Quick and Easy ~ Egg Salad

Everyone seems to have their own take on egg salad with pretty strong opinions on what makes a good one. This is the way I do it.

I consider this a solid base recipe because I am sometimes known to alter the ingredients based on mood and whats available in the fridge. For example, I may substitute the yellow mustard with Dijon or swap out the green onions for dill pickle relish. All ingredient amounts are really “to taste” so play around and find what suits you.

Serve your creation over a big bed of mixed greens, spread it on bread for a classic sandwich, or scoop it right out of the bowl and onto crackers for a tasty snack.

Quick & Easy ~ Egg Salad

6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard

1/4 cup celery, diced

1 Tablespoon green onions, sliced

1 Tablespoon shallot, small diced

salt & pepper, to taste

paprika, for garnish

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Rough chop the eggs and place in a medium size mixing bowl.

Add mayonnaise, mustard, celery, green onions, and shallot. Mix with a spoon until well blended. Season to taste and sprinkle lightly with paprika.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until chilled.

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Crustless Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

Upon seeing what I was serving for dinner last night our oldest son, who is 22, commented that he was, “afraid the spinach taste was just going to be too much”. This, before he took the first bite and then proceeded to inhale his portion at an impressive rate of speed then and go back for seconds.

The 3-year old toddler also cleaned her plate so I think it’s safe to say this recipe is kid-approved! Served with an easy bruschetta and sliced baguette, this was a quick and satisfying meal enjoyed by the whole family.

Crustless Spinach Quiche

1 tsp. olive oil

1 TBSP butter

1 lb. fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

10 eggs, beaten

1 8-oz. pkg, cremini mushrooms, rough chopped, stems removed

3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled _____________________________________________________________________ Preheat oven to 350°

Roast the mushrooms: Toss mushrooms with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Spread mushrooms on prepared baking sheet and allow to roast 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle and rough chop.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.

Add spinach and cook until beginning to wilt.

Add onion and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until spinach is wilted and onion has softened, 3-5 minutes.

Stir in garlic for another 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in eggs, distributing spinach and mushrooms evenly.

Pour into prepared quiche dish and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Bake 20 minutes or until set. Serve warm or room temperature.

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Slow Cooked Mac and Cheese

Yesterday, as I was stating into the pantry and thinking of what to make for the kids’ breakfast, I realized we had a variety of partially used packages of pasta…. elbow, rigatoni, rotini, ditalini… you get the idea.

I decided to first eliminate the mini farfalle and when I referred to them as bow ties, my youngest immediately offered a correction. As far as she’s concerned, that shape is known as “hair bows”. Sounds good to me.

We proceeded to throw together a batch of hair bow and elbow mac & cheese for lunch. What I love about this recipe is that it is super kid-friendly and easily customizable to whatever pastas and cheeses you need to use up. For a little nutritional boost, I sometimes stir in some cooked veggies just prior to serving.

Slow Cooked Mac & Cheese

1 lb. package small size pasta

3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 cups half & half (or non-dairy creamer)

1 1/2 cups milk (almond milk works great)

1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

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Stir all ingredients together in a medium size slow cooker.

Cover and cook on Low approximately 2 hours.

Time will vary depending on pasta size so check on it and stir gently every 30-45 minutes.

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Garbanzo Bean and Feta Salad

The snow has almost disappeared completely around here and it’s beginning to feel like the edge of Spring. While nothing is blooming just yet, birds can be heard singing and it’s not as cold as it was just one week ago. We can almost go out without coats on.

One day last week though was unseasonably warm and I decided to throw this salad together for lunch on the back deck and have since enjoyed it three different ways: 1) all by itself; 2) over a bed of lettuce, salad-style, and 3) slightly mashed and spread on crackers.

I do recommend using this recipe as a base and playing around with ingredient types and amounts. Cannellini beans, or any white bean, really, would be likely be tasty. As would Mediterranean or other herbed feta.

Garbanzo Bean & Feta Salad

2 – 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained

5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1/2 – 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

lemon juice, to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

salt, to taste

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Combine everything in a large glass bowl and adjust seasoning to taste.

Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving cool or room temperature.

garbanzo bean & feta salad

Vegetable & Tortellini Chowder

It’s been snowing all day and the storm has dropped several inches of snow on us with no sign of slowing down yet today. The weatherman is predicting around 9″ of snow before the day is over and I have to admit, I’m enjoying it.

I love the way a good snowstorm forces us to slow down a bit. There’s nowhere urgent to go – schools are closed and the roads are treacherous anyway. Best to just stay in, lounge around with the kids, watch movies, craft, bake… it’s all good. We dipped into the stash of beach toys and the three-year old had a blast scooping snow into her bucket and making a snow castle.

Then, after warming up with hot chocolate, I found that we had just enough left over from last night’s dinner and we settled in for a lunch of this deliciously hearty chowder.

Vegetable & Tortellini Chowder

1 Tablespoon butter

2/3 cup yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded & chopped

1 – 4-ounce can green chile peppers, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium jalapeño, seeded & chopped

3 cups vegetable broth

2 medium Russet potatoes, cubed

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 – 10-ounce package fresh cheese tortellini

1 cup cooked corn (frozen works fine)

1 3/4 cups half-&-half or non-dairy creamer

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Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to a boil. Add tortellini and cook 5-6 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a separate large pot over Medium heat, melt butter and add onion, bell pepper, and green chiles. Sauté 2-3 minutes, until softened and fragrant.

Add garlic and jalapeño. Sauté an additional 1-2 minutes.

Stir in broth, potatoes, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne powder. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to Low and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Stir in corn, creamer, and tortellini. Allow to simmer 5 minutes more, until heated through. Serve warm.

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Garlic and Herb Mushroom Tacos

This Wife Cooks

Serve these with a side of garlic rice…. YUM!!

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce, or to taste
1 5-ounce bag arugula or spring salad mix
2 cups wild mushrooms (I used cremini and shiitake)
1 medium shallot
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup herbed goat cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
6 spinach tortillas
  1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, garlic powder, and pepper sauce.  Toss lightly with the salad mix and set aside.  
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add shallot and cook until light golden brown.
  3. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme.
  4. Top warm tortillas with salad mix, mushrooms, and goat cheese.

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Roasted Garlic & Leek Soup

Reposting this from last March since the cold bug appears to have struck early this year. My husband calls this soup, “The Cold Killah”.

This Wife Cooks

The annual spring cold that has been going around lately finally made an appearance at our house.  I had a little touch of it but my husband is absolutely miserable!

So, in addition to a homemade juice involving lots of ginger, garlic, kale, and other cold-fighting foods, we enjoyed this soup along with a simple baguette and butter for dinner last night.  The house smelled amazing from all the garlic in the air and the soup was a big hit with everyone.

Our two-year old even went back for seconds!

Notes: * I use vegetarian chicken broth and vegan butter for this soup.

Roasted Garlic & Leek Soup

4 bulbs garlic, large
1 Tablespoon olive oil
6 Tablespoons butter
4 medium-size leeks, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cups dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, for garnish

Preheat…

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Red Beans & Dirty Rice with Collard Greens

My husband absolutely loves spicy foods so this dish was a big hit at dinner a few nights ago. You control the heat so go as sparky or mild as you like. The sweetness of biscuits brushed with a mixture of butter and honey were an excellent complement to this fiery meal.

Red Beans & Dirty Rice with Collard Greens

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thin sliced

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced

1 Tablespoon Cajun spice blend, or to taste

1 bunch collard greens, rough chopped and stems removed

1 – 10-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup long-grain rice

salt and pepper, to taste

cayenne pepper sauce, to taste

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In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and sauté 1-2 minutes, until slightly softened.

Add the garlic and Cajun spice. Cook and stir another 1-2 minutes.

Place collard greens in the pot along with 2 Tablespoons water. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until greens are wilted.

Add beans and rice, plus 1 cup water, to the pot. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and rice cooked through.

Adjust seasoning, sprinkle with cayenne pepper sauce to taste, and serve warm.

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Recipe adapted from Blue Apron.

Easy Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

I think my youngest daughter could eat soup every day of her life and be perfectly happy. Seriously, every day she asks me what we’re making for dinner that evening and every day she suggests soup. Yesterday was no different so, with the snow coming down outside and the house filling with the aroma of rosemary bread in the slow cooker, this recipe is what I came up with for dinner. There is a similar recipe on this blog – Clean Out the Fridge Soup. The main difference, other than a few ingredients here and there, is that this one is a chowder. Which really just means it’s creamier due to the addition of…you got it… cream.

This is a very forgiving recipe so pretty much whatever vegetables you have sitting around that need to get used up can be thrown in.

 

Easy Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 Tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup celery, sliced

1 cup carrots, chopped

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup broccoli florets

2 cups cauliflower florets

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 3/4 tsp. fresh)

salt and pepper, to taste

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cup milk (almond works great!)

1/4 cup half-and-half or non-dairy creamer

1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

 

In a large pot over medium heat, combine olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter.

Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Saute 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 1 minute.

To the vegetable mixture, stir in the broth, broccoli, cauliflower, thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat remaining 2 Tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour until thickened and combined.

Gradually pour in milk and creamer, whisking until smooth; no lumps.

Stir in to the soup and allow to continue cooking, uncovered, on low until heated through and slightly thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese until thoroughly combined and melted.

Serve warm.

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Rosemary Bread in the Slow Cooker

Yesterday’s snowy weather kept Littlest and me home all day. We painted, played games, watched movies… and baked bread in a whole new way – in the slow cooker.  Okay, it’s not a new method but it was one I had never tried before. I was actually feeling pretty skeptical about how the bread would turn out, in the beginning.

Mixing the dough, I kept thinking, “Is this really going to work?” Well, I can tell you with confidence now that, yes, it does work. And now I can see some real advantages to using the slow cooker method: 1) The bread has a softer texture than oven-baked; and 2) doesn’t heat up the kitchen like running the oven for long periods of time.

This is a recipe for Rosemary Bread because I had a package of fresh rosemary in the fridge I needed to use or lose. Really though, you could use whatever herb or combination of herbs you’ve got hanging around.

 

Rosemary Bread in the Slow Cooker

1 1/3 cups warm water

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, add warm water and yeast. Allow to stand 5-7 minutes, until the yeast begins to bubble.

To the yeast mixture, add olive oil, rosemary, salt, and flour, stirring to combine.

Using a dough hook (or your hands), knead the dough until soft and elastic. Time will vary depending on the kneading method.

Lightly oil your slow cooker and place bread dough in the center of the pot.

Cover and cook on High for approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Remove from the pot and place on a cooling rack.

 

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