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Sausage Patties

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Spring is here and Mother’s Day is upon us.  A Mother’s Day tradition in many a household is breakfast in bed for mom.  Why not make it extra special this year by going that extra mile?  Making homemade sausage may seem out of reach to many, but with this simple recipe, you will not only get a more delicious patty, but a healthier one!

Made from simple ingredients.  It’s always nice to know exactly what goes into our food and be able to control the quality of what we put in our bodies.  These little patties are without casing, which is just one more reason I love them.

These pork breakfast sausages are perfect for freezing and can be ready to go whenever you want to make a special breakfast or just have a quick breakfast ready to go in the morning.  I enjoy them along side pancakes, but they go really well with eggs or waffles or whatever your favorite breakfast food is!

Slice up one small onion.

Place it in the food processor… I am using the Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor.

Process onions.

Process until finely minced.

Add some olive oil into small skillet.

Add onions into skillet.

Run a large garlic clove or two smaller ones through a garlic press and add in.  This Pampered Chef Garlic Press is fantastic.

Add bacon into skillet.

Brown everything up and remove from heat to allow to cool a bit.

Start with a package of ground pork.

Use your favorite bacon.

Snip through some bacon.  These Pampered Chef Sheers are perfect to get this job done!

Prepare your spices.

Add your spices into your meat.

Add in plain bread crumbs.

Add in one egg.

Add in cooled skillet mixture.

Stir together.

Form patties.

You can form regular circular patties… I like a 2″ patty.

Or you can make them into heart-shaped patties for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or a special anniversary breakfast.

Using a medium skillet, turn burner heat to medium.

Add patties into skillet.

Turn.

Cook all the way through.

Flash freeze the remaining raw patties for a half hour in freezer bag laying them flat and then remove as much air as possible from bag and place back in freezer for storage.

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Sausage Patties

Makes 18 2 oz. patties

Ingredients:

1 lbs. ground pork

2 eggs

1 small onion, minced

1/2 cup bread crumbs

5 slices bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces

2 cloves of garlic, run through press

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. sage

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

1 Tbs. olive oil

Directions:

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add in onions, bacon and garlic. Saute until golden brown.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, add in ground pork, bread crumbs, spices and brown sugar.  Stir together.  Add in skillet mixture.  Form into 2 oz. patties.

Heat a medium skillet and add patties without crowding.  Brown patties on both sides (4-5 mins on each side).  (Sugar will caramelize as pictured.)

Serve hot, enjoy!

*Recipe can easily be made gluten-free with the replacement of bread crumbs with gluten-free bread crumbs.

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Corned Beef & Chouriço Hash

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I almost like the day after St. Patrick’s Day even better than the holiday itself.  You might ask why, but if you have ever tried a genuine home-made Corned Beef Hash, it wouldn’t take long to figure out the answer!  Since I always add in a nice link of chouriço to my Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Paddy’s Day, I like to add it right into the hash the next day.  And wow, the results are amazing, the spiced sausage adds in that little extra kick that sets it apart from any other hash you have ever had!.

This is what your dinner looked like last night.

Refrigerate your boiled dinner over night and this is what you get. You will find the fat has floated to the top making it easy to remove, yay.

Grab some potatoes and corned beef to start with.

Dice up a large onion. I used my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor because I wanted to speed this process along.

Next dice up your potato. I like a small dice, but not so small that they disintegrate with additional cooking. Remember these potatoes have been boiled, so they are quite tender.

Start by removing any remaining fat on your corned beef. Then cut into strips.

Dice.

Then do the same to your chouriço. Be sure to first remove the skin.

Sautée your onions.

Then add in your remaining ingredients.  Add in a bit more oil when you add in the potatoes and meat if the onions have soaked up all the oil you originally added in.

Add on some Portuguese All Spice or paprika.

Be sure to give this time to really crisp up, nothing worse than a mushy hash.

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Corned Beef & Chouriço Hash

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. cooked corned beef, diced

1/4 lb. cooked chouriço, diced

4 cooked med/large potatoes, diced

1 large onion, diced

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed

1/2 tsp. Portuguese All Spice or Smoked Paprika

salt and pepper to taste

top with egg (optional)

Directions:

Sautée onion in vegetable oil in a large over med/high heat until tender.  Add in potatoes and meat adding additional vegetable oil if needed.  Sprinkle mixture with Portuguese All Spice or Smoked Paprika.  Allow mixture to crisp up mixing only occasionally to allow for caramelization.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with eggs and toast.  Enjoy! 

