Thursday, June 30, 2011

I "Heart" Pizza Flavored Breakfast Muffins ala Kalyn's Kitchen

I was very intrigued last week, when I saw the recipe for these little gems.  First, they call for a couple of interesting ingredients not normally found in a muffin (at least my muffins).  First is Cottage Cheese.  I read a lot of blogs, but this was the first time I had seen cottage cheese as a muffin idea.  Then, just a few days ago, Mary from One Perfect Bite (one of my very favorite blogs) wrote a post for ROLLS with the self same Cottage Cheese also as an ingredient.  So, OK, two posts in a week... Let's call it a sign.

I found this recipe on  

Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen submitted it as a Recipe for "Pizza-Flavored Breakfast Muffins with Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Oregano".  Kalyn is not a blogger I read daily, so I took advantage of the interesting recipe to get to know her.  Her "About" page was fascinating... the heading "How I lost 42 pounds and became a food blogger" certainly is eye catching.  Her key to weight lose is the South Beach Diet.  I admire anyone capable of losing weight, but especially a talented cook who is able to do it and keep it off.  SO many great recipes, so little time to shovel it in.

I was also fascinated by a detail that Kalyn dropped.  She is now retired, working as a full time food blogger! Some day we must have coffee and discuss how she did it.  Congrats on that dream come true.

I also looked over her archives for a bit.  She has a huge body of work, blogging in her 7th year now.  Great photos, most diet friendly and worthy of a look.  Kalyn, I'll be back!

Here's my take on her recipe (of course I changed a few ingredients, so consider the recipe "inspired by" her original post...

Oh, and don't you wish you had a heart shaped muffin pan... Garage sale find, for $1!

1/2 cup Cottage Cheese, rinsed, drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 cup Almond Meal
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Italian Seasonings
1 tsp "Big Easy in a Jar", Cajun Seasoning
4 eggs, beaten
3 TBS Water
1/2 cup Pepperoni pieces (I cut regular pepperoni slices into 4ths)
1/2 cup diced Mozzarella Cheese

  1. Strain the Cottage Cheese, rinse and let drain
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F
  3. Mix all the ingredients in the order listed
  4. Be sure to spray your non-stick pans for this recipe.  the mozzarella will melt and stick  (learned this the hard way).
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
And I loved them.  Kalyn advertises hers as a breakfast muffin, but I made mine for lunch.  We are getting ready for a long drive (4th of July with the in-laws in South Dakota).  2 of these (the recipe made 6) are going in the "snack cooler" for the trip.  I liked the slight Cajun accent the spice mix adds.  That was one of the ingredients I changed.

BTW, Kalyn took LOTS of photos of this recipe.  If interested, I sure do urge you to go take a look at her post for lots more details.


Fair warning... yet another ad coming up for

Kalyn has chosen to submit a few recipes to the site (Thanks).  Enough that there is a page where you can see just the recipes that she submitted.  I just noticed something when I could easily see a few of her postings side by side.

She has a very interesting style of photographing a dish; kind of a signature look.  Stylish, attractive and would be very easy to duplicate, even with a simple point and shoot camera (like I use). does a great many things.  One of which is to show your favorite submitters' (or your own) recipes all on one page.  An easy way to point your readers to your own work (hopefully they will see more than just the current recipe your readers would like more details).  An unanticipated advantage is to see a single blogger's photo style.

But I digress... is a place to show off.  And to find your favorites.


Click this button/logo to see what I mean.  It will take you directly to the page in that features Kalyn's Kitchen submitted recipes.  Feel free to click the home page button on top to see what your other bloggers are up to.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rustic Cantaloupe and Prosciutto

Or, I could easily have called this "Peasant Cantaloupe and Prosciutto"

But what it really is is just cut up cantaloupe (love it), and some roughly torn pieces of prosciutto ham (another favorite).

It's a classic combination, sweet juicy cantaloupe, paired with the salty earthiness of the specialty ham.  A taste combination that shows up on many fancy dancy (read expensive) appetizer trays.  Or, on rare occasions, on my breakfast plate.

You see, I happen to have two slices of prosciutto left from my weekend marathon cooking session.  I was debating what to do with them when I just decided I needed a treat.

Besides, I am in "clean out the fridge mode".  

What are your plans for July 4th???

Me, Jackie and I are off to the wilds of the Badlands, the Black Hills of South Dakota, poker in Deadwood, Hiking through the hills, visiting the shrine to 4 of our 6 greatest Presidents (Mount Rushmore), believe it or not, we have friends that think it is a good idea to strap my fat ass to a zip line and send me through the pine trees (there's an image that will haunt you late at night).

