future.  But this one is the one I started before I left for Honesdale, PA last week!



Quite frankly, I would probably never have made this Tofu Scramble had it not been for the They Draw and Cook Glad Party.  I submitted an illustration there, and the requirement was to come up with three different recipes using the same ONE ingredient.  I usually only eat tofu with Asian flavors or in Chocolate Mousse, which I included in the recipe below.  After illustrating it though, I decided I had to try it.  And you know what — I love it!  I’ve been eating it several times in the past week — it is so yummy with refried beans, cheese, and salsa!  I also garnish with lime juice, plain yogurt (I can’t eat sour cream), and chopped cilantro.

For the concept, I knew I wanted to include animals, becauseI love drawing them, and I wanted characters and a story in the piece.  Since there had to be three recipes, I thought it would be fun to do three different courses: A soup, a main entree, and a dessert.  Then I came up with the Fox’s Cafe and went from there!  I realized each recipe kind of has a different cultural background as well, so I incorporated that into the design with each animal saying how delicious tofu is in three different languages.  At the end I have instructions for storing tofu.  It’s important to keep it in fresh water.  I actually have some leftover tofu in my fridge in water in a Glad container just like the little guy in my sketch:


And this is the final piece which I submitted:

Click to view larger

Click to view larger

It pretty much was the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted, though it doesn’t look so complicated…  It’s made up of several files, one of which — just the ingredients in the recipes—was over 550 layers!  Crazy, huh?  That’s what happens when you import something from Illustrator.  Lol.  Every sliver of scallion had its own layer.  The animals (yes, I am obsessed with the bunny and the bear — they keep showing up) are a separate file, and I assembled everything together in one big Photoshop file.

I realized that working this way (using several flattened files to make one big file) is a LOT like baking a complicate dish– something like the German Chocolate Cake we made for Denis’ birthday last weekend!  There are also three stages to making the cake:  First there is the cake component, then the  filling component (which needs to be cooked and coddled and babied at the stove for 20 minutes), and then assembled all together later when everything has cooled!

This year, I had a baking assistant, which I was very grateful for!

Cracking the eggs...OMG, this cake has 3 eggs, and 4 egg yolks!!!  It's kind of scary like that.

Cracking the eggs…

OMG, this cake has 3 eggs, and 4 egg yolks!!! It’s kind of scary like that.  But if you are brave, here is the recipe.  I only make it exactly once a year, and only for the man I love!

Tex Mex Tofu Scramble

1 block of tofu

1 teaspoon oil

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/4 teaspoon or to taste of ground cumin, chili powder, and dried oregano

dash of kosher salt and pepper

1/4 cup chopped cilantro and more for garnish if desired

1.  Wrap block of drained tofu in a paper towel and weight under a heavy pot for 30 minutes.

2.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion and pepper until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Crumble pressed tofu and add to skillet.  Season with spices, and saute for about five more minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

4.  Serve with grated cheese, lime wedges, refried beans, sour cream, salsa, and warm tortillas if you’d like.

Makes about 2 servings.


Filed under Art Related, Vegetarian

Oyako-don: Parent-Child Rice Bowl


With the temperatures beginning to dip as we head into fall, it’s nice to have a steaming bowl of comfort for dinner.  Of course, for me, comfort food often involves food of my childhood, which is usually Japanese or Hawaiian.  But Oyako-don is something I never ate until I went to Japan as an adult.  Literally translated, it means “Parent” (oya) “Child” (ko) “Rice Bowl” (don or donburi).  The name refers to the chicken and egg in the dish.  It’s kind of a cute and not-so-cute image at the same time.  Regardless, this dish is so quick and easy to prepare and so tasty, it’s a nice weeknight choice for our family.  Even my son, who doesn’t usually care for mushrooms, will gobble up the shiitake mushrooms.  I use dried ones.  The hot water used to reconstitute the shiitake is delicious and can be added into the simmering sauce for a heartier flavor.

Dried shiitake mushrooms can be found in Asian or health food stores.

Dried shiitake mushrooms can be found in Asian or health food stores.

After soaking in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

After soaking in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

We are big onion eaters, so I use a lot – 2 1/2 to 3 cups of sliced onions.  But you don’t have to use that much.  Also, we like a lot of sauce so that it becomes almost soup-like at the end to eat with the rice.  That too, you can adjust to your liking.

It all comes together in about 10-15 minutes!

It all comes together in about 10-15 minutes!

