The Family Food Blog

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Category: Single Serving

Cafe Fare: Baguette with Brie and Apples

by thefamilyfoodblog

Yesterday was a gorgeous day out – probably one of the last few really warm days of this summer. I’m proud to say I took full advantage, by heading down to the Mall for the National Book Festival, walking back up to the National Museum of Women in the Arts for their Women who Rock exhibit (highly recommend it for anyone who ever aspired to be a rock star), and enjoying lunch out on the balcony when I finally got back home at 4 p.m.

(Does that still count as lunch?)

Anyway, needless to say, I was pretty hungry by the time I returned. Inspired by one of the first cafe lunches I had while studying abroad in Europe, I decided to make myself a toasted baguette with brie and fruit.

Ingredients (per serving)

  • one mini baguette
  • half an apple, cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 oz brie, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp butter

Instructions

Slice the baguette in half lengthwise and toast lightly.

While bread is toasting, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Place apple slices in a single layer and cook until they begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Turn slices over and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Arrange brie and cooked apple slices on toasted baguette. Serve immediately.

Keeping with the fresh theme of this meal, I had a glass of sparkling water with a splash of orange juice and a handful of mandarin orange slices. Delicious!

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So Smooth(ie)

by mukwritesbooks

In the past year or so, smoothies have become one of my favorite go-to snacks. They take just minutes to make, they are refreshing, and it’s so easy to try new variations based on my mood or what I have on hand. And especially when bananas are involved, you know that the smoothie will be filling and nutritious.

So here you go, one of my favorite smoothie recipes:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie (3 guesses what the main ingredients are…)

Ingredients (makes one 1-cup serving):

1 banana, broken into small chunks

3/4 cup soy milk (my personal favorite is Silk Vanilla, although any type of soy milk will work)

1 teaspoon cocoa

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 teaspoon flaxseed

Combine banana and milk, and then cocoa, peanut butter, and flaxseed. I have found that the last three ingredients blend better with the milk when they are added afterwards. If possible, let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes to let the banana start to soften (unless the banana is already quite ripe and soft). Blend, and enjoy!

You can try regular milk, but I have found that soy milk creates a nicer texture

Keep in mind that the peanut butter will considerably thicken the smoothie, so you may want to keep a bit more milk on hand to thin out the smoothie Рand avoid a milkshake consistency.  Feel free to throw in a handful of blueberries, raspberries, or even chopped strawberries.

Fun with Olive Garden Breadsticks

by thefamilyfoodblog

Awhile back, we went to Olive Garden for lunch. The meal was so-so, but their famous (or possibly infamous, if nutrition levels are a factor) breadsticks are well-known for a reason. And to my surprise, our waiter was willing to pack us a few to take home along with our leftovers. So we did.

Apparently, giving breadsticks away is a standard thing, since they have a special reheatable bag for them. It was news to me.

We enjoyed a few of these breadsticks in the standard way, along with pasta or soup or whatever, but when we were down to the last three, I felt like getting creative. Lo and behold: mini sub sandwiches. How you fill the sandwiches is of course up to you, but here’s what I did.

Cut each breadstick lengthwise, leaving one edge connected so that the sandwich can be “opened” and “closed”.

Ingredients, per serving

  • 2-3 breadsticks, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 – 1/3 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp marinated roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1 oz Toscana pepper cheese, sliced

Instructions

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Once preheated, bake breadsticks for about 3-5 minutes.

Arrange filling ingredients in the inside of each sandwich. Serve immediately.

Filling ingredients that you enjoy in a panini would also be tasty here.

Introducing: Nalini-Style Omelets

by thefamilyfoodblog

My approach to omelets is different from most people’s: I think of eggs not as the central ingredient, but as more of a binding agent to link together all the toppings. In my view, the toppings are what make it interesting. This results in a totally different (read: much lower) eggs-to-toppings ratio than your typical omelet. Be warned.

And so this morning, with a fridge full of vegetables from yesterday’s grocery shopping, I went to town with my omelet.

Ingredients, per omelet

  • 1/2 plum tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large Shittake mushroom, coarsely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp goat cheese (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Cut vegetables and put in a bowl. Crack egg and add to bowl. Pierce the yolk and mix using a fork.

Nalini omelet bowl

In retrospect, I should have used a bigger bowl. This one made mixing tricky!

Add olive oil to a frying pan on medium-high heat. Once pan is fully heated, pour in the the egg mixture. Spread out on pan using a spatula. When the underside begins to brown, flip the omelet and allow to cook for a minute or two more.

Nalini omelet pan

Omelet cooking in a pan. It’s okay if it’s not flat and fully spread out – that’s the point!

Top with goat cheese and serve immediately. I had mine with a cup of Twinings English breakfast tea.

Slide the omelet onto a plate and sprinkle with goat cheese as desired.

On a completely unrelated but important note, Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

Tortilla Veggie Pizza

by mukwritesbooks

Over Memorial Day weekend, I suddenly got a craving for pizza, but I didn’t feel like going out or ordering in a whole pizza and having to eat it over the next few days. My solution? Homemade veggie pizza using a wheat tortilla as my pizza base. I didn’t have mozzarella cheese but the half-finished block of English Cheddar in the fridge worked well too. Just to make sure I’d gotten the recipe down properly, I ended up making the same thing for dinner that night.

Using a thinner pie base like a tortilla gives the pizza a fun flatbread-like consistency and also makes this a lighter meal overall.

Ingredients (for 1 pizza)

1 tortilla (wheat or flour)

2-3 tablespoons of spaghetti sauce

Cheese (thinly sliced or grated)

Chopped vegetables (I used onions, spinach, and broccoli)

1 teaspoon olive oil

Rosemary

Instructions

Drizzle the tortilla with olive oil and sprinkle crushed rosemary on top. Spread desired amount of sauce (ideally it should be at room temperature, not straight out of the fridge), leaving about 1/2 inch dry “crust” all around. Add cheese and then other toppings. Bake in the oven (1 tortilla is actually the perfect size for a toaster oven!) at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-18 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and the edges are getting crispy.