*Gluten free only if beer was not used in the cooking of the original Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.

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Portuguese Baked Pork and Beans (Feijão Assado)

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If ever there was a Portuguese comfort food, Feijão Assado is it for me!  This recipe has been passed down in my family for generations and it is something that I come back to time and time again.  I have memories throughout my whole life of my Vavó and my Mom making Feijão Assado and Soupa de Feijão (Bean Soup) for family dinners, parties and holiday celebrations.  Because the time to initially soak and cook the beans can take some time they would always cook the two together reserving half the beans for the soup and the other half for the baked beans.  The Soupa de Feijão recipe is coming this fall, but for now we will focus on this warm, creamy savory comfort food.

I’ve called it Portuguese Baked Pork and Beans instead of just Portuguese Baked Beans because I have made this into the main course for our supper tonight by adding not only salt pork and a little bit of chouriço, but a whole pound of chouriço.  My grandmother would never have put an entire pound of chouriço in anything, she always said that chouriço was just added to recipes for the taste.  So, as I write out the recipe tutorial I will note the adjustment should you chose to go the traditional route.

This dish and a nice fresh portuguese roll is a filling, balanced and super nutritious meal.  However, as I mentioned, you can also bring it as a great party food or pot luck contribution and really get people talking!  Often times, if I am throwing a dinner party where I am serving roast pork or pork chops I will make this to go along side.  I’ve also known Feijão Assado to make a great breakfast food.  Whichever way you decide to make it, try it out soon because it really is a very different way to eat your beans.

I use while nave beans for this recipe because my Vavó always said the smaller the white bean the better.  This is your basic one pound package.

I use while nave beans for this recipe because my Vavó always said the smaller the white bean the better. This is your basic one pound package.

Fill a 6 cup bowl about 3/4 of the way with water… this may seem a bit big, but these beans absorb almost all this water over night.

As you can see the beans are way down at the bottom of the bowl. You may be tempted to add salt at this point, avoid that temptation! White beans actually absorb water without salt, not sure why, but they do. You’ll have plenty of time to flavor later.

Cover it up and let stand over night at least 6-8 hours or up to 12 hours.

And there it is... look how they have plumped up!

And there it is… look how they have plumped up!

Now you will want to start this next step with fresh water. So drain off the beans, this also gets rid of any residual dirt… if you want to rinse your beans and pick through, now would be a good time for that as well.

Then, cut a medium onion in half and add it into the water.

Then, cut a medium onion in half and add it into the water.

Peel three garlic cloves and add those in too... The onions and garlic really flavor the beans while they are cooking, but you are still not adding in salt.

Peel three garlic cloves and add those in too… The onions and garlic really flavor the beans while they are cooking, but you are still not adding in salt.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once you have a boil going, lower the heat and continue to boil until beans are tender (about an hour and a half).

When beans are tender, shut off the flame. NOW you can finally add in a pinch of salt… not too much, just a pinch.

This is a good view of how tender the beans are. You want them naturally breaking up a bit.

Drain most of the water from the beans. Don’t worry about the onions and garlic, those will melt right into the dish.

You will want to reserve about one cup of the cooking liquid. This will help with keeping the beans moist while baking and it also helps to create the creamy texture.

Add in one small can of tomato sauce.

Add in one small can of tomato sauce.

Salt… Be careful here, my Vavó always said salt adds flavor and it takes it away. So, start with 1/2 tsp and taste after you mix everything together. Both chouriço and the wet red pepper both have salt in them, so you don’t want to over do it. And remember you already added in a pinch.

One good chunk of salt pork or a couple of slices of thick cut bacon (not too smoky) or even pancetta would be nice here. I am adding mine in whole, my grandmother would chop it up, it’s up to you which you would like to do. I think it’s pretty in the center when it comes out of the oven.

One heaping tablespoon of wet red crushed pepper is next… if you only have dry, they just add in half as much.

Now just a pinch of Portuguese All Spice… If you don’t have access to this spice just add in a pinch of sweet paprika and you’ll be ok here.

Mix all together.

I like to peel the skin off my chouriço for easier eating, personal preference.

Slice it up. As I mentioned above, my grandmother would only have added half as much, this is totally up to you. Also, I should note that I am using hot chouriço, you can also use mild and be just fine. The flavor profile is the same save the heat factor.

Add your chourço into your bean mixture.

