Tag Archives: brunch recipes

Mexican Breakfast Strata

 

Don’t you just love it when you make something that takes literally just a few minutes, but turns out amazingly delicious and also very impressive looking?  Me too!  So the other day, my coworkers and I realized that it was someone’s birthday.  We had totally forgotten, and felt terrible, so we decided the following day would be birthday breakfast!  Obviously, I volunteered to cook something.  Problem was, I didn’t think that through…

The next morning, I checked the fridge, and didn’t see much besides some eggs.  But whatever I made had to be transportable; sunny side up doesn’t travel well, and reheated scrambled eggs is icky.  Then I saw a half loaf of bread and the light bulb went on: Strata!  Strata is a breakfast casserole based mostly on eggs and bread.  You can add anything at all pretty much, and it makes a delicious layered meal.

Upon checking the freezer, I found some turkey bacon, and a half bag of frozen corn and peppers/onions.  Since I always keep cans of diced tomatoes and different types of beans around, it just made sense that a Mexican themed strata came together.  Full disclosure: I had no idea how this would come out!  I threw it all together, popped it in the oven, and got in the shower.

Once it was done, I covered it in tin foil, wrapped it in towels to keep it warm, and stuck it in a reusable bag to take it to the office.  An hour later, after a round of “Happy Birthday” which was satisfactorily embarrassing for the coworker in question, came the moment of truth.  I pulled out the pan, uncovered the casserole, and the whole room erupted in “Oh my GOSH that looks amazing!” and “that smells SO good, what is it!?”.  Once we dug in, the compliments just kept rolling.  Almost everyone had seconds, and we finished the whole pan between 6 people!

All this is not to brag, but mostly to convince you that even though it might sound complicated, it is really not.  Even if the combination sounds weird, it does work well.  Just give it a try and see.  You can make strata for the first time on a weekend just to be safe and make sure you have time to get it just right, as long as you make it.  And then tell me I’m right.  🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 8-10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 loaf of bread
  • 1/2 pound turkey bacon
  • 1 cup peppers and onions
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa or 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 cup black beans (or other type)
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: fresh or dried oregano

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Step 1: In a large bowl, break all the eggs and scramble them well with a fork.  Add the milk and mix well.  Tear the bread into rough chunks.  You can also use a few days’ old bread for this, just add a splash more milk.  Some recipes call for leaving the bread overnight to soak, but I just made it right away and it turned out great, so it’s up to you.

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Step 2: In a frying pan, cook your bacon.  You can also use ham, sausage, and/or chorizo instead.  Or just omit the meat entirely to keep it vegetarian.

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Step 3: Add the vegetables and beans to the pan.  Heat well, and cook until peppers and onions are tender.

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Step 4: Spray a large 9×13 pan with cooking oil or spread with butter.  Pour in the bread and egg mixture.  Add optional cheese if using.

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Step 5: Pour the meats and vegetables and beans into the bread and eggs.  Mix it all together well.  You can also choose to keep it layered like a breakfast lasagna, if you have the time for that.

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Step 6: Bake the whole shebang in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes.  If you cover it with foil, it will bake faster, if you do not use foil, it will brown on top faster.

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Step 7: For the most impressive presentation, sprinkle with a little more cheddar and fresh oregano springs right when you take it out of the oven.  The cheese will melt from the heat.  Serve immediately, and try to keep yourself from devouring the whole pan in one sitting.

 

 

Mexican Breakfast Strata

Mexican Breakfast Strata

Ingredients

  • 8-10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 loaf of bread
  • 1/2 pound turkey bacon
  • 1 cup peppers and onions
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa or 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 cup black beans (or other type)
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: fresh or dried oregano

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, break all the eggs and scramble them well with a fork. Add the milk and mix well. Tear the bread into rough chunks. You can also use a few days' old bread for this, just add a splash more milk. Some recipes call for leaving the bread overnight to soak, but I just made it right away and it turned out great, so it's up to you.
  2. In a frying pan, cook your bacon. You can also use ham, sausage, and/or chorizo instead. Or just omit the meat entirely to keep it vegetarian.
  3. Add the vegetables and beans to the pan. Heat well, and cook until peppers and onions are tender.
  4. Spray a large 9x13 pan with cooking oil or spread with butter. Pour in the bread and egg mixture. Add optional cheese if using.
  5. Pour the meats and vegetables and beans into the bread and eggs. Mix it all together well. You can also choose to keep it layered like a breakfast lasagna, if you have the time for that.
  6. Bake the whole shebang in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes. If you cover it with foil, it will bake faster, if you do not use foil, it will brown on top faster.
  7. For the most impressive presentation, sprinkle with a little more cheddar and fresh oregano springs right when you take it out of the oven. The cheese will melt from the heat. Serve immediately, and try to keep yourself from devouring the whole pan in one sitting.
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Mascarpone Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

 

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, you may be asking yourself what is a good way to show your mom just how special she is. You could buy a Hallmark card, but that’s just an over-priced poem someone else wrote. You could take her out to brunch, that’s always nice. But how about you one-up that and make something special for her yourself!?

I know, you may not think you have the time. But why not ask if she’d like to be included in the baking? We all know no one cooks just the way mom does. And baking is a great way to bring family together. “So Much Good Happens When We Bake.”

This post is part of the Culinary Content Network’s “Celebrating Mom” series, sponsored by Shedd’s Spread Country Crock.

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This recipe became a fast favorite in our house since mom saw a recipe from Pillsbury online last Christmas.

