June 7th, 2016
April 27th, 2016
I have cobbled together a picture of a breakfast casserole that I served to company. My life has been rather cobbled together lately. From selling our Florida house, to pulling a u-haul back to North Carolina, to a major get together with friends, the one thing I did not need was to get sick. But sick I was. I developed a hacking cough, headache, fever and laryngitis. David dragged me to the Doctor last Wednesday. All I could croak out were the words “I can’t afford to be sick. I have 16 people coming tomorrow for 4 or 5 days.” I am so impressed with our Nurse Practitioner. She prescribed an antibiotic and words of wisdom. She said be sure your friends have clean sheets and towels, but forget about the rest of the house. No one will notice or care about a bit of dust or a less that neat house. So true. Everyone pitched in and we had a wonderful time.
The occasion that brought us all together was the annual Lake Lure Lakefront Home Owners Association annual dinner and meeting. David and I were in charge of the entertainment. We booked our good friends from Florida who have a doo wop group called Malt Shoppe Memories. They perform all over Florida and are also known in our area from previous visits.
The concert was held on the beach and a fun time was had by all.
The hotel even arranged to serve S’mores on the beach.
The party was held on Saturday night. On Sunday evening the group performed on the top of our boathouse and people were encouraged to come by boat to sit back and enjoy the concert. The acoustics on the water and between the mountains are something special.
It was great to have so much help in the kitchen. We did a pot luck on Sunday and everyone contributed wonderful dishes.
I made this casserole on Saturday afternoon when I was feeling better. I tucked it into the refrigerator and baked it on Sunday morning. It couldn’t be easier. What you see here are the leftovers. It is a special breakfast casserole because it uses croissants instead of bread (thus the buttery description) and because it comes from The New York Times. All of their recipes are first rate. I will be adding this to my permanent recipe file. The sausage, Gruyere cheese, sage and green onions just add to the goodness.
BUTTERY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
- 1 pound croissants (about 5 to 7), split in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for baking dish
- 1 bunch scallions (6 to 7), white and light green parts thinly sliced, greens reserved
- ¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add sliced scallions and sausage meat; cook, breaking up meat with a fork, until mixture is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, toss together croissants and sausage mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, salt and pepper.
- Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly over the bottom. Pour custard into pan, pressing croissants down gently to help absorb the liquid. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Transfer to oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion tops before serving.
January 1st, 2016
We have many visitors at the lake during the year. Because of that, I am always looking for recipes to serve to a crowd. Breakfast hash browns take time and when you are juggling eggs and bacon, it is just one more pan that has to be watched. I found this simple baked hash brown recipe on Pinterest. You can even prep it the night before.
We went for our first boat ride of the season last week. Spring on the lake is so beautiful.
The iconic view of Lake Lure is one of our favorites. We call this the “kissing alligators” view. The mountain to the right is obviously an alligator head. The mountain to the left is a little obscured, but definitely looks like an alligator head. Our cottage is next to the orange boathouse on the right.
I have several favorite houses on the lake. Surprisingly they all have a French Chateau look to them. I got in trouble a few years ago peeking into this house when it was under construction. There were “No Trespassing” signs posted, which I ignored. The owner was next door and was not happy with me. I tried to explain that I was a decorator and could not help myself; it fell on deaf ears.
This stucco house with French blue shutters is for sale if anyone is interested. Here is a link. By the way, I am happy to say that we have just sold our Florida house. We will be returning to Florida soon to arrange an estate sale.
Returning to the subject of these hash browns, I used frozen hash browns from Trader Joe’s. I like them because they have no artificial ingredients. Like I said before, you can prep them the night before in the pan and cover with plastic wrap for the morning. It couldn’t be easier, and they would look great on a serving platter.
BAKED PARMESAN HASH BROWNS ( Recipe from Delicious Table )
1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes
4-5 sliced green onions
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Press dry potatoes in a large mixing bowl with paper towels, this helps them crisp. You can also use a salad spinner to help dry the potatoes. Mix all ingredients in the bowl. Scoop into muffin tin and press with spatula or a spoon. Bake 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees until crispy.
July 1st, 2015
Happy New Year everyone. We are still visiting with friends in Hilton Head. Meal preparation is a shared endeavor when we are together. It was my turn to make breakfast yesterday. I found this recipe for a candied pecan sour cream coffee cake with eggnog cream filling on Pinterest a few weeks ago and decided that it would make a great “do ahead” breakfast dish. I made the cake layers and froze them. All I had to do when it was time to make breakfast was to prepare the filling. I also froze the remaining candied pecans to sprinkle over the whipped topping when served. With the coffee cake I served bacon, scrambled eggs and fruit.
The only thing I would change in the recipe is to possibly use real whipped cream instead of the Cool Whip. But otherwise it is a wonderful breakfast coffee cake.
Barbara (third from left) is making Paula Dean’s Breakfast Casserole today. It is a decadent French Toast dish. It is one of our traditional recipes. We are looking forward to a day of eating and cooking. What a perfect way to start off the New Year.
CANDIED PECAN SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE ( From Melanie Makes )
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans
Sour Cream Coffee Cake:
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Eggnog Cream Filling:
1 1/4 cups eggnog
3.4 oz. box instant vanilla pudding
2 teaspoons cinnamon
8 ounces whipped topping
Candied Pecans: In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, water, vanilla and salt. In a large skillet over medium heat, add pecans and toast until pecans are fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Pour sugar mixture over pecans, stirring constantly for one minute and nuts are evenly coated. Pour pecans onto parchment and allow to cool completely.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream to butter mixture. Mix after each addition until batter is smooth.
Divid batter evenly between two greased 9″ round baking pans.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup candied pecans. Divide nut mixture evenly, sprinkling half over each cake round.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Allow to cool completely before assembling coffee cake.
Eggnog Cream Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggnog, instant pudding and cinnamon. Let sit for 5 minutes. Fold in Whipped topping.
To Assemble Coffee Cake: Place one cake round on serving plate and top with half of Eggnog Cream Filling, spreading evenly to edges of cake. Place second cake layer on top of filling. Served wedges of cake with a dollop of additional eggnog cream filling and candied pecans.
August 21st, 2014
The countdown has started for the 4th of July celebration. We have geared up for a visit by the whole family. What fun. I have been cooking up lots of treats for everyone. The freezer has been my friend. I made these BLT scones this week. We sampled one and the rest went into the freezer. David declared it delicious. I loved the bacon bits and basil, but thought the sun dried tomatoes a little too much. The whole idea of the scones is the combination of bacon, tomato and basil (taking the place of lettuce). Really good, but I will reduce the tomato component next time.
Breakfast scones are always a part of our breakfasts when the family gets together. My DIL Kristen has become the scone master in the family. She introduced me to the Triple Cinnamon Scones and makes a mean savory scone with Chorizo sausage. The recipe for this BLT scone came from a blog called 3 Many Cooks. It is written my Pam Anderson, cookbook author, and her two daughters.
Enjoy your 4th of July weekend. We have many reasons to celebrate.
BLT SCONES ( 3 Many Cooks )
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, frozen solid
- ½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
- ½ cup chopped cooked bacon*
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup sour cream, light if you like
- 1 large egg
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Grate ⅓ of the butter into the flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; toss. Repeating grating and tossing twice more. Using fingertips, work butter into flour a bit more. Mix in tomatoes, bacon, and basil.
- Mix sour cream and egg with a fork until smooth. Using same fork, stir into dry ingredients until large dough clumps form. Use hands to press dough against the bowl into a ball. (There may not seem like enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together. If necessary, flick a little water into bowl bottom to get the last bits to adhere.)
- Place on a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 7½-inch circle, about ¾-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut dough into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably silapat- or parchment-lined), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve—hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Do you occasionally buy convenience items like refrigerated crescent roll dough? There are many things you can do with it besides rolling the triangles into crescent rolls. I do like this take on a different way to handle crescent roll dough. Instead of separating the dough into triangles stop at the rectangles, pat the seams closed and you have the perfect size for a slice of prepackaged prosciutto. It fits like a glove. Then all you have to do is roll it up and slice the log into two pieces.
Viola! An easy roll up for breakfast. To guild the lily, brush a mixture of grainy mustard and honey on the rolls before you bake them. This made a great change from our usual Canadian bacon and English muffin breakfast. Although homemade is best, an occasional easy option is nice to have on hand.
PROSCIUTTO BREAKFAST ROLLS ( Katie Brown )
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 (8-ounce) packages refrigerated crescent-roll dough
8 thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons country-style or grainy Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray heavy large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Open 1 package of rolls. Unroll crescent dough and separate into 4 rectangles ( do not separate dough into triangles; press perforations together). Top each dough rectangle with 1 slice prosciutto. Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough rectangles jellyroll style. Cut each crosswise in half. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with second package of crescent rolls. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Whisk honey and mustard in small bowl to blend. Brush tops of rolls with honey mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly.