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.
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.
My daughter is a healthcare worker and was able to get a few days off this past week. She decided to come home to enjoy the peace and quiet of our tree-lined property. A brief get-away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city…
While she was home, I decided to reorganize my pantry and she noticed a box of elbow noodles on the shelf. She remarked that a Mac and Cheese dinner would be a delicious treat. She said, “Mac and Cheese comforts my soul.” Naturally, I gathered the ingredients and I cooked up a huge baker filled with delicious cheesy goodness. I was sure to pack up the leftovers so she could take them back home with her and munch on them after a long night at work. I got a text shortly after she arrived home thanking me and letting me know how great it was to be back home. And, to reiterate her love for this Mac and Cheese recipe.
Creamy and Crunchy Mac and Cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1 lb. (16 oz. box) elbow macaroni
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s Hot Sauce)
2 teaspoons all purpose seasoning (I use Jack Stack Barbecue – Kansas City, all purpose seasoning)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
16 ounces Mozzarella, grated
½ stick butter, melted
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-x-13-inch glass baking dish; set aside. Cook macaroni according to package directions; until al dente. Drain well and return to pot. Add butter to noodles and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, whole milk, and eggs. Stir in the hot sauce, all purpose seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine the cheeses; lightly toss and set aside.
For topping- In a small bowl, mix melted butter with breadcrumbs; set aside
Spread one third of the macaroni in an even layer in the prepared baking dish; cover evenly with one third of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and shredded cheeses. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the contents of the baking dish, sprinkle with topping and bake until the top layer is lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I recently bought the Ninja Foodi XL and tried out one of its multi-cooker recipes for a spicy chili con carne. If you like chili, the depth of flavors in this recipe… simply amazing. If you’ve never used a multi-cooker before, follow the pictures below for a brief tutorial.
Chop your fresh ingredients…
This recipe uses corn tortilla shells to thicken and flavor the chili. Pulse in a food processor or blender.
Using the multi-cooker, sauté ingredients on high.
Add a few more ingredients to the pot and pressure cook as directed in the recipe below.
This recipe book accompanies the Ninja Foodi XL. One of my favorite chili recipes with a incredible depth of flavor.
Our local market usually has a reduced-priced cart of day old bakery goods situated in the back of the store. I always make a point to stop to see what’s available to perhaps make a batch of fresh bread crumbs, garlic bread, or a bread casserole. Most times, I use the bread for a morning breakfast casserole that includes eggs, milk, sausage, vegetables and cheese. But today, I wanted to make something sweet to accompany a bit of vanilla bean ice cream that I had on hand. I also had a few bananas that were beyond their peak of ripeness.
This recipe is a keeper! Served warm with a few small scoops of ice cream, this has become a family favorite!
Banana Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chips
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups French bread, cubed
2 bananas, sliced (overly ripe, if possible)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 7×11″ baking pan. In a large bowl, combine and mix eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in bread, bananas, and chocolate chips, and let sit for 5-7 minutes for bread to soak up the liquid mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until pudding is golden brown and center is set.