Breakfast Cups

Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.' 

'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

- Lewis Carroll 

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I've been intending to become an earlier riser for some time now. Early enough to exercise, read, write, or better myself in some way during the dark, quiet morning hours. To believe the impossible. While I have not mastered the habits just yet, I've been more diligent about making breakfast at least. 

I am shamelessly fond of desserts for breakfast. Two days ago, I made a Cherry Chocolate-Chip Upside-Down cake from Food Network magazine and ate it in the morning with a glass of milk. It was a lovely mix of summer and sin; Food Network even showed some love on Twitter.

Fresh off that sugar high, I concocted a breakfast that reminded me of dessert (even used a cupcake tin) but contained traditional breakfast elements: Biscuits. Eggs. Taylor Ham. Cheese. 

I crisped up some finely chopped Taylor Ham. For non-New Jersey folks, Taylor Ham, or Pork Roll,  is a pork-based product that was developed in 1856 by John Taylor of Trenton and is only available in New Jersey and parts of Philadelphia. We put Taylor Ham on everything from bagels to burgers.  I grated some Muenster cheese and greased a cupcake tin. I stretched and arranged Pillsbury biscuits in the bottoms of the cupcake wells. 

I crisped up some finely chopped Taylor Ham. For non-New Jersey folks, Taylor Ham, or Pork Roll,  is a pork-based product that was developed in 1856 by John Taylor of Trenton and is only available in New Jersey and parts of Philadelphia. We put Taylor Ham on everything from bagels to burgers. At Little Town in Hoboken, they put Taylor Ham inside Arancini, or rice balls. 

Next, I grated some Muenster cheese and greased a cupcake tin. I stretched and arranged Pillsbury biscuits in the bottoms of the cupcake wells. Tomatoes, onions, grilled leftovers, and other proteins like turkey or sausage make fine toppings as well. 

Crack large eggs one at a time on each of the biscuits. I left a few of the cups naked, and topped the others with Taylor Ham and cheese (at the halfway mark). Into the oven they went and baked at 425 degrees. I tested the eggs for doneness at 11 minutes. I proceeded to cook the bites for an additional two minutes because I like a firm yolk. For a runny yolk, remove sooner. 

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The breakfast cups popped out of the pan with ease, biscuit on the bottom and warm egg on top. I prodded them gently with a butter knife to free them from the tin. 

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James leaves at 6 am for work, so I ate quietly by myself. One breakfast cup was filling enough so there were leftovers; I'll be enjoying them again tomorrow. Cheers to breakfast in Wonderland.

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Pretzel making

Soft pretzels remind me of sporting events and carnivals- all feel good, summer night memories. I've had some with cinnamon and sugar, others with coarse salt, and even one wrapped around a hot dog. As a little experiment I bought a pretzel making kit, and put on my pretzel making hat. 

I mixed, kneaded, let rise, and rolled according to the instructions. The kit came with an illustrated tutorial detailing how to roll the pretzels in to their iconic shapes. While they were not perfect, they did resemble pretzels; I made them smaller than instructed because I was going to add some sin as toppings: cheddar, bacon, and scallions to be exact. 

Once rolled, the pretzels are dipped in a water and baking soda solution, then placed on a prepared pan in the preheated oven.

Once rolled, the pretzels are dipped in a water and baking soda solution, then placed on a prepared pan in the preheated oven.

While the pretzels cooked for the first eight minutes, I grated the cheddar. 

While the pretzels cooked for the first eight minutes, I grated the cheddar. 

At the eight minute mark, I removed the pretzels from the oven, rubbed each with olive oil, and topped with a generous helping of shredded cheddar and bacon bits. 

At the eight minute mark, I removed the pretzels from the oven, rubbed each with olive oil, and topped with a generous helping of shredded cheddar and bacon bits. 

I rotated the pretzel tray before placing back in the oven and cooked for 5 minutes longer. Per the instructions, cook until the desired brown/done-ness, between 5 and 8 minutes. 

I rotated the pretzel tray before placing back in the oven and cooked for 5 minutes longer. Per the instructions, cook until the desired brown/done-ness, between 5 and 8 minutes. 

The warm pretzels were topped with chopped scallions and served with a spicy clam chowder that James had whipped up. 

The warm pretzels were topped with chopped scallions and served with a spicy clam chowder that James had whipped up. 

Bread and cheese are among my favorites and while not the most nourishing, they make a strong case for the most comforting. Thus, it's not even remotely appealing to me to live a bacon cheddar scallion soft pretzel free life. The experiment was a semi-homemade success.