The Best Egg Salad EVER

In honor of those hard-boiled Easter eggs you dyed and that are now sitting in your fridge, I decided to do a quick post with the best egg salad recipe EVER. Last summer my husband and I invited his colleagues over for a barbecue and I decided to make fancy mayo for the burgers. I’m not usually a mayo person, but I loved this and thought I could adapt that recipe to egg salad. I tried it on homemade brioche buns the next day and was blown away.

I whipped some of this egg salad up yesterday and savored the way the lemon brightens the creamy garlic. Although the first time I made this on brioche hamburger buns, I actually prefer my egg salad on toasted bread with lots of fresh baby spinach for the texture they add. There are a lot of potential variations to try: over a spinach salad with pretzles? On a toasted English muffin with thinly sliced radishes?

Anyway, here comes the recipe. When it comes to how to serve it, you do you.

Ingredients

2-3 Tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon brown mustard

1 clove garlic, grated or pressed

Zest from 1 lemon (you can use a little less if you prefer)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (I used a pinch of fine table salt and turn the pepper grinder once for each egg)

4-6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Directions

Mix up all of the ingredients except the eggs in a large bowl. Once they are completely combined, gently fold in the chopped eggs. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Tailor this recipe to your tastes (hence some of the loosey-goosey measurements). I like less mayo, more eggs, and more lemon. But if you like egg salad, try this recipe!

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Tangy Lemon Curd

Well, the old copies of Good Housekeeping magazine I picked up from the library strike again! I had some lemons in my fridge for a recipe I didn’t end up making (an old Try It Tuesday recipe) and I remembered having ripped out and set aside a recipe for lemon curd. It seemed like a refreshing spring filling for the cream cheese thumbprint cookies I decided to make to take to a friend’s house.

I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten lemon curd before, but I’ve been curious about it since I saw a chef make it on a cooking show. I tend to ignore my culinary curiosity since I’m usually the only person in my household who will eat these new foods. However, Tuesday was the day for me to indulge!

You can find the recipe for the lemon curd online as a part of this post for Sunny-Side-Up Meringues. It’s quite easy to make, but it requires pretty constant attention for about 10 minutes and you need three hours for it to cool in your refrigerator.

I deviated from the recipe in two ways. First, I only had four eggs. The recipe seems to have turned out fine with one fewer egg yolk, though. Second, I think the corn starch clumped at the beginning, so I had to pass my lemon curd through a fine wire sieve to ensure it was smooth.

Finally, I was right on all counts in regards to this recipe. I’m the only person in my house who will eat the lemon curd. My two-year-old son tried a taste, smiled, then refused to eat another bite. His big brother wouldn’t take a taste. I didn’t bother offering any to my husband. And the lemon curd was a great filling for the cookies. It was cool, tart, and velvety smooth. I think I’ll pair the leftover curd with some plain yogurt for a snack.

If you’re looking for a spring treat that looks fancy but whips up easily, lemon curd may be just what you need.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

I have to admit that in my house most new recipes are not met with enthusiasm, and this week’s recipe was no exception. My boys didn’t want to try it and my husband asked a lot of questions about what ingredients I used. Once they took their first bite, however, they ate with gusto! Well, my two-year-old put a bite in his mouth and spit it out, but his big brother said, “This is really good!” And my husband? First I got a “Wow!” Then he told me I have to add this dish to our rotation of favorite recipes. High praise indeed!

Here’s an online version of the recipe (https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a42405/prosciutto-wrapped-chicken-squash-recipe/); I got mine from an old copy of Good Housekeeping at our library.

As you can tell from the title of this post, I used halved boneless, skinless, halved chicken breasts instead of thighs. Be sure to cook them to 165 degrees when you stick a thermometer into the middle of the thickest part of the meat.

Also, I knew the squash would be a flop but I made it anyway so I could expose the boys to new flavors. I usually like squash in soups and rice, but even I didn’t like it in this recipe. It had an odd texture, not smooth like I expected. I’m not sure if it was due to the fact that I had to substitute butternut squash for acorn, or if I didn’t roast it long enough.

Luckily, I made roasted potato wedges, too. I sliced mine to about French fry thickness because I haven’t perfected regulating the temperature in our tiny European oven, and I tossed them in olive oil, salt, and thyme like the squash. The potatoes were divine. I actually fried up the leftovers today for lunch with an egg and some Feta cheese.

Finally, I must admit that I didn’t use Prosciutto. It was something that looked (and in the end tasted) the same and that I found in a German grocery store. Google translate said it was “country ham.” Whatever it was, it worked.

If you’re a fan of wrapping things in bacon, give this recipe a try. You won’t regret it!

