I developed a habit the first few weeks of my marriage that has served me well for over 52 years now. I like to do a quick survey and make a mental list of what is available or needs to be used in the pantry and refrigerator. Then if I am going to make a meal that has not been planned and prepared for, I can browse a cookbook or Pinterest category and pair the “what we already have” with a recipe that looks worth trying. Only rarely does that produce anything but a thumbs up from my family. That was certainly the case with this breakfast casserole. Back to my favorite Breakfast in Bed Cookbook compiled by Carol Frieberg for this recipe from Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza in Healdsburg! I am sure it is lovely, but I love our own B&B right here in Richmond, Texas. For my version, I used sourdough bread cubes and shredded Swiss cheese and increased the amount of pepperoni..
Pepperoni Breakfast Casserole
2 cups sour dough bread cubes
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
5 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I use Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place bread cubes in greased 10-inch square baking dish. Cover with cheese. In a bowl combine eggs,milk, and seasoning; pour over bread and cheese. Top with pepperoni. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.
Saturday after a week of unpacking and resettling seemed like a good time to celebrate with a hearty breakfast. While Joe lined a baking sheet with foil and a rack to bake a pound of peppered bacon, I pulled out ingredients for pancakes. I enjoy Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman blog and television series so I try her recipes often and thought I would try her recipe for Perfect Pancakes!
Now that there are 5 of us regularly around the table again (and soon to be 6!), it is necessary to cook quite a stack of pancakes, so Pioneer Woman’s method fit the bill. I did not vary from her offering except for using regular unbleached all-purpose flour instead of cake flour. I could have made a substitute cake flour by substituting part of the flour I used with corn starch, but silly me, I did not look that up until after we had eaten the pancakes and declared them delicious! I thought they were a tad dense, so I checked and sure enough, that was the reason. The main difference in the 2 flours is the protein content (which becomes gluten). The protein content of cake flour is about 8%, while the protein content of flour is about 10-11%. Next time I will either have cake flour on hand or try this simple substitution: For each cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 Tablespoons and add back in 2 Tablespoons of corn starch!
When we were clearing the table, my son declared these pancakes the best he had ever eaten! Thank you, Ree Drummond! And next time I will do it right!
- 3 cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Cake Flour
- 3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 cups Milk
- 2 whole Large Eggs
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
- Butter for the table
- Maple Syrup
Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.
Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined.
Melt butter and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine. Stir in more milk if needed for thinning. Batter will not be smooth. Do not overmix.
Ladle about 1/4 cup for each pancake onto a greased or sprayed griddle over medium-low to low heat until golden brown. The pancakes will brown too quickly if the heat is too high. When they dry slightly around the edges and begin to bubble, turn and cook a few seconds more on the other side. Serve with a pat of butter and maple syrup.
I took a break from my blogs last week since we were still finding our way between boxes. Even though we are not unpacked and settled, I am enjoying a return to being in the kitchen for reasons other than unpacking dishes! Our area is presently experiencing a history making flood with rain still coming down, so I thought of this hearty stew my mother used to make. I still have the recipe written in her firm, flowing handwriting on a sheet of lined notepaper although I no longer need to pull it out to go by. It was a fine meal to have on a cool rainy early June evening. And there are plenty of leftovers for a weekend lunch.
Nana’s Barley Burger Stew
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 8 cups tomato juice
- 2 cups water added as needed as stew cooks and thickens
- 1 cup medium pearl barley
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, optional
In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add onion, carrots, and celery, stirring as vegetables wilt. Stir in the tomato juice, barley, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add about 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes or until barley is tender, adding water if mixture becomes too thick. Serve in bowls along with crusty French bread.