Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Heart Fruit Spreads!

Hello blog friends!  I am so excited that we are finally having some sunny weather!  It is supposed to be in the 70’s today and tomorrow, which seriously warms my little heart.  Last night, we sat on our porch and watched the kids play.  We still have some snow, but our driveway was clear.  Paisley, of course, is like a moth to a flame with the snow…..She has to get muddy, icy and wet.  That kid is just asking to get frostbite on her toes.  I keep telling her that she will be pissed during sandal season if she has no toes;)
Chris and I enjoyed an adult beverage while we watched the girls play.  Here in Reno, we have a brewery called Buckbean.  They have the best beers!  And I know beer…..I went to Chico.  And I’m not saying that I am a beer expert because of the amount of Keystone Ice and Natural Lights that I have imbibed, but rather because Chico is home to Sierra Nevada Brewery.  We Chico-ites (Chicoans?  Chicoers?) know good beer.
Buckbean makes an “Orange Blossom” beer that I love.  It is really like you are drinking an orange tree.  If you like your beer with a slice of orange in it (you know what kind I’m talking about), you will love this.  The brewery is right here in Reno, but you can buy there beer in tons of places…..California too!  It comes only in cans, which I like because I can smash it on my forehead when I am done.  I am kidding.  I wouldn’t want a bruise.  But I do like the cans because you can bring cans to more places…pool, beach, etc.  I think their reasoning has to do with the taste, quality and environment…..not head smashing;)  Check it out at www.buckbeanbeer.com.
But back to me and my products….I often get asked, “What can I do with your fruit spreads?”  Lucky for you….I have tons of answers;)  First off, you can use my fruit spreads just like you would use a jam or jelly.  Because I always have it on hand, my kids eat it in sandwiches.  However, there is a lot more to it than just a component of a pb&j.  I will show you some ideas!!
I wills start with some easy ones….
My spreads make a great pancake topping.  Who needs syrup?  I heat it up a bit and pour it over pancakes and waffles.
I also stir it into yogurt.  My fruit spreads are pretty low in sugar, so when mixed with fat free yogurt…..it is great when you are watching calories.  I mix it into vanilla Greek yogurt.  I don’t usually try to make it pretty like aboveJ
This is my husband’s favorite.  I stir it into cooked oatmeal.  I sprinkle the top with sugar and then pop it under the broiler for a few minutes.  This gives it a “candy coating”, like crème brulee.
I also pour it over ice cream.  I pour the apple spread over vanilla ice cream and serve it with graham crackers…..lazy girl’s apple pie;)
Last weekend at my mom’s house, we had cheesecake (store-bought) with fruit spread poured over the top.  I heated the fruit spread and poured it on, and then I topped that with caramel.  You can serve this at a party and nobody would guess that you bought the cheesecake.  It gives the cheesecakes a fancy touch.
Above is a quick breakfast treat.  I make pinwheels out of puff pastry, cream cheese and fruit spread.  They look super complicated, but couldn’t be easier.  I spread out a sheet of puff pastry (in the frozen section of your grocery store), spread it lightly with cream cheese, then fruit spread, and roll up.  I wrap the roll in plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer to harden a bit.  This makes it easier to cut.  They are a quick bake, about 15 minutes.  These are perfect for a fancy brunch!
My fruit spread is also a great addition to muffins.  I like to fill my muffin cups about halfway, and then put a spoonful of fruit spread in.  I cover that in more batter and bake.
The muffins will bake up with a surprise in the middle!!
This dresses up any muffin recipe, or muffin mix!
Lastly, my fruit spreads make great ice cream or frozen yogurt.  Do you have an ice cream maker?  No?  You should get one.  They are so fun!  I love experimenting with ice cream flavors.  Above is just plain vanilla yogurt mixed with County Fair Peach Spread.  I dump them both into the ice cream make and turn it on.  The best thing about my fruit spreads is that they are already spiced!  You don’t need to add anything else, like cinnamon, sugar, etc.  These spreads really could not make cooking and baking easier! 
What do you do with Gourmet Rooster Fruit Spreads?  I would love to hear your ideas/recipes….with pictures!!
So if you haven’t tried my fruit spreads yet, come visit me at the Clayton Art and Wine Festival, April 30th and May 1st.  I will be sampling my products at The Royal Rooster!  Come say hi!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If Your Chicken Went on a Vacation.....

