another breakfast bake – caramelized onion and spinach strata

caramelized onion and spinach breakfast strata

picture of strata with caramelized onions and spinach

we’re all about the breakfast bakes right now apparently. mostly because i’ve been looking for more recipes that i can bake up at the beginning of the week and we can heat it up for multiple days. breakfast is one of the hardest meals for me, and it makes things so much easier when you have two toddlers to cook for in the morning, especially since ryan just left on a month long training. #militarylife. i love this caramelized onion and spinach strata because it’s easily customizable, you can add whatever you have on hand… next time ryan suggested i add potatoes and i’m definitely going to try that. eggs have so much nutrition, and it’s a fun way to get veggies in at the morning meal, as well as helping me use up yesterdays stale sourdough, which i always feel like gets wasted. homemade bread goes stale so fast because there are no preservatives, and casseroles are an amazing way to use that up. you can use whatever bread you have laying around! i find a crusty leftover loaf of bread works really well with this recipe though, because it stands up to the egg mixture and retains some chewiness rather than becoming all soggy in the casserole. hope you enjoy this yummy strata as much as we did! 🙂

ingredients

9 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped or just ripped into pieces
half a loaf of crusty bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (about 2-2 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded cheese of choice
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon, but adjust based on your preferences)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
cooking spray or extra butter to coat baking dish

instructions

preheat your oven to 350 degrees. slice the onion thinly, add the butter and olive oil to a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. sauté the onions until they start to caramelize and brown, about 7-10 minutes. add the minced garlic and cook for one more minute, then take off the heat to cool slightly. honestly, you could caramelize these fully and it would add a more complex flavor, but i was being lazy and just got a little dark brown color on them knowing they would cook all the way through in the oven. while the onions are cooling, slice up your bread into 1 inch cubes, and set aside. whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, shredded cheese, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cheese. fold in the spinach and onion/garlic mixture and the bread cubes. spread evenly into a 9×13 baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with butter. bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the bread is a golden brown, and it’s completely set in the middle. then enjoy for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner!

make-ahead [or day of] breakfast – baked oatmeal

easy mixed-berry baked oatmeal for breakfast

picture of mixed berry baked oatmeal with whipped cream
9x13 dish with mixed berry baked oatmeal

this easy baked oatmeal honestly turned out way better than i expected it to and my kids were both big fans. meals like this are great for breakfast or brunch with little ones because it’s quick to throw together and then we can have it for a few days in a row. especially delicious with a dollop of homemade whipped cream (or out of a can), it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. this oatmeal can be made ahead and thrown in the oven the next morning, but honestly it’s super quick to whip up in the morning and takes only 35 minutes in the oven. i know a lot of people are in the camp of sugar is sugar, but i also love that this recipe uses coconut sugar, it makes me feel like i’m using a little bit of a more natural/less processed sugar option. i love the fresh burst of sweetness from the berries, but you could totally make it without them or substitute another fruit like peaches, apples, etc. it’s a great option for an easy breakfast or brunch, and it’s great warm or room temp. let me know what you think!

ingredients

3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2-3/4 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

instructions

preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prep a 9×13 baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray, or coating with butter on the inside. whisk together the oats, coconut sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. add in the mixed berries and combine. in a separate bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. add in the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and mix until fully combined. pour the whole mixture into the 9×13 baking dish and bake for 35 minutes, or until fully set. serve warm or room temperature. enjoy!

savory breakfast casserole – potato and egg pie

egg and potato pieeasy breakfast casserole

picture of egg and potato breakfast casserole

i made this breakfast casserole for the first time last christmas… josie was a newborn and it was our first christmas as a family of four. i prepped it the night before, added the eggs the next morning and popped it in the oven. egg and potato pie is super easy to put together and store in the fridge overnight until ready to use or even just prep the morning of. great for breakfast or brunch, and usually a hit with the whole family (except my children who decided today they don’t eat potatoes or eggs).

ingredients

3-4 large yukon gold potatoes
1/2 yellow onion
6 large eggs
1/2 cup half and half
shredded cheese of choice, about 3/4 cup
1 tsp kosher salt, plus 1/4 tsp separated
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
butter or cooking spray to oil pan

instructions

preheat your oven to 350. wash and slice the potatoes thinly. a mandolin would make this step much easier but i don’t have one so i just sliced them by hand. thinly slice the onions, or dice them, whichever you prefer, and saute them over medium heat with the tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt until they soften and begin to turn golden brown, about 5-7 minutes then set aside. spray a pie pan with cooking spray, or butter and layer the sliced potatoes, onions, and cheese, making sure to end with potatoes then cheese on top. in a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, ground mustard, and smoked paprika. pour the egg mixture evenly over the layered potatoes, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour. then increase the heat to 375, remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes. the top should start to turn golden brown, and check the potatoes in the middle with a fork to make sure the potatoes are soft. if they are still crunchy, check after another 10 minutes.

