Ham and Egg Dinner Bake…it’s a family affair.

I was looking for inspiration for some dinner ideas this morning. I’ve slackened off on the food shopping budget recently, as is often the case during the holidays. I’m determined to get back on track! Every time I go over the budget it sets us back on our project to divide room #3 into 2, to create a bedroom for son #1. ‘Project 3.2.1′ if you will. D’you see what I did there?
Anyway, I pulled out a load of packets from the cupboard and fridge to see what was lurking there. I intend to cook a meal every day for a week containing something from this little lot…

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My mind is whirring with possible meals ideas, including lentil lasagne, and sloppy joes made with corned beef. But even I’m not convinced on that one yet, so I might have to put my thinking cap on.
I also had a whole box of a dozen eggs that were best before yesterday, and I didn’t want to have to throw them out! So I put them in a bowl of water. The theory goes that if they sink they’re still fresh, and if they float they’ve gone off. Well, it looks like we’re safe

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So with that many eggs to use up, and a big packet of ham in the fridge, an omelette sprung immediately to mind. Except, oh yeah, my 2 and 4 year-olds don’t eat anything ‘egg related’. And plus, I wanted to be a bit more creative. I’ve seen lots of recipes for Brunch Bakes around…but this one had to be a dinner bake. And I wanted the whole family to get stuck in. The following recipe is for Ham and Egg Dinner Bake. Apart from chopping the onion and cracking the eggs, the kids pretty much took care of this, as you will see. It was so easy to prepare, it went down a treat, and I would definitely cook it again! (or rather, the children will).

INGREDIENTS:
6-8 slices of bread (brown or white, either or a mix is fine, but white is probably best)
300g (1 1/2 cups) ham
1 onion, chopped small
1 red pepper (optional)
200g (1 cup) cheese
6 large or 8 medium eggs
1 pint (2 cups) milk
Salt and Pepper
Paprika (optional)

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Grate the cheese, set aside. Mix the milk and the eggs together, and season with salt and pepper.

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Lightly grease a large baking dish, and tear the bread into it.

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You can either chop the pepper small, or let a small child have loads of fun ripping it to pieces!

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Scatter the pepper and onion (if you are using them) evenly over the bread.

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Next, tear in the ham. If you have tiny helpers, try to make sure they put more in the dinner than in their mouths!

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Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top

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Pour the egg mixture all over, mix everything round a bit, then sprinkle with Paprika. If you like, sprinkle a bit more cheese over before you add the paprika.
Bake in the oven at about 180-190 degrees, depending on your oven, for around 35-40 minutes.

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This is the finished product. It slices really well, so much so, that I think it would work cut up into cubes or slices for lunch boxes and picnics.

Tweaks and Variations
When I make this again, I will add at least one teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the egg mixture, and use a stronger cheese (I used medium cheddar this time). I used 6 slices of brown and 2 of white, just because that’s what I had, but I will use more white next time.

You could also use leftover cooked sausages, or mushrooms, or sliced leftover potatoes. Whatever you have that needs using up. And incidentally, my non-egg-eating 2 year-old fusspot gobbled it all up and wanted seconds!! Success!!

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