French Toast Casserole

I make French Bread pretty often around here… Sometimes I’ll double the batch to get two loaves from it!  What better thing to do with the other loaf then to make some French Toast Casserole for breakfast the next morning!  This recipe is one to toss in the fridge for an overnight soak… So you have to prepare the night before… But the next morning all you have to do is fire up the oven and toss breakfast in… Then go pour a cup of coffee and continue waking up while the oven does the work for you!!

I found this recipe on Taste of Home… Only thing I changed is that I added some cinnamon to the egg mix!

French Toast Casserole Pin ME

 

French Toast Casserole

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of French Bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 2 TBLS butter
  • 3 TBLS sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • maple syrup optional

Steps:

  1. Cut up bread and place in 13×9
  2. whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon
  3. Pour over bread.
  4. Cover and refridgerate 8 hours or overnight.
  5. Remove from fridge 30 mins to baking.
  6. Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Dot with butter.
  8. Combine sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top.
  9. Cover with foil and bake @350 for 45-50 minutes.
  10. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Follow the photos for a step by step tutorial …

Cut up your french bread into chunks

Cut up your french bread 

Into chunks

Into chunks

Crack your eggs and whisk

Crack your eggs and whisk

add sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and mix

add sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and mix

add milk and mix

add milk and mix

Pour onto bread and mix gently to coat

Pour onto bread and mix gently to coat

Place in 13x9 baking pan

Place in 13×9 baking pan

Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight

Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight

Pull out 30 mins to baking.  Pre Heat oven to 350.  Dot with butter.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mix on topCover and bake 45-50 minutes.

Pull out 30 mins to baking. Pre Heat oven to 350. Dot with butter. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mix on top.  Cover and bake 45-50 minutes.

Let cool 5 minutes before serving!

Let cool 5 minutes before serving!

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The Best Macaroni Salad Ever

I was packing up the family and heading East the other weekend to go celebrate my Father’s (too short lived) life… We had a drive ahead of us and we were crashing at a friends house… I knew I was going to not have time to make something up for the memorial once we arrived… and I wanted to bring something that would feed a bunch of mouths… you know you just never know how many people are going to show up… Its not like too many people actually RSVP to a memorial service ;)

Well I figured I’d be safe making up some kind of pasta salad … I knew it could hold up in an ice chest with the 5… ok maybe it was a 6 hour drive ahead of us… those darn kids… I swear there was an extra 5 “potty” breaks on our hands!  The last 3 were on the shoulder of I-90 for the 5 year old… My Husband thought it was a good idea to let the kids pick out their own Gatorade on one of the pit stops… He then in return decided it was an even better idea to just hit the shoulder, jump out and aim for the tire… The 5 year old got a kick out of that… and there was 2 more identical stops after the first!  Kinda reminded me of the trips I use to take when I was pregnant.  Alright back to the subject at hand… Maybe a little TMI… But that’s what you get with my family!

So I went and checked the pantry and noticed I had a big bag of macaroni noddles… Macaroni Salad it is!!!  First stop… Pioneer Women of course… She’s my all time favorite… I have all of her books… and I even got to attend her book tour last year with my girlfriends!  She ended up being the last stop too… I usually always have luck with her!  I rolled across her “Best Macaroni Salad Ever” check the ingredients… checked my stock… I was missing the roasted red peppers… but I figured I’d sub them out with some celery and shredded carrots… and I decided to add some chucks of cheddar cheese… because I can never say no to cheese :)

Hope you enjoy!

Macaroni Salad

The Best Macaroni Salad Ever

  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups elbow macaroni
  • 3 whole roasted red peppers, chopped (this is what I didn’t have on had… I don’t think it was missed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 6 pickles diced… your choice I used baby dills
  • 3 whole green onions chopped
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 2 celery chopped
  • 1/4 of a 1lb block of medium cheddar cheese cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBLS red wine, or distilled vinegar
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cups milk
  • splash of pickle juice
  • optional… TBLS mustard… I used spicy brown

Steps:

  1. Cook the macaroni noodles in salted water.  Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Prep red peppers, olives, pickles, green onion, carrot, celery & cheese.
  3. Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt & pepper… Add enough milk to make it pour-able.  Add pickle juice for extra flavor.
  4. Add the everything together and pour sauce over… mix well.
  5. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving… or just make yourself a bowl like my husband did… no need to wait… I guess you always need a taste tester!!

Follow the pictures for complete step by step tutorial…

Cook the noodles, prep the red pepper, olives, pickles, green onion, celery, carrots & cheese.

Cook the noodles, prep the red pepper, olives, pickles, green onion, celery, carrots & cheese.

Mix together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, milk & pickle juice together,

Mix together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, milk & pickle juice together,

add a little mustard if desired... I added some spicy brown mustard for a kick.

add a little mustard if desired… I added some spicy brown mustard for a kick.

your sauce should look a little something like this.

your sauce should look a little something like this.

add everything together in a big bowl and pour sauce over the top.

add everything together in a big bowl and pour sauce over the top.

mix together.

mix together.

and there you go!

and there you go!

 

 

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Homemade Crock-Pot Spaghetti Sauce

We love spaghetti around here!  The kids always do a great job finishing their plates when I serve them up!  Sometimes I like to just toss it in the crock pot to simmer all day… This is a great recipe to throw together and not worry about… all the flavors brew together and then you just have to make up some noodles at the end and toss it all together!

I got this recipe from Damn Delicious … I didn’t follow it quite to the T … I like to make some minor adjustments for my family’s wants and needs ;)

Homemade Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce Pin ME now cook me later

Homemade Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 4-8 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground italian sausage
  • 1/2-whole onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Brown ground beef, sausage, garlic and onion in large skillet.  Drain excess fat.
  2. In crock pot add remaining ingredients and stir together.
  3. Add meat mix to crock pot and stir together.
  4. Cook in crock pot on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
  5. Boil noodles 15 minutes before serving.  Add noodles to sauce, stir and serve.

Follow photos for a step by step tutorial…

Brown ground beef, sausage, garlic and onion in large skillet

Brown ground beef, sausage, garlic and onion in large skillet

Drain excess fat.

Drain excess fat.

Add remaining ingredients to crock pot.

Add remaining ingredients to crock pot.

add meat mixture

add meat mixture

Stir together and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 8 hours. Cook noodles 15 minutes prior to serving... add to sauce, stir and serve.

Stir together and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 8 hours.
Cook noodles 15 minutes prior to serving… add to sauce, stir and serve.

 

 

 

I served ours with some Easy French Bread, Fried Zuchini and corn!

I served ours with some Easy French Bread, Fried Zuchini and corn!

Homemade Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce Pin ME now cook me later

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20 Minute Homemade Biscuits

Now you can print this recipe out to keep on hand… My step by step tutorial will always be here with tips and tricks :)

20 Minute Homemade Biscuits.

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Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Muffins

Banana Bread… There is so many ways to have it and so many different recipes out there.  Good old Banana Bread is always nice to have … it usually last about 8 hours around our house … But it’s always fun to change it up and try many of the other recipes out there!

This time I had 3 brown bananas hanging around… So you know what I did???  I looked for recipes that called for 3 bananas ;)  I found this recipe at lovingtheoven it was used as a bread … But I was really wanting muffins … So I just cut the baking time down and tossed them in muffin pans!  It made 18 muffins … They were gone in 3 hours … And I only got 1!!!

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

 

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Muffins

  • Servings: 18
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

For the Swirl:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 TBLS cinnamon
  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill muffin pans with liners or grease each hole.
  2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar egg and vanilla in bowl.  Sprinkle baking soda and salt on top then gently stir in flour.
  3. In small dish mix sugar and cinnamon together.
  4. Fill muffin tins 1/2 way full and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mix.  Top of with batter and sprinkle again with cinnamon sugar mix.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.
  6. Let cool 10 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Follow pictures for a step by step tutorial … :)

Add bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla and mix together.