Good morning!  Happy Tuesday!  How was your weekend?  Mine was fine.  We drove back to California to make a couple of deliveries.  It was super exciting to deliver to new stores!  I dropped off an assortment of products at The Royal Rooster in Clayton, CA.  If you haven’t been there, you have to go.  It is, seriously, the cutest store ever.  If you are ever needing to get someone a gift….this place is perfect.  We also dropped off BBQ sauces to Piedmont Grocery.  This store is right on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland.  It is a really nice, local gourmet grocery store.  Super cute store in a super cute area.  Do I win the prize for saying “super” the most times ever in a single paragraph?;)
Nothing else new going on here…..Addy got about 6 inches cut off her hair.  She has a sassy little short ‘do now.  I would post a picture, but that would probably embarrass her.  She is totally turning into a 13 year old girl already.  You know…when everything embarrasses you?  Who really needs her hair cut is me!  The ends of my hair look like a shark chewed on them.  Aren’t they the ones with multiple layers of teeth?  Anyhair, enough about me;)  Onto the food!
I was trying to come up with some different options for my Gourmet Rooster BBQ sauces.  Obviously, I think they are fantastic on their own, but I wanted to mix it up a little.  I took my Smokehouse Bacon BBQ sauce and jazzed it up with some pineapple, amongst other things, and it felt kind of tropical and Polynesian to me.  I could totally be making the Polynesian thing up, but they eat large amounts of pineapple, right?  Is that stereotyping?  Anyway, it was amazing.  I served it with my coconut rice, which I will also show you how to make.  If you don’t have Gourmet Rooster sauce, first of all….go get some.  If that just isn’t feasible, use whatever sauce makes you happy;)  I call this “If Your Chicken Went on a Vacation…Polynesian Chicken”.  Long name, easy recipe.

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and some drumsticks.  Stop looking, the drumsticks aren’t pictured.  I broiled the chicken since barbecuing isn’t an option yet at my house.  It would require me digging the BBQ out of the snow. I pre-heated the oven to “broil”, which is about 500 degrees. 
I sprinkled my chicken with Asian seasoning.  I have one that is similar to Chinese 5 Spice, but I think it is not as heavy on the star anise….which I am not a fan of.  At all.  You will see what I used in my next picture.  I didn’t marinate the chicken in BBQ sauce because that will burn in the broiler if it cooks too long. 
My chicken cooked for 10 minutes to start.  It will cook for a total of about 20 minutes.

For the sauce, I used the aforementioned Asian Spice blend (the bottle with Emeril’s face on it….Bam), Gourmet Rooster Smokehouse Bacon BBQ sauce, minced ginger, crushed pineapple and soy sauce.  This sauce will be on the spicier side because the Smokehouse Bacon sauce already has a kick to it.  If you want this on the not-so-spicy side, try Gourmet Rooster Whiskey Apple BBQ sauce.
The pineapple and ginger lend a very tropical feel to this sauce.  I like to imagine sitting on the beach, chicken wing in hand, sauce smeared on my face.  I paint a pretty picture, don’t I?
If you can’t find the Asian spice blend I use, try Chinese 5 spice.  You can get it in any grocery store.

I dumped all the ingredients in a pot and simmered them together while the chicken broiled.  This sauce smells like a little bit ‘o heaven;)

After 10 minutes of broiling time, I took the chicken out and flipped it over.

