Breakfast · Family Favorites · New Traditions

Big Country Breakfast Bread Pudding

Breakfast casseroles are always a treat and easy peasy when you make it the night before.  This casserole has a wonderful cream cheese surprise in many bites.  Why have I never thought of that?

Serve this dish with a wonderful fruit bowl, a cup of hot coffee (or tea), and great conversation.

BIG COUNTRY BREAKFAST BREAD PUDDING

1 loaf Brioche bread, cubed (I used French Bread)
1 cup heavy cream (I used half & half)
1 /2 cup milk
9 eggs
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
2 c. + 1 c. shredded sharp white cheddar (or any shredded cheese of your liking)
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
10 oz. browned breakfast sausage (optional)
5 strips of applewood smoked bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or 1 tsp. McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning)

  • Spray a 9×13″ extra deep baking dish and place 1/2 to 2/3 of the bread cubes in the dish.
  • Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl, add cream, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.  Reserve 1 to 1.5 cups of mixture and pour remaining over the bread cubes.
  • Spread green chiles on top of bread. Sprinkle with 2 cups of shredded cheese.  Lightly press the bread down to aid in absorption of the egg mixture.  Top with cream cheese, sausage and bacon, if desired.
  • Top with remaining bread and pour reserved egg mixture over the bread. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • The next morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake on middle rack for 45-55 minutes or until the center is firm. Cover the bread pudding with foil about halfway through the cooking time and remove for the last 5 minutes or so.
  • Serves 12.

Recipe adapted from foodforayear.com

 

 

Breads · Breakfast · Czech Heritage and Dishes · Family Favorites · Holidays · Home · My Roots

Cherry Kolaches, our Christmas Day Tradition

The gifts are wrapped, the house is decorated, and the baking is done. This year I thought I’d take a break from making Kolaches for Christmas Day until I mentioned this to my family. WHAT? BREAKING FROM TRADITION? So, I will not break the tradition and made them today.  The truth is I love them as much as my daughters and their families.

This year I used my Mother’s Foundation sweet dough which she used for cinnamon rolls and Kolaches. My KitchenAid mixer makes easy work of making bread instead of taxing my arthritic wrists. The past several batches of bread I’ve made from standard flour have been too dense, so I decided to try King Arthur’s unbleached bread flour. I loved the result with a very light sweet dough that melts in your mouth.

The cherry filling started with a bucket of frozen sour cherries I purchased at the Farmer’s Market last summer. img_8562

There is nothing better than the taste of those cherries. Truly, I could eat a bowl of the cherry filling and forget the bread dough!

I also make a dozen chocolate kolaches which started as a request by one of son-in-laws, now a family favorite as well.  I simply put chocolate chips (or this year a dove milk chocolate square) in the middle of the dough ball and then pinch it closed.  Let it rise to double in size then bake. When you remove from the oven, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

img_8552

Another tradition for our Christmas Day celebration is the Nordic Kringla.  Turns out Kringla is a big hit with my 3 year old grandson and 1 year old granddaughter.  My 6 week old grandson has yet to weigh in…but next year…

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year!

CHERRY KOLACHES, our Christmas Day Tradition

Mom’s Foundation Sweet Dough

2 cakes (Packages) yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons shortening (I used unsalted butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6-7 cups flour (I used 6 cups King Arthur Bread Flour)
3 eggs, beaten

  • Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in lukewarm water. Set aside to soften and rise.
  • Scald milk.  Add shortening, sugar and salt; cool to lukewarm. Add 2 cups flour to make a batter.  Add the yeast mixture and beaten eggs, and beat well.
  • Add remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough. Knead lightly and place in greased bowl. Cover and let set in warm place, free from draft.  Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
  • When light, punch dough down and shape in balls about the size of a walnut and place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise for 10 minutes
  • When risen, push the centers of balls down and fill with cherry filling (or filling of your choice).  Let rise again.
  • Bake at preheated 400 degree oven (375 degrees for convectional oven) for about 7 minutes or until golden brown.

Cherry Filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup juice from cherries
3 cups pitted tart red cherries (water pack)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring

Combine 3/4 cup sugar with cornstarch.  Stir in cherry juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till mixture thickens and bubbles; cook 1 minute longer.  Add remaining sugar, cherries, butter, and food coloring and cook until thickened. (Mixture will be very thick.)  Let stand while preparing bread dough for Kolaches.

Reference:

KOLACHE … Bohemian Heritage and Christmas Tradition

Breakfast · New Favorite

OMG Scrambled Eggs…with Pesto, Bacon, Roasted Tomatoes & Peppers

OMG Scrambled Eggs were an experiment, a gamble that paid off.  ‘OMG’ was the first thought that came into my head when I took the first bite. Adding the coincidentally roasted fresh tomatoes and peppers was a fantastic addition.
I also made this recipe combining the tomatoes and peppers into the egg cups and loved them as well.
The recipe could be adapted easily to add more bacon, cheese, pesto or whatever floats your boat. Worth trying!  I may be dreaming of this tonight.

OMG SCRAMBLED EGGS

3 slices bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 bunch swiss chard (or kale) stemmed and chopped
1 dozen eggs, whisked
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons pesto
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
roasted tomatoes and peppers (optional)
  • Sauté the bacon in a non-stick skillet until cooked about half way.
  • Add onions and cook through.  Drain most of the bacon fat off.
  • Add Swiss chard and cook until it wilts.
  • Add the eggs, salt and pepper, and pesto.
  • Stir the eggs often to assure they cook through.
  • Add cheese when eggs are about half way cooked.
Serve with warm roasted tomatoes and peppers.
MUFFIN EGG CUPS: Mix all ingredients together, including the chopped roasted tomatoes and peppers. Grease muffin tins and bake egg cups at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until done in the center and golden brown.
Breakfast · Family · Family Favorites

Biscuits and Gravy…Tradition!

Biscuits and gravy were introduced to me when I moved to St. Joseph, Missouri in 1975 and they’ve been a favorite breakfast in our house since.  My husband, Karl, made biscuits and gravy, with scrambled eggs, and sausage almost every weekend while the girls were young.

Biscuits were made from scratch, Bisquick mix, or even refrigerated buttermilk biscuits.  The gravy, however, was always made from scratch and the flour browned to just the right shade of perfection before adding the milk and watching the bubbly goodness thicken to our perfect gravy thickness. A cast iron skillet was always the cooking vessel of choice.

Daughter, Megan, stayed with me for a few days while her hardwood floors were being refinished and she wanted to make biscuits and gravy.  We tried a new drop biscuit recipe that we liked but she made the gravy the old fashioned way.

I love a little sweet with my savory so for my breakfast dessert, one biscuit with honey.  MMMM…

What a wonderful walk down memory lane and the chance to revisit family tradition.

DADDY’S DELICIOUS BAKING POWDER DROP BISCUITS

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 425º.
  • Combine all dry ingredients.
  • Blend in the warm butter.
  • Slowly add the milk to the mixture until the dough holds together.
  • Use two spoons to drop evenly sized biscuits on ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.

http://www.food.com/recipe/daddys-delicious-baking-powder-drop-biscuits

OLD FASHIONED SAUSAGE GRAVY

1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage
1/3 cup flour
3-4 cups milk
salt  and pepper to taste

  • Prepare biscuits and keep warm.
  • Cook sausage patties in a large skillet, preferably cast iron. Set cooked sausage patties aside and keep warm.
  • Add flour to sausage drippings and let brown (watch carefully or it will burn). Once flour is brown, add milk, salt and pepper and let gravy bubble until it thickens.  This may take about 10 minutes.  If the gravy becomes too thick, add milk to gain desired thickness.
  • Optional:  Add some crumbled cooked sausage into gravy.
  • Serve hot with biscuits, sausage patties and eggs of your choice.
Breakfast · Family Favorites · Gluten Free · New Favorite · Vegetables

Quinoa Broccoli Cheese Bites

Our girls LOVED Broccoli Rice Casserole when they were growing up and this recipe sounded delicious using quinoa instead of the traditional rice.  They were so yummy that I ate them for breakfast and as a side side for dinner. It would be great to add bits of ham or bacon for a ‘grab and go’ breakfast dish.

QUINOA BROCCOLI CHEESE BITES

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups water (or vegetable or chicken broth)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups broccoli florets, finely diced
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
crushed red pepper (optional) to taste

  • In a medium sauce pan, combine quinoa and water (or broth) and cook according to package directions. Let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, eggs, broccoli, onion, garlic, cheese and paprika.
  • Put a heaping tablespoon of quinoa mixture into prepared muffin tins.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and then gently remove from pan to cool completely.

 

Breakfast · Cakes · Gluten Free · Health · New Favorite · Skinny · Vegetarian

Cran-Apple Oat Cake

Gluten-free eating means I rarely eat toast, breakfast pastry, etc.  Sometimes, I just need a carb ‘fix’ and this recipe sounded delicious.  I slightly altered the original recipe and loved the results. The second time I made this recipe, I substituted blueberries for the Craisins and baked in muffin paper/tins.  I’ve shared both versions with good feedback.  I’ll even admit that I didn’t eat all of it soon enough and the last piece was a bit dry.  I thought, ‘why not put almond milk on it?’ like a bowl of oatmeal. It was delicious.

A new favorite for my gluten-free recipe box!

CRAN-APPLE OAT CAKE

2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 single-serving packets of Pure Stevia
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 small tart apple, chopped
1/2 cup Craisins (original recipe called for cranberries)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  • Soak the oats in the almond milk in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In the morning, combine all ingredients.
  • Spread in greased 9-inch pie plate (or muffin tins).
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Briana-Thomas

Breads · Breakfast · Czech Heritage and Dishes · Family · Family Favorites · Holidays

Chocolate Kolaches

Christmas morning without Kolaches is like the 4th of July without fireworks. Cherry Kolaches have always been my favorite and, until a few years ago, the only kind I ever made.  What to do when your new son-in-law doesn’t like cooked fruit? You can never go wrong with Chocolate.

