Saturday, September 27, 2014

Farmer's Breakfast Casserole

 It's the time of year when I usually begin craving comfort food, as the temperature has cooled down some, and the mornings and evenings are crisp. I adore fall and always look forward to cooking up some meals that are heartier than summer's fare. This dish is perfect for any meal, as we've eaten it not only for breakfast, but it makes a tasty lunch or dinner as well.
 This delicious Farmer's Breakfast Casserole is the perfect 8x8 inch size for my husband and I. There's just enough yummy leftovers for us for a couple of days, plus this dish reheats really well. The casserole starts with a layer of frozen hash browns, then ham, green onion and cheese is layered over the potatoes. Beaten eggs are pour over all. It bakes for about an hour. Don't expect the hash browns to be crispy though. The hash browns are soft and very moist after baking. If not baked long enough I think it could be watery, so be sure to allow time for it to fully cook.
Farmer's Breakfast Casserole
Slightly adapted from here-
This dish can be put together the night before, covered and placed in the fridge, and baked in the morning. Baking time may be longer. Also, according to BHG, you can double the ingredients and place in a 9x13 baking pan. Again I imagine baking time would be longer, and I have not tried it.

3 cups of frozen hash browns- I use the shredded ones
1/4 cup diced green onions
1 cup of diced ham, or can use cooked sausage
1 cup shredded cheese- I used Colby-Jack
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt- I used less because the ham was so salty
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8x2 inch (2 quarts), baking pan. Pour the 3 cups of frozen hash browns into pan and distribute evenly in the pan. Sprinkle potatoes with the green onions, ham and then the cheese. Mix eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together and pour over all. Bake in oven for about 50 minutes, until eggs are set and top is golden. Pierce middle with a knife to test for it to be done. The casserole will puff up during baking. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blueberry and Blackberry Crisp

 My goodness this year has sailed by! Here it is the end of summer and I'm just now posting a berry dessert. But this berry crisp is also wonderful made with frozen berries, so I had to go ahead and post it. I have made this Blueberry and Blackberry Crisp several times this summer, plus I've made it with blueberries only which is just as yummy. I've added a bit extra sugar to this recipe with the blackberry addition as the frozen berries I bought were more tart than the blueberries.
 This Blueberry and Blackberry Crisp is so easy to put together and the topping is a whiz to prepare. Plus, this topping actually is very crisp which has made it a favorite of ours. Of course topping this crisp with a good quality vanilla ice cream makes irresistible! Hope you'll give it a try!
Blueberry and Blackberry Crisp
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Fresh or frozen berries may be used, but baking time may increase if using all frozen berries. The filling is juicy. If a thicker filling is desired add another teaspoon or 2 of cornstarch.

For the filling:
4 cups blueberries - I used fresh
2 cups blackberries - I used frozen this time
2/3 cup sugar ( when I make all blueberry crisp, I reduce to 1/2 c.)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Topping:
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats ( may use rolled oats)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make filling by mixing berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Poor berry mixture into an 8x8 inch baking dish with 2 inch sides.
2. Make topping- Stir together the flour oats baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Pour butter over topping and stir until it is absorbed and the topping is crumbly.
3. Sprinkle topping evenly over the filling. Place dish on a foil lined baking sheet just in case it bubbles over. (I haven't had that problem, but some commenters on Martha's site did.)
Bake until crisp is bubbling around the sides and in the center and brown on top, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack at least 30 minutes before serving. Top with ice cream and enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Easy Vinegar Coleslaw

I have taken an unplanned hiatus from blog this spring, but I'm back in time for Memorial Day with another recipe to share! We went through such a long winter and some other stuff that was going on in my life, but my love of food and sharing is back with this lovely weather. I found this amazingly simple and delicious recipe for coleslaw. It is also probably the healthiest recipe for coleslaw that I've made. I used about 1 pound of cabbage that I already had in the fridge, but often I buy the pre-shredded slaw mix in the grocers produce section. Toss the slaw mix with this vinegar and oil dressing and it's done in about 5 minutes and tasted delish too! Can't get much easier for a side dish and perfect for a topping for your sandwiches too! Here's the recipe.

Easy Vinegar Coleslaw
adapted from here
1 pound bag of slaw mix from your grocer
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup diced onion, I used Vidalia
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons oil - I used canola
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix the vinegar, sugar, oil salt pepper and celery seed. Stir in the shredded cabbage, onion and carrot and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
 Have a wonderful holiday and remember all the veterans who have served our great nation.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Meatball Sliders for Super Bowl!

Here it is, almost Super Bowl Sunday! If you are one of the many people planning a party for the big day, I have a fantastic Meatball Slider recipe for you to serve during the Super Bowl or any time for that matter. This is a really easy recipe where the meatballs are baked and then cooked for a short time in the quick tomato sauce, topped with cheese and then the buns. I have adapted my mother's meatball recipe for these yummy sliders and made an easy Italian flavored sauce for them. My husband loves these Meatball Sliders, so I hope you will too! Here's my recipe.
Meatball Sliders
From Lynda's Recipe Box
(If you want to add some spicy heat to the sauce just add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the oil at the same time as the minced garlic when making the sauce.)

