Spinach Casserole

This would seem to be your normal quiche, although there is no crust! It is actually a KISS recipe (Keep It Simple Stupid) and can easily made by a child with some parental supervision. It is pictured here with a little Pace Medium Salsa on top prior to serving. And yes, you could serve it for breakfast!!

Spinach Casserole

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh spinach OR 20 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

3. Spread mixture into an 8×8 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is set.

4. Serve immediately.

Notes

The original recipe from Taste of Home called for a full 8 ounces of cream cheese, but we find this to be extremely rich and more like a spinach dip.

Cold Asparagus Salad

Hopefully, you are still able to get fresh asparagus where you are! This makes a wonderful summer salad side dish and is fairly easy to prepare. We enjoy edit with a great hamburger and potato salad. There’s very little prep involved too. Follow the asparagus directions as shown and do not overcook it.

Asparagus Salad COLD

Ingredients

  • 1 large hard-boiled egg (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 2/3 cups chopped asparagus
  • 2 slices cooked and crumbled center cut bacon (check labels for Whole30)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (check label for Whole30)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until tender yet firm. Drain and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Setaside OR place asparagus stocks, trimmed, in a microwave dish and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, Drain!

2. In a small bowl mix the Dijon, oil, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Arrange the asparagus on a plate, top with egg and bacon and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Asparagus Casserole with Ritz Crackers

Another Costco use up – LOL. Two people can hardly use up a whole package of their asparagus in less than a week? This was very tasty along with some Costco roasted chicken.

Asparagus Casserole with Ritz Crackers – Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1/2 cup bacon cooked, reserve 2 tablespoons bacon grease

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cut asparagus in bite sized pieces and separate the tips from the stalks.

3. Add the stalks to salted, boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes.

4. Add the tips and cook for a minute or so more – or until the stalks are crisp-tender.

5. Drain.

6. Cook the bacon until crisp. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

7. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

8. Crumble the crackers and set aside.

9. Grease a 2-quart (9×9) casserole dish and add half the cooked asparagus.

10. Top with half the cream of mushroom soup.

11. Add half the cheese and repeat the layers.

12. Mix the reserved bacon grease with the cracker crumbs. You may substitute 2 tablespoons of melted butter if you like.

13. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

14. Top with the crumbled bacon.

15. Bake, uncovered, until heated through and bubbly, 25 – 30 minutes

Expert Tip: Separate the tips of the asparagus and the stems after you cut the stalks up. Add the stalks to boiling water first and let them cook about 2 minutes before adding the tips. That way the stalks will be cooked through but the tips won’t be mushy.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

We enjoyed this recipe at our daughter-in-laws as an appetizer, so much so that I served it as a side with the previous blog – Baked Salmon. It is definitely a keeper! Once the asparagus is blanched, the recipe is K.I.S.S. So simple that even a child could prepare it up to the point of baking! Great for BBQ season, too. Unfortunately, I ran out of the prosciutto so I just put the extra on the pan and drizzled it with more extra virgin olive oil.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

  • 8-ounce asparagus fresh
  • 10 slices dry-cured ham prosciutto
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • olive oil

1. Cut each prosciutto slice in half crosswise.

2. Spread cream cheese and garlic onto each half slice of prosciutto.

3. Wrap cream cheese topped prosciutto around each asparagus spear.

4. Place wrapped asparagus onto a parchment paper lined baking pan.

5. Bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes or until meat has browned

NOTES

If you want to use multiple slices of prosciutto, go ahead. Since they are cured, using more than one won’t affect the cooking time.

Sprinkle pepper on the cream cheese. This will give the roasted recipe a bolder flavor.

Brush the prosciutto with olive oil. This is optional, but it will make the prosciutto crispier.

Soften the cream cheese. It is so much easier to spread when you let it sit at room temperature for a bit first.

Southern Fried Cabbage

I am sure that I am not alone on Pinterest when I find a great recipe, make it, eat it and FORGET TO TAKE A PHOTO!!! Such is the case with me again. Nevertheless, it turned out great! Trust me!!!

Southern Fried Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon cut in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 cup onions chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds cabbage chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or more to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes optional, to taste

Instructions

Sauté the bacon in a heavy skillet until crispy.

Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside.

Spoon off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.

Add the onions to the skillet and sauté until they just begin to become translucent.

Add the cabbage and garlic; sauté, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and seasoned salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it is as tender as you like and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Stir in the bacon and serve.

Wonderful Spring Salad!

When you feel like a salad and check the refrigerator for ingredients…

Ingredients

  • Chopped fried bacon (3 strips)
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Mushrooms of your choice
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Fried croutons
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Brianna’s Poppy Seed dressing
  • 2 Green onions sliced
  • 4 hard boiled eggs (optional) chopped

Fry up the bacon and remove from pan. Add some croutons into the bacon fat!

Assemble all of the ingredients and mix with Brianna’s Poppy Seed Dressing!

Broccoli with Mushrooms

My apologies for not posting last week, as I was undergoing surgery and was convalescing at home as per doctor’s orders. It fell to my spouse to be the chief cook and bottle washer, among providing nursing care! I am back on my feet and back in the kitchen once again!

This weeks recipe is fairly simple, just broccoli and mushrooms as a side dish for some wonderful sausage with spinach and feta (COSTCO). A simple dish to prepare… If I were to make this again, I would add some chopped cooked bacon!

Brussel Sprouts and Mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 500 grams cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed, washed, and halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard

4 large eggs, optional*

1. Add the olive oil, butter, mushrooms, onions, salt, and ground black pepper to a heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet. Over medium heat, cook the mushrooms and onions until the mushrooms have browned -about 15 minutes.

2. Next, add the dried thyme, garlic, sprouts, and mustard. Stir to combine with the mushrooms. Allow the sprouts to sear and caramelize – about 15 minutes.

3. *While the sprouts are cooking, you can fry the eggs, sunnyside-up, if you are adding a fried egg to the top of your serving. Otherwise, skip this step.

Creamy Baked Acorn Squash

Amazingly, as I write this I note that is recipe#450! Outside today (August 19) the skies are sunny here in our part of Mexico, but the winds are beginning to howl with the approach of Hurricane Grace. Thankfully, it will pass south of us, but we still expect winds and rain.

Rarely do we see acorn squash in our part of Mexico; for that matter, we rarely see butternut squash or spaghetti squash. Whenever we find them, we grab them up! This latest squash recipe, incorporating sweet potatoes, is awesome!

Creamy Baked Acorn Squash

If you need to feed four people,use two acorn squash…

  • 1 large acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream OR coconut milk with cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 5-6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil for the sweet potatoes only (optional)
  • 1/4 cup hard cheese like: parmesan, pecorino Romano (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Prepare squash and sweet potatoes.  If using the sweet potatoes, drizzle the olive oil over the tops of them.  Place in baking dish.  Add heavy cream, salt, pepper and thyme to the center of the acorn squash.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove and grate cheese over the top.  Bake an additional 20 minutes of until squash is soft.  Bake uncovered.

Buen provecho amigos!

Tangy Coleslaw

It’s the weekend and BBQ time and or light lunch/dinner. Prepare this tangy coleslaw early, refrigerate and you are all set. Try some of the add-ons to stretch the recipe. For a faster prep, buy the already shredded coleslaw at your favourite market!

Tangy Coleslaw

For the Slaw:

  • 1 head cabbage, shredded; or about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of packaged shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar to taste (actually 1/2 cup is sufficient)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds

Instructions

  1. Combine shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix with the sliced onion in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the stove.
  3. Pour the hot dressing over the cabbage and toss well to coat.
  4. Cool the coleslaw slightly, cover, and then refrigerate until serving time.

Loaded Mashed Potato Mix

What to serve with some beautiful beef filets? Of course, potatoes, but what kind? Since there were no real potatoes in the house, I turned to my fall back potatoes – INSTANT! (I always have a few different kinds of Idaho Instant potatoes in the pantry). For this recipe, I chose the Idaho Baby Reds.

Not wanting to simply whip up according to the package, I found a recipe on Pinterest. (You are NOT surprised.) It was delicious and perfect with the filets and roasted asparagus. So perfect, that I neglected to take a photo…

Loaded Idaho Mashed Potato Mix

Ingredients

  • 6 cups prepared mashed potatoes made with butter and milk (or broth)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix unprepared (I substituted Emeril’s Essence)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 6 slices cooked bacon chopped
  • 6 green onions thinly sliced (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, 1 cup cheese, bacon and onions.

3. Spread into large casserole dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated. Remove from oven and sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

4. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese on top is melted.

5. Garnish if desired with extra bacon and green onions.

6. Serves 6-8