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Freezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food Photoshoot

December is about joy and generosity and thoughtfulness.  We dream all year long of decorating trees with our families, baking cookies with little ones, picking out the perfect gift for our significant other, and spreading love to everyone we come across throughout this sparkling season.  However, we all know that underneath the cloud of smiles and full bellies and gift wrap, is a frenzy of preparation and events and cleaning and working.  These beautiful homemade Christmas Eves don’t happen without some serious elbow grease and scheduling power.  I’m usually right in there with everyone else.  Scrambling to get my never ending to-do list done while still holding the household together and keeping enough clothes clean (or at least febrezed) to get through the day.  This year I wanted it to be different.  A little calmer.  A little quieter.  A little easier.  So I turned my eyes to the world of freezer meals, the savior of any busy household.  I’ve never explored the freezer meal world, although I’ve heard nothing but excellent things from those who have.  This year has been so hectic, I decided it was time to give it a try myself.

Freezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food PhotoshootFreezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food Photoshoot

The fantastic thing about these Gourmet Breakfast Burritos is that they are totally customizable and I really can’t think of anything you CAN’T put in them.  I decided to make two types this go round.  For my meat eating, spice loving husband – eggs, jalapeños, bacon, hot salsa, and a delicious habanero cheese.  For my vegetarian tastes – eggs, jalapeños, salsa, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and garlic cooked spinach, red onion, bell pepper, avocado, and habanero cheese.  Yes. All of that fit in one burrito.  It is pure heaven.  Imagine waking up on Monday, scrambling to get ready for the day and, in three minutes, being able to enjoy a healthy, homemade, delicious gourmet breakfast.  Trust me.  This is a new staple in our household.  I will never let us run out of these bad boys – holiday season or no.  I have included the recipes for my favorite two burritos below, but trust me when I say – throw anything you want in there.  It’ll be amazing.  And who doesn’t want a little heat in the middle of winter anyway? These bring some summer to December.

Freezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food PhotoshootFreezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food PhotoshootFreezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food PhotoshootFreezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food PhotoshootFreezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food PhotoshootFreezer Meals, Freezer Breakfast Burritos, Breakfast Burritos, Gourmet Breakfast Burritos, White Wood Backdrop, Styled Food Photoshoot

Gourmet Breakfast Burritos – Freezer Meal

Ingredients

Fluffy Flour Tortillas – This recipe is quick, easy, and so delicious

8 Eggs – scrambled in your favorite fashion

Salsa

4 Slices Cooked Bacon

1 Avocado

1 Jalapeño

10 Cherry tomatos

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Cups Fresh Spinach

1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic

1 Diced Red Onion

1 Diced Bell Pepper

8oz Shredded Hot Habanero Cheese

 

Directions

Make homemade Fluffy Flour Tortillas (you can opt for store bought here, but trust me, the homemade version is simple and worth it).

 

Scramble Eggs in your favorite manner – plain, adding milk and butter, seasoned, etc. Set aside.

 

In a cast iron skillet, cook 4 slices of bacon.  Place on a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

 

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat.  Once heated, add minced garlic.  Cook for 3 minutes, or until very aromatic.  Add 2 cups of fresh spinach and stir until wilted.  Add more olive oil if needed.  Remove from heat and set aside.

 

Slice your avocado.  Dice your red onion, jalapeño, and bell pepper. Halve your cherry tomatoes.  Crumble bacon into small pieces.

 

Set up your Fluffy Flour Tortillas in an assembly line.   On the first half of tortillas (should be 3 or 4 depending on how big you made them) spoon eggs, cooked spinach, and 1 tablespoon of salsa.  Sprinkle on diced red onions, diced bell peppers, a few cherry tomato halves, diced jalapeño, and sliced avocado.  We have a lot of ingredients here so use sparingly.  You want your burrito to close completely and a little goes along way for flavor! Top these ingredients with the habanero cheese and roll the burritos closed.  If you’re not sure how to roll your burrito, this is a handy tutorial.  For the remaining tortillas spoon in eggs, bacon crumbles, jalapeño, and cheese.  Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of salsa and wrap closed.  Pack these tightly in large freezer bags (packed in tight so that they don’t come unrolled when moved), and place in the freezer!

