This is a lovely little breakfast sandwich – there’s a bit of assembly involved, and I’m not sure if I could manage it in the mornings before work (though I’ll try it one of these days), but it’s definitely worth it. If you can get some good strawberries, prosciutto, and brie, you’re all set. Just a lovely little sweet taste of summer, this.

Strawberry, Basil, and Crispy Prosciutto Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 croissant, halved
  • sliced brie to taste (I used a bunch of apricot jam layered brie that a farmer at one of the farmer’s markets makes)
  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 2-3 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced into circles
  • 1 egg
  • basil leaves to taste, torn
  • honey, to drizzle

Preheat your oven to 450. As it preheats, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and layer your bottom croissant (make sure it’s thick) with the brie and strawberries, and place the prosicutto slices just to the side of the croissant. Once the oven’s heated, bake for 8 to 10 minutes (I believe picture 2 was after 8 minutes), until your brie is good and melty, and the prosciutto is crispy. 

While the bottom half of the sandwich cooks, cook your egg to your preference (I typically go for sunny side up eggs). 

Once the bottom half is done, drizzle the strawberries lightly with honey, layer the crispy prosciutto and egg, and then sprinkle with more salt, pepper, and honey. Lay the torn basil on top, put the croissant top on, and then tuck in!

I actually tried making these waffles a few weeks ago, but made a fatal reading mistake – instead of 1/3 c of warmed Nutella, I somehow decided to include ¾ c warmed Nutella. Now, while more Nutella usually isn’t a bad thing, in this situation, it led to a waffle that was half Nutella, and a bit crispy. I finally did these this morning using the right proportions, and the resulting waffle is lovely. This recipe doesn’t make that many waffles (5 total), so you may want to consider doubling the recipe. 

Nutella Swirl Waffles
Makes 5 waffles

Ingredients

  • .75 c flour
  • (original recipe recommended .25 c cornstarch, I found it didn’t need it)
  • 1 t sugar
  • .5 t baking soda
  • .5 t sea salt
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c Nutella
  • 1 T vegetable oil

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and sea salt, followed by the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and egg. Let the batter sit for twenty minutes.

Towards the end of the twenty minutes, heat your waffle iron according to its instructions. Scoop the 1/3 c of Nutella into a microwave safe glass measuring cup, along with 1 T vegetable oil, and heat for about thirty seconds to warm and thin. Drizzle and swirl it into the batter (see pic 2 for what this looks like). 

Then, make your waffles according to your maker’s instructions, and enjoy!

“You begin to suspect your bowl is a portal to the meat dimension… In order to finish this bowl, you must have Understanding of your limits, Knowledge to control your pace, Courage to face this unrelenting tide of beef, and Diligence to persevere against this colossal challenge." 

So, one of the things you can do to raise your stats in Persona 4 is to take the Aiya Bottomless Beef Bowl Challenge. On rainy days, you go to the Chinese restaurant, and for 3000 yen (~$30), you get a huge ass beef bowl that you have to try to finish. You can’t actually finish the beef bowl until you have all five stats maxed out (and then it’s free), so typically when you do it, you get three of four random stats increased, which is super useful in game. 

This is basically a combination of two existing recipes (Pixelated Provisions, and the now defunct Gourmet Gaming), but I like the end result I got better than the other two recipes. (I’ll likely include the onions on another run through, but I mostly just wanted the meat, egg, and rice for this.)

I’m thinking of trying something similar with reverse engineering recipes from the Odin Sphere remake, so any tag suggestions for this kind of thing would be great!

Aiya Bottomless Beef Bowl

Ingredients

  • Steak, sliced thin (note: I got chuck steak for this, about a pound and a half, and that lasted for two servings; get something reasonably priced that you can get in large quantities)
  • 3 T mirin
  • 3 T sake
  • 3 T sugar
  • 9 T aged dark soy sauce
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 T grated ginger
  • rice 
  • egg

Whisk together your mirin, sake, sugar, and soy sauce. Take your steak, slice it thin to your taste (you can see the approximate size I got from my photos), and marinate in the mirin/sake/sugar/soy sauce mix in the fridge. I let mine sit covered in the fridge for the better part of a day; you should marinate it for a minimum of fifteen minutes. 

About an hour out from when you’re looking to eat, toss together your rice according to its instructions in your rice cooker, and let it do its thing. 

Fifteen minutes out from when you’re looking to eat, take a large pan, heat it to medium high, and add the sesame oil. Take your grated ginger and garlic, and fry for about two minutes tops, until fragrant. Then, take your steak and marinade, and cook for about ten minutes, until your steak is browned on all sides (see difference between pics 4 and 5). 

As your steak gets close to being done, heat a small pan and a dash of olive oil over high, and fry your egg until you get your desired doneness (I like having a sunny side up with a runny yolk). 

Scoop out your rice, add a bunch of the steak, and then drop the egg on top, and open your portal to the meat dimension!

Wanting some takeout, but not feeling like spending the money? Have a kitchen decently stocked with ingredients for Asian cooking, or a cheap Asian grocery store within an easy walk? Then go with this recipe. All I really had to do for this recipe was throw a thing of rice in the rice cooker the day before, and spend maybe a half hour tops getting everything going the day of. Simple, quick, and makes a regular shitton (though I might have to double the recipe next time as the boything really liked it). 

Ginger Fried Rice
Lasted two of us one meal and a bit leftover, will probably double next time

Ingredients

  • 4 c day-old cooked rice
  • .5 c peanut oil
  • 2 T minced garlic 
  • 2 T minced ginger (mine was grated, as I freeze mine) 
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 large leek, white and light green bits sliced thin
  • egg, if you want one on yours (do the thing if you do eggs, it’s great)
  • sesame oil 
  • soy sauce (I used the aged soy that I have from ) 

First, your rice. If you have leftover rice from other takeout that’s still good, use that. Otherwise, do what I did – throw a bunch of rice in your rice cooker the day before, cook it, and keep the warm function off. 

In a large pan, heat .25 c of peanut oil over medium heat, and then add in the minced garlic and ginger, cooking until crisp and lightly browned (see picture 3). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl or on paper towels, and salt lightly. 

Reduce heat to medium low, add another 2 T of peanut oil, and add in your sliced leeks. Cook them for about 10 minutes, until they’re tender (but not browned; see the difference between pictures 4 and 5). Salt them lightly. 

Then, raise the heat back to medium, and add in your rice. Stir well, and cook until the rice is heated fully through (about eightish minutes), maybe a bit longer if you want the rice to have a bit of color and crunch to it. Pics six and seven are the rice just added to the pan, and after being fully heated. Again, add a small bit of salt. 

If you want to add an egg, heat the remaining peanut oil in a small nonstick pan over high, break an egg into it, and then cook until the whites have just set, but the yolk is still wobbly (call it two minutes). 

Then, scoop out the rice into your serving bowls, drizzle with a bit of sesame and a bigger bit of soy sauce, sprinkle the crisped garlic and ginger over it all, and, if you feel so inclined, put your egg on top, and enjoy!

So, our DM was down in Florida the last two weeks, and they accidentally bought too many strawberries back on the way home. TLDR we had a session on Friday night, and I am now the proud owner of 2 lbs of super ripe Florida strawberries. Have some ideas for the rest (strawberry lemon cake here I come), but the boy and I haven’t done waffles in a bit, and this was lurking in my to-make pile, so I decided to push this up and make these Sunday night.

Good life choice, that. Browned butter plus roasted strawberries = holy yes. This was originally a pancake recipe, and I think they may have been a bit thicker than I was expecting when I cooked them – any tips for thinning out the batter?

Roasted Strawberry Browned Butter Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c sliced strawberries
  • (original recipe recommended roasting with olive oil, I think I’ll just let them roast in their own juices next time)
  • half a stick (.25 c) unsalted butter
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • .5 t cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1.25 c milk

Preheat your oven to 375. Take your sliced strawberries, spread them in an even layer in a baking dish, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until juicy and caramelly. 

While the strawberries finish, heat a small pot to medium high heat and brown your butter, melting it and whisking it until small brown bits start to form in the bottom (see pic 2 and 3 for what that looks like). Remove the butter from heat and set aside for later.

Meanwhile, mix together all your dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract, egg, and milk, before pouring it into the dry ingredients and mixing until just barely combined. Then, pour in your browned butter, and a quarter of the strawberries and their juices. (The recipe recommends thinning with additional milk, but I tried that, and I think I may have thickened it somehow??)

Preheat your waffle iron, cook according to directions, and then top with the remaining roasted strawberries. 

