Cranberry Stuffed French Toast with Minted Whipped Cream and Cranberry “Sauce”

By Stephanie Snipes

INGREDIENTS

4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

pinch of salt

1 TBS. fresh lemon juice

 

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

 

1 cup powdered sugar

4-6 fresh mint leaves

 

1 cup heavy cream

4-6 fresh mint leaves

3 TBS powdered sugar

 

1 loaf challah bread

3 egg yolks

1 ½ cups milk

3 TBS. brown sugar

1 TBS. vanilla

2 TBS butter, melted

 

2 TBS butter (for pan)

DIRECTIONS

To Make Cranberry “Sauce”: Combine cranberries, sugar, salt and water in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to medium and let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve reserving the liquid in a small bowl. Add lemon juice. Set aside to cool.

To Make Cream Cheese Filling: Place boiled cranberries in a food processor and blend until they form a paste. Combine ¼ - ½ of cranberry paste, the softened cream cheese and a pinch of salt and mix well (start with ¼ cup and taste. Add additional cranberry to desired flavor). Place cream cheese mixture in a piping bag (or zipper top bag) and place in fridge until you’re ready to use it.

To Make Powdered Sugar: Combine powdered sugar and mint in a food processor and blend until well combined. Set aside.

To Make Whipped Cream: Combine heavy cream and mint leaves in a heavy bottom pot. Bring to just a simmer and then take cream off heat. Let mint steep in hot liquid for 15 minutes. Remove mint leaves and put cream in a bowl. Set in refrigerator until cold (this can be done a day ahead). Before serving French toast whip the cream. Combine cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high until medium peaks form.

To Make French Toast: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slice challah bread into 1 ½ inch slices (one loaf should give you 5-6 slices). Place bread on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool until room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Once cool use a paring knife to slice through the bottom crust of each piece of bread horizontally. This will create a pocket to hold your cream cheese. Get the cream cheese from the fridge and snip the end of the piping bag (or corner of zipper bag) and squeeze about 2 TBS of filling into each piece of bread. Set aside.

In a 9x13 glass dish combine the milk, egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and a pinch of salt. Whisk until combined. Melt 2 TBS of butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Take the stuffed bread and soak each side in the custard mixture for 20-25 seconds. Place in hot pan and cook until golden brown on each side. (You may have to do this in 2 batches. If so, you can put finished French toast in a 200 degree oven to keep warm until you’re finished).

To Serve: Place a piece of the French toast on a plate and sprinkle on some of the mint powdered sugar. Top with cranberry “sauce” and a dollop of whipped cream. Add some fresh mint to garnish.

 

Cranberry french toast
 
 

Lamb and Mint Meatballs with Cranberry Mint Tomato Sauce

By Dani Siegel

INGREDIENTS

Challah Breadcrumbs

1 loaf of challah bread

Meatballs

2lbs ground lamb

2 TBS dried minced onion

1/2 cup challah breadcrumbs

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

3 TBS chopped fresh mint

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 TBS chopped and smashed fresh garlic

Zest from 1 medium Meyer lemon

2 eggs

Cranberry Tomato Sauce

10 ounces dried cranberries

2 cups water

2 fresh mint leaves, whole

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce

Juice of 1 medium Meyer lemon

1 tsp. chopped fresh mint

1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1/8 tsp. chipotle chili powder

DIRECTIONS

For the breadcrumbs: Preheat oven to 375. Slice challah and toast in the oven for 7 minutes. Pulse pieces in the food processor until you have broken up the large chunks. Spread back out onto a sheet pan and bake for another 7 minutes. Pulse the crumbs through the food processor again and store in an air tight container.

For the meatballs: Mix all ingredients together, form into 12 large meatballs and place in a single layer in a casserole dish. Set aside. 

For the sauce: In a small sauce pan, simmer the cranberries, water and whole mint leaves until the cranberries are plump and soft. 20-30 minutes. Cool the mixture and puree in the food processor until smooth. This should make about 2 cups of puree.

Separately saute the onions in olive oil or butter until they begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Mix in the tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cups of the cranberry puree and simmer for another 5 minutes, until well combined.  Add the lemon juice, mint, rosemary and chipotle powder. Simmer another 5 minutes and remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the casserole dish, spooning it over to make sure each meatball is coated in sauce.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes, ensuring that the meatballs cook to 160 degrees. My handy Thermapen made sure these were cooked perfectly!

Serve in a bowl with plenty of sauce and toasted challah for mopping up the sauce. It would be yummy and even more hearty served over polenta!

