Breakfast, Salads, Super Sides

Do Something New with Your Easter Egg Leftovers

easter egg leftovers

Tired of Hard-Boiled Eggs?

If your family is anything like mine, you have about three different Easter celebrations. When I was a child, we’d celebrate Easter at our house and then go to each of my grandmother’s homes to celebrate, as well. Guess what that meant? We had a lot of leftover food and a lot of leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs!

After a while, I started to hate those eggs because I ate them plain – well, my mother would shake a little salt and pepper on them, but that was about it. As I got older, I began adding mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish for single-serve deviled eggs. Even this got boring after a while, though.

So, what do you do when you’re sick of plain hard-boiled eggs – or even deviled eggs? How about some of these tasty ideas?

leftovers

Spice Up Your Egg Salad

While egg salad is not that much different than deviled eggs on the surface, you can mix it up by adding exotic ingredients.

What would you think about adding a little curry to your egg salad? Or even some mashed avocado or grated cucumber for added, non-egg-y flavor.

Use your culinary imagination, and the sky’s the limit!

hard boiled egg recipes

Top Your Cooked Vegetables

Chop up some hard-boiled eggs and throw them on top of steamed vegetables. Chopped eggs are especially tasty, and aesthetically satisfying, on top of green vegetables (beans, broccoli, asparagus).

I’ll admit it. At first, I was nervous about trying this, but I was pleasantly surprised. Hard-boiled eggs really do make a yummy garnish for cooked vegetables.

hard boiled eggs

Don’t Forget the Cold Vegetables!

Sure, we all know we can chop up hard-boiled eggs and throw them on our lettuce salads. And most people add hard-boiled eggs to cold potato and tuna salad. But what about other cold salads?

Eggs can be a great addition to macaroni salad, shrimp salad – even cole slaw. And have you ever had cauliflower salad? This is something else I was afraid to try, but it turned out to be a delicious new addition to my cold salad repertoire.

pickled eggs

Pickle Your Eggs

Now this may be an acquired taste because not everyone likes pickled eggs. I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of them, but they do hold a certain nostalgic value for me.

My grandmother always had pickled eggs on the table at Easter. Well, her pickled eggs always included pickled beets and onions, but there were always eggs in the mix.

Pickled eggs can be eaten by themselves or as a cold salad accompaniment. If you’ve never had one before, try them. You might really like them.

Simply Organic French Onion Dip, 1.1-Ounce Packets (Pack of 24)

Add Some Protein to Your Dips and Sauces

Finely chop your hardboiled eggs (yolk and all) and add them, along with some sour cream or plain yogurt, to your favorite dip seasoning mix. I think they’re best in French Onion dip or Ranch dip. You hardly even know the egg is in there, depending on how many you use.

Or how about some chopped hard-boiled eggs in a hollandaise sauce, or even a chicken a la king? You can easily sneak in the nutritional goodness of the egg without cluing in any egg-haters to their presence.

boiled eggs

Egg Up Your Main Dishes

You can always chop up your hard-boiled egg and throw it in with your favorite meatloaf mixture. Or you could spice things up a bit, Spanish-style.

Combining potatoes and eggs is a very popular culinary trick in Spain and in most of South America. That’s where I had my first Tortilla Española and absolutely fell in love with the flavor combination.

You can replicate the flavor in a casserole dish. Use equal numbers of boiled eggs and boiled potatoes. Throw them in the dish with some cooked sausage, peppers, onions, and spices. Layer the sliced eggs on top of the mixture with some milk-soaked bread and cheese. Repeat and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Delicious spicy breakfast (or dinner) casserole!

Some New Egg Ideas

Now you have some ideas for unique ways to use your leftover Easter eggs. You won’t be stuck eating just plain hard-boiled eggs, like I was for so many years! So go out and buy a few dozen and have fun decorating them for Easter. Or, if Easter’s a long way off, just decorate them for the heck of it. Why not?

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

microwave egg cooker
Breakfast, Cooking Tools & Techniques

Yummy Microwave Eggs

yummy microwave eggs

Yes! It’s true! You really can make yummy eggs in the microwave. I’ve done it several times before!

how to microwave an egg
Used with permission from AZAdam – http://flickr.com/photos/azadam/120126016/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3216130

It all started a few years ago when my older daughter asked for eggs for breakfast. I went to the kitchen, set the frying pan on a burner, and turned the stove on. The burner almost immediately started smoking. I was afraid that whatever was causing the smoking would catch fire (it’s happened before), so I turned off the power to that burner.

I tried another burner. Same thing. Then I went to another burner. Again, after a few seconds, the burner started smoking. All my burners had this same problem!

I was afraid to use the stove, and my little girl was still asking for her egg. So, I had to think of something. I, of course, turned to the Internet and found this interesting (if a little amateurish) video. Note: the baby at the end really doesn’t have anything to do with cooking the eggs. I would just turn it off after the first couple of minutes if I were you.

Here’s How I Made My Eggs in a Cup

Now, the chef in this video called her creation an omelet, but I’m not sure what I made actually qualifies as an omelet. It was actually more like scrambled eggs with a little cheese thrown in.

