Buttermilk Waffles with Cheese

Cheesy Buttermilk Waffles

Cheesy Buttermilk Waffles

Here’s the thing about buttermilk:  You probably don’t keep it on hand all the time, but it’s so handy to have available for a great many purposes.  It keeps for a long time.   What?  Did you think it was going to go sour?  Here’s a news flash….it IS sour!  Not spoiled, just sour tasting.  Did you know you can make a substitute for buttermilk by adding a little vinegar to regular milk to sour it.  So, no need to worry about the sour thing.   Once you have some, it’s easy to find ways to use it up.  Like, you will get some buttermilk because you want to make waffles (or pancakes)…and then you will make more waffles (or pancakes) because you have buttermilk.   If waffle-ing gets boring, just switch to scones.  There’s another use for buttermilk.   See,  easy!!

Cute!  A waffle cat appeared on my plate.

Cute! A waffle kitty appeared on my plate.

If you worry that you won’t use the buttermilk often enough to justify buying a quart, consider keeping a canister of powdered buttermilk in your pantry.  It is available in the baking aisle of the grocery store.  With this you can make up exactly the amount you need for a recipe by adding the buttermilk powder to water and mixing well.  I always have this on hand as well as a quart of buttermilk in the refrigerator.

Buttermilk is the liquid of choice in this recipe because it lends a slight tanginess to the waffle, and it is so complimentary to the cheese.  Chances are you will put something sweet on your waffle, so that tang brings everything into balance.

These waffles raise up nice and high and are very light.  Any leftover waffles can be used to make a ham sandwich, or try sliced banana and crispy bacon sandwiched between two waffles.  Yum!!

BUTTERMILK WAFFLES WITH CHEESE

Yield: makes about 8  6-inch waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1  1/2 cups milk ( regular or low-fat)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or more, to taste)

Directions:

1.  In a large batter bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2.  In a separate, smaller bowl,  blend together the eggs, milk, and oil.  Add to dry ingredients and stir to blend.  Batter may be lumpy.  Stir in the cheese.

3.  Heat waffle iron to hot and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour batter into center of waffle iron (about 1/2 cup per waffle).  Bake 2 1/2 – 4 minutes,  following cooking times as per your waffle iron.  Generally 2-3 minutes will give you a soft waffle, while 4 minutes will make a crispy waffle.

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We love these waffles for dinner with a meat such as ham or sausages.  I also think they would be very good as the basis for chicken and waffles.  Use your imagination to think up other ways to enjoy them.

SOURCE:  Will It Waffle?

 

Dutch Baby with Fruit Compote

Dutch Baby with Fruit Compote

Dutch Baby with Fruit Compote

Have you ever thought about how many different breakfast foods you can create using just milk, eggs, and flour?  This one is an interesting example.  Especially considering it’s name.

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This baked, puffed egg dish is neither Dutch, nor does it have anything to do with babies.  Sometimes called a German pancake, it has very little to do with Germany, either.  Said to have been invented by German immigrants who settled in this country, and who were referred to as “Deutche”, this is most likely how it got it’s name.  But no matter,  it is delicious whatever name you may give it.

Dutch Baby

Dutch Baby

Another example of this same type of baked item is the pop-over.  Same ingredients, but baked individually in little cups, a popover is generally eaten with dinner, whereas a “dutch-baby” is usually served as a breakfast item with syrup or fruits spooned over it.

Trying to come up with something a little different for a weekend breakfast, I made this recently.  I served it with sliced strawberries and blueberries spooned over it.

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DUTCH BABY WITH FRUIT

Yield:  Serves  4

Milk, eggs, butter and flour, plus a blender makes this easy!!

Milk, eggs, butter and flour, plus a blender makes this easy!!

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour,
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, or a mixture of blueberries and strawberries

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Blend milk, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt together in a blender until batter is smooth.

3.  Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or other heavy oven-proof skillet)until bubbling;

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Pour batter into the center of the skillet.

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4.  Bake in the oven until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and sift the confectioners’ sugar over the top and serve warm with fruit.

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5.  Prepare fruit topping by washing and slicing the berries, picking over the blueberries.  Sprinkle with sugar to taste and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Stir to mix and let stand while Dutch Baby bakes.

