Frittata Muffins While Feeling Lazy…

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After a hectic weekend traveling, Mondays are always a little rough in terms of organization and meal preps. Usually we are feeling super gross from pigging out all weekend, so we tend to prefer something clean and healthy. However, we are also feeling super tired, so want to cook something super easy that requires zero thinking. It had been a really long time since we made a frittata for dinner, so we decided to spruce it up by my making individual muffin size ones. Side note, we ate the entire muffin tray (4 eggs each…protein overload).

Eggs are certainly under rated for dinner, and you can do a lot of fun combos with various vegetables. We kept this one super healthy with lots of greens and added some deli sliced ham for protein. After downing 3 muffins each, it was safe to say no sides were necessary. I know they might look a little sloppy below, but I promise they were awesome….

And just to show you how tired I truly am, I sadly don’t even have any pics of little miss Char to update you all with….so here is a blast from the past below. It’s hard to believe she is almost 20 lbs, and started off SO little at just over 6 lbs.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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Ham & Veggie Frittata:

Ingredients: serves 3

  • 1/4 lb of deli sliced ham
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 table spoon of butter
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 2 peppers, chopped (any colors will do, we chose yellow and red)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 package of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil
  • pam spray (for muffin tin)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • salt & pepper

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat over to 425F, with popover/muffin pan inside.
  2. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic in olive oil until tender.
  3. Saute mushrooms seperately in olive oil until tender.
  4. Beat 8 eggs together in a mixing bowl. Add various spices like salt & pepper.
  5. Once all vegetables are room temperature, add them to the egg mixture. Add sliced ham and spinach as well, and mix together.
  6. Pour into the heated popover/muffin tray, until 3/4 full (keep in mind they do tend to rise-hence the photo above).
  7. Cook for 30 minutes, or until desire liking (we use the trick of inserting a knife into one of them, and if the knife comes out clean, it is fully cooked).

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Anniversary Sea Bass & Corn Puree

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Believe it or not, this delicious dish was actually inspired by Charlotte’s baby food. She tried corn puree for the first time last week, and I found myself eating off of her dish quite frequently, which got me thinking: why don’t we eat it this way?! In fact, why don’t we eat more vegetables this way?  The corn tastes super sweet when you blend it up like this, so it’s not surprising that Charlotte loved them. I thought a puree would go great underneath a flaky white fish. Nick and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary on Tuesday, and since things have been quite busy lately,  we decided to stay in and cook instead of going out to celebrate. We opted for this delicious sea bass, that required very little seasoning, because the fish itself is that good. The corn puree went perfectly with it, paired with a simple couscous side and an amazing red wine we had been saving to drink for a special occasion. This meal was delicious, and I honestly think it tasted like a dish you would order at a restaurant. I wish sea bass wasn’t so darn expensive, because it could easily make its way onto our weekly menu rotation.

Little bug continues to rack up those sky miles, as we just got back from celebrating my old roomate’s wedding in Hilton Head this weekend. It was so beautiful down there, and we had a really, really great time. Traveling definitely isn’t as easy as it used to be with a baby, but I will say it’s such a delight watching her check out new surroundings in different cities. We tried to take some family photos down there all dressed up, but failed once again at getting a good one with all 3 of us….someday 🙂

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Pan Seared Sea Bass & Corn Puree: serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 3/4-1lb of sea bass
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 garlic clove (diced finely)
  • 1 tea spoon of grated ginger
  • kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 tea spoons of cumin
  • a few table spoons of olive oil for roasting and searing purposes
  • 1 table spoon of butter

Instructions:

Corn Puree: 

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Toss the corn, garlic, and ginger with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, the cumin, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet, roast for ~25 mins, making sure corn stays yellow. Blend in food processor until smooth.

Sea Bass:

  1. If not already already portioned, cut the sea bass into ~1/4-1/3 lb. pieces. Salt & Pepper generously on both sides.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp each of butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Once the butter is completely melted, add the sea bass. Cook on one side until mostly cooked through, approximately 5 mins (fish should have formed a crunchy, golden crust.) Flip once, being careful to keep the fish together. Cook for another 3-5 mins, until fish is firm.

