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Category Archives: Eggs

Easy Pork Fried Rice

Last weekend, my siblings and I planned a sneak attack on our mom, to surprise her for a birthday of some significance. With the greatest of stealth, we traveled to our hometown and gathered at Hotoke, a Japanese steakhouse style restaurant, which specializes in hibachi entrees and sushi. Our coup was a grand success. The birthday girl was beyond surprised, the food was delicious, and the laughs were plentiful. It was a fantastic evening.

We knew we were in for a fun time when the first thing our teppanyaki chef shouted was Sake Time! which was immediately followed by squirting everyone (except this pregnant lady) in the mouth with sake from a squirt bottle. The kids were squirted with water. Befuddled doesn’t even begin to describe their expressions. Moments later, the chef yelled Fire in the Hole! And he wasn’t joking. In an instant, the grill was covered with hot, blinding fire. My littlest guy has never moved so quickly into my arms. And he remained in my arms from that point on. He was clearly skeptical about this entire experience.

Our chef expertly prepared a feast of fried rice, shrimp, chicken, steak, lobster tail, and vegetables. As the food cooked, we were wowed by an onion ring volcano and kept busy by having bits of broccoli thrown at our faces. Though none of our party actually managed to catch a piece in our mouths, we all enjoyed laughing at each other as each person took their turn getting hit in the face with food. I’m not sure I can ever serve broccoli to my children again.

Amongst all of the evening’s exciting events, my three year old discovered that he loved chopsticks, steak, and fried rice. He takes after his mother with that love of fried rice! Most often, I get my fried rice on the side of my Orange Chicken from our local Chinese takeout restaurant. But, it’s incredibly simple to make at home and puts leftover rice, meat and veggies to great use. Our leftovers from last week’s roasted pork loin provided just what we needed for a bit of fried rice. You can customize this recipe using whatever leftover meat and veggies you have. I made use of our leftover pork, but you can easily substitute shrimp, beef, chicken, or create an all veggie version. Throw in whatever you’ve got on hand.

Pork Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2-3 Tbsp Oil (Vegetable, Peanut, Sesame)
  • 2 cups leftover White Rice
  • Carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • Green Onions, chopped
  • Leftover Roast Pork, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp Soy Sauce

Directions

Heat a little oil in a skillet over medium heat. Pour in the lightly beaten egg and cook until scrambled. Removed the scrambled egg and set aside. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in the same pan. Add the rice, veggies, and meat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until all ingredients are well heated. Add the scrambled eggs to the mixture. Pour soy sauce over the top and toss to combine.

Mission Fiesta

Tomorrow afternoon we will celebrate my little one’s second birthday. Where in the world did two years go?? It seems like only yesterday that I was waddling around, anxiously awaiting his birth. And now he’s this tiny little man. So utterly perfect.

I really love throwing birthday parties. There’s a good possibility that I actually enjoy throwing the party more than the kids enjoy celebrating the party. And with a little bit of thoughtful planning, I find it to be a relatively stress-free and enjoyable experience. In my opinion, a stress-free party is all about planning a menu which can be mostly prepared the day before and requires minimal fuss on the day off. I like dishes served cold or at room temperature or trays of food which can be reheated in the oven, while still maintaining their fresh taste and appearance. I avoid things like burgers, which need to be cooked in batches during the party and usually result in people standing around waiting for the platter to be refilled. I think burgers are great for barbecues, but for birthday parties, I like all the food to find its way to the table at the same time. Just my personal preference.

I also like to vary our party menus so that there’s always something new for our guests to enjoy. I’ve also got a few party standards, which I make again and again, like the Dinosaur Bar B Que Macaroni Salad. For this little fiesta, I’ll be serving an assortment of sandwiches and salads. Hopefully there will be a little something to delight everyone’s tastebuds.

Sandwich and Salad Party Menu

Sandwiches

Waldorf Chicken Salad on Pain de Campagne

Egg Salad on Marble Rye

Honey-Roasted Turkey Breast with Lorraine Swiss, Thinly Sliced Pears and Honey-Mustard on Mutligrain Baguette

PB&J on White

Roast Beef, Cheddar, and Apple with Horseradish Sauce on Onion Rolls

Prosciutto and Figs with Gorgonzola Cream on French Baguette

Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Red Tomatoes with Basil Pesto on Ciabatta

Salads

Dinosaur Bar B Que Macaroni Salad

Greek Couscous Salad

Ambrosia Salad

Napa Cabbage  Salad

Today’s mission was simple. Prepare as much of the food as possible.

I started with the Ambrosia Salad. Ambrosia is a childhood favorite of mine. Seriously, it’s hard to disappoint kids with a salad whose main ingredient is marshmallows. My Aunt Theresa is the queen of ambrosia, so I use her recipe, which couldn’t be simpler. There are no set measurements and it’s almost impossible to mess up. Simply mix a bag of mini marshmallows with a can or two of strained mandarin oranges and a can or two of strained pineapple tidbits. Then mix in about 1/2 cup of sour cream. If desired, throw in a cup of shredded coconut. Stir and refrigerate. Make a few hours or a day ahead of time. If desired, garnish with marashino cherries.

