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

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Monte Cristo Sandwich

The Sunday morning after we change our clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time, I always sleep late.  (We did lose an hour of sleep after all).  As a result breakfast is on the late-side, getting close to lunch. So I combine the two and one meal serves as two, i.e. brunch.

That event took place not long ago, and I ended up making this breakfast sandwich that, served with some fruit, was hearty enough to last us till dinnertime.

I used croissants to make these.

I used croissants to make these.

I don’t know what it is, but we seem to love the convenience of a whole meal in one package!  Or maybe its because these handheld meals are so darn delicious, but I am seeing breakfast sandwiches everywhere.  Whether you choose to use a knife and fork, or just grab them and go, these will certainly make you want to get out of bed and get going!

The Monte Cristo sandwich is an American classic, where you dip ham and swiss cheese sandwiches in egg batter and pan-fry them.  Dust the hot sandwiches with confectioners’ sugar and serve with some jam on the side if you like, or drizzle them with maple syrup for a real treat.

MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH

Yield:   Makes 4 servings/sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices country bread (I used croissants for mine)
  • swiss cheese slices ( I used Muenster cheese)
  • sliced ham
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • confectioners’ sugar, if desired

Directions:

1.  Spread mustard on bread.  Layer 4 bread slices with Swiss cheese, ham, and cheese again.  Place remaining bread slices on top.

Layer up the ham and cheese, then dip the sandwich in egg.

Layer up the ham and cheese, then dip the sandwich in egg.

2.  In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Dip each sandwich in the egg mixture, turning to coat well.

3.  In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  When butter is foamy, add the sandwiches, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Cooking on the griddle.

Cooking on the griddle.

Second side getting browned.

Second side getting browned.

Serve immediately, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Forgot to dust them with sugar.  :D

Forgot to dust them with sugar. 😀

SOURCE:   Everyday Food

Mexican Ham and Bean Soup

Mexican Ham and Bean Soup

Mexican Ham and Bean Soup

With a cold rain falling outside and the wind whipping the remaining leaves around, it is just the kind of day when I like to make soup.  A big pot of warming soup and some biscuits to go with it.  Oh, I can’t wait for dinner!  So I had better get started.

When made with dried beans as this soup is, it shortens the cooking time if you precook the beans and let them soak in the hot liquid for about an hour before actually making the soup.  Once you get the beans, broth, and seasonings going you can go on to other things and let the wonderful aroma fill your kitchen until it’s time to add the tomatoes and chili.

A one-pot meal will be waiting for you whenever you want it.  This is a good meal for when family members are coming and going, eating at different times.  Keep it warm on the back burner and let everyone ladle out their serving as needed.IMG_5743

Since the recipe for this soup makes a large quantity, I made only half the recipe and at step #3 where tomatoes are added, I also added the leftover sauce from my Omelette with Bacon Ham and Beans.  It was a good way to use up the extra sauce, and it rounded out the soup with some extra vegetables.  I made the recipe as it is given here on many occasions and we always love it.  Men in particular will find this to be very spicy, hearty and filling.  Someone in my family once said it was the best soup he ever had.  I’m looking at you, Steve.

MEXICAN HAM AND BEAN SOUP

Yield:   8 servingsIMG_5733

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans ( or navy beans)
  • 8 cups fat-free less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups water
  • 1  1/2 cups cubed smoked ham steak (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oreganoIMG_5735
  • 2 packets Sazon Goya (optional), but good
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 chipotle chile ( or dried ancho or pasilla chile)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Directions:

1.  Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven or soup kettle.  Cover with water to 2 inches above beans, bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, remove from heat.  Cover and let stand 1 hour.  Drain.

2.  In the same pan, combine beans, broth, and next 8 ingredients (broth through garlic); bring to a boil.  Partially cover; reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer 1  1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

3.  Stir in tomatoes and chile, simmer 30 minutes.  Discard bay leaves and chile.  Ladle soup into bowl.  Top with cheese, sprinkle with cilantro.

IMG_5745

If there is any left over, it seems to taste even better the second time around when flavors have had even more time to meld.

SOURCE:  an old recipe from my recipe box

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Today was one of those days when I didn’t have a minute to myself—ever have days like that?   I didn’t think I would have time to make dinner, before I needed to turn around and go back out again.  Whew!  Somehow I managed to cook up something that turned out quite good, so I thought I would tell you about it, so when you have “one of those days”, you can do what I did, and still feel that you’ve put something healthy and hearty on the table for dinner.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Food Network Magazine that was called Grits with Bacon and Beans.  Instead of making grits which can take some time, I made an omelette, thereby saving on time, reducing the carbohydrates and increasing the proteins. To work this into my time crunch, after lunch when I had about an hour, I made the mixture of bacon and beans adding in some diced ham, again to increase the protein content.  With this mixture made in advance, I only needed to reheat it while I made an omelette.  Then I made some rye bread toast to go with it.  Mr. D. raved about this meal.

This was really good!!

This was really good!!

