Quiche! For dinner? Yes! I don’t know if that actually is kosher, but I love eggs, cheese, and artichokes… and I figured this would be a yummy quick meal. This turned out SO well, and was a delicious left-over as well. It came from a recipe on Health.com. The recipe originally called for egg substitute but instead I did a combination of eggs and egg whites until I had 1 cup of beaten eggs. Depending on the size of the eggs you use – you might want to adjust accordingly.
- 2 cups cooked long-grain rice
- 3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 4 eggs and 3 egg whites mixed (1 cup of eggs)
- 1 tsp dried dillweed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- cooking spray
- 1 (15-oz) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
- 3/4 cup almond milk (you can use fat-free milk)
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine rice, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup eggs, dillweed, salt, and garlic; press into a 9-inch pieplate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.
- Arrange artichoke quarters on bottom of rice crust; sprinkle remaining cheese. Combine eggs, milk, green onions, mustard and pepper. Pour egg mixture over rice and artichokes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until eggs have set.
- Let stand 5 minutes; cut into wedges!
I really love potatoes. Any kind of potatoes. Someone told me that potatoes were good for weight loss. But I am not sure if these potatoes count considering that you add a whole lot of butter, evoo, and cheese!
I made these with Jessi in Chicago, and a few times here as well. The trick is to make sure all of the potatoes are cut evenly, otherwise they cook at different speeds and you end up with a few cheesy mashed potatoes and a few burnt shoestring fries. Once you get the balance though… they are MAGICAL. Super cheesy, delicious, and amazing.
Italian Fries (from Martha Stewart)
- 4 medium/large russet potatoes sliced into 1/3 inch fry-strips soaked in cold water for at least 45 minutes (I use less potatoes than Martha – higher cheese ratio!)
- 4 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T dried italian herbs
- 2 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves, freshly chopped
- 4 T salted butter cut into cubes
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drain potatoes and pat dry with paper towel. Spread 1 T of olive oil on each of 2 rimmed greased baking sheets (I use Crisco spray) and spread out potatoes. Martha says to overlapping is okay – but I like to lay them out flat.
- Sprinkle herbs evenly over potatoes. Spread LOTS of cheese and parsley all over the top. If it looks like you need some more cheese – add it. You cannot have too much cheese – ever.
- Drizzle remaining 2 T of olive oil over cheese. Scatter the cubed butter around the pans evenly.
- Bake until potatoes are golden brown. (45-50 minutes) Rotate pans every fifteen minutes to ensure even cooking.
- Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all of the delicious cheese crisped on top!
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
These can be reheated in the oven the next day and are JUST as good. Just make sure to remember to re-spray the aluminum foil with some cooking spray – otherwise the cheese gets stuck to the pan. Enjoy these – they are DELICIOUS!
We had been waiting and waiting for our “kitchen appliances” box to arrive in San Diego (as well as my car… cookbooks… cookie trays… mixing bowls… oh and clothing) when it arrived!!! In this box was what Charlie refers to as “The Game Changer” – my 30-year-old Cuisinart mixer. “But Amanda!” you say, “How is that possible, when you are just a spritely 25-years-old?” It was a wedding gift to my parents, and just like their marriage, it is still magical and extremely productive.
I had never made soup before, so I wanted to make something easier for my intro lesson. I have always loved Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Soup, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it!
When I went to the grocer I found two butternut squash options – a $1.69 full butternut squash or a $2.99/bag of pre-cut butternut squash. Well, I would have needed to buy three pre-cut bags, and the guy at Trader Joe’s told me that cutting butternut squash was impossible… so naturally I bought the full butternut squash. I love a challenge. Well, he was right… it was awful. But I’m glad I did it because; 1) I proved him wrong and 2) I saved five dollars!
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
- 3 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion – diced
- 1 small butternut squash (2 pounds) – peeled seeded and diced large
- 2 pears – peeled and diced large
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup low fat plain greek yogurt
- chopped fresh chives (if you want – for serving)
- In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, cook until translucent (I really don’t know what that means – I cooked it for eight minutes).
- Add squash, pears, and 4 cups of water. (Note on this: I didn’t think 4 cups seemed like enough but Charlie told me to follow the recipe and it would be fine – he was right! No need to add more water).
- Season roast with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until squash is soft – 20 to 25 minutes.
- In batches, fill a blender half way (don’t get too enthusiastic and fill it more) with soup and puree with yogurt until smooth.
- Transfer to a clean pot as you work.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with chives if desired.
Things I will try next time!
- Nothing different! I loved the texture and the balance of butternut squash and pear. It is definitely delicious with a grilled cheese!
In Chicago there was this magical place called Homemade Pizza. You could get all sorts of fun and delicious toppings on a yummy thin crust – and then bake it at home! My favorite was the Georgia, Charlie’s was the Buffalo Chicken (gross). Anyway, since relocating to sunny California, I have been craving Homemade Pizza like crazy! I had never made a real home-made pizza before so I was kind of apprehensive about the dough/baking instrument/ingredients/toppings… everything. After all thirteen of our boxes showed up… (Yes – we packed our entire life into two cars and thirteen boxes) I found Charlie’s old pizza baking tray and felt inspired! I searched for pizza recipes and found this one on Real Simple. I changed some of the ingredients/steps… but it turned out AMAZING! Like Meryl Streep Amazing.
Spinach and Artichoke Pizza
- 1 lb pizza dough at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups quattro formaggio (mixture of yummy cheeses of your choice!)
- 4 oz light cream cheese
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups marinated artichoke hearts
- 2 cups spinach
- salt and pepper
- Form pizza dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. (Note: This is a pain in the biz-utt, make sure the dough is at room temperature – I had to use a rolling pin and a whole lot of perseverance).
- Place pizza form onto a baking sheet (with corn meal on the bottom) or pizza pan.
- Spread olive oil over crust – sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Break cream cheese into small pieces and place on oiled crust.
- Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over cream cheese and oil.
- Quarter artichoke hearts and spread over pizza.
- Cover pizza with spinach.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese over pizza. (Feel free to add more cheese – you can never have enough!)
- Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.
Things I will try next time!
- Cooking the crust for a little bit prior to dressing it up. (Charlie says this will make it crispier!)
- Moooore artichokes. Yummy!!
- Spreading the cream cheese over the pizza dough evenly before adding olive oil and other toppings!
Really. This snack is absolute perfection. One of the very few things I have tasted on this earth that might be deemed worthy of God’s snack bowl. For some reason I have been craving cinnamon like crazy the past few weeks. I think it started at a Super Bowl Party we went to.
They had cinnamon popcorn – it was delicious! But really buttery – now I’m no butter-hater, but I’m also not a Paula Deen. Save for my chocolate chip cookies I usually try to skim back on the butter a bit, if for nothing more than the false belief that what I’m eating is somewhat healthy.
So after going through two bags of Stacy’s Cinnamon Pita Chips and trying to stifle my craving with Cinnamon Sugar Toast (throwback!) I decided to Pinterest some Cinnamon Popcorn. I still don’t really know how I feel about Pinterest. I love the fact that I can stalk other people’s weddings and look up nice quotes, but sometimes I feel like it is just the same stuff over and over again – however, tonight Pinterest delivered. Beautifully. I found a recipe here - and modified it a bit… I visit Garrett’s enough that I know how to make sugar coated popcorn. So I used some tricks I siphoned off of them.
Amanda’s Cinnamon Popcorn
- 2/3 c unpopped popcorn (or 8-10 cups popped)
- 1/2 c butter
- 1/4 c + 1 T white sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 – 2 T cinnamon sugar
- Heat oven to 300 degrees.
- I made the popcorn in my handy dandy Whirley Pop, courtesy of Charlie’s parents. (A little bit of olive oil with the 2/3 c kernels)
- After the popcorn was done I split it up into two bowls.
- Melt butter, sugar, and cinnamon in the microwave until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add vanilla.
- Pour 1/4 of the mixture over one bowl and a 1/4 of the mixture over the other bowl.
- “Toss” the popcorn. Move the bowl in a motion so that the kernels fly around (not TOO much flying) and they get nice and coated!
- Pour remaining mixture evenly over both. Repeat “toss.”
- Lay popcorn onto an aluminum foil wrapped baking pan (I had to use two).
- Sprinkle popcorn with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake for 5 minutes – remove from oven (BE CAREFUL IT IS HOT – IT WAS JUST IN THE OVEN), use the tin foil to pour popcorn back into mixing bowl and repeat tossing action. Spread back onto aluminum foil and baking sheet. (Do for the other one).
- Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven…
…And then try not to eat all of it in one sitting. Because you will. Like I did…
I know this seems really involved – but I think that tossing it made the difference between it being soggy buttered popcorn tasting into crispy almost Garrett-crispy popcorn!
My posts may (hopefully) be slowing down as I lead up to the Bar, but one thing is for sure – the stress baking will NOT!
… and I am a stress baker.
I am not talking about your usual here and there, oh lets make brownies… I am talking straight on… in the past week I have made four different type of baked goods and I don’t plan on stopping soon.
The Bar exam is literally eating away at my soul, and so the only way I feel human again is to make tasty treats and feed the people I love. And myself.
Another thing about me… I love S’Mores… in any form. Trader Joe’s has these little S’More bits that I will eat an entire box of without blinking. The combination to me is just genius. So today I was hardcore craving S’More cupcakes, but there was simply no time to get chocolate cake mix… but I happened to have some Ghirardelli brownie mix…
S’More Brownies (Amanda’s Version)
- 8 T unsalted butter, melted
- 2 c graham cracker crumbs
- 2 T + 1 t granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 Box Ghirardelli brownie mix (1/3 c veggie oil, 1/4 c water, 1 egg)
- “Enough” mini marshmallows
- (Steps 1 & 2 taken from above linked blog) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 8×8-inch pan with foil so it hangs over the edges a bit. Spray with nonstick spray. (You can use 9×9-inch pan, but baking time might need slight decrease and your end result will be a thinner brownie).
