Weekends are for (food)lovers

This weekend has been all about food, friends, football and running which in my book is close to perfect. But the best part about this weekend is still to come. I get an extra day! Can you sense the excitement? Now that we’ve covered that,back to the food, once I decided that I was going to run a marathon, I knew I should probably eat better. With a crazy schedule and running it’s so hard to get back and make time to make a healthy dinner, unless I want to eat at 9:30…which sadly at that point is about my bedtime. So, I instated cook-for-the-week weekends. The first one was last weekend where I made all the food for the week on Sunday while watching football and it was great!

I really love to cook but I’m still in the 30 minute meal/foodnetwork stage of my life. Unlike my sister the chef, I can’t measure ingredients with my hands, throw exotic ingredients together to get extravagant results or even keep 30 minute meals from turning into an hour process. I need simple, I need fast and I need pictures. Sounds elementary (which it is) but I’m learning. I love food and as a closet foodie I hope that one day I will graduate from this culinary stage of my life. However, while I’m here, I figure I can share. I cook for two reasons. 1- to keep lunch/dinner a tad healthier as to not eat pasta (my first love) every night when I get home 2- for friends. I love cooking for people whether it be groups or just one. This weekends are for food lovers, and yes, we will make shirts, is for the latter reason.

Two of my favorite recipes from this weekend have been the Chicken Braid (recipe from a wonderful friend) and Frittatas (compliments of my favorite: Giada De Laurentiis).  I get so excited about Food Network’s Saturday morning shows, you’d think I was a five year old with my cocoa puffs watching Saturday morning cartoons. I still revert back to cocoa puffs probably more than I should but these delicious fritattas are about as simple.Frittatas are a type of italian omelet, sans the folding, that is normally prepared in a skillet but for these treats you use muffin pans.

Mini Frittatas- Image from Food Network

Mini Frittatas

-Cooking spray
-8 large eggs
-1/2 cup whole milk
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1/4 tsp salt
-4 oz. thinly sliced ham, chopped
-1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
-2 Tbsp chopped fresh italian parsley

*A couple notes before we get started: The parmesan has to be fresh. Trust me, I like the cheap come in the bag kind too but for this you want it creamy and the kick of the fresh parmesan so this is not worth skimping on. Second, I don’t like parsley so I substituted chopped green onions and thought it was delicious. I could add onion to everything though.

Instructions

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Spray  muffin tins with spray (the recipe says mini but anything that combines mini and food frustrates me so I used the regular size)
-Whisk eggs, milk, pepper and salt in large bowl
-Stir in ham, cheese and parsley (in my case, onions)
-Fill muffin cups almost to the top with the egg mixture
-Bake until egg mixture puffs and is just set in the center (For minis 8-10 minutes. Since I used larger muffin tins it took about double that)
-Using rubber spatula, loosen frittatas and serve immediately

These are wonderful.  I made cinnamon rolls with them. Bacon/sausage would be good as well with it.

Next up, the Chicken Braid, a meal that is not only full of a deliciously creamy mix of cheese, chicken, veggies wrapped in a soft flaky crust, but it looks very impressive but again is super simple. Perfect, right up my alley!

Chicken Braid- looks fancy doesn't it

Chicken Braid

-2 cups chopped chicken (I shredded an already cooked rotisserie chicken)
-2 cups finely chopped broccoli
-1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
-1 clove chopped garlic
-1 cup of mayo (my friend suggested 1/2 cup of cream of chicken soup and 1/2 cup miracle whip instead which worked well)
-2 cups grated sharp cheddar
– 2 packages of crescent rolls

Instructions

-Mix all of the ingredients listed above (sans crescent rolls) together in a large bowl
-On a cookie sheet, lay out both packages of crescent rolls and press the seams together (make sure you do this really well because once you pull the dough to braid, it will break apart at the seams)
-Place the mixture down the center of the crescent rolls (length of the rectangle dough)
-Make 8-10 equal cuts on either side of the exposed crescent rolls
– Lift each coordinating strip on either side together and cross the strips across the mixture. Continue doing this till the entire braid is finished
-Brush dough with egg whites and sprinkle with almonds (optional)
– Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown

This was SO good! I served it with salad but soup could also be good.

Enjoy until next weekend!

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4 thoughts on “Weekends are for (food)lovers

  1. I highly recommend Paulette Mitchell’s 15-Minute Gourmet Cookbook. The recipes are fresh, tasty and most importantly, easy! Happy cooking!

  2. Love the braid. Impressive! Weekend cooking does make the process so much more chill (and useful for the week). I like to think it makes a difference in how things taste too.

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