I have a confession. A few people already know of my secret shame, but I feel I must now lift the heavy burden that is on my chest. (no I am not referring to my bra size!) I pretend, I deny. . . but I know the truth. And the truth shall set you free.
I have not read an entire book since my daughter was born. . . five years ago!
There, I said it! And I am not ashamed! OK, I am still a little ashamed, but if you have kids, you know my pain!
A good friend of mine, Sheridan, is this uber talented lady that I came to know when I worked as a culinary photo editor for FoodPix, and she was the office manager/tamer of a local photographer. Now Sheridan is a great photographer in her own right, but she also has a new endeavor called SheridanInk, a boutique marketing agency for fiction writers. Since moving to Colorado to help out her elderly father (like I help out my elderly mother) we have continued our friendship virtually, usually on Facebook, just like everybody else! She asked if I would be interested in reading a book that was just getting ready to be released, called The Garden of Happy Endings. I said sure, because I LOVE to read, I just can’t or don’t make the time anymore to do it. I have a couple of ebook apps on my phone, so now when I am waiting somewhere, I try and get a few pages in. It’s not perfect, but at least I am reading a book, not just food blogs and The Huffington Post! (you think I’m kidding, don’t you?)
I warned her that it might take awhile, but I can proudly say I am almost done reading the book, because I really enjoyed it! The author Barbara O’Neal has written a book about love, loss of faith, and finding your way back. These are things I have a whole lot of experience with! I have been on my own journeys in terms of finding myself, accepting my complete loss of faith and then having to accept when I found it again. Being in love, losing love, searching for love. . . who hasn’t been there?
To make a long story even longer, I wanted to tell you about the book because it inspired me to develop a recipe for the blog. A friend of my mother named Mary, who herself is also the mother of my good friend Adrienne, has a garden in a local community garden. She brings by fresh produce all the time, and when it is Meyer lemon season we share lots of lemons with her. Recently, she dropped off a huge load of red chard. Here I was reading (slowly, slowly) a book based around the formation of a community garden, and I was receiving this bounty from a community garden! So I developed a wonderfully simple frittata recipe, that is perfect for these warm spring and summer days.
I thinks of frittatas as a simple meal, because it really is a matter of finding things in your refrigerator, layering them in a backing dish, pouring eggs over and baking it! If you have leftover meats and veggies, putting them into a frittata is a way of reinventing leftovers!
Beautiful blanched red chard is layered on the bottom.
Evenly sprinkle on the meat and cheese.
Pour the beaten eggs over the ingredients and bake! Simple, huh?
Any combination of ingredients works! Vegetarian? Use only vegetables and cheese. Watching your cholesterol? Use egg whites only. Omnivore? Make this exact recipe, because it is fabulous!
I used fresh uncooked chicken-apple sausage, removing the casing and then cooking the meat. If you can only find pre-cooked chicken-apple sausage, such as Aidells, slice the links thinly, and brown them.
Recipe: Chicken-Apple Sausage and Red Chard Frittata
- 1 large bunch red chard, stemmed, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken-apple sausage, casing removed
- 5 ounces Cojita cheese, or another fresh salty cheese such as feta
- 12 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the chard 2-3 minutes, until wilted. Remove the chard and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- Place the chard into the bottom of a large casserole.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- Brown the sausage in the skillet, then remove the sausage and drain the extra fat.
- Place the sausage onto the chard.
- Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sausage.
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
- Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the casserole.
- Bake the frittata for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the center is slightly jiggly, but set.
- Let the frittata rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8