Brunch Lover’s Pizza & Renovation Update

Brunch PizzaGive yourself permission to have pizza for brunch, at least once in awhile. Especially if it’s this kind of pizza. Whole-wheat naan bread topped with guac, baby kale, salsa, a sunny side up egg and, of course, just a a sprinkle of bacon.  No prep or clean-up required and all you need is a grill (in our case, a mini grill) and a microwave for the bacon. Because when your kitchen, or entire house, is undergoing renovation, every meal is made on the grill or in the microwave. Including brunch.

eggsEven the eggs.

Isn’t everything is better with an egg on top?

brunch pizzaYou can make some mighty fine meals when you’re reliant on only a grill. This pizza here is mine. Adrian’s had 2 eggs on top and one egg on the side. Growing man.

Here’s how we made the pizzas:

Brunch Pizzas

Serves: 2

Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 whole-wheat naan
  • 2 large eggs (or in our case 4, 3 for the hubby)
  • Large handful baby kale
  • 2 100-calorie packs of Wholly Guacamole (or 4 tablespoons homemade guac)
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 pieces cooked and  crumbled bacon


Microwave bacon between paper towels until crisp. Heat grill to medium. Spray a square of tinfoil (large enough to hold the number of eggs you’re cooking) with cooking spray and place on grill. Crack the eggs onto the foil, close the grill and let cook 5-7 minutes or until desired doneness. We like our whites set but yolks slightly runny. Remove eggs from grill. Put naan bread on grill for about 2 minutes then flip. Spread naan with guac then top with ½ the kale, 1 tablespoon of salsa, 1 egg and ½ the crumbled bacon. Close grill. Grill for 2-3 more minutes until greens are wilted. Remove from grill, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

And, for those of you who have asked, here are some pictures of how the kitchen reno is coming.

old kitchenRemember, this is how the kitchen looked when we bought the place at the end of February.


Making progress in March.


And more progress in early April. Did I mention all this work is done by Adrian? Pretty impressive. We’re hoping the kitchen is gorgeous and usable by June. Stay tuned…



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Garlic & Herb Salmon Patties {Recipe ReDux}

Garlic & Herb Salmon PattiesThis month’s Recipe ReDux theme is “A Play on Patties.” Since St. Patty’s Day has come and gone, Recipe ReDuxers are celebrating the ‘patty’ all month long and so is this Irish girl. My patty of choice: Garlic & Herb Salmon Patties. Don’t mind our lovely paper plates. Paper is our preferred chinaware until the kitchen renovation is finished.

Garlic & Herb Salmon PattiesSince we’re in week 4 of our renovations and only have a mini grill and microwave as our cooking tools on the weekends, our patty recipe is three ingredient simple and uses canned salmon versus our usual go-to fresh/frozen salmon. We’ve been so lucky for the past few years to live in so many places with amazing seafood – East Greenwich, RI; Portsmouth, NH; Charlestown MA; and now our Cape house. So fresh, day boat shellfish and fish is something we love to cook with a few times a week. But, renovation has taken the place of planning meals, cooking them and blogging about them.  Now, canned or frozen foods are often combined as our go-to meals. Some current staples include: canned black beans, tuna, salmon and frozen veggies and whole grains. Simple, easy and quick meals eaten either standing up or sitting on our beach chairs have taken over our previous gourmet meals.

Adrian in the kitchenOur construction zone breakfast/lunch/dinner chairs. Hopefully soon we can move these beach chairs out to the deck for “dining” or into the kitchen area.

kitchenSpeaking of kitchen area, it’s coming along. This weekend we’ll be putting in the new cabinets. Now back to the salmon patties.

salmon pattiesThis recipe is one I have made throughout the years with canned salmon when I don’t have access to a great fish counter. Canned salmon is inexpensive, convenient and is packed with protein and heart-smart omega 3s. This recipe is also great with fresh, leftover salmon from the day before. Just flake the salmon and combine with breadcrumbs and eggs. These are also great pan-fried, but that’s not an option for us.

Garlic & Herb Salmon PattiesAdrian preferred his patty on an over-sized bun.

Here’s how to make the salmon patties:

Garlic & Herb Salmon Patties

Makes: 4 patties


  • ¾ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs (we prefer panko to regular breadcrumbs because it gives the patties that nice crispy crust and prevents them from getting soggy)
  • ½ cup egg beaters or 2 eggs
  • 2 5oz cans skinless boneless salmon, drained well

Directions: Preheat grill to medium. In a medium mixing bowl combine drained salmon, egg substitute and ½ cup breadcrumbs. Shape into 4 patties. Place patties on an oiled piece of foil. Sprinkle ½ remaining breadcrumbs overtop patties and press into patties. Flip and repeat with remaining breadcrumbs. Place foil with patties onto grill. Cook 4 minutes on each side. Serve with a light dill dip (premade or light sour cream + dill + garlic + pinch of salt) atop leafy greens with a vinaigrette.

Find so many more great Patty recipes here:

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Rustic Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Pesto {Recipe ReDux}

Disclosure: I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Rustic Grilled cheese with Tomato

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, the The California Milk Advisory Board, which represents more than 1500 dairy families, has challenged Recipe ReDux members to “lighten up” some of their favorite recipes with California dairy. This Rustic Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Pesto is our answer to their challenge. And it’s a darn mouth-watering answer. More on this grown-up grilled cheese in a bit.

If any of you have noticed we haven’t been posting to this blog as frequently as we usually do, here’s why. We recently closed on a little fixer upper on Cape Cod and are spending our weekends on the Cape renovating the house. It is a lot of work and we are exhausted. And having a lot of fun and learning a ton. But this is how our kitchen currently looks:

KitchenWe’ve made a bit of progress since this day of kitchen destruction last weekend, but have a LONG way to go.

Because of our current culinary limitations (understatement…), we knew our California dairy recipe needed to be:

  1. simple
  2. contain very few ingredients
  3. can be made on the mini grill (we also have a microwave – but grilled cheese in the microwave, like most other things, just does not work)
  4. would need to be a lightened up comfort food – because after  a long day of scraping, sanding and painting ceilings, well, you need all the comfort you can get
  5. super fast because we needed to get back to work

Rustic grilled cheese made on the grill, we love you. Pair hearty whole grain bread with a light smear of pesto, thinly sliced California Cheddar and a slice of tomato for a nutrient packed slice of cheesy heaven.

Rustic Grilled cheese with TomatoOur mini grill, which normally has been reserved for Charlestown Boston Harbor dock-side grilling, worked like a charm in our backyard for this lunch fit for a kitchen renovation team.

Grilled cheese grillingGrill until the bread is slightly charred and the cheese is melting down the sides of the slices. Adrian wanted his open-faced. Mine is closed.

Grilled cheese with tomato and pestoI had never had a grilled cheese on the grill until last weekend? Have you? If you haven’t, make it.

Grilled cheese Even when our kitchen is finished, we will be making this over & over again.

From a nutrition perspective, most cheeses are rich in bone building calcium and also satiating and filling protein. We’ve paired this California Cheddar with filling fiber rich whole grain bread, juicy tomatoes and just a hint of pesto. Pair with a side salad of baby kale for a lunch that’s nutrient-packed, satisfying and that’ll stick with you until dinner.

Here’s how to make this grown-up grilled cheese:

Rustic Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Pesto

Serves: 2

Time: <10 minutes


  • 4 thick slices rustic whole grain bread (go with freshly baked – not pre-sliced loaves)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 thin slices California Cheddar Cheese (Depending on the size of the cheddar chunk – ours was small. Use enough cheese to thinly cover one of the bread slices per sandwich)
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp prepared pesto

Directions: Preheat the grill to medium. Lightly brush EVOO on one side of each slice of bread. Flip slices over. On 2 slices, spread 1 tbsp prepared pesto. Top those 2 slices with California Cheddar Cheese and 2-3 slices of tomato. Place the remaining 2 slices of bread atop the 2 other slices. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

*All grills cook differently. Because we were using a mini grill versus our normal grill, cooking times will vary. Adjust accordingly.

Our perspective on cheeses -we typically buy full-fat high quality cheeses and use small portions of those. We buy few reduced-fat cheeses and rarely buy non-fat cheeses – I’d rather have  a small portion of a real full flavored cheese than buy cheeses with fillers that taste like plastic. Real California Cheeses run the gamut – from soft cheeses to fresh to semi-hard to very hard cheeses. So try them all. How can you identify Real California Milk and dairy products? Look for these Real California Milk or Real California Cheese seals on packaging.

The Real CA Seals

 For more information on California Dairy products, visit and a link to (Dairy Council of California’s website).

Find other fantastic California Dairy recipes here:

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Sparkling Cherry Spritzer {Recipe ReDux}

Sparkling Cherry SpritzerSparkling Cherry Spritzer. A refreshingly light beverage to brighten a winter day.

This month’s Recipe ReDux them is all about beverages – hot or cold, served in a mug, glass, or stein, kid-friendly or happy hour worthy – doesn’t matter. Favorite better-for-you drinks is what this month is all about.

We drink a lot of sparkling water. We have Soda Stream and use it constantly. And sometimes that water gets a bit, well, boring. Aside from adding slices of citrus or True Lime, what else can one do to jazz up the sparkling water? We’ve been adding splashes of different juices for just a hint of flavor and sweetness.

This pretty in pink sparkler combines sparkling water, a splash of tart cherry juice, a splash of OJ and frozen pomegranate arils. The frozen arils keep the drink cool and add even more fizz and sparkle to the drink. It was quite tempting to feature this same beverage, but spiked with Cava instead of sparkling water. But we’ve been cutting back on the vino and upping our workouts, so this nonalcoholic version was the way to go this week. For a fancy brunch, though, by all means, swap the water for Cava or Prosecco.

Sparkling Cherry Spritzer

Here’s how to make it:

Sparkling Cherry Spritzer

Serves: 1


  • 5oz sparkling water
  • 1 ounce tart cherry juice
  • 1 ounce OJ
  • 1 tablespoon frozen pomegranate arils (optional)

Directions: Combine all ingredients and serve.

Find many more healthy beverage ideas from these other amazing Recipe ReDux bloggers:

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