Ingredients:

  • one large mug
  • one extra-large egg
  • about one-fourth of a cup of mild cheddar cheese (more or less to taste)
  • a couple of dashes of salt
  • a couple of dashes of pepper

The technique:

  1. Crack open egg.
  2. Pour contents into the mug.
  3. Whisk the egg to break up yolk.
  4. Add cheese.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Stir lightly.
  7. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds.
  8. Stir the egg with a fork.
  9. Return to microwave and cook for 30 more seconds.
  10. Jab a fork into the egg to check for done-ness.
  11. Pour the egg out of the cup (or just eat it in the cup).

In the video, the cat lady sprayed her cup with Pam before pouring her egg mixture into it, and I’ve done this too. However, the first time I made eggs in a mug, I got distracted by my then three-year-old and one-year-old, so I completely forgot this step. I was really regretting that omission by the time all was said and done because the melted cheese stuck really badly to the mug. If you forget to spray the Pam on the mug (I never have since then), you’re going to have to soak the mug in water for about half an hour (at least I did) and then scrub for quite a while to get it all off.

I also personally love to add a little milk to my eggs before I cook them – just a tablespoon or two. I started doing that, and it does help keep the microwave eggs from being too rubbery.

When I’m making eggs for myself, I always add some favorite spices: thyme, onion powder to add a little more flavor, and probably some more ingredients – coriander’s always nice. And so is chervil, for egg dishes. These eggs, however, are surprisingly tasty to be cooked in a microwave with just cheese and salt and pepper. I never would have thought it was possible if I hadn’t tried it myself!

As I said before, this doesn’t really qualify as an omelet because there was no flipping involved, and it came out of the cup in one big block form – not a nice flat half-moon shape. Still, it’s an amazingly easy, fast, and tasty way to get the goodness of eggs anytime you want! Hooray for the microwave!

You don’t even have to use one of those specialty gadgets for cooking eggs in the microwave, although you can if you want to. Who knows? The eggs might turn out even better.

Some Nutritional Facts About Eggs

One extra-large egg has:

  • 80 calories
  • 6 grams of total fat
  • 2 grams of saturated fat
  • 237 mg of cholesterol
  • 7 grams of protein
  • 3% Daily Value (DV) of calcium
  • 5% DV of Vitamin A
  • 6% DV of iron

Eggs are also a great source of a few major B vitamins: B2, B5, and B12. And some studies show that eating two eggs for breakfast can even kick up your weight loss.

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Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

chocolate chip muffins
Breads, Breakfast, Microwave Baking

Chocolate Chippy Chunk Muffins

chocolate chippy chunk muffins.png

This past weekend, my oldest daughter asked for some chocolate chip cookies because she knew I had a full bag of chocolate chips in the house – well, sort of full (more on that later). My oven’s still not working, so I asked her if muffins would be okay because I know I can do muffins in the microwave. chocolate chip muffinsShe said yes, so I decided to go with that. But I waited too long (a whole day), and she and her sister broke into my bag of chocolate chips!

By the time I got around to making the muffins, I found that most of the bag was empty. So, I had to improvise when it came to adding the chocolate to the recipe. I used about 1/4 of a pound of the coconut oil fudge I’d made a few days before. The end result was pretty surprising and wonderful!

I also happened to be out of eggs, so I searched online and found that you can actually substitute flaxseed (3 tablespoons) and water (1 tablespoon) for one egg. The nice folks at Viva Labs sent me a free bag of ground flaxseed in exchange for an honest review. And, my honest opinion is, it’s a great product! Nicely packaged. It tastes great, and it works in a variety of food products (I’ve used it to make meatballs too). Soon, I’ll be using it to make soap (which I’ll probably talk about over at my CoriaCoco site), so keep an eye out for that post if you’re interested. Plus, I think the Amazon price is totally reasonable for the quality you’re getting, especially if you have access to the free Prime shipping.

I knew I had the flaxseed available, so I decided to try that out as a substitute. It worked pretty well, I think…and my kids and husband both really enjoyed them, so I guess we can call this eggless recipe a winner.

Know someone with an egg allergy? They can still have muffins (as long as they’re not allergic to anything else in this recipe). Here’s what I used and what I did.

Chocolate Chippy Chunk Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 6 mins
Cook time: 6 mins
Total time: 12 mins
Serves: 14 muffins
These muffins are made by substituting a flaxseed and water mixture for the egg, so anyone with an egg allergy can enjoy them, provided they are not allergic to anything else in the recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil fudge (see recipe linked above)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Make the egg substitute mixture by combining one tablespoon of flaxseed with three tablespoons water. Stir and let sit for at least one minute while you get the other ingredients together.
  2. Line mini muffin cup wells with mini cupcake liners or spray with non-stick spray.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave (high for about 30 seconds).
  4. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
  5. Pour in the chocolate chips and fudge (cut up into bite-size chunks) and stir well.
  6. Add the sugar, baking powder, and salt, and stir until combined thoroughly.
  7. Fold in the flaxseed and water mixture.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the lined muffin cups and put into microwave.
  9. Cook on high power for between 3 and 4 minutes (test for doneness with a toothpick).
  10. Transfer done muffins to a cooling rack and repeat with remaining batter (I had enough left for about 2 or 3 other muffins – these won’t take as long to cook).
  11. Cook remaining muffin batter on high power for about 2 minutes.

After you cook these, if you don’t eat them all right away, you might want to put them in a sealed container. I didn’t, and I found that the next day some of them were really, really hard. A couple of seconds in the microwave softened them up, but it was still something I wasn’t expecting. I hadn’t experienced that before with any of the other muffins I’d made in the microwave. Maybe it was the coconut oil in them (which hardens at room temperature). Maybe I needed to add more milk or water or something. I’m going to try that the next time I make these.

Did you try these? I’d love to hear about it. Also, if you have any suggestions for keeping these from turning rock hard the next day, that would be great too.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

pumpkin muffins
Breads, Breakfast, Microwave Baking

Pumpkin Muffins

 

pumpkin muffins

A couple of years ago, my girls discovered the Little Bites pumpkin muffins from Entenmann’s. They absolutely fell in love with them, and I went through about a box every other day or so. Let me tell you, that got expensive. Also, things turned distressing when December rolled around, and the pumpkin muffins disappeared. Turns out, this was just a seasonal flavor. My girls were heartbroken, and I wondered how I could possibly satisfy their little toddler cravings for pumpkin muffins.

I found a recipe for pumpkin muffins using canned pumpkin and cake mix, and those were yummy, but I wondered if there was another way to make them – preferably from scratch. Turns out, all I had to do was look through my Grammy’s old microwave cookbooks. I used the basic muffin recipe and tweaked it by adding pumpkin and some other yummy stuff, and this is what I came up with:

Pumpkin Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 22 mins
Serves: 36
These pumpkin muffins are so good and easy, you’ll want to make them all the time, even when it’s not “pumpkin muffin season.”
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredient mixture.
  3. Pour the eggs, cooking oil, milk, applesauce, and vanilla into the center of the well.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree, and stir to combine thoroughly.
  6. Insert a silicone mini muffin tray into a large Pyrex baking dish.
  7. Spray the tray with Pam non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Fill each muffin well about 2/3 full with batter.
  9. Microwave on High (Power Level: 10) for 5 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center of each muffin comes out clean.
  10. Remove the muffins from the tray, and repeat the process for the rest of the muffin batter.

My whole family loves these, although my husband admits he thinks they could be a little sweeter. I think they’re just fine as they are, and I like the fact that I can serve my family muffins for breakfast and not feel too guilty about it. These also make a nice after-dinner treat.

However, if you have a real sweet tooth, like my husband, you might want to consider doubling the sugar in this recipe, or perhaps adding icing. I think you could do so without ruining the muffins. Whether you add more sugar or not, I do hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

paleo diet pancake recipes
Breakfast, Cooking Healthy Food

Four Paleo Diet Pancake Recipes

 

paleo diet pancake recipes

It’s no secret by now that my family loves pancakes, and I’ve already shared our favorite pancake recipe on this blog. But millions of people worldwide either can’t, or choose not to, enjoy traditional pancakes because of the wheat flour that’s used in the recipe. That’s why, on this National Pancake Day, I decided to feature some paleo diet pancake recipes that are completely (or almost completely) gluten free.

You can take my old-fashioned pancake recipe (linked above) and substitute almond flour for the regular flour, almond milk for the regular milk, honey for the white sugar, ghee for the melted butter, and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda combined with 5.5 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar for the baking powder.

Alternatively, you can try this recipe from Elana Amsterdam, the author of The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, which I’ve mentioned in a previous post.

If you want to try something a little different, take a look at some of these:

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

  • 1 cup crushed almonds (alternatively, as Elana Amsterdam suggests, you can use crushed cashew pieces)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. In a food processor or blender (I like the Ninja Master Prep), chop up the almonds into tiny pieces.
  2. Add the almond milk, baking soda, eggs, banana slices, and the vanilla extract.
  3. Pulse together until smooth, about one minute.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips just before cooking the pancakes.
  5. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  6. Spoon batter into the skillet, and cook each pancake for about 30 to 60 seconds per side.
  7. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I love sweet potatoes…and, of course, I love pancakes. This combination is almost unbeatable!

  • 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Whisk together the first five ingredients.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and stir together until thoroughly combined.
  4. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet until melted.
  5. Spoon about two tablespoons of the pancake batter into the skillet and pat down to flatten into a pancake form.
  6. Cook over medium high heat for two to three minutes.
  7. Flip the pancake over and pat it down again to flatten even more and free some of the uncooked batter.
  8. Cook on this side for about two minutes.
  9. Flip the pancake again and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  10. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Pancakes

‘Tis the season to make pumpkin EVERYTHING! Yay! We love pumpkin at our house, so combining pumpkin flavor with our favorite breakfast pancakes is a no-brainer. Turns out, it can make a fabulous paleo breakfast treat, as well. Here’s an all-paleo pumpkin pancake recipe that’s sure to please everyone in your household.

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey (preferably local)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee, melted
  1. Whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, almond flour, vanilla, and honey.
  2. Stir in the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Melt the coconut oil or ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Pour most of the melted oil or ghee into the pancake batter, reserving some to grease the pan.
  5. Spoon batter into the skillet and cook each pancake for about 30-60 seconds per side.
  6. Serve immediately.

I’m not so married to my old family favorites that I won’t change it up every now and then and cook something different. My daughter just convinced her daddy to buy a couple of pumpkins for her and her sister the other day, so I used the pumpkin inside to whip up some pumpkin pancakes with this recipe. Note: if you use fresh pumpkin instead of canned, you might have to add more flour to the batter (maybe a couple of tablespoons more) to make it thick enough.

paleo diet pancake recipes

These recipes just prove that you can still enjoy pancakes for breakfast, even if you can’t eat flour. So, why not whip up some today and indulge?

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

mexican breakfast
Breakfast, Exotic Flavors

Three Mexican Breakfast Casserole Recipes

 

mexican breakfast casseroles (1)

I’ve always loved Mexican food, and I’ve long been a big fan of breakfast casseroles. There’s just something about cooking all those yummy flavors together that really thrills my taste buds. Plus, breakfast casseroles are 100% portable, so they’re the perfect dishes to take to share with others at Sunday School breakfasts or other morning get-togethers. Get out your favorite skillet and baking dish, and let’s start cooking one of these amazing Mexican breakfast casseroles, which I’ve adapted slightly from Marge Poore’s 1,000 Mexican Recipes to fit my family’s tastes.

Egg and Rice Casserole 

Don’t let the name (or the plain ingredients) fool you.

There’s more to this recipe than meets the eye (or, in this case, the mouth)!

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large (room temperature) eggs
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat for about two minutes.
  3. Add the onion powder, rice, and cumin.
  4. Cook about three to four minutes, stirring frequently. The rice should change color.
  5. Add the broth and salt, and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is all absorbed.
  7. Remove the pan, uncover, and make four indentations in the rice.
  8. Break an egg into each hole in the rice.
  9. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the rice and egg mixture.
  10. Return the pan to the oven and cook, uncovered, for about 10 to 12 minutes. The whites of the eggs will be set, but the yolks will still be soft.
  11. Serve immediately by spooning out a portion of the rice with each egg.

Egg and Tortilla Casserole

This casserole is a bit spicier than the rice and egg one above, so you might want to make that one for the kids, and this (or the one below it) for the grown-ups if you’re cooking for a family breakfast or brunch.

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 chopped medium tomatillos
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 7-ounce can of chopped green chiles
  • 4 7-inch corn tortillas, cut into one-inch strips
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil and stir in the onion powder.
  4. Stir in the tomatillos, salt, cumin, and water.
  5. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for about 5 to 7 minutes. The tomatillos will be soft and light green.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the chiles.
  7. Spread half of the skillet mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.
  8. Layer half of the tortilla strips and half of the cheese on top.
  9. Repeat the layers with the rest of the chile mixture, tortilla strips, and cheese.
  10. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together.
  11. Pour evenly over the tortilla layers.
  12. Sprinkle red bell pepper and green onions on top.
  13. Bake, uncovered, for about 35 to 40 minutes. The casserole will be puffy, but well set in the center.
  14. Let stand for 5 to 8 minutes.
  15. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Chilaquiles: Tortilla Casserole with Eggs and Red Chile Sauce

mexican breakfast

  • 6 7-inch tortillas, cut into half-inch strips
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups red chile sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Heat the oil and fry the tortilla strips in batches until they are golden brown. Drain them on paper towels.
  2. Pour off all but one tablespoon of the oil.
  3. Add the beaten eggs and the salt and cook for about two minutes, until the eggs are just about to set.
  4. Add the tortilla strips and the red chile sauce.
  5. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes, until the tortilla strips fully absorb the sauce.
  6. Sprinkle cheese, and then drizzle the sour cream over the top.
  7. Serve immediately, while the chilaquiles are still warm.

Put one (or more) of these Mexican breakfast casseroles on the table, and you’re sure to wow all your breakfast or brunch guests. And you may just decide to put them on the regular meal plan rotation for yourself once you find out how good they really are!

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

cherries jubilee
Breakfast, Fruit for Dessert, Just Desserts

Cream Cheese Pancakes with Cherries Jubilee Syrup

 

pancakes with cherries jubilee syrup

It’s National Cherries Jubilee Day…and it’s also National Breakfast Month. I thought it would be fun to combine the two in a cherries jubilee pancake recipe. So, when I ran across this one, I had to try it out and share. This is a little more difficult to make than the usual old-fashioned pancake recipe I love, but it is so worth it. The next time you have brunch guests, you might want to give this a try to truly impress them!

Cream Cheese Pancakes with Cherries Jubilee Syrup
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 12 pancakes
An awesome variation on two old favorites – pancakes and cherries jubilee.
Ingredients
  • Pam cooking spray (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 10-ounce jar of maraschino cherries + juice and half the cherries in another jar
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract + half a cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
Instructions
  1. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, milk, vinegar, cream cheese, butter, orange juice, and vanilla.
  3. Stir vigorously for two to three minutes until pancake batter is well mixed. There may be lumps.
  4. Spoon out into heated skillet and cook over medium high heat for about 30-60 seconds per side.
  5. Transfer cooked pancake to a serving plate and top with the cherries jubilee syrup.
  6. To make the syrup: Heat the cherries and cherry juice, rum extract, lemon extract and water, sugar, and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  7. Cook, stirring, for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  9. Spoon over the pancakes as soon as they are done.
cherries jubilee

I love this recipe, and I really love the fact that I can enjoy the cherries jubilee taste without all the alcohol or the potential for fire. I’m kind of a klutz in the kitchen, so I’m sure trying to set anything on fire on purpose would go really badly.

I’m glad to say, however, that this one was pure delight from start to finish…especially when it came time to eat the pancakes for our after-dinner treat. And there was plenty more batter left over for tomorrow’s breakfast. I can hardly wait!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

blueberry muffins
Breads, Breakfast, Fruit for Dessert, Microwave Baking

White Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

 

white chocolate blueberry muffins

There’s not much I like better than a good blueberry muffin, and I make some of the best (if I do say so myself). So, when I heard that this is National White Chocolate Day, I thought: What could be better than combining white chocolate chips with my favorite blueberry muffin recipe? And, of course, I had to try out baking these in the microwave. I’m becoming very fond of baking with a microwave. Turns out, these muffins were amazing! Here’s how to make them:

White Chocolate Blueberry Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 8 mins
Total time: 18 mins
Serves: 12-24
White chocolate gives my favorite blueberry muffin recipe an extra special touch. Make these any time you want to wow brunch guests!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Sprite
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Spray a microwave-safe muffin pan (I use a silicone mini muffin pan) with Pam cooking spray.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, yogurt, egg, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. The batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Fold in the white chocolate chips and blueberries and stir gently.
  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups (6 regular-sized muffins or 12 mini muffins).
  7. Microwave on Power Level 7 for 2-4 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
  9. Repeat for process of greasing the muffin pan, pouring the batter, and microwaving on Power Level 7 for 2-4 minutes to bake the remaining batter.
blueberry muffins


My mother-in-law first introduced me to the joys of the silicone muffin pan, and I’m so glad she did. This versatile pan can be used in the regular oven, as well as the microwave oven, so it’s perfect for all kinds of recipes. If you use it in the regular oven, though, you might have to put a metal cookie sheet or something under it for added stability. Happy baking!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

Breads, Breakfast, Microwave Baking

Spicy Honey Microwave Beet Bread

 

beet bread

My girls love beets. I mean, they really, really do. So we eat a lot of them around here (usually of the canned variety). The other day, I opened a can to put some in my older daughter’s lunch (and to give my younger daughter for breakfast). As I pulled out the vegetable slices with a fork, I contemplated the liquid left over inside the can.

What should I do with it? I didn’t want to just throw it out, if there was any way I might be able to use it. And then my thoughts naturally turned to the microwave breads and cakes I’d been making. What if I could make a beet bread using this leftover juice? Well, it turns out I could…and I did. Here’s my spicy honey microwave beet bread recipe.

Spicy Honey Microwave Beet Bread
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 17 mins
Serves: 8 servings
What do you do with the juice leftover from a can of beets? Just throw it out? Why on earth would you do that when you can make this wonderful spicy honey microwave beet bread?
Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups beet juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey (preferably local)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Grease a glass loaf pan.
  2. Pour the beet juice into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the two eggs and combine thoroughly.
  4. Pour in the sugar and honey and mix together well.
  5. Stir in the yogurt, flour, baking soda, salt, coriander, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
  7. Cover the pan with wax paper.
  8. Cook in the microwave on medium (power level 5) for 10 minutes. Turn the pan halfway through cooking, if your microwave does not have a turntable.
  9. Cook, covered, on high for two minutes.
  10. Remove and serve immediately.
SpicyHoneyMicrowaveBeet Bread (2)

This bread is a bit spongier than the other microwave bread recipes listed on this site, but I think that’s because of the honey. Still, I think it’s delicious, and the honey makes this recipe a bit healthier than some of the other bread recipes I’ve posted so far. The spongy texture is a small price to pay for the obvious health benefits.

And it’s an AMAZING breakfast treat with vanilla yogurt spread on top. I just had some this morning!microwave beet bread

Don’t have access to local raw honey? Check out manuka honey. It’s touted as a extra-super version of that amazing liquid gold superfood.

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Breads, Breakfast, Fruit for Dessert, Just Desserts, Microwave Baking

Fast Elvis: Microwave Peanut Butter Banana Bread

 

fast elvis

We eat a lot of bananas around here – a lot. We can’t really keep them in the house (I’m surprised I had enough around long enough to make this recipe). And one of my favorite ways to eat bananas (besides banana bread) is to slather peanut butter all over the top of them. I don’t usually turn it into a sandwich, like Elvis did. I just serve the sliced bananas topped with peanut butter on a plate.

