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.

Egg-Baked-Avocado

 

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.

Baked-Eggs-and-Avocado

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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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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Post Vacay Clean Eats

I absolutely love to travel, experiencing the many fun and unique things you can do in other places from culture to food.  But, what I do not like about travel is how I often feel upon returning home; swelling from long plane flights, belly bloat and just plain feeling fat … it is miserable!

Vacation-Family-Picture | ohfiddledeedee

Audley, Bradley and I returned from San Diego late Sunday night. While I still battle my weight (I always will), I have settled into a pattern of maintenance that keeps me feeling healthy, energetic, and happy for the most part.

An occasional “cheat” type meal fits into my lifestyle just fine, but after an entire week of spicy Mexican food, rich desserts, home cooked full breakfast each morning and a stop at In and Out Burger my body was not at all happy with me.  I have spent the last three days doing a little intermittent fasting (do a little research as it is good for you to add to your health and wellness routines from time to time), trying to detox and make my gut happy with me again.

Another way I detox is to eat really clean whole foods with ingredients that I can pronounce.  That means I prepare and cook everything that goes into my body and on our table using fresh and organic ingredients.

The easiest of all recipes is egg whites and oatmeal.  I carb-cycle (three low carb days followed by a day with two meals of heavy carb), so this delicious one-pan meal, that is so filling and satisfying, is a favorite of mine.

It’s also super easy to make and can be so versatile.**

Oatmeal-and-Egg-whites | ohfiddledeedee

Ingredients are very simple: 4 egg whites (separate these yourself, do not use the ones in a carton), 1/2 cup McCann’s Oatmeal, 2 Tablespoons Navatis Cacao powder (I found this at the Vitamin Shoppe), 1/2 cup water and a little stevia if you like it sweet.

Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the oatmeal and egg whites reach a custardy state, stirring continuously while it cooks.

{This will stick if you aren’t paying attention.}

Top with strawberries and serve up pretty.  It’s almost like a dessert, so you never know that it’s good for you!

Eggwhites-and-oatmeal | ohfiddledeedee

**I did mention that this recipe is versatile, so here is another option:  Leave out the cacao powder and instead toss fresh diced fruit of another variety in your oatmeal.  Peaches are so good, as are any type of berry!

Your body will thank you for eating so clean and your tummy will thank you.

Clean-Eats-for-Breakfast | ohfiddledeedee

I have learned from experience food can either destroy you or heal you.  It’s all how you eat and use it!

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Saturday Brunch for Two

Saturday mornings have become quite precious to Audley and me.  He travels so much during the week for work that we have truly come to value a quiet morning together on the weekend.

 We also know these are limited as four kids have kept us hopping for years with anything from color guard competitions to swim or wrestling tournaments.

Autumn-Flowers | ohfiddledeedee

Spending quality time together is something every husband and wife should make an effort to do to keep the lines of communication open and reconnect after the chaos of life has weighed us down.  These moments are also valuable as we go through different seasons together.  We want to be on the same path, not running opposite directions!  Our marriage has always come before our children and I am ever so glad as a new season of life is fast approaching in the form of the empty nest!

Autumn-Tabletop | ohfiddledeedee

Bradley’s wrestling season begins at the end of October, so Audley and I are savoring each Saturday we have available before the chaos of Senior year wrestling season begins.

 What’s a better way to enjoy a morning together and set the mood for conversation, than a pretty table and brunch for two?

Setting the table also creates a romantic atmosphere, and couldn’t we all use a little more romance in our lives?!

Autumn-Table | ohfiddledeedee

Contrary to popular belief, brunch does not have to consist of six or eight courses of fattening pastries, heavy breads, and complicated dishes.

Believe me, you can fill up just fine on bacon, eggs, and fruit.

Saturday-Bruch-for-Two | ohfiddledeedee

Just dress it up a little!

Herb-Baked-Egg-Brunch | ohfiddledeedee

This Herbed Baked Egg dish I served up for our brunch is perfect.  It looks so elegant, yet is so simple and delicious!

It’s also very filling, which we know is most important for our guys.

Assembling the dish takes a few steps, but it still comes together rather quickly (I know you don’t want to spend all morning in the kitchen), and allows for you to multitask if you’ve planned ahead.

Keep it simple and gather your ingredients for the entire brunch first.  This includes any sides that you have chosen.  I prepared bacon and fresh berries for our brunch.

Herb Baked Egg Brunch

 

 

 

The full recipe for printing is just below my steps here.

For the herb baked egg dish, I used four eggs, heavy whipping cream, real butter, freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh herbs (dried will work), & garlic.

 

First, I put the bacon on, then completed the first steps of the recipe by combining the herbs and parmesan cheese and melting butter and cream in an individual cocette.

{The beauty of this recipe is that you can change up the herbs to suit your taste.}

Herb-Baked-Eggs | ohfiddledeedee

As I flipped the bacon, I added the eggs and the herb mixture to the cocette.

Finally, I removed the bacon from the pan to drain on a paper towel, then removed the eggs from the oven.

{Click here — Herbed Baked Eggs for the full printable recipe.}

 Herb-Baked-Eggs-Brunch-for-Two | ohfiddledeedee

All that is left is plating your food, which is simple enough.

 

Weekend-Brunch-for-Two | ohfiddledeedee

The romantic in me planned ahead for our brunch together and set a pretty table, but you can serve up brunch on paper plates if it works better for you.

 The idea is to spend a little quality time together without too much fuss.

Herb-Baked-Eggs-Brunch | ohfiddledeedee

You’ll enjoy the time and I know your spouse will as well.

What are some ways you and your spouse like to connect with one another?

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