Calcifer’s Breakfast Skillet


Inspired by the copious amounts of bread and cheese, and bacon and eggs, consumed in Diana Wynne Jones’ novel Howl’s Moving Castle, plus the inclusions of it in the Studio Ghibli film, here’s a tasty breakfast–or any time of day–combination! I decided to do this in a cast iron skillet because that’s what is used in the film! Onions are also included because they taste great in this dish, and because chopped onions feature in a scene in the book too. 😉

Calcifer’s Breakfast Skillet

  • 1 pkg. Thick Cut Bacon
  • 1/2 Large Onion, julienned
  • 1/2 Loaf Sourdough Bread Round
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 10 Eggs (plus 1 egg white, see below)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (freshly shredded is best!)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Thinly Sliced Ham for biscuits (“Country Ham Biscuit Slices”)
  • 1 Egg White
  • Small Slice off the side of a tomato OR Red Bell Pepper (roasted or fresh)
  • Large Black Olive

Heat your oven to 350ºF. In an iron skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until done, but not too crispy. Drain the grease in between batches, reserving just a small amount. Place the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, & then cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces.

Put a small amount of bacon drippings back into the pan & sauté the onions until just tender. Drain if needed & put the cooked onions with the bacon pieces off to the side.

Melt the butter in the pan. Slice & cut the sourdough into about 1″ chunks, & then lay them in the pan & coat them with the butter. Cook the pieces until slightly golden & toasted, & then turn off the heat. Position the bread pieces to cover the bottom of the pan.

In a bowl, whisk the 10 eggs with the milk, adding in salt & pepper to taste. Stir in the bacon pieces, onions, & 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Pour this mixture over the bread, & then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cut the ham slices as needed & position them on top of the skillet to create Calcifer’s body. Slide into the oven & bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the egg is no longer runny or jiggly.

While the skillet is baking in the oven, melt a little bit of butter in a small clean pan (or use oil) & cook the egg white on low heat with the lid on. Once solid, but not browned, remove the egg & cut out 2 circles for Calcifer’s eyes. Place the eyes on Calcifer’s ham body when the skillet comes out of the oven.

Cut 2 small circles from the black olive & place them on the egg white circles to be Calcifer’s pupils. Cut a bowl shape/half circle from the tomato slice (make sure this slice is from the side of the tomato so that you have the smooth skin) or pepper slice, & place it for Calcifer’s mouth.

howls-moving-castle-skillet-slice Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 49: Howl’s Moving Castle

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Tigris’ Ham & Potato Hash

HG Hash header

The wonderful smell of frying meat fills the air. Tigris has prepared us a hash of chopped ham and potatoes. It’s the first hot food we’ve had in days, and as I wait for her to fill my plate, I’m in danger of drooling.

–Chapter 24, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Tigris’ Ham & Potato Hash

  • 2 Cups Peeled & Diced Potatoes (~1/2″ cubes)
  • 1 Cup Diced Onion
  • 1 Cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Cup Diced Ham
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Minced Fresh or Dried Herbs like Thyme or Dill (optional)

Cover the potato pieces in salted water in a large pot & cook on high until just tender. Drain & rinse with cold water until the potatoes are no longer hot. Set aside until ready to use.

Melt the butter in a large pan on medium heat & add the diced onion. Cook until tender & then add in the green pepper. Cook for a couple minutes more & then add the ham & potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, & optional herbs & stir to combine everything. Spread the mixture out in the pan & let sit undisturbed for several minutes to brown. Stir & spread again & leave to brown.

Stir & remove from heat. If you’d like to sprinkle with shredded cheese, feel free. Wonderful served with hot sauce or chunky salsa.

HG Hash w pin

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 25: The Hunger Games

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Vision Muffins

vision muffins

Vision is totally my favorite character from the film, and for some reason muffins is what immediately came to mind when I was brainstorming food ideas. I have no idea why. And to get that beautiful magenta/deep pink color of Vision’s face, there is no other ingredient better than a beet.

Vision Inspired Beet Muffins

Adapted from a recipe on Journal Sentinel

  • 1/2 Cup Beet Puree (about 1 medium beet)*
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, melted
  • 1 Egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/3 Cup Buttermilk (or 1 tsp. lemon juice + enough milk to make 1/3 cup, let sit for abt. 5 mins)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Essence
  • 1 Tbsp. Orange Juice Concentrate (optional)
  • 1 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • Turbinado Sugar (raw sugar)
  • Dried Pineapple Tidbits

*To make the beet puree, preheat your oven to 375ºF & wash & pat dry the beet. Wrap in foil & place on the middle oven rack. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce it. Unwrap it (careful! It’s hot!) & then let it cool completely. Rub/peel off the skin & cut it into small chunks, & then puree well in a food processor.

In a large bowl, whisk together the puree, butter, egg, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, & optional orange juice concentrate. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt. Next, stir the dry into the wet just until combined. Line a muffin pan with baking cups (preferably yellow) & fill the cups about 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle the tops lightly with turbinado/raw sugar.

Using your fingers, squish & reshape 12 pineapple tidbits into a sort of rounded diamond/pointed oval & place 1 each at the top edge of the unbaked muffins. Slide the pan into the oven, middle rack, & bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan & let cool on a cooling rack. To continue The Vision’s color scheme, drop the muffins into green baking cups (to me, green on the outside & yellow on the inside looks more appealing than vise-versa).

vision muffin bite
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 14: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

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