Showing posts with label breakfast for dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast for dinner. Show all posts

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Food and Family: Watching good food TV, engaging the kids, and using leftovers creatively

This short essay and recipe were published in spring 2020 as part of the Boston University Gastronomy Student community's "Cooking During Covid" virtual cookbook. The book captured covid cuisine and cooking for the BU Gastronomy community. It includes contributions from students, alumni (like me!), instructors, and more. To get your own copy, email with proof of a donation to an organization working on COVID relief in the food system. Essential workers can email to receive a free copy. And be sure to check out @bugastronomy on Instagram for delicious content. 

In my family, over breakfast we discuss what’s for lunch, over lunch we discuss what’s for dinner, and over dinner we discuss what’s for breakfast. Every occasion is marked by an abundance of food, each family member has their signature dish (whether they cook it or they request it). This love and passion for food, tradition, and cooking is what put me on the path of food blogging and led to my pursuit of my gastronomy degree. It has been important to me to instill this same love in my children. In our “regular” lives, I tried to squeeze it in wherever possible. Our new “regular,” being home all day, everyday, presents an opportunity for more.

With this extra time, food has become one of our primary subjects of TV watching, topics of discussion, and sources of activity. Every weekday morning I wake up my six and eight year old with, “It’s time to get up, Lidia is about to be on!” They rub their eyes, trying to remember what day it is, and then scurry to the couch to see what Italian dishes are on the menu this morning. Then, I head to the kitchen to make my breakfast. I have exactly 24 minutes to get my breakfast on the plate and hot coffee in my mug before their favorite, A Chef ’s Life, with Vivian Howard begins.

We watch together, talking about what we’re seeing. The kids are curious about all the new foods they see - Southern cuisine is almost brand new to them. While they know something about where their food comes from, this takes it to the next level. While we watch we talk about farming, ingredients, culture, and whatever other questions they bring up (What do they mean, process a chicken? What is a rutabaga?). We make a list of cooking projects to try - hand pies, porridge, new vegetables, biscuits. One of the frequent topics on the show is respecting ingredients and where they come from. That means from the ground up - the people growing and harvesting, to the cooking method, to not wasting any part of the item. This leads us to talk about the uncertainty of the current situation, and what that means for food. We don’t know what groceries will be available to us, and when. It’s important to not waste anything on our plates. We talk about how there are people that are in different situations than us who have to make do with very little food and stretch what they have as far as possible. I hope, beyond just the excitement of starting each day with TV, these lessons will inform my children’s relationship with their food going forward. Once we go back to our “regular” school and work life I hope they continue to be curious, creative, thoughtful, and engaged.

And now, for my morning breakfast, cooked between 8:00 and 8:24 am each weekday. It is a way to be creative in the kitchen, to be thoughtful about the food we have, and to start the day with a hot breakfast made just the way that I like. The flavors change each day, but the breakfast provides well-needed consistency to the uncertainty in the world. I invite you to open your refrigerator, get creative, and watch some good food TV.

Serve with a side of your favorite toast and a steaming cup of coffee

Good Cook Doris’ Use Up Your Ingredients Breakfast Skillet
Serves 1


1-2 eggs (depending on your current egg inventory, use more vegetables with one egg)
Leftover vegetables and/or meat, cut into bite sized pieces (suggestions below)
Cheese (for topping)
1 tablespooon olive oil or butter
Salt and /pepper or your favorite spice or herb blend


In a small skillet, heat oil or butter over medium heat
Add in leftover vegetables, meat, and spices, cooking until heated through and just starting to brown
Push the vegetables and meat to the sides of the skillet, leaving a space in the center
Crack egg(s) into the center of the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low
Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until egg whites are just set and yolks are still runny
Slide onto a plate, top with fresh herbs and/or cheese (optional)
Enjoy while watching your favorite cooking show

A few of my favorite combinations:
Brussels sprouts + shallots/leeks/caramelized onions + goat cheese
Kale + bell peppers + shallots or onions
Potatoes + scallions + brisket/pot roast
Stir fried vegetables (spicy is better!)
Broccoli + onions + cheddar + everything seasoning
Spicy black beans + scallions + bell peppers + cheese
Greens (kale, spinach) + sun dried tomatoes + garlic + red pepper flakes

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Breakfast for Dinner? Yes, Please! {Book Review}

I love breakfast food. When presented with the option to order breakfast at a restaurant, I usually take it no matter what time it is. It really isn't fair that breakfast gets hurried over, rushed, and forgotten about so often. In our house we have breakfast for dinner (or lunch) at least once a week. No need to relegate breakfast foods to the morning!