easy overnight breakfast – overnight oatmeal with roasted strawberries

overnight oatmeal bowls with roasted strawberries, crunchy oat cereal, and peanut butter drizzle

picture of overnight oatmeal bowl with roasted strawberries and peanut butter drizzle

honestly… my kids didn’t go for the roasted strawberries and ended up having theirs with golden raisins. more for me 🙂 i am not an oatmeal person and every time i try to make myself eat it i end up hating it even more. however, i can do overnight oatmeal if i eat it cold like cereal, and have yummy fresh toppings. the kids like theirs warm, so i just popped their serving in the microwave for a few seconds. this bowl is topped with juicy roasted strawberries mixed with a little strawberry jam, creamy peanut butter and some crushed up cheerios for a nice crunch. i would have done granola, but it’s what we had on hand. turned out amazing and super filling!

ingredients

overnight oats
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups milk of choice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt
honey to taste (i used about 1.5 tablespoons)

roasted strawberries
1 lb of strawberries, all green parts removed and sliced in half
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or regular granulated sugar)
1 teaspoon olive oil
pinch of salt
squeeze of lemon juice (about half a lemon)

instructions

mix together the oats, milk, cinnamon, salt and honey in a medium sized bowl the night before, cover tightly and put in the fridge. so easy! i also roasted my strawberries the night before so they would have time to cool in the fridge. mix together the strawberries, olive oil, coconut sugar, salt and lemon juice, and spread over a sheet pan covered in parchment or foil. roast them at 375 for about 15-20 minutes and store in an airtight container. in the morning enjoy the oats cold, or heated up with whatever toppings you like!

christmas quiche

caramelized onion and mushroom quiche

quiche is one of my favorite foods for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. it’s the perfect food in my opinion; eggs for protein, usually a veggie or two, the creamy cheese and flaky crust just compliment each other so well. my family does not agree. emmett (2 year old) won’t touch an egg, and ryan (husband) says “he’s not a quiche guy.” they had frozen pizza for dinner. whatever, more for me. traditionally my mom makes quiche and creamed chipped beef for breakfast on christmas morning. we’ll leave the chipped beef for another time, but coming up on christmas i had to get my quiche fix since we won’t be spending it in maryland. this is my mom’s recipe with my fillings. hope you enjoy, let me know in the comments! 🙂

ingredients
crust

1 cup all purpose flour
1 stick of cold unsalted butter
4 oz cold cream cheese

filling

1 medium sized sweet onion
8 oz white button or baby bella mushrooms
5 large eggs
2 tbsp butter (separated)
2 tbsp olive oil (separated)
1/2 cup milk – 2 percent or whole
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-6 oz grated cheese of choice – i used a shredded blend i already had but this would be amazing with fontina or gruyere as well
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 pinch of salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard

instructions

the crust is the easiest part and can be made ahead of time and even frozen if needed. cut up one stick of cold, unsalted butter into small pieces and add to a medium sized bowl along with the flour and cold cream cheese. the cream cheese should also be cut into pieces. work the mixture together with your hands until everything is completely combined and comes together into a ball of dough. form it into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold. i ended up sticking mine in the freezer for a few minutes because i didn’t make it far enough in advance, and that’s fine too.

the oven will need to be preheated to 375 degrees, but you can do this at any point since the onions and mushrooms will take a little while, and can be made in advance. i did my onions in the morning, and then had to do naptime with kiddos before finishing the rest :). the first step of the filling is caramelizing the onions, which can take around 20-25 minutes. peel and thinly slice the onion, then heat a skillet or dutch oven to low heat, and add one tablespoon of the butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. cook the onions over low heat, stirring frequently for about 20-25 minutes until they are a deep golden brown and almost falling apart. as the onions are cooking you can go ahead and slice up the mushrooms. set the onions aside and add the second tablespoon of butter and olive oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they have released most of their liquid, about 7-8 minutes. add the thyme to the mushrooms and cook for about 2 more minutes.

whisk together the eggs, milk, mayonnaise, pinch of salt, pepper, and ground mustard. then fold in the onions, mushrooms and cheese.

lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the pie crust, then place it into a pie plate or oven safe pan. do whatever your heart desires with the edges of the crust. i’m obviously not talented with pie crusts as you can tell by my rustic style… this crust is really forgiving and if it rips you can just mush it back together. then pour the quiche mixture into the crust, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. remove the foil and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until it is just set. let the quiche cool for at least10 minutes, then slice and serve!

power of breakfast

copycat dunkin power breakfast sandwich

this is a great make ahead freezer breakfast for moms on the go. i’ve been in a rut with either eating something quick and unhealthy for breakfast, or not eating anything at all because usually by the time i sit down, the kids are screaming at me. i love the breakfast power sandwich from dunkin, but obviously can’t go there every day, plus i’m always tempted by their pumpkin coffee and we’ve been trying to cut out some sugar and eat more whole foods. this was a good compromise!

ingredients

4 eggs and 4 egg whites
6 turkey breakfast sausage patties – either premade patties or make them yourself
6 slices of cheddar cheese
6 arnold sandwich thins – i went with the multigrain
one red, orange, or yellow bell pepper
1/4 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 – 2 cups of fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard

instructions

preheat your oven to 350 degrees. mince the peppers and onions (and garlic, if you don’t use pre-minced like me, because i’m lazy), and chop the spinach pretty finely. heat a large skillet to medium, add the olive oil, and sauté the peppers and onions until they start to get soft, about 5-8 minutes. meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, and dry mustard. mix the the chopped spinach into the eggs. add the garlic to the skillet after the peppers and onions have softened and cook for one more minute then remove this from the heat. line a sheet pan (i recommend 9×13) with parchment paper, then spray it with cooking spray to make sure the eggs don’t stick. spread the pepper and onion mixture evenly across the bottom of the sheet pan, and pour the egg and spinach mixture over this. use a spatula to make sure the spinach is evenly distributed and then bake this for 12-15 minutes, until the eggs are completely set.

while the eggs are baking, fry the sausage patties in a skillet over medium-high heat until they are completely cooked through. i made my patties pretty large and thin to try to make them the same size as the bread. they still ended up shrinking a lot during cooking. once the eggs are done, let them cool enough to handle, then remove the parchment from the pan and slice the egg into six squares, big enough to fit the sandwiches. you could also use a large round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter if you want them to fit perfectly! assemble each sandwich by placing egg, sausage, then cheese and wrap each one individually in foil for freezing. to reheat, just place a wrapped sandwich in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until everything is heated through. you can also wrap it in a paper towel and microwave it.

easy pancakes

cinnamon oat pancakes

been a little mia lately since we last minute decided to travel home to maryland for the last portion of ryans deployment. hence, we have been relying on easy meals, and also putting together some freezer meals for friends before we leave. these pancakes are easy to whip up with a baby on your hip, and added fiber from the oats might make you feel better about feeding your toddler syrup for breakfast >.< they’re also perfect for freezing. i usually will keep a bag of them in the freezer and pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds. toddler and baby approved!

ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup quick or old fashioned oats
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp white sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk (i prefer 2% or whole)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter

instructions

sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. nuke the butter for about 30-40 seconds or until completely melted. add the wet ingredients to the dry, as well as the butter, and mix until fully combined. fry the pancakes over medium heat on a pan or griddle top using butter, or cooking spray to coat the surface. we served them with maple syrup and our favorite wild blueberries.

i’m on a blueberry kick – blueberry ricotta muffins

blueberry ricotta muffins with lemon

Blueberry ricotta muffins with lemon.

this recipe makes a small batch, and is easy to make with just two bowls, a whisk and a rubber spatula. perfect for littles to help with, as they’re pretty forgiving. they’re light and fluffy with plenty of lemon zing and a juicy kick from all the blueberries.

ingredients

1 cup flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1 egg
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon, depending on how juicy it is)
1 tbsp milk
about 1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup of frozen wild blueberries

instructions

preheat oven to 350. add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, and salt into a small bowl. whisk together to incorporate. in a separate larger bowl whisk together the egg, ricotta, lemon juice, milk, honey, oil, and vanilla. add the dry ingredients and the blueberries to the wet. fold together until just moistened. either spray muffin tin with cooking spray or line with muffin liners. fill each muffin cup to about 3/4 and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how your oven cooks. Mine are usually done at 19 minutes but i always start checking them at 15. cool in the pan for at least ten minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. enjoy!

have dessert for breakfast – blueberry bagel french toast

blueberry bagel french toast with blueberry syrup and cream cheese icing

i’ve had blueberry bagels sitting around not getting eaten for about a week… stale bread = french toast. the cream cheese glaze is a nice nod to a traditional bagel, and the chewy bread stands up well to the custard.

french toast
blueberry bagels
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk, half and half, or regular milk
1 tsp sugar
dash of cinnamon, to taste
pinch of salt
splash of vanilla extract
butter, for cooking

blueberry syrup
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
½ cup water
½ cup of sugar
juice of half a lemon
cornstarch slurry (about 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 3 tbsp cold water)

cream cheese glaze
¼ block of softened cream cheese
2 tbsp softened butter
½ cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
splash of milk

instructions

whisk together the eggs, milk, 1 tsp of sugar, vanilla, pinch of salt, and cinnamon. split bagels in half, sit two of them in the custard to soak. i put the custard mixture in a large flat pasta serving dish so i could fit two at a time. since bagels are much denser than bread, i let them soak for about five minutes each. heat a nonstick skillet or pan to medium. melt some butter in the pan and cook each French toast piece for about 4 minutes on each side or just until golden brown. meanwhile in a sauce pan, heat blueberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice on medium until bubbling. reduce for about 3-5 minutes. mix together cornstarch and cold water to create a slurry, then add to blueberry mixture. this will thicken and become nice and syrupy. before serving, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and salt. add a splash of milk to thin out the glaze (about a tablespoon, give or take). enjoy this delicious blueberry bagel french toast as dessert for breakfast!