Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

This is a mix of several recipes. Some call for adding hash browns. I went for straight up eggs, cheese and ham. This is perfect for company, comes together quickly and even is good warmed up the next day.

Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese or gruyere
  • 8 oz. diced ham, break up any clumps

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add eggs to a large mixing bowl. Break yolks and stir together with a fork until blended.
  • Stir in half and half, cheddar, Swiss, ham, green onions, parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour mixture evenly over hash brown layer then spread out with a spatula to even out top as needed.
  • Bake in preheated oven until center is just set, about 35 minutes. Check center with a knife and it is done when knife comes out clean. I use a convection oven so cooking times vary. Let cool about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Switch up the cheese. Smooth melting cheeses like Monterey jack, muenster, provolone, colby, and pepper jack work best. 

Swap ham for cooked bacon or even diced Canadian bacon.

Add veggies like sautéed mushrooms, artichokes or bell peppers.

Make it vegetarian and swap with meatless sausage, like beyond beef.

Try it with cooked breakfast sausage or cooked Italian sausage instead of ham.

Use other herbs.

Serve it topped with sliced or diced avocado and/or tomatoes.

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

My husband loves peanut butter (and so do I). We had guests coming last weekend and I knew they liked peanut butter. Right now it is like surface of the sun hot out there so I thought an after dinner treat of cool, sweet peanut butter pie might just be the ticket! This was so cool, smooth and delicious! This was adapted from a Southern Living recipe.

for the crust

  • 16 whole chocolate graham crackers (to make 2 cups crumbs)
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

for the peanut butter filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used low fat)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a food processor, blend the graham crackers until finely ground. 
  • Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and mix with the melted butter until uniform and clumpy.
  • Add the crumb mixture to an 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. I like to use a cup measure with a flat bottom to do this.
  • Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely.
  • To make the peanut butter filling, wipe out your food processor and add the cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to the bowl. 
  • Process until uniform.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. 
  • Add the peanut butter mixture, starting with a little bit, to the whipped cream and fold it together until there are no streaks.
  • Pour the peanut butter filling into the cooled pie crust, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.
  • Sprinkle with mini peanut butter cups cut in half

Chilled Berry Soup

Chilled Berry Soup

This is just so refreshing on a hot summer day. Great as a first course with grilled meat. I have made this over the years and it never turns out quite the same, but it is always good.. I used a mix of frozen strawberries, blackberries, Blueberries and raspberries for this version but fresh is great if you have ripe fruit. Adapted from an Old James McNair cookbook. I love his cookbooks.

Ingredients

6 cups stemmed ripe berries such as strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries (one kind or assortment), or frozen mixed berries
1 cup orange juice or apple juice
½ cup sugar, or to taste
2 cups Asti Spumante, Champagne, or other sparkling wine

Directions

  • Working in batches, if necessary, combine the berries and juices in a food processor or blender and puree until fairly smooth.
  • Transfer to a glass ceramic bowl and stir in the sugar and sparkling wine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.
  • Ladle into chilled bowls



Serves 6 as a soup course or dessert.

Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers

Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers

Made this for company with brioche rolls and grilled vegetable orzo. Both recipes on this blog. I recommend using skirt steak instead of flank steak. Skirt steak is much fattier than flank steak, and more forgiving when you cook it! I adapted this from Simplyrecipies.com. I use metal skewers but if using bamboo or wooden skewers, place them in a dish and cover with water to soak. I had company so did not take many photos. This was also great cold the next day in a salad with blue cheese.

Ingredients

1 1/2 to 2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of membranes and silver skin

Marinade:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1-inch piece of ginger, sliced

1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Make marinade: Place all marinade ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Cut skirt steak in strips across the grain: Lay the skirt steak horizontally out on a cutting board. Notice the grain of the steak that goes up and down. Cut the steak into segments (along the grain of the meat), about 6 to 8-inches long.
  3. Then, with each segment, turn the segment so the grain of the meat runs in a line from left to right, and cut thin strips (1/4 to 1/3-inch thick, 1 1/2-inch wide, 6 to 8-inches long), angling the knife, cutting across the grain.
  4. Preheat grill, thread skewers: 
  5. Preheat your grill, whether charcoal or gas, for high-direct heat. While the grill is preheating, thread the marinated skirt steak strips onto your skewers.
  6. Grill over high direct heat: When ready to grill, brush the grill grates with olive oil (helps to fold a paper towel, soak the towel in olive oil, and use long handled tongs to hold the soaked paper towel and spread oil on the grates).You know your grill is hot enough when you can only stand to hold your hand 1 inch above the grill grates for one second.Working in batches if necessary, lay the skirt steak skewers on the hot grill grates, perpendicular to the grates. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until cooked through.Remove from grill and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Parmesan-Panko Crusted Halibut

