‘What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.
More toast! I’m challenging myself to come up with more interesting toast toppers for June, thus, #ToastedTuesday ! With the weather warming, these are great meal ideas beyond breakfast…despite my quest for different breakfasts every day! I went savory and for this breakfast, I’d totally eat this for lunch or dinner! It is practically summer! Eat all the basil/pesto!
There aren’t really local tomatoes around these New England parts yet, but I’m chomping at the bit for gooooood tomatoes. Mine were fine, but I’m glad the burrata was steller and the pesto was addictive!
Italian Toast with Burrata, Pesto, & Tomato
Ingredients: (for 2)
2 slices of good bread
2 tablespoons pesto
1 tomato, sliced thin
1 small burrata ball (or fresh mozzarella)
Toast the bread to your likeness.
Spread on the pesto and sliced tomatoes. Then slice the burrata and place on top of the toast.
Sprinkle with pepper & kosher salt and serve immediately.
Ohh yes. This is the perfect way to start the day. Burrata is softer and filled with a luscious cream for a gooey center. It is perfectly mild and creamy to contrast the pesto and crunchy toast. I was surprised to find it at the grocery store, but can’t wait for the farmer’s market go get it from local cheese folks.
I thought the salt was necessary and used a rosemary seasoned salt. This felt special, despite it taking only 2 minutes to make. Go ahead! Make a Wednesday special!
(today is Mr. J’s birthday so stay tuned for his special Birthday Burger! We’re on year 6 of this tradition: here are the years past, get caught up! Happy happy birthday to my always-taste-tester!!)
This broccoli salad is a staple with our fam and is over due to be blogged! It is crunchy the light dressing is just enough for the raw broccoli. It is still pretty good the following day, or easy enough to make just enough for a few servings…or a lot.
Broccoli Salad (serves ~6)
1-2 heads of broccoli (about 2-3 cups)
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2/3 cup raisins (or dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried cherries)
Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces.
Whisk together the dressing of mayo, sugar, and vinegar.
Mix together the broccoli, dressing, and raisins. Let it come together in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes, or 4 hours before serving.
I love this one. I used 1 1/2 broccoli heads and thought maybe there wasn’t going to be enough dressing, but it was perfect. Mr. J most often makes this and thought the ratio would be right. He advised it often looks like not enough but to toss it together and wait till dinner. (I do the same with pad thai and too much dressing isn’t great on that either!)
It is a good one to prep in advance, even if just mixing up the dressing and chopping the broccoli. I’m all about working to prep dinner in advance. I’d totally shake up the dressing and in the morning before heading to work.
The little one wanted to help so I was going to have him put the chopped broccoli into the container, but he was only in it for the snacks. He munched the broccoli & raisins and whisked the dressing with me. We got this from my mom and we keep it on a regular rotation through the summer.
‘What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.
I know, I know, I know. You do not need me for this. BUT, maybe you need breakfast inspiration? Or you have that overflowing and want to give ME ideas? Yes, I’ll take ‘em all. I had lots of crazy toast toppings as ideas on my running food list and figured I’d challenge myself to making some. Welcome to Toasted Tuesdays! Ta-da!
They’re only getting more intense so please stay tuned…even if you’re thinking 2 toppings does not a-toast-make.
Strawberry Nutella Toast
1 slice good quality wheat toast
2 tablespoons nutella
2-3 ripe strawberries
sprinkle of cinnamon
Toast the bread, slice the berries, and assemble with a schmear of nutella, slices of strawberries, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
What goes on your toast (besides avo, duhh)? This feels like dessert because it is sweet for sure. The strawberries were like the jelly for this toast. I looooove nutella so I wanted to start there. Strawberries have been suuuuper cheap lately, and the little one loves “strawbies” so we’ve had them a lot.
#toastedtuesday is here for June, stay tuned! Annnd tell me all your fav toasts. There’ll be fun cheeses, maybe some nuts, maybe more berries, possibly pesto, just. you. wait!
Ohh so good. I looove mushrooms but I get there not everyone’s fav. I found a nifty mixed mushroom pack and whipped up a mushroom spread. I wanted some texture but a spread to get some flavor in each bite without whole mushrooms. I’m psyched to have leftovers for toast, or burgers, or whatever!
Truffle Mushroom Spread onto a Grilled Cheese (for 2 & leftover spread)
4 oz mushrooms (mine was a mix of crimini, shiitake, & oyster)
1 oz butter
1 oz olive oil
1 teaspoon truffle oil
1 teaspoon mayo
4 slices of bread
2-3 slices white American cheese
1-2 slices Fontina cheese
Saute mushrooms, butter, oil and truffle oil over medium low heat with a generous sprinkle of salt & pepper.
Pulse half in a food processor a few times to chop then scoop into a bowl. With the 2nd half of the mushrooms in the food processor, add a dollop of mayo and salt & pepper and pulse more into a smaller chop. Add into the bowl and mix together with the coarsely chopped mushrooms. Make in advance & refrigerate until serving or make and enjoy right away.
In the pan where the mushrooms cooked, heat to medium with a little olive oil.
Assemble the grilled cheeses with mushroom spread on one slice and the duo of cheeses on the other. Spread a tiny bit of butter onto one side and butter side down into the pan. When it is in the pan, spread the other side with a bit of butter.
Cook 2 minutes on each side, until cooked to your liking and all the cheese melts. add a cover to the pan to help melt the cheese before the bread toasts too much.
Let sit for 3-5 minutes. Flip once on the cutting board before cutting. Seriously, give it a few minutes before slicing.
Enjoy! Serve with some greens tossed in balsamic. The decadent and gooey grilled cheese with a little tang of the balsamic greens is perfect. I loved how oozy this was. I have some awesome wheaty & nutty bread but used oatmeal bread. American cheese provided the melt factor and the fontina provides a nutty flavor which is strong enough to stand up to the truffle oil and butter. Loved it.
Specialty grilled cheeses make great dinners for speed, variety, and this is not your lunchbox sandwich. I’m ready to put this spread on everything. Can you imagine butterflying a pork loin and stuffing with this spread and some spinach? Ohh yeah.
Happy spring! May was a delicious month in the kitchen here! I’ve had more chances to cook in daylight, hallelujah. Also, the end of car-sharing logistics has finally come to a close. Phew! I just picked up my new car and I’m thrilled to wrap things up a super annoying car people. The first go-round was surprisingly great and since my accident, the dealership was sold. This time was super frustrating.
Bring on the burger season: this Bahn Mi Burger was so fun made with seasoned ground pork and topped with cucumbers, avocado, and sriracha cilantro mayo. Yummm.
Another fav this month was a little #restaurantrecreation Breakfast Hash brunch dish with tots, poached egg, and cheese sauce.
I made Cheeseburger Potato Skins as dinner, but they’re a great app too. Ground meat, ketchup, mustard, cheese, and pickles!
June will bring Mr. J’s birthday burger, and a fun little bfast series. Many of our herbs have come back and are flourishing so I’m sure those will have a June highlight. There are 2 get togethers coming up so I’ll have captive audiences to feed! Muhhhahaha! I’ve recently become obsessed with defrosting our big spare freezer. You know how I freeze all the things, well, I’m going to just have the refrigerator’s freezer until getting to the bottom and defrosting. Get ready for a week of freezer food inspired meals. I’m so inspired! Follow on insta-stories if you’re interested.
The Little One:
His new phrase is “so excited”! I love it. I had a few days off which was fun for weekday adventures to the Zoo and storytime at the library. He LOVES helping. We’ve been cooking together with the stool to the island, and he planted flowers and herbs. When we see bunnies in the yard he says “don’t eat herbs”. Jelly is still a fav, but it was so funny how into feta he was.
Year of the seasonal decor: gahhh. I missed it again. Well, I have one more day to make May happen…
do more dinner prep more in advance: I’ve done some. I’m all over the quick dinners to allow playtime outside or a walk before it gets dark.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I’m reading A Man Called Ove.
watch more movies: we watched Hidden Figures
cook more fish: nahh. Maybe in spring this will actually happen?
focus on clothes that I really like: I returned 3 dress options I got for my event. All were busts. I just ordered some steals from a Loft Memorial Day sale.
Strawberries have been suuuper cheap lately so I brought a huuuuge container and boozed some up. This takes a bit of lead time to flavor the vodka but throw it in a jar a few hours (or a few days before) and cocktail time will be here soon enough.
Strawberry Cucumber Vodka Cocktail
Ingredients (for 4):
~4 oz vodka
1/4 cucumber, sliced
1 1/2 cups strawberries
3/4 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
simple syrup: 1/2 cup water + 1/4 cup sugar
~8 oz tonic or soda water
Add the vodka and cucumber slices to a glass jar and give a shake and let refrigerate for 4+ hours (mine were in there 48 hours!).
Over medium heat, cook the strawberries, 3/4 cups water, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Allow to cool, and blend or combine in a food processor. Refrigerate.
In the strawberry pot, cook the 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup until the sugar dissolves. Let cool and refrigerate. (This saves you an extra pot to wash, and “scents” the simple syrup with strawberry flavor from the remnants on the pot.)
When serving, shake together the the strawberry “juice”, 4 shots of cucumber vodka, and ice.
Add some ice to each glass, and ~2 oz tonic per glass, then pour in the strawberry mix.
I loved this. The cucumber flavor was there to totally take over the vodka flavor. If cuke is your jam, you could even make cucumber simple syrup! This is drink is cool, sweet, refreshing, and delightful. I’ll totally make this again! Make a big batch in a pitcher or pour a tray of glasses for your next party!
Lulu’s Allston has this so decadent White Trash Hash that is tots, topped with braised short ribs, hollandaise, with poached eggs. It came in a close 2nd place at a brunch battle event and I totally thought it should have won. I recreated at home during my mini stay-cation. A day home alone calls for brunch, with a 2nd cup of coffee. The pups watched me take my plate out and must have been thinking: ‘what, the heck is going on?’ or ‘can I have some?’. I made a cheesy sauce since it is easy to make a small amount.
Sooo good! Using the toaster oven made it surprisingly quick. My eggs weren’t 100% perfect but a bit runny. They’re the most testy part of putting this together. Mr. J is suuuper skilled at pealing soft boiled eggs. I am not. I use a metal insert for poaching eggs- which takes a bit of practice. I’m getting there.
Bfast Tot Hash (for 2)
2 cups tator tots
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon butter
Bake the tots until very crispy. (I popped mine in the toaster oven on broil so they only took 15 minutes.)
In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, mix together the milk and cream cheese until melted and whisks smoothly – about 5 minutes. Then whisk in the cheese and butter.
While the cheese sauce cooks, poach or soft boil the eggs. (poach in water = ~3 minutes; poach in insert= ~4 minutes; soft boil= ~5 minutes)
Lay the tots on plates, then drizzle cheese sauce, top with the egg, another drizzle of cheese sauce, and salt & pepper.
Poke that yolk and enjoy!
I know, you can totally figure this out on your own, but here are a few ways to amp up your burrito bowl. Mexican Street Corn and a quick dressing makes this so. much. better than just leftover taco filling…which is where I started. Taco night leftovers are the best leftovers out there but I love them in a completely different format.
Burrito Bowl (for 2)
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/3 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 cup corn, cooked and cooled
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup ground turkey/chicken/pork/beef spiced with taco seasoning
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup black beans
Cook the rice.
In a small food processor, mix together the ranch, cilantro, and taco seasoning. Blend well and chill until serving.
Mix together the corn, feta, mayo, lime juice, and chili powder. Chill until serving, or make in advance.
Assemble together the rice on the bottom then top with ground meat, beans, lettuce, and street corn.
Drizzle with the dressing.
Serve and enjoy! I wish I’d had tomatoes, but we ate them all the night before. I had avocados but totally forgot! I started eating and then remembered salsa! Add whatever you have: tortilla chips; cheese; sour cream; queso; jalepenos…whatever you like!
These cheeseburger potato skins were so fun, especially for a drizzly evening when grilling wouldn’t have been ideal. Mark these down for the next time you have just a liiiitle ground meat and want to make a meal for three out of one burger’s worth. The little one is obsessed with “helping cook” so we made these together. Plus, I taught him to say garnish, so there’s that.
Cheeseburger Potato Skins (meal for 3, or appetizer for 5-6)
1/4 pound ground beef/turkey/chicken
1 tablespoon hamburger seasoning (don’t buy this, I had a packet to use up, otherwise it is: onion powder; paprika; garlic powder; black pepper; dried basil)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pickle slices for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees, and preheat a medium skillet.
Cook the potatoes until cooked through. (I microwaved mine for 5 minutes.)
Scoop out the insides of the potatoes, leaving about a 1/4 inch thick edge from the skin to the inside.
Brush with the olive oil & spices, then broil for 5 minutes (until crisp).
Whisk together the ketchup, mustard, and worcestershire sauce.
Cook the ground meat until no-longer pink in the skillet, then add in the sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
Remove the tray of potato skins and sprinkle in a little cheese, then spoon the meat mixture in.
Top with more cheese & bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with pickles.
Serve & enjoy!
These were fun bun-less burger, fit for inside eating. It is a tricky line of cooking food we’re all going to eat together while the little one’s has time to cool (usually a turbo cool in the freezer) while ours remains hot. Serve with a salad and poof, dinner’s done.
I’m looooving cooking with the little one. I did have to send him to tell Daddy “5 minutes” so I could quiiiiickly snap a pic before getting the hot pan out of reach. He loves spoons, spatulas, and the like. Sometimes his “helping cook” is to hold this unused, uncooked potato while I’m yielding a knife, but whatevs. He ate all the tomato out of our salad bowl which was kind of funny.
Eeeee! I’m so excited. This was such a fun burger and exactly what I needed to get back into my cooking groove. I seriously haven’t made anything interesting in weeks. It’s been all no-thought-required-meals…until now…I flavored the meat, mixed up a sauce, and topped these with cucumbers, avocado, and cilantro. They were so fun! Albeit, not authentic, but delicious nonetheless.
Bahn Mi Burgers
Ingredients: (for 3 burgers)
3/4 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup mayo
1 tablespoon sriracha (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon Italian dressing
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro + 2-3 sprigs of cilantro leaves
3 burger buns
cucumber, sliced thin
avocado, sliced thin
Mix together the pork, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, salt & pepper.
Form patties and heat the grill and cook the burgers.
Stir together the mayo, sriracha, salad dressing, and chopped cilantro.
Chill the sauce until serving.
Top the burgers with avocado, cucumber, cilantro leaves, and sriracha mayo.
I loved this burger! I made them with pork since a) I don’t eat red meat and b) it is more reminiscent of a bahn mi and c) it can be easier to have all the same since I was seasoning the meat. I kept the sauce pretty mellow since we don’t eat tons of heat, and the little one was “helping” me cook so I wanted him to taste it. He ate some…not so impressed with cilantro but biting a bunch plain might be weird for anyone
This would be great with pickled veggies, a la bahn mi. I took a simpler route but go forth!