Fantastic Frittata for your Valentine

On Saturday, I had some wonderful ladies over for a Valentine’s brunch.  Everyone deserves a Valentine’s Day treat.  I made sure to have a nice tablescape as well as a delicious menu.  I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out.  I featured chocolate dipped strawberries in the center of the table because nothing says “I appreciate you” like a chocolate.  I created free-form white chocolate hearts out of Wilton candy melts to place intermittently on the tray with the strawberries.  I also made chocolate-dipped Oreos as well.  I placed a heart napkin in the center of each place setting to make the place setting a bit more festive.  I used fabric in the center of the table which is an easy way to create a runner and can often be cheaper than buying a table runner.

IMG_0404For the menu, I made overnight blueberry french toast, scalloped potatoes, and an egg frittata.  This was the first time I made a frittata and I must say it was a success.  I used Ina Garten’s recipe and doctored it up slightly by adding turkey sausage to the original recipe.  You can really put anything you would like into the frittata as long as you keep the egg base the same.  Below I will give you the adapted recipe for Ina’s roasted veggie frittata and then you can alter it as you please.

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Roasted Vegetable Frittata

ingredients

1 small zucchini, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 1 red onion, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tsp minced garlic, 12 eggs, 1 cup half and half, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 cup grated cheese (swiss, mozzarella, gouda, asiago…really whatever you have on hand will do just fine)

1.  Preheat oven to 425.

2.  Dice the vegetables and place on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Toss the vegetables around on the tray to make sure the vegetables are evenly coated.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and turn the oven to 350.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, parmesan, grated cheese, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.

4.  In a 10 inch ovenproof saute pan, melt the butter and saute veggies for one minute.  Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.  DO NOT STIR.  Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the frittata for 20 to 30 minutes until it is set in the middle.  You can flip the frittata out of the pan for the table presentation.  It will be brown on the outside but perfectly cooked on the inside.  Enjoy!

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Two Books, One Winner

I have been reading a lot over the past years so I figured that I can start a new blog spot comparing two books that I have read that are similar.  The first two victims are Gone Girl and The Cuckoo’s Calling.  Both of these books are mysteries about a girl’s questionable death which makes them easy to compare.  While one put me to sleep, the other left me on the edge of my seat.  The winner and loser is revealed below.  You can read them both for your self to judge or you can trust my opinion.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn *****

I simply could not put this book down.  The first part of the book is from Nick Dunne’s perspective.  I felt like I was looking in on his life.  Nick Dunne is a character for which you feel sympathy.   He returns to his house only to discover that his wife is missing.  The book is a detailed description of the events that unfold the truths of her mysterious vanishing.  The author changes it up when she gives us a new perspective.  You will just have to read the book to experience the tantalizing events on your own.  I would also like to note that Ben Affleck is making a movie out of this titillating tale.  Isn’t that just another enticing reason to read this book?

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith **

At the time of it’s publication, no one knew that Robert Galbraith was the pseudonym of JK Rowling.  Some refer to this book as a brilliant mystery, however, I would say it is nothing of the sort.  Unlike Gone Girl, you are not sympathetic to any of the characters.  Though JK Rowling tries to lure you in by using a war vet with a prosthetic leg, Detective Cormoran Strike’s character does not lend himself to any emotional attachment for the reader.  As we follow the detective’s investigation of the suicide of supermodel Lula Landry, we are not drawn in to the story.  The reader is bombarded with a series of interviews that will eventually have a decently dramatic ending.  The last chapter was the most riveting part of the entire book.  I was bored not even halfway through the book, at which point I should have turned to read the final pages and called it a day.  I would suggest leaving this book on the shelf at your local library.  There are too many other great books to read.  Perhaps start the Harry Potter series instead.  If you’re reading this JK Rowling, stick to the children’s fantasy novel because it’s what you’re good at.