Add bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla and mix together.

Sprinkle baking soda and salt on top.

Sprinkle baking soda and salt on top.

Add flour.

Add flour.

Mix together... Do not over mix!

Mix together… Do not over mix!

Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a separate bowl.

Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a separate bowl.

Fill liners 1/2 way full

Fill liners 1/2 way full

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Top off with more batter.

Top off with more batter.

Sprinkle again with cinnamon and sugar.

Sprinkle again with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.

Wait 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack!

Wait 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack!

Enjoy!!!  My boys gobbled these up in a few hours!!!

Enjoy!!! My boys gobbled these up in a few hours!!!

 

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Homemade Croutons

Homemade Croutons are about one of the easiest things you can possibly make in the kitchen!  You can make them out of any bread… I prefer making them out of homemade bread over store bought… but that’s me!

If you know me at all by now you know I’m making this with my Amish White Bread!  Not only is that our favorite daily bread we have in our house… but it also my second son’s favorite croutons!  We will even be at a restaurant and he’ll order a side salad… Then he’ll say “Mom these croutons aren’t as good as yours!”  I sure love him ;)

Try making these the next time you have some bread that’s been sitting for a bit… I like making them out of bread that is getting close to the end of its life…

“Time for your second life” I tell my loaf… Is that weird I talk to my food??

Homemade Croutons

Homemade Croutons

  • Time: 25 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Bread (I use my Amish White Bread)

Olive oil or melted butter

seasonings… if you have the mix of Italian seasonings that’s great otherwise I like to use a little bit of salt, basil and oregano.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the bread into cubes.  Lay them evenly onto baking pan.  Drizzle with olive oil or melted butter.  Sprinkle with seasonings.  Mix around to evenly coat.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Let them cool completely before storing. 


 

Follow the pictures for a step by step tutorial:

Grab your bread... I used 2 loaves of my Amish White Bread

Grab your bread… I used 2 loaves of my Amish White Bread

Slice it up to your desired size

Slice it up to your desired size

Now slice the slices and slice again to make little cubes

Now slice the slices and slice again to make little cubes

lay them out evenly on baking pans

lay them out evenly on baking pans

drizzle with olive oil or melted butter

drizzle with olive oil or melted butter

hit them with some seasonings and mix around gently to evenly coat

hit them with some seasonings and mix around gently to evenly coat

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.  I like to check mine around 15 minutes

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I like to check mine around 15 minutes

Let them cool completely before storing... Gallon size Ziplocs are perfect for storing!

Let them cool completely before storing… Gallon size Ziplocs are perfect for storing!

 

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Super Easy Mini Cheesecakes

I know when I think of cheesecake I can feel intimidated!  But these Mini Cheesecakes are oh so easy and yummy!  It’s just a few simple ingredients, a little bit of baking and refrigeration time and before you know it you have a cute little dessert to bring to any function!

I made these up for our 4th of July party we went to… I found some cute USA flags on toothpicks to top them off… but really you can top them with any fresh fruit you have on hand or not top them at all!

I found the simple recipe at Taste of Home and put my own spin on them!  Check it out… and make your own!!!

Pinterest Super Easy Mini Cheesecakes

Super Easy Mini Cheesecakes

  • Time: 2hrs 30mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 TBLS melted butter

1 cup softened cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

fresh blueberries (or any fruit… raspberries are a good one too)

Oven temp 350 degrees

Mix cream cheese and sugar.  Add egg and mix, and vanilla and mix.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together.  Add paper liners to pan and add 1 tsp graham cracker mix into liners and press down.  Scoop 1 TBLS cheesecake mix.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Stick them in the fridge for one hour.  Top with your choice of fresh fruit and serve.


