Welcome to my food blog!

Featuring delicious recipes made healthier and reviews to give you some new ideas.

Toddler Vitamins

Posted by Ann | Posted in Food Chatter | Posted on 30-05-2009

My son is almost two years old so I want him to start taking a multi-vitamin.  We all know that our kids aren’t going to eat everything we want them to, and some days they just aren’t too hungry.  As a mom, I just want him to for sure at least get some vitamins and minerals in his body!  Obviously, I want it to be as natural as possible but still get him to take it.  Most of the natural varieties of vitamins are gummy vitamins, which are great, but my son’s teeth aren’t all there yet, although he’s got plenty, but he cannot chew those tough gummies properly.  They do sell them in the powder chews, like our old Flintstone’s vitamins, which he tried a natural variety but those just make me a little nervous being dry and him possibly choking.  I doubt it, but still, I wrote those off.  Then I’m left with this dilemma, how can I get vitamins in my son that he can chew properly?

The answer!  I found two diferent types of kid’s vitamins that I feel comfortable giving to him.  First, there’s the Emergen-C kid’s drinkable vitamin sweetened with fructose.  You always see the Emergen-C vitamins at the drug stores and also natural foods stores, but look carefully and they do make a kid’s version.  My son likes the Strawberry flavored, we also tried the Strawbanana Blast flavor, which he hated.  I gave that to a friend with twins close in age and they liked it while they didn’t like the Strawberry (I tried them both and am more inclined the the Strawberry as well).  We have not tried the Orange Pineapple Explosion or Cherry Yumberry flavors.  They’re fizzy, but easy to stir in 4-6oz of water, perfect for a sippy; and it’s a great way to get my son to drink something other than juice when he thinks he’s getting a juice!  If you have toddlers you probably know a reason or two why too much juice is not a good thing:)  Sometimes…they get bored with water.  The Emergen-C is anywhere from $8.99 at Target to $13 or so most other places for a package of 36. 

Emergen-C Kids

The other vitamin I found that I’m very happy with is Irwin Kids Berrylicious Super Multi sweetened with agave nectar, cane juice and brown rice syrup.  It’s texture is more of a soft taffy texture so it’s easy for them to chew but dissolves easily as it’s also a bit powdery and vitaminish flavor (gummys taste much better but my kid eats these anyway).  For 2-3 year old, you have to cut the vitamin in half.  The bottle comes with 30 soft chews for around $17 per bottle.  For a 2-3 year old, at least that will last you two months, so in that respect, it is cheaper than the Emergen-C unless you’re buying that at Target.  Once he’s able to properly chew a gummy vitamin, I’ll probably buy those but it is nice to have an option that he can chew and I don’t need to worry.  If you buy them and they’re hard, they’re probably just old.

Irwin Kid's BerryLicious Multi

Now, I don’t want your pediatrician mad at me so make sure you ask her or him if it’s okay to feed your toddler vitamins and maybe they’ll recommend something.  Emergen-C will send you free samples if you get on their website - the free samples button is on the left.  Their website recommends minimum age 8 for these vitamins, but I did check with my pediatrician first (yours may have a different opinion).  Irwin will also send you free samples but they’re not really free as they will charge your credit card $6.99 for shipping to also send you two educational wellness CD’s.  I also wanted to mention that a whole package of Emergen-C contains 400 IU of vitamin D, which is 100% of the daily RDI while a half Irwin Berrylicious contains 200 IU.  Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that most recently, health experts say many of us, including toddlers, are deficient in, and that we should actually get more than the recommended levels.  It’s newer research over the past year, but pretty overwhelming.

If you are a mom with a toddler and found something else equally easy to chew and good for your kid, let me know!  Thanks!

Warm Colorful Quinoa Salad

Posted by Ann | Posted in All Recipes, Meal Recipes | Posted on 28-05-2009

Warm Colorful Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is an amazing grain, in that it’s filling, full of protein, fiber and is gluten-free.  My vegetarian friends LOVE this grain, but I think too many people are afraid to try it.  You can use quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) just like rice.  It’s less finicky than rice so I think it’s easier to cook with.  If it’s your first time buying quinoa, I suggest buying the traditional quinoa rather than the red.  The traditional white/tan quinoa has a slight but very mild nutty taste, while the red is a little more harsh and bitter.  If you already bought red, try mixing red with white to underwhelm the red.  I’ve never tried black because I stick with the tradtional.

