Category Archives: TWSM Foodie Review

TWSM Green Souffle Brunch Omelet Review

I have a confession to make. I love brunch. I love the ritual of brunch. The mimosas; the savory, too rich dishes; the combination of “breakfast” foods and “lunch” foods; the idle chat with friends on a rare relaxed Saturday; the eggs and meat and muffins. Oh, my! And so when one of those videos from Tastemade designed to catch your eye caught my eye while scrolling through Pinterest one evening, I knew right then and there I had to make green souffle omelet for brunch with several of my theater friends following our most recent show. This fluffy, cheesy omelet is packed full of green spinach and flavor.

The technique has more steps and is slightly more time consuming than a regular omelet, but if you’re going to take the time to have brunch, it’s worth making the event special. If you have a stand mixer, it will make the process a little easier, but a hand mixer will work just as well. I felt there was too.much club soda and cut it to just a few tablespoons the second time I made this dish. (Use the leftover club soda for your cocktails.) Also with the generous amount of cheese, mind your salt levels.

It wasn’t clear what the recipe meant by “turn on the grill,” which I’m assuming were British instructions. After beginning the omelet in a cast iron pan on the stove for a minute or two, I baked this in the oven at 375° for 10 minutes. Then put the pan under the broiler for another two minutes. Keep an eye on it so as not to burn the cheese. You omlet could be divided in a myriad of ways. Cut into small wedges for a crowd or cut in half for a more intimate gathering. Leftovers do lose some fluffiness, but rewarm well. Serve with your favorite brunch cocktail and some fresh fruit.

~Laura

TWSM Irish Beef Stew Review

Typically for St. Patrick’s Day my son Dylan and I enjoy corned beef, mashed potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. However this year we’ve endured practically an entire month of rain here in Virginia and decided maybe we’ll mix things up a bit with something more warming. Irish Beef Stew from Erica, Emily, and Echo at Fav Family Recipes seems to be a good choice. While neither of these dishes are truly traditional in Ireland, we enjoy celebrating the Irish side of our heritage with meals fairly well recognized in the United States. Also, I’m not sure I could convince Dylan to sample haggis.

The day I first tested this recipe, we had so much rain, there were threats of flash flooding. Schools were dismissed at 1:00pm. When Dylan and I made it home safely a half hour later, I decided to take advantage of an extra few hours on a weekday to move this delicious slow food recipe up on our weekly meal plan. Because of our time frame, I left the stew simmer for three hours on the stove top in my cast iron dutch oven instead of transferring the ingredients to the slow cooker. My body doesn’t always handle wheat well, so I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour blend to coat the beef instead of wheat flour. The gluten free flour blend did just as nice a job of adding body to thicken the sauce as wheat flour. You could also choose not to use any flour at all, since the recipe calls for a slurry of cornstarch as well.

While I’m a sucker for a good sauce, I felt there was too much liquid in this recipe for my idea of stew. The second time I made this, I cut all the liquid (broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and slurry) by half and kept a close eye on how the broth thickened as the beef stew simmered and reduced. You can always add some water if things feel a little dry for your tastes. The flavor of the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar was spot on, though. Having grown up with a waterier, less seasoned beef stew, I loved the heartiness of this recipe for Irish Beef Stew. Dylan and I soaked up our meal with some gluten free cheese bread that he loves. I had enough leftover, even with a teen boy’s insatiable appetite, to have a serving later in the week for lunch.

~Laura

TWSM Spaghetti Carbonara Review

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Days we have to work late. The kid has a scout meeting. You forgot a key ingredient for dinner. You need a comfort meal for dinner on your own. Or you want a fancy, but simple dish to fix with friends. Enter this easy spaghetti carbonara from SkinnyTaste. This quick and easy dish is perfect for those meals when you want food on the table fast and with little fuss.

I love how Gina at SkinnyTaste describes this dish, “creamy egg, diced bacon, grated cheese, and copious amounts of black pepper–a Roman dish reminiscent of an American breakfast.” It’s all there. The creaminess of the egg, pungent spiciness of the black pepper, saltiness from the cheese, the smokiness of the bacon. The egg poached and mixed in at the end rather than combined with the cheese to finish is a special touch that elevates this dish. It also gives more opportunity for the egg yolk to shine. And come on, egg yolk is one of the best sauces out there. Sometimes I fry or poach an egg simply for the runny silkiness the yolk adds to a dish.

In making this recipe, I failed to pick up parsley at the grocery store, so I did without. (It’s not a favorite in my house anyway). I did, however, make sure to use high quality Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses, and because I’m all about cheese, I also added a quarter cup extra. Be sure to save a little pasta water in case you reduce the chicken broth a touch too much. Some reserved pasta water helps loosen up leftovers while reheating. And speaking of leftovers, adding the poached egg on top instead of mixing it in does help the sauce not thicken too much while you’re waiting for the kiddos to find their Scout handbook they will need three minutes after supper is finished. The addition of the egg at the last minute also means your sauce won’t be overly thick hanging out in the fridge for a couple days. If you struggle to poach an egg, soft frying one would be an acceptable substitute. What you’re looking for is lots of runny yolk.

Serve this simple spaghetti carbonara with some extra arugula, spinach, and romaine combined in a nice crisp salad with a light white wine vinaigrette. If you’re hosting your mom friends, this dish pairs well with a good pinot grigio.

~Laura

TWSM Pork Chili Verde Review

Pork Chili Verde

Sharing 50/50 custody on a 7/7 schedule with my 15 year old son’s father allows me the opportunity to spend quality and valuable time with close friends. On a rainy night too long ago, my friend Kathleen and I made plans to catch up at a local taproom known for their burgers and wood fired pizzas. However as we skimmed the menu over gossip and news of our children, Kathleen mentioned the pork chili verde. Always anxious to try a new menu item and mindful of the weather, I took a chance on a bowl. Topped with sour cream and served with tortilla chips, the chili verde was a lovely bite. Enough so I had to try to recreate it at home.

A few days later, armed with a free afternoon and my good friend Google, I went in search of a good recipe. Elise at Simply Recipes delivered. I trust her recipes to be tested thoroughly. Her pork chili verde was no exception, and all of the ingredients are readily available.

Tomatillos sound exotic and difficult to find, but they are merely a tomato relative. They often hang out near the avocados, garlic, shallots, or tomatoes in the produce section of your local grocery store. If you can’t find them there, try a natural foods store. Peeling the husks of tomatillos is an interesting experience as well. Those little suckers are sticky under the husks!

I was so excited about trying a bowl of chili verde with my dear friend River who is also a foodie, that once completed, I froze two servings until we saw each other later in the week. Freezing the chili worked wonderfully. No texture was lost. We both agreed that the soup was a perfect early after a day of exploring the winter farmer’s market and attending a craft show.

Sour cream on top of the chili verde is a must. The dairy helps cut the slight acid of the tomatillos and the heat of jalapenos and poblano peppers. Tortilla chips add a nice crunch. River and I both felt some added cumin for some smokiness would be a nice touch. We also would have preferred more heat, but there is opportunity to control that by including another jalapeno in the verde sauce.  I feel the pork could also be substituted with chicken.

All in all this is a solid recipe for pork chili verde by Simply Recipes and excellent alternative to to a red chili or beef stew on a cold winter evening when you’re craving comfort food.

~Laura