After the flip, I basted the chicken with the sauce.  I put them back in to broil for 5 minutes.  Then, I took them out again….flipped and basted.  I put them back in for another 5 minutes.  At this point, you need to boil the sauce for at least 4 minutes because the basting brush has introduced raw chicken juice.  Gross.  So please, boil your sauce if you want to serve it on the side…..which you will because it is that good.  Muy importante!
As for the rice….

I love this rice.  It has coconut milk in it, which makes me very happy.  I am a huge fan of the flavor of coconut, but not the texture.  I do top this rice with toasted coconut, but I leave that off mine.  I just find the texture to be weird, but I know most people don’t.  Besides the coconut milk and toasted coconut, I also use rice (duh), water and green onions.  And butter!  (I forgot to take a pic of that)

I start by melting the butter in a pot.  I add the rice and stir it around till it is all coated in the butter.  I find that butter is totally necessary in this recipe.  The coconut milk will stick like nobody’s business if you don’t use butter or oil.  Seriously, you will have to kiss your pot goodbye if you forget butter because you won’t ever get the rice off. 
I then added the coconut milk and water, and some salt.  You can make as much or as little rice as you want.  The ratio is 1:2…..i.e. 1 cup rice to 2 cups liquid.  I use half coconut milk and half water.  Put a lid on it and cook it for 20 minutes.  Don’t peek.

While the rice is cooking, I spread some coconut out onto a baking sheet.  I tossed this in the oven to broil with the chicken.  It will toast up in about 4 minutes.  Watch this closely because it will go from toasty deliciousness to burnt quickly.  Don’t walk away, don’t make a phone call, don’t take a nap….pay attention to your coconut.

Once the rice is cooked, I stir in the green onions and top it with toasted coconut…..except on mine, but we already covered that.
Mmmmmmm….I topped my chicken with the extra sauce.  This recipe will make you think you are in Hawaii, or Fiji, or Samoa, etc.  You get my drift;)  This will be a great recipe for grilling too!  Summer can’t come fast enough for me!!
If Your Chicken Went on a Vacation Polynesian Chicken
Chicken of your choice, (drumsticks, thighs, breasts, mix of all, etc.)
12 ounces Gourmet Rooster Smokehouse Bacon BBQ sauce
8 ounces crushed pineapple
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon Asian Spice blend
Broil chicken in a pre-heated oven till it is halfway done.  For boneless thighs, this is 10 minutes.
In the meantime, stir all the remaining ingredients together in a medium sized pot.  Simmer, over medium heat, while chicken cooks.
Remove chicken from oven, flip and baste with sauce.  Broil additional 5 minutes for boneless thighs.  Remove from oven and baste again.  Broil for another 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let chicken rest for a few minutes.  Juices should run clear when chicken is cooked through.
                -drumsticks will need to broil for a total of about 30 minutes
                -breasts will need a total of about 20-25 minutes.
Bring remaining sauce to a boil.  Boil for at least 4 minutes to cook out raw chicken juices.  Serve with chicken.
Coconut Rice
1 ½ cup uncooked rice
1 ½ cup coconut milk
1 ½ cup water
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup green onion, chopped
1 cup grated coconut
Melt butter in saucepan, over medium heat.  Add rice and stir until rice is coated in butter.  Add liquid and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in green onion.
While rice is cooking, spread coconut on baking sheet.  Broil for 4 minutes or until slightly browned.  Top rice with toasted coconut.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ginger Lime Bars

