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Category: Kitchen Time (page 2 of 7)

February Foods

As January rolled into February, my meal planning continued as did my adventures in “new to me” meals that follow the guidelines of THM. These are some of the tasty meals from this month of “new” cooking.

Breakfast on a blustery Saturday morn

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal -I’ve blogged about Baked Oatmeal a couple of times before…so of course I would look for these sorts of recipes that align with THM. I made this on a blustery Saturday morning. It was delicious right out of the oven and equally delicious throughout the week either cold or warmed for less than a minute. The combo of ingredients provides you with a “stick to your ribs” breakfast in the best way possible. (THM = E)

Simple Monday Supper

Buffalo Burgers with Mashed Cauliflowers and Wilted Spinach – I whipped this meal up on a Monday evening after I had been away for a long weekend and the groceries were rapidly dwindling. I pulled the box of Trader Joe’s Buffalo Burger patties out of the freezer in the morning. After work, this meal came together quickly. In one skillet, I browned a thinly sliced onion and caramelized it with a bit of balsamic vinegar – then I added a huge pile of fresh spinach and let it wilt down. The burgers were quickly cooked in another skillet with just a bit of salt and pepper. As these things were cooking, I cooked a bag “steam bag” of cauliflower in the microwave and then made a mash in my blender (based on the recipe for the topping in this Shepherd’s Pie). Quickly this was all plated with a dash of Parmesan cheese to finish. (THM = S)

Hot Salad

Sizzling Spinach Salad with Roasted Chicken and a Fried Egg – Another Monday evening supper bowl. I started with some chopped up chicken in the skillet with some coconut oil & Frank’s Hot Sauce (a go to protein since my first Whole30) – then I added a bit of chopped/cooked bacon & a big pile of fresh spinach to the skillet & cooked it till the spinach had wilted. As the spinach went in, I also fried an egg in my mini-skillet to add to the top of the bowl. (THM = S)

Egg Cups

Green Egg Cups – A make ahead breakfast option for the work week. Fresh spinach in the bottom of the greased muffin cups. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. An egg cracked directly into each cup & topped with a twist of cracked pepper. Bake @ 350 for about 20 minutes.

Spinach Eggs

Spinach Eggs – A supper time variation of green eggs. I stumbled across this recipe and immediately made it for supper that evening – I’ve maybe made it several times this week as I’ve been in a “leftovers” menu plan to clear out the fridge. I added some Parmesan cheese on top of the spinach before adding the eggs. (THM = S)

From the Cookbook

Many things from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Creamed Spinach with Pan Seared Chicken (recipe: Collagen Creamed Spinach)…Cornbread Crusted Mexican Pie…Blackened Chicken with Warm Peach & Black Bean Salsa (recipe: Blacked Chicken with Mangoes & Black Beans)…Egg Roll in a Bowl…Mexican Mocha Gluccie Pudding…assorted “Trimmy” coffees on cold mornings…

As February rolls to March, I have some extended travel that will have me away from the kitchen and cooking – but I’m already looking forward to when I’m “back home” and can once again play in the kitchen with new recipes and some of the recently added new faves. What were some of your favorite foods this month? 

What’s the Plan?

As I completed previous rounds of the Whole30, one of the things that made it successful was weekly meal planning. Knowing specific meals and plans for the week ensured that “Oh, I’ll pick up something or order in” wasn’t on the radar when it came time for dinner. As 2015 was drawing to a close and I was starting to think of my one word for 2016 and things I wanted to accomplish in the new year, I made the mental note to incorporate meal planning into my routine.

Writing out the meal plan for the week ahead...

Writing out the meal plan for the week ahead…

On Christmas morning, as we opened our stockings before breakfast I was thrilled to see a fun “weekly sticky notepad” included in the goodies. Then & there I decided that notepad would become my weekly meal plan.

