Barb’s Breakfast Casserole

“You need to put the breakfast casserole on the blog.  Everyone at the office loved it.”

“OK.  Where do I find it?”

“It’s a Trisha Yearwood recipe.  But I changed a few things.”

In today’s world of instant information the recipe wasn’t hard to find.  After confirming with The Boss that the recipe I found was the one she used, I started writing.  But my eyes caught the following:

If I understand this correctly the recipe here is an adaptation of an adaptation of Yearwood’s original 2008 version.

So with all of these credits it’s likely I won’t get slammed for a lack of attribution like I did when I published a slightly altered version of someone’s Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe.

Seriously.

  • Butter
  • 1/2 loaf of sliced white bread
  • 1 pound fresh bulk pork sausage
  • 5 ounces Sharp and 5 ounces Medium Cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs beaten
  1.  Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Grease a 9- by 13- by 2- inch casserole dish with butter.
  3. In a skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat until fully cooked. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to drain the fat.
  4. Spread sausage over the bread and top with the cheese.
  5. Mix half-and-half, dry mustard, salt and eggs. Pour into the casserole dish.
  6. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  7. The morning of serving preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Bake covered until set and slightly golden, about 50 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set for 15 minutes before serving.

Tips

Pepper?  Definitely add some black pepper.  We used Potter sausage a fine MIO product which IMHO is some of the best pork sausage on the market.  Very good ratio of fat to flesh.  For the bread, use a thick slice bread in the Texas Toast style.  This size helps to create the perfect size bread cubes.  Yes, I also noticed that this recipe and the original do not specify how much butter.  (psst…this is not a low-fat low-calorie vegan dish so how much butter do you think?)  Don’t ask me why two different Cheddar cheeses because I don’t know.

I’ll go out on a limb and predict this dish will be Daughter-in-law Approved.  Anything you can toss together the night before and bake in the morning is a life saver when you have a Tiny Human on board.  Plenty of leftovers too.

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Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche

It’s been two months since I posted a recipe.  Too many interesting research articles, bunnies, work…the list is endless.  Well the drought is over.  I had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge and told myself “I am not going to waste perfectly fine leftover mashed potatoes”.  I hopped online to find  a decent potato pancake recipe.  But instead, I stumbled on a quiche recipe that used instant mashed potatoes for the crust.  One of my go to recipes is frittata that has plenty of potatoes in it.  So why not quiche?

Trigger Warning for Easily Offended Militant Vegans

Stop reading now.  This recipe has eggs and dairy.

You’ll need:

3 tablespoons EVO

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 small (or half a large) sweet onion, chopped

2 cups frozen organic chopped spinach, thawed & drained

2 large mushrooms (white button or baby bella) sliced thin

4 large eggs

1 cup organic half and half

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Two dashes nutmeg

salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9″ pie pan with 1 T of the olive oil.  Press the mashed potatoes into the pie pan to form a crust.
  3. Bake the potato pie crust for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes turn the oven off and leave the potato crust in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Cool thoroughly.
  4. Heat up the oven again, this time to 425 degrees.
  5. In a large pan saute onion and mushroom for approximately 10 minutes in 1T olive oil and 2T of butter.  Add defrosted and drained spinach and continue to saute until the mixture is somewhat dry.  Add a dash of nutmeg. You don’t want any visible liquid.  Set aside.  Cool thoroughly.
  6. In a small mixing bowl whisk the eggs & half and half.  Add the other dash of nutmeg, and a dash apiece of salt and pepper.
  7. Spread vegetable mixture evenly on your potato pie crust.
  8. Sprinkle Parmesan and cheddar cheeses over the spinach mixture.
  9. Pour egg mixture over the spinach and cheeses.
  10. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn oven heat down to 350 degrees and continue baking for approximately 30 more minutes or until golden brown.

Slice & serve.

 

Tips

Why yes, of course you can add cooked diced bacon at step 8.5.  Swiss instead of cheddar would be an excellent substitute.  If you don’t have any leftover mashed potatoes by all means use one of those deep dish frozen pie shells.  If you add bacon and use a frozen pie crust this recipe becomes my world famous spinach quiche that I’ve been making for years.  But as I move along the spectrum to more of a WFPB diet I’ve been leaving the bacon out.

I’m not quite sure how I would make this pie palatable for my easily offended militant vegan readers.  I need to think about this a little more.

Wheat Germ Veggie Burgers

 

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ, toasted
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh mushrooms, minced
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 large zucchini shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger buns

 

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
  2. Stir in wheat germ, cheese, mushrooms, onion/garlic powders, thyme.
  3. Place the shredded zucchini in the middle of two paper towels.  Fold the paper towels over and gently squeeze out as much moisture possible.
  4. Add the zucchini to the wheat germ mixture.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.  (optional)
  6. Shape into 4 patties, 3/4-inch thick.
  7. In a nonstick saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the burgers and fry  until golden brown.  Flip and brown the other sides.
  8. Serve with buns and your favorite toppings.

“Why don’t you make those veggie burgers that you used to make?”

Sure.  That was only a quarter of a century ago and I can’t remember the recipe.  The only thing I remember was that my homemade veggie burger of days past had wheat germ in it.  Maybe carrots.  So after reading too many recipes online, I decided to start experimenting using this recipe as the starting point.

The end result was pretty good.  I’d forgotten how much better tasting a homemade veggie burger was when compared to the frozen varieties.

Tips and Pointers

Other vegetables would work well.  Be creative in your selections.  For example, if you have leftover broccoli, chop it up and use instead of the zucchini.   Carrots, sweet potatoes would be good too.  You can use fresh garlic and/or fresh onion.  I have learned that powders provide the same flavor punch without the harshness of fresh which sometimes doesn’t get cooked thoroughly enough.

 

Baked French Toast

“I’ll take a loaf of challah please.”

“Sorry, we just ran out 10 minutes ago.”

“You must have had quite a few people buying challah this morning.”

“No.  We only made one loaf for the morning.”

This really happened at a bakery contained within one of those fancy we sell you everything type of grocery stores.  It was a Saturday morning.  I came to the store specifically for this type of bread.  So this little story explains how a loaf brioche got into this recipe now adapted from a recipe of nearly the same name by the Steep Acres Farm B&B somewhere in Oregon.

Seriously.  Why does a bakery make one loaf of bread?

  1. One stick butter
  2. Half cup brown sugar
  3. Half cup pure maple syrup
  4. One cup chopped pecans
  5. Eight large eggs
  6. One and a half cups of half and half
  7. One and a half tsp cinnamon
  8. One tsp vanilla extract
  9. One loaf brioche sliced thick

Heat butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth.  Transfer to a 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish.  Sprinkle pecans.

Whisk the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Dip bread slices into the mixture and arrange in a single layer in the baking dish.  Pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread slices, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, take the dish out of the refrigerator a minimum of thirty minutes prior to baking.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake the dish uncovered until it becomes golden brown and puffy.  This will take between 35 and 40 minutes.  It will be done when a knife stuck in the center of the puffiest part comes out clean.

Serve warm with more maple syrup.  Sit back, savor, and enjoy the compliments.

Tips

Pure maple syrup and pure vanilla extract.  Any usage of maple flavored sugar syrup or imitation vanilla will destroy this dish and you’ll never be invited over for anyone’s pot luck brunch ever again.  In a pinch, a loaf of soft French bread will work.

 

Portabello Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

Portabello Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

Yum!

We were in Texas this past weekend.  While in Fort Worth, my sister-in-law kept threatening to make a frittata for breakfast.  We all told her, no.  We’re having a huge lunch.  We ate a lot today already.  Please don’t make a frittata.

The frittata was never made but I’ve had frittata on the brain since.  So I made one tonight.  I found a basic recipe and then went off in the direction of whatever was in the fridge.  Yesterday I bought some baby portobello mushrooms and fresh spinach.  Why not?  I’ll post the recipe if it tastes good.  That’s right, we haven’t eaten yet.

But if this frittata doesn’t hit the mark, that’s right, no recipe.

UPDATE 04.02.14

The filler was killer.  I’m posting the recipe.

  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt And Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,  sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 2-3 large baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced medium thickness
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced, deseeded

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the broiler.

  • Beat together the eggs with the salt and pepper.  Stir in the Parmesan and set aside.
  • In a medium oven-proof non-stick skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Add mushrooms and saute until the shrooms start to release their liquid.  Add spinach and garlic, and stir to cook with the shroom/onion for a couple of minutes.
  • Lower heat to low and continue to saute until the vegetables have stopped releasing their liquids.  This will take 5-10 minutes.  Set aside and cool.
  • In the same skillet, heat remaining olive oil on high until just smoking hot.
  • Pour in the egg mixture and occasionally tilt the pan to allow some egg to drip to the bottom of the skillet. Lower heat to low.
  • When the egg mixture begins to set, add the vegetables and distribute evenly.  Add the tomatoes on top.
  • Simmer on the stove top until almost fully set.  This will take 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Pop the skillet under the broiler until the eggs are set and  remove once you achieve a nice browned top.
  • Allow to cool in the skillet for 10 – 15 minutes.  When cool, transfer to a serving plate.  Slice.  Eat.

