Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole

Perfect for Christmas morning served with some biscuits and orange juice.

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This recipe serves 12 people, however if you have hungry boys it will probably serve 6.  

6 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers (or shredded Cheddar cheese)
2 cups diced cooked ham or Canadian bacon
1/2 cup sliced green onions
8 large beaten eggs (or 2 cups egg substitute)
Two 12 ounce cans (3 cups total) evaporated milk or evaporated skim milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Grease a 3 quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham, and green onion. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture in dish. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate until ready to bake (several hours or overnight). When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Bake, uncovered, for 45-55 minutes or until center appears set. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If baking after casserole has been chilled, you will need to increase baking time to 55 to 60 minutes.

We topped ours with some picante sauce. Would also be good with a dollop of sour cream on top too.

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What to do with leftover cranberry sauce……

Love, love, love cranberry sauce.  I can’t eat turkey without cranberry sauce.  Just have to have it.  This year we had quite a bit of leftover cranberry sauce and I decided to do something with it.  I also had 3 very very ripe bananas that I needed to do something with very quickly.  I made Banana Cranberry Bread to use up both ingredients.  This bread is excellent for breakfast and freezes well.

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Banana Cranberry Bread

2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
3 mashed bananas
1 cup cranberry sauce (I only had about 1/2 cup but it worked out fine)
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, and mix in bananas, cranberry sauce, milk, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually blend flour mixture into the banana mixture. Fold in walnuts. Pour into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, and cool completely.

What to do with leftover Sweet Potatoes……

I love sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.  I just have to have sweet potatoes along with my turkey on Thanksgiving but for some reason the rest of my family isn’t too wild about eating it so I have lots of leftovers.  Here is my recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole.  It is a wonderful recipe.  I had lots of leftovers this year and I couldn’t eat it all by myself.  I decided to make it into something different.  I decided to make Sweet Potato Bread.  This bread will be perfect for breakfast on a rushed morning.  This is also a freezable bread.

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Sweet Potato Bread

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup water
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (or use leftover Sweet Potato Casserole)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I didn’t add any because I added pecans to the casserole)

Combine sugar and oil; beat well. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water. Stir in sweet potatoes and chopped nuts. Pour batter into greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees F for about one hour.

Coming up tomorrow: what to do with leftover cranberry sauce!

Banana Nut Bread

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I had a surplus of bananas and instead of letting them go to waste, I made Banana Nut Bread. It has got to be one of my all around favorites. I enjoy a slice of it in the morning along with my cup of tea. This recipe makes 1 loaf. If you want 2 loaves just double the recipe.

1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in middle position. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the butter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen.

Fridays are for Monkey Bread

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It was just that sort of morning where everyone was craving something sweet for breakfast.  I thought of several things and then landed on monkey bread.  I haven’t made monkey bread in a long time.  It sure would taste good with a cup of hot coffee.

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Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.  Buy 3 cans of biscuits.  Don’t buy the flaky biscuits.  Cut each biscuit into fourths.

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Drop each biscuit piece into a one gallon bag that has 1 cup of sugar and 4 teaspoons of cinnamon in it.

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Shake up the bag and be sure all of the biscuit pieces are coated with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

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Place all the coated biscuit pieces in a greased bundt pan.

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Place 2 sticks of butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave until the butter is melted.

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Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar to the melted butter.  Stir until the brown sugar dissolves.

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Pour all of the brown sugar/butter mixture on top of the biscuit pieces.  Bake the monkey bread for 30 to 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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Take the monkey bread out of the oven after 30 to 45 minutes.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.  Do not try to invert it because the sauce will be too runny and it will run all over the place.

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At the end of the 30 minutes, invert the monkey bread on a plate.  The sauce will run down the sides of the monkey bread.  By the way, I have no idea why this is called monkey bread.  There were no monkeys used in the making of this bread.

Green Eggs and Ham

Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  Everywhere you look there is something about Dr. Seuss today.  The new movie, “The Lorax” is coming out in theaters today.  Oh, how I love the story of the Lorax, Truffula trees and the Once-ler.  I read that story this week to my students and had some fun activities about conservation.  All this Dr. Seuss talk has made me hungry for green eggs and ham for breakfast!  So I decided to make just that!

Here is a link to Martha Stewart’s recipe for green eggs and ham.   Even though the thought of eating green eggs does not sound very appetizing, it is great fun for children!

Cheers!!!

I think all the holiday eating has caught up with me.  Now is the time for a good smoothie for breakfast.  The minute I wake up I have been drinking a cup of hot water with 1/2 of a squeezed lemon in it.  This is a great cleansing drink and helps to wake you up minus the caffeine!  Then after I drink my hot cleansing drink I blend up a smoothie.  This one is called Detox Smoothie with Greens.  I know it doesn’t look too appetizing but it is loaded with all kinds of FRESH nutrition such as grapefruit, orange, avocado and collard greens.  Yes, I said collard greens.  The fruit overpowers the collard greens so you really don’t taste it at all.  If the green color bothers you just close your eyes!   For the next month, I am going to be blending up a smoothie for breakfast.  They are nutritious and such a good way to start out the new year!!  Cheers to good health!!!

Pumpkin Muffins

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These are the only ingredients you need for these muffins.  No oil, eggs or milk.  Just dump the yellow cake mix, one 15 oz. can of pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling) and I added 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.  You can add more spice if you want.  I like my cinnamon and nutmeg with pumpkin.  🙂

Mix that all up in a bowl.  It may take a while and the dough will be stiff.

Put the dough in 12 muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25.  Let the muffins cool before you take them out of the muffin tin.

Now what you will have is wonderful, EASY, FAST, moist muffins!!!

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Texas Style Baked Eggs

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Here is another quick breakfast I cooked up the other day.  It can be put together in about 5 minutes.  While it is cooking I can get ready for work.  This is so much better than cereal and milk.  I hope you will give it a try some morning.

 

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Spray some cooking spray into a ramekin.  If you don’t have a ramekin, you can substitute a pyrex measuring cup.

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Zap some bacon for a minute or two.  I used the thick sliced pepper bacon so it needed to be cooked a little longer.  The bacon should be semi-cooked.

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Put the bacon in the ramekin.  Curl the bacon to the outside of the ramekin.

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Then grab some of this stuff.  If you don’t have any of this stuff, then any salsa that you like will do.

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Put a couple of spoonfuls of salsa in the bottom of the ramekin.  Or maybe put 3 spoonfuls, just use whatever amount you like.

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Crack one or two eggs into the center of the ramekin.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.  I like the center of my eggs cooked well so you can adjust the time accordingly.

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When the eggs are ready, scoop them out of the ramekin and put them on a plate.  Sprinkle some grated cheese on top.  Serve with some buttered toast and fresh fruit.  Now that is what I call a good breakfast!

My Perfect Oatmeal

Breakfast just isn’t one of my favorite meals of the day.  Cold cereal and milk just doesn’t cut it for me.  Gone are the college years when I could grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast.  That is way too many calories for me now.  I have to grab a bite of something before I run off to work though.  In my mad dash, I am prone to go to Starbucks.  I love their “Perfect Oatmeal” along with a cafe mocha but if I did that every morning it would run the grocery bill up sky high.

So I found a close alternative and it only takes me 5 minutes to make it.  I like to use the Old Fashioned Oats.  They are much healthier than the instant variety.  I put 3/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Oats into a microwaveable bowl.  I zap it for about 2 minutes 20 seconds or until it is almost going to boil over.  Then I put a little butter in the middle of the oatmeal.

Then I sprinkle some of this wonderful stuff on top of the oatmeal.  Any dried berry would work, even raisins.  Then I add some chopped pecans.  You can add any chopped nuts you have around but I am partial to pecans, they are my favorite.  Then I sprinkle on some brown sugar.

If I have to eat breakfast, this is what I would rather have.  It is quick and oh so good!!!