Baked Egg Bread Pudding with Spinach Cheese & Bacon

Hello Lovely,

I’ve been putting this recipe off for months! I was supposed to do this from August, but here we are in November. I don’t know what happened or why this lost it’s appeal for me. Maybe it’s the fact that it uses so much bread that made me keep putting it off because I’ve cut bread out of my diet since going Keto. And the last bread pudding recipe I tried from Joanna’s cookbook was a little underwhelming, so I think all of that is what contributed to me not trying this recipe for so long.

One day I decided to stop putting it off and just do it! I ran to the store for some French bread and the test of the ingredients were already in the fridge. The recipe originally calls for Boursin cheese, but that's not practical for me to obtain so I had to find a substitute. I had crumbled Gorgonzola in the fridge, so I used that. I had just gotten new ramekins on sale from JoAnn’s so I was excited to use those. The recipe gives 50-55 minutes cooking time and trust me, that’s a little modest. It took me an hour just to get it in the oven before the 15 minute baking time. Egg bread puddings are a lot of work, because you need the bread to absorb most of the egg moisture and I also had to cook the bacon first (the recipe also originally called for sausage but I had more bacon than sausage and went with that).

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I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but what came out of that oven was a gift from heaven! This is by far THE best breakfast recipe from the Magnolia Cookbook. I know I had given that title to the Eggs Benedict Casserole, but this was just SOOOOOOO good! Mum loved it, and so did bae (I’m still waiting on my dish back). There’s nothing Keto about this, but it packs a punch in flavour and it’s satisfyingly fulling!

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Baked Egg Bread Pudding with Spinach Cheese & Bacon

  • Prep: 15 minutes

  • Cook: 50 - 55 minutes

  • Cool: None

Ingredients

  • Butter, for ramekins

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 6 large eggs

  • 4 ounces French bread (torn into bite sized pieces about 4 cups)

  • 4 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

  • 3 ounces baby spinach

  • 3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

  • 2 teaspoons minced chives

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter four 10-ounce ramekins and set them on a rimmed baking sheet for ease of handling.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half and 2 of the eggs. Add the bread and stir to coat. Let stand until needed, stirring occasionally to help the bread absorb the liquid.

  3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl. Pour off all but about 2 teaspoons of the fat and reduce the heat to medium-low.

  4. Stir the shallot into the skillet and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 2 minutes.

  5. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until lightly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir into the bread mixture.

  6. Add the cheese, chives 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and reserved bacon to the bread mixture and mix well. It's fine if some of the cheese is in marble-sized pieces.

  7. Divide the mixture among the ramekins and bake for 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the ramekins from the and crack an egg on top of each one. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue baking until the egg whites are set, 20-25 minutes more. Serve at once.

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If you want to buy the book to try more of these recipes for yourself, check out this link below. If you do try this recipe, let me know in the comment section below and share your photos with me on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag, #LifeByOlivia.

Keto Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Biscuits

Hello Lovely,

I’ve been doing the keto diet since May but I can’t say that I’m super strict with it. I still have alcohol and pasta and lately I’ve indulged in 2 pumpkin donuts from Dunkin Donuts. I definitely have my struggles with keto. It’s 75% high fats (the good fats) which are usually dairy. And this girl is lactose intolerant so I do suffer after eating some of my meals (even though they taste great). Even worse, avocado - one of the good fats - is my mortal enemy. So I’ve had to get really creative with my approach to this diet and somehow it’s still working.

I was drawn to this recipe because I feel that keto breakfasts recipes are really limited. I was sick of egg-whatever and my carbless pancakes were just a waste of really expensive flour. Now if you want to change things up, you can add in other ingredients into the filling to fit your taste. You could toss in some fresh veggies like peppers, mushrooms, and diced tomatoes. It only makes these biscuits even tastier! 

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Keto Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Biscuits

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 40 minutes

Servings 6

Calories 320 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces cream cheese

  • 2 cups mozzarella shredded

  • 2 eggs beaten

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • pinch salt & pepper

  • 2 ounces colby jack cheese thin cubes (or your choice of cheese)

  • 6 breakfast sausage patties

Instructions

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add cream cheese and mozzarella.

  2. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until cream cheese is very soft and mozzarella starts to melt.

  3. Mix well! And by mix well I mean, stir stir stir! You want this really combined.

  4. In a small separate bowl, combine beaten egg and almond flour. Add cheese mixture and mix well, again, REALLY well.

  5. Dough may be sticky, this is ok. Dust it with additional almond flour and form into a ball. Place on plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

  6. Cut into sections to form 6 3" balls, depending on the size of the sausage.

  7. Flatten dough balls, place sausage on the dough, then cheese and wrap dough around.

  8. Put the stuffed dough into a greased muffin tin.

  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and set. Top with more mozzarella if desired.

Savoury Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding with Tomato Hollandaise

Savoury Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding with Tomato Hollandaise

This yummy brunch casserole can be put together the night before and placed in the oven a few minutes before your guests arrive. Adding a bit of tomato paste to a classic hollandaise sauce gives it a lovely rosy hue and a nice tangy flavour.

Read More

Irish Cheese and Bacon Popcorn

Hello Lovely,

St. Patrick's Day is this Saturday but I'm not that excited about it. I think I'm saving all of my enthusiasm for beach weather. When I think about St. Patrick's Day an explosion of all things green comes to mind. But green was never really my colour so I always try to think of different ways to celebrate all things Irish without painting myself green or drinking a dreaded Guinness. Enter this super easy snack recipe. This popcorn is best eaten the day it’s made. If you want to serve it at a party, have your ingredients measured ahead of time then assemble right before serving. It really doesn't get any easier than this, but I guarantee this will impress all of your guests!

