Tag Archives: eggs

Breakfast Strata with Sausage

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I fell in love the first time I had a breakfast strata.  I think the person serving it called it Breakfast Bread Pudding and it was similar but different from other egg dishes, and I found the combination of eggs, cubed bread, sausage and cheese wonderful. Another reason to love this dish is that most of the work is done the night before so in the morning it just has to be baked.  This is perfect if you are serving brunch to guests and would rather be sipping mimosa’s with them than whipping eggs in the kitchen.

This particular recipe is adapted from Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman: Sausage-Kale Breakfast Strata.  I tweaked it just a bit and the results are delicious.  I made it for our family potluck Easter Brunch.  This makes a big 10×13 inch casserole, and could be halved, but it’s so good, and it reheats well so you may as well bake up the whole pan.

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Breakfast Strata with Sausage

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

1 16 oz loaf of French or Italian bread (I used ciabatta)

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage

1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced

a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves finely minced

olive oil for cooking

about 10 oz. of greens, such as kale, spinach, chard or a combination, any thick stems removed.  (I used a 5 oz. bag of baby kale and a 5 oz. bag of spinach)

12 eggs

2.5 cups milk (I used 2% and whole would be great. I would not recommend all skim milk for this recipe)

6 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated

nonstick spray

salt and pepper

Optional: about 4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese for the top of the strata

Directions:

Cut the bread into cubes and set aside.

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Cook the sausage; squeeze it out of the casings if it is in links, break it apart as it cooks. Drain on paper towel.

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Wipe pan and heat a little olive oil to cook the onions.  Sprinkle in the rosemary when the onions are nearly done.

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If your greens are in bags, you can open the bag, fold it over and microwave-steam the greens right in the bag for 1 to 3 minutes.  If you are using greens sold in bunches or in bulk, chop coarsely and saute until just wilted.

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After allowing the cooked greens to cool, squeeze out excess moisture.

Beat together eggs and milk, and season with salt and pepper.

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Spray 10 x 13 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray and put in half the bread cubes, layer with half the greens, half the onions, half the sausage and half the Gruyere cheese.

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Layer the remaining bread cubes, greens, onions, sausage and remaining Gruyere.

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Slowly pour the egg and milk mixture over the casserole, moving around to get the whole casserole covered.  If desired, sprinkle with optional grated Parmesan cheese.

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Cover casserole with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator overnight.

Remove casserole from the fridge 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees,  Remove plastic wrap from the dish and replace it with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking until top is golden brown and becoming crisp around the edges.

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This would make a lovely Sunday night supper. Thank you for stopping  by.

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Easter Ideas

Egg Shape Chocolate

Beautiful soap mold used for Chocolate Nutella Fudge – pretty and delicious for Easter.

Filling Blue Egg

Basket of Eggs

Cracked!

Crack-Me Eggs: blown eggs, dyed, filled with candy.  Crack open to get the goodies.

Washi Tape Easter Egg

Quick and easy Washi Tape Easter Eggs: cover blown eggs (or kraft paper eggs) with torn pieces of washi tape.

Muffin Cup Quiche

Muffin Cup Quiche will use up some eggs (if you’ve been blowing eggs to decorate the shells).  They’re also delicious!

Beautiful Hat Card

I designed this hat-shaped card with paper roses for Mother’s Day but wouldn’t it be a lovely Easter Bonnet?

Thank you for stopping by.

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Easter 2012

Here are the blown eggs I decorated this year. This peacock egg is two-sided with a feather on the reverse. I did this egg with Sharpies, gold pen, watercolors and some adhesive jewels.

I actually made another peacock feather egg before this one.  A friend at work was celebrating her birthday and I did this egg for her.  It turned out so well that I decided to make a peacock egg for our family collection of Easter Eggs.  You can see a few more of those eggs here.

For this brown egg I used stickers from Starform; the same type of stickers that I used for vellum ornaments at Christmastime here.

Watercolor pens and adhesive jewels completed this design.

I also purchased a beautiful hand-painted goose egg (Kraslice) at the Farmer’s Market and a card with a photograph of more eggs done by the same artist, Lenka Glassner.

