Friday, April 20, 2012

Easy Family Breakfast Recipes

I love breakfast dishes like the following recipes to serve on the weekend. I never know if we're going to have 2-3 extra teenagers staying the night, and they don't always wake up bright and early.  These dishes are great served later in the morning, or even closer to lunch.  Serve with biscuits, English muffins or toast plus orange juice and everyone is full and happy. Happy teenagers are a good thing:)

Breakfast Casserole

1 (12 oz. package) frozen shredded Hash Browns
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup diced cooked ham
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
6 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1 (6 oz.) can diced roasted green chilies (optional)

Butter or spray a casserole dish or glass pan. Spread the hash browns in the bottom of the dish. Brush with melted butter or margarine. Bake this at 400 degrees for 2o minutes. Remove from oven. On top of the potatoes, layer the ham, cheese and chillies. Combine the eggs, milk and salt. Whisk briskly until combined and beaten well. Pour on top of ham and cheese mixture. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes.

Breakfast Pizza

1 (8 oz.) tube crescent rolls
1 lb. breakfast sausage, any variety
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup very thinly sliced sweet onion
1/2 c. diced green pepper
5 large eggs, well beaten
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Grease a 12 inch pizza pan. Lay crescent rolls with points toward center in pan, press lightly to cover the entire pan. Set aside. Brown sausage, while breaking it up as it cooks. Drain any grease off the sausage.  Saute the mushrooms, onion and green pepper lightly. Top the crust with the sausage and vegetables. Pour eggs over top, as evenly as possible. Top with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and eggs are set. 

Notes:  You can use any type of cheese you wish; I sometimes use more than 8 ounces if I have it.  

Breakfast Quiche 

 9 inch unbaked pie shell 
8-12 oz. sausage or bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled 
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
6 eggs, beaten
2 green onions, ends trimmed, chopped 
3/4 cup milk 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line unbaked pie shell with 1/2 cup of cheese. Top the cheese with cooked sausage or bacon. Cover with remaining cheese. Combine eggs, green onion, milk, salt and pepper and beat well. Pour over ingredients in pie shell. Bake 20 to 30 minutes until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Serve hot.

Notes: The meat amount is fairly flexible. I also like to save a little out to sprinkle on the top of the quiche before serving.  This is also good with a little sauteed green pepper and onion mixed in. 

On OFL we have recipes for a lovely weekend brunch:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Recipes: Greens and Herbs

Spring greens are readily available in the produce section in most grocery stores, which means we can create healthy salads year round. However, with warm weather arriving, the herbs are growing again, and the farm markets will open soon. This gives cooks many opportunities to add fresh herbs and greens to their salads and dishes. My chives, thyme and oregano have grown enough to harvest small amounts, despite our nights getting down in the 30's. If you don't spray chemicals in your yard, you can also harvest dandelions this time of year while they are young. Today I'm sharing a few recipes and tips from Salads and Herbs by Cora, Rose and Bob Brown, published in 1938.

"Besides the common use as greens for a spring tonic, dandelion leaves can be blanched by inverting flower pots over them...and used as a snappy seasoning to pep up milder lettuce salads. In France the dandelion is so esteemed that a cultivated form resembling endive actually rivals it for crispness and fine flavor and is eaten fresh with gusto and French Dressing. "

Wilted Dandelion Salad
Salt and pepper about a pound of fresh, crisp dandelions. Dice 1/4 pound bacon, fry and pour fat and all over dandelions; stir a tablespoon or two of vinegar in pan, dash it over and stir everything well together.

Dandy Sandwiches
Young dandelion leaves make dandy sandwiches. They should be torn to pieces, rather than cut, in order to bring out their full flavor. Tender young leaves in this fashion are laid between slices of bread and butter and sprinkled with salt. The addition of a little lemon juice and pepper, or paprika, varies the flavor pleasantly.

Mixed Green Salad

6 lettuce leaves
6 romaine leaves
6 escarole leaves
1 cup thinly sliced Chinese cabbage
1 tablespoon minced onion
French dressing

Rub bowl with garlic; arrange the greens in layers and sprinkle with minced onion; add dressing and toss. Drop a four-leaf cover on top for luck.

Lastly, I wanted to share the following tips on chives from the book. I'm not sure I could ever pick just one herb as my favorite, but chives come close. They are easy to grow, ornamental, and a great addition to salads, egg dishes, potatoes and so much more. The flowers can be broken apart and used in salads or dips. They are very peppery, and delicious.

"The tender green tops of this delicate yet snappy onion should always be clipped with shears, very fine, for sprinkling over sandwiches, chops, hamburgers, tomatoes, cucumber, salads, mashed potatoes, on wilted lettuce salad, omelettes, croquettes, sausages, tomato cocktails, French dressing, Thousand Island dressing, or in tartar sauce with fish. The breezy, springlike flavor of chives is the making of almost any spread of soft cheese, such as cream or cottage, by simply mixing it in. Cook string beans with chives and half as much parsley, removed before serving. Try clipped chives on buttered new potatoes in place of parsley and to give color to light soups such as potato and celery. "

On OFL we have an article on growing and using garlic chives: