Category Archives: 6. Breakfast–Overnighters

Cheese Charlotte


Cheese Charlotte

Serves 8

This is such an easy as a breeze to fix dish and it’ll make your house smell divine. For house guests or a brunch, it’s another overnight dish that will help you, the hostess, relax and be able to enjoy your company. The real charlotte I believe was the one you probably know— that of the elegant French desert made with a mold of ladyfingers, Bavarian cream, etc.  However, Charlotte is supposed to be just another way of saying in the old Chaucer (1300’s) English “charlyt” which means a dish of custard. I liberally take it to mean a dish that has a somewhat custard consistency which the bread herewith may sort of give to this dish.  No matter what, it’s one that my guests at my past bed and breakfast always enjoyed and I think that you will too. It also is versatile in that you can be imaginative and substitute some of the ingredients for others so as to result in different flavors.


8 Slices of White Sourdough Bread

1/2 Cube Butter— Melted

1/2 C. Dry White Wine or Dry Vermouth

1/2 Lb. Grated Cheddar Cheese (or Jack or a combo of both if you prefer)

2 C. Milk

4 Slightly Beaten Eggs

1 Tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

½ Tsp. Horseradish Mustard

A Sprinkle of Fine Herb Seasonings

Bacon Bits, Ham Bits, chopped sautéed veggies, mushrooms, whatever you wish


1. Non-stick spray a 10” or a bit smaller round Pyrex dish or some pretty baking dish that you have about that size.

2. Brush melted butter on the bread slices and cut into small cubes.

3. Put half of the bread cubes in the dish.

4. Put half of the cheese on the first layer of bread cubes and sprinkle with half of the wine.

5. Put the other half of the bread cubes on top the bottom layer and finish with the second half of the cheese and wine.

6. Mix rest of the ingredients and pour over all.

7. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour at least or at the most 24 hours.

8. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until puffy and brown.

(I usually let the dish warm up a bit after the refrigeration and before putting in

     the oven. )  

 Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ or to visit her blog for more recipes including these:

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.




Overnight Scrambled Egg Bake


overnight scrambled egg bakeOvernight Scrambled Egg Bake For An Easter Breakfast Or Brunch

Eggs are supposedly a symbol of fertility and new life. They play a big part in most of our Easter traditions. I do like eggs and somehow or other, the combination of eggs and ham always seem so appetizing. Maybe that’s why I got such special enjoyment out of reading Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to my little ones.  So as “Sam-I-Am” recommends and for your family’s gourmet enjoyment here with is an easy egg and ham dish to prepare the night before Easter and then to pop into the oven on Easter morn whilst the little ones are hunting for their eggs.  It’ll make the house smell good; it’ll make you feel good because it’s a no fuss dish and you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities; and after the egg hunt, it’ll make everyone feel good because they’ll be able to enjoy a wonderful Easter breakfast.  By the way, you don’t have to use green eggs—but you can if you wish as long as they are not hard boiled.

Overnight Scrambled Eggs Bake

Serves 6-8

Cooking Time: 1 hour


8 eggs

1 ½ Cup Milk

¼ Tsp. Fine Herbs

6 oz. or A Bit More of Cubed Ham

Several Chopped Leeks

½ Cup Or More Sliced Mushrooms

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

One Large Tomato Sliced Thin

6 Thickly Sliced Pieces Of Challa Or Italian Bread Loaf (You can use other bread, but I have found that the two I mentioned are the best for this dish.)


Spray with a non-stick spray a 9 X 13 baking dish

Beat eggs well; add the milk and the fine herbs and beat more.

(If you wish, you can add other herbs and even a dash of white wine.)

Place sliced bread on bottom of your baking dish.

Toss ham, cheese, mushrooms and leeks together and put over bread.

Pour egg mixture over all.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Take out of frig. in the morning and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake covered for 45 minutes; then remove foil and place sliced tomatoes on top and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Cut into serving size portions.

You can use additional or substituted ingredients for this dish according to your whim and imagination.  For instance, you could add some chopped asparagus, spinach, squash, or other kinds of cheeses.  It’s a very versatile dish. 