Parmesan-Panko Crusted Halibut

I loved this. I got a large piece of Halibut, about a pound and a half and served 4 of us. Roasted potatoes and asparagus as sides. Adjust the panko and parmesan to suit the size of fish. Adapted from the Loveofcooking.com blog.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 halibut fillets, skin removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil divided
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 cup plain panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  • Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over both sides of the fish then season both sides with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray. Side Note: Cooking the fish on the rack will allow the fish to be crispy on both sides without flipping it over while cooking.
  • Combine the panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste together on a plate. Dip the halibut in the panko mixture until evenly coated. Place the coated fish on top of the cooking rack.
  • Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Side Note: This step will ensure the panko coating will stay on the fish.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray the top of each piece of fish with olive oil cooking spray. Place the baking sheet with the fish into the oven and cook for 15 minutes (depending on size and thickness) or until the fish is cooked through and flaky. Remove from the oven and serve with a lemon wedge. Enjoy.
Overnight Yeast Pancakes

Overnight Yeast Pancakes

When I was a kid my dad liked to make pancakes. Both my parents were great cooks. Mom was a very good teacher, dad not so much… I can remember her having to kind of nudge him into letting me make pancakes on my own. He would have loved these I am sure. These would be great on a morning when you have a lot of other things coming together and you can just pull these out of the fridge and heat up the griddle. The yeast gives them a special flavor. This recipe makes a LOT but you can freeze them! Serve with maple syrup, jam or fruit compote.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions

  • 1. Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients. Whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil; stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in yeast mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for 8 hours or overnight.
  • 2. To make pancakes, lightly grease griddle and preheat over medium heat. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle; cook until bubbles on top begin to pop and bottoms are golden brown. Turn; cook until second side is golden brown.
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

This cake is moist and lovely for dessert, brunch or tea time, Would be good with blueberries or raspberries. We could not wait for it to cool so ate it warm and it was just addictive. Adapted from theviewfromgreatisland.com

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups or 210 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup or 225 grams granulated sugar plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs or 2 jumbo eggs
  • 1/4 cup or 60 grams sour cream
  • 1/4 cup or 60 grams buttermilk
  • 14 ounces or 398 grams fresh strawberries hulled and sliced

Instructions

  • Set oven to 350F
  • Lightly spray a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  • Cream the soft butter and sugar together in a stand mixer for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl a couple of times.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the vanilla.
  • Stir the sour cream and buttermilk together to blend, and then add the flour to the mixing bowl alternately with the sourcream/milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until combined, but don’t over mix.
  • Fold in the berries and turn into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top. Sprinkle the surface of the cake liberally with granulated sugar.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake no longer jiggles in the center and the top is golden and slightly crackled. The exact cooking time will depend on the pan size you use. You can insert a toothpick in the center to test.
  • Let cool briefly, and then unlatch the spring and remove the outer ring. I like to run a spreading knife along the edge first to loosen any parts of the cake that are sticking to the pan. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Rosemary Brioche Rolls

Rosemary Brioche Rolls

These are WONDERFUL. The dough is very soft and handling can be a bit tricky but I found this to be an easy recipe. The next time I make these (and there will be a next time) I might add a bit more rosemary. Adapted from Countryliving.com.

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp. active dry yeast
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. Sea Salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast and 1/2 cup lukewarm (90-degree to 110-degree F) water. Let it sit until the yeast becomes active and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl). Add the yeast mixture and stir well to combine. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Add the butter, rosemary, and pepper, and stir until just combined.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead with the heels of your hands until a smooth, soft dough comes together. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Set it in a warm place to rise until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment; set aside. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place it on the prepared pan, spacing the rolls out equally. Loosely cover the rolls and let them rise until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash. Sprinkle the rolls with sea salt or kosher salt, and bake until they are a deep golden brown color, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

I have been baking. A lot. My husband had mentioned that his mom had tried to make a peanut butter pie once and it did not turn out quite right but that it tasted good so I made a mental note. He had one of THOSE days yesterday so I whipped this up because, you know, pie makes everything better. It is meant to be served cold but he could not wait and I have to admit it was really good warm out of the oven. I got the idea looking at different recipes and loosely followed a James McNair recipe. This has a very cheese cake type of texture. His recipe called for it not to be baked but I think this was an old recipe before raw eggs was a bad thing.

Ingredients

Crust

Use a food processor to make fast work of the cookie crumbs. Figure 8 ounces of cookies equals 2 cups.

2 Cups fine cookie crumbs, Chocolate Graham crackers
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. in a medium sized bowl combine cookie crumbs and butter. Spread into a buttered 9 inch pie pan. Press crumbs to pack evenly on the sides and bottom of pan.

Bake for 10 minutes to set crumbs. Set aside to cool

Filling

Cookie crumb crust
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 Cup smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Directions

Prepare crust and cool.

Combine cream cheese, peanut butter, butter and egg yolks in large bowl and beat until fluffy. Drizzle in condensed milk and beat until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour into the pie shell.

Cook for about 20 minutes at 350 or until inserted knife comes out clean.

Refrigerate until well chilled. You could serve this with warm chocolate sauce if you want to go over the top.

Spring Fritatta

Spring Fritatta

This is perfect for a spring brunch! You can make any vegetable variation. I used an 11 inch skillet.

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, use 8 eggs for a 12-inch skillet
  • ¼ cup milk (or soy, rice, almond)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli or broccolini
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 C cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400.

Whisk eggs, milk and salt, set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10 or 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

Add the broccoli, and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender but still bright green, 5 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms and cook until tender.

Add the egg mixture and gently shake the pan to distribute. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the eggs are set. Season to taste and serve.