Hershey's Chocolate Kisses
Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses

The first year I was a bit doubtful about the results but I was pleasantly surprised. I took a piece of dough, as I would for the cherry kolaches, but flatten in slightly, pressing 1-2 chocolate kisses in the dough, then pinching the dough closed around the chocolate.

Update January 2021:  I have made these every year but have graduated to a higher grade of chocolate, using Ghirardelli chocolate chips or squares.

Allow the dough to rise, per the recipe, and bake.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar when removing from the oven (optional).

See the original recipe on my Cherry Kolaches post.

Breakfast · Family Favorites · New Favorite · New Traditions

Egg and Bacon Cups

Let me send a huge compliment to one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girls Eats. Not only is she from Iowa but she eats gluten-free and has many great ideas.  While browsing for egg recipes I saw that she had tried bacon egg cups and I decided to give my own version a whirl. Most of the recipes on the web show that you use a whole egg in each cup but I decided to scramble the eggs and add ingredients.

Next time, I would either cook the bacon even longer or I would precook the bacon and crumble it in the bottom of each cup.  I like my bacon crispy so I’d prefer my bacon slices to be the same.  You’ll also see that the bacon was not on the outside of the eggs cups since the bacon shrinks while precooking but they come out beautifully as cups just the same!

BACON EGG CUPS

6 slices of bacon
6 eggs
1/4 cup cheese (I used cheddar)
pinch of Herbs de Provence
salt & pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wrap a slice of bacon around each of six muffin tins.  Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until almost done to your liking.
  • While the baking is cooking, beat eggs and add cheese, herbs and salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Remove muffin tins from oven and carefully pour or remove the bacon fat.
  • Carefully pour egg mixture into each of the six muffin tins.
  • Bake another 15+ minutes or until eggs are completely cooked through.

 

 

Breakfast · Casseroles · New Favorite

Cheesy Sausage Grits…MMMM, MMMM, Good!

Grits and Cathy did not have the opportunity to meet until about 8 years ago when I tasted a Grits Breakfast dish at a party. They actually tasted good and weren’t just a mushy, bland bowl of nothing like I expected.  Of course, what doesn’t taste good when mixed with cheese and sausage?

A few weeks ago I bought a bag of grits at Sprouts before I found a recipe for this yummy dish for my annual Mother’s Coffee/Tea. Every recipe I came across called for ‘instant grits’ not just plain old grits.  After much searching, I found this recipe. As one Southern friend told me, instant grits aren’t as good so don’t even bother!

Grits are now like a dear, old friend (at least when cheese is involved). I plan to make this again, without the sausage, as a side dish for BBQ.  MMMM, MMMM, good!

CHEESY SAUSAGE GRITS

1 cup grits (uncooked)
1 lb. breakfast sausage (bulk, if you need to use links, finely dice the cooked links)
1 cup onion (diced)
9 oz. green chiles (drained and chopped)
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
10 drops Tabasco
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Cook the grits in 4 cups of salted water until done (follow package directions). (I whisked the grits into boiled water and it only took me about 5-10 minutes to cook the grits)
  • Saute the sausage and onions, breaking the sausage into small pieces.
  • Drain the grease from the sausage and onions.
  • Add the chilies, butter, eggs, cheese and Tabasco to the cooked grits.
  • Combine the sausage and onions with the grits mixture.
  • Pour everything into a 9″x 13″ casserole and garnish with the paprika and parsley.
  • The mixture can be refrigerated for up to two days before baking (bring to room temperature before baking to use the same bake time).
  • Bake at 325°F for one (1) hour.
  • (The recipe states that this freezes well but I didn’t have any left to freeze!)

http://www.food.com/recipe/sausage-and-grits-casserole-92343

Breakfast · New Favorite · South Beach

Spinach and Green Onion Egg Bake

SPINACH AND GREEN ONION EGG BAKE

For 8.5″x12″ Pan:

5 oz. organic fresh spinach (4 cups packed)
1-2 tsp. olive oil (depending on your pan)
1 1/2 cups low-fat mozzarella
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
8 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste

For 10.5″x14.75″ Pan:

10 oz. organic fresh spinach (I used frozen spinach and skipped the olive oil)
3 cups low-fat mozzarella
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
16 eggs, beaten
1.5 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Spray glass or crockery casserole dish with olive oil or nonstick spray.
  • If using fresh spinach, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add spinach all at once, and stir just until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. If using frozen spinach, thaw and drain the spinach.
  • Transfer spinach to the casserole dish, spreading it around so all the bottom of the dish is covered. Layer the grated cheese and sliced onions on top of the spinach.
  • Beat the eggs with Lawry’s seasoned salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach/cheese combination, and then use a fork to gently “stir” so the eggs, spinach, and cheese are evenly combined.
  • Bake about 35 minutes or until the mixture is completely set and starting to lightly brown. Let cool about 5 minutes before cutting. Serve hot.
  • This dish could be served with salsa, sour cream, or hot sauce.
  • This can be cut into individual servings to keep in the fridge and microwaved for a quick breakfast during the week. Don’t microwave longer than 1-2 minutes or the eggs can get slightly rubbery.

Recipe adapted from KaylynsKitchen.com