Tag Archives: brunch

Weekly Eating – 2/18/19

 

 

Hey y’all! Welcome to the series Weekly Eating.

Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise. I hope it gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into our life through the lens of food, and it’s also a way to keep us on track with meal planning and grocery budgeting.

Feel free to share your wins and lessons in the comments below!

 

 

Over the weekend I had many adventures, mostly food related of course. I pickled some carrots, cauliflower, and beets. They turned out pretty great. I had a food tour on Saturday that was super fun, everyone was very talkative and there for a good time.

Durham Food Tour

I finally got my egg incubator! That meant that I got to put 14 of my quail eggs in for their 18 day journey. I am impatiently waiting and checking the temp and moisture levels daily. We should have baby chicks by the first week of March and I cannot wait!

quail egg incubator

And Erin from ReachingForFI was in town! We went to AYCE sushi on Sunday, and made an impressive tower of empty plates. She was the most perfect house guest and is welcome back any time.

AYCE Sushi wall of plates

Monday:

Breakfast – cinnamon raisin bagel with almond butter and an apple

bagel with apple and almond butter

Lunch – leftovers from tour

Dinner – I made what was meant to be a sausage and kale soup, but then I decided to let it thicken a bit and eat it over rice. Fabulous decision! Even the boy loved it.

sausage and kale stew over rice

Tuesday:

Breakfast – tropical smoothie and a nut kolachi

tropical smoothie in blender

Lunch – leftover homemade Ethiopian dal, kale, and beet hummus with grape tomatoes and a black bean brownie

leftovers lunch

Snack – apple

Dinner – made a killer mac n cheese, then added some leftover cooked sausage, spinach, and pinto beans

mac n cheese with beans, spinach, and sausage

I also meal prepped a pork roast with beans in the insta pot and a big tray of roasted veggies

Wednesday:

Breakfast – smoothie

Lunch – leftover sausage kale soup and roasted veg

sausage and kale stew over rice

Dinner – had dinner at a friends house, with sausage made on his farm, green beans, rosemary potatoes, and pickled goodies made by yours truly (beet pickled veg and pickled watermelon rind)

pork sausage with veggies and pickles

He’s also a woodworker, and gave me piece of a barrel stave that was smoked and then used for whiskey followed by beer. I added it to my soy sauce, and it has darkened considerably already! I can’t wait to see what the difference in flavor is like.

homemade soy sauce color

Thursday:

Breakfast – spiced pear and raisin oatmeal

spiced pear and raisin oatmeal

Lunch – the last leftover enchilada from last week with avocado, rice, tomatoes, and spicy salsa

leftovers lunch

Snack – leftover from Valentine’s day cookie & chocolate covered strawberry. And then a nut bar on the drive home.

valentines day treats

Dinner – tortellini with sauce (that smelled suspiciously like salsa…)

tortellini

Snack – big ol bowl of popcorn. Clearly I was a bottomless pit for some reason this day…

popcorn

Friday:

Breakfast – burrito of 4 quail eggs scrambled with salsa and spinach

quail egg burrito

Lunch – rice & beans with roasted veggies

leftovers lunch

Snack – bits of PB&J and an apple

snacks

Dinner – leftovers

Food Total: $53.23

Harris Teeter + Weekly Produce Box = Eat the Uglies

Produce Box: Uglies

I am so in love with the movement to eat “ugly produce” that is gaining traction around the US and the world in general. Grocery stores usually have pretty strict standards on produce they will accept, like the size, shape, and color. Anything that has the slightest bruise, dent, nick, or blemish or doesn’t fit these requirements just gets rejected, and thrown out.

So this produce is wasted, sent to landfills, or left in the field to rot. The farmers lose out on money, and it does the world at large a lot of harm, just because we want our apple to look “perfect”.

Guess what folks?

Nature ain’t perfect.

Sometimes carrots have 2 legs, or taters are alien shaped, or apples get gnawed on a little bit. Produce grows from literal dirt, and poo is probably involved somewhere (hopefully, it’s the most perfect fertilizer). It’s still perfectly edible and healthy. Just give it a rinse before you eat or cook it.

The Weekend

I will be avoiding the online hullabaloo over the recently published Alt-FI Manifesto. This blog is not a place for politicking or arguing; it is a place to talk about food and money and health. The end.

I will say I am happy to see those who are willing to have a respectful dialogue regardless of beliefs, and saddened by those who seem to delight in attacking and generalizing.

I will also be attending my first NC Drag Show!