 

 

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SOURCE:   adapted from AllRecipes.com

5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Avocados

Avocado and Egg on Toast

Avocado and Egg on Toast

Avocados will make you healthier right now!!  And here’s 5 good reasons why…..

1.  They protect your eyes from disease.  Avocados have a very high content (more than any other fruit) of the carotenoid lutein, which protects agains cataracts and macular degeneration–a leading cause of blindness.

2.  They will lower your cholesterol.   Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance that has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  In one study, 45 people saw an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for just one week.

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3.  They help regulate and reduce blood pressure.   Avocados are a great source of potassium, containing even more than bananas.  Studies confirm that eating foods high in potassium (and low in sodium) can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.

4.  They are a great source of vitamin E.  Avocados are the greatest fruit source of vitamin E,  an antioxidant that protects against many diseases and helps maintain overall health.

5.  They will moisturize your skin.  Avocado butter and oil, two deep-conditioning emollients, will soften skin, eliminate dry patches, and restore your skin’s elasticity.  Try some beauty products enriched with avocado butter and oil.

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Now to get you started on the road to eating more avocados, here is one of my favorite ways to eat them.  Most mornings I grab my coffee, a hard boiled egg and some fruit, or a nutrient dense muffin, but when I’ve got a few extra minutes, this is the breakfast I love.  It starts with whole grain or rye toast with mashed avocado spread on it.  That is topped with a runny egg, either fried or poached.    There’s something about the combination of crispy toast, creamy avocado, and runny egg that is so satisfying.  It doesn’t get any better than that, and it keeps me going all morning.

AVOCADO and EGG ON TOAST

Yield:   Serves one

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice of whole grain bread, toastedIMG_9085
  • 1 oz, mashed avocado ( about 1/4 small avocado)
  • splash, fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  •  hot sauce, optional

Directions:

1.  Mash the avocado in a small bowl with a splash of lemon or lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

2.  Heat a small non-stick skillet, or egg poaching pan, over low heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  Crack the egg into the skillet or cup of poaching pan.  Cover and cook to your liking.

My old egg poaching pan still does the job!

My old egg poaching pan still does the job!

3.  Spread the avocado on the toast, top with the egg, and add a splash of hot sauce, if desired.

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Love this breakfast!

Love this breakfast!

SOURCE:   Health.com

Huevos Rancheros with Bacon and Corn Tortillas

Hoevos Rancheros with Bacon and Corn Tortillas

Hoevos Rancheros with Bacon and Corn Tortillas

I admit that sometimes I’m just weird, like when I jump out of bed thinking about what I’ll make for breakfast.  I’m not talking OJ, toast and coffee or a bowl of cold cereal here.  I mean really cooking up something good.  This happens mostly on a weekend morning, like today, Saturday.

It would be eggs, with bacon included, but in a not so ordinary way.  Like huevos rancheros.  That means eggs on the ranch,  or eggs ranch-style.  See, I’m fluent in Spanish.   I’m also fluent in cooking by the seat of my pants, which means no recipe in sight.  OK then, here’s how it unfolded.

Walk to the refrigerator and take out eggs ( natch), bacon, corn tortillas, an open jar of salsa and some grated cheddar jack cheese.  Do I know what I’m doing?  Not really,  I’ve never made huevos rancheros, but I have seen a recipe with a picture of the finished dish.  What I intended to produce was my own version of what I thought they must be like.  Be on notice: that’s open to wide interpretation.

Begin by cooking up 4 slices of bacon till crisp.  Save a small amount of the drippings in the pan.  Add two corn tortillas to the bacon drippings and cook until puffed and golden.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Keep any drippings remaining in the pan and add a small pat of butter.   Prepare eggs in the usual way for scrambling,  add to pan and cook until just beginning to set.  Sprinkle with grated cheddar-jack cheese.  Cover and turn off heat, allowing cheese to melt, and eggs to finish cooking.   Place a crisp tortilla on each plate,  cover with a portion of scrambled egg,  spoon on some salsa, and top with strips of bacon.  Olé.  Mue Bueno!

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HUEVOS RANCHEROS WITH BACON AND CORN TORTILLAS

Yield:   Serves 2   Increase quantities accordingly to serve more

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices lean bacon
  • 2  (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 jar salsa, mild or spicy, your preference
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 small pat butter
  • grated cheddar-jack cheese or Cotija cheese or queso fresco

Directions:

1.  Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp.  Drain on paper towels, reserving the drippings in the skillet.

Cook the bacon first and save some of the drippings for the tortillas.

Cook the bacon first and save some of the drippings for the tortillas.

2.  Cook the tortillas:   heat the bacon drippings in the skillet, add the tortillas and cook until golden brown on the bottoms, 3 – 4 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the other side, about 3 more minutes.  Wrap in foil to keep warm.

Corn Tortillas get crispy and puffed when cooked in a little oil.

Corn Tortillas get crispy and puffed when cooked in a little oil.

3.  Make the eggs:   in a small bowl, whisk the eggs together to blend,  add 1 -2 tablespoons water, salt and pepper to taste, and continue whisking to mix well..   Add the butter to any remaining drippings in the skillet, and allow to melt and become hot.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, and cook on medium heat until the eggs are set, lifting the edges and letting the liquid portion run underneath.  When the eggs are almost completely cooked sprinkle on the grated cheese.  Turn off the heat, cover , and allow the cheese to melt before serving.

4.  To serve:  Place a warm tortilla on each plate.  Top with a portion  of the eggs,   Spoon on desired amount of salsa, and lay two pieces of bacon on the top.

Layer it all up with some salsa and bacon on top.

Layer it all up with some salsa and bacon on top.

 

This is probably not the most appetizing-looking meal I’ve ever made, but it sure tasted good, and got a weekend morning off to a great start.

 

SOURCE:   A Carolyn Original

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Ham and Eggs Breakfast Cups

Baked Ham and Eggs Breakfast Cups

Baked Ham and Eggs Breakfast Cups

Today feels like a good day.

It feels like one of those days that has been a long time in coming.   But thanks to the passing of days, hours and minutes it’s finally here.  I’m staring down the finish line, listening to loud music blasting from my I-Pad, practicing dance steps while I cook–because that’s what I do..

The whole point of my happy dancing around the kitchen is because today is the last day at home before we go on va-ca-tion!!  To celebrate I am making a fantastic breakfast.

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You know how it is when you’re going away, you clean out the refrigerator, right?   So I have a little of this and a little of that, and Bingo!! it becomes these cute little ham and egg cups.  I hope you like them as much as we did.  They were fun to make and even more fun to eat.

As described in the recipe, I baked the cups in the oven, but you could also make them in the microwave, for a quicker meal.  They only take a few seconds to put together and about 13 – 15 minutes to bake in the oven,  giving you just about enough time to make coffee and some toast to go with them.

Try them and do the happy dance around your kitchen, too.

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BAKED HAM AND EGGS CUPS

Yield:   Directions are for 1 serving.  Increase amounts accordingly.IMG_7892

Ingredients:

  • 1  or 2 slices thin deli ham
  • 1 or 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup frozen hash browns
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  Line the bottom of an 8-oz. ramekin or custard cup with ham slices, folding ham in half if necessary.

2.  Pour hash browns in top of ham.

Pour some hash browns over the ham.

Pour some hash browns over the ham.

Lightly whisk eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Pour over hash browns.

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Pour eggs over hash browns.

Pour eggs over hash browns.

 

3.  Sprinkle top with shredded cheddar.

Sprinkle cheese on top,

Sprinkle cheese on top,

4.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet for stability in and out of the oven.

5.  Bake at 400 *F.  for 13 – 15 minutes, till tops are puffed and eggs no longer “jiggle”.  As noted above, these can also be cooked in the microwave until eggs are set.

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SOURCE:    Carolyn’s Originals

 

 

Blueberry Pancake

Oven Baked Blueberry Pancake

Oven Baked Blueberry Pancake

Everyone loves blueberry pancakes, and this is the time of year when blueberries are readily available, so maybe your family is asking for their favorite pancakes right about now.  Which is why you run into a supply and demand problem, standing over a hot griddle flipping one after the other.  Usually the one who is doing the “flipping” is the last one to get to eat, and hopefully there will still be one or two hot ones left for when the cook gets to have theirs.

