Western Egg Wrap

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This Western breakfast wrap is not just a meal, it’s an experience. Shortly after completing my recently begun morning workout session, I received a burst of inspiration from the heavens to create an unexpectedly delicious breakfast food that would please even the pickiest palate. For those of you who have to rush off to work and think that you don’t have time for such delicacies, think again! This breakfast is just as good made the night before and reheated in the morning. Just imagine, all night you can dream of that little scrumptiousness awaiting you for breakfast! Not only is it good, it’s good for you! Since when can you combine eggs, veggies, and real cheese all in one breakfast? Unless it’s a omelet, that is to say……but anyway, that is another story for another time. As you can see, my little not-by-choice sabbatical from this blog is over, and I am back baby! I am back! I’m so excited to finally be moved in and settled!!!!:D I know you couldn’t tell…..;)

The Ingredients: 1 whole wheat tortilla, 1 egg, 1 Campari tomato, 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp. softened butter.

Break the tomato into small pieces with a fork, discard the top. Melt 1/2 tbsp. of the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the egg, stirring slowly but steadily to scramble it. Just before the egg is fully cooked, add the tomato bits. Turn the heat to low and let sit for a few minutes. Spoon the cooked egg and tomato goodness onto the tortilla, spreading it out in a straight line. Carefully roll the tortilla around the contents. Add half of the remaining butter to the pan, turn the heat back up to medium. Toast the tortilla on that side, then add the rest of the butter and toast it on the other side. Hurrah! You are done! Now, instead of scarfing it down, take time to enjoy the delicious natural flavors…..or you could just eat it like a normal person…..

Disclaimers for those of you who are bothered by my unprofessionalism: Ignore the bits of brown, burnt cheese that leaked out of the wrap, I may have gotten a little carried away….. Ignore the terrible lighting in these photos, I was hungry, okay!? Please overlook the fact that I am not up to restaurant cleanliness standards. Look fondly upon my sister’s red-haired Barbie doll lying in the background, it is well loved.

Ahhhhh…..this was SO GOOD……

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Caramelized Vegetable Macaroni Salad

Now that summer is officially here, everyone is taking over the outdoors, enjoying nature to the fullest. After a long day of summer play, no one wants to come home and sweat over a hot stove….sooooo…why not put together a simply delicious pasta salad before you leave, and come home to a ready made, cool, flavorful dinner that everyone loves? As my family is still on the go, moving into a new place and all that jazz, these types of quick, delicious meals are so handy right now. In short, Caramelized Vegetable Macaroni Salad is light, fresh, and packed with nutrition. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef and La Critico.

The Chef: “La Critico, what do you think of this pasta salad?” La Critico: “Well it’s real good I guess.” The Chef: “Well I try.” La Critico: “I wouldn’t eat anything but pasta if I had the choice.” The Chef: “Same here, but that would not bode well towards a healthy lifestyle.” 

The Ingredients: 1 lb. macaroni noodles, 1 large tomato, 4-6 green onions or 1/2 yellow onion, 1/2 cup mayonnaise or sour cream, 2 tbsp. sriracha ranch dressing, 1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, 2 tbsp. butter.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the noodles and butter. Now, this is very important: DO. NOT. OVERCOOK THE NOODLES. They must be al dente or the salad will be ruined. While the noodles are boiling, dice the tomato and whichever onion you choose. If using yellow onion, caramelize in butter for ten minutes, adding the tomato to the pan during the last few minutes. If using green onions, saute the green onions and tomato in butter for five minutes. Mix together the cooked vegetables and pasta, then add all remaining ingredients. Refrigerate the pasta salad until you are ready to serve it. Enjoy!

This is the version that has yellow onion, and boy was it good! There was not a noodle left when dinner was over…..

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Turkey Veggie Pizza

Pizza is great for when you need a quick grab and go dinner that requires little prep and a short cooking time. Now, ground turkey is not something that you would normally think of to use as a pizza topping, but…..Recently we made this recipe and it turned out as a light, flavorful version of a meat lovers pizza. So if you like meat, but want to cut down a little, while still enjoying your favorite foods, make this! Friar Tyst, El Gastronomo, and La Critico certainly enjoyed it….:) If you want to make your own pizza crust, that’s fine….but…I’ve always found that refrigerated pizza dough is much more convenient and user-friendly. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, La Critico, El Gastronomo, and Friar Tyst.

