Oatmeal Cravings

apple oatmealI’m not a huge oatmeal eater.

But every so often – like maybe once a year – I decide that for some reason oatmeal sounds really good.

I’m not sure why I think this since the last time I had a bowl of oatmeal that I actually enjoyed was …

Hmmm….

Let me see…

Still thinking here….

Hmmm…

Okay…that would be never.

But still – the urge hit last week.

I wanted a bowl of steaming hot oatmeal for breakfast.

I got the water boiling, added my oatmeal and decided in my foggy just barely awake mind that an apple would taste yummy in this bowl of delicious healthy food.

So I went to the porch to choose an apple – the perfect apple – from the box of “just picked from our very own trees” apples.

By the time I returned to the stove with my perfect apple washed and diced – my oatmeal was scorched on the bottom of the pan.

This should have been my first warning. But did I heed this warning? No. I started a second pot of water, added my oatmeal and apple, and began to scrounge in the cupboard for the cinnamon, because everyone knows that oatmeal with apples needs cinnamon.

I tear the cupboard apart looking – while stirring my oatmeal every few minutes – until I find the jar.

The almost empty jar.

The “there is just a dusting of cinnamon in the bottom” jar.

I pour all 1/120th of a teaspoon of cinnamon into my oatmeal.

This is sad.

Then I remember that we have cinnamon sticks. In my sleep deprived mind I thought surely I could just grate a cinnamon stick on a micro plane and have fresh cinnamon.

Brilliant!

Or not.

After grating for several minutes (while stirring my now done oatmeal) all I had was a few flecks of cinnamon in my oatmeal and two fingers missing skin.

On to plan C.

What if I break off a piece of cinnamon stick and grind it the coffee grinder?!

Brilliant!

Or not.

After several seconds all I had done was break the stick into lots of little sticks.

But I added them to my now overdone mushy oatmeal anyway – figuring they would eventually soften and dissolve. Right?

Wrong.

These are called cinnamon sticks for a reason. They are sticks. Sticks don’t grate. Sticks don’t grind. Sticks don’t dissolve.

Sticks stay sticks and I was picking them out of my teeth for the rest of the day.

So much for this year’s oatmeal craving.

I should be good for another 12 months.

My All-Time Favorite Egg Casserole

EggsYou could tell it was a holiday at our house yesterday – there was an egg casserole on the table!

And not just any egg casserole – but my all-time favorite “this is what I mean when I say egg casserole” egg casserole.

Seriously – this is my gold standard for egg casseroles.

My sister Sandy brought the original recipe home many years ago after spending a week helping a friend do VBS at her church.

It was the first time I had ever tasted an egg casserole and loved it immediately. The cream of mushroom soup on top makes it deliciously creamy!

Egg Casserole

8 slices of cubed soft bread (day old works well) about 8 cups
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound pork sausage, browned and drained, (or 2 cups of chopped ham or fried and crumbled bacon)
6 eggs
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup of milk

Layer the bread cubes, cheese, and sausage in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

In separate bowl, mix the eggs, 2 cups milk, and dry mustard. Pour over the bread, cheese and sausage. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Before baking – mix the cream of mushroom soup with the remaining 3/4 cup milk.  Pour over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

Enjoy!

Blackberry Streusel Coffee Cake

breakfastIt’s back to reality around here this week.

The kids are all home again – the washing machine has been going non-stop and there are muddy shoes all over the porch.  🙂

That also means it’s  back to cooking in large batches since those teens are bottomless pits who can empty a fridge in 36 hours or less!

But after my little “vacation” I should be full of creative thoughts – right?!

Well – this little breakfast experiment worked. I think you could even say it was a huge hit!

I combined 2 different recipes and threw in some frozen blackberries to make it fun.

If only all my experiments tasted this good! 🙂

Blackberry Streusel Coffee Cake

1-1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup oatmeal
4-1/2 tablespoons oil
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cup milk

Blackberry Filling

1 quart frozen blackberries
1-1/2 cup sugar (or less – to taste)
4 tablespoons corn starch

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons butter

Put the blackberries, sugar and corn starch into a saucepan and heat until thickened. Set aside.

Then make the streusel topping by combining the sugar & flour. Cut in the butter to make crumbs. Set aside.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and oatmeal. In a separate bowl combine the oil, eggs, and milk. Add milk mixture to oatmeal mixture until just moistened.

Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Top with the blackberry mixture and streusel crumbs.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Breakfast Bread

Breakfast BreadEating at my sister Sandy’s house is always a culinary treat.  I think I could gain 5 pounds just thinking about what she might be making!

Our recent visit was no exception. My amazing nephew put together a to-die-for breakfast bread that is still making me drool.

I won’t even tell you how many pieces I ate – but let’s just say it’s a good thing he made three loaves so that everybody else got some, too!

He made it with bacon (yum!) but I think he should definitely make some with ham or sausage, or even pepperoni!  I’d be happy to taste test them!

I also don’t think this bread should just be for breakfast – I would eat it any time. Like right now.

I was quite impressed with the fact that he made it ahead, froze it, and baked it up fresh for us in the morning – making it a perfect meal for overnight guests!

And – the best news of all – he shared his recipe!

Breakfast Bread

1 batch of White Bread Dough
1 [0.7 oz. or 19 grams] packet of dry Italian dressing mix
2 cups of cheddar cheese
2/3 cup of real bacon bits

Mix the envelope of Italian dressing mix into the bread dough, put it into a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise till doubled.

On a floured surface, roll out into a large rectangle. Evenly spread the cheese and bacon bits over the surface.

Starting on the longest side, roll up the dough as you would cinnamon rolls. Place the roll on a greased jelly roll pan to rise.

Once risen, bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Freezing directions:

Once the roll has been made, do not let it rise. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for one hour.

After one hour, remove the roll from the freezer ad completely wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze up to 1 month.

When you are ready to bake, remove from the freezer and unwrap it. Set it on a greased jelly roll sheet and cover with a clean dish towel. Let thaw and rise overnight.

Then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: This makes one loaf, but would be very easy to double or triple!  You could use frozen bread dough, but could not freeze the unbaked roll.

Enjoy!

Apple Pie Bagels

Apple BagelI was pretty tired Saturday night and had forgotten to get bagels out of the freezer for Sunday morning breakfast.

Oops.

I also realized that the only cream cheese we had was still frozen.

Double oops.

And the kids had their friend Bethany overnight.

Triple oops.

We could all eat stale cereal and Bethany would see how we really live – or I could get creative.

As I tossed the frozen bagels on the counter, I thought, “Now what can I do with these?”

Then I remembered  of all the apples we still have left – and how my kids love apple pie and apple crisp – and thought to myself what a treat that would be for breakfast.

And so the Apple Pie Bagel was born.

I took diced apples tossed them in cinnamon and sugar and put them on top of a buttered bagel and sprinkled it all with a streusel topping.

Delicious!

Apple Pie Bagels

1 package bagels (I used plain – but I think cinnamon raisin or wheat would be great, too)
butter to spread
2-3 cups of apples, peeled and finely diced (Golden Delicious were perfect)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons oatmeal
3 tablespoons browns sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cut the bagels in half and lay each half out on a baking tray. Butter them liberally.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and toss it with the diced apples.

Layer the cinnamon-sugar apples on the buttered bagels.

Combine the melted butter, oatmeal, flour, and brown sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle it on top of the apples.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the apples are soft and the streusel slightly browned.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam