We had a couple of friends over this weekend for breakfast, so I wanted to prepare a few things that I could prep the night before. I decided on an egg casserole with Italian sausage and sun-dried tomatoes, with cranberry muffins. Both turned out wonderful. I was a bit unsure about the muffins because the batter looked a little dry, but they were a big hit! They also called for fresh cranberries, which was a nice change from most recipes out there. I also made a cranberry-maple butter to accompany the muffins. This would also be great on pancakes, waffles, even toast. Just warm it up in the microwave and voila! Delicious. Below are the recipes, with my small changes. Originals can be found in the links in the titles.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
- 2/3 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon dried orange peel, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I prefer Nielsen Massey brand)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in cranberries; make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, butter, rind, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.
Note: These muffins freeze well. Bake them ahead, cool completely, and store in freezer bags. To serve, thaw at room temperature. Reheat in aluminum foil at 300º for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the water and cranberries in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until cranberries pop. Place cranberry mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.
Combine cranberry mixture, maple syrup, sugar, and cinnamon in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla. Cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 months.
- 1 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 5 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup fat free half and half
- 1 cup light whipping cream
- 2 cups grated lo-fat mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Sauté sausage in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of fork into small pieces, about 10 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons parsley; stir 1 minute. Spread sausage mixture in prepared dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Whisk eggs, egg yolks, half and half, whipping cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, and salt in large bowl to blend well. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture in dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley over. Bake until top of casserole is golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.