Monday, November 17, 2014

Make Ahead Breakfast Bowls

After our October Unprocessed adventure, I haven't really gone back to cereal as a breakfast staple. I've been sticking to whole wheat muffins, and quite honestly, I was getting bored. I needed something different-and something with substance. Enter the breakfast bowl!

And the best part about these-you can make them ahead of time!

It does take some time to prepare, but it's well worth it early the next morning! Plan on about an hour and 15 minutes to cook and assemble.

Full recipe is at the bottom, but here's how I made these:

Start with potatoes. I used red and purple potatoes just to add some more color to breakfast.

While the potatoes are cooking, you can also cook and chop your bacon.

Then the eggs. Scrambled was the direction we took, but I'm sure other ways would work too.

Then top with a bit of cheese.

All that's left is to pop the lids on and into the refrigerator they go!

In the morning, I can grab one of these as I head out the door. I can heat it up at work and have a hot breakfast bowl ready to go.

Make Ahead Breakfast Bowls
Makes 9 bowls, but if you want to pack them full, then only about 6

Potatoes (enough to cover a large cookie sheet when cut into 1" cubes)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 lb bacon
About a dozen eggs
1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you like)

Start out by cutting potatoes into 1"(ish) cubes. Then toss them with some olive oil, paprika, garlic powder (or minced garlic), and salt. Spread them out on a cookie sheet and roast for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees, or until soft in the middle with crunchy exterior. Let cool just until they can be comfortably touched.
While the potatoes are cooking (or cooling), cook the bacon. I prefer to do this much bacon in the oven. 400 degrees for about 12 minutes is perfect for us, but you may want to cook it a bit longer if you want crunchy bacon. Drain on paper towel lined plate and chop into bite size pieces.
Last, cook the eggs. I used about 10 eggs, plus some more egg whites (maybe 4?). I had a few containers of egg whites in the freezer that I had put in there over the summer. I figured they really should be eaten soon, so defrosting those and mixing them in here seemed like a great way to use them up.

Then it's time to make the bowls. Start with potatoes, then bacon, then eggs, and top with about a tablespoon of cheese. I tried to make sure each bowl had an equal amount of each ingredient, and I knew I wanted 9 bowls, so I probably only had about a quarter cup of potatoes, 2 strips of bacon, and about an egg and a half in each bowl. But, if you want a bigger breakfast, I would only use 6 bowls. Refrigerate for up to 5 days-or freeze!

To reheat them in the morning, about 45 seconds is all it takes.

These would be really good with salsa, or goat cheese with chives, or I suppose some people would prefer sausage instead of bacon, but I was making these for 3 of us, and I didn't want to mess with figuring out which bowls were mine that early in the morning, so we all got the same.

These were so good, I even got a text from my 16 year old stepson telling me how good they were this morning!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Canning Stock

It seems like this time of year, I'm going through cans and cans of stock. I love making my own, but it takes up so much room in the freezer. So this year, I finally decided to can my own. I don't know why I've never canned it before, but I'm so glad I did this year!

My stock always varies a bit depending on what I have available, but it always starts out the same:

Salt and Pepper
Bay Leaves
Parsley (if I have it fresh)

From there, I can make veggie stock, or I can add chicken, turkey, or beef bones to make stock. I add enough water to cover the veggies and bones, cover and let it simmer.

I usually let the stock simmer for at least 6 hours to make sure I get all the good stuff out of the bones. Then, strain the stock and pour into hot jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Process at 10 lbs for 25 minutes for quarts or 20 minutes for pints.

If I have a jar that doesn't seal, I just pour it out into a container and toss it in the freezer.

I think I ended up doing about 50 jars in the last couple of weeks. It sounds like a lot, but with homemade noodles, soups, and couscous, we go through quite a bit of it.