JAM and Eggs

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. I enjoyed mine.

On Saturday, my children and I walked in the Juvenile Arthritis March (JAM) to help raise money for arthritis research. This is especially meaningful because we have a friend who has juvenile arthritis. I also have a friend near my age who was diagnosed with arthritis a few years ago. I’ve come to find out that it doesn’t affect only the elderly as I once thought.

It was heartening to see so many people come out to raise funds and awareness for juvenile arthritis, especially so early on a Saturday morning (we arrived at 7:30 am).

On Sunday, we enjoyed a potluck brunch at church, hence my mention of eggs. I pulled out a tried-and-true egg bake recipe for my contribution. I have made this several times over the years, and it always goes over really well. I thought I’d share it with you all. The recipe calls for ham, but you can easily leave that out if you prefer. I think it would be just as delicious as a vegetarian dish.

Overnight Asparagus Strata

Ingredients
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 English muffins, split and toasted
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions
In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add asparagus;
cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus
in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
Arrange six English muffin halves, cut side up, in a greased 13-in. x
9-in. baking dish. Fill in spaces with remaining muffin halves.
Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese, asparagus, ham and red pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, mustard and pepper; pour
over muffins. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle with
remaining cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until a knife
inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes
before cutting. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 318 calories, 17 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 255 mg cholesterol, 916 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 21 g protein.

Here it is pre-egg and pre-bake. Isn’t it pretty? 🙂

And here’s a peek at the finished dish. The egg/milk mixture has been poured on top, cheese has been sprinkled, and it has been baked.

I have to admit, my egg bake was overdone on the bottom. Picture about eight to ten different egg bakes jockeying for oven time, while church and Bible study were going on. I should have thought to rotate the pans halfway through the cooking time, but I didn’t – I was engrossed in Bible study. If you make this, you’ll want to make sure it’s heating evenly and move its position in the oven mid-bake if necessary.

Maybe not ideal as far as timing and attention, but how wonderful that so many people came together to put on a special meal. There were egg bakes galore, along with lots of yummy fruit and baked goods. It was a marvelous meal and time of fellowship.

It was a very nice weekend, ending with family time at home on Sunday afternoon and evening and a fresh coating of snow. Even in March, I still think it looks pretty. 🙂

How was your weekend?

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