These light egg muffins are great for breakfast, brunch or snack time. They are low carbohydrate, low in calories, low fat and high in protein. They refrigerate well and can be reheated

Ingredients
  • 9 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup 1% Milk
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Of Salt
  • Pinch Of Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Grated Cheese
  • Just Shy Of 2 Cups Of Fine Bread Crumbs (About 2 Thick Slices Of Home Made Bread)
  • Spray oil

Preparation
  1. Spray a muffin pan heavily with spray oil.
  2. Pulse the bread to a very small size in a food processor or use store bought tiny bread crumbs.
  3. Place bread crumbs in bottom of muffin openings.
  4. Whisk the first four ingredients together and pour into muffin openings. They should be nearly full, but not full.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 17-18 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  8. Remove from muffin tray using a small silicone spatula running it quickly around the edge and popping it out.
  9. Serve with hot sauce and fruit.

Nutrition
About 95 calories per muffin depending on cheese used.

Tips
  • These are light, so the bread crumbs and cheese can really change the flavor. Experiment.
  • You could add bacon, ham or other flavorings easily to these muffins.
  • Once refrigerated they can be reheated in a microwave on 50% power or in a toaster oven.


 
 
When I was growing up in the 70's you were either a Hellman's house or a Miracle Whip house. We were a Miracle Whip house - of course, the more sugar the better! There were only two real purposes for it: turkey sandwiches and tuna fish salad. (I'm not going to even mention the various jell-o mold salads with a big dollop of white Miracle Whip with extra sugar or honey added. Oops, I guess I did. That makes three.) Imagine my surprise the first time I walked into a co-op and discovered there were numerous other spreadable dressings. I tried all of them. Eventually, I decided my home made recipe was the best. I use it in a multitude of recipes - everything except jell-o. The only time I don't use my own is the day after Thanksgiving if my brother is visiting. On that day I definitely need a jar of Miracle Whip for his turkey sandwiches.

Ingredients
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Good Quality Vegetable Oil
  • Pinch Of Salt

Preparation
  1. Add the first three ingredients to a food processor and turn on to blend.
  2. While the food processor is on, slowly drizzle the vegetable oil into the egg yolk mixture until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and blend.
  4. Place in jar and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Variation
If you prefer more of an olive oil taste, you can substitute 1/3 to 1/4 of the oil for a good quality olive oil. You can use all olive oil, but my family does not like that taste.

Nutrition
About 95 calories per tablespoon.

Notes
  • Make sure you know where your eggs come from. Using raw eggs can be a health hazard. If you are concerned, I suggest using pasteurized eggs.
  • I prefer to use Kirkland Soybean Oil from Costco, purely from a taste standpoint. I do not like to use canola or safflower oil.
  • I don't mention the amount of oil because it depends on the size of the yolks as to how much you will need.
  • Vinegar can be substituted for the lemon juice.
 
 
I originally developed this recipe for my salted caramel martinis, but I've used this sauce on ice cream, in frosting, on cakes, and brownies too. It is very versatile and brings a richness and depth of flavor to most everything.
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp Russell's Reserve Bourbon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat sugar and water on medium low heat until it is a amber color. Sometimes I cook it to a deep color as in the photo above and sometimes not as dark as the photo on the right. I suggest using a silicon spatula for stirring occasionally. I also like to use a non stick pan. Do not over cook and burn, which can easily happen if you aren't watching as the color turns.
  2. Remove from heat and slowly add cream while stirring.
  3. Add the bourbon and salt.
  4. Store in a mason jar or other heat resistant glass container. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
  5. To serve reheat on low in microwave or stove. Watch carefully to not over heat.


NOTES
  • Of course, I only use Russell's Reserve Bourbon. 
  • This was adapted from recipes by the Minimalist Baker and Martha Stewart. 
  • I typically double the recipe.

