Cardiac Cats + Knock Knock Knickknacks

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 4, 2010

Say that title three times fast :mrgreen:

Did anyone watch the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day? Many Northwestern fans have a term of endearment for our team: Cardiac Cats. They have this ability to make our emotions swing back and forth like a pendulum at any moment, from one extreme to the other. They fought hard in this one, but came up a bit short in overtime. It was a great game — wish they could have taken advantage of one of the 521438910 opportunities to win in the last moments, but I still love them :)


Happy 2010! Thank you all for your sweet wishes on my NYE post. I hope that the year ahead is fulfilling and exciting for all of us. Here’s a look at the last Arizona sunset of 2009:

With a little saguaro friend…

I could never get sick of that view πŸ˜‰

While ringing in the start of the new year with a typical quality Northwestern football game, my mom and I — er, well, mainly my mom! — were busy in the kitchen creating a fabulous meal: Brunch Egg Casserole. It made it’s first appearance on the blog during Christmas 2008. This dish is perfect for big groups of people, whether it’s around the holidays or the upcoming Super Bowl!

Ingredients (serves 16):

  • 4 cups French bread, cubed (remove crust if desired)
  • 2 cups Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • 10 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 to 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 vine tomatoes, sliced


Slice the crust off of the French bread. It makes it easier for the egg to soak into the bread if there isn’t any crust (I know, so sad)! Spray a 9Γ—13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the crust-less bread in cubes (we just pull off small chunks by hand) in the baking dish until the entire bottom is covered.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs with the cheese. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt, onion powder, and pepper and mix until completely blended.

Chop up the mushrooms, bacon and tomatoes into small enough pieces for topping.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread crumbs and cheese. Sprinkle everything with the mushrooms, bacon and tomatoes. We leave half of the mushrooms and tomatoes off because my little brother isn’t fond of them. You can then cover and chill the dish for up to 24 hours.

When you’re ready to go, bake at 325* uncovered for 1 hour or until set (the sides are golden brown and clearly cooked). You can tent the dish with aluminum foil if it begins to overbrown.

While you’re waiting, sip on a delicious Bloody Mary with Worcestershire and tobasco sauce, topped with lime, celery salt and a stick of celery for stirring. Great way to welcome the morning πŸ˜‰

Once it has cooled and is easy to cut, divide it into 16 even slices and serve!

The eggs are so fluffy (thanks to the bread) and the hot mushroom, bacon and tomato topping (which I like to think of as crust) really gives it added flavor. It’s amazing!

Nutrition Information (per 1/16 slice):

  • 395 calories
  • 17g fat
  • 40g carbohydrates
  • 3g fiber
  • 20g protein


Knock Knock Giveaway Winner!!

Glad to see some of you have a good sense of humor πŸ˜‰

There were a total of 107 comments, tweets, etc. on the post. I used to generate the winning number for the Plan-A-Meal Bundle.

Using my unbeatable counting abilities, I found #22 to be…


I want that float!

Congrats, Melissa :mrgreen: Please send an email with your address information to so that I can get the Plan-A-Meal-Bundle out to you!


Hope you all enjoyed the giveaway — I still encourage you to visit Knock Knock if you’re interested because they really do have some fun products. Especially for wannabe organizers like me!

Off to go love the ones I’m with :) See you soon!


1 Amanda January 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm

That game was SO exciting! I was very proud to be a Wildcat!

2 verbalriot January 4, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Yum, that looks delicious Jenn! You mom is such a master chef. :)

That Bloody Mary looks fantastic as well. I haven’t had one since New Orleans (where it was deadly hahha)

Happy New Year!

3 Jenn (eating bender) January 5, 2010 at 7:53 am

Ooh, I bet it was strong down there. Sounds good to me! πŸ˜‰ Happy New Year!

4 Marianne January 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Those breakfast bakes always look delicious. How eggy are they? I only ask, because I’m just not really an egg fan, but dishes like this make me wish I were.

You don’t have Caesars down there in the States, do you? It’s basically the same thing as a Bloody Mary, but made with Clamato juice. I love them! My favourite savoury drink, especially garnished with a pickled green bean.

5 Jenn (eating bender) January 5, 2010 at 7:55 am

I would say they’re “medium” on the eggy scale — the bread cubes and the toppings really help balance it out so I’d even say it’s a bit less eggy than an omelette. I could be wrong though because I like eggs! Wish you were a fan — but I’d say try it anyway πŸ˜‰ I haven’t heard of Caesars but after hearing your description I would love to try one!

6 Lo January 5, 2010 at 12:52 am

ive been gone far too long…from the blog world and real world. Im glad I i saw u met up with Banana Cabana!!! ahhh and are spending wonderful times with the fam eating awesome meals and drinking some great bloody marys. u know i love them.

ps. unlimited bloody mary bar at timmy otooles on sundays. lets do it.

Miss uuuuu!!! peace love and hugs.


7 Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) January 5, 2010 at 1:15 am

That cactus and sunset are breathtaking! Are you still in AZ?!

If you get rid of the bread crusts, just ship them to me…they are my favorite part :-)

Love me a good bloody mary too- it’s practically a health food- celery, tomatoes…it’s all good!

8 Jenn (eating bender) January 5, 2010 at 7:51 am

No, I’m back in Chicago — wish I was still enjoying the 70* weather!! Bread crusts are my absolute favorite, too, so we’ll have to fight for ’em πŸ˜‰ Hope you’re well!

9 Erica January 5, 2010 at 5:15 am

That egg casserole looks so good! I am trying to get more eggs in my life so I may have to give it a try (sans the meat ;)). Beautiful Arizona! Love the pictures. Congrats to the winner.

10 katie January 5, 2010 at 5:44 am

Happy New Year, Jen!

