Buttery Breakfast Casserole

June 7th, 2016

Breakfast Casserole 1

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.

Malt Shoppe Memories Beach

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.

Malt Shoppe Memories Dancing

The concert was held on the beach and a fun time was had by all.

Malt Shoppe Memories S'moresThe hotel even arranged to serve S’mores on the beach.

Malt Shoppe Memories Boathouse

 

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.

Malt Shoppe Memories Kitchen

It was great to have so much help in the kitchen.  We did a pot luck on Sunday and everyone contributed wonderful dishes.

Breakfast Casserole 2V

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

 

PREPARATION

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Printable Recipe

Baked Parmesan Hash Browns

April 27th, 2016

Hash Browns 1

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.

LL Kissing Alligators

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.

LL French Chateaus 2

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.

LL French chateaus 1

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.

Hash Browns 2

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.

Printable Recipe

Candied Pecan Sour Cream Coffee Cake

January 1st, 2016

IMG_6769

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.IMG_6767

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.

New Years 2016 galsBarbara (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 )

INGREDIENTS
Candied Pecans:
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
2 eggs
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
INSTRUCTIONS
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.
Printable Recipe

Souffleed Omelet with Canadian Bacon and Gruyere Cheese

May 28th, 2014

Souffleed Omelet 1

This is an easy breakfast dish and very impressive when it comes out of the oven.  Photographing it is another story as it deflates rather quickly.  But, when cut into and served, it is creamy and luscious.  I love the texture of the eggs and the bits of ham and herbs.

Souffleed Omelet 2V

I have so much basil this year that I am putting it in everything.  It holds its own with eggs.  But you could use other herbs.  This souffle is one of those dishes that is easily adaptable.  Substitute sausage or cooked vegetables for the Canadian bacon, parsley or tarragon for the basil, or cheddar cheese for the Gruyere topping.  It doesn’t matter.  The magic still happens and it comes out of the oven puffy and golden.  I liked this so much that I made it two Sundays in a row.

Souffleed Omelet 4

This time I used a combination of fresh tarragon and basil.  David wants to try it with sausage and cheddar next time.  But I am also thinking about that leftover zucchini and corn.  I am sure all of you could come up with some wonderful combinations.  This is a keeper.

SOUFFLEED OMELET WITH CANADIAN BACON AND GRUYERE CHEESE  (Adapted from Gourmet)

6 ounces sliced Canadian bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2
3 tablespoons flour
8 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces freshly grated Gruyere cheese

In a flameproof 1 1/2 quart baking dish cook the bacon in the butter over moderately low heat for 5 minutes, or until it is golden, stir the mixture to coat the sides of the dish with the butter, and remove it from the heat.  In a bowl whisk together the cream the flour, the eggs, the basil and the salt and pour the mixture into the dish.  Sprinkle the mixture with the Gruyere cheese and bake it in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the omelet is puffed and golden.  Serves 4 to 6.

Printable recipe

Triple Cinnamon Scones

May 1st, 2014

Triple Cinnamon Scones 2

 

I love the King Arthur Flour Company.  Not only do they have some of the best flour available, but they also have some of the best baking ingredients and tools to turn out some of the best baked good you will ever taste.  While visiting our family over Easter, Kristen served us these Triple Cinnamon Scones.  I fell in love with them.  They are the best scones I have ever eaten.  She got the recipe and several of the ingredients from King Arthur.

Triple Cinnamon Scones V

I immediately placed an order online for their cinnamon chips and their baker’s cinnamon filling mix; because, you see, these cinnamon scones are indeed a triple blast of cinnamon.  The cinnamon chips, the cinnamon filling and the cinnamon glaze make them sooo delicious – no dry scones here.

Triple Cinnamon Scones 1 close

You can just see the layers of flavor.  Because of that there are a few steps involved in their preparation, but it is totally worth it.  The recipe has some great tips to make successful scones.   One tip is to put the prepared scones in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking.  Another suggestion I have, is to use a very sharp knife to cut the scone shapes.  That way they will not become lopsided while baking.  Make a clean cut without pulling at the batter.  Also, I made only about half of the glaze and just drizzled the tops of the scones instead of slathering the whole thing in glaze.

Triple Cinnamon Scones All

 

A platter of warm scones is the perfect breakfast for a crowd.  I plan on making them (and perfecting my skills) all summer while we have visitors.  I may even make them in advance and freeze a few batches.  My next scone recipe will be an Orange scone using the Candied Orange Peel that I got from King Arthur.

Triple Cinnamon Scones 4By the way, the pretty plate and cup and saucer were a gift from a special blogging friend, Mary, from A Breath of Fresh Air.  Thank you Mary.  The pretty luncheon napkin is one from a set that belonged to my Mother.  She used them for special luncheons with friends when I was just a child.  I treasure them.

TRIPLE CINNAMON SCONES

scones

  • 3/4 cup half and half or evaporated milk
  • 1 cup cinnamon Flav-R-Bites or cinnamon chips
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pats
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

filling

  • 3/4 cup Baker’s Cinnamon Filling*
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • *Or substitute 5 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon for the Baker’s Cinnamon Filling mix and water.

glaze

  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 7 tablespoons water

1) Combine the Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites with the half and half or milk in a small bowl. Let the mixture rest for about 20 minutes.

2) While the cinnamon mixture is resting, get started putting together the rest of the ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3) Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

4) Add the eggs and vanilla to the cinnamon-milk mixture, stirring to combine.

5) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

6) Scrape the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Pat/roll it into a rough 9″ square, a scant 3/4″ thick. Make sure the surface underneath the dough is very well floured. If necessary, use a giant spatula (or the biggest spatula you have) to lift the square, and sprinkle more flour underneath.

7) Spread the filling over the dough. Fold one edge into the center and over the filling, as though you were folding a letter. Fold the remaining edge over the center to complete the three-fold. You’ll now have a rectangle that’s stretched to about 4″ x 12″. Gently pat/roll it to lengthen it into a 3″ x 18″ rectangle; it’ll be between 3/4″ and 1″ thick.

8) Cut the rectangle into six 3″ squares. Transfer the squares to a lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. Now you have a choice. For large scones, cut each square in half diagonally to make a triangle; you’ll have 12 scones. For medium scones, cut each square in half diagonally again, making four triangular scones from each square. Gently separate the scones (if you like scones with crunchy edges), leaving about 1″ between them. For softer scones, separate the scones just enough to break contact between them.

9) You may also choose to make scone strips, or tiny squares. Cut each 3″ square into three 1″ x 3″ rectangles, for a total of 18 scone strips. Gently separate the strips, leaving about 1/2″ between them. Or cut each 3″ square into nine 1″ squares, to make 54 bite-sized mini scones.

10) For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

11) Bake the scones for 16 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the scones to cool right on the pan.

11) Make the glaze by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, and water. If the sugar seems particularly lumpy, sift it first, for an extra-smooth glaze.

12) Now you’re going to coat each scone with glaze. You can dip each one individually, which is quite time-consuming. Or line a baking sheet (with sides) with parchment, and pour about half the glaze atop the parchment. Set the scones atop the glaze, swirling them around a bit to coat their bottoms. Then drizzle the remaining glaze over the top. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over each scone, to coat it entirely. The glaze is very thin, so this is easily done.

13) Transfer the scones to a rack set over parchment, to catch any drips. As you pick each scone up, run its sides over the glaze in the bottom of the pan, both to use up some of the extra glaze, and to make sure all sides are coated. Allow the glaze to set before serving the scones.

Yield: one dozen triangles, 5″ x 3″; 2 dozen triangles, 2 1/2″ x 3″; 18 strips, 4″ x 1 1/2″; or 54 mini (1 1/2″) squares.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.