Thursday, September 12, 2013

Veggie Frittata


This is an easy dish to prepare for any meal, and a really good way to use up produce that is in your refrigerator!  On this occasion I used asparagus, mushrooms, onion and green pepper, but you can use any vegetable according to your taste!

I start by adding olive or grape seed oil to the cast iron skillet and then add the veggies along with garlic salt and pepper (to taste), and saute over medium high heat until they are crisp tender.

While the vegetables are cooking, I mix the eggs, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and milk in the food processor.

Pour the egg mixture into the skillet over the veggies, and then add the additional cheese.  

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Veggie Frittata
Recipe Author:  Carolina Food and Fitness

6 large eggs
2 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
olive or grape seed oil
1/2 lb. asparagus
1/4 large onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 lb. mushrooms
1/2 cup asiago cheese
1/2 cup sharp provolone cheese
garlic salt

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Puff Pancake With Fruit

This is a fast and delicious recipe that you can make for any meal!  Start by melting 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Mix together eggs, whole milk, sour cream, honey, flour, old fashioned oats and salt with a hand mixer or food processor.

Pour the batter into the hot cast iron skillet.

Add to the batter 1-2 cups of your choice of fruit.  (In the picture below, I used raspberries and blackberries, the pancake pictured at the top of this post, was made with blueberries and sliced strawberries.)  I also added 2 slices of crispy bacon that was crumbled over the top of the pancake.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Puff Pancake With Fruit

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 cups of fruit
2 slices crispy bacon, crumbled

Serve with maple syrup

Recipe adapted from the Recipe Girl

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Skillet Pizza


I just love pizza!  Baking it in a cast iron skillet is an effective and easy way to get the crust to turn out just the way I like it!

Start by making the dough for the crust.  Add yeast, flour, garlic salt, olive or grape seed oil, and water to the bread pan.

Use the "manual" setting on your bread machine, and after the cycle is complete, remove the dough.  Tonight I divided it (because I am only cooking for two) and put half in a zip lock bag and placed it in the refrigerator.

While the dough was mixing I lightly sauteed sliced mushrooms and onion in olive oil, to use for the topping.

Now, start building the pizza.  Coat the 12 inch cast iron skillet with olive oil, add the dough, marinara sauce and asiago cheese.

Next add the pepperoni.  I had it sliced at the BJ's deli counter.

 Finally, add the mushrooms and onions, and top with sharp provolone cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.


Pizza Crust
Recipe Author:  Carolina Food and Fitness

2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons olive or grape seed oil
1 cup warm water

Recipe Author:  Carolina Food and Fitness

1/4 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup asiago cheese
8 slices pepperoni
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 large onion
1/4 cup sharp provolone cheese

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Veggie Quiche

I have started saving the scraps from my homemade pie dough.  Just roll them into a ball, place in a zip-lock bag, and refrigerate until you are ready to use, in this case for a quiche for dinner tonight.  The purpose of posting this recipe (and not giving exact measurements with the vegetables) is to encourage you be creative with your own taste in making a dish like this!

I lightly saute a selection of vegetables in olive or grape seed oil.  Tonight it was mushrooms, onion, a carrot, and asparagus.  The best thing about a quiche, is that the possibilities are endless!  

Mix the eggs, cream cheese, and romano cheese in a food processor.

Add the veggies, and then the egg mixture to the pie, then top with your choice of cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Veggie Quiche
Recipe Author:  Carolina Food and Fitness

1 pie crust
5 eggs
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup romano cheese
1/2 cup provolone cheese
1/2 cup asiago cheese
1/4 large onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
sliced mushrooms
garlic salt and pepper to taste

Lightly saute veggies in olive or grape seed oil.  In a food processor, mix eggs, cream cheese and romano cheese.  Pour the vegetables in the crust, then add the egg mixture.  Top with cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mild Chili

Please don't tell anyone, but I absolutely detest kidney beans, as a result I never liked chili!  It is something I had never even considered making until about 2 1/2 years ago when my Mom requested that I cook it for her.  She was battling cancer and certain dishes that she had always loved (such as lasagna) no longer appealed to her. So, I went looking for a recipe and discovered that competition chili never has beans!  (What a revelation!)  I eventually came up with the following recipe, it needed to be mild enough that both she and my Dad would be able to eat it without setting their mouths and hair on fire!  Mom absolutely loved this chili, and it was one of the only meals that she actually ate and enjoyed.

