Rosti Casserole with Baked Eggs

Yesterday was an exciting day.  A day I had been anticipating for weeks.  It was the start of the CSA I signed up for.  All day, all I could think about was what was going to be in that box. Most ingeniously, I received an e-mail a couple days ago letting me know what might be in the box, so at least I was somewhat prepared.  With baited anticipation, I prepared by searching through recipe books to figure out what I was going to do with turnips, a heaping pile of potatoes, and another dozen eggs I wasn’t expecting.  Fate brought me to my Cooking Light cookbook where in the first few pages I discovered a recipe for Rosti Casserole with Baked Eggs.  Turnips?  Check.  Potatoes?  Check.  Eggs?  Check.  It was a match made in heaven for this CSA box.

Rosti Casserole with Baked Eggs

1 1/4 cups fat free Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups grated, peeled turnips (2-3 small)
1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup onion (the original recipe called for 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and grated (the original recipe called for 1 30 oz package of frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed)
Cooking Spray
8 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine yogurt and flour in a large bowl, stirring well.  Add turnip and next 7 ingredients to yogurt mixture.  Spread potato mixture evenly into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and brown around the edges.  Remove from oven.  With the back of a spoon, make 8 indentations in the top of the potato mixture.  Crack 1 egg into each of the 8 indentations.  Return dish to the oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until egg whites are firm and egg yolks barely move when the pan is touched.  Garnish with chives and additional black pepper, if desired.


Whole Wheat Pancakes with Mango & Blood Orange Compote


When I hear the word “compote” I think of that nasty thick fruit stuff that is usually served on pancakes.  But then again, I had a bad first experience.  I was volunteering at a pancake breakfast and my job was the apple compote server.  It was disgusting stuff.  A thick mass of congealed apple chunks and cinnamon from a huge industrial sized can and dumped into a chaffing dish.  Needless to say that after that, I was done with compote.  That is until recently when I was going through a new cookbook and saw a recipe for compote.  A picture was involved and I was intrigued.  It looked like fruit in syrup, not a congealed mess.  This is what compote is supposed to be. Fruit in a simple syrup.  Simple and delicious.

I would have loved to have added anise extract to this compote because I think it would have made it over the top awesome, but alas, I only had an empty bottle of anise extract and therefore I could not (who puts back an empty bottle of extract?).  If you try it, let me know how it goes.  Otherwise, it was pretty awesome by itself.


Mango & Blood Orange Compote

1 mango
3 blood oranges
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon anise extract (optional)

With a sharp knife, cut the peel and pith from the oranges.  Working over a bowl, cut between the membranes to release the orange segments and juices into the bowl.  Dice the mango and add to the oranges.  Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove the syrup from the heat and add extract (if using) and pour over fruit.  Stir gently to incorporate.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups milk, plus more if necessary

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and add in honey, eggs, vanilla, and milk.  Stir until all ingredients are incorporated.  Add more milk to achieve desired consistency.

Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan for each pancake.  Cook until bubbly, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Turn, and continue cooking until golden brown.  Serve topped with Mango & Blood Orange Compote.

Banana Bread

I love spotted bananas. I think the people that like them green or semi-green are just plain crazy. There’s no flavor in a hard, green banana! But even I have to call it at some point, and I just so happened to have a stash of bananas about a day away from the point of no return.  Then I stumbled on this recipe over at Simply Recipes, and then after a few minor tweaks, there was banana bread.

I prefer most of the sweetness to come from the bananas, so feel free to up the sugar if you need to.

Banana Bread

3 or 4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mash bananas.  Add melted butter, and mix.  Mix in the egg, sugar, and vanilla.  Sprinkle baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg over mixture and mix.  Mix in flour last and stir until everything is incorporated.  Transfer mixture to a greased 4 x 8 loaf pan.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool on a cooling rack.  Remove from pan and slice and serve.

Whole Grain Banana Nut Coconut Muffins

Quaker makes these toasted coconut banana macadamia nut granola bars that are seriously the best thing ever.  The only problem is, I’ve only ever found them at one Target in Strongsville, Ohio.  I blame my mom for introducing me to them and then making me live without them (Hi Mom!  If you’re reading this, I’m not too old for care packages :D)  Until I can make it back home to stock up, I’ve had to improvise.

Is it possible for something so good to be good for you?  If you’re not a believer, you will be after these muffins.  The only thing that would make them better?  Add a little coconut to the top before baking so you get a yummy toasted coconut crust.  I would, but Ben isn’t a fan of straight coconut (not the taste; the consistency).

Whole Grain Banana Nut Coconut Muffins

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (if your nuts are salted, omit)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used cashews because that’s what I had, I think anything except peanuts would taste good)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt (if using), cinnamon, nutmeg, and nuts in a large bowl.  Set aside.  Combine egg, vanilla, oil, honey, coconut milk, and bananas in a medium bowl.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Yields 12-18 muffins.

Oatmeal Waffles with Strawberry Jam Syrup

Sometimes on Sunday mornings, I like to make big breakfasts.  I think it makes the perfect start to a super lazy day.

Most baked good I’ve had with oatmeal as the main ingredient are heavy and dense.  That is not the case with these waffles.  These oatmeal waffles are awesome.  Crispy and brown on the outside, and super light and fluffy on the inside.  They are also extremely versatile.  Add fruit or nuts to the batter before cooking and they still come out great.  Same goes with the syrup, if strawberry isn’t your thing, any jam works great.

Oatmeal Waffles

2 eggs, separated, room temperature
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup flour (white or wheat, use wheat to keep these whole grain)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Strawberry Jam Syrup

2/3 cup seedless strawberry jam
3 tablespoons water
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat a waffle iron.  Warm jam with water, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg over low heat until warm and smooth.  Remove cinnamon stick, but keep syrup on low heat until ready to serve.  If syrup gets too click, or clumps again, just add another tablespoon of water.

Beat egg white in a small bowl until stiff, set aside.  Mix together the dry waffle ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.  Combine egg yolk, milk, melted butter, and vanilla.  Add to dry waffle ingredients, mixing only until large lumps disappear.  Fold in beaten egg white until just blended.  Do not over beat batter.

Spray the waffle iron with non stick cooking spray or brush with oil and cook waffles, keeping them warm and crisp in a low oven.  The batter should fill a 4 section iron 2 times, making 8 waffles.  Serve waffles topped with fresh fruit (optional) and drizzled with strawberry jam syrup.

Spiced Cranberry Orange Biscotti

Biscotti is one of those things that once you’ve made it yourself, you will never buy it ever again.  We’ve been led to believe that it’s the cookie you have to soak to enjoy, something that can’t be enjoyed on it’s own.  It does not have to be this way.

This biscotti is crunchy, but not “I’m going to chip a tooth” crunchy.  But it won’t fall apart in your cup of tea either.  It’s nothing like the stuff you find by the cash register at Starbucks.

Spiced Cranberry Orange Biscotti
Adapted from a recipe posted at Vanilla Garlic

3/4 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
Zest from 1 orange

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.  Let the butter and eggs come to room temperature.  Cream together butter and sugar until the mixture is light in color.  Add the eggs and extract and beat until combined well.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add the flour mixture into the egg mixture until combined.  Fold in the cranberries and orange zest.

On the baking sheet, shape the dough into 2 logs, approximately 12 inches long.  Flatten to about 1/2 inch thickness.  The dough will be very sticky.  Try to make the logs into perfect rectangles to ensure even baking.

Bake the logs for about 30 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and the centers are firm.  Remove the pans from the oven and allow the loaves to cool for approximately 10 minutes.  When the loaves are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to slice them into 1/2 inch slices.

Turn the slices on their side and bake for 5 minutes.  Turn over the biscotti and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container.  For crispier biscotti,  leave them in an uncovered container for a day or so.