Baked Ham and Eggs Breakfast Cups

Baked Ham and Eggs Breakfast Cups

Baked Ham and Eggs Breakfast Cups

Today feels like a good day.

It feels like one of those days that has been a long time in coming.   But thanks to the passing of days, hours and minutes it’s finally here.  I’m staring down the finish line, listening to loud music blasting from my I-Pad, practicing dance steps while I cook–because that’s what I do..

The whole point of my happy dancing around the kitchen is because today is the last day at home before we go on va-ca-tion!!  To celebrate I am making a fantastic breakfast.

IMG_7902

You know how it is when you’re going away, you clean out the refrigerator, right?   So I have a little of this and a little of that, and Bingo!! it becomes these cute little ham and egg cups.  I hope you like them as much as we did.  They were fun to make and even more fun to eat.

As described in the recipe, I baked the cups in the oven, but you could also make them in the microwave, for a quicker meal.  They only take a few seconds to put together and about 13 – 15 minutes to bake in the oven,  giving you just about enough time to make coffee and some toast to go with them.

Try them and do the happy dance around your kitchen, too.

IMG_7859

BAKED HAM AND EGGS CUPS

Yield:   Directions are for 1 serving.  Increase amounts accordingly.IMG_7892

Ingredients:

  • 1  or 2 slices thin deli ham
  • 1 or 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup frozen hash browns
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  Line the bottom of an 8-oz. ramekin or custard cup with ham slices, folding ham in half if necessary.

2.  Pour hash browns in top of ham.

Pour some hash browns over the ham.

Pour some hash browns over the ham.

Lightly whisk eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Pour over hash browns.

IMG_7895

Pour eggs over hash browns.

Pour eggs over hash browns.

 

3.  Sprinkle top with shredded cheddar.

Sprinkle cheese on top,

Sprinkle cheese on top,

4.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet for stability in and out of the oven.

5.  Bake at 400 *F.  for 13 – 15 minutes, till tops are puffed and eggs no longer “jiggle”.  As noted above, these can also be cooked in the microwave until eggs are set.

IMG_7898

IMG_7901

 

SOURCE:    Carolyn’s Originals

 

 

Advertisements

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

Sometimes a recipe will contain ingredients that make  you wonder how such diverse items could possibly go together and taste good.  Such is the case with this recipe.  This is a dish that I find unusual and out of the ordinary, not because of what the ingredients are, but the way in which they are put together.

Let’s take the tomatoes— not at all unusual in a sandwich with mayonnaise, or even with a slice of cheese.  But how about if the tomatoes get combined with mayonnaise and cheese in a piecrust?    Add some roast garlic to this combination and top the whole thing off with crumbled Ritz crackers.   This is not a dessert pie, but a side dish.  And let me tell you it is wow-worthy!

Sorry I couldn't cut a piece for a photo.

Sorry I couldn’t cut a piece for a photo.

I believe this dish may be southern in origin, one that is popular at pot-luck get-togethers.  So I made it recently to bring to an end-of-the-year pot-luck picnic.  First came the questions:  “what is this?”   Then sounds of delight, ” wow, this is so good,  who made it?”,  “may I have the recipe?”   I’ll admit, I was doubtful that I would like it, but after one taste I was hooked.  I encourage you to give it a try, with a small suggestion.  When fresh tomatoes become plentiful, you may want to use them, and roast them as the recipe directs, to decrease their juiciness.  But when fresh tomatoes are not available, good quality canned ones are great also, as that is what I used in making it for the first time, and what the recipe actually calls for.

We are going to a pot-luck picnic supper.

We are going to a pot-luck picnic supper.

TOMATO PIE

Yield:   Makes 8 servingsIMG_7581

Ingredients:

  • 1 ( 9-inch) piecrust – store-bought or make your own favorite recipe for single crust pie
  • 1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes, preferable San Marzano, drained, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, unpeeled (use 3-4 if you really like garlic)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil  ( I thought this was a more than needed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, plus more for garnish ( or use 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar ( about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Ritz crackers

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  On a lightly floured surface, roll piecrust dough into a 1/4-inch-thick, 11-inch round.  Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; trim any excess dough and crimp edge.  Note: use a standard pie dish, not a deep-dish one.