As the new year started, Rebecca partnered with me to plan the weeks using the Trim Healthy Mama (aka THM) plan. (Side bar…I think the program/method name is horrible & I cringe when I say it) As we figured out the first week, the first note was populated and then posted on the glass door of my china cabinet in the kitchen for easy access.

A few of the tasty results of my meal planning, so far...

A few of the tasty results of my meal planning, so far…

Among the tasty things on the menu plans so far this month:

Roasted Green Beans – A quick “invention” early in the month. Fresh green beans are tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper & then roasted at 425 for about 10 minutes. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese is optional. These are cooked and yet still crisp – so they are great for eating with my fingers (a la french fries). Homemade garlic basil aioli is a great sauce with them. Leftovers (if there are any) are great chopped & added to a salad.

A tasty and satisfying Shepherd’s Pie with mashed cauliflower to top it. Excellent to pack for lunch.

Egg Cups – A great reason to use my fun new muffin cups – I put some crumbled bacon & shredded cheese in the bottom of each before filling with well beaten eggs. A quick 20 minute bake and I’ve got breakfast for the week.

A pretty simple and oh so tasty sweet treat this week is a batch of Black Raspberry Cheese Danishes using this recipe.

From the THM Cookbook, all sorts of fun discoveries so far: Egg Roll in a Bowl, Chicken Jalapeno Popper Soup, Chia Pudding and assorted smoothies and sippers.

As I look at the blank sheets of this simple notepad, I look forward to seeing what fun recipe discoveries will be in the my plans.

What is your meal plan approach? What kitchen goals do you have for this new year?

A Taste of Fall

For this Tuesday, ten tastes of fall I look forward to as the seasons look to move from summer to autumn. As I’m 17 days into this Whole30 round, I know that some of these recipes won’t be made until the calendar flips; however, some can be enjoyed in the coming weeks.

The changing of the seasons was evident at Saturday's farm stand stop!

The changing of the seasons was evident at Saturday’s farm stand stop!

  • Chili – My “go to” now is the Chocolate Chili recipe from Well Fed. I have the ingredients here at home and plan to make a pot of it this weekend.
  • Nantucket Cranberry Pie – A recent addition to the fall desserts, this has become a new Thanksgiving time dessert (and maybe breakfast for the leftovers).
  • Baked Oatmeal – whether on the sweeter side or the savory side, this is a hearty breakfast for cold mornings.
  • Fresh made applesauce – peeled apples & a few hours in the crockpot – nothing beats homemade applesauce! Sometimes I might add a dash of cinnamon & spice…other times, just pure apple!
  • White Chili – a chicken & potato variation that is a hearty bowl of goodness on a cold evening.
  • While I enjoy sweet potatoes year round, I’m “excited” for the return of the frozen mashed sweet potatoes at Trader Joe’s – I stock up on these bags for an easy base for meals throughout the year. (In fact, just today my lunch included some of the last “pucks” from the freezer – BBQ pulled pork on a bed of sweet potatoes was easy and delish!)
  • “Endless” french press pots of coffee on the weekend – I’m much more of a hot coffee gal in cooler weather.
  • If I happen to be near a Culver’s, a pumpkin shake or concrete mixer is such a fall treat!
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash – I’m planning to try a new stuffing combo with the ones in the picture over the weekend.
  • Mulled Wine and/or Spiced Cider – An enjoyable mug of warmth that is just as delicious to smell while it is simmering on the stove.

What tastes of fall are you most anticipating?

Tastes like Blue

For today’s Ten on Tuesday, Carole’s prompt is 10 Favorite Blueberry Recipes. I’ll modify this a bit by going with 10 favorite blueberry tastes – some are recipes and some are not.

