#BrunchWeek: Put an Egg on It Mac and Cheese

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I am so excited to be back with #BrunchWeek this year. I had to sit out last year’s as we didn’t have an address in time. And then we didn’t even have internet access until June!

Shortly before my #BrunchWeek cooking started, I watched Food Network’s The Kitchen breakfast episode. The very first recipe of the show was macaroni and cheese made for breakfast by Katie Lee.

Put an Egg on it Mac and Cheese | Sew You Think You Can Cook

With Cabot Cheese being a sponsor again I knew I had to give this comforting dish a try! I mean, what better way to showcase incredible cheese than in mac and cheese!? The only question was which flavor…

Cabot generously sent us 5 amazing flavors: Hot Habanero, Pepper Jack, Alpine Cheddar, Vermont Sharp, and Seriously Sharp.

With the hopes that my kids would try some pasta, I knew hot habanero and pepperjack were out. At first taste of the Vermont Sharp, I knew I had a winner; this cheese was just screaming to be paired with pasta.

IMG_6813I used breakfast sausage in my mac and cheese to really play up the breakfast side of the dish. But what really makes this the perfect brunch meal are the eggs added to the top of the casserole!

Instead of making one large casserole of mac and cheese, I divided the pasta mixture into two 9″ x 11″ dishes. Before topping it with the eggs and panko, I covered one and stuck it my freezer for a later date.

Put an Egg on it Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided use
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 C whole milk
  • 1 block (8 oz) Cabot Vermont Sharp cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 C panko
  • 8 eggs

Steps:

  1. Cook macaroni in a pot of boiling salted water two minutes shorter than package instructions.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large casserole dish, or two small casserole dishes.
  3. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion and bell peppers until tender. Add in the cooked sausage. Stir in the milk and bring to a simmer. Add in the shredded cheese a handful at a time until melted. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in in the cooked pasta until evenly distributed.
  4. Pour macaroni and cheese into prepared casserole dishes.
  5. In a small skillet, melt the remaining butter. Toast the panko until golden.
  6. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, create wells in the top of the casserole. (Note: Spray the bottom of the measuring cup with nonstick spray to make it easier!) Crack eggs into those wells. Season eggs with S+P. Top entire casserole with toasted panko.
  7. Bake until egg whites are set and yolks are set to desired “runny-ness,” 12-18 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Katie Lee at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/katie-lee/breakfast-mac-and-cheese*

Put an Egg on it Mac and Cheese for #BrunchWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out these other great brunch recipes:

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BrunchWeek Beverages:

Homemade Orange Julius from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Kimchi Bloody Mary from kimchi MOM
Mimosa Bar from Love and Confections

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

Asparagus & Pancetta Frittata from The Chef Next Door
Breakfast Burritos from Books n’ Cooks
Chilaquiles from The Redhead Baker
Coddled Eggs with Bacon and Cheddar from Family Around the Table
Eggs Benedict Breakfast Tacos from The Spiffy Cookie
Parmesan Polenta Brunch Bowl with Asparagus and Sausage from Cooking with Carlee
Put an Egg on it Mac and Cheese from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Smashed Sweet Potato Rosti with Butter Poached Egg from Nik Snacks
Smoked Eggs over Asparagus from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Spinach Baked Eggs with Habanero Cheddar from Sweet Beginnings

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:

Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread from Pink Cake Plate
Apple Crumble Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Apple, Sausage & Cheddar Oven Pancake from Wholistic Woman
Cheddar Asparagus Breakfast Tarts from It Bakes Me Happy
Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal from Big Bear’s Wife
Cinnamon Roll Pizza from Palatable Pastime
Best Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
English Raisin Scones with Apple Jam from The Crumby Cupcake
Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls from Gluten Free Crumbley
Strawberry Lemonade Muffins from An Edible Mosaic
Strawberry Rolls with Orange Icing from The Nifty Foodie
Tiramisu French Toast from Brunch-n-Bites
Twisted Star Cinnamon Rolls from Amy’s Cooking Adventures

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

Biscuits and Gravy Bubble Up from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Cheesy Bacon Chile Rellenos from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Country Fried Steak & Eggs with Habanero Cheddar Gravy from Forking Up
Homemade Chicken Sausage & Egg Stromboli from Hardly a Goddess
Spinach, Artichoke and Asparagus Strata from Cooking in Stilettos
Ultimate Cheddar Grits Bowl from The Barbee Housewife
Veggie Loaded Breakfast Enchiladas from Sarcastic Cooking

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

Apple and Creamy Ricotta Crepes from From Gate to Plate
Apple Cheddar Bites with Honey and Pepper from Feeding Big
Spring Asparagus Salad from Girl Abroad
Sweet Pea Sipper from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Thai Asparagus Slaw from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

BrunchWeek Desserts:

Baltimore Peach Cake from Cookaholic Wife
Mandarin Orange Bundt Cake from My Catholic Kitchen

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Nielsen-Massey, Rainier Fruit, and Michigan Asparagus for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

#FoodieExtravaganza: American Pie

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It’s the first Wednesday of February and I’m taking a quick break from the #FreshTastyValentines event to celebrate “American Pies” with the #FoodieExtravaganza crew. My blogging friend Wendy over at A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting today.

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even look at what an “American” pie would be. All that comes to mind is apple, or maybe cherry. Pies aren’t my favorite dessert. I have an issue with warm fruit. My number one pie is Key Lime – cool and tart! Instead, I decided to go the savory route today and make a side dish that could work nicely with a brunch spread.

Yet another confession: I wasn’t happy with the photography. I struggle immensely with photographing cheese. AND the recipe actually called for gruyere, not cheddar. I accidentally deleted gruyere from my grocery list (it was part of this shopping fiasco) so I had to use what I had – cheddar. Which worked quite well, (Hey, cheddar is more American so maybe my dish does qualify after all!) but provided that yellow/orange tint. I was going to “give up” and try a different pie. But that was an even bigger fail! The only pie dish I have wasn’t large enough for the recipe I was making and everything had to be tossed into a dutch oven instead – delicious, but not pretty, and definitely not a pie. (Because it was a huge hit with Firecracker and myself, I will be trying it again with either a new pie dish or simply halving the recipe so it fits, so stay tuned for that one!)

So here I am sharing a fantastic recipe with mediocre pictures.

Cheddar Leek Potato Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 bunch leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Russet potato, thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C half-and-half
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a pie dish with the thawed puff pastry. Trim and patch as needed to fit.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the leeks until cooked.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and half-and-half.
  4. In another small bowl whisk together the thyme, garlic powder, pepper, and salt.
  5. Evenly layer 1/3 of the sliced potatoes in the pie crust, top with 1/3 of the leeks, 1/3 of the spice blend, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat. For the final layer: place potatoes, leeks, and spices, pour the half-and-half over top of the pie, and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 60-70 minutes, or until golden, bubbly, and a knife can cut smoothly through the potatoes.

*This recipe is adapted from Karen at http://www.karenskitchenstories.com/2015/03/potato-leek-pie.html*

cheddar potato leek pie for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other pies:

BLT Pie by Georgina of G’Gina’s Flavors Palatte

Cheeseburger Pie by Kathleen at Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Grapefruit Pie by Rebekah at Making Miracles

Ham and Broccoli Quiche by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm

Homegrown Blackberry Pie by Carlee of Cooking with Carlee

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie by Lauren of From Gate to Plate

Peaches and Cream Pie by Elaine at Cookin and Craftin

Penne Pie by Terri at Our Good Life

Red Velvet Pudding Pie by Teri of The Freshman Cook

Tar Heel Pie by Tara of Tara’s Multicultural Table

The Impossible Coconut Pie by Stacy of Food Lust People Love

Walnut Crumble-Topped Apple Tart by Caroline at Caroline’s Cooking

Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is one of those comfort foods that everyone seems to have a soft spot for. I know it’s one of my guilty pleasures. I say that because I still (in my upper 2os) prefer the highly processed boxed macaroni to a homemade pasta. I think what I don’t care for is a baked casserole dish of mac and cheese. I don’t care for the extra cheese or breadcrumb crust on top and baked noodle dishes to me always seem dry.

But I do give a “fancy” mac and cheese a chance every now and then. And when one is a stove-top version of the comfort food I’m more inclined to give it a try. Especially when cream cheese is one of the ingredients!

And with sausage being a main ingredient I know that my husband would definitely approve. That makes this pasta a main dish and not a side.

Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/4 C milk
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 C shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 C cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat cook the sausage, breaking it up.
  3. In a measuring cup, whisk together the milk and flour. Add to the skillet and bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Reduce to a simmer and whisk in the cheeses, spices, and salt to taste. Stir until cheese is melted.
  4. Add cooked pasta to the skillet, coating it in the sauce.

*This recipe is adapted from Deborah at http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/cheesy-goodness/*

sausage macaroni and cheese | sew you think you can cook