The sides have intricate details.  All the white is where she has etched through the paint to reveal the eggshell underneath.

For more gorgeous pictures of her eggs and information on the “traditional lace-like etching” techniques of the Moravian region of the Czech Republic, go here.

Our Easter table.

Wishing you a happy Easter.

Thanks for hopping by.

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Muffin Cup Quiche

I’ve been doing some Easter crafting lately, using blown eggs and empty eggshells filled with candy.  So I needed to make something with the raw eggs.   Scrambled eggs are one easy answer but I wanted a little more pizazz.

Making small quiche in a muffin pan was what I decided to do.  Before I go on, I have to tell you that these really aren’t the best recipe for using up a bunch of eggs.  They have a higher crust-to-filling ratio then a standard full-size quiche would have so if you are looking to use up a bunch of eggs, make a standard quiche.  But these are a nice size, look and taste great and freeze well.

Oh, and the other thing I should mention: I’m not really giving you a recipe.  Just some suggestions.

Other ideas for using up eggs include a bread pudding-like baked French Toast, Dutch Baby (a puffy baked pancake) or a strata made with spinach and cheese.

Muffin Cup Quiche

Frozen Crust – defrosted according to package directions (or use homemade crust)

Nonstick Spray

Various Vegetables for filling– such as asparagus, mushrooms, broccolini, chard, onion

Cheese – cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan and feta are all good choices

Eggs

Salt and Pepper

Herbs or Spices if desired

Milk

Bacon (optional) cooked until crisp and drained

Set oven temperature to 375.

For these little quiche I used frozen dough from Trader Joe’s but you could use your favorite crust recipe. After it was thawed, I unrolled it and while it was still covered in plastic I gave it a quick roll with a rolling pin to smooth out some cracks and make it just a bit bigger.  Peel plastic off dough.

Spray the muffin tins with nonstick spray and use a glass or round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut circles out of the dough.

Press dough circles into muffin tin.

Prepare your filling: for one batch I used mushrooms and asparagus with cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.  The second batch was a combination of broccolini, red onion, Swiss cheese and bacon.  Yummy!

Trim the vegetables and slice or chop into pieces. Heat a pan and spray with nonstick spray.  Saute vegetables until tender.

Dice or shred or crumble or slice up some cheese.  Put a bit of cheese in each muffin cup.  Add a few pieces each of mushroom and asparagus (or whatever vegetables you are using) to each muffin cup.

Beat eggs together and season as desired. I just used salt and pepper.  I had a whole bunch of eggs from my craft projects so I measured 1.5 cups of beaten egg.  (This was too much and I could probably have done with 1 to 1.25 cups – it will depend on both the size of the eggs and the size of the muffin cups.)  Add milk – I used 3/4 of a cup of milk.  This was enough egg and milk for 24 muffin cup quiche.

Scoop egg and milk mixture into a glass measuring cup and pour into  muffin cups.  Fill cups about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle additional cheese on top or add small pieces of cooked bacon to each cup.

Bake about 18 to 22 minutes or until puffy and set.  It will depend on the size of your muffin pan.

Each crust was enough to make 12 circles of dough (I rerolled the scraps for the last few) and I refrigerated the second disc of dough and made the second batch a day later.  The quiche froze well in zippered freezer bags and I could reheat a few in the toaster oven.  I really love crust so I particularly like this size quiche.  A few quiche with a salad and dinner is ready.  It was great having these in the freezer and I made enough to share some with my parents.

Thanks for the visit.

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“Crack Me” Candy Filled Easter Eggs

Are you ready for this?  Real eggshells, dyed rich,  beautiful colors, filled with little candies, and the only way to get the candy is to crack ’em open! When I saw these on the very cool Not Martha where, by the way, she calls them Easter Surprise Eggs (the easy version), I knew I would be making some.   Yes, I admit, they do take some time but I love the whole idea.

First you need to get the raw egg out of the shells, than you clean the shells, dye them (Megan of Not Martha has wonderful recipes for the colors), let them dry overnight…I’m going to say that again: let them dry overnight, give yourself enough time for all the steps (yeah, I know Easter is almost here), fill them with cute little candy and glue on a paper cup and a “crack me” note.

