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My Eggland’s Best Birthday Brinner, Bacon Devilled Eggs & a Giveaway!

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Last month, Eggland’s Best contacted me to see if I would like to participate in the “Eggland’s Best Double Dozen” in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, to help raise awareness and funding for the fight against breast cancer.  To participate, I would host a brunch or brinner party using their eggs and blog about it.  Well, Dennis’ Aunt Dorothy is a breast cancer survivor and so I would have agreed simply because they offered to make a $100 donation in my name to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, but they sweetened the deal even more by sending me a box of goodies, including free egg coupons, and a gift card to pay for all my ingredients!  It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. :)

I decided to host a brinner party for my birthday with the money and free eggs they supplied me.  I got enough coupons to give to all my guests, and to make all my egg-y dishes.  Since the weather has been so nice, I decided to have an outdoor dinner and though it rained the day before, the weather behaved itself in honor of my birthday and was quite nice the day of the celebration!

The only problem was that I started dinner too late, forgetting the sun sets earlier in fall, and we ended up eating most of the meal by moonlight!  Learn from my mistake, and be prepared with candles if your outdoor dinner party runs late.  I have to say, though, it was a relaxing and unique experience.  You will see from the photos that I had less and less daylight as they become more and more terrible. I apologize for that!

The first thing I made was poppy seed crescent rolls, which calls for four eggs.  It’s a recipe I’ve been holding onto for a few years which comes from the recipe box of none other than my heroine, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Did you know she has a cookbook?

I’m sorry to report they were disappointing. Everyone said they were “good,” or “OK,” and I agreed.  If I hadn’t put a lemon glaze on them, they wouldn’t have been worth eating.  They weren’t bad, but they weren’t good enough to share the recipe.  But they did turn out pretty!

I got the hashbrown casserole and two spinach-ricotta quiches in the oven and while they were baking, I shot some pics of my birthday “cake,” a Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte, which I topped with good-quality raspberry preserves because I adore the combination of dark chocolate and raspberries.

I’ve made this once before for Dennis’ birthday long before I was blogging, and I’m happy I finally made it again so I could take pics and share the recipe. It is just outstanding.  Creamy, melt-in-your mouth rich chocolate, the texture lightened with whipped eggs (6 of them, which is why I chose this for my brinner–because I could use so many of the Eggland’s Best eggs in it!) and butter.  And those are the only ingredients!  This is for the serious chocolate lover.  It’s like eating a slice of chocolate truffle or mousse.

I did a fall tablescape because of the time of year, and I saw this cornucopia and had to have it in honor of my blog’s name. :)

After shooting this, we added two more chairs, just in case you counted the plates and were wondering why the chairs didn’t add up.  :)

And in honor of my blog’s Thankful Thursdays feature, I just had to have this pumpkin too!

I am thankful that breast cancer does not run in my family, and that my husband’s aunt survived it with flying colors!  She seems even healthier now than before the cancer and she is an inspiration.

While we were waiting on the food to finish baking, my nephew, Owen, and I posed for some silly photos with the plush egg that Eggland’s Best sent me.  Someone please warn me if those are gang signs he’s making!  lol It’s so funny because his mama used to do the same crazy things with her hands in photos that he does now.

By the time the quiche was done, the sun was nearly set so the following photos are awful!  Here is the spinach-ricotta quiche,which I wasn’t overly impressed with anyway so I don’t regret not having great photos to blog the recipe with.

The hashbrown casserole (à la Cracker Barrel) was another story!  This was my favorite dish of the evening.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had it at Cracker Barrel, so I’m not sure how close this was in taste but without comparing the two, I thought this was incredible.  So creamy and cheesy.  Oh, yums.  Thankfully there was a tiny bit leftover so I was able to snap a picture at home the next morning in better light for when I share the recipe!

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared a picture of Owen’s mama, my sister, Lacey, so here she is for the curious, digging into her food:

I didn’t bring the veggies out until later, so here is a picture of my plate before they were added.  You can see I also have meatballs on my plate, and they’re the same ones I bring to almost any party.  I have the recipe here.  The cups, though not filled yet, later housed iced coffee with sweet cream, which I made by combining a can of sweetened condensed milk with a cup of heavy cream. Yums.

I finally took off my apron so you can see my shirt.  I wore my hot pink tank top underneath an Aerosmith (who just happens to have a song called “Pink!”) net shirt in honor of breast cancer awareness month and the purpose of the party.

The crazy thing is that I wore this exact same shirt on my birthday last year for my 80s themed party!  This is me and my sisters at my party last year (Lacey is in the middle-she was a redhead last year-and Danielle on the right):

Here is the only photo which hints that we ate vegetables!  I just nuked some Green Giant steamers and we poured them out onto our plates.  We couldn’t see anything anyway, and we were kind of like barbarians in the dark, as you can see from the devastation of the table. LOL!

