New Favorite

Farmer’s Breakfast Casserole

I love a hearty breakfast from time to time and this casserole is a favorite.  It combines all of the things I like…sausage, eggs, potatoes and, of course, cheese. The casserole is easy to make and can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking making easy work of brunch/breakfast preparation.

Serve with fresh fruit, perhaps a pastry and good cup of hot coffee!

 

FARMER’S BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

6 cups frozen shredded hash browns
1.5 cups shredded Jalapeno Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups cooked breakfast sausage (or ham)
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
8 eggs, beaten
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 4 quart baking dish.  Evenly arrange the potatoes in the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle the cheese, sausage and green onions on top.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour the egg mixture over the potato mixture.
  • Bake uncovered for 50-55 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

New Favorite

Corn Chile Cheese Pie

Corn Chile Cheese Pie has been in my recipe file for years without credit to anyone. This weekend I had the ingredients and decided to try it.  I especially like the addition or corn meal to give a little texture to the pie.  While this recipe indicates no crust, I think it would be wonderful with a crust as well.

I served mine topped with slices of avocado and a side of fresh tomatoes.  Yummy for breakfast, lunch, dinner…anytime!

CORN, CHEESE, CHILE PIE

3 large eggs
16 ounce can whole kernel corn (blenderized)
2/3 stick butter
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup sour cream
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces can diced green chiles
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease 9 1/2″ pie plate with butter.
  • Beat eggs.
  • Add all ingredients and stir.
  • Pour into dish and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Center will be firm and top will be brown.
  • Cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

  • Serve with sliced avocado and/or tomatoes.
Family Favorites

Mexican Quiche…easy, tasty, wonderful!

Mexican Quiche hit my recipe box via Sunset Magazine circa early 1980s. Over the years, I have made with it with chorizo or more often with a savory sausage.  Topped with a fresh slice of yummy avocado and tomato, it presents beautifully.

Recently I served Mexican Quiche at my annual Mother’s Day Coffee.  There were a few pieces left over and were equally tasty the next day.

When serving a crowd, I often make the Quiche the night before and have it ready to pop in the oven the next morning.  Enjoy!

MEXICAN QUICHE

1 pound chorizo (or savory) sausage
2 medium-size onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons diced green chiles
10 eggs
2 cups half and half or milk
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained (2.5 oz.)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained (8.75 oz.)
3 cups shredded Jack cheese
Avocado and Tomato Slices
Fresh cilantro sprigs

  • Remove casings (if necessary) from chorizo. Crumble or finely chop meat and place in a wide frying pan; cook, stirring over medium-high heat until browned. Add onions and saute until tender. Drain off excess fat. Stir in salt, pepper, and chilies. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and half-and-half just until blended. Stir in chorizo mixture, olives, corn and cheese. Evenly spread in a greased 10×15″ jelly roll pan.
    3. Bake in 375F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with avocado, tomato, and cilantro.

Adapted from Sunset Magazine, Circa early 1980s

Family Favorites · My Roots · Vegan · Vegetarian

Springtime memories of Mom….gathering and cooking Morel Mushrooms

Mother's 1968 Morel Mushroom Bounty
Mother’s 1968 Morel Mushroom Bounty

Our Iowa farm was near a large wooded area known as Ferguson’s Timber. This timber was my Mother’s favorite place to hunt those fabulous, spring Morel Mushrooms. She would go to the timber every day she could to hunt and gather the mushrooms to cook, freeze and share with friends and family. My Mother had a keen eye for Morels and taught my sister, brother and I that Morels look like a sponge and are easy to distinguish from other mushrooms; however, she was quick to show us the poisonous ‘false morel’.

1968: I display 2 large morels (love the skinny body and clothes choice!)

Morels are found throughout the Midwest and in parts of eastern Europe. My ancestors, in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) would have gathered these mushrooms in the old country and were probably thrilled to learn that they also grew in their new home, Iowa.

There were two primary recipes my Mother served for these small gifts from heaven:

  • Fried Morels:   After washing and trimming the mushrooms, Mother would cut the mushrooms in half, dredge in flour and brown them in butter, adding salt and pepper.  The result was a wonderful browned, crispy, savory Morel.
  • Scrambled Eggs with Morels:  After washing and trimming the mushrooms, Mother would brown the chopped mushrooms in butter until soft then pour beaten eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper, over the mushrooms and cook until hard.   The mushrooms add an earthy, wonderful flavor to ordinary scrambled eggs.

Unfortunately, Colorado is not a natural source for Morels and I have been craving Morels since my Mother became ill in the mid-1990s.  She  would lovingly gather and freeze Morels to cook when I would come home to visit. I was delighted to find dried Morels in our local Savory Spice Shop, www.savoryspiceshop.com.