So it is the 4th day of spring….and the snow is still falling here.  I hear that we don’t get much of a spring here, so I guess I will have to make my peace with that.  Apparently, it goes straight from winter to summer…..I really, really love summer here, and I do like the beginning of winter.  I just am not a fan of the never-ending onslaught of snow.  But, anywhere I have lived…by the time it is the end of a season, I am so unbelievable sick of that season.  And yes, last September, I was dying for fall/winter.  So I think you can see what I am getting at.  I would hate the end of winter no matter where I lived.  Whew-that was a whole lot about Courtney’s feelings about seasons.  Probably more than you ever wanted to know;)
On the bright side, we are super excited because our episode of Reno Style that we filmed last week should be airing tonight. And, we have sold our products to two more stores!  We will be carried at a really cute store in the Wisconsin Dells called Market Square Cheese.  Our other new store that we will be carried in is called Evergreen Gifts.  It is in Park Rapids, Minnesota.  We are so excited because we are in 4 states now!  I’m goin’ global, baby!;)
So just like Tuesday, I am going to show you another “warm weather” recipe.  I keep telling myself that if I make this kind of food, I can lure spring to me.  Kind of like…If I make it, spring will come.  Yep, just like “If you build it, they will come.”  Quick-what movie??
I am going to show you how to make my Ginger Lime Bars.  They are a version of a typical lemon bar.  I read somewhere that “any Southern woman worth her salt” has her own lemon bar recipe.  Of course, since I pretend that I am a southern belle, I had to create my own.  I added ginger and use limes instead of lemons because I gotta be different!  That’s just how I roll;)
To make my bars, I use butter, flour, sugar, eggs, ground ginger, powdered sugar, crystallized ginger and a combination of real limes, and lime juice from a bottle.  These bars have a shortbread crust and a yummy lime filling.  I use a combo of real limes and lime juice strictly because I am lazy.  Have you ever tried to juice a lime?  It is near impossible.  You can squeeze the livin’ daylights out of it and get like a ¼ teaspoon of juice.  I still used a few real ones, mainly because I want their zest….But I don’t have the biceps to use all real limes.
Let’s start with the crust.  I make mine in the food processor, but you can totally stir this together by hand.  I just tossed the softened butter, sugar, flour and ground ginger into the bowl of the processor.  I pulsed it until the dough came together a little bit.
When the dough is ready, it will clump together.  You will be able to press it into a crust, like I am doing above.  I dump this into a 9x13x2 baking dish.  You don’t need to grease the pan.  This crust has plenty of butter in it, so sticking won’t be a problem.
I pressed the crust into the pan, evenly.  I also went up the sides a bit.  You can use the bottom of a measuring cup to make sure it is even and really pressed down.  Then, I baked it at 325 degrees for about 23 minutes, or until it was starting to brown.  Don’t bake it for too long….remember, it still has to bake with the filling in it!
While the crust is baking….it’s time to make the filling.
So easy….all I do is whisk together more sugar, the eggs (already slightly beaten), a bit of flour, lime zest and lime juice.  Whisk until smooth…..seriously….it needs to be smooth.  The flour might want to clump, but just keep whisking.  This filling will be yellow.  The only green part of the lime is the zest;)  So if you are expecting green…..sorry.
You can just barely see the clumpy flour in the picture above.  I kept whisking.
Once the mixture was smooth, I poured it into the crust.  Then, I put it back in the oven for another 25 minutes.  The top will look “set” when it is done.  It shouldn’t be too jiggly.
While the bars are cooking, I cut my crystallized ginger into even smaller pieces.  You can find this in most stores.  It might be called “candied ginger”.  It is just pieces of ginger cooked and coated in sugar.  I found mine with the spices.  It will come in small pieces, but I like to make them even smaller.
Once you take the bars out of the oven, sprinkle the ginger over the top, right away.  Hold off on the powdered sugar.  If you put that on now, it will melt right in.  But the ginger should go on now.
I use a little strainer to dust the powdered sugar on.  If you have a sifter, that would work too.  Let the bars cool for about 20 minutes before you top with sugar.  Also, let them cool for close to an hour before you try to cut these guys.  The middle will be too gooey if you cut early.
Pretty!!  I think that southern women like to serve these at any kind of party.  I’d like to think that I could walk into any party in maybe Georgia or South Carolina and serve these.  Hopefully they would think I was their people;)
The ginger in these bars is such a welcome addition.  Ginger and limes are great friends.  If you don’t like ginger as much as I do….first off, you are kinda weird.  But, you could always cut the amount in the crust down to a couple of teaspoons.  And of course, you could leave the ginger off of the top.  The bars will still be amazing!
See you next week!
Ginger Lime Bars
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon lime zest
¼ cup lime juice
Crystallized ginger for top
Powdered sugar for dusting
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
In bowl of food processor, place softened butter, 2 cups flour, ½ cup sugar and ground ginger.  Pulse until dough comes together.  Press dough into un-greased 9x13x2 baking pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 23 minutes, or until crust is starting to brown.
While crust is baking, whisk together 2 cups sugar, beaten eggs, 4 tablespoons flour, lime zest and lime juice.  Pour into pre-baked crust.  Bake an additional 25 minutes, or until filling is set.
Immediately top with crystallized ginger.  Once the bars have cooled for at least 20 minutes, top with powdered sugar.  Let cool for an additional 40 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

