Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Omelet with Cranberry-Blueberry Muffins

Dinner Place will be on vacation for a short while.
When I've cooked a bunch more, I'll be back.  Make merry! 

While it isn't the best time of year for tomatoes in North America, there are some.  In other places, there are beautiful tomatoes available because it's summer!  Wherever you live, this is a very simple and luscious Christmas morning breakfast just for you!  If you're sharing Christmas with a few other people, enlist help and make two at a time or turn the oven on and keep each omelet warm as you make the others.  However you do it, you'll be happy you did.  And you'll be good until dinnertime.

Add a little fresh fruit and maybe a cranberry-blueberry muffin (link below) for a larger meal.

Tender is the word.  Gentle is the method.  Don't over-mix or over bake.  Butter?
Here's the Dinner Place Link for my Cranberry-Blueberry Muffins.

christmas omelet for one

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter
  • 2 eggs or 1 egg and 2 egg whites, beaten together
  • Pinch each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 large basil leaves, optional
  • 3-4 slices fresh tomato
  • Optional garnishes:  1 tablespoon salsa or grated cheddar  
Heat the butter or oil in a small, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until bubbling (for butter) or nearly smoking for oil.  Meantime, beat together the eggs with the salt and pepper.

Pour eggs into the pan, let set about ten seconds, and lifting edge of omelet with a spatula, let the uncooked portion of egg slide under the cooked portion.  Repeat until eggs are set.  Add spinach, basil (if using), and tomato.

Fold omelet over using spatula and tip onto warm plate.  Serve warm or at room temperature with salsa or cheese, if desired.

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cranberry-Ginger Bread Pudding for 2--Breakfast or Dessert?

I have a thing about making desserts in individual portions. I'll own it.  I'll fess up. I guess I just think they're cute.  Manageable.  And I love bread pudding at holiday time.

I find myself, when in a good kitchen shop (like COOKS of CROCUS HILL on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul and in Stillwater--both in Minnesota), browsing around for ramekins, over-sized cups, and so on.  Anything that will go in the microwave, oven, or convection oven.  One of my regular ovens and my microwave are also convection ovens by design.  Did I get the verb-subject agreement here?
Sounds wonky.  In a pinch, one-cup glass measuring cups could be used.  Make sure they're oven-safe or they could shatter in the oven.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cornbread Muffins: Just 6 (And a little Sweet Baby James, too)

I hope you don't break down and buy the little Jiffy mixes that make just six muffins.  I know it's tempting.  But it doesn't take much to keep a little cornmeal on hand.  To say nothing of flour.  Could you make a whole cornbread for one person? Of course  you could!   (In fact, scroll down and I'll give you a link to my own skillet cornbread recipe.) Still: what if you don't want leftover cornbread or you'd like to freeze individual portions?  Then this little recipe is just for you.  Or you and your friend.  Try this:

six cornbread muffins

  • 1/2 cup each yellow (or white) cornmeal and white, unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons white, granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated or finely minced onion
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.   Place a  greased  6-muffin tin in the oven to heat for 2-3 minutes.  (Do not use paper liners.)  Half of a 12-muffin tin works, too.

Mix dry ingredients (flours - salt) in a medium bowl. 
In a mixing cup or small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (butter-onion.)
Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir until just well-blended.  Don't over mix.

Remove muffin tin from oven and, holding carefully with mitts or pot  holders, pour or spoon batter, dividing evenly among the six muffin cups.   Bake for about 15 minutes or until muffins are firm, golden, and toothpick inserted at middle comes out clean. Do not overbake.  Serve hot with butter and honey.

Wrap leftovers well and store at room temperature up to 2 days or freeze up to eight weeks.

Want to bake a whole skillet cornbread?  Double the ingredients for the muffins.  Heat a 9-inch cast iron skillet (or similar size Pyrex dish or baking pan) on the stove and melt a teaspoon or two of butter in it; swirl or brush well all over inside of pan.  Pour batter into pan and let cook two minutes or so stove top.  Place in oven and bake about 20 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted at middle comes out clean.  Do not overbake.

 Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

P.S.  I have a really big collection of Christmas music, so I limit myself to one new album per year.
 I just bought the new James Taylor Christmas album....love it. (I'm not paid to toot this guy's horn, but he's been a favorite of mine a long time.  I'm so  happy to see him still coming up with new stuff that he obviously enjoys doing. Give it a listen.  Enjoy every moment, friends.)