Quinoa Egg Breakfast Bake

Quinoa Egg Breakfast Bake

On Christmas morning, when the littles awaken at the crack of dawn, and the focus is on gift opening and hot coffee, you want something warm and nourishing you can pop in the oven without a lot of fuss. This twist on an egg casserole is just the thing to fuel you for a day of playing with new toys and celebrating with family and friends. You can prep everything the day before so that you just have to pop it in the oven when you turn on the coffeepot!

Quinoa Egg Breakfast Bake

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup diced ham
2 cups baby spinach leaves, sliced
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup diced green pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
8 large eggs, whisked
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. The day before:  Cook quinoa according to package directions and cool. Mix cooled quinoa and next  6 ingredients in a 9X13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. Whisk eggs in a bowl and store separately in refrigerator.

2. The morning of: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.Uncover baking dish and pour whisked eggs over the top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

3. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife test comes out clean. Scoop cooked casserole into bowls to serve.

Should you hire a personal chef during the holidays?

oven mitt gift

The holiday season is nothing short of an obstacle course. Not only is it a rush to the finish line, there are so many variables to consider – child care, travel, weather, gift sales and potluck dishes, just to name a few. Understandably, the thought of coordinating someone ELSE to cook your meals during this time may seem like an unessential variable to cut out of the scheduling mayhem. After all, you don’t even know when you will be home to eat the food!

But consider this:

Most cooking services (including our own) offer a diverse selection of freezable menu options. That means you don’t have to be home for one of your kids to pop a slice of Fresh Vegetable Lasagna in the microwave (instead of resorting to Easy Mac or Ramen Noodles).

A personal chef service can offer some consistency – a drumbeat, if you will – during a time of year when many days’ events are outside of your normal routine. Complete with email reminders for placing your next order, the steps between ordering your food and enjoying it are hands-off. And don’t worry – messy utensil drawers make a personal chef feel right at home!

Still sounding like too much to keep up with during the holidays? Consider queuing your menu and date requests far in advance! Your personal chef will appreciate the lead time and so will your waistline because a planned meal is more likely to be healthy.

Imagine not worrying about what’s for dinner. That dream is closer to reality than you may realize. And this is the perfect time of year to get started.

Happy holidays!

P.S. New clients can save up to $300 on 6 weeks of Nourish personal chef service. Order by 12.24. Check it out!

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

Back when I was an undergrad at Cornell, I was positively delighted to land a job working in the on-campus bakery. At Straight from the Oven, we did serious baking, as in time-to-make-the-doughnuts 4:30AM alarm clocks going off in my dorm room, and chef’s whites, and flour covered aprons, and a row of mixers so big I could have climbed into one if I’d been so inclined. (I didn’t, but still.) I was in heaven. I learned so many things there about baking from people who’d been doing it longer than I’d been alive, and I had my first exposure to Linzer cookies.

For the uninitiated, a Linzer cookie is a two layer cookie with jam in between the layers. The top cookie has a cutout so the jam peeks through. They are gorgeous. And wildly popular among college students buried in books for the afternoon.

I think they’re particularly festive at Christmas when the red jam looks brilliant on a tray of treats. Enjoy!

 

Raspberry Linzer Cookies

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole almonds
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks
6-10 Tbs. raspberry preserves (the best quality you can find!)
2 tsp. powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Combine ½ cup of all-purpose flour and almonds in a food processor; process until finely ground. Combine almond mixture, remaining 1 cup of all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

2. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks; beat until well blended. Beating at low speed, gradually add flour mixture until all ingredients are combined.

3. Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap; knead lightly 3 times or until smooth. Divide dough into 2 equal portions; wrap each portion in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 350°.

5. Roll each dough portion into a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface; cut with a 2-inch circle cookie cutter with fluted edges to form 36 cookies. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portion; use a 1-inch circle fluted cutter to remove centers of 36 cookie toppers.

6. Arrange 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, 1 batch at a time, at 350° for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

7. Spread center of each whole cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon preserves (you may need a little more). Sprinkle cutout cookies with powdered sugar and place on top of each whole cookie.