In the Kitchen

Welcome to my Kitchen!
Disclaimer: if you entered this page hoping to find Barefoot Contessa style inspired meals, I sincerely apologize! This is merely a sporadic recap of recipes I didn’t screw up and enjoyed eating! 🙂

While I can’t say I cook every day, I certainly love to spend time in the kitchen preparing meals that I hope my family will enjoy! I aim to create simple, quick, nutritious meals that satisfy the taste buds of both my husband & my picky toddlers!
I’ve grown to love the art of cooking much more lately, all thanks to my mom who is the ULTIMATE chef. She’s got an unbelievable ability to throw ingredients and flavors together an create the most delicious dishes. It’s rare that I don’t enjoy something she serves and I hope to perfect the craft of cooking half as well as she has some day!
In the meantime, here’s what I’m cooking up …


Quick and Easy Breakfasts (especially if you’re on the go!)

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I could eat breakfast options any time of day and often do! As a working mom with two toddlers, I often find it difficult to make and enjoy the type of breakfast I would like to on a daily basis. The thought of sitting down to enjoy a warm plate of eggs and toast is a distant dream during the work week. I feel like I’m always either rushing out the door, running late or forgot something…anyone else?

Here are 5 quick easy breakfast options that I’ve really enjoyed lately- not just because they are delicious but because I can whip them up quickly at home, or grab them & go!

*Egg Muffin Cups*
I like to make these on a weekend so I have them to grab a go for the week ahead. I enjoy switching up what I add to the egg mixture each week so it never gets boring. My regular go-to is below

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease muffin pan with cooking spray
  2. Whisk together a dozen eggs, a splash of milk, salt & pepper. Add in finely chopped green pepper, onion, bacon bits and low-fat cheese (I use a Mexican mix for added flavor)
  3. Divide mixture into muffin cups evenly and Bake for 20-25 min (depending on oven)
  4. Enjoy them alone with a side of avocado, or in between an English muffin for a homemade Egg McMuffin!

*Hard-boiled Avocado Toast*
Hard boiled eggs are another great thing to prep ahead of time and eat on the go. I love to enjoy them as a breakfast, as a snack, and as a salad topping. There is no rocket science recipe for these- just 4 ingredients: Hard boiled eggs, avocado, Trader Joe’s Bread Crisps and Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning. Spread the avocado onto the bread crisps, slice the egg and top the avocado spread and season with the Everything seasoning. These ingredients are easy to keep on hand at your office, or to pack for a day trip out!

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*Waffle Sandwiches*
A fun twist on an ice cream sandwich! Tip: Make the cream cheese mix ahead of time and keep in the fridge. You’ll need: Regular frozen waffles (any kind you like!), frozen or fresh blueberries, cream cheese, sugar; vanilla extract.

  1. To make filing mixture: combine blueberries, Low-Fat cream cheese (you can also use plain Greek yogurt as a substitute, sugar and a splash of vanilla in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
  2. Cook waffles as directed on the box
  3. Spread the blended mixture between two waffles, sprinkle on a few whole blueberries, sandwich and enjoy!

*Overnight Oatmeal*
Quick and easy homemade oatmeal to grab and go on your way out the door!

  1. In a resealable jar, add oats, Greek yogurt, almond beverage-use regular or flavored (Fun added pick me up to this: I add Cold brew coffee with almond milk as this ingredient. I get my caffeine fix while eating breakfast!) and chia seeds.
  2. Stir, then seal the jar with a lid. Place in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight. The oats will soften and mixture will become thick.
  3. Garnish with toppings- my favorites are fresh berries, almonds, and raisins. Serve cold. * I use a variety of greek yogurt flavors to add to the mixture- i.e. if I plan to put fresh berries on top, I’ll use berry yogurt. (When you’re ready to eat, if desired, add a splash of extra almond beverage to thin out the consistency)

 


*Zucchini Noodles with Bacon and Tomatoes*

This was a Food Network recipe of the day that I put a little personal spin on, and it turned out delicious!
Check out the full recipe HERE, and see below for my mild modifications. Enjoy!

