Tag Archive for breakfast

Working Mom Breakfast

I’ve always been a breakfast person. And I don’t limit traditional breakfast items to before noon. Some of my favorite pregnant snacks were yogurt & cereal.

In the past, I sat down & had {usually} cereal every morning before work. Occasionally Eggos or bagels if we were lucky enough to have the pantry stocked. Yummy items like homemade waffles, pancakes, eggs & French toast were reserved for lazy weekend mornings.

These days there are rarely ‘lazy’ anythings. Especially not mornings. I’m doing good if I’m throwing back cereal while nursing or packing my lunch or waking up a kiddo. And a Quaker banana nut soft baked bar with a banana {easily thrown in my purse while running out the door} are my mid-morning favorite.

But I do pass a Bruegger’s Bagels on my way into work. {& thankfully also a Kangaroo express for the 25 cent diet coke Roo cup refill!}

Bruegger’s has always been a lunch/brunch favorite since NCSU college days. I got hooked on the Herby Turkey sandwich {on an asiago Parmesan softwich please}. I rarely deviate from my order. But if you recall, I partied with the executive chef Smith for their 30th anniversary & realized limiting myself to my beloved sun dried tomato spread wasn’t doing me any favors.

I’ve recently stopped by the Bruegger’s across from work for a to-go breakfast sandwich {with bagels for snack & the next day in tow} & on another occasion for lunch. While I admittedly got my beloved Herby Turkey for lunch, I did switch it up & also try one of chef Smith’s new salads too. I loved the sweet tangy taste of the blue apple salad.

The new Sriracha Egg sandwich kick started my morning.

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I went with an asiago Parmesan bagel versus the traditional plain bagel & as I said on instagram, holy flavor party in my mouth. I loved the spicy chili sauce!

The following morning, husband & I both enjoyed the Morning Glory bagel with cream cheese. It has a perfect sweet flavor & for busy moms like myself, can be fairly neatly eaten in the van on the way to work!

I was sent coupons so that I could try Brueggers new summer menu items for purpose of this review. I wasn’t otherwise compensated. Nor were my ravings on their new menu persuaded by their generosity.

Brunch with Papa

This past weekend was a busy one for me & Lucy & Zach. We were all in Charlotte for my good friend B’s wedding. I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid so I was running back & forth from wedding events uptown & loving/hugging/nursing babies who were being watched by my parents & my Papa at his condo/near by hotel room. I will post later this week on the wedding {those photos are on the husband’s phone since mine died}.

But I did remember to charge my phone Saturday night & took a few sweet photos while we brunched with Papa & his friends at their club house. We had a private room which was fabulous & also meant that we weren’t worried about the babies being loud {they weren’t} or a distraction {they were, but a good one}. After everyone ate, Lucy & Zach were passed around the table for giggles. Lucy especially loved it when Papa tried to nibble on her toes too.

Cypress Brunch, Lucy & Zach style

Cypress Brunch, Lucy & Zach style

We walked the fully, sleepy babies back to the condo where we quickly packed up. And took this shot of our four generations!

Four Generations: Papa, Cici, me, Lucy & Zach

Four Generations: Papa, Cici, me, Lucy & Zach

Lucy & Zach were asleep before we got on the highway & both slept until minutes before we got home. Score!

Bruegger’s Baked Fresh Turns 30

Bruegger’s Bagels officially turns 30 on Feb 7th, but they started the celebration early & in Raleigh to boot {don’t you just love a long celebration?}.

Tuesday morning, I had the awesome pleasure of getting both a behind the scenes tour of a local Bruegger’s bakery & also meeting their executive chef, Philip Smith while he was in town.

Everything was perfect-down to the flowers on our table. Executive Chef Philip Smith introduces himself & Bruegger's bagels. Basic cream cheese versus Bruegger's plain cream cheese. "If it doesn't crunch, it's just a roll with a whole" Chef Smith explains what makes their bagels special.

Everything was perfect-down to the flowers on our table. Executive Chef Philip Smith introduces himself & Bruegger’s bagels. Basic cream cheese versus Bruegger’s plain cream cheese. “If it doesn’t crunch, it’s just a roll with a hole”, Chef Smith explains what makes their bagels special.

