Crockpot Breakfast Bake

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

One of my planned dinners for last week was Breakfast for Dinner, which is one of the girls’ favorites. Though I like it well enough, I hate babysitting the bacon, the eggs, and the griddle of hash browns. By accident I came upon a recipe for a crockpot egg bake and was thrilled to find that I had everything on hand because I was going to use them all for our regular meal.

But I have a confession: I’m not a fan of baked eggs. I’ll eat quiche or frittata but I prefer the quicker and less-drying methods of scrambled or over-easy.

I decided to give it a shot, and thankfully it was early enough in the day that I had plenty of time to get it going in the crockpot.

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

I ended up combining several different recipes, and all of them called for an overnight baking. Since ours was going to be for dinner, I started at around 10:30 AM, and it was perfect by about 6:00 PM on low. It turned out well enough that I’m going to use it overnight next week for Christmas breakfast.

I did have to fiddle with it a bit since I really wanted to make sure it turned out right. The basic recipe I went with is below, and my notes are under that:

Crockpot Breakfast Bake
makes 8 generous servings

12 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper

1 28 oz bag Potatoes O’Brien
1 cup chopped onion
1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix eggs with the milk, ground mustard and garlic powder and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spray your crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/3 of the bag of potatoes into the bottom. Layer 1/3 of the onion, 1/3 of the cooked bacon, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat these layers two more times.

Pour the eggs over top and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

~ I used the Ore Ida Potatoes O’Brien, with the potato chunks and not the shredded hash browns.

~ I baked my bacon in the oven instead of on the stove top. Cram the strips of bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet (make sure it has a lip so grease doesn’t go everywhere). Place the bacon in a cold oven, and start heating to 400 degrees and continue baking. Keep an eye on it and when it’s done, remove from the oven and place the bacon on paper towels to drain.

~ After about four hours I started to get a bit nervous because the center of the bake was still really watery. I got a big spoon and gently started lifting the liquid out and redistributing it around the top of the rest of the eggs. This created a crater in the middle, but I think that helped it cook that much more evenly.

Crockpot Breakfast Bake

~ It was also at this point that I realized the steam accumulating on the lid was falling back down onto the eggs, which were trying to bake. I draped a clean kitchen towel over the top of the crockpot, and nestled the lid on top of the towel. Any steam that accumulated on the lid now hit the towel instead of the food.

~ I used my beloved Slow Cooker Liners with this, just spray the liner with the nonstick spray.

~ I served these with a side of popovers — they were just as big of a hit.

~ I’m not a huge Cholula fan, but these were absolutely delicious with some on top.

~ My fall-back in case this wasn’t that great was to wrap it up in tortillas and make breakfast burritos out of it. We all liked it just fine on its own, so we did the breakfast burritos the next morning with the leftovers. They were delicious and by far the easiest I’ve ever made!


Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats

Here’s an inconsequential fun fact: I have never had steel cut oatmeal before. I’ve had every other oatmeal, from instant-in-the-microwave to five-years-on-the-stove (steel cut, of course, falls into the latter category) except this one.

I actually bought a can of it several years ago right before our last move. And I just realized that I never saw it again, along with a stove-top popcorn maker and some kitchen towels. How does that happen? We were the only ones who moved us!

It’s taken me a long time to find another can. Because apparently steel cut oatmeal is not located with, you know, the oatmeal. It’s in the specialty health foods aisle. Who thought of that?

Anyway, the can says to use four cups of briskly boiling water with one cup of oats, but that sounded like a lot of oatmeal, so I cut it in half (and it still ended up being a little more than I could eat). I actually pre-boiled the water in my electric kettle before pouring it into the pot because this already takes half an hour of cooking, I didn’t feel like waiting nearly as long for the water to boil.

Steel Cut Oats

desert honey and irish oats

When it was done I decided to take it easy on additions so I just drizzled some honey on top. Sadly, these oats need something with a little more punch because the oatmeal overpowered the honey (that’s saying a lot, isn’t it?). I love honey but I don’t want to have to dump in half a cup.

Also, I got that five pound jug of honey at Sam’s for all of $6. That’s how much a small little honey bear at the grocery store costs. Thank goodness honey doesn’t spoil, right?

I may or may not have looked like this when I found it.


German Pancakes

One of our favorite Saturday morning breakfasts is German pancakes. I’ve seen them called a lot of different things — Dutch babies, puff pancakes, etc., but I grew up calling them German pancakes so that’s what they are here! The kids still love standing at the oven to watch them rise and still get a kick over how big they get.

They’re very easy to make: 4 eggs beaten well, add one cup of milk, and then one cup of flour. You can add a tablespoon of sugar and a dash of vanilla for a little sweetness, or if you’re going to put something sweet over them already (syrup, fruit sauce, powdered sugar, etc) you can leave that out.

Put half a stick of butter in a 9×13 casserole dish and put it in the oven while the oven warms to 350 so that the butter melts. When it’s completely melted and the oven has reached temperature, pour the batter in and cook for 20-25 minutes (mine come out perfectly at 23 minutes).

I’ve tried mixing it two different ways, with a whisk and with an electric beater and the pancakes I’ve made with a beater always stay flat, but the ones I’ve just mixed with the whisk always rise like crazy. I’ve seen Alton make his in a blender and beat the heck out of it, but mine don’t like that for some reason so a gentle mix with a whisk works best in my experience.