Archive for December, 2008

imgp1123When my body is craving something healthy for breakfast, I like to make a big scramble. If you put enough cheese, eggs, and veggies into your scramble, you won’t need to have any toast, english muffin, or bagel like I usually do when I have just scrambled eggs. I like to pair this meal with a big glass of juice. Sometimes after I get home from the gym, I will even have it for dinner.  Feel free to mix it up and create your own scramble with your favorite cheese or veggies… there are so many different options to choose from!

Serves: 1


  • 3 eggs, scrambled
  • Splash of milk
  • 2 slices swiss cheese
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 1/4 green pepper
  • Handful of spinach
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • Small pat of butter


  1. Chop and rinse veggies and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
  3. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.
  4. Pour egg mixture into frying pan, then add in veggies and mix in (except for spinach which will go in at the very end).
  5. When eggs start to scramble, break cheese into small pieces and add into eggs and veggie mixture. Stir in. The cheese will start to melt in with the egg and veggie mixture.
  6. When it looks like everything is almost ready, toss in the spinach and mix in. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

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imgp1112I have loved French Toast ever since I was a very little girl. My mom used to tell me that when I would get home from pre-school every day and she would ask what I wanted for lunch, I would say “French Toast!” To this day, I still love having French Toast for breakfast and/or brunch, and now I get creative with my toppings and use all kinds of fruit depending on what season it is- blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, you name it. For Christmas this year, I wanted to make an extra special breakfast. I made the French Toast as I normally do, but decided to top it with a quick cranberry sauce, sliced oranges, and bananas. Paired with some mocha cappuccino hot chocolate, this was definitely one of the yummiest breakfasts that I have ever had.

Serves: 2


  • 4 slices of your favorite French Toast Bread- I like Texas Toast or Maple Flavored French Toast Bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • 1 medium orange, peeled and split into pieces
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • Maple Syrup

Quick Cranberry Sauce:

  • 1 12 oz bag cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar








  1. Prepare quick cranberry sauce according to packing directions. I would recommend making this in advance (perhaps the night before or a few hours before to allow the sauce to thicken and the flavors to develop).
  2. Peel orange and split apart into pieces and place in a medium bowl. Slice bananas and place in same bowl. Mix together gently. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl whisk together 4 eggs.
  4. Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix this in well with the whisk.
  5. In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter.
  6. Dip both sides of each piece of bread in milk/egg mixture and place carefully in frying pan. I do 2 pieces at a time in the frying pan, for about 3 minutes on each side (depending on the temperature of your burners).
  7. When first two pieces of French Toast have finished, place them on a plate and put in the oven at the lowest temperature to keep them warm while the other two pieces of French Toast are cooking.
  8. When both servings of French Toast have finished cooking, remove plate from oven and prepare to top!
  9. Spoon desired amount of cranberry sauce on French Toast and top with oranges and bananas. Pour maple syrup on top and enjoy!

Note: We always have leftover egg/milk mixture after making a few slices of French Toast each. A trick we have learned is to prepare and cook additional pieces of French Toast and store them in a Tupperware in the fridge. Then, voila- you have a quick and easy breakfast that you can heat up in the microwave and eat during the week. Keep another Tupperware of sliced fruit with it, and you will have toppings for the French Toast too!

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imgp1638This crab dip is a definite crowd-pleaser. It’s one of my favorite appetizers to make and I haven’t come across anyone yet who doesn’t like it! It’s very quick to put together, which is the best part! Serve it with crackers or on little toasts of french bread. If you have leftovers, you can make a crab melt with avocado the next day. 


  • 1 6 oz can snow or pink crab meat (I like pink best)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp curry powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain crab and put in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Add in mayo, cheese, curry powder, and onion and stir everything together.
  4. Put mixture in a small baking dish, put in the oven, and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Serve with your favorite crackers. I recommend whole wheat Ritz crackers.

Mix it all together...


Place dip in baking dish and pop in the oven!

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imgp1062I made this appetizer for a holiday party and it was delicious! Not only was it really festive looking and fun to make, but the crackers tasted incredible! Bring this and a bottle of wine to a party and your hosts will love you!


  • Whole Wheat Crackers
  • Cream cheese
  • Fresh Parsley, for garnishing
  • 1  tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange rind


  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  
  2. Add onions, and sautee for 15 to 18 minutes, until they become golden.
  3. Add balsamic vinegar and then the cranberries, orange rind, and sugar.
  4.  Continue to cook and stir occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes or until liquid reduces.
  5. Put cranberry and onion mixture in a small dish, set aside, and let it cool. You can also make this in advance and refrigerate it if you want to make it the night before.
  6. To assemble crackers, spread a thin layer of cream cheese on them, top with 1 tbsp of the cranberry and caramelized onion mixture, and garnish with a small sprig of parsley. 
  7. Serve immediately- I found that the crackers softened after about an hour after they had the cream cheese and cranberry and onion mixture on them, but it still was very tasty!

Note- I found this recipe on the Cooking Light Web site… a new favorite site of mine to find light and healthy new cooking and baking ideas! Check out the Cooking Light Web site by clicking here.