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, you being a turkey expert, do tell us your opinion of this dish.” Friar Tyst: “Well it’s real good when you add some rosemary during the cooking process.” The Chef: “Hmmmm, good to know. I assume that you like this pizza better than that other one I make?” Friar Tyst: “Oh yeah.”

The Chef: “La Critico, do illuminate us with your superior criticism.” La Critico: “Well it’s better than a Burger King burger.” The Chef: “Really settin’ your standards high, ain’t ya?” La Critico: “It’s better than Little Ceasars.” The Chef: “Hmmmm….”

The Chef :”El Gastronomo, please tell me you have higher standards than this peasant?” El Gastronomo:”This is really good.” The Chef: “It did turn out good, didn’t it?.” 

The Ingredients: 1 cup cooked ground turkey, 15 oz. diced tomatoes, 1 cup Colby jack or pepper jack cheese, 1 tube Kroger refrigerated pizza dough, 1/2 cup diced yellow onion, 1 minced zucchini, 1 tsp. basil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. crushed black peppercorns, 1/2 tsp. cumin.

Roll the pizza crust out into a rectangular shape. Bake at 370 degrees for eight to ten minutes. Mix the spices and the tomatoes together in the measuring cup, spread evenly atop the crust. Cook the onion and the turkey together. Spread the turkey and onions atop the sauce, the minced zucchini on top of that, and finish with the cheese. Bake for an additional six to eight minutes.

Who needs takeout pizza?

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Herby Breaded Tilapia

Let me start out by saying that I have not been a fan of tilapia in the past, but that. has all. changed. This pan fried, breaded, seasoned tilapia is tender, flaky, moist, flavorful, delectable, restaurant-grade, and generally amazing. Oh, and it was cooked by El Gastronomo. He is the fish and seafood expert, and knows how to make southern food gourmet style. Pair this moist fish with a few hush puppies, tender, buttered corn on the cob, and apple bran muffins, and you’ll have a knock your socks off meal sure to impress your family and friends. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, El Gastronomo, and Queenbee. Now for a few words on frying safety with El Gastronomo.

The Chef: “El Gastronomo, it has been some time since you have made your presence known on this website, but you sure know how to make a comeback! Anyway, ya got any tips on frying safety” El Gastronomo: “When frying fish it is always prudent to flip it away from you so that you will not be splattered with hot oil. Also, remember to keep all flammable materials away from the gas flame (as he sets an oven mitt on fire). The Chef: “Your oven mitt is on fire.” El Gastronomo: “Yikes! (extinguishes fire under running water). The Chef: “And this, chefs, is why we should always pay attention to food safety tips.” 

We turn to Queenbee for objective criticism.

The Chef: “Queenbee, you being a expert in the southern food category, please tell us what you thought of this dish.” Queenbee: “I thought it was amazingly delicious and extremely flavorful.” The Chef: “Well, that says it all, doesn’t it?”

The Ingredients: 8 tilapia fillets, 2 cups onion flavored hush puppy mix, 1 cup water, 1 egg, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 tsp. italian seasoning, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. rosemary, 1 tsp. poultry seasoning, 1 tsp. garlic powder.

Heat the chicken broth in a small pot with the spices until it comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and let sit until the the liquid is still. Add the fish fillets and let them marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, mix together the hush puppy mix, water, and egg. Add 1/4 cup more of water if the mix is too dry. When the tilapia fillets are done marinating, remove them from the marinade, allow to drain, and halve each one. Preheat your skillet to medium high heat, add one to two inches of olive oil. Cook the breaded fillets two at a time when the oil is hot. Fry until deep golden brown, this should take about three minutes on each side. Serves 8 to 10 people.

Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake

Up here in the mountain country strawberries are ripe for the picking. I tell you what, there is nothing like picking your own berries and turning them into delicious treats. There’s just something about fresh fruit that says ‘summer’, don’t you think? Whether it be peaches, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries. I decided to use this in season deliciousness as an excuse to make a cold dessert that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake is smooth, creamy, and delicious with salty sweet hints of pretzel. And because of the addition of strawberries, it has zero calories and is therefore healthy!;) There is no better way to get your serving of fruits for the day! This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, The Health Inspector, and Friar Tyst.

