Category Archives: Breakfast

Apple Dumplings

If you have ever visited The Pioneer Woman’s webiste, then you know she whips up some pretty amazing and decadent dishes.  Her Apple Dumplings are one of my favorite recipes to make.  Then are so sweet, easy to make and use some surprising ingredients.  I like serving them for dessert with vanilla ice cream, but have been know to eat them for breakfast as well.

Apple Dumplings

2 sticks butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tubes crescent rolls
2 granny smith apples
12 ounces of Mountain Dew
Dash of Cinnamon

Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside. Peel, core and slice the apples into 8 slices each. Unroll the crescent rolls and wrap each apple lice slice in a crescent dough triangle and place in the prepared pan.

In a bowl, melt your butter and stir in sugar and vanilla. Mixture will remain grainy. Pour over top of the crescent wrapped apples. Pour the can of Mountain Dew all around and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

I dare you to eat just one!

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Sausage Mushroom Strata

Since eggs go hand-in-hand with yesterday’s Easter holiday, it seemed timely to post about a family favorite egg dish, Sausage Egg Strata or “Egg Bake” as we called it as kids. This is a hearty, easy breakfast dish that easily serves a crowd. It’s prepared the night before and simply tossed in the oven, making it a good pick for family holiday events or brunches…which at my house usually involve a lot of last minute running around the Morning Of.

The Sausage Mushroom version is kind of “the original recipe” but we’ve subbed in various vegetables and breakfast meats over the years. Bacon and red peppers or ham and asparagus would be equally delicious combos!

Sausage Mushroom Strata
Serves 8-12
8-10 thick slices of good white bread, cubed
1 lb breakfast sausage links (or substitute ham steak, cubed), sliced into bite-size pieces
3/4 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 onion, minced
1 pkg baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
8 eggs
2 1/2 C milk
1 C half & half
2 tsp stone ground mustard or brown mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp butter, thinly sliced
1/2 Tbsp worcestershire
1 1/2 tsp dill
1 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a 9×13 glass baking pan with butter. Slice bread into small cubes, a bit larger than a dice. If using sausage links, cook links in a saute pan according to instructions on the package until links are cooked through and have a nice crisp crust. Slice each link into small pieces. If using ham steak, simply slice steak into small cubes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk and half and half. Whisk in mustard, salt, worcestershire, dill and pepper. Set aside.

Spread bread cubes into greased pan. Mix in meat and smooth out to create an even layer of filling. Pour egg mixture over bread and meat. Top evenly with thin slices of butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, let stand at room temp for 1 hour, then bake uncovered for 1 hour.

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{Freezer Friendly Meals} Muffins and Treats

I have continued to make and freeze meals and treats in preparation for our little bundle of joy!  I know that Muffins aren’t necessarily the healthiest option for breakfast, but I wanted to have something prepared for those busy mornings or just for a quick treat.  I made 2 batches of my favorite muffins and froze them in storage bags for a breakfast on the go.  Almost any muffin recipe will work, but below are 2 of my favorite.

I first made and froze batch of Blueberry Muffins. I found the recipe off The Brown Eyed Baker’s blog and it has become a staple recipe in our family. They are truly one of the most amazing muffins you will ever make. You can find the recipe here.

Next, I whipped up a batch of my favorite basic banana muffins.  They are quick and easy to make and are moist and delicious.

Basic Banana Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana
1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a muffin tin with liners–you will make about 16 muffins.

Mix together the first 3 ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, mixing after each addition until just combined. Finally, add the mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among 16 muffin tins (about 2/3 full). Bake for 23-28 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove onto a cooling rack.

Let them cool completely then package in freezer bags.

I also like to make a batch of my favorite cookie dough and scoop it into a heavy duty freezer bag (I have found this recipe to be the best).  That way I can have homemade cookies in about 15 minutes without any of the mess.

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Sticky Buns

It is no secret that the ladies of HAP love pinterest.  It is such an amazing place to find inspiration, recipes and fashion.  The moment I saw these sticky buns posted on the site, I knew I had to make them.  I am not 100% sure where this recipe origniated, however it appears to be from the blog All Things Delicious.  And let me tell you, these truly are delicious.