-Coconut Shrimp Po'Boys-

Good morning!  So….if you are my Facebook fan, then you know that I had a few stores place orders last week.  Gourmet Rooster products will now be sold at Draeger’s Markets, Piedmont Grocery and the Royal Rooster in Clayton.  I am so excited about this!!  I am working hard to get into more stores, ASAP!  I want to make sure that you can buy my products at a store close to you so that you don’t have to order online and pay shipping.
We are now a couple of days into spring!  Although you would never know that here in Reno.  We are in the midst of several “winter storms”.  Apparently, Reno doesn’t get much of a spring.  I guess that is Ok….I love summer here so much, that I am willing to sacrifice spring. 
So even though there is snow still falling, I still felt like cooking something a little lighter.  No, I don’t really mean healthier ;)  I just mean something that says “warm weather” to me.  I have always wanted to make coconut shrimp at home.  I love ordering it when I am out, but it always seemed like it might be kind of hard to make.  Ummmm, it wasn’t. 
I think I have mentioned before that my family isn’t the world’s biggest seafood fans.  If there was a contest for that…I am pretty sure that I would win;)  But they just don’t love it the way I do.  I decided to put my little coconut shrimp into a “Po’ Boy” sandwich, in hopes of tricking them.  A “Po’ Boy” is a traditional sub sandwich from Louisiana.  There isn’t much a difference between a regular sub and a po’ boy….I just like saying po’ boy.  And typing it.  But…they do often contain fried shrimp, so let’s just go with it.
Coconut shrimp screams warm, sunny, tropical, etc.  I am sure that is just the coconut talking to me, but I felt it was only right to put on shorts, a tank top and flip-flops to properly cook it.  So I jacked up the heater and got to work. 
Above is what I used to “bread” my shrimp.  I used flour, (seasoned with salt, pepper and ground ginger) eggs, and a mix of panko bread crumbs and sweetened, shredded coconut.  The coconut is easily found in the baking section of your grocery store.  You will only need about a cup of it, but the rest will store nicely in your freezer.  Or you could make a boatload of macaroons….
I used a bag of defrosted peeled, tail on, deveined, raw shrimp…..26-30 count.  I didn’t want to mess with any peeling or deveining.  Plus, if I start to think about the veins at all, I get grossed out.  Oops-did I just gross you out?  Get the kind with the tail on because the tail will act as a handle when breading the little guys.
I start by dipping the shrimp in the flour.  Tap off the excess.  You really just want a light coating.  This kind of dries the shrimp so that the egg has something to grab onto.
Then the shrimp goes through the beaten egg…

