Despite what I have been witnessing outside my window lately, the season of daffodils and tree buds and rain boots is supposedly upon us. So that means it’s time to start making things like Roasted Carrots & Peas, Pasta Primavera and of course…asparagus. This recipe comes from the Simple Bites website and even though it’s “breakfast”, we like to make it for dinner. Aimee has an asparagus recipe round up on that post so head over there if you need more asparagus inspiration!
ASPARAGUS BREAKFAST BAKE (Adapted from Simple Bites)
~bacon, one package
~one bunch of asparagus, washed and trimmed
~sprigs of thyme
~salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the bacon in a single layer in a 13×9 inch baking pan and bake for about 10 minutes. I used 2 baking pans in order to fit all of the bacon. Remove the bacon and place it on some paper towels to drain. Pour off almost all of the bacon grease, leaving about a tablespoon in the pan. Put the asparagus in the pan and stir it to coat with the bacon grease. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle with the lemon zest, thyme leaves and black pepper. Roast the asparagus for about 8 minutes. Then crack the eggs one at a time, in a single layer over the asparagus, sprinkle with a bit of salt and return to the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, until the eggs have set. Remove from the oven and serve immediately along with the bacon.
When we started paying attention to ingredient labels, we were astounded by the long lists of ingredients in some of our favorite salad dressings. And then, even though they seem to last forever, I would always have a few sad bottles of dressing, long past their expiration dates, lurking around in the side door of my fridge, taking up valuable real estate. I mostly just make my own now. My husband, who eats a salad almost every day, mixes up a simple balsamic vinaigrette and keeps it in a jar on the counter. Those of you who know my husband, no doubt, now feel confident that you too can make your own salad dressing! The general rule to follow is to use a 2:1 oil to vinegar ratio. Then adjust up or down, depending on your preference. If you like a more tangy dressing, use more vinegar. I almost always add a bit of salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Since I am usually making just enough for what I need, I don’t worry about refrigerating leftover dressing and just give it a good shake before using it. This is how I make Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing. This also makes a great marinade for chicken.
~1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
~1/4 cup white vinegar (I usually use white balsamic)
~2 or 3 Tablespoons raspberry jam
~ Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Whisk all the ingredients together in a jar. This makes about one cup of dressing.
If there were such a thing as a support group for people who buy too many cookbooks, I would be at every meeting. I am especially vulnerable to the ones that read like a journal. The ones that you can sit down and start on page one and keep going all the way to the index, because you are fascinated by how she and her husband divvy up the kitchen responsibilities (Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner, A Love Story) or by how he became impassioned to help people learn how to cook for themselves (Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution). My most recent purchase, The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila, is that type of cookbook. Her sweet stories about her family and her easy going, relaxed style make you think that…yes…maybe I could make my own butter. Beautiful color photos accompany stories and easy to follow recipes for 101 everyday staples that most of us usually buy prepackaged. Everything from chicken stock and spice mixes to pudding and peanut butter cups. She covers children’s menu staples like chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese and also delves into making your own dairy products like ricotta cheese and butter. She provides a section on canning that actually doesn’t sound scary! I mixed up a batch of her pancake and waffle mix and keep a bag of it in the freezer to help streamline the Saturday morning “Mom…will you make us pancakes?” routine. Alana also has a cooking blog, Eating From the Ground Up, which you should definitely head right over to and pick out something to make for dinner tonight!