I bought a set of these beautiful baking dishes the last time I was in Portugal and pain stakingly brought them back to the states with me.  It's made of a traditional Azorean pottery.  If you don't have this dish, you can either use a 9x12" stoneware dish or any regular baking dish will work.

I bought a set of these beautiful baking dishes the last time I was in Portugal and pain stakingly brought them back to the states with me. It’s made of a traditional Azorean pottery. If you don’t have this dish, you can either use a 9×12″ stoneware dish or any regular baking dish will work.

Pour directly into your baking dish.

Pour directly into your baking dish.

As you can see, it still looks pretty soupy, that's perfect.

As you can see, it still looks pretty soupy (like a thick soup), that’s perfect.

Be sure chouriço is evenly distributed.  Bake at 375°F for 90 minutes.

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Recipe for Portuguese Baked Pork and Beans (Feijão Assado):

(serves 4-6)

1 lb. dry Navy beans, soaked 8-12 hrs.

1 lb. chouriço, peeled and sliced

1 small can tomato sauce

1 onion, peeled and chopped in half.

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 heaping Tbs. wet crushed red pepper (or half the amount of dry)

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/2 tsp. Portuguese All Spice or paprika

1″ cut of salt pork (or three slices of thick cut bacon, non-smoky flavor)

Directions:

Soak beans over night in plain water.

Drain beans.  Cook beans in a soup pot with fresh water, onion and garlic.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and reduce heat.  Cook for 90 minutes or until beans are very tender. After cooking is complete, shut off flame add in a pinch of salt and allow to sit covered for about 20 mins.

Drain beans reserving one cup cooking water.  Add in tomato sauce, salt, pepper, pork and chouriço.  Mix together.  Pour into a 9×12″ baking dish and bake at 375°F for 90 minutes.

Enjoy!

*note – this is a gluten-free recipe.

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Pan-Fried Mint Bread “Pudding” (Pudim de Hortelã)

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When I was a little girl, my home was somewhat of a mini farm.  We always had chickens, goats, sheep, rabbits, pigs a cow and an amazing garden and fruit orchard.  My parents always had a plentiful garden full of wonderful tomatoes, couves (Portuguese collard greens), squash, grapes, and beans.  Anything that could be grown, my Dad could grow.  On the out skirts of the garden were always chives, parsley and mint.  The smell of mint hit you long before you found where it was and I loved it.  There was so much mint in fact that I was allowed to use it for my mud pies and fun projects.  Memories of growing up in the country hit me every time I bite into a fresh cucumber or smell the parsley to tell the difference between it and cilantro in the grocery store.  Funny how food connects a person to their past and bridges generations all at the same time.

One very vivid memory is of my mother taking day old Portuguese Popo Secos (rolls) and a bunch of mint from the garden and making bread “pudding”… pudding is in quotes because unlike traditional pudding there is no milk in this dish.  I fell in love with this “pudding” as a child and added my own spin to it as an adult adding a little savory in to balance the sweet.  Today, my husband loves when he wakes up to the smell of mint and caramelized sugar and my children are starting to understand the connection between growing something in the garden and it making it onto the dining table.

***note – I consider this a Portuguese dish not because of it being a traditional dish, but because it was made by my Portuguese mother.

One or two day old bread is best used for this recipe. These are Portuguese Rolls known as Popo Secos. They are individual rolls with a moderately crusty exterior and a very soft and airy interior. They are best served fresh and day of baking… Which is why this recipe is great to use up bread you got earlier in the week. (If you don’t have Portuguese bread readily available in your area, try this with a crusty italian… you will want about two large loaves)

Rip up bread into large bowl filled with water.

It will look like it won’t fit… but, it should if your bowl is big enough… I use a bowl that can accommodate about 10 cups and fill it with 6 cups of water.

Submerge your bread in the water.

Grab about 6 sprigs of mint, these are fresh from my garden… if you don’t have a mint garden, it’s really the easiest herb to start with, it’s almost like a weed, you actually have to contain it so that it doesn’t spread to your entire garden. If you don’t have a mint garden, then you can get this at your local farmers market or even grocery store.

Pick the leaves off each stem, you don’t want the stems as they are a bit too woody.

Roughly chop your mint leaves.

Add your chopped mint to the soaking bread.

Mix mint in and submerge. Allow to soak for about 15 minutes at minimum and up to an hour.

Mince one medium onion or large shallot.

Add one stick of salted butter to a large non-stick skillet.

Add your onions into the pan with the butter over medium heat.

Sautee onions in butter until golden.

Saute onions in butter until golden.

Ring out bread and mint so that you have damp bread.

Ring out bread and mint so that you have damp bread.

Add damp bread and mint to the onions.

Saute bread in butter and onions turning every few minutes until the bread starts to dry out a bit and you can see it browning.

Keep working at it, this will take a good 5-6 minutes over medium heat.

Add in about 3/4 cup of sugar.  I like to cover the entire top of the bread, spread the love.

Add in about 3/4 cup of sugar. I like to cover the entire top of the bread, spread the love.

Once bread gets to a browning point, cover in a layer of sugar and continue to sautee.

Once bread gets to a browning point, cover in a layer of sugar and continue to saute.

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Recipe for Pan-Fried Mint Bread Pudding (Pudim de Hortelã):

(serves 4)

6 Papo Secos (Portuguese rolls), torn

6 sprigs of mint, chopped

3/4 C. sugar

1 stick salted butter

1 medium onion, minced (or 1 lg. shallot)

6 cups water

Directions:

Add bread to water in a large bowl.  Add mint, mix.  Allow to soak for 15-60 mins.

Add minced onion to large saute pan with the melted butter.  When color on onions comes to a light golden brown start squeezing water out of the bread and add dampened bread to the skillet.  Once all the bread makes it into the skillet, saute until the bread firms up a bit and looses some of the moisture.  Then add the sugar in an even layer over the top of the bread mixture.  Continue to saute.  When sugar has fully caramelized onto the bread mixture.

*note – this “pudding” is dairy free.

 

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Vavó’s Portuguese Stovetop Pudding (Vavó’s Papas)

Para a alma da minha Vavó…

done2Olinda DaPonte Moniz Mota would have turned 99 years old this month.  My Vavó moved to the United States and settled in Fall River, Massachusetts with her husband and three children when she was just about 50 years old in search of more opportunity for her children.  Can you imagine up and moving your entire life at 50 years old?  It is hard for me to fathom leaving a home where all my friends and family had been for generations to move to a country where I don’t know the language, have no job, no real set plan.  Sure there were some family and friends who had crossed the vast Atlantic and settled here, but you have to admit it is quite a leap of faith.

One thing that really rooted my Vavó home was the food.  And I would have to say this dish was one of her favorites.  On any given morning, I could arrive at my grandparent’s home and find my Vavó settled on the sofa with a cup of tea and a plate of Papas.  It was her breakfast of choice. She used to love it when I would come and make it for her, as I did from time to time as she got older.  This is my version of my Vavó’s Papas.

Two cups of whole milk... I am using lactose free milk here which is fine too.

Two cups of whole milk… I am using lactose free milk here which is fine too.

My Vavó had a sweet tooth… this is 1/4 cup of sugar. If you don’t like your Papas terribly sweet, reduce this to 1/8 cup.

Separate out your egg yolk from your white. Add the white to your morning omelet or something, you won’t need it here. Although, my Vavó used to use the whole egg because she didn’t like to waste… but, it’s better to discard the white (or like I said, use it in something else)

Now you are left with just the yolk. You will want this ready to go, because when it’s time to add it in, it needs to be done pronto.

Measure out two slightly heaping tablespoons of corn starch…. This is not corn flour or corn meal… but starch.

Mix your milk and corn starch together before turning on your burner to medium heat… You will get no lumps this way.

I love this wisk… It’s my gravy/pudding wisk… If you make either fairly often, I would highly recommend picking one up. If not, a regular wisk will do here.

Add in your sugar once your milk mixture thickens up a bit. Continue wisking constantly.

Add in your egg and have your wisk at the ready.

Wisk in the egg yolk rather aggressively… You don’t want to leave chance for your egg to cook before it is incorporated.

Allow the papas to boil while continuing to wisk for a good minute or so.

Allow the papas to boil while continuing to wisk for a good minute or so.

My Vavó would have loved these plates with their pretty flowers. It is important that your plate have a good rim to it. (Plates are Butterfly Meadow by Lenox)

Gently pour liquid onto the plate until it just comes up the rim of your plate.

Gently pour liquid onto the plate until it just comes up the rim of your plate.

My Vavó was always sure to have a bottle of cinnamon sugar on hand. This makes the perfect sprinkle on the hot Papas... the sugar will melt in and become slightly crisp while the cinnamon provides the perfect contrast.

My Vavó was always sure to have a bottle of cinnamon sugar on hand. This makes the perfect sprinkle on the hot Papas… the sugar will melt in and become slightly crisp while the cinnamon provides the perfect contrast.  At this point allow the Papas to cool slightly to set.