Candy Filled Easter Eggs

Supplies:

Eggs – you may as well do at least a dozen – I did two batches because I loved how the first ones turned out

A Dremel or Egg Topper or Sharp Knife (and steady hand) to cut the eggs open (see more about this in my comments below)

Regular and Neon Food Coloring by McCormick it’s the familiar label you see at the grocery store – I got mine at Safeway

White Vinegar

Glass Jars or Measuring Cups in which you will dye the eggs

Rack for drying eggs

Candy – small stuff to fit into the eggs

Mini Muffin Papers or Candy Cups

Glue – to adhere muffin papers to hollow eggs – I used Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue

The reason Megan at her wonderful site Not Martha calls these eggs “easy version” is because she’s also shows how to use empty eggshells, dyed the same way, but first coating the insides with both dark and white chocolate before putting in candy and small toys!  You might be familiar with Kinder Eggs, a European hollow chocolate egg with a toy inside.  I read that they were banned in the US last April because they have a “non-nutritive object imbedded in it.”  Megan was inspired by both Kinder Eggs and Cascarones: hollow eggs filled with confetti and broken over the head of friends which is supposed to bring good luck!

These aren’t something you’ll want to do in one sitting.  But they are doable.  Each step is relatively simple and the results are beautiful and lots of fun.

Directions:

I used a Dremel Rotary Tool with a diamond blade (thanks Rem) and very carefully cut off a disc of shell from the wide end of the egg. On Not Martha Megan uses an egg cutter and notes other people have mentioned using manicure scissors and very sharp knives.  The Dremel was great but I suggest goggles (I just wore my regular glasses) and you might want a bandana over your hair plus an apron to cover your clothes.

The first few eggs I was making deeper cuts and ended up spraying egg whites for a rather amazing distance.  There is likely to be some spatter so work where you can control it as much as possible.  The kitchen counter with a few strategically placed plastic cutting boards and handy paper towel worked for me.  I still managed to get a fine spritz of egg white up the the very top of the cupboard door.  Keep your cuts as shallow as possible.

UPDATE: I wanted to do a few more eggs early one morning but didn’t want to turn on the Dremel.  I took a sharp knife and gave the egg a few decisive whacks (like if you had a soft-boiled egg that you wanted to open) and was able open the wide end that way.  It wasn’t as neat as the Dremel but it worked.

This part of the egg is going to be covered with the glued-on muffin paper, so it’s ok if is jagged or uneven.  Some of mine chipped and cracked and I was able to glue the cracks after dying the eggs and make them work.  I did lose a few eggs in the process so you might want to start with a few spares.

Lift off the disc of eggshell and look carefully for any fine grey grit around the opening.  With your fingers or a paper towel, clean off the grit.  Another option is to carefully tip the egg over the sink and let a little bit of egg white slip out, taking the grit with it.  Wipe the edge of the opening and tip the egg into a small dish.  If you don’t see any more bits of eggshell (which, by the way, isn’t toxic), go ahead and dump the egg into a larger bowl.  There were a few times when I cut through the shell and found the membrane still intact so I didn’t have to clean off any shell.

Now rinse the eggs and use your finger to clean the membrane out of the shells.

Sterilize egg shells by submerging in water and boiling  and simmering for 10 minutes.  Carefully pour out some of the hot water and add cold until you can gently lift egg out.  Be cautious because the small openings makes it easy for really hot water to get trapped in the egg and you could get burned taking the eggs out.  I used a slotted spoon and lifted each eggshell out before setting in on a rack over paper towel to completely drain and dry.

Next you will dye the eggs.  For my first batch I followed Megan’s recipes at Not Martha (below).  I experimented more on the second batch.  I started with the recipes on the Neon food coloring and added a drop or two of the Regular food coloring to tone down the results.  I lifted eggs out of their dye-baths after 10 minutes and if they weren’t as vivid as I wanted I would leave them in for another 5 minutes (also see timing notes with the color recipes).

Boil a kettle of water and line up 7 jars if you want to make all the colors listed here.  After the water comes to a boil, measure 1 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons white vinegar into each jar.  Then add the food coloring as listed in the color recipes below.  I also suggest that you make all the dyes before you start putting eggs in the jars.  Don’ t be like me.

