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Friday, August 5, 2011

The Latest from My Kitchen

The last few days I've been doing more cooking from made-up or improvised recipes than I have from recipes from cookbooks, or a combination thereof.  Part of it comes from having things in the fridge and going, "OK, what can I make with this?"

That was how I came up with this egg bake.  It's a pretty typical egg bake, but I didn't follow a recipe and figured out the proportions of ingredients myself.  I used a 4 1/2 quart baking dish.

Fill the bottom of the pan with sliced bread (in this case, 4 slices filled it).  In a bowl beat six eggs and 1/2 cup milk.  Add 1/4 tsp dried tarragon leaves, crushed in your fingers, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, and 1 tsp Dijon mustard.  Beat once more.

Next, sprinkle about 1/2 cup of cut-up ham or cooked sausage over the bread.  Pour egg mixture over ham and bread and let sit for about 15 minutes to let the bread soak up the egg.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Shred 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (or used pre-shredded cheese).  Sprinkle cheese over ham and bread, and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and bread and egg are cooked through.

It's delicious. :)

My friend Meaghan blogged about making Yorkshire pudding the other day, and having always wanted to try it, I asked her for the recipe.  If you'd like it, I've linked through to her blog post with the recipe (more detailed in the comments).

It's quite an easy recipe, just takes a while--mostly waiting, for the batter to rest, for the oven to heat, for the puddings to bake.  They're not pudding in the way that Americans think of pudding (creamy, sweet dessert).

The American name for these is popovers, because of the way they "pop over" the edge of the pan.  They're light, flaky, buttery, and not very sweet-but delicious with jam or powdered sugar!

Hubby requested these sandwiches for lunch yesterday.  Again, it's something I came up with to use what I had in the fridge.  Place slices of bread on a jellyroll pan and spread with mayonnaise.  Place thick slices of tomato on the bread and sprinkle with basil and/or oregano, sea salt and pepper.  Place thick slices of cheese over tomato (here I used cheddar and provolone, both scrumptious), and bake under a broiler on center rack of oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.  I also like sour cream and salsa on these sandwiches!

This is another of Hubby's and my favorites: chicken stir-fry.  It's an easy way to use up whatever vegetables I have in the fridge, and you can use any kind of meat.  Also, I use different flavors in the sauce every time I make it, and never measure!  But last night I wrote down what I used because we really liked this version.
Start rice cooking first, about 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water (follow directions on package).  Saute' in 1 T olive oil, 1/2 cup of sliced carrots and 1/2 cup of sliced celery.  Add 1/4 cup minced onion and 1/2 tsp minced garlic.  Add 1/2 cup frozen green beans and 1 cup frozen broccoli (you can add them straight from the freezer; they'll thaw and cook as the carrots and celery soften).  After vegetables are soft, add 1/2 cup cooked chicken (or pork, or beef).  Let cook while you make the sauce.
In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 tsp chili flakes, 1 pinch cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp (a few shakes) black pepper, and 1 tsp honey.  Let sit for a few minutes, then add to vegetables and chicken.  Let cook on low until rice is done to let vegetables and meat absorb the sauce.  Serve stir-fry over rice, with a tall, cold glass of milk (or Chinese tea!).  :)

So! This is what I've been up to.  What have YOU been cooking lately?


  1. You are obviously a natural cook like your mother! :)

  2. Well, she DID teach me almost everything I know! :) Thanks, Mrs. Otten :)

  3. I think cooking is art. You are one talented woman!

  4. Thank you, Lisa! I'm learning :)

  5. Great job, Jaimie! Looks like no one is going hungry:) I love that you are being creative with what you have in the kitchen and it's obvious you are having fun with it! Keep it up :)

  6. Thanks, Uncle Scott and Aunt Kathy! :)


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