Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Bagels

Hi.

I’m a little embarrassed. It’s been a while FOREVER since I’ve blogged and I’m really hoping I haven’t completely run off any followers with my slacking. It has been a whirlwind – no good excuses, just needed to catch my breath!

I figure I’ll try to redeem myself with a few new recipes. That sound okay? Okay – let’s do this!

One of the things I rarely post is breakfast. I’ll be honest – it’s an important meal, but something I usually don’t put a lot of effort into preparing. During the week, I pretty much grab a bagel thin and go. Maybe a granola bar.

However, when I’m in the workout zone (a place I have been wading in and out of over the past several months – now I’m back IN) I find that weekends are when I really find myself struggling for energy. Saturday morning workouts are awesome, but a measly little granola bar ain’t gonna cut it if I need to be functioning, you know, past 11 AM.

Enter a delicious recipe I found in The Skinnytaste Cookbook that I HAD to make. We know how much I love smoked salmon, but I sometimes struggle with how to use a whole package. So this makes it easy to knock out 2 meals over a weekend, which means fewer trips to the grocery store (hooray!).

Whether you’re a smoked salmon lover like me or just a casual acquaintance of this fabulous fish, I think you’ll enjoy this as a filling alternative to kick off your morning. It’s delicious, it’s filling, and come on, that’s a beautiful bagel right there!

Smoked Salmon Bagel_cookingonthebrightside

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Bagels (Serves 4 – 3 WW points/serving)

Adapted (ever so slightly) from The Skinnytaste Cookbook

2 Bagel Thins (I use Thomas’ Everything Bagel Thins)

4 oz. fat-free cream cheese, room temperature

2 oz. pre-packaged smoked salmon, chopped

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/2 tsp. dried dill

2 Tbsp. capers, chopped

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 medium tomato, sliced

1/4 small cucumber, sliced

Fresh cracked pepper

Kosher salt

In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, salmon, scallions, dill, capers and lemon juice. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes to meld flavors.

Smoked Salmon Bagel_Spread

Lightly toast bagel halves. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly across each half, top with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Sprinkle each with black pepper and kosher salt.

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Bagel_cookingonthebrightside

Enjoy and go tackle the rest of your day!

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Breakfast for Dinner – Skillet Hash

So I don’t know about y’all, but I absolutely love breakfast food. I learned to make omelets at a young age and thought it was the coolest thing ever to customize for my parents and any house guests.  Now pancakes and waffles…eh, I’ll take em – but I prefer the very traditional biscuits, eggs, sausage, bacon and occasionally hash browns!

Any chance we have to get brunch, I’m all in! But I’m amazed when my husband will opt for a burger or sandwich instead of breakfast food! Especially if there’s a Bloody Mary involved! A few times when I’ve been looking at the semi-empty pantry and find myself at a loss for dinner plans, the hubby has suggested breakfast for dinner. Shockingly, I’ve never gone for it. Until recently when I tried my hand at a skillet hash.

This is so easy to throw together and it’s incredibly delicious! The potatoes definitely fill you up and the kielbasa gives this such a great flavor. Next time, I might add some chopped bacon as well, cause you know, why not?

Skillet Hash (serves 2 / 11 WW points per serving)

1 1/2 medium potatoes

1 Tbsp. butter

4 oz. Turkey kielbasa

1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. caraway seeds

1/2 tsp. olive oil

4 eggs

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley

1 scallion, chopped

Tabasco (as needed)

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray (as needed)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap potatoes in foil and bake for 45 minutes. Once they have cooled, dice into large chunks. Keep oven on.

Chop kielbasa into medium pieces. Melt butter in a medium skillet on medium heat and cook kielbasa.

Add onion to kielbasa, along with caraway seed.

Add potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and flatten hash into a single layer.

Turn heat to medium-high and cook for 4-5 minutes until browned. Working in sections (4 is good) flip and brown the other sides. I used a little butter spray here to keep flavor and moisture.

At this point, if you have a cast iron skillet, crack 4 eggs (evenly distributed, of course) on top of the hash and add pan to the oven.

If you’re a bad southerner like me do not own a cast iron skillet, locate 2 small baking dishes/pans and divide hash evenly between them. Crack 2 eggs in each and add to oven.

You will bake this for about 10-12 minutes, until eggs are just set.

Remove from oven and top with parsley and scallions. Add a few shakes of Tabasco and whatever else your heart desires.

Dig in and enjoy being a rebel by having breakfast for dinner…

Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

As I have mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of baking – I have to seriously put myself in a special place to make myself do it! It’s so stressful to me and when I attempt cakes, they never turn out as pretty as the picture in the recipe. I’m not a huge presentation freak when it comes to my main courses (as I’m sure you can tell) – but for some reason, I just feel like baked goods have to be “pretty”.

