Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Applesauce and Oatmeal "Muffin Tops"

The past two weeks I've been on a bit of a muffin kick.  In my WIAW post two weeks ago I promised y'all the recipe for these beauties:

I finally got my act together and posted the recipe.  You can find it here.

Breakfast this week's WIAW was also muffin themed.  I say themed, because these aren't exactly muffins:

Applesauce and Oatmeal Muffin Tops

To be completely honest, these were thrown together in an effort to use up my gigantic jar of applesauce.  Although the recipe is essentially a (healthy) cookie recipe, the texture of these breakfast beauties is like the spongy, soft, and moist top of a muffin (a.k.a. the best part of a muffin).  Muffin top, cookie, breakfast disc- whatever you want to call these, they are quite delicious (particularly when topped with peanut butter) and make for a filling first meal.  Recipe at the end of this post!

Lunch was (as per usual) leftovers from the night before:

Sauteed beet greens and a bean and nooch burrito.  The bright orange tortilla is courtesy of Trader Joe's (Habanero Lime!), and the (not) re-fried bean filling is from this lady's recipe.  Seriously though, these burritos get made at least once a month.  The beans are so tasty, easy, and cheap!  Just like your mom, hahaha.  (Yeah, I just made a 'your mom joke'- deal with it.)  

Moving on...

Dinner was another routine menu item:

Lacinato Kale Salad and

I normally buy curly kale, but this week the dinosaur kale was looking particularly awesome, and this  pasta is one I've been making all summer.  The savoury notes of thyme and pecorino are beautifully balanced with the earthy sweetness of the beets.  Plus, it's a really pretty bowl of pasta.  You can find the recipe here.  Now as promised, the recipe for the muffin tops!

Applesauce and Oatmeal Muffin Tops


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins


1.  Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a large baking sheet.  In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and spices.  In a smaller bowl combine the egg, vanilla extract, sugar, and applesauce.

2.  Slowly combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well mixed.  Stir in the cranberries and raisins until evenly distributed.  Spoon the batter onto the baking sheet, about 2 tbsp per top, and press lightly to flatten.  These tops don't increase in size much when baked, they pretty much stay about the same size.

3.  Bake the muffin tops until lightly golden on the bottom, about 10 minutes.  Let stand and cool for another 5 minutes (they need this time to set up properly).  Eat alone, or topped with a nut butter.  My batch yielded approx. 15 tops.

Happy WIAW Everyone!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Honey Sage Corn Muffins

Summer is winding down and although I'm enjoying the last burst of summer produce, I am really looking forward to fall foods.

I've been managing to get small tastes in, one of which has been supplied by one of my very favorite herbs- sage.  I've been buying beautiful bunches of it for the past couple of weeks.  The only trouble I've been having is trying to find a use for it all since most recipes only call for a couple of leaves.

This recipe was born of the desire to use as much of my bunch as possible, and I'm happy to say that it was a success!

These muffins are moist, slightly sweet, and the savory sage manages to make its presence known without being overbearing.  They make an excellent breakfast or snack.

Honey Sage Corn Muffins


1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
12 medium to large sage leaves, finely minced (about 3 tbsp)
12 small sage leaves
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup 2% milk


1.  Preheat the oven to 400F and grease a 12 cup muffin tin.  In a large bowl mix together the corn meal, flour, minced sage, baking powder, and salt.  In a smaller bowl mix together the eggs, sugar, milk, butter, and honey.

2.  Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined and mostly smooth.  Try and only mix as much as needed to bring together.  Let the batter rest 3-4 minutes.  Divide the batter into each of the 12 muffin tins, and top with a sage leaf.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned.  Let cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan by running a knife around the edge of each muffin.

I Heart Nap Time

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

So many kinds of greens!

Hi everyone out in WIAW land, I hope you've been having a great summer!  I've had a bit of a break from blogging, but I'm jumping back in the game.


This summer has been a really awesome one for me.  It marks the end of my first year since graduating from college *tear*, and I've got to say, it's so much better than last year's post-graduation summer of self-loathing.  (Recent grads my heart goes out to you, it will get better.)  This summer has been filled with free concerts, a relaxing vacation, and loads of gorgeous produce from the farmers market.  This last Sunday is a particularly good highlight of my farmers market finds, and also happens to be full of my summer staples!


I absolutely adore frittatas, and this one was particularly delicious.  You can find the recipe here.    
In case you didn't know, radish greens (yes the things on top of the radishes!) are edible, and very delicious.  I've been buying a bunch on the weekly, and I always make sure to use the greens. 


I made these babies shortly after breakfast, and I couldn't resist trying one!  They are absolutely delicious, with a slight sweetness and notable but not overpowering hint of sage.  Recipe coming soon!  You can find the recipe here.


Beet Greens with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

Lunch was a more thrown together affair, using some leftover black beans I had cooked the day before and a lonely little sweet potato.  Beet greens are another delicious topper that many people don't realize you can eat.  They actually are related to swiss chard, and have a very similar taste.  Of course I couldn't resist another Honey and Sage corn muffin.  So good!


Crimini and Kale Casserole

This dish is pretty much all of my favorite things baked in one delicious dish: whole wheat shell pasta, caramelised onion sauce, sauteed crimini mushrooms and kale, and a smattering of bacon topped off with a sprinkling of sharp white cheddar.  It's a decadent and delicious meal that is still (relatively) healthy.  Recipe coming soon!

All in all, Sunday was a beautiful day jammed pack of wonderful eats.  I topped it all off with a pink otter pop, because everyone knows that's the best flavor.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Don't take your tops off! (Or at least wait until you get home.)

I have the privilege and pleasure of frequenting the Union Square Farmer's Market every Saturday morning.  It really has been spectacular the past couple of weeks, with each stand absolutely bursting with fresh summer produce.

My favorite stand always seems to have the most beautiful radishes- bright fuchsia in color, firm and unblemished with verdant tops.  At $1 a bunch I make sure to buy some every week.  So do many of the other shoppers, but it amazes me at the number of people that ask to have the radish greens removed.

In all fairness, I wasn't aware myself that you could eat these delicious leaves until earlier this summer.  
A little research via google turned up a simple radish green soup, and we've been inseparable ever since.  I've found that radish greens remind me of a cross between arugula and mustard greens: peppery, with a slight tang, and they become tender when cooked (as opposed to sturdier greens ala kale and collards).

I typically eat them sauteed with a little olive oil and garlic.  This morning they found their way into this delicious frittata:

Farm Fresh Frittata 

I realized this morning while tucking in that almost all of the ingredients for this meal came from the farmers market (everything but the bacon and spices).  Not terribly relevant, but I'd like to think that very fresh ingredients do bring something to the table.

3 large eggs
1 medium yellow potato, small diced
1 large yellow onion, small diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 bunch of radish greens, washed and chopped small
small handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp bacon grease (or other cooking fat)
pinch of curry powder
salt and pepper to taste


1.  In a medium oven safe skillet, heat the bacon grease and cook the onions with salt and pepper over medium heat until softened and slightly browned.  Add the garlic and cook another minute until fragrant.  Add the potatoes and enough liquid (water, chicken stock, etc.) to almost submerge them.  Salt and pepper, cover, and let simmer until potatoes are tender, about ten minutes.
2.  In a small bowl beat the eggs with salt, pepper, and a pinch of curry powder (trust me on this one).  Once the potatoes have finished cooking add in the radish greens, cooking until tender and wilted.  Add the bacon and cherry tomatoes, and stir to combine everything evenly.  Flatten the ingredients in the pan and pour the egg mixture in, shifting the pan to distribute the eggs.
3.  Turn on the broiler to high.  Continue cooking the fritata on the stove until the bottom 2/3 or so of the egg has set.  Remove from the stove and place under the broiler until egg is fully cooked and slightly browned.

Be sure to check out I heart Nap Time for a lot of other great recipes!

I Heart Nap Time

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Baked eggs for breakfast? Yes please!

Like most people, I'd say my life is pretty full of routines.

Monday through Friday is the whole work thing : wake- work- sleep- repeat.  Sure, sometimes it's a drag, but I usually consider myself lucky because:

a.  I have a job, and
     b.  It's pretty awesome.

Photo of me on the job.  Not really.  Maybe?

My routines even bear their regulated head during my weekends, most notably on Saturday, a.k.a. grocery shopping day.

I never really thought grocery shopping was all that big of a deal growing up.  In the suburbs all you have to do is jump in your car, go to the store, and carry the bags into the house- no big.

Now that I live in the city, I've found things to be a bit more complicated...

Grocery shopping now involves elaborate planning (to stick to a budget), annoying transportation (about a 90 minute round trip), and the logistics of carrying/ carting back a weeks worth of groceries.

But really, the most daunting question I face before my taxing Saturday morning trek is:

What am I going to eat to fuel this shopping excursion?

Sometimes (if I roll out of bed pretty late, or kind of hung over) it's clothes on, out the door, and pick up a bagel on the way to the train.

Other mornings when I wake up early and I'm feeling a little more ambitious I take the time to make my own breakfast. And yes, it's better than a bagel.

Lately, I've been really into this quick fix:

Baked Egg with Tomato Sauce (a.k.a. Pizza Eggs)

I use up the remaining bit of pizza sauce (bear with me here) from Friday night's homemade pizza.  I imagine you could make this with any kind of tomato based sauce (leftover marinara and the like), but this particular pizza sauce is SOFUCKINGOOD!  I generally have to restrain myself from eating it straight from the pot.

Seriously though, the creamy baked eggs when combined with this sauce and a little bit of mozzarella = heaven in a ramekin.  Scoop it up with toast fingers, or eat it with a spoon- this breakfast is incredibly delicious, easy, and far more satisfying than a bodega bagel.

Baked Eggs with Tomato Sauce
serves 2


2 eggs (preferably from the farmers market)
1/2 cup Best Ever Pizza Sauce (or whatever you happen to have)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste


1.  Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 425F.
2.  In two small ramekins or oven safe bowls, divide half of the sauce.  Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of mozzarella each.  Crack an egg into each bowl, keeping the yolk intact.  Sprinkle with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and garlic powder.  Cover the eggs with the remaining pizza sauce, and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
3.  Bake for 13-15 minutes until the eggs are set.  Allow to cool a few minutes before eating, and serve with toasted bread.

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