Saturday, February 15, 2014

Berry Popsicles

Chicago is a frozen tundra right now. To pretend like it's nice outside, I decided to make some delicious but healthy Popsicles. These didn't make it warmer out, but it certainly brightened my mood!

  • Banana
  • 1 c. frozen berries (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry)
  • 1 c. mango and pineapple coconut water
  1. Add all ingredients to blender
  2. Pour in Popsicle maker
  3. Wait until frozen


Croque Madame Sandwich


When I was in Paris, I ate one of the most delicious sandwiches I have ever have in my life. It was cheesy, creamy, and had a fried egg on top. I hadn't eaten anything like it, and I still haven't. I wanted to make it for myself, so I did a little research and figured out that in fact it was a Croque Madame Sandwich (it's a Croque Monsieur Sandwich without the fried egg). This technically means a toasted ham and Swiss sandwich. Now, I don't really like ham, and I hate swiss (the only cheese I don't care for), so I changed this to meet my tastes.

Let me tell you, my stomach just grumbled thinking about this sandwich. It was definitely one of the top 10 things I have made and eaten. And in no way is this healthy, so enjoy every bite!!

This recipe makes one sandwich, but will give you a ton of leftover sauce if you want to make more (or add it to a pasta).

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 4 slices white American cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 slices bread (I only had multigrain on hand, but a harder French bread would have been even better)
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat until starts to bubble
  3. Add in flour and whisk for 2 minutes
  4. Add milk, continuing to whisk, until thickens. Don't turn the heat up! This will take awhile but it's worth it
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in 2 slices of white American cheese and half of Parmesan
  8. Toast bread in toaster
  9. Spread each half of bread with mustard. Top with bacon and white American cheese
  10. Top with other slice of bread
  11. Put sandwich on cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray
  12. Top with sauce and sprinkle on remaining Parmesan cheese
  13. Bake for 5 minutes, and then broil for 4 minutes. Careful not to burn the cheese! 
  14. Top with fried egg 


Avocado Grilled Cheese


I have eaten grilled cheese about 10 different ways since starting this cooking journey. I was thinking about what else to do, and thought I could add avocado. Excellent combination!

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2 slices of cheese (I used white American)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Bacon fat
  1. Slice avocado into "fries"
  2. Coat one side of each slice of bread with bacon fat
  3. Top other side of bread with cheese and avocado
  4. Assemble sandwich 
  5. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat
  6. Add sandwich, and then flip over when cooked


Zucchini Noodles


For Christmas I got a spiral slicer and I love it (more details found on my Sweet Potato Egg Nest link). I did it with zucchini today and it was amazing! It makes a ton of noodles, and they actually taste very similarly to noodles.

  • Zucchini
  • Egg
  • 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  1. Spiral slice zucchini and add to colander (I gave the rest of the zucchini to my dog)
  2. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes (this helps draw the water out)
  3. Rinse off salt and dry with paper towel
  4. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add zucchini noodles
  5. Add an egg if you want and cook for 5-10 minutes
I scrambled the egg up, tossed with cheese and cayenne pepper. Loved it!



Bacon Wrapped Avocado

Bacon. Avocado. Combined. No more needs to be said.

  • Half way cooked bacon (best way to cook bacon here
  • Avocado
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut avocado into long slices
  3. Wrap with bacon and either tuck bacon under or secure with toothpick
  4. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked
  6. Let cool


Oven Baked Shredded Carrot Fries

I'm really into turning vegetables into things that aren't as healthy, such as pasta. Here, I experimented with fries. These were so easy, super crispy, healthy, and delicious!

  • Shredded carrots
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Shred carrot yourself, or buy already shredded carrots (this is what I did)
  3. Make sure carrots are completely dry
  4. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and add carrots
  5. Spritz with oil, enough to cover everything but not too much that it's drowning the fries
  6. Coat with hands
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt
  8. Bake until crispy. These cook really fast because they're so thin (you can see in the pic above some of mine burned a bit). Keep a close watch every few minutes!