So, no matter how good the ingredients are, no matter what beautiful presentations I could come up with for them...

Best to use them up before the trip.  I deserve a treat anyway!

And, as always, you can find this and several of my favorites at 

Hit the button and come take a look!



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Snap Peas - Garlic and Shaved Almonds

I made these as a side dish for Pecan Crusted Catfish last week.

The beautiful thing about snap peas is that they taste great raw.  So, only way to mess em up is to over cook them.  Seriously, this is a 5 minute dish.


1 TBS Canola Oil in a pan...

Add 2 TBS smashed minced Garlic
Saute for a few minutes until the oil gets fragrant.
Add almond slivers
and add the beans...

A little of that fancy pan flip maneuver you see on TV and 3 minutes later, they are done.

Just that fast.  If they don't have a snap to their bite, you cooked them too long.


And now it's time for another "Ad" for  All of the software is coming together nearly perfectly.  There have been a couple of small glitches (expected, it is a complicated, multi functioning site).  Those glitches have or at the least are being addressed.

I have also heard from a couple of bloggers who have a different impression of the ultimate goal of  There are several sites that demand "show off" magazine photo quality photos. is NOT that site.  What I would like to highlight are home cooks, making the best meals and snacks for their families and friends.  While beautiful photos should be a goal for us all, tasty dishes are the goal.  Healthy food is the goal.  And a variety of ways to cook the same ingredients is the goal.

Take today's post of mine (yes, I have submitted the post to  I do not want this to be the only post on the site for snap peas.  In a few weeks, I would like for someone to be able to go to the search function on the site, type in "Snap Peas" and see a dozen different ways to prepare.  That will make the site useful.  Same with Pork Loin, Sirloin, Caprice Salads or any of the thousands of recipes that are searched for everyday.  Google says that 1% of the searches done daily are for recipes. will become the best resource to find recipe ideas on the internet.

Large photos

Searchable Tags, as well as key words

And best of all is the commentary that goes along with the  recipes that only food bloggers provide on a daily basis.

Remember, is not an internal site, meaning all clicks go to pages inside the site.  When someone clicks on the title of the recipe, the page opens on YOUR site, not  When someone clicks on the photo of the recipe, the page opens on YOUR site, not drives traffic to your site.  That's my job as a tool for bloggers.  Driving new readers to your site is an important aspect of  Of course, the quality of your writing and the quality of your recipes are what will keep them there.  Lookie Loos can easily become regular readers.

The final issue I have heard from bloggers is the concern about copyright.

In fact, that has been the only reason a recipe has been rejected.  The site is not meant to support bloggers who copy a photo from a magazine or book, copy word for word a recipe with no commentary.

BUT, if you actually cook the recipe, take and share an original photograph of the dish, provide commentary about what you liked, didn;t like, extra cooking tips that are not published with the magazine, you are now making that recipe your own.  Certainly provide credit.  My rule is that if I do not change anything, I proclaim the recipe "from the pages of..." and then provide the chefs name, a link, or at the least title of where the original came from.  If I change a couple of ingredients, I still credit the original with an "inspired by...".  As long as you are crediting the original, providing original photos and commentaries, Your blog post and recipes belong on

Please consider coming over and taking a look.

And please consider signing up for an account so you can take advantage of the FREE eRecipeBox function where you can save a recipe as a favorite and easily come back to make another day.

And please consider posting your recipes.  You blog for a reason.  Share your creations.  

Said it before, will say it again, and now, has been created with the idea that

Food Bloggers are the best!


Click the logo, you will see what I mean...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Leftovers after a MARATHON Day of Cooking

Good morning my friends.  Did you happen to catch yesterday's post???  

I was selected to take part in the Foodbuzz 24X24 project (24 bloggers, making 24 meals, all in 24 hours)!  I chose to spend the day with friends, early morning shopping at the Farmer's Market, several hours of cooking to make a wonderful late lunch!  8 dishes were made, snacks, side dishes and a couple of amazing main courses (like this Tri-tip Sirloin with a Cheery Salsa).  If you missed it, I did a write up of all the recipes and a photo tour of the KC Market... Click HERE to see that post.

Well, you can see from that post I had a refrigerator FULL of leftovers.  Certainly not a terrible thing, since it gives you a chance to be a little creative, add a thing or two and come up with something non-repetitive...

One of the dishes we made was a Swiss Chard, Leeks and Potato Hash.  I chose that as a vegetarian main course for the event and it was a winner!  But with everything else we were serving, we did have lots left over.

Here's how I made breakfast from the leftovers...

Sadly, well, sad for the leftovers, we picked just about all the Swiss chard out of the original dish the day before.  But that's ok, I had plenty of potatoes left, added some mixed vegetables and then Meat (vegetarian, no matter how good is a passing fancy for me).

I plopped all the hash leftovers in an oven safe frying pan.  I made 4 little wells (meal for two), and lined those wells with some leftover imported dry cured prosciutto ham.  Add just a tbs of butter milk in each well, add an egg and top with a slice of Swiss cheese.

bake in the oven, 350 degrees until the egg stops jiggling when you move the pan (about 20 minutes).

Add some fresh tomato slices, toast with a little fresh made Peach compote (one of the snacks we made on Saturday)...

And that's Breakfast!

And if you like this recipe you will find all my 24X24 recipes on!



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Foodbuzz 24X24 - a Day at the Farmer's Market Roundup !!!


I want to thank the very good folks at FOODBUZZ who accepted my proposal for a day at the Farmer's Market.  They have a promotion providing 24 bloggers an opportunity to host 24 meals, all in 24 hours.  My proposal was to get up bright and early, drag 4 of my friends along, friends that are not devoted to food as the most of us have become and show off the source of local and fresh.  Once we spend the morning shopping, we come back home and spend the day cooking a local, fresh meal showing off my favorite food haunt...

So first, here is a photo tour of the Kansas City River Market.  So, it will be a quick read (mostly photos and captions, but i will get to the recipes we made at the bottom of the page (all made with fresh ingredients bought at the Market!

Beans and Tomatoes and so much more...

Established in 1857, the farmer's market has been feeding fresh produce to the Kansas City area for over 150 years (and you thought we were just BBQ).

While of course, the produce is the main attraction, you can spy lots of fun things here.  Like this display of lawn decorations.

Life is just a little more ... nostalgic here.  No Wii or X-Box or high tch anything.  But the kids can take a ride around the parking lot in the barrel train, pulled by  John Deere Tractor.

But of course, the star of the day is the produce.  All the "regulars" are there, onions, bell peppers, potatoes and corn.  

Most of the vendors are the family of the farmers.  How can you not buy something when the signs read, "hand picked yesterday"!

Makes you want a fresh salsa doesn't it???

Keep reading...

But look at these beauties.  It's not the neighborhood grocery store produce section.

But if you just want to enjoy the fruits of others labor, plenty of home baked goods for sale.  I like to make my own bread, but I was sure tempted by this ladies' Asiago/black Olive loaf.

May as well plan to come hungry.  Everyone gets samples of whatever you might like.  Breads, fruit, watermelon, even a little wine tasting place.

But again, more than produce.  Want to learn to grow tropical orchids?  This is the place.

Once a month this seller offers a class on, "How to Grow Orchids at Home".  Think this would brighten my kitchen?

But it is of course, all about the produce.

Of course, it could be just a little about the artisan Pasta Seller!

Even Lassie gets a booth to call her own, a table full of specialty dog biscuits.

This guy fires up his own sausages!

Look Ma... OLIVES!  Cheap, plentiful and a dozen imported Italian olives!

And what trip for me would be complete without a stop to say Hi to my beloved spice guy?

$1 for a half a cup of any spice you might want!

While I think The KC River Market is pretty special, I would bet that there is a Farmer's Market close to you.  They are worth the hunt.  A cook is only as good as his ingredients.  Fresh, local and cheap... What's not to love?  The link above, to Local harvest website offers a terrific service.  Just plug in your zip code and the closest market pops up.  A quick search for the KC area found over 30 markets.  Some are little more than a road side stand, and a couple are large almost River Market quality.  The site offers reviews so you know what you are getting into!

I would love to hear about (and read a review) of your next visit to your Farmer's Market.  Anyone want to share your hometown gem?

But really, don't you wish you lived in Kansas City???

And what fun we did have.  Shopping was indeed a treat.  Jackie and I go to the market at least a couple of times a month, so we have a few favorite places.  It was exciting to share those with our friends.

But the real fun was spending the day, a little crowded for counterspace (we made 8 dishes), constantly washing dishes, tasting spoons and wine glasses (yeah, a few bottles (bought at  the market BTW) were enjoyed before we sat down for lunch.

I have already done separate blog postings on the food we ate.  Here's the links...

We started the day with some quick to make this one, Tomato Poppers
Click the blue letters to get to the post (but then you knew that)

Next we ate a few chips... thick cut potato chips with a wonderful Sheep Cheese dipping sauce to be exact!

We all really enjoyed a delightful warm Peach Compote (Fresh peach Jam) with a loaf of Brioche bread we picked up at the market!