 

To reheat – Take one burrito out of the freezer and wrap in a paper towel (be sure you tuck the sides of the paper towel under too so that the whole burrito is wrapped).  Place in the microwave.  Fill a cup or mug half way with water and place in the microwave with the burrito.  Microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.  Top heated burrito with more cheese, salsa, or lettuce and enjoy!

Brown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food Photography

Love. That is my word for the holiday season this year.  Really love is the foundation of the holiday season every year, but it can so easily be swept aside in the melee of shopping, party planning, wrapping, cooking, and cleaning.  Not this year though.  This year…it is just love.  November was not only the arrival of my first married Thanksgiving with my husband, but also the arrival of my little brother’s wedding to his beautiful bride.  They were married on a mountaintop in North Carolina on November 28th on the clearest fall day you can possibly imagine.  Thanksgiving was a bit different this year since wedding preparations were at their peak, but we were all the more thankful while we were resting and enjoying each other before our mountain adventure began.  I found time to bake and photograph, but these images are late in reaching you due to our joyful little Carolina get away.  Oh, and I must say, this recipe is just as sweet as Sam and Austin’s wedding.

Brown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food PhotographyBrown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food Photography

I wanted something unique.  I know that sounds cliche and over-done, but this was my first holiday season actually living in Tennessee.  This meant I could actually contribute to the delicious dessert buffet we would be putting together at every family function from October through December 31, and I wanted to choose something that would be new and exciting and homey and comforting.  After extensive searching, I came across this little piece of the South on Courtney’s blog Pizzazzerie.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  Something genuine and old and story-filled.  Something that had come from generations back and had been gracing thanksgiving tables in the south, without being recreated over and over.  Simple and delicious and warm.  Thank you Courtney for gifting my family with your family’s tradition.  It is overwhelmingly a keeper.

Brown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food PhotographyBrown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food Photography

 

I love to bake in the early morning.  It is quiet and dark and peaceful.  I also love taking pictures at this beautiful – the golden – hour.  I baked this pie in my cast iron skillet rather than in a pie plate because I wanted this pie to appear just as old fashioned and rustic and homegrown as it tastes.  I collected leaves from the trees outside my kitchen window, and then escaped inside to the warmth of my garage, shielded from the morning chill.  My lovely husband has created a studio for me there with the most beautifully placed window and with all of my lighting equipment, props, and kitchen supplies at arms length.  I can even hear the wind rushing through the tall grass behind our little country house from this serene spot.  I wanted these images to be just as warm and peaceful as I feel this fall, so the warm sunlight easing through my window made for a wonderful shoot.  Eating pie with Adam after I wrapped everything up was pretty warm and happy too.  Love is in the air. And in the food.

Brown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food PhotographyBrown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food PhotographyBrown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food PhotographyBrown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food PhotographyBrown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food PhotographyBrown Sugar Pie, Ashley Erin West, Brown Sugar Pie Recipe, Rustic Pie Photograph, Food Photography

Old Fashioned Brown Sugar Pie

Adapted from Courtney at Pizzazzerie

 

Ingredients

1 Pie Crust – I use this recipe for all of my pies

1/2 lb Light Brown Sugar

1/2 lb Dark Brown Sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup Butter – melted

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

 

Instructions

Make pie crust (be sure to start this at least 2 hours in advance if making the homemade pie crust I linked to in this recipe.  It’s worth it but it must be started early so it can chill!

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients – light and dark brown sugar, butter, and vanilla.  Whisk until fully combined and silky smooth.

 

Prepare pie dough, and place into pie pan or cast iron skillet – a pie pan will allow you to crimp the edges and a cast iron pan will give you a more rustic/undone look.  Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 45 minutes to 60 minutes.  Check on the pie starting at 30 minutes, and cover with aluminum foil or a pie shield when crust reaches desired golden brown doneness.  The pie should be gooey and slightly wet inside, but should not wobble like liquid.  It will firm up as it cools.  The surface of this pie does crack when moved and cut into, simply because it is composed of a fragile, yet delicious toasted sugar top.  Allow to cool completely to finish setting before serving at room temperature.  Enjoy!