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Irish Cheese and Bacon Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 7 cups salted popcorn (roughly 1/3 cup unpopped kernels)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup finely grated Irish cheese*
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Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the popcorn, butter, bacon, and cheese. Popcorn is best eaten the day it's made.
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Arugula + White Cheddar Quiche

Hello Lovely,

Sunday brunch is, quite simply, the best meal of the week. Whether heading out to a bottomless mimosa-soaked continental spread, or baking buttery pastries to serve with seasonal jams, the vast amount of food options makes me very happy. When my parents were together my dad would make quiches as a treat for us (mostly because it took so many eggs). I loved quiches and always could eat a whole one by myself. But as an adult I never made a quiche. I made a frittata when I lived in Tampa and a few times since moving back home, but never a quiche. So I had to fix that! Use a ready made pie crust to speed up the process!

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Today's recipe comes from Genuis Kitchen but I made a lot of changes. I wanted something that could be simply reproduced for Sunday dinner because if I don't like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I'm sure you're the same way. Also this version costs significantly less money! I served this for Sunday dinner to my friends and they absolutely loved it! The sweetness of the crust perfectly complimented the savoury flavours within the quiche. I was lucky to even have any leftovers. Making a quiche doesn't have to be difficult. So get the recipe after the jump and serve this at your next family dinner!

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Arugula + White Cheddar Quiche

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 12 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese 
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 graham cracker crust

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. In large skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter, app. 5 minuets or until just soft. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 6 oz. cheddar, mushrooms, and arugula. Mix well; place into pie crust.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over arugula mixture, poking holes to allow the egg mixture to seep inches.
  5. Bake 15 minutes. Top with remaining 6 oz. cheddar, continue baking 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean.
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Apple Cheese Wraps

Hello Lovely

File this recipe under my all time favourite snack! Ever since I was a kid, my mum would peel and dice apples for me to eat as a snack because I never liked the skin. She couldn't understand how I claimed that I couldn't swallow the skin on the apple. I don't know what to say. I would chew and chew, but it just wouldn't go down. Like lettuce. But I digress.

Over the past year I became obsessed with cheese and crackers. Diced apples or cream crackers and cheddar cheese always satisfies me when I need to snack on something. So why not combine them? 

Do you remember eating Lunchables as a kid? I never liked them. I liked the idea behind it but it always tasted fake (not to mention my parents complained about the price). If you have kids who love Lunchables, why not save money by making it yourself? It's so easy and so much healthier because you'll know exactly what's in it. This snack covers all of the critical food groups with fibre, protein and good carbs. The best part? It's fully customisable. Add nuts or grapes or whatever else you like for added health benefits. 

 

Apple Cheese Wraps (serves 4 )

Prep Time: 2 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese, cut in half
  • 2 slices pre-sliced deli turkey or ham, cut in half

Preparation

1. Slice the apple into 1/2 inch thick slices. Rub the apple with the lemon wedge to prevent from going brown.

2. Slice the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch wide slices and the ham in 1/2 or in 1/4 (the ham needs to be large enough to wrap around the apple). 

3. Place an apple slice and a cheese slice on top of the deli meat and fold over deli meat to wrap.

4. Serves with crackers and a dip of your choice for a satisfying on the go snack.

Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cups

Hello Lovely,

With Breakfast being the most important meal of the day, you really have to choose what you eat wisely. I'm the kind of person that can't eat the same thing more than twice per week. I like to mix it up and try new things. Even if it's pancakes, I'll mix it up. Chocolare Hazelnut pancakes one day, Banana pancakes the next. And don't get me started on waffles!

They say the size of your breakfast will determine your appetite for the rest of the day. My routine is usually a small breakfast, light snack on the slow work days, heavy lunch, and then a light dinner (since dinner time always fluctuate).

This recipe that I'm sharing today is actually adapted from one of the Weight Watchers cookbooks that I got from the Greek Festival on my birthday. This is so easy to make, and so tasty! I was genuinely full from one cup. I used a disposable foil  4 oz. cup, but your muffin/cupcake pan will also work for this recipe. And for anyone on Weight Watchers, this recipe is worth 3 points (maybe 2 because of the smaller sized dish that I used).

NOTE: Fresh fruit slices make a delicious and attractive accompaniment to the eggs.

Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cups

Ingredients

  • 4 slices Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, or turkey salami
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (feel free to use cherry or grape tomatoes if you have it)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free croutons, crumbled (these make a great seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 1 sprig parsley or chervil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place 1 slice bacon or salami in each of four custard cups. (I used a 4 oz. but feel free to use an 8 or 10 ounce cup). Pour eggs evenly into cups. Top evenly with tomatoes, croutons and Cheddar.
  3. Place cups on baking sheet and bake until eggs are just set, about 20 minutes (it seems excessive, but trust me it takes 20 minutes). Garnish with parsley, serve and enjoy!

Nutrition facts:

Per Serving (1 dish): 140 g, 129 Cal, 7 g Total Fat, 2 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 229 mg Chol, 460 mg Sod, 3 g Total Carb, 0 g Total Sugar, 0 g Fibre, 13 g Protein, 40 mg Calcium.