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I’ve been in that situation, and even though I preheat the oven and put some of the pancakes in there to keep warm,  when I get to sit down to eat they are never quite the same as getting some hot off the griddle.  This recipe for an oven-baked blueberry pancake is meant to take the pressure off since you just mix and pour the batter, then pop it into the oven.  It has all the tender texture of old-fashioned flapjacks, but it slices into wedges so everyone can eat together–and you don’t end up feeling like a short order cook.

In the unlikely event that there is some left over, it does reheat well in the microwave for a special breakfast treat before starting your weekday morning, or have it for lunch with some additional fruit.

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OVEN BAKED BLUEBERRY PANCAKE

Yield:  Serves 4IMG_7593

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose  or whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons butter melted, plus 1 Tablespoon for the pan
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • confectioners’ sugar for serving
  • maple syrup for serving

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F with rack in upper third.  Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet ( or other nonstick ovenproof pan) in oven.

2.  Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Whisk together milk, egg, and melted butter in another bowl.  Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined.

3.  Remove skillet from oven and add 1 tablespoon butter, swirling to coat.  Pour in batter and smooth top with a spatula.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Sprinkle evenly with blueberries and remaining 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Sprinkle with blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar.

Sprinkle with blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar.

 

4.  Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes before dusting with confectioners’ sugar and serving with syrup.

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SOURCE:   Martha Stewart Living

 

 

(Less is More) Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

This is an  experiment in cutting back, using less, leaving out, and just generally leaving things alone.   You know that when I cook I try to cut back on ingredients that are unhealthy or not good for us, but when it comes to the “good” stuff, well…..that’s another story.  My philosophy is usually “more is better”.

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Today’s baking session went something like this.   I made Blueberry Zucchini Bread, without adding bacon, without lemon zest, without ginger, without crumb topping, without coconut, without chocolate chips.   Oh, the more I mention, the more I want to put into this luscious breakfast bread.   I keep telling myself,  “no, just let it be what it is”.  So, Ok, I added blueberries to zucchini bread, but you know, a green veggie is kind of boring, and blueberries are so pretty, and good for us, (antioxidants and all).  You’ll be so glad I did all this for you.   The resulting bread is just right for breakfast, not too sweet, yet moist with tons of flavor.

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Many zucchini bread recipes in my cookbooks seem to call for 1 cup or more of oil, and are also too sweet for my taste, so thinking that the moisture added to this recipe by the zucchini and blueberries would compensate, I reduced the amount of oil to 2/3 cup, and used only 1 cup of sugar instead of two cups as the original recipe called for.  Thus you have less is more.   Less of the unhealthy and unnecessary  ingredients and more of the healthy ingredients that are better for you.

Picky eaters at your house?   I’ll bet they’ll be scarfing down this one!

BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI BREAD

Yield:   2 loaves,  8″ x 4″  see accompanying conversion list for other size loaves

Ingredients:IMG_7649

  • 3 cups flour  ( I used 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat, and 1 1/2 cups all purpose white flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3  cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Lightly grease loaf pans.  See conversion list for pan sizes.

2.  In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Mix together the dry ingredients.

Mix together the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar.

3.  Stir flour mixture into egg mixture and combine until well blended.

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture.

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture.

Stir in zucchini, then gently fold in blueberries.

Stir in zucchini, then blueberries.  Batter will be thick.

Stir in zucchini, then blueberries. Batter will be thick.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.   Note:  if using small pans, set them on a baking sheet for stability in and out of the oven.

Pour batter into loaf pans set on a baking sheet.

Pour batter into loaf pans set on a baking sheet.

4.  Bake at 350*F. for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5.  Cool in pans for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Wrap in foil to freeze if desired.

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These rise nice and high.

These rise nice and high.

Perfect for breakfast.

Perfect for breakfast.

 

Notes from my kitchen:   Many times quick breads can be baked in different sizes than the recipe calls for.  These are some alternate size pans for when a recipe is based on 2  1/2  – 3 cups of flour.  Keep in mind that baking times will vary, so use a cake tester, and rely on color and your sense of smell.

1  ( 9 x 5) loaf pan

12 muffins

2  ( 8 x 4) loaves

4  (6 x 3 x 2-inch) mini loaf pans

1 tube or decorative mold pan

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SOURCE:   I made some major changes to a basic recipe for zucchini bread that was in my files.

