Breakfast Duo – Holiday Hash Brown Egg Casserole and Apple Breakfast Sausages

These two recipes are a terrific combination for brunch.  I started the egg casserole with a layer of hash brown potatoes, topped with Pepper Jack and Swiss cheese, ham and eggs.  I prebaked the hash browns, topped them with cheese, ham and eggs and baked until it was a golden puff.  While the casserole was baking, I browned breakfast sausages, added sliced apples, a touch of brown sugar, salt and pepper.  I think I have a perfect breakfast duo for any brunch.

 

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Holiday Hash Brown Egg Casserole

Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen loose-pack hash brown potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced fully cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup half and half

Instructions

  1. Thaw potatoes, press between two sheets of paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Grease a small casserole dish.  Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of the casserole dish.   Bake potatoes uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.   Remove casserole from oven and cool for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees . .Layer Pepper Jack cheese, ham,  and Swiss cheese over the potatoes.  Mix together the eggs and half and half.  Pour over potato cheese mixture in casserole.  Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until center appears set.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.

    This recipe can easily be doubled.

 

 

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Apple Breakfast Sausage

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh pork sausage links
  • 4 medium cooking apples, cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large 12-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, approximately 10 minutes or until no longer pink.  Drain and discard pan juices.  Cut sausage links in half.  Return links to the skillet.  Add apple wedges.  Then sprinkle with the brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 - 15 minutes or until apples are just tender.  Stir once or twice while cooking.  

Apple Empanadas

Looking for an easy dessert for your next tailgate or wine picnic?  Empanadas are easy to make and a great make and take treat. I was thinking of making fried apple pies but I really would prefer to bake than fry.  I had a few empanada wrappers left over from making my lamb stew empanadas and decided to make apple empanadas.   These are so easy to make when you use prepared wrappers.  I received a tip from a dear friend of mine about La Salenta empanada wrappers for baking (read the wrapper, some are for frying and some for baking).  They are flaky and delicious and made for convenience.  This brand is under the General Mills umbrella of products and should be easy to find in most locations.  I purchased mine at the local mart specializing in international foods.   These would be equally delicious with any filling you select, I must admit the apple filling is one of my favorites.

                                        

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Apple Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 10 empanadas wrappers
  • 2 apples, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • milk, to brush on tops
  • sugar, to sprinkle on tops

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, lemon juice and salt.   Cook 20 - 25 minutes or until the apples are soft and the sauce has reduced.  Stir frequently. Stir in cranberries.  Cool filling.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take each empanada wrapper and brush sides with beaten egg.  Place approx. 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each wrapper.  Fold in half and pinch to seal.  Crimp edges with a fork. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat until you have filled all of the wrappers.  Make two small slices in the top of each empanada.  Brush the top of each with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Blackberries, Blackberries, Blackberries

How could I pass up beautiful blackberries this week at the Farmers’ Market.  Well, as you can tell I didn’t pass them by.  I headed home and made two of our favorites;  Blackberry Breakfast Bars and Blackberry Custard Pie.  Both so easy to prepare and both recipes highlight the taste of these exquisite berries.  

 

 

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Blackberry Breakfast Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Prepare the filling:  in a medium saucepan combine the berries, sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat continue boiling for 8 minutes, stir occasionally.  Add cornstarch water mixture, return to a boil and boil an additional one minute, stirring constantly.   Remove from heat.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and butter.  Stir until well combined.  Reserve 1 cup of mixture for the topping.  Press the remaining into a parchment lined 9 inch square baking dish.  Bake crust for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, spread with blueberry filling and crumble remaining 1 cup of oat mixture over the top.  Bake an additional 25-25 minutes.  Cool, cut into bars.

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Blackberry Custard Pie

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries (you could also use peaches)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange blackberries in pie shell.  Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined.  Pour over berries.  Bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 30 - 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool prior to slicing.  Top with whipped cream, if desired.  Store pie in the refrigerator.