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Recipe for Vavó’s Portuguese Stovetop Pudding (Vavó’s Papas):

(serves 2)

2 cups whole milk

2 Tbs. corn starch, slightly heaping

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

cinnamon sugar for topping

Directions:

Combine milk and cornstarch in a small sauce pan.  Bring to boil over medium heat wisking constantly.  When mixture has thickened add in sugar, continue wisking.  After about 1-2 minutes add in egg yolk, wisking extra fast so as the yolk does not cook before combined.  Pour out onto a plate immediately and top with cinnamon sugar.  Allow to cool just slightly to set.

Serve warm, enjoy!

*note: this recipe is gluten-free.

**note: this recipe can be made with lactose-free milk.

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French Toast Waffles

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With 4th of July right around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to start this week off with a patriotic breakfast idea! Maybe you have a waffle iron and have no clue what to do with it. Maybe you do, but haven’t dusted it off in a while. Maybe you don’t like the hassle of mixing up the waffle batter… No mind, these are the simplest no muss, no fuss waffles you will ever make and they are super sumptuous too!  Are they waffles or is it french toast?  Why, it’s both!  French toast and waffles all in one, pretty clever, huh?

With this recipe, you heat up your waffle iron, then go about making french toast as you normally would.  Then instead of pouring batter into your waffle iron, you just place your egg soaked bread in!  Talk about easy and talk about yum!

Preheat your waffle iron.

Pre-heat your waffle iron.

Then start preparing your egg mixture:

Start with two eggs.

Scramble up the eggs with a fork.

Add in some light cream for richness.

Add in some light cream for richness.

Add in some pure vanilla extract for depth of flavor.

Add in a pinch of cinnamon for added french toast flavor.

Scramble it all up forming your dredging liquid.

Now prepare your waffle iron because as you dredge your bread, you need to immediately place into your waffle iron, this step doesn’t take long at all.

Spray your waffle iron, I like to use a butter flavored non-stick spray for this, but any regular non-stick spray.

Spray your waffle iron, I like to use a butter flavored non-stick spray for this, but any regular non-stick spray.

Ready about 3 - 4 slices of your favorite sliced bread.  I am using whole wheat bread here.

Ready about 3 – 4 slices of your favorite sliced bread. I am using whole wheat bread here.

Individually dredge each piece of bread.

Individually dredge each piece of bread.

Place your egg soaked bread right on your iron and close like you normally would.  Give it about 2 minutes.

Place your egg soaked bread right on your iron and close like you normally would. Give it about 2 minutes.

You will know your french toast waffles are done when they are golden brown just like regular waffles.

You will know your french toast waffles are done when they are golden brown just like regular waffles.

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Recipe for French Toast Waffles:

(Serves 2)

4 slices of wheat bread (or your favorite sliced bread)

2 eggs

1/4 cup light cream (whole milk to substitute)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 pinch cinnamon

non-stick cooking spray

berries, butter and syrup to top

Directions:

Pre-heat waffle iron.

Prepare eggs.  Crack two eggs into a bowl.  Scramble with fork.  Add in cream, vanilla and cinnamon.  Scramble with fork.

Dredge each slice of bread in liquid one at a time.  Spray waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, covering both top and bottom.  As you finish the individual dredging, place each slice in the iron.  Close iron and wait about two minutes.  Waffles will be ready when golden brown.

Top with fresh berries, butter and syrup.  Enjoy!

 

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BCT Frittata (Bacon,Cheese & Tomato)

done1Looking for a special breakfast to sit down to with your family?  Something delicious and easy? Something for Father’s Day or to feed a crowd? Maybe something you can mix up the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning? This Bacon Cheese & Tomato Frittata fits the bill.  I recently made a similar frittata for a girl’s bachelorette weekend… My husband loves bacon, so this one has thick cut bacon cooked right in.  A frittata is like a baked omelet.  And because it is baked, the eggs are light and fluffy and perfectly cooked throughout.

What you will need for this to come out perfectly is an oven safe non-stick skillet... if you don’t have this, no worries, just spray a baking pie dish with cooking spray or coat with butter and pour contents into that.

If you like or dislike any of these ingredients or if you happen to have something else on hand, substitute at will.  The important thing is to saute hard veggies like onions.  The frittata I made on the girl’s weekend was made up of onions, red bell peppers and sliced baked ham with a sharp cheddar.  I was also feeding a larger crowd, so I used 10 eggs instead of just 8 and I added a half cup of cream.  Customize it to what you like!

Start with your bacon. Cut up about 4 slices of thick cut bacon and start sauteing in the skillet.

Dice up some onions.

Add your onions right in with your bacon as it is cooking down.

Keep the onions and bacon going over medium heat until it's time to add in the eggs.  Meanwhile get the rest of the ingredients prepped.

Keep the onions and bacon going over medium heat until it’s time to add in the eggs. Meanwhile get the rest of the ingredients prepped.

Dice up some cheddar... this is mild, sharp works well also.

Dice up some cheddar… this is mild, sharp works well also.

Cut up some sweet grape tomatoes.

Cut up some sweet grape tomatoes.

Crack 8 eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork.

For this Frittata, I added in a smal pinch of Herbs de Provence... Be careful here, this is a strong spice for such a delicate dish, you only want to add in the smallest pinch.  If you happen to have fresh herbs instead, great... some thyme and parsley would be lovely here.

For this Frittata, I added in a small pinch of Herbs de Provence… Be careful here, this is a strong spice for such a delicate dish, you only want to add in the smallest pinch. If you happen to have fresh herbs instead, great… some thyme and parsley would be lovely here.

add cheese

Add in a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Add in a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper.

When your onions and bacon are good and caramelized, you will know it’s time to drain off some of the fat add in the eggs.

Add in your egg mixture.

Add your tomatoes.

Bake in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes.

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Recipe for BCT Frittata:

(serves 4-6)

8-10 eggs

1/2 onion diced

4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

3 oz. cheddar, cubed

8-10 grape or cherry tomatoes

1 small pinch kosher salt

4-5 cracks of fresh black pepper

1 small pinch Herbs de Provence (optional)

Directions:

Render bacon in a non-stick oven safe skillet.  Add in diced onions.  In a separate bowl, scramble eggs.  Add in Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.  Add in cheese.
Once onions and bacon are caramelized, add in egg mixture. Top with tomatoes.

Bake at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes until set.  (Eggs will slightly puff when done)

*note – this is a gluten-free recipe

 

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Eggs with Hats

done4Eggs with Hats are a classic hybrid breakfast food.  It’s buttery toast with a perfectly cooked egg built right in.  I learned how to make these from a friend in high school and have since made them every which way.  For Valentine’s Day, I make them for my kids with a heart shape cut out using a cookie cutter.  Sometimes I do little add-ins like chives or place a slice of cheese on top. Sometimes I change the type of bread. But, my favorite is the traditional pre-sliced wheat bread with just a simply seasoned egg with salt and pepper. Delicious.

These are perfect for any special occasion like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day as shown in my Breakfast in Bed post.  It’s something a little different that kid’s can definitely help with.  Or, this can go right into your regular breakfast rotation!  It’s super quick and easy.  Sometimes, I think it’s actually quicker and easier than trying to make eggs and toast separately and keeping them all warm at the same time!

bread

Start with two slices of wheat bread.

butter

Use softened butter or spreadable margarine to butter.

both sides

Don’t forget the other side.  I like to do it this way before cutting the hole because it makes life a little easier than trying to butter bread with a hole cut out of it and then the hole separately!

glass

Find a glass that will fit comfortably in the center of your bread and is a good size for an egg to fit in.

skillet

On a non-stick skillet add both the slice with the hole and the hole.

melt butter

Now, add some more butter to the center for the egg.

egg

I always like to place the egg in a little bowl to inspect for freshness and shell.

egg in

Add in egg.

egg set

When the white sets up a bit, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

flip

As soon as you add the salt and pepper, flip. (Its ok if you get a little splash over like this… if it really bothers you, just cut it off, if not, its yummy anyway) Don’t forget to flip the hole.

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That’s it, plate and serve along side some bacon or Rockstar Potatoes or whatever you like.

Recipe for Eggs with Hats:

(serves 1)

2 slices for whole wheat bread

2 large eggs

2 Tbls. spreadable margarine or butter

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Butter both sides of bread.  Use a juice glass to cut hole in center of each.  Heat a non-stick skillet to medium.  Place buttered bread in pan and place hole cut out separately in the pan to brown.  Add butter to hole in preparation for the egg.  Add egg.  Once the egg starts to set up, add a scant pinch of kosher salt and pepper.  Flip.  Allow to cook for about 45 seconds – 1 minute.  (Don’t forget to flip the hole)

Enjoy!

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Breakfast in Bed – Fancy Pants Version

done22My special “Breakfast in Bed” Series continues today with “Breakfast in Bed – Fancy Pants Version”.  This series is designed in preparation for Mother’s Day or any time that you want to spoil that special someone with that extra effort.

Beds across the nation will be warmed up with the love of children to their mother’s showing them just how much they are loved and appreciated by that extra effort to take care of Mom as she takes care of them each and every day.  Today’s installment features a fancy kicked up breakfast.  Some of it can be prepared ahead of time, but some elements are meant to be done the morning of.  And unlike my first installment, Breakfast in Bed – Kid Friendly Version where most everything was disposable, this version takes a bit more effort because after breakfast there will be dishes to do and we don’t want to leave that to Mom!

So, again if you are Mom and you are reading this, now is the time to hand the computer or tablet over to your significant other or older child (as there are way too many breakables involved here for a youngster) and turn away.  I will now be addressing the Preparer.

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Some of the elements here such as the Chocolate Covered Strawberries and the Codfish Cakes can be made a day in advance.  Then other elements, such as the Tea, the OJ and the Southwest Veggie Omelet  need to be prepared the morning of.  Although, you should definitely refrigerate your oranges for the OJ, otherwise you will have warm OJ.

Start with your Mom’s favorite tray. This is mine. I bought it the last time I visited St. Michael. It is hand-made and adorned with hand crafted St. Michael’s signature blue and white tile. The scene depicted here is of the ‘Portas de Cidade” or Gates to the City. The Portas de Cidade is a famous landmark in Ponta Delgada, St. Michael’s capital city and is a source of great pride for all Azoreans.

Here is a mini tutorial on how to make delicious Chocolate Covered Strawberries from scratch:

Like I mentioned above, These can be done the night before, but they can also be done same day so long as you have a chilled area for them to set up quickly.

strawberries

Start with some fresh strawberries. Wash and dry them thoroughly. Moisture is melted chocolate’s worst nightmare.

Next, pour half the contents of a chocolate chip bag into a microwave safe bowl.

Pop it in the microwave. Start off with one minute on high. Stir.  Every 15 seconds, stir until you get the proper consistency.

When your chocolate still has this much texture to it, it should be ready to stir into melty goodness.

When your chocolate looks like this, you are ready for dipping!

dip

Give each strawberry its own individual bath.

Be sure to have a plate or cookie sheet covered with parchment paper to receive the dipped strawberries so they may cool and firm up.

Once you have them all dipped and ready to so, get them to a cool place to chill.

Next, here is a mini tutorial on how to make fresh squeezed orange juice:

OJ

There is nothing like fresh squeezed orange juice. It is not like the kind in the carton.  The nutritional value of the fresh squeezed is far superior to anything you might find at the supermarket.

oranges

Start with some beautifully ripened oranges.  It is a good idea to refrigerate these over night, otherwise you will end up with warm OJ, not great.

I found that one large orange was enough to fill a juice glass. Obviously this depends on how large you can find the orange and how juicy they are. Cut them in half to start.

Here are three different methods to getting one delicious glass of OJ:

hand squeeze

The first method of juicing is just to hand squeeze the orange into a glass. I find that this is the least efficient way as you will have a hard time squeezing out every drop.

core squeeze

The next method is a much more common method, using a juicer. This one has the little rim that catches seeds, nice! You will want to work the orange onto the juicer with a bit of elbow grease to get every last drop.

The third option is the squeeze juicer. This baby really gets every last drop out and prevents seeds from falling in the juice! I always find it funny how it almost seems like the orange is put in backwards, but it literally turns the fruit inside out.

This main plate features a Southwest Veggie Omelet and Codfish Cakes.  Recipes and tutorials are detailed on their respective postings.  Take a look, the omelet tutorial teaches how to make the perfect omelet and customize it to your tastes.

Although you may think of Codfish Cakes as a lunch or dinner item, it is especially good in the morning and with some eggs, so give it a try.

tea pot

And last, but not least is the tea. I found this little gem while traveling in Utah. I fell in love with this hand-made beauty and started collecting personal tea pots ever since. If you are looking for a lovely gift for Mom, check out Golden Moon Tea, they have some great high quality teas and tea ware.

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Supplies you will need:

* Pretty Tray

* Pretty plate

* Pretty napkin

* Crystal juice glass

* Personal Tea Pot

* 3″ glazed tile

* silverware

Food and drink:

* Southwest Veggie Omelet

* Codfish Cakes

* Fresh squeeze Orange Juice

* Chocolate Covered Strawberries

* Tea (don’t forget whatever your Mom takes in her tea, ie. sugar, milk, honey or lemon)

 

Have fun and remember to think about what your Mom loves and tailor her Breakfast in Bed to what she likes best!  A nice handmade card goes a long way too!

 

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Southwest Veggie Omelet

done2It is really hard to find a good omelet!  Maybe I’m just picky, but I prefer eggs made at home to those out in a restaurant any day.  This Southwest Veggie omelet is light and fluffy, perfectly seasoned and has some key elements that make it ‘Southwest’.

Once you get my simple techniques down you can make this into any type of omelet you like.  Add ins in this beauty include mushrooms, scallions and pepper jack cheese.  Maybe you aren’t into spice, that’s O.K. substitute with a Swiss or a Cheddar.  Maybe you like some meat in your omelet, have at it.  As long as you get some key techniques down, you can rock your non-stick skillet like a cooking superstar!

Some things to keep in mind: First lets start with the ingredients, the basic to any good omelet is your egg to milk ratio.  I like 2 eggs to 1/4 c. milk.  If you want to substitute out an egg for egg white, be sure you use 2 egg whites for every one egg.  And DO NOT salt until the egg is in the pan, we will go over this in the tutorial.  Also, be sure your burner is set to medium heat, you don’t want to scorch your eggs here, have patience.  A good omelet needs some TLC.

ingredients

The ingredients you will need for this omelet are: 2 eggs, 1/4 c. milk, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/4 c. sliced scallions, 2-3 oz. pepper jack cheese and a pinch each of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

butter in pan

Use a 10″ non-stick skillet (save yourself a headache). Even though the pan is non-stick, you are going to want to butter it up… So add one pad of butter.

mushrooms

Saute the mushrooms in the butter. DO NOT add salt as you don’t want to draw water from the mushrooms. Let them gently brown.

add scallions

After a few moments, the mushrooms will be nicely browned, but not overcooked. Add in the sliced scallions. I like to keep the scallions at about inch long pieces for this recipe because I feel like they can stand up to the mushrooms at this size. Any smaller and they could get lost.

add milk2

While the veggies are sauteing, take a minute to beat the eggs and milk together with a fork, vigorously.

add more butter

Once you have sautéed the scallions in with the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, add in another pad of butter. Move the butter about the pan to add an additional layer of protection for your eggs. You do not want the eggs to stick,

add egg

Gently pour your eggs in over the veggies. The eggs will naturally spread the veggies. Once poured, just make sure you redistribute the veggies throughout the egg.  Once poured, sprinkle your kosher salt, just a pinch and your fresh cracked black pepper.

technique1

Pretty immediately the eggs will start to set up. Take a minute to go around the pan and gently lift some of the set eggs to allow for the runny part to take its place in the pan. This is where the fluffiness factor comes in with my omelets. This is a crucial step.  Do this all the way around the pan, lifting in 2-4 spots.

technique2

Once you have made your omelet fluffy, you will want to get it to one edge of your pan. Due to the two layers of butter that were added, this should not be too difficult. If you are struggling a bit with a gentle shimmy, just go around the pan with a spatula and loosen the edges. Then flip. I did an air flip, so I couldn’t take a picture as I did not have the hands for it. I would encourage you to try the air flip if as it is quick and easy. As Julia Child would say “You just have to have the courage”. But, if you aren’t feeling particularly courageous, you can just use your largest spatula to help you to maneuver your eggs over to their other side.

add cheese

Immediately apply the cheese to one side of your omelet to allow for maximum melting time. And lift the non-cheese side over the cheese side. Slide the omelet off the skillet and onto a plate. This process is pretty quick because the majority of your egg is already cooked from the first side and the fluffing technique.

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Enjoy!

Recipe for Southwest Veggie Omelet:

(serves 1)

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup scallions, sliced

2-3 oz. pepper jack cheese

pinch of kosher salt

pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

2 pads of butter or margarine

Directions:

Beat eggs with milk.  Set aside.

Saute mushrooms in butter in a non-stick 10″skillet.  Add in scallions once mushrooms have browned.  Add in an additional pad of butter.  Add in beaten eggs.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Lift gently along the sides allowing unset eggs to run under set eggs.

Flip.  Add cheese to half the omelet.  Flip the remaining half over the cheese.  Serve.

Enjoy!

*note – this is a gluten-free recipe