 

 

 

 

Grapefruit Buttermilk Doughnuts with Candied Zest

Graperfuit Buttermilk Doughnuts

Graperfuit Buttermilk Doughnuts

It was only after the fact that I learned that National Doughnut day had come and gone.  But that’s alright, I probably wouldn’t have paid any attention to it anyway.  I honestly never pay much attention to any of these so-called special days because there are so many of them, every single day it’s something, and often more than one something per day.

Who designates these special days anyhow?  No one has ever asked me what I think, or if I have a favorite food that I would like to honor with it’s own special day.  If anyone can get in on the act offering random suggestions for dedicated days, then I can do it too. Mine would be much more specific like— mulch the flower beds day, or skip work and go for a drive day, or lets’s get our nails done and then go out for lunch day, or put on some good music and dance day.  As you can see my days have a lot more to do in them than just eating one type of food… they’re more about movement and action and getting things done.  That’s the kind of gal I am.

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Anyway, having gotten that off my chest,  here’s a recipe for making doughnuts that are just the tiniest bit healthy because they are baked instead of fried.  I don’t know anyone who makes their own fried doughnuts, do you?  I think everybody and their mother hates deep frying foods, and that definitely includes me.   If the thought even crosses your mind, think of your thighs and reconsider!!   One impulsive act like frying doughnuts can undo weeks of careful eating, and hopefully weight loss, so get a grip on yourself.

Tiniest bit healthy baked doughnuts!!

Tiniest bit healthy baked doughnuts!!

Thank heavens these doughnuts require NO fryer.  They’re easy to make and they turn out light and cake-like. They require only one specialized pan; a doughnut pan that is generally inexpensive.  When I bought mine I thought I would never use it, but I’m finding myself using it more and more.  One little trick that I do with mine, is pour muffin batter in it and bake them.  You will get a shallow muffin, like muffin tops with a hole in the middle.  Think of it as a weight loss tactic; smaller muffin with a hole in the middle=less calories!   What you see in the above photo that looks like muffins is actually the remainder of the doughnut batter that I baked in a muffin pan.  I call them Douffins 🙂

Mr D. called these doughnuts “fabulous” and I have to agree with him.  I love the bits of tartness that the grapefruit zest adds to the flavor, and the grapefruit juice in the glaze keeps it all from becoming too sweet.  Making the candied zest is very easy to do, and now that I’ve done it, I would try it with other citrus fruits and use the candied zest as a garnish or topping on other baked goods.  Try this, it adds just the perfect touch.

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GRAPEFRUIT BUTTERMILK DOUGHNUTS WITH CANDIED ZEST

Yield:   1 dozen doughnuts  (I got 12 doughnuts plus 4 douffins)

Ingredients:

  • non-stick cooking sprayIMG_7533
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 large grapefruit, plus 4 two-inch long strips grapefruit zest thinly sliced
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice

Directions:

1.  Coat 2  six-cavity doughnut pans with nonstick spray.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine flour, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, and salt, and mix well.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, canola oil, vanilla, and zest of 1 grapefruit to combine.

Mix wet ingredients together.

Mix wet ingredients together.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir.  Spoon batter into the prepared pans, filling each cavity a little more than three-quarters.

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3.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn doughnuts out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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4.  In a small bowl, whisk confectioners’ sugar and juice until smooth.  Set glaze aside.  In a small saucepan, combine zest strips, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 3 tablespoons water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer mixture until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.   Drain, and discard the liquid.  Immediately toss the zest strips in the remaining sugar until coated.  Transfer to a cutting board and chop.

After cooking, coat zest strips in sugar.

After cooking, coat zest strips in sugar.

 

Chopped sugared zest into small pieces.

Chop sugared zest into small pieces.

5.  For each doughnut, carefully dip the top in the glaze, then set on a wire rack, glaze side up, so excess drips off.  Sprinkle immediately with chopped zest.

 

Dip tops into glaze, sprinkle with zest.

Dip tops into glaze, sprinkle with zest.

 

These are unbelievably good.

These are unbelievably good.