Meatball Ingredients:
1 pound beef ground chuck
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk 1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
either shredded or sliced Provolone or Mozzarella cheese. If using slices you will need 6 slices to have cheese on top and bottom. Cut the sliced cheese in 4 square pieces.
1 dozen slider rolls, or dinner rolls if you can't find sliders

Directions for Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, Parmesan and minced garlic; toss it lightly with a fork to incorporate. Add the remaining ingredients and mix fairly well, either with a fork or your hands. I use my hands, I confess. It's just easier.
Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray. Divide the meat mixture into 12 even pieces and roll each into a ball and place on baking sheet. Place pan in oven and bake meatballs for 25 minutes. When done remove meatballs from pan and add to the sauce.

Quick Italian Style Sauce Ingredients:
1 - 28 ounce can of good quality crushed tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes, optional, only if you want some heat
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the olive oil, then the minced garlic and pepper flakes, if using. Saute for 30 seconds; then add the tomatoes and dried basil. Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes or so. If sauce gets too thick you can add a little water to thin it. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. I sometimes add about 1 teaspoon of sugar if sauce needs it. Some canned tomatoes can have a sharp taste and the sugar helps.
Add meatballs when they are done, cover and cook another 10-20 minutes.
I like the sauce to be thick so it will stick to the meatballs some.

To assemble sliders:
If you want to toast the rolls, just open the rolls and lay on a baking sheet, put under the broiler for a short time. Stay by your stove as they toast really quick! Remove from oven.
Add cheese to the bottom of the buns; place 1 meatball on each bottom bun. Top with more cheese and the tops of the buns. Place on serving tray and enjoy!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rolo Pretzel Turtle Candies

I hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas and that you are looking forward to the New Year! Food is such a big part of our holidays aren't they. You've all probably eaten these delicious Rolo Pretzel Turtle Candies at some time. These candies are such easy little Turtle candies to make and so addictive once you pop one in your mouth. I made some of them into sandwiches for anyone that can't have nuts. I wanted to drizzle them with more chocolate, but I had depleted my stash of chocolate. Oh well, I'll do it next time. I will be making these yummy treats again.
Easy and delicious too, they don't require many steps. Here's the directions to make the Rolo Pretzel Turtles.
Rolo Pretzel Turtle Candies
Make as many candies as you wish. I used all of the Rolos. Baking too long will cause the Rolos to break open when pressed with a pecan, so don't over bake.
1 bag individual Rolo Candies, unwrapped
1 bad waffle shaped pretzels, I used Snyder's
pecan halves- enough for all the candies you are making
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet, not too closely. Place 1 Rolo on each pretzel. Put pan in oven and bake 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from oven and press a pecan half on each candy. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Garlic Sauteed Spinach

When I was a kid, the cartoon Popeye the Sailor Man was one of my favorite cartoons. I can remember wanting to be strong like him so I begged my mother to buy me the canned spinach that Popeye reportedly ate. When she prepared it for dinner one evening I can remember taking a few bites and then flexing my arm to see if I had muscles as large as Popeye's! Of course I didn't, but as we know spinach is considered a very healthy super-food adding lots of nutrients that our bodies need. Sauteing spinach in olive oil and garlic makes it a most delicious side dish. Really, if you love wilted spinach, I think you will enjoy this version adapted from Ina Garten, very much.

Garlic Sauteed Spinach
approximately 3-4 servings

1 pound of baby spinach, washed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
fresh lemon for squeezing

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook only about 1 minute. Don't let it get brown. Add all off the spinach, the salt and pepper to the pot. Give it a stir and cover the pot with a lid to let the spinach steam about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and give it a good stir and cook if needed, until all the spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, remove the spinach to a serving dish. Top with the pat of butter and a good squeeze of lemon. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Well, it's just a few hours until Thanksgiving officially is here. Are you ready? I thought I'd share a very quick recipe for Homemade Cranberry Sauce that is delicious. I grew up eating the cranberry sauce from the can. That's all my mother ever bought. I didn't have the homemade stuff until I was married and had my first holiday at my mother-in-laws house. I fell in love with the tart, fresh flavor of the cranberries. I've made several different recipes through the years, like Cranberry Apple Relish which I have also posted. This is the quickest recipe and will only take you about 15 minutes! There's definitely time for you to make this before dinner!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
From Lynda's Recipe Box
I used the juice from an orange plus enough water to make 1 cup of liquid. There is just a hint of orange in the taste. You could use all water, or another juice like apple or pomegranate if desired. You can also stir in chopped nuts after cooking.

12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
zest from 1 orange
juice from 1 orange, plus enough added water to make 1 cup of liquid
1 cup of granulated sugar

In a 3 quart sauce pan bring the water mixture and the sugar to a simmer; add the cranberries and bring to a rolling boil. Turn heat down to medium low, still boiling, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Stir in the orange zest and remove pan from heat. The cranberry sauce will be foaming, but as it begins to cool, it will disappear when you give it a stir. Or you may skim the foam off if preferred. Pour sauce into a serving dish and chill until time to serve. I hope you enjoy your deliciously sweet, but tart Cranberry Sauce
Happy Thanksgiving!