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Lazy Sunday mornings and a squash blossom frittata

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Since high school, I have always over scheduled myself.  There are so many things I want to do and experience and I usually end up wearing myself out.  My dad tried, with limited results, to teach me to slow down and plan less, but he did succeed in one regard.  He taught me to cherish slow Sundays.

Dad started Sunday morning in his blue robe sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee in one hand, the newspaper in the other and a news program on the television.  When he finished the paper, he headed into the kitchen to make a big late breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast.  Breakfast was followed by watching either football or the Western movie of the day.  A slow and easy Sunday.

I do my best to honor the lazy Sunday morning routine regularly – sipping coffee, reading the newspapers, writing and listening to Chillville, one of my favorite radio programs.  In a life that is often too full of dashing between commitments, I cherish this lounging time and an easy Sunday morning breakfast.

A frittata is one of my favorite dishes because you can create a lovely meal using just about anything in the produce drawer .  Frittatas are a fantastic way to work vegetables into your breakfast and you don’t have to pay quite as much attention as you do when making an omelette.

Recently, I had some squash blossoms in the crisper (you can still find a few at the market, but probably not for much longer) and I thought a frittata would be a terrific way to honor these very delicate gems.

Squash blossoms

Placing the blossoms on top of the frittata kept them from getting “buried” in the egg and ensured that you got a little blossom in every bite.  Yum!

Photo by Sandra Ramos

Photo by Sandra Ramos

Squash Blossom Frittata

 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 squash blossoms
6 eggs, beaten (I add 2 tbsps of milk to mine to make them fluffier, but you can skip this)
1/2 tsp salt (don’t add too much salt as the feta cheese is salty)
feta cheese
Preheat your broiler.
Heat the oil over medium heat on the stove in an oven-proof skillet.  Add the squash and garlic and saute until almost tender.  Add the squash blossoms and gently saute for a minute or two, just long enough to get some of the flavor from the dish, but not so long as to wilt the blossoms too much.  Remove the squash blossoms from the pan.
Add the eggs to the squash mixture, evenly distributing the vegetable mixture around the eggs.  Allow the eggs to cook until the egg begins to set (almost cooked through, but still a little runny on top.)  Place the squash blossoms on top of the egg and sprinkle feta cheese over the top.  Put the skillet under the broiler for about three minutes, until the top is golden and the cheese melts.  Check the frittata frequently while it’s under the broiler so that you don’t burn the top.
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Charcuterie Comes to the Austin Farmers Markets

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The first time someone offered me a charcuterie plate, I had no idea what they were talking about. Needless to say in Amarillo, we did not refer to the meat portion of a meat and cheese tray as charcuterie, but that’s exactly what it is. I have learned to appreciate good charcuterie which can include bacons, sausages, hams, patés or confits.

101809_1In Austin, we are blessed to have some folks who are making truly great charcuterie. Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due crafts incredible sausages, pates, rilletes, and other goodies which they have offered through their Supper Club and Butcher Shop. Starting Saturday November 7th, Dai Due will also have a booth at the Downtown Austin Farmers Markets each week. To keep up with their weekly offerings, subscribe to their newsletter on their website. I recently made a zucchini and chorizo hash using Dai Due chorizo mexicano and it was incredible.
Kocurek Family Artisanal Charcuterie is also offering delightful charcuterie selections at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market. Their recent market offerings included duck bacon, two types of paté, and garlic sausage. The garlic sausage was a big hit at our football watching party.
So, get yourself to one of the markets and enjoy some scrumptious charcuterie. After all, doesn’t everything taste better with really great sausage?
101809_2Zucchini and Chorizo Breakfast Hash

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 large bell pepper or 3-4 small sweet peppers (you could use hot peppers like jalapenos if you prefer a spicier version)
1 lb chorizo (I used chorizo mexicano from Dai Due)
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion and peppers until tender. Add the chorizo and cook until it is browned. Add the zucchini and cook until just tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
While the zucchini is cooking, fry an egg in a separate skillet to your preferred preparation. I personally like my yolk to run all over the hash so I cooked my egg over easy.
Plate the zucchini and chorizo mixture and top with the fried egg.
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A Lazy Sunday Morning with Watermelon (Radish) Eggs

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So far, this Memorial Day weekend has been about making simple meals with my market finds as I dash between commitments with friends and volunteering for the Austin Wine Festival and the Cap Tex Tri.

