My New Favorite Egg Salad Sandwich

egg salad sandwichGrowing up, I loved it when my grandmother would make warm egg salad sandwiches. Such a simple meal, but so comforting and tasty. Isn’t that the way with so many traditional meals, though?

I hadn’t had egg salad sandwiches in years but recently began making them again. And boy am I glad I did! This humble sandwich is fairly frugal, easy, and fun.

Fun? Well, why not? Do a search on egg salad sandwich recipes, and you’ll find dozens online. One person’s creamy egg and avocado sandwich can be made into something spicy. And that very fun, versatile nature of the sandwich makes it frugal and the perfect way to use up ingredients you may have lying around.

And don’t forget it’s tasty.

So what’s my new favorite? I call it the Southwest Egg Salad Sandwich. It came about one day when I needed a quick meal using only what we had in the refrigerator, which happened to be pretty bare at the time.

Here are the basic ingredients for this egg salad:

  • A couple of boiled eggs, mashed
  • Handful of crumbled bacon
  • Chipotle ranch dressing
  • Ghost pepper infused salt

That’s it! Just mix it all up, put it on some bread, and you’re ready to eat! You can adjust the ingredients depending on your own tastes or what you have on hand.

Do you have a favorite version of the humble egg salad sandwich? Please share!

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Pumpkin Walnut Drop Scones

Pumpkin Walnut Drop SconesIf you’ve been looking through some of my posts, you might think my selection of recipes is a bit eclectic. Ranging from super-sweet treats to nutritious paleo delights, they can surely seem strange.

Why do I do it? It’s easy. Family.

Sure, some of the recipes are enjoyed by all, but some are just for me. I used to try to force my family to eat healthy, but it only led to fights and upset feelings. So now I try to find a balance between healthy and delicious, with some treats that only I enjoy. I figure that they can make the decision to eat healthier for themselves.

And, to be honest, I like making things that are sticky-good.

But for me, I make nutritious things that I can love. These scones certainly fit that bill.  They fulfilled all my autumnal wishes for flavor and still were healthy.

Plus they also utilized one ingredient that I had on hand from a failed project: xylitol. It had been hanging around my cupboards feeling forlorn after its rejection. It was good to give it a purpose.

These scones were super easy to make. The only problem I encountered was in sifting the dry ingredients; some of the xylitol grains wouldn’t make it through the sifter. Other than that, mixing and baking were a breeze.

And the taste? Good! They were soft in texture with a subtle flavor. Definitely a must for autumn mornings.

Three Tomato Pasta with Bacon

pastalunchAfter some rest and reflection, I’m back to cooking and blogging. Today I cooked us up a special lunch out of ingredients that we had on hand. Please click on the link below for the details:

Three Tomato Pasta with Bacon

It was quite a good lunch with very little effort. Too, it was all made out of items from our pantry. This was sort of a “test run” for the Yoder’s Bacon to see if we liked it, and I can certainly say that it is a product that I will purchase again and add to our regular food storage.

Have you bought Yoder’s Bacon for your family? Or any other canned meats? Any reviews, recipes, or recommendations that you would like to share?

 

Easy Cheesy Soup (In a Wonderbag)

easycheesysoupHaving worked late last night, I wasn’t much in the mood for a heavy day of cooking. Dinner had to be easy and simple, especially since I would be working shifts throughout the day as well.

Luckily, my husband had stocked up on Progresso Recipe Starters awhile back when our local grocery store had run a sale on them. We always stock up on sale goods, especially when they’re canned and shelf-stable items. And who doesn’t like to save money? Anyway, he chose a selection of the various flavors, and luckily we had one of the Creamy Three Cheese starters left in our pantry.

Although the old brain cells take a bit longer to come up with something at my age, I was able to put together an idea fairly quickly. Easy Cheesy Soup! Improvising my own recipe from an established one would have to be the way to go in this case as I definitely wouldn’t be running to the grocery store for a few items. I found a good basic recipe online and began from there.

Here’s what I put in the pot:

  1. 2 links of hot Italian sausage
  2. 1 can of Creamy Three Cheese recipe starter
  3. About 1/3 bag of frozen Mirepoix vegetable mix
  4. Couple of handfuls dehydrated green and red peppers
  5. Ghost pepper infused sea salt from The Spice Lab
  6. Habanero infused sea salt from The Spice Lab
  7. Assorted spices (chipotle, roasted herb mix, garlic powder, etc)

I first browned the sausage in a bit of coconut oil, adding the Mirepoix veggies after a bit. Spices went in next; I then threw in the peppers and soup. I returned everything to boiling and put the steaming pot in the Wonderbag. It sat on my counter for an hour or so until we were ready to eat.

The result? Yummy! We chopped up some cheese in our soup for a garnish, and it turned out cheesy and wonderful. I’ll definitely try this again. And the Wonderbag made it all easy and convenient even for my work schedule.

Coconut Flour Donut Holes

coconut flour donut holesWith a short time this morning between shifts, I decided to mix up a special treat for the family’s breakfast. There was one recipe I’d been eyeing for quite awhile–Coconut Flour Donut Holes. I knew that this one could be completed quickly during the time available and would certainly satisfy my family’s longing for something sweet. To the kitchen!

