Posted at 8:23 am , on January 23, 2019
I love portobello mushrooms as they have a “meaty” texture and I can sneak in a vegetarian night without hubby complaining. This is a quick and easy meal with lots of options to use whatever fresh veggies are on hand or sale. Our local Grocery Outlet has a wonderful selection of pre-cut bagged, frozen and organic veggies so this is a GO-to meal.
It’s also a fun “make it yourself” dinner for a group. Put out the chopped ingredients in bowls and let each person build their own “pizza.” Use a permanent market to write each name on the outside of the tinfoil before tenting. You can add a grain on the side, but I find that this is plenty for a meal unto itself, especially if there is a dessert to follow. 🙂
Posted at 3:44 am , on January 15, 2019
I love lazy weekend fall mornings when I can whip up something warm and yummy for hubby and I for brunch while watching a football game. I don’t love all the dishes when I want to relax after filling my belly. This strata is made the night before in a large Ziploc bag and then simply placed in a pan and baked; easy and virtually no mess! A side of hashbrowns and fresh fruit rounds out the meal nicely.
Our local Grocery Outlet carries all of the ingredients regularly at about half the cost of other stores. The Lit’l Smokies come in a 28 oz package and can be divided and half frozen for other dishes (they are great in a rustic vegetable soup!). I used about half of the pack for this recipe. Any form of bread works, but I especially love the San Luis Sliced Garlic Sourdough. The garlic is already roasted and the crust has a nice texture. I used half of the loaf for grilled cheese and toast 5 days prior, which allowed the other half to become slightly stale, preferable for the strata.
Variations: You can switch up the type of cheese and herbs for different flavors. I prefer fresh herbs whenever possible, but if using dried reduce the amount to about a third of fresh. I added a few drops of Dave’s Insanity Sauce for a little zip; you could add other hot sauces mixed in when you add the half and half, or as a condiment for folks to spice to their own liking.
Tip: Use a good quality Ziploc bag or you will end up with a mess! I double bag the mixture before placing in our fridge, just to be sure!
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coursely ground pepper
- Half a roughly chopped yellow onion
- 20 Lit’l Smokies by Hillshire Farms, cut into thirds
- 2 1/2 cups of shredded Gruyere cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for top)
- 6 large slices of stale French bread, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Optional: Sour cream dollops, hot sauce and chives/thyme for garnish
- Crack the eggs into a clean gallon size Ziploc bag.
- Add the half and half and mustard, seal the bag and mix by squishing the ingredients in the bag until well combined.
- Open the bag, add the thyme, salt, pepper and onions and squish again.
- Add the Lit’l Smokies and 2 cups of the cheese and squish again.
- Add the bread in batches, mixing until all pieces are fully covered in the egg mixture.
- Zip the bag securely closed, pushing out the air so it has a vacuum-packed feel. (You don’t have to get all the air out; just enough so the mixture isn’t sloshing around in the bag.)
- Place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Pull the bag out of the fridge 30 minutes before you put it in the oven to bring to room temperature. Pour the ingredients into a 8 inch square glass baking pan, generously greased with butter.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes, then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top.
- Increase temperature to 375 and bake an additional 20 minutes until strata is puffed, edges are pulling away from pan sides slightly, and cheese is browned. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean when done.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Serve with optional sour cream, hot sauce and fresh thyme or chives as garnish.
Serves 4 to 6 people.
Go To Tuesdays are weekly recipes from products purchased at the Alameda Grocery Outlet, 730 Buena Vista Ave.
Please let me know if you made the recipe and liked it or would suggest changes. And also feel free to suggest future recipes.
Posted at 6:55 am , on December 27, 2018
We grew up sailing San Francisco Bay, indisputably the best sailing in the world and one we generally take for granted. On a typical day on the water we’ll motor up the estuary (which we fondly refer to as the “Alameda Riviera”) raising sails just beyond the Port of Oakland. We know all the stories associated with the local landmarks such as President Roosevelt’s refurbished USS Potomac and Jack London Square, the old Navy Base and the various Coast Guard stations.
Posted at 3:26 am , on December 18, 2018
Winter is definitely upon us in San Francisco Bay, which means time to break out the Dutch oven and whip up pots of comfort food. I’m a fan of soups that need to simmer for hours to bring out the flavors, but sometimes I want a quick recipe that just tastes like I was in the galley all day.
This one can be made in about 30 minutes and then served right away, or allowed to sit and heat up later or even the next day. It is hearty enough to serve on it’s own with a crusty loaf of french bread, or as a side with a salad and/or an entree. I made it on a rainy Sunday when I was babysitting my granddaughter and watching football games and served it for dinner alongside steamed artichokes. Continue reading
Posted at 4:44 am , on November 27, 2018
Both sweet and savory … these delicious noodles take minutes to prepare and make a great side to an Asian-inspired meal or, as we did, serve with fresh Dungeness crab and garlic bread. (One can never have enough garlic in my opinion!) Grocery Outlet doesn’t sell fresh crab, but they do feature an amazing ocean caught salmon that would be terrific with a miso-soy glaze. Hubby says he could easily eat just a big bowl of the noodles all by themselves … they are THAT good!
Posted at 10:20 am , on November 20, 2018
Turkey is the hands-down favorite for Thanksgiving but when you are cooking for just a few (or have a tiny oven as I do), Cornish Game Hens are a great alternative and also make a festive meal during the winter holidays. Who doesn’t like having their own drumstick? Grocery Outlet has a wonderful frozen food section and these little birds are inexpensive and thaw in a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. You’ll also find a good selection of fresh produce in bulk, packaged and organic varieties to chose from.
Posted at 12:34 am , on October 11, 2018
Crabcakes Benedict is my hubby’s favorite breakfast and here in Northern California we have access to fresh crab year-round. If you are already doing a crab dinner, just buy a bit extra and save some meat for the next day. You could also do it with canned lump crab, as I did this time since we were traveling to a vacation spot and it transported easier than whole crab. (The kitchen in our vacay home wasn’t any bigger than the galley!)
This is a lovely, rich meal that is perfect for brunch on it’s own or paired with fresh fruit and/or potatoes. And mimosas … always mimosas!
Posted at 1:33 am , on September 27, 2018
Salmon is fresh and plentiful in California and it’s one of our favorite proteins to grill or poach. It also makes for a quick main course that is heartier than traditional clam chowder. It’s a great meal to serve for guests as it can be made hours beforehand and kept at room temperature until 10 minutes before sitting down to eat. Pop sourdough bread bowls into the oven to heat, add the final ingredients under the asterisk in the directions below, and serve with a small salad. Bonus: easy clean-up and few dishes!
Posted at 12:05 am , on August 30, 2018
Mashed potatoes are comfort food in our family so I make a big batch and almost always have leftovers. This is a quick recipe for a savory breakfast dish which pairs nicely with fresh melon and sausage or bacon. Take the potatoes out of the fridge to bring to room temperature while you are having your morning cup of tea or coffee; this will make them easier to mix and cook evenly.
Posted at 8:55 am , on August 13, 2018
“You live on a boat?! How is that? Does it move all the time? How does the weather affect you? Where do you keep your stuff? Do you have electricity? How about fresh water? Do you have a real kitchen? How do you deal with waste? Are you connected to cable and WiFi? Does your dog like living on a boat? What happens when you go sailing?”
Do you have a real kitchen? Yes, it’s real, but it’s tiny. (It’s called a galley on a boat.) I have about four feet by 6 feet, plus cabinet space, to work with. And in that small space I have a stove with three burners and an oven, refrigerator, double sink and counter space. The counter space also doubles as covers for my sink, fridge, storage and dish drainer, so clearing any clutter is always the first step to prepping/cooking. Heidi and Aaron have opted not to have a freezer any longer in order to save electricity, and the space will soon be used to store everyday pots and pans for easy access. It’s not uncommon for the steps from the galley to the cockpit and the navigation station to also be used in the prep process. 🙂
My stove, a Seaward Princess II, was built specially for a boat and operates on propane. It replaced my original stove (also a Seaward Princess) in 2014 and cared for properly will last over 20 years.