See recipe below.


princeton poster

This Saturday, we three will be at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival in Princeton, NJ.  If you are in the area, please stop by!  I will be signing TRUCK STOP with Anne Rockwell, and HUSH LITTLE MONSTER with my husband, Denis. The festival is from 11-4 at the Princeton Public Library.  There will be a HUGE array of amazing authors and illustrators (Avi, Sophie Blackall, Brett Hilquist, Roxie Munroe, Paul O. Zelinsky are among the 80 there) signing books.  Check it out here.

I’m hoping to make another batch of mini donuts.  Remember these?


4 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 chicken breast (about 10-ounces), sliced diagonally into thin strips

1 onion, sliced thinly (1 1/2 – 3 cups depending on your preference)

4 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons mirin

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup water

4 eggs

hot cooked white rice

1.  Bring a kettle of water to boil.  Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water.  Place a smaller bowl on top to weight the mushrooms down.

2.  Meanwhile,  prep chicken and onions.

3.  Heat the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and water in a large skillet on the stove and dissolve sugar.  Bring to a boil and add chicken and onions.  At this point, the mushrooms are probably softened.  Drain and reserve liquid.  Slice the shiitake caps into thin slices and add to skillet.  Depending on how soup-y you want your sauce, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the shiitake liquid to the skillet.  Turn heat down and simmer for about 3-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through and onions are softened.

4.  Beat eggs in a bowl with a fork.  Pour over skillet.  Cover and turn down to low.  Let cook a bit until the eggs are set — about 1-2 minutes.

To serve, mound piles of rice into deep bowls.  Divide the skillet contents into fourths, and top each bowl with a portion of the chicken, onion, mushroom, egg mixture.  Spoon extra sauce on top to your liking.



Filed under Books, chicken, Dinner, Eggs

Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook

72 weight watchers

I’m embarrassed that I have had this cookbook and have been meaning to post a review of it FOREVER.  The nice folks at Saint Martin’s Press sent it to me, and it’s a fantastic cookbook.  The more I use it, the more I love it. I’ve never done Weight Watchers, but I know a lot of people who have with great success.  Even if you are not dieting or involved in Weight Watchers, though, this this is a great cookbook to have in your library.  The recipes are not all about using fat-free ingredients, and shunning food groups, etc.  The focus is on fresh ingredients and healthy cooking tips.

Lemon Basil Three Bean Salad

Lemon Basil Three Bean Salad

There is a blurb about each recipe (a lot are favorites that have been updated).   Servings and portion sizes, and nutritional information with PointsPlus points (if you are following the Weight Watchers 360 program) are also included with the recipes.  Recipes that are vegetarian and/or under 20 minutes to prepare are noted. The recipes are very easy to follow, the photography beautiful, but best of all, the dishes are wonderful.  I have made the Lemon Basil Three Bean Salad about four or five times.  It is my new go to side dish for grilling or having a get together (see recipe below).

Pork Chops with Onion Gravy

Pork Chops with Onion Gravy

I made the Pork Chops with Onion Gravy last night, and it was AMAZING.  The cool thing about it is that you cook the onions in chicken broth, rather than sauteing them in a lot of oil and butter (a la The Barefoot Contessa), but you don’t sacrifice flavor at all.  So you are only using 1 teaspoon of olive oil for the whole dish.  I will definitely make this again.  It is key that you use bone-in pork chops so they stay moist, and this is noted in the recipe.

Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups

Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups

Another recipe I absolutely love is the Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups.  I make this for myself all the time now. I’m the only one who likes spicy foods, so I just make a single portion using our toaster oven.  I love the idea of making the cups using an inverted ramekin or muffin tin.  It works like a charm. And I love baked eggs and Mexican food, so this is one of my favorites.

There are a lot of really simple recipes that I’ve tried out that I am not reviewing here, but that I use regularly and vary to my liking.  Omelettes for Two (you use 2 large eggs and 3 whites),  Canadian Bacon-Cheddar Frittata, Potato Leek Soup, Kale Chips,  Banana “Ice Cream”, Oven Fried Fish and Chips, Vegetable Quesadillas, to name a few.

I chose to highlight these three because they were all very good, and I learned something from them that I think is valuable and that I’ll incorporate into other recipes (e.g. Including edamame in bean salad, and using lemon juice and zest, rather than vinegar; making tortilla cups; and cooking a pile of onions and softening them in chicken broth).