This warm salad is a nice, easy salad to make with what you have in your kitchen already.  The bite of the asiago cheese brings a nice flavor contrast to the quinoa.  The spinach, tomato and red pepper bring some nutrients and color, while the walnuts add to the protein and Omega 3’s and give it a nice crunch.  A light, warming salad on a summer day.  Ahhhh.


  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or broth of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup chopped in small cubed Asiago cheese (use 1 full cup if you omit the chicken)
  • 1 cup chopped chicken (I used leftover rotisserie)
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 tomato, or as many tomatoes as you wish
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil


  • cook quinoa according to package directions- instead of water, use broth to add more flavor
  • Pre-heat a saucepan on medium-high, add roughly 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar and 3 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Or, just eye it.  Chop up garlic and add when the olive oil vinegar starts to boil.  Cook down to form a glaze, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.  If you ignore it, it could cook down too much, get smokey, and kick off your fire alarm (happened to me making lemon glaze once, oops)
  • When sauce is cooked down, add spinach, stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it wilts, add chicken and red pepper and quinoa. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and more balsamic vinegar to taste if necessary.  Add more olive oil if you like that additional un-cooked olive oil flavor as well.  
  • Remove from heat, add walnuts, chicken, tomato and cheese  

…a happy little update:  I made this salad for lunch with the intention of eating it warm.  It’s now 9:30PM and I wanted a little snack so I tried this cold.  Delicious!  The flavors have had time to hang out together and although they got along before, they’re even better friends now!  The asiago and walnut make an even better combo.  This was great warm but I’m loving my chilled snack version this evening.  Happy happy joy joy.

Mint Chocolate Coconut Crispy Cat Review

Posted by Ann | Posted in Reviews | Posted on 26-05-2009

Photo courtesy crispycatcandybars.com

Sometimes, I just want a coconut candy bar - the mini almond joys are so tasty but the ingredients are awful!  I quit buying them a long time ago and Halloween time is difficult trying to find food that I feel good about handing out the the kids.  Half the time, they get healthy breakfast bars.  I still love my candy and will go on eating it, but I finally found a good coconut candy to feel better about!  The Crispy Cat brand Mint Coconut candy bar is dairy free, gluten free, non GMO (genetically modified organism), is 92% organic and has no preservatives.  Well, and I also love mint and chocolate together.  But mint chocolate coconut?  Oh, it does so well together!  The coconut and the mint are both flavorful enough but also mild to where you don’t get overwhelmed in the flavor.  The dark chocolate has a slight alcohol tinge and I think that’s from the organic cocoa liquor added to it.  However, it’s not overwhelming at all.  My son stole it from me as I was marvelling about how delicious it was.  He liked it so much he started dancing around the kitchen and ran into the dining room to claim stake.  Oh well, he didn’t get that much of it and for the most part, the sweets he does eat are a whole lot more nutritious than this.  Although this bar is most definitely not a meal replacement (I’ll eat those on the run as snacks usually, never an actual meal) or going to give you too many vitamins or protein, it is a much better candy option for you to eat if you are going to eat candy anyway.

Crispy Cat also makes chocolate sundae and toasted almond bars, shown in the photo above, but I like the mint and coconut so much that I am not sure if I’ll get around to trying these versions!  For the price anyway…I spent a whopping $2.89 on one bar!  So, these are going to be very occasional treats, but if they made these in a mini’s style bag like snickers and charged less…they’d be dangerous!   I’d buy them more and then just have one more mini bite….

Hazelnut Meal-Flour Cookies

Posted by Ann | Posted in All Recipes, Ann's Favorites, Breakfast Recipes, Cookie and Bar Recipes | Posted on 24-05-2009

Hazelnut Meal/Flour Cookie

So many people stumble upon my blog looking for hazelnut meal/flour recipes and since I’m equally curious about making something with hazelnut flour, I decided to go ahead and try something new…again!  I’m so glad I did.  These are truly amazing.  The toasted hazelnut is the star flavor in this cookie with some sweet to enhance and of course some chocolate to enhance even more.  I found this recipe from a girl from Spain, which includes almond flour and white sugar which I omitted both in place of all hazelnut flour and agave nectar and less sugar and chocolate.  I love the flavor of almonds, but I didn’t want anything getting in the way of the delicious toatsed hazelnut taste!  The recipe originally comes from a gluten-free cookbook entitled, “Cookies For Breakfast” by Michael Perlman.  Unfortunately, these cookies are so delicious that I had a few for breakfast, as the book title states.  Oops.  Well, they are much healthier than sugary cereal I guess.  They are so darn good I couldn’t think of eating anything else this morning!


  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c agave nectar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c oat flour (if you’re going gluten-free, just make sure your oat flour is certified gf)
  • 1 heaping cup toated hazelnuts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips


  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Toast hazelnuts until lightly browned, about 8 minutes
  • Remove from oven and with paper towel, remove as many skins as you can, the ones that stay on are just fine.
  • Put hazelnuts in food processor or blender, grind until a fine powder or a little chunky, I kept some tiny chunks so the cookies would have a nice crunch.  Allow to cool before adding to cookies or the hot hazelnuts will melt the butter and flatten the cookies
  • Cream agave, brown sugar, and softened butter, add egg and vanilla and blend
  • Mix oat and hazelnut flour with baking powder and salt, add to wet mixture and stir, add chocolate chips and stir
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes, I made smaller cookies so they were done in 7-8 minutes (my hot oven is finally fixed so it’s normal!)

These cookies are sensitive to the type of cookie sheet you put them on.  The picture above is the prettiest cookie, baked and pictured with the Paula Deen pan with the silicone (Silpat like) sheet on top.  I also made these with a dark sheet and they were nice and fluffy but the bottoms browned faster, and I also made them with a lighter cookie sheet with a Silpat.  Those turned out flat.  However, they are ALL equally delicious no matter what type of cookie sheet you bake them on and how browned the bottoms may get.  The flat ones are chewy and a little more candy-reminiscent, so my husband likes them better.  Maybe I do too?  None are burnt, just the hazelnut is even more toasted.  Wonderful!  I think the next time I make these, and I definitely will soon, I’ll either buy a bigger Paula Deen cookie sheet, or I will use my nice dark sheet but turn the temperature of the oven down to about 335.   Pretty cookies are nice to share.  Speaking of…here’s a really cool blog post  about how cookies should be refrigerated before baking and shows pictures of various refrigerator times and how the cookies turn out showing the optimal pretty cookies.  I love that post.

Fudgy Gluten-Free Caramel Brownies

Posted by Ann | Posted in All Recipes, Ann's Favorites, Cookie and Bar Recipes | Posted on 19-05-2009

Photo by Roland A. Manarin

My mother-in-law makes the best caramel brownies with the caramel sandwiched between two layers of brownie.  Everyone requests them for any type of special occasion and she graciously makes them every single time.  I’ve made them before but they are time-consuming and not at all healthy, so I usually just chow on hers when she makes them!  This past weekend, she made them for my brother-in-law before he goes away for the summer.  As I ravenously munched on one…I realized, I can make this healthy and organic!  Well…healthier anyway.  The original ingredients are: a German chocolate cake mix, a stick of butter, 50 caramels (or a pound), 2/3rds cup evaporated milk, and 1 cup of chocolate chips. 

As I said, the original recipe is delicious but full of processed foods with hydrogenated fats and who knows what else.  For starters, I decided to add some Salba(or chia seeds) to mine to kick up the nutrition.  I borrowed the caramel recipe, consisting of organic honey and organic cream, from 101cookbooks.  I think it tastes better than any store-bought caramels anyway!  This version is dark-chocolatey but sweetened up with the caramel layer, it’s ooey, gooey, and delicious!  If you could see me right now, I’m dancing all over the place.  This is a little time-consuming and messy, but well worth it if you’re able to come up with the time.  I think I’m in caramel brownie heaven.