 

SOURCE:   Country Living Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hash Browns, Bacon and Egg Bake

Hash Browns, Bacon and Egg Bake

Hash Browns, Bacon and Egg Bake

It was a holiday weekend with time to prepare a leisurely breakfast.  One of our favorite breakfasts consists of bacon and eggs with home fries or hash browns.  But instead of preparing them all separately, my thought was to mix them all up into a baked casserole.   This is how it all came together….

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It took about 15 minutes to assemble, and 45 – 50 minutes baking time, so while it baked I was able to make a fresh fruit salad to go along with it.  This turned out to be a savory mixture of eggs, cheese, bacon, hash brown, and spices, that got us off to a great start.  Keep this one in mind if you’re planning a busy weekend, and need a hearty start to get you going.

HASH BROWNS, BACON AND EGG BAKE

Yield:  about 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes,
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese blend
  • 6 eggs,  or 3 whole eggs, and 1/2 cup egg beater substitute
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic-herb seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper sauce
  • 4 – 5 slices bacon, precooked and crumbled
  • jarred salsa, if desired, for serving

Directions:

1.  Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick spray.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, crumbled bacon, and 1 cup of cheese.  Spread evenly in the baking dish.

Spread potatoes, bacon and cheese evenly in bottom of baking dish,

Spread potatoes, bacon and cheese evenly in bottom of baking dish,

3.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly with a wire whisk.  Add the milk,  herb blend seasoning and hot sauce.  Blend well.  Pour over potato-cheese mixture.

 

Mix up egg mixture and pour over potato layer,

Mix up egg mixture and pour over potato layer,

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over all.

Top with remaining cheese.

Top with remaining cheese.

4.  Bake in 350* oven for 45-50 minutes.  When cooked, a knife inserted just off-center, should be “clean” when removed.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares for serving.  Serve with salsa if desired.

 

Cheese on top gets browned and crusty.

Cheese on top gets browned and crusty.

Cut into squares to serve.

Cut into squares to serve.

Nice with a little salsa to spice it up.

Nice with a little salsa to spice it up.

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SOURCE:   A Carolyn’s Original

My Non-Cake Birthday Cake

My non-cake Birthday Cake

My non-cake Birthday Cake

Do you love cinnamon rolls, but don’t like to work with yeast dough?  I hear this from of lots of my women friends.   They love that yeasty flavor and texture of baked breads and sweet rolls, cinnamon buns included, but don’t have the time or knack for working with yeast dough.  Well here’s good news…..

These are cinnamon rolls made from dough without yeast!  In the food processor, no less.  So ease of preparation can’t be beat, and the resulting tender sweet, cinnamon rolls are luscious indeed.   The inclusion of cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt, plus a small amount of butter guarantees a tender dough.

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The back story here is that my birthday occurred this past weekend, as it does every year right around Mother’s Day, and having no-one around to bake a cake for me,  I made one for myself.  Only it wasn’t really a cake.  It was these sweet rolls.  When they are turned out of the baking pan onto a serving dish, they look like a single layer cake.  Frosted with a maple flavor glaze, they are great for breakfast, but we sampled them while still warm from the oven, and had a tiny birthday party just for me.  Ha!

(NON-YEAST) CINNAMON ROLLS

Yield:   Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients:IMG_7242

Dough:

  • 3/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, use 1/4 tsp. salt)

Filling:IMG_7243

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Directions:

1.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the first 5 ingredients.  Process briefly until smooth.   In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt).  Add the flour mixture to the processor bowl.  Cover and pulse to form a soft dough.

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Easy so far, right?

2.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times.  It comes together and feels just right.  Now with a rolling pin, roll out to a 15″ x 12″ rectangle.

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Brush the dough with the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter to within 1/2-inch of edges.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over the butter.

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3.  Preheat oven to 400*F.   Lightly spray or grease a 9-inch round baking pan.

4.   Starting from the long side, roll up the dough like a jelly roll, keeping it as tight and even as possible.  Pinch edges to seal.   Cut dough into 1 1/4-inch slices.

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Lay the slices cut-side down in the prepared pan.

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5.  Bake at 400*F. for 20 – 25 minutes.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a serving plate.

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6.  Make the glaze and drizzle over the rolls.  Don’t they look fantastic?  I dare you not to eat one right now!

Yummy cinnamon rolls, still warm from the oven.

Yummy cinnamon rolls, still warm from the oven.

 

SOURCE:   TASTE OF HOME