Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Individual Baked Eggs for New Years Day

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Once kids enter the picture, New Year’s Eve bashes tend to shift earlier, or vanish altogether, often replaced by cozy evenings at home. Truthfully, I don’t mind too much. When I was growing up, we would get together with close family friends, play games, eat junk food (potato chips and dip) and wait for the Times Square ball to drop. At 5-years and 18-months, the foodie tots haven’t reached the staying-up-till-midnight phase yet, so we’re planning to celebrate with them on London time before sending them off to bed so mama and daddy can enjoy some quiet (and maybe a little bubbly) while waiting for the ball to drop.

the breakfast trinity

New Year’s Day has become the bigger holiday for now, with a family-friendly brunch with friends. Here’s a shirred egg dish that elevates your every-day eggs into a celebration-worthy dish, perfect for starting off the year right. (I always thought that “shirred” referred to baking under cream, but apparently it’s just the baking technique. Nevertheless, the cream helps keep the eggs from drying on top, which is especially useful if your kids prefer their yolks well done.)

Serve these with coffee cake or leftover Christmas panettone (why yes, I did pick up another on sale…). Swap out the bacon for lox and you’ve got a classy, kid-friendly holiday brunch. Don’t forget the blood orange mimosas.

shirred eggs with lox

Recipe: Individual Baked (Shirred) Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 4 cage-free eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter and divide among 4 small ramekins.
  2. Crack one egg into each ramekin. Pour one tablespoon cream over each, and season each with a pinch of salt and pepper (I omit the pepper for the kids).
  3. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes, until white looks opaque and mostly cooked through. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over tops and return to oven for another 1-2 minutes. Yolks will still be soft at this point — cook 2 more minutes or so for firm yolks if desired.

Serves 4.

Happy New Year to you & your family!

FoodieTots Review: The Whole Family Cookbook (and giveaway)

Monday, April 18th, 2011

If there’s such a thing as a family food superhero, my friend Michelle Stern surely is one. Founder of a certified-green cooking school in the San Francisco Bay area and author of the What’s Cooking with Kids blog, Michelle was invited to the White House for the launch of Chefs Move to the Schools and is leading the charge for school lunch changes in her own school district. Somehow she also found time to write The Whole Family Cookbook — a hands-on guide to getting kids into the kitchen. Her no-fuss recipes have a color-coded guide to which steps are appropriate for different age groups, and special green boxes geared to kids provide interesting facts and explanations about ingredients and sustainable eating. (And answer the question, how do those seedless watermelons reproduce, anyway?) A seasonal recipe index is a nice starting point if you’re looking for ideas for what to do with this week’s CSA or market haul. My favorite part about this book is that its recipes are simple, real food — not overly cutesy or filled with sugar. Michelle shares my philosophy that kids can get excited about healthy food, too — really!

We made the A-B-C Frittata (recipe reprinted below). He’s been very excited about learning his letters at preschool, so it was a natural choice. (For extra fun, ask your kids to think of other A-B-C combinations … like avocado, banana and coconut!) It was the boy’s first time using the box grater — grating cheese is my least favorite cooking task, so I think I may need to invest in one of the circular graters Michelle mentions in the book so he can more easily do it on his own. He also peeled the apples and cracked eggs. I made a few adjustments to the recipe, noted below, but it is definitely one we’ll be making again. The boy loves quiche, and frittatas are a little faster to put together (no crust) — also Passover-friendly for those of you observing this week, though of course you’ll want to omit the bacon if you keep kosher.

foodie tot cooks frittata

Read on for the recipe. If you’d like to win your own free copy of The Whole Family Cookbook, comment below with your kids’ favorite way to eat eggs. For an extra entry, “like” FoodieTots on Facebook and leave an additional comment here letting me know you have (or already do). Entries will be accepted until midnight (Eastern time) Thursday, April 21. Update: Congratulations to Miriam, the lucky commenter as per the random number generator. Thanks all for your comments and for joining us on Facebook!

(Can’t wait? Buy The Whole Family Cookbook on Amazon or at your local bookstore.)