 

See photos for step by step tutorial:

One more note as you read through this… I was making a double batch when putting these together … so stick to the recipe (not what you see in the pictures)  like the 2 eggs in the bowl ;)

mix the cream cheese and sugar together

mix the cream cheese and sugar together

add the eggs and mix

add the eggs and mix

scrape the bowls and add the vanilla and mix

scrape the bowls and add the vanilla and mix

should be nice and creamy

should be nice and creamy

Stick it in the fridge for for at least an hour... or up to a few days if your prepping for later ;)

Stick it in the fridge for for at least an hour… or up to a few days if your prepping for later ;)

mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together

mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together

It should look like this once combined!

It should look like this once combined!

add 1 tsp of the graham cracker mix into paper liners

add 1 tsp of the graham cracker mix into paper liners

you can use your fingers to push it down... or a shot glass is also a good fit!

you can use your fingers to push it down… or a shot glass is also a good fit!

now scoop 1 TBLS of the cheesecake mix on top

now scoop 1 TBLS of the cheesecake mix on top

I used a toothpick to level it out

I used a toothpick to level it out

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

pull out and let set for 10 minutes before removing

pull out and let set for 10 minutes before removing

stick them on a plate and toss in the fridge for at least one hour!

stick them on a plate and toss in the fridge for at least one hour!

I forgot to take pictures of the next step… So here is a quick run down…

Once refrigerated pull out and remove the paper lining… top with your fruit!

Fun treat to bring to the 4th of July!!

Fun treat to bring to the 4th of July!!

Pinterest Super Easy Mini Cheesecakes

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Posted in Cakes & Pies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy 4th of July

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July and stays safe as we go out and celebrate our Nation’s Independence dated back to 1776.

John Adams wrote a letter to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776 describing to her how it should be celebrated…  “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations”

One of my favorite things about getting together with everyone to celebrate this day is that there is always going to be great food around!!  Everyone is in their kitchens putting together great homemade dishes to share!  This year I made up a bunch on Cinnamon Rolls, Orange Sweet Rolls and Mini Cheesecakes (I still need to post the sweet rolls and cheesecake recipes)  to bring to our party!

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes

Do you see??  My Husband couldn't wait and had to try out the Orange Sweet Rolls!

Do you see?? My Husband couldn’t wait and had to try out the Orange Sweet Rolls!

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30 Minute Dinner Rolls

I know everyone is in a hurry these days and homemade meals are not as common as they use to be… But that’s why I’m here!  I’m here to share with all of you that it can be done… you don’t need to buy pre-made (that’s probably full of preservatives and cost 2-3 times more than doing it yourself)… I came across these 30 Minute Rolls at Kitchen Meets Girl when looking for a rolls recipe that doesn’t take hours to make (like my Homemade Dinner Rolls)  I make my 20 Minute Biscuits quite often around here… So another bread recipe that’s quick and easy would be a great change up!

When I came across this roll recipe that could be done in 30 minutes I defiantly was second guessing it… thinking is this true?  Homemade dinner rolls in 30 minutes?  Well there wasn’t much else to do but to try it out!  The family was my “guinea pigs” like they always are!  At least one new recipe a week gets tossed at them… so they are used to it!

Well just off my Husbands reaction they were a hit!!  He even told me he liked these more than my Homemade Dinner Rolls!  Not only what he said confirm this was a hit recipe… but the fact that he had 4 of them at dinner that night helped!

I have to say that I didn’t change any of the ingredients but I did swap up the way that it was put together… I stuck to my roots of bread knowledge and decided to put it together the way I would with making any bread recipe.  So here it is my tutorial of the 30 Minute Dinner Rolls!

