Lazy Love of Tortillas-Breakfast Quesadillas

What to do when you feel too lazy to cook?  Okay, perhaps that should read, so lazy I can’t even work up the energy to feel guilty about it.  I am not sure if it is the cooking or the clean up, but there are times when I feel my creative juices being overwhelmed by the tide of pure laziness.  I still need to eat, and you can only live on frozen pizza for so long, before you are facing some serious self loathing issues.  It is times like these, when I have opened my fridge half a dozen times and declared “meh” on each occurrence that I often turn to the pack of flour tortillas sitting on the bread shelf.  Yes, I name my shelves, I believe that being OCD isn’t always a disorder, but sometimes a lifestyle choice.

Back to the tortillas.  I love flour tortillas.  I have several friends who tell me I am doing it wrong for not liking corn tortillas better, but screw them (anger issues too, I am a mess).  Flour tortillas are a comfort food if ever there was one.  They flexibly wrap around food like a hug.  You can use them for casseroles, Mexican dishes, wraps, bake them into cinnamon and sugar chips, etc., etc.  You can get creative with them.  I recently baked a ham and needed to come up with ways to address the leftovers.  For dinner that night I made Breakfast Quesadillas.  For those who have not made quesadillas before, the secret is not stacking.  Don’t put down a tortilla, add toppings and then another tortilla.  Do this instead:

  1. Heat griddle
  2. Lightly brush one side of the tortilla with olive oil (for the breakfast quesadilla I added butter to griddle instead)
  3. Place the oiled side down on the griddle and spread cheese over tortilla (breakfast tortilla: cheddar).
  4. Place the toppings on one half of the tortilla (breakfast quesadilla: one scrambled egg and 1/4 cup diced ham).
  5. Once the cheese is melting, fold the half of the tortilla with no toppings over the other half and remove from griddle.
  6. Cut in half with pizza cutter and enjoy!

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Challah for French Toast

The last month has been a bit hellish for me, and everyone who has to put up with me on a daily basis I am sure.  I have been working a lot and received a great deal of bad news including losing one of those rare creatures…a childhood companion whose company I was lucky enough to enjoy as a grown up.  In other words, lately I have been in need of more therapy than even my kitchen could provide.  Last week I gave it a go anyways and took a mental health break from work.  During that week I cooked and baked a great deal.  While toiling away in the kitchen will never bring me another theology argument with my friend, or take me back to the drum circle at his wedding, it does tend to bring a bit of happiness to others.  Color me an idealist, but bringing a smile to someone else (especially when you can’t smile yourself) and providing a little bit of warmth in their universe is its own therapy.  So last week I brought a lasagna to a friend’s house to help her celebrate her half-birthday and taught her how to make cream puffs.  Then I made braised short ribs, parmesan mashed potatoes and a rummed up pineapple upside down cake to help the Marb Man celebrate his return to insulin.  I made a Boston cream pie cheesecake just to see if I could.  The most comforting thing I made last week was French toast for dinner.

French toast has been a recent revelation for me.  I never understood why mine was crap and the stuff I had in restaurants was so tasty.  Now I can tell you why, I didn’t know how to make it.  I always thought it was milk and eggs whisked together with bread tossed in.  Then my friend Miguel made us French toast one night with some leftover brioche.  Oh my…Miguel could get any woman he wanted if he just popped a bite of that into her mouth.  I have been craving it ever since.  Because I had the whole week off and have recently been given a bread machine, I even made the bread from scratch.  After years of making wannabe French toast, I didn’t really trust myself to make it with brioche, so I made a loaf of challah (minus the braids).  I served it with a dusting of powdered sugar and pure maple syrup (not maple flavored syrup-this is one time where it pays to splurge on the real deal).  I will say it was very filling and next time I will attempt it with a lighter bread, but it also tasted good and of comfort and put a smile on my son’s face….and that was the therapy I needed that day.

French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup-do yourself a big flavor favor here and do not use the maple flavored syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 slices white or egg bread

Directions:

  • Whisk cream, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and salt together in a shallow bowl
  • Add slices of bread (one or two at a time) to the egg mixture until saturated but not disintegrating
  • Melt the butter on a skillet over medium heat
  • Add as many slices of the egg soaked bread to the skillet as you can without them touching (don’t want to crowd them)
  • Cook until golden then flip and repeat
  • Eat right away (you can keep them warm in a 200° oven if you are making for a crowd)

French Toast

Ham Buns, Yummy, Gooey Comfort Food

Can you hear the paramedic yelling “clear”?

Sometimes it is important, nay, vital to indulge in comfort food.  While there are a few cardiologists out there that may argue, from time to time I believe one must throw caution and antioxidants to the wind and take a bite of something that is bad for you.  That is why celery, while noble, is not comfort food.  It may keep you arteries from clogging, but does not feed your soul.  At no point, in any universe that I want to live in, can I picture myself wrapped in a blanket, taking a crunchy bite of celery and closing my eyes as the bliss hits my tongue.

One of my dear son’s favorite comfort foods is ham buns.  He has been asking for it lately, and as he just received a perfect score on one of his first college tests (yes, I am bragging, and I feel no shame), I decided tonight would be perfect for making it for him.  Granted, the perfect score was in philosophy, and I would be the last person to be surprised that he scored a perfect score (bragging again) in arguing with someone.  This only makes ham buns more perfect for dinner, as I have a fine tradition of arguing with my mum about this recipe.  She, crazy lady that she is, puts green peppers in hers.  I refuse to eat unripe peppers, not to mention the texture difference grosses me out.  As she doesn’t go online often, and couldn’t find my blog if her life depended on it, I WIN!  The recipe below does not include peppers.

The amounts written down are approximate, and can be adjusted to suit your likes and dislikes.  This dish reheats fairly well, is a fantastic way to enjoy Easter leftovers and does well as a brunch dish.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

1 (8 ounce) ham steak

1 and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup Miracle Whip

6 hamburger buns

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • In a large bowl, dice the eggs (I use a pastry cutter, works wonders)
  • Dice the ham and add to the eggs.
  • Add the cheese and mix to combine the “dry” ingredients
  • Add the Miracle Whip, you only need enough to make everything stick together.
  • Spoon mixture onto open-faced hamburger buns, placing them on a 10×15 inch pan.
  • Bake for 7 minutes