4-5 eggs

1 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
*1/2 cup biscuit/baking mix (becomes the crust)
*1/4 cup butter, melted

Depending on your tastes, you can add:
broccoli flowerets
bacon, cooked & crumbled
cheese, grated (up to 1 cup)
mushrooms, sauteed well
spinach, washed/drained/chopped
onion, chopped & sauteed
bell peppers, sauteed
green onions
fresh parsley, chopped

In a mixing bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Beat the eggs first, then add the rest of your ingredients. Beat until blended. Transfer to a pie plate or glass baking dish. Sprinkle with extra ingredients; lightly press down into batter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10-20 minutes before serving.

*I usually prefer to make my own pie crust, and not include the biscuit/baking mix & butter. This takes a little more time, but I like the taste better.

Italian Stromboli

A fun sandwich you can make ahead of time for picnics or enjoy hot out of the oven.

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 T yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 T olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour

Fillings (mix & match as you like)
1/2 pound meat (pepperoni, sliced turkey, etc)
1/4 pound grated cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

Optional stuff (must be sliced very thin)
onions, grilled?
bell peppers, grilled?
black/green olives
roasted garlic
fresh basil
spinach, cooked & drained
mushrooms, grilled
tomato sauce, very little tho

1 egg, beaten
sesame seeds/poppy seeds

Combine 1/4 cup warm water with yeast & sugar. Stir to dissolve and let stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Stir in remaining water, olive oil and salt. Gradually add flour (1/2 cup at a time) until smooth. Gradually add remaining flour until you have a smooth dough that comes away from the bowl. Knead 10 minutes, cover 1 hour until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough down and cut in half. Roll each ball on a floured surface until rectangular in shape (8x10). Arrange desired fillings, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roll like a jelly-roll, pinch the edges and tuck the ends under. Cut long diagonal slashes (1/2 inch deep) along the top every 2-3 inches. Brush the top of the loaf with egg, sprinkle with seeds. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly before cutting and serving, or eat cold!

soft pretzels

The pretzel is shaped like someone with their arms folded in prayer! It is a traditional Lenten food in central Europe. The German tribes who invaded Rome called the bracellæ "brezel'" or "prezel." Pretzels are traditionally eaten throughout Lent, and in some places are especially associated with Saint Joseph's Day [March 19] which usually falls within Lent. We love eating them anytime of year!

Combine in a mixing bowl:
1 cup warm water
1.5 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar

Add and beat at least 3 minutes:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp soft butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar

Stir in 1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour and knead until the dough loses its stickiness.

Let the dough rise in a covered greased bowl until it is doubled in bulk (this is called "proofing" the dough). Punch down and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope and form it into a pretzel shape (kids love this part!). Place the pretzels on a greased baking sheet and let them rise until almost doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 475°F.

In a large non aluminum saucepan, prepare a boiling solution of
4 cups water
5 tsp baking soda

With a slotted spoon, carefully lower the pretzels into the water and boil about 1 minute or until they float to the top. Return them to the greased sheet. Sprinkle them with coarse salt. (Sea salt or Kosher salt.) Bake the pretzels until they are nicely browned, about 10-12 minutes. Pretzels are best when eaten while still warm, but they may be stored in an air tight container for up to a week, or frozen. (Makes twelve 6 inch pretzels, or more smaller ones)