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Edits:
1. Purchased and used premade zucchini noodles (quicker and easier for weeknight meal prep)
2. Prepared 4 slices of bacon (let’s be honest, 2 just isn’t enough!)
3. Added extra cayenne pepper and used reduced fat milk
4. Added an extra 1/3 cup of cheese to make sauce creamer. The sauce was a bit thin upon preparation so added additional cheese to thicken it up.

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**WINE PAIRING**
Cobden Wini 2016 Pinot Noir


*Easy Weeknight Corn, Tomato, & Avocado Pasta Salad*
*not one of my recipes, but tried it from one of my favorites, Half Baked Harvest, and it’s amazing so I wanted to share!
Full Recipe 
HERE

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*3 Ingredient Meal- quick and delicious*

At least one a week, I like to incorporate seafood into our dinner menu. Both my husband and I love any and all fish but to keep the meals quick and easy we usually stick to salmon, shrimp or scallops. This dish I paired scallops with roasted asparagus over Trader Joes Asparagus Risotto. The packaged risotto is delicious and can be prepared in less than 20 minutes and helps to add a ton of flavor to plain asparagus. It pairs wonderfully with white fish and chicken.

Start by preparing the risotto as instructed. While it simmers, you can cook the asparagus (I coat it with Wegmans Basting oil and a little salt & pepper and pop it in the oven at 350. Keep an eye on it as you prep/cook the risotto and scallops). Depending on the size spears you get, you can prep and start roasting the asparagus first to allow for more cook time.

As the asparagus roasts, and risotto simmers, cook the scallops. We like Trader Joes Jumbo Sea Scallops or will grab a bag from Whole Foods. Pat them dry (they cook best when all the moisture is out of them) and sprinkle with any seasoning you like (I use Lemon Pepper seasoning). Over high heat (Cast Iron or Stainless Steel pan is best. Don’t use nonstick to cook on high heat) coat pan with olive oil and place scallops one by one into pan. They should start to sizzle immediately. *I add tablespoon of butter once the scallops are in the pan to help brown them and give them a bit more flavor* Cook over high heat for 3-4 min/per side. img_6438

Plate the risotto, top with roasted asparagus and scallops and enjoy!
*WINE PAIRING*
La Crema Chardonnay
Governors Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc


*Homemade Thai Curry*

I love this quick, easy and healthy dinner option for midweek meals, or to kick back and enjoy on weekends. Simple ingredients (thank you Trader Joe’s!) full of protein, bold flavor and hearty enough to feed the whole family! Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:
Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry Sauce
Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Milk
Lots of veggies! We love broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, onion & snap peas
Garlic (optional but who doesn’t love garlic! I add 2-4 cloves)
Fresh Basil (sprinkle in as you like)
Peanuts (1 cup)
Red Pepper Flakes (add to taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Rice (optional- I use Trader Joe’s Brown Rice)
Protein (optional- I frequently use shrimp, but it’s also delicious with chicken)

How To: 1. Start my chopping up your veggies & garlic and begin to saute them in olive oil. Cook until soften but not full done.
2. Add in red pepper flakes, basil & peanuts-saute 1-2 more minutes. Bring heat to low
3. Add in Trader Joe’s Thai Curry Sauce and let simmer for a 3-4 minutes to let flavors merge together. At the same time, begin cooking your protein.

4. As the protein cooks, add in coconut milk. If you opt not to add a protein just add coconut milk and let simmer
5. Leave heat on low to let simmer. Cook protein and prepare rice if you’re adding it.

6. Add the protein to the curry and turn heat off.
7. Serve over rice and ENJOY! *I sprinkle fresh basil on top as an added touch*

*WINE PAIRING*
Naked Chardonnay
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc
Also tastes delicious accompanied by a great beer! (we love Bell’s Two Hearted Ale)

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