Besides being a quick meal for dinner this could be served for a brunch.  I think eggs cooked just about any way would be good with this mixture of vegetables and ham.  I love a recipe like this that can be adapted several different ways.  Try it!  Next time I make this, I’ll make cheese grits to spoon the ham-bean mixture over.  I’m looking forward to that meal 😀

OMELETTE, WITH BACON, HAM AND BEANS

Yield;  Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped collard greens, kale, or spinach, thawed and drained

    Beans, tomatoes, and frozen "greens".

    Beans, tomatoes, and frozen “greens”.

  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1  (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1  (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas (do not drain)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • small amount of milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet or shallow sauce pan over medium heat until almost crisp, about 8 minutes.  Add the vegetable oil and increase the heat to medium high;  add the peppers, onion, collard greens, cayenne and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 8 minutes.

Cooking up the vegetables.

Cooking up the vegetables.

2.  Add the tomatoes, black-eyed peas (with their liquid) and ham and bring to a simmer, cook 15 minutes.

Dice up some ham to add in.

Dice up some ham to add in.

Season with salt if needed.    Note:  all of this mixture can be made in advance and reheated when needed.

3.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, about 2-3 Tablespoons milk, and salt and pepper.  Melt butter in an omelette pan or skillet.  When hot, but not browned, add the egg mixture and cook over medium heat, lifting the edges as they become set, and let uncooked egg run underneath.  When all the egg mixture has been cooked, except for the “wet” top, sprinkle with half the shredded cheddar,  fold the omelette in half, and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese.  Cover and turn off the heat.  Allow cheese to melt.

Cheese omelette, ready to serve with the vegetable-ham mixture.

Cheese omelette, ready to serve with the vegetable-ham mixture.

4.  Serve omelette with the ham and bean mixture on the side.

Cook eggs in your favorite style and serve with this vegetable mixture.

Cook eggs in your favorite style and serve with this vegetable mixture.

SOURCE:   adapted from Food Network Magazine

Ham and Apple Butter Panini

Ham and apple butter  panini.

Ham and apple butter panini.

The foliage this year in New England is awesome, probably due to the few chilly mornings we had a couple of weeks ago.  Even though it is still developing in our area,  north of us it has almost reached its peak.  So this year we took our annual foliage ride to New Hampshire.   It was a beautiful sunny day and we totally enjoyed our day-cation.  One of the highlights of the day was our lunch at a small cafe, situated with a  river running behind it.  There was a patio out back where we sat to enjoy not only our lunch, but also the foliage along the river.

We both ordered a bowl of soup and this Ham and Apple Butter Panini.  It was awesome, and after we returned home the thought of it kept running through my mind.  I wished I could have another one, so I made it happen.  The combination may sound a little unusual, but let me assure you, it’s all good.  Somehow it just works.  The sweet apple butter, the salty ham, crisp apple slices and melted cheese.  Irresistible.

Cheese, apples, ham and apple butter.  Superb!

Cheese, apples, ham and apple butter. Superb!

If you go to an apple orchard and come away looking for ideas to use up your apples, this sandwich is a great place to start.

HAM AND APPLE BUTTER PANINI

Yield:   4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices sturdy bread, such as sourdough, or a rustic white like Scala.
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • sliced cheddar cheese, white or yellow,
  • 2 – 3 thinly sliced apples, such as Macoun, Macintosh, or whatever is available in your area.
  • thinly sliced deli ham, about 6 – 8 oz.
  • 1/2 cup apple butter (available at the supermarket where jams are sold, or you can make your own.)

Directions:

To assemble the sandwiches, separate the slices of bread into pairs.  Generously butter one side of each slice of bread, and then place them butter side down on a work surface.  (This will be the outside of the sandwich.)

On one side of each pair, layer cheese, apple slices, and ham.

IMG_5246

On the remaining slice of each pair, spread a generous layer of apple butter.  Sandwich the two slices of each pair together with the buttered sides facing outward.

Butter the outside of bread on both sides and grill it.

Butter the outside of bread on both sides and grill it.

Warm a cast iron skillet or panini grill over medium heat.  Cook the sandwiches, turning once, until both sides are golden and the cheese is melted.  Slice in half and serve immediately.

Sweet, salty, cheesy, melty.  What's not to love?

Sweet, salty, cheesy, melty. What’s not to love?

IMG_5251

Ham and Broccoli Quiche

We have come to the end of our second week on a low carbohydrate diet, and I can tell you that Mr. D. has lost 4 lb. and I have lost 3 lb.  So we are continuing with this meal plan, but now we can begin to add a few more carbohydrates into each day’s meal plan.  On the weekend I made this quiche for a late breakfast/brunch.  It is very filling because of the quantity of ingredients, and we were satisfied enough by it  to not eat again until dinnertime.  I did make a few adjustments to lower the carbohydrate level as explained below.

