When I opened the door to let the dogs out early this morning, I was smacked with chilly air. Not winter cold, but brisk enough to send me retreating to the comfort of the couch farthest from my open living room windows. I wrapped my fuzzy green blanket around me and started reading.
Against the backdrop of a near-silent house and with a steaming up of coffee in hand (with a splash of whole milk and one spoon of sugar, thanks), the characters came alive off the e-reader screen. And in my head, I mentally planned for a day filled with comfort foods, sweats and convincing the kids to abandon the Legos and go outside for just a little while for some fresh air.
It was only a few hours later when I got ready to run to the grocery store, throwing on a dress and hoping I wouldn’t freeze on the way. But when I stepped outside, I was greeted with balmy 70-degree weather. I immediately thought of the beach and started plotting to go. A few hours later, after grocery shopping and a bit of work, I piled the kids into the car with simple picnic lunch of water, cheese crackers and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I love the beach. From the second I saw the water, it was like a giant feeling of home washed over me. And the kids … they love the beach nearly as much as I do. When they heard we were beach-bound, they whooped with joy and hurried to put their bathing suits on, grabbed their pails and shovels and headed out the door.
When we arrived, it was a mad dash to get out of the car and down to the beach. It wasn’t long until the kids dropped their bodies into the warm sand, running their fingers through the course grains. They buried each other in the sand, collected shells, built castles and dipped their toes in the water. Or maybe more than their toes. It was a glorious afternoon.
Sometimes, you just have to be spontaneous. Whether it’s taking an afternoon off to enjoy a warm spring day at the beach, or whipping up a dish on the fly to round out a meal. Spontaneous can yield such amazing results — and memories.
Those mini frittatas above? They were also spontaneous. Originally, I planned to make scrambled eggs on Easter. But at the last minute, I realized how much easier it would be to make mini frittatas. I could cook them, and then quickly reheat them before we ate. As for the flavor of these — sweet red bell peppers and onion-y scallions, it was completely based on what I had in the fridge. It was a perfect combination.
And yes, they are a cinch to make. Really.
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
- 1 scallion, finely chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray the cups in a standard 12 muffin pan with cooking oil spray. Divide the red pepper and scallions evenly among the 12 cups.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until light and frothy. Ladle into the 12 muffin pan cups, dividing equally. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until set.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, before loosening with a knife and removing the mini frittatas. Enjoy immediately.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.