I grew up in Wisconsin, and my parents hail from Chicago. And every time I introduce myself, it’s more than clear that I am from the Midwest, as I nasally announce,
“Hi, I’m Liz, and I’m from WisCONsin.”
Sometimes I can’t believe how nasal I sound when I hear myself on a video. It’s always a little shocking.
And while I may be from WisCONsin, from near “MWaukee,” where people eat bratwurst and drink pop, once I moved to Minnesota, I found that there were many Midwesternisms that I had never even heard of, though I come from just across the Mississippi.
For example…uffda, an expression that encompasses disgust, surprise, or even relief. Totally new to me. Or hot dish…a general term for what the rest of the nation calls casserole.
And so it was with egg bake. The first time I spent Easter with Eric’s family, I learned that we would be going to their church early for the annual Easter Egg Bake breakfast.
When I asked what exactly an egg bake was, most of them looked at me as if I was some alien from a far galaxy named California. Yes, we were from neighboring states, but apparently there were some significant things we WisCONsinites were missing.
In case you too are unfamiliar with egg bake, let me bring you up to speed. Though it sounds like caveman-talk (Me Egg Bake), it is in fact a lovely little breakfast treat. Egg bake is essentially a hot dish…but of eggs, and cheese, so much cheese…plus some sort of meat like bacon, sausage, or ham…and a bready base. I mean, there are as many variations of egg bake as there are types of winter precipitation.
Here’s the only problem; standard egg bake recipes make at least four servings…and at this point in our lives, there’s only two of us around at most breakfasts. Don’t get me wrong, we eat leftovers with the best of them, but leftover eggs? Ew.
So, individually sized egg bakes. Let’s do this, eh?
Not only are these mini egg bakes deliciously cheesy, but they couldn’t be more simple and convenient. Per my mother-in-law’s suggestion, I like to use Italian-flavored crutons for the base (rather than cutting up my own bread cubes). Simple. And you can assemble these the night before so they’re ready to bake up in the morning. Easy Peasy.
Croutons. A mixture of eggs, milk, and seasoning. Mmm-mmm breakfast meat. Plus ever essential cheese. Pop these in individual ramekins, or like I did, in giant muffin tins. (You’re looking for a container around 2.5-3″ in diameter).
These little egg bakes would make a perfect holiday breakfast for you and yours…you can whip up just as many as you have people staying with you, without having to get up at 3 a.m.. Uffda!
*Note: These can totally be vegetarian. Just leave out the meat and add some of your favorite veggies!
(recipe from my mother-in-law)
(serves 1 but can easily be multiplied)
These individual egg bake rounds are the perfect way to treat yourself to a holiday-worthy breakfast. Simple to assemble, you can even make them the night before and have them ready to bake up the next morning.
Ingredients for ONE individual egg bake:
heaping 1/4 c. Italian-flavored croutons, roughly chopped into about 1/4" pieces
1/4 c. grated (sharp) cheddar
1/2 c. milk
1/8 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
dash dry mustard
Meat: 2 sausage links, or 1 sausage patty, or 2 bacon strips, or 1/8 c. chopped ham
Optional: chopped onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, bell pepper
Cook your sausage, ham, or bacon; chop, and set aside.
LIBERALLY grease your muffin tins, ramekins, etc.
Place croutons in the bottom of the container.
Sprinkle the cheese on top of the croutons.
(If using, place your veggies on top of the cheese).
In a bowl, beat your egg, then mix in the milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard.
Pour the egg mixture over the cheese.
Top the egg mixture with your chopped meat.
Preheat oven to 350*. Bake egg bake rounds for about 45-60 minutes, checking frequently after 45 minutes to keep from burning. You'll know it's done when it's appetizingly browned on top, set (not jiggly), and an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean.