Bagel breakfast casserole

Cold weather is a great time to serve a hot breakfast to family and friends. Everyone just wants to gather around and drink a hot beverage while taking their time on a weekend morning.  Here is a great recipe that is a twist on the standard breakfast egg casserole.  I tried it with plain bagels, but sesame or other flavored bagels would also be worth a try. This dish will easily serve 6-8 people, especially if served with fruit or muffins.

Gather these ingredients:  4 toasted and chopped plain bagels, 6 eggs (I used 3 eggs and 3/4 cup Egg Beaters), 2 cups half-half or milk, 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 4 slices bacon chopped, and 4 green onions.

Place the bagels in a large 2 1/2 quart baking dish. In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, cheese, bacon, green onion, salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over the bagels pressing down to cover all the surfaces.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight.

    

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Uncover the dish and bake for 50 minutes or until puffed, browned and set.  Allow to cool a bit before serving.  Garnish with parsley flakes or chopped green onion.

 

A summer frittata

For a Sunday breakfast or for a weekday dinner, this frittata is so easy and so delicious.  Personally, the topping of roasted cherry tomatoes puts this dish over the top for me.  Using Bobby Flay’s recipe as inspiration from his Brunch at Bobby’s cookbook, I made this one my own.

Gather these ingredients for the roasted cherry tomatoes and begin the cooking process.  One pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, 1-2 sliced garlic cloves, drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley flakes.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the tomatoes, garlic, seasonings and oil on a small sheet pan.  Roast for 20-30 minutes until they are soft and able to be broken apart easily. Bobby also suggests using fresh basil and adding at the end after cooking. I broke up the tomatoes and made a sauce for the frittata topping.

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For the frittata, gather these ingredients:  2 tablespoons olive oil, red and yellow peppers, onion, salt, pepper, 8 eggs, Fontina cheese, oregano and parsley flakes.  I substituted half of the eggs with Egg Beaters.

Heat the oil in a very large non-stick skillet and add the peppers and onions.  Season and cook until the ingredients are soft but not browned.  Whisk the eggs and cheese in a bowl and pour into the hot skillet. Move the eggs around like would be done when making an omelet to insure all the eggs are cooked.  This step will take from 5-7 minutes.  Making sure that the frittata is cooked, slide out of the non-stick pan onto a firm surface. I used a pizza peel for presentation and cutting.  Slice and serve with the warm tomato sauce.

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For a great presentation, add chopped basil to finish or sprinkle with other fresh herbs. Serve with a salad, fresh fruit, or crusty bread. This recipe will provide six servings.

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Easter eggs

Just as many other households in America, I have always colored eggs for Easter.  Over the years I have tried many techniques, and this year was no different.  I found an idea and altered it some, based on what I had in my pantry.  The results were perfect.  Having years of experience in the kitchen helps to give one confidence in trying new things.

Here is the most cost effective and easy way to color hard boiled eggs.  Choose the number of eggs that will be colored and decide on the preferred colors for the project.  Any of these food products could be used for the eggs–jello, kool-aid mixes, or as I used Crystal Light drink mix.  Remember a basic fact, if the item will stain you or your clothing, it most likely will color an egg.

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I started with 2 cups of water and added 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar.  Bring it up to a boil and then add one small package of the Crystal Light drink mix. If using the other options, try 2-3 tablespoons at first.  Reduce the temperature to a simmer and heat for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and slightly cool.  Place in a glass bowl with a spoon to dissipate the heat.  Cool the hard cooked eggs slightly as well and place in the bowl with the colored dye.  Allow to absorb the color for 5-10 minutes or as long as needed for the desired shades.

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So fun and easy to prepare. Great to serve at a holiday Easter breakfast.

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sunshine baked eggs

A great way to make eggs has always been to bake them in the oven.  Especially when preparing for a large breakfast, this technique has to be the easiest.  The eggs can be made in advance while other side dishes are finishing up or being plated.  Sunshine baked eggs are similar to eggs in a hole, but are baked instead of prepared on the stove-top.  Again, this allows for better and easier planning during the entire breakfast preparation schedule.

Baked eggs are perfect served with fruit, toast, muffins, breakfast meats or breakfast potatoes.  Often a very attractive presentation, the eggs hold their place on the plate without looking messy or less than neat.  To make sunshine baked eggs, begin by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees.  Place 2-3 tablespoons of margarine on a baking sheet and melt in the oven for a couple of minutes.

While the margarine is melting, use a round cookie cutter to remove a circle of each slice of ciabatta bread to be baked.  Butter each piece of bread and the circles and when the sheet pan is ready, place the bread and circles on the pan to bake.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and flip the toast. Crack eggs into the holes of the slices of bread.  Top with pepper, parsley flakes or herbs of choice, and shredded Parmesan cheese if desired.   Bake for 9-10 more minutes until the egg whites are done.

Serve with other breakfast selections.  This is a fun way to serve baked eggs that your guests should truly enjoy.

Red onion, spring pea and green pepper Frittata

Another easy breakfast favorite has to be the delicious frittata.  This egg dish comes together very quickly and usually bakes in 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the skillet.  I usually use a 10 inch pan, but a larger one would be perfect for 6 people.

I begin each fritatta with chopped or sliced onions; for this one, I prefer red onions.  I used one large red onion and sliced into medium thin strips.  Next, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

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In a bowl, I opened 4 large eggs, and added 1/2 cup of egg beaters.  Next, I added 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.  I chose fresh peas and green pepper for this dish.  I chopped the green pepper next and cleaned the peas.

Next, lightly cook the onions in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until soft on the stove top.  Add the green pepper to soften about 5 minutes total cooking time.  Then, pour the egg mixture over them, and sprinkle on the peas.  Top with more Parmesan cheese to taste.  Do not use grated Parmesan, but shredded cheese.

Place in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes until the eggs are cooked and lightly browned.  Serve in wedges with homemade hash browns or fresh fruit.  Yummy.

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Baked eggs for breakfast

Easter breakfast is typically a great meal to enjoy with family.  If you have many people to serve, and want to try something a bit different from the typical breakfast casserole–why not try baked eggs?

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This is such an easy recipe and can even be adapted to personal preferences.  Each person could have their own taste profile.  The eggs bake in cocottes, which is a French term for single individual baking dish, most often with two handles.  Each of these cast iron dishes have lids.  Many different companies make them.  It would also be easy to substitute ramekins with foil over the tops.  I place my dishes on a smaller sheet pan to easily transfer them in and out of the oven.  If you have many people to serve, all the eggs are done at one time and no one has to wait.  The cocottes can even be assembled in advance and just put into the oven when it is time to prepare the breakfast.

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To make the baked eggs: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Decide if chopped bacon, ham or sausage would like to be used.  Crumble those cooked items into the bottom of the dish.  Add 1 tablespoon cream. Next break two eggs into each dish.  Season with salt, pepper, parsley flakes to taste.  Add if desired, 1-2 tablespoons of a cheese.  I chose cheddar, but Swiss or white cheddar could also be used.  Cover.

Bake for 15 minutes and then remove the cover and bake at least 5 more minutes until eggs are perfectly done.  Sprinkle with parsley flakes, green onion, or chives for garnish.

Serve with shredded hash browns, fruit, toast, or muffins.

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Jacobson’s Quiche Lorraine

Jacobson’s department store was my all time favorite place to shop.  I have memories of this neighborhood store from my childhood.  In fact, we could walk to this department store from my home.  I grew up with Jacobson’s, having shopped for everything from clothes, shoes, jewelry, candy, stationery, and items for my home after we were married in the late 70’s.

Over the years, I had many lunches with my mother and even my daughter in the St. Clair room.  It was a special place for a ladies’ lunch.  We were very disappointed when the stores closed their doors, but still have great memories from those days. We even visited the Jacobson’s in Florida when we would vacation.

I was gifted a book about the history of Jacobson’s which included recipes served in their stores over the years.  I made their Quiche recently, and actually remember ordering this in the past.  So cheesy and fluffy.  If you remember Jacobson’s, you might want to try this recipe.  I promise you it will bring back memories.

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This recipe will make 6-8 servings.

Begin by gathering these ingredients:  6 large eggs, 1/2 cup half and half mixed with 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese, 1 pie crust, 1/2 teaspoon basil, paprika and nutmeg to taste.  (I also added some chopped red pepper.)

Beat eggs.  Add milk and mix.  Prepare pie crust, but do not bake.  Add cheese to shell.  Add basil to eggs.  Pour eggs over cheese.  Top with paprika and nutmeg.  Bake 325 for 45 minutes.  Check the center for doneness.  Cool for 10 minutes prior to slicing.

This is a great recipe for a ladies’ lunch, served with a side salad or fruit.