One day, I got the bright idea to put them together in a microwave quick bread recipe to see how they would turn out. Oh my goodness! I never thought this bread would be as yummy as it is, but yay for food experiments that turn out to be some of the best food you’ve ever eaten in your life. Here’s how I made this super yummy peanut butter banana bread that I’ve affectionately termed “Fast Elvis.” 🙂

Fast Elvis: Microwave Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 8-9 slices
Here’s a microwave quick bread recipe inspired by an Elvis favorite – peanut butter and banana.
Ingredients
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 6 tbspns butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup milk
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mash up the the bananas thoroughly with a metal spoon or fork.
  2. Fold in the margarine or butter and combine well.
  3. Add in sugar, egg, and vanilla, and beat together until you get a light, slightly fluffy mixture.
  4. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and milk.
  5. Mix together for about 30-60 seconds, until thoroughly combined (batter may still be lumpy, depending on how much you mashed the bananas).
  6. Lightly grease a microwave-safe loaf pan.
  7. Pour batter evenly into the pan.
  8. Cover with wax paper.
  9. Microwave on Medium High (Power Level 5) for 6 minutes. Rotate the pan once halfway through, if your microwave doesn’t have a turntable.
  10. Then, microwave on High for 4-6 minutes. Bread will spring back when touched, and the top will look slightly dry.
  11. Remove from the microwave and keep covered with the wax paper for about 15 minutes.
  12. Slice and serve.
Peanut butter banana bread

 

I dare you to try this bread recipe and not fall in love with it! It’s probably the best banana bread I’ve ever had.

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Breakfast

4 Reasons Pancakes Are Better Than Waffles

4 Reasons Pancakes Are Better Than Waffles

Happy National Waffle Day!

There was a time not too long ago (well, actually about three years ago now) when I thought waffles were better than pancakes. I can’t say that’s true anymore. Three years ago, I wrote a tribute to the waffle on National Waffle Day. Today, I’m going to turn the tables on that breakfast favorite (and myself) by giving you four reasons why pancakes are WAY better than waffles.

1. Pancakes were invented first. The cavemen didn’t have waffles, but they certainly did have pancakes – or, at least something strongly resembling the pancake. Neolithic man took the grains he harvested and turned them into a crude version of our current hotcakes by cooking the cakes on both sides with heated rocks. The waffle didn’t come into being until at least the time of the ancient Greeks, and even then it’s doubtful that what we consider to be waffles (i.,e., cooked with an actual waffle iron) came into being much earlier than the Middle Ages. Obviously, pancakes have time on their side.

Pancakes vs. waffles (1)

2. The syrup and butter (and any other topping you want to use) can be evenly distributed over the pancake…not so much over the waffle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bitten into a waffle only to discover I have a mouth full of butter and/or syrup…and not much else. I’m not a fan of that fatty/sugary overload. I like those things to stay in their places…but in a figurative sense, as accompaniments to the main dish rather than something that overpowers the main dish. At some point or other, when you’re eating a waffle, you’re going to get a lot more in your mouth than waffle. That’s just not the case with pancakes. For this reason, pancakes are the culinary delight winners, in my book.

3. This reason is somewhat related to the previous one…Pancakes are STACKABLE! You can put two, three, or even more on top of each other…and you can pile on the toppings in between each layer. Talk about a party in your mouth! Have you ever tried to stack waffles? Just look at the picture above. You’re never going to get the same level of complete one-to-one cohesion as you do when you’re talking about a pancake stack. In this case, pancakes win for sheer volume and culinary aesthetic possibilities.

4. You don’t need any special tool to make a pancake. I use mix and a skillet. For really good waffles, you’re going to need a really good waffle iron, like this one.
And while we’re on the subject of waffle irons, have you ever tried to clean one of these things? What a pain! When you’re making pancakes, there’s really very little cleanup involved. Most of the time (if you oil the pan well enough), you don’t have anything left on the pan after the pancake is done. I can’t say the same for any waffle I’ve ever made.

When it comes to ease and convenience, pancakes, again, are the hands-down winners.

So, hopefully I’ve made a convincing case for this culinary treasure. What do you think? Which one is your favorite – the waffle or the pancake? I’d love for you to tell me why in the comments!

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Breakfast, Cooking Healthy Food, Fruit for Dessert, Just Desserts

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple-Cinnamon

I’ve mentioned before how my family loves pancakes. Well, this Saturday morning my husband woke up and asked for pancakes for breakfast. I didn’t have milk, but I knew I had half and half in the fridge, so I thought maybe I could substitute that. I didn’t realize, however, that I didn’t have much half and half, and what I did have (about a cup) was thicker than regular milk, so the pancake batter from my original old-fashioned pancake recipe wasn’t thin enough.

I also forgot to add the baking powder from that original recipe, and I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the original recipe. It still (of course) wasn’t thin enough.

I had some yogurt in the fridge, so I added that in (about half a cup)…but then I realized it was Greek yogurt. I hadn’t done a thing but add protein and thickness!

Fortunately, I still had some applesauce in the fridge. And, since I’d already added a bit of cinnamon, I decided to put in a bit more (another teaspoon), along with a cup of applesauce, and call them “apple cinnamon pancakes.”

My family ate them just as well (or better) than the regular, old-fashioned ones, so I’d say my accident was a happy one. Breakfast success!

