Oatmeal Stout Float and Strawberry Basil Lemonade with Grown Up Watermelon Ice Cubes


Summer’s almost over, and I’ve barely gotten my drink on with you, readers!  What’s wrong with me?  Wait, hold that thought. Get a pen.  Great, so just go ahead and make a list, and we can review it when we’re drunk enough, when I will likely find it funny.  The sobbing shame cycle won’t start until the hangover sets in. You’ll be long gone by then.

Or you could wait until Festivus for the airing of grievances, like a normal person.

I know what you’re saying.  Should you really be drinking unsupervised, Jaime?  Didn’t you just get ganged up on by a sink and a slippery floor, and get yourself miserably trounced, while absolutely sober?  Perhaps. But I got a very nice Rorschach test out of it.

 

But, you insist, weren’t you also the one who broke her wrist at a wedding while dancing, if you can call it that?

Um, you must be confusing me with someone else…How terribly mortifying that must have been for whoever it is that you’re thinking of.

Even this is better than my dancing.

Never get me drunk enough to agree to dance because there isn’t enough liquor in the world to make you forget it afterwards.

But even so!  Even so, for you, reader, I am going to risk the possibility of becoming a danger to myself to share with you my favorite new drinks that are perfect for the last month of summer.

Aperitif

Strawberry Basil Lemonade
(with Grown Up Watermelon Ice Cubes)

Vodka Watermelon Ice Cubes:
1 watermelon
1 bottle of vodka
Funnel

Cut a hole into the watermelon (don’t throw out the piece).

Insert funnel.  Pour vodka in to the top of the funnel.

Allow the vodka to soak into the flesh of the watermelon. You will have to do this in several installments.  You can also make several holes to get the vodka to more evenly distribute.

Once vodka has soaked in, plug up the hole(s) and refrigerate overnight.

Marvin the Depressed Robot

Mavis the Drunken Watermelon of Questionable Morals

Related?  You decide.

Ok, moving on.  Grab your drinking materials onto you.

1 cup sugar
Fresh basil, several “stalks”
3-4 Strawberries (per drink)
1 ounce lemon juice (per drink)
Seltzer water (regular water is fine)

In a pot with high sides, add sugar and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Once it’s at a boil, remove from heat and add basil.

Let basil infuse for an hour.

Now, you have basil simple syrup.

Slice the strawberries and add them to glass. Or ball jar.

You guys know how I feel about drinking lemonade out of ball jars. Absurdly positive.

Muddle strawberries. Don’t have a muddler?  Me either.  I just used the back of a wooden spoon.

Smash!

Me smash good.

(Food processor smashes even better…)

Then add 2 ounces of basil syrup and 1 ounce of lemon juice.  Add 4-5 ounces of seltzer water.  Stir.

Cube up watermelon (you can pop the cubes in the freezer if you want the drink to be extra cold) and add as ice cubes. Be careful.  They don’t taste boozy, but they are really, really boozy.

In related news – dogs love watermelon.

So, apparently, do chickens.

(these are my friend Dana’s chickens.  I want to steal them.  A lot. Dana, if you ever find your chickens missing I promise it was the coyotes. No need to come to my apartment.  Repeat, do not check my apartment.)

p.s. – I didn’t feed my dogs the boozy watermelon, though that arguably would have been fun.  I bought two.

Digestif

Oatmeal Stout Float

Oatmeal Stout (your favorite brand)
Vanilla Ice cream (recipe follows, but you can just buy it)

Vanilla Ice Cream:

This ice cream is serious. There is no milk in this ice cream.  If you want something a little less rich and fattening, use all half and half.

1 cup half and half
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

Combine half and half and cream in a high sided pot

and heat on medium until just steaming.

Meanwhile mix egg yolks and sugar together.

Once cream mixture is steaming, temper into egg mixture in a slow steady stream so you don’t cook your eggs.  Return to pot and cook on medium, whisking continuously, until it just coats the back of a spoon (or if you want to be more accurate, until it reaches a temperature of 170). Do NOT boil.

Swirl in vanilla so it looks cool for the picture.

Stir to combine. Pour into pan to increase surface area. More surface area = faster cooling = ice cream in my mouth sooner = yay. Cover pan with plastic wrap.  Chill until completely cool.

Process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Freeze until hard.

Don’t even pretend that you don’t eat ice cream right out of the machine’s container.

No shame!

Ok, a little shame.

Pour beer into glass.  Once it’s settled, add a scoop of ice cream (which will kick the carbonation back up in the most delicious way.)

You need to have this and then come right back.

Now, see how much I like you?

You’re welcome.

Hash


So, when I was googling to find out if what I was about to make could be called a hash, google jumped straight to the scandalous conclusion that I was talking about hashish.  I had to actually type in “hash food” to get it to stop giving me drug pages.  What must google think of me?

No, Google, THIS kind of hash.

Everything’s on the up and up around here.  No nefarious activities happening in this neck of the woods.  Nothing to see here.  We don’t want any trouble. *Innocent whistling*  *Staring benignly and with clearly no ill-intent into the distance*

Ok, they’re gone.  Let’s start some trouble!

Too early?  Ok, let’s just eat some legal hash then.

But you owe me some trouble.

Bacon Hash with Zucchini and Spinach

per serving

2 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
1 small onion, medium dice
1 small potato, small dice
1/2 small zucchini, small dice
handful of spinach, torn or chiffonade
salt and pepper to taste
teaspoon fresh thyme if you have it makes the dish

Start medium-large pan on medium, and while still cold, throw in the bacon lardons.  Cook until crispy and remove.  Meanwhile prep other ingredients.

Add more fat to the pan if needed and toss in onions with small pinch of salt.  Remember, the bacon fat is already salty.

Cook until translucent and add potatoes with a healthy pinch of salt.  Be sure not to overcrowd the pan.  Once you get a good sear on one side,

stir and let cook for another minute or two, then add zucchini.

Once zucchini is seared and softened, turn off heat.  Return bacon to the pan and add spinach.

Use residual heat to wilt spinach, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle in thyme.

Then, because you’re a growing person and you need your protein, fry an egg and put it on top of your hash.

Take a picture of egg yolk running into hash because pictures of running egg yolks never get old.

Never.

Feel smug because you’re having vegetables for breakfast (with your egg, bacon, and fried potatoes.  Ahem.)

Block out the guilt of the egg, bacon, and fried potatoes by feeding a piece to your dogs and saying, “At least I didn’t eat the whole thing.” and return to vegetable-consumption smugness.

Maxwell Polish – a twist


So this technique is particularly good if you have kids. Because what kid doesn’t like twisty things?

Because it’s twisted!
And blackened.
Like my soul.

I don’t have kids, but I’m a woman-child, so it works.  Being an alarmingly overgrown child is part of the reason I don’t imagine I will ever have children.  Because someone has to be the adult in the situation, and it’s not going to be me.

“Mom, can you help me with my homework?”

“But I don’t waaaant to. *stamps feet*  Just do it the best you can on the bus before school.” (Yes, this is where most of my homework got done and look how I turned out.  Fine.  Right?  Right? I’m fine, right? I take your silence to mean that I’m fine.  Right?)

Anyway, lack of desire to pass on what I have come to consider a surely-hereditary-immaturity (though neither of my parents possess this trait.  Has to start somewhere.  I am the mutation), this lack of desire is but one of many undesirable things I have noticed about myself lately.

Undesirable things I have noticed about myself lately

(the mercifully short list):

1. Riding my bike is allowing me an outlet for the remaining vestiges of a pathetic sense of superiority.  My brain sounds something like this – “Oh, hey there, autovehicular driver, did you need this bike lane?  I mean, I know pressing that tiny pedal in your climate-controlled car that will transport you magically from point a to point b in a gliding miracle of modern science must be taxing for you.  Don’t mind me out here, exposed to the elements, getting myself from point a to point b by expending actual manual effort.  I’m just fine.  Really.  Allow me to slam into these parked cars so you can reach your destination 3 seconds faster.  Really, you’re doing me a favor.  I can feel my character growing as we speak.” I mean, really, Jaime.  You’re riding a bike.  You didn’t win a prize for securing world peace or anything. Douchebaggery abounds.  That bandwagon is chock full. Best to stay put right where you are, on your bike.

2. I need caffeine.  I need it.  I abstained for about 10 days, and I lived through it.  If you call that living.  And the second it was back in my life, I internally danced a jig of joy, and there were maybe seraphim with heralding trumpets, and ok, there was a brief scene in my head of me and coffee running across a field towards each other, arms out-flung.  And I never want to live a caffeineless existence ever, ever again.  I am dependent on caffeine, psychologically, and that, frankly, sucks.

3. I am officially impervious to romantic love.  I have a love force field around me.  Like people are all, “Here.  Here is this dozen snow white kittens in a basket woven from the fluffiest cumulus clouds that have inexplicably managed to learn to sing lilting ballads about rainbows and sunshine over and over without ever getting annoying even on road trips and that’s how I feel at you.  Here, have this.” And my response is “Boing.  I send back to you a unicorn.  But not the mythical, majestic creature you were expecting in return, more of a stabby one-horned wilderbeest that will launch itself at your face with its stabby one horn while it donkey kicks your chest until your heart leaks pitifully out onto the filthy, filthy ground and it’s not even sorry.” Okay.  Me and the unicorn are both very sorry.  But also stabby.  It’s kind of like this.

It’s like this, except when it’s not like this. Then, it’s even worse.

p.s. – Also, strike that. Reverse it.  Reader, he’s just not that into me. At all.  Hey there, Spinsterhood.  You’re looking… inevitable.

4. My flip flop tan is making my toes look dirty instead of tan.

5. Also, I have the artistic sense of a damaged koala bear.  That explains this.

But ok, so here’s what you need. Per sausage.

1 polish sausage (hot dogs twist just as well)
1 onion
1 tablespoon Dijon
1 tablespoon sour cream (trust me)
A few leaves of spinach, wilted and chiffonade(d)
sport peppers, if desired (I used pickled banana peppers)
a skewer

First skewer your polish (or hot dog) through the center, and with a knife, cut in a spiral all the way to the skewer.  I first saw this technique on Chowhound, but it doesn’t take a minute and five seconds to learn.  It takes 1 sec with this picture.

But Chowhound dude is right, this method does increase caramelization area, and maximum caramelization is a cause I can get behind. There’s a device that can do this.  But do the amount of hot dogs you consume necessitate a special gadget?  In related news, there are support groups for that.

Heat your grill pan to ripping hot and put your dog and onions on.  Add a pinch of salt to the onions, and cook until charred to your liking. Then, while still hot, lay them on spinach to wilt it a little.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, cut your pepper as small as you want it and then mix together the dijon and the crema.  This makes it easier to spread and makes it less dijony.  Well what suffix would you use?  Dijon-esque? Dijonish?  Dijon-forward, I guess, would be the “proper” term. Anyway. Don’t succumb to the whiles of yellow mustard.  It’s like the “Poochie” of the  mustard world.  Totally in your face. To the max. Getting “biz-zay”, consistently and thoroughly. But Dijon, Dijon pretentiously rolls up in a Royce asking if you have any Grey Poupon.  Also in your face, but classy.

Dijon is all, “Flaunt my yellow? How ‘new yellow’. I’m ‘old yellow’.”  On a side note.. Old yellow, come back yellow, best doggone dog (topper) in the West…

Take out the hot dog buns you made

Except your scale was out of batteries, and you said to yourself, I can eyeball this, and in fact, I’m going to make them a tad bigger this time (oh, the hubris). So then you have hot dog buns the size of small land masses, and you have to cut them in half or eat a blinding amount of sausage. Mmmmm… sausage blindness.

Then top your dog with the fixings and eat it. Then, the next day, make another one so that you are only moderately embarrassed by your lack of photography skills on your blog.

Then eat the whole honking second one. With your face. Because you have to be prepared to suffer for your (lack of) art.

Lemon Curd Blueberry Tarts


Ok, I promise that this is the last time I will get all wishy-washy (it completely isn’t), but I do want to say a giant thank you to all you followers, commenters, people who have pressed the like button, and most of all, people who have told me recently how much they enjoy my site.

I, one of the most verbose people on planet earth (though the Martians have me beat hands down you can’t get half a word in edgewise I mean…oh I’ve…I’ve said too much), anyway, I cannot tell you in words how much your encouragement has meant to me.  Especially in the last couple of months, which have been such a difficult, exhausting transition into a new life.  (Also rewarding).

