I know it’s been awhile since I wrote a blog post but today’s icy weather gives me no more excuses. My FT employer was so kind to close. My husband is working remotely so our dog Cooper and I are just chillin’ catching up the DVR. A little Coldplay on Ellen, Robin Roberts on Rachael Ray, and Andrew Chang on Colbert. Yes, that’s my jam. Not to worry, I happy plenty of books to read which is sort of work related on this now four-day weekend. And between my two jobs, I’m off three of days so I’m taking it for the win.
Today’s breakfast recipe comes from…what do we have in the house? You know, Jeremiah and I love a good brunch. I also feel like most recipes are pretty much the same – eggs, breakfast meat, cheese, and some sort of crust (hash browns, biscuits, crescent rolls, pie crust, King Hawaiian rolls, etc.) No real surprises here. But Jeremiah and I like to add seasoning to make it more flavorful. We also used deer sausage because we have plenty in the freezer thanks to my father-in-law. (So Midwestern of us.) We liked this easy-peasy recipe and will add it to the rotation.
Biscuit Egg Casserole by Lil Luna
1 package Grand biscuits
1 package ground sausage, cooked
1 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheese
salt & pepper
Flatten out biscuits on the bottom of a sprayed 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle with sausage and cheese. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, and seasoning together. Pour over mixture in pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting.
- The recipe called for 1 c. mozzarella and 1 c. cheddar cheese. I used 2 c. of an Italian Cheese blend.
- I also added sage, rosemary, and thyme. I sprinkled fresh basil on top of the dish.
This recipe for cinnamon rolls is super easy and tasty. Perfect recipe for those who love this fall flavor all year long.
Easy Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls by Two Peas & Their Pod Blog
1 can crescent rolls (seamless)
1/4 c. pumpkin butter
3 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. powder sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T. milk (more if you need to thin icing)
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Unroll dough and spread with pumpkin butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll into a log and cut with a serrated knife into 9 slices. Place slices cut side down into a greased 9 x 9 baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend. After cooling cinnamon rolls for 5 minutes, cover them with icing.
- I used canned pumpkin and it worked just fine.
- You can use a regular can of crescent rolls but you just have to get rid of the seams to make it into one giant rectangle.
- This is a little too much icing so you might want to cut recipe in half.
As you may recall, Jeremiah and I visited the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory this summer. During our excursion, we were able to sample Cherry Garcia ice cream. Although we had never had it before, we were quickly in love.
A few weeks ago, a recipe suggestion came up in my Pinterest feed for a Cherry Garcia cookie. I decided I had to make this cookie. The only thing I didn’t like about the recipe was the maraschino cherries. I really don’t like them. I thought about one of my favorite ice cream flavors at Sylas and Maddy’s – Queen of Hearts. This recipe has these little pieces of chocolate that when you bite into them you get a splash of raspberry. In the day and age where of you can find anything in the internet, I figured I’d be able to buy these with a cherry flavor. To my surprise, cherry isn’t as popular as raspberry or about any other fruit flavor. One of my friends said, “Oh, what about those Brookside chocolate covered fruit pieces?” They make ones with blueberries and pomegranates. After at least 15 minutes of searching the baking, health foods, and candy isles at HyVee, I am happy to report that Jeremiah found some Cella’s chocolate covered REAL cherries.
I made the cookies yesterday and shared a few with friends. The verdict – they taste like a Cherry Garcia version of cookies. I hope you’ll give them a try. We are sharing them along with Chex Mix, Chocolate Crinkles, and Orange Chocolate Chippers. I’m hoping to have a few left to share with my mom who loves Cherry Cordials.
Cherry Garcia Cookies by Vera
1 c. sugar
3 sticks of butter, softened
1 tsp. almond extract
3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Maraschino cherries jar (drained and chopped into pieces)
In a large bowl, cream together sugar, butter, egg, and almond extract. Add flour and salt and blend. Stir in chocolate chips and cherries. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes. Roll into 2 in balls and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 12-14 minutes.
