Bacon Egg and Cheese Breakfast Strata

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast StrataIt’s lightly snowing today, I am off from work, and the baby is still sleeping. Wanted to make something comforting, so why not a bacon, egg and cheese strata! I have made stratas in the past and they are always a winner. Stratas are so simple to make.  You can even prepare them the night before, and pop them in your refrigerator to bake in the morning. Mine however will be baked as soon as I am done preparing it. I can’t wait! My house smells of bacon as I type this. Yum! Soon it will be time to slice up some strata for me and Julian. This strata is definitely not a diet food, however, there is broccoli involved, and that’s good ;o)

 Here is how my breakfast strata was made…

Ingredients

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 cup broccoli florets

1 small onion, diced

salt and pepper

grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups cheddar shredded

6 cups Italian bread cut up

5 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk of your choice

6 slices bacon

1 cup Oreida potato tots

In a frying pan or toaster oven cook 6 slices of bacon. This morning I used my toaster oven, and it took about 20 minutes on 350 degrees.  I prefer this method because of the oil splashing on my stove. After it has cooked set your bacon aside on paper towel lined dish until ready to use. Meanwhile, keep your toaster oven on warm for now if your going to use it for your recipe.

In a medium sized pan, sauté your onions, in butter and olive oil. Cook on medium low for a few minutes.  Add your broccoli next, cook for  5 minutes until softened. Next add salt, pepper, garlic powder and nutmeg to your onions and broccoli. While that’s cooking, shred your cheddar cheese, and cut up your Italian bread. Set them aside.( I want to say you can use whatever bread you love in this recipe. ) In a small bowl beat your eggs, and add your milk , potato tots half of your cheddar cheese.  After your onions and broccoli cool, mix them with your egg mixture.  To a buttered baking dish add your Italian bread pieces, next pour entire egg and broccoli mixture, and lightly press down to allow bread to soak up all the flavors. Sprinkle leftover cheddar and crumble bacon on top! Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes. It may depend on your oven, or toaster oven with cooking time. You can also feel it it’s slightly firm. If it is , it’s done!  Top with sour cream for extra goodness…I’m out of it, too bad! Grab a fork and take a bite. You won’t be sorry ;o)

Creamy Broccoli Soup

creamy broccoli soupThere’s nothing like a bowl of creamy broccoli soup! Made this last night as a quick addition to my dinner, and is was pretty good if I do say so myself. I’ve tweaked this recipe a little to my liking by adding more milk then chicken stock, and it added a lot of creamy goodness! You can whip is up in a snap, and have it on your dinner table in under an hour. I used frozen broccoli florets in my recipe, but you may use fresh broccoli too. Here is how you can make this delicious creamy broccoli soup…

Ingredients You’ll Need

1 pound of broccoli, fresh or frozen

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 garlic cloves

1 small onion

1-2 tablespoons of flour

2 cups milk, any type

1/4 cup half and half

2 cups chicken stock, low sodium is what I used

salt and pepper to taste

nutmeg, just a dash

parmesan cheese for topping

bread sticks, sesame crackers, croutons, or whatever you like to dip into your soup.

In a large pot add your olive oil, butter, garlic, and onion. Let them soften a couple of minutes. Next add flour, this makes your soup thicken, stir well. Then add your chicken stock, milk, half and half, nutmeg, and of course broccoli. Let your soup cook on medium heat until broccoli is soft enough to puree in your blender. Mine took 30 minutes since my broccoli was frozen. Next puree your soup in batches in a blender, and add back to your initial pot. Taste your soup, this is where you add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. You may serve your soup in a bread bowl, yum, or have some crackers or croutons on the side. This recipe can serve 4-6 people depending how much you fill your bowls! Enjoy!

Stovetop Mixed Vegetables

mixedveggies

You can’t eat too many vegetables, try this tonight, it only takes minutes to make!”

Here’s how I turned bland into pretty darn good! I will tell you for this I  used frozen vegetables. Being a pretty new mom, for me keeping some frozen veggies on hand helps for a quick addition to rice, pasta, soups, or even eaten all by themselves! Here’s how I made it.

What you’ll need:

A bag of frozen veggies. I used cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, yellow squash, and green beans. You can use whatever blend you like.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

onion powder to taste

parmesan cheese, 1-2 tablespoons, but make it as cheesy as you like!

In a medium sized pan, add you olive oil, and garlic. Let saute for a minute or so. Add in your frozen veggies. You may thaw them out first, but I have found that it’s not necessary. Stir to coat vegetables. Add in your salt, pepper, onion powder, and parmesan cheese when your veggies are slightly tender. Let the veggies cook until they are soft. You may then add more seasonings, or cheese to your liking. At times I have added more olive oil as well. You can really make this easy recipe al your own, and don’t worry about my amounts. Enjoy with a side of brown rice, and grilled chicken, beef or fish!