For the past few months I've been making recipes from a new cookbook called Breakfast for Dinner by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth. They write about their culinary adventures on the blog Love and Olive Oil. I received a review copy of their book from Quirk Books and from the moment I opened it I was excited to get cooking. Breakfast can be savory or sweet and I have a preference for the savory side. Because the recipes are geared for dinner, this book includes many savory recipes. I immediately picked a few to try - three the first week I had the book and quite a few since!

The recipes I have tried have been easy to follow and most importantly result in delicious dishes. My test for whether or not I would by a cookbook is how many recipes I would realistically make. With the exception of foods we don't cook at our house (shellfish and pork) we would eat almost all of the other recipes in this book. And the pictures are so nice that I find myself flipping through the book while I sit on the couch (although it does make me really hungry).

The recipes we have made so far include:

Chicken and Biscuit Waffles (made a few times!)

I love biscuits, fried chicken, and waffles. This is a perfect combination of all three. I keep mixing up the sides and toppings for this one. First way: side of spicy apple sauce, and salad with lemon-honey dressing. Second way: drizzled with habanero-infused maple syrup and a side of sauteed apples with cinnamon. With a base of chicken and biscuit waffles, the topping combinations are really endless!

Bonus? This fried chicken method means delicious fried chicken anytime - with or without the waffles! Same for biscuit waffles, when the craving hits I am now ready!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Glazed Banana Bread Bundt Cake

With a few bananas and a bundt pan, you can turn out a decadent dessert treat. This recipe uses my favorite flavor combination of chocolate and bananas. For an extra sweet twist, I made the glaze using chocolate peanut butter (plus, somehow no chocolate chips on hand).

Just like the authors' family recipe, my Aunt Patti's banana bread is always full of chocolate chips. This won't replace hers as a favorite but I can report that this cake did not stick around very long at our house.

Goat Cheese Monte Cristos

The idea of the Monte Cristo has always intrigued me. However I've only encountered them with ham. I was excited to find a recipe for a Monte Cristo that I would eat. Who wouldn't love a sandwich with creamy goat cheese, pepper jelly, and roasted turkey? I decided to make this on a whim and didn't have all the ingredients that the recipe called for but this was still great! We sandwiched fig jam, turkey and goat cheese between slices of whole wheat bread and cooked it up according to the recipe. The result was a flavorful take on the Monte Cristo!

All three recipes were kid-approved by our resident 2 year-old diner. Our little taste tester now gets excited when the waffle maker comes out - even if he calls them "awfuls" half the time. And even though he ate the sandwich in his own unique was as shown below, I know he liked it!

I received a complementary copy of this book for review. I was not obligated to post and received no other compensation. My love of chicken and waffles and banana, chocolate, and peanut butter is real and honest. Ask anyone who knows me! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What’s Cooking in the Kitchen?

My cooking routine has definitely changed since adding a new little one to the household and going back to work full-time and graduate school part-time. Now that we have a little eater, meals have to be quick to prepare and appealing to both adults and kid!

Pre-baby, we rarely ate out on weeknights. I cooked 3-4 nights a week, often trying out new recipes and techniques. Sometimes dinner wasn’t ready until 7:30 or 8:00 pm but we didn’t mind. With a little one, our weeknight schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of heavy duty cooking and we don’t want to do take-out. So over the past year I’ve slowly adjusted the routine, bringing us to our current schedule:

Thursday or Friday night: Menu planning and grocery list writing.
Saturday or Sunday morning (around 8 am): Grocery shopping.
Saturday morning (10 or 11 am): Weekly family trip to the farmers market to stock up on produce and our favorite bagels, meats, cheeses, and every so often a nice bottle of wine.
Sunday afternoon: Prep for the week! Wash, chop, cook, organize.
Weeknights: Assemble, reheat and eat! Make lunches and get organized for breakfast.

