Category Archives: Breakfast

Tomato Ricotta Tart

It’s no secret that I loathe ricotta cheese. Seriously, give me a gallon of gasoline and a match and I will torch a batch at a time. So why, oh why, did I choose to make this Tomato Ricotta Tart from Cooking Light that has 3/4 cup of the yucky stuff in it? Because I’m a ricotta martyr? Because I’m a glutton for punishment? Because I like to prove myself wrong? Ding, ding, ding!

I was proved very wrong indeed lambs and I’m grateful that I tried this because we out-of-this world loved this dish. The crust was perfect, a little crumbly but in a good way and the tomatoes with the ricotta filling were so perfectly balanced, we were slap your knee happy. Also, it was so easy to put together and with a simple spinach side salad, dinner was done in no time. As an added bonus, we ate the leftovers for the next two days for breakfast. I told David the next time we hosted a brunch I was going to be make sure this stunner was at the table. Yum!

Photo by Becky Luigart Stayner


My New Favorite: One-Pot Meals

Now that we have a little one in the house, I gotta tell ya, one pot meals are becoming my go-to these days and this Vinegar-Brased Chicken and Onions dish from Bon Appetit still made my feel like my old cooking self but was an easy enough set-it-and-forget-it cooking method that I could still tackle feedings, diaper changes and rockings too.

We both loved it for its nice balance of sweet and tangy due to the two vinegars and golden raisins, plus the pancetta didn’t hurt either. I served over sautéed spinach and cous cous to round out the meal and we are so happy with how this turned out. Easy, breezy and delicious!

Another BRILLIANT idea from the Bon Appetit staff was this Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal. You pour everything into a pot, heat it up, let it sit overnight and the next morning it’s ready to go with a little rewarming, some milk and nuts. Bonus! You have leftovers for the following day as well. I slurped this up before running all my errands and was full and happy for most of the morning.

This week it’s a bunch of rocking recipes from Food & Wine. Is it just me or have they been bringing their A-game with recipes lately? I can’t wait to try them, more to come lambs.

Oh, and I got some requests from you gentle readers for pictures of our little Lila. Here’s my favorite so far. Didn’t know I could feel so much love for one thing in my entire life!



Fried Egg Panzanella

Stop the press, I’m giving you one of my own recipes! Wheeee! I tend to make this little beauty once or twice a week because it’s simple, healthy, and pretty good if I do say some myself. It all started when I had leftover tomatoes and spinach and was hankering for eggs. Voila, Fried Egg Panzanella! I would love for you to give this a try and let me know what you think.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, divided

Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add garlic and breadcrumbs. Mix together until combined (careful not to burn the garlic). Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until softened, about four minutes. Add spinach and combine with tomato/breadcrumb mixture until wilted. Create two little pockets and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to each pocket evenly. Crack the eggs in the pockets, like so…

Cover skillet and cook eggs for about five minutes or until whites are set. I like my yolks super runny but cook however you like it. Scoop out tomato and spinach mixture into a bowl and top with fried egg. Repeat with remaining mixture and egg. Top with each with 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and salt and red pepper.



Mama Ingle’s Orange Muffins

Bless my mother. Not only did she have to tolerate a crazy little Emily (my nickname wasn’t Tricky for nothing), but we had a home cooked meal on the table every night after she worked all day long. Besides great Southern food each night, before snuggling me into bed she would ask what I wanted for breakfast the next morning so she could ensure I would go to school with a full belly. Lamb. I think my response each night was “ORANGE MUFFINS PLEASE!”. She would grin and politely inform me that I couldn’t eat orange muffins every day. See even as a youngin’ my food loving brain couldn’t comprehend the “you can’t eat this every day” scenario; kind of how I feel about bacon as an adult.

When I did get orange muffins, usually on Saturdays as a treat, I would run into the kitchen snag about four and watch morning cartoons – especially Rainbow Brite. Something about them was just so delicious to me. They are a little more dense than a regular muffin and the slight orange taste is perfect. Slap some melted butter or honey on these and you’ve got a delicious breakfast.

I’ve been talking about these to David so much that I finally decided to make them this morning. Since I yapped about them at length  I was a little nervous for him to try them! I followed my Mom’s recipe pretty much to the letter except a few additions of my own which I’ve marked in the recipe below. I got back from Pure Barre class and if you’ve ever taken this class you know (1) you can’t feel your entire body (2) you are going to be insanely sore tomorrow (3) you might kick something (if you could move your leg) if you don’t eat. I scarfed down two in a matter of minutes and the taste of the muffin warped me back to my little Emily days. Ahhh, don’t you love food items like these?  David loved them too. I’m hoping we can make our own special memories  in our  house with my Mom’s orange muffins (and all of her other delicious recipes). Sniffle.