I made these cookies because they sounded awesome on principle, and because back in December, the boy was finally okayed to have caffeine and sweets again, so this seemed like a nice way to combine the two. There’s an additional white chocolate dip with crushed candy canes for these, but these were ridiculously indulgent enough for now. I’ll try the dip another day. 

Peppermint Mocha Cookies
Makes appx 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (.5 c) butter, softened to room temperature
  • .5 c sugar
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t peppermint extract
  • 1 c flour
  • .5 c plus 2 T extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 package Starbucks Via Peppermint Mocha (or 1 T espresso powder if you have it)
  • 1 c mini or semi sweet chocolate chips (I used a type that included mint chips because winter and it fit the cookies)
  • (8 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped)
  • (3 candy canes, smashed)

In a large bowl, cream your butter with an electric mixer until smooth, and then add in your sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Then add your vanilla and peppermint extracts, and egg. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, Starbucks Via, and salt. Then, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the larger bowl, until you have a nice coherent dough. Then, add in the chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and sticky. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap, and then chill it for three hours at minimum (up to 3 days, if you’re working real far ahead), to help the flavors develop and to make the dough easier to work with. 

Once you’re ready to make your cookies, preheat the oven to 375, and bring your cookies to room temperature to make them easier to work with (takes about 20 minutes if you left them in 3 hours, any longer and it’s closer to 30). Take bits of the dough and roll them into small balls, and place them on your baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, and then remove and let cool.

(If you decide to do the dip and candy cane coating, take your chopped white chocolate and put it in the microwave, melting in 30 second increments. Once your cookies are cooled, take your cookies, dip half them in the white chocolate, and then sprinkle the smashed candy canes on top of them. Let them sit on parchment paper of some kind to set, and place into the fridge to assist this. Once the white chocolate is set, remove and enjoy!)

So, this right here? I’m not gonna lie, this is a bit more complex than I usually do my dinners. You’re gonna be doing a lot of stuff in order to get it to work. However, the end result is pretty fucking spectacular, so, if you need to impress someone? This is the meal to make.

Made a few alterations – I’m not that big of a fan of nuts, so I took out the walnuts in the brie stuffing. And yours truly picked up boneless skinless chicken breasts for this, because they were what was on sale – and the recipe needed skinned. If this happens to you, no worries! There’s a workaround from the pepperoni stuffed chicken that I make that works here. The end result is still tremendous.

One Pan Apricot-Glazed, Brie Stuffed Chicken with Potatoes
Lasted for a week’s worth of meals with the breasts split in half

Ingredients

Potatoes:

  • 1.5 lbs mix of roasting potatoes, halved (one of the stalls at the local farmer’s market sells a roasting mix of various potatoes, I just used that)
  • 3-4 T olive oil
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I went minced)
  • zest of 1 lemon

Chicken, Stuffing, and Glaze:

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts (accidentally got skinless? there’s a work around)
  • 1 c fresh basil (got it from the plant in my garden, hee)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I went minced)
  • 2 T olive oil (may need to increase to better blend depending on your basil)
  • 6 oz brie, cubed and rind removed
  • 2 T cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 3 T apricot preserves (if you can find some at your farmers market, great)
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 400 F. In a large glass pan, combine your potatoes, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon zest, and toss to coat and combine thoroughly. Roast for ten minutes, or until you’re ready to add the chicken to the pan. 

To make the stuffing, combine the basil, olive oil, egg, brie, garlic, and cream cheese in a blender, and blend until combined into a thick cheesy mixture. If you need to add more olive oil to make it blend better, do so!

If you have skin-on chicken breasts, pull up the skin and stuff 1-2 T of cheese mixture underneath. If you’re like me and got skinless breasts, all is not lost. What you do is take your knife, slice the breast in half diagonally, so you have two diamondish looking shapes, and then cut a pocket in the middle of the breast, but not all the way through, so you can stuff the chicken with the mixture (see pics three and four for what this looks like).

At this point, take the pan out of the oven and slide the potatoes around so that you can nestle the breasts in them in the pan (see pic 6). Sprinkle your sea salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper over the chicken breasts. Mix together your apricot preserves, balsamic vinegar and an additional T of olive oil, and then brush the resulting glaze over the chicken breasts (see pic 7). Put the pan back in the oven and roast for another 30 to 40 mins, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden (I went 35, and the final picture resulted).

(If the potatoes are cooking faster than the chicken, feel free to remove them early.) And then? Impress the fuck out of someone with this really delicious one pan meal.