NUTRITION
1 Tbsp = 51 Calories 
 
 
I first tasted hummus at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Minneapolis called Jerusalem's several decades ago. It was delightful; all buttery and lemony. So I decided it would be a good thing to have at home. I tried several versions of store bought hummus including a local variety made by Holy Land in northeast Minneapolis. It is quite good, but none of them really seemed to be the right flavor for me. Perhaps it is the Scandinavian boy from the prairie who grew up on blandness? Not! I think it really is that I wanted something smooth with a little tang that could be spread on bread as a sandwich or used as a dip for chips or pita. Something versatile and yummy. So, for years I made batches of hummus. Unfortunately, my kids really don't like hummus, so I've had to eat a lot of it on my quest for perfection. Today, I got it and I'm going to share it with you: My Perfect Hummus!
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large lemon juiced (little less than 1/4 cup)
  • 1 15 oz can drained garbanzo beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 T olive oil

Preparation
  1. Put the tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and turn on for at 1-2 minutes until very smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the work bowl at the half way point.
  2. Add the drained garbanzo beans and the finely diced or crushed garlic. Blend another 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  3. While the food processor is on, slowly drizzling the olive oil into the mixture.
  4. Spoon out and garnish with a bit of olive oil and paprika. (Cumin and other spices can be added at the end if you wish.)

Nutrition
1 Tablespoon = 25 calories.
Notes
The two secrets to this hummus are:
  • The initial tahini lemon juice mixture.
  • The blending order of the ingredients. We are treating it like we are making mayonnaise or a dressing by emulsifying the olive oil slowly at the end into the acidic mixture.

Try it on our Honey Wheat Bread toasted. You will love it!
 
 
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Sochi! Olympics! Putin shirtless! O.k., well at least two out of three ain't bad. I cringe after every skater as NBC pans to a stoic Putin in the crowd. Honestly, NBC should just rename themselves the Putin Television Network. There has to be more about Russian than just Putin sitting in a crowd or hanging half naked in a hotel room - his portrait, I mean. That and the stories of uniquely unfinished hotel rooms and bathrooms drove me to think about how I could share more about the culture of Russian to my family instead of the mismanaged hype. 

The Russian people are known for many great things including unique food due in part to their climates and topography. In particular, they are known for pickling certain foods including cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage. Their pickling brine is almost as holy as soy sauce to some Asian cultures. Almost as holy as vodka! So, I decided we'd celebrate a bit of the culture of Russian outside of the NBC/PTN mockumentary experience by having a bit of pickled foods and a few shots of vodka for the adults with a proper Russian toast of course.

Here are two great quick pickle recipes I developed for the occasion. One recipe is for tomatoes with pepperoncini and the other is for cooked Brussels sprouts. Vashe zrodovye! - To your health! Half naked or not.

Ingredients
TOMATOES
  • 10 medium small vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 small jarred pepperoncini
  • 1 clove garlic sliced thin
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill

BRUSSELS SPROUTS
  • 18-20 Brussels sprouts halved
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 cloves garlic sliced thin

BRINE
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar (you could use red wine vinegar for a different flavor)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Preparation
  1. Bring the brine ingredients of water, vinegar, salt and sugar to boil until dissolved.
  2. Steam the halved Brussels sprouts in a bit of water in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Fill a quart jar with the tomato ingredients.
  4. Fill a pint jar with the Brussels sprouts ingredients.
  5. Pour the brine into each jar. You will probably have a tiny bit of brine left.
  6. Seal jars, cool, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition
Calories are pretty small, probably about 10 or so for each tomato and 10 for about a quarter of the Brussels sprouts.

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Tips
You can serve the Brussels Sprouts within an hour or so, but I'd wait a day at least for the tomatoes.

This is a refrigerator recipe. Please do not use for long term storage canning.
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 1/2 stick butter (2 1/2 sticks total)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 4 tablespoons half and half

Preparation
  1. Cream the butter in your mixer on medium for 2 minutes. 
  2. While the butter is creaming, sift the dry ingredients onto parchment paper or into a bowl with a spout.
  3. With the mixer on the lowest speed add the sifted ingredients until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the vanilla and half and half. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
  5. Adjust consistency by adding either a bit more sugar for stiffness or half and half for dilution.

Nutrition
It's frosting! lol


Tips
You should have a bit of frosting left over. 

