French Toast Alert System may be activated, but I have my own comfort snow foods. Big pot of soup on the stove:
- 1 lb ground beef (or 1/2 ground beef, 1/2 spicy Italian sausage)
- 1/4 of a small onion, chopped
- 24 oz diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach, cleaned
- 8 oz sliced carrots (I use frozen)
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 cup water, more as needed
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
- 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (opt)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan for garnish
- spinach chiffonade for garnish
In saucepan, brown ground beef and onions. In a blender, blend together spinach and tomatoes, until smooth*. Add to beef mixture, along with vegetables and spices. Bring to low boil, stirring frequently, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with Parmesan and spinach chiffonade. Makes 4 generous servings.
*Blending the spinach, tomatoes together gives you a nice hearty tomato base for the soup. You can add some additional spinach leaves at the end if you like, letting them get limp but not overcooked.
I’m a horrible pet person. I don’t remember my pets birthdays or when they arrived. I don’t buy them Christmas presents or dress them in cute outfits. Occasionally I throw embarrassing reindeer antlers on the dogs. As you can see Bixby is not amused.
This is where he spends his days – right next to my desk, snoozing. It’s hard to believe this is his second Christmas (even harder to believe it’s Zander’s third). I was looking at photos from last year and he was pretty big then, even though he was only 6 months old. But nothing like now. He’s almost 160 lbs, and 35″ at his shoulders. His head is pretty much as big as he was at 8 weeks when I picked him up.
He was standing next to me the other day and I reached my hand down to pet him and wondered why anyone would have a “regular” sized dog. I guess I’m just a Giant Breed kinda person.
Between snow storms we had a nice play date at our friends’ property. It was bittersweet because they just lost their dog and Bixby would periodically go to the backdoor and look for him.
Bixby is an awesome dog, but not an easy dog. He never eats cat food (even though it is easily accessible), never takes food off the counters, he’s been good about the chewing – other than a few pairs of flip-flops – and is pretty good with boundaries. He LOVES people, he adores his cats and still cannot understand why they are indifferent to him (after all he is an AWESOME dog) and is pretty good with other dogs.
But Bixby is also a very alpha dog. Every day begins anew, I remind him he is the low rung on the ladder in the household and he gives me the “maybe” look. And many times during the day I must remind him that he is not in charge. I should have known within thirty minutes after I picked him up that he was going to be a challenge. He made it clear he was not one to be bossed, even then.
It’s constant and sometimes exhausting, but I swear to you I would not have it any other way. He has such a big spirit, such joy. He makes me laugh, even when he’s turned his big body into granite so I can’t move him and he won’t listen to anything. He does test my patience when he decides to drag me down the street to see some new friend. But wait, there’s more! Click to read
I wanted to tackle breakfast because with lots of people visiting over the holidays, it can be fun to do something special for breakfast. I had a breakfast pizza recipe tucked away for a while and I was on the hunt for the perfect crust. I finally stumbled upon some terrific flat bread, something I have been looking for since moving to Colorado. I was spoiled in Boston and LA, where every store had a locally made brand stocked. So with a nice flat bread I was ready to tackle tonight’s featured recipe.
But let’s begin with something sweet that was great fun to get the kids involved with, French Toast Rollups, recipe here.
I like this Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake because, well, pecans and streusel, but also because I can make it and leave it out for everyone to enjoy at their leisure with coffee.
I also have a Blueberry Coffee Cake, along with a full dinner menu and recipes here (because coffee cake, not just for breakfast).
Finally, for Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes, click here.
What’s on your plate for the weekend? If you’re cooking for Thanksgiving, what’s on your menu?
For tonight’s featured recipe, I snagged some of JeffreyW’s photos (top and middle of the post) to illustrate the many forms these pizzas can take. I made single pizzas, topped with an egg and lots of cheese. The ideas are endless. But below is a recipe for the basics.
Crust: flat bread, naan, pita bread or a pizza dough
Toppings: I used olive oil, breakfast sausage, mozzarella, spinach, garlic and an egg for each individual pizza.
To assemble: on a baking sheet arrange the crusts, brush lightly with oil, then spread roasted garlic, add crumbled (uncooked) breakfast sausage and shredded cheese, leaving a space in the center for the egg. I used the sausage and cheese to create a well for the egg.
At this point you have two choices, you can leave it on the baking sheet or move it to the oven rack. Because I was using flat bread and it was stable, I moved it to the oven rack and then added the egg into the well (I cracked the egg into a bowl and then transferred to the pizza, it seemed a smarter way to manage it all). You can also scramble the egg and pour slowly over the ingredients.
Bake at 450 degrees until the egg is cooked. I lost track of time and let the egg cook too long, I would have preferred a soft yolk. Remove, top with chopped spinach and serve immediately.
That’s it for this week. No recipe exchange next week because I’m assuming we will all be in a food coma. Have a great weekend and an excellent holiday. – TaMara
And for those who missed it, dinner menu this week is Spicy Potato Soup and Mocha Cake, menu, recipes and shopping list here. Great for a non-turkey meal to serve to company.
When I’m expecting company for the holidays, I usually indulge in baking sweet treats that can be enjoyed with coffee for breakfast, at people’s leisure. I love a good coffee cake. Add pecans and I’m sold.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Pecans
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsps vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsps cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 ½ cup whole pecans
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsps orange juice
4 mixing bowls
Bundt pan, greased and floured
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Using a spatula, scrape the sides and bottom to make sure the mixture if fully combined.
For the streusel, crumble the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl (I use a fork or pastry cutter). Gently mix in pecans.
Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and place on a serving plate. Whisk the powdered sugar and orange juice together, adding a more OJ if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.