So, a culinary bear hug to you all in the form of:

Lemon Curd Blueberry Tarts

If I could deliver them personally to you, I would.

Cream Cheese Pie Dough

1 stick of butter, cubed, chilled
2 ounces of cream cheese, cubed, chilled
1/4 cup lard (goose lard if you can.  Duck or pig is fine. Vegetable shortening works too, just don’t tell me about it.), chilled
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
heavy pinch of salt
1/3 cup ice water
1 tsp vanilla

First cube your butter, cream cheese, and lard.

I start by cutting my butter stick in halve lengthwise, cutting those halves in half again lengthwise, then coming across to get even cubes. Work as quick as you can because especially in a hot kitchen, the butter will start to melt.

Pile it onto a small plate and put in the freezer while you prep the other ingredients.

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Mix the vanilla in with the water and pop the water in the freezer for the moment as well.

Add fats into flour and cut in with a pastry cutter until the fat resembles peas in your flour.  It doesn’t have to be all the same size, it’s kind of better if it doesn’t.

Add water all at once, and then gently, oh-so-gently turn the dough over onto itself again and again until all the water is absorbed.  You’re building flaky layers, so just think of it that way.  Flipping the dough onto itself is going to form more and more layers.  Stop as soon as the dough just comes together.  The more gentle you are and the sooner you can stop, the softer and flakier your dough will be.

If you want to know the reasons behind any of this stuff, see the notes (coming soon).  If you want to do it in a food processor instead of by hand, see the other pie dough recipe I posted.

Once it’s come together, divide the dough into halves (guesstimate), and form them into balls.  Wrap in plastic press into discs. Store discs in the fridge for at least two hours and up to two days.

Try to smooth out cracks like this once the dough is wrapped in plastic or they could reappear when you’re rolling it out.

Meanwhile, make some lemon curd.

Lemon Curd

taken straight from Epicurious – no alterations

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 whole eggs
zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons of butter, cubed

In a high-sided pot, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and zest.

Turn heat to medium and whisk continually, making sure to whisk the sides.  I tend to stay in one direction.  Remember when you had all those kids in a round pool and they would all walk together around the edge and create a mini whirlpool?  That’s what I try to do too, to keep things in motion.  If you don’t continually whisk, your egg might start to scramble, and that’s never good in a custard.

Start adding the butter cubes one by one.  Keep stirring.

In about 5-6 minutes, it will start to thicken.  As soon as that happens, and you see a bubble or two break the surface, take immediately off heat.  Keep whisking for another 30 seconds.

Then pour into a pan to cool.

You could use a bowl, but this cools quicker due to larger surface area.

Lay plastic wrap on the top and be sure it comes into contact with the surface of the curd.

Unless you’re George Costanza and you like pudding skin.

Chill until cool.  About an hour should do it.

Blueberries –

1 pint blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Toss the blueberries in the sugar.

Set aside for at least half an hour.

Roll out your pie dough to @ 1/8″ thickness. Here are some tips if you’re new to this.  You should see large pockets of fat in the dough if you did it right.

Cut circles out with a biscuit cutter or large glass.  If you happen to have brioche tins, (why would you?), that’s fine, but you could use muffin tins or mini-muffin tins.

Confession – part of the reason I chose this particular culinary bear hug is that I found these molds which I had bought years ago and never used. 

Press the circles of dough into the molds or tins, making sure the edges are pressed into the side of the mold.

This is important – don’t skip this step – dock your pie dough.  Stab it with a fork several times.  Otherwise, it’ll puff so high you’ll barely get anything in it.

Put in fridge for 1/2 hour to rechill.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Fill with curd and top with blueberries.

Elote


When picturing my adult life, I never supposed I would precede the phrase “all night long” with “I made donuts”. #whatyouleastexpected.

Phrases I thought would precede “all night long” at 18:

-Flirted with strangers
-watched smitten with the stars
-sang
-danced
-Drank like a fish
-wrote poems, invisibly, crowding the sky
-loved you, unrequited

Phrases I thought would precede “all night long” at 25 –

-worked on the novel
-edited that paper
-drank like a fish
-fought and made up
-lay beside you on a hotel bed, just talking
-nursed the cat
-worried about what’s coming
-loved you, requitedly

Phrases that, now that I’m 35, I wish would precede “all night long”

-slept.

So… I’m tired.  Real, real tired.  I would still do all of these things.  Delightedly, most of them, though I don’t know the “you” I’m supposed to be loving.  But ever since the advent of the bakery, my body has been pushed to the limits of exhaustion, and in my off time, I’ve been hauling it over the edge.

Today, I rode my bike to Todd’s.  We went swimming in the park.  He asked, “What would you like to eat?” and all I wanted, to shore up my exhaustion, was the consolation of Mexican street food.

Elote!

servings 4

4 ears corn
4 tablespoons of mayonnaise*
chili powder
lime, zested
4 ounces queso fresco or queso cotija

*making your own mayo makes all the difference

First, shuck your corn if it isn’t.

Random puns I made while shucking the corn that Todd didn’t appreciate –

What the shuck?
Mothershucker!
Aw, shucks!

Preheat grill pan to high.  Now would be a good time to make mayo if you’re going to –

Hi. I may look like a lowly egg yolk, but I will grow into a mighty mayonnaise!

See?

To make your own mayo:

Secure the bowl by wrapping a towel around the bottom.  That will keep it from jumping around when you whisk.  Even better would be to place the bowl in a small pot.  Add egg yolk to bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the yolk.  Then measure a cup of vegetable oil – you may not use the whole  thing – in a cup that makes it easy to pour slowly.  While continuously, vigorously whisking, drizzle in oil in the slowest stream you can.  Don’t stop whisking.

If your mayonnaise breaks (looks like an oil slick), put half an egg yolk into a new bowl (approximate) and slowly drizzle in the oil slick.  If you go slow enough, should come back together.

Oil thickens. Egg yolk/lemon juice thins.  So once you’ve drizzled enough oil in to get your desired thickness, (even if you haven’t used the whole cup), stop and season with salt to taste.  Will keep in fridge for two weeks.

Grill corn on high heat.

I would have laid these down at an angle, but Todd’s a rebel. Or a square. You decide.

Todd is not a square.  He’s awesome.  Anyone who says otherwise will answer to me, and I may be wielding hot ears of corn.  Which sounds weird, but is actually quite menacing, I assure you.  Menacing!

Clearly, I took over at some point.

This is what I look for in grilled corn –

Meanwhile, zest a lime and crumble 4 ounces of cheese

So once your corn is marked and tender to your liking, take it off heat.

Slather it with mayo and sprinkle it with chili powder.

Then roll it in the lime-y cheese and serve with lime wedges to juice over the Elote.

Holy hot damn.  I would eat Elote… all night long.

Pasta Primavera


Grilled, of course.

So even though this pasta is “spring pasta”, most of these veggies are more like summer veggies. But that’s ok.  You don’t need to go around calling it Pasta Estate to be more correct, mostly because you’ll be conjuring images of either sprawling plantations built on the exploited labor of legions of beleaguered underpaid pasta makers, or really giant structures of fusilli artfully glued into a palatial replica.  Either way, not really what we’re going for.

Basically, use whatever veggies you want.

I’ve made this dish twice in the last two days.  Mostly because Todd’s blue plates make all food look sickly.

Basically the lesson here is if you’re into food blogging, don’t go buy yourself some blue plates. Doesn’t work.

But when Todd and I made it, we went to the farmer’s market and just bought what looked good.  If you have this option, that’s awesome.  There wasn’t a convenient farmer’s market today, so I went to HarvesTime (how do I love thee, let me count…), and I got –

1 small eggplant
1 yellow squash
1 onion
1 red pepper, roasted
2 tomatoes
1 bunch asparagus (now out of season)
1/4 lb mushrooms

Heat grill pan to ripping hot.  While that’s happening, chop the tomatoes and lightly salt them in a large bowl.

That way, by the time the rest of the vegetables are ready, the salt has drawn the excess water out of the tomatoes.  You can just pour it off and not water down your salad.

Cut large planks or pieces from the vegetables. Brush with oil and season salt and pepper.

Grill all vegetables until marked and just tender.

They shouldn’t disintegrate when you try to chop them. They should be soft, but hold their shape.

While vegetables are grilling, start a pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta o’ choice according to instructions on package. (or make your own).