- I substituted Cella’s chocolate covered cherries (chopped) for the Maraschino cherries.
This year, I really wanted to go to Vermont on vacation. I wanted to visit Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory and to tap a Maple tree to get syrup. I learned though that you can’t really just tap a tree to get syrup. During our trip, we visited a visited a Sugar House. We learned that getting sap from a tree requires a very extensive string of plastic tubing to be drilled to the trees. When the temperatures in the spring first reach above freezing, the sap drips from the tree as the temperature drops below freezing at night. This usually happens in late March or early April. The sap runs through the tubes to a giant collection container. Those containers are then transported to process the sap through a boiling process to produce maple syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap and about 45 minutes of boiling sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. Wow, now you know why really Vermont Maple Syrup cost so much. We also learned that Maple Creemes (soft serve ice cream with maple syrup swirled in) is very popular…and delicious. It’s actually pretty cool to meet the families who run these Sugar Houses.
The syrup excursion was part of our Maple and Wine Tour with Greg. Following our visit to the Sugar House, we went to Boyden Valley Winery. This family farm has people producing maple, grass feed beef, and wine. In addition to ice and maple wines, Vermont’s oldest winery produces maple syrup aged in oak barrels. I learned I like oak ages syrup better than I like oak aged wine.
The state of Vermont only has a population of around 620,000 in the whole state. Despite a drought, this 14th state to the union lives up to its name which mean green mountains. The state is very proud of local business. In fact, this is the only state in the country to not currently have a Target store. One lady at the airport was telling us that she traveled via fairy boat to New York with her daughter to return an item to Target. (Now that’s dedication to Target shopping.) Vermont is also home to the Green Mountain Coffee (Keurig maker), the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, and Cabot Cheese.
For this morning breakfast, I wanted to use a little of our new real maple syrup.
Sausage Breakfast Casserole from Pinterest
1 package of Grands biscuits
1 package of frozen hash brown
1 lb. of ground sausage
¼ c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Bake biscuits on a baking sheet for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Meanwhile, cook hash browns until golden brown on the stove top. At the same time, brown sausage on the stove top. You’ll also need to cook the scrambled eggs and milk in that skillet. Place hash browns in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with ½ c. of cheese. Sprinkle with sausage. Top with scrambled eggs and remaining cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Plate and drizzle with maple syrup.
- I did not overly cook the hash browns. I’d suggest maybe cooking them in the 13 x 9 plan for make 10 minutes before added other ingredients or removing them from the recipe. I don’t really think the hash browns are necessary ingredient in this recipe.
- If you can get it, Cabot cheese would have been a great addition. Perhaps, even a Vermont White Cheddar.
- I think the biscuits might have also been delicious with some Maple sugar sprinkled on top. We are still waiting for ours to be delivered.
When I first met Jeremiah, I learned very quickly that he loves biscuits and gravy. He’s very particular though – no one does it like his mother. I soon learned the whole family feels this way.
When Jeremiah and I were planning the menu for our wedding day brunch, our Sales Manager suggest biscuits and gravy. I said, “No, his family will just compare it to his mother’s recipe and be disappointed.” Sorry Chef – no offense.
Every year, the whole family gathers at his parent’s house for Christmas. It is practically a requirement that my mother-in-law Lynn make biscuits and gravy when EVERYONE is there. On Christmas Eve morning though, Lynn made a Biscuits and Gravy Casserole recipe a friend had shared with her. Lynn let me in on a little secret. Occasionally, she uses the Pioneer brand packet gravy. This I can do. Although this isn’t the exact recipe my mother-in-law made that morning, my husband does like this dish. He also likes it when I use sausage from our local butcher shop – The Peculiar Meat Company.
Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast Casserole from Pinterest
2 cans (16 oz.) Grands biscuits
1 lb. ground breakfast sausage
1 package of Pioneer Country Sausage Flavor Gravy Mix
Cut one can of biscuits into quarters. Sprinkle in a sprayed 13 x 9 baking dish and cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then, cut the second package of biscuits the same way. Meanwhile, cook and drain sausage. Also prepare gravy according to packet. Mix sausage and gravy together and pour over biscuits. Top with remaining biscuits and cook for 15-20 minutes. (Optional – top biscuits with melted butter to make them shine.)
- I’d suggest maybe making it in a 9 x 9 pan and using only one can of Grands biscuits (half on bottom/half on top) if you want more gravy to biscuit ratio. You could also use regular sized biscuits and still make it in a 9 x 13 pan.
- Another option to to make a second envelope of gravy to pour on top of finished dish. That’s what Lynn did for her family.
It’s that time of year when fresh peaches are available for picking. Here is a peach recipe Jeremiah and I recently made which was delicious.
Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce by Pioneer Woman
5-6 fresh peaches
1 c. flour
½ c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. butter
½ whole lemon
7 T. maple syrup
1 ½ c. whipping cream
3 T. light corn syrup
In a medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Cut butter into small pieces and fork into dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, peel and cut peaches. Add zest from half a lemon and then squeeze in juice. Add 2 T. maple syrup and stir. Pour peaches into a 9 x 9 baking dish and cover with crumble mixture. Cover with foil and back for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake an additional 20-30 minutes.
Pour whipping cream into a saucepan. Add remaining maple syrup and corn syrup. Cook over a moderate heat until thickened and reduced by one-third (approximately 15 minutes). Refrigerate mixture until it is cold and thick.
- This makes a lot of sauce. I’d suggest cutting the recipe in half. I used the extra though to make some delicious French Toast.
Last year, Jeremiah and I went strawberry picking for the first time. I had always wanted to do it but hadn’t been able to fit it into my schedule. We loved it so much, we decided to do it again this spring. The weather was a little hotter this year as we went from winter straight to summer. When you pick a flat of berries, you need to come up with a few recipes to use them in. I ran across the recipe and cooked it up on a day when Jeremiah was working from home. We both agreed, this recipe was a winner. Great flavor and bonus it’s a skinny recipe.
Skinny Strawberry and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast by Savory Nothings
- 4 T. One-third less fat cream cheese
- 1 T. honey or maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- ¼ c. skim milk
- 4 T. whole grain bread crumbs
- 1 T. sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 8 strawberries sliced
- 8 slices of whole wheat bread
- 2 T. oil
Mix honey and cream cheese. In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs and milk. On a large plate, combine bread crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover four slices of bread with cream cheese mixture and top with strawberry slices. Top each slice of bread with a second slice of bread. Dip in egg mixture to coat each side, dripping off excess. Then, repeat in bread crumb mixture. Cook in a pan coated with oil and flip half-way through cooking.
On Monday, Jeremiah was working from home. Since things have been so busy with work lately, we didn’t have anything in the fridge to cook for dinner. I found this crockpot recipe for pork chops and stuffing. More importantly, I had all the ingredients without having to run to the store. I figured I could make it with frozen pork chops and it worked just fine.
Crockpot Pork Chops and Stuffing from Pinterest
4-6 Pork Chops
1 box of Stuffing
1 c. of Chicken Broth
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
Mix chicken stock and stuffing in the crockpot. Place pork chops on top and cover with cream of mushroom soup. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
- I seasoned the pork chops with salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, parsley, and cumin.
- You can substitute Cream of Chicken. I used low sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup.
- You can use water instead of chicken broth.
