HAM ‘N EGG BURGER CROISSANT

This Ham ‘N Egg Croissant is a tasty cross between breakfast and dinner. Though you can add mayonnaise or a bit of Dijon mustard to moisten up your sandwich, runny egg yolk is a tasty way to go–if you like that sort of thing 🙂

Ham and Egg Burger Croissant

1 lb ground beef

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4 eggs

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

4 thin slices deli ham

4 sandwich-sized croissants

1) In medium-sized bowl, mix ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper; shape into 4 patties

2) Heat large skillet over medium-high; add patties to skillet and cook 4-5 minutes each side until burgers are cooked to your preference; transfer patties to plate and keep warm

3) Using same skillet, reduce heat to medium and crack 4 eggs in skillet (shouldn’t need to add oil); cook 1-2 minutes until white sets; flip eggs with a spatula; immediately top eggs with cheese, followed by ham, and flip again; cook 1-2 minutes until cheese melts between egg  and ham and yolk is cooked to your preference; remove from heat

4) Assemble sandwiches as follows: bottom half of croissant, egg-cheese-ham, burger, top half of croissant; serve it up!

Servings: 4

BACON-FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

Our family is a turkey bacon family. However, in recent months Junior Too has developed a taste for the real stuff. Since he and Senior have no weight issues whatsoever, I was tempted by a sinful cookbook titled Bacon Nation which has now taken up residence in my kitchen. My recipe was inspired by “French Toast Bread Pudding with Bacon and Cinnamon” and, after I tweaked ingredients and preparation, it turned out to be a major hit. Many greasy bacon thumbs up!

Bacon French Toast Casserole

6 slices thick-cut bacon (next time, I’ll give turkey bacon a try)

8 eggs, divided

1/2 cup granulated white sugar, divided

2-1/4 cup milk, divided

8 slices soft bread (I used potato bread)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup Craisins (or raisins)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch fine sea salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil 13″x9″ baking dish

2) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon and cook 2-3 minutes each side until crisp; remove skillet from heat and place bacon on paper towel-lined plate; remove all but 2 tbsp bacon grease from skillet and set skillet aside (you’ll use it to cook the french toast); chop bacon and set aside

3) To large mixing bowl, add: 4 eggs (reserving 4), 1/4 cup sugar (reserving 1/4 cup), and 3/4 cup milk (reserving 1-1/2 cups); whisk until well blended

4) Return large skillet to stove top and heat over medium

5) Meanwhile, dip both sides of bread slices in egg batter and place in skillet (you’ll have to make in 2 batches of 4 slices each and, perhaps, add a bit more bacon grease); cook each side 3-4 minutes until golden; remove from skillet and cut each slice on the diagonal to form 16 triangles; overlap french toast in baking dish and scatter pecans and Craisins over the top; set aside

6) To large mixing bowl, add: 4 reserved eggs, 1/4 cup reserved sugar, vanilla, 1-1/2 cups reserved milk, half-and-half, maple syrup, nutmeg, and salt; whisk until well combined; pour over french toast triangles, sprinkle with cinnamon, and cover with aluminum foil; let sit 15 minutes

7) Place casserole in oven and cook 25 minutes; remove aluminum foil and cook additional 25 minutes; remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving; you can serve with maple syrup, but this dish is so moist and tasty you shouldn’t need it; enjoy!

Servings: 6

EGG-HAM-CHEESE WAFFLE SANDWICH

Junior requested this tasty, protein-rich sandwich as he staggered out of bed. Junior Too seconded the motion. Fortunately, it’s fairy easy to put together. Good eats!

Egg-Ham-Cheese Waffle Sandwich

4 frozen waffles (I used buttermilk but, believe it or not, blueberry tastes good too)

2 eggs

Dijon mustard, to taste

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (the busy-busy me often stoops to buying pre-grated)

2 slices provolone

2 slices ham (not too thick)

dash of salt

1) Pop waffles in toaster and toast until lightly browned; set aside

2) In skillet heated to medium, crack eggs and cook until whites firm up (about 2 minutes); flip with spatula (Note: if you’re not into runny egg, gently press down on egg with spatula until yolk breaks free of the white and begins to cook)

3) Top each egg with a swirl of Dijon mustard (to taste), cheddar cheese, a slice of provolone, and a slice of ham; turn with spatula (this allows cheese to melt between layers of ham and egg); cook 1-2 minutes until cheese melts; add a dash of salt

4) Slide egg/cheese/ham onto toasted waffle, top with another waffle, and serve to your bleary-eyed, soon-to-be-chipper young ‘uns 🙂

Serves: 2

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/11/12

BERRY-CREAM CHEESE PUFF PANCAKE

Years ago, I gave Pampered Chef’s recipe for Berry Puff Pancake a whirl and my berry-lovin’ guys munched out. Since then, I’ve come up with several variations, but I believe this one featuring a lightly sweetened cream cheese spread is our favorite. And, yes, it’s rather like breakfast (or dessert) for dinner. What’s not to love?

