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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

I don't know if it was the hearty whole wheat bread, the spinich, or the hint of dijon in it, but my husband declared this his favorite egg bake ever! I leave out the roasted red peppers for the kids. They aren't picky, but they aren't into them in their breakfast food. I highly recommend this, it's delish!

Also, you can make this the night before, and just bake in the morning. Perfect for when you have company.

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Serves 6 (we are a family of 5 and we got 2 generous breakfasts out of this)
Time 1 hour and 45 minutes

Ingredients
4 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 cup(s) nonfat milk
2 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon(s) minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
5 cup(s) chopped spinach, wilted (see Tip)
4 cup(s) (about 1/2 pound, 4-6 slices) whole-grain bread, crusts removed if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup(s) (5 ounces) diced ham steak
1/2 cup(s) chopped jarred roasted red peppers
3/4 cup(s) shredded Gruyère, or Swiss cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
Whisk eggs, egg whites, and milk in a medium bowl. Add mustard, rosemary, and pepper; whisk to combine. Toss spinach, bread, ham, and roasted red peppers in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.
Bake until the custard has set, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Tips & Techniques
Tip:
To wilt spinach, rinse thoroughly with cool water. Transfer to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in it. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture before adding the spinach to the recipe.Make Ahead Tip: Prepare casserole through Step 2; refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake as directed in Step 3.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baked Apple-Cinnamon French Toast

Thing I like about this recipe: you can make it 24 hours ahead, and it uses whole wheat bread!

Definitely serve it with warmed maple syrup!

Baked Apple-Cinnamon French Toast

Serves 12

Ingredients


3 cup(s) nonfat milk
2 cup(s) pasteurized liquid egg whites, such as Egg Beaters
3 tablespoon(s) honey
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 bag(s) sliced whole-wheat bread
1 cup(s) chopped dried apple rings (3 ounces)
1/2 cup(s) raisins
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon(s) confectioner's sugar

Directions
Whisk milk, egg whites, honey, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.
Trim crusts off 8 bread slices and set aside. Cut the crusts and the remaining bread into 1-inch pieces. Toss the cut bread with dried apples, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.
Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer the bread mixture to the pan. Lay the reserved crustless slices evenly over the top of the casserole, trimming to fit. Whisk the milk mixture one more time, then pour evenly over the bread. Press the bread down with the back of a wooden spoon, making sure it's evenly moist. Cover with parchment paper, then foil, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake the casserole, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until puffed, set and lightly browned, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes; dust with confectioner's sugar and serve.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rhubarb Pecan Muffins

Hello! I know I've been MIA in 2010, but that's just the season I'm in right now. So busy with the kids, and other things. Also I've realized I actually cook more when I'm not trying to keep up with the blog and other things, so that puts me in a weird position. Blog about cooking, and cook less? Or blog less, and cook more? I've chosen the latter lately. We'll see what the rest of 2010 brings!

I went to the midwest to visit family, and my Auntie sent me home with a huge bag of Rhubarb, and a recipe for muffins. It worked great at altitude also, I just reduced the cooking time by about 5 minutes. Also I tried some variations with Whole Wheat Pastry Flour instead of white flour, and Splenda instead of sugar, and they all turned out great, so feel free to use any combinations of those things as well if you try this. They are so good, and make for a hearty snack or breakfast! These muffins have simple instructions and come together quickly. If you can get your hands on some rhubarb, enjoy!!

Rhubarb Pecan Muffins
Makes one dozen
Doubles and freezes well

2 cups flour (white, or whole wheat pastry, or one cup each)
3/4 cup sugar (or Splenda)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. grated orange peel
3/4 cup orange juice
2 eggs
1 1/4 chopped rhubarb
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Combine eggs, orange peel, and juice. Add dry ingredients all at once. Stir until moistened, then stir in pecans and rhubarb. Fill 12 lightly greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes ( 20 to 25 at altitude).