Easy Saturday Brunch

Every once in a while scrolling through instagram, I come upon a picture where the food looks so delicious that I want it.

Oftentimes, immediately.

Baked-Egg-Acocado-Dish

 

 

This happened last week, and I was saddened to find there was no link for a recipe, just pretty food.

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After studying the picture a little, I decided to try and recreate it myself, so I handed my son the check card and a grocery list and sent him off to grab a handful of items, while I found the rest in the pantry and refrigerator here.

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{Anyone else ask their teens run errands because you don’t want to get out in the cold?}

The picture that captured my attention was of avocados with eggs and this is how I recreated it…

In fact it was quite easy once it was decided what should go into this recipe.

Really easy.

Baked-Egg-Avocado-Brunch

 

 

 

Ingredients I used included fresh avocado, cage free eggs, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, fresh parsley and chives, and nitrate-free bacon, cooked and crumbled.

Preheating the oven to 350º I cut two avocados in half, removed the seeds, and placed into a cast iron pan sprayed with coconut oil.

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Next I cracked an egg into the hole of each half, seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over it. Pop the pan into the oven and cook until the egg is set as you like it; I like a fairly runny yolk so I baked it about 10 minutes or so.

Remove when done, top with the fresh herbs and bacon and serve up immediately.

This made a perfect brunch for Bradley and I (since we slept in) and was really filling, so it didn’t need any sides.

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If you follow a low carb, keto, or paleo (leave off the Parmesan) diet, this is perfect for you!  It’s very filling with a good serving of protein and healthy fats.

Click here to print off the full recipe for baked eggs and avocado .

I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend!

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Holiday Baking Joy (with Recipes)!

The Christmas season should be one of joy, but oh how life and little things can zap it right from our hearts!  It’s easy to get lost in the demands, hustle and bustle of the holidays, losing our patience, spirit, and minds right a long with it!

Christmas Baking

Sometimes you just have to back away from the commercialism and stress, force yourself to take a break and rest, relax, find your focus and joy again.

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We all have different ways we deal with the little stresses that zap our joy.

During the holiday season baking really does it for me!  Not only can I lose myself in rolling, cutting, and decorating, I can knock out a few little gifts as well.  Add time with a good friend, and spirits definitely improve as we laugh, talk and leave the world behind.

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Tammie making fudge

My friend Tammie (Talking with Tami) came over last week for a day of this laid back goodness, and what a fun (and productive) day it was as we whipped up a flurry of Christmas goodies.  We made a little fudge, peppermint bark and cut out sugar cookies as well!

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Not only are these tasty treats family favorites and portable for any holiday party, they are the makings of fabulous treat boxes for neighbors, teachers and the mailman!

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I’ve shared all of these recipes on the blog in past years, but I’ve put them in printable form so you can have easier access to them!

Links are below each picture.

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Click here for Pecan Fudge

 

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Click here for Peppermint Bark

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Click here for Sugar Cookies

It’s so nice to have some down time and savor highlights of the season, especially with a friend.  Take a little time to do the things that bring you joy in the coming days.

After all, time is one of the greatest gift you can give!

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Chicken with Citrus-Garlic Sauce

Life is busy during the holidays, but I don’t have to tell you that.  Fortunately on my end the decorating, shopping, Christmas cards, wrapping and planning is complete.  Now it’s time for parties, baking, celebrating…

and wrestling.

{We have a 2 tourneys this weekend, 2 next week & a 3 dayer right after Christmas}

I don’t want to spend every moment cooking and cleaning if I can help it; instead I want to savor this time, even though much of it will be spent in a smelly high school gym.  At the end of the day, if I can still manage to have a flavorful and filling supper on the table in thirty minutes, I am one happy momma.

I also have happy guys as Audley & Bradley really love it when I cook!

Recently I prepared this delicious chicken dish which not only tasted fabulous and like I spent hours on it, but it looked pretty when served up as well.

{I didn’t tell the boys it was easy; I wanted them to think I actually spent hours cooking!}

Chicken-with-Citrus-Garlic-Sauce | Fiddle-Dee-Dee

The recipe for Chicken with Citrus-Garlic Sauce is one I actually found in a Williams Sonoma cookbook, but altered to fit the ingredients that I had on hand!  What makes this recipe so awesome is you can use orange, lemon, lime… any kind of citrus that you like to cook with!

So here is my version that easily serves 4…. Gather your ingredients and make supper simple tonight!

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

4 Tablespoons minced garlic

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Tablespoon orange zest

3 Tablespoons olive oil

pink sat & black pepper

3/4 cup chicken broth

4 ounces fresh orange juice

1/2 cup of Riesling wine

Citrus-Garlic-Chicken | oh-fiddle-dee-dee

The instructions for preparing the citrusy chicken can be found by clicking Chicken with Citrus-Garlic Sauce

Citrus-Garlic-Chicken-Dish | fiddle-dee-dee

By the way, Williams Sonoma carries these awesome serving dishes in a couple of sizes!  I LOVE them!

Chicken-Citrus-Garlic-Sauce-Dish | fiddle-dee-dee

While you are letting your chicken cook, roast some green beans and asparagus  on a cookie sheet (I put the green beans on the pan first with a little salt, pepper, orange zest and brush with olive oil; then add the asparagus about 10 minutes in to roast) which keeps the dirty dishes to a minimum.

CItrus-Garlic-Chicken-Supper | fiddle-dee-dee

You can also add a salad if you want dinner on the table even faster.  If you have more time to dedicate,  sautéed brussel sprouts or roasted fingerling potatoes make great sides as well!

Do you have a favorite 30 minute meal you enjoy for your family?  I would love some more ideas!

 

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Pumpkin Pandemonium

Nothing says “autumn” more than a plethora of pumpkins scattered around your home in early weeks of fall.  Everywhere you look from the grocery store to a local farm stand there are so many varieties to choose from!  If you are like me, you probably pick several up when you spot the perfect ones that fit your themes or decor.

At the end of the season you’re left with all these pumpkins sitting that just don’t match the Christmas stockings!

Have you ever wondered what to do with all your pumpkins as you start removing your fall decor and beginning to prepare for Christmas?  As our own decor began coming down on November 1st (yes, I know it’s early), I felt bad and a wee bit wasteful just throwing away so many colorful pumpkins!

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Just a handful of our pumpkin decor

Then it began to cross my mind that I know there is more than one kind of pumpkin to cook with; maybe some of mine were in that category!  After a little research using my gardening books, sure enough there were a list of pumpkins to grow for cooking, and ways to use them!

With a little downtime in my schedule this week, it was a perfect opportunity for knocking out this task.

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Do you have any of these?

Many are old European and Australian varieties with a newer resurgence here in the States.  When I was a kid we had jack-o-lantern pumpkins and maybe white ones, but I really love all the colors found in the pumpkin variety of the squash family!

Pumpkins-Varieties | ohfiddledeedee.com

**Blue pumpkins tend to have deep, rounded ridges running from top to bottom. The skin ranges in color from dusky blue-gray to blue-green with a striking deep, orange flesh. Many varieties of blue pumpkin are known for they’re exceptionally sweet flesh which when cooked has a smooth, favorable texture.  Blue pumpkins have several names; the one I recognized most was Jarrahdale, and while you can find these at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, they are really popular in Australia!

Who knew?!

Blue pumpkins go well in pies, scones, and cakes, but these also are great for roasting, as a ravioli filling, or in stews.

{So now I’m hungry}

**Fairytale pumpkins (Also known as the Musque de Provence) are a French heirloom pumpkin that looks just like the illustrations in the old fairytales of past.

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{I don’t think parents read these to kids anymore…}

These pumpkins are very sweet and can be used in variety of ways, including fresh when cut from the middle as you would a wedge of cheese and then slicing very thinly. Roasting or grilling only enhances the sweet flavoring and would be wonderful with cinnamon and butter!

**The Cinderella pumpkin is also a French heirloom pumpkin.  When I look at this pumpkin I immediately think of the Disney version of Cinderella and imagine the Fairy Godmother swishing her wand with a “Bibbity Bobbity Boo” creating an elegant carriage to whisk Cinderella off to the ball!

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{I’m still enthralled by my recent visit to Disney World}

The Cinderella pumpkin is known for its sweet flavor and creamy texture making it ideal for use in pies, breads, cookies and cakes. Slice length wise and roast or grill to enhance its sweet flavor. Puree cooked Cinderella pumpkin and use to make pumpkin ice cream. It is also ideal cooked down when making pumpkin butter.

**Galeux D’ Eysines pumpkins (I couldn’t find a nickname for these) are a pinkish-orange color with little “warts”.  A little scary at first glance (Audley is afraid he’ll get warts from them… MEN… sigh!), this French heirloom pumpkin is quite unique indeed.  The “warts” are caused by sugars in the flesh  seeping through the skin; as the sugar content grows, the more nodes appear on the outside of the squash. The more “warts” on your pumpkin, the sweeter the squash.

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This sweet pumpkin is used in soups and for baking.  As you know, pumpkins are in the squash family, so think roasted or even grilled!  This pumpkin purees well making it ideal for pumpkin butter or a pumpkin cheesecake.

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**Boo, Ghost, Moonshine or lumina pumpkins are white and range from small to quite large; squatty to rounded and are so common in neutral autumn decorating.  These pumpkins don’t last as long as other varieties, so often they will begin to lose their coloring or go bad early in the season.

These pumpkins can be used in any traditional pumpkin recipe, but I have discovered that sometimes they have a lot more fiber which makes them not puree so easily.

The white pumpkin I cut had a white flesh, and after cooking it, shredded like a spaghetti squash, and tasted really good.

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**Who knew Tiger Stripe pumpkins were good for eating?  I’ve always used these in a centerpiece or scattered around a bookshelf, but according to my Momma (and you know Momma is always right!) these little pumpkins are excellent hollowed out and stuffed as you might stuff an acorn squash.  Tiger Stripe pumpkins don’t have a lot of meat to them, but these also make for great serving bowls for soups or dips at a party.

I think I will hang onto mine for when the in-laws visit for Thanksgiving dinner!

Believe it or not the hardest part of cooking and preparing pumpkin for culinary purposes is cutting it and cleaning out the seeds.

{I hate that part.}

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If you want to know how to prepare pumpkin, you can click here for easy instructions.

If you need ideas for cooking with pumpkin, try:

**Pumpkin cheesecake

**Pumpkin butter

**Pumpkin Spice Trifle

**Skinny Pumpkin Mousse

**A Healthy Autumn Bread

**Pumpkin Bisque

Or Pumpkin pie.

How do you use your leftover autumn decorations?

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