• Mexican Breakfast Casserole

    20150622_173008

    This picture stinks…will update the photo when we make again.   This casserole is so good and feeds a crowd.  We had it for dinner, both kiddos loved it, and then we had it for lunch today and it was just a good as leftovers.

    Definitely making this again and especially when we have guests over.

    Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective.

    Ingredients:

    • 16 eggs or 32 oz. carton of egg beaters
    • 1 red pepper, diced
    • 4-6 green onions, chopped
    • 4 quality corn tortillas cut into ½ x 1 inch slices
    • 1 ¾ c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
    • 1 tsp. salt or 1 tsp. of taco seasoning
    • Pepper
    • 1 bag of frozen hash browns – about 6 c. hash browns, defrosted
    • ¼ c. + 2 TBSP taco seasoning (1.5 packet)
    • 6 TBSP melted butter

    Serve with salsa, green onions, cilantro, sour cream, etc.

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325*
    2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray
    3. In a large bowl combine eggs through pepper and pour egg mixture into pan
    4. In another bowl combine the hash browns, taco seasoning and melted butter, and toss to coat.  Evenly place hash browns over egg mixture.
    5. Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes until the center is set and hash browns are crisp.  You may want to put it under the broiler at the end to crisp up the hash browns.

    Mexican Breakfast Casserole:
    5star

     

     

  • Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup

    DSC_0863

     

    This soup is to die for!  It’s delicious served with smoke gouda grilled cheese (our favorite combination)!  All four of us love this soup, and it’s great in the winter AND the summer, which is great because we have so much fresh basil in the summer.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 package of petite carrots, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 (28 oz.) cans whole Roma tomatoes
    • 1 (32 o.z) carton vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 TBSP granulated sugar (may need to use more–all depends on how sweet your tomatoes are)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 16 oz. refrigerated three cheese tortellini
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
    • Grated pecorino Romano cheese for serving

    Directions:

    1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat; add the olive oil, and then add the carrots and onion and saute until soft; then add the garlic and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the tomatoes until smooth and add to your crockpot.  When the carrots, onion, and garlic are soft add them to the blender and puree until smooth–you can add some of the tomato puree to help the blender along; then add to your crockpot.  Add the vegetable broth through salt and pepper, and stir to combine.  You’ll likely need to adjust the sugar, salt, and pepper after it finishes cooking.
    3. Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.  Remove lid and add tortellini and cook for 15 minutes or until tortellini are heated through.  Then stir in the cream or half and half, taste and adjust seasoning.
    4. Ladle soup in individual bowls and top with basil and and grated pecorino Romano cheese.

    Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Torellini Soup:
    5star

  • Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper Pasta)

    DSC_0858

     

    This is some seriously good pasta.  Even Ellie, who doesn’t like much pasta, loves this dish.  It’s peppery and goodness with lots of pecorino Romano cheese.  It goes great with grilled steak, and the leftovers are really good too.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. angel hair pasta
    • salt
    • 2 c. finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
    • 1 TBSP (plus or minus to your liking) freshly ground pepper
    • Good olive oil (we like a basil infused olive oil probably a couple of TBSP)

    Directions:

    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, add pasta and cook according to package.
    2. Meanwhile grate the cheese.
    3. In a large pasta serving bowl combine cooked pasta, cheese, pepper, and olive oil.  Toss to combine.  Add 1/2 cup or more of pasta water to help melt the cheese and combine.

    Cacio e Pepe:
    5star

  • Ramen Broccoli Salad

    DSC_0809

     

    This salad is so good, and a great side for a hot day.  Both Ethan and Ellie were skeptical at first, but then they tried it.  Ethan had 3 servings, and Ellie had 2 servings.  That never happens!  We had it just a few days ago and it’s already been requested for this week’s menu.  Definitely a hit!

    This is a great dish for a potluck or picnic because there’s no mayo to worry about.

    Version 1 Ingredients (Omit Seasoning Pack):

    • 1 12 oz. package of broccoli slaw mix (in produce section with packaged sugar snap peas, etc.)
    • 1 package of chicken or Oriental flavor Ramen Noodles, broken into small pieces
    • 1/4 c. grape seed oil (can use vegetable or canola oil)
    • Splash of sesame oil
    • 1/4 c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 c. honey
    • 3 tsp. soy sauce
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 green onion, sliced (green only)

    Version 2 Ingredients (With Seasoning Pack):

    • 1 12 oz. package of broccoli slaw mix (in produce section with packaged sugar snap peas, etc.)
    • 1 package of chicken or Oriental flavor Ramen Noodles, broken into small pieces
    • Ramen seasoning package
    • 1/4 c. grape seed oil (can use vegetable or canola oil)
    • Splash of sesame oil
    • 1/4 c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 c. white sugar
    • 1 green onion, sliced (green only)

    Directions:

    1. In a mixing bowl, mix together broccoli slaw and broken Ramen noodles.
    2. In a separate bowl, whisk together Ramen seasoning package, grape seed oil, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar.
    3. Toss dressing mixture with the broccoli slaw until well coated.
    4. Top with sliced green onion and serve chilled.