We finally started preparing the side dishes for the meal.  With all the extras in this picnic pasta salad, it could easily pass for a meal in itself!

A few of the dishes were even grilled (the name of my blog is a Year on the Grill after all).  Like this wonderful Pizza inspired stuffed Pepper!

Our "Salad" was a Faux Caprice Salad made with grape tomatoes and more of that amazing Sheep Cheese!

A trip to the Farmer's market deserves a vegetarian dish.  Actually the dish voted most surprisingly GREAT was the Swiss Chard and Potato Leek Hash.

And last (and by no means) least was another chance to grill, this Organic Tri-tip Sirloin, topped with a beautiful Cherry Salsa!

And the final verdict on all this...

What a fun day.  Eaters, cooks and want to be chefs sharing the day, laughing and enjoying the company over food.  I will admit to going a bit over the top (Thanks again Foodbuzz).  But I highly recommend this activity for readers and their friends.  Grab a buddy, hunt down a market, explore the possibilities and start cooking.

This is the stuff friendships (and full bellies) are made of.

And if you like this recipe you will find all my 24X24 recipes on!



Foodbuzz 24X24 - Sirloin Tri-Tip with a Cherry Salsa


And finally, we come to the end of our recipes... I return to my roots with a grilled sirloin Tri-tip.

Part 8/recipe 8 of our "Day at the Farmer's market".  A full day's worth of fun, from early morning shopping to a full morning's worth of slicing, dicing, sauteing, braising, marinating, grilling and prepping for a meal.

We started the day with snacks.  The Tomato Poppers were a simple yet tasty way to start the day.  The chips took just a bit more work, as they got fried and combined with just an incredible Sheep's Cheese dip.  The Peach Compote took just a little longer to make, as the peaches are blanched to make peeling easy, then the fruit is gently simmered as the compote needs to break the fruit down before it can be pureed.

And so, we started cooking the "real" meal... with side dishes.  The Pasta Salad (nearly a meal in itself), .  Certainly all you would need for lunch, and a beautiful side dish.  Another meal in itself, assigned to duty as a side dish were the grilled pizza peppers.  Our only true side dish were the "faux" Caprice Salads on a toothpick".

I loved the Vegetarian main course of Swish Chard and Potato Leek Hash!

And of course, I topped the meal off with this gem...

Most interesting of all for this recipe is the inspirational blogger that provided the recipe probably has no idea that I lifted her recipe.

You see, Velva of TOMATOES ON THE VINE blog recently did a lovely post of... Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa.  I just loved the idea for this, and will certainly be trying the salsa with the pork she recommended, but I just could not get the idea of a beautiful tri-tip sirloin out of my head when i looked over the recipe.  The marinade, the salsa is all Velva's.  I actually did not change a thing... except the pork became beef.

Oh, and her beautiful salsa of deep red cherries became yellow Rainier cherries with soft red accents.  Again, love Farmer's Markets where some wonderful unusual items show up.  Here's the 411 on these wonderful cherries...


A very attractive, exceptionally large, yellow cherry with a bright red blush. Rainier has a distinctive and superior appearance among sweet cherry varieties. Delicately flavored with extraordinary sugar levels, the flesh is pure yellow, very firm and finely textured. A premium niche variety that ripens after Bing. 

OK... First up, let's make the Cherry Salsa...

1/2 lb. fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted, halved.

1/2 cup Cilantro
1/2 cup Shallots, minced
juice of fresh Lime
1 fresh  jalapeno thinly sliced crosswise
thinly sliced.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine cilantro, 1/4 cup cup shallots, 2 tablespoons lime juice, cherries, chile, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Season salsa lightly with salt and pepper and set aside to let flavors to meld. 

The recipe made enough to accent the steak, but also to serve as an additional side dish.  IT WAS DELICIOUS!

We let this sit for about 2 hours before we served.

Now to the meat...

A Tri Tip Sirloin is a wonderful piece of meat to serve to a crowd.  Usually almost three pounds, it is the muscle at the bottom of the sirloin portion of a cow.  It is triangular shape, thicker at one end than the thinner other.  Meaning, if you carefully monitor the temperature, the thick end is a nice beautiful PERFECT rare to medium rare.  The further down towards the tip you go, is cooked more, ending with a generous amount of meat that is cooked medium well.

Please, if you are at all uncertain, cook with a remote probe instant read meat thermometer.  I insert mone in the thick end and cooked this guy to just 140 degrees.

Slice against the grain to get the most tender slices.

