Tag Archives: breakfast

Merry Christmas Eve!

24 Dec
Hash Brown, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

Hash Brown, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

I hope all my wonderful friends and family have a blessed Christmas and a bright 2016!

Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole

I’ll be making my traditional egg casserole again tonight, but with a couple of changes. I’ll prep the hash browns and sausage as normal, but leave the whisked eggs covered in a bowl, and add them and the cheese in the morning just before popping in the oven. My hubby thinks it will come out a little less dry, and I agree with him! Oh, and I’ll be mixing half breakfast sausage and half chorizo sausage, both homemade! I’ll have to get those recipes up here one of these days.

Next week I’ll be starting my fifth year of blogging. A special thanks to all my readers who have hung in with me through thick and thin. You are all very special. ❤



Starbucks Old Fashioned Coffee Cake

13 Mar
Starbucks Old Fashioned Coffee Cake

Starbucks Old Fashioned Coffee Cake ~ Coffee Anyone???

“MOM!!! I just found the best recipe book in the entire world!”

“Well then, I think I want that too! Where do I buy it?”

Turns out it was a Pinterest link to all the Starbucks recipes in electronic book form, so I didn’t have to buy it, but there was no option to print it! I know that sounds odd, but even using the web browser print feature didn’t work properly.  So I captured a screenshot of one of the recipes she wanted to make and printed it. I’ve typed it out below so that you can copy and paste it to a word editor if you want to print it, or just print this page from your browser. It’s been on my bucket list to get some kind of widget for print-friendly recipes, but alas I have not gotten around to that research. And by the way, the website where I got this from is not the original author. I tried to get to the original source of it, and ended up on all kinds of pfishy and scary pages so I am leaving the link to it off of here in the interest of security.

Since I am not the baker in the family (as I’ve told you too many times, right?) we followed this recipe exactly. I am pretty sure you can’t fudge on baking ingredients without something in the process failing. OK, maybe adding more nuts or a different type would work, or subbing raisins or something, but the rest of it is in the  “no-touchy-changey” zone for me.

I let my daughter make the majority of this, but I did have to supervise and step in periodically. She’s actually coming along quite well with her mixing and measuring techniques. This coffee cake came out just delicious, and having a piece warm out of the oven was divine! It’s not overly sweet, and the house just filled with this lovely aromatic cinnamon and fresh baked bread smell, which lingered for hours and hours afterwards. I am glad we made this. We’ll have a yummy breakfast or afternoon snack for several days now!

Starbucks Old Fashioned Coffee Cake

Starbucks Old Fashioned Coffee Cake

Starbucks Old Fashioned Coffee Cake
Copied from somewhere on the WWW

For the Struesel:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Cake:
Butter and flour for pan
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First, butter and flour the inside of a Bundt pan or 8-inch square pan, or something of that size. We used a Bundt pan, which is the round baking pan thingy with a hole in the middle. In a medium bowl, combine the Struesel ingredients. To make the 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, all you need to do is take a full sleeve of them and crush them in a baggie with a pestle or your fist. It would have been nice to know that, as we kept crushing them up three at a time and adding them to a measuring cup, and lo and behold! Oh well. Lesson learned. An entire sleeve of graham crackers is exactly one and a half cups. And that cardamom ingredient? I almost fell on the floor with the price. It costs over $48 a pound for it!?!?! Thank goodness for bulk aisle bins. I pretty much got exactly what we needed (actually about 1/4 teaspoon too much) and it cost me 46 cents. It didn’t break my bank for that much. However, if you don’t have a bulk aisle to purchase this from, do NOT buy a spendy container of it in the spice aisle. Just leave it out, OK? Just sayin’…

Moving on, take a much larger bowl, and mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Chop up the softened butter into smaller cubes and add to the bowl with the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. According to the recipe, you should “beat vigorously until smooth and quite thick,” for about one minute. Well we didn’t use an electric mixer because it didn’t say to do that, so we used a fork and took turns until we deemed it vigorously beaten and quite thick, which took longer than one minute. Maybe three or so.  Spread half of the batter in the bottom of your pan, then sprinkle half the Struesel mixture evenly over that. Layer the rest of the batter and Struesel again. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool for a minimum of 20 minutes, then remove from pan and serve. Coffee would be an excellent choice with this. My daughter is really trying to turn me into a baker!

Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichangas

27 Feb
Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichanga

Fried Cinnamon Apple Chimichanga

My teenage daughter asked if she could make these about a week ago. She showed it to me online, and I said that was fine, so we went and bought the ingredients. She’s discovered Pinterest, and while most of her browsing is on nail and fashion boards, she does browse the foodie boards here and again and glommed onto this recipe and pinned it. As we started making it for our Sunday dinner dessert, she said, “Mom? Can you put these on your blog?” Wow, I didn’t think she even read it or had one iota of interest in this site of mine. Now I’ve probably completely embarrassed her by saying all that, but oh well. So here you have these incredibly delicious, incredibly oil-splattering messy but oh so good dessert (or breakfast — hey they have apples!) Chimichangas. They really were not that hard to make and the process took probably an hour total if you don’t include the cooling time of the filling. It’s just that when you have an inexperienced cook/fryer who needs assisted a lot, making them does take a while longer. If you know how to roll up a burrito and fry food, then you’re good to go. Just a note, the original recipe said this will make 8 to 10 Chimichangas using small flour tortillas. We ended up with 17 of them! Either our apples were really big or our tortillas were really small, or maybe both. I’m going to try to freeze some or take some to work for my office mates, if my daughter and husband don’t polish them all off soon.

Fried Apple Chimichangas
Adapted from Juanita’s Cocina, recipe here: Apple Cinnamon Dessert Chimichangas

For the filling:
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 apples, any kind, cored and chopped bite-sized (We used 2 Fuji and 2 Granny Smiths)

Apple Filling

Apple Filling

In a large skillet or saucepan, mix the all the filling ingredients except the apples and bring to a boil. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the mixture becomes really thick. Add the chopped apples, cover, and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender. The original recipe called for 10 minutes or so, but ours took closer to 20 minutes. I’m sure that was due to our high altitude. We also had to add an extra half cup of water to the mixture partway through to compensate for the longer cooking time. Once the apples are tender, set the mixture aside until cool. At this point dinner was ready so we let it sit through dinner and that clean up, which was about a half hour.

For the Chimichangas:
8-17 small flour tortillas (sorry for the wide range! Just get a 20-c0unt or more package)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Oil for frying

First assemble your Chimichangas by spooning  some filling in the top third half of the tortilla. I’m laughing now because that’s how I taught my daughter to do it, and the original instructions say the bottom half. I wonder if it’s easier the other way? I don’t know, that was just how I instinctively did it. Anyways, flip in the sides of the tortilla partway over the filling then start rolling top-down, making sure the sides stay tucked in. This part was one of our issues, as daughter had a hard time keeping the sides tucked in as she rolled. I do think a majority of our splatter mess was due to the filling leaking out.

Platter of Fried Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

Platter of Fried Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

Once they are all assembled, now add the rest of the sugar and cinnamon to a wide bowl or plate and mix up, then set aside. Next, add about a quarter inch of oil for frying in a large heavy bottomed or deep cast iron skillet. We used plain vegetable oil. Heat it until medium-hot. (I don’t use a temperature gauge, I use the old-fashioned trick of sticking the tip of a wooden chopstick to the bottom of the pan. If it sizzles and bubbles right off the bat from the bottom, then it’s ready.)  Using tongs, lower two to four Chimichangas into the hot oil one at a time. My daughter could only handle frying two each batch as the splatters freaked her out, so that took us a bit longer too. We did use a splatter screen! Let them fry for maybe 30 seconds per side (really!) then move them off to drain on a paper towel once golden brown. Some were done more than less than others but don’t fret, it’s all good. Don’t let them sit too long or the sugar coating won’t stick! Roll each one around in the cinnmamon sugar mix while still moist, then put on another plate while you fry and coat the rest. Once done, feel free to sprinkle more cinnamon sugar over the top, and do eat them while warm! I will have to experiment on the best way to warm them up. Toaster oven? Microwave? Not sure yet as of this writing. I hope you have a chance to enjoy this dessert, as I don’t post many at all here. I’m a savory kind of gal, but one of these really hit the spot after dinner! And if you think flour tortillas would not be crispy or too floury tasting for this, well you have another think coming. I was amazed!

Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole ~ Starting a New Christmas Tradition

25 Dec
Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole

Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole

Merry Christmas to all my family and friends! I have decided to start a new Christmas tradition in our household this year. We’ve always done a “fend for yourself” for Christmas breakfast/brunch, but this year I decided it would be nice to wake up and bake a hassle-free breakfast casserole. This make-ahead casserole is a cinch to make, and you refrigerate it over night before popping it in the oven just before you unwrap your presents. Well, that was the plan anyways. I forgot to put it in the oven (hey it’s my first year to do this!) so we ate a bit later than planned. My daughter went back for a second serving, so I guess it’s safe to say this is a tradition I can continue.