Make pesto –

1/4 cup almonds
1 cup basil
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 garlic cloves, minced
healthy squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

First, in a blender (best choice) or food processor (acceptable choice) or mortar and pestle (rustic but acceptable choice), grind the almonds.

Add basil

If you grow your own, you can hack a cup off without making much of a dent.

and process until chopped fine.

Pulse the blender or food processor while gradually adding olive oil until desired consistency is reached. If you’re using a mortar and pestle, just at this point transfer your almonds and basil to a bowl and drizze the olive oil in gradually while mixing with a spoon.

Then add your parmesan and garlic, salt and pepper and pulse briefly.  The reason is because if you overprocess garlic it gets bitter.  And raw, it’s already a little bitter.  So process it as little as you can. You may need to add a little more oil to loosen it after adding the parmesan.  Then add the healthy squeeze of lemon.

Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.

Chop the vegetables into pieces and toss together with a splash of balsamic or lemon juice.  Taste for seasoning, adjust.

Toss a little pesto with some noodles –

Add a handful of vegetables, toss again to coat with pesto.

Top with a few more vegetables for presentation and a small grate of parmesan.

Strata


In my crusade to integrate more vegetables…scratch that. It’s not really a crusade, insomuch as it’s remedial but not really undertaken with what I could honestly call zeal or enthusiasm, thanks so much Merriam Webster.

Take two –  In my earnest but rather poorly executed attempt at getting more vegetables into my diet, I bring you (once again) breakfast strata.

Bacon is a vegetable, right?

So, since my last attempt at breakfast strata was so badly shot (don’t look, it’s painful) thanks to my janky cell phone which I’m reasonably sure was scratched during its manufacture by a saber tooth tiger, or possibly wooly mammoth, I feel okay revisiting it.

Also, this one is revised, based on the ratios of one of my favorite chefs, though he would use heavy cream where I would use whole milk, or at the most, half and half.  His is crazy good, and all that cream suits his bird-like eating habits, however it is maybe a little much for someone like myself who tends to tear gracelessly into food like a bear just out of hibernation.  Yeah, it’s pretty sexy.  #WhyamIstillsingleagain?  I mean I tend not to overindulge (as I’ve discussed before), but the portions I do put on my plate I attack like that food just slapped my grandma. So with hyper-rich food, because I’m a voracious nut, there’s not always time for my body to tell me I’m full before I’m overfull.

I also do try to barely graze certain caloric corners from time to time.  As a frequenter of the beach, the last thing I want is to be staring at my thighs going, “Hey there, excessive amount of heavy cream.  I remember you, questionable decision, how you doing?  You look nice and comfortably settled in…”

Anyway…

Here’s the ratio – can be multipled as needed

for 1-2 servings

2 ounces of bread, or about 1 cup, when cubed
2 eggs
6 1/2 ounces of half and half (or just six, or seven.  Who cares really, you’re not going to ruin it)
3-4 healthy pinches of salt. Healthy. (Just keep in mind that  you are seasoning almost 3/4 lb of food at this point and unless you’re willing to taste raw egg, you will have no idea how seasoned it is until you’re done.)
Freshly ground pepper.
The kitchen sink – for me, this means these usual suspects –

The chicken timer is not an ingredient. He’s just photo-bombing as usual. I’m beginning to suspect he didn’t get enough attention as a child.

Bacon
Tomatoes
Artichoke
Lightly caramelized onions
Rosemary
1-2 ounces of cheese
I had some spinach that I forgot about that I should have thrown in

So first, preheat your oven to 375 and cube your bread.

Stale is best in that it soaks up more liquid, but fresh is fine.

Then add your eggs to your half and half in a big bowl and season them.

This seems like a lot of half and half. It is. Speaking from experience, a creamy bread pudding beats an eggy bread pudding hands down.

Whisk thoroughly together and throw the bread cubes in.

Press down to get all the bread soaked. Let it continue to soak while you prep the other ingredients. Then stir your ingredients into your bread mixture.

Pour into a pan that’s been lightly buttered.

Spinster casserole dish to the rescue once again

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Encroach! (yeah, someone’s been consulting the thesaurus)

I only ate half the pan.  Fact – room temperature breakfast strata is still delicious. So I’ll put it in the fridge and bring it out tomorrow an hour or so before hunger strikes and maybe I’ll just throw that spinach on then.