Sticky Buns

1 tube Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup syrup, any brand is fine
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
1/4 cup chopped almonds, optional

Start by greasing a fluted pan.  In a bowl, combine the melted butter and syrup and set aside.  In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts if you plan on using them.  (I didn’t use the nuts because my husband and daughter usually pick them out, but I do think they would make this recipe even more amazing.)  Pour about 1/2 the syrup mixture in the bottom of the pan followed by a sprinkle of about 1/2 the brown sugar mixture.

Dip each biscuit in the remaining syrup mixture and place in the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping to form a ring.

Top with the remaining syrup and sugar mixtures.  Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool for a minute or so and then invert onto a plate.  Serve warm.

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Peaches and Cream French Toast

My family loves sitting down to a hot breakfast on Sunday mornings. Because of this, I have come to love dishes like Egg Casseroles and French Toast Bakes that I can prepare the night before and keep in the fridge until the morning when I am ready to throw it in the oven. That gives me lots of time to stay in my PJ’s with my family, pile into the “big bed” and watch Sunday morning cartoons while a delicious breakfast slowly cooks in the oven.

When I came across this Peaches and Cream French Toast recipe from All You, I knew it would be a hit with my family.  The dish is delicious without being overly sweet and the peaches added an unexpected flavor.

Peaches and Cream French Toast

1 8-oz loaf of French bread, sliced into pieces about 1 inch thick
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 15-oz cans sliced peaches, drained
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup heavy cream

Start by buttering a 9 x 13 baking dish. Lay the bread slices into a flat layer in the dish, trying not to leave too may holes.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, whole milk, sugar and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over the bread in the pan. Arrange the peaches over the bread and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

When you are ready to bake, remove the pan from the refrigerator and allow it to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened. Drizzle over the peaches.

Bake the casserole, uncovered for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

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Donut Shop Birthday Party

My son is a donut-aholic. He comes by it honestly. I’ve been obsessed with the little O-shaped treats since I had teeth. So when it came to throwing Lincoln his two-year-old birthday party this year, a donut party was the perfect choice. Lincoln was so excited for his birthday party, he could barely stand it. I originally planned on putting a candle in a donut, but he kept talking about birthday cake all week before his party. This Mommy could not disappoint her big boy…so a cake he got (in the shape of a donut)!

A donut-shaped invitation was sent to all of the guests. With the back reading “Time to Eat the Donuts!”

A Lincoln’s Donut Shop sign hung above the breakfast buffet. Since Lincoln’s always happiest in the morning, brunch seemed like the perfect idea. Donuts from my favorite hometown Cumberland Bakery in Des Plaines, IL were served along with homemade baked apple cider donuts. Also on the menu: overnight blueberry french toast, balsamic asparagus and red pepper mini frittatas, bacon and cheddar mini frittatas, honey poppyseed fruit salad and little sausages.

Oberweiss chocolate milk decorated with the donut logo was served in little milk jugs with blue and white paper straws.

We used Lincoln’s Melissa and Doug wooden donut set to hold the silverware and napkins and the food tags.

I baked 2 round “Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cakes” and iced them with vanilla buttercream. I used a biscuit cutter to cut the middle out of the cakes to create the donut shape. The cake was topped with colorful sprinkles and a 2 candle. After a round of Happy Birthday, Lincoln replied “very, very good singing guys.”

It may have been a kid’s party, but adult bevis were served. Bloody Marys and Beermosas (Belgian White Ale and Orange Juice) were sipped using the blue and white paper straws.

The birthday boy wore a personalized donut shirt given by his aunt and Godmother from Lois Jean Linens. All in all the day was a big success! Cheers to another great year!

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Valentine’s Day Breakfast

It is no secret that the ladies of HAP love breakfast foods. We like the sweet, the savory and anything in between.  If it can be served in the morning, then we want to try it!

This Valentine’s day, consider making up a special breakfast for your loved ones.  There is nothing better than sitting down to a delicious breakfast to start the day off right.  Here are some of our favorite breakfast recipes that you could whip up on Tuesday to impress your sweeties and tell them how much you love them.

Orange Scented French Toast with Nutella

Baked Apple Pancake

Cinnamon French Toast with Cranberry and Orange Chutney

Monkey Bread

Bacon Artichoke Souffle

Miss Amy Muffins

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Slow Cooker Oatmeal

I love a warm bowl of fresh made oatmeal on a cold morning.  The problem I have found is that it isn’t always easy to whip up on a busy morning unless you are using a packet of instant oatmeal.  Once I made this Slow Cooker Oatmeal from America’s Test Kitchen, I just couldn’t go back to the instant stuff.  I love to make a big batch over the weekend and then eat it though the week for a quick, hearty and delicious breakfast.  The texture of the steal cut oats are so much heartier than just regular rolled oats.