  • 15-16 oz bag of bitter-sweet chocolate chips.  I used Ghiradelli 60%
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 5 Tb ground Salba or Chia seeds, I grind mine in the coffee grinder, but buying them pre-ground would’ve been less messy
  • 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tb vanilla
  • 1/2 cup almond flour, packed
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour (or, instead of almond and brown rice, use 3/4 cup of whatever flour/flour mix you like…using coconut flour you’ll have to add lots more eggs.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup heavy cream (for caramel)
  • 1 cup honey (for caramel)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (for caramel)


  • Click here for instructions on how to make the caramel.   …make caramel.  The caramel cools while you’re putting together the brownie ingredients so you may not need to put it over ice.  I did not.  I let mine get to 230 degrees and took it off the heat -I didn’t want the caramel to harden quite as much as if it were to be on an apple.  If you want less caramel, you can just use whatever ratio you prefer (3/4 cup cream to 3/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup to 1/2 cup)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9×13″ pan
  • In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips over medium, remove from heat when melted.  Add Salba, brown sugar, stevia, salt, vanilla and applesauce.
  • mix together brown rice flour, almond flour and baking soda 
  • Make sure the chocolate mixture is not too warm, then add eggs, easiest to use a fork or a whisk to get them incorporated
  • Add flour mixture, stir well
  • Pour half of the brownie mixture into pan.  To be on the cautious side, pour a little less than half.  Put in the oven and bake 6-7 minutes
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool a couple of minutes
  • Pour caramel mixture into the pan, spread it around to cover bottom brownie layer completely
  • Slowly piece together pieces of the brownie batter and flatten it and put on top of the caramel.  It’s more like a spoonful at a time, slowly making sure that all of the caramel is as covered as you can get it.  I was able to cover up all of the caramel 
  • Put in oven and cook another 18-20 minutes
  • Allow to cool completely, if you’re impatient like me, I put mine in the fridge to cool off.  These are too good to wait for!

If you don’t have Chia seeds or Salba, I think you can probably just omit it.  Here are a few resources if you’d like to read more about the health benefits.  Just hover over the word:  Salba brand, some chia info,  this one quotes Oprah’s Dr. Oz…of course, they’re touting their product, and here’s a not-so-biased information set.

…A note on the chocolate.  As we all know by now, dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate.  I find the darkest chocolate too bitter, I can comfortably go up to 63% where I think it tastes the best, but much more darkness and my enjoyment factor is gone.  If you can go darker, do it in this recipe!  If you don’t like it at all, just use milk  chocolate chips or semi-sweet, which are sweeter than 63% or bittersweet.  I had a good time one day about 8 years ago buying all kinds of percentages of fancy chocolate and having my own little taste test.  If you’re not sure what you like best, try that out!

Lara Bars Review

Posted by Ann | Posted in Reviews | Posted on 18-05-2009

Photo From Larabar.com


Lara bars make a great, nutritious snack.  They’re for the most part made of Dates, the fruit from the package (apples, cherry, banana…) and nuts which means there is no added sugar and they’re gluten-free, raw and vegan.  That’s it, they’re very simple and since they’re not covered in chocolate, a great snack to throw in your purse.  The date is sticky so it holds together well through travel.  If you’ve only tried a few flavors and weren’t sure about them, I just wanted to run down the list of all the flavors I have tried so you may want to give them a second chance if you weren’t enthralled with your first try.

  • Cherry Pie:  Surprisingly delicious!  Cherry flavored things typically taste like medicine to me or are too overwhelming.  I do not like cherry pie itself but luckily, this Larabar doesn’t taste like a cherry pie.  The dates mellow out the cherry flavor and the almonds provide the right crunch and accompaniment to the cherry.  My toddler liked this flavor the best and kept stealing it from me.  He spit out most other flavors but banana, which he only wanted a couple of bites of.
  • Banana Cookie:  Well, it’s good, but for me it’s easy to cook with banana and I’d rather have something with banana and chocolate or peanut butter.  So, overall impression, good, but just banana.  It sort of tastes like a super-dense and moist banana bread.
  • Pistachio:  The dates were too sweet and don’t go so well with pistachio.
  • Gingersnap:  Tastes like more of a spice cookie than a gingersnap, lots of clove.  Just ok.  If you like spice cookies, you’d probably love them.
  • Apple Pie:  Yummy!  The tartness of the apple goes really well with the date, raisins, walnuts, almonds and cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon Roll:  Bland, doesn’t taste like a cinnamon roll, or much of anything really.
  • Chocolate Coconut:  My old favorite.  I used to buy dozens of these but then I took a long break.  If you like chocolate and coconut, I think Larabar did a great job of getting this right with no added sugar by using unsweetened cocoa and unsweetened coconut. 
  • Coconut Cream Pie:  Honestly, how in the world did they get this so creamy?  It’s actually too rich for me.  I liked the flavor but just a couple of bites and the creaminess is overwhelming.  It’s just some coconut oil but it really made it creamy.  Healthy and smart, but creamy.
  • Lemon Bar:  The lemon is too bland or lemon-flavorish rather than real, I think it needs lemon peel and more/different bran of  lemon juice concentrate.
  • Peanut Butter Cookie:  Doesn’t taste like a peanut butter cookie.  Doesn’t taste like peanut butter to me at all.  You can taste the peanuts but this has the potential to taste like an awesome pb&j but it was just too bland for me as well.
  • Cashew Cookie:  Yum!  Cashews are pretty rich but the rich flavor of the cashew went nicely with the dates.  A good combo but I could only eat half due to the richness of both flavors together.
  • Pecan Pie:  The initial bite is a tad sweet and obvioulsy date - but as you keep chewing, the pecan does come through and is mighty tasty.  If you’re a pecan lover, the you can definitely taste the pecans here, but the date flavor is strong as well.  I like it!

A few years ago, I tried the Jocalot version that Larabar makes, and the available flavors at the time were too bitter and not flavorful enough.  Maybe I’d like the newer flavors but I don’t really feel like giving them a try.  If you love these Larabars to death you may want to make your own.  Just ground up some pitted dates in your food processor and add whatever dried fruit or nut.  I’m sure it would work best if you had a dehydrator to get the right flavor without having to buy sweetened dried fruit.  I’m not going to make them since I definitely can’t eat these in bulk.  I like dates but in small quantities. Personally, I’d rather just buy some lara bars when I feel like it.

Simple Morels

Posted by Ann | Posted in All Recipes, Side Dishes | Posted on 14-05-2009

Morel Mushrooms


Morel mushrooms have caught on the past few years as a major fad in the foodie world.  Why didn’t anyone catch on to this before?  Morels are delicious with a more meaty flavor and slightly tougher texture.  I grew up with them every spring; they grew in the land behind our house.  Unfortunately, the past five or six years the morel thieves come and steal them and make a killing so it has been awhile since I’ve had them.  They bring back fond memories of my childhood so I was happy to find them at our local farmer’s market and pay a ridiculous sum (I talked my way into almost paying half) -but it still seems crazy to spend so much when they should’ve been free had someone not stolen them!!!  I know there are lots of ways to cook morel mushrooms, but I used the old family recipe, which is quite simple.  It was nice to see my toddler keeping up the tradition, he loved them. 


  • Slice mushrooms in half, if really dirty, rinse with your kitchen sprayer on high.  If you don’t cut them in half and your morels are as dirty as mine were, you’ll just get the dirt crunch from the dirt that worked its way up inside the stem.  If not really dirty, just rinse with a light stream of water.  Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Cut up a clove of garlic and mince, add butter, we add a few tablespoons for flavor but if you want them lighter, just use less butter. 
  • When butter heats up, add garlic and morels, morels will sweat a ton.  Let the liquid cook down and once cooked down, add some dry red wine, about a quarter cup.  Stir until wine cooks down and morels look like the picture above. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.  Eat

Oh, and don’t eat them raw!  Morel season is almost over, so you’ll probably be able to buy some this weekend still at the farmer’s markets.  If not, some people freeze them or dry them and they retain the flavor nicely, so if you find them anytime in the year, give them a try!

Reviews of True Lemon and Nature’s Splash

Posted by Ann | Posted in Reviews | Posted on 13-05-2009

Lemon Drinks


First off, I feel so dumb taking pictures of products, but I can’t find the images online of one of the products so I figured I’d just take one nice snapshot so you can see what I’m talking about.  I’ve been really into lemon stuff for some reason over the past year.  Even lemon beverages!  I’m really happy to have found both of these products for different reasons.  I’ll start with the one I’ll be most likely to buy again:

True Lemon  is basically just lemon flavor, no sugar.  The ingredients are: citric acid, lactose, lemon juice, lemon oil, maltrodextrin, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).  One packet has zero calories and 25% Vitamin C.  I like it because when I run out of lemons at home and I really want lemon in my water, this does the trick.  It’s a little stronger so you may not want to empty the whole packet in to your tall glass of water.  Or…you can do what I do and just chug the first few drinks and then refill for a normal lemon-water flavor.  I think the best part of this is if you are afraid of getting feces in your water.  You know… haven’t you seen all the media stories scaring us into lemon (and ice for that matter) in our water at restaurants, airplanes and wherever.  Even with all the scientific data about poop in our water, I still brave the lemons at restaurants.  Anyway, if you’re afraid of it, this is a nice option to get rid of city water flavor at restaurants or just zest up your water.  Just throw some packets in your purse or pocket and you’re good.

