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EASY FRENCH 3-COURSE MEAL FOR VALENTINE’S DAY AT HOME:  2-HOUR COOKING CLASS @  SHOUSE APPLIANCE  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5:  5-7PM.  INTRODUCTORY OFFER 2 FOR 1.  $50.00 for two students–includes food, recipes and ideas for wine pairing. To sign up:  Message me on fb if we’re friended, email me, or leave your email or phone in a comment at the end of the blog and I’ll get back to you.  (Menu:  Carrot Soup with Fresh Herbs, Chicken Fricassee, Chocolate Mousse.) Class limited to 6 students.  I’ll repeat this class at home if needed to accommodate more students.  Can’t wait to cook and eat with you!

Next week, I’ll be attending a DACOR training session (I work as a chef for them twice a month and demonstrate their products) and of course I’ll feed the team that morning so our brains will absorb the information a bit more quickly.  Who doesn’t learn better with eggs, bacon, and cinnamon rolls?  I’ll throw in a beautiful bowl of chopped fruit and we’ll have coffee from the built-in coffee system that makes on-demand espresso faster than you can say, “Just sugar, please.”  I do lust after that coffee machine, I’ll be honest.  Recently a customer bought their second one for the family room in their basement.  We do have an electric kettle in the basement.  Somehow it just isn’t the same. Hmph.  If you’re at home, add a spicy Bloody Mary or a sweet Mimosa along side the coffee.

(Below:  me in the DACOR kitchen at Shouse Appliance in Colorado Springs.)

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I make this or similar brunches for my family (a sausage version of this recipe came from my mother-in-law long ago–see below) and once in a while, I even make the eggs for a  simple supper with a green salad for just Dave and me.  When the boss said, “Would you cook breakfast for us?” I knew exactly what I’d make.  I’ll have it nearly all done on Sunday afternoon or evening, though I’ll bake the cinnamon rolls Monday morning in their kitchen rather than in mine.  The smell will greet everyone as they walk in the door and it’ll be one happy moment in life when they find that luscious fresh bread aroma greeting them at work.  Heck, I’ll be thrilled and I’ll have baked them.

(Below:  Lorna, my mother-in-law, with son Sean and granddaughter Piper Jean.)

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Try this for your work group, friends, or family:

EGG AND BACON CASSEROLE  WITH SWEET PEPPERS

serves 6-8

Like most stratas, this one is better made the night before and baked in the morning.  If you’re in a hurry for supper, go ahead and throw it in the oven without the chilling.  You can easily sub chopped ham for the cooked bacon or add cooked mushrooms or asparagus to the bell peppers. Look through the ingredients before making; you’ll need to cook the onions, garlic, and bacon before combining the ingredients.  I put them first for ease of preparation.

  • 1/2 pound bacon, fried very crispy and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped and sautéed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced and sautéed a minute  with the onion
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard (Coleman’s)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 thick slices baguette, diced (or use any sturdy bread)
  • 2 cups grated very sharp cheese
  • 3/4 cup diced red and/or yellow bell peppers

Set aside the cooked onions, garlic, and bacon. Beat eggs alone in a large bowl and then beat in milk, mustard, salt, black and crushed red peppers.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the bell peppers, including the reserved onions, garlic, and bacon.  Pour into a greased 2-quart rectangular casserole.  Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.* Top with bell peppers.  Grate a little more black pepper over the top of the casserole.  Bake 45 minutes or until firm and browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold.  Reheats well in the microwave.

*Can be made and immediately baked, but the casserole is better if chilled thoroughly before baking.

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Of course, as my family knows, I like this or any strata with cinnamon rolls– recipe here along with the original version of the egg casserole.  Homemade/store-bought muffins or toasted English muffins with butter and jam would work just as well.

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Of course  5-month old Rosie would like some, too, but probably  isn’t getting any.  She’s still busy trying to grab Christmas tree ornaments as we leave our tree up through Epiphany.  Yum. (not)IMG_7047Sing a new song and make some brunch,

Alyce