Category Archives: Bereavement

French Bread Frittata For an Irish Breakfast Party

French Bread Frittata, delicious, quick, and perfect for breakfast or brunch

French Bread Frittata, delicious, quick, and perfect for breakfast or brunch

French Bread Frittata, delicious, quick, and perfect for breakfast or brunch

I was a very busy baker this past weekend! I baked for a wonderful fundraiser on Sunday for the Brain Up foundation which supports brain cancer research. I made macarons, Madeleines, chocolate chip cookies, and another friend made two different kinds of scones. I will be posting about the fundraiser and sharing my Madeline recipe later this week.

I also baked for my neighbor’s annual Irish breakfast on Saturday. It is a really fun gathering of wonderful neighbors and friends, and I was really looking forward to it. I have a bit of a problem when I start thinking about what I want to bring to a gathering. My mind starts thinking of all of the possibilities, and I can never narrow it down to just one thing. I tried to think of what would be suitable for a traditional Irish breakfast. My neighbor comes from an all Irish family and she is first generation American. She took care of the traditional items like white and black pudding, egg bakes, and Irish soda bread. Last year I brought a variety of scones, so I wanted to change it up a bit this year. I couldn’t  show up without scones, so I made vanilla bean scones.  I also made the cinnamon sugar shamrocks I posted last week. As I said, I have a problem! I think my friends and family have come to enjoy my problem of not being able to decide what to make. It means more tasty treats for them! This year, I really wanted to make something with egg in it to bring. I enjoy making and eating homemade baguettes, and I enjoy making and eating frittatas, so I decided to pair them up and make a french bread frittata. I mean, both are delicious, and paired together, I figured they would be amazing! AND THEY WERE!!!! They disappeared off the cutting board in about five minutes! I wish I had made more!

Baguettes:

You do not have to make your own baguettes as I did. You can buy them from the store. But, I think the taste and flavor of the bread is just as important as the frittata, so be sure to buy a good loaf! Or, make my loaves by using the master recipe for artisan bread in five minutes a day I posted a while back. The directions for the baguettes are in the “Tips” section found at the end of the post. I really can’t say enough about how amazing this bread and master recipe are. I made my dough on Wednesday, and Ieft it in the refrigerator until I was ready to bake my bread Friday evening. I took the dough out of the fridge, shaped it, and baked two baguettes on Friday evening so they were ready for my french bread frittatas Saturday morning. Putting the frittatas together Saturday morning was quick and simple! Just whisk the egg mixture together and bake! The egg mixture can even be made the night before and refrigerated until the next morning. This makes for an even easier and quick breakfast or brunch meal.

French Bread Frittata, delicious, quick, and perfect for breakfast or brunch

 

French Bread Frittata

2 french baguettes
8 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt)
4-5 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped (you can also use ham or cooked breakfast sausage or roasted veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, and mushrooms for a vegetarian version))
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons shredded mild cheddar cheese (feel free to use whatever cheese you love!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 green onion, chopped (you can use more than if you desire)

Directions

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a sheet pan with foil.
3. Using a serrated bread knife, cut around the outside top of each baguette, careful not to slice through the bottom. Hollow out each baguette, leaving  at least a 1/2 inch of bread in the bottom and on the sides. You can save the scraps of bread to munch on, slice up and serve with a spinach dip, grind up and use as bread crumbs, or cut into cubes and make croutons.

French baguettes made with the master recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Hollowed out French baguettes

4. Whisk the eggs, milk or cream, pepper, and salt in a large bowl to blend well. Stir in the cheese, green onions, and parsley.
5. Sprinkle the chopped bacon (or whatever meat and/or veggies you desire) evenly among the hollow out bread.
6. Fill each loaf with the egg mixture almost to the top of the bread, dividing the mixture evenly between the loaves.

French bread frittata

7. Bake until the egg mixture is puffy and just set in the center, about 25-35 minutes. Start checking your loaves around 25 minutes. My loaves took about 32 minutes. If your bread begins to brown too much, wrap the foil around the outside of the loaf.
8. Let the loaves cool for 5 minutes, then slice,  serve, and enjoy! It is great served warm or at room temperature.

Baking Tips:

*I like to whisk my egg mixture until it starts to get frothy and foamy. I think it makes for a fluffy frittata.

*Have fun and play with different variations of the frittata. Next time I would love to try a veggie version and a breakfast sausage version.

Bake and Share Ideas:

  1. Bring the french bread frittata to your Easter brunch!
  2. Bake the french bread frittata as part of a breakfast box for a friend the morning of a funeral they need to attend.  See this post to read more about a breakfast box
  3. Bake the french bread frittatas as part of a breakfast box for a friend who just had a baby as explain in this post.
  4. This would be awesome wrapped in foil and warmed up over a campfire on your next camping trip.
  5. Bake the french bread frittata for a friend who just moved into a new home and has yet to unpack.

 

Calzones, One to Keep and One to Share

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This calzone recipe is one of my “Go To” recipes when I am either making dinner for a large crowd, or making a dinner for someone in need whether they are ill, just had a baby, or just lost a loved one. The recipe makes two large calzones. It is perfect for sharing because I can feed my family with one calzone and share the other calzone with a family in need. It is also great because you can customize your filling to the liking of your family and the recipient. The calzones are absolutely scrumptious! I love bread and I love pizza, so this is a match made in heaven!!

I recently shared my calzones with a friend who had her third baby.  I dropped it off at her house right at dinner time with a salad and fruit. If you want to take the calzone to your friend before dinnertime, or make it as a freezer meal, you can bake it half-way, then your recipient can either freeze it, or finish baking it at dinnertime. If you want to make the calzones ahead of time for a party, you can bake them half-way then freeze them. The day of the party, let them thaw in the fridge in the morning, then finish baking them during your party. I have done this on numerous occasions and they are always a big hit!

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Calzones

Ingredients

2 cups lukewarm (110°F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon or packet active dry yeast
6 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon salt

Filling Ingredients of your choice:

Cheese-Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone, Cheddar

Sauce-Pizza Sauce, Marinara, Spaghetti Sauce, Pesto

Meat- Italian Sausage, Ham, Prosciutto, Pepperoni, etc

Herbs-Pizza Seasoning, Basil, Parsley, Crushed Red Pepper, Thyme, Oregano

Vegetables-Chopped or sautéed vegetables of your choice

Instructions
Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water in a large bowl. Let proof for 5 minutes or so; mixture should begin to bubble.

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Stir 1 cup flour into yeast mixture. Add salt, then stir in an additional 4 1/2 cups flour. When dough begins to hold together and pull away from the sides of the bowl, it’s ready to knead.

Knead dough, using remaining 1/2 cup flour for work surface. Knead for 3 to 4 minutes, then let dough rest while you clean and grease your bowl. Knead an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Dough should be smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. I knead the dough in my stand mixer using the dough attachment. I almost always need to add the entire remaining 1/2 cup of flour.

Form dough into a ball and place in greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover bowl with a damp towel or piece of plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours depending on where you set the bowl (as well as the humidity level in your kitchen.) I place the bowl of dough in my oven with the oven light on to rise.

Punch dough down, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface (alternatively, you can leave dough in bowl and let it rise again, for about half the time of the initial rising; this will produce a finer-grained product).

Cut your bread dough into 2 pieces. Roll out each piece into a rectangle about 10 x 14 inches. Spread a thin layer of sauce on first. Then layer it with your choice of ingredients. Leave a half inch border around the dough.

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Starting with the long edge, roll the dough around the filling jelly-roll style. Pinch the seam and ends together very tightly and place the roll on a parchment lined baking sheet seam side down.

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Cover the calzone with a damp towel or plastic wrap (grease the underside of it so it won’t stick to the dough). Let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

Fifteen minutes before you want to bake the calzone, preheat your oven to 450°F. To make the crust crunchy, preheat a roasting pan on the oven bottom along with the oven. Just before the calzone goes in, pour in 3 or 4 cups of water.

Slash the tops of the loaves, brush with the egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 TBS water) and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired.

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Bake for 15 minutes at 450°F.  *If you plan to freeze or half-bake your calzone see Baking Tips for Instructions. Turn the heat down to 400°F and continue baking for a further 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

To serve, allow the calzone to cool and “set” for 10 or 15 minutes. Then cut in slices. I like to serve mine with any extra sauce for dipping.

Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour

My Marinara Recipe:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4-1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes if desired
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes-I like to use San Marzano Tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1-2 teaspoons pizza seasoning
3-4 teaspoons sugar

Heat a small pot over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes if. Cook 2 minutes. Add parsley, tomatoes, salt, pepper, pizza seasoning, and sugar. Stir sauce, bring to a bubble and simmer 5-30 minutes over low heat. If you are short on time, 5 minutes will do the trick. But I love to let this sauce simmer the full 30 minutes when I have time. The flavors are wonderful!

Baking Tips:

*To Freeze: Bake the calzone for the first 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Wrap tight in plastic wrap and tin foil then freeze. When you want to bake it, remove calzone from the freezer the morning of the day you will be baking it and place it in the fridge to thaw.  When ready to bake, let calzone rest on the counter while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

*To half-bake and deliver to recipient: Bake the calzone the first 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool completely and wrap tight. Deliver it to your recipient with baking instructions. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

*Be careful not to make your filling too juicy or use too much sauce

*Don’t be afraid to use strong flavors.

Bake and Share Ideas:

  1. Bake the calzones and feed your family with one and share the other with a family in need
  2. Invite friends or family over for a game night and serve the calzones
  3. Take the calzones to your next potluck. You walk out a rockstar!!!

Breakfast Blessings For Multiple Occasions Part 3 Sour Cream Coffee Cake

 

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I recently posted about the boxed breakfast I delivered to friends for two very different occasions…one friend dealing with the loss of her nephew, and the other having her third child. Click HERE if you want to read more about their stories and how I delivered their breakfast box.

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You can get the recipe for the pancake muffins I included in the box HERE.

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You can get the recipe for mini frittatas I included in the box HERE.

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Today, I am featuring the recipe for this beautiful sour cream coffeecake.

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It is moist and delicious with a cinnamon streusel filling in the middle and a crispy cinnamon sugar topping. I love the way it makes my house smell when it is baking. I just love the aroma of cinnamon and cake!!! Whenever I make this for my family, my children devour it and ask for seconds. I like to savor the one piece I allow myself with a cup of coffee…preferably with a book and some peace and quiet! I have made this coffeecake on a number of occasions to share with friends. It is something that everyone loves!

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Sour Cream Coffeecake
Ingredients

CAKE
1/2 cup (3 ounces) vegetable shortening or butter (4 ounces)…I use butter
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

TOPPING and STREUSEL
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions

1.Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream starting and ending with flour mixture. I like to do this in the pattern of flour, sour cream, flour, sour cream, flour.

2. Grease and flour a regular-sized tube pan*. Spread half the batter in the pan, then half the topping; then the remainder of the batter, and finish by sprinkling the top with the rest of the topping.

3. Bake the cake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool it for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan. Place the cake right-side-up (topping up) on a plate to serve.

*This can also be made in a 9″ x 13″ pan. Just serve it right from the pan in squares.

Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour

Baking Tips:

* This coffeecake is also delicious made with plain or vanilla yogurt, or buttermilk instead of sour cream

*If you make this in a 9 x 13-inch pan be aware that you’ll have to spread the batter quite thinly to cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon half into the pan, using a rubber spatula to spread batter out evenly; sprinkle on half the topping; then drop the remaining batter, in spoonfuls, on top. Don’t bother to try to spread it around; just sprinkle with the rest of the topping. Cake will puff up and look fine by the time it’s done.

*Don’t over mix your batter. Mix each flour addition just until all of the flour in incorporated

Bake and Share Ideas:
  1. Bake the coffeecake as part of a breakfast box for a friend the morning of a funeral they need to attend as I explained in part 1 of this post. See the link at the beginning of this post to read more
  2. Bake the coffeecake as part of a breakfast box for a friend who just had a baby as I explained in part 1 of this post. See link at the beginning of this post to read more.
  3. Bring the coffeecake to share at a picnic
  4. Bring the coffeecake to your Easter brunch!
  5. Bake the coffeecake and deliver it to a group of road workers in your community. This spring is sure to bring lots of road repair and construction!
  6. Make this coffeecake as a hostess gift. Hosting a party is exhausting and giving your host breakfast for the morning after the party is a wonderful gift!!!
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