Fresh Blueberry Sauce

I just returned from an amazing weekend reconnecting with my dearest college friends to discover that, as one of the people who drove, I was gifted an amazing amount of fresh fruit (we somewhat over planned the amount of food that could reasonably be consumed in one weekend. But hey, who was complaining?) So I decided to make a quick blueberry sauce!

2 cups fresh blueberries (I’m thinking you could use frozen, but I’ve never tried)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
dash of vanilla extract
zest of one lemon

Mix the water, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to just a boil till blended (if you’re worried about the amount of sugar, you can always use a bit less, personally we don’t find it super-sweet). Gently toss the blueberries in a bowl with the water & cornstarch mixture. Add to the saucepan with the vanilla and gently boil until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add in the lemon zest and you’re done!

I’ll confess sometimes I get a little distracted and forget to check it, so if it becomes more like a jam, no worries – just add a bit more water until it’s the consistency you like!

Trust me when I tell you this is absolute perfection on waffles, ice cream and cheesecake if you have it (and seriously, now I’m really leaning toward making one this weekend!)

Crustless Quiche

This is one of my favorite breakfast (or brunch or lunch…) recipes using ingredients you have on hand. Looking for easy? It literally comes together in minutes. It’s also a really nice way to use up stray veggies in your fridge. Plus, the combination of fillings is endless. Now I’m getting hungry, so let’s get cooking.

Basic Mix:
2 cups of milk (for some extra punch, it’s a great way to use up buttermilk too)
4 eggs
1/2 cup baking mix (I used Bisquick Heart Smart)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
Dash of black pepper, oregano and garlic

Filling ideas:
Cooked sausage (either breakfast or Italian)
Cooked, crumbled bacon
Shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, swiss or mozzarella…)
Diced vegetables (pepper, onion, broccoli, spinach, tomato…)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a pie plate or 2.5 quart casserole dish.

Blend milk, eggs, baking mix, butter and spices. Pour into dish. Sprinkle in any extra meats, cheeses and vegetables. To keep the consistency of the quiche, don’t overload the dish with the fillings (about two cups will be more than enough). Bake for 35-40 minutes until set.

If you’re feeling fancy, serve with fruit salad on the side. Throw any leftovers in the fridge and just microwave a slice for a minute to enjoy the next day.

What’s Cooking This Week

This is a tale of a tasty dinner taking on new life as the leftovers were lovingly used for breakfast. When we’re empty nesting, I find I have a really hard time doing two things: buying meat in smaller quantities and portioning food that serves two people (not a small army). So while leftovers are always good for lunch, I’m still trying to think of new ways to use them!

Dinner began with a beef & veggie skillet. I tossed some sliced steaks in sesame oil and garlic, then gave them a quick stir fry. When the beef was done, I set it aside, deglazed the pan with a little stock, then cooked some peppers & spinach in the pan with some soy sauce. The meat makes a return to the pan and is topped with green onions. Normally, I serve rice with a dish like this, but we were feeling potatoes for some reason that night. So I scrubbed some russets and started them cooking in the microwave for 15 minutes. Then I drained them, patted them dry, tossed them in melted butter and smoked paprika and finished them off in the air fryer. I’ll admit, I would have liked them crispier, but the flavors were really good and worked with the steak and veggies.

As we were eating dinner that night, we got talking about this dish seeming like a deconstructed hash when potatoes were served instead of rice. Which gave me the idea for breakfast. I chopped the leftover steak and potatoes and added them to a pan to warm up a bit with the leftover veggies. Then I added some scrambled eggs and mixed everything together while the eggs cooked, finished with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and wrapped everything up in a tortilla. So good.

As I head to the kitchen to get some Easter preparation going, what’s your favorite way to re-purpose leftovers?

Eat well friends!

Zucchini Puffs

In my last grocery box, I received one of the biggest zucchini’s I’d seen since summer. After having it for dinner, I still had enough left to make these perfect, simple bites.

3/4 c flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (option, but gives it some kick)
3/4 c milk (buttermilk works well too)
1 egg
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c shredded zucchini (squeezed dry)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. Recipe will make 24 mini-muffin sized puffs.

Mix dry ingredients well to incorporate. Add in milk and egg stirring to combine.

Fold in cheese and zucchini.

Spoon into the greased muffin tins.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the puffs are golden brown.

Enjoy hot from the oven or at room temperature.