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email

Cherry Granola Breakfast Bake


cherry granola & freezer cookies 003Cherry Granola Breakfast Bake In Honor of President Washington

 In 1880, it was legislated by Congress that February 22, President Washington’s birthday, would be the day to celebrate democracy and freedom in the USA. Today is February 22 so that brings to my mind the story about George and the cherry tree. As we all have heard, when he was a wee lad of 6 he loved to play with hatchets (can you imagine that?) and supposedly hacked and destroyed a cherry tree that was very precious to his father.  When his father asked little Georgie about that, of course honest George could not tell a lie. Some debate whether this is a true tale or not, however it still makes me thing about cherries. I guess that’s the way my mind works. Anyway, if you have a liking for granola or oatmeal kinds of breakfasts or treats, here’s a quick and easy dish with cherries that will give you lots of energy for our wonderful outdoor activities

Cherry Granola Breakfast Bake

1 Egg

¼ Cup Sugar

1 ½ Cups Milk

4 Tbs. Melted Butter

1 Cup Cherries (I used part of a can of cherry pie filling/topping.)

3 Cups Granola (I used almond & vanilla granola from a bin)

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a 9 inch round or square baking pan or I used my 9 ½ X 7 ½ oval pyrex dish with non-stick spray and if you want to invert this dish like a cake, put a little flour on the bottom and invert when cool.

Beat together the egg, sugar, milk, and melted butter.

Stir cherries and granola in your baking dish along with the batter.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until set. (when a knife or toothpick comes out clean)

You can dust the top with powder sugar and add more fruit for additional color

You can serve it immediately with maple or fruit syrup.

You can heat it later in the day and serve it with ice cream.

You can also substitute the cherries for other fruits.

Have it the next morn, sliced and cold, with a good cup of coffee or tea. That’s actually my favorite way.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email



Gingerbread Pudding Cake


A Recipe……………from my table to yours

And I had but one penny in the world, thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.

— William Shakespeare, “Love’s Labor’s Lost”


Having good yummy smells coming from the kitchen is always a delight at any time of the year, however, during holiday times, because everyone’s senses seem keener with the anticipation of good things to arrive, this is just a perfect recipe to make. I have found that the easiest thing to do with this type of recipe is to put all of your spices out on one side of your mixing bowl and as soon as you have added it, to place the spice on the other side.  That way there won’t be any confusion.  I also use the ¼ sized measuring teaspoon for all of the spices and for the salt and soda.  So, for instance, for the 1 teaspoon of ginger, I used 4 of the ¼ teaspoons.  For me that is the simplest way, but do whatever is best for you.


As a side note, an early form of gingerbread can be traced to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians who used it for ceremonial purposes.  It appeared in Europe with the 11th-century crusaders who brought the spice back from the Middle East for the well to do to experiment with.  Gingerbread became so popular in Europe that there were even gingerbread fairs.


Gingerbread Pudding Cake (a breakfast delight!)

8 servings

Step One

1 ¼ C. flour

1 tsp. ground ginger

¾ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground allspice

¼  tsp. ground cloves

¼ tsp. salt

Step Two

¼ C. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.

¼ C. sugar


2 Tblsp. beaten egg (from 1 egg)


½ C. light molasses

½ C. water


¾  C. brown sugar



Step Three

1 ½ C. hot water

5 Tblsp. unsalted butter, melted



Whipped Cream or Yogurt


*Preheat oven to 350.

*Butter 8 X 8 X 2 inch inch glass baking dish

Step 1

*Whisk flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and soda in medium bowl.

Step 2

*Using electric mixer, beat the ¼ C. room temp. butter and the ¼ C. sugar in a large bowl until blended.

* Beat in the 2 Tblsp. egg.

*Stir the ½ C. molasses and the ½ C. water in 1-cup glass measuring cup.

*Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions alternately with molasses mixture, beating to blend between additions.

*Transfer to prepared dish.

*Sprinkle the ¾ C. brown sugar over all.

Step 3

*Stir the 1 ½ C. hot water and 5 tblsp. melted butter in a 2-cup glass measuring cup.

*Carefully pour over top of batter (there will be lots of liquid on top of cake).

Baking directions

*Bake until gingerbread is cracked on top and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Serving hints

*Scoop warm pudding cake into shallow bowls.