Red:

  • 10 drops neon pink
  • 1 drop neon purple
  • 2 drops red
  • Soak for 10 minutes

Orange

  • 20 drops yellow
  • 5 drops red
  • soak for 15 minutes

Yellow:

  • 15 drops yellow
  • 2 drops neon green
  • soak for 15 minutes

Green:

  • 20 drops neon green
  • 2 drops neon blue
  • 1 drop green
  • soak for 15 minutes

Blue:

  • 6 drops neon blue
  • 1 drop blue
  • Soak for 10 minutes

Purple:

  • 7 drops neon blue
  • 5 drops neon pink
  • Soak for 10 minutes

Magenta:

  • 10 drops neon pink
  • 2 drops neon purple
  • Soak for 10 minutes

Wearing rubber gloves and old clothes are both good ideas although I was careful with the eggs and kept paper towels handy for drips.  I also wore an apron and I was ok.  I did get dye on my fingers but it fades in a day or two.  Use a skewer or slotted spoon or teaspoon to remove the eggs from the dye and set them to dry overnight on a rack. Other options for drying are skewers or chopsticks stuck into a foam block or sticking out of a vase or jar set over paper towel.  You want to be sure the inside of the eggs are dry before filling with candy.

Check the dyed eggs for any cracks.  If you have small cracks near the opening, put a little glue on the crack and, for reinforcement, a bit of tissue paper.  Let dry.  Set eggs in an egg carton with the open end up and fill with candy.

I found little candies at Trader Joe’s including chocolate and candy covered sunflower seeds, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds and jelly beans.  I also picked up mini M&M’s, (for my second set of eggs I found M&M’s in pastel colors), some delicious foil-wrapped dark chocolate eggs by Dove and candy-coated chocolate Sixlets that I saw in great spring colors at Target.

I enjoyed making color combinations to go with the different colored eggs but of course that isn’t necessary.  Fun, but unnecessary.

Try not to sample too much of the candy while you are filling the eggs.  Just a suggestion.

Cut mini muffin papers to about half their height and glue one on each egg.  Let dry.

Print and cut out small tags with “Crack Me” printed on them.  Glue one tag in the side of each mini muffin cup.

Admire the beautiful eggs.

When you give the eggs away, you might suggest that they crack them with care.  I gave a friend one and made her crack it open so I could get a picture for this post.  She wanted to carefully peel the paper off the bottom but I insisted she break it for the blog.  Her enthusiasm when breaking the egg resulted in candy flying in all directions!  A few plastic bags on hand to stash the candy might be a good idea.

Please do let me know if you make these eggs. They aren’t just for kids and would make sweet favors for a spring bridal shower or birthday lunch as seen here on the Kitchn in a a beautiful undyed version.

UPDATE: I did a few brown, undyed eggs that I’m calling “Snack Crack Me Eggs”.  My dad, after chemo treatment, has lost his taste for anything sweet.  So eggs filled with baby Goldfish crackers, nuts and pretzel bits seemed like a good solution.

Coming soon: egg recipes!  Thanks for the visit.

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Washi Tape Easter Eggs

 

Blue Print Wshi Tape Egg

I wanted to do something with washi tape*.  Easter is a week away.  So – I made these super-easy washi tape Easter eggs!
*Washi tape: Originally Japanese tissue or paper tape. It is like masking tape: a thin, often semi-transparent, easy-to-tear paper tape. Washi comes from Japanese words meaning “Japanese” and “paper”.  It describes paper made by hand in a traditional manner.  It has become popular with crafters in the last year or two and is now made in other places but still goes by the name washi tape.  It comes in different widths, pretty colors and many patterns.

Washi Tape Easter Egg

Supplies:

Blown Eggs  I used brown eggs.  The tape is somewhat translucent so the color of the egg will show through.

Long Needle and String or Thread

Beads (optional)

Washi Tape Available at many craft stores and online – I got mine on Etsy at Pretty Tape

Directions:

If you want to hang your egg, you need to put a loop of string or thread through the egg.

Use long needle to  thread a piece of string or thread through your egg and make a loop so you can hang it up.  Alternative method: after egg is decorated use hot glue to attach a loop of ribbon or string to egg.  (Note: I forgot to put the string on my first egg until after I’d already started putting on the washi tape so I simply put the needle through the tape that covered the holes where the egg had been blown).

I didn’t do it for these eggs but a bead or two at the bottom of the egg is a nice way to finish off the string for hanging. UPDATE: I had so much fun doing these eggs I added one more to the photos and it has a bead at the bottom.

Tear small pieces of washi tape. It tears easily and can be repositioned.

Starting at the top of the egg, cover the egg with the pieces of tape, overlapping as you go.

The roll of washi tape makes a handy holder.

Turn egg as you continue to tear off pieces of tape and cover the egg.  Smaller pieces at the ends helps to minimize wrinkles.  You can smooth out any wrinkles with your fingers as you go.  The pieces can be a little larger on the sides of the egg .

You can see that the brown of the eggshell shows through the thin, paper tape.

If you didn’t put a loop of string through the egg yet, you want to do that before you finish with the tape.

A bit of tape across the hole where the ends of the string come out helps keep the string in place.

Tie a knot in the string and trim the ends.

Finish covering the egg with pieces of washi tape.

Here are a few others done with different tape:

I just added another picture.  I was enjoying making these eggs and they go together so quickly I decided to do one with a bead at the bottom.  The pretty magenta washi tape has a lace design and I use a thin band of turquoise washi tape around the middle.

Here is a good tutorial on how to blow eggs.  In the tutorial they show different tools (straw, syringe) for blowing the egg out of the shell.  I’ve always done it without a tool, just holding the egg over a bowl, putting my lips over the hole and blowing steadily.  Whatever works for you!  I do like the suggestion to dry the blown eggs in the microwave or oven.  I’ll try that next time.

Finished eggs can be displayed on a branch, an ornament tree, a grapevine wreath or just about anywhere.

Thanks for the visit.

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Breakfast Frittata

I like eggs for breakfast and I choose to eat egg whites more often than whole eggs because I think they’re healthier. To make the egg whites more interesting I usually scramble them up with some vegetables and usually a little cheese.  A few weeks ago I got the idea that if I made a frittata on Sunday, it would take care of making the main part of my breakfast for the whole week!

The following recipe is very flexible.  I saute some veggies including some dark, leafy greens like arugula or chard, I beat one egg together with some egg whites, throw in a little feta cheese (loaded with flavor so I don’t need a lot), add some diced up veggie sausage patties, pour it into a baking dish and bake.

Breakfast Frittata

Ingredients

1 large egg

1 cup egg whites

paprika

herbs, such as basil, oregano and/or thyme

black pepper to taste  (with the feta and veggie sausages I don’t find this needs any additional salt)

nonstick spray

5 to 7 mushrooms (If you don’t like mushrooms, use some zucchini), cut in thick slices

2 or 3 green onion, cut in thin slices

1 or 2 stalks of celery (optional but good – fennel is also good), diced

2 to 3 cups chopped greens or green vegetables (I like arugula, chard, spinach, kale and even broccolini)

1/4 to 1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

2 veggie sausage patties, (I like both Morningstar Farms and Trader Joe’s brands), defrosted in microwave and diced

Directions:

Turn oven on to 400 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the whole egg with the egg whites.

Add a good sprinkle of paprika  and a big pinch of dried herbs (I like thyme), and a grind or two of black pepper, and whisk together.  Set aside.

Spray a large saute pan with nonstick spray and add the sliced mushrooms and cook on medium high heat.

Once they start to brown, add in the green onions and celery if you are using it (for the frittata in the photos I was using fennel), and saute another minute or two.

Add your chopped greens to the pan and cook it enough to wilt them a bit.  Stir in the diced red pepper and cook another minute.  Remove from heat.

Stir the cooked vegetables into the beaten egg mixture.  Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and diced vegetable sausage.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.  I use an oval glass dish that is about 7.5 inches by 10.5 inches on the bottom.

Pour the egg -vegetables mixture into the baking dish.

Bake until puffy and set, about 18 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before cutting into 6 portions.

Enjoy with whole wheat toast and fresh fruit.

Heat one portion for 50 seconds in the microwave for a really fast, healthy and easy breakfast.

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