Frittata with Venison Sausage, Chard, and Feta

You're right.  Those are Christmas plates.  This was our breakfast Christmas morning and it was delicious.  We used venison sausage thanks to Benny's buck, but you could go ahead and use any sausage you'd like.  

The fact that this frittata calls for heavy whipping cream really pulls it over the top.  Don't skimp on that ingredient please.  It's necessary to the delicious outcome that you'll receive.  The feta really adds a lot of flavor as well as it's all melted and speckled throughout.

Ok you asked for it.  Here's the recipe thanks to bon appetit

{Ingredients You'll Need}
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard- stems and center ribs removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 8 ounces venison country sausage
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Preheat oven to 325 and spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add swiss chard.  Cook until wilted just 2 minutes then place in a kitchen towel and ring dry.  Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick skillet and add onion.  Cook until softened then add sausage and cook until browned.  Remove from the heat and cool.  
  • Whisk eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Add chard, sausage mixture, and feta.  Stir then pour into baking dish.
  • Bake until center is set- 45-55 minutes

Skillet Tea Cake

Although this cake has ice cream on it in the picture above, don't be fooled.  I consumed this cake for breakfast, with tea, and as dessert.  It's one of those cakes you can really have for any occasion.  That said, Mamma T was a smart lady per usual whipping it up over the holidays.  

When she was putting it together it seemed as though the batter tasted like sugar cookies.  I thought that it may end up being too sweet.  Not so.  The sugar seems to caramelize a bit and the cake ends up being rich and delicious.

I think I'll go ahead and make this next time company is around.  Perfect for dessert or to nibble on throughout the day.  The cake has special meaning to Benjamin's family as well.  Originally made by Lonez Anderson Shipman, then Janet Shipman Tims, and now Mamma T.

{Ingredients You'll Need}
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 t. almond flavoring or extract
  • Cream the butter, eggs, and sugar then add in the flour, vanilla, and almond flavoring or extract.
  • Pour into a 10" iron skillet that's been greased and floured
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

don't mind me

...Just hangin out in my bumbo watching Daddy in the kitchen while Mommy takes a nap!

17 weeks

Oh hey.  17 weeks was a good week.  Every week is pretty great these days.  Always changing and growing.  Personality is shining more and more as noted below.  What a guy.

hot cocoa for one

We finally got some snow here.  Just a dusting and the Ohio in me finds it hard to consider this winter still.  We don't have to bundle all that much and I haven't been painfully cold but a few times.  I shouldn't be complaining, but to me if I'm going to live somewhere that gets snow I want it to really snow!

Regardless, I'm glad to see something white on the ground be it snow or slush and this afternoon after a good walk this morning with Robyn and Caleb which wore out Anderson to the point that he fell asleep facing forward in the carrier then came home to take a 2 hour nap (victory!!) I decided to take a stab at making some hot chocolate.  I saw this recipe on the Epicurious App and after making it felt ten years old again.  Ok, maybe not 10 seeing as I was watching my 4 month old child, but still. It reminded me of good old fashioned powdered hot chocolate that we'd have after playing in the snow.  I used about 2 tablespoons of sugar to see how sweet it would be and based on the comparison I just made, it was sweet!  Next time I'll use half the sugar and see how that goes.  I may even try Agave instead of sugar one of these days.  Point being, I'm making this again and you should too.

Anderson was in the carrier while I was making it.  Such a good helper.  I think he'll soon be sitting in the bumbo watching me cook!

here's the recipe.  enjoy with a marshmallow on top if that's your thing.  Speaking of, I think I need to make some of those from scratch some day soon...

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or less if you like..or agave nectar)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 
  • In a small saucepan whisk the cocoa powder, sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons of milk over low heat until the cocoa and sugar dissolve
  • add the rest of the milk and stir to combine.  increase the heat until warmed through
  • stir in the vanilla and serve immediately.
This recipe can easily be doubled...tripled...quadrupled..  you get the point.

dear four months

Hey Little Man,

Tomorrow you'll be four months old.  Four Months!  You're constantly changing and I find a bit of relief when parents tell me, "yah we feel like between 4 and 6 months they were always changing.."  It gives me hope that this interesting sleep, no sleep, eating often, stretching out feeding things you're doing it just all a part of being a four month old.  I know it is.  This morning you woke up at 7:30 but then decided to go back to sleep until 10 am!  Nice treat for us, so thanks!  After did wake up at 1 and 4 and 5 during the night.

You're a lot of work kid, but the best kind.  I love reading to you and watching you kick kick kick and it seems like you're already (in true human nature) loving the approval of your dad and me when you grab things or kick at your toys or let's be honest, have a good burp.

I think you'll be sitting up before we know it and getting a tooth here soon as well since you can't seem to keep your hands out of your mouth.  It's fun to watch you grow, but then again I love looking in the mirror when I'm holding you and know you're still a baby, my baby.