Next, I got to work on the Greek Couscous Salad, another simple and delicious side salad. Simply cook some couscous according to package directions. Allow it to cool for a few minutes. Then, I made a greek vinaigrette using lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, a bit of greek seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss the couscous in the dressing. Throw in some crumbled feta cheese, chopped kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes.

The macaroni salad is one of my recurring regulars. I use the Dinosaur Bar B Que recipe, found in their cookbook. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a bit of an aversion to mayonnaise. So, I tend to avoid salads dripping in mayo. The Dinosaur recipe is hands-down my favorite macaroni salad, since it incorporates a good amount of creole mustard into the dressing, which cuts the mayo consistency. The flavor is fantastic! The salad starts with a pound of small pasta shells. Throw in some chopped celery, tomatoes, and green peppers. For the dressing, combine a cup of mayo (Hellmans, of course) with 1/4 cup of Creole Mustard. (I tend to add a bit more mustard). Add a teaspoon of brown sugar, 4 cloves of minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss the dressing with the pasta and veggies, then refrigerate to cool.

My egg salad recipe couldn’t be simpler. Hard boil some eggs. Cool the eggs under cold running water. Remove the shells and cut the eggs in half. Remove the yolks and place in a bowl. Use a fork to crush the yolks. Combine with enough mayonnaise and mustard until creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Chop the egg whites and add to the bowl. Slice a few green onions and add. Stir until well mixed.

I prepared my recipe for Waldorf Chicken Salad, which you can find here and my Basil Pesto recipe, which you can find here. To keep things simple tomorrow, I also sliced the mozzarella and the figs and prepared the honey-mustard sauce, horseradish sauce, and gorgonzola cream for the sandwiches.

For dessert, I baked my little guy a giant cupcake, using my favorite chocolate cake recipe, found here. I decorated the top with a dumptruck and candy rocks, per his request.


I made a double batch of the cake batter, so that I could bake some cupcakes. But, I way overfilled the cupcake pan, which caused the cakes to overflow. They began to fall apart when I tried to remove them from the pan. They were not in any condition for frosting. So, rather than waste the perfectly tasty cakes, I made Muddy Cups; a perfect addition to the Construction theme we’ve got going on. I stuffed the slightly mangled cupcakes into the bottom of small plastic cups. Then I covered them with a scoop of chocolate pudding and sprinkled them with crushed Oreos and candy rocks.

I’ll also be serving a Caramel Apple Cake and Peanut Butter and Jelly Baklava. Those recipes will follow at a later date.


It was a productive day and we’re in good shape for tomorrow’s party. All that remains for tomorrow is composing the actual sandwiches, baking the Caramel Apple Cake, and decorating, of course! Should be a fun, stress-free, and tasty party!

Chorizo and Potato Frittata

During a recent episode of Man v. Food, host Adam Richman visited the city of Syracuse, the city I call home. Though, admittedly, I don’t regularly watch Man v. Food, I recorded this episode, since I’d heard there would be a segment featuring one of my favorite places, Dinosaur BBQ. And there was. But the segment which really caught my attention featured a place I haven’t been to, called Mother’s Cupboard, home of the six pound frittata. You heard me right. Six. Pound. Frittata.

Now this frittata is not like any frittata I’ve ever seen. If I had to guess, I’d say that about 5.95 pounds of it is composed of the fillings; sausage, peppers, onions, pepperoni, and a full pound of potatoes. The entire pile of food is bound together with 4 scrambled eggs and served with 4 ends of Italian bread. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE to eat and I have a very healthy appetite, but watching Adam Richman eat that entire mass of food turned my stomach just a bit. The small percentage of diners who do manage to eat the entire meal, as Mr. Richman did, get a T-shirt and their picture on the wall. I don’t think I’ll be attempting the challenge anytime soon, but it was sure fun to watch.

I like frittatas quite a bit and don’t make them nearly enough. Frittatas are an egg dish, similar to an omelet, filled with any combination of ingredients and typically finished in an oven. Once you’ve got the idea, the possibilities are infinite. They make a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re also perfect for using up leftover vegetables, cheese, or meat.

For my frittata, I made use of some chorizo I’ve been storing and a few potatoes I purchased for another meal. The potatoes get cooked with the chorizo and a bit of chopped onion. As the chorizo cooks, it releases its tasty flavor to coat the potatoes. Once the potatoes are tender, the egg mixture gets poured over the fillings, cooked for a few minutes on the stovetop (try not to burn the bottom like I did), then placed in the oven to finish. A bit of melty Fontina cheese adds the finishing touch.

Chorizo and Potato Frittata

Ingredients

  • 4 Baby Red Potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small Onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup Spanish Chorizo, chopped
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 1/3 cup Fontina Cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray an oven-proof skillet with cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium heat. Add the chorizo, potatoes, and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are tender. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Once the potatoes are tender, pour the egg mixture into the pan. Cook for a couple minutes until the eggs appear cooked around the edges. Sprinkle the fontina cheese over the egg mixture and place the pan in the oven.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until the eggs are completely cooked through. The top will appear golden brown and the center should look a bit puffy.

Serves 4

How to Poach an Egg

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Poached eggs can be prepared without any special equipment; no special egg rings or microwaveable poaching dishes required. The following photo guide will show you how to cook the perfect poached egg. Enjoy on a piece of toast or on an English muffin with hollandaise sauce!

Prepare your mise en place. You'll need a bowl of cool water, a small dish or ramekin, slotted spoon, white vinegar, egg, and a spoon or spatula.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to bring it down to barely a simmer.

Measure about 1/4 cup white vinegar per quart of simmering water. Add the vinegar to the simmering water. The vinegar will help the egg whites to come together.

Carefully crack an egg into a ramekin or small dish. Check that the yolk is intact and there are no pieces of shell. Use the freshest eggs possible.

One egg at a time, carefully lower the ramekin close to the water's surface and slowly pour the egg in. Make sure that the water is just barely simmering.

Use a spoon or spatula to gently push the whites over the egg.

Allow the egg to cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on how well you prefer the yolks to be cooked. (Three minutes should produce a fairly runny yolk with a cooked white.) Then, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg.

Place the egg in a bowl of cool water to rinse the vinegar and stop the cooking. If serving immediately, remove from the water and enjoy. If serving later, the egg can stay in the bowl of cool water. When you're ready to serve, gently lower the egg into a pot of barely simmering water for a minute or so to reheat.

Enjoy your perfectly poached egg!

Quiche Lorraine

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I’ve got a fridge full of leftover cheese that I don’t want to waste, including a large tub of shredded gruyere.  One of my favorite ways to use gruyere is in Quiche Lorraine. Doesn’t get much better than gruyere and bacon in a pie crust! I like to add sauteed onions, but if you’re not an onion fan, leave them out. Quiche makes a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal! It reheats nicely in the oven, making it a convenient dish to prepare ahead of time.

Today’s schedule does not include time for making a pie crust, so I’ll be using a frozen pastry shell. But, if you’re feeling sassy, go ahead and whip up your own buttery pie crust for this recipe!

Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, homemade or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 oz. bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If using a frozen pie crust, allow it to thaw in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before using. Line pie crust with a piece of foil.  Fill with dry beans.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and beans.  Return to oven for another 5 minutes. (You can save the dried beans to reuse as pie weights.)

In a saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter.  Saute the chopped bacon over medium heat until it is cooked, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from the pan and place it over a double layer of paper towels to remove the excess grease. Sprinkle the bacon into the pie shell. Add onions to the bacon grease remaining in the pan.  Cook onions for about 5 minutes until they are soft and slightly caramelized. Drain over a paper towel. Sprinkle the onions over the bacon.  Distribute the gruyere evenly over the bacon and onions.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, and seasonings.  Pour over the bacon, onions, and cheese, being careful not to overfill.

Place the pie shell on a baking sheet. Bake on the bottom rack for 35-45 minutes, until the filling has set in the middle. (You’ll know because it won’t wiggle anymore.)

Allow it to cool slightly before serving.  Serve with a side of spring greens and balsamic vinaigrette.

Quiche will keep well in the fridge for a couple days.  You can reheat it in a 200 degree oven until warm.

Latkes, Lox, and Eggs

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When we lived in Silver Spring, MD, my husband and I used to frequent a place called, Parkway Deli and Restaurant, a self-proclaimed “New York Style Deli”.  We never left disappointed or hungry.  Hands down, my favorite meal there was the Latkes, Lox, and Eggs. Lately, I’ve been day-dreaming of latkes, lox, and eggs.  I can hardly think of anything else. It’s a terrible thing to be so utterly distracted with two active toddlers running around! Something had to be done.

So, this morning I set out to recreate this tasty dish. My entire plan was nearly foiled when I discovered the seafood cooler to be completely void of smoked salmon. I had a moment of shear panic, which must have been evident on my face, since the Wegmans fishmonger, my hero of the day, promptly made several packages of smoked salmon appear. Crisis averted! Picked up some russet potatoes, some chunky applesauce, a few other groceries and headed home. Then, patiently (or rather impatiently) bided my time until my littlest son went down for his nap and I had my hands free to prepare the latkes.

I followed a recipe, which I found on my go-to site for recipes, www.foodnetwork.com.  I fried the latkes in batches, placing the cooked ones in a 300 degree oven to keep warm.  Once complete, I cleaned out my fry-pan, threw in a little butter, and fried my perfect egg…over-medium, thoroughly cooked white, slightly runny yolk. Then, stacked it all up in a neat little tower and served with a side of applesauce.

And, it was good.  As good as my Parkway Deli favorite?  I don’t think so.  Not sure what it was lacking though…maybe just that “someone else cooked it” quality.

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