This morning, I was granted a little extra downtime by the rain clouds when my bike ride in Pflugerville with my friend Lindsay was canceled lest we get soaked.  I hate to admit it but I’m a fair weather cyclist, particularly after getting caught on foot in the downpour on Saturday. I try to only sport the drowned rat look sparingly.
I decided to use my new found time to treat myself to a proper breakfast.  Several weeks ago, I bought radishes from  Acadian Family Farm and they shared with me that one of their favorite ways to eat radishes is to saute them in butter and add them to their eggs.  This piqued my interest.
While I love radishes, I typically eat them raw in salads or as a dipping vehicle for my weekly supply of  Grandma’s Humus.  Cooked and in eggs – hmmmm.  As with most new ideas, I had to let that incubate for a few weeks.
Today, I decided to give it a shot.  I had some beautiful watermelon radishes that I bought from Urban Roots and I just knew that would look very pretty in my scrambled eggs.  Sauteing the radishes cuts the spiciness and they added a great crunch to the eggs.   I will definitely add this dish to my weekend breakfast rotation.
Photo by Sandra Ramos

Photo by Sandra Ramos

Sauteed Radish Scrambled Eggs

1 bunch of radishes (I used watermelon radishes, but french breakfast or any other type of radish would work just as well)
1 tbsp butter
3 eggs, beaten with a little bit of milk (about 1 tbsp per egg)
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a skillet and saute the radishes until just tender.  Add the eggs and cook to desired doneness.  (I’m not even going to get into what the “proper” doneness is – an endless fight in our family as 1/2 the family prefers what I would consider overcooked eggs.)
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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An Easter Full of Vegetables

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We had a glorious Easter day in Chicago.  A little chilly for me, but sunny and beautiful.  We spent the better part of the day cooking three great meals that included goodies that we had picked up at the markets on Saturday (see Shopping Local Chicago Style).


After the requisite ransacking of the Easter baskets by the kids, which included the

041209_1 marshmallow peeps, cookies and lollipops we bought at the Chicago’s Downtown Farm Stand,  Beverly made green
 eggs and ham with the spinach from the Farm Stand.  

For lunch, we had ham, heated in the skillet with mashed potatoes and rutabagas, green beans and shitake salad with a dijon balsamic vinaigrette, and a gorgeous spring vegetable and goat cheese salad.  It was such a delicious meal with plenty of veggies and lovely flavors that were different but complementary.

The spring vegetable and goat cheese salad is one of my new favorites.  I made it for the Austin Food Blogger Potluck last Sunday and it was just as delightful, light and flavorful today.  I would love to take credit for the recipe, but I found it in this month’s Cooking Light.  I highly recommend that you make it as soon as possible with the freshest vegetables you can find.

For dinner, we had some deviled eggs as our starter (of course), a nice pasta primavera with swiss chard, spinach, carrots, and shitake mushrooms.  Beverly made a gorgeous romaine salad with blue cheese, walnuts, cranberries and pears. 

The best part of the day was cooking with friends who you just click with.  It was so easy, like there was a rhythm and everyone in the kitchen could feel it.  We never crowded each other or
 got in each other’s way.  It was a great day with good friends.

from Cooking Light

2  medium carrots
1/4  cup  thinly sliced spring onion
1  (8-ounce) bunch radishes with tops
1  tablespoon  thinly sliced fresh basil 
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice 
1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil 
1/4  teaspoon  fine sea salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper 
1  (4-ounce) package goat cheese, cut into 8 slices 

041209_2Shave carrots into ribbons with a vegetable peeler to measure 2 cups. Combine carrots and onion in a large bowl.Wash radishes and radish greens thoroughly; drain and pat dry. Cut radishes into thin slices to equal 1 3/4 cups; thinly slice radish greens to equal 1 cup. Add radishes, radish greens, basil, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) to carrot mixture; toss gently to coat. Arrange goat cheese on a serving platter; top with salad. Serve immediately.
Note:  The first time I made this, my radish greens were not in very good shape so I didn’t use them.  This time, we skipped the basil.  Either way, it was delicious.  The key is to not mix the goat cheese in with the salad, but serve the salad over it.  If you mix the goat cheese in, it will get soupy.

Green Eggs & Ham
from Beverly McClellan

Manage the proportions as you need for your sized crowd.  This is very straight forward.  We had kiddos eaten so no garlic, but some garlic salt in the eggs.


Olive oil
eggs, scrambled with a little garlic salt
chopped spinach
diced ham
mozzarella

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Add the eggs and let them sit until they just begin to firm up.  Add the chopped spinach and let it wilt a bit.  Then add the ham and the mozzarella.  Fold the ingredients into the eggs gently and allow to cook through.

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