We all know that in this era of social media, it's easy to hide behind a façade of perfection. The pictures of the mom rocking her yoga pants and coordinated oversized sweatshirt saying "Too Blessed for this Mess" with well-groomed toddlers in tow and a latte in the other hand - while trying to portray the image of "messiness", we know this is staged. I'm well past toddler-raising and I'm still barely holding it together! My sweatshirt should read "Blessed that my kid has on pants" or "Hallelujah! I was almost on time because the pigs stayed in - mostly". This is my "real deal" and I'm guessing you have these same feelings.
One morning I was making a frittata and taking photos when I realized that there are a whole bunch of "real deals" behind the photos even I put on social media and I thought it might be fun to give you the frittata recipe along with a dip into the waters of our real life. So here goes....
Confession #1: We don't eat the "good stuff" at our house. When we eat steak, we eat the small steaks or the odd ball packages. We like to call it a "mixed grill", but it's really just odds and ends. We live on blown-out brat nubs, cheese curds that are close to expiration and cracked eggs. Yup - we eat the eggs with the wrinkled shells or the cracks. They're totally fine, just not pretty enough to sell. So when our collection of cracked eggs gets too big, it's time for a Frittata. I also had a weird quarter pound bag of chorizo, so it seemed like a great day to make a Southwest Frittata.
Confession #2: My resident Poultry Files dude hates eggs. Jack is not a fan. He'll eat them scrambled without things in them, but it's a hard sell when I pull out a frittata, which is a double whammy because he also isn't a veggie fan. The kid who wants to plant an epic garden and has $400 in plants picked out from 5 different seed catalogs doesn't like vegetables. So mix a veggie in an egg, and you can figure out what my kitchen sounds like.
Confession #3: I'm cheap. I come from a long line of tightwads and I have lived up to my heritage. My grandparents survived the Depression and it showed. They had the veritable grocery store for a pantry which was loaded with toilet paper, canned goods like pineapple and mandarin oranges, boxed items like puddings and gelatin. You could make any Jello salad you could dream up from their pantry! My grandfather would write the purchase date on each item with permanent marker and they would put the newer items at the back of the shelf after they shopped. They bought on sale and used coupons. So did my mom. We would go to 3 different grocery stores to take advantage of coupons and sale prices. I'm not quite this bad, but I definitely try to use everything that I can, even when it's on the edge of questionable. So into this particular frittata, I added the green onions that were past their prime, an old yet edible red pepper and some spinach that was close to being ready for the chickens. It was all still good, just not at its peak, shall we say.
Confession #4: Wheat, dairy and I are not being friends right now. I've been trying to limit my dairy and not eat wheat, which are not easy tasks, especially with kids in the house. It puts a cramp in my emergency food list: pizza, burgers, enchiladas, quesadillas. Even a lot of breakfast favorites are now tricky. It has, however, allowed me to look at our products and think about adding some gluten free pantry mixes to our product line. We even talked about getting dairy goats again - and then it was like 25 degrees and we thought about milking in the cold. Maybe we won't be too hasty on that one!
Confession #5: Yes, we order fast food. Yes, we bring home pizza. I make a lot of good food, but we also live in the same world that you do where we have back-to-back practices for Jack in the evenings and somedays we're just tired. If I have to wash a pan before I cook dinner, the chances of a hot meal just went out the door. I would like to improve in this area and get back to meal planning one of these days.
So there it is. All of our dirty little food secrets. We eat weird food. We eat fast food. I hate doing dishes. Some days I just can't. But some days I can make a really good frittata in a pan that happened to be clean, that uses my weird and barely good produce, that my son will actually eat even though it has vegetables, served with a side of gluten free toast and feel like a rock star. And at that moment I could use my "Too Blessed for this Mess" sweatshirt, because I earned it!
Basic Frittata Recipe
Protein - Choose your protein. You'll need at least 1/4 lb, but you can adjust based on your preferences. I used chorizo for the Southwest vibe. Ham, bacon, regular sausage, Italian sausage, cooked chicken - anything works. Or you can leave out the meat. I can't endorse this method, which you can probably understand. :)
Produce: Choose what vegetables you'd like to include, 2-3 cups. This is a great place to use leftover roasted veggies from another meal or to clean out that produce drawer that is crying out for help. Here's some ideas, depending on your protein choices.
Chorizo - peppers, onions, leftover cooked fajita veggies, jalapenos, cilantro
Bacon - spinach and mushrooms, like a Quiche Lorraine
Ham - go Denver Omelet style with peppers and onions, or do mushrooms and spinach, leftover broccoli also pairs with ham
Italian Sausage - roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, kale, fresh basil
Supreme Pizza version with Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, olive, green peppers and red onion.
Garden Veggie - zucchini, yellow, squash, onions, sweet peppers, potatoes
Salt and Pepper (or I like to use our Grill Seasoning)
1 cup shredded Cheese (if you and dairy are friends). Choose your cheese to go with your protein and produce. Mozzarella and ricotta with Italian leaning dishes, cheddar (like Hemme Brothers Creamery Cheddars) for traditional flavors, pepper jack for southwest style or Swiss for a Quiche Lorraine style frittata.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Crack eggs into medium sized bowl. Whisk with a fork and add 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. You can add other seasonings if you'd like.
Heat a 10-12 inch ovenproof non-stick skillet on medium heat. If you're cooking your meat from raw, cook it in the skillet now. Add raw vegetables when meat is nearly cooked through and continue to cook until veggies are soft. If you're using precooked meat, cook veggies first then add meat to warm up before next step.
4. Pour egg ,mixture into skillet, covering the meat and vegetables. Tilt pan, allowing the egg mixture to flow into the whole pan. Run a spatula just around the edges of the pan. DO NOT STIR. Allow it to cook a few minutes until edges are set.
5. Top with cheese of choice and place skillet in the oven. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are set in the middle.
6. Remove from the oven and let frittata rest for a few minutes. You can top with fresh herbs or green onions if desired. Slide frittata out of skillet onto cutting board, slice and serve.