 

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Roasted Veggie and Farro Bowl with Chicken and Goat Cheese
Servings: 4 servings

By: Stephanie Snipes

Cook’s notes:

Look for a quick cook farro. Trader Joe’s has a good 10 minute version. You could also substitute with brown rice. Look for frozen brown rice to make this extra fast.

Rotisserie chicken works well in this dish.

Don’t’ like goat cheese, try feta!


Ingredients:

For Veggies:

2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered

2 large carrots, cut into ¼ inch rounds

2 cups cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces

1 ½ TBS olive oil

salt and pepper

For Vinaigrette:

2 teaspoons lemon zest

3 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS fresh thyme, minced
5 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons; 20g)
1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For Assembling:
3 cups cooked farro

4 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded

3 green onions, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)

4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)

½ cup fresh parsley, minced



Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss veggies with olive oil and spread evenly on a foil lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.

While veggies are roasting make vinaigrette. Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme and garlic in a bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Time to assemble. Mix together farro, chicken, green onion and roasted veggies. Poor on vinaigrette and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with parsley and goat cheese and toss lightly.

 

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

By: Stephanie Snipes

Cook’s notes:

This soup will freeze well. Try doubling the recipe so you can throw some in the freezer to have on hand when you need it.

The heavy cream is optional in this soup. It adds a wonderful creaminess but is fine to omit. You’ll still get lots of good flavor

Rotisserie chicken is an excellent choice to make this soup easy to prepare.

 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped celery (about 3-4 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (about 3 large carrots)
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup wild rice
2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups water

1 bay leaf
4 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 cup heavy cream (optional)

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the celery, carrots, onion and thyme. Add some salt and pepper and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes, until veggies soften. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes.

Add the wild rice. Then, stir in stock and water. Add bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wild rice is cooked, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf. Stir in the cream, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

 

Proscuitto and Pesto Wrap

Cook’s Notes:

Any flavor tortilla or wrap would work nicely here. Try spinach or sun dried tomato

Be careful with adding your additional salt. Proscuitto and pesto can be salty on their own. Give a little taste of each to see if additional seasoning is needed.

Ingredients:

4 tortillas, any flavor

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 TBS pesto

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

1 cup arugula

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Mix together cream cheese and pesto. Spread ¼ of the mixture over each tortilla. Then top with prosciutto, onion, tomato, cucumber and arugula. Season with salt and pepper. Roll tortillas burrito style – nice and tight. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Slice each in half and serve.

 

Smoked Chicken and Fig Cauliflower Pizza

By: Dani Siegel

Cook's notes:

If you don't like cauliflower pizza crust, use regular crust and enjoy!

Smoked chicken can be found in the deli or in the smoked meat section, near the pre-cooked hams.

White pizza sauce can be found with the regular pizza sauce at the store!

Ingredients:

1 cauliflower pizza crust

1 bag of refrigerated pizza dough

1/2 cup smoked chicken

1/4 cup of jarred white pizza sauce

1/4 cup of smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded

4-6 dried figs, thinly sliced

1/8 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Balsamic vinegar

Arugula

Directions:

On the frozen cauliflower crust, start with a thin layer of the white pizza sauce. Add the smoked mozzerella, and then sprinkle on the smoked chicken and sliced figs. Dot the goat cheese all across the top and bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.

When the pizza is done, top with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic.

 

Meatballs

By: Dani Siegel

Cook's notes:

To make meatball night even faster, check your butcher’s counter in the meat department of your grocery store. Many grocery stores are now carrying fresh meat that has already been seasoned and just needs to be cooked.

Skip making sauce unless you love to make sauce and have time on the weekend. There are lots of good jarred versions available. Dani’s favorite is Rao’s.

Go ahead and mix and cook your meatballs over the weekend. Once they have cooled, bag them up and freeze them. 

Ingredients:

1lb ground beef

1 lb ground pork, or ground pork sausage

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 eggs

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese + more for serving

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper

 

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together well in a bowl. Form 14-16 medium sized meatballs, or 12 large and arrange in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake meatballs for 35-40 minutes at 375.

Warm sauce and toss finished meatballs in sauce before serving.

 

To serve:

Serve them as-is with a side salad or sweet potato fries.

Meatball sandwiches: arrange meatballs and heated sauce in soft sub rolls and top with provolone or mozzerella cheese. 

Make polenta: follow the instructions on your box of polenta and serve the meatballs on top with sauce.

 

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Chorizo and Egg Taco

By: Stephanie Snipes

Cook’s notes:

Monterrey jack cheese works well in this too. Add shredded cheese as the first layer on the tortilla before eggs. The heat from the tortilla will help melt the cheese.

