Muffin Quiche

These muffin shaped treats are a nice make ahead or on the go breakfast and are a good choice for Easter brunch. They are pretty on a plate and easy to reheat.  Variations might include adding chopped crisp bacon, crumbled cooked pork sausage or diced ham. Cheddar or Montery Jack Cheese  can be subbed for the Swiss.

Muffin Cup Quiche

One roll crescent roll dough
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk or half and half
1/3 cup diced red pepper or chopped pimiento
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup finely chopped smoked sausage
1 teaspoon dried thyme.
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 oz  Swiss cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Spray a 12 serving muffin tin with cooking spray.
Pop open the crescent roll dough and separate the 8 triangles on a flat surface.Then lay the big end of each over 8 muffin cups, cutting the “tail” that is leftover.  You will use all these tails to make 4 more muffin cups. Press dough into muffin cups. The edges will be uneven, but after baking, create a rustic tart crust.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, thyme, salt and pepper.
Divide vegetables and chopped sausage evenly between each muffin cup. Repeat with egg mixture and sprinkle grated cheese on top. Bake for 12 minutes, or until filling is set and crust beginning to brown.

Ham and Swiss Quiche with Greek Yogurt

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This quiche made a lovely Saturday morning breakfast for us, but it is just as good for lunch or a late supper.  I experimented with using a different ingredient and found that a cup of Greek Yogurt works well with other traditional quiche ingredients. I used a heaping cup of chopped ham here, but will try it soon with chopped fresh vegetables instead. Serve with fresh fruit or green salad tossed with a citrus vinaigrette.

Ham and Swiss Quiche with Greek Yogurt

1 9 or 10 inch pie unbaked pie crust

1 generous cup chopped ham

1 cup grated swiss cheese

1 shallot, sliced very thin

3 large eggs

1 cup Greek yogurt

2/3 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. (a pinch!)

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fit the unbaked pie crust into Quiche baking dish. Sprinkle chopped ham over bottom of crust, top with 3/4 of the grated cheese, reserving 1/4 cup. Scatter thinly sliced shallot over this mixture. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and add yogurt and milk with nutmeg,

In a medium bowl, beat eggs and add yogurt and milk with nutmeg, salt, and pepper..  Blend, then pour slowly over ham and cheese.  Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and sprinkle extra nutmeg over top if desired. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Pepperoni Breakfast Casserole

Pepperoni Breakfast Casserole

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.

Grilled Vegetable Omelet

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Cooking in my kitchen has been quite different in recent weeks for two reasons.  First, we had our house on the market, selling it days after listing. Second, I am on a medically prescribed restricted diet:  No tomatoes or sauces, no spices, no citrus, little or no fats, and only certain breads. We were eating more meals in restaurants, so the second  was complicated by the first. Since we needed to be out of the house often for showings, inspections, etc we still needed to eat out making menu choices more limited, and certainly more thoughtful.  This week, Joe brought in a take out meal which I had chosen resulting in leftovers – a  portion of grilled chicken breast and a larger portion of grilled vegetables. I decided to make this grilled vegetable omelet which was so good I will make it again, including grilling the veggies myself..OK, I admit, I added some chopped chicken too!

Grilled Vegetable Omelet    (serves 2).

4 large eggs.

1 Tablespoon water

1 cup or more chopped grilled vegetables (I used zucchini, broccoli, onions, and sweet red pepper).

Olive oil to coat the omelet pan (I used our vintage 8-inch curved side iron skillet)

Over moderate setting, heat a scant amount of oil in omelet pan or skillet

Add the eggs whipped with 1 Tablespoon water, and cook, lifting edges and tilting pan to allow raw egg to pour under the edge.  Continue until almost done, but still shiny, smoothing any liquid egg toward edge.  Add chopped vegetables and spread evenly over half the egg mixture.  Turn off heat.  Fold omelet in half, pressing slightly to seal edges. Egg will continue to cook.  Slide onto serving plate and garnish as desired.  I usually cut the halves and serve, but you can leave the omelet on the servng plate in order to serve yourself at table. We had this for breakfast, but it would be nice for a light lunch or supper as well.

 

Breakfast Ramekin with Sherried Eggs and Ham

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Perfect for breakfasts for lazy Saturdays, times when there are guests in the house, or for a light meal any time of the day – this is a tasty individual dish that is something old and familiar and something with a new twist at the same time!

Once again, I found a great starting recipe in my copy of Breakfast in Bed which has recipes from Northern California to British Columbia B&B’s. This is a variation of a dish served at the North Coast Country Inn in Gualala, California.

Breakfast Ramekin with Sherried Eggs and Ham

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set desired number of buttered ramekins on baking sheet.  This recipe is for 2 individual servings, but may be multiplied by as many servings as you need.

3 Tablespoons finely chopped ham

4 eggs

2 Tablespoons half and half

2 teaspoons dry sherry

1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Worcestershire sauce

sea salt

black pepper

paprika

Put finely chopped ham in bottom of buttered ramekins, Break 2 eggs onto top of ham. In a small bowl, mix half and half, sherry, a dash each of Worcestershire sauce and Tobasco, salt, and pepper.  W ith a teaspoon, carefully drizzle this mixture (divided evenly) over top of eggs. Sprinkle with shredded cheese on each cup and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake about 20 minutes, or until eggs are set. Serve hot.

Mary Ann’s Favorite Morning Casserole

IMG_1062 There are hundreds of make- ahead  egg based breakfast casserole recipes! Our church has a famous sausage and egg casserole recipe that gets passed around every year at Easter when we all have breakfast together in between an early Easter service in the prayer garden and a later one at regular worship time. I love that recipe because it reminds me of Easter and our church family. I am fond of another recipe that uses hash browns along with eggs, peppers, and onions. There are Southwestern style breakfast casseroles served with plenty of salsa that are delicious.  But this casserole is my hands down favorite for making breakfast special.  I like to make it when we have overnight guests and pop it into the oven to bake while we have coffee in the kitchen.  I found the original recipe in a cookbook called Breakfast in Bed collated by Carol Frieberg which is a collection of wonderful breakfast recipes from various B&B’s and inns in the Pacific Northwest. This one is a favorite at Pensione Nichols in Seattle, Washington – located in a residence that is over 100 years old in the historic Pikes Place Market in downtown Seattle. I modified the recipe’s seasoning, and have used a variety of toppings.  It is delicious served with fresh fruit.

Mary Ann’s Favorite Morning Casserole

Prepare the day before:

16 slices white bread (thin slice) with crusts trimmed

16 slices Canadian bacon

16 slices sharp cheddar cheese

6  large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

3 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

For topping  – add the next morning before baking

1/2 cup butter

1 cup crushed cornflakes or other unsweetened cereal of your choice

 

In a large Pyrex baking dish (9X13 inch), place 8 of the bread slices. On top of this, layer all slices of Canadian bacon. Then ladd all slices of cheese. Place remaining 8 slices of bread on top.  In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, then add milk, all seasonings, onion and green pepper. Pour evenly over the layers of bread, cheese, and Canadian Bacon, pressing slightly with back of spoon.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter and drizzle evenly over top of casserole.  Crush cornflakes and sprinkle on top.  Bake uncovered for 1 hour.  Remove from oven, let stand for about 10 minutes, and serve.

Cook’s notes:  I like to stand my stick of butter in a small ceramic cream pitcher or pyrex liquid measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute or until melted.  Then it is easy to drizzle the melted butter evenly on top of the casserole.  For the crushed cornflakes, place cereal in a Ziploc bag and crush with the heel of your hand on top of counter. Easy!

Cheese, Apple, and Amaretto Omelet

 

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I love the farm fresh eggs I get from All We Need Farms in Needville, TX.  I never get tired of finding new ways to use them.  Last Saturday I made our version of this omelet from a recipe found online in several places and also in one of my favorite cookbooks:  Breakfast in Bed Cookbook, which features recipes from Bed and Breakfast Inns in the Northwest U.S. and British Columbia.  This one is served at Blackberry Inn in Seal Rock, Oregon.  Even if you can’t drive the Pacific Coast Highway north and have a stop there, treat yourself to a visit to Seal Rock here:  www.sealrockor.com/1900_s.html

Notes for assembling ingredients:  If you prefer, substitute 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract for the Amaretto.  Choose apples that are firm and sweet but slightly sharp.  We like apples that are available now called Ginger Gold, an apple with the bite and rich taste of just harvested fall apples. If the name Ginger Gold is unfamiliar, that’s because it is a recent addition to the list of apple varieties. It was discovered growing among the twisted uprooted trees in a Virginia orchard in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its ancestors are the Golden Delicious and Albermarle Pippin apples.

Cheese, Apple, and Amaretto Omelet

OMELET

4 eggs

2 tablespoons half and half

dash salt & pepper

1 Tablespoon butter for cooking omelet (if you choose, you may spray the pan with cooking spray)

FILLING

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons sugar

1 large golden delicious or Ginger Gold apple, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cook’s note:  I added an extra tablespoon of amaretto in order to have a little syrup left to pour over the omelet on the plate.  If you

1 1/2 ounces cream cheese

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 Melt butter in a small skillet. Stir in sugar and sliced apple and saute until apples are tender. Remove from heat and add liqueur or extract. Keep warm.

Beat together egg, half and half, and seasoning. When ready to cook omelet, melt  butter in omelet pan and pour in egg mix.

Cook, pushing raw egg to outside edge, when eggs are set, with a slotted spoon, spread apple mixture over eggs and dot with cream cheese.  Slide onto serving plate and divide for 2 servings.  You may prefer to cook half of the ingredients first, repeating with remainder for a second omelet if you want 2 individual servings. If you have used extra Amaretto for flavoring, drizzle this over the top of omelet.

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Quiche Lorraine

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This pan of quiche may not look as good as it tastes here due to my blurry picture, but trust me, it is delicious.  This dish is wonderful for brunch, lunch, or supper and pretty on the plate with some asparagus spears and fresh fruit.  It is just as good with bacon subbed for the ham. If you, manage to have any leftover slices can be reheated in the microwave but I prefer to reheat in the oven.  The crust stays crispier.

Quiche Lorraine

6 ounces grated Swiss cheese

2 Tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups half and half cream

4 eggs, slightly beaten

8 slices thinly sliced ham from the Deli, chopped  or  1 1/2 cups leftover baked ham, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell (I use Pillsbury refrigerated crust or make my own)

nutmeg, for sprinkling on top of quiche

Toss grated cheese with flour.  Add cream, eggs, ham, and seasoning; mix well.  Pour into pie crust, dust lightly with nutmeg,   and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set.  Serves 8. Substituting  crumbled bacon (8 cooked slices) for the ham works well.

 

 

 

Mushroom Quiche

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Quiche is one of those versatile dishes that can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Add to that the fact that ingredients can be swapped out in any number of combinations. The base recipe is milk, cheese, and eggs.  Add your choice of chopped vegetables and/or a variety of meat or seafood.  Make your own crust or use a prepared pie crust. Substitute some or all of the milk with half and half or even heavy cream.

Mushroom Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust (half of 15-ounce package)

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

5 cups sliced sliced mushrooms (I used Baby Bellas)

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg plus a pinch for topping

1 teaspoon dried thyme  (I use Penzey’s French Thyme)

1 1/2 cups grated Swiss or Fontina cheese (about 7 ounces)

preparation

Preheat oven to 450°F. Unroll crust completely. Press firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch deep-dish pyrex pie dish. Bake until light golden brown, pressing on sides of crust with back of spoon if crust begins to slide down sides of dish, about 17 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Melt butter in heavy skillet.  Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown.

Whisk eggs,, milk,  salt,  pepper, and nutmeg in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina cheese and sautéed mushrooms, reserving remainder. Pour filling into crust. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the filling and dust with nutmeg.

Bake until  golden brown, and set in center, about 45 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then cut into wedges.

 

 

Lemon Chess Pie

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There are a number of colorful stories about how Chess Pie came to be called that, but however it was named, it remains a quintessential Southern dessert.

One story is that gentlemen were served this sweet pie when they left the table to play chess. Another tale says the name derived from Southerners’ dialect: It’s jes’ pie (it’s just pie). Yet another story is that the dessert is so high in sugar that it kept well in pie chests, also called pie safes,  at room temperature and was therefore called “chest pie.” Pronouncing that with a Southern drawl sounds like chess pie. One more possibility:  a lemony version of the pie was close to the traditional English lemon curd pie, often called “cheese” pie, and chess pie became its American name.

Chess pie always contains flour, butter, sugar, and eggs and the unusual addition of cornmeal.  The South was at one time agrarian, and a farm woman had to cook with what was there. Various other ingredients can be added for flavor, as in the recipe here which calls for lemon juice. Or add a dash of nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon. Sprinkle in some flaked coconut or toasted chopped pecans. Some believe a splash of buttermilk makes chess pie better; others swear by a tablespoon of vinegar, which is called vinegar pie. You can even add cocoa for the chocolate lovers.

Lemon Chess Pie

2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon fine yellow cornmeal
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice with pulp
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Directions
In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour and cornmeal. Blend well, then add the eggs one at a time.  Add milk, melted butter, lemon rind and juice. Pour filling into prepared crust . Foil strips may be used to cover the crust to avoid burning. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, removing the foil after 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.