Tantrum Cookies

Okay, so the recipe name doesn’t tell you much about the ingredients, flavor, or texture of these cookies. That’s not why I chose the name; I chose it because they taste so good that my younger son has thrown three different tantrums in two days when I told him he couldn’t have any more. Make these cookies at your own risk…

It all started with a box of instant oatmeal packets and a craving to bake cookies. I found a recipe online, but the dough didn’t come together. I had to add significant liquid to get a dough (instead of a dusty mess) which lengthened the cooking time. I also changed the flavor of instant oatmeal, reduced the sugar, and and took out the add-ins. Because of all the changes, I’m not going to bother linking the original recipe. Here’s what I ended up with:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 packets instant oatmeal (Use your favorite flavor; I had maple & brown sugar. Do not use plain because it won’t be sweet enough.)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and stir until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Add to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir while alternately adding the milk. Once combined, scoop by rounded teaspoonful and roll into balls. Place onto a lined cookie sheet and press to flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. It’s okay if they aren’t quite set. Allow to cool 3 minutes before removing from the sheets to a cooling rack.

These soft cookies are best served warm, but as my son’s tantrums prove that even the day after they taste great. The maple is subtly and the oats are almost nutty. They are fairly sweet, but pair great with a strong cup of coffee – for you, not your preschooler! Seriously though, I could eat these for breakfast or a snack. Try them for yourself, if you dare.

Easy Grown-up Ramen

Homemade chicken noodle soup used to be a go-to recipe for my boys. Then we moved overseas and suddenly they stopped enjoying it. Maybe it’s because I started using a different bouillon. Maybe it’s because they’re preschoolers and changing their minds about what they like is just what they do. Maybe the planets aligned and the moon was full. Whatever the reason, I decided that if the boys probably wouldn’t eat my chicken noodle soup anyway, why not try a new recipe.

I receive daily e-mails from Betty Crocker with recipes to try using their products. Recently I saw a recipe for pork ramen in the e-mails and made sure I had the ingredients. However, I decided to do chicken ramen since I was originally planning to make chicken noodle soup.

The original recipe can be found here. I made my version on the stovetop, not in a slow-cooker, because I decided to switch up dinner about an hour before we sat down to eat. The process is essentially the same, but you add the broth to your pot of veggies and chicken and simmer until you’re ready to eat (at least 30 minutes). My family refuses to try mushrooms, so I left those out. I also replaced the fresh ginger with about 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger. If you pick this option, start small (1/2 teaspoon) and add more to taste.

Instead of chopping the garlic I grated the peeled cloves on the smallest side of a box grater. It gives a nice consistency between minced and pressed without the trouble of chopping the wobbly, sticky cloves. My house smelled strongly of garlic after making this, so I was worried that the other flavors in the ramen would be lost. However, the cooked garlic was mild and balanced nicely with the ginger, soy sauce, and green onions. Much to my surprise, even my boys liked it. They ate quite a bit with no negotiation. “How many bites before I get dessert?” is a common refrain at our table.

We paired it with garlic toast, which is certainly not traditional but was satisfying. I also added some fresh sugar snap peas on top of my noodles. Their crispness and freshness complemented the soft, salty ramen dish nicely (yes, complemented, not complimented). I like that I have another option for Asian cuisine that my family will enjoy and that isn’t chicken and brocolli fried rice. Not that my boys will eat rice right now anyway…

In the end, I give this dish two thumbs up for this Try It Tuesday!

Raised Baked Doughnuts

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. However, just last week I realized that my boys are getting bigger and more independent, which leaves me a tiny bit more free time. It’s not quite enough to consider getting a job (especially since I’m homeschooling my preschooler), but it is enough for me to get back to my Try It Tuesday blog. Soooo… here goes!

You can find the recipe I used at https://ashleemarie.com/baked-raised-donut-recipe/

I decided to post early so that you can make these Raised Baked Doughnuts for Mardi Gras tomorrow! And let me skip ahead to the final verdict: I do recommend this recipe. Whether you choose to toss your doughnuts in cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar, whether you frost the doughnuts or fill them (I used black currant jelly), they are soft and just sweet enough. Usually, my boys have very specific food preferences but not today. My elder son said they were all his favorite and my younger son keeps running to the kitchen to try to sneak whatever doughnut is closest to his grasp.

There are no special skills, ingredients, or equipment needed (always a bonus in a busy home). The only downside is that because of the yeast, you need enough time to allow the dough to rise — once after mixing and once after cutting out the doughnuts.

Two helpful suggestions: If you don’t have a doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter, which is what I used, use a floured glass. For the hole in the middle, I washed up a bottle cap from a big water bottle. It will need relatively tall sides because the dough gets rolled out to 1/2 inch thick. Also, roll out your dough with lots of flour then ball it up and roll it out again if your dough is very sticky (mine was). I had to redo my first half dozen doughnuts because the dough was so difficult to transfer from my rolling surface to the baking sheets.

