Breakfast Duo – Holiday Hash Brown Egg Casserole and Apple Breakfast Sausages

These two recipes are a terrific combination for brunch.  I started the egg casserole with a layer of hash brown potatoes, topped with Pepper Jack and Swiss cheese, ham and eggs.  I prebaked the hash browns, topped them with cheese, ham and eggs and baked until it was a golden puff.  While the casserole was baking, I browned breakfast sausages, added sliced apples, a touch of brown sugar, salt and pepper.  I think I have a perfect breakfast duo for any brunch.

 

Print

Holiday Hash Brown Egg Casserole

Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen loose-pack hash brown potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced fully cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup half and half

Instructions

  1. Thaw potatoes, press between two sheets of paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Grease a small casserole dish.  Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of the casserole dish.   Bake potatoes uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.   Remove casserole from oven and cool for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees . .Layer Pepper Jack cheese, ham,  and Swiss cheese over the potatoes.  Mix together the eggs and half and half.  Pour over potato cheese mixture in casserole.  Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until center appears set.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.

    This recipe can easily be doubled.

 

 

Print

Apple Breakfast Sausage

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh pork sausage links
  • 4 medium cooking apples, cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large 12-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, approximately 10 minutes or until no longer pink.  Drain and discard pan juices.  Cut sausage links in half.  Return links to the skillet.  Add apple wedges.  Then sprinkle with the brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 - 15 minutes or until apples are just tender.  Stir once or twice while cooking.  

Mom’s Date Nut Bars

Mom’s Date Nut Bars are just the perfect holiday treat.  Perfect for a cookie tray or cookie exchange.  Easy to make, quick to bake and always delicious!  My kind of recipe during this busy season.  Enjoy.

Print

Mom's Date Nut Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8oz package dates, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 heaping cup self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until well blended.  Add the dates, pecans, flour, oil and vanilla extract.  Mix by hand until blended.  Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden.  When cool. sift powdered sugar over the top.  Cut into bars.

Tiger Tears

If you are a fan of Thai food I am sure you have tasted a version of this recipe.  Basically it is sliced marinated steak served with a spicy chili dipping sauce.  One of our favorite local Thai restaurants serves this appetizer and every time we visit we order Tiger Tears.  I wanted to recreate Tiger Tears at home and experimented until I got the flavor combination that I thought was just right.  I sliced the sirloin prior to marinating and then quickly broiled the steak.  Delicious served with a side of romaine and carrots.

 

Print

Tiger Tears

Ingredients

  • Marinade
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablepoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried red chili flakes
  • 3/4 poound sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • lettuce leaves
  • carrot shavings

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients, pour over steak slices, refrigerate. 2 - 4 hours.  Combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients, set aside.

    When ready to serve, heat broiler, lay steak slices on a foil lined baking sheet.  Broil 1 minute per side.   Remove and serve with dipping sauce, lettuce and carrots.

Curried Rice with Chutney Vegetable Topping

Whenever I want the side dish to be the show of the meal, this is my go-to recipe.  I have a tendency to always serve this along side a roasted pork tenderloin.  The flavor combination will have your mouth dancing!  

Print

Curried Rice with Chutney Vegetable Topping

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup raw white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chutney
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimiento
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons butter, the curry powder and the rice.  Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the chicken broth and heat to boiling.  Sir, cover, and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  While the rice is cooking, combine the raisins, scallions, green pepper, celery, and remaining tablespoon of butter in a saucepan;  cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are just tender,stir frequently.  Add the chutney, pimiento, almonds, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt, to taste.  Stir until well blended, cook over low heat an additional 2 minutes .  Place the rice on a serving platter, top with the vegetable mixture, serve.

Cream Cheese Layered Pecan Pie

If you typically bake a pecan pie over the holidays, this is a recipe that you will want to try.  The cream cheese layer adds a delightful twist and unexpected surprise.  My husband who is not a fan of pecan pie, thinks this pie is delicious.  That is testimony enough for me!  

Print

Cream Cheese Layered Pecan Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked
  • layer #1
  • 1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups pecan halves
  • layer #2
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy.  Spread mixture on bottom of prepared pie shell.  Sprinkle pecans over cream cheese layer.   Beat remaining 3 eggs until well mixed but not foamy.  Do not overbeat.  Add corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Mix well, pour over pecans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until nuts and lightly browned.  Top will rise and sink as it cools.  Serve warm or cold.  May be frozen.  Thaw at room temperature.

Spiced Peaches

I am sure you all have a family favorite that your mom, dad. grandmother or other family member made every Thanksgiving Day.  Spiced Peaches is the one side dish what I remember on Thanksgiving.  Surprising, Spiced Peaches my husband also remembers his mom making every Thanksgiving when he was growing up.  Interesting since they lived on opposite coasts and entirely different regions of the country. However, they were the same generation and that might be the clue as to why Spiced Peaches were so popular when we were growing up.  Anyway, I have always made Spiced Peaches on Thanksgiving carrying on my mom’s tradition and now my family requests them each year.  This is the recipe that my mom always used for her Spiced Peaches. So easy to prepare in advance and great to serve along side your Thanksgiving favorites.  I can guarantee you they will be on our dinner table this Thanksgiving!