Not my first ever, but first since… oh, over a decade for sure. So I am nervous and excited to see how it goes! It will surely be full of fun and music and glitter.

Then Sunday we have brunch plans with our recent CA transplant Steve & his wife! They came to Durham from San Fran, and I am going to do my darndest to show all the ways the Triangle is far superior! Friendly people, great weather (maybe a losing battle here), and phenomenal cost of living (for now…).

One last announcement…

The boy has decided we are doing a Whole 30

Starting now.

🤪

 

 

 

 

How about you guys? Did you have a learning week or an awesome week of wins?

Mexican Breakfast Strata

 

Don’t you just love it when you make something that takes literally just a few minutes, but turns out amazingly delicious and also very impressive looking?  Me too!  So the other day, my coworkers and I realized that it was someone’s birthday.  We had totally forgotten, and felt terrible, so we decided the following day would be birthday breakfast!  Obviously, I volunteered to cook something.  Problem was, I didn’t think that through…

The next morning, I checked the fridge, and didn’t see much besides some eggs.  But whatever I made had to be transportable; sunny side up doesn’t travel well, and reheated scrambled eggs is icky.  Then I saw a half loaf of bread and the light bulb went on: Strata!  Strata is a breakfast casserole based mostly on eggs and bread.  You can add anything at all pretty much, and it makes a delicious layered meal.

Upon checking the freezer, I found some turkey bacon, and a half bag of frozen corn and peppers/onions.  Since I always keep cans of diced tomatoes and different types of beans around, it just made sense that a Mexican themed strata came together.  Full disclosure: I had no idea how this would come out!  I threw it all together, popped it in the oven, and got in the shower.

Once it was done, I covered it in tin foil, wrapped it in towels to keep it warm, and stuck it in a reusable bag to take it to the office.  An hour later, after a round of “Happy Birthday” which was satisfactorily embarrassing for the coworker in question, came the moment of truth.  I pulled out the pan, uncovered the casserole, and the whole room erupted in “Oh my GOSH that looks amazing!” and “that smells SO good, what is it!?”.  Once we dug in, the compliments just kept rolling.  Almost everyone had seconds, and we finished the whole pan between 6 people!

All this is not to brag, but mostly to convince you that even though it might sound complicated, it is really not.  Even if the combination sounds weird, it does work well.  Just give it a try and see.  You can make strata for the first time on a weekend just to be safe and make sure you have time to get it just right, as long as you make it.  And then tell me I’m right.  🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 8-10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 loaf of bread
  • 1/2 pound turkey bacon
  • 1 cup peppers and onions
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa or 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 cup black beans (or other type)
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: fresh or dried oregano

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Step 1: In a large bowl, break all the eggs and scramble them well with a fork.  Add the milk and mix well.  Tear the bread into rough chunks.  You can also use a few days’ old bread for this, just add a splash more milk.  Some recipes call for leaving the bread overnight to soak, but I just made it right away and it turned out great, so it’s up to you.

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Step 2: In a frying pan, cook your bacon.  You can also use ham, sausage, and/or chorizo instead.  Or just omit the meat entirely to keep it vegetarian.

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Step 3: Add the vegetables and beans to the pan.  Heat well, and cook until peppers and onions are tender.

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Step 4: Spray a large 9×13 pan with cooking oil or spread with butter.  Pour in the bread and egg mixture.  Add optional cheese if using.

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Step 5: Pour the meats and vegetables and beans into the bread and eggs.  Mix it all together well.  You can also choose to keep it layered like a breakfast lasagna, if you have the time for that.

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Step 6: Bake the whole shebang in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes.  If you cover it with foil, it will bake faster, if you do not use foil, it will brown on top faster.

IMG_3615

Step 7: For the most impressive presentation, sprinkle with a little more cheddar and fresh oregano springs right when you take it out of the oven.  The cheese will melt from the heat.  Serve immediately, and try to keep yourself from devouring the whole pan in one sitting.