Love you more than you'll ever know,

salad bar with lemon-yogurt dressing

Tonight's dinner brought me back to college when I ate many many salads.  I wasn't the biggest fan of the hot items on many days (and nights) so I turned to the salad bar and loaded it up with cottage cheese or tuna for protein.  Sometimes I'd mix brown rice with peanut butter, raisins and honey and have a protein filled snack or dessert of sorts too.  Then of course there was always cereal.  Looking back I realize why I was much thinner than I am now considering what I ate day in and out.

Needless to say, I should know how to make a good salad, right? Well, this recipe brought some new things to my knowledge.  Why not cut the stems of broccoli and throw them in a salad?  It's good to not waste food after all.  Or how about this simple and delicious lemon yogurt dressing?  Why didn't I think of that?

This mound of greens and veg filled us up tonight and the dressing is one I'll turn to again.  Here's the recipe thanks to and modified from Bon Appetit though of course get carried away and create for yourselves whatever strikes your fancy.

{Lemon Yogurt Dressing}

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients and taste for salt and pepper.  Serve a top salad which may include...

  • spinach
  • romaine
  • chopped carrots
  • avocado, sliced
  • peeled and chopped broccoli stems
  • chickpeas
  • halved and pitted kalamata olives
  • sunflower seeds
  • candied walnuts

Grandma June's Beef (or venison) Stuffed Peppers

For a few months now I've been wanting to go through old recipes at my parents.  My Mom has wonderful handwritten recipes that I remember from my Grandma June and then some from her aunts and grandma as well.  The other week I started going through her many cooking binders and stumbled upon my Grandma's Stuffed Pepper recipe.  I remember Grandma June making these and sitting on the back porch in the summer time eating them up.

While I was making them at my parents my Mom reminded me that Grandma canned her own tomatoes from the garden and used peppers during the summer when they were in season.  Thanks, Mom.  She also told me that Grandma cooked things pretty bland, in true Midwest form, so I should season things more if I thought they needed it.

Grandma June used ground beef but we used the venison we had which is cut with some beef fat so that it's not too lean.  Because it is so lean I added a bit more oil to the pan while I was browning it.

During the process of shopping for these I learned about chili sauce.  Do you use it?  I had never heard of it but sure enough found it near the ketchup.  It added some sweetness and tang to the overall red sauce I think.  Overall these were a hit and dare I say casserole-like in that you have your rice, meat, and veg all in one pot.  You can serve this up with a side salad and bread if you'd like but then again, that's not necessary.

Here's the recipe ... and here's to keeping family recipes alive.

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 6 green peppers
  • 1.5 lbs ground venison (or beef)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon salt to season
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 16-ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cut the top off each pepper, remove the seeds and cook in enough salted boiled water for 5 minutes to soften them.  Remove from the water and drain.
  • Saute the ground beef, onion, and celery until the beef is browned.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  
  • Stand the peppers upright in a casserole dish or dutch oven and put about 1/4-1/2 inch of water in the bottom.  Fill the peppers then bake them at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

happy one year ago today to us

One year ago today Benjamin and I were sitting down to relax for a bit before hitting the hay.  He asked if he could pour me a glass of wine and I had reservations.  What if I was pregnant?!  After all, I was a day late.  One day and I was suspicious.  I suggested we take a test before I drank a glass of wine because after all, what if I were pregnant?

Benjamin laughed it off but gave in to my craziness and we wandered upstairs so I could take the test and he could stand nearby for the 2 or 3 minutes as we awaited the results. I remember shaking and praying and being pretty giddy.  Benjamin now says I willed for this baby to happen.  It was like I knew...

Obviously, the result was positive and we stood there and said several times, "we're pregnant...we are pregnant..."  Later that night we decided it would be a good idea to download a bunch of baby documentaries on Netflix but first we watched the opening scene to Look Whose Talking- a completely scientific and practical way to think about the little babe growing inside of me.

And now?  Well now we're a family.  We have an almost 4 month old, we're tired, and we've got oh so much love and joy in our lives.  Happy One Year Since We Found Out About Anderson to Us...

poached eggs in a delicious tomato sauce with chickpeas and feta

This was dinner tonight.  This dinner tonight was real tasty.  So tasty in fact that I declared, "I need to blog this now!"  It was also very easy and quickly came together.  It was satisfying and a plus as I wanted to help the budget out by having more vegetarian recipes and cut down on our meat consumption.

Nothing wrong with meat of course, we've been consuming venison like it's our job.  If you decide to make this recipe know that it would work really well for brunch and that adding the fresh herbs at the end is definitely necessary.  They add the hit of something fresh that is definitely needed.  Sometimes I skimp on adding the herbs in recipes because I don't want to spend $3 for a tablespoon or two.  Here however, you should go ahead and splurge.  Grab an avocado as well to place on top.  Delicious.

The original recipe calls for 2 jalapenos.  I couldn't find them at Trader Joe's this time of year when I went shopping earlier in the week (without Anderson thanks to my Dad working so close and on his lunch break coming over so I could run out) so I ended up using a chile de arbol.  Red pepper flakes would work as well to add some heat.  Obviously you can omit the pepper all together, especially if you're making this for kiddos.

The tomatoes have an excellent flavor with the paprika and cumin and as to be expected, we topped ours with some Frank's hot sauce.