Mama Ingle's Orange Muffins

 Orange Muffins

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup of flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt*
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together salt, flour and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside. Cream butter and sugar until very well blended. Add eggs, then add dry ingredients alternatively with juice. Add vanilla. Pour into greased muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes.

*I added in a little bit of salt and also marscapone cheese, about 1/4 cup after adding the last of the orange juice, to give it a little richer flavor.

Easy, Breezy Breakfast

Yesterday morning I was starving and needed sustenance ASAP. For anyone who knows me, I AM the Snickers commercial where I turn into a grouchy mcgroucherstein if I don’t eat. Since I needed to eat pretty quickly, I  improvised and created a fun breakfast sandwich that I call the Sanity Saver so I could get food in my belly and David didn’t have to tolerate a hungry diva.

Sanity Saver Breakfast Sandwich (Photo by Emily Ingle)


To ensure I get a few more vegetables in my diet, I’ve been grabbing these Green Giant Health Blends in the freezer section. I decided to serve their antioxidant blend (red peppers, carrots, broccoli) and a poached egg on top of toasted whole wheat bread all smothered with Everyday with Rachael Ray’s Good-For-You Hollandaise Sauce. A little salt and pepper on top and you’ve got breakfast in a flash. We both really, really liked this and more importantly the diva crisis was averted. There’s only room for one diva in this house and I think we all know who that is…

Gabriel! Our Diva-licous Cat!

Mark Bittman Strikes Again…

Last month I featured this delicious recipe by Mark Bittman featured in Cooking Light and now he is in the January issue of Bon Appetit for healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and even snack recipes. Before I dive into the recipe I tested, a few tips he shares on maintaining weight definitely struck a chord with me. The abbreviated version:

(1) Go (Mostly) Vegan: From the time I wake up until dinner I eat (almost) like a vegan.

(2) Minimize the Meat: Dinner is not heavy but omnivorous. It has more vegetables and grains than the typical American diet. I eat meat or fish many nights, but in smaller amounts than my former life.

(3) Weigh it out: I watch my weight. At what level weight becomes an indicator of health is debatable, but as an indicator of whether you’re eating too much, it’s perfect.

(4) Cut youself some slack: No individual meal matters. No individual day matters. Even a “bad” week doesn’t matter much…What does matter is that the pattern of my diets has moved from one that’s heavy on animal products and processed foods to one that’s dominated by unprocessed plant food.

(5) Make it your own: These rules are mine. Regard them as guidelines to create your own rules.

I liked his rules for a lot of reasons. Coming from a family that has a bad history of  type II diabetes and heart disease, I’ve always made it a point to watch what I eat. I’m not too strict on myself but do try to keep my balance of processed foods, meats and cheese to a minimum and load up on fruits and veggies. Or so I thought. David pointed out last night that a few of the categories that you see to your right with the most posts is bacon is always awesome, cheesy cheese, beefy mcbeefy and pork-a-licious. But on the flip side my dose of veggies is high too. I’m going to try and cut back on the bacon/meat intake just a bit and see if I can get my dose of veggies, fruit and uber healthy categories up in 2011.

Now to help me with that is Mark’s Spiced Coconut Pancakes with Tropical Fruit. First this is super duper simple and makes a boatload of batter. I smell a brunch option!  Second, these gentle little whole wheat pancakes don’t skimp on flavor one bit. With the coconut, nutmeg, allspice, coconut milk and maple syrup it is a decadent little pancake without the guilt. Plus with the added benefit of fresh mango, pineapple and banana, it’s a perfect sweet start to your day.  Plus it’s very filling to get you through your busiest of mornings. I saved the batter and some of the salad for this morning and we’ve enjoyed this two days in a row.  I think kids of all ages would love this dish, maybe with a side of bacon too? 😉

Spiced Coconut Pancakes with Tropical Fruit (Photo by Marcus Nilsson)

Eggs Poached in Curried Tomato Sauce

Mark Bittman, famous cookbook author and well-known food writer of his weekly food and recipe column The Minimalist in the The New York Times can also add Cooking Light contributer to his already impressive list of accolades. Since his debut in the magazine, I’ve wanted to try one of his recipes and his Eggs Poached in Curried Tomato Sauce was a must. I’ve always loved the traditional version of this Israeli dish known as shakshuka, but Mr. Bittman’s version looked out of this world in the flavor category. Get this, it calls for fresh ginger and garlic, jalepeno – for a spicy kick, cilantro, curry powder, coconut milk and of course, diced tomatoes. Flavor to the Nth degree if you ask me.

For some reason I thought this would take longer than it did but it came along in a New York minute. Follow his advice and make sure the sauce is wet before placing the eggs in to ensure proper cooking. I toasted the English muffins, chopped the green onions, plated and bam, an extraordinary and unique breakfast dish. I could have eaten that sauce on anything or just had it alone. I loved the ooey gooey egg sitting on top of the toasted muffin that soaked up the yolk and rock star sauce. Try this for an amazing breakfast treat, or heck, any time of day.

Eggs Poached in Curried Tomato Sauce (Photo by John Autry)

“My, My That Was Good!”

Those were my exact words friends as I finished my plate of Greens and Eggs Migas from the cookbook Simple Fresh Southern by the Lee Bros. who are, you guessed it brothers, hailing from South Carolina and are food/wine/travel journalists. For someone who works in the food industry I had not come across the Lee Bros. yet but if this recipe and the gentle cookbook they created is any testament to their talent then shame on me.

I wanted to test this recipe for two reasons, one they called this dish “Austin-Style” and of course anything featuring my home city I’m drawn too and two it has eggs. Well and three, I love having breakfast for dinner. Gosh, I could eat the most important meal of the day three times a day!

Lee Bros. Cherry Tomato Soybean Salad

According to the book: “migas means ‘crumbs’ in Spanish, and the roots of the dish can be traced to the Old World, specifically to Portugal and Spain.” For this dish you actually make the Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles and Chorizo first and then incorporate it into the migas. I loved this so much. It is easy, quick – even with two recipes if you think about it – and the flavors are absolutely awesome. I’m going to stop talking now and let you see for yourself with the two recipes below from the cookbook. Thanks boo for the awesome cookbook, this rocked!

Greens and Eggs Migas
Serves 4
Time: 25 minutes, preparation, 10 minutes cooking

1/2 cup canola oil
Three 6-inch corn tortillas, cut pizza-style into 8 triangles
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
8 large eggs, beaten (obviously I culled this recipe down for just moi)
4 ounces, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
1 recipe Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles and Chorizo, warm (I saved the rest of this for breakfast tomorrow!)
Fresh or store-bought salsa, for serving

Heat the oil and one of the small tortilla triangles in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat until the tortilla sizzles vigorously. Add the remaining tortilla pieces and stir them in the hot oil until they become crispy and browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted metal spoon, transfer them to a plate lined with a double thickness of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and set aside.

Pour off the oil, and add butter to the skillet, and when it’s completely melted and frothing, add the onion and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add the eggs and the tortilla chips, and scramble until the eggs are curdy but still moist, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, cover, and cook just until the cheese melts, about 45 seconds.

Divide the collard greens with poblanos and chorizo among the 4 warm serving plates, and top each portion with eggs and spoonfuls of salsa.

Lee Bros. Brandied Plums

Collard Greens with Poblano Chiles and Chorizo
Serves 4
Time: 5 minutes preparation, 15 minutes cooking

2 teaspoons peanut or canola oil (I used canola)
8 ounces of fresh chorizo, casings removed, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces; or 4 ounces cured chorizo, kielbasa, or other smoked sausage, finely diced
3 poblano chiles, seeded and sliced into thin 2-to 3-inch strips (about 3 cups)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 pounds collard greens (about 1 bunch), ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced (1 packed quart)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Pour the oil into a 12-inch skillet or saute pan set over high heat, and when it shimmers, add the chorizo. Cook, chopping up the (fresh) sausage with the back of a spoon, until the sausage has rendered most of its fat, about 2 minutes. Add the poblanos, and continue to cook until they have softened slightly and the chorizo is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic, half the collards, the salt, and 2 tablespoons water to the skillet. Cook, turning the collards with tongs and adding more greens as those in thee pan wilt, until all the collards are in the skillet. Continue to cook until the collards have softened and become dark green, about 6 minutes. Add the vinegar and continue to cook the collards, turning them occasionally, until the vinegar has completely evaporated and the pan is dry, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, if necessary, and divide the collards, poblanos, and chorizo among 4 warm serving plates. Serve immediately.