When my son was a preschooler, he was afraid there were monsters under his bed. It took a squirt of “Monster Spray” (a.k.a. air fresher) to make the big green monster go away.
Experts say books can help children overcome fears and anxieties. One of the books they suggest reading to young children is a Little Golden Books classic entitled, The Monster at the End of the Book. That book and “friendly monsters” is the theme of this week’s Books in the Barn event at Enchanted Acres. I always enjoy planning snacks and crafts that relate to the theme, so this week I’m looking forward to making cute Monster pencils and munching on Monster Cookies.
From the time I started to bake, I was known for my Monster Cookies. My favorite recipe appears in my hometown church’s cookbook from 1991, and I’ll share it with you here today. I’m also sharing a new recipe that I recently discovered for a Monster Fritatta.
SIDE NOTE: Isn’t “frittata” a fun word to say? It reminds me of the lyrics from The Lion King song,
“Hakuna Matata.” Right now these words are going through my head:
What a wonderful phrase
Bake a frittata…
Ain't no passing craze!
If my children were young, I’d probably take a few minutes to dance with them in the kitchen as we whip up a few, farm fresh eggs for a frittata on a Saturday morning. I can still hear their little voice say, “No sing, mommy. Please no sing.” Apparently, I was not blessed with a great singing voice! But it’s times like these that create precious memories, right?
Even though my kids are in middle school now, I still occasionally burst into song. Randomly. My kids don’t find my made up lyrics to pop songs any more amusing than they found my “original” lyrics to children’s songs. Then again, they’re middle schoolers…
Before I digress too far off topic, I want to share with you a few facts about eggs. Did you know that farm fresh eggs don’t have to be refrigerated unless they’ve been washed? Many Europeans don’t refrigerate their eggs because eggs naturally have a protective coating on them. We must refrigerate eggs from the grocery store here in America because the USDA requires our eggs to be power-washed to remove salmonella and other contaminants. After it’s been washed, the commercially sold eggs are coated with a thin layer of oil to offer protection and to keep the egg from drying out.
We have a few little red hens at Enchanted Acres, so we have a few farm fresh eggs for sale inside The Market. You’ll need to keep them refrigerated since we wash them before we sell them, but I do encourage you to give them a try!
Regardless of whether you buy your eggs from a local farmer or a grocer, the fact remains that eggs are both affordable and nutritious. Eggs are also really versatile. They make great toppings for everything from hamburgers to pizza. Plus, you can use them as a base for so many great tasting entrees like a frittata packed full of veggies that are good for children and adults alike.
Go ahead and take care of this Green Monster. Finish it off… I double dog dare YOU!
Green Monster Frittata
2 T olive oil
1 c. broccoli, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
¼ clove garlic, minced
¼ large tomato, sliced 1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced and quartered
6 T water
1/2 T dried parsley
1/2 T dried oregano
1 tsp crushed bay leaves
1 tsp each of sea salt and black pepper
¼ to ½ c. freshly shredded melting cheese like extra sharp provolone
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large, oven-safe frying pan. Sauté all vegetables together. Cover with a lid and stir every now and then, for about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs with water, herbs, salt and pepper.
Once vegetables are crisp-tender to your liking, spread them evenly in the pan. Carefully pour the egg mixture on top. Cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 3 minutes.
Sprinkle with cheese and green onions. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Remove and let cool 5 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces. Serve hot, and enjoy!