You can never have too many brunch-style dishes in your culinary repertoire. Even if you're not a brunch person, in ten minutes you can get an egg and cheese casserole into the oven for lunch or dinner (with a salad and some crusty bread), or make it in the evening and reheat for breakfast the next day. And, like vanilla ice cream, a basic egg and cheese casserole loves mix-ins: fresh or leftover cooked vegetables, sausage, fresh herbs, whatever you have on hand. In this version, I've used a bit of crumbled bacon, but if you'd prefer a vegetarian dish, omit the bacon or substitute some tofu scramble. Quick and easy egg and cheese casseroles are my go-to for any meal, at any time of day.
Continue reading "Recipe for egg and cheese casserole with leeks, red pepper and bacon" »
For some reason, I've gotten out of the brunch habit, but a few Saturday mornings ago I made this casserole for an event for Drop In & Decorate: Cookies for Donation, and it was such a hit (both the casserole and the event) that I can't wait to host another brunch party in the Spring. Egg and cheese casseroles anchor any morning meal; all you need to fill in are some bagels or crusty bread. Add a green salad, and your breakfast casserole morphs into lunch or dinner. Although you can make this a day ahead, it comes together so quickly that you're really better off making it the day you want to serve.
Continue reading "Asparagus, egg and cheese casserole recipe" »
In the house where I grew up, pasta meant spaghetti, and spaghetti always came with meatballs. In my own house, pasta is an occasional treat (oh, those carbs), one to be enjoyed with or without sauce, with or without meat, and almost always with cheese. These days, every market in my area carries a good variety of lean, precooked chicken sausage, and I always have sweet Italian flavored with peppers and fennel in my freezer. Everything in this dish, except the fresh fennel bulb and whole wheat pasta (which my husband Ted and I eschew in favor of Dreamfields most of the time), comes straight from the pantry. When I make it in summer, a bit of basil and some bronze fennel fronds from the garden kick the dish up a notch or two.
Continue reading "Recipe for whole wheat penne pasta with sausage, fennel, tomato and olives" »
A comforting thing to know about dried fruit:
If, like me, you live five miles from the nearest market, you'll be glad to know that dried fruit lasts forever in the pantry. Well, okay, not really forever, but for a whole lot longer than fresh fruit. Did you ever wonder why? The organisms that make food spoil need water to survive. Eliminate the moisture, and you cut off their lifeline. Unless you dry fruit yourself (a dehydrator is the safest way), and know that what you have is 100 percent fruit, be sure to read the package labels before you buy. Some dried fruit has added sugar and sulphur (which, believe me, has a very rooty-toot-toot side effect).
Continue reading "Dried fruit (Recipe: sugar-free apple crisp)" »