Catching The Torch

Trials by Fire in Hostessing, Motherhood, Life


Ooh La La Frittata

Ooh La La Frittata

Truly, there is no kitchen creativity I love more than transforming miscellaneous ingredients into a fabulous meal.  This has resulted in brilliance and disaster.  Ask the Hubs about the infamous Brown Sludge… Luckily, the following recipes lean more toward the delicious side of the spectrum.

This one may not please some who don’t enjoy having “breakfast” for dinner, but it has protein, veggies, cheese, and you’ll serve it with salad and bread, so I say it counts.

This one will get rid of your spare half-cut veggies.  Peppers, mushrooms, peas, and/or onions will all shine in this dish.  Celery, carrots, lettuce, maybe not.  Tomatoes will get mushy, but maybe you like that sort of thing.  The original recipe calls for bacon and perhaps you have some left over.  However, you can chop up any extra lunch meat and substitute that as well.   Technically, this is a breakfast or brunch item, but as I stated in Some Like it Hot: Breakfast Solutions, I never would have time to make it in the morning.


  • 1 1/2 TBS butter
  • 8 slices bacon, ham, or other lunch meat (chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped veggies
  • A few basil leaves, torn
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • 5 oz goat cheese (thickly sliced)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Grated Parmesan (or other hard cheese)
  • Large handful of arugula leaves (or leafy salad)
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing


Preheat your oven to Broil.  Melt butter in a large (preferably non-stick) skillet.  Cook the meat until brown and crisp.  Toss in the veggies and cook for another minute or two, then add the basil.

Beat the eggs and pour them into the skillet.  Gently shake skillet over medium heat.  Frittata will begin to set at the bottom.  Top with goat cheese.  Arrange your slices nicely.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle grated parmesan over frittata and place pan under the hot broiler for a minute or two until the eggs are set on top.  PUT AN OVEN MITT ON YOUR HAND.  Remove pa and oh-so-carefully slide frittata onto a large plate.  Lightly dress arugula leaves with vinaigrette, then pile on top of the frittata.  Cut into wedges and serve with crust bread.

For more ideas, see Leftovers: Scraping Together the Scraps of Your Party


Jazzed-Up Box Muffins

Jazzed-Up Box Muffins

Blueberry deliciousness

For the times when you want an economical, easy, home-baked breakfast

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 20 minutes  Total time: 35 minutes

I like Krusteaz Wild Blueberry Muffins, about $3.50 for a box – 11 muffin yield.  Jazz these up with these 3 tricks:

  1. Toss out the canned blueberries that come with the box and substitute a package (or 1 cup) of fresh or frozen blueberries.
  2.  Line cupcake tins with fabulous cupcake liners.  You can find these in the baking aisle for the same price as the pastel cupcake liners we all know and love.  ($0.99 at my Kroger)
  3.  Add a crumble topping:
  •        1 cup all-purpose flour
  •        3 TBS brown sugar
  •        2 TBS granulated sugar
  •        1 tsp baking powder
  •        Pinch of salt
  •        6 TBS butter, melted.

Lightly mix ingredients in a bowl until you have achieved pea-size crumbles.  Top muffins before they are put in oven and bake according to box directions.

For more ideas, read: Some Like it Hot: Breakfast Solutions

1 Comment

Wholesome Butternut Squash Muffins

Butternut Squash Muffins

Mmmm, veggie-licious

Baking healthy for a crowd?  Have kids who won’t eat their vegetables?  I have a solution for you:

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 15 minutes  Total time: 30 minutes


  • Bag of frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped baked pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400*.   Line 20 muffin cups with fancy liners.
  2. Cook 2 cups of squash cubes according to package directions.  Let cool and blend into a smooth paste using an immersion blender, food processor, or blender.
  3. Measure 1 1/2 cups squash into a large bowl. Mash eggs, water, vegetable oil, white sugar, and brown sugar into the squash. Whisk whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice into the squash mixture until you have a smooth batter. Fold chocolate chips and pecans into the batter.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin cups to about 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Tip 1: These are great for children who abhor vegetables.  

Tip 2: Substitute any combination of nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, etc. that you prefer. 

Tip 3:You can also substitute canned pumpkin for squash.

 Tip 4: Whole roasted butternut squash can also be used, but that’s a lot of effort for a muffin.

For more ideas, read: Some Like it Hot: Breakfast Solutions


1 Comment

No-Cook Butler Breakfast

Butler Breakfast

Have overnight guests but no time to cook?  Maybe you need to leave for work, maybe they have an itinerary.  Maybe you are a stay-at-home-parent and your mornings are insane.  This is a graceful solution that can be prepared the night before and served without you.

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 0 minutes  Total time: 15 minutes


  • Large container of yogurt
  • Assorted seasonal, regional fruit: melons, oranges, grapes, berries
  • Loaf of bread
  • Store-bought pastry
  • Butter
  • Jam
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cute medium bowl, cute large bowl, cute plate, tray, butter dish


Pour yogurt into cute medium bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Set on tray.  Chop and peel fruit as needed.  Layer in cute large bowl like so: Melon, Oranges, grapes.  Toss slightly.  Add berries to top.  (Make best use of pricey berries by buying one small package and presenting on top.)  Cover with plastic wrap and set on tray.  Set jar of jam on tray.  Write a little “good morning” note and set on front of tray.  Arrange items on your tray nicely.  Don’t forget serving utensils.  Put in fridge.

Cut pastry if needed.  Arrange on cute plate, cover with plastic wrap and set on counter.  Arrange with loaf of bread, toaster, butter, peanut butter, serving plates and utensils.

Prep your coffee for the a.m.  Include map to breakfast on your “Good Morning – Here’s the ON switch for coffee” note.

You have now prepared a lovely meal for your guests with all the breakfast food groups: protein, carbs, fruit, fat, and caffeine.

Retire to bed content in the knowledge that you are a fabulous host.

For more ideas, read: Some Like it Hot: Breakfast Solutions