SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND HAM GRILLED BAGEL

This sandwich was a result of another of my “What’s in the fridge?” episodes. The jumping off point was a jar of sun-dried tomatoes and a bunch of baby spinach. And it only got better from there. This recipe serves one, but is easily doubled, quadrupled or whatever-ed is required to feed your bunch.

1 plain bagel, separated

2 tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup baby spinach

2 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes (drained)

2 slices deli ham

1 slice medium cheddar cheese

1-1/2 tsp butter

1) Heat grill pan over medium heat

2) Assemble sandwich as follows: 1/2 bagel spread with cream cheese and topped with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, ham, cheddar cheese, 1/2 bagel

3) Melt half the butter in grill pan; add sandwich to pan and cook 3-4 minutes; spread remaining butter on top of uncooked bagel and flip sandwich; cook 3-4 minutes until cheese melts nicely; that’s it–eatin’ time!

Serves: Only 1

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THE KINDLING and LADY OF EVE Audiobooks Now Available!

Pleased to announce THE KINDLING and LADY OF EVE joins THE UNVEILING, THE YIELDING, THE REDEEMING, DREAMSPELL, and LADY AT ARMS in audiobook format, all narrated by the beautifully talented Mary Sarah Agliotta. And coming soon: THE LONGING!

Preview a sample of THE KINDLING at: Audible.com, Amazon.com, iBooks Store

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Preview a sample of LADY OF EVE at: Audible.com, Amazon.com, iBooks Store
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LEMON-COCONUT POUND CAKE

When I came across the Ritz Carlton Cooking School’s recipe for Lemon Pound Cake on Pinterest, I had to repin. After all, lemon and I go back a long ways (coconut too, as you’ll see). When it came time to fire up my KitchenAid mixer, I did so in “edit mode,” tweaking the recipe, though not to the extent I “red-ink” my novels before submitting them to my editor. Though I can’t speak for the original recipe (I’m sure it’s fabulous), the cake that resulted from my “editing” is one I intend to make again. And, no, I will not ruin the lip-smacking experience by calculating calorie and fat content. Try this!

1/8 cup powdered sugar

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp sea salt

5 eggs

5 tbsp lemon juice

zest of one lemon

1-1/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Using butter stick wrappers, butter inside of large Bundt pan or 2 loaf pans; sprinkle powdered sugar over surface, turning and tapping pan(s) to lightly cover surface

3) With electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy; on low speed, mix in baking powder and sea salt; adding one egg at a time, beat in eggs until combined; mix in lemon, lemon zest, and coconut

4) On low speed, beat in flour, one cup at a time, alternating with milk (don’t over mix)

5) Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; let cool in pan 30 minutes; turn out cake onto plate and let cool; serve warm or refrigerate for a deliciously chilled slice

Servings: 12

WEDGE SALAD NICOISE

There’s just something about a wedge salad. The only difficulty is that, due to the shape, it can be difficult to achieve a pretty presentation. So, as pictured, I make an additional cut three-quarters of the way down the center of each wedge to form a cradle for the toppings. Pretty! And then there’s the taste…

1 large head iceberg lettuce, cored and quartered into wedges

1/2 large red onion, sliced thin

1 large tomato, chopped

1 15 oz can green lima beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2-5 oz cans albacore tuna in water, drained

4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and chopped

1 tsp parsley, minced

1) Place wedge on plate and over the top scatter: red onion, tomato, butter beans, sun-dried tomatoes, tuna, eggs, and parsley

2) Serve with dressing of your choice (highly recommend blue cheese)

Servings: 4 dinner-sized portions

MEXICAN EGGS BENEDICT FLORENTINE

Eggs Benedict: quite good. Eggs Benedict Florentine: unbelievably good. Then there’s this twist, substituting corn tortillas for english muffins. My guys scarfed this down. I didn’t scarf, but only because I exercised restraint. If Hollandaise sauce isn’t your thing, consider salsa. As for the hassle of poached eggs, I made my eggs in a muffin tin. Sometimes cheaters do prosper 🙂

1 pkg Knorr Hollandaise sauce mix (or make your own sauce if you have the time–I didn’t)

olive oil spray

8 eggs

2 tsp olive oil

8 corn tortillas

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 large tomato, sliced into 8 rounds

2 cups fresh baby spinach

Paprika

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Meanwhile, prepare Knorr Hollandaise sauce as directed and keep warm

3) Lightly spray 8 cups in muffin tin with olive oil spray; crack eggs into cups and bake 10-12 minutes (or longer if you don’t like yolks on the runny side)

4) While eggs are baking, in large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high; cook corn tortillas, 1 minute each side until tortillas soften and begin to brown; transfer 2 tortillas to each of 4 plates, overlapping slightly as pictured; reduce skillet heat to low

5) Scatter Monterey Jack cheese over tortillas, dividing equally between servings; top each serving with 2 slices of tomato placed side by side; set aside

6) Add spinach to skillet and cook 1-2 minutes until spinach starts to wilt; remove from heat and divide between tomato slices

7) Finish assembling each serving: top tomato and spinach with cooked eggs and Hollandaise sauce; lightly sprinkle with paprika; serve immediately and let ’em scarf away!

Servings: 4