Tag Archives: baking

Breakfast is served! And served… and served…

6 Sep


Okay, my life is back to normal for a few weeks.  Nobody is traveling anywhere this month, there are no major work functions on days that I’m not supposed to work, and I might actually get more than half a load of laundry done per week.  What does that mean for you?  Well, that I had TIME to make my weekly batch of breakfast, and that I also remembered to document it for you so that you can make it, too!  Are you ready?  Let’s go to the store!

You’ll need a dozen eggs and a quart of milk for your base.  I use organic 1% milk – I think a little fat content helps the texture, and conventional milk freaks me out since all my friends read Skinny Bitch.  Something about blood and pus, but I’m too afraid to actually read it myself.  I just shell out for organic dairy.  Yeah.  Now that we’re all hungry… get some cheese, some veggies, and some protein.  You can use whatever combinations you like.  Sauteed onions, green peppers, and ham are great with sharp cheddar.  Turkey sausage and monterey jack are a good combination.  Bacon and spinach.  Leftover chicken from fajitas is really good with black olives and green chiles.  Get the idea?  Good.  Grab a baguette or other rustic bread from the bakery and you’re set.

Pull out a 9×13 baking dish… for some reason, I’ve had better luck with my pan that has straighter sides.  It seems to cook better.  No need to grease, but I bet a little butter wouldn’t hurt if you wanted to use it!  Tear up the bread, using mostly the inside parts, and cover the bottom of the pan with little chunks of it, like this:

Put a couple tablespoons of mustard powder into a mixing bowl and start cracking your eggs.  I try to scramble the first egg or two with the powder so that it blends well.  Scramble all 12 eggs together, and add some pepper or any other seasonings you want in there.  Whisk in two cups of milk and set aside.
I used chorizo this week, and ended up using 3 sausages.  I cut each dog into quarters lengthwise and then chopped them up small.  Those pieces got sprinkled evenly over the bread, then I layered on a can of sliced olives and covered it with Tillamook sharp cheddar.  It’s my all-time favorite.  Pour the egg mixture over that and put it in the fridge overnight.

Set your alarm a little early, put your unbaked bake in the oven at 350 for about an hour.  If you want it a little less crispy on top, you can cover it with foil for the first half hour or so.  It works just like any other bake – when a knife comes out clean, it’s done!  I can usually get 8-10 breakfasts out of it.

Voila!  Viola!  Wallah!
To reheat the slices each morning, microwave them for 3 or 4 minutes at medium-high and then another 30 seconds on high.  This is definitely my most efficient 30 minutes of the week.  Even when I don’t feel like doing it, it’s so worth the time and money it saves me in the mornings.  Let me know what ingredient combos you guys come up with, I need some new ideas!

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I don’t mean to brag…

13 Jun

I baked a cake this weekend.  From scratch.  If you spend any time around me, you probably already know this, as I obsessed about it for about 5 days before it even happened.  The victims?  The ladies of book club.  Let me share a little bit about the experience…

I own several cute aprons – at least two of them involve polka dots.  But somewhere in my mind, I have aprons categorized as “retro” or “obsolete” or some other category that deems them unnecessary when I’m cooking.  So when Act I of this cake-baking adventure found me promptly covered in flour, I decided I will start using aprons more often.  Some other things I learned through this experience: parchment paper should come pre-cut in rounds.  Minor pain in the arse cutting circles out of parchment paper.  Also, non-nonstick cake pans are better, because the batter needs something to “grip” while it “climbs” the side of the pan.  Thanks to my pastry-chef-friend E.  Did you know that nonstick cake pans cause the cake to brown more on the edges?  Neither did I.  Did you also know that some recipes call for 9″ rounds, and some call for 8″ rounds?  Who came up with THAT system?  For now, I have 3 stick 9″ pans.  Let me know if you need to borrow them.

The cake was great.  I have a hard time dividing things “in half,” apparently, so when it came time to spread the filling between the layers, there may have been some jamming of lemon curd between two already-set layers.  Turns out it tastes okay even if you rough it up a little bit in the process.

I also made sangria (for my regular friends) and fruit punch (for my pregnant friends).  I didn’t try the non-alcoholic version – what? – but someone asked for the recipe so it must have been okay.  The sangria comes from Emeril and can be found here, and the regular punch was cran-pomegranate, a squeeze of lime, a bottle of San Pellegrino, and some other stuff.  I also made some caramelized onion dip in an effort to get rid of the Greek yogurt in my fridge.  My mom suggested I add some ground chipotle to it, so I did, and it was good.  I like it both ways!

Tonight I grilled some salmon, and managed not to screw it up.  Turning it over was nearly as terrifying as baking a cake, but it worked out.  Look out, I seem to be on a roll.  Next up: souffle!  That was a little culinary humor, I’m not actually dumb enough to try making a souffle.

I know you’re probably already feeling bad about yourself, what with all that I’ve gotten done this weekend, but there’s more.  I managed ALL OF THIS, and also found time to go shopping!  I know!  In a futile search for the Perfect Summer Frock, I bought one dress that he loves (I was ambivalent, it is above the knee and fitted – there is no room for gluttony in this thing), and one that I think he would prefer I never even saw.  It hits me somewhere below the ankle, is blousy-but-belted, and I could probably fit two of my closest friends or several racks of ribs in there with me.  It’s a “maxi dress.”  The best invention of the 21st century, I think.  I am certain that men everywhere are organizing a campaign against them, but ladies, they are genius.  Throw on some flip flops and some bangles and it’s practically evening wear.  Now I just need to get to work and make some jewelry to go with these new friends of mine…