Note:  this recipe calls for steal cut oats.  If you use quick cooking oats or old fashioned rolled oats, you will likely end up with mush.  Steal cut oats are often found in the bulk bins at the grocery store and look like this:

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups steel-cut oats
8 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oats and toast over medium heat until lightly brown, stirring constantly. Once they become fragrant and light brown, remove from heat.

Add the oats into the slow cooker and pour water on top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Mix well and serve warm with your favorite toppings.  I like to eat mine with chopped almonds, dried fruit and a small amount of brown sugar.

Sometimes my mornings are so hectic that I need to eat breakfast at work.  I simply portion out the oatmeal into individual bowls and put the toppings in a separate bag.  Couldn’t be easier to grab and go.

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Baked Apple Pancake

With my mom visiting for the weekend and a little spare time on Sunday morning, we decided to make a German-style baked apple pancake using a recipe that my mom had recently been experimenting with and our organic Honeycrisp apples from Peck & Bushel Fruit Company.

Even though this puffy pancake looks dramatic (if only for a few minutes before it deflates!), I found it easier than normal pancakes because you bake one for the entire family and don’t have to sit over the griddle flipping individual platefuls.  A great way to use only a few apples and still have some for snacking on!

Baked Apple Pancake
2 apples, cored, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1/2 C flour
1/2 C half & half
4 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C pecans
powdered sugar, maple syrup and/or whipped cream for serving

Preheat oven to 450. In a cast iron pan or oven-safe pan, melt 1 Tbsp butter and brown sugar. Add apples and saute over med-low heat for 7-8 minutes or until apples are beginning to soften but aren’t mushy. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, melt other 1 Tbsp butter and whisk in half and half. Add eggs, one and a time, and vanilla and continue whisking until combined. Next, whisk in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk in flour, beating gently until batter is mostly smooth.

Gently use a fork to arrange apples evenly across the bottom of the pan. Slowly(!) pour batter into pan over apples. Pouring too fast will cause the apples to move around. Sprinkle pecans evenly on top. Bake in pan for 13-15 minutes until pancake is puffy and golden brown. Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with whipped cream or maple syrup.

Apples Galore! FoodNetwork.com Fall Fest

We’re participating in FoodNetwork.com‘s Fall Fest with lots of other great food bloggers! Check out these other delicious apple dishes:
CIA Dropout: Apple-Roasted Duck
Cooking Channel: Add Apples to Your Salad
The Cultural Dish: Apple Cider Martini
And Love It Too: Fried Apples (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and Vegan)
From My Corner of Saratoga: Easy Skillet Apple Pie (A Southern Living Recipe Reviewed)
Haute Apple Pie: Baked Apple Pancake
Virtually Vegan Mama: Slow Cooker Apple Date Butter
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Apple Pancakes
What’s Gaby Cooking: Apple Cake
FN Dish: Savory Apple Recipes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Apple and Caramelized Onion Soup
The Sensitive Epicure: Pan Fried Apple Rings (Gluten-Free)
Glory Foods: Caramel Apple Upside Down Cupcakes
Daily*Dishin: Apple, Bacon, Feta Salad With Maple Vinaigrette
Dishin & Dishes: Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
Cooking With Elise: Wholegrain Apple Oat Pancakes

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I love this time of year when the first fruits and vegetables start popping up at local farmers markets.  I am always on the lookout for good zucchini because I absolutely love zucchini bread.  I have tried so many recipes and none of them created the perfect bread that I was looking for, that is until I came across this Paula Dean recipe.  It creates the perfect bread that is moist and flavorful without being overpowering.  I added mini chocolate chips to the bread because, well, I add chocolate chips to everything!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice

optional: 1/2 cup walnuts or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips mixed with 1 tablespoon flour (prevents the chips from sinking to the bottom of the bread)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients until just combined.  Finally, mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until moist.  Add the chocolate chips or nuts if you are using them.

Spray 2 average sized loaf pans with cooking spray.  I recommend using cooking spray instead of butter for greasing with this recipe.  The loaves seem to come out of the pan much better with the spray.  Divide the batter evenly among the 2 pans.  Bake for about one hour or until firm in the middle.

I often freeze the second loaf when I made this recipe, it tastes great even thawed out of the freezer.

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