Our local library hosted a book sale this weekend. We love books so we headed to the library bright and early on Saturday morning. Before heading out, I popped this egg bake in the oven as my garden was full of fresh veggies and herbs. Served alongside fresh fruit, this is a great light summer breakfast item that is sure to please the entire family.
Veggie Egg Bake
6 large eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/2 onion, diced 1/2 bell pepper, diced 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped finely 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded salt & pepper, to taste
Grease an 11×7” baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add milk and whisk well. Add onion and bell peppers, tomatoes, and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add mixture to casserole pan; sprinkle dill and cheese evenly over top. Bake for 30-40 mins or until cooked all the way through. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
I visited a local blueberry farm this weekend. The large, flavorful berries were so irresistible, I bought far more than I needed. I gave some to my girls and froze a bunch for blueberry pie. Using one of my favorite cookbooks, I’ve adapted a blueberry recipe that I found for a delicious breakfast casserole. Be sure to assemble the casserole base the night before your breakfast. When you wake in the morning, just add the toppings and pop in the oven. Delicious!
Blueberry French Toast Casserole
1 loaf stale bread or buns, sliced 2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries 6 large eggs 4 tablespoons sugar 2 1/2 cups milk 1 teaspoon almond extract 1 teaspoon butter extract
STREUSEL TOPPING 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup flour 4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Grease a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Line prepared baking pan with bread, filling all the cracks. Set aside. Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and extracts together until well combined. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove pan from the refrigerator. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over the top. Prepare the topping: Combine the brown sugar and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry blender or your fingers. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the soaked bread. Top with walnuts. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until slightly firm and golden brown on top.
There’s a wonderful Mexican restaurant that I often visit when I head down to Purdue University for a day on campus. This salad is meant to mimic the delicious chili lime salad that is offered on their daily menu. The flavors are amazing as the mixture of the sweet mango and the chili garlic sauce play with the acidity of the lime to combine for a burst of flavor. I often make this at home for a week night meal. While we enjoy this recipe, I sure wish I had the original … it’s just so good!
Chili Lime Chicken Salad
For the salad:
In a large bowl, mix together: 3-4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced 1 large mango, diced 1 avocado, diced 3 green onions, chopped 1 cup English cucumber, diced 3 Roma tomatoes, diced and lightly salted
For the dressing:
Using an 8 ounce mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Add 1/3 cup light olive or canola oil and mix in the following items:
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger 1 ½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce 2 teaspoons sugar ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Combine all dressing ingredients in the mason jar. Shake until completely combined; taste. If needed, add more of any ingredient to suit your tastebuds. Refrigerate before pouring over salad.
To add a bit of crunch, crush 1 cup of tortilla chips to sprinkle over the dressed salad. Serve cold.
We had a very snowy 2021 Valentine’s Day. The light and fluffy flakes had been coming down for days and my yardstick inserted in the snow was clocking in at a whopping 17”. We had intended to go out for dinner but decided to settle in at home. I made a batch of these Hazelnut Dump Brownies to have with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Everything is basically dumped into a bowl, mixed together and tossed in a greased baking pan. Then, the mini chocolate chips are sprinkled over the top… easy enough! This is a super simple recipe with extraordinary results. PS. It’s still snowing! ❄️❄️❄️
Hazelnut Dump Brownies
2 cups sugar 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup baking cocoa 1 teaspoon salt 5 large eggs, room temperature 1 cup canola oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup hazelnuts, chopped 1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl, mix in the first 8 ingredients. Pour into a greased 13×9” baking pan. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
This one our most flavorful breakfast casseroles. The mixture of apples and breakfast sausage, teamed up with a light batter and homemade maple syrup make this a winner in our household.
Sausage and Apple Breakfast Bake
1 or 2 pounds bulk pork sausage 2 cups biscuit/baking mix 1-1/3 cups skim milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon butter extract 2 large eggs 1/4 cup canola oil 2 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon Maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9” baking pan; set aside. In a large skillet, cook and crumble breakfast sausage until no longer pink; drain. In a medium mixing bowl, combine biscuit mix, milk, extracts, eggs and oil until blended; stir in cooked sausage. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar. Transfer biscuit mixture to a greased 13×9” baking dish. Evenly top with apples; sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake until set, 30-40 minutes. Serve with syrup.