 

 

Mexican Breakfast Strata

Mexican Breakfast Strata

Ingredients

  • 8-10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 loaf of bread
  • 1/2 pound turkey bacon
  • 1 cup peppers and onions
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa or 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 cup black beans (or other type)
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: fresh or dried oregano

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, break all the eggs and scramble them well with a fork. Add the milk and mix well. Tear the bread into rough chunks. You can also use a few days' old bread for this, just add a splash more milk. Some recipes call for leaving the bread overnight to soak, but I just made it right away and it turned out great, so it's up to you.
  2. In a frying pan, cook your bacon. You can also use ham, sausage, and/or chorizo instead. Or just omit the meat entirely to keep it vegetarian.
  3. Add the vegetables and beans to the pan. Heat well, and cook until peppers and onions are tender.
  4. Spray a large 9x13 pan with cooking oil or spread with butter. Pour in the bread and egg mixture. Add optional cheese if using.
  5. Pour the meats and vegetables and beans into the bread and eggs. Mix it all together well. You can also choose to keep it layered like a breakfast lasagna, if you have the time for that.
  6. Bake the whole shebang in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes. If you cover it with foil, it will bake faster, if you do not use foil, it will brown on top faster.
  7. For the most impressive presentation, sprinkle with a little more cheddar and fresh oregano springs right when you take it out of the oven. The cheese will melt from the heat. Serve immediately, and try to keep yourself from devouring the whole pan in one sitting.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.budgetepicurean.com/breakfast/mexican-breakfast-strata/

 

Blueberry-Lemon Scones with Devonshire Cream

 

Scones are a popular breakfast, brunch, or tea-time treat. Linked historically to Scotland, Ireland, and England, it is unclear who really deserves the credit of invention. The original scone was made of oats, shaped into a round, cut into 4 to 6 wedges, and baked over an open fire. Nowadays, scones are similar to biscuits, made with wheat flour and baking soda or powder, producing a hard, dry texture.

Finished scones fresh from the oven

Scones can be plain or “fancy”, with added raisins, orange rind, chocolate bits, honey, or other added flavorings. They are usually served with clotted cream, also called Devonshire cream. It’s quite easy to make with just a few things you likely have in your fridge. Check out TheNibble for a history of both. For a very large list of scones you can try, wander over to The Kitchen Project.

Blueberry-lemon scone with Devonshire cream and apricot preserves. It was just as delicious as it looks!

I had been given a boxed mix for scones some time ago, and when blueberries went on sale, I knew it was time. I also had a few fresh lemons, and so it was destiny. If you are feeling brave, feel free to try making your own scones, perhaps using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

Ingredients:
1 box scone mix (or your own)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 fresh lemon (juice + rind)
2 tbsp melted butter or margarine

Devonshire cream:
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk

 
Step 1: Pour dry mix into a large bowl. Add the milk and eggs, and stir until it becomes smooth.
Step 2: Grate the lemon rind onto a plate, save the lemon as well. Add the blueberries, lemon juice, and rind to the dough and mix well. (Feel free to add a splash of vanilla or almond flavoring here for an extra dose of yummy)
The blueberries marbled the dough with their juices.
Step 3: Take 1/4 cup of dough at a time, and shape into small rolls on a buttered cookie sheet. (You can also do the classic whole round, then cut into triangles. Or make whatever shape you want). Brush the melted butter onto the scones.
Step 4: Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until browned all over and solid. They smell delicious!
Now you have fresh, warm scones! You can eat them naked, add some butter and/or honey, or make some cream and serve with jam. Clearly, I’m all for sugar-shock when it comes to breakfast treats. I made these over the weekend, so calories don’t count. 😉
To remind you, here is what you need for your very own clotted cream. It’s best to let it all come to room temperature to mix, then refrigerate for an hour or so. Don’t fret too much if you can’t do so.
Devonshire cream:
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Step 1: Add all ingredients to a bowl, and use a hand mixer to beat together. It should take about 2-3 minutes to become thick and smooth. Add a little more milk if you want it thinner, don’t add as much or beat for a longer period of time if you like thick cream.
These are the jams I had, which were totally perfect for this. Peach preserves and cherry jam. Both were equally delicious. Good together too!
The finished cream, nice and thick. I could seriously just eat this stuff with a spoon it’s so good!
You can add extra sugar if you want it sweeter, or forget it if you like the tang. Try unflavored Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream if you dare.
Blueberry-lemon scone with Devonshire cream and cherry jam. Simply divine!
More photos, just to make you drool a bit.
If you aren’t convinced to make these on a weekend, there’s nothing more I can do here. Just enjoy pining for them I guess.
Of course, I had to have my scone with a strong cup of English breakfast tea. It’s only right.
You can see the bowl of cream is nearly empty… oops.

And this is the cherry scone my s.o. demolished. I think we both had about 4 each. The box recipe made 8-10, depending on how large you make your scones. I need to have a brunch party so I can make these again.

What’s your favorite scone topping?