Archive for the ‘breakfast food’ Category

At one time or another each of you has had a breakfast concoction called a “strata”. You know what I mean  – one of those sliced-bread-on-the-bottom, eggy/cheesey/milky-mixture-poured-over-the-top, kept-in-the-refrigerator-overnight-and-cooked-in-the-morning-thingies. They are usually too dry, too salty (especially if there’s sausage involved), and just not worth eating.

However, when we have overnight guests, it’s not great fun to awaken hours before everyone else and start whipping up gourmet delight. That’s when we all too often pull out one of the tried-but-not-true “strata” recipes. For lack of anything better, they’ll do.

Well, I’m here to give you something better. Actually, my friend Vicki gave me something better. 

I have fixed this several times to hungry guests who all raved about it. Give it a try next time you need an AM life saver. All you need to do is put it in the oven, set the timer, go get dressed, section the grapefruit, fix some toast and grapefruit, make sure the coffee’s ready, set the table, pour the juice, remember the salt and pepper, get the cream for the coffee, put the jelly in a pretty bowl, get the jelly spoon, get the sugar, sweetener….

Well, anyway, there’s always a lot to do, but this recipe will help somewhat. By the way, it’s easy to double. When I double it, I bake it in a buttered 9 x 13 pan.

Thanks, again Vicki.


Serves 6

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 c. corn flakes, crumbled

1 T. bacon fat or melted butter


5 eggs

2 1/2 c. shredded refrigerated hash browns

8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar)

1/2 c. cottage cheese

1/3 c. milk

2 green onions, thinly sliced


1. Cook the bacon, drain on paper towels, and crumble.

2. Mix the, corn flakes and bacon fat together and set aside.

3. Beat the eggs until foamy and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

4. Butter a 9″ pie pan.

5. Pour in the egg mixture.

6. Sprinkle with the bacon/crumb mixture.

7. Cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight.

8. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake 325 degrees for 50 minutes. If doubling, use a buttered 9 X 13″ pan and bake for  60 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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We always have a big breakfast on Christmas morning for lots of the family. Sometimes we have just our immediate family and sometimes we are happy to have my sister and her husband visiting from New York. That was our treat this year with both of them here. They are world travellers and sometimes are  unable to get to Ohio for Christmas.  

My mother started the tradition of cooking a great grits souffle back in the 1970’s and some years we fix that because it is so darn good and seems like a real treat because we hardly ever fix it any other time of the year.  We had it last year but this year we tried something different.

My knitting pal Vicki gave me the recipe for a delicious egg casserole a few years ago and I decided to serve it Christmas morning. It easy to prepare the night before and requires an hour in the oven before serving. You will find the recipe at the bottom of this posting.
To go with the egg casserole, I bought a spiral-sliced honey crusted ham. I took several slices from the bone, laid them in an 11 x 7 baking dish and covered it with foil to heat up for 20 minutes or so. We also had broiled grapefruit with a crunchy topping, tomato juice, and coffee cakes. It was a great way to start the day.
Mix and set aside
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. corn flakes, crumbled
2 T. bacon fat
5 eggs till foamy
8 ounces of cheese (Monterey Jack or cheddar or combo)
1/2 c. cottage cheese
1/3 c. milk
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 bag refrigerated shredded potatoes
Grease a pie pan. Pour in egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 325. 
Sprinkle pie pan with reserved bacon, cereal crumbs.
Bake 50 minutes.
I had eleven people for breakfast so I doubled the recipe and used a 9 X 13 pan. It was plenty and we even reheated it for breakfast the next day. Naturally, it was a little dry the second day, but we put some salsa on it and it was great.
 Thanks, Vicki.

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One of the blessings of summer, drought be damned, is an abundance, even an over-abundance of zucchini. I never grow it in my garden. No need. Everybody else grows it and practically pleads for others to take it off their hands. I have seen stacks of zucchini overflowing baskets at the farmers’ markets and zucchini bread waiting to be purchased and then slathered with butter or cream cheese.

I always buy zucchini. We like to saute it with onion, garlic, red bell peppers, add a little salt and pepper, and sprinkled the finished product with Parmesan cheese. Sometimes we include it in a tossed green salad where it’s quartered lengthwise, and sliced thinly. It adds a slight crunch and subtle taste. If I’m making vegetable lasagne, I occasionally add sliced zucchini to the vegetable layers with grated carrots, spinach, and mushrooms.

I found a zucchini-tomato frittata recipe the other day which appealed to me. With fresh zucchini from the market the day before, and plenty of fresh tomatoes, I had everything for a great Sunday brunch, especially with sausage links ready to cook. The recipe is from a promotional booklet (Holiday Meals) from Everyday Food, from the Kitchesn of Martha Stewart Living. </em)

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 medium zucchini (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4″ thick rounds
1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)
8 large eggs
1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. shredded white cheddar cheese
2-3 medium tomatoes (l pound), cored and thinly sliced
black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add the onion, zucchini and thyme. Cover, cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender but not browned, 7 – 8 minutes. Uncover, cook until liquid has evaporated. Generously season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.

2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then beat in the milk. Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables in the skillet, gently lifting them to let egg mixture coat the bottom of the pan. Arrange the tomatoes on top, overlapping slightly, around the outer edge.

3. Cook over medium-low heat until sides are set but the top is slightly runny, 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer to oven; cook until the center is firm and tomatoes are slightly browned, 10 – 15 minutes. To serve, gently loosen frittata with a heatproof spatula.

(Note: I used the cheddar that I had on hand, regular yellow, not white. I also sprinkled the top of the tomatoes with black pepper.)

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