Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ham and Potato Frittata by Teeny Templeton

Gone with a Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West - ButterYum

Teeny Templeton's Ham and Potato Frittata - ButterYum

I present to you Ham and Potato Frittata for this week's Foodie Friday post featuring Teeny Templeton, the main character in Gone with a Handsomer Man by my dear friend Michael Lee West.  Michael has authored 6 novels and hosts a wonderful blog, Designs by Gollum.  Each week food bloggers from all over the globe join Michael's food party - if you haven't visited her blog, you're in for a treat.

Before we get to the recipe, I have a confession to make - I completely forgot about making a Teeny Templeton inspired recipe this week, that is, until today when I visited Lynn's blog Happier than a Pig in Mud.  Lynn made a wonderful Frittata based on a scene from chapter 24.  Lynn's version included ham and onions and scallions and YUM!!!... I had all the ingredients in the fridge, so I was able to throw it together pretty fast. Thanks to Michael for being such a great blogging buddy and sharing her wonderful new book Gone with a Handomer Man.  And thanks to Lynn for inspiring this version of Teeny Templetom's Frittata.

Ham and Potato Frittata
adapted from a recipe by Lynn found at Happier than a Pig in Mud
serves 8

1 1/2 cups leftover ham, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups red or white waxy potatoes, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 C milk
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C thinly sliced scallions
sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and scallions; reserve for later.  In an 8-inch oven-proof, non-stick saute pan, over medium heat, saute the diced ham in a little bacon fat or lightly flavored oil; remove from pan, drain excess fat, and reserve.  Next saute the potato and onions in a couple tablespoons bacon fat; cover and cook for 12-15 minutes until tender and caramelized; stirring as needed to brown evenly and prevent burning. Add the cooked ham back pieces back to the pan and pour the egg mixture over the ham and potatoes.  Reduce the heat to low and cook the Fritatta on low for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are done, then uncover and place the pan into the preheated 350F oven for another 10 minutes, or until the frittata is cooked through.  Rest for 5-10 minutes before loosening the Frittata from the pan using a silicone spatula.  Slowly slide it out of the pan and onto a serving tray. Garnish with salsa, sour cream, and sliced scallions.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jello Easter Eggs with Vanilla Filling

Jello Eggs - ButterYum
 Been pretty busy this week, but I wanted to take a moment to share these jello eggs with you guys.  I came up with the idea of making them when my kids were young.  I usually make them at Easter time, but they're fun any time of the year. 

Jello Egg Molds - ButterYum
 I start with these egg molds.  I got mine at the grocery store about 15 years ago, but you can find them online and occasionally in thrift shops.  I've also seen molds that make egg halves (I've included a link at the bottom of this post).

 I fill the molds with the jello jiggler recipe (below), then chill for at least 4 hours.  After unmolding, I cut them in half lengthwise and then I use a melon ball tool to make a little well in each half.  Pop that little bit into your mouth - cook's treat.

 Arrange the prepared halves on a serving tray.  Do this before you fill the halves, or you'll have a huge mess on your hands.

I like to pipe a pretty swirl of the vanilla cream cheese mixture using a pastry bag and "closed" star tip (the closed star makes those deep grooves).

 To pipe the filling more than 6 hours ahead of time, add a packet of Whip It to the cream cheese filling mixture when you add the heavy cream.  You can skip this step if you like, but I think of it as extra insurance.

Jello Easter Eggs - ButterYum

Jello Easter Eggs with Vanilla Filling

Jello Eggs 
Printable Recipe 
(makes approximately 3 whole jello eggs)
3 ounce package of jello, any flavor
3/4 cup boiling water

Vanilla Filling
(makes enough to fill about 24 egg halves)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

To make the eggs:
Lightly coat egg mold with a thin layer of canola or vegetable oil.  Snap mold together and set it on a tray to catch any spills.  Combine jello and boiling water together; stir for 3 minutes until the jello is completely dissolved.  Slowly pour mixture into mold.  Chill overnight.

When you're ready to unmold the eggs, slowly pry the mold halves apart (I use a butter knife to gently coax the halves apart).  Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the eggs in half lengthwise using one continuous motion.  Next use a melon ball tool to make a well in the large end of each egg half.

To make the filling:
Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth.  Add the heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form.  Put the cream cheese filling into a pastry bag that has been fitted with a large star tip and pipe the filling into the egg halves.  Chill until service. 

Note: To fill the jello eggs with cream cheese filling more than 6 hours ahead of time, add a packet of Whip It to the cream cheese filling mixture when you add the heavy cream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Orange Dreamsicle Float

Orange Dreamsicle Float - ButterYum
I don't know what the weather has been like where you live, but it's been raining here for days and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.  We need the rain, but the dark gloomy days have started to wear me down and my body is craving sunshine.

Desperate for a quick fix to temporarily escape the dreariness, I decided to treat myself to this bright and cheery ice cream float which tastes like a yummy Dreamsicle Bar. Whether you need a pick-me-up or not, this cool and creamy treat is sure to put a smile on your face.

Orange Dreamsicle Float

Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a tall glass
Add as much orange soda as you like
Top with whipped cream
Sit back and enjoy! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pretty Darn Good Meatloaf

Grandpa Mark's Meatloaf - ButterYum

Believe it or not, my mother didn't do meatloaf.  She didn't do a whole lot of foods other people's mothers made... no casseroles, no cool whip, no country time lemonade (sniff-sniff).  For dinner we had one of two things, pasta or some sort of roasted meat with veggies on the side.  That was it, A or B.  Nothing wrong with that, but I don't think I had my first bite of meatloaf until I was in my 20s.  I liked it, the hubby liked it, the kids liked it (except for the picky one), but I didn't think to make it very often because it just wasn't one of the food memories I grew up with.

So I was looking at a blog post the other day about a girl who's late father-in-law, Grandpa Mark, made a mean meatloaf.  It was such a sweet post that I decided to give the recipe a try.  I'm so glad I did because we really liked it, even the picky one (he had 3rds!).  I've made the recipe twice now, once as written, and once with a slight modification (see the note below the recipe for an explanation).  Thanks for a great recipe, Jamie.  It's already a new favorite!

Grandpa Mark's Meatloaf
adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up!
makes 2 loaves

2 1/2 pound ground beef
1 1/2 onion, minced
2 sleeves Saltine crackers, processed into crumbs
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons honey mustard (I used half honey; half mustard)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup brown sugar (light or dark, whatever you have)
1 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 375F.  In a large bowl, mix together everything except the sauce ingredients.  Form into 2 equal size loaves and place in a greased 9x13 pan with about and inch of space between the loaves and all around the sides.  Mix together the brown sugar and ketchup, pour evenly over the loaves.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil, baste meatloaves with sauce from the bottom of the pan and return to the oven, uncovered, for another 5-10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Note:  Jamie's directions say you should pour the brown sugar on the bottom of the baking dish, then place the meatloaves on top, and pour the ketchup around the loaves (not on top).  The ketchup is supposed to mix with the brown sugar during the first 45 minutes of baking, turning into a sauce for basting, but my ketchup didn't liquefy and mix with the brown sugar at all.  The second time around I mixed the two together before pouring on top of the meatloaves.  That worked great, so I'll make it that way from now on. 

Also, Jamie somehow gets both of the loaves to fit in a 9x9 pan.  I tried, but found a 9x9 to be way too small.  I'm thankful my friend Peggy was visiting when I discovered this because she was able to pull out a 9x13 pan for me while I juggled the raw meatloaf mix (Thanks Peggy!!).