Prepare pie shell for single crust pie.

Prepare pie shell for single crust pie.

Line pastry bottom with a round of parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights.

Fill with dried beans or pie weights prior to blind baking.

Fill with dried beans or pie weights prior to blind baking.

Bake until edge is golden brown but bottom is still pale, 15 – 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Baked pie shell.

Baked pie shell.

2.  Reduce heat to 350*F.  Arrange tomatoes and garlic in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle evenly with olive oil and  sprinkle with thyme.  Roast tomatoes until slightly shriveled and starting to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan.

Roast tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet.

Roast tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet.

3.  Meanwhile in a medium bowl, combine Cheddar, mayonnaise, pepper, and salt.  Set aside.

Mix together mayonnaise and shredded cheese.

Mix together mayonnaise and shredded cheese.

4.  Squeeze roasted garlic from its skin onto piecrust.  Using an offset spatula or your fingers, spread the garlic paste evenly to cover bottom of piecrust.  Layer tomatoes on top of the garlic paste.  Spread the cheese-mayonnaise mixture over the tomatoes.

Spread cheese mixture over tomatoes in pie shell.

Spread cheese mixture over tomatoes in pie shell.

Sprinkle top with crushed Ritz crackers.

Top with crushed Ritz crackers.

Top with crushed Ritz crackers.

Bake until cheese is bubbly and pie top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Garnish with a sprig of thyme, if desired.

Sorry I couldn't cut a piece for a photo.

Sorry I couldn’t cut a piece for a photo.

 

SOURCE:   Country Living Magazine

Cornbread with Broccoli and Cheese

Cornbread with Broccoli and Cheese

Cornbread with Broccoli and Cheese

Here’s a recipe that Mr. D. and I really like.  I make it often when we have chili, as a way to expand the meal, when we are having chili the second time around.  This is a moist cornbread with a slightly sweet corn flavor and can be served as a side dish with any meat entrée.  Adding the broccoli is a good way to get picky eaters to eat some veggies, and the cheddar cheese just seals the deal in my opinion.

IMG_0230

The original recipe for this dish calls for cottage cheese, but I had a small amount of ricotta cheese to use up so I used that instead.   The texture of the cornbread was moist and creamy, but could be cut into squares.  The dish you see here in my pictures contains only half a recipe (9″-square pan), but the full recipe makes a 13 x 9″ pan.

CORNBREAD WITH BROCCOLI AND CHEESE

Yield:   serves 12IMG_6322

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese ( or substitute ricotta cheese)
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted (for half recipe use 4 Tablespoons)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2  ( 8.5-ounce) packages corn muffin mix
  • 1 ( 10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and squeezed dry.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1  1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided**

**  If you would like to off-set the sweetness of the cornbread, go with an extra sharp cheddar.

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

2.  Whisk cottage cheese, butter and eggs in a large bowl.  Stir corn muffin mix into the mixture just until moistened.  Fold in broccoli, onion, and 1 cup cheese.   Pour into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

3.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 – 40 minutes.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before slicing and serving warm.

IMG_0225

IMG_0227

SOURCE:   Allrecipes.com

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The polar vortex has arrived here in the Northeast, reaching its icy fingers right down into my neck-of-the-woods. Many of you across the U.S. know what I’m talking about as you-all are having it too.  What never ceases to amaze me is how abruptly the weather can change.  Someone  ( ?who) once said ” if you don’t like the weather around here, just wait a minute.”   As an example yesterday morning when I got up it was pouring rain and the temperature was 60*F.  All the snow from a few days ago had melted.  This morning when I got up the temperature was 11*F. with a wind chill of -15*, and there was a dusting of snow back on the ground.  BRRRRR!!

This was one day I was so happy to stay indoors.  Since I had gone to the library yesterday,  I had some good reading waiting for me, plus I’m so behind on my magazines I haven’t finished reading about Thanksgiving yet!  A good day to spend under a quilt trying to stay warm, reading and getting caught up…..and thinking about what’s for supper.   Actually, it didn’t take much thought; on a day like this one, I want hot soup.

There's nothing like a warming bowl of hot soup.

There’s nothing like a warming bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day.

After rummaging around in the refrigerator I found a large bunch of broccoli that immediately made me think of cream of broccoli soup.  This didn’t exactly fit into my plans for eating “lighter” meals because of the cream content, so I searched through my cookbooks for a more suitable recipe for broccoli soup.  This is what I came up with……

BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP

Yield:   Serves 4 – 6IMG_6075

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  •  2 shallots or 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth, preferably low sodium   (vegetable broth may be substituted for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Boil or steam the broccoli until tender.  Drain and set aside.

2.  While broccoli cooks, melt butter in a soup kettle.  Saute shallots and garlic in the butter until tender.

3.  Sprinkle flour into the kettle and stir over low heat until blended.  Add chicken broth and continue stirring until mixture is smooth.

4.  Add the broccoli to the broth mixture.  Using an immersion blender or regular blender puree the soup mixture until uniformly blended.

An immersion blender makes quite work of pureeing the soup.

An immersion blender makes quick work of pureeing the soup.

5.  Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

  Add in the grated cheese and stir to melt.


Add in the grated cheese and stir to melt.

This soup is surprisingly thick, because of the flour added to the broth, and because of pureeing the broccoli.  Be sure you use a large head of broccoli so there is adequate to thicken the soup.  The cheese also adds some thickening, and its flavor is a nice addition.  I also added a pinch of nutmeg to my soup though it is not included with the ingredients. Though this is a lightened up version of cream of broccoli soup, it still has a rich taste and texture.   I didn’t miss the cream at all!

Note:  If broccoli is not available,  cauliflower may be used instead.

Hot soup and a go-with sandwich.

Hot soup and a go-with sandwich.

Stop back again tomorrow for directions for making the filled sandwich you see in the above picture.

SOURCE:   The Flavor of New England,  Soups, Chowders, and Stews

Cheese Garlic Biscuits

Cheese Garlic Bisquits

Cheese Garlic Bisquits

Dinner rolls and biscuits often times join each other on the dinner table.  Some folks prefer rolls while others like biscuits.  I’m a biscuit person when given a choice, although I never turn down a good dinner roll either.  These biscuits are so good that I just had to share them with you just in case your family is like mine and likes a variety of “breads” on the table.

I suppose it doesn’t make much sense to rave about a recipe that starts with a baking mix and includes just a couple of other ingredients.  And it probably doesn’t count that I literally had these mixed up in seconds yet I can’t praise them enough. They are light, fluffy, and reach- for- seconds delicious.  They feel like they are going to float right out of your mouth!

Tender, and fluffy inside.

Tender, and fluffy inside.

These biscuits are also great with a bowl of soup or a salad.

CHEESE GARLIC BISCUITS

Yield:  10 servingsIMG_5736

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups buttermilk baking mix, like Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped parsley

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450*F    Have ready a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

2.  Combine baking mix, garlic powder, milk and cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl.  Beat with wooden spoon until soft dough forms.

3.  Drop dough by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.

I brushed them with butter before baking.

I brushed them with butter before baking.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown.

after baking, golden and lightly browned with little crisp edges.

After baking, golden and lightly browned with little crisp edges.

4.  Melt butter and add chopped parsley.**  Brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.  Serve warm.

IMG_5741

**I like to brush the butter mixture on before and after baking.  It makes them so much better.

SOURCE:  Allrecipes.com

A Super Bowl of Dip

Pimiento-Cheese Dip

Pimiento-Cheese Dip

This is just the thing for your Super Bowl Party!  Pimiento cheese dip is one of those comfort foods that can serve as a really delicious appetizer or as a cheese spread.  If you’re looking for a whole lot of comfort, use the spread to make a sandwich on white bread and grill it like grilled cheese. (Sublime!)  If it’s an appetizer you’re after, put it in a small bowl or serving dish, and surround it with chips, crackers, toast points, or celery sticks.

Whenever I’ve been served this dip I found that if you don’t get to it when it’s first put on the table, there won’t be any left in a few minutes.  Everyone seems to really like it, and its extremely easy to make.

PIMIENTO-CHEESE DIP

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup butter or cream cheese, softened  (Ease your conscience a little, use the low-fat variety.)
  • 1 ( 4 ounce ) jar chopped pimientos, drained
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. white sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

 

Beat the shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and softened butter or cream cheese in a mixing bowl with a mixer on low speed until well blended.

Add the pimientos, garlic powder, salt and sugar; mix to combine.  Stir in the pecans if using.

Additional notes:   This recipe can become too salty, if using salted butter, so taste before adding the salt and adjust amount accordingly.  This becomes particularly important if serving with salty chips or crackers.  Another nice addition is chopped black olives especially if serving with finger-cut raw veggies.

This does not last long once put out on the table.

This does not last long once put out on the table.

SOURCE:   All-Recipes.com

Bacon and Pierogi Bake

I sometimes rely  on convenience  foods from the freezer section of the supermarket when I am short on time.  They give a “jump-start” to dinner preparations, and often are more economical than what I can make at home.  Pierogis are one of those food items.  Pierogies are filled dumplings; the fillings varying from potatoes, to cheeses, to spinach, or any combinations of these.   The most common way I fix them is to boil them as directed on the package, and serve with melted butter and sautéed onions.  Teamed up with a protein item and a salad, they round out the meal by providing carbohydrates and, depending on their filling, a small additional amount of protein as well.

In this baked dish, however,  I pair pierogies with bacon and a very simple cheese sauce. Top with more cheese, bake for a short time and top with chopped tomatoes and green onions.  Serve with a green salad.  I think this dish is colorful and looks nice baked in gratin dishes for individual casseroles.

INGREDIENTS

Servings:  about 4

  • 1  package ( 16 oz.) frozen pierogies, filling of your choice
  • Cooking spray
  • 2-3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup (3 oz.) 1/3-less fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Arrange pierogies in an 11″ x 7″ baking dish, or individual casseroles, coated with cooking spray.

3.  Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain on paper towel.  Set aside.

4.  Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to pan, cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently.  Gradually add  chicken broth, stirring with a whisk till smooth.   Pour this mixture evenly over the pierogies.

5.  Top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, and tomatoes.

       SOURCE:  adapted from  Cooking Light Magazine

Grilled Cheddar and Bacon Waffle Sandwich

It seems that when ever I make waffles there are always some left over.  Does this happen to you, too?  What I usually do is toast the pieces in the toaster and have them for breakfast or a snack, spread with jam or peanut butter.  Well as luck would have it on the day I made the Summertime Vegetable Soup, (see July 16 post)  I had a few pieces of left-over waffle in the refrigerator.  I was planning on making grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the soup, when inspiration struck:  how about using the waffles instead of bread for the sandwiches.  Bingo!  I was all over that in a second!

Out came the waffles, some sliced cheddar cheese, and some precooked bacon.  On a hot grill pan I placed the bacon just to crisp it up, and it was nice enough to leave behind a tiny bit of fat to grease the pan.  Next I lay the bottom waffle piece on the pan, covered it with slices of the cheddar cheese, lay on the bacon, more cheese to cover, then the top layer of waffle.   Couldn’t be more simple.   Keep the heat on low to let the sandwich toast slowly, so the cheese will melt, but not burn the waffle, since it’s already cooked.   WOW!  These were delicious, and a perfect accompaniment to the soup.