The Chef: “Mr. Health Inspector, your thoughts on cheesecake?” The Health Inspector: “Well it’s pretty good I guess.” The Chef: “Except for the strawberries, right?” The Health Inspector: “Well you know how it is.”

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, first of all let me thank you for your excellent sous chef assistance. Second of all, what to you think of the flavor combination?” Friar Tyst: “I thought it tasted like cheese!” The Chef: “Granted, anything else?” Friar Tyst: “I thought it tasted like strawberries.” 

The Ingredients: 1 stick butter, 1 to 2 cups crushed pretzels, additional 1/2 cup roughly chopped pretzels,  1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, 2 bars plain cream cheese, 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 8 oz. tub whipped topping, 2 cups halved strawberries.

Melt the butter at 30 second intervals in your microwave. Using a fork, combine it with the crushed pretzels and graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a large rectangular pan. Press the crust down firmly and refrigerate for one hour. Using a hand mixer, mix together softened cream cheese and whipped topping until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, mixing between each addition. Place 1 cup of strawberries atop the crust. Top these with the cheesecake filling. Now add the remaining strawberries and chopped pretzels. Refrigerate for three to four hours, or until you are ready to serve it. Serves 6-8 (if they’re not ‘starving’)

Beautiful food, delicious food……CHEESECAKE GOODNESS!!!!

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Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

For a baker, the long-standing debate as to the best way to make a chocolate chip cookie is usually solved through personal preferences. Every once in a while a cookie comes along that is enjoyed by many different tastes, and thus we label it THE BEST chocolate chip cookie. However, I prefer to enjoy all types of cookies equally rather than labeling any one as THE BEST one. That being said, today I am sharing with you one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, they are crispy and chewy on the outside, yet soft and chocolatey on the inside. This is because they are made with special, all natural ingredients.;) Dark Brown sugar is obviously the healthier choice when it comes to sugar options. Not only that, but it gives baked delicacies a dense richness that could never be achieved through using the stereotypical “white sugar”. As for all-natural cane sugar, just know that it provides cookies with intriguing little bursts of crunchy sweetness throughout.

The Ingredients: 1 1/2 to 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup all natural cane sugar, 1 stick butter (salted), 1/4 to 1/2 cup quick oats, 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Soften the butter until partially melted, add the egg and both sugars. Mix well and let sit while you measure out the other ingredients. Alternate adding the flour one cup at a time along with half of the oil, mixing well after each addition. Now add the salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips. Mix well. Grease a large cookie sheet with butter. Use a regular cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop to form balls of cookie dough, when all the dough has been used, place these on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. If you used a cookie scoop you will probably get about sixteen cookies, but if you use an ice cream scoop you will most likely get a perfect dozen. Enjoy them!

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The Vegetarian Cheeseburger

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Lunch has always been my favorite meal of the day, the delicious simplicity appeals to my tastes. And yet, I realized that I have never posted some of my favorite things to eat for lunch. Or anything in the lunch category at all! So I decided that it was about time to post a series of my favorite lunch foods. The Vegetarian Cheeseburger is something that I only indulge in on a special occasion. Okay okay maybe I eat it once a week or so. But that’s all I’m going to say about that. Now that we are in Kroger territory I have enjoyed getting to know the type of food they carry and how I can transform it into greatness. Let me just say, the bread is SO good. Especially the potato buns, so if you want to enjoy this lunchtime delight to the fullest, I recommend using one of those little babies to carry your burger to greatness. We have always eaten soy based burgers, I know, healthy right? But once you develop a taste for them, they are so good. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef and Friar Tyst.

What ya need: 1 potato hamburger bun, 1 soy burger (any flavor, we like the Boca and Morning Star brands), 1-2 tbsp. three cheese ranch dressing, 1/2 tsp. mustard, 1 slice of tomato, 2-3 pieces of lettuce, 1 slice of cheese.

Microwave the burger for one minute or grill it on the stove top for 3 to 5 minutes. Toast the potato bun in the same grill pan with a little butter (this step is optional). Spread the dressing on both sides of the bun. Layer the burger, the mustard, and the cheese in this order. If you have lettuce and tomato, which I did not this time around, put them on now with top half of the bun. Now the most important step, enjoy it!

I know I did!

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