If you were following along my twitter & IG feeds, you saw some of the deliciousness. I’d guess a lot of my readers have been to one of Bruegger’s 300 local bakeries. But the bagels are even better when you hear the passion from the chef & see & smell & taste exactly how they’re made. With just five core ingredients: flour, water, barley malt, yeast & salt, Bruegger’s makes great uncomplicated bread. They believe in doing better things with simpler ingredients.

Bruegger's Baked Fresh 2

Baker Denise topping freshly boiled bagels with seasoning. Chef Smith showing us the dough in the freezer. My beloved blueberry bagels slowly fermenting {takes two days}. Pulling bagels out of the kettle boiler. Boiled bagels are arranged on aluminum trays topped with burlap to bake upside down at 470 for 3.5 mins then flipped.

After watching the bagels from cold fermenting dough to baked fresh perfection using the art & science of baker’s fingers, we grabbed a pipping hot bagel to enjoy. I had a sea salt bagel that I covered with strawberry cream cheese on one half & veggie cream cheese on the other. So delicious! Their cream cheeses are all made in VT & very creamy due to them processing it at a very low temperature. The low temperature helps hold the look & flavor of the veggies, fruits, &/or nuts added to their cream cheeses.

Executive Chef Smith & I. Bruegger's selection of baked fresh bagels. My super hot baked fresh from the oven salt bagel. My bagel loaded with veggie cream cheese.

Executive Chef Smith & I. Bruegger’s selection of baked fresh bagels. My super hot baked fresh from the oven salt bagel. My bagel loaded with veggie cream cheese.

We ended the Raleigh Baked Fresh media celebration sampling Chef Philip’s take on what to do with leftover bagels. We rarely have any left over at my house, but if you do, you’ll have to try this Smoked Salmon & Dill Strata.

Smoked Salmon & Dill Strata

Smoked Salmon & Dill Strata

Ingredients

5 plain bagels, cut into thumb sized pieces
6 eggs, cracked into a bowl
1 lb Brugger’s smoked salmon
1 6 oz tub Bruegger’s Chive & Onion Cream Cheese
1 c half & half
1 stick of butter
pinch of salt & pepper
1/4 c fresh dill, end of the branches, picked into tiny pieces
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
Pam spray

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 13″ shallow baking dish with Pam.

Melt the butter in your microwave on high for 20 seconds.

In a stainless bowl, beat the eggs until the yolks & whites are blended. Then add the melted butter, half & half, salt & pepper & fresh dill.

Soak the cut bagel pieces in the egg mixture, & using your fingers, work the eggs into the bread, so it is thoroughly soaked & all the custard has been absorbed.

Layer the baking dish with 1/2″ layer of soaked bagels. Top with a layer of smoked salmon {half lb or half the side of salmon}. Dot the smoked salmon with dollops of half of the cream cheese. Repeat a soaked bagel layer & another salmon layer. Dot again with the remaining half of cream cheese. Layer the remaining soaked bagels {this layer will be thinner}.

Top the soaked bagels with the chopped red onions, scattered over the top.

Bake covered for 20 min then an additional 15-20 mins uncovered until the egg dish souffles up & the center is firm.

Bruegger’s recommends serving this with a small salad dressed with lemony vinaigrette. Also note that it can be made the night before, refrigerated overnight then cooked just 10-15 mins longer covered. If you’re like me & not the biggest salmon fan, Chef Smith said you could trade it out for sausage or bacon or even peppers & onions. Enjoy!

Bruegger’s also shares other bagel recipes online. I might have to try the blueberry breakfast casserole at my next big family gathering!

You can take part in the 30th anniversary celebration on Feb 7th by taking advantage of a free bagel with cream cheese until 11a. Download the coupon on their Facebook page or by joining their email club.

Thanks to Bruegger’s for inviting & including me in their 30th anniversary media tour. I loved meeting Chef Philip Smith & the other Bruegger’s representatives. While I was given a great behind-the-scenes tour & bagels, a drink & cream cheese, I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions & thoughts listed as genuinely my own. 

