Tag Archives: milk

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

As I’ve mentioned before, Sam and I do a lot of running.  Currently, we’re training for the Rock ‘n Roll USA Half Marathon, which is held in DC in March!  Are any of you running it?  I would love to see some bloggers and readers out there!

For me, the hardest part about training for distance races (halfs, fulls, etc) is providing your body with enough nutrition and energy.  Specifically, the day you do your long run- ours tend to be Saturdays.  What can you eat after a run during which you’ve burned over 1,000 calories?  A burger definitely hits the spot, but I some mornings all I want are eggs.

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing my Google Reader and I saw the perfect post-long run breakfast dish.  It was from Liza, of (a)Musing Foodie- a fellow blogger I met at the Eat, Write, Retreat Food Blog Conference.  The best part was, it’s a dish you put together the night before, and just pop it into the oven in the morning.

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Even if you don’t have a long run planned for this Saturday, this is a perfect dish for your brunch guests.  Easy, delicious and very versatile!

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from: (a)Musing Foodie

Liza used a baguette, I did not have one on hand- so I used leftover whole-wheat bread from Trader Joe’s that had flaxseeds and sunflowers seeds in it.  Feel free to use what you have in your bread box!  Additionally, use any type of milk product for the 2 1/2 cups of liquid (regular milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc)- I ran out of the soy milk so I substituted the rest with the half ‘n half.

2 cups of bread, cubed
6 slices of bacon
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 lb Polish sausage, cut into small pieces
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
10 large eggs
2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup half ‘n half
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Spray a 9×13” baking dish with cooking spray. Then spread the bread cubes on the bottom of the baking dish.

Heat up a large skillet, place the bacon on it and heat it up until crispy on both sides.  Set aside on a paper towel, but leave the bacon grease in the pan.  Then add in the onion, let it cook until translucent over medium heat, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and jalapeño, cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Next, add in the sausage and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until it begins to brown.  Add all of these ingredients into a large bowl.

Once the bacon has cooled off, chop it up and add it to the bowl.  Then mix in cheese, spinach, and green onions.  Once the meats and vegetables are mixed, spread this out over the bread cubes in the baking dish.

Next, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, soy milk, half and half, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  Then pour this mixture over the layers in the casserole dish, and gently press down so the liquid drips down.

Cover the casserole, and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

Once you’re ready to cook it, preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Bake the casserole covered with aluminum foil for 45 minutes.  Then uncover it, and bake it for another 15 minutes when it starts to bubble.

Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding

I get excited when a fresh issue of a cooking magazine shows up in our mailbox- so much inspiration, so many recipes to try out!  Check out which magazines we like to flip through on our “Blogs, Books & Magazines” page.  I also like it when I have ingredients to make particular recipes, without having to break the bank- or keep visiting the grocery store.

When I was flipping through the January issue of Food and Wine, I spotted a recipe for Almond-Milk Rice Pudding.  Knowing that I had about the exact amount of sushi rice in our pantry I’ve been wanting to use up, I thought this would be the perfect dessert, or snack, throughout the week.

Almond & Coconut Milk

The week prior, we had access to a car (thanks Carrie!) and I had bought various (delicious) items at Trader Joe’s.  Two of them were almond and coconut milk.  Not too familiar with these liquids?  Almond milk is made from ground almonds, and a great substitute if you have dairy allergies.  Coconut milk is made from grated coconut, also a great milk substitute, and used in many vegan and vegetarian dishes.  I recommend using the unsweetened versions, making this a little healthier, and not overly sweet.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding 2

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding
Adapted from: Food & Wine (January 2013)

1 1/2 cups of sushi rice, rinsed
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 cups of almond milk
4 cups of coconut milk

In a large bowl, or pitcher, combine the almond and coconut milks together.

In a large saucepan, combine the sushi rice, sugar, salt and 1 cup of the milk mixture.  Cook the ingredients over low heat, stirring, until the milk is absorbed- about 5 minutes.  Then add in another cup of milk, stirring until the liquid is absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.  Gradually, every 5-10 minutes add another cup of milk and keep stirring, until you use all but 1 cup.  By then, the rice mixture should be thickened, and the rice will be cooked.  Lastly, turn off the heat, pour in the last cup of milk, stir, and allow it to cool.

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding

Serve with preserves, defrosted fruit, or fresh fruit (berries would be best).

Almond & Coconut Rice Pudding 3

November 2012 Review

And we’re back with the monthly reviews on Fifth Floor Kitchen!  What photos did I capture on my iPhone this past month?

Interested in past months?  Check them out: May June July August

November Review 1

This was taken on our last day of our honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand.  Check out our posts about it here.

November Review 2

First week back from our honeymoon and we were excited for food from the farmer’s market!  We got: arugula, turnips, a pie pumpkin, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, cheese & eggs from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market.

November Review 3

Don’t know what to eat for breakfast?  Check out this post on making Fall Granola- perfect to mix with yogurt or milk!

November Review 4

Sam and I visited our friend Beth in Baltimore.  We loved this place: Abbey Burger Bistro, make your own burger (and it’s got some good beers as well).

November Review 6

While in Baltimore we stopped by the Baltimore Farmer’s Market & Bazaar (check out the post about it here).  Sam pickled the cucumbers, and we enjoyed the spicy cheese & duck eggs.  But the honey butter is the best- have you had honey butter?  If not, you’re missing out!

November Review 5

My friend Alix and I got a chance to see Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen!  There were so many people at Politics & Prose to see her!  Checkout her cookbook and blog for some great recipes!

November Review 7

We have 2 cats who have really enjoyed getting wedding gifts.  Well, mostly the boxes that the gifts come in- Van Gogh loves to relax among the bubble wrap and paper!  One of the many gifts was a cookbook- and we tried this Shepherd’s Pie recipe!

