Muffin Tin Frittatas 

Anything I can do to ease mornings is a top priority for me. Even on the weekends, it’s a way to make things much easier, especially when the kids are in sports. 

I have had mixed success with freezer breakfasts, but I feel these little guys worked out quite well. Also, they are very easy to customize to your preferences!

Muffin Tin Frittatas

10 eggs

1 cup milk

Cooked Mix-ins: diced peppers, onions, bacon, sausage, cheese… the possibilities are endless!

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the eggs and milk. Set aside.   

In a muffin tin sprayed with non-stick spray, add any mix-ins you like. Make sure to leave room for the egg mixture. Ladle the eggs over the top of the mix ins.



Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until set.

 

Can eat right away or let them cool and freeze them. They can be reheated from frozen in just a couple minutes and will last for about a month in the freezer.

 

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Ham and Peppers Egg Casserole

Like I’ve mentioned before, every Christmas for as long as I can remember my mom made a casserole for breakfast. Now that I’m a mom myself, I’ve continued the tradition. 

I tend to change the recipe up year after year, but this year’s was really good! I was so happy with how it turned out!

Ham and Peppers Egg Casserole 

3 whole eggs

6 egg whites

1 cup milk (whole, low fat, half and half… doesn’t matter)

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon chopped chives 

Olive oil 

5 sweet mini Peppers, diced

1 leek, diced white and light green parts

Frozen hash brown potatoes

Diced ham

1 cup shredded cheese 

In a skillet, heat up the oil and sauté the peppers and leeks with a little salt and pepper until soft. Set aside to start cooling slightly. 


In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, chives and a little more salt and pepper. 

In a buttered baking dish, add a layer of hash browns. Top with the ham. I used leftover ham from a dinner we had a couple days before, but you can use any ham. Then top with the sautéed veggies and cheese. I used cheddar, but you can use whatever you want. 


Finally, pour the egg mixture over the top. You can make this the day before and stop here if you want. That way it’s ready to go Christmas morning. Just cover it tightly and store in the fridge.


When you’re ready to bake it, put it in a 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until eggs are cooked and the top is nice and golden brown. 


Let it sit for a few minutes so the eggs set up a bit. This will make it easier to serve up.


Enjoy! 

Copycat Dunkin’ Donuts Breakfast Sandwich

I’ve lived here in Southern California my whole life. That means certain places like Dunkin’ Donuts were never on my radar. When we wanted donuts, other than mom and pop places, we would go to Winchell’s. I still love Winchell’s, but I’ve always been a fan of the cake donut.

Back in the late 90s, I remember Krispy Kreme opened in California. That was sort of life-changing moment in my donut eating world. It wasn’t a cake donut, but it was still oh, so good. They are pretty much everywhere now, but they are just as good all these years later.

That brings us to last year when Dunkin’ Donuts opened a store in Santa Monica, and the entire West LA crowd lost their collective minds. We’d all been listening to our friends who were former East Coast transplants rave about Dunkin’ Donuts the way Californians evangelize In-N-Out. The line for that first Dunkin’ Donuts grand opening rivaled Disneyland and was covered by local news. Someone at work brought in a box and all us Cali-natives were ready to try this amazing donut. The verdict?

Eh, it was just a donut. It was good, but it wasn’t worth the hype, in my opinion. Then I found out that what is really good there are their breakfast sandwiches. OK, that I can get on board with.

A few months ago, they tore down a dilapidated old Fosters Freeze a couple miles from my house and replaced it with a bright and shiny new Dunkin. The novelty had worn off by then and they didn’t get the big welcome that first one got. But they are doing steady business and I was finally able to get over there a few weeks ago. I picked my hubby and I up a couple breakfast sandwiches and that’s when I knew the hype of Dunkin’ Donuts.

This was a really good sandwich! At about $6 each, though, I thought it would be best to figure out how to recreate it at home. I was finally able to try it and it was really good! Maybe even a tiny bit better, just because it’s homemade.

This was a good weekend breakfast and used up ingredients I almost always have on hand.

For two sandwiches

4 pieces of thick-cut bacon
brown sugar
black pepper
3 large eggs
milk
2 slices of cheddar cheese
2 croissants

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the bacon in a single layer. Rub both sides of each piece with some brown sugar and some black pepper. Just a light sprinkle of the brown sugar and a heavier sprinkle of the pepper. This is a sweet pepper bacon, so you want to be able to taste the sugar and pepper, but not be choked out by it.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the parchment and let it cool a bit. It will get nice and crispy.

Meanwhile, beat your eggs with a large splash of milk and scramble.

Cut your croissants in half and toast up a bit on the inside. This is just so it doesn’t get soggy when you add your eggs.

Finally, assemble the sandwich: Eggs, Cheese, bacon.


This was so, so good. I will definitely be making this way more often.

Mangú (Dominican Republic) Dish #13

Last May, my husband and I, along with a couple friends of ours, went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was seriously one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. It quickly jumped to the top of my favorite places in the world list (next to Italy, of course!).

Seriously, this is what I got to look at every day:
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We stayed at a resort called Majestic Elegance and I already want to go back.  The only thing I would change, though, is that none of the restaurants served local cuisine! The food was all very good, but for me, part of the fun of traveling is getting to experience new foods. One day there was a BBQ next to one of the pools and they served a rice dish that I think was a version of Moro de guandules. It was really delicious!!

Dominican cuisine has a lot of Latin and African influences, based on its history of control by other countries. Many traditional Latin and Caribbean dishes can be found here with their own Dominican twist.

Since I didn’t get the opportunity to try a dish that I wanted to recreate at home, I had to do some research and choose something “sight-unseen” so to speak. I found this great site called Aunt Clara’s Kitchen and she has a lot of really yummy recipes with great cultural connections and stories to go along with them. Check it out!

Plantains are a big part of Latin and Caribbean cuisine, and the Dominican Republic is no exception. A traditional Dominican breakfast is Mangú, which is boiled and mashed plantains. It is often served with fried eggs, fried cheese, and/or fried salami.  I made mine with eggs and cheese.

I used Aunt Clara’s recipe.

This was my first time working with plantains. They look like big, firm bananas. They are not as easy to peel, though, so make sure you have a knife available. I found it easier to cut them in half first.

Aunt Clara says to scrape out the seeds before boiling. I just used a spoon.

Final verdict? Not my favorite. It wasn’t bad, it was just pretty bland. Maybe I should have added some salt? The bites with the egg and cheese were definitely better. I can see where this would be a good base for a stewed meat of some sort (which Aunt Clara has recipes for). It is sort of like a potato or polenta, where it is a vehicle for food and not necessarily something to eat by itself. That’s my opinion though.  Plus, it is pretty healthy, so I don’t know if I’d want to write it off just yet.

It is definitely worth trying!

Healthier Choice Breakfast Burritos (Freezer friendly!)

Who doesn’t love breakfast burritos, right? Eggs, cheese, bacon or sausage, potatoes all wrapped up in a convenient package. Such a great way to start the day. Or end it. Breakfast for dinner is the best.

There is this place in Long Beach (where I grew up) called John’s and they make these amazing breakfast burritos. Seriously, they are so good. When I worked the early morning shift at It’s A Grind back in college a whole bunch of years ago, we would sometimes send someone on their lunch break to pick up a to-go order for us.

And if you ever find yourself in Los Alamitos, stop by Nick’s Deli. They have GREAT breakfast burritos, too.

Anyway, back to business. I moved to Culver City right after I graduated CSULB in 2006. I know now that there are plenty of places to get a yummy breakfast here, but at the time, I just wanted a John’s burrito and not have to drive 25 miles to get it, so I made them at home. My husband started calling them my “world famous breakfast burritos” even though they weren’t. They were full of fluffy eggs, melted cheese, crispy bacon, hash browns, and sour cream. I promise, they were delicious.

We ate those burritos frequently on the weekends. But that was back when we were in our early-mid 20’s. We’ve gotten a bit older since then and our metabolism isn’t quite what it used to be, so I had to change things up a bit and try to make the burritos a bit healthier. We still splurge on the “world famous” burritos every so often, but they’ve moved from the “Saturday Breakfast” category to the “Cheat Meal, and only if you run a mile or two afterwards” category. But that’s OK, because these alternatives are still really tasty!

(And special bonus: if you make a bunch like I did, you can freeze them and then just reheat them as you go along your week!)

Heathier choice breakfast burritos
This makes 7 burritos for freezing. Adjust as needed for how many you are making.

9 eggs
½ cup milk (optional, but it does make the eggs much fluffier)
1 package apple chicken sausage, sliced into half moons
4 mini sweet peppers, diced very small
½ large zucchini, chopped small
½ large leek, chopped small
coconut oil for cooking
burrito size tortillas
shredded cheese of your choice (For these, I used cheddar, but I love using pepper jack. It adds so much flavor!!)
plain Greek yogurt for serving (optional)

In a bowl, beat your eggs and milk together. Set aside.

In a large skillet, add coconut oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan so your ingredients don’t stick). Add the peppers, zucchini, and leeks and cook until soft. Add the sausage and cook until heated through and you see the outsides starting to brown up.

Add the beaten eggs to the veggie/sausage mixture and cook over medium heat until the eggs are set. Some people like their scrambled eggs a bit softer, I like mine cooked pretty well. Your burrito, your preference.

Now, assemble:

Lay out your tortillas (I used spinach) and add the filling down the middle of the burritos. Enough that you get a satisfying burrito, but not too much that you can’t roll it up. Sprinkle some cheese on top and then roll it up.

You can eat it right away or wrap them in foil and put them in freezer bags. When you ready to reheat, put it in the microwave—frozen—for about 4ish minutes, turning over halfway. This depends on your microwave and how big you made your burritos, so you may need to go a little less or a little more. Mine were a bit soggy on the outside, so I put them in a skillet for a couple minutes to toast up the outside and they were perfect.

Serve them with some plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and you’ve got yourself a nice healthy breakfast!

Quiche (France)

I wasn’t going to turn this into a blog, but then I figured “Why not!?” I’m making them anyway, might as well share.

I love quiche and I don’t make it nearly as often as I should, especially since it is made up of items I almost always have in my cupboard/fridge. The two quiches featured here I made for a brunch we had for my mom’s birthday, but you can put just about anything you want in a quiche. I’ve also been known to make one for dinner because it’s easy and come on now, we all know that breakfast for dinner is the best.

Quiche—basically a pastry crust with an egg mixture that is baked—is known as a French dish, though it actually originated in Germany and is popular in many countries.

There are a ton of varieties of quiche, like quiche Lorraine (bacon), quiche au fromage (cheese), quiche aux champignons (mushrooms), Florentine (spinach), or provençale (tomatoes). Really, though, you can put anything you want in a quiche. Choose a meat, choose a veggie, choose a cheese. It’s entirely up to you.

Start with a basic pastry crust. You can buy one if you want, the store-bought varieties aren’t bad, but there is something so much better about homemade. Plus, it’s actually really easy.

½ cup of cold shortening (I use the Crisco sticks because it makes it much easier to measure)
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
5ish tablespooons cold water

Using a pastry cutter (or a couple of butter knifes, if you don’t have one), cut the cold shortening into the flour and salt until it comes together in small pea size clumps. IMG_1648-0.JPG

Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork, until it forms a ball of dough. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge for a least 30 minutes.

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Tip: Cold is key to a flaky crust: Cold shortening, cold water, cold dough.
Tip 2: If you are worried about the crust edges not looking perfect, don’t be. I’m not good at it at all. Just call it “Rustic” and everyone will think it’s great!

While the dough is chilling, make your filling. I promise I did not mean to rhyme that, but I’m a nerd, so I’m not changing it. :0)

Like I said, you can put whatever fillings you want in quiche, but I’m going to give you the recipe for the two I made.

10 eggs (5 for each quiche)
2 cups milk (1 for each quiche; you can use whole, low fat, nonfat, heavy cream, half-n-half, whatever floats your boat)
salt and pepper to taste

For one quiche, I crisped up some chopped bacon and grated some cheddar cheese. Normally I would have put in some sautéed leeks as well, but one of the guests isn’t a fan, so I left them out of this one. I put in a dash (literally, just a dash) of nutmeg to the egg mixture.

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For the 2nd quiche, I browned up some breakfast sausage in a skillet. After I removed the sausage, I left the rendered fat and caramelized some diced purple onions and some diced sweet peppers. Add about 1 teaspoon of dried oregano to the egg mix. For this one, I used a mozzarella/provolone cheese mix.

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Tip: mix a small amount of flour in with the cheese. It will help thicken up the egg mixture when it cooks and it keeps the cheese from falling to the bottom.

Mix your fill-ins to your egg mix and set aside.

Roll out your crusts and put in a pie pan. Poke the bottom with a fork and bake at 450 degrees F for about 8 minutes.

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Add the filling to the parbaked crusts. At this point, I covered mine in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge because I made them the night before. Normally, though, you would turn down the oven to 375 degrees F and bake them for 50 minutes to an hour. They are done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

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Let me know what your favorite quiche fillings are. I’m always looking to try new flavor combinations!!