Yeah, my arteries are clogging like the toilets at the SuperDome....

My daughter's (the FruitBat!) birthday was this week, so, last Saturday, we had a small family gathering to celebrate.  Most folks came from over an hour away; I thought it was only proper to feed everyone!  I love, love cooking for people and little gatherings like the one we had on Saturday is the perfect excuse to cook.  What was on the menu, you ask?  FruitBat's favorite meal seems to be breakfast so I had breakfast/brunch foods available:

 Fresh fruit-- of course!  She is, after all, the FruitBat!
Cream scones-- plain and cherry.  Oh, were these ever easy!
           Here's the recipe I used: http://breakfast.food.com/recipe/cream-scones-129193
Mini apple-cinnamon muffins (Thanks to Duncan Hines!)
Egg casseroles-- the family standby.  We had two-- one spinach and mushroom, the other bacon.  These are great make-aheads for holidays and special occasions.  And are easy, easy.
           Several pieces "squishy" white bread  (English muffins are also yummy!)
           8 eggs
           One cup of milk
           Salt and pepper to taste
           2 cups cheese (we like sharp cheddar!)
           Fillings of choice-- the traditional recipe calls for sausage, but I've also used bacon, scrapple, (YUM!), broccoli, peppers, onions, spinach, and mushrooms in varying combinations.  The mushrooms are best sauteed in dry sherry, BTW.

Butter/spray large baking pan.  Break bread into pieces and lay flat in bottom of pan (bottom should be covered).  In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk; add salt and pepper.  (I've also added dry mustard on occasion.)  Spread filling(s) on top of bread, top with cheese.  Pour egg and milk mixture into pan.  This should come near the very top-- if it doesn't add more egg and milk!  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, preheat oven to 350.  Bake casserole for about 40 minutes-- covered.  Take the foil off for the last 15 or so minutes-- casserole is done when eggs are set through.

I also tried a new baked French toast recipe.  Last year, I did an apple French toast, which was good, but..... This one is absolute vanilla-y heaven.  And I LOVE vanilla.  Love, love, love.  Thanks to The Pioneer Woman's blog for this one: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/05/cinnamon-baked-french-toast/  It's to die for.  I used challah for the base and let it dry out a bit before adding the milk mixture.  This was another overnight deal. 

Cake: Entirely homemade.  Same one that I made for Greg's birthday, but this one came out dry.  I don't know if it was the weather (dry) or getting interrupted in the middle of mixing (overmixing), but it didn't come out as beautifully as Greg's.  I used the chocolate cake recipe on the back of the King Arthur cake flour box and the no-cook fudge frosting recipe courtesy of the old stand-by cookbook: the old red-and-white checked book.  Betty Crocker?  Better Homes and Gardens?  I don't remember.  :-)  But FruitBat didn't care that it was dry.  It was chocolate.  And had a dinosaur-- specifically, a Tyrannosaurus Rex-- on top.  (RAWR!!)

All in all, a good time was had by all, and I can retain my title of Super-Mom.  (Though I share it with so many others.)

Until next time, friends....

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