Last week, we attended our 3rd wine dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill. These dinners are great because you get to eat your favorite recipes, sample dishes on their hidden menu, and taste four wines for between $40-50 per dinner. During our last dinner, a couple was asking us about our wine adventures. This is something people ask us from time to time so I thought I’d share. Jeremiah estimates we’ve been to 30 wineries for tastings. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Sommerset Ridge Winery and Vineyard – Located in Miami County, KS just about a mile and half past the Louisburg Cider Mill, this is the home to absolutely one of our favorite wineries. On the weekends, they often have music in nice weather months and occasional food trucks. Here are a few of our favorites: Oktoberfest, Buffalo Red, Avalon, Ambrosia, Citron, and Tawny Port. Did I mention we love them so much that we used one of our wine corks from them on Jeremiah’s boutonniere he wore during our wedding?
- Windy Wine Co. – Located just east of St. Joseph, MO, we loved so many of their wines. My husband and sister had a chance to sample them at the Northwest Missouri Wine Fest. It started storming by the time arrived so I wasn’t able to test any. That lead us to a Sunday Drive to the winery. They even have a bottle called Peanut Butter & Jelly. Apparently, the owner is a huge fan of giant Reese Peanut Butter Cups. I’m talking one of those several pounds big. His family bought him one from the store while we were sampling. Here are some of our favorites: White Chocolate Strawberry, Caramel Apple, Raspberry, Good News Dread, Spiced Pear, and Blackberry Cobbler.
- Weston Wine Company – Located in downtown Weston, we sampled this winery on our way to my 40th birthday weekend at Arbor Lodge. It was raining and this cheery purple building was home to some delicious wines. I liked them so much, we joined their wine club. Quarterly, they host a “Book Club” where they review a wine related book and we get to sample some great wine. Trilliant Cut is my absolute favorite but I also like Navette Cut. If you are up for mixing, Princess Cut and Navette Cut are great mixed together. Although I am not a huge fan of Bubly carbonated water, the Mango and Apple to mix well with Princess Cut and Navette Cut to make a spritzer.
- Van Till Family Farm Winery – Our first visit to this winery was on an icy morning after a December getaway to The Elms in Excelsior Springs. The owners were organic farmers in California before moving to Missouri just before September 11th. On Friday and Saturday nights, they crank-up a wood-fired oven on the outdoor patio they had brought in from Italy. Although it was starting to getting icy, we stayed for some pizza. OMG – it’s sooooo good. The recipes are the owner’s creation and use ingredients from their farm. The crust is light enough you can eat three pieces and not feel too stuffed. I’m not talking your traditional pizza topping either. Plus, they pay their employees a live wage so you don’t need to tip. In fact, they ask you not to. We like their: Peach Wine, Strawberry Festival, Farm Shed Red, and Prairie Fire.
Want to sample some dish food and wines for yourself? I hope you will purchase a ticket for Harvesters’ Forks and Corks. For $125, you get to sample food and libations from over 60 vendors. All proceeds help feed over 141,000 people in our community who rely on Harvesters to help feed their families. Who knows, you might just find a new wine you like or a winery you’d like to visit.
We love breakfast foods. I’m always pinning new recipes to try. My original plan on the morning I made these was to make a biscuit and gravy casserole. When I realized I was missing one of the ingredients I needed to make that recipe, I made this recipe with some of the ingredients instead. Jeremiah has already asked me to make these delicious filling breakfast treats once again.
Sausage Egg & Cheese Stuffed Breakfast Biscuits by So Fab Food
1 package of Grands biscuits
8 sausage patties
8 slices of cheese
Make scrambled eggs and season with salt and pepper. Cook sausages according to packaging. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten biscuits to about 5-6 inches wide. Break cheese slices into four pieces. Stack on top of biscuit. Top with scoop of scrambled eggs. Place sausage patty on top. Pull biscuit from opposite directions to cover entirely. Place wrapped side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with butter and top with favorite seasonings. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning pan halfway through baking. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- I added a little milk to my eggs to make them fluffier. I’d also suggest maybe 5 eggs would be enough.
- I used turkey sausage and Cheddar cheese.
- I topped mine with fennel seed to bring out the flavor of the sausage.