After all these photo shenanigans, I realized I forgot to serve the bacon devilled eggs!  I ran in and brought them out and forced everyone to take them, despite their full stomachs.  Although I was sure these would be the winning dish of the evening, I guess devilled eggs are either a love ’em or hate ’em thing, even if they have bacon in them.  I love devilled eggs and along with the others present who did too, I loved these!  The bacon and cheese really made the filling good enough to eat with a spoon as a meal.  :)  I took this photo of the leftovers in better light:

Bacon Devilled Eggs

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

10 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise (I used homemade Miracle Whip)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I used regular)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I used 1)
8 slices bacon, fried crispy and crumbled into tiny pieces (um…I used a lot more :) )
1 cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded
Salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce to taste
Smoked paprika for topping

Hard boil the eggs and cool completely. Once cooled, peel them, then slice in half, placing the yolks in the bowl of a food processor. Plate the egg whites on a serving platter. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar to the egg yolks, and process until smooth. Add the bacon and cheese and process until combined. Season to taste.

Transfer to a small Ziploc bag and snip off the corner to use as a piping bag. Squeeze filling into each egg white half. you will have a lot of filling so be generous with it. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with paprika just before serving.

Recipe source: Cairns Manor

OK, now the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  As the title of this post suggests, I have a giveaway for you!  Eggland’s Best is offering to award one of my readers with a prize pack which includes:

  • 2 Free EB Dozen coupons (Any variety- classic, cage-free, or organic)
  • 1 Free EB Hard Cooked and Peeled variety coupon
  • 4 EB ramekins
  • 1 EB apron
  • 1 EB whisk
  • 1 EB spatula
  • 1 EB egg timer
  • 1 EB eco bag
  • 1 EB plush egg

If you would like to enter to win, leave an inspiring comment below, or share how you contribute to raising awareness or funding for breast cancer.

For additional entries you can do one or all of the following, and be sure to leave a separate comment for each, letting me know you did (or already do) it.

Drawing will end Friday at 11:59 PM, and winner will be announced Saturday along with the winner for this week’s Postcard Project prize.  Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Britany!


Leek & Onion Pie

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Growing up in a home where pizza was considered “junk food” and therefore not allowed, I quickly become an avid reader so that I could get my pizza fix through Pizza Hut’s “Book It!” program.  I read my little tail off to earn those delicious personal pan-sized pepperoni pizzas.  At first the reading was a means to an end (I was a deprived child who needed pizza!), but it quickly became a pleasure and reward in itself.  I lost myself in books–they captivated my imagination and I spent almost every free minute reading, even while in school, so that at the end of fourth grade I received an award from my teacher for being the “class bookworm.”

The book(s) that had the most impact on me was the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I would wake up as early as possible before school so that I could sneak down to the kitchen and read until everyone else woke up and the bus came to pick me up.  My captivation with early pioneer life became so intense during that time that even to this day, I’m convinced I was meant to be a pioneer woman and still long for a much harder and simpler life in a tiny log cabin with a butter churn and pot-bellied stove.

What does my love for reading and The Little House on the Prairie books have to do with Leek and Onion Pie, you might ask?  Well, it just so happens that the recipe comes from the author of my favorite childhood books–Laura Ingalls Wilder herself.  When I found out Mrs. Wilder had a cookbook, I was beyond ecstatic, let me tell you.  It was published long after her death, but all the recipes in it come from her own personal recipe collection, many written in her own hand.  Having become so enamored of cooking and baking, reading it captivated me nearly as much as the books about her pioneer life!

I found this pie is every bit as enchanting as the books I grew up reading.  Not enchanting in any refined or gourmet sort of way, but in a simple, rustic, and completely comforting way.  This is the kind of food I was meant to grow up on.  It’s the kind of food I was meant to make for my own family.  Thankfully, food is timeless and there is no reason why I can’t.

Leek & Onion Pie

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 refrigerated pie crust or your favorite homemade recipe
1 egg white
6 slices bacon
1 leek, sliced, white part only
2 cups diced onions
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup cheddar cheese
¼ cup Monterey jack cheese

Line a 9” pie plate with crust, place a sheet of parchment paper on top and fill the parchment with dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove parchment and beans and poke crust all over with a fork, then return to oven for ten minutes. Remove and brush the inside with egg white to seal. The residual heat will cook the egg white and turn it opaque. If the crust is not hot enough to cook the seal, return to the oven for a minute or until opaque.

Chop up the bacon and cook over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off all but two teaspoons of the bacon grease. Cook onions in the grease over medium heat until wilted but not browned, stirring occasionally, about ten minutes.

Whisk the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl, then stir in the onions and bacon. Pour into prepared crust, sprinkle with the cheeses, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until center is set. To test, gently shake the pie to see if it jiggles. Remove and cool on a rack for a few minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

Adapted from The Laura Ingalls-Wilder Country Cookbook.

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