Like most families I know, weekday mornings in our house are rushed and breakfast is often a haphazard affair - if it happens at all. Often it's eaten at work, or for the passengers in the family, on the go. I'm not crazy about the lack of 'family time' in the morning and maybe we'll figure out how to get it back someday, but for now I'm just trying to figure out how to get better food in my family to start their day.
One idea I've been kicking around for a while was an egg-based option other than the usual hard boiled eggs. This week I happened to have time on my hands, a spare chorizo and a bit of Monterey cheese, so I decided to give it a go. Just to mix things up, while I was at it I made a smaller batch with swiss cheese and asparagus.
I baked them two different ways to see which I preferred: in large silicon muffin cups and in small mason jars. Mason jars will likely win when it comes to ease of transport, but they were a bit small for the men in my family. On the other hand, the silicon muffin cups could be filled with different amounts of mixture to suit larger or smaller appetites. I also liked the way they popped cleanly out of the silicon muffin cups, and being glass-free they will be better suited for packing in The Kid's lunchbox.
Obviously, these will be a great way to use up leftover bits of meat, vegetables and cheese. The recipe can be changed to suit any ingredients you have on hand and should be enough to fill six large muffin cups.
1 potato, shredded, rinsed and well drained
1 cup grated cheese - cheddar, swiss, jack, pepper jack - whatever you have on hand
1 cup chopped meat or vegetables - or a mixture of both
1/4 cup water or cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
18 teaspoon pepper
optional: herbs, spices or other additions that work well with your chosen ingredients
Beat the eggs with the cream, salt, pepper and herbs. Divide the meat and vegetables between the muffin cups. Pour on the egg mixture, filling no more than 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned on top. Allow to cool slightly. As they cool, they will shrink and pop out easily.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sunday, December 29, 2013
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
Winter. The days are cold and the nights are long. The sun shines, but it is weak and the shadows are long. The busyness of the holiday season* is past and as the earth sleeps in preparation for the spring, we also slow down; we rest, refresh, reflect and renew.
Though we try to eat well all year, our winter food choices tend to be especially nourishing both for the body and soul - with slow simmered stocks and broths, good fats, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and warming drinks. The foods many people think of as 'Comfort Foods'.
One of those warming, winter comfort foods is Cottage Pie. Though it isn't a food I grew up with, it is part of a culture I have adopted and is now one of my favorite winter-time foods. If you aren't familiar with Cottage Pie, think Shepard's Pie - only with beef, instead of lamb. Then some snowy winter day, try out this recipe and let me know what you think.
2 Tbs butter
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbs flour
1 cup beef stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
slat and pepper to taste
4 medium potatoes, cubed
Melt the butter in a deep frying pan or wide saucepan. Crumble in the beef and fry until browned. Add the onion, carrots and mushrooms, and cook until slightly softened. Add the flour and cook about 10 minutes more. Add the beef stock, worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain thoroughly and mash, adding the remaining butter and enough milk to obtain a creamy consistency.
Spoon meat mixture into oven-proof dish. Top with mashed potatoes and fluff the surface with a fork. Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned.
This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday blog carnival
*Obviously I'm in the Northern Hemisphere. If you are not, carry on enjoying your summer!