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 8 pancakes
Applesauce and cinnamon give this old-fashioned pancake recipe a delicious twist. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsps butter (melted)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon.
  2. Dig a well in the center of the dry mixture.
  3. Pour in the half and half, egg, vanilla, yogurt, applesauce, and melted butter.
  4. Stir together until smooth.
  5. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Spoon the batter into the frying pan, one “pancake” at a time.
  7. Brown on both sides (about 30-60 seconds per side).
  8. Serve hot, with maple syrup (if desired).
3.3.3077
Breakfast, Old Family Recipes

Old-Fashioned Pancakes

What’s a girl to do when her family is desperate for pancakes in the morning when they wake up, and she doesn’t have any pancake mix in the house? Why she turns to the old faithfuls…the recipes her grandmothers and great-grandmothers used to create some of the best pancakes ever.

This happens to me frequently because we’re a family of “pancake monsters,” but honestly, I don’t ever buy pancake mix at the store anymore. I just make sure I always have these ingredients on hand, so I can whip up a batch of homemade pancake batter from scratch. It’s a lot easier than I ever thought possible, and it’s way better than any store brand.

Just try this recipe, and I bet you’ll never want to make pancakes from an instant mix again!

Old-fashioned

Old-Fashioned Pancakes
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 8 pancakes
This is an easy, almost foolproof recipe that will have your family enjoying delicious, old-fashioned pancakes just like Grandma used to make them in no time at all. No instant pancake mix needed!
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp butter (melted)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Dig a well in the center of the dry mixture.
  3. Pour in the milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter.
  4. Stir together until smooth.
  5. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Spoon the batter into the frying pan, one “pancake” at a time.
  7. Brown on both sides (about 30-60 seconds per side).
  8. Serve hot, with maple syrup.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

 

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Breads, Breakfast, Old Family Recipes, Super Sides

Best Kentucky Biscuits and Gravy

My most favorite breakfast food of all time is biscuits and gravy, hands down. Nothing can compare. We do biscuits and gravy a little bit different here in Kentucky, and these recipes were passed down to me by my grandmother, who cooked everything with either lard or bacon grease. Low-fat? No way! But it is incredibly delicious.

This is how my grandmother taught me to make biscuits – the best “Kentucky” way. They’re flatter than some varieties, but they taste every bit as good (or better). Serve with the bacon grease milk gravy for maximum Bluegrass State effect.

Best Kentucky Biscuits

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time 15 minutes

Makes 12 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 tbspn white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Cut in 1/2 cup butter with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Stir in the milk.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, roll out into a 6 X 6-inch square, and cut into 12 even sections. DO NOT separate.
  7. Bake about 15 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the square comes out clean.
  8. Separate the biscuits, and serve hot.

American_biscuits_and_gravy

Bacon Grease Milk Gravy

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 25 minutes

Makes about 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup bacon grease
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. Heat bacon grease in a skillet over medium heat until liquid.
  2. Whisk flour into drippings until smooth.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook the flour mixture until it turns a caramel brown color.
  4. Stir constantly for about 15 minutes to prevent burning.
  5. Stir in salt and black pepper.
  6. Whisk 1/2 cup milk into the roux until well blended.
  7. Continue whisking the milk into the gravy, 1/2 cup at a time.
  8. Bring gravy to a simmer and whisk constantly until thick, smooth, and bubbling.
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. OPTIONAL (but totally recommended): Brown 1 pound of sausage, breaking it up into little pieces as you cook it. Drain most of the grease off, and then add the sausage to the bacon grease milk gravy before serving. Why not go “whole hog?” 🙂

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

 

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Breakfast, Fruit for Dessert, Old Family Recipes, Super Sides

Kentucky Apple Butter

Years ago, I got my first taste of apple butter (at Joe Huber’s restaurant in Starlight, Indiana, so it was not “Kentucky” apple butter), and I was hooked. Fortunately for me, my grandmother started making apple butter herself soon after that. Hers tasted a bit different than Joe Huber’s, and it was only later that I realized there are regional (and, possibly, even state to state) differences in the way apple butter is made.

Still, no matter where it comes from, apple butter is a delicious treat to have at breakfast or any other time of the day. Here’s a fabulous Kentucky apple butter recipe, which is very similar to the one my grandmother used to make.

kentucky apple butter on bread

Kentucky Apple Butter
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 2 hours 5 mins
Total time: 2 hours 20 mins
Serves: 45 servings
There are many apple butter variations. This one is a traditional Kentucky apple butter like my grandmother used to make.
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds chopped McIntosh apples
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbspn ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 (1-pint) canning jars with lids and rings, as needed
Instructions
  1. Place apples in a large pot and cover them with water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened (5 to 10 minutes).
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  5. Press apples through a food mill to separate seeds, cores, and skin from apple pulp.
  6. Transfer pulp to a bowl.
  7. Stir together white and brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg into the apple pulp.
  8. Pour the apple mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  9. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, stirring and scraping the sides of the pan every 20 to 30 minutes, until the apple butter is red and thickened.
  10. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
  11. Fill the hot, sterilized jars with the apple butter, to within 1/4 inch of the top.
  12. Run a knife or thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles.
  13. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue.
  14. Put the lids on the jars and screw on the rings.
  15. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water.
  16. Bring to a boil and lower the jars into the boiling water, using a holder.
  17. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars.
  18. Pour in more boiling water, if necessary, to bring the water level to at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars.
  19. Bring to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and process for 30 minutes.
  20. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place them, several inches apart, onto a cloth-covered or wood surface until cool.
  21. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down).
  22. Store in a cool, dark area.