Crispy Oatmeal

Looking for a new way to prepare oatmeal?  Why not make it the night before and then brown in the skillet in the morning.  You will have Crispy Oatmeal slices perfect to serve with maple syrup.  Just make the oatmeal the night before, pour into a loaf pan and chill.  Then in the morning all you have to do is slice and cook.  The outside is crispy and the inside is delicious creamy oatmeal.  You could also add cinnamon or any other of your favorite mix-ins prior to chilling.  I think you will really like this new way to cook oatmeal – I know we do. 

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Crispy Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • butter
  • maple syrup

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil.  Stir in oatmeal and salt.  Cook 1 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes.  Spray a small loaf pan with cooking spray, line with plastic wrap and spray plastic wrap,  Spoon oatmeal into prepared pan.  Let cool. Refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, pull the oatmeal out of the pan and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.  In a skillet brown the slices in butter over medium heat until each side is golden brown, turn once.  Serve with syrup, dust with powdered sugar, if desired.  

Overnight Caramel Strata

Beach house, lake house, getaway weekend, or weekend guests?  This is the recipe for you.  Easy to prepare, make ahead the night before and you have a delicious breakfast in the morning.  This strata begins with a caramel layer that you pour into the pan, top with slices of ciabatta bread, pour over the egg custard, and bake.  Easy as one, two, three.  In the morning, bake 40 minutes and breakfast is ready. Perfect to serve with a side of fresh fruit.  Just get the coffee brewing!

 

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Overnight Caramel Strata

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 12 slices ciabatta bread, sliced one inch thick
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish, rotate pan to coat the entire bottom with the caramel sauce.  Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl.  Arrange six of the bread slices in the prepared pan, cover with 1/2 of the egg mixture.  Repeat with the remaining slices of bread and remaining egg mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the strata uncovered for 40 - 45 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.  Let stand for five minutes.  Cut into portions and invert onto plates, serve warm.

    Can't find ciabatta bread?  You can definitely substitute any bread of your choice.  A hearty bakery style bread works the best.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I keep finding blueberry recipes in my recipe stash from my mom.  If there is any time of year perfect for blueberry recipes, I think spring is the one. It also helps that almost every produce department is running a sale on blueberries this time of year.  Blueberry Crumb Cake is quick and easy to assemble cake;  perfect for breakfast with coffee, tea or as a dessert.   

 

 

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Blueberry Crumb Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour one 9 inch square baking pan.

    Combine Flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and milk, beat until smooth.  Add flour mixture (reserve 1/4 cup) and beat until well combined.  Toss the blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup flour mixture and fold into the batter.  To prepare topping, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon, cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle over cake batter in pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes.

Cinnamon Waffles – I wish I was still at The Homestead!

My husband and I spent last weekend at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA.  We wanted a weekend getaway and decided to head to The Homestead after many great reviews from friends.  After a long and winding journey through the western part of Virginia, we drove into the small town of Hot Springs and was greeted by the massive resort on our left.  I must tell you, after driving many miles through the country roads, I thought I had put in the wrong address into our GPS, because I just could not believe there would much civilization, no less a resort in the mountainous remote area we were driving through.)  How wrong I was, the town of Hot Springs and The Homestead are beautiful.  As you know, I am always looking for great food and interesting finds, I had to go no further than their breakfast buffet on Saturday morning.  Before we headed out for a round of golf, we had the most delicious breakfast buffet in their main dining room.  So many delicious choices, I could hardly decide what to select.  It didn’t take me too long to find Roderick making Cinnamon Waffles, a specialty at The Homestead.  What a delicious breakfast treat, along with a vegetable omelet and grits, a breakfast of champions for these golfers!  So, back to reality today and back to my kitchen.  I decided to make my own Cinnamon Waffle recipe this morning, what a great way to remember a great trip.  

Our view from the 14th tee box on the Old Course at The Homestead.

Roderick making Cinnamon Waffles

 

 

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Cinnamon Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat waffle iron.  Beat eggs until fluffy.  Add remaining ingredients and beat just until smooth.  Pour batter into waffle iron and bake until steaming stops, approx. 4 1/2 - 5 minutes.  Remove carefully.  Makes 3 - 10 inch waffles.