Recipe: A-B-C (Apple Bacon Cheddar) Frittata
from The Whole Family Cookbook, reprinted with permission

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites**
  • 8 whole eggs**
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 slices bacon
  • Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 2 apples, Fuji or Gala
  • 1 Tablespoon butter**

Instructions:

Put the rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Crack the eggs, one at a time, over a small bowl. After checking for stray shells, pour each egg into a medium bowl. To separate the egg whites, crack the egg over an egg separator or someone’s clean hands. Carefully let the egg white slip through the fingers into the bowl, with the yolk remaining. Discard the yolk or save for another recipe. Using a whisk, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are thoroughly combined.

Grate the cheese. Younger children can help you use a rotary cheese grater (which protects their skin). Older children can use a box grater. Add half of the grated cheese to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to your liking.

Cook the strips of bacon. You can fry them in a skillet (watch out! They can splatter.) Or, you can bake them in the oven on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. We like this method because we don’t have to turn the bacon over and the kids stay safe.

Once the bacon cools, crumble the strips with clean hands. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the apple. If you have an apple corer, you may use it. Or, simply cut up the apple, leaving the core behind. Slice the apple pieces very thinly. As you are cutting, be sure to put the flat side of the apple pieces down, so the chunks don’t wobble on your cutting board.

In a medium cast-iron or nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat the butter over medium heat.** Add egg mixture to the skillet. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles evenly over the eggs. Gently arrange the apples on top of the egg mixture, in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Move the skillet from the stovetop to the upper rack of your oven. Bake until frittata is firm in the center and cheese is browned, about 20 minutes. Use a flexible spatula to loosen the frittata from the pan. Carefully slide it onto a cutting board. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges.

Serves 4.

apple bacon cheddar frittata

** FoodieTots notes: I cooked the bacon in my cast iron skillet, and reserved about a tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan instead of using butter. I didn’t want to have two extra egg yolks leftover, so I used 9 whole eggs. And of course I used cage-free eggs from the farmers market.

Crustless Asparagus Quiche (Meatless Monday)

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Asparagus with eggs, take two… Yes, I have a thing for eggs and asparagus. While a traditional quiche is ideal for Sunday brunch, this crustless version is perfect for a fast weeknight supper — just serve with a side salad and some bread. Of course, if you’re more prepared than I, you can make this with a pre-made frozen pie crust.

crustless asparagus quiche

Recipe: Crustless Asparagus Quiche

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus
2 stalks green garlic
4 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup milk
sea salt and pepper

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375. Oil 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Sauté asparagus, stirring once or twice, until partly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic to pan for the last 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Fold in ricotta, then garlic and asparagus. Pour into baking dish and cook 25-30 minutes, until set and puffy. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!

Farms of Origin: eggs, Valentine’s Country Meats; milk, South Mountain Creamery; ricotta, Blue Ridge Dairy; asparagus, Black Rock Orchard; green garlic, Farm at Sunnyside (all but milk from the Falls Church Farmers Market).

Asparagus with Eggs (Meatless Monday)

Monday, April 19th, 2010

I don’t know how much of it can be attributed to the fact that asparagus is the first fresh new vegetable of the spring, but my love affair with these crisp stalks grows each year. This is my favorite way to enjoy them, and works as the ultimate market-fresh, fast-food meal whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Getting my son to embrace asparagus with the same enthusiasm has been more difficult. One day last spring, after I’d all but given up, he snatched one off my plate declaring, “Ooh, a giant string bean!” — and then proceeded to devour the rest of my serving! Since then it’s still been hit or miss, and I’ll switch between calling them asparagus or “super string beans” just in case the terminology makes a difference. I keep making them the same way I made them that time, though — pan-roasted with butter rather than oven-roasted with olive oil. I think the butter gives a sweeter carmelization, and I prefer it even if he doesn’t always appreciate them.

While I prefer them with poached eggs, the runny yolks serving double-duty as dressing, you can certainly try it with your kid’s favorite style of eggs. Mine is obsessed with hard boiled, lately.

Recipe: Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs, poached
  • grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • fresh chives, finely sliced (optional)

Instructions: Heat a large skillet (I prefer my cast iron) over medium high heat. Melt the butter, then add asparagus and cook, turning just once or twice, until stalks begin to brown in spots, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm while you poach the eggs. Divide asparagus and arrange on dinner plates. Gently place one poached egg on each plate, on top of the asparagus, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with French bread or whole wheat toast. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

Toddler-friendly tip: You can trim the asparagus into shorter pieces and encourage your little one to dip them into the yolk.

Cooking Julia with Kids: Blueberry Clafouti (and a film review)

Friday, August 7th, 2009

julie and julia movie posterThe new film Julie & Julia opens tonight, and if you have even a passing interest in food and cooking I highly suggest you catch it. If you haven’t seen the trailer (or book or blog), it’s a Nora Ephron film about a girl, Julie Powell, who decides to cook and blog her way through Julia Child’s masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It’s an ideal girls-night-out film with splendid acting by Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. It’ll also give you a glimpse into the high-stress juggling act of working by day and food blogging by night, like yours truly, though Julie had only a cat watching, not a hungry child calling for attention every other minute. There’s a catch-22 for food bloggers in discussing this film, as any negative criticism is quickly dismissed as jealousy over the fact that Julie successfully blogged her way to a book and film deal; something that is surely the dream of many food bloggers around the world. I had never read Julie’s blog or book but was familiar with the tale; my main complaint with the movie is not directed at Julie’s character but just that I would have loved to see much more of Julia.

At any rate, my sure-fire pitch for a book deal is also a blatant rip-off of based on Julie’s challenge: my soon-to-be-3-year-old will cook his way through Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking before his 4th birthday. Okay, maybe we’re not quite ready for that, but in honor of his impending 3rd birthday I decided it was time to teach him to crack eggs. We set out to make the ubiquitous Julia Child clafouti(s) — for some reason Julia omits the “s” — but since cherry season here has come and gone I opted to use the last of July’s blueberries, which the husband and the boy picked up at the Del Ray Farmers Market on Saturday.

Julia-inspired Blueberry Clafouti

Recipe: Blueberry Clafouti, adapted from Julia Child

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 – 2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
powdered sugar

A few words of advice for baking with younger kids: measure and prep all ingredients before hand, then arrange them in the order needed next to the mixing bowl. Have them crack the eggs first and into their own bowl to make fishing out pieces of shell a little easier. Clafoutis is simple to prepare and kids can take charge of mixing all the ingredients but the fruit together in a large bowl. We whisked the eggs together first, then vanilla and almond extracts (almond is my addition), sugar, flour, salt and milk.

foodie tot baking with julia

I wouldn’t dare criticize Julia, but I find it amusing that she speaks so condescendingly of using a blender to make mayonnaise and yet uses one to whip up her clafouti(s) batter. If your child over eagerly dumps in ingredients before the prior ingredients are fully combined, here’s an easy trick to smooth the batter: pour it through a fine mesh sieve, pressing with your spoon to dissolve the lumps.

To bake the clafoutis, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour a thin layer of batter into the bottom of the buttered, wide and shallow baking dish and cook it until it just begins to set, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the blueberries over the batter, and the 1/3 cup reserved sugar over the berries, then top with the remaining batter. Return to oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until custard is puffed and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

julia's kitchen at smithsonianThe boy scored a bite before bed and declared it “mmm, good.” If you want to introduce your kids to Julia without messing up the kitchen, head over to the American History Museum to see her complete kitchen, including her very own French copper pots and pans which were recently returned by Ephron after being used in the movie. (At the donation event, Julia’s niece Phila Cousins relayed Julia’s incredulous reaction to the Smithsonian’s request for her kitchen. One can only imagine what she would think of the film!)

In the film, Julia writes to her sister, “I think I’m the only American woman in Paris who has as much fun shopping for food as shopping for a dress.” I’m with her, but for a less foodcentric review check out my friend the DC Fashion Gal’s take on the film. Seen in? Love it? Let us know!

I’m sharing this post with the Mastering the Art of French Cooking round-up hosted by La Cuisine d’ Heléne (and #MTAFC on twitter); and sending it over to Fight Back Fridays at the Food Renegade, because Julia wrote MTAFC to empower “American women without cooks” to get into the kitchen, something my fellow real food advocates believe in as well.