That casserole looks so delicious and festive… although what I’m REALLY all over is that Bloody πŸ˜€

11 Jessica @ How Sweet January 5, 2010 at 5:45 am

That egg casserole looks delish! Yum!

12 Lauren January 5, 2010 at 6:10 am

Great casserole recipe. This would be perfect for a large group. I need to make a breakfast for an upcoming work meeting, and I think this would be great.

Thanks for sharing! :)

Hope you are well hun!

13 Kristie January 5, 2010 at 6:28 am

I watched the last quarter + overtime of the Northwestern bowl game – and was thankful I wasn’t a fan. At least 3 heart attack moments? And the field goal fake at the end? Aye… heart breaker. Glad to see you survived though πŸ˜‰

14 Whitney @ Lettuce Love January 5, 2010 at 7:44 am

Such a pretty sunset. That casserole looks great :)

15 ksgoodeats January 5, 2010 at 8:16 am

Cardiac cats – great term!! That breakfast casserole looks amazing! Mushrooms, bread, eggs, what’s not to love?!

Arizona is so pretty! I’m going to have to travel there at some point in my life!

16 prettytimepiece January 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

delicious looking casserole :) i never used to like eggs, but the last month I tried them again in different ways (omelettes, casseroles, etc.) & I found them really delicious!

I tagged you in something on my blog… I think it’ll go quite well the resolution to ‘love the ones you’re with’! πŸ˜€

17 Mara @ What's For Dinner? January 5, 2010 at 8:20 am

Happy new year friend!!!
I can’t wait to get together soon :) Thanks for the instructions on the breakfast dish. My friends at work make them for our breakfast potlucks, and I always forget to get the recipe!

18 jenngirl January 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

My favorite part of the recipe is sipping a bloody mary while you wait! Essential :)

19 Tracey January 5, 2010 at 9:41 am

That dish looks fantastic! I’m going to try it out when I get back from vacation.

I did watch the game and you are right, they had a chance to win the game a couple of times:( My husband is a graduate from Northwestern.

20 Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce January 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

cardiac cats is such a funny nickname! that egg casserole looks amazing!

21 Karla January 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

What a close game–I really wish Northwestern could have pulled it out. Maybe next year? :)

That egg dish looks amazing! Your family is packed full of great cooks.

Those AZ images make me long for warm weather even more! But at the same time I’m very excited to move around in the Midwest too πŸ˜‰

Have a great day Jenn and Happy New Year!!

22 Chrysta January 5, 2010 at 4:23 pm

absolutely stunning view! That is one gorgeous sunset I must say!

That egg casserole looks amazing! Thanks for the nutritional breakdown as well. Always cool to know. Good call on the bloody marys. These are one of my favorite drinks. (I like mine extra spicy of course)

23 Michelle (Snacks and Field) January 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm

The picture of the sunset is beautiful!
And mmm that casserole looks so good! I love when my mom makes wonderful home cooked meals (and I take credit for “helping”)… Definitely gonna miss ’em when I go back up to school!

24 Gracie January 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm

That casserole looks uh-mazing. I love breakfast casseroles, but they don’t usually have all of those veggies. I’ll have to make that for my dad sometime because he may actually eat vegetables if it’s along with bacon, eggs, and cheese =)

25 Jenny January 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

hot damn, what a way to ring in the new year!

Oh how I wish I were a sports fanatic.. poor Gingie, I always whine and moan when he trys to get me to watch games with him. You’re his dream girl!

26 Nicci@NiftyEats January 5, 2010 at 7:48 pm

That’s a dish I would love to make!

27 Heather Eats Almond Butter January 5, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Looks like you really enjoyed the holidays with your family. I’m so happy you got spend a lot of time with them before heading back to Chicago. So cold here in Nashville. Getting down 9 degrees this week…I miss Phoenix!

Hope you’re have a good week and drinking lots of coffee cocoas to stay warm. :)

28 Heather Eats Almond Butter January 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm

*JenN πŸ˜‰

29 zestycook January 6, 2010 at 6:22 am

I like the Cardiac Cats! That is one serious brunch casserole bender…. I love it!

30 HeatherBakes January 6, 2010 at 10:18 am

That casserole looks SO GOOD. I’m going to have to steal the recipe soon. And woohoo for Bloody Mary’s!! Brunch is such an underrated meal :)

Happy 2010 to you, Jenn!

31 Bekah January 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Great recipe my dear! and yeaahh, I’m definitely going to miss that AZ sunset. The weather right now is perfect too, I almost don’t want to leave to go to NY. (Almost. ;))

Congrats to the winner!

32 carolinebee January 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm

OMG i forgot to text u but i watched the ESPN highlight/recap of the game……ooo man lowlights are more like it πŸ˜€ How awful i couldn’t believe it!! LOL but usc was in the emerald bowl this yr so it goes to show the importance of “rebuilding years”! I mean maybe our teams got worse since we graduated?? Hope you’re doing welll and I can’t wait to see ya, wee!

33 Nicole January 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Yum, looks delicious!

Congrats to Melissa!!

34 April Rueber January 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Did you see that Iowa won their game?? :) Had to tease you. Love the sunset photo- the weather and view was a lot different in Iowa than in Phoenix over the holidays.

P.S.- I want that bloody mary now.


35 Heather @ (The Single Dish) January 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I love egg casseroles, they are delicious. Yours is so pretty too!

36 lmdenesia January 12, 2010 at 6:12 pm

That egg mix looks sooooo easy! The bf HATES spinach – but I <3 egg casseroles! This seems to make us both happy! Thanks for the recipe!

37 Jenn (eating bender) January 16, 2010 at 1:23 am

No problem — thank YOU for stopping by :)

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