30 Minute Dinner Rolls Pinterest

30 Minute Dinner Rolls

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 TBLS warm water (110-120)

1/2 cup oil

2 TBLS yeast

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

3 1/2 cups flour

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  In mixing bowl add sugar, warm water and sprinkle with yeast.  Let set for 5 mins.  Add oil and salt.  Whisk egg, add egg and 1 cup flour to bowl and mix.  Add remaining flour and mix.  Scrap dough to well floured surface and knead for a minute.  Let rise for 5 mins.  Cut off chunks and roll into balls.  Add to greased baking sheet.  Let rise for 5 mins.  Bakeat 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Brush with butter.  


 

Follow pictures for step by step tutorial:

In a mixing bowl add sugar and warm water... mix together and then sprinkle yeast over the top.

In a mixing bowl add sugar and warm water… mix together and then sprinkle yeast over the top.

Let the yeast set 5 minutes... it should look foamy like this.  Then add the oil and salt.

Let the yeast set 5 minutes… it should look foamy like this. Then add the oil and salt.

whisk the egg

whisk the egg

add the egg and 1 cup of the flour... mix together

add the egg and 1 cup of the flour… mix together

Should look about like this... Remove the whisk and replace it with a dough hook

Should look about like this… Remove the whisk and replace it with a dough hook

add the remaining flour and mix together

add the remaining flour and mix together

Dough should be pulling away from the edges

Dough should be pulling away from the edges

Scrap it out onto a floured surface and kneed together for a minute.

Scrap it out onto a floured surface and kneed together for a minute.

Let rest for 5 minutes

Let rest for 5 minutes

Cut off chunks and rolls together... and them to a greased cookie sheet.  Let rest for another 5 minutes once complete.

Cut off chunks and rolls together… add them to a greased cookie sheet. Let rest for another 5 minutes once complete.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes

Brush with some butter when they come out!

Brush with some butter when they come out!

I served mine with some BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and baked beans!

I served mine with some BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and baked beans!

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Fresh Raspberry Scones

We have a great local produce stand in town that I stop at all the time First Pick Produce (and actually sell some of my baked goods there too)  Right now they are full of yummy goods and as soon as I saw the raspberries I had to pick up a whole flat!  Well my kids gobbled down half the flat by the end of the day… So I figured I’d better try baking with then before they woke up and finished off the rest of the berries in the morning!

I always enjoy a good scone… and when you make them with fresh berries they are even better!!!  These turn out just right… they are not too dry or too sweet… Try them out yourself and let me know what you think!

Fresh Raspberry Scones Pinterst

Fresh Raspberry Scones

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 6 TBLS cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 plus 3 TBLS heavy cream
  • sugar for sprinkling

Steps:

  1. Pre heat oven temp 400 degrees.
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to bowl and mix together.
  3. Cut butter into cubes and add to bowl, cut in to resemble coarse crumbs.
  4. Add raspberries and gently mix.
  5. Mix cream, egg and vanilla together.
  6. Add to dry mix and gently mix together.
  7. Gather together and place on lightly floured surface.
  8. Shape into circle about 2 inches thick.
  9. Cut into 8 pieces like a pie.
  10. Place on greased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar.
  11. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  12. Let cool before removing to rack.
  13.  

 

Follow pictures for step by step tutorial:

add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix together

add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix together

cut the butter into cubes

cut the butter into cubes

add the butter to the flour mix and cut in

add the butter to the flour mix and cut in

should resemble course crumbs

should resemble course crumbs

add raspberries to the mix

add raspberries to the mix

gently mix together

gently mix together

mix the cream, egg and vanilla together

mix the cream, egg and vanilla together

add to the dry mix and gently mix together... do not over mix!

add to the dry mix and gently mix together… do not over mix!

should look about like this... gather together and place on lightly dusted surface

should look about like this… gather together and place on lightly dusted surface

shape into a circle about 2 inches thick... cut it like a pie

shape into a circle about 2 inches thick… cut it like a pie

place on greased cookie sheet

place on greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with sugar (optional)

bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes... let cool for at least 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack

bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes… let cool for at least 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack

ENJOY

ENJOY

Posted in Breakfast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments