Happy one year Blogiversary to us! We’ve been officially bringing you delicious food for ONE FULL YEAR! And what a year it was! In fact I’m not sure any other year has ever gone so fast! Our little blog duo has officially seen a new baby born (congrats Holly), a preschooler whose world was rocked by a new baby sister, a child who started kindergarten, and a teenager who has hit her stride. Holly and I are both another year older and wiser in our full time careers and yes, we’re both still married (Holly 10 years and myself 18 years) despite crazy chaotic schedules and demands (yay, guys-thanks for hanging in there with us!). But even more exciting, we’re both still loving blogging and bringing you our favorite recipes! For me, this would include this Buffalo Bacon Macaroni and Cheese which is pure, unadulterated decadence! …
I’m always on the lookout for a crowd pleasing, easy, appetizer for those last minute get togethers or weekends at the lake. This recipe for Pesto Caprese Dip is one of those recipes that I make again and again that requires minimal effort but packs a maximal punch. It requires only a few ingredients and can be prepared ahead of time and baked just before you’re ready to serve it, which makes it perfect for entertaining. The Pesto Caprese Dip takes advantage of the late summer bounty of cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, but if you have a source for good basil in the winter, it’s really a great recipe year round. Even my picky eater husband (who hates tomatoes!) gobbles it up. It’s rare that there are any left overs! The recipe is adapted from an appetizer a neighbor and dear friend (Hi Kara!) shared with me last summer (find the original here) and I’ve tweaked it over time to reflect my personal tastes but I will say, the original is a mighty fine option as well, particularly if you’ve run out of pesto or just don’t like it….
Let’s just get this out of the way: I am not a morning person. While having a toddler has certainly forced me to be an early riser, mornings are still not my most productive time. I much prefer a slow wake up, a lazy cup of coffee, and a leisurely breakfast. Unfortunately for me, being a full time working mama doesn’t mean that I can indulge in mornings MY way very often. So, I try and keep some healthy breakfast options on hand to ease the way. These Healthy Egg White Breakfast Muffins are a staple around here. They take less than 10 minutes to put together and freeze beautifully, all while being full of fresh veggies and tangy cheese. Paired with a lovely breakfast sausage or a glass of vegetable juice and it’s a filling, easy way to start the day.
The best thing about these egg muffins really is how versatile they are. I love to make mine with egg whites (to allow more calories for cheese!), bell peppers, and spinach. They are amazing with bacon, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes, too. Frequently, they are filled with whatever needs to be used up from the vegetable drawer….
As much as I love to bake sweet treats, my own particular eating preferences lean heavily toward the savory. Give me a plate of salty carbohydrates any day over pastries and pies. This sentiment is most true at breakfast time. I can easily pass up the donuts and pancakes, but put a plate of bacon, eggs, and potato in front of me and I don’t stand a chance. Enter: the egg bake. The nemesis of my skinny jeans and my favorite breakfast indulgence. It’s a make ahead, one pan wonder with salty and cheesy carbs. When I got married, my mother and mother-in-law gave me a handwritten book filled with treasured family recipes. Included in that wonderful book is her basic egg bake, which I have made a thousand times and love, for it’s simple goodness and ease of adaptability to all tastes.
The specific recipe below is her classic combination, a tried and true standby, with only a minor decrease in the amount of butter used in the hash brown crust. It requires minimal chopping and mixing, though I do recommend shredding your own cheese if you have the time. The dish can be made ahead (fully baked) and gently reheated in a 200 degree oven in the morning, but truthfully it comes together so quickly that it’s not much of a chore to toss it together while sipping on some coffee in the quiet moments before your hungry crowd gathers. Try it as written, or mix it up with chicken sausage and sliced jalapeño, bacon and roasted red peppers with melty gobs of goat cheese mixed in, or leave out the meat and add in some onions, broccoli, and peppers for a vegetarian options. The possibilities really are endless.
Serve it with some good coffee and fresh fruit and you have a hearty breakfast that will feed a crowd!
More Breakfast Egg Bake Inspiration from around the web:
A leek, ham, and cheese bake from Smitten Kitchen.
Naturally Ella‘s herb and grain filled version.
Giada gives us an Italian twist on the breakfast staple.
And for the more adventurous, Saveur’s Persian Herbed Frittatas.
What family breakfast traditions do you have? Leave us a comment on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and let us know!
- 16 ounces frozen hash browns
- ¼ cup of butter, melted
- 2 cups diced ham
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack or swiss cheese
- 5 Eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
- 1 Cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the frozen hash browns in a 9x13 pan and pour the melted butter over the potatoes.
- Bake until lightly browned.
- Decrease the oven heat to 350 degrees.
- Sprinkle the ham and cheese over the has browns.
- In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the eggs and milk until just combined.
- Pour the egg mixture over the cheese and hash browns.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Note: I like a crispy, slightly burned cheese layer so tend to bake mine on the longer side of 30 minutes.)