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Now we make it our own with a variety of fillings and toppings. Feel free to experiment yourself. Try ricotta, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or goat cheese. Use any dried fruits, jams, honey, or maple syrup. As long as there are biscuits, sugar, Country Crock, and love, they are sure to delight!

Ingredients:

Step 1: Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a round pan or 8×8 square pan. Mix any nuts and/or fruits you are using in a small bowl.

Step 2: Lay out two shallow bowls or plates, one with the melted Country Crock and one with the cinnamon & sugar.

Step 3: Put about 1/2 tbsp of mascarpone cheese in the center of one biscuit round, sprinkle in a pinch of nuts & dried fruit, and pinch the sides up all around it. Roll it into a ball, making sure the cheese is completely covered.

Step 4: Roll each biscuit ball in the melted Country Crock, and then in the cinnamon & sugar. Place seam-side down in the greased pan. Once all biscuits are stuffed, spread the remaining Country Crock over them and sprinkle with remaining walnuts & cranberries.


Step 5: Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until biscuits are nice and brown. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk into a thick glaze. Drizzle over warm rolls right as you take them out of the oven.

 
These things are simply incredible. Warm, gooey, sweet, and irresistible.
Who wouldn’t want to wake up to these?? Make them anytime really. Maybe every day, if you’re also a marathon runner…

What will you do for Mother’s Day?

Mascarpone Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz can biscuit mix or boxed dough mix
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Country Crock
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a round pan or 8x8 square pan. Mix any nuts and/or fruits you are using in a small bowl.
  2. Lay out two shallow bowls or plates, one with the melted Country Crock and one with the cinnamon & sugar.
  3. Put about 1/2 tbsp of mascarpone cheese in the center of one biscuit round, sprinkle in a pinch of nuts & dried fruit, and pinch the sides up all around it. Roll it into a ball, making sure the cheese is completely covered.
  4. Roll each biscuit ball in the melted Country Crock, and then in the cinnamon & sugar. Place seam-side down in the greased pan. Once all biscuits are stuffed, spread the remaining Country Crock over them and sprinkle with remaining walnuts & cranberries.
  5. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until biscuits are nice and brown. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk into a thick glaze. Drizzle over warm rolls right as you take them out of the oven.
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Blueberry-Lemon Scones with Devonshire Cream

 

Scones are a popular breakfast, brunch, or tea-time treat. Linked historically to Scotland, Ireland, and England, it is unclear who really deserves the credit of invention. The original scone was made of oats, shaped into a round, cut into 4 to 6 wedges, and baked over an open fire. Nowadays, scones are similar to biscuits, made with wheat flour and baking soda or powder, producing a hard, dry texture.

Finished scones fresh from the oven

Scones can be plain or “fancy”, with added raisins, orange rind, chocolate bits, honey, or other added flavorings. They are usually served with clotted cream, also called Devonshire cream. It’s quite easy to make with just a few things you likely have in your fridge. Check out TheNibble for a history of both. For a very large list of scones you can try, wander over to The Kitchen Project.

Blueberry-lemon scone with Devonshire cream and apricot preserves. It was just as delicious as it looks!

I had been given a boxed mix for scones some time ago, and when blueberries went on sale, I knew it was time. I also had a few fresh lemons, and so it was destiny. If you are feeling brave, feel free to try making your own scones, perhaps using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

Ingredients:
1 box scone mix (or your own)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 fresh lemon (juice + rind)
2 tbsp melted butter or margarine

Devonshire cream:
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk

 
Step 1: Pour dry mix into a large bowl. Add the milk and eggs, and stir until it becomes smooth.
Step 2: Grate the lemon rind onto a plate, save the lemon as well. Add the blueberries, lemon juice, and rind to the dough and mix well. (Feel free to add a splash of vanilla or almond flavoring here for an extra dose of yummy)
The blueberries marbled the dough with their juices.
Step 3: Take 1/4 cup of dough at a time, and shape into small rolls on a buttered cookie sheet. (You can also do the classic whole round, then cut into triangles. Or make whatever shape you want). Brush the melted butter onto the scones.
Step 4: Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until browned all over and solid. They smell delicious!
Now you have fresh, warm scones! You can eat them naked, add some butter and/or honey, or make some cream and serve with jam. Clearly, I’m all for sugar-shock when it comes to breakfast treats. I made these over the weekend, so calories don’t count. 😉
To remind you, here is what you need for your very own clotted cream. It’s best to let it all come to room temperature to mix, then refrigerate for an hour or so. Don’t fret too much if you can’t do so.
Devonshire cream:
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Step 1: Add all ingredients to a bowl, and use a hand mixer to beat together. It should take about 2-3 minutes to become thick and smooth. Add a little more milk if you want it thinner, don’t add as much or beat for a longer period of time if you like thick cream.
These are the jams I had, which were totally perfect for this. Peach preserves and cherry jam. Both were equally delicious. Good together too!
The finished cream, nice and thick. I could seriously just eat this stuff with a spoon it’s so good!
You can add extra sugar if you want it sweeter, or forget it if you like the tang. Try unflavored Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream if you dare.
Blueberry-lemon scone with Devonshire cream and cherry jam. Simply divine!
More photos, just to make you drool a bit.
If you aren’t convinced to make these on a weekend, there’s nothing more I can do here. Just enjoy pining for them I guess.
Of course, I had to have my scone with a strong cup of English breakfast tea. It’s only right.
You can see the bowl of cream is nearly empty… oops.

And this is the cherry scone my s.o. demolished. I think we both had about 4 each. The box recipe made 8-10, depending on how large you make your scones. I need to have a brunch party so I can make these again.

What’s your favorite scone topping?