Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

This is a mix of several recipes. Some call for adding hash browns. I went for straight up eggs, cheese and ham. This is perfect for company, comes together quickly and even is good warmed up the next day.

Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese or gruyere
  • 8 oz. diced ham, break up any clumps

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add eggs to a large mixing bowl. Break yolks and stir together with a fork until blended.
  • Stir in half and half, cheddar, Swiss, ham, green onions, parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour mixture evenly over hash brown layer then spread out with a spatula to even out top as needed.
  • Bake in preheated oven until center is just set, about 35 minutes. Check center with a knife and it is done when knife comes out clean. I use a convection oven so cooking times vary. Let cool about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Switch up the cheese. Smooth melting cheeses like Monterey jack, muenster, provolone, colby, and pepper jack work best. 

Swap ham for cooked bacon or even diced Canadian bacon.

Add veggies like sautéed mushrooms, artichokes or bell peppers.

Make it vegetarian and swap with meatless sausage, like beyond beef.

Try it with cooked breakfast sausage or cooked Italian sausage instead of ham.

Use other herbs.

Serve it topped with sliced or diced avocado and/or tomatoes.

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

My husband loves peanut butter (and so do I). We had guests coming last weekend and I knew they liked peanut butter. Right now it is like surface of the sun hot out there so I thought an after dinner treat of cool, sweet peanut butter pie might just be the ticket! This was so cool, smooth and delicious! This was adapted from a Southern Living recipe.

for the crust

  • 16 whole chocolate graham crackers (to make 2 cups crumbs)
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

for the peanut butter filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used low fat)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a food processor, blend the graham crackers until finely ground. 
  • Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and mix with the melted butter until uniform and clumpy.
  • Add the crumb mixture to an 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. I like to use a cup measure with a flat bottom to do this.
  • Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely.
  • To make the peanut butter filling, wipe out your food processor and add the cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to the bowl. 
  • Process until uniform.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. 
  • Add the peanut butter mixture, starting with a little bit, to the whipped cream and fold it together until there are no streaks.
  • Pour the peanut butter filling into the cooled pie crust, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.
  • Sprinkle with mini peanut butter cups cut in half

Chilled Berry Soup

Chilled Berry Soup

This is just so refreshing on a hot summer day. Great as a first course with grilled meat. I have made this over the years and it never turns out quite the same, but it is always good.. I used a mix of frozen strawberries, blackberries, Blueberries and raspberries for this version but fresh is great if you have ripe fruit. Adapted from an Old James McNair cookbook. I love his cookbooks.

Ingredients

6 cups stemmed ripe berries such as strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries (one kind or assortment), or frozen mixed berries
1 cup orange juice or apple juice
½ cup sugar, or to taste
2 cups Asti Spumante, Champagne, or other sparkling wine

Directions

  • Working in batches, if necessary, combine the berries and juices in a food processor or blender and puree until fairly smooth.
  • Transfer to a glass ceramic bowl and stir in the sugar and sparkling wine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.
  • Ladle into chilled bowls



Serves 6 as a soup course or dessert.

Parmesan-Panko Crusted Halibut

Parmesan-Panko Crusted Halibut

I loved this. I got a large piece of Halibut, about a pound and a half and served 4 of us. Roasted potatoes and asparagus as sides. Adjust the panko and parmesan to suit the size of fish. Adapted from the Loveofcooking.com blog.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 halibut fillets, skin removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil divided
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 cup plain panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  • Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over both sides of the fish then season both sides with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray. Side Note: Cooking the fish on the rack will allow the fish to be crispy on both sides without flipping it over while cooking.
  • Combine the panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste together on a plate. Dip the halibut in the panko mixture until evenly coated. Place the coated fish on top of the cooking rack.
  • Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Side Note: This step will ensure the panko coating will stay on the fish.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray the top of each piece of fish with olive oil cooking spray. Place the baking sheet with the fish into the oven and cook for 15 minutes (depending on size and thickness) or until the fish is cooked through and flaky. Remove from the oven and serve with a lemon wedge. Enjoy.
Overnight Yeast Pancakes

Overnight Yeast Pancakes

When I was a kid my dad liked to make pancakes. Both my parents were great cooks. Mom was a very good teacher, dad not so much… I can remember her having to kind of nudge him into letting me make pancakes on my own. He would have loved these I am sure. These would be great on a morning when you have a lot of other things coming together and you can just pull these out of the fridge and heat up the griddle. The yeast gives them a special flavor. This recipe makes a LOT but you can freeze them! Serve with maple syrup, jam or fruit compote.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions

  • 1. Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients. Whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil; stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in yeast mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for 8 hours or overnight.
  • 2. To make pancakes, lightly grease griddle and preheat over medium heat. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle; cook until bubbles on top begin to pop and bottoms are golden brown. Turn; cook until second side is golden brown.
Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

I have been baking. A lot. My husband had mentioned that his mom had tried to make a peanut butter pie once and it did not turn out quite right but that it tasted good so I made a mental note. He had one of THOSE days yesterday so I whipped this up because, you know, pie makes everything better. It is meant to be served cold but he could not wait and I have to admit it was really good warm out of the oven. I got the idea looking at different recipes and loosely followed a James McNair recipe. This has a very cheese cake type of texture. His recipe called for it not to be baked but I think this was an old recipe before raw eggs was a bad thing.

Ingredients

Crust

Use a food processor to make fast work of the cookie crumbs. Figure 8 ounces of cookies equals 2 cups.

2 Cups fine cookie crumbs, Chocolate Graham crackers
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. in a medium sized bowl combine cookie crumbs and butter. Spread into a buttered 9 inch pie pan. Press crumbs to pack evenly on the sides and bottom of pan.

Bake for 10 minutes to set crumbs. Set aside to cool

Filling

Cookie crumb crust
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 Cup smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Directions

Prepare crust and cool.

Combine cream cheese, peanut butter, butter and egg yolks in large bowl and beat until fluffy. Drizzle in condensed milk and beat until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour into the pie shell.

Cook for about 20 minutes at 350 or until inserted knife comes out clean.

Refrigerate until well chilled. You could serve this with warm chocolate sauce if you want to go over the top.

Spring Fritatta

Spring Fritatta

This is perfect for a spring brunch! You can make any vegetable variation. I used an 11 inch skillet.

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, use 8 eggs for a 12-inch skillet
  • ¼ cup milk (or soy, rice, almond)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli or broccolini
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 C cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400.

Whisk eggs, milk and salt, set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10 or 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

Add the broccoli, and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender but still bright green, 5 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms and cook until tender.

Add the egg mixture and gently shake the pan to distribute. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the eggs are set. Season to taste and serve.

Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos

These really need no explanation. Super quick for a week night. We made this the meal as it was so filling we did not need the main dish!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (I used half a can)
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, or a combination (2 cups shredded or more)
  • 1 small jalapeño (optional)
  • 1 pound rotisserie chicken meat (from a 4 to 5-pound chicken) or cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 cup salsa (I used a combo of Chunky and Peach Salsa)
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag restaurant-style tortilla chips (I used Blue Corn)
  • Guacamole for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Prepare the following, keeping them separate: Drain and rinse 1 can black beans. Drain 1 can sliced black olives. Thinly slice 1 small jalapeño, if using.
  3. Shred 1 pound cooked chicken into a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup salsa and toss to combine, use the remaining to add where needed.
  4. Build the nachos: arrange about half of a 16-ounce bag of tortilla chips on the baking sheet in an even layer. Top with half of the seasoned chicken and a handful of shredded cheese and some of the beans. Layer the remaining chips on top, followed by the remaining chicken, beans and cheese as the last layer.

Apple Crumb Bars

Apple Crumb Bars

This came together quickly and is so wonderful. My husband had clients in and I had to make something quick
and this was perfect! Since I was in a rush I did not take a lot of photos. But trust me this is good!
Crumbly, buttery and perfect for a cold day or even breakfast. From the blog The View from the Great Island.

Ingredients

crumble

  • 3/4 cup ( 96 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 Tbsp  (85 grams) unsalted cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts (pulse in a food processor)

base

  • 3 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced, this will be under a pound after slicing
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) milk or cream
  • 1 1/4 cups (178 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9×9 baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, if you like.
  • Put the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and blend everything together with your fingertips until there is no more raw flour.
  • Make sure to break down any large clumps of butter so there is a somewhat uniform crumbly texture. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, along with the milk or cream.
  • Spoon the batter in to the pan, and smooth out evenly.
  • Top with the sliced apples. There’s no need to arrange them precisely, but try to get them in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Lay a loose layer of foil over the top if the crumble is browning too quickly.
English Muffin Toasting Bread

English Muffin Toasting Bread

This is from a King Arthur Flour recipe. This bread comes together very quickly. About an hour and a half, start to finish. One of the easiest breads I have ever made and SO good. My friend Elizabeth shared this recipe with me. The fabulous thermometer shown below is one of her Pampered Chef items that I find myself using all the time. https://www.pamperedchef.com/pws/eatinwithe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Unbleached flour (King Arthur) 
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9g) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon fast rising yeast
  • 1 cup (227g) milk
  • 1/4 cup (57g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil
  • cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Be sure to stir the liquid well before measuring its temperature; you want an accurate reading. If you don’t have a thermometer, the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.
  3. Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. 
  4. Using an electric beater, or stand mixer with beater attachment, beat at high speed for 1 minute; the dough will be smooth and very soft. If you don’t have an electric mixer, beat by hand for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and starting to become elastic.
  5. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
  6. Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
  7. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn’t be more than, say, 1/4″ over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn’t very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  8. Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, till it’s golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.