Berry-Cream Cheese Puff Pancake

2 tbsp butter (plus a bit more for coating pie pan), melted

1 cup milk

6 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

3 cups frozen mixed berries, thawed

1/3 cup berry jam

4 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees; coat bottom and sides of deep dish pie pan with butter

2) In medium bowl, whisk milk, eggs, and melted butter; slowly whisk in flour and salt until smooth; pour batter into deep dish pie pan and bake in oven 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake additional 10-12 minutes until center is lightly firm and pancake is beautifully golden and puffed

3) Meanwhile, in medium-sized bowl, mix berries and jam and set aside; in separate medium-sized bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, and powdered sugar until smooth and set aside

4) Remove puff pancake from oven and spread cream cheese mixture over bottom; immediately top with berries and serve (we are talking “yum”!)

Servings: 4

EGGS FLORENTINE CASSEROLE

Not to brag, but this Eggs Florentine Casserole was amazingly good! And not at all hard to make. If you like Eggs Florentine Benedict, this should do it for you. It certainly did it for our family. Thumbs up, up, up, up!

Eggs Florentine1Eggs Florentine2

4 tbsp butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 cup grated swiss cheese, divided

6 eggs

4 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon), chopped

1-1/2 cups onion, diced

3 cups fresh spinach, chopped

1 large tomato, sliced thin

1) Place oven rack about one-third from bottom and preheat oven to broil

2) To medium-sized saucepan, add butter and melt over medium heat; sprinkle flour over butter and whisk 1 minute; gradually add milk, whisking between each addition until consistency is smooth; whisk in mustard, salt, pepper, and half the cheese (reserving half for topping); remove from heat and set aside

3) Add water to medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and gently add eggs; cook to desired doneness (I cooked 7 minutes for a slightly runny yolk); remove from heat, drain water, and set aside

4) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add chopped bacon and cook 5 minutes, stirring often; add onions and cook additional 5 minutes until softened; stir in spinach and immediately remove from heat

5) Place tomato slices in bottom of large casserole dish and spoon bacon-spinach mixture over top

6) Peel eggs, cut in half, and place cut-side down on bacon-spinach mixture; pour sauce over eggs and sprinkle reserved cheese on top; bake in oven 5-7 minutes until bubbly and golden brown (keep a close eye on it); remove from heat, let sit 5 minutes, and serve

Servings: 4-6

BLUE CORN CHIPS HUEVOS RANCHEROS

This huevos rancheros dish is a quick and easy solution to warm weather dining when the last thing the cook needs is to spend an inordinate amount of time running around a hot kitchen. It’s also pretty easy on the eaters—substantial without being heavy. Give it a try!

Blue Corn Chips Huevos Rancheros

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp butter

8 eggs

2 cups salsa verde sauce

3 cups blue corn tortilla chips

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced thin

4 oz crumbled queso fresco cheese

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1) To medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil; add onions and cook 5 minutes until softened; reduce heat to low and stir in black beans, chipotle chile, cumin, sea salt, and water and cook 5 minutes; reduce heat to lowest setting to keep warm

2) In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; break eggs into skillet and cook to desired doneness (I cooked 3 minutes until whites started to set, added 1 tbsp water, and covered with a lid to allow the whites to set more firmly and the yolk to cook partway without flipping–yum!); remove from heat

3) Assemble each of four plates as follows, dividing ingredients between them: spoon 1/2 cup salsa verde on plate and scatter chips over it, top with eggs, scatter avocado, cheese, and cilantro over it all; serve it up!

Servings: 4

CRAISIN-RAISIN-PECAN GRANOLA

I’ve been making this Craisin-Raisin-Pecan Granola for years, and it never fails to please my guys–and me! Sure you can put it in a bowl, pour milk over it, and enjoy a gourmet breakfast, but in my opinion, it’s best eaten straight out of the hand. Other munchies should be so wonderfully tasty and amazingly easy to make!

Craisin-Raisin-Pecan Granola

6 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup sweetened, flake coconut

3/4 cup Craisins (or you can go all raisin)

1/2 cup raisins

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Spread oats in large baking dish (I used a 12″x17″ roasting pan) and bake in oven 10 minutes, stirring once

3) Meanwhile, in large bowl combine: pecans, coconut, Craisins, raisins, and brown sugar; in small bowl, combine vegetable oil, honey, and vanilla

4) Stir pecan-coconut mixture into toasted oats (in baking pan), followed by oil-honey mixture

5) Bake in oven 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes; remove from oven, give one last stir, let cool 5 minutes, and transfer to large bowl to complete cooling (you can leave in pan to cool, but the granola will start to adhere to the bottom and you’ll have a bit of scraping to do–really, the bowl is a better choice)

Makes: Many heaping helpings (Why limit yourself?)