Nature’s Splash is a lemonade drink mix meant to be mixed with 16 oz of water.  The ingredients are: evaporated cane juice, citric acid, malic acid, maltodextrin, less than 2% lemon juice solids, natural flavor, rebiana (Truvia), salt, soy lecithin and magnesium oxide.  Basically, it’s supposed to be better for you than a regular sugar-full glass of lemonade.  One packet has 50 calories and 12 grams of sugar.  The flavor is actually pretty darn good!  It’s not freshly made lemonade, but it’s a great alternative if you’re trying to not spike your blood sugar.  The lemon flavor is nice and mild and not too sugary.  This makes me happy because Truvia brand sweetener is made of stevia (and if you’ve read my post on  supertasters), then you’ll know that stevia is typically too bitter for me but I want to like it because so far it seems like the best, most natural, no-cal sweetner for you.  That’s probably why they added evaporated cane juice, to reduce the bitterness of the stevia.  However, maybe the lemon flavor alone does the trick. 

If you check out the True Lemon website, they’ve also got a lemonade type drink also made with truvia.  However, it only has 5 calories per serving (not sure of how many ounces that is) and is only made with Truvia for a sweetener…intriguing.  It may be bitter or it may be a great alternative to high-sugar lemonades.

You can also try a free sample!  Gotta love that…click here.  If you live in the Omaha area and want to purchase either of these items, I bought the True Lemon at No Name Nutrition and the Nature’s Splash at Whole Foods.  No Name Nutrition is a great place to go if you want any natural remedies.  These people do their research constantly and really love what they do and you can tell the difference.

Let’s hope Truvia and the other stevia-derived sweeteners don’t end up messing with our bodies after being processed…the study should come out about 10 years from now after we’ve all ingested a few tons of it each.  Here’s a great article on the safety of Truvia and stevia.

Egg Crepes With Creamed Spinach

Posted by Ann | Posted in All Recipes, Breakfast Recipes | Posted on 12-05-2009

Egg Crepes With Creamed Spinach

While watching Top Chef one night, one of the chefs made an “egg crepe.”  I thought to myself, “Duh, why didn’t I think of that?”  My favorite omelets are the ones you get at the Mexican resorts where they practically spread them crepe thin.  They’re wonderful because you can actually taste what’s inside and the egg holds it all together without overwhelming.  This morning, I also really felt like a creamed spinach or spinach and feta croissant.  So, with what I had, I decided to make a creamed spinach egg crepe!  The combination worked really well together, but you can make your favorite creamed spinach since mine is a light version recipe thrown together with what I have in the house this morning.  Regarding the filling, spinach and feta, apple and brie (sliver), ham and havarti, prosciutto and provolone, peas and pancetta or whatever you usually like in your omelet would all taste delicious!
Instructions for Egg Crepe:
  • Beat 1 egg and 1 egg white well in bowl.
  • Pre-heat stove-top on medium with the biggest non-stick pan you’ve got or a crepe maker (wish I had one), my pan is about 11 1/2 inches in diameter, if yours is a little smaller, don’t add the egg white, if it’s even smaller, you could try two egg whites but that doesn’t work in the larger size pan
  • Spray pan with cooking spray, add the eggs and spread evenly by moving pan around.  Allow to sit and cook until top looks done.  If you’re a little nervous that the top doesn’t seem cooked, just stick the pan in your oven on broil for about a minute or until it looks done.
  • Remove egg crepe and set on plate (if you add ingredients now, it’s difficult to remove without it all falling apart)
  • Add your favorite ingredients and roll!

Ingredients for “Creamed Spinach”

  • 1 box frozen spinach
  • 3/4-1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 TB chicken broth
  • red pepper flakes
  • basil (I used dried, but fresh is always better if you’ve got it!)
  • parsley …ditto to the above
  • garlic salt


  • Let spinach defrost and then drain well
  • Mash cottage cheese with potato masher, or to get the lumps out completely, you can use your food processor but then you get to do more dishes, you may also buy whipped cottage cheese but I found it still has little lumps anyway and it’s a little more expensive
  • Put spinach and cottage cheese on stovetop on medium, add chicken broth, a few dashes of red pepper, a couple of dashes of garlic salt, basil, parsley and pepper
  • Stir constantly and cook until liquid starts to dissipate.  Add more salt to flavor to your tastes

I sliced some grape tomatoes and added it to my crepe/omelet and it was the perfect touch!  Unfortunately, I don’t think Nutella would taste very good with this version of a crepe. 

Oh, by the way, my toddler, who for whatever reason has recently decided that he doesn’t like eggs anymore, really liked the crepe thin version of the egg!  I guess not only is it fun for me, but he thought it was pretty cool too.  He ate more egg than spinach, but he ate some of that as well!

My Favorite Breakfast Casserole

Posted by Ann | Posted in All Recipes, Ann's Favorites, Breakfast Recipes | Posted on 10-05-2009

My Favorite Breakfast Casserole

This is a flavor-packed breakfast casserole with a variety of ingredients that marry well together to bring a protein dense balanced breakfast.  Each bite is so rich and delicious that you are sure to be satisfied after eating a serving.  This is a time-consuming breakfast casserole, I know.  But, it’s absolutely worth it.  I prepare everything the day before and then throw it all in the pan in the morning. 


  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded havarti cheese ( you may also just use your cheeses of choice.  In a pinch, use 3 cups cheddar/3 cups mozzarella)
  • 4 small Russett potatoes or 5-7 red potatoes
  • 1 pint mushrooms (I usually use baby bellas) but you can even use a 4 1/2 oz can to make it simple, but you’ll miss out on some of the flavor
  • 2 cups sliced or diced frozen trio of peppers…or fresh, frozen is easier
  • 1 cup diced fully cooked ham, I use turkey ham
  • .5-.8 lb pork sausage, I use natural and lean
  • 2 thick slices of bacon: I use 4 slices of natural bacon and remove the fatty parts
  • 8 eggs (or substitute 2 egg whites per eggs, this time, I used 6 whole eggs and 4 egg whites)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup flour of your choice, this time I used spelt
  • 1 TB dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • Slice potatoes into discs  and either fry with your choice of fat (butter or coconut oil are yummy) but my easiest method is to toss them in olive oil, line them flat on a cookie sheet (you may need 2 cookie sheets), add a little seasoned salt and bake at 400 about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cook bacon with your method of choice, mine is oven, and drain and blot fat with paper towels
  • Cook pork sausage over medium heat on stovetop, drain fat
  • Cut up ham into cubes and then combine with other meats
  • Sauté peppers on high heat until soft, chop into small pieces
  • Sauté cleaned and chopped mushrooms on medium-high heat, add  a little salt and pepper to taste, add to peppers
  • In a bowl, beat eggs, add milk, flour, basil, parsley, salt and pepper
  • Grease a 13×9x2″ pan.  Put half the cheese on the bottom (3 cups)
  •  Line potatoes evenly covering all the cheese, tastes even better when the potatoes form almost a double layer!
  • Add meats, spreading evenly over potatoes
  • Sprinkle on half the remaining cheese (1 1/2 cups)
  • Add vegetable mixture evenly
  • Sprinkle on remaining cheese
  • Pour egg mixture evenly covering entire pan
  • Bake at 350 for about 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean
  • Let stand about 10 minutes before cutting

There’s a certain breakfast casserole a restaurant here in Omaha used to make for caternig purposes that is so delicious I had to figure out how to make my own version of it.  Their version has more potatoes and egg only upon request.  I like adding the eggs because it feels more like breakfast.  It’s also delicious without the eggs or only a few for binding purposes (but then the potatoes are quadrupled).  I only make this for special occasions because it’s so time-consuming.  We love having leftovers of this casserole!  It’s definitely a comfort food and although it’s healthy, it is still fairly heavy with of all the meats and cheeses, even though I’ve lightened up the meats.  Two more tasty additions would be your choice of sauteéd onions or green onion, and chopped, cooked asparagus added to the vegetable mixture.  I made this meal for our Mother’s Day get-together.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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