Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, cookies, Uncategorized

Apricot-Oatmeal Bars

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.

Apricot-Oatmeal 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.

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, holiday, Soup, Uncategorized

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

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.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, breakfast, Cake, Food, Uncategorized

Easy Cinnamon Crumble Coffee Cake

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!

Easy Cinnamon Crumble Coffee Cake


Cake:
2 cups baking mix
⅔ cup milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 egg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

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.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, Food, Uncategorized

Easy Breakfast Sausage Balls

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.

Easy Breakfast Sausage Balls

4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups baking mix
1 (1 lb) package ground sausage

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 °F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Mix well with your fingers. The mixture will be very crumbly.

Form into 1 inch balls, squeezing the mixture so it holds together, then rolling it between the palms of your hands to form balls.

Place the balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. To prevent sticking, move the balls with a spatula halfway through cooking.

Adapted from: https://www.pauladeen.com/recipe/sausage-balls/

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Cake, Uncategorized

Georgia Fresh Apple Cake

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.

Scrumptious, moist, and full of apples, pecans, and coconuts… Then, soaked in a buttery sauce.
All packed up and ready to travel…
The original recipe from my Paula Deen Cookbook

Here’s the link for the Paula Deen recipe.

You’ve got to try it!

Georgia Fresh Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups divided sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 
  • 1/4 cup orange juice 
  • 3 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons divided baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples 
  • 1 cup shredded coconut 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 

Directions

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.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, Brunch, Cake, Desserts, Uncategorized

Easy Blueberry Coffee Cake

I have been without a proper kitchen for a number of months as the Corona Virus has ushered in a major kitchen appliance shortage in the US. We started a home remodel in May and everything is complete with the exception of a fridge, wall oven, cooktop, microwave and dishwasher. Ugh, this has been a bit of a pain.
Full disclosure, I have a second kitchen in my home and I’ve been using it to make quick and easy recipes. Most have a shortcut that I use so that I don’t have to pull out too many ingredients (many ingredients have been packed away in boxes from the original kitchen demo.)
I have to credit https://vintagerecipetin.com/blueberry-coffee-cake/ for this adapted recipe as I wanted to make a Sunday morning coffee cake with ingredients that I had on hand. This one included simple ingredients that made for a moist and delicious breakfast cake. I made a few changes to make the process even easier and to add a bit more flavor. I set up a small coffee bar and let everyone dig in while I pulled the rest of the meal together.

Easy Blueberry Coffee Cake

For the streusel:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For the batter:
15.25 oz. white or yellow cake mix
3 eggs
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup oil
3 cups blueberries

Optional drizzle:
1 cup powdered sugar combined with 1 tablespoon of milk. Thin with extra milk, if needed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13” pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a small bowl add the streusel ingredients. Mix with a fork until combined; set aside.
In a larger bowl add the cake mix, cream cheese, eggs, water, extracts and oil. Mix together with a hand mixer until smooth; fold in blueberries. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter.
Place in the oven on the center rack. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake. Place on a cooling rack; cool. Drizzle with powdered sugar and water mixture. Serve warm or room temperature.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, breakfast, Brunch, eggs, Uncategorized

Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche

I love using up ingredients from the fridge when pulling together a last minute breakfast. This quiche is one of my favorite go-to breakfast items because it’s so simple and delicious.
Actually, it a great lunch or dinner entree, as well. Just add a light salad and enjoy!

Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust
7 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup cooked ham chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
3 tablespoons green onions, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll pie crust and press into a greased 9″ pie plate, crimping the top edges, if needed.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, hot sauce and pepper. Sprinkle ham, cheese, and (optional) green onions into the pie crust and pour the egg mixture over top. Bake for 40-43 minutes until the center is completely set. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, Cake, Uncategorized

Oven Baked Maple Pancakes

On Saturdays, I usually make a big homemade breakfast for all those that may have returned home for the weekend. While it’s usually just my hubby and I, when the kids travel home for a few days, I enjoy the time we have catching up around the breakfast table.
When making pancakes, I usually use my old standby recipe, Oatmeal Pancakes, and stand at the stovetop griddle pouring individual mounds until I’ve cooked all of the batter into round-shaped cakes. Alternatively, this recipe is a lifesaver as I can mix up a batch of batter, pour it into a baking dish, and throw it into the oven while working on all of the other items that will need to be prepped and cooked.
During the late winter/early spring, we tap our trees to make our own delicious maple syrup. Our family loves its rich flavor and I use a healthy dose for this convenient recipe.

Oven Baked Maple Pancakes

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
½ cup maple syrup
1 ½ cups pancake baking mix
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar and the maple syrup until completely combined. Pour into greased 13X9” baking pan.

Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, until well blended. Carefully pour over syrup mixture.

Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when touched in center. Cut into 3-inch squares; turn each square upside down onto plate. Serve immediately.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Cake, cookies, Desserts, Uncategorized

Quick Double Chip Bars

I quickly rushed home from work on Friday to pull together a family meal. After rustling up a salad and main dish, I searched the pantry for a few staples that would make a base for a quick dessert. I have a semi-homemade bar recipe that’s quite easy to pull together and these Quick Double Chip Bars would work for a simple ending. For a more festive occasion, a big scoop of French vanilla ice cream, a bit of chocolate syrup, and a dollop of whipped cream can make for a more decadent dessert. We opted to munch on these in their original state while watching TV after dinner. Make sure to have on hand – glasses of cold milk, hot tea, or coffee to wash down these delicious treats.

Quick Double Chip Bars

1 pouch chocolate chip cookie mix

Butter and egg(s) called for on cookie mix pouch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup butterscotch chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix cookie mix, butter, eggs, and vanilla with spoon until soft dough forms. Stir in butterscotch chips and walnuts. Using damp fingers, evenly press dough in pan.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Posted in Baking, Bread, breakfast, Brunch, Food, Uncategorized

Banana Nutter Butter Pancakes

We recently spent a week in Walt Disney World for their Annual Marathon Weekend and festivities. Record high temperatures made for a tough course. My daughter looked so relieved when she finally crossed the finish line. We are quite lucky as our Disney Vacation Club membership has allowed us to visit “the mouse” quite often over the last twenty-something years. We usually only travel down when attendance is low and crowds are at a minimum. In my mind, this is the only way to really enjoy all that WDW has to offer.

One of our new favorite dining spots is the Kona Café, located in the Polynesian Hotel and Resort. The restaurant is known for its Tonga Toast and Macadamia Nut Pancakes entrees.

This morning, I wanted to duplicate the pancake recipe but didn’t have the correct ingredients. I opted for a basic banana nut recipe as I have a freezer full of overly ripe bananas that I wanted to use. You’ll love this delicious and easy recipe. We top the pancakes with a dollop of butter and our very own maple syrup.

Banana Nutter Butter Pancakes

2 cups flour

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups milk

4 overripe bananas, mashed

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, slightly beaten

Mix flour, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Next, whisk in eggs, milk, bananas, melted butter, and vanilla extract; stir until just combined.

Heat a lightly buttered skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter into the skillet. Cook until bubbles form and the edges are firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more.