Before Ever After + Baked Eggs = Bestsellers

"Shelley had fallen in love with Max’s baked eggs and cheese almost as soon as she had fallen in love with Max himself.  They were in Paris when he first made the dish for her and the tour group she had hastily joined.  Since then each forkful tasted like that morning—warm, buttery, and bursting with full-fat promise." -- Before Ever After

Shelly and Max are the protagonists in the newest best-selling book 'Before Ever After' -- first novel of Filipino author Samantha Sotto, whom I had the pleasure of meeting through an intimate get-together in her honor.

my autographed book -- with the note "Chickens rock"
With that intro up top, Shelly's breakfast of baked eggs and cheese brings a special meaning in the story.  And as I was getting engrossed in the European adventures and love story of the lead characters, I became more intrigued with this savory egg dish that became one of the inspirations of the author for this amazing book. 

I will not even attempt to write a book review here. All I can say is that I loved each and every chapter that transported me to the less beaten paths and historical sites of popular cities in Europe, and the love story that led the characters to the pristine shores of Boracay island!

Thankfully, my request was answered with these original recipes from author Samantha Sotto which she generously shared with us. I just couldn't wait to try and make my own version of Max's divine baked eggs and cheese.


¼ medium-size white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 - 3 strips of bacon, chopped
2 heads of fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed
2 - 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 eggs
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Cheddar cheese

salt and pepper

To prepare:
Pre-heat oven to 230˚C / 450˚F.
Chop onions, bacon, basil; slice mushrooms.
Grate, crumble or slice cheeses.
(I only had grated parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar single slices for sandwiches)

To cook:
Sauté onions and bacon in oil until lightly toasted. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
Toss in some basil. Remove from heat.

Layer the bacon-mushroom mix at the bottom of a ramekin or baking dish. Leave a few for garnish.
Sprinkle paremesan cheese.
Crack two eggs over the filling. Add fresh pepper, salt (optional).
Layer the cheddar then the mozzarella on top.

To bake:
Place ramekin/dish on the middle rack and bake for 10 minutes
(Sam suggested 7 - 12 minutes depending on how runny you like the eggs to be).
Baked at 12 minutes, but too well done... 10 minutes would have been perfect.
Top with the bacon-mushroom mix, and basil leaves. Serve immediately with toast.
Good for 1.

I had my baked eggs with toasted focaccia bread and it was the bomb! The moist and creamy eggs, smokey-salty flavors of bacon with the three-cheese toppings were a perfect combination.  You have to try and make some for yourself and your family for a hearty and satisfying breakfast. :)

Here's the book trailer that made me buy and read a novel after almost a decade! 
For sure many of you, like me, would want to read the book after watching this, so run to your nearest bookstore or order Before Ever After: A Novel online. :)  And don't forget to try the baked eggs and cheese!

Me and the author, thanks to OCMom blogger Kris who organized our meet-up with her good friend Sam
I finally made the 3-Cheese Baked Eggs (adapted from the original recipe, from the link above).
This was divine!!!

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