That time I rented a blueberry bush

That time I rented a blueberry bush

  1. Blueberry Infused Water – This summer, blueberries are making a frequent appearance in the infuser core of my water pitcher – often paired with mint and maybe lemon or cucumbers. So refreshing!
  2. Blueberry Coffee – While normally I’m not a fan of fruit flavored coffee, this is a winner. At home, I toss some ground cinnamon in the French press with the coffee grounds – the cinnamon really enhances the flavor. My favorite is from Door County Coffee and Tea.
  3. Berry Dressing – I discovered this recipe earlier this year and it has been a delightful addition to both salads and assortments of roasted vegetables
  4. Blueberry Butter – A simple crockpot recipe for making blueberry preserves to can
  5. Blueberry Jam – One of the first jams I canned during my first foray into canning in 2009.
  6. Blueberry Beer – For something different, I’ve been known to select the “local” blueberry brew at breweries/restaurants. The last time I did this (in February in Florida) the pint glass included a couple of fresh blueberries.
  7. Blueberry Egg Bake – I discovered this recipe during my 1st Whole 30 adventure and tweaked the recipe a bit – I have come back to it several times – it is a nice make ahead breakfast option for the weekday mornings.
  8. Blueberry French Toast Casserole (in the crockpot) – I think it has been 9 years since I first made this recipe – it is a fun twist on french toast and bonus for breakfast crockpot use.
  9. Blueberry Yogurt Parfaits – A handful of blueberries…a dollop of yogurt (normally plain Greek)…a dash of cinnamon…a bit of granola…maybe some walnuts…a simple meal or snack at anytime
  10. By the handful – Blueberries are a great snack! The sweetest version of this was in 2009 when I rented a blueberry bush in Michigan and came home with 17 pints of berries from “my” bush. While I rented again in 2010, I wasn’t able to make it over to pick the berries so the farm harvested them & cold shipped them to Artisan Mom instead.

What are your favorite blueberry recipes, uses, tastes? 

Baked Oatmeal: The Savory Edition

Apples & Bacon & Cheddar & Oatmeal…Oh, My!

When the family was here for Thanksgiving 2013, I made my first foray into Baked Oatmeal and have been hooked ever since. I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest and since I had fresh cranberries from the farm I had visited, it seemed like a great one to try. The recipe isn’t too fussy & since that first pan of it, I have made it numerous times – the fruit would vary based on what I had on hand – cranberries, apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears…all have been folded into the mixture.

Recently I have been thinking about savory oatmeal and even looked at recipes online – but nothing jumped out as “must try this.” I kept thinking of my go to baked oatmeal & wondered how to make it savory. Last weekend I mentioned my initial thoughts to Mom & we talked through some recipe modifications.

Last night, I gave it a go. I stirred up a pan of the oatmeal & popped it in the fridge for the overnight. This morning, I pulled the pan out of the fridge and popped it in the oven. I could hardly wait for the timer to ding and see if my “experiment” had worked. In a word, Yes! As I shared with others: Apples + Bacon + Cheddar = Delicious!

Savory Baked Oatmeal
1 1/2 c applesauce (unsweetened)
2 eggs
1/4 c maple syrup
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1 c milk (I used coconut)
2 c rolled oats (old fashioned)
1 apple (cored, peeled, chopped)
3/4 c bacon (chopped/crumbled crispy cooked)
1/2 c shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 & grease 8×8 baking dish
  2. Whisk together applesauce, eggs, maple syrup, baking powder, cinnamon
  3. Whisk milk into wet mixture
  4. Fold oats, bacon, apple & cheese into mixture
  5. Pour into baking dish & bake 40-45 minutes (until golden brown)

(Note: can be mixed assembled the night before, pull from refrigerator while preheating the oven in the morning)

With the “full on” winter weather this weekend looking ahead into this coming week, this warm and hearty breakfast is a good thing to get my day going and the “stick to your ribs” staying power to keep me going through my mornings of back-to-back-to-back conference calls.

When I was little, a favorite oatmeal was a packet of the instant brown sugar flavored oatmeal at Grandmas house on the weekend while watching Transformers cartoons. While I still like that flavor (& a packet today takes me back decades), since then I have enjoyed so many different iterations of oatmeal – from the stovetop…to the crockpot…to the baked versions. What are your favorite ways to eat oatmeal?

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