Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Blog Spark: Featuring Breakfast Crostatas...and a Fun Easter Giveaway! blog makeover is officially complete, so I hope you take a few minutes to look around and check out some of the new features. I now have a Print It button and Pinterest "pin it" button at the bottom of each post, after the comments section! We’re in Houston this weekend to celebrate Easter with our families, complete with Easter Brunch at Brennan’s Houston...I’m taking my camera and will be sharing all the details when I return to San Antonio. In the meantime, I have some fun stuff to share with you today!

My Blog Spark recently sent me a $25 Walmart gift card to purchase ingredients to share a finalist recipe from the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off contest with you. The winner was announced earlier this week.  Christina Virelli from Devon, Pennsylvania won $1 million for her amazing-looking Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream. The Bake-Off recipe that I decided to cook is perfect for Sunday brunch or breakfast-for-dinner: Breakfast Crostatas. The crostatas take about 20 minutes to assemble before baking in the oven for 20-25 minutes. They’re simple enough to whip us “just because,” but they’re fancy enough to serve to company.

The only changes I made to the original recipe were to use fresh herbs and a bit of garlic salt instead of dried...and I used low-fat breakfast sausage instead of ham per the recipes suggested variations. The recipe makes four nice-sized crostatas, but the ingredients can easily be doubled to feed 8 hungry people. This would be a welcome addition to any Easter celebration tomorrow!

Breakfast Crostatas

from Pillsbury’s 45th Bake-Off (via contestant Barbara Taragna)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. Place parchment paper or a silpat on a 15x10 baking sheet. Remove 1 loaf of Pillsbury French Bread from its package and carefully unroll it into one large sheet of dough. Cut the dough into four squares. Sprinkle the squares evenly with a combination of 1.5 tsp. finely chopped rosemary, 1.5 tsp. finely chopped basil, and 1 tsp. garlic salt.

Step 2: Sprinkle each bread square with 1/3 cup grated colby-jack cheese and 1/3 cup cooked, crumbled low-fat breakfast sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Light). Fold the edges of the dough 1 inch over the top of the ingredients. Pinch the dough to crimp, and press firmly to make sure it sticks in place.

Step 3:  Make a slight well in the middle of the sausage and cheese portion of the crostatas. Place a whole egg into the wells, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the crostatas for 20 minutes, until the bread is golden-brown and the egg white is completely cooked.

These crostatas are my kind of food: easy to prepare, full of flavor, and pretty to look at! The herbs, cheese, sausage, and egg combine with the French bread to make a fantastic meal! All you need to complete the meal is a simple side or two. I served the crostatas with fresh salsa to add on top...and some fresh strawberries and pineapple topped with yogurt. I think that homefres would pair nicely with them too.

Now, the fun part: Who says grown-ups can’t have an Easter egg hunt? My pal the Easter Bunny is going to hide four festive Easter eggs here and there today. If you're the first person to find one of the eggs, you'll win one of the following items that I've featured in here over the past week or so. Here are the details:

(1) A YELLOW egg will be hidden somewhere on my blog. Hint: check out one of my recent Easter recipes! Whoever finds the yellow egg and comments ON THAT POST first wins a $25 Walmart gift card courtesy of My Blog Spark.
(2) A PINK EGG will be hidden on my Weekend Gourmet Facebook page. When you see the post, be the first person to comment to win 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking from Robert Rose Publishing.
(3) A GREEN egg will be hidden on my Twitter feed. When you see that tweet, be the first person to tweet back to win the hand-held mandoline that I featured on Thursday courtesy of OXO.
(4) A BLUE egg will be hidden on one of the blogs I follow -- see the right side of my page. Hint: this blogger is a fellow Texan! Whoever finds the blue egg and e-mails me firsts at will win a copy of 150 Best Indian, Thai, Vietnamese & More Slow Cooker Recipes from Robert Rose Publishing.

Good luck...have fun!

Disclosure: The information, Walmart gift card, and giveaway for the Bake-Off prize was provided by Walmart and General Mills via MyBlog Spark. All other products for this giveaway were provided to me by the publisher and/or manufacturer in exchange for a review or recipe spotlight. The opinions expressed were my own, based on my experience using the product or reading/cooking from the book.

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