Sheet Pan Frittata

IMG_2096Sheet pan meals are so popular.  I love this one because you can make it the night before, refrigerate it and then bake it off in the morning!

Plus, it’s so versatile!  Don’t like mushrooms?  No problem… pop on some ham or sausage!  Have cheese-lovers in your house?  Sprinkle on a combination of cheddar and parmesan!  (This version is dairy-free).

Recipes like these are some of my favorites because they are more than recipes… they are guidelines.  You can take the basics of the recipe (the ingredient measurements) and timing and make it whatever you want.

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 6.16.59 PMSheet Pan Frittata
Serves 12

Base:
1 large russet potato, spiralized
1 egg
2 tablespoons olive oil

Topping:
10 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 red bell pepper, spiralized

  1. Heat the oven to 325˚F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the spiralized potato and cook, tossing, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg. When the potato is softened, add it to the bowl and toss. Lay the potatoes in an even layer in the bottom of a 9×13 rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
  4. Lay the mushrooms, green onions and red pepper over the potato layer.
  5. In the same bowl, mix the eggs and water. Pour over the vegetables and tilt the pan if necessary to even out.
  6. Bake 35 minutes or until set.

Enjoy!

 

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Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

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Strawberry Margarita Quicksicles

In honor of Pampered Chef’s Help Whip Cancer campaign this month, I wrote this *pink* recipe to share with my family and friends!

Who doesn’t like a strawberry margarita and today it’s HOT HOT HOT here so it’s the perfect refresher! If you’re serving this to kids, please omit the tequila and substitute with water.

IMG_2119

When the word “margarita” is used by itself, it typically refers to the classic lime or lemon juice margarita, but when other juices are used, the fruits are typically added as adjectives in the name with lime juice or lemon juice added to give it a characteristic margarita flavor. This one includes the lime flavor.

Did you know the first margaritas were made with brandy instead of tequila? (I know that because Wikipedia told me!) They were remade with tequila instead of brandy, which became popular during prohibition as people drifted south of the border for alcohol.  It also says that the word “margarita” is spanish for daisy.  So when you go to Mexico and order a margarita, do they give you a flower?

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 3.46.44 PMStrawberry Margarita Quicksicles
Serves 3

2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 tablespoons tequila
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup strawberries, quartered (about 5 strawberries)

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, water, tequila, and sugar. Blend until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the strawberries and pulse until the strawberries are pureed but still a little chunky.
  3. Pour the strawberry mixture into the wells of the Quicksicle Maker to the fill line and freeze until set, about 10 minutes.

 

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Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is a independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Easiest Roasted Asparagus

IMG_1955We probably have this once each week.  What I love about it is that it’s always consistent and I can do it in the oven if it’s chilly out or outside on the grill in warmer weather.  I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t love asparagus this way (except those who generally hate asparagus overall!)

Asparagus was once classified as being in the lily family, like onions and garlic, but the they have been split and the onion-like plants are now in different families. Asparagus is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia.

Water makes up 93% of asparagus’s composition and it is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, magnesium, and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

So now that you have some history, give this recipe a try!  You’ll love it!

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 6.47.24 PMEasiest Roasted Asparagus
Serve 4

1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning (I use McCormick)

  1. Heat the oven to 375˚F or heat a grill for medium heat.
  2. Snap off the woody stems from the end of the asparagus and peel if desired.
  3. In a plastic bag, combine the asparagus, oil and steak seasoning.  Massage the asparagus so that all spears are covered with the oil and seasoning.
  4. Remove the asparagus from the bag and place on a baking platter or in a grill tray*.
  5. Place in the oven or on the grill and cover. Bake 10-12 minutes or until bright green.

*Do not use a grill tray in a conventional oven. The oil will drip through the grid of the tray onto the bottom of your oven and that is a big fire hazard!

Enjoy!