November Reivew 8

Another Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market week!  The goodies were: bok choy, yogurt (to go with Fall Granola), broccoli, cheese, apples, pear and arugula!

November Review 9

Last May, when I attended Eat, Write, Retreat (check out my post about it) I met a lot of wonderful bloggers.  One of them was Olga (blog: Mango & Tomato; Twitter: @MangoTomato), we tried out the new DGS Delicatessen in Dupont Circle for lunch, and I had a delicious Salmon Pastrami Sandwich on a bagel.

November Review 10

As I mentioned, we had a low-key Thanksgiving.  After running the So Others Might Eat Turkey Trot 5K- Sam, myself and his brother went to Hill Country Barbecue for an all-you-can-eat dinner.  As always, Hill Country did not disappoint!  Although my favorite was the green bean casserole- it’s been so long since I’ve had it!

November Review 11

The past week’s Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market finds were: eggs, turnips, cheese, pears, eggs & meat sticks!

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar

Two nights before our wedding we got a box with presents from our registry- it was one of the first ones, and I got really excited (it felt like an early Christmas!).  First, I pulled out a set of dessert plates I’ve been eying for some time, but there was also a cute cookbook which I didn’t have on my list.

As any food blogger would do, I flipped through the cookbook- Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Sized Sweets & Savories by Sarah Billingsley & Rachel Wharton- and picked out my favorite recipes.  Immediately, I opened to the page with Shepherd’s Pie on it, and I knew this was going to be the first recipe I would make.  Since we still had a wedding, and a honeymoon I knew it’d be a couple of weeks- but the moment we came home this recipe was immediately on my “to cook” list!

Using mason jar’s was a great idea for this dish- it kept everything in equal servings, and it was so easy to store, heat up, and take to work.  The book suggested using smaller mason jars, but since I only had the medium size, this is what I used.  With nights getting colder, this is the perfect dish to wrap your hands around the mason jar to keep warm, and your tummy full!

Thank you Jen & Neil- this is a great addition to our cookbook collection!

Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar
Adapted from: Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Size Sweets & Savories

You can use lamb, beef or tofu crumbles- all would be great with this dish.  If there are other veggies you’d like to add in here, definitely do- we stuck with the traditional version the first time around.

3 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled & finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup green peas
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

In a medium pot, add the potatoes and water (so it covers the potatoes) and bring the water to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pot.  Cook until the potatoes are tender, when pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them.  In a large bowl, mash them using a potato masher (or mixer).  Then add the milk, cheese, butter, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper- stir well.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Then add in the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, until the onions are translucent.  Next, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon and stirring frequently until it is browned, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Finally, add the peas, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Place 6 medium-sized mason jars on a baking sheet.

First divide all of the meat mixture, then the mashed potatoes into all of the jars.  Place the jars and banking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or until the potatoes turn golden).

The pies can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Reheat at 350ºF for 15 minutes.

August Review

How time flies when you’re having fun!  I’m really enjoying doing these monthly reviews, it’s a fun way to look back on what we did throughout the month!  Check out the last 3 months: May, June, and July!

Sam and I completed our Open Water Scuba Diving Certificates in Virginia Beach!  Our first dive was at the Chesapeake Light Tower (locally known as The Tower), about 13 miles east of the Rundee Inlet.  We took our trip with the Lynnhaven Dive Center- what a great adventure!

Our family had a beach house rented for the week, so we did have some time to relax at the beach!  We got a tan, read some books, and even saw this cute little sand crab.  Having lived in Virginia Beach before, I feel like Sandbridge is one of the best beaches in the area!

As always, we did visit the Penn Quarter Farmers Market!  This particular week we got: milk, cherry tomatoes, eggs, habañeros, tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers, and green beans.  What can you make with these ingredients?  Check out these recipes: Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, Greek Panzanella, and Asian Veggie Rolls.

One night we made this delicious pizza!  Loved the fried egg on top- so yummy!  Try some of our pizzas: Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza or the Mushroom & Broccoli Pizza!

My friend Beth and I went to visit our friend Becky in Boston!  Sam and I visited Boston in April and loved the city and the Sam Adams Brewery!  This time it was a girls weekend- we ate cannoli’s at Mike’s Pastry, brunch at The Flour Bakery, some running, and enjoying Harvard Square.  Check out my post on The Flour Bakery!

Another stop at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market!  This weeks goodies were: corn, peppers, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, peaches, zucchini and summer squash.  Check out this month’s recipes, such as: Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, or the Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa.

With a new blogger friend, Sylvie from Thrifty DC Cook, I volunteered at one of the homeless shelters in DC.  We had a fun time cooking of a delicious lunch- and I made some cookies for dessert!

I went to a book reading at Politics and Prose, a local DC bookstore.  Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses, and Rebecca Harrington, author of Penelope, read a section of each of their books, talked about the process of writing, and how they got new ideas.  This was the first time I went into P&P, but can’t wait to check out some more events they have to offer!

After the third visit of the month to the Penn Quarter Farmers Market we got a chance to try some eggs, crab dip, summer squash, tomatoes, peaches, cherry tomatoes, green beans and peppers!  Check out the Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa recipe to make with those cherry tomatoes!

A bachelorette weekend in St. Michael’s, MD included some fun shopping.  In one of the stores we found these great napkins.  Thank you to: Jess, Steph, Carolyn, Cassie, Katie, Josie and Krista for a wonderful weekend!!!


In the last week of August at the Penn Quarters Market we got: bacon, brat patty meat, cucumbers, summer squash, apples, cider, tomatoes, eggs, various peppers, cherry tomatoes and arugula.  Try making Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa, Greek Panzanella, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, Asian Veggie Rolls or the Brazilian Fish and Shrimp Stew.