Now, admittedly, this isn’t an easy recipe, but it’s worth every minute and every ounce of effort. If you try it, I’d love to know what you think about it, so be sure to leave a comment!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

 

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Breads, Breakfast, Old Family Recipes

Cat Head Biscuits

As I was browsing the Internet recently, I came across a strangely named concoction called cat head biscuits. The name intrigued me because, honestly, I was a little afraid to look…for fear that they might actually be made out of cat heads. Much to my relief, they are NOT! They’re just called that because they are actually as big as a cat head. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a fool-proof recipe you can use to try them for yourselves. They are truly amazing!

cat head biscuits

Cat Head Biscuits
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 6 huge biscuits
These yummy biscuits have a strange name, but they are truly delicious. You don’t want to miss out on these!
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tbspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsps unsalted butter (softened)
  • 4 tbsps shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Make sure your oven rack is in the upper middle position.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Grease one 9-inch baking pan.
  4. Combine both kinds of flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  5. Work the butter and shortening into the flour mixture with a fork until you have coarse crumbs.
  6. Stir in the buttermilk until your batter is smooth.
  7. Scoop the batter out of the bowl with a spring-loaded measuring scoop.
  8. Place six scoops in a flower shape (1 scoop in the middle and 5 scoops surrounding it) on the baking pan.
  9. Bake until the biscuits puff up and are golden brown (between 20 and 25 minutes).
  10. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
3.3.3077

In my research, I discovered that cat head biscuits are predominantly a Southern thing (or, at least, that’s mostly a Southern name. Being from Kentucky, I’d never even heard of these before, and this is certainly not how my grandmother taught me to make biscuits. Hers were the standard “Kentucky” variety – smaller and flatter, but still much tastier than the biscuits you get out of the can!

Still, I’m glad I discovered cat head biscuits. They’re just wonderful with honey or some good old “country” gravy. Biscuits and gravy is still one of my most favorite breakfast treats. I’ll share my favorite country gravy recipe soon. And I’ll share my grandmother’s biscuit recipe in that post too.

But in my next post I’m going to share my other favorite thing to eat with biscuits – Kentucky apple butter I’ve never tasted anything quite like it, and it’s too wonderful to ever want to live without now… kind of like these biscuits.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

 

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Breads, Breakfast, Cooking Tools & Techniques, Cooking Up a Food Blog, Cooking with Kids

Donut Holes Disaster

It’s summer. The kids are home from school, and they’re hungry all the time. That means I run out of food in the house quickly.

Yesterday morning, I got the bright idea to try to deep fry my own donut holes. I wasn’t ambitious enough to try actual donuts, but I thought it would be easy enough to fry up little balls of sweet dough.

Turns out, I was slightly wrong. First of all, I didn’t have everything I needed to make the exact recipe I found online. Second, I didn’t really understand what I was doing (since it was the first time I’d ever tried to make donut holes),  so this was a totally new experience for me –  a bit of trial and error. Probably more error than trial.

Here’s basically what I used/did.

My Modified Donut Hole Recipe
Recipe Type: Dessert/ Breakfast
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: About 20 donut holes
My modifed donut recipe. It was supposed to be quick and easy, but I didn’t think it was.
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 quart oil
  • 1/2 confectioners, white, or cinnamon sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Mix together the vinegar and milk and let sit for about three minutes.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar together until smooth.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla and blend well.
  4. Pour in the flour, baking powder, salt, and salt.
  5. Pour the vinegar and milk mixture into the flour/butter/egg mixture and mix well.
  6. Form the dough into one large ball and break off into smaller balls, rolling the dough in your hands to form the donut holes.
  7. Cover the donut hole dough balls and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  8. Heat oil on the stove in a large, deep frying pan or pot to a temp of 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  9. Fry the donut holes in the hot oil until golden brown, turning over once to ensure even cooking on both sides.
  10. Drain on paper towels.
  11. Dust with sugar of your choice while the donut holes are still warm.
  12. Serve immediately.

And here’s what I think I did wrong. I think I had too much liquid and not enough solid because the batter I got was basically the consistency of pancake batter. Note: DON’T try to deep fry pancake batter and expect to get donut holes. It’s not going to work right.

Maybe if I had used regular milk instead of coconut milk, that would have helped. Or maybe I should have used more flour. I’m going to try that next time and see what happens.

Also, the original recipe used shortening. I switched it to butter because that was what I had, and I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. I could have been wrong about that.

When everything was all said and done, this was what I came up with:

donut hole recipe

I affectionately call these my “donut blobs.” My older daughter said they were, “Yummy.” I thought they weren’t bad…just a little on the oily side (and not at all how I’d hoped they’d be). My younger daughter wouldn’t even touch them. And my husband liked them, but he commented on how the batter must have been too thin because they soaked up so much oil. I told him I thought the batter was too thin also. I guess that should’ve been my first clue to not try to fry them like I did.

Anyway, there’s always next time. I’ll report back on how my second experiment goes with these. Stay tuned!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Almost 20 years ago now, I had my first experience with Pampered Chef. I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would love it if you joined me!