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!

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.