I try to cook everything we need for the week on Sunday and leave only a few things to cook during the week. If I cook during the week, it is usually something that goes in after the little guy’s bedtime. Here is a look at what we’ve had cooking recently! I’m sorry I have limited pictures – these days it’s more about getting dinner on the table for these guys.

Pot Roast in Many Ways
I cook for the week, but sometimes it can get a little boring to eat the same meal over and over again. Instead of the creativity of cooking something new each night I am having fun making variations with the original dish. This pot roast kept us well fed for many nights.

Pot Roast Take #1: Slow Cooker Top Round Roast with Vegetables
3ish pounds Top Round Roast – From Charlton Orchards (Wayland Winter Farmers Market)
16 oz sliced mushrooms
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 4 inch pieces (basically cutting in half)
About 10 small roasting potatoes (I used a mix of red, purple and Yukon gold)
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1-1.5 cups water + beef base or beef broth/stock
Bay leaf
Splash of red wine

Salt the pot roast
Brown the pot roast on each side, for extra flavor (I skipped the step this time)
Add pot roast to the slow cooker and arrange vegetables around the sides of the pot roast
Add broth, wine, and bay leaf
Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours (check after 4 hours to see how tender the meat is)
Remove bay leaf and serve

Pot Roast Take #2: Pot Roast Quesadillas with Sharp Cheddar
Flour tortillas
Shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (I use Cabot Extra Sharp or Seriously Sharp)
Leftover pot roast, carrots, and onions – chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Layout tortillas on a foil-lined baking sheet
Spread a thin layer of cheese on half of the tortilla
Top with chopped pot roast and vegetables
Sprinkle another thin layer of cheese on top of pot roast
Fold tortilla over
Bake for 5-8 minutes, until cheese is melted and tortilla is a lightly golden
Cut into wedges and serve

Pot Roast Take #3: Pot Roast Hash with Root Vegetables
Leftover pot roast, carrots, onions, and potatoes - chopped
Leftover roasted sweet potatoes and beets
Vegetable oil

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
Add chopped pot roast and vegetables in a single layer
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until heated through
Press down with the back of a spatula and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes until the bottom is nice and crispy
Serve with a fried or poached egg on top – and a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce!

We served ours with scrambled eggs - I wanted to make sure the eggs were cooked through for the little guy.

What is your favorite way to repurpose food in the refrigerator? I am having a blast doing it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What to post next? Let's start with pizza.

I have a lot of blogging to do. I’ve got my fabulous four course luxury dinner party (if I had made it to the next round of Project Food Blogger), luxury dinner party leftovers turned into a new meal, fall apple-eating adventures, stuffed grape leaves, unstuffed cabbage, and more!  While I write up some deliciously worded posts about those meals, here’s a quick and easy recipe that is going to become a standard in the Good Cook Doris kitchen.

The hubby and I were having our usual Sunday afternoon conversation at the grocery store. Me: Okay, so that’s all the food for the week, what do you want for tonight? Hubby: I don’t know….. But today, he answered: You know what we haven’t had lately? Pizza! My reply: Oooh…I have a good idea. How about breakfast pizza?

We decided to pick up goat cheese, turkey bacon, spinach, crimini mushrooms, and eggs for our toppings. I came home and did a quick search of my google reader to see if one of my fellow cooks had a good technique for eggs on pizza. A search of “breakfast pizza” brought up the perfect match from Alicia at The Clean Plate Club. Turns out she had almost exactly the same ingredients as what we picked up. Thanks Alicia for the tutorial!

This is a two-step pizza. You have to blind-bake the crust for a few minutes before topping. My order of attack was to start the bacon and spinach and mushrooms first, blind bake the crust while those are cooking, then top and bake. We used pizza dough from Whole Foods. You could also use a prebaked crust like a Boboli or naan too.

I am so excited about how this pizza turned out. The combination of flavors and textures was wonderful. Smooth goat cheese and crispy bacon. Umami mushrooms and tangy goat cheese. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for breakfast!

Breakfast for Dinner Pizza
Makes 4 giant servings
1 ball of refrigerated prepared pizza dough
1 small log (3-4 oz.) Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese
4 slices turkey bacon
1.5 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup crimini mushrooms, diced
4 eggs
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Allow enough time for the pizza dough to come to room temperature
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Sprinkle a pizza/baking stone with corn meal and set aside
In a medium skillet, cook turkey bacon over low heat, turning frequently until crispy
When bacon is done, cut into bite-sized pieces
Heat a second skillet to medium-low, add a drizzle of olive oil, and mushrooms and spinach, cooking until spinach is just wilted
While the bacon and vegetables are cooking, roll or stretch out pizza dough on the prepared pizza stone
Drizzle with olive oil
Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, being sure not to brown the crust
Remove from the oven
Top the crust in this order:
Crumble the goat cheese and spread evenly over crust
Sprinkle the bacon pieces evenly over crust
Make four mounds of the spinach mushroom mix, one in each quadrant of the pizza
Make an indent in the spinach mushroom mounds
Carefully crack one egg into each of the four indents

Gently place the pizza back into the 425 degree oven
Bake for 15 minutes, until eggs are set
If the crust is getting too dark, tent the pizza with foil
Cut into four pieces (one egg/person)
Season with salt and pepper (or hot sauce) to taste
Savor…and dream about the leftovers for lunch!

Prep time: 5 minutes + oven preheating time
Cook time: 20-30 minutes total
Cutting board, knife, two skillets, spatulas, baking stone, pizza cutter, serving dishes and utensils

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Night Dinner - Time to Catch Up

Friday night dinners are pretty low-key here at the Good Cook Doris house. We usually have something quick and easy, or if we're feeling especially lazy we'll go out for Indian or sushi. Last week's Friday night was the former.

We picked up some bagels, cream cheese and lox at the store. We had eggs and some parsley in the fridge for omelets. I thinly sliced up some red onion and cucumber to complete the lox platter. On the side was our typical Thursday and Friday reading - US Weekly, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and ESPN Magazine. By the end of dinner our heads were filled with a lot of useless pop-culture and sports information, and the knowledge that some people just wear it better than others (you US weekly fans will understand).

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Same Ingredients, Different Dish

To manage our food spending and stretch out our dollars, I've been trying hard to use up food items and waste as little as possible. Instead of buying for only one meal, I try to think of multiple meals incorporating the same ingredients (without repeating anything).

At our little dinner party this past weekend we started with a cheese plate and fresh crusty french bread (I can't take credit for the bread). We had some leftover Crystal Brook Farm's goat cheese from the farmers' market. It's marinated in olive oil and Mediterranean spices. You can't just have one cheese on a cheese plate - you need at least two (preferably 3). To go along with the goat cheese, we had a nice nutty manchego and fig jam. The perfect start to a meal (with my two favorite foods - bread and cheese!). No picture, we ate it too quickly!

The next night we were still recovering from our busy weekend and didn't feel like putting a lot of effort into dinner. A quick scan of the kitchen turned up some pizza crusts, the leftover manchego and fig spread, and some local apples. I spread some of the fig spread on the crust, topped that with thin apple slices, then put thin slices of the cheese on the top. I baked it at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. Here's how it looked out of the oven:

I think next time I'll bake the apples and fig spread for about 5 minutes and then add cheese for the last 5 minutes, as it got a little rubbery.

I scrambled up a few eggs on the side to add some protein to the meal. This was very tasty. It would be great with a variety of seasonal fruits and different combinations of fruit jams. This would also be a great brunch dish for company (or just for yourself!).

I think my next adventure will be to try to make my own fig jam.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Farmer's Market Finds - Part 2

This year at the Farmer's Market there are some old favorites and some new vendors that I love! My go to lunch is the Goat Cheese picnic - a 3 oz. tub of marinated goat cheese, six slices of french peasant bread, and a bag of trail mix. They give you a coupon each week (I love coupons almost as much as I love free samples). I always eat about half the cheese (because I feel better about eating the dessert I buy myself) and have the rest left over to use for breakfast.

My new favorite vendor is Nantucket Wild Gourmet. The guy is really nice and they have free samples. Last week I picked up some smoked sable (black cod) and it was fabulous. This week I decided to go for the smoked salmon. We weren't disappointed!

After last night's steak dinner, we still had some veggies leftover. Using all these fun farmer's market finds, I made an omelet with the veggies and marinated goat cheese. I've previously posted on omelet making, check the post for details.

We put the smoked salmon on toasted sesame bagels with cream cheese. Served with OJ and a hot cup of coffee it was better than anything at the corner deli.

Stay tuned for another post with the farmer's market finds and another installment of "When He Fends for Himself".

Monday, June 22, 2009

When He Fends for Himself - Breakfast for Dinner Two Ways

Welcome to another telling of the husband fending for himself. A couple of weeks ago I came home knowing I was on my own for dinner. I knew there was some left over steak and asparagus in the fridge from the night before. All I had to do was heat it up and eat it. It would be a very good dinner and I would be very satisfied, but there wouldn't have been much to write about.

So as I was opening the fridge and reaching for the steak, I saw something orange out of the corner of my eye. I thought for a second it could be cantaloupe, but I didn't think we had any. Instead, it was something more exciting, more delicious, and more noteworthy. It was lox, and there was enough for one more serving.

I immediately called the wife and made sure she didn't have plans for the fish. It was mid-week and I knew it wouldn't keep until the weekend for our Saturday morning breakfast. Also, I knew I could save the steak and asparagus for the next day's lunch. So I made an executive decision and decided to make my dinner around the night's secret ingredient: smoked salmon.
I took a sesame bagel out of the the freezer, thawed in the microwave for 10 seconds, and then threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Once the bagel was warm and crisp, I took it out of the oven and applied the cream cheese as soon as possible so that it could melt a little.
Then I put on the lox to complete dish.

It being dinner time, however, I knew a simple bagel with lox would not satisfy me. So, to stay with the breakfast for dinner theme, I filled a bowl with Barbara's shredded spoonfuls cereal, put in a splash of milk, and had breakfast two ways!

It turned into a great meal that I was very proud of. For me, lox is always a treat, but to have it mid-week, completely out of the blue, was something special. It would have made it more special if the wife was around too, but that wasn't the case. Instead, I made due with what I had to work with and produced a satisfying dinner!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Eggs - The Perfect Dinner Food (and lunch, and breakfast....)

I love eggs. If there weren't a few health issues around eating eggs at every meal, I would do it! Now my dining companion thinks that eggs are best served at breakfast (and then, only in pancakes or french toast). So I have to think creatively about how I can sneak them in to the dinner rotation.

I stopped at the store a few different times last week and had a small amount of a variety of veggies left over. I decided that a frittata would be a great way to use up the veggies and have eggs for dinner. This is an easy 1 skillet meal and can go with salad, bread, potatoes, or whatever you'd like!

I made an 8 egg frittata, so that we would have leftovers. The next morning I microwaved a piece for a minute and put it on an everything bagel for a fantastic breakfast sandwich. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it....Sadly there are no pictures, I ate that at work.

Quick and Easy Frittata
Adapted from a recipe in The Farmstead Egg Cookbook

3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
8 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 10 inch skillet (medium-low heat)
Add onions and mushrooms and saute until soft
Add broccoli and continue to cook for about 5 minutes
Take the veggies out of the skillet and set aside in a bowl

In another bowl, whisk eggs, 3 tbsp. of Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in the skillet
Pour in eggs, then distribute the veggies on the top
Cover, and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes until the top is almost set

Take off the heat, cover with a dinner plate and flip the frittata onto the the plate
Slide it back into the pan (bottom side up)
Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on the top
Cook a few minutes until done

Cut into wedges and serve!

To reheat - microwave for 45-60 seconds.

Prep Time - 5 minutes
Cook Time - 20-25 minutes
1 large skillet, spatula, 2 bowls, 1 plate, whisk, cutting board and knives

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Favorite Go-To Dinner

This is my favorite dinner for nights when I get home late, am too lazy to cook, or just have no food in the house. I could eat eggs for dinner every night (my husband disagrees)! So tonight I was home alone for dinner, got home late, and knew just what I was having. This combines two of my favorite foods - bread and cheese! The composition varies based on what is in the fridge, but it always involves eggs, cheese and some kind of bread. Tonight's version:

Lara's Egg & Cheese
Toasted onion bagel with 2 fried eggs and melted sharp cheddar cheese.

On the side - quick hash browns thanks to some frozen shredded potatoes from Whole Foods.

Delicious and tasty! Perfect for sitting in front of the TV and watching The Office and 30 Rock.


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