Baked Egg Cups

There's a phrase that you're supposed to "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper." While I probably eat all three meals (and snacks) like a king, I like the idea of eating most of your food in the beginning of the day and eating less throughout. I usually just eat Greek yogurt for breakfast as I like to wake up at the last possible second before going to work, but I liked the idea of prepping something beforehand that was quick to grab, filling, but still super healthy.

My Mom got me Ramekins for Christmas and I was so excited to start using them. To start, I made one egg cup with a cut up turkey sausage circle, torn spinach, and shredded cheddar cheese. It was so delicious, so I decided to make a bunch to get ready for the week. They were delicious! I made 4 because I had a 4 day week, but you could make more or less depending on how many you need. Two I ate cold, and two I popped in the microwave for 30 seconds before leaving. Yum!

  • Eggs (one per Ramekin)
  • Meat (optional - I use turkey sausage)
  • Veggies (I used broccoli, spinach, avocado, tomato, onion)
  • Spices (I used parsley, oregano, and red pepper flakes)
  • Cheese (I used shredded cheddar cheese)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk together eggs, meat, veggies, and half of cheese
  3. Spray Ramekins with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet
  4. Fill Ramekins evenly with mixture, trying to get an even mixture of ingredient in each cup
  5. Top with spices and rest of cheese
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until eggs are cooked to your liking
I let them cool, popped them out of the Ramekins, and kept them in a sealed glass dish until I wanted one for breakfast. I will be making these tomorrow morning!

On my whole30 challenge, I took out the cheese, and added in some browned turkey:



Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon wrapped dates are one of the most delicious appetizers. I rarely get them, but whenever I do I always can't believe how delicious they are. And in stuffed goat cheese - amazing! Andrew's sister and Andrew and I went out to eat at a tapas place by us, and we got these. They were great but also really expensive. I figured why not try to make them at home.

  • Bacon
  • Dates
  • Goat cheese
  • Toothpicks 
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Either buy pitted dates, or cut pit out of date
  3. Stuff with goat cheese
  4. Cut bacon in half
  5. Wrap each date with half of bacon slice and secure with toothpick
  6. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray
  7. Place dates on foil
  8. Put in oven for 20-25 or until crispy (I like mine really crispy almost burnt)
  9. Let sit for 10 minutes before eating


Cinnamon Role Casserole

My husband loves cinnamon roles. Last Christmas I saw this recipe on the Pillbury website for a cinnamon role casserole. I made it and he (and his entire family) absolutely loved it. I had book club a few weeks ago (we read I Am Malala) and I thought it would be fun to bring this as a dessert. I halved some parts of the recipe, but left other parts of the recipe whole, and thought it turned out really moist and delicious! It seems really soupy at first, but the rolls absorb all of the liquids while baking. I even forgot the icing and it was still good, kind of like a monkey bread. I would suggest remembering the icing though!

  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 can cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Pour melted butter in a baking dish and spread around
  3. Get rolls out and tear into 8 pieces each. Place in baking dish
  4. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, cream, cinnamon, and vanilla
  5. Pour over cinnamon roll pieces 
  6. Sprinkle pecans over (I did half with pecans, half without) and drizzle with syrup
  7. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown
  8. While cooling, heat icing in microwave and pour over casserole


 Original recipe here

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fried Egg Topped Grilled Cheese


I LOVE grilled cheese. I probably eat it at least once a week. I also love friend eggs. So I figured - why not combine the two?! The yolk combined perfectly with the melted cheese. I can't wait to make this again.

  • Two slices of bread
  • Two slices of cheese (I used white American)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 egg
  1. Set nonstick pan over medium heat
  2. Spread one side of each slice of bread with half the butter
  3. Combine bread and cheese, and add to pan with butter side down
  4. Cook until desired bread doneness and flip
  5. When both sides are done, remove from heat
  6. Add other half of butter to pan until melted
  7. Crack egg onto pan and cook until desired doneness (I like mine a little runny)
  8. Top sandwich with egg