And finally, it gets a dip into the breadcrumb/coconut mixture.  I really press the crumbs/coconut into the shrimp….I want it to stay on there when it fries.
I bread all of my shrimp first….When I deep fry, which comes next, I need to focus all of my attention to the actual frying.  I can’t multi-task when frying….I just can’t.
I fried my shrimp in vegetable oil.  It needs to be a light, flavorless oil.  I fill a pot with the oil, until it is about 4 inches up the side.  I can’t tell you how much oil to use; it depends on how large your pot is.  If you have a “Fry-Daddy”….use that.  And know that I am super jealous.  I have always wanted one.  I can’t get one though…..it would tempt me to fry everything.  And that could be bad.
I put about 5 or 6 in my pot at a time.  The shrimp will fry for about 3 minutes a side.  I flip them over once the bottom side is golden brown.  Your oil should be at about 375 degrees.  An easy way to see if it is ready is to toss a piece of coconut in and see if the oil bubbles up all around it…..
Once they are golden brown, remove them from the pot to a rack to drain.  Salt them and put them in a warm oven, like 170 degrees.  This will keep them warm until you are ready to use them.
Above is a picture of mine….I have 2 racks, I didn’t put my cooked shrimp where my raw shrimp had been…..Nobody wants a side of food poisoning with their po’ boy;)

I also made a yummy sauce to put on my sandwiches.  I used sweet and sour sauce, mayo and Sriracha hot sauce.  If you hate mayo (and everything else that is good and right in this world), leave it out.

I used a couple tablespoons of mayo, a couple tablespoons of sweet and sour, and a squirt of the hot sauce.  Yum!
Obviously, I cut the tails off before I put the shrimp in a sandwich;)  Wait, that was obvious, right?
I used white sub rolls that I got in the bakery section of my grocery store.  They are kind of like a baguette, but softer.  I spread the rolls with sauce, and topped them with the shrimp, lettuce and tomato.  Red onion would be good too.
OMG-these were so good!  The coconut shrimp is crispy, crunchy and delicious.  The coconut just does something to them that breadcrumbs alone could never do.  It makes them tropical and delicious.  You might feel like you are on the beach.  I did, until I heard the snow plow drive by;)
I hope you try this recipe.  Even if you don’t want to eat them in a sandwich….they are great on their own.  The sauce I spread on the sandwich is also a great dipping sauce!  Let me know what you think!
Coconut Shrimp Po’ Boys
1 bag defrosted frozen shrimp, 26-30 count
                -peeled, de-veined, tail-on
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
Oil for frying
2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
2 heaping tablespoons sweet and sour sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
Rolls, lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion
Set up breading station by placing flour, salt and pepper, and ginger in one bowl (mixed), eggs in another (beaten), and coconut and bread crumbs in 3rd bowl (mixed).  Hold shrimp by the tail and dip in flour.  Tap off excess.  Dip in egg, and finally coconut/bread crumbs.  Press coconut/bread crumbs into shrimp.
Heat oil in a deep pot to 375 degrees.  Oil should be about 3 to 4 inches deep in pot.  Fry shrimp in batches, about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Drain on rack or paper towels.
For sauce, stir together mayo, sweet and sour sauce and hot sauce.
To assemble sandwiches: spread sauce on rolls and top with shrimp (with tails cut off), lettuce, tomato and red onion.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A "Real" Breakfast

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I am wearing head to toe green as I type this;)  I sent Addy off to school in a shamrock shirt though.  And the leprechaun came for his final visit this morning, and he left the girls chocolate coins and $4.  Apparently the recession has hit leprechauns too.  I would have imagined that a pot o’ gold would contain more than $4.  I almost forgot to even set out the “treasure”.  We were out late last night….filming Reno Style!
Reno Style is a local TV show that is all about local, small businesses.  We had so much fun filming it, with the host, Jessica.  I think we did great…..of course, I won’t know until we see it next week.  I could have been a massive tool.   It will air in the Reno area starting Thursday, March 23rd.  It will also be online, and I will definitely post a link when that happens.
So the other morning, as I was getting Addy ready for school, she asked me when I was going to give her a “real” breakfast.  I was confused by this, as I could have sworn I wasn’t giving her an imaginary breakfast.  Turns out, she meant something other than a pop-tart or cereal.  Apparently, the little princess wanted me to actually turn on the stove.  I decided to make her little breakfast treats that are similar to quiches. 
I have always loved quiche.  Mainly because I like to say to myself “Very clever dinner.  Appetizing food fit neatly into interesting round pie.”  “How do you spell?” “Well, you don’t spell it, son, you eat it!”  And yes, I say that every time I even hear the work quiche.  Does everyone else love Sixteen Candles as much as me?
As it happened, I didn’t have some of the ingredients necessary for quiche, so I made a quiche-esque dish, that I think turned out even better then quiche.  And I made them in individual portions, which is always 10 times cuter.  I will show you how I did it.
Is this “real” enough, Addy?;)

To make these little “egg pies” (which is what I will call them from here on out), I used a pre-made pie crust, eggs, bacon (diced), onions (diced), mushrooms, and cheese.  I used both goat cheese and cheddar jack cheese.  I prefer goat, and my kids aren’t fans.  I won’t be giving you exact proportions today because it really depends how many egg pies you want to make.  I made 6.
I unrolled the pie crust dough on to a floured surface.  I used a large cookie cutter (about 3 to 4 inches in diameter) to punch out individual servings.  You can also trace around a bowl if you don’t have a large round cookie cutter.  You will get about 6 from one round of dough….more if you are extra ambitious and want to re-roll the dough out with a rolling pin. 

I placed the dough rounds into a muffin tin that I had sprayed with cooking spray.  Pie dough has a ton of butter in it and wouldn’t typically stick, but I wanted to be super sure that there was no stickage.  And yes, my muffin tin has seen better days.  I prefer to think of it as “well-seasoned.”
I baked these in an oven that had been pre-heated to 425 degrees.  I also punched several holes in the dough with a fork to keep it from poofing up too much.  This is called “docking”, if you are in the know;)  I only pre-baked these for 5 minutes.  I didn’t want to cook them through yet….I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t get soggy when baked later.

While the crusts were in the oven, I browned the bacon, onions and mushrooms in a large skillet….about 4 to 5 minutes.  Again, I can’t tell you how much to use because it depends how many you want to make.  I used 5 strips of bacon, ½ cup diced onion and ½ cup sliced mushrooms for 6 egg pies.  Make sure you salt and pepper this mixture!  Go light on the salt….bacon is already salty.
Once the crusts came out of the oven, I placed a spoonful of the bacon mixture in the bottom of each.  They don’t get much, maybe a teaspoon each.  I then topped that with cheese.
Finally, I cracked an egg into each crust.  Then, I salt and peppered again.  These baked at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remember, the crusts pre-baked at 425 degrees so you have to turn your oven down!  15 minutes will completely set the eggs.  The yolks will not be runny at all.  If you want runny yolks….bless you.  You are one of my people.  But….my family prefers non-runny yolks, so 15 minutes it was.
While these cooled off enough for me to touch them….I also made a fruit salad with a yummy vanilla cream cheese dip.  I had bought a vanilla cream cheese dip from the grocery store a few weeks ago, and it basically tasted like the carton it came in.  But it did inspire me to make my own;)
I used room temperature cream cheese, vanilla Greek yogurt, honey and vanilla extract. 
In this bowl is 2 ounces of cream cheese, a 5.3 ounce container of vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Because the cream cheese was already softened, this stirred together very easily.  This really makes a yummy dip for all sorts of fruit or a great topping for cakes and cookies.  So easy, and so good!
Once the egg pies were cooled a bit, maybe 5 minutes, I used an off- set spatula to pop them out of the muffin tin.  Some crust might stick because of egg overflow, but that is no big deal.  They still ended up perfect!  My whole family loved them.  They were easy enough that I will make them again and again.  Probably not on a daily basis….but you get the idea.  Besides, I can’t have the kids expecting breakfast like this every day.  They need to make their peace with pop tarts and cereal….
Aren’t they cute?  I sprinkled the extra bacon, onions and mushrooms over the top.
Yum!  Makes me want to eat more fruit;)
See you all next week….I hope you have a great weekend!