 

 

Bacon Pops

What I thought would be a great addition to brunch turned out to be so successful I would add this to any breakfast, brunch or tailgate.  I always knew cooking bacon in the oven when preparing large quantities was easy.  However,  this time I  wanted bacon to be finger food and decided to thread the bacon on a stick.  I cut each piece of thick cut bacon in half, then threaded each piece on a six inch wooden skewer.  Brushed them all with maple syrup (you will see the syrup on the first piece on the top row), then I sprinkled the bacon with a brown sugar,ground  nuts and cayenne mixture.  In the oven it went …

bacon pops 1

 

and out came the most delicious bacon pops…

Bacon pops 3

Bacon Pops
Yields 22
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Ingredients
  1. 18 oz. package, thick cut bacon
  2. 22 six-inch wooden skewers
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/3 walnuts or pecans, ground
  5. 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak skewers in water for 15 minutes. Cut bacon in half crosswise. Thread each piece of bacon on one skewer. Place skewers on rack in a foil lined cookie sheet. Combine brown sugar, nuts, and cayenne pepper. Brush each skewer of bacon with maple syrup. Try to avoid getting the end of the skewers coated (the skewers will be easier to serve when not sticky). Sprinkle each slice of bacon with brown sugar combination. Bake in preheated oven until the bacon is golden, approximately 35-45 minutes. Remove from rack when cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. These would also be a wonderful addition to a Bloody Mary bar.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Overnight Blueberry Sausage Breakfast Cake

While sorting through my recipe file; I came across this recipe that I received from a dear friend years ago.  I was once a member of a neighborhood quilting group that would get together frequently and work on combined quilting projects.  It was at one of these meetings that one of the members brought this breakfast cake.  One of the reasons we all requested this recipe is that you make it the night before, refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning.  With the holidays approaching, I thought this would be the perfect recipe for all busy cooks.  I have even made this one step easier, I used precooked turkey sausage crumbles that you can buy in the grocery next to the breakfast sausages.  I like using turkey sausage since it is leaner and precooked makes it even easier to use and a time reducer.  Having overnight guests?  This is the perfect make ahead breakfast treat.   

overnight-blueberry-sausage-breakfast-cake

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Overnight Blueberry Sausage Breakfast Cake
Serves 10
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  5. 3/4 cup sugar
  6. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 8 oz. container sour cream
  9. 1 # turkey sausage precooked crumbles or pork sausage, cooked and well-drained
  10. 1 cup blueberries
  11. 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  12. Blueberry Sauce
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and baking soda, set aside. In a large mixer bowl, beat butter and sugars on high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mix well after each addition. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to egg mixture, until all is just combined. Fold in sausage and blueberries. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread batter evenly and sprinkle with nuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator while the oven is preheating. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 8 -10 minutes, serve warm. Top with blueberry sauce.
Notes
  1. Blueberry Sauce
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  6. 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, water and blueberries. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir constantly. Cook and stir two more minutes. Stir in lemon juice and serve. If mixture seems too thick, add water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. This sauce can be made the day before and refrigerated. The sauce can be reheated in the microwave.
  8. Serving a smaller crowd? You can easily make 1/2 of the recipe, bake as above in a 9 inch pie pan.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Baked Oatmeal

This is a perfect breakfast or brunch dish.  You can make one batch and have oatmeal all week or freeze portions for later.  If you are an oatmeal lover you will love this recipe.  If you are not an oatmeal lover, you will become a fan after trying this oatmeal.  Trust me on this one!

 

baked oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  2. 3 cups milk
  3. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 egg, beaten
  6. 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  7. 1/2 cup fresh red raspberries
  8. 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine oats, milk, brown sugar, salt and eggs. Mix well and cook over medium head, stirring frequently, until thickened - 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square pan. When the oatmeal mixture in thick, stir in the berries. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until oatmeal is set. Let cool for 5 minutes prior to cutting into squares.
  3. You can serve this oatmeal plain or with warm milk over the top or top will a dollop of butter. Also great sprinkled with confectioner's sugar or brown sugar.
Notes
  1. The baked oatmeal is great reheated in the microwave.
  2. You can freeze the baked oatmeal after it is cooked. It works well cut into squares after it is cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap or a freezer bag and freeze. Then you can just take it out and heat it as needed.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/