No. 288: Baby Advice + Bacon, Potato & Egg Breakfast Bake

What a wonderful baby shower last weekend.

There were games, great food, laughs, hugs and lots of celebration. While the women all gathered, the men went out on an Asheville brewery tour. Sounds like the perfect day for all to me:)

But truly, it was so perfect. You can see my reaction as I hugged my mom - so amazed.

Reaction shot

These adorable cookies my MIL brought with her from Phoenix were on every plate.

Twinsie cookies

And we played some cute little games, like use a ribbon to guess how big around the bump is.

Jane and I

My aunt Jane nailed it! We all need to figure out her secret.

Baby Advice

One of the things I've loved reading were the little 'advice' onesies that everyone filled out for us. I know these will resonate with soon-to-be parents and parents alike:

  • Breathe. All will be well.
  • Be sure to make time for each otehr. Dont' forget date nights.
  • Don't let them cry themselves to sleep. After 15 minutes, go check them.
  • Babies love the sound of your hairdryer.
  • Set a weekly date night. (Sensing a theme here.)
  • Never refuse free babysitting.
  • Know that all of this becomes stories you tell and memories you will have the rest of your lives.
  • Put the baby seats in the bathroom so you can take a shower without worrying.
  • Teach them to blow their own noses early!
  • It's ok to let them play by themselves if they are content. Being right in their business all the time makes them needy:)
  • Time out doesn't always work:)
  • Don't wait to put them in larger sized clothes.
  • Love each other and the new roles you have in your lives - the rest will work itself out.
  • When you have poop on your hands, spit up on your new work shirt and you're late and tired - find a way to laugh.
  • Breastfeeding is hard and can be painful. Use the pump!
  • When you need a bottle of wine, call me.
  • Enjoy the little things each day.

I'm going to be coming back to this post and reading these soon, I'm sure!

Bacon, Potato & Egg Breakfast Bake

We had a full house of hungry folks on Saturday morning. It was going to be a big day of breweries and baby, so I needed something to feed a crowd. This bake sounded perfect.

Ingredients

Serves 6 as a main dish
4 slices thick bacon, cut into pieces about 1/2-inch wide
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, cleaned out and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons salt, divided
8 large eggs
1 cup milk, fat content between 1 percent and whole
1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups frozen diced potatoes, unthawed*

*This recipe calls for frozen potatoes for the sake of convenience, but if you don't have frozen potatoes and would prefer to use fresh potatoes, substitute one medium potato for each cup of frozen potatoes. Prick the potatoes several times with a fork, then place in the microwave on a paper towel. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are just barely tender. Dice and proceed with the recipe.

To make

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with baking spray.

Put the bacon slices in a large skillet and turn the heat on to medium. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it is crisp. Add the onion, yellow bell pepper, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook over medium heat until all the vegetables are fragrant and soft — about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly and whisk in the milk. Whisk in the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the black pepper. Stir in the cheese, frozen potatoes, and the bacon and vegetables from the skillet. Pour the whole mixture into the prepared baking dish.

At this point the casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Handy if you are the 'make ahead' type.

When you are ready to bake the casserole, bake for 40 minutes, or until the eggs are firm and the top is slightly golden. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.

Serve immediately with fruit and rolls or toast.

The results

Forgive my lack of photos. It was a bit crazy that morning:)

All I can say is that this turned out perfectly (I added about 5 minutes to the cooking time). It's a cinch to pull together and really doesn't take long, especially if you plan to make it ahead.

I also used the frozen potatoes and they worked like a charm. When you're making three caraffes of coffee and trying to 'entertain' in your pjs, go for the easy stuff.

But seriously, make this. You'll feed a hungry hippo type crowd and yourself in a breeze.

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