Dried Morels from Savory Spice Shop

Close up of dried Morels

Reconstituting dried Morels

I have saved these earthy morsels for my spring craving.  Mother’s Day is approaching and it’s time to honor my Mother and this spring family ritual. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

The following recipe is adapted my Mother’s recipe using olive oil instead of butter and adding a pinch of Herbs de Provence.  More Morels, please!

SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH MOREL MUSHROOMS

Scrambled Eggs with Morels

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2-1 ounce dried Morels, reconstitute per directions (or 1-2 cups fresh Morels), chopped
4 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon water
salt & pepper to taste
pinch of Herbs de Provence

  • Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan.  Add chopped morels and brown for 5 minutes or until cooked through/soft.

Saute Morels

  • Whisk eggs with 1 teaspoon water.  Add salt, pepper and herbs.  Add eggs to mushrooms and cook until eggs are to your liking.
Nicaragua

Nicaragua … Tropical Food, Foliage and Fun!

My first full day in Nicaragua and I was almost bright-eyed and bushy-tailed…but could I use a cup of coffee! Not only was I going to have coffee but I was having organic coffee raised and roasted at Finca Esperanza Verde (FEV), made with certified mountain spring water. You haven’t had coffee like this at your local coffee shop! My coffee adventure was only beginning.

Path to Tucan Lodge

Tucan Lodge

As I walked down the path from our lodge, which I shared with five other wonderful women, I marveled at the views and the foliage, pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

The covered, open-air, dining room at FEV overlooks a beautiful tropical forest allowing the diners to take in the view yet enjoy the fresh air.  Our tables were set, as they were the night before, with our name on a clothes pin attached to the napkin. The staff moved our napkin and clothes pin at each meal, giving us a chance to get to sit with everyone in the group. Genius!

We were served fresh, local fruit from the farm including watermelon, pineapple, papaya in addition to fresh local maracuya (passion fruit) juice.

Passion Fruit

Fresh Fruit, Coffee and Juice at FEV

Next we were served Gallo Pinto, fresh tortillas made by the staff over a wood stove, and scrambled eggs topped with crumbled cuajada cheese and pico de gallo. The farm-fresh eggs are from the FEV chickens! (Reminded me of home and the fresh eggs on our Iowa farm.)

Breakfast at FEV Day One

What a wonderful experience to eat local, eat fresh in the splendor of the tropics.

GALLO PINTO

3 cups of cooked rice
2 cups of cooked black beans
1 onion, finely chopped
1 chopped red pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons oil
¼ cup chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons Salsa Lizano  (or Worcestershire Sauce)
salt and pepper to taste

  • Fry onion, red pepper, and garlic in the vegetable oil, about 3 minutes.
  •  Pour in the beans and sauce, black pepper and seasoning. Let it cook for a few minutes, but keep it moist.
  • Pour in the cooked rice and mix with the beans.  Sprinkle with crumbled cuajada cheese.  Optional:  sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.

After breakfast, we were scheduled for a nature hike to begin to explore the gorgeous plants and flowers of the tropical forest and our first introduction to how coffee is grown.  Our guide took care to highlight local birds and foliage.

Coming from the high desert of Colorado, I was amazed at the plant life.  How can so many plants live on one tree?  This is the trunk of the Ceiba tree, which was a mystical tree in pre-Columbian cultures.  This photo captures the mystical experience of the tropical forest hike.

FEV Blue Trail photo

After a wonderful morning out, it was time to return to the lodge and lunch…what wonderful treat would be awaiting us?

Family Favorites · New Favorite · New Traditions

Green Chile Pie…any day, any time

My brother and his wife told me about this dish 20+ years ago and I collected the recipe but never made it…until…this summer.  I had the great fortune of attending a yoga retreat in Copper Mountain Colorado this summer with wonderful gal pals.  Our friend, Sue, made this dish for dinner one evening served with a salad and fruit and VOILA…it was a hit.

This dish is so easy and so tasty….my mouth is watering.  My grown daughters and significant others are also in love with this dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Only three ingredients.  Can you believe it?  You won’t be disappointed!

IMG_4856
GREEN CHILE PIE

7 ounce can of green chiles
3/4 pound shredded, Monterey Jack Cheese
4 eggs

  • Grease a pie plate.  Spread chiles in bottom of pie plate.  Shred cheese and spread over the chiles.  Beat 4 eggs and pour evenly over the cheese.

Green Chile Pie ready for the oven

  • Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour.  Cut into wedges or squares and serve with any of the following:  salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro, guacamole.