And there are  TON of recipes I want to try out in the future, like:  Bubble Bread with Herbs and Sun Dried Tomatoes, Southwestern Chicken Vegetable Soup, Mexican Chicken Wraps, Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy, Individual Beef Wellingtons, Boston Cream Pie.  These are just a handful of them.  If I were to wait until I made everything, photographed the dishes, wrote about them, and posted about it, this review would take even longer than it has to get out!

Please enjoy these three dishes from Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook, and buy the book for more great healthy and delicious recipes!

Lemon Basil Three-Bean Salad

From The Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook

Serves 6

20 Min or Less


1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 (15-ounce) can small white, rinsed and drained

2/3 cup cooked shelled green soybeans (edamame)

1/3 sweet onion, finely diced

1/3 red bell pepper, finely diced

5 large basil leaves, thinly sliced

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, salt, and ground pepper in a medium bowl.  Add the black beans, white beans, soybeans, onion, bell pepper, and basil; toss to coat evenly.  Serve at once, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Per Serving (3/4 cup):  160 Cal, 3 g Total Fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 mg Chol, 427 mg Sod, 26g Carb, 8 g Fib, 9g Prot, 94 mg Calc.
PointsPlus value: 4

bean salad

Skillet Pork Chops with Onion Gravy

From Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook

Serves 6

4 (6-ounce) bone-in pork loin chops, trimmed

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 sweet onions, thinly sliced

1 ¼ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1        Sprinkle the chops with the salt and pepper.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. (I used a cast iron one).  Swirl in the oil, add the chops and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

2        Add the onions, ¼ cup of the broth, and the garlic to the skillet.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very tender, about 12-15 minutes.

3        Sprinkle the onions with the flour; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.  Add the remaining 1 cup broth, mustard, and thyme.  Bring to a boil, stirring until the sauce bubbles and thickens.  Return the chops and any accumulated juices to the skillet.  Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chops are heated through, 2-3 minutes.

Per Serving (1 chop with ¼ cup sauce):

253 Cal, 11 g Total Fat, 4g Sat Fat, 76 mg Chol, 420 g Sod, 9 g Carb, 2 g Fiber, 29g Prot, 30 mg Calc.

PointsPlus value: 6

Huevos Rancheros in Tortilla Cups

Serves 4


4 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1 (14 ½-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup canned diced mild green chiles, drained

2-3 tablespoons mild peepper sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

4 large eggs

¼ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

  1. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 425 F.  Lightly spray both sides of the tortillas with nonstick spray.  Place 4 inverted custard cups on a baking sheet, and drape a tortilla over each to give it a bowl shape.  (You may also use an inverted 12-cup muffin pan, placing the tortillas over alternate cups.)  Bake until the tortillas are crisped and lightly golden around the edges, 10 minutes.  Remove the tortillas and set them on a rack to cool.
  1. Combine the diced tomatoes, beans, chiles, pepper sauce, cumin, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in an ovenproof skillet.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the flavors are blended, 4 minutes.  Break the eggs one at a time, on top of the sauce, spacing them evenly apart.
  1. Immediately place the pan in the oven and bake until the eggs are almost set, 6-8 minutes.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of the eggs and bake until melted, 1 minute.  to serve, place the tortilla cups on serving plates and spoon the eggs and sauce into the tortilla cups.  Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

Per Serving  (1 filled tortilla cup):  289 Cal, 8g Total fat, 3 g Sat Fat, 216 mg Chol, 840 Sod, 40g, Carb, 8 g fib, 17g Prot, 200 mg Calc.

PointsPlus value:  7


Filed under Breakfast, Eggs, Lunch, Pork, Sides

Man v. Food Inspired Baby Moose Omelet

Copyright: Travel Channel

Have you ever seen something so over the top, disgusting, and groan inducing you are just riveted to the spot by the sheer ostentatious display of vulgarity?

I’m not talking about the media’s coverage of the Kardashians either.  THAT I can walk away from or turn the channel.  I’m talking about the Travel Channel’s show, Man v. Food, hosted by Adam Richman.  We have witnessed him eating Habanero fritters with Habanero salsa made from ten pounds of Habanero chilis in twenty five minutes (he won).  We also saw the episode where he attempted to drink 15 (yes, FIFTEEN) large, thick, rich milkshakes in one sitting (he lost that challenge, and it wasn’t pretty!)

A spin off of Man v. Food is Man v. Food Nation.  The basic premise is that now Adam Richman is finding local people to attempt food challenges in their neighborhoods.  A recent episode, shot in Oahu, featured a tiny mom who looks to be my height (under five feet) except she must weigh 90 pounds and have 10-12% body fat.  Her challenge was to eat a ginormous Moose Omelet within an hour at Moose McGillycuddy’s Pub and Cafe.

The behemoth omelet is made of one dozen eggs (!), four different kinds of meats, four different kinds of cheeses, plus a boatload of sauteed vegetables over a layer of home fries.  It weighs 5 pounds.  In a country with skyrocketing obesity rates and all the diseases that accompanying it, and in a world where people are still facing starvation and malnutrition, it is pretty sick to see one person attempt to eat something that could easily feed at least ten people.

She ate about three quarters of it and had to call it a day, so her name wasn’t placed on their “Wall of Fame”.

I can’t say if it’s the sheer abundance of food (mostly fattening) or the anthropormorphizing of said food (it must be conquered by man) that I find so wrong.  Regardless, I can’t help watching it when it’s on.  I guess a redeeming factor amid all the grossness is that the restaurants featured are family owned and they actually seem to have delicious and interesting food, so if we are ever in the region in the future, we might search some of them out.

And days later, I was still thinking about the Moose Omelet–which really should have been called a “Monster Omelet”.  I decided to create a mini version for a brunch for four people.  I used four eggs instead of twelve, and scaled everything else back in turn.  The result was a really delicious omelet full of wonderful flavors and textures.  We all loved it and decided it was a “success”.  There is some prep work involved but it’s worth it.  And it is perfect to serve for a brunch because everything can be cooked ahead of time except the eggs.  Then when it’s time to eat, you can cook the eggs and broil the omelet and it’s ready within five minutes!

All the ingredients minus oil, butter, and seasonings

The next time we’re in Oahu visiting my family, we might just have to go to Moose McGillycuddy’s to try the original Moose Omelet (to share and bring home!), but until then, we’re happy to eat my “baby moose” sized version.

Mini version

Baby Moose Omelet

1 medium potato, washed but unpeeled

3 slices of bacon cut in half

1 medium shallot, chopped (about 2 tablespoons or so)

Dash of dried thyme, kosher salt, and pepper

¾ cup cubed zucchini (about ½ of a medium sized zucchini or a very small zucchini)

2 Italian sweet sausages, casings removed, chopped up

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ medium onion, chopped

1 plum tomato, cored and seeded and chopped

4 eggs and two egg whites (or use 5 eggs instead)

1 teaspoon butter

2 tablespoons grated parmesan reggiano

¼ cup grated mozzarella

¼ cup lite shredded cheese mix

(note:  Or you can just use about 3/4 cup of whatever cheese you have in your refrigerator instead of these cheeses)

  1. The night before making omelet, pierce whole potato with fork a few times and microwave for about 4 minutes.  Let cool a bit and refrigerate overnight.  The next morning, before making omelet, cut potato into bite-sized cubes, leaving skin on.  Set aside.
  2. In an ovenproof skillet, lightly cook bacon until lightly browned.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain, cool, and crisp up.
  3. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from skillet.  Add chopped shallot to skillet and sauté for about 1 minute over medium heat.  Add cubed potatoes to pan.  Season with thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to incorporate, then leave it for about 5 minutes without stirring – this gives the potato a nice crust.  While potato is cooking, microwave zucchini for about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir potatoes again and cook until done, remove to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon oil to same skillet and add onions.  Saute for about one minute, then add sausage.  Continue to break up sausage as it browns with a wooden spoon.  When half cooked, add zucchini and continue to brown sausage.  Add chopped tomato to pan and continue to sauté until everything is cooked and vegetables are softened.  Remove to a bowl. Crumble bacon on top and set aside.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and egg whites (if using) together until fluffy.
  7. Preheat broiler and heat a clean non-stick skillet on stove.  Melt butter, swirl to coat, and then add egg mixture.  Push sides in as eggs cook, letting uncooked eggs fill in the spaces.  Cook until bottom is set, but top looks slightly wet and underdone.  Turn off heat.

    Still wet on top

  8. Assemble Baby Moose Omelet. Reheat original ovenproof skillet used to cook potatoes and sausage mixture.  Return potatoes to skillet.  Spread out into one layer.  Cover this layer with sausage and vegetable mixture.  Let warm up a bit on stove, but don’t stir.  Then slide cooked eggs on top of this layer with the uncooked side up.  Cover with cheeses and broil in oven.  Check after 2 minutes.  Omelet is done when cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  9. Cut into slices and serve out of skillet like a pie.