Print

Spiced Peaches

Ingredients

  • 2 -29 oz. cans peach halves in syrup
  • 3-6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Heat to boiling, simmer for five minutes..  Remove of heat.  Let cool in the spiced syrup.  Refrigerate until serving.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

It’s November and one week before Thanksgiving; time to pull out those pumpkin recipes.  This recipe is one of our favorites.  The best thing about muffins is they are easy to prepare, quick to bake and a great treat on a cool fall day.  These muffins are perfect to serve on Thanksgiving morning while watching the Thanksgiving Day parades.  

 

Print

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup assorted chopped dried fruit (you can use one dried fruit or a combination of raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, and/or dried apples
  • Streusel Topping
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line 12 muffins cups with liners.

    In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  In another medium bowl combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, brown sugar, butter and dried fruit.  Mix well.  Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and mix just until all of the dry mixture is incorporated. Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups. Combine streusel ingredients - sugar, nuts and cinnamon, sprinkle over muffins.  Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack, cool slightly. Serve warm, makes 12 muffins

Apple Empanadas

Looking for an easy dessert for your next tailgate or wine picnic?  Empanadas are easy to make and a great make and take treat. I was thinking of making fried apple pies but I really would prefer to bake than fry.  I had a few empanada wrappers left over from making my lamb stew empanadas and decided to make apple empanadas.   These are so easy to make when you use prepared wrappers.  I received a tip from a dear friend of mine about La Salenta empanada wrappers for baking (read the wrapper, some are for frying and some for baking).  They are flaky and delicious and made for convenience.  This brand is under the General Mills umbrella of products and should be easy to find in most locations.  I purchased mine at the local mart specializing in international foods.   These would be equally delicious with any filling you select, I must admit the apple filling is one of my favorites.

                                        

Print

Apple Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 10 empanadas wrappers
  • 2 apples, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • milk, to brush on tops
  • sugar, to sprinkle on tops

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, lemon juice and salt.   Cook 20 - 25 minutes or until the apples are soft and the sauce has reduced.  Stir frequently. Stir in cranberries.  Cool filling.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take each empanada wrapper and brush sides with beaten egg.  Place approx. 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each wrapper.  Fold in half and pinch to seal.  Crimp edges with a fork. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat until you have filled all of the wrappers.  Make two small slices in the top of each empanada.  Brush the top of each with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Mexican Corn Soup

Typically, recipes for Mexican style soups use prepared taco seasoning mixes.   This recipe is based on a corn based broth and easy to find ingredients that make this soup, in my opinion, one of the tastiest soups you can make in very little time.  The fresh chips are so good you will want to make them as a snack, even when you are not making the soup.  If you have leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken, you can simplify this recipe by simply shredding the chicken and adding that to the broth.

Print

Mexican Corn Soup

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 4 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 - 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • canola oil for frying
  • salt and pepper
  • condiments salsa, sour cream, diced avocado

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree corn in chicken broth.  In a large dutch oven, melt butter, add corn puree and cook over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes.  Add milk, cumin, tomatoes, green chilies, Tabasco sauce, and a 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil,  add chicken breasts, reduce heat to medium low and cover.  Cook 25 minutes, stirring frequently  Remove chicken breasts, shred chicken and return to soup.  Simmer an additional 25 minutes.  

    Stack tortillas and cut into 8 wedges.  Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet and fry tortillas until golden.  Remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet and sprinke with salt.  Serve soup with desired condiments and top with tortilla chips.

Maple Popcorn

Since my childhood I always associate Halloween with popcorn, apple cider and powdered sugar donuts.  I think the reason might be one of our neighbor’s when I was growing up always made the neighborhood children popcorn balls for Halloween.   Apple cider and donuts is an easy one, my elementary school always had a Harvest Festival and always served apple cider and powdered sugar donuts.  Isn’t it always fascinating how we associate certain foods with holidays and traditions.  To stick with my memories, I wanted to share this favorite recipe for popcorn.  It is a bit different from typical caramel popcorn since the identifying ingredient is maple syrup.  After this popcorn bakes, it is like eating maple sugar coated popcorn.  Always a hit no matter where I take it.  

Print

Maple Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 3 bags `microwave popcorn/plain, with added sea salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pop corn as directed on package, pour into extra large bowl or roasting pan.  Combine butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla and immediately pour over popcorn.  Stir quickly, mixture will be extremely hot.  Stir until all of the popcorn is coated or almost coated. Pour onto foil lined baking sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stir every 15 minutes.  Cool and serve