Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Cups

One of my all time favorite comfort foods is broccoli cheese soup from Panera... Oh. my. deliciousness... I actually made a giant batch of broccoli cheese soup a few weeks ago and it was a huge hit. I should have made a batch of bread bowls to go with it, but I was pressed for time and didn't get it done, but I definitely will post my soup recipe soon.

So you are probably wondering what Broccoli Cheese Soup has to do with breakfast... Quite simply, it was my inspiration for this tasty all in one breakfast treat. I have been making "egg cup" breakfasts for a while now: simple, quick, delicious, and a great way to sneak bits of leftover veggies or meat into breakfast. Vegetables don't normally fit in on the breakfast table, so this is a great way to squeeze another serving in to your family's diet.

These tasty little breakfast cups also have sausage in them, but the sausage could easily be substituted with ham, bacon, even some chopped up sirloin from the night before. Like I said: a great way to use up leftovers!

I have also made a meatless version of these and they were wonderful. And to accommodate my very picky grandmother, I have even made a cheeseless version and those were just as tasty! In fact, she said that it is the best thing I have EVER made for her (I took care of her and my grandfather for 8 months and did a large majority of the cooking, so that is saying something kind of huge!).

Well I hope you like these as much as my family does. I made them this morning and Landon ate FOUR of them by himself. For comparison... I only had two. Ha! And the first time I cooked my boyfriend breakfast, this is what I served... It was a huge success!

Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Cups

1/2 lb mild or spicy breakfast sausage (I used mild this morning. I have also cooked links and chopped them up in the past)
2 large heads broccoli (you will only be using the florets so if your grocer sells just the heads like mine does, buy those so you aren't paying for the stalks)
8 oz cheddar cheese cut into 1/2 inch chunks
8 eggs
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease 12 muffin cups. They stick pretty badly no matter how well you grease the cups, so liners are preferable... but I didn't have any on hand.

Cook the breakfast sausage until cooked through, and then chop into bite sized pieces. Distribute among the 12 muffin cups.

Chop the broccoli while the sausage is cooking. Cut into tiny florets, discarding pretty much the entire stalk. You can save it for other recipes that use the whole stalk, like soups and casseroles, but for this, we just want the florets.

Cook the broccoli florets in the grease from the sausage, adding a little bit of olive oil to the pan, and adding more as needed. The florets soak the grease up pretty quickly, so be sure not to let the pan get too dry. You could also add some diced onion or garlic here, but I kept it quick and simple and skipped those ingredients this time.

While the broccoli is sauteing, crack 8 eggs into a large measuring cup. Whisk with a fork until well blended. Salt and pepper the mixture, then add enough milk to equal 2 1/2 cups. Since most large eggs equal about 1/4 cup, you will be adding close to 1/2 cup milk, but just in case your eggs don't equal exactly 2 cups, use the milk to make up the difference. Whisk until well incorporated.

Divide the cooked broccoli and chopped cheese evenly among the 12 cups.

Carefully pour the egg mixture into each muffin cup. It should reach just below the top of each cup.

Bake at 375 for 18 minutes or until the egg whites are just set.

Run a butter knife around each egg cup right after pulling out of the oven. This will make them easier to remove from the pan. Let sit for a couple minutes before serving, then serve warm.


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