Five Brunch Recipes to Try This Weekend

If you’re planning a mid-day brunch for friends or family this weekend, these creative recipes might give you a bit of inspiration. Just add some fresh-squeezed orange juice, a pot of hot coffee and maybe a basket of pastries to complete the perfect brunch menu.

Chicken Breakfast Burritos
Full of protein and deliciously savory flavor, these breakfast burritos use chicken instead of the traditional sausage for a truly unique taste. Simply add hash browns, eggs, and melted cheese for a hearty center of any Southwestern-inspired brunch.

Breakfast Casserole
If you need to feed a whole lot of people in one meal, a casserole is an easy and versatile option. For this breakfast casserole, simply add your favorite ingredients and pop it in the oven.

Berry Breakfast Pizzas
Even the youngest brunch guests will simply adore this sweet, fun take on breakfast pizza.

Orange Popovers
Everyone loves a good pastry at brunch, and these simple popovers are a much easier way to make these sometimes-tricky baked goods.

Bacon, Tomato and Cheddar Breakfast Bake
Make a large batch of these breakfast classics all in one glass dish to make serving brunch convenient and relaxing.

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Great Websites for Unique Sandwich Recipes

You use a recipe for pastas, soups and cakes, but you probably wouldn’t think of looking up a recipe for a sandwich. These helpful websites feature sandwich recipes that are much more elaborate than your usual grilled cheese, and you’ll certainly notice the difference in taste.

Food Network
The Food Network is home to some wonderful shows about sandwiches, and now you can learn to make them yourself. Their Top Sandwich Recipes page features everything from grown-up turkey sandwiches to hot, gravy-covered sandwiches that are more dinner than lunch. The Mahi Mahi Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that you might not have heard of, while the French Dip recipe will show you how to make this diner favorite right at home.

101 Cookbooks
Instead of updating the sandwiches you already love, try something completely new with the unique recipes on 101 Cookbooks. This beautifully-designed website is easy to navigate, and it makes for hours of inspiration for your next sandwich. 101 Cookbooks features an Avocado Asparagus Tartine, Vegetarian Lentil Burgers, and even an Egg Salad Sandwich with Greek yogurt instead of the usual mayonnaise.

Learn to Cook with Kale with These Recipes

Kale is certainly having its moment in the spotlight, made popular because of its “superfood” status and its large amount of vitamins and nutrients. If you want to get on board with the kale trend but don’t know where to start, these healthy and delicious recipes will help.

Rich Italian Sausage and Potato Soup
Though many kale recipes seem like they’ll leave you feeling hungry, this rich and creamy soup certainly won’t. Its Italian seasonings give it a zesty taste, while the cream base makes it a warm comfort food for chilly days. Pieces of spicy sausage add protein without adding much fat, and the strips of kale become tender and soft when cooked in the hot broth.

Garlic-Roasted Kale
Because kale is so thick and hearty, it makes a great side dish all on its own. This recipe roasts the kale until it’s soft on the inside and crunchy on the edges, with a delicious garlic taste that just about anyone will love.

Chicken and Kale Casserole
This chicken casserole may taste indulgent, but its low-fat ingredients and coarsely chopped kale make it a healthy take on the classic dinner dish. Because it serves up to 8 people, you can even turn your friends and family into kale enthusiasts when you serve it at your next dinner party.

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Find Creative Winter Recipes Online

Your go-to chili recipe is starting to feel a bit overdone, but you’re still craving something warm and filling for those chilly winter days. These handy websites are full of exciting, innovative recipes that will have you thinking outside the box about cold weather cooking.

The Food Network’s Winter Recipes
For fans of the beloved television cooking channel, The Food Network offers a section of its expansive website that is completely devoted to winter recipes. Here you’ll find casseroles, soups, stews, roasts, hot drinks and other comfort foods created by the masterful chefs and Food Network hosts, separated by skill level for your convenience.

All Recipes’ Winter Seasonal Cooking
All Recipes is a popular go-to website for many home chefs, and its Winter Seasonal Cooking section is equally as helpful. Browse the staff picks to find what All Recipes’ employees are loving at the moment, and even check out user ratings to decide if a recipe is worth trying. Full of clear, simple instructions for creative dishes such as Easy Mashed Potato and Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas, All Recipes is sure to add some inspiration to your winter cooking. 

Food.com’s Winter Recipes
Separated by broad, simple categories to help you find the perfect recipe for your holiday or occasion, Food.com offers a great collection of winter recipes for families. Browse their dishes by sections like quick and easy recipes, popular choices and even healthy recipes that will keep you feeling full and energized all winter long.

Find Local Food in Season Near You

Finding fresh, healthy foods nearby can extend beyond the produce counter at your neighborhood grocery store. If you want find food grown in your region, these three websites can help guide you:

Local Harvest
The CSA page of the Local Harvest website gives you complete information about signing up for a CSA, and where to find one in your area. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”, and it generally operates like a subscription to your local farmers market. If you want a constant supply of fresh, local produce, Local Harvest is worth a read.

FarmersMarket.com
FarmersMarket.com is an entire website devoted to, you guessed it, farmer’s markets. Type in your zip code and you’ll instantly receive information about all of the farmer’s markets in your area, giving you quick and easy access to information about local and organic products. FarmersMarket.com also has an informative blog with tips and recipes for using your market purchases in healthy and delicious ways.

Epicurious
This self-described website “for people who love to eat” features information about farm-to-table meats and produce and where to find them in your area, including an interactive ingredient map. Epicurious also employs healthy, seasonal recipes, a tight-knit online community, and articles from chefs and other experts to keep you informed about local foods.

Cookbooks Every Cook Should Own

It's no secret that having a good selection of cookbooks on hand will greatly broaden your meal repertoire. But with so many available today, how do you know which ones are worth investing in? Below are a few books that any cook must have within arm's reach.

How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
Popular food writer Bittman is one of the best recipe developers alive today, and his cookbooks are easily readable and simple to follow. His massive collection covers the wide world of Western cooking with panache, and almost every recipe has a number of variations that allow you to spread your wings and make it your own.

The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso
This book is a classic, and was a must-have in all kitchens in the 1990s. And, luckily, it’s aged beautifully. The team of Lukins and Rosso present impressive, innovative dishes that draw from many different cultures, and all their directions are both clear and concise.

Complete Techniques by Jacques Pepin
This master of French food lays out the most vital skills a chef can acquire in this magnificently illustrated book. Although the recipes in this work are not the main selling point, they are still quite good. More importantly, this cookbook will help you learn how to handle yourself like a chef in your kitchen.

Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart
Baking can confuse even the best of chefs, as it asks you to be both a cook and a chemist. In Martha's encyclopedic volume, she presents a vast assortment of breads and sweets in intense detail (true to Martha Stewart form).

Cream of the Crop: Essential Famers Market Items

They're cropping up all over the country: farmers markets! As people become more interested in finding the freshest and tastiest food, farmers markets have become the destination to find fruits and veggies grown by local providers, often organically.

Spring means that farmers market season is ramping up, so here are five items to seek out next time you go to market!

Eggs
One of the best items to find fresh at the farmers market. Store-bought eggs are great, but they often can't match the consistency and flavor of those arriving fresh from the farm. Eggs found at the farmers market frequently have brighter, firmer yolks, and are often much more flavorful. Some farmers even offer duck eggs, which are great for baking.

Potatoes
Ususally much smaller than spuds you'd find at the store, fresh potatoes carry bold and complex flavors. Slice em thin and roast with onions for a terrific side dish.

Tomatoes
These are some of the best items to find at a farmers market. Late summer and early fall is the prime time to find fresh, ripe tomatoes, available in many varieties you might not find at the supermarket. Heirloom tomatoes, in particular, are tasty on sandwiches.

Beets
Like many other things you'd find at the market, beets are great for canning and pickling. Pickled beets are a treat: they're savory, sweet, tangy, and salty all at once, making them a unique taste devotees love.

Cheese
Many dairies make they're own cheeses, and you can often find some interesting artisan varieties at the farmers market. You can sometimes even sample a taste before you buy!

Cream of the Crop: Essential Famers Market Items

They're cropping up all over the country: farmers markets! As people become more interested in finding the freshest and tastiest food, farmers markets have become the destination to find fruits and veggies grown by local providers, often organically.

Spring means that farmers market season is ramping up, so here are five items to seek out next time you go to market!

Eggs
One of the best items to find fresh at the farmers market. Store-bought eggs are great, but they often can't match the consistency and flavor of those arriving fresh from the farm. Eggs found at the farmers market frequently have brighter, firmer yolks, and are often much more flavorful. Some farmers even offer duck eggs, which are great for baking.

Potatoes
Ususally much smaller than spuds you'd find at the store, fresh potatoes carry bold and complex flavors. Slice em thin and roast with onions for a terrific side dish.

Tomatoes
These are some of the best items to find at a farmers market. Late summer and early fall is the prime time to find fresh, ripe tomatoes, available in many varieties you might not find at the supermarket. Heirloom tomatoes, in particular, are tasty on sandwiches.

Beets
Like many other things you'd find at the market, beets are great for canning and pickling. Pickled beets are a treat: they're savory, sweet, tangy, and salty all at once, making them a unique taste devotees love.

Cheese
Many dairies make they're own cheeses, and you can often find some interesting artisan varieties at the farmers market. You can sometimes even sample a taste before you buy!

Tell Us What is YOUR Favorite BBQ Recipe! We Want To Know!

BBQ season is upon us and we have one question for you…….. what is your favorite thing to BBQ and how!? Chicken, burgers, kabobs, or just plain ole corn on the cob.

Submit your favorite BBQ recipes to the office by June 10th, and be entered in to a drawing to win a prize!

Send all recipes to cougarmtn@windsorcommunities.com OR just bring them by the office.

We know we have some pretty amazing chefs here at The Estates so we cant wait to see all of the amazing recipes!

Cooking Habits of the Savvy Home Chef

Want to make your time in the kitchen even more efficient? Take some tips from the pros. These simple tips below will save time, cut down on clean up, and make cooking even more fun! The Kitchn recently offered these, plus five more useful "small cooking habits that make a big difference":

  • Use a garbage bowl to collect any kitchen scraps as you chop, slice, and julienne. You can empty the bowl all at once, keeping everything tidy in the meantime.
  • Keep a towel handy to keep up and spills or messes as you make them. You can also use it to grab hot pans in a pinch.
  • Clean as you go, so that you aren't left with a big clean-up job at the end. Clear counters as you're done with them, and try to make some time to clean utensils, pans, et cetera as you go.