I have a fabulous cookbook that highlights favorite recipes from bed and breakfast inns across the country. This week I found a recipe for apricot chicken breasts that called for a portion of a jar of apricot preserves to top the breasts while baking. I thumbed through the cookbook shortly thereafter and found a recipe for these apricot and oatmeal bars. What a great way to use up the balance of my preserves. This turned out to be a delicious treat as my family raved over these simple bars.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats 1 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 – 12 ounce apricot jam/preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients to form a crumb mixture. Pat 1/2 of crumbs into a greased 11x7x1 1/2” or a 9×9” pan. Spread the entire surface with apricot jam. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake for 40 minutes or until the surface is golden bown. Cool before cutting.
During the recent Thanksgiving holiday, the weather turned cold. I had an idea to cook up a large pot of hearty soup; a comfort food that is always a good idea during the Midwestern winter months. I had plenty of leftover vegetables that I’d purchased to make stuffing and to season other dishes. So, Friday morning I threw a few chicken breasts into a pot of simmering water and set out to make a soup for those looking for a comforting bowl of deliciousness during the weekend.
While I could have used my leftover turkey for this recipe, I chose to leave it for sandwiches as the family likes to pile turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on a hearty wheat bread for traditional turkey leftover sandwiches. I did, however, toast some super thin Pepperidge Farm’s bread to act as a crispy accent to the smooth and creamy soup. I hope you try this delicious soup as this one warms the soul…
Note: I keep chicken stock base in my pantry for times when I don’t have chicken broth on the shelf. Follow the directions on the side of the container to substitute this base for the canned broth.
Creamy Chicken Rice Soup
1 tablespoon oil 1 cup carrots, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 1/2 cup onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1/3 cup long grain rice, uncooked 3/4 teaspoon dried basil 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth 3 tablespoons flour 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk 2 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté carrot, celery and onion until tender. Add garlic; cook until vegetables are translucent. Stir in rice, seasonings and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered about 15 minutes, until the rice is tender. In a small bowl, mix flour and evaporated milk until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in chicken and heat through.
If you are looking for an easy coffee cake recipe that you can get to the table in no time at all, this is it! The base of the batter uses a boxed baking mix to add to the ease to which this coffee cake comes together. Great for the holiday season as you might have a few early morning guests in the house. It’s a winner!
Topping: ⅔ cup baking mix ⅔ cup brown sugar 4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a deep 9-inch pie pan. Combine baking mix, milk, sugar, egg, cinnamon, and vanilla in bowl; mix well. Spread into the bottom of the prepared pan. For topping, in a medium sized bowl, combine baking mix, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and walnuts. Using a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Spread topping mix over cake batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. (Optional: Drizzle with powdered sugar/water glaze.
While looking through one of my older cookbooks last week, I stumbled across a recipe for a breakfast sausage ball that would make for a welcome addition to my brunch menu. I had the few required ingredients on hand and I was in the mood to try something new. Talk about an easy recipe… 3 ingredients are combined with an optional dash of water to moisten the mix. Adding a side of scrambled eggs, coffee, orange juice and fresh fruit rounded out the meal. This is a plentiful recipe. If you make the full recipe, you’ll have extras to warm up for weekday quick fixes. I throw them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds and they are ready to eat. They freeze well too. A win-win for my busy family!
I’ve include the original recipe link below… along with the adjusted recipe that I am using instead.
Last weekend, we donned our masks and headed to the local apple orchard. It was a beautiful day and we were able to pick a variety of apples. After arriving home, I scrolled through a few YouTube videos to find new and unique apple recipes that I hadn’t tried before. I stumbled across this video and realized that I had the cookbook with the exact recipe on my kitchen shelf. I had purchased the cookbook many years ago when visiting Georgia. We had just eaten in Paula Deen’s restaurant and I picked up the cookbook in the souvenir shop on my way out of the building. I hadn’t tried this recipe until I watched Paula pull all of the ingredients together to make a dense, moist, scrumptious looking cake. Wow, this cake does not disappoint! I’ll be making it all season long!
In fact, I took the opportunity to bake it again for a birthday celebration. This cake travels well. I packed it up in a cake carrier and I’ll sprinkle it with extra powdered sugar before serving.
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Generously grease a tube pan.
For the cake: in a large bowl, combine 2 cups sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice, flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract; and mix well. Fold apples, coconut and pecans into batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.
Shortly before the cake is done, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in 1 cup sugar, buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and bring to a good rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the hot cake in the pan as soon as you remove it from the oven. Let stand 1 hour, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.