Food for the Family {Sunday Brunch Edition}

Hope everyone had a very happy Valentine’s day! We kept things low key but enjoyed a great night together.

On to feeding my gathered family last Sunday morning. The shower began at 2p, so I wanted to have something fairly hardy yet easy for brunch Sunday. I think by now y’all have realized I don’t eat {& thus don’t cook} pork or beef. So that takes out a lot of breakfast casseroles.

I turned to the Pioneer Woman in hopes she could help me out. Seriously, you can never go wrong with a PW recipe ~ she has yet to fail me. My family & I LOVED her Sleepin’ in Omelette casserole. It was easy for my mom, Nana & I to assemble Saturday night & cooked up beautifully Sunday morning.

Ingredients
Onion Rolls {she says use 6 but 5 was more than enough for my 9×13 pan}
1 c grated cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 & 1/2 sticks of butter
10 eggs
2 c milk
1 tsp chopped chives {Suz fail ~ I didn’t have this!}
1/2 tsp dry mustard {another Suz fail so we used spicy brown liquid mustard}
1/2 tsp salt
a dash of cayenne pepper

Directions
Nana & I crumbled the onion rolls on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. We topped the bread with the cheddar cheese, crumbled cream cheese on top of that & then Nana thinly cut up the butter on top that all that.

Mom mixed the remaining ingredients in a bowl & I photographed while she poured it over the top of the dish trying to spread the egg mixture throughout. We covered it with foil & placed it in the frig over night.

Sunday morning, I baked it covered on 350 {even though PW says 325} for 45 min then removed the foil & baked uncovered for another 15 minutes.

I remembered my friend Emilee Beth had brought an awesome hash brown casserole to our last girls’ night sleepover & thankfully she & the recipe orginator Alison shared it with me. & it would only be fair that I share it here right? {& so I remember it too!}

Hash Brown Casserole aka Cheesy Potatoes

Ingredients
32 oz bag frozen hash browns {diced or grated}, slightly thawed
10 oz grated cheddar cheese
1/4 c onion, diced
2 c sour cream {we used 1 c light & 1 c regular}
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c butter, melted
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Mix all the ingredients together {except for the potatoes & a little extra cheese}. Then add the potatoes & mix thoroughly. Spray a 9×13 pan generously with Pam & pour in the potato mixture.

At this point Saturday night, we tossed the casserole into the frig wrapped well with foil. Sunday morning, I added a little extra cheese on the top of the casserole & baked it at 350 degrees for an hour. I did 45 minutes covered & uncovered for the last 15 minutes.

Nana & Jason’s mom cooked up some bacon {the first I’d ever purchased} for my meat-loving family. We served the casseroles & bacon with a pretty fruit salad {thanks Costco} to which I’d added blueberries & strawberries. I’d forgotten to buy oj but had sparkling pomegrante juice {from Trader Joe’s} along with coffee & sodas. I’m pretty sure we were all members of the clean plate club & some {me!} went back for seconds!

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

After oooh’ing & aaahhh’ing over these cupcakes on Nicci & Suzanne‘s blogs, I knew I had to make them & soon. My parents’ visit & our big tailgate proved to be the perfect excuse.

Y’all know I love anything sweet & the fact that they’re just three or four ingredients makes them all the better.

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 can Libby’s pumpkin
1 box white cake mix
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Mini candy of your choice~ I used Snickers, 3 Musketeers & Milky Way {the surprise}

Mix the pumpkin, cake mix & spice until combined. Line cupcake/muffin pans with liners or grease well. I made 18 smaller cupcakes, but you could easily make 12 bigger ones.

Easy, yummy & kinda healthy.

Pour the batter about half way in the cups. Top with your choice of mini candy bar. Or don’t & fill all the way {husband wasn’t sure about the “surprise” part, so I left six plain}. Fill the ones with chocolate goodness the rest of the way full. Be sure that the candy is completely covered. I had a few that weren’t & those weren’t much of a surprise.

Bake on 350 for 25 minutes or just until they begin to brown on top. Let cool then enjoy! We had them for dessert, breakfast & snacks, & they were so yummy for all three.

Pumpkin cupcake for breakfast, yes please!