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Growing up, I always felt very lucky to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. Not only did we get double the gifts, but we also got double the yummy food! Something that I really miss about not going home at the holidays are my mom’s potato pancakes, lighting the menorah, and singing Hanukkah songs with my family. So this year, I wanted to make my own Hanukkah dinner to share the experience with my boyfriend who has never had them (or celebrated Hanukkah before). We decided to make Potato Pancakes, Applesauce, Sweet Potatoes, and Brussel Sprouts. Yes- I know that is a lot of food for 2 people, but we like to eat and we love leftovers! Everything turned out great and I am looking forward to making this dinner again at Hanukkah next year!




Here are the recipes for our fabulous Hanukkah Feast:

Potato Pancakes (Latkes)


Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts










Want to learn more about Hanukkah? Click here.

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Vegetables are an important side to any meal. Most vegetables are full of fiber, which will fill you up, and essential vitamins and nutrients that keep you healthy. These Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts are a fantastic side to any meal- you could serve them with a roast, potato pancakes (like I did), chicken, or even add in extra vegetables to make a multi-colored medley for a light meal.  I want to let everyone know not to be afraid of brussel sprouts- I sure was the first time that I tried them, and boy was I wrong! They are crunchy and delicious and all you need to do is season them with your favorite spices and I guarantee you will love them too!


  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cut in whatever shape you like
  • 1 lb brussel sprouts
  • Rosemary and Thyme (I also like to use Herbes de Provence, which is a mix of several spices)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel, rinse, and cut sweet potatoes in the shape of your preference. Set aside.
  3. Rinse brussel sprouts, cut of the ends of them, and slice them in half. Set aside.
  4. Place sweet potatoes in a large baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over sweet potatoes and sprinkle salt, pepper, and rosemary.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, toss sweet potatoes together making sure that they all have olive oil and spices on them.
  6. Place sweet potatoes in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. 
  7. In a separate dish, mix together brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices. Since the brussel sprouts are smaller, they don’t need to bake for as long and I find it easier to bake them in a different dish and put them in after about 10 minutes after the sweet potatoes go in the oven. Then they are ready at the same time. 
  8. When the time is up, test the sweet potatoes to make sure that they are soft and cooked through.
  9. Serve veggies alongside your desired main course.

Sweet Potatoes


Brussel Sprouts









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These potato pancakes are so yummy- I like to eat them for lunch and dinner! They are traditionally served during Hanukkah, but you can make and eat them at any time of the year, in many different ways. My boyfriend was creative and mixed them in with his scrambled eggs the next day! For those of you that are not familiar with Potato Pancakes, click here to start learning!


  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups grated drained potatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 10-12 ritz crackers crushed by hand over the mixture
  • 2 tbsps butter and 3 tbsps oil for frying


  1. In a large bowl beat eggs with a whisk.
  2. Add potatoes, onion, salt and pepper and ritz crackers. Mix together well.
  3. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Watch carefully so that it doesn’t get too hot and burn.
  4. Drop potato mixture with a large spoon and flatten slightly with a fork like a small pancake. You can do about 5 pancakes at a time.
  5. Fry about 5 minutes on each side making sure they are crispy and brown.
  6. Add more butter and oil as needed.
  7. Drain on paper towels on a large plate and keep warm in the oven.

Potato Pancake Mixture


Ready to Eat Pancakes!








Serve with applesauce, sour cream, and your choice of veggies (we made sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts this year to have with ours).

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I just love applesauce in the winter. It’s warm, comforting, and can be eaten as a side to a meal or as a snack. I recently made this applesauce to serve with my Hanukkah dinner. Since I had several other things to prepare and also to allow the flavors to develop throughout the day, I made this applesauce in the morning and it was absolutely delicious when we ate it at night.


  • 6 apples, peeled and cut in fours
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (more if you like)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Peeled Apples


Apples sliced and ready to bring to a boil








  1. Using a good vegetable peeler, peel apples and cut them in fours. I found the easiest way to do this is to sit in front of a trash can and drop the peelings right into it.
  2. Put apple pieces in a large pot and add just enough water to see through the apples, but be sure not to cover them with water.
  3. Cover pot and bring to a boil. 
  4. After apples and water come to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10-20 minutes, until apples are soft.
  5. Drain excess water.
  6. Using a whisk or fork, break down apples until they start to take on a sauce like consistency. Mash the apples to the consistency that you like your applesauce- I like it chunky. If you like it smooth, you will need to mash a little longer.
  7. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix in.
  8. Cool and serve!

The Finished Product!

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Really easy and very addicting!mail_3

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound shredded sharp cheddar, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
Optional: Paprika for coating (use good quality or else it can get bitter)

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter in a mixing bowl or Cuisinart until light and fluffy.  And the cheese and mix until well blended.  Add the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne (a little at a time) and mix to form a dough.  You may need to knead a little by hand if you’re having trouble. 
  3. Divide dough into two halves and shape each into a long tube (about 1.5 inches in diameter).  
  4. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until dough is firm.  
  5. Roll the dough in the paprika to coat and cut into very thin slices (should look like a half dollar).   
  6. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 11-15 minutes (depending on thickness).  You want them to just begin to crisp and almost brown before removing.  The crackers will crisp further outside oven.  
  7. Season with additional salt, if desired.

About the Chef:

Today’s recipe feature came from Jennifer, another old co-worker and friend of mine. Jennifer is a wonderful cook and baker, is a vegetarian, and has so many yummy recipes to share. We will look forward to receiving and posting more of her recipes on EZ Home Cooking! 

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Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season,

and a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!

Click on the link or image below to see our holiday card!



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