Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter F

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Frittata Frenzy! So you like quiche, but sometimes you could really do without the pie crust. Me too. And what about those small containers in the fridge with a smidgen of leftovers that are just too yummy to toss out? Here’s your answer. Mix your favorite ingredients such as cheese, meat, and vegetables. Combine them with egg, dairy, and spices. The end result is practically a masterpiece. It promises to surprise everyone, including you!

FRITTATA FRENZY

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon Mrs. Dash garlic herb seasoning

2 tablespoons green pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon onion, chopped

1 tablespoon pimento, diced

4 ounces Mango Fire Cheddar cheese, shredded

4 ounces chorizo, cooked

1/3 cup herb croutons

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°. Beat eggs, milk, yogurt, and seasonings. Gently stir in green peppers, onions, pimentos, and cheese. Pour into two 6-inch individual greased baking dishes. Divide crumbled chorizo over the top of the omelet. Gently fold in croutons. This is done right before baking to avoid the meat and bread from sinking to the bottom. Bake uncovered 40 minutes or until omelet is set and top is golden brown. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter E

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Egg Salad Extravaganza, A Crêpe Idea! The debate continues………. Mayonnaise and Celery or Miracle Whip and Pickle Relish? What is your preference in Egg Salad? It probably all depends on how your mother made it during your childhood. Fortunately both can be made in a snap!

EGG SALAD EXTRAVAGANZA

Ingredients:

3 eggs, hard cooked

3 tablespoons mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper

1 tablespoon celery, chopped (optional)

1 tablespoon pickle relish (optional)

Instructions:

Combine mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Peel and chop eggs, breaking into small pieces. Gently stir into mayonnaise mixture. Add celery or pickle relish. Fill two Crêpes with egg salad. Tuck in several lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with Chia seeds.

(For an alternative bread choice, please reference Crêpe Expectations for the batter recipe at https://snapshotsincursive.com/2015/05/17 to make crêpes in advance.)

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter D

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Deep Dish Chicken Salad! Want to feel special? Try serving your next dinner in a traditional French-style mini au gratin pan. Not only does it show off food attractively, it offers single-serving portion control. It’s the perfect touch to any meal and bakes in less time. Make your life simpler with any of the oven-to-table choices available. I did.

DEEP DISH CHICKEN SALAD

Ingredients:

3 cups chicken, cooked

1 cup extra sharp cheese, finely shredded

1 tablespoon green onion

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sea salt to taste

Dash of pepper

1 cup potato chips, crushed

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine chicken, celery, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice, celery seed, red pepper flakes, and half the cheese. Mix lightly. Spoon casseroles into single serving pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and potato chips. Bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with green onion snips.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter C

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Caramel-Bacon Spice Cake! For the sweet and savory child inside all of us, this recipe takes the cake. It is a combination of salty, sugary, and spicy…in every bite. Your mouth will think you’re at the circus being stimulated by all the contrasting flavors! Amazingly, they come together with moist results. Hop on board and take a ride with this incredible treat.

CARAMEL-BACON SPICE CAKE

Ingredients for Cake:

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon all spice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl beat eggs, milk, and vanilla until blended. Set aside. Using a mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy. On low speed, slowly alternate the egg mixture and the dry mixture until well blended. Pour batter into a greased 9″x13″ pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a pick comes out clean.

Bacon-Caramel Frosting:

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

2 ounces bacon bits

In a medium saucepan, mix brown sugar, milk, and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool for 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and beat until creamy. It should be thick enough to spread on the cake. Top with crisp, crumbled bacon.

Dining Outside the Home: Coconut’s Fish Café in Kapaa, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Coconut’s Fish Café in Kapaa, Kauai. Even if you never plan to ride a surfboard, you can still enjoy the spirit of Aloha every time you visit Coconut’s Fish Cafe. Surfboard table tops encourage a “Hang Loose” attitude while filling the room with positive energy and healthy food. Top a mixed green salad with the grilled shrimp duo and a seared plank of blackened ahi, smeared with wasabi sauce. Also, might I suggest the papaya dressing? It’s amazing. All sauces and dressings are made from scratch. Order the coconut shrimp to have beforehand or with the meal. It sets the stage for a fabulous meal.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter B

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Banana Bottom Parfaits! Three cheers for a dessert that is will make everyone smile. It’s light and creamy with a touch of sweetness, and a fruit finish that has you pushing back from the table and saying, “Ahhhhh!” Whether you choose a mini shot-glass portion or a stemmed goblet, the presentation on this dessert is rated 5-star, according to my husband.

BANANA BOTTOM PARFAITS

Ingredients:

Shortbread cookies, broken into pieces*

1 box 3.4 ounce Banana Cream Instant Pudding

2 cups cold milk

3/4 cup Cool Whip Whipped topping

2 bananas, peeled and sliced

Carmel Pecan Topping (see recipe below)

Toasted Coconut for Garnish

French Vanilla Cookie Straws

* I used Kauai Kookie Banzai bite-sized cookies.

Instructions:

Crush shortbread cookies into coarse crumbs. Using a hand mixer, beat pudding mix and milk in medium bowl for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Reserve 4 banana slices for garnish. Between the dessert dishes, layer a few banana slices in the bottom of each parfait glass. Add a spoonful of caramel sauce. Next layer the shortbread pieces. Carefully spoon in the banana pudding, making sure the layers remain separated. Repeat layers ending with pudding on top. Refrigerate 15 minutes or longer. Before serving, sprinkle with toasted coconut, garnish with one banana slice, and a cookie straw.

Hint: To prevent sliced bananas from turning brown, toss them with lemon juice. Pat bananas dry with paper towel before using.

Pecan Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup half and half

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 teaspoons Crown Royal

Pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients except pecans, in a 2-quart sauce pan over medium-low heat. Cook while gently stirring 5-7 minutes, or until thicker. Turn off heat. Add pecans. Pour into jar. Store in refrigerator.