Friday, September 30, 2016

Savory Oatmeal with Crispy Apple Sausage and Drippy Egg

Quick truth bomb: we've been eating oatmeal wrong our whole lives.

Don't run away. I have to be honest, I had my doubts about savory oatmeal. Don't we only eat oatmeal as a vessel for melty brown sugar, lots of cinnamon and crunchy granola? That was the case until I had a bite of this Savory Oatmeal with Crispy Apple Sausage and Drippy Egg and everything I thought I knew about breakfast went out the window.

This is the actual breakfast of champions. Warm oatmeal, seasoned just slightly with a bit of salt and cracked black pepper, is the base. It's hearty and healthy and comforting. Then comes the star of the show: crumbled apple chicken sausage is cooked over high heat until it becomes brown and slightly caramelized. The texture and slight sweetness is out of this world. A drippy, sunny side up egg, over-seasoned with cracked pepper and red pepper flakes binds the whole dish together and keeps us full for hours. For crunch and freshness, chopped scallions are just the ticket. Oh, and how could I forget the cheddar cheese! Salty, melty, a perfect compliment to the apple and egg.

I don't really know what to say. I just love this oatmeal so much! It is absolutely going to be a regular breakfast for me this fall. And the varieties are endless! Oatmeal is such a versatile base that really anything goes - bacon and caramelized onions with goat cheese? Broccoli and cheddar? Ham and swiss? Ah!

I'd love to know - have you had savory oatmeal before? What are your favorite toppings? If you haven't, are you willing to try it? I don't want to be a nag, but I insist that you should. Oh, also, this meal comes together SUPER quick, sooo...why limit it to just breakfast? This has quick weeknight dinner written all over it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Recent Eats - Volume 3

A round-up of my favorite bites and other food drama from the past few weeks

It is officially FALL and that is something to celebrate. Whether you are obsessed with pumpkins, apples, winter squash, soups, stews, or casseroles, this is one of my favorite times of the year to cook and eat! 

Pumpkin Everything

I have quite a few pumpkin recipes on the blog, some of my favorites being Pumpkin Oat Waffles, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, and Pumpkin Martinis. This year, I want to experiment more with savory pumpkin recipes! In the meantime, I'm also going nuts with every pumpkin spice product the grocery store throws my way. 

Like yogurt...

 And Fudge Stripe Cookies...


Chili, baby!

Football season is in full swing and that always makes me crave a big pot of chili with all the fixin's. On opening day, I made a batch of my Mom's chili, but rather than cooking it on the stove I threw it in the Crockpot on high for 4 hours. For topping, I had plenty of sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips on hand. Combine this with a win for my team (the New York Giants!) and it turned into a pretty great Sunday!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini

This is so random, but I have been on a grilled sandwich kick recently. On Snapchat a few weeks ago, I made Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini that were to die for! The key components: chicken tenders, deli ham slices, and swiss cheese with mayo! Nestle it all between two slices of bread, butter the outside, and cook in a pan until golden brown and melty. I also use a grill press to really bind the whole sammie together. 

Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka a la Smitten Kitchen

I'm rather convinced that Deb can do no wrong. A true food blogging inspiration, I often find myself cooking a meal or two of hers every couple of weeks. This recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka is addicting! The spices are warm and comforting, while a dollop of greek yogurt cools the whole thing down. I had a few hearty helpings atop steamed white rice. Dinner bliss!

What are you cooking and eating and drinking this fall?! 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pretzel Bagels

Well my friends, we've done it.

We've combined two of the best bread products into one. It is as miraculous as you'd expect. It is also much easier than you might think, and that is pretty great too!

Pretzel Bagels. I don't know if there is much more to say (...that won't stop me from gushing about these beauties, of course). Deep, golden brown crusts with a sprinkle of pretzel salt, soft and chewy centers. The taste of soft pretzels in a bagel suit. Ugh, yes. This is what dreams are made of.

In order to make this breakfast dream a reality, there are a few key things we need. First, for the bagel part of it all: yeast, flour, and patience. Yeast will get activated in a bit of warm water with some sugar. This will bring our bagels to life, allowing them to puff up in a hot oven. Although bread flour is more commonly used in bagels because of its higher protein content, all-purpose flour is perfect for our needs in this recipe. It will create a crumb that is a little softer than a classic bagel and more reminiscent of a traditional soft pretzel. The dough won't be as lofty, but that's OK.

For the pretzel parts, we need a good bit of baking soda, an egg wash and pretzel salt. The bagels will take a quick dip in a pot of boiling water combined with baking soda. The baking soda changes the pH of the water and helps speed up the cooking process, creating that deep brown color on the outside of the pretzel bagels. The egg wash will create a sheen on the outside, and also act as the glue that keeps that irresistible salt on top. It's science!

So now that we know we can in fact make pretzel bagels, what on earth should we do with them? Here are a few ideas:

--Eat them warm, straight, right out of the oven
--Cut 'em in half and smear a bit of cream cheese all over, with a sprinkle of garlic and chives for good measure
--Make a breakfast sandwich, heavy on the cheese
--Whip up a batch of tuna salad and pile it high

The options are endless, but the good thing is, there ARE options. Lots of 'em. No matter how to slice it, they're sure to impress

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Martini


It's September which means it's pumpkin season and don't even try to argue that I need to wait until September 21st because I WILL NOT!

I'm not sure when exactly it became a crime to love pumpkin flavored everything, but all I know is if that's so wrong I do not want to be right. Fall is my favorite time of the year and this Pumpkin Pie Martini is further proof of it's seasonal greatness!

My mom, fully supporting my pumpkin addiction, found a bottle of pumpkin vodka that is the perfect autumn addition to my bar cart. It is also exactly what I needed to create this wonderful pumpkin cocktail, which will be on repeat for the foreseeable future.

Since pumpkin and cinnamon go so well together, Rumchata seemed like the perfect addition to this martini. Creamy, sweet, and smooth. Of course, any pumpkin pie martini needs a little spice and this one is lucky enough to include a wonderful homemade ginger simple syrup. Making your own syrups can really change the world of cocktails at home. See Blackberry Mint Juleps for reference.

If you, like me, were first in line at Starbucks on September 1st fully prepared to order a pumpkin spice latte and if you, like me, are willing to try nearly any product that they make into a "pumpkin" version, then you most definitely need to whip up a batch of my pumpkin pie martinis! Cheers to thirsty Thursday!