Makes about 4 generous servings.


Filed under Breakfast

A Day of Souffles

I bought several different sizes of soufflé dishes years ago which have languished unused in our cupboards until recently.

OK – I didn’t really eat soufflés all in one day – Hello cholesterol!  I just want to share some soufflés (some sweet and some savory) that can be served and eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as dessert.

The only one I had ever made in the past is a lovely chocolate one, I found in Gourmet Magazine.

I decided to experiment and make a Chocolate Kahlua Soufflé based on this recipe (I got two huge bottles of Kahlua while on our cruise this past summer!)

Chocolate Kahlua Soufflé

Soufflés are characterized by their top crown that rises up from a straight edged dish.  Their texture is light and fluffy due to egg whites which have been beaten and folded into an egg yolk based batter.  They are best eaten immediately out of the oven when they are still tall and crusty on the outside and creamy and light inside.

The basic technique is to preheat an oven (it should be at the correct temperature when you put the soufflé in), butter a soufflé dish or individual ramekins,

This one is dusted with sugar after coated with butter

flavor beaten yolks,

for Chocolate Kahlua Soufflé I chopped chocolate and melted it and mixed this with Kahlua and the yolks

melted chocolate mixed with Kahlua and egg yolks

then fold in the whites,

Beat until they are just stiff – I added espresso powder and sugar to these, so they are tan instead of white.

pour mixture into prepared dishes, and then bake.

Ooops, dish was way too big!

My dish was too big – I should have used a smaller one.  Ideally the unbaked soufflé mixture should come about 1-inch ABOVE the rim of the dish.  Then when it bakes, it expands straight up, creating a crown.  I’ve also read that before you put it in the oven, if you run your thumb along the inside rim of the dish making a little well, it will make the crown shape better.

When filled, the unbaked soufflé mixture should come to about 1-inch above the rim of the dish.

I like using the little ramekins because they are fun to eat and look so nice.

Soufflés don’t have to be sweet.  I came across a recipe for Zucchini Soufflé in the New York Times earlier this month.  I loved the idea of a savory soufflé, and even better — it has veggies in it.  Mark Bittman featured a simple savory souffle recipe that cut out the traditional bechamel base (a sauce of flour and butter with hot milk) he called a “Mock Souffle“.   I adapted Mark Bittman’s recipe a bit.  I reduced the cheese and made 2/3 of the recipe since there are only three of us, and I didn’t know if everyone would be eating it.  Lol .

The result was mixed – the flavor and texture were great, but I had forgotten to butter the dishes – a huge mistake in Making Soufflé 101!  The butter allows the batter to rise up in the dish.  Also it allows you to remove it easily.   I will make this again though.  You can substitute different vegetables as well.  He suggests using spinach in place of the zucchini.

I was hooked.  I love frittatas and this mock soufflé is very similar in terms of ingredients.  Both have eggs, some cheese and, and some kind of added filling.  While frittatas are dense and compact, these soufflés are light and airy due to the different cooking method.

One evening last week I had some leftover grilled chicken, but not enough of it for the three of us.  So I decided to be adventurous and use it in a soufflé rather than a frittata.  We love caramelized sautéd onions, so I included those as well.  The chicken was already seasoned with thyme and garlic salt.  I added it, the caramelized onions and some grated Gruyere to the egg yolk mixture, and folded the beaten egg whites into it.

The result was a light, cheesy, onion-y treat with bits of chicken incorporated throughout.  My husband loved it so much, he had two full servings – always a good indicator for repeating the recipe in the future.

It would be fun to experiment some more and make different flavored soufflés.  I’m dreaming of a smoked salmon, dill, cream cheese one… a roasted tomato, basil, Parmesan one – there are so many possibilities!  These mock  soufflés can be a simple weeknight dinner if you have the fillings ready.

Finally, I saw a blog post the other day of an oatmeal soufflé and thought, “OK, I must make this!”

I love oatmeal and I love eggs for breakfast.  This is a great dish for a weekend brunch.  I substituted my whipped cottage cheese for the cream cheese (mascarpone cheese would be heavenly…) and reduced the amount of brown sugar because I like my oatmeal sweetened with banana.

Like a lot of other bloggers who have a love affair with oatmeal, I eat my oatmeal flavored a variety of ways:  topped with different seeds and nuts, dried coconut, granola, cinnamon, pureed pumpkin, peanut butter, with pumpkin butter, preserves, cottage cheese, berries, Nutella – oatmeal doesn’t have to be boring!  My favorite is oatmeal with blueberries, toasted pecans, and a pinch of sweetened coconut.  It tastes like a coconut blueberry pecan pudding dream.  So I decided to recreate it as a soufflé!