- Prepare crust: In a medium bowl, mix butter with crumbs, sugar and salt. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Mix up brownie mix (so much faster).
- Pour into baked crust, bake according to box directions.
- After brownies are done sprinkle “enough” (to cover) mini marshmallows. Sprinkle with any extra graham cracker frosting. Broil for 3-6 minutes depending on oven.
- Try not to eat right away because it will BURN YOUR MOUTH OFF. Seriously, learn from my mistake
- Remove aluminum foil from pan and cut brownies (I waited a bit first).
These babies are EXACTLY what the doctor ordered – SO yummy and delicious. I hope you have reasons to make these other than stress-baking, but if not… these are the perfect cure!
This weekend I wanted to make a nice dinner – and since I am obsessed with Sweet Potatoes, I decided this would be my main agreement. Luckily, trusty Real Simple rose to the challenge and we ended up with this:
It was SO stinking delicious!!! I got the Ricotta fresh from our Treasure Island (America’s Most European Grocery Store!) and it was just – amazing.
- 12 ounces spaghetti (3/4 box)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
- 1/3 cup ricotta
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Add the potatoes, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Add the shallots and rosemary. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Toss the pasta with the potato mixture, Parmesan, and reserved cooking water. Dollop with the ricotta before serving.
p.s. I actually had no idea what shallots were before the making of this… But now I do, and they made the taters taste delicious!!
There is NOTHING better than catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a million years! Especially when said catch up is done over this:
The above *was* from the freezer at Trader Joe’s!! It was so easy – popped it into the oven and voila, the perfect catch up snack. I am not going to inform you as to the calories, fat content, or how short of time it actually took for two females to finish this off. Adorable cheese knife, right? Bluff Gardens in Harbor Springs!
I dedicate this to my dear friend over at Meggabytes who is grappling with overcoming her fear of spandex and exercise. In support of her new dedication to spinning on a stationary bike for hours and not actually achieving any distance, I am giving her the recipe for my Mom’s Famous Chocolate Mousse! “But Amanda!” (you say) “That’s so cruel!!!” AHA! This is where you are wrong because where my $150,000 investment in law school may not have prepared me for the Bar Exam… it did prepare me to analyze everything to my benefit. Here we go…
Recent scientific studies have shown that drinking chocolate milk post-workout actually helps exercisers regain energy and build muscles. This is because of the protein ya-da ya-da ya-da. So here are my thoughts on this. Chocolate milk is what… milk, sugar, and chocolate. One of the biggest benefits of it is the protein… want to know what else has protein? Eggs. Want to know what has a lot of eggs as well as the majority of the aforementioned ingredients? Chocolate Mousse. Therefore, Chocolate Mousse is the perfect recovery snack.
Not convinced? Look at this…
Convinced now? I thought so…
Martha’s Chocolate Mousse
(so stinkin’ easy but super impressive looking with a little extra effort)
- 2 2/3 c chocolate chips
- 3/4 c sweet butter
- 8 eggs separated (protein hey-yah)
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1 T cognac (uhh might want to skip out on this if actually eating post workout… or maybe get it on the side)
- 1 t vanilla
- Melt chocolate and sweet butter
- Beat yolks (the yellow part of the egg) and sugar until a creamy yellow color
- Beat whites (the non-yellow part of the egg) until stiff
- Mix melted chocolatey goodness and vanilla with yellow-I-wouldn’t-eat-that-yet-mixture
- Fold in stiff whites until you get lazy and then stir
- Portion out accordingly
- Put into refrigerator to chill for several hours or overnight.
Make it look impressive:
Whip up some homemade whipped cream. (Whipping Cream + Kitchen Aid) put into a frosting bag (or Ziploc bag with corner cut out). Right before serving drop some fresh raspberries on top of the mousse and then decorate the mousse and raspberries with the fresh whipped cream. This looks so impressive even Italians are amazed. Seriously, it happened.
So my dearest Meg, remember protein post-workout = good. Mousse = protein. Therefore, mousse post-workout = awesome.
Always looking out for you,
So when I was “overserved” one evening I took it upon myself to do some online shopping… for cookbooks. Needless to say two weeks later a European Cookbook showed up. Awesome. Especially since everything was in grams. So I invested in a kitchen scale. Which has thus changed my life. Why? Because those portions… you think you’re having? You’re wrong… Case in point…
100 CALORIES OF M&M's
Yes… 22 M&Ms = 100 Calories… may I offer you a tissue?
I’m not even going to tell you how many goldfish you’re actually eating. That would be like spilling the beans about the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause in the same night… just cruel!