 

Jack’s Tuna Fish

2 six ounce cans tuna fish packed in water
1/3 C mayonnaise
1/2 apple unpeeled, small dice
1-2 T sweet or red onion, small dice
1-2 T dill pickle juice
2 small dill pickles, small dice

2 eggs
Salt and pepper

  1. Place the eggs in a small sauce pot with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil.  When the water starts boiling, turn the heat off and cover.  Allow to sit for 10-11 minutes.
  2. After 10-11 minutes drain the eggs and immediately immerse into an ice water bath for several minutes.  Peel, dice and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl add the onion, pickles, apple and pickle juice.  Mix well.
  4. Drain the tuna thoroughly, then flake into the bowl of vegetables/fruit.  Mix well.
  5. Add the egg, mayonnaise and salt/pepper to taste.

 

This post is the second tuna fish posting of the day.  I lost the first one.  Honest.  So in a fit of anger I went to the kitchen to make tuna fish.  I screwed it up.  The eggs didn’t cook completely.  It was only then that I realized I had written wrong directions on how to fix the eggs in my first post.  Divine intervention I guess.

I never ate tuna fish with apples in it before I got married.  Now I can’t eat tuna fish without apples in it.  If I’m out of apples, I don’t make tuna fish.  I never understood that a good tuna salad had more tuna than mayonnaise.  During my college years The Truck would show up on College Avenue around 11 pm.  I loved their tuna subs at 2 or 3 in the morning.  The Truck’s tuna salad was always the cheaper light chunk tuna in oil with a lot of mayonnaise.  The ratio was probably 2 parts mayo to 1 part tuna.  On a 12 inch white french loaf.  It was like eating a tuna flavored mayonnaise sandwich.  No wonder I topped the scales at 370 pounds, but I digress.

So I’m making two more eggs and I ask my lovely wife of too many years,

“Is this your recipe?”

“No, it was my Dad’s recipe.”

“But your Dad couldn’t cook.  He couldn’t even make coffee!”

“He could make tuna salad.”

Thanks Jack.  Great tuna salad recipe.

Tips:

Mayonnaise should be to taste.  Use only as much as you like.  Or for a low calorie version, substitute plain low fat yogurt (at your own risk).  I’ve used yogurt in the past and I prefer mayo.  Do not use Miracle Whip.  I hate Miracle Whip.  Add parsley if you’re inclined to do so.  Garlic powder adds a nice touch.  Also try curry powder or chili powder for a nice change of pace.

But don’t use Miracle Whip. 

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup all-purpose white flour
1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup low fat milk

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flours, rolled oats, sugar, baking powder, baking
soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a small mixing bowl combine egg, buttermilk, and oil. Add
egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir batter just till blended.
For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a lightly greased preheated griddle or heavy
skillet. Cook several pancakes at a time over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or till the tops are evenly
bubbled and the edges are dry, then turn and cook until golden brown on the second side. Repeat with
remaining batter.

Weekend guests at the house are treated to a rather substantial breakfast before they head back home.  The menu varies but usually consists of pancakes or waffles, scrambled eggs or omelettes, sausage or bacon, toast, breakfast potatoes (if I wake up early enough), juice and plenty of hot coffee.  This pancake recipe started as a variation of an old recipe from Jane Brody called Wholesome Pancakes.  There’s not much difference between her recipe and mine, so I figured I better give Jane some credit.  This morning we had omelettes because the fresh mushrooms, red peppers, sweet onions and cheddar-jack cheese said OMELETTE.

Prep Tips – Mix the dry ingredients for the pancakes the night before and add the wet in the morning.  Crack your eggs the night before too.  Rinse and slice your veggies first, then saute in a little butter or margarine.  Set aside.  Start your pancakes next.  After the first batch comes off the griddle, start cranking out the eggs.  Skip the potatoes because they take too long to cook, everyone will complain, you won’t need them anyway and they won’t be missed.