It is more labor intensive than oatmeal, but I love the texture more.  It was very light and fluffy and tasted like a dessert.  I drizzled a bit of maple syrup on top.  🙂

If you come up with any fun soufflé recipes, please share them with me!

Chocolate Kahlua Soufflé

adapted from Gourmet

3 tablespoons sugar plus additional for sprinkling

½ teaspoon espresso powder

2 ½ oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon Kahlua

1 ½ egg yolks at room temperature

3 large egg whites

  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Butter soufflé dish and dust with a pinch of sugar, knocking out the excess.  Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl with espresso powder.  Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water.  Remove from heat and stir in Kahlua.  Then stir in egg yolks.
  3. Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks.  Add sugar mixture a little at a time, beating at medium speed.until whites just hold stiff peaks.  Stir about 1/2 cup of whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then add mixture to remaining whites, folding gently but thoroughly.
  4. Spoon soufflé into dish and run the end of your thumb around inside edge of soufflé dish, (this will help soufflé to rise evenly).  Bake in middle of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still jiggly in center, 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Souffle can be assembled up to 30 mintues before baking.  Keep, covered with an inverted large bowl (do not let bowl touch soufflé), at room temperature.

Zucchini Soufflé

adapted from Mark Bittman (I halved his recipe, reduced the oil and cheese and omitted the parsley)

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

½ medium onion, chopped

½ teaspoon minced garlic

2 small zucchini, grated (about 13 oz.)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 eggs, separated

2 ½ oz. Gruyere cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter four 1 1/2 -cup ramekins or one 6-cup soufflé dish.

2.  Heat oil in a large skill over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until very tender, another 10 minutes or so.  You can substitute a 10-oz. bag of spinach, chopped and cooked the same way.  Drain the vegetables if there is extra liquid and let cool.

3.  In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and add cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the vegetables and stir.  In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they just hold soft peaks.  Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites.

4.  Pour into ramekins or soufflé dish.  Bake until golden and puffy, 30 to 35 minutes, and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

Chicken, Gruyere, Caramelized Onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

1 medium onion, sliced thinly lengthwise

about 1 cup cooked chicken, diced

1 ¼ oz. of grated gruyere (about 1/3 cup)

4 eggs, separated

2 servings of egg whites (I used Quick Whites)

Non-stick spray or melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium low heat.  Saute onions in pan until softened and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, separate eggs so that yolks are in one bowl and whites are in a cold mixing bowl of stand mixer.
  4. Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks.
  5. Beat egg yolks with a whisk until smooth.  Stir in chicken, cheese, and caramelized onions.  Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites until combined.  Then slowly fold in the rest of egg whites into mixture.
  6. Spray a large soufflé dish with spray or brush with melted butter.  Pour egg mixture into dish.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes in middle of oven.
  7. To serve, run a knife around edges to loosen, cut into fourths, and spoon onto serving plates.

Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal Souffle with Toasted Pecans

adapted from Persnickety Palate

Butter for preparing the dishes

Pinch of granulated sugar for dusting

½ cup milk

½ cup water

1 ½ oz. oats

½ medium banana, sliced thinly (optional-if omitting, use more brown sugar to sweeten oatmeal)

1/3 cup whipped cottage cheese, cream cheese or ricotta

2 teaspoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 egg yolks

¼ cup thawed frozen blue berries

2 tablespoons sweetened coconut

1 tablespoon toasted, chopped pecans

3 egg whites

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Butter 5 ramekin dishes and dust with sugar, knocking excess out.
  3. Heat milk and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add oatmeal and banana.  Cook, stirring occasionally until oatmeal thickens, about five minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in whipped cottage cheese, ricotta, or cream cheese.  Then stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt.
  4. Separate egg yolks and whites in two large bowls.  I use Quick Whites for the extra white.  Add a bit of oatmeal mixture to bowl with yolks to temper it.  Then add yolks to saucepan and stir to incorporate.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks just form.  Fold in about 1/3 cup whites into oatmeal mixture to lighten.  Then fold oatmeal mixture and rest of whites together gently, so that the whites don’t deflate.
  6. Transfer to prepared dishes. Bake for about 30 minutes.


Filed under Breakfast, chicken, Desserts, Dinner, Lunch, Sides, Vegetables