*Serve with whipped cream or yogurt.


(It may be a bit tedious to make, but it’s worth it as you will see.) 


Bon Appetit

Margot Van Horn


Panettone Bread Pudding



Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

Serves 8 to 10 serving

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Now, run out and get that panettone so that you can make this for your special New Year Day breakfast or brunch.  Don’t start the year out counting the calories—give yourself the first day of the year permission to make this delectable dish for you and everyone else to enjoy.  Then go on your diet.  Happy, Joyous and Healthy New Year to one and all.


  1. 1 pound loaf panettone bread,( crusts trimmed if you wish however I don’t do that), bread cut into 1-inch cubes.
  2. 8 eggs
  3. 1 ½ C. whipping cream
  4. 2 ½ C. whole milk
  5. 1 ¼ C. sugar

Directions for Bread Pudding:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly butter a 13X9X2-inch baking dish
  3. Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared dish
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk and sugar to blend.
  5. Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge.
  6. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
  8. After 2 or more hours, remove dish from frig. and bring up to room temp.
  9. Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. (Remember we are at altitude so possibly a bit longer.) Cool slightly.

Ingredients for Amaretto Sauce:

  1. ½ cup whipping cream
  2. ½ cup whole milk
  3. 3 tablespoons sugar
  4. ¼ cup amaretto or some sort of coffee liqueur
  5. 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions for the Amaretto sauce:

  1. Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat, STIRRING FREQUENTLY.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the amaretto and cornstarch to blend and then whisk into the cream mixture.
  3. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, about 2 minutes.
  4. Set aside and keep warm.
  5.  This sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate and re-warm before serving.

End result:

Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm amaretto sauce, serve, and don’t plan for any left-overs.

Bon Appetit

   For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.



French Toast a la Creme Brule or for a sweeter version, keep on reading for the Apple Stuffed French Toast Dripping in Caramel Sauce


french toast a la creme brule

Creme Brule French Toast

(6 servings)

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 C packed brown sugar
2 TBLS. corn syrup
6 thick slices of unsliced Challa or Italian Bread Loaf(The challa doesn’t soak up as much of the liquid–but some guests like the moister Italian Bread Loaf)
5 large eggs
1 1/2 C. half-and-half
1 TSP. vanilla
1 TSP. Grand Marnier or some other orange liquor
1/4 TSP. salt
Chopped Pecans to place on bottom of pan (optional)

1.     In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter and add brown sugar and corn syrup(can be the dark or light kind) over moderate heat, stirring until smoothe. 

2.     Pour into a 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam and if you wish, add either whole or crushed pecans.  Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish on top of brown sugar/butter/pecan mixture, squeezing the slices slightly to fit.

3.     In a bowl or blender, whisk/beat together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until well combined.  Pour evenly over bread. 

4.      Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours ahead and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350 F, and bring bread mixture to room temp.

Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven till puffed and edges are pale golden–about 35 to 40 minutes. If the top of the bread at the end is not brown enough for your taste, turn on the broiler for a couple of seconds–but watch CAREFULLY because the browning can go faster than you think.)

Sprinkle with powered sugar and serve immediately with cut fresh fruit, preserves, and/or maple syrup on the side.

Bon Appetit,

Margot Van Horn Owner/Innkeeper



May 15, 2012     Apple Stuffed French Toast Dripping in Caramel Sauce

In reading the latest PAII email newsletter, Jeanne Sager, who writes for the Stir, offered this variation on the above.  It definitely sounds very much sweeter, but for those with that intense sweet tooth to satisfy here it is:

Use the same recipe as above only instead of 6 thick slices of Challa or Brioche, cut the slices in 12 1/2 inch pieces.

You’ll also need 1 C. chopped pecans and 2 tart apples, peeled, and sliced thinly

Instead of 5 eggs, you’ll need 6 eggs

Instead 1 C. half & half, it calls for one & half C. milk

In the egg, milk mixture, add 1 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon, 1 Tsp. vanila, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and some salt to taste

Put the melted butter, brown sugar, & corn syrup in your 13 X 9 inch oven dish; place 1/2 of the bread in it; place the pecans and sliced apples on top; then place the second layer of bread. Pour the egg/milk mixture over all; refrigerate overnight and cook in 35o oven 35 to 40 minutes.