Although I didn’t have all of the equipment listed in the recipe, I was certain that I could do without. I would love those baking cups and the pastry brush, but I just don’t have them currently. Still, I managed to get by, even without that fun stuff.

I was able to gather and combine all of the ingredients in about 10 minutes, all while the oven was warming up. There was a moment of frustration when I first looked at the batter; it looked initially to be much too wet to form balls. However, after a minute or so, the flour absorbed most of the liquid, and my fears were put to rest. I was able to make each by hand and place them in the muffin tin.

These baked up nicely and resulted in a very light texture. My main problem came with coating them with the topping. At first, I thought I could dip each one in the coconut oil and then roll in the sugar mixture. Huh-uh…this was a disaster. Do not try this as the “holes” broke apart in the oil. I finally poured the coconut oil onto each donut in the muffin pan and then sprinkled on the topping. This worked rather well and avoided the earlier mess. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

My family thoroughly enjoyed this tasty treat. These are not all that filling, and so I would certainly recommend eating this with something else, such as yogurt or fruit. However, if you want a special something for breakfast, these can’t be beat!

Sardine Salad with Crackers

sardine saladDo you ever have one of those days that is unexpectedly stressful and hectic? I think we all do, right? Well, yesterday was one of those days for me. Work and more work, along with upcoming deadlines and the related stresses. It was just not a good day for anything too involved as far as dinner was concerned.

Such days are smaller instances where having a full pantry can be quite handy. No SHTF scenario, no crisis. Just a busy day in need of a quick dinner solution. Luckily, I had just gone to the grocery store and grabbed up a few new items that I was raring to try.  Even a small indulgence or change from the ordinary can make a world of difference in our mood. And if they’re convenient, then so much the better.

I had been reading about sardines and their nutritional benefits, and so I wanted to give them a try. As I was new to eating them, I selected a boneless and skinless variety. After doing some reading, I decided to make a quick sardine salad that could be eaten with cheese and crackers. A cool meal that would be perfect for a hurried schedule!

Although this basic recipe could be fancied up quite a bit, I just used what I had on hand. Here’s what I mixed up:

  1. 1 tin of sardines, drained and chopped
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. Sriracha Mayo to taste
  4. Hot mustard to taste
  5. Salt and pepper to taste

The resulting salad is easily eaten with crackers and is filling. Plus it made enough leftovers for a few meals, which is certainly a bonus.

What are your favorite ways to use sardines? Any recommendations for someone like myself who is new to eating them?

 

Nutella Gem Cookies

nutellagemcookiesAs we did a bit of work around the house this afternoon, I thought some cookies might be in order. Too, today has been quite chilly, and so heating up the kitchen a bit sounded quite nice. Of course, my energy is quite low today despite lots of coffee; anything I made had to be easy.

After considering the ingredients that we currently had on hand—mainly a tube of sugar cookie dough and an almost-empty tub of Nutella—I did a bit of quick searching on the internet. What did I find?

Voila! Nutella Gem Cookies!

These cookies were definitely easy to make. I was pulling the first batch from the oven when my husband walked in the kitchen.

“Did you just make these?” he asked.

“Yes, of course,” I acknowledged.

“You are amazing,” he replied as he grabbed a couple of cookies.

And the verdict? My husband thought they were a bit rich, but he seemed to enjoy them. (He came back for seconds.) I tried one myself and found them quite good even though I don’t normally like Nutella.

I would have to say that this recipe is a winner and perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Enjoy the rest of your day with your family!

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Easy Whole Wheat Cinnamon Cookies

easywholewheatcinnamoncookiesLately I’ve been feeling mighty poorly, and when I feel poorly, I want some comfort. For our afternoon coffee today, I decided to attempt to make something I remember from childhood, cinnamon cookies. My grandmother made these tasty treats from leftover pie crust, and they were perhaps my favorite cookie, even if they were possibly the simplest thing in the world. Pie crust sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar…what could be better than that?

As we use freshly ground wheat in our home, I searched for a quick recipe for whole wheat pastry crust. I used that basic recipe with the following modifications:

  • 1/2 cup freshly ground pastry flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Changes noted in the comment on the recipe

After mixing up the dough, I melted two tablespoons of butter and poured about half of it on a cookie sheet, spreading it around a bit. I then pressed the dough in the butter, flattening it evenly. The rest of the melted butter was spread over the top of the dough. Brown sugar and cinnamon were then sprinkled over the dough. It baked at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. I then briefly removed the pan and cut the dough with a spatula into strips. The dough baked for another couple of minutes while we prepared our coffee.

And the result? It was a lightly sweet cookie with a good texture. They made a nice addition to our afternoon coffee, and with so little time involved in their preparation–perhaps 15 minutes–there wasn’t any reason not to make them. They may not be fancy tea biscuits, but they’ll do. My husband certainly ate his right up and then finished off mine. The cookies turned out simple and comforting, two things that I certainly love in a recipe.