Barefoot Bloggers: Herbed-Baked Eggs

Yes, yes, I have joined yet another baking group. This one, Barefoot Bloggers, was started by Tara of Smells Like Home, and is devoted to cooking/baking Ina Garten recipes twice a month. I was drawn to this group for a few reasons:

#1 – I could stand to focus on cooking for a change instead of always baking – variety is the spice of life, no?
#2 – I love Ina Garten.
#3 – My sister bought me Ina’s Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook for Christmas and it has been neglected.

Definitely good reasons. Now on to the food!

Our first recipe was Herbed-Baked Eggs, which I had actually watched Ina make on an episode of Barefoot Contessa. They looked fabulous, and I was looking forward to trying them. Some butter and cream is heated to bubbling under a broiler, and then three eggs are slipped into the gratin dish, covered with a mixture of herbs and Parmesan cheese. What a wonderful dish, and something so quick yet fancy enough to serve to breakfast guests. The eggs need a bit longer than the 5-6 minutes Ina estimates under the broiler, but the taste is just fabulous.

Our next Barefoot Blogger recipe will be Pasta, Pesto, and Peas. Be on the lookout for it in a couple of weeks!

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Buttermilk Pancakes

My search for the perfect from-scratch pancake has eluded me for some time. Some of the recipes have been way too loaded with butter, and others have resulted in curdled butter when mixing together the melted butter, eggs, and buttermilk. At last, while watching the Food Network late one night while on vacation, Alton Brown made buttermilk pancakes that had a modest amount of butter (in comparison) and solved the problem of my curdled butter. Apparently mixing the eggs, butter, and milk all together creates a chemical reaction that curdles the butter. By separating the eggs and mixing the egg whites with the buttermilk, and the yolks with the butter separately, each combination is thus stabilized. Problem solved!

The verdict: Love them! The batter is thick and lumpy, which creates fluffy, flavorful pancakes. Will be saving this for my standard pancake recipe from now on!

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Homemade Granola


I have always been a big fan of granola – the toasted, crunchy oats and nuts, along with sweet fruit make a wonderful combination, whether eating it in yogurt or by the handful. I ran into some problems, though, after discovering that I have a nut allergy, as one would be pretty hard pressed to find a package of store-bought granola that did not include some type of nut. So I figured I would need to go the homemade route if I wanted to enjoy granola again. However, it’s virtually impossible to find a recipe that does not include them and mostly out of sheer laziness I have never, before now, gone through the trouble of adapting a recipe (I know, it’s brutally taxing work). This granola tastes wonderful and I have been enjoying it mixed into my yogurt. I substituted Grape-Nuts cereal for the nuts in this recipe, which mimics the nice crunchy texture of nuts.

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The Perfect Omelet


I saw a recent episode of Barefoot Contessa in which Ina made this recipe, and it looked absolutely delicious (as most of her recipes do!), so I bookmarked it. Since I was just cooking for myself tonight it was the perfect time for me to experiment with a not-so-healthy meal 😉 This was absolutely delicious and I already can’t wait to eat the leftovers. The combination of potatoes and onions was extremely tasty, and combined with all of the other ingredients it was, well, perfect! This was the first time I baked an omelet in the oven and I’m totally sold on the process. Mine took about 23 minutes to cook, although I am super paranoid about raw eggs, so it may just have been the overly cautiousness in me, but it definitely wasn’t near ready at 15 minutes. The only thing I changed about the recipe was to leave out the jalapeños – we don’t keep them in the house and I’m not particularly fond of things with a kick. Without further ado, here is another pic and the recipe – ENJOY! 🙂


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Egg Muffins

So I did the healthy applesauce oatmeal muffins yesterday, and today I am balancing those carbs with these egg muffins. Provided by my friend Meghan (of Meg’s Adventures in the Kitchen), this recipe comes from the South Beach Diet cookbook. I would venture to guess you could add to these muffins just about anything you would put in an omelet and it would taste great. These will be a great option for a protein-packed lunch! I followed Meghan’s recipe of eggs, bacon and cheese but omitted the scallions because I didn’t have any in the house.

Egg Muffins

12 eggs (or a combination of whole eggs and egg whites – egg whites count for 2 whole eggs. As an example, I did 9 whole eggs and 6 egg whites)
Splash of milk
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
12 slices cooked bacon, torn into pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Add 1 piece of bacon, ripped up, and some cheese to each muffin cup.

3. In a large bowl (one with a pouring spout works great for this!) beat the eggs, milk and scallions. Pour the egg mixture into each muffin cup. Be careful not to overfill.

4. With a fork, turn the bacon and cheese in each cup over to mix it all up. Top each with a sprinkle of cheese.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes and then keep an eye on them – they can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on your oven (mine went about 23 minutes). When they are puffy and slightly brown on top they are done. Be careful not to overcook them or they will be rubbery.

*~* I can’t use Meghan’s recipe and not announce that we have known each other since the fall of 1998 when we happened to be on the same floor of good ol’ St. Martin’s freshman dorm at Duquesne. We were hall mates our freshman year and then suite mates our sophomore year with a group of 12 girls. We happened upon each other again on The Nest and on MySpace. Hi again Meghan! 🙂

Breakfast in a Scone

I saved this recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride’s blog awhile ago and have been dying to try it! My mom came to visit a couple of days ago and she doesn’t really like traditional “breakfast” foods so I thought that she might enjoy these. And enjoy she did! She took a few back with her and my sister reports that they are awesome. And Nick’s grade: A! Everyone loved them.

I followed this recipe to a “T” and used buttermilk for the entire amount of liquid called for. Nick said these taste more like a biscuit than my traditional Dark Chocolate Chip scones, which I think might be because of the buttermilk vs. using heavy cream in the chocolate scones. I did roll the dough into an 8″ circle, however I thought this made the scones mighty large (in comparison to the picture in Foodie Bride’s blog) but everyone loved them and they turned out tasting great! I will definitely be saving this recipe and making it often!

Bacon, Cheddar and Green Onion Scones

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into 1-inch pieces
3/4 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Heavy cream, optional**
1 large egg
2 tsp. water

**Heavy cream may be substitued for half of the buttermilk.

Preheat oven to 400.

Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl on low speed. With mixer running, gradually add cubes of butter until the mixture is crumbly and studded with flour – butter bits about the size of small peas. Add grated cheese and mix just until blended. (This can also be done by hand: In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper. Gradually cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in cheese.)

Add green onions, bacon and 3/4 cup of the buttermilk to flour and cheese mixture. Mix by hand just until all ingredients are incorporated. If dough is too dry to hold together, use remaining buttermilk, adding 1 Tbsp at a time, until dough is pliable and can be formed into a ball. Stir as lightly and as little as possible to ensure a lighter-textured scone. Remove dough from bowl and place it on a lightly flours flat surface. Pat dough into a ball. Using a well-floured rolling pin, flatten dough into a circle about 8 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into 8 to 10 equal wedges, depending on the size scone you prefer.

Whisk egg and water in a small mixing bowl to combine. Brush each wedge with egg wash. Place scones on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and no longer sticky in the middle. Serve warm.

A Hearty Breakfast (waiting for us!)

There’s nothing better than waking up and smelling breakfast already waiting for you! Thanks to the invention of the crock pot, we woke up to a hearty, yummy breakfast this morning. I received the Cooking Light Slow Cooker cookbook for Christmas and decided I HAD to try the Maple-Hazelnut Oatmeal. Nick has been on a steel-cut oats kick so I was pretty confident this was a sure bet.

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