Tag Archives: eggs

Salad with Hard-boiled Egg and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

The pool. Boy, I love our neighborhood pool. We can walk there. We can, and have, spent 7 hours a day there. Being a stay at home mom allows me this luxury… if you can call catching your child as he jumps in the pool nine thousand times a luxury. I swear some days I had bruises on my arms from him landing awkwardly. I was also stabbed in my thigh by a toenail once or twice. So fun. I also got kicked in the … um, let’s just call it the “if I was a man, I’d have probably drowned area”… twice in one day. Oh and every 45 minutes there is a break for 15 minutes. During those 15 minutes my kids eat like I haven’t fed them in days. I pack a cooler with water and snacks. You’d think some pretzels and a sip of water would be good. No… not for my family. My boy can eat everything I’ve packed for him in ONE break. Sheesh. Slow your roll, monkey. We have another break in 45 minutes! I have ONE snack for each kid for each break.

Anyhooooo… I ate during those breaks too. And I ate whatever my kids didn’t finish. You better believe a couple potato chips, two bites of a cheese stick, half a bag of Swedish Fish did NOT go in the trash can. Momma ate it.

Fast forward to September and momma is a little larger than she used to be. And I do NOT have money or the desire to go buy larger jeans for the winter. So I’m making some changes. I’m putting the kids on the bus and exercising in the mornings. And at night, when I usually eat a big fat bowl of ice cream, I am using the Wii Fit to do Step Aerobics. Last night I stepped 2700 times. (That is NOT a typo.) And I’m making changes to my diet. No more lazy days at the pool stuffing my face with pizza and soda and cheese curls!

homemade honey mustard vinaigrette drizzled over a simple salad

homemade honey mustard vinaigrette drizzled over a simple salad

“Salad!?” you ask. Yes. A simple salad. I need to make this recipe public. It’s my desire to teach those of you that drown your lettuce in ranch dressing and croutons (as I REALLY love to do) that there is a better, healthier version that’s just as tasty. And guilt-free!

Salad with Hard-boiled Egg and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

a nice pile of romaine lettuce – chopped or torn into bite size pieces

1/4 cup roasted almonds – chopped if you’d like. I eat them whole

1 hard boiled egg – chopped (tips on how to make the perfect hard boiled egg follow)

2 pieces of lunch meat – rolled up and sliced to make long slivers. I used roasted chicken today but honey ham would be delicious! And of course, if you have leftover rotisserie chicken or ham from dinner the night before, use it!! It’s a healthier option than lunch meat. I just used what I had.

1/4 cup of chopped monterrey jack cheese – I chopped up a cheese stick that I had. Momma’s gotta’ do what momma’s gotta do.

honey mustard vinaigrette – recipe follows

Directions:

place the washed and drained lettuce in a large bowl, top with almonds, cheese, lunch meat, chopped hard boiled egg and vinaigrette. Eat promptly. Lick the bowl. The end.

Hard boiled egg – the secret to a perfect hard boiled egg

Place cold water in a sauce pan. Place eggs in sauce pan so they are covered with cold water. Put a lid on it. Bring it up to a boil. Allow to boil for a minute and then turn off the heat. Leave the lid on and set the timer for 12 minutes. When the timer goes off, drain the hot water and add a huge pile of ice to the eggs in the sauce pan and fill the pan with cold water. The ice water shocks the egg shells and the egg shrinks and the shell expands. I think. I don’t know. It’s too scientific to explain. Just do it. Allow to cool as you make the dressing. Do not peel them yet!

Use local honey, spicy brown mustard, and low sodium soy sauce for salad dressing!

Use local honey, spicy brown mustard, and low sodium soy sauce for salad dressing!

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

1 T spicy brown mustard

1 T low-sodium soy sauce

1 T honey (locally grown is best!)

whisk thoroughly

This can be made in larger quantities and kept in a small jelly jar tightly closed in the fridge. The trouble with this is you might use more than you are supposed to for your salad. Trust me. The recipe as written above is enough for a nice size salad. I suppose you could just measure out two to three tablespoons per salad.

Now go back and peel and chop that egg. Place it on the salad and drizzle with dressing. Now stuff your face.

You’re welcome. A simple salad you can feel good about.

 

 

 

 

Savory Onion, Mushroom, Sausage, and Cheese Strata

I love bread. People that don’t eat bread? Sheww… I feel bad for them. French bread? Yes please. Italian bread? Sure thing. Baguettes topped with anything? Absolutely. Sliced sourdough packed with cheese and toasted on a griddle? MY FAVORITE. So when I go to the store and the bakery has discounted bread on the day-old rack, I stock up. Last week I made a bread pudding out of French bread and today I’m making a strata for dinner out of a stale baguette.

Today’s dinner uses the long, skinny, unassuming baguette. Crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside. Perfect for sucking up milk and eggs. Here you go.

Wipe the drool from your chin and read on, my friend.

Wipe the drool from your chin and read on, my friend.

Savory Onion, Mushroom, Sausage, and Cheese Strata

Ingredients:

  • one large Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
  • 16 ounce container sliced mushrooms (white mushrooms are okay, baby bellas are better)
  • 1 tsp basil (dried)
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 1 pound fresh mild flavored sausage (breakfast sausage or mild italian sausage)
  • 1 baguette cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 16 ounce container whole milk or heavy cream
  • 6 eggs, whisked in large bowl
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 7-8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 7-8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

Place 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in large skillet and add chopped onions.

My one large sweet onion made 4 cups of chopped onion

My one large sweet onion made 4 cups of chopped onion

Sprinkle a pinch of salt over onions. Cook on medium heat 10 minutes.

sauteed onions

sauteed onions

Add sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over mushrooms. Cook 10 more minutes.

Add mushrooms to sauteed onions

Add mushrooms to sauteed onions

Add some cracked black pepper. Place a tsp oregano in palm of your hand and crush to release oils while adding to onions and mushrooms. Place a tsp basil in palm of your hand and crush to release oils while adding to mixture.

top with basil and oregano

top with basil and oregano

Stir mixture and allow to cook 20 minutes until softened and a bit caramelized.

stir to combine herbs and onions and mushrooms

stir to combine herbs and onions and mushrooms

While that’s cooking, whisk the 6 eggs and milk/cream in large bowl.

Whisk eggs and add whole milk or heavy cream.

Whisk eggs and add whole milk or heavy cream.

Add sprinkle of nutmeg.

Add nutmeg. If it's dried powder or fresh makes no difference. Just add some.

Add nutmeg. If it’s dried powder or fresh makes no difference. Just add some.

Whisk to combine.

Now remove the mushrooms and onions to a medium sized bowl and place the sausage in the pan and cook until brown and crumbled.

Remove the mushrooms and onions and place sausage in the pan and brown.

Remove the mushrooms and onions and place sausage in the pan and brown.

Now combine the sausage, mushrooms and onions back in the pan and toss to create a delicious pan of yumminess.

Combine mushrooms and onions with the sausage and allow to cook for five minutes more. TASTE IT! Adjust it with salt and pepper if necessary. Keep in mind the cheese will add a ton of flavor.

Combine mushrooms and onions with the sausage and allow to cook for five minutes more.

TASTE IT. Add salt and pepper if necessary. Allow to cook together for 5 minutes and then remove from heat and allow to cool for a bit.

Cut the baguette into bite-sized pieces.

My baguette made about 6 cups

My baguette made about 6 cups

And place the baguette in the milk/cream/egg mixture and toss to coat.

While bread is soaking, prepare your pan and finish cooking sausage mixture

While bread is soaking, prepare your pan and shred the cheese

Allow to soak while you prepare the pan and shred the cheese.

Spray a large casserole dish or cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Shred your blocks of cheese.

Good cheese. That is all.

Good cheese. That is all.

I chose cheddar because it’s tasty. I added Gruyere to it because I like the melt-ability. I lucked out at the store because I found this one: APPLEWOOD SMOKED GRUYERE. Perfect with sausage.

Assembly:

Place some of the bread in the bottom of the pan.

Layer 1 - soaked bread

Layer 1 – soaked bread

Top with half of the sausage/onion/mushroom mixture.

Layer 2 - Sausage mixture. Layer 3 - Cheeses

Layer 2 – Sausage mixture. Layer 3 – Cheeses

Top with half of the cheese.

Layer the rest of the bread on top of that. And don’t waste that milk and egg that’s left in the bowl.

Layer the rest of the bread and milk/egg mixture

Layer the rest of the bread and milk/egg mixture

Place the rest of the sausage/onion/mushroom mixture on top of the bread.

Finish the whole thing with the remainder of the cheese.

Top with the rest of the sausage/onion/mushroom mixture and the rest of the cheese.

Top with the rest of the sausage/onion/mushroom mixture and the rest of the cheese.

Rip off a piece of foil and spray it with non-stick spray.

Prepare the foil with non-stick spray

Prepare the foil with non-stick spray

Place it over the strata and push down on the contents. Your goal here is to allow that custard mixture to soak into the bread cubes and the flavors to all marry together. Yum. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. I made mine midday and will eat it this evening for dinner.

When you are ready to make it, remove it from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350F. Allow to bake (foil on) for 45 minutes. Remove foil carefully

Remember when I had you spray the foil with non-stick spray? Yeah. That's why. None of the cheese gets pulled off the top of the strata. I'm pretty smart.

Remember when I had you spray the foil with non-stick spray? Yeah. That’s why. None of the cheese gets pulled off the top of the strata. I’m pretty smart.

and bake for 15 more minutes until bubbly and crusty. Allow 15 minutes or more to rest before serving.

Um what? I'm so distracted right now I forget what we're talking about.

Um what? I’m so distracted right now I forget what we’re talking about.

We had creamed corn in the freezer from last summer so that’s what we had with this hearty meal. It was nice to have something sweet and simple paired with this since it’s so rich. A nice glass of Pinot Grigio would be nice with this, too.

Enjoy!

French Toast Bread Pudding

BRINNER!!! One of my favorite go-tos when I’m menu-planning.

Breakfast for Dinner! Yes. Such a simple meal. No brainer!

But my husband makes pancakes with the kids every weekend so I wanted something different. Sausage patties, dippy eggs (I’m from South-Central Pennsylvania. Dippy eggs = over-easy eggs. I’m tired of pretending I’m sophisticated. I’m calling them dippy eggs.)

But what can I do instead of pancakes?

I have a loaf of French bread that I got at the grocery store in the bakery for NOTHING. Literally. It was on sale for $ .97 and it had a one dollar off coupon on it because it was baked yesterday. So I got it for NOTHING. Yeay me!

My mind starts racing. French toast? Ehh, that takes a lot of focus and attention. Baked French toast? Hmm… maybe. Bread pudding? Hmm…. maybe. Both? Hmm…. absolutely.

French Toast Bread Pudding

French Toast Bread Pudding

French Toast Bread Pudding

Requires 4 hours to overnight to soak so plan accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups torn pieces of French bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 C maple syrup (you may use any syrup you have but I highly recommend some HIGH QUALITY maple syrup.)
  • 1 C milk – I used vanilla almond milk which is sweetened so if you use whole milk, you might want to add a tablespoon of sugar to the milk.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 C chopped apple – I used Gala just because I had it. It was approximately half the apple. You can add more apple if you want. Or use another fruit. Blueberries would be good.
  • 2 ounces cold cream cheese
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions:

Crack and whisk 4 eggs in large bowl. Pour in the maple syrup, milk, vanilla and pinch of salt. Stir well to combine. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by spraying it with non-stick spray or slather it up with butter. I won’t tell. Now place chopped apple (or whatever fruit you choose) in the bottom of the pan. Top the fruit with the torn bread and then pour the egg/milk mixture over the bread. Press the bread down into the egg/milk mixture. Now take the two ounces of cold cream cheese and just tear it apart with your fingers and dollop it over the top of the bread and egg/milk mixture. Sprinkle it all with cinnamon. Place foil on the pan and place in the fridge for 4 hours, or overnight.

When you are ready to bake it, bring it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter while the oven preheats to 350F. Bake 30 minutes with the foil on and then remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes. Allow it to rest 15 minutes before serving.

We loved this. I especially love the different textures of a good bread pudding. I like the crunchy top layer but LOOOOVE the custard layer on the bottom. And the apples added a nice tart, flavorful, juicy bite. I was so excited about it that we sat there at the table and kept nibbling at it and then I was like, “Oh crudballs! I forgot to take a picture of it!” So this is all you get.

Oops. I ate all of it.

Oops. I ate all of it.

I hope you try it. It was such a great addition to BRINNER!