Back to my roots, the title of my blog is a Year on the Grill after all, so let's grill it.

But first the marinade.  Here's what we did...

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 cup minced shallots, divided
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tri Tip Sirloins, about 2-1/2 lb. total

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup minced shallots, 4 tablespoons lime juice, and vegetable oil in resealable plastic bag. Add beef; seal bag and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 1-2 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove steak from marinade and season generously with salt and pepper.

Grill beef, turning just once, until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of the meat registers 140 degrees, about 20-25 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes.

Cut into thin slices and serve with salsa.

With the unique bright yellow and red cherries, the green of the cilantro and pepper and the amazing look of a medium rare steak this is about the prettiest item I have ever made!

The meat was "all naturally beef, pasture raised", Grown locally, served locally, bought fresh from the PISCIOTTA FARMS.

"At Pisciotta Farms our passion for great tasting wholesome foods and our love of the land and wildlife come together.  Our family of foods are produced locally using sustainable agriculture methods that mimic nature.  Over half of our diverse farm is dedicated exclusively to wildlife. "

They are regulars at the market.  Bringing a truck full of Chickens, pork, eggs and their signature beef!  No antibiotics, growth stimulants or animal bi-products, free range grown and proudly use sustainable agricultural techniques!

You need to come to the market early for these guys.  their sale board is hand written with whatever is fresh and ready that week.  No huge numbers of items, once they are sold out, they are gone.

While I can appreciate the marinade, enjoy the unique salsa topping and brag about the grilling techniques ...

I have never had anything but top quality from Pisciotta Farms.  Certainly worth hunting down, especially when serving for a party!

And you will find all these recipes on!


Foodbuzz 24X24 - Swiss Chard and Potato Leek Hash

And finally, we come to our main courses... I return to my roots with a grilled sirloin Tri-tip, but first, the surprise hit of the day was this vegetarian main course.  EVERYONE loved this, filled with complex flavors, and interesting techniques.

Part 7/recipe 7 of our "Day at the Farmer's market".  A full day's worth of fun, from early morning shopping to a full morning's worth of slicing, dicing, sauteing, braising, marinating, grilling and prepping for a meal.

We started the day with snacks.  The Tomato Poppers were a simple yet tasty way to start the day.  The chips took just a bit more work, as they got fried and combined with just an incredible Sheep's Cheese dip.  The Peach Compote took just a little longer to make, as the peaches are blanched to make peeling easy, then the fruit is gently simmered as the compote needs to break the fruit down before it can be pureed.

And so, we started cooking the "real" meal... with side dishes.  The Pasta Salad (nearly a meal in itself), .  Certainly all you would need for lunch, and a beautiful side dish.  Another meal in itself, assigned to duty as a side dish were the grilled pizza peppers.  Our only true side dish were the "faux" Caprice Salads on a toothpick"

But as much fun as all those dishes were, it is finally time to move on to a main course...

This dish came from the CHEF FRESCO 2.0 blog.  I absolutely LOVE their blog (happily married twosome).  Their site is among my favorites, not only for food inspiration, but they take amazing photos of their dishes.  I satyed pretty true to the recipe as printed, but my photo is nothing compared to theirs.  Please take a minute and take a look at their original post of this dish (click HERE) and you will see what I mean.

Now, as to the recipe, I just love eggs popping up in interesting places.  These eggs are cooked in the same dish as everything else in the hash, making this a one dish meal (and after all the cooking of the snacks and side dishes, we were starting to run low on dishes).  I did cook the potatoes seperate, as I had a use for the potato water.  In Chef fresco's original recipe, the potatoes were cooked along with everything else.

I chose to add some purple fingerling potatoes just for the extra look.  See how much fun to shop at a Farmer's Market)

And finally, I switched the Gruyere cheese with Swiss cheese.  Only reason, I found swiss (almost the same), but could not find any Gruyere.

Here's what we did...

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 large)
12 ounces fingerling potatoes Mixed colors, cut in half lengthwise (about 4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
4 cups thinly sliced trimmed Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
5 large eggs
5 slices Swiss Cheese

First, I boiled the potatoes for about 15 minutes until they were soft.  I Then cut into quarters, lengthwise

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Add leek; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add garlic; cook 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Add chard; cook 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the potatoes
Using a spoon, push potato mixture aside to make 4 egg-size spaces. Crack 1 egg into each space; sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon paprika over eggs.
Cover and cook 3 minutes; lay the cheese slices over the eggs
Cover and cook 2 minutes or until egg yolks are lightly set.

One more addition was cracked pepper at the end

Like I said... the HIT of the day.  

And you will find all these recipes on!