Try these doughnuts tomorrow and happy baking!

Pumpkin Spice Mug Cake

Not to jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, but I was in the mood for a little taste of fall today; so I found a recipe for a pumpkin spice mug cake. During my boys’ naps, I whipped it up and enjoyed it with my coffee while I continued with the planning/prepping stage of my family’s impending move.

The cake burst with flavor thanks to the spices. It didn’t rise much, resulting in a dense, albeit moist, cake. I liked that the cake wasn’t overly sweet. I topped it with icing today, since we had an open can in the fridge, but in the future I think powdered sugar would work great. I definitely will make this again. The major drawback is that it only requires one tablespoon of pumpkin. I’ll use the rest of my can of pumpkin in soup and pumpkin snickerdoodles, but it could be wasteful if you’re not going to be making other pumpkin recipes in the near future.

Here’s my recipe below:

Ingredients

¼ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp. milk
1½ tsp. unsweetened apple sauce with cinnamon
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

Mix dry ingredients together in your mug.

In a small bowl, stir together the wet ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir until smooth.

Spray the inside of your mug with cooking spray.

Scoop the batter into your mug. Cook on high for approximately one minute. Because microwave wattage vary, so do their cook times. After the first minute, check your cake every 10 seconds or so until it’s as done as you like it.

Allow to cool for a minute or two, then dust with powdered sugar before enjoying.

Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal

My boys and I — and to a lesser extent, my husband — have done a lot of traveling this summer. We got home yesterday to a nearly empty fridge and pantry. Although I did go grocery shopping, I wanted to use the odds and ends of our food for a healthy, tasty lunch for my toddler and I. One of those odds and ends was half a bag of slightly wrinkly but still useable apples.

My internet search turned up muffins, cookies, and baked oatmeal recipes. Since I frequently bake muffins and sweets didn’t entice my palate after eating lots of junk food on vacation, baked oatmeal sounded like an interesting option. I chose a simple recipe without a lot of sugar. I jazzed up the spices a bit by adding 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and a dash of ground cloves. I also only used 3 cups of milk, which still worked well and didn’t change the cooking time.

As a bonus, once I chopped the apples, my toddler could help mix up the oatmeal. He loved it and snuck as many raisins as he could. In fact, he picked out the apples and wouldn’t eat them, but he ate all of his raisins and asked for mine, too. Maybe next time I’ll skip the apples and just triple the raisins.

The baked oatmeal turned out beautifully. It had a cakey texture, though if I’d used all the milk it might have been creamier. The apples remained fairly firm, which I enjoyed, but if you’d like them to melt in your mouth, chop them finely.

Here’s the link if you’d like to try this : https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/baked-apple-oatmeal/c5e03f34-3e10-4a9a-b9f7-3483bf215bcf
Enjoy! We sure did!

Sheet-Pan Chicken with Lemons and Green Olives

I expected this sheet-pan chicken from Better Homes & Gardens’ April 2018 edition to be pretty good. However, this tasty recipe blew me away, and it’s flexible for family members who aren’t quite so adventurous. I made a few slight modifications. Here’s how I did this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 cup green olives, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat the sheet-pan with the oil. Pat the chicken dry. Place it on the sheet-pan and turn to coat. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika with the salt, then sprinkle evenly on all sides of the chicken. Quarter the lemons and shallots and scatter on the sheet-pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Squeeze lemon juice over the chicken and drain pan juices into a small saucepan. Add the remaining paprika, butter, and olives. Stir gently until melted.

I only put the sauce over my chicken. My husband and older son (3 and 1/2) liked the chicken with just the salt, paprika, and lemon juice. My younger son (15 months) wasn’t eating the chicken, but he tried and loved the saucy olives I sliced up for him; so that’s a victory. I loved how the richness of the sauce and olives complemented the bright, smokey flavor of the chicken. The sauce also tasted great over our mashed potatoes. I’m looking forward to making this again and maybe adding to the flavor by cooking the chicken on the grill!

Banana Coffee Caramel Ice Cream

Just for the heck of it, I’m doing a post. We recently got back from vacation and our schedule was completely thrown off. That meant I wasn’t getting up in time to make a lunch for the hubby which in turn meant that I had five very ripe bananas to use. I knew I’d make a loaf of banana bread, but I’ve been getting bored with banana bread, muffins, cookies… when suddenly inspiration hit, bananas foster! And since I had leftover whipping cream from making a dessert for friends on the keto diet, I decided I’d add the bananas foster to ice cream.

I found an easy recipe that I quartered since I’m the only one who’ll eat it and got to work. The only ingredient I didn’t have was rum (or extract). Then inspiration hit again: I decided to use coffee extract instead. In the end, I also added an extra batch of the bananas foster filling.

It turned out GREAT, though the texture was a little icy because I don’t have an ice cream maker. Give this a try some time!