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Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Grandma Finley’s Meatloaf

This meatloaf isn’t my grandmother’s recipe but I have named it in her honor.  She was an amazing woman and entertainer.  I have some special items of hers, two in my kitchen. First is her recipe box with all of her hand written recipe cards.  The second is a little notebook she kept about dinner parties.  Back in the day, instead of going out to dinner on weekends, couples would entertain each other.  God I wish this would come back into style!

IMG_1969In this little notebook, she kept track of the date of the party, who attended, the menu, a description of the centerpiece and tablescapes as well as what the “prizes” were.  Each guest would go home with a little something from the host and hostess… most common prizes were a deck of cards for the men and a compact for the ladies.  I just love looking through it.  The date of the first entry is August 27, 1936.  My dad was 8 years old then.

Popular menus included Chicken A-la King, Lobster Newburg on Toast, and Grilled Steak. According to the book, cocktails were served upon arrival… most commonly Manhattan’s for the ladies and Highballs for the gentlemen. They really knew how to do it!

I always loved going to Grandmas’s for dinner. The table would always be set when we arrived and it always seemed so elegant!  Usually we would have a dinner in August near the date of my brother’s birthday. She would always make a cake and somewhere in the cake would be a quarter wrapped in wax paper. I always thought the baked the quarter into the cake but realized later on that she inserted it after the cake was baked. We would all wait in anticipation as to who would receive the quarter! Usually it was my brother. After all, more often than not, we would be celebrating his birthday. I remember the time I got the quarter though. It seems to be one of the best days of my life. After that, on occasion, when I make cakes, I’ll slip a quarter wrapped in wax paper into the cake so I can share the story with others.

IMG_1971The other fun item I have is her recipe box.  It’s an elegant (just like her) wooden box with her gorgeous penmanship… each recipe written out on index cards.  =-Maybe I’ll look through it again and update some of her recipes!

In the front “Main Dishes” section, her recipes include Chicken Divan, Spanish Rice, Corned Beef Casserole, Crabmeat Thermidor, Lobster Newburgh, Crab Royal, Chicken Fricasse and her famous Spaghetti.  I’ll have to do a post on that amazing recipe soon!

For Sunday dinner last weekend, Bill requested meatloaf.  It’s one of his most frequent request and while it is May, it’s rainy and a cool 58˚F here.  I decided to mix it up a bit and create this meatloaf version.  I’m excited with the results and I hope you enjoy it too!

 

Grandma Finley’s Meatloaf
Serves 8

IMG_19571 pound lean ground beef
1-1/2 pounds meatloaf mix (mixture of beef, lamb and pork)
3/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced or grated
1 6oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I use gluten-free)
1 egg
1 cup tomato sauce, divided
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning (I use this one)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 375˚F.  In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, meatloaf mix, red peppers, yellow onion, artichoke hearts, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, garlic cloves, italian seasoning mix, salt and pepper just until combined.
  2. Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 6.31.47 PMPack the mixture into a loaf pan.  If the pan is packed to the rim, place on a baking sheet to catch any juice that may drip over the edge.
  3. Bake 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and spoon the remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce over the top.
  4. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F.
  5. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes.  Slice into 8 pieces and serve warm.

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Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Asparagus Eggs Benedict

IMG_1521When my mom was visiting, we decided to make Asparagus Eggs Benedict.  It was so yummy too!

I haven’t been having this delicious breakfast entree since I’ve been GF/DF so I was excited to give this one a try!

Asparagus Eggs Benedict
Serves 2

8 asparagus spears
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 slices prosciutto (I used the Busseto brand)
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon chives, chopped

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 3.15.52 PMDairy-Free Hollandaise Sauce:
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup dairy-free margarine (I use SmartBalance)

  1. Using a double boiler set over simmering water, whisk the egg yolks, milk, water, salt, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and mustard.  Continue whisking until blended.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken.  Be sure to whisk often so clumps do not form.  When it reaches your desired consistency (mine took about 13 minutes to get there), remove from the heat and whisk in the margarine.
  3. Place the sauce back over the simmering water until ready to use.  Check on it from time to time and whisk to keep it smooth.
  4. In the meantime, snap the woody stems from the asparagus and peel (if desired… my mom likes her asparagus peeled).  In a small skillet, bring the water and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Once simmering, place the asparagus in the water and heat through until bright green, about three minutes.
  5. Poach your eggs as desired.  I make mine using the Pampered Chef Microwave Egg Cooker. Crack one egg into each well.  Puncture the yolk with the tip of a very sharp knife or use a toothpick.  Pour 1/3 cup water over each egg.  Add 1/8 teaspoon white vinegar into each well.
  6. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on HIGH 60 to 90 seconds or until the eggs are firm.  Remove using a slotted spoon.  While the eggs are cooking, finely chop the chives.
  7. To serve, place 4 asparagus spears on each plate.  Cover the asparagus with a slice of prosciutto and one poached egg.  Spoon the hollandaise over the top and garnish with the chives.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  The recipe for the hollandaise is great over eggs, asparagus, and poached fish.

SHOP MY KITHEN!


Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Colleen Finley is an independent advanced director for Pampered Chef. She earns a commission by linking to products she uses and trusts. If you purchase a product through her website link, your cost will be the same, and Colleen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us enrich lives, one meal and one memory at a time!

Hypercalcemia

bone healthHyper-what?  Exactly.  Back in October when I was Rxed with PHPT, it also came out that is has caused me to have Hypercalcemia.

Hypercalecemia is a condition in which the calcium levels in my blood are above normal.  Too much calcium can weaken bones, cause kidney stones and interfere with how my heart and brain work.

The most common causes are an overactive thyroid (me having PHPT) with a small, noncancerous tumor on one of my four parathyroid glands.  When I was tested, they discovered mine is .25″ or about the size of a small pea.

Normally there isn’t enough calcium in my blood, so my parathyroid gland secretes a hormone that triggers my bones to leach calcium into my bloodstream, my digestive track to absorb more calcium than normal and my kidneys to excrete less calcium and activate more Vitamin D.

If my bones continue to leach the calcium, I can develop osteoporosis, develop bone fractures more easily, devlope spinal column curvature and, wait for it… loss of height.

Hypercalcemia also effects the electrical impulses that regulate my heartbeat, causing it to beat irregularly.  Other fun effects are tingling in fingertips, toes and lips, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, fatigue, brittle nails and depression and anxiety.

All fun, right?  Well this is where things are interesting for me… about 8 years ago, my irregular heartbeat was becoming more and more frequent so I ended up being tested at the Beaumont Women’s Heart Center.  If anyone is near there, I highly recommend the comprehensive test they do.  I think every woman in her 40s should have it done.  If you’re not local, find a women’s heart center and get tested.  And be sure it’s a WOMENS heart center, not mens.  They two operate VERY differently.

The result of the testing found two things… first, when my blood work came back, I had zero Vitamin D in my system.  Not only was it flagged as low, they could not detect ANY.  Second, they diagnosed me with PVC… Premature Ventricular Contraction.

They put me on heavy Vitamin D and Calcium regiment , above and beyond what I should have normally and suggested more milk in my diet.  At the time I was drinking Whole Milk.  Whenever I would have an episode where my heart was acting up, I’d pop additional Vitamin D and Calcium and wash them down with the milk.  I was drinking about 3 gallons of milk each week.

Last fall, I decided to have a physical after my sister went and was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (the fourth in my family to be diagnosed… now I have 3 sisters and a niece with it).  During the exam, the wonderful and knowledgable PA took ahold of my hand and asked, “Have your nails always been brittle?” to which I responded, “Yes.”  They have as long as I can remember.

Then she asked, “Has anyone ever tested your thyroid?” No.  Never.

Fast forward to the blood tests, radioactive imaging, and bone density scans.  The call came in with the PHPT diagnosis along with a cease and desist of all calcium and any supplements (not even a daily multivitamin) that have calcium in them.  That’s when my research began and I found the best diet for me is paleo while avoiding soy and corn as much as possible too.

So that is how we are eating now and will be a focus of what I will be writing about!  On that note, I am finally done with Job #2! I now work Job #3 4 days each week with Wednesday’s off (woot!) and will be blogging then.  I’ll be working Job #1, well the office-part anyway, on Wednesday’s as well.

As I write this, I can’t help but think back to moments when my heart would act up and I would chug the milk and take the supplements… was I poisoning myself when I did that?  I don’t linger on that, but at times I am curious.  But then I smile and think about how grateful I am that I have a proper diagnosis!

A coworker asked me one day, when she examined my quinoa salad that I was having for lunch, if I had noticed any changes with my new way of eating.  I paused and realized that since I’ve been eating paleo, I haven’t had any irregular heartbeats.  When I do lose willpower and have wheat and dairy, within hours it’s back beating irregularly.  Thankfully now I know it will pass and it’s a strong reminder of how important it is for me to stick to my diet not matter what.

It’s funny in that for the first time in I don’t know how long, I am beginning to feel balance.  Let’s hope it stays that way!

Tonight I have a Pampered Chef Party!  We are making this recipe and I’m so excited to share this new MultiPot with the guests!

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What We Ate This Week

Last Sunday I did my shopping but didn’t do any prep for the week as I was still feeling lousy from the cold I’ve been fighting and we had been up late the night before attending the Winter Jubilee.  On the menu were persimmons but neither store I went to had them so someone suggested plums or mangoes and since it’s a warm dish, I felt plums would be best.

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 5.17.16 PMSunday night we had Meatballs with Brussels Sprouts from The Fresh20 Paleo menu.  The meatballs weren’t sensational but I like to try recipes the way they are written the first time without changes (I’ll eat those words later, literally).  I should have known better as I was making them but I forged ahead and while they were fine, they weren’t great.  The Brussels Sprouts were amazing!

Monday I was super excited as I LOVE LOVE LOVE scallops!  The original recipe was Scallops with Warm Persimmon Salad. This dish was gorgeous to make and even better to eat!  The plums were sensational and this was a gorgeous meal to serve.  And you can never, ever go wrong with scallops!  It would be great for a dinner party!

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 5.17.03 PMWednesday I had a PC party so Bill’s sister made us dinner of steak, sweet potato and salad.  At the party I made Warm Vegetable Dip (which they devoured in a hot second) and Chocolate Lava Cake with Homemade Whipped Cream.

Thursday I was excited to get back in the kitchen… it was a long day on my feet (excited that chapter will be ending soon) and the Rustic Sausage Soup was perfect.  I added in a can of cannellini beans.  PC has a great recipe that is similar that has the beans.

Friday called for Chicken Ragu over Zoodles but I opted to make the Bikini Bolognese from Inspiralized.  That recipe NEVER disappoints.  So that is when I decided that, going forward, if I am reading a recipe and can tell right out of the gate it’s not going to be amazing, I can make it amazing.  I’m not new in the kitchen and I feel like I finally know what flavors go together and I have enough resources to find what I need.  Life’s too short to eat bland food, right?

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 5.16.26 PMTonight I hadn’t planned to cook because we have leftovers in the fridge, I had a late lunch and I’m not sure I’m in the mood but what is left on the menu is Tamale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Now that I’m thinking about it, yeah… it’s not going to happen. My ground beef is still frozen.  Plus, it’s just me tonight.  If someone else were here, I’d definitely be cooking.  

On another note, I renewed my StitchFix subscription and have my first box arriving next week!  Since I will be working more at Job#3 in the near future, I need some more business-appropriate attire.

Now, saving the best for last!  This week Pampered Chef revealed our NEW Spring/Summer products!  I’m so excited to be able to talk about them now!  Keeping them under wraps for five weeks was TOUGH, especially since I’ve been using the new skillets almost every day.  Not only are they gorgeous but they are exceptional!

See anything you like?  You can shop my kitchen anytime by clicking HERE!

So I think that is it for now… my quiet evening ahead consists of eating leftovers (I’m thinking that soup will be perfect), catching up on my reading (I’m currently reading this book that I started last summer!) and possibly a movie (aka whatever is on the Hallmark channel!)