    Ramen Broccoli Salad:

    5star

  • Ginger Scallion Noodles

    DSC_0760

    This side dish is so simple yet so good.  We seem to always have a batch in the fridge, whether for a dinner side or just to snack on.  Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
    • garlic, minced
    • 3 inch piece of ginger, minced
    • 1/3 c. grape seed oil
    • 6 TBSP vinegar (we use 3 TBSP seasoned rice vinegar and 3 TBSP ancho vinegar from a local specialty shop)
    • 2 tsp. soy sauce
    • 2 6 oz. packages of Wel-Pac Chinese Chow Mein Stir-Fry Noodles (or any egg noodle or any noodle you like)

    Directions:

    1. Combine green onions through soy sauce in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water, add salt and then add noodles and cook according to directions.
    3. Drain and rinse noodles with cold water and then add to mixing bowl.  Toss to combine.  Serve chilled.

    Ginger Scallion Noodles:

    5star

     

  • Overnight Baked Apple Oatmeal with Streusel

    DSC_0299

     

    We’ve tried a few baked oatmeal recipes, but this one is the keeper.  It’s like dessert, but it’s breakfast.  How can you go wrong with that?  It tastes a lot like apple crisp, but there’s all this oatmeal in it, so it’s good for you, right? ;)

    Steve loves crunch, so he asked me to double the topping next time. :)  The streusel topping below is the double recipe (but a single for the butter).

    Definitely a company worthy breakfast/brunch!

    Recipe adapted from A Farm Girl’s Dabbles.

    Ingredients:

    Oatmeal:

    • 2 T. unsalted butter, melted (I used Country Crock Light)
    • 3 c. skim milk
    • 1 c. unsweetened applesauce
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 c. brown sugar (if you like your oatmeal less sweet, then add 3/4 c. of brown sugar, or whatever you desire; we like sweet)
    • 1 heaping T. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • 2 20 oz. cans of sugar free apple pie filling, apples chopped
    • 3 c. old fashioned oats
    • 1 c. steel cut oats

    Streusel Topping:

    • 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
    • 2/3 c. old fashioned oats
    • 2/3 c. brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 4 T. unsalted (real) butter, at room temperature, cut into pea size pieces, (do not melt)

    Directions:

    1. Spray a 10 x 10 (4 qt. or 10 x 13) baking dish with cooking spray (or larger pan if doubling the streusel topping).
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, milk, applesauce, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla. Chop the apples in the pie filling and stir in the apple pie filling; then add in the old fashioned oats and steel cut oats and combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish and spread oatmeal mixture evenly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
    3. In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter with the same fork until there are large pea-sized crumbs. If you prepare this the streusel topping the night before, cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, just don’t add it to the oatmeal mixture until you are ready to bake it in the morning.
    4. Bake: Preheat oven to 375*.
    5. Take the plastic wrap off the baking dish and top it with the prepared streusel. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until oatmeal is thoroughly hot and the streusel is golden brown. If you’d like a crisper streusel, set the oven to broil and let it crisp up to your liking.

    Overnight Baked Apple Oatmeal with Streusel:
    5star

  • Courtney’s Frittata

    DSC_0267

     

    Our good friend Courtney gave me this recipe.  We had it a potluck breakfast/brunch.  It is beyond good.  Both kiddos loved it, so I knew I needed the recipe.

    I adapted the recipe by replacing the goat cheese with feta, because at least 2 of the 4 of us don’t like goat cheese, and I also replaced the eggs with egg beaters to “lighten” the dish up a bit.

    I made it for dinner and we got 2 dinners out of it, and the leftovers were just as good heated up as the dish was the first night.

    This dish is sooooo good that you can proudly serve it to company!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
    • Butter
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • ½ bundle of asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
    • 1 c. cottage cheese, drained
    • 8 oz. goat cheese or 6 oz. crumbled feta (reduced fat)
    • 14 eggs or large carton of egg beaters
    • Cavender’s Greek seasoning

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350*.
    2. Thaw spinach and squeeze it out in paper towels to get all water out.
    3. Heat butter in a pan and caramelize the onion.
    4. Heat water to boil, add some salt, and blanch asparagus until just tender.
    5. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and sprinkle with spinach through cheese; beat eggs with seasoning (or sprinkle with Cavender’s add the egg beaters and sprinkle with additional Cavender’s).  Pour into dish and swirl contents a little with a knife.
    6. Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes, or until just set.

    Courtney’s Frittata:
    5star

  • Easiest Apple Cake Ever

    DSC_0272

     

    This is the easiest apple cake ever!  It’s “healthy” too since the recipe uses a boxed angel food cake mix, and there’s no added fat.  It’s delicious, and everyone loved this treat.

    Top with fresh fruit, like strawberries, or strawberry coulis and add whipped cream.

    Note: when cake cools it does deflate a bit, but it’s just as tasty!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 box of angel food cake mix
    • 1 20 oz. can of apple pie filling (sugar free), cut apples if desired

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350*
    2. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
    3. In a large bowl combine the angel food cake mix and the apple pie filling (if you want smaller pieces of apple, cut the apple pieces before mixing with the cake mix), and stir to combine.
    4. Poor batter into the prepared pan and cook for 30-35 minutes or until done (knife will come out clean).
    5. Top with fruit and whipped cream.

    Easiest Apple Cake Ever:
    5star

  • Beer Mac-n-Cheese and Beer Bread

    DSC_0256

    If you like homemade mac-n-cheese you’ll definitely enjoy this version made with beer and bacon.  It’s so creamy and so flavorful.  If you don’t like bacon, leave it out, but bacon is a favorite in our house.  It was kid approved by the man-cheese eating kiddo (the non mac-n-cheese eating kiddo wasn’t home for dinner).  I added chipotle Tabasco to mine and that put it over the top for me!

    Beer bread: we’ve been making it for quite some time.  It is beyond good and beyond delicious and beyond easy!  We usually make a loaf, but this time we opted to make biscuits.  We’ll stick with the loaf from here on out because the biscuits didn’t have the same moist tenderness that the loaf has.

    Beer Mac-n-Cheese recipe from A Spicy Perspective.

    Beer Bread recipe from Food Network.

    Beer Mac-n-Cheese

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. elbow pasta
    • 12 oz. Shiner Bock (or favorite beer)
    • 8 oz. cream cheese (I used cream cheese with Greek yogurt)
    • 1 lb. cheddar cheese (not preshredded)
    • 1 c. crumbled bacon

    Beer Mac-n-Cheese directions:

    1. Place a large pot water on the stove to boil. Once boiling, add generous amounts of salt and add pasta; cook pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, pour a bottle of beer in a skillet. (Choose a light crisp beer that you like to drink.) Turn the heat on high, and add the cream cheese in medium sized chunks. As the beer starts to simmer, break the cream cheese into pieces with a whisk and whisk into the beer.  Add the shredded cheese and whisk until completely smooth.
    3. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, pour it into the cheese sauce. Reduce the heat to low, then stir and cook another 3 minutes to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
    4. To serve, scoop the beer mac and cheese into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

    Beer Mac-n-Cheese:
    4star

     

    Beer Bread

    Ingredients:

    • 3 c. self rising flour
    • 1/2 c. sugar
    • 12 oz. bottle of Shiner Bock beer (or favorite beer)
    • 3 TBSP melted butter

    Beer Bread Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 375*F.
    2. Butter a loaf pan and set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and beer and mix well. The mixture should be sticky. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes. At the last 3 minutes of baking, remove from oven, brush the top of the loaf with butter and return to oven.

    Beer Bread:
    5star

  • Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Maple Frosting

    DSC_0132

     

    These muffins are beyond delicious.  They are moist and flavorful and you would never know that they are healthyish!

    Think banana bread meets maple frosting.

    Think muffin meets cupcake.

    Think delicious.

    I combined two different recipes to create these muffins.

    Muffin recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.  Frosting Recipe from Crazy for Crust.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 c. whole-wheat flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 4 large ripe bananas (about 1 3/4 c. mashed)
    • 1 c. packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted and cooled
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
    • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on muffins before baking, optional

    Frosting Ingredients:

    • 3 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 c. powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. maple extract
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • Milk or heavy whipping cream

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, spray with cooking spray, and set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
    3. Peel the bananas and mash with a fork. Place the mashed bananas in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, coconut oil, egg, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
    4. Fill muffin liners three-quarters full. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
    5. For the frosting: whisk melted butter and powdered sugar. Add extracts, whisk until smooth. Add milk or heavy whipping cream (to desired consistency…start with just a small amount (1-2 tsp.) at a time and add more, if necessary), whisk until smooth. Immediately frost completely cooled muffins.

    Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Maple Frosting:
    5star