Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vegetable Frittata

The boat is in the water, the Wave Runners are charged and the sun is shining over Old Hickory Lake.  You know what that means.....OVERNIGHT GUESTS!  When I was growing up, my father's harshest curse was "My enemies should have all the money in the world and no one to share it with." Clearly, I took after my father. I love company and love to  entertain.

As an early r
iser, on the weekends you are more likely to see me at 5am on the back patio sipping my morning coffee while watching the early fishermen trolling for bass then you are to see me awake after 10pm.  This gives me the perfect opportunity to prepare breakfast before anyone else gets up.

I prefer to visit with my guests during breakfast rather than be in the kitchen making eggs or omelets, so a Frittata is my perfect group breakfast dish.  Frittata is Italian for oven baked omelet which I have time to assemble and get into the oven before the first person stumbles to the kitchen for a cup of coffee.  If you are not a morning person, prepare the Frittata the night before and bake it in the morning.  No one will be the wiser.

I'm making a Vegetable Frittata for my finicky guests, but you can include anything you enjoy eating in your omelet.

For the potato, I'm using a baked potato left over from last night's dinner. As you probably do not have one in your refrigerator, you have several options:

§ Cook the potatoes according to directions below
§ Wrap raw potatoes in plastic wrap, poke fork holes and microwave 5-8 minutes
§ Use the potato in the green bag found near the eggs in the refrigerator section of the grocery store


§ 1 large or 2 small cooked potatoes cut into small pieces or sliced thinly
§ 1 small onion, diced
§ 1 cup chopped red and yellow peppers
§ 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
§ 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
§ 8 extra-large eggs 
§ 2 tablespoons chopped chives
§ 6 tablespoons butter
§ Salt and Pepper to taste

This is a good time to check your refrigerator for inspiration. Leftover vegetables make delicious additions to Frittatas.

Optional Ideas (add after potato layer)
§ 6 - 8 slices cooked bacon
§ 1/2 lb cooked breakfast sausage
§ 1 cup cooked vegetables (i.e. asparagus, zucchini, broccoli or artichokes)
§ Goat Cheese
§ 1 Smoked salmon with sprigs of dill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan, cover peeled potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to boil.  Cook over medium-high heat, until the potatoes are tender, 6 - 8 minutes.  Drain and pat dry.

If your baking dish does not have non-stick coating, spray with non-stick spray.  Dot the bottom of the baking dish with butter.  This will help the potatoes to brown and give the entire dish flavor.  Layer the bottom with the cooked potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Add the chopped onion, red peppers, yellow peppers and 1 tablespoon of chives.   If you are adding sausage, bacon or additional vegetables, add them at this time.   Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of cheddar and 1/2 cup of Swiss cheese over the vegetables.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/8 cup water, salt and pepper.  I like to use water when making omelets.  When the water heats to a boil, the air bubbles created by the steam make the final dish light and fluffy.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and vegetables to cover completely.  If your egg mixture does not cover all of the ingredients, you may need to add a few more eggs and water. 

Bake until the eggs are set and golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. 

Sprinkle remaining cheese on the Frittata and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes until melted. Remove the Frittata from the oven, sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon of chives and serve immediately.

For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Vegetable Frittata.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mama Marko's Frozen Dough Cookies

I've been blogging for over two months and although I do not get too many comments at the bottom of each post, I do get many emails from friends and fans of the blog requesting specific recipes. The most requested recipe since starting this blog has been for my mother's Frozen Dough Cookies.

Many of you have asked me to make these cookies or serve them when you visit. Some have even asked me to share a block of the frozen dough so you can make them at home, but I had no idea so many of you wanted the recipe. All you had to do was ask.

The dough for these cookies must spend at the very least a few hours or overnight in the freezer, but I have kept blocks of dough in the freezer for months with great results.

Ingredients for Dough:
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve egg whites to use when baking cookies)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 sticks room temperature margarine
  • 1 8oz package of room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla

Directions for making dough:

Combine all ingredients.  Reserve egg whites to use when baking cookies.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer.

If you plan to bake the cookies within a few days, store the egg whites in the refrigerator.  If you plan to keep the dough in the freezer for later use, you can freeze the egg whites.

Ingredients for baking cookies:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Flour for dusting rolling pin and surface

Directions for baking cookies:
Remove dough from freezer and let thaw.  Pour the egg whites into one shallow bowl and a cup of sugar into another.

Dust rolling pin and surface with flour to keep the dough from sticking.  Roll out the dough to desired thickness but no more than 1/4 inch.  Cut with cookie cutter, dip the top of the cookie into the egg whites and then sugar before placing on a cookie sheet.  The egg white makes the sugar adhere to the cookie and creates the cookie's crispy top crust.

Bake for approximately 12 - 15 minutes or until the cookies are light golden brown.

Cool on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container.

For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Mama Marko's Frozen Dough Cookies.  Enjoy!