There are hundreds of recipes online for this, most of them stating they go way back from their grandmother or handed down from a dear friend. But they are all pretty much the same, with variations here and there on the meat and/or vegetables. And they all feed about 10 to 12, so I scaled this one way back.

Another one of our traditions is to watch Polar Express on Christmas Eve, after attending a Christmas Eve party that my friend here in town hosts every year. Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition?

Hash Brown, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

Hash Brown, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

Hash Brown, Sausage, and Egg Casserole

8 ounces frozen hash browns
2 tablespoons butter or substitute, melted
Ground black pepper
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, or salt
10 ounces breakfast sausage
1 cup diced onion
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl, thaw the hash browns (I used the microwave) then stir in the melted butter. Season with lots of ground black pepper and lots of Mrs. Dash, or salt to taste if you use that. In a 2 quart casserole dish, press the hash browns into the bottom in an even layer.  Bake for about 20 minutes until starting to brown. Meanwhile, break up the sausage into little chunks and add to a medium-hot skillet, stirring and breaking up. When the sausage starts to release some of the grease, add the onions. Cook the sausage and onions until the sausage is no longer pink, about 10 to 15 minutes, then drain the grease and set aside.  The hash browns should be about ready to come out of the oven now. Take them out and let them cool a bit. Crack the six eggs into the same large bowl, then whisk together well with the milk. I added a bunch more pepper and Mrs. Dash too.  Spread the crumbled sausage and onion mixture over evenly over the top of the hash browns, then slowly pour the eggs over the entire dish. Last, top with shredded cheddar cheese. Cover tightly with foil, then refrigerate overnight. About an hour before you are ready to eat, cook the covered casserole in a 350-degree preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, then cook another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest about five minutes. Serve plain, or with sour cream, hot sauce, Tabasco, whatever you like with your eggs! Easy and delicious.

Broccoli, Spinach, Bacon, Cheese, and Onion Quiche

4 Mar
Broccoli, Spinach, Bacon, Onion, and Cheese Quiche

Everything but the kitchen sink...

…subtitled “Everything but the Kitchen Sink.” Well my diet these days in recovery mode has not been very conducive to cooking anything worth blogging about, however last week before the surgery, my husband and I teamed together to make a quiche with just about everything in the fridge that needed using up. Just like a frittata or omelet, a quiche can be made with pretty much anything you enjoy with eggs. So just use the recipe as a guide, and experiment! (And yes, we used real bacon in it this time, as we had some leftover from when I made a BLT the day before.)

Broccoli, Spinach, Bacon, Cheese, and Onion Quiche
1 pie crust, store-bought or homemade
5 eggs
Splash of milk
Black Pepper
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb
About 3/4 cup broccoli florets, chopped
Spray olive oil
4 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
Handful of fresh spinach, chopped
1/8 cup onion, chopped
Handful of shredded cheese, any kind

One of the tricks to not end up with a mushy pie crust on the bottom is to put the pie crust in the oven while it’s preheating. So set your oven on 350 degrees, put the pie crust in, and when the oven beeps that it is preheated, take the crust out. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a medium-large bowl, pour in a splash of milk, then whisk until well combined. Stir in the seasonings, and set aside. Put the broccoli florets into a small glass bowl and add about a quarter cup of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap then cook in the microwave for five minutes. Let it sit and steam while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Spray a small frying pan with olive oil, then add the onion and bacon and sauté for four or five minutes. When the onion starts to look translucent, add the chopped spinach and stir-fry until wilted. Scrape the contents onto a paper plate. Now drain the broccoli (watch out, that bowl will be HOT!) then add to the other ingredients on the paper plate and let them cool for a few minutes. Line the bottom of the pie crust with half of the mixture, add a thin layer of shredded cheese, then pour half the eggs on top of that. Place the rest of the vegetables/bacon next and another layer of cheese, and then the last of the eggs. Carefully place into the preheated oven, and cook for 35 to 45 minutes until eggs are set and top is lightly browned. To keep the pie crust edges from burning, we also cover the crust edges with foil. This is great for brunch, or a light dinner with a green salad.

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