French Toast

I have high hopes and expectations for the breakfasts and brunches that I create, but they often fall short when I’m low on time or ingredients. This French Toast recipe is one of my go-to’s in those times, and it came in clutch this morning when I looked in the fridge and saw less than I had hoped to find.

Forunately, I always seem to have eggs and bread-and perhaps you find yourself in a similar predicament, too. Give it a try and this French Toast will have you thankful for the simple things in life.

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Recipe serves 2-3 (makes 6 pieces total)

French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 6 pieces Italian bread with sesame seeds (use any white or wheat bread that you like)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp milk or water (optional)
  • Butter for greasing pantmp_25843-img_20170108_102700_4631067401932

Directions:

  1. Beat eggs in as medium sized bowl.
  2. Add in cinnamon, ginger, and milk (optional), making sure to thoroughly incorporate.
  3. Place a medium or large-sized non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Once the pan is warm, place a small pad of butter on the pan to grease.tmp_25843-IMG_20170108_103421_4812087872579.jpg
  5. Dredge bread through the egg mixture, one piece at at a time, making sure that each side is covered, but leaving any excess behind (do not leave it dripping with mixture).
  6. Place on pan. Heat for about 2-6 minutes, or until golden brown, before flipping to cook the other side for 2-6 more minutes.
  7. Once done, remove from heat.
  8. Repeat process with remaining pieces of bread.
  9. Enjoy plain or serve French Toast warm drizzled with pure maple syrup, warm honey, jam, or preserves. Sprinkle with cane sugar, powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, or ginger for extra texture and flavor.
  10. Enjoy!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Happy New Year!

The start of this New Year has me reflecting and thinking about my goals for 2017.  And no, these goals are not any kind of resolutions or empty “new year, new me” promises that are bound to fail from the start.  However, they are goals that I have purposefully and mindfully set in order to realize my true potential and become my best self.  They are milestones that I have set for myself to achieve, grow with, and learn from, and I can’t wait to start going down the list and checking them off!   They include, but are not limited to: competing in my first coffee competition, traveling to Guatemala on my first coffee origin trip, taking the dogs for more walks, and visiting at least three state parks with Mike that we’ve never been to before.

All in all, I anticipate that this year will be a year of exploration—and I’m ready for the adventure!  Along with this adventure, this year, my goal is to share at least one recipe (or food/beverage-related blog post) each week.  Although I’ve been notoriously bad about keeping up with my blogging in the past, I’d like 2017 to be the year that that changes.

To kick it off, I’m sharing one of my favorite go-to recipes.  It’s good on its own or topped with goodies, and it’s sure to stick to your ribs—perfect for a Wisconsin winter or a hot summer—it’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes!   These versatile mashed potatoes are quick and simple, and you’ll be wondering why they weren’t in your repertoire sooner.  So grab a few spuds and put some hot water on for mashed potatoes to remember.

And cheers to your best year yet!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

4 washed large potatoes, preferably russet or yellow

¼ C milk

1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter (can use more or less depending on what you’re looking for)

¼ C cream cheese

1 tsp sea salt (or salt to taste)

¼ tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)

1 tsp parsley flakes

mashed-potatoes-2

Directions

To start, thoroughly wash the potatoes, ensuring that all of the dirt is removed from their skin.  Set two potatoes aside.  Peel the remaining two potatoes and discard of their excess skin.  Rinse the peeled potatoes once more.  Cut all four potatoes into cubes no larger than 2 inches.

Bring 2-3qts of water (or enough water to cover the potatoes) to boil in a 4qt pan.  Add a dash of salt.  Place cubed potatoes in boiling water.  Reduce heat to medium-high.  Cook about 15 minutes, or until potato falls off of fork when you poke it.  Turn off the heat on the burner.  Drain the water from the potatoes and return pan with potatoes to the warm burner.   Add the butter, cream cheese, and milk.  Smash with mashed potato smasher or spoon until mixed.   For chunkier potatoes, make sure to not over-smash.   Add salt, pepper, and parsley.  Mix with spoon until blended.    Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.  Enjoy!

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Serves 2-4.

Daylily Smoothie

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved daylilies. Growing up, my Mom grew them on the side of our house (and still does), and their blossoming became emblematic for the arrival of summer. As an adult, I am lucky enough to have them grow in abundance next to my own garage. Their vibrant, enticing color is hard to ignore and always brightens a room or garden. However, until last week, I had never been aware that they were edible!

I’ve been bringing them into the café that I work at and one of our regular customers recently told me that her friend makes salads and uses them as edible cups. With my curiosity piqued, I did some research, and, sure enough, they are! Not only are daylilies edible, they are also nutritious! The flowers, which which are used in this recipe, contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A, among other key nutrients.

The flavor and aroma of the flowers is complex, yet delicate and is akin to floral baby greens with a very mellow herbal retronasal that comes through on the finish (it’s no wonder that some Asian cultures classify it as an herbal ingredient!). You can also consume the buds and tubers. In order to consume the flowers, first remove and discard the stamens and stem before washing thoroughly. You can eat them with salads or smoothies when they are freshly opened, or in soups once they are wilted. I put them into this delicious smoothie after trying them plain, and will definitely be having it again before my daylilies are out of season!

This recipe serves 1-2.

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Ingredients:

6 daylily flowers, stamens and stems removed, thoroughly washed

Juice from 1/2 of a lime

3-5 large leafs of kale, center removed (any variety will do)

1/2 C frozen cherries

1/2 C frozen mango

1/2 C raspberry or plain kefir

3/4-1 C water

Directions :

Once you have thoroughly prepared and washed the daylilies and kale, place everything into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Enjoy fresh for best results.

If you try my recipe or any variation of it, let me know what you think!  Find me and share pictures on Instagram @thewisconsinskinny or Twitter @radiantlyjess

#eatgoodfeelgood #thewisconskinny

 

 

 

 

Gourmet Tuna Salad in Under 20 Minutes

I’m busy, busy, busy, and as the weather cools down, warm meals are on the mind!  So tonight I whipped up a quick, simple, and satisfying warm tuna salad made with Annie’s Homegrown White Cheddar Mac N’ Cheese as the base.  Recipe serves two.

Ingredients:

1 package Annie’s White Cheddar Mac N’ Cheese

1/4 C milk (box calls for 3 Tbsp., but I used a little more so that it was more saucey and covered the tuna and tomatoes)*

1 Tbsp. butter (can omit if desired, but I like it a little creamier)*

1 large tomato, diced

fresh dill, chopped (as desired, I used about 1 tsp./serving at least)

5-6 stone ground whole wheat crackers, crushed into crumbs

1 small package tuna, drained

Directions:

Prepare mac n’ cheese as directed on package.*  While the pasta is cooking, dice tomato, chop dill, and crush crackers. Mix half of the dill in with the tuna, reserving the rest for topping.  After the mac n’ cheese is totally prepared, add tuna and tomatoes, and top with breadcrumbs and dill.  Enjoy!  Tastes fabulous with hot sauce 😉

Roasted Baby Tomato Red Sauce

Our baby tomato plants (yellow and red) have been extremely fruitful, so I decided that it was about time to make some homemade red sauce with them.

Ingredients:

30-40 baby tomatoes (yellow & red, or whatever you have)

1Tbsp. Olive oil for roasting

1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil for the sauce

1/2 tsp. salt, or salt to taste

2 Tbsp. water

1-2 tsp. Chili Garlic sauce

Two dashes of turmeric

2 Tbsp. Finely chopped red onion

2 cloves garlic, finely shredded or diced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Wash tomatoes thoroughly and dry on a towel or in a strainer. Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with half of the salt. Place in preheated oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to burst and look slightly brown on the tops. Take out of oven and pour the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl. Heat a small pot or saucepan over medium heat, adding the remaining olive oil. Once the oil has warmed, add the onions, garlic, and remaining salt. Heat for about 4-6 minutes, or just enough so that the onions and garlic begin to cook through, stirring ocassionally so that the onions and garlic do not stick to the pan. Add the water and chili garlic paste, stirring thoroughly.  Next, add the reserved cooked tomatoes and juices and two dashes of turmeric, stirring well once again. Heat until sauce is to desired temperature. Serve warm over pasta or vegetables. Enjoy!

Cherry Chard Smoothie

Ingredients:

2 bananas, cut into coins, frozen

1/2-3/4 C cherries, pitted, frozen

2-4 stalks (including stems) rainbow chard

2-4 stalks (including stems) Swiss chard

4-5 pitted dates

1/2 C unsweetened vanilla coconut milk

about 1/2 C water for blending

Directions:

For a layered smoothie:

Put the bananas, dates, and coconut milk (and water, if necessary) into a blender and blend until smooth.  Empty about 1/3 of the contents into a glass.  Add the cherries to the blender and blend again until smooth.  Empty about half of the mixture on top of the first layer.  Add the chard to the blender and blend until smooth.  Top off glass.  Enjoy!

Asian Slaw

Crisp and refreshing, this slaw-style side salad is perfect with lunch, dinner, or as a crunchy snack!

Asian Slaw_1

Ingredients:

about 4 cups finely chopped red savoy cabbage (1/4-half a small cabbage)

about 3 cups finely chopped green cabbage (1/4-half a small cabbage)

about 1 C finely shredded carrots (I used multicolored baby carrots)

1 small shallot, diced

1-2 cloves of garlic (or use rice vinegar with garlic in it for an even easier recipe)

1/3-1/2 C rice vinegar (plain or garlic)

1/4 C shoyu or soy sauce

2-3 Tbsp. sesame oil

1/3-1/2 C cashews, halved

Directions:

Preparing asian slaw

After you have cut, shredded, and measured out all of the ingredients, put them together in a dish with a lid (glass preferable) and mix thoroughly.  If the least amount of rice vinegar, shoyu, or sesame oil are not enough, add more to taste, but be careful to not overdo it!  Place in the refrigerator and store for up to 3 days (tip: it will actually taste better on the second day than it does on the first) before the cabbage gets too soggy.  Enjoy!

Optional topping: crunchy ramen noodles