Most quiche recipes call for a pie crust shell (as this one does), into which you layer your filling and egg mixtures.  I used 4  ( 8″ ) corn tortillas, to line my pie dish, overlapping them slightly on the bottom and extending them up the sides of the dish.  Corn tortillas are lower in total carbs than pie crust plus they provide a little fiber.   Also, instead of the 1 cup milk called for in the recipe I used 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water to make the 1 cup liquid needed.

This recipe makes 6 servings.

CRUST:

1 refrigerated Pie Crust from a 15 oz. package, softened at room temperature as directed on the package.  OR, substitute  4 ( 8″ ) corn tortillas.

FILLING:

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked, cubed ham
  • 6 oz. ( 1 1/2 cup ) shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, either precooked leftovers, or frozen ones, thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk,  or 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Make pie crust as directed on package for one-crust filled pie using a 9-inch glass pie pan. Or line pie pan with the corn tortillas.

2.   Layer ham, broccoli, and 1 cup of cheese in the crust-lined pan.  In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and all the remaining ingredients. Combine well.  Pour over  what’s in the pan.

3.  Bake 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.  Return to oven till cheese is melted.  Let stand about 10 minutes before serving as it will cut better.

   

SOURCE:     Healthy Meals in Minutes       

Making Homemade Pizza

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pizza.  Do you?  But it’s hard to please everyone as they all have their favorites.   Well, with my family I have pretty much solved this problem.  I make pizza at home, and everyone can choose their own topping.  Depending on what I have on hand, I present them with 3-4 choices, and we go from there.

Today, I am going to share with you the three most commonly chosen pizzas at my house.  They all start the same way with the basic crust. Depending on how much time I have to prepare, I use one of the following types:

  1. Made from scratch pizza dough.( Please see separate post for my dough recipe)  Again, I rely on my bread machine to make a basic dough, which produces about  2 pounds.  I do this periodically, and freeze it in 1 pound balls.  Defrost at room temperature, stretch to fit your pan, and you’re ready to build your pizza.
  2. Frozen dough from the grocery store.  Defrost and use as described above.
  3. Preformed pizza shell like BOBOLI.  This gives you the option of making one 10″ pie, or choose a package with 4 smaller individual pies.

Always prepare your pan in advance.  This can be a pizza pan, a pizza stone, or large baking sheet.  Mist or brush with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with corn meal. This is optional, but it gives the crust a nice crunch.  Roll or stretch the dough to fit the pan.  Note:  yeast doughs like to fight you; the more you stretch them the more they seem to shrink back. To  win this fight, take it slow.  Stretch a little, wait, let it rest.  Stretch some more,wait, let it rest.  Be patient, and you will win.   Try to have as uniform a thickness as possible.  There will be some air bubbles throughout. They are what give lightness to your crust.  Before layering on the toppings, mist or brush the crust with olive oil, especially the outer margin, so it will brown nicely.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pizza Deluxe

  • 2-3  links Italian Sausage, hot or sweet, casings removed
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, cut in half, then into wedges
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1  cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese ( pizza blend is good, or any combination you prefer)
  1. In a large skillet crumble the sausage and ground beef together, and cook until browned.  Remove meats to a bowl, and drain pan, leaving a small amount of drippings.
  2. Place peppers and onions in skillet over medium heat and saute until beginning to soften.  Add mushrooms. and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Remove from heat.

.

3.  Spred the basil pesto evenly over the dough. Top with the marinara sauce.

4.  Add the cooked meats over the sauce.

5.  Top evenly with the vegetables.

6.  Before topping with the cheese, I like to sprinkle a little dried oregano, and red pepper flakes over the vegetables.

      Top with cheese(s).

7.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Kickin Chicken Pizza

  • 5-6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and broken into small pieces
  • 1 tesp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce–your choice
  • 4 oz. pepper-jack cheese
  •  1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded.  (Rotisserie chicken is good here)
  • 8 oz. Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/2 tesp. red pepper flakes, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Follow directions given above for pan preparation.  Mist dough crust with olive oil.  Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium skillet on med-high, cook bacon, drain and crumble.  Reserve 1 teaspoon bacon drippings, add 1 teaspoon olive oil, swirl to coat pan.  Saute onions and peppers until tender crisp, add garlic and continue sauteing for 40-45 seconds or until garlic is aromatic.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.  Spread BBQ sauce over crust, leaving a small margin at edges. Layer ingredients in the following order:  pepper-jack cheese, shredded chicken, onion-pepper mixture, Mexican cheese blend, top with crumbled bacon and red pepper flakes, if using.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.

Hawaiian Pizza

  • 1 cup Alfredo Sauce with Cheese  (like Classico)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup cooked ham steak, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple, in chunks
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp, and broken into small pieces

 Prepare pizza crust and pan as directed above, misting with olive oil, especially the edges.

1. In small sauce pan, heat Alfred0 Sauce, thinning with 1/4 cup milk.   Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and mix until smooth.

2. Spread Alfredo Sauce mixture on pizza crust, leaving a small margin at the edges.

3. Top with ham pieces, pineapple chunks and bacon pieces.

4. Sprinkle on remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until browned.