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While frying up an egg for breakfast this morning, I was suddenly reminded of Julia Child’s omelette show. After watching a snippet of the show on my own, I couldn’t help but share! Perhaps this will provide you with some morning meal inspiration or just a few chuckles. I benefitted from both while watching this classic episode of the French Chef. Bon Appétit!

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Butterscotch-Pine Nut Salt and Pepper Cookies

As the trend in my recipe posts indicates, I’m a big fan of sweet and savory flavor combinations. This cookie’s pops of sea salt mingled with creamy butterscotch chips makes it the perfect candidate for such a craving! With a refined flavor that is still lip-licking delicious, this recipe may be another new family favorite. I hope that my future kiddos will enjoy this sweet (and salty) treat just as much as I do!

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table (or kosher) salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 bag (11 oz.) butterscotch chips
1 handful pine nuts
1 tablespoon flakey sea salt
1½ teaspoon cracked black pepper 

Instructions:

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together 2 sticks of butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs into the mixture one at a time, beating for approximately 10 seconds each. Gradually fold the flour into the liquid mixture (in two or three increments) until it is completely incorporated. Stir butterscotch chips into the dough.

Next, melt the remaining Tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts to the skillet, being sure to toss while cooking to prevent burning. Remove from heat once the pine nuts are golden and the butter is brown and frothy. After allowing to cool for a few minutes stir the sea salt and cracked pepper into the pine nuts and butter. Add this mixture to the cookie dough and stir well.

Place scant Tablespoonfuls of dough 1” apart on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or greased with butter. Because these cookies spread while baking I only made nine per batch. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Once removing cookies from the oven, allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies. Enjoy with coffee, cocoa, or a tall glass of milk!

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Warm Chicken Salad with Pear, Peppers, and Pine Nuts

This is a recipe that I whipped up for lunch today to share with my dad. We were in the mood for something filling, but healthy. This sweet and savory concoction hit the spot! Although an unlikely combination, the pears and peppers compliment one another beautifully, while toasted pine nuts add a nice crunch to the mix. I’m afraid this dish may be a new favorite of mine!

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

5 cups mixed greens (or arugula)
2 chicken breasts, shredded
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 large pear
4-6 small sweet peppers, slivered
1 medium shallot, minced
2-3 Tablespoons goat cheese
2 Tablespoons minced rosemary
juice of ½ lemon
2 Tablespoons champagne (or sherry) vinegar
1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
½ cup olive oil

Instructions:

Begin by toasting the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Be sure to shake the pan often. Remove from the stove once pine nuts are golden brown. Next, slice the pear (as thinly as possible), chop the sweet peppers into slivers, and mince the shallots. Set aside.

Shred the chicken breasts into a large salad bowl atop mixed greens. If you are feeling ambitious, you can bake or grill the chicken breasts on your own. The original recipe that I loosely followed suggests that I use leftovers from a roasted chicken. Instead, I cheated and picked up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, which turned out to be both convenient and delicious. Mix the pear, peppers, pine nuts, and shallots in with the greens and chicken.

To make the dressing, whisk together the rosemary, lemon juice, vinegar, grain mustard, and olive oil. In my dressing I used 1 Tablespoon of orange muscat champagne vinegar (found at Trader Joe’s) and 1 tablespoon regular champagne vinegar, which added a nice citrus flavor to the vinaigrette. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss ingredients together. Top with crumbled goat cheese.

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Cake Batter Pancakes

This sweet stack of cakes is the perfect celebratory breakfast, whether it be a birthday, a holiday, or just a Tuesday. For me, it was a snow day! After waking up to a blanket of white and finding my little sister, Meredith, still snuggling beneath a blanket of her own, I decided to surprise her with a recipe that I’d been dying to try for a while. Flavored with the help of Betty Crocker and spiked with rainbow sprinkles, these pancakes are as fun to eat as they look on the plate!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
TOTAL Time: 35-45 minutes

Ingredients:

1¼ cups all purpose flour
1 cup Betty Crocker Supermoist cake mix
1 Tablespoon sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups milk
assorted sprinkles

Instructions:

Combine flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mix.

Add 1 cup of milk, eggs, and vanilla extract, whisking until well mixed. Add additional milk until the mixture has the consistency of pancake batter. Fold desired amount of rainbow sprinkles into the batter.

Preheat a skillet to medium-low heat. Melt a pad of butter in the pan to prevent pancakes from sticking. Next, pour batter into the pan to make 5” cakes. Shake additional sprinkles on top of batter if desired. Allow pancakes to cook 2-3 minutes (until bubbles form on top) before flipping. Cook for 1 minute more. Recipe makes approximately 5 pancakes.

Top with a scoop of ice cream, if desired, or serve with butter and syrup. 

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Oriental Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Savory. Sweet. Spicy. This surprisingly satisfying and simple meal is one that packs quite a punch…Maybe that’s why I had been craving Asian lettuce wraps for the past few weeks. Once the hankering refused to subside, I was forced to give in and make some of my own. Admittedly, I was a bit intimidated by the feat of preparing a lettuce wrap filling even comparable to the famous P.F. Chang’s appetizer, especially considering that I have very little experience cooking Asian foods. So, prior heating the pan or even browsing the produce aisle, I decided to read a handful of well-reviewed recipes that might help me make the dish on my own. When cooking, I ended up tossing a few of these recipes together and adding a twist or two of my own to create the final recipe that is given below. Spontaneity and inexperience considered, I was amazed at how easy the recipe was to prepare and even more pleasantly surprised at how delicious the final product tasted! Accompanied by a dessert of coconut gelato topped with fresh pineapple and shredded coconut, this made the perfect evening meal. According to family reviews, this recipe is a keeper. Here’s to hoping that my future family will agree!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground chicken (or turkey)
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (approx. 2 cloves) 
1 medium shallot, chopped 
5 medium sweet peppers 
¾ cup chopped cilantro (approx. ¼ large bunch)

¼ cup chopped cashews

5 Tablespoons hoisin sauce*

3 Tablespoons garlic chili sauce*

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

2 heads boston (or butter) lettuce    

*These ingredients can be found in Asian food section of the grocery store.

Instructions:

Begin by tearing and rinsing the lettuce leaves, being careful to leave them whole. Set aside to dry. You will use these later for the wraps. Next, chop your garlic, shallot, peppers, cilantro, and cashews. Set the cilantro and cashews aside for now.

Pour 2 tablespoons peanut oil (vegetable oil may substitute, if necessary) into a pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots and peppers together, cooking them until the onions begin to brown. Once the onions are caramelized, add ground chicken to the pan. Be sure to stir often and break down the meat with a wooden spoon.

While the chicken is cooking you can make the sauce for the filling by combining 5 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, 3 tablespoons (or less, depending on your heat tolerance) of garlic chili sauce, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce in a bowl and stirring together. Once the chicken is cooked completely through, add the sauce to the pan. After stirring in all of the sauce, incorporate ½ cup chopped cilantro (leaving the rest for garnish) and ¼ cup chopped cashews.

Finish by serving the chicken filling atop boston (or butter) lettuce leaves. I enjoy mine topped with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime…Enjoy!