Also means an entire weekend of me and my professional quality 6-burner gas range.....talk about orgasmic! T and I spent the whole weekend alone together and he let me cook to my heart's content. There were some successes (like the Italian Egg Bake I made up) and some failures (like the Baked Brie that was so terrible that I won't even put it on the menu below). But in all, it was a relaxing, refreshing and completely invigorating weekend.
The two big new dishes were the breakfast dishes on Sat. They were the Italian Egg Bake and Raspberry Stuffed Ricotta Pancakes. The pancakes were made using my Grandmother's cast iron pan that no one could figure out what to do with. Turns out that it is exactly like the one that is being sold in William Sonoma. And the pancakes were DELICIOUS!!!
Italian Egg Bake
1 loaf artisenal bread (I used rosemary olive oil)
2 links Italian Sausage
1/2 C Milk
1/2 C Italian Cheeses (I used 1/4 C Parmesan and 1/4 Mozarella)
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
1 t Italian Seasoning
Olive Oil for brushing (approx. 1/4 C)
1/8 C Parmesan Cheese for topping
Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut top off bread and hollow out the middle with your fingers, reserving the crumbs. Brush the inside of the bread with olive oil to completely coat. Bake in oven 10min, making sure to take out before getting too brown. Brown the sauage links in small chunks and remove to drain on a paper towel. In a bowl beat the eggs, add the milk and cheese and beat again. Stir in approx. 1 C of the reserved bread crumbs, using cut up pieces of the top also if necessary to fill the cup. Stir in the cooled sausage and the spices. Pour the egg mixture into the cooled bread bowl. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Bake in warm oven for 35-40 min. Remove, let sit for 12-15 min. Cut in slices and serve immediately.
Update to post:
I went to William Sonoma and saw the pan they used for the stuffed pancake recipe. And while the wells are the same as the one from my grandmother, the pan was markedly different. It was a non-stick aluminum while my Grandmother's is a very well seasoned cast iron. Which heats differently, seasons differently, and is wicked heavy. The pancakes were great, but definitely need to be eaten immediately. They definitely don't keep their nice puffy shape very long.
Also from my Grandmother's arsenal for this weekend I made Green Goddess dressing (the recipe is too fattening to even list the ingredients....I prefer to keep this particular indulgence to myself). On the whole, it was a great weekend. Cook, eat, watch Food TV, rinse, repeat.....