 

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Salmon Cakes & Tots…

 

Salmon burger 3.JPGTGIF everyone!!! What a crazy week it has been. Char and I were off in North Carolina, where she met her cousins for the first time, while Nick had a business trip in Miami. The week certainly flew by, and we had such a blast visiting with the fam…if only we lived closer 😦 I do think, however, that Lil Char was happy to be back in her crib again last night. The boys were so cute hugging her NON stop, but I think she was heavily over stimulated, judging by her insanely long naps and early bedtime today. So job well done boys:)

We wanted to eat something clean tonight, so opted for salmon cakes, which were a total hit! These were super easy to make and you certainly could add any veggie you want to the mix, but we went with some basic ingredients, and topped it off with an avocado mash and sriracha aioli, on a toasted bun. We kept the side simple, with some tater tots we found in the freezer.And I may or may not have had 1 and 1/2 burgers….no judgement please.

As for our weekly Char update…. Solids are still going well over here. So far orange vegetables seem to be her favorite, specifically yams and carrots. We also tried corn today for the first time, and she loved them. Honestly, I even enjoyed them a lot, serving myself in between her bites.  However, I do feel like throwing her in a bath after every meal because the OCD in me can’t stand watching her get so messy (but I’m far too lazy to do that in reality).

It’s crazy to see how much she’s changed over the past couple weeks. She’s becoming much more mobile, rolling non stop in every direction and really recognizing toys and people. When Nick walked in last night, I swear she lit up with the biggest grin yet. She definitely missed her Daddy and their usual AM wake up routine (so did mommy, as it buys her an extra 15-20 mins of sleep in the AM)!

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Salmon Cakes: serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3/4-1 lb of salmon
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of dill
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of panko crumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 table spoon of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 table spoon of salt & pepper
  • a few dashes of lemon juice
  • 1 tea spoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 table spoon of soy sauce

Instructions:

1) Lightly saute the onions, garlic, and red pepper (2-3 mins), let cool.

2) Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon into 1/4 inch cubes. See below.

3) Combine all ingredients, mixing by hand. Form into 3 large “meatballs”

4) Heat 1/2 tsp olive oil over medium heat, 2-3 mins. Place meatballs into the pan, pressing to form burger patties. Cook over medium heat until a crust has formed, approx. 5 mins. Flip once (you may have to use your hand to make sure the patties stay together). Cook on other side until crust has formed, ~ 5 mins

5) Place on bun and sprinkle with green onions and dill, or any other condiments you might enjoy.

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Mother’s Day Treats….

mint pea soupHappy Mother’s Day to all my fellow mama’s out there, and soon to be moms! What a treat it truly is to experience motherhood. I think I hugged Char a little longer today, kissed her more often, and certainly smiled/stared at her for longer lengths of time, as I realized just how blessed we truly are to have her in our lives this year! OK, enough sappy stuff, and onto the real thing I’m jazzed to write about…Chilled Mint Pea Soup. YUM!!!

Now I know the description of a cold soup may not be super appetizing, but I promise you this is hands down amazing. The idea is actually mimicking an incredible honey moon dinner we had in a Paris restaurant, which to this day we still talk about quite often. They served us chilled pea soup as an appetizer one night, and we were blown away with just how green they were able to get it (as well, how delicious it tasted). Recently, I discovered the chef’s secret at getting soups to show such vibrant colors. You basically want as little broth & water as possible, and want to load the dish up with its true main ingredient, the main vegetable. Nick was so sweet this am and went out and bought my favorite breakfast fixings…smoked salmon/eggs/avocado. Additionally, as a mother’s day treat, he picked up Challah (I know we aren’t Jewish, but I am recently obsessed w/ this bread). So we used what we didn’t eat of the Challah, to make amazing baked croutons to pour in the soup. We were super hungry, so threw in our usual chicken roast (recipe: Chicken Roast), to serve with the soup, and some amazing wine to close out the great weekend.

Char had a great first week of solids. Yams are a total hit. I mean who doesn’t love yams?? I find myself eating them off her plate even, to be perfectly honest. Next, we introduced Green Peas…and we didn’t get the same loving reaction. However,  I’m determined to keep trying for the next few days.  She got to ride in her jogger today, and had a great time visiting with friends, and hit up the swings in the park. We must have really worn her out however, because she passed out for the night, mid bottle. This week we have a bunch of traveling, with Nick going to Boston, and Char and I hitting up Charlotte to meet her cousins, so we probably won’t post again until the weekend… Prayers to an easy flight solo with her this time around!

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

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Chilled Mint Pea Soup

Ingredients: serves 4
– 1 large bag frozen peas (approx. 3 cups)
– 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
– 1 bunch fresh mint
– 2 cups chicken stock
– 1 thumb ginger (diced… piece of ginger the size of your thumb)
– 1 clove garlic (diced)
– 1 tsp dried parsley
– salt & pepper
– 2 tsp granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup milk
– 2-3 tbsp cream cheese, sour cream or craime fraiche
– 2 tbsp butter
– 3 slices challah
Instructions for soup:
1) Saute the garlic and onion in a saucepan over medium heat until soft, about 5 mins. Add the ginger, continue to saute for another 2-3 mins.
2) Add 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup cold water, bring to a boil. Add the frozen peas, dried parsley, and granulated sugar. Add a little extra chicken broth and water until peas are just covered. Bring back to a boil, simmer until peas are cooked, about 5 mins. Remove from heat.
3) Add the mint, cream cheese/sour cream/craime fraiche (to be honest, we used some chive cream cheese that we had leftover from brunch, and it was great!), milk, and salt & pepper (to taste). Blend in a food processor/with an immersion blender until smooth. Let cool on a counter, then pour into whatever bowl you’re going to serve it in, cover, and put in the fridge. Allow to fully cool, ~4-5 hours. If you don’t have that much time, put it in the freezer for a while.
Instructions for Croutons:
1) Cut challah into 1/2 inch cubes (remove crusts)
2) put into a single layer on a baking sheet, toss with extra virgin oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 until toasted, ~5 mins.

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Meat & Milestones …

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We had lots to celebrate yesterday! Not only was it Cinco de Mayo, which was obviously enough of a reason to throw a happy hour, it also happened to be Nick’s birthday (for his sake I won’t list how old) & Charlotte’s 6 month birthday. On top of that, we got the green light from the doctor to start solids this week. She has already had oatmeal and yams (separately) in the past few days. I posted a video below so you could see how the first few times went (my apologies my video taking skills are poor). I’d say the oatmeal was a breeze, and the yams definitely threw her for a loop at first, but now she’s full throttle into them! I heard yams are a good starting vegetable, so hopefully we don’t have an epic fail with the next vegetable we introduce. PS After her weight in at the doctor’s, I can’t say I was surprised by her hungry appetite, coming in at 19lbs strong (no wonder my back is KILLING me).

In true celebration form, here is one of our favorite go to meals, which has never let us down. This Balsamic pork rub is SO SO easy and you can prep it ahead of time, with ingredients guaranteed to be already sitting in your spice cabinet. We usually don’t have leftovers when we cook this roast, which is quite scary, because it’s only the two of us eating over 1 lb of meat. However, I’d like to consider it lean, so it’s OK in my book! We top of the dish with simple asparagus that is baked in a balsamic glaze and a simple couscous.

Balsamic Glazed Pork and Asparagus: serves 2-3

Ingredients:

For the pork:

  • 1 lb of pork tenderloin
  • 1 table spoon each of salt & pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 packet of Italian spice salad dressing mix (I use the Italian good seasons packet found in the salad dressing aisle-see link below)
  • It’s not not necessary, but I do add these spices to the mix as well, to give it a little more kick: about 1 table spoon each
    • cumin
    • garlic powder
    • chili flakes

For the asparagus:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 4 table spoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 table spoons of honey
  • salt & pepper

Instructions:

*It works best if you marinate the pork ahead of time, giving it a few hours to soak in. You can also cook the asparagus the same time as the pork, maybe pulling it out 5 minutes before (depending on the heat of your oven)

For the Pork:

  1. In a bowl mix together 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, Italian spice packet, and additional spices. Stir vigorously.
  2. Add in 2 table spoons of red wine vinegar and  1 table spoon of water to the mix.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the mix. Stir vigorously again.
  4. Pour marinade into a large zip lock bag and place pork tenderloin inside. *I prefer to salt and pepper the pork generously before throwing it in the bag. Toss the bag around a little to get the mix to adsorb into the meat, then store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  5. Preheat over 425F
  6. Take pork out of the bag and place on a baking tray. You can pour the remaining marinade onto the roast.
  7. Bake in oven for 35 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 150F. Let pork rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. We usually cook the couscous while we wait to slice, since that is a quick 5 minute thing to do.

For the Asparagus:

  1. Wash and cut ends off of asparagus, and spread evenly onto a baking tray.
  2. In a mixing bowl mix together 4 table spoons of balsamic vinegar and 3 table spoons of honey. Drizzle generously all over tray. Follow with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Lastly, I drizzle a good amount of olive oil (about 1/4 cup) all over as well.
  3. Bake asparagus in oven at 425F for 30 minutes, or until tender. If desired, you can re sprinkle some of the balsamic honey mix when there is about 5 minutes left in the oven, to give it a nice glaze.

Click below for Char’s first yams:

First yams…

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Happy Birthday and Half Birthday to my two favorite people xoxo

 

For Those Pizza Lovers …

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If it was feasible to not gain 300 lbs, I would eat pizza every night for the rest of my life. I just never get sick of it, and no matter what toppings you put on it, I’ll eat it.

This Chicken Pesto flat bread was down right amazing. Nick came up with the idea because he was craving pesto of some sort. So we hit up the local pizzeria on our walk home from the park and bought some fresh dough. Side note, we have tried to make our own dough before, and realized when it comes to flat breads, it’s much easier to spend the 3$ at your local pizza shop and it will save you a ton of time.

The great part of flat breads is you can get as creative as you wish, and always change it up each time. We like to load it up with a ton of veggies and always a protein of some sort. Instead of a tomato sauce or cheese base, we incorporated the pesto spread. We topped it with grilled chicken, sauteed spinach, red peppers, red onions, and jalapenos.  P.S. Half way through the dish, we realized we had forgotten to sprinkle the feta cheese on top. Honestly though, with the strong pesto taste, you really don’t need it.

Little Miss Char has a big week coming up. We are starting solids after our doctors appointment today. Say a nice prayer for us that it goes smoothly!! It’s also Nick’s birthday on Thursday, so it’s time to get some of his favorite things and wrap some gifts. Not going to lie, it’s been a rocky last few days here in the Langan household, as Char has come down with a little bug and has not been herself (and by not been herself, I mean I have had to hold her non stop for about 48 hours).  However, she woke up today with all smiles, so we are hoping we are through the worst! Luckily, she timed her bug quite well, considering we have our doctors appointment today anyways.

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Pesto Chicken and Spinach Flat Bread: 

Ingredients: serves 4

For the pizza:

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced and roasted
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese (optional)
  • dash of cornmeal

For the pesto:

  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 cup of pine nuts or pecans (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 dash of chili flakes
  • 1 dash of kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 dash of lemon juice

Directions for the pesto:

  1. In a food processor, coarsely chop the basil with 2 tsp of olive oil. Add the rest of the spices, garlic, and pine nuts and blend until you get the desired texture (I like it fairly finely blended). Add additional salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste.

Directions for the pizza:

  1.  Heat the oven to 475 with the pizza stone inside (you want the pizza stone to be hot to get the bottom crispy.
  2.  Dust the surface you’re going to make the pizza on (we just used a plastic cutting board) with a generous amount of cornmeal.
  3. Form the pizza dough into a pizza crust. We spun it in the air a few times, but mostly cheated and just spread it with our hands on the cutting board. You want it to be pretty thin in the area you put the toppings, and the crust should be thinner than you’d guess (about the same size as your finger… believe me, it puffs up a lot.)        *** hint: only add the toppings right before you transfer the pizza to the oven, or the crust will start to get soggy and stick to your work surface!
  4. Add the pesto, spreading evenly, as well as the onions and red peppers. Brush the crust with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Place in oven for ~15 mins.
  5.  While the pizza starts baking, prepare the blackened chicken. Butterfly the breasts, salt, & pepper, then sprinkle generously with equal parts cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano, thyme. Cook over medium/high heat until spices are blackened and chicken is cooked.
  6. Slice the breasts thinly, then add to the cooking pizza.
  7.  Once the pizza is pretty much done (~25 mins, but check after 20 to see how it’s coming along), mix the spinach with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and add it to the pizza. Also add the feta (if desired). You only want to cook the spinach for 1-2 mins, as it wilts quickly.

Below are a few weekend pics … Happy almost 6 months little bug!

 

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