It’s been a month… or almost two since I posted a recipe – how did that happen?! Well, I’ll ramble about exactly how that happened in a moment, but for those who only care about the recipe and food – we’ll talk about that first. 🙂
Obviously breakfast is my favorite meal of the day – maybe this blog should have been all about breakfast, but I’m pretty sure someone already claimed that… And finding new brunch type recipes that can easily traverse into lunch or dinner is a win in my book. Strata can do just that.
For this strata I was inspired by some day old baguette. I bought the “wheat” kind but from the photos it honestly doesn’t appear that way – I swear I did. For whatever reason I always picture mushrooms in strata and so an idea was born. Mushroom, spinach (obviously), bacon (for C), and then for the cheese I chose some Monterey Jack. One thing to remember especially when making a strata and not a straight up egg bake is that for the egg mixture to soak into the bread you’ll need at least 8 hours or up to a day in the refrigerator.
Spinach Mushroom Bacon Strata
Serves 8 generously – have a side salad too
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 3 c tightly packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 6-8 c cubed bread (I used a French baguette 2″x18″ loaf, but feel free to adjust based on how bready you like your strata)
- 2 c Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 7 large eggs
- 2 c milk
- 4 strips of peppery bacon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook until soft. Transfer to large bowl with bread cubes.
- In the hot pan, add the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms begin to release moisture.
- Add spinach and toss until wilted. Remove from heat.
- Add mushroom/spinach mixture to bread, tossing to combine.
- Wipe out pan and return to heat. Cook bacon in pan until crispy and transfer to plate with paper towels to cool. When cool enough to handle, chop or crumble bacon into small pieces and add to bread mixture.
- Lastly add in shredded cheese and fold to combine.
- In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, then add milk and seasonings.
- Pour egg mixture over bread mixture in the large bowl and mix to combine. Transfer mixture to greased 9″x13″ glass baking dish.
- Refrigerate mixture for 8 hours, or up to overnight, covered.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Bake, uncovered, for 55-65 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Middle should be set and not jiggle or knife inserted into center comes out clean.
Just the perfect brunch or weekend lunch. 🙂
Ok, so why the long break? Being entirely honest – I have felt completely uninspired and blah this whole past month. Most of it stems from my day job – I’ve been overrun and it’s hard to see the end in sight. For weeks at a time I’ve come home completely exhausted without an ambition to make food (thank goodness for C!), let alone formulate something to eat for dinner. No joke if C wasn’t here I’d probably be living on cereal and completely protein deficient. While I love what I do (or at least the idea of it), I don’t particularly care for it when it interrupts my personal life, wiggling its way into my evenings, weekends, and even morning workout time. When I don’t get time for my passions I tend to get a little cranky and blunt.
I’ve had some inspiration the past few days, so I’m going to see where it leads. I’m out of the office most of the month of October and hopefully not being in a dreaded cube will help (seriously soul sucking). Fall is my favorite season (perhaps a bit basic but whatever) and having grown up with pumpkins I do have a few new recipes to share celebrating autumn and harvest time.
How have you made it though those uninspired months? What do you do to ensure work-life balance?