Ingredients:

6 ounces chorizo sausage

8 (6 inch) corn tortillas

6 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 TBS butter

1 cup queso fresco

1/2 cup cilantro

Hot sauce

 

Directions:

Crumble the chorizo into a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly brown and crispy. Place chorizo in a small bowl and set aside. Wipe inside of pan with a paper towel to clean out.

Heat the same skillet over medium heat. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and milk until combined. Add butter to pan. When melted add eggs and stir until just cooked. Take off heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place eggs in small bowl and wipe out pan with a paper towel.

Place pan back on heat and lay corn tortillas inside. Heat until warmed about 20-30 seconds on each side.

Assemble tacos. Top warm tortillar with scrambled eggs, then chorizo. Add cilantro and queso. Add hot sauce if you’d like a little extra heat.

Brisket Breakfast Tacos

By: Dani Siegel

Cook's notes:

Cook the brisket over the weekend, shred it, bag it up and freeze it. Pull out what you need as you go!

Ingredients

For the Brisket:

1 10-12 pound beef brisket

1 cup orange juice

1 cup soy sauce

2 cans beef consume

6-8 whole garlic cloves

1 Tablespoon liquid smoke

1 14.5oz can crushed fire roasted tomatoes

For the sauce:

2 ripe avocados

1 lime, zested and juiced

2 TBS sour cream

For the tacos:

Eggs (1 for each taco you want to make)

Fire roasted salsa

Blue or yellow corn tortillas

Cilantro

Lime wedges

Directions:

For the brisket:

Combine all of the ingredients for the brisket together in a large roasting pan. Add the brisket, fat side up, to the liquid, cover with foil and marinate for at least 24 hours. When ready to cook, pull out the roasting pan and bring to room temperature before putting it in a 300 degree oven for about 4 hours, or 35-40 minutes per pound. When done the meat will be fork tender. Remove from the roasting pan and slice off the fat cap, and then shred the meat and store it with some of the juices. 

For the Sauce:

Mash the avocado, lime juice and zest and sour cream together until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Assembly:

Scramble 1 egg with a splash of milk, salt and pepper for each taco you are serving. Add cheese to the eggs if you like!

Warm your tortillas in the oven or in a warm pan. 

Layer the brisket, avocado sauce and egg in a warm tortilla. Top with sour cream, salsa, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Sure, you can add cheese, but this is really good without it!

 

Peanut Butter Banana Bites with Chocolate

By: Stephanie Snipes

Makes ~25

Ingredients:

3 large bananas, sliced into ½ inch rounds.

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup chocolate, melted

1 tablespoon coconut oil

¼ sprinkles

Place a sheet of wax paper on a large baking sheet and set aside.

Assembly:

Create “sandwiches”:  

Spread peanut butter on a slice of banana, then top with another slice.

Lay the bites on the prepared baking sheet and freeze for an hour.

Prepare chocolate:

In a small microwave proof bowl, combine chocolate with coconut oil and place in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Heat for another 20 seconds, if necessary. Stir until chocolate is smooth. Let stand for a few minutes until chocolate has cooled slightly.  

Remove frozen banana sandwiches from the freezer. Dip the bites into the melted chocolate, place back on the wax paper. Top with a few sprinkles.  Freeze for an additional hour.

Store in freezer for up to 2 weeks.

 

Apple Sandwiches

By: Stephanie Snipes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 small apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds

1 teaspoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons cookie butter (or your favorite nut butter)

2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

4 tablespoons granola

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Assembly:

Brush apples slices with lemon juice (this will keep them from turning brown).

Spread one side of half of the apple slices with cookie butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.

 

Roasted Chickpeas

By: Dani Siegel

Ingredients:

2 cans chickpeas

1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite seasoning. Bridgeport Seasoning is a We Like Food favorite!

Drizzle of olive oil

Directions:

Drain and rinse 2 cans of chickpeas. Pat dry with a paper towel. 

Heat a sheet pan in the oven while the oven heats up.

Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with the olive oil and seasoning.

Spread evenly on the sheet pan and roast at 400 for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to ensure parts of the peas don’t burn.

 

Peach Pops

By: Dani Siegel

Ingredients:

1/2 cup peach or nectarine juice

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 10 ounce bag frozen peaches, thawed OR 2 cups peeled fresh peaches

3/4 cup greek yogurt

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add more agave nectar if your peaches weren’t sweet enough. Add more lemon juice or zest if you like it more tart!

Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 12 hours.