Bummer on the lack of pictures again - the strata I had at market on Saturday was a real beauty!
Strata is one of those recipes that I use to clean out the refrigerator and use old bread. It is also a go-to recipe when eggs are plentiful in the spring. I make so many variations of it and pretty much tweak it to what I have on hand and what kinda "goes together". I used our Old Time Heritage Turkey Eggs which are about 1-1/2 eggs per each chicken egg called for in a recipe.
The strata I had at market on Saturday was made with Who Cooks For You Farm's amazing pork sausage, a bag of Sturges Orchard's baby kale, garlic scapes from Normand Homestead (at the Grove City market), and rustic Italian bread from Mediterra Bakehouse. I used a little Parmesan cheese on the top grated by our local market, but Goat Rodeo's stampede would have taken this strata from amazing to incredible!
Remember to use good quality ingredients and the results will reward you!
Sausage, Kale & Garlic Scape Strata
Add the kale & garlic scapes and a little sprinkle of salt. I added a little avocado oil because the sausage was lean but you could add olive or other cooking oil if needed to sauté the kale. I also add a little water, cover the skillet & turned the heat down to a simmer to soften the kale.
While kale is cooking, grease a 13x9 pan, cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and put the cubes in the baking dish - it should come up about 1/2 way in the baking dish and cover the bottom.
Add the kale, scapes and sausage mix to the bread and try to distribute it evenly.
Whisk the eggs and milk together with a sprinkle of salt and pour over the bread, sausage, scapes & kale (if the egg milk mixture does not coat the bread, you can mix 1 egg to 1/2 cup milk to add more moisture). Let stand for about 10 minutes for the egg mixture to soak into the bread.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or until browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out "clean".
For a meatless mix, you can change out the sausage for mushrooms.
You can exchange the kale for nettles, spinach or chard (I have even used broccoli). You can change out the meats to bacon, smoked meats, smoked sausage, ground beef, ground turkey, hot dogs, what ever you have and would go together in a meal with the bread and veggie.
Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy!
I am so sorry to say that I have no picture of the Lazy Dazy Cake I had at market Saturday! Those of you who tasted or purchased it probably have the lingering after effects of the overwhelming gastronomical goodness seared into your soul, but that does not help those who were less fortunate (like my husband!). I do have to remember to get a picture before we eat or sell out of something I want to blog about - even if my photography and plating skills are seriously lacking!!! I found a really nice, well displayed picture of my favorite cake of all time here, so those of you who did not see or taste it can get an idea of how amazing this cake looks and then know that it is even MORE amazing in your mouth!
Lazy Dazy (Daisy) Cake was one of my Great-Grandma's "go-to" recipes and was one I made sure I added to the recipe journal she gave me. It is a simple classic "milk" cake with warmed milk as an ingredient in the cake. I find it similar to a coffee cake or a mix between a sponge and pound cake - you cannot find this flavor or texture in a cake out of a box!! This It is excellent alone or with berries (strawberries, YUM!) and it is exquisite with the broiled coconut topping added to the top! It is a simple and quick cake to make and I do not find it any harder to make than a box cake and I know exactly what went into it!
The history I could find on the Lazy Dazy Cake is fairly limited online. I found references to the early 1900's without the topping then the topping being added in the 1930's or 1940's. Most of the recipes are similar with a little more or less butter, vanilla, salt or milk used with the exception of one on an advertisement for Birds Baking Powder from the 1950's being completely different.
Cakes used to all be made from scratch with ingredients sourced locally from farms, mills, and merchants - boxed cake mixes did not become popular until after WWII. I remember my Grandma telling me of a friend whose husband refused to let her make a box cake - after tasting this Lazy Dazy you will know why!
I like to source good quality, grass-fed butter and whole (full fat) cream-line milk like that from Hartzler Family Dairy - I buy mine at the Meadville Market House but the East End Co-op, Frankferd Farms or Whole Foods are options. Old Time eggs are from free-range, pasture-raised hens that are supplemented with a custom, nutrient dense, non-GMO feed. I do not use bleached flour and try to source good quality, local flour like is milled at Frankferd Farms or Weatherbury Farm. I only use pure cane sugar (minimally processed is better, IMHO) and I use only pure vanilla extract, not imitation. Nutrient density (nutritional quality) is possible in sweets by using good quality, wholesome ingredients!! (say that 3 times!) I do not mean quantity of energy or calories by "nutrient density" but the richness of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients included in a food. Sweets, like most foods, should be consumed in moderation but it makes one feel less guilty to know that there are actual whole foods, with names I can pronounce, or "good things" that my body needs in the deliciousness tantalizing my tastebuds!
Grandma Ruth's Lazy Dazy Cake
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring to a boil then mix with the mixture from above:
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons butter
Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish and bake in a 350 degree (pre-heated) oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out "clean".
1 stick or 8 tablespoons of butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons milk or cream
1 cup coconut
(Optional to add 1/2 cup nuts)
Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil and add coconut when all the sugar is melted and the mix is hot. Spread over hot cake and place cake under broiler in the oven for about 4 minutes or until the coconut is starting to brown and the topping is beginning to caramelize.
Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy!!
Old Time Farm