I start by chopping onion and green bell pepper. Something I hate almost as much as kidney beans, is chopping onion.  (The Chop Wizard is great!) 

The onion and green pepper are lightly cooked in olive or grape seed oil.

Meat loaf mix is added next.  It is a blend of beef, veal, and pork.  Not all grocery stores have it, I found this at BJ's.  I also added 3 cloves of minced garlic.  

After the meat is no longer pink, drain off the excess fat, and return it to the dutch oven.  The rest of the ingredients are added, and it can simmer as long as you want.  I made this today, and let it cook on low all afternoon.

Recipe Author:  Carolina Food and Fitness

2 tablespoons olive or grape seed oil
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
3 – 4 cloves of garlic minced
2.5 lbs. meatloaf mix
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 ½ quarts tomato sauce
12 oz. tomato paste
¼ cup brewed coffee
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1½ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons hot sauce

Lightly saute the diced onion and green pepper in olive or grape seed oil.  Add the meatloaf mix, and minced garlic, and cook until no longer pink.  Drain off the excess fat, and return to the dutch oven.  Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook for at least an hour.  

French Bread

I have tried many different french bread recipes, but this is the one that (IMHO) is the best!  It is from a recipe booklet that came with the DAK bread machine, the only change I have made is to substitute honey for the sugar. (If you add 2 tablespoons of honey, you may need to add some additional flour during the mixing process.)

Start by stiffly beating 2 egg whites.

Add the ingredients to the pan in the order specified by the manufacturer. With this machine, the dry ingredients are added first, and the egg whites are added after the mixing has begun.  

I have used another bread machine for this recipe, and the ingredients are added in the reverse order, it worked just fine.  This recipe was written to be baked in the bread machine, but in recent years I have just used the machine for the mixing process, which takes about 40 minutes.  

I then remove the dough, shape it into a loaf, put it into a greased bread pan, and place it in a warm draft free spot for about 30 minutes. (I always use the microwave.)  If you let it proof longer than 30 minutes it tends to "mushroom", which is one reason I don't usually bake this bread in the machine.

Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes.

French Bread

2 1/4 Teaspoons Yeast
3 Cups Bread Flour
1-2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Cup, Minus 1 Tablespoon Warm Water
2 Stiffly Beaten Egg Whites
Bake @ 400 degrees for 25 minutes

Adapted from the DAK recipe booklet

Friday, August 16, 2013

Triple Fruit Pie

My Mom just loved rhubarb!  It was probably her favorite fruit, and she and my Dad grew it in their large garden in Pennsylvania.  When we moved to North Carolina, she tried repeatedly to grow rhubarb, and had no success!  I can find it occasionally in the grocery stores here in Charlotte, however, only one time during checkout was the clerk able to identify the pink stalks, (he was originally from upstate New York).  Several years ago, when grocery shopping locally with Mom, there was a teenage girl who wrinkled her nose when she picked up the bag of rhubarb by the corner, (like it was poison)!  She apparently had never seen or heard of it.  (We both tried very hard to keep from laughing!)

Since making this recipe for the first time in May, I have experimented with different fruit combinations, most recently with a strawberry - rhubarb version, (3 cups of rhubarb, and 3 cups of strawberries). 

I just love the tartness of this pie, but if you want it to be sweeter, just add more brown sugar. 

Start by making dough for a two crust pie.  For the steps to making this crust from a previous post click here 

Divide the dough in half, and roll out the bottom crust.

In a large bowl add blackberries, raspberries, and rhubarb.  Gently fold in the vanilla, brown sugar, tapioca, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.

Add the fruit mixture to the pie crust.

Roll out the top crust and add to the top of the pie.

Once the top crust is trimmed and sealed, add small cuts to the top crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes.


2 Cups Fresh Blackberries
2 Cups Fresh Raspberries
2 Cups Fresh Rhubarb
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Quick Cooking Tapioca
¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Salt
Bake @ 400 degrees for 20 minutes the 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Adapted from Best of Country Pies – Taste of Home