There’s a Caramel Sauce to pour on top:

1/2 C. brown sugar

1/4 C. cubed butter

1 Tblsp corn syrup

Cook these ingredients in a small pan until smooth and bubbly.  Use to pour over the French Toast.

Bacon and Hard Boiled Egg Casserole


Bacon and Hard Boiled Egg Casserole

Basic recipe will serve 12 – 18

(OMG this is DELICIOUS!!!!)

Now that Easter has come and gone, what to do with all of those hard boiled eggs?  Well, here’s some good info to be had about Easter hard boiled eggs and a wonderful recipe as well.

1.        How long do eggs last? The Public Health Web Site says that raw eggs can be kept in the refrigerator for 4-5 weeks after purchase and that refrigerated hard-boiled eggs should be eaten within 7 days.

2.        In regards to the colored Easter eggs, you should be sure before using them that the dye was food-safe; that the eggs were not hidden in a contaminated area and that they are not cracked to have allowed in bacteria.

3.        The eggs should not have been left out in a warm temperature too long.  They really need to be refrigerated.

4.        The Public Health Dept.suggests coloring the hard boiled eggs and then refrigerating them.  For the hidden eggs, they recommend the plastic kinds.

This casserole’s basic recipe features 18 eggs so as you can imagine, it will feed quite a few people. It’s nice to serve at a brunch party; and you can easily divide the basic recipe in amounts for however many portions you wish to serve.  For myself, instead of using one large baking dish, I reduce the recipe amounts and  use several ramekins. I serve this dish often with an artichoke to share,

oven roasted asparagus or a green salad along with some fresh fruit and of course, a lovely glass of fruity white wine.  Also nice to have with this recipe are some warm buttered corn tortillas or home made polenta.

Bacon and Hard Boiled Egg Casserole

                                                  Preheat Oven to 350

Non-Stick Spray a 9 X 13 Dish o r multiple  ramekins if you decide to use those instead of one large dish

18  Hard Boiled Refrigerated Eggs

1/2 ( 8 oz.) Pint Sour Cream

1 lb. Bacon

1 ½ Cups Grated Cheddar Cheese

3 Tblsp. Butter

3 Tblsp. Flour

2 Cup Milk

Salt & Pepper

1.        If you need to hard boil eggs, one of the easiest ways to do that is to put cold eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; add enough cold tap water to come at least one inch over the eggs; cover and quickly bring to a hard boil; turn off heat and keep eggs covered for 15-20 minutes; then immediately run cold water over eggs and refrigerate in a dry container. To test if the egg is done, twirl it around on the counter top and if it spins freely, it’s done.

2.        Make a white sauce from the butter, flour and milk. (In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat melt the butter until the foam begins to subside; turn heat to low and with a wire whisk, stir in the flour for about 1-2 minutes; keeping the heat low, stir in the milk, a little bit at a time, still using the whisk until the mixture is nice and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t let it get brown, otherwise you will have brown sauce.  You can keep the sauce warm over gently simmering water for an hour or so, stirring occasionally.)

3.        Fry the bacon and crumble.

4.        From the hard boiled eggs, remove the yolks and mix the yolks with the sour cream and 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese and S&P.

5.        Slice the egg whites and line the bottom of the dish with them.

6.        Pour the yolk mixture over the egg whites.

7.        Pour the white sauce over all.

8.        Top with remainder 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and place the crumbled bacon as your last topping.

9.        Bake 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated 350 degree oven.

For variations, try adding a little mustard or horse raddish in the sour cream; and for toppings you can substitute for the bacon bits some chopped ham or chipped beef. I haven’t tried it with a different kind of sauce, however, I suppose instead of white sauce you could use an Hollandaise or another of your favorites. It’s a fun dish to use your imagination.  If you decide to use the ramekins, you only need to bake them at 350 for 20 minutes on top of a cookie sheet.

Thank you Dianne, friend & VSI past guest, for the basic and inspiration.


 Are you a frustrated, overworked or timid cook? Call Margot for help @ 721-3551

& please feel free to email her @ for comments or ideas

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.