This frosting can also can be used for cookies.
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Monogram Gifts & More
 
 
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We have some wonderful friends that we love to share time with at a great little restaurant called Black Sheep Pizza in Minneapolis. They have a dish of warm olives that is absolutely fabulous to munch on while you down a cold local brew or a lovely glass of wine. But be careful as the olives are hot and you could burn your tongue. So take your time, let the olives steep in the oil, mind your tongue and share them slowly just like you would a great friendship! Here is my version inspired by good friends and Black Sheep.
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Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Mixed Olives (Castelvetrano, Nicoise, Kalamata)
  • 1/8 Cup Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 To 4 Garlic Cloves
  • Rosemary Sprig
  • Pinch Of Salt

Preparation
  1. Combine all ingredients in pan and heat over medium until boiling.
  2. Serve warm in a dish that will retain heat.
  3. Enjoy with cheese and cold beer or wine.

Servings
Multiple 1 oz servings.

Nutrition
About 10 to 12 calories per olive.

Tips
  • You can use pitted or unpitted olives, but the olives with pits will take longer to cool which could be a plus if you want to savor them.
  • Other herbs work well too.
  • Alternatively, this recipe can be cooked in an oven. They will take about 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Longer at a lower temp.
  • Stuffing the olives with small rectangles of cheese after cooking is a superb addition. I used a light Gouda in this photo.
 
 
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Just stop with the craziness of standing over a stove stirring onions for over an hour or two on low while you wait for their golden brown decadence to develop. Seriously, I do not need any more time to contemplate weight loss. Plop them in a crock pot, a little olive oil, salt and 7 hours later on high with occasional stirring or 12 hours later on low with no stirring, you'll have the most delicious sweet onions ever. And I promise they'll help you lose weight. Wink.
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Ingredients
  • 4 Large Yellow Onions
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Preparation
  1. Peel onions in half and slice. Place in crock pot.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over onions and toss while in crock pot.
  3. Salt and toss a bit more.
  4. From here you have two options. You can cook them on high for about 7 hours stirring every hour or so just a bit so they don't burn, or you can cook them on low for about 12 hours. Overnight is best.
  5. They will reduce to about 1/8 of what they were and will be dark brown and sweet to taste.

Servings
Multiple 1 oz servings.

Nutrition
20 calories per 1 oz.

Tips
  • You can refrigerate in a tight closed container up to 10 days or you can freeze them in smaller individual containers. We usually eat it too fast to freeze.
  • Try them in fish tacos. Yum.
 
 
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Tapanades usually have anchovies and capers. But I really don't like either of those. Neither do most kids. But I do love olives and so do my kids. The bonus is that for the most part they are really good for you. So I have developed a number of olive tapenades that are perfect for snacks. You can use them as a dip with vegetables, or spread on thinly sliced baguette or crackers. My one piece of advice is get good olives. I buy Kalamata and Castelvetrano in big jars at Costco and get specialty olives at the olive bar at Whole Foods. Here is the first in many tapenades.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 Cup Castelvetrano Olives
  • 1 Small Sweet Red Pepper
  • 1/8 Cup Sweet Pickles (I Do A Quick Pickle Of My Own, But Hamburger Slices Work Well)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • Small Splash Of Sweet Pickle Juice
  • Whole Wheat Baguette
  • Low Fat Gouda Cheese

Preparation
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Pulse scraping down the sides until a chunky paste forms.
  3. Dip or spread.

Servings
About 7 servings

Nutrition
About 90 Calories Per Tapenade Serving Only - Extra For Cheese And Bread

Tips
I served this on a whole wheat baguette thinly sliced with a low fat creamy Gouda cheese from Wisconsin. But you could use other ingredients such as crackers, vegetables, tomatoes or even serve it with eggs or steak. It is very versatile.
 
 
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This is the best iced decaf coffee I have ever had. And I can make it at home quickly. 
Ingredients
  • Water In Keurig Machine
  • 1 Starbucks Decaf House Blend Medium K Cup
  • 1 Glass Of Ice

Preparation
  1. Place the K Cup into the Keurig and press the power button.
  2. Place the glass of ice into the Keurig stand.
  3. Once the buttons light up, push the "tea cup" or small serving size.

Servings
1 serving

Nutrition
About 2 Calories Per Serving

Tips
You can do this with other coffee varieties, but personally I think this is the best option.