Ok, are you ready for the recipe? I found it thanks to the Epicurious App and modified it some.  It originally hails from Bon Appetit.

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 chiles de arbol
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 6 eggs 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • whole wheat toast to serve it with
  • avocado, sliced
  • Preheat the oven to 425.
  • In a large skillet that is oven safe, heat the oil then add the onion, garlic, and chile de arbol- chopped.  Allow to sweat down and cook about 5-8 minutes.  Next add the chickpeas, paprika, and cumin and cook for 2 more minutes.  
  • Add tomatoes, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and allow to cook down about 10-15 minutes so the sauce thickens some.  Season with salt and pepper during this process.  
  • Turn off the heat, sprinkle the sauce with the feta, then crack to eggs on top.  Transfer skillet to oven and bake 5-8 minutes until eggs are set but still runny.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, top with avocado slices, sprinkle on some hot sauce, and serve atop toast!

wrestling with daddy

you know those pictures...

You know those pictures photographers take of baby feet that seem so precious next to adult feet?  Well here's our interpretation in black and white because my feet are in serious need of a pedicure...

a JOYful weekend

Over the weekend I made my first two Joy the Baker recipes ever.  Quite shocking really when you consider the friend crush I've had on her for some time.  The admiration has grown as Benjamin and I have taken to listening to her podcasts thanks to Homefries.  They're easy to listen to, down to earth, and hilarious.  I highly recommend them to get your mind off things for a bit and listen to two girls talk about everything and nothing all at the same time- in the best way possible.

While we spent a couple days at my parents I saw her recent post about raspberry and chocolate chip pancakes.  I really don't like mixing chocolate and fruit, but I knew we had the ingredients so I decided I would give them a try.  Delicious- and that's coming from someone who doesn't like chocolate and fruit.  I used dark chocolate chips and didn't have buttermilk but just used regular milk and added a splash of vinegar to it.  For the recipe from the one and only, check out Joy's post here.

Before we headed back I had the itch to make something else so I turned to Joy's Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate Frosting.  I used semi sweet chips instead of milk chocolate and left them at my parents to have for smallgroup.  I hope there are some left and that I'll get another bite or two when I see my Mom on Thursday.  I first had these brownies when my friend Kara had me over for lunch and I ate three in one sitting.  I was pregnant and justified the extra brownies for the babe.  It's a good thing I didn't take them home however as I would have eaten 6 and Benjamin would tell me how he doesn't like sweets.  Silly Benny.

Regardless, once again here's the recipe from Joy.  Really delicious.

16 weeks

Sweet baby Anderson.  I'm finding it hard to come up with words to describe this little one.  Pictures are worth 1,000 words, right?!

you are my sunshine

Anderson and I have had a great day.  I've cleaned here and there thanks to tips from Motivated Mom, we went for a walk, read books, the Story Book Bible- an amazing devotional for me too!- and played with toys.  He's trying to grab for things now and it's fun to see him almost get it.  He's taken some naps and I even let him cry for a bit - though that still is much harder than I thought it'd be.

Recently we've been listening to the Elizabeth Mitchell Pandora station throughout the house.  It's nice background music and kid friendly too.  "You are My Sunshine" came on today and I couldn't help but tear up as I sang it to him.  I love this print by Katie Daisy on Etsy.  Someday if we have a girl I plan on it hanging in her room. Until then, I can enjoy looking at it in my Mom's nursery.

...and we're back.

Guess what?  The weekend has been full of cooking.  Just finished up a delicious risotto dish and thinking I might just make me some Joy the Baker brownies.  We're at my parents so it's easier to cook while grammy or grandpa hold the little one.  I'm feeling motivated to be back in the kitchen more thanks to life becoming a little less unpredictable, and overall just getting more and more into the swing of things even though Anderson is still operatng like a newborn- eating every 2 hours and only awake for an hour to two hours before he wants another nap. 

I'm also feeling well, like a Motivated Mom thanks to guessed it.. the Motivated Mom App for the iPhone.  You betcha.  It's this handy app that gives me a list of chores each day so I don't reach the end of the week, look around my house, stare at dust and want to cry because things have gotten away from me.  I do love me a good list and this is "just the ticket.."  The other day I cleaned my sink because it said so and also read Amos 8-9 because it said so. Not a Mom?  You can still have the app and just hide the things like "Read to Children.."  That one's not a chore though, neither is reading the Bible....

All this to say, here's to hoping Anderson gets the swing of sleeping in his crib more this week and decides not to wake up every 2-3 hours at night so I can actually post some of the beautiful recipes I've recently made!

15 weeks

Little would you know I spent yesterday and this morning stressed about why the little one was changing up his napping patterns so in not napping in the afternoons.  It's really hard to be frustrated when this face stares back at you.  I went in to try and console him and got a grin instead of more tears.  Who knows what's going on... most likely he's growing and changing and I'm going to try my best and remember he won't go to college swaddled, and in my arms.  Tomorrow is a new day and as for today?  Time for bed...

falling in love

Oh hey Mom I'm falling..

Oh, you think this is funny?

Ok.  Help.