I think I have a few go-to baked dessert recipes, but it’s breakfast foods that I really struggle with – particularly because I’m not a huge fan of sweets for breakfast. Seriously, on the honeymoon there was a massive breakfast buffet – and my husband looked at me on about the third day and laughed at the differences between our plates each morning. Mine: Croissant, slice of sunflower seed bread, cheese, fruit, salmon with capers, egg and onion. His: A variety of pastries, cereal and omelets.

Don’t get me wrong – I love omelets and all that jazz, but I had been working out and dieting for months and had been dreaming of a table filled with carbs and cheeses. I am pretty sure a light from heaven illuminated the giant table in the center filled with all of the glorious bread I could ever want in life.

So anyways, the other week I needed to bring some breakfast food for our Sunday school and it’s tough to whip up omelets and transport them – but luckily I came across a delicious recipe that pleased both sweet and non-sweet breakfast parties!

Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Muffins (Makes 12 muffins)

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 c. light brown sugar

1/3 c. vegetable oil

1 cup raisins

4 Tbsp. toasted oats, chopped (for topping)

2 Tbsp. honey (for topping)

In a large mixing bowl, add oats and yogurt and stir. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

 

Preheat your oven to 400.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs.

Add eggs to the mixing bowl and stir into yogurt mixture. Add in vanilla, brown sugar and vegetable oil.

Now add the flour mixture into the mixing bowl, mixing until just incorporated.

Fold in the raisins.

Pour batter into a lightly greased muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes, until cooked through.

While muffins are baking, heat your honey in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until a little thinner.

Toast your oats in a small skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove your oats and chop roughly.

When your muffins are done cooking, brush honey over each one and sprinkle with toasted oats.

These look beautiful if you put them into some decorative cupcake/muffin liners – so it makes baking these even more enjoyable in my book!

Chocolate Chip Scones with a Peanut Butter Glaze

I seriously cannot believe it is April! The husband and I hit the 6-month-as-a-married-couple mark on April Fool’s Day. Seemed fitting considering it certainly doesn’t feel like that long. Somebody must be running ahead of me and messing with calendars!

Now, if you asked me what time of year it was judging by the weather – it certainly would not be early April! I believe Memphis just had a few months of “Wintring” this year, combining winter and spring. I mean, it’s 90 degrees! I wore jeans and a 3/4 sleeve shirt yesterday with flip-flops and I almost broke into a sweat loading my groceries into my car!

Anyways, with all of the gorgeous weather out – I managed to read 2 books during my patio time after work. It was nice – I feel like I’d been gluing myself to the tv lately just to “relax”. I have always loved reading but I’m so much better about doing it on vacations – but I don’t need a beach to enjoy a book! It relaxes me and makes me so happy to get lost in a good story. I read “Something Borrowed” – which quite honestly just made me angry, so I had to read “Something Blue” and it did help reduce the anger a little.

Well, by the time Friday rolled around I realized I was supposed to have something to make for our Sunday school! Our class was just doing a potluck type deal for breakfast. Since the husband and I go to early service, a breakfast casserole would be tricky to have it made early and then sit in the car for 1 1/2 hours. I figured baking something like muffins would be good, but when I hit the internet, I found these gems and did not look back!

I had never in my life made scones (maybe only eaten them once) but just something about these called to me. And I am glad they did.

Chocolate Chip Scones with a Peanut Butter Glaze  (makes 32 mini scones)

Scones:

2 cups white-whole wheat flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 Tbsp. fat-free milk

Peanut Butter Glaze:

3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. fat-free milk

2 Tbsp. reduced-fat creamy peanut butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425. Line baking sheet with a baking mat.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Cut butter into 1/2 Tbsp. pieces and add to flour mixture. Cut into mixture with a pastry cutter until it becomes coarse and crumbly.

Add buttermilk, vanilla, egg and chocolate chips. Stir until just combined.

Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead a few times with your hands. Take half of the dough and roll into a rectangle shape, about 1/4 inch thick. Use a pastry knife to trim with precision.

Cut dough length-wise down the center of your rectangle. Then cut into 8 equal squares. Cut each square diagonally, leaving 16 triangles.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Place scones on baking mat and brush the tops with the 1 Tbsp. milk.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Don’t burn your fingers trying to steal on right out of the oven…I may or may not be speaking from experience!

For the glaze, whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

It’s not entirely necessary, because the chocolate chip scones on their own are, well, amazing…

But you know that peanut butter and chocolate kinda belong together, right? So it would just be sad to get in the way of fate…