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Recipe: Peach Cheesecake Squares


This easy-to-make recipe is perfect for those end of summer BBQs…. Luscious fresh peaches with their natural sweetness make these cheesecake squares just delicious!

TIPS

While fresh peaches are in season.. this recipe is perfect… but when they’re out of season.. simply substitute canned LITE sliced peaches… just drain them well and chop them up.

Use really ripe peaches and all you have to do is peel them and chop them up.

For a tutorial on how to peel fresh peaches easily… click here.

I used a pastry blender to cut the butter into the cake mix.. if you don’t have one.. you can use a fork.

I used about 2 ½ pounds of fresh peaches… I peeled them and cut them up… when it came time to use them.. since they were really juicy .. I used a slotted spoon to remove them from the bowl.

If you need to use canned peaches … use one 29 oz. can or two 15 oz. cans … the amount you use is approximate… so don’t fret either way… a little less is not going to hurt the recipe.. just be careful of the about of liquid on the peaches.. you don’t want a soggy cake.

Any brand yellow cake mix is fine. You can also use a French vanilla cake mix if you prefer.

How to soften cream cheese quickly in the microwave… click here for tips.

Try these delicious cheesecake squares!






Recipe: Peach Cheesecake Squares

All you need:

For the crust and the topping:

1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg, slightly beaten
Butter flavor cooking oil spray
For the filling:
2 ½ pounds fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
2 eggs
2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter flavor cooking oil spray.

In a large bowl, cut the butter into the cake mix until it is pebble-like.

Add the slightly beaten egg (1 egg) and combine.

Set aside 1 ½ cups of the crumb mixture for topping.

Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.

In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth (about a minute). Add the sugar, eggs (2 eggs), and vanilla until creamy.

When the crust comes out of the oven, spread the chopped peaches over the crust.
Then spread the cream cheese mixture over the peaches.

Sprinkle with the reserved crumb topping.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. Top should be a little golden in color and not jiggle.

Cool cake, then refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until serving.

Store any leftovers in the fridge.

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5 Great Ground Beef Skillet Meals


Skillet meals are the best when time is short and you need to get supper on the table fast… a quick one skillet meal with an easy clean up…. what could be better on those rushed nights?

Warren and I joke all the time… while growing up he would ask his Mother what was for dinner… “Something out of hamburger” was often the answer… I would laugh because I answered my son the same way. I think most Mothers with little or no time to cook, trying to feed a hungry family and stretch a food budget … answer the same way.

So for those of you out there that rely on skillet meals made with ground beef .. here are 5 really terrific recipes!







Sweet and Tangy BBQ Beef n Mac Skillet











Skillet Hamburger Stew










Chili Mac Skillet










Savory Beef and Brown Rice Skillet









Mexicali Beef Skillet







Read more...

Recipe: Bacon Mac n Cheese Bites


These Bacon Mac n Cheese Bites make a terrific party snack.. whether watching a game or an for elegant party with hors’dourves… everyone loves mac n cheese… so it seems.. and what better way to serve it then in these adorable little bites.

Make as little or as much as you want.. this recipe is more about the method once you have your mac and cheese made.

TIPS

It took several tries to get it just right… but we had fun trying.. Warren happily ate the rejects as I perfected the method into a easy 5 step process.

You can use left-over macaroni and cheese … or make it just for this.. in any case… you want a cheesy mac n cheese… not a runny sauce.

I would recommend you make your bacon in the oven… it’s easy.. fool proof and easy to clean up…. here are the instructions for Making Bacon in the Oven.



Make the bacon crisp and then break it into pieces and plop them in the mini processor… a few whirls in the mini chopper and you have perfect little pieces of bacon. I crumbled them on top of each little bite.. you can also mix it right into the mac n cheese.

I used my non stick mini muffin tins.. mine are excellent.. the non stick surface is really good.. but I still needed to brush melted butter in each well to keep them from not sticking. The brushed butter also helps make the crust…

I did not add salt to the macaroni and cheese since I was using bacon which has more than enough salt in it.

After spooning in the mac n cheese into the little muffin well…. tap it gently down with the back of a small spoon so it is a solid clump of mac n cheese.

So they aren’t excessively greasy … when you pop them out of the muffin tin.. stand them on a piece of paper towel to drain off an excess butter.

I made 48 bites… used 3 cups of cooked elbow macaroni mixed in a cheese sauce see below.

Try these for your next party.. they will definitely fly off the tray!






All you need:

For the Macaroni and cheese

3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

For the Bites:

Macaroni and cheese (yours or my recipe)
Melted butter
Unseasoned (plain) bread crumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
About 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the macaroni and cheese if you are not using left-overs:

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir well to totally incorporate the flour. Cook for a minute over medium heat to cook off the flour taste.

Heat the milk in the microwave on high for about a minute to warm the milk. Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture, whisking constantly. Vigorously whisk the sauce until all lumps are gone. Continue whisking until sauce is thickened and smooth.

Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Remove from the heat.

To Assemble:



Melt enough butter to brush each mini muffin well.

Drop about ½ - ¾ teaspoon of plain crumbs in each well. Tap them around to coat as much of the well as possible.. tap any excess out and discard.



Drop a ¼ - ½ teaspoon grated parmesan cheese in each well and tap that all around.. and tap out any excess.



Drop several “strands” of shredded cheddar cheese in each well.



Spoon the mac and cheese into the well… fill it close to the top of each well…. then with the back of a small spoon (coffee teaspoon will work)… gently pack the mac and cheese down.

Sprinkle with the crumbled bacon bits.

***The bites can be made ahead to this point (up to a day in advance) and covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake. Allow to come close to room temperature or adjust baking time until bubbly.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow them to set for about 5 minutes.

Take a sharp knife and slip it down the side and work it around the bite. Take two spoons and gently push them out.. they should easily pop out and retain their shape with a thin crumb crust.

Place on paper towels to get rid of any excess grease.

Serve warm.

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Recipe: Grilled Mozzarella Cheese and Basil Pesto


We love grilled cheese and make it fairly often… and we’re always experimenting with all sorts of ingredients… gooey cheese with basil in between thick slices of fresh Tuscan loaf…. can you say yummmm?

Grilled Mozzarella Cheese and Pesto on Tuscan Bread was our Sunday night supper along with a steaming bowl of Creamy Tomato Parmesan Soup… a hearty meal for sure… perfect for a rainy night.

TIPS

Use a good quality mozzarella cheese.. we used one that was simply not very good. It didn’t have that sweet mozzarella taste and was difficult to melt. When you see store brand… just say no!

If you get stuck realizing you bought a lower grade mozzarella… and it’s having trouble melting… take the sandwich off the grill pan and put it in large skillet that has a lid… put the heat on low to medium…so not to over-brown the bread…. and put the lid on.. it should melt your cheese… as you can see from the picture… the cheese melted fine after did that.

You may ask.. why Tuscan bread?… it’s hearty enough to stand up to the strong flavor of the basil pesto. Cut the bread into thick slices… it makes for a wonderful meal… trust me!






Recipe: Grilled Mozzarella Cheese and Basil Pesto

All you need:

1 loaf Tuscan bread
Mozzarella cheese
Basil pesto (commercial or homemade)
Butter or margarine, softened

All you need to do:

Lightly spread softened butter or margarine on one side of the slices of bread.

Flip the slices over and spread pesto on the bread.

Lay half of the slices, butter or margarine side down on a hot griddle. Lay slices of mozzarella cheese on them.. put the remaining slices of bread on top of the cheese, pesto side down.

Cook on the hot griddle over medium heat, until the bottom slice is golden brown.

Carefully flip them over and brown the other side of the sandwich until golden brown and cheese is gooey. *See Tips if having a problem getting the cheese gooey.

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Recipe: Antipasto Party Skewers


I love the idea of skewers for party hors'dourves … each person gets to have the perfect mix of ingredients… these Antipasto Party Skewers combine the fabulous flavors of tomato, Genoa salami, cheese, pepperoni, smoked ham and olives… drizzled with a favorite Italian dressing.. these yummy skewers are perfect for a family snack watching the big game together.

TIPS

Include as much or as little of the ingredients you want… other possible ingredients small pieces of red onion.. roasted red pepper strips…. different cheeses.. even pieces of lettuce folded or rolled and put on the skewer…. the possibilities are limitless.

Speaking of cheeses… I used mozzarella… but provolone would be terrific too.
I used thin sliced deli smoked ham.. prosciutto would be great too… I used what I had on hand.

Use any oil and vinegar based Italian dressing of your choice.

Serve with plates and forks.. so the ingredients on the skewers can be easily slipped off onto a plate and eaten.

Try these.. they’re easy to make and delicious…. and be creative!






Recipe: Antipasto Party Skewers

All you need:

Skewers
Grape or cherry tomatoes
Thin sliced deli smoked ham
Mozzarella or provolone cheese, cubed
Thin sliced pepperoni
Thin sliced Genoa salami
Pitted whole black olives
Italian dressing

All you have to do:

Cut the meats into strips.

Slide the ingredients onto skewers, alternating ingredients.



Lay them in a dish and drizzle Italian dressing over them and let them stand for about 30 minutes in the fridge.





Lay them on a serving plate and serve.

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Recipe: Creamy Tomato Parmesan Soup


This Creamy Tomato Parmesan Soup is packed with flavor… perfect for a soup and sandwich night… and easy to make.. you can’t ask for more.

TIPS

This can be made in the slow cooker or on top of the stove… If you want something cooking for supper while you’re busy with other things… simply put the main ingredients in the crock pot and come back to it in about 7 hours… all that’s left is to thicken it.. which will take minutes to set up and another 30 minutes or so until wait as it thickens in the crock pot…

For the stove top method… put the main ingredients in a large pot and bring it to a low simmer… then simmer for about 45 minutes… then follow the thickening steps… and add it to the pot… cook over medium heat, for about 15 minutes or until desired thickness , stirring frequently…. I use a whisk to stir it.

Speaking of whisks.. I have a coated whisk made for non-stick surfaces.. I use it all the time.. even in pots that aren’t non-stick.. it makes it easy to make the smoothest sauces and soups.

I know the house will smell from garlic cooking… mine sure did…. you will definitely not have to worry about vampires… I worried that I over-did it… but after thickening it… and adding the half and half… the flavor was perfect…

The recipe calls for diced celery… my man is a bit picky.. he likes the flavor of celery.. he’s not crazy about it in things though.. he’ll eat it.. but in things like this… I add a celery stalk while cooking and remove it when it’s done.. so the flavor cook into the food and then I can remove it…so if you have a picky eater.. consider doing that.

I like to use baby carrots.. and simply slice them instead of dicing large carrots.. they’re the perfect size…

I peel and cut the onion into chunks and throw it into my mini processor along with the garlic clove to finely chop it .. it’s quick and easy.

I list salt and pepper to taste.. I didn’t add it.. it really didn’t need it.. it was full of flavor with out it… but add it if you want.

This uses an half a stick of butter…. you can cut the fat by using margarine…. I also cut the fat considerably by using fat free chicken broth and fat free half and half.

We could make a meal of the soup.. it’s that good!






Recipe: Creamy Tomato Parmesan Soup

All you need:

Main Ingredients:

1 can (14.5 oz.) Hunts Diced Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic
1 can (14.5 oz.) Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano
4 cups chicken broth
1 celery stalk, diced *See Tips
1 cup diced carrots *See Tips
1 medium onion, finely diced *See Tips
1 clove garlic, finely chopped *See Tips
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 bay leaf

Thickening Ingredients:

½ (4 tablespoons) stick butter
½ cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup Fat Free Half and Half, warmed
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)

All you need to do:

Put all the main ingredients into a crock pot and set the pot on low. Let the soup cook for 7 hours.

Remove the bay leaf. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes to cook off the flour taste… stirring constantly. Whisk in slowly the chicken broth. Whisk vigorously until it is smooth.

Meanwhile, warm the half and half in the microwave to take the chill off and it is warm to the touch.. not hot.

Slowly add the half and half to the saucepan… whisking constantly…

Add the mixture to the crock pot and whisk until smooth and incorporated. Add the parmesan cheese to the pot and stir. Replace the lid and cook for about 30 minutes or until desired thickness, stirring occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Recipe: Sweet Cornbread


This easy Sweet Cornbread recipe is light and airy … but not too light and airy…. moist… but not too moist…and it is sweet… but not too sweet… So if you are the Goldilocks of cornbreads.. and you like light and airy, moist and sweet cornbread… this recipe is for you… Oh and did I mention it’s easy?... oh I did… well.. you won’t believe just how easy… read on..

Here’s the easy part.. it uses a cake mix and two Jiffy Corn Muffin mixes… yep.. it’s that easy… just a little tweak of the other ingredients and you have a wonderfully Sweet Cornbread.



TIPS

First let’s talk about the size.. this makes a 9 x 13 pan of cornbread….about double the size of most cornbreads… notta a problem.. for sure… it will disappear.. trust me.

Many recipes use a yellow cake mix… I decided to use a Butter Recipe cake mix.. you certainly can use a yellow cake mix.. keep in mind my ingredients in the list are based on the Butter Recipe cake mix… so you would use the vegetable oil quantity listed on the yellow cake mix box.

I use milk… fat free (skim milk) instead of the water in the recipe… my Butter Recipe cake mix box lists 2/3 of a cup water and each of the Jiffy Corn Muffin mixes list 1/3 of a cup milk… but that is really too much liquid altogether… so.. I recommend if you substitute a yellow cake mix… still use the 1 cup of milk… and use the fat free milk because it has a consistency closer to water than the other milks.

I found it mixes best if you mix the Butter Recipe Cake mix and the soften butter and eggs first… using a hand mix on low… add the milk.. beat with the hand mixer…. Then add the Jiffy Cornbread mixes and mix with a spoon by hand.. if you just add everything as some other recipes tell you… you end up with small (and some large) butter clumps… which are a pain to disperse… and you end up over mixing the cornbread mix.

Baking times vary… I used 9 x 13 baking dish… I baked it 30 minutes… then tested it.. the toothpick came out clean but the center jiggled too much… gave it another 6 minutes.. it only jiggled a little… took it out.. the center pieces could have used a few more minutes…. with that said… 40 minutes should be about right…. Depending on your oven. You want a toothpick coming out clean and no jiggle in the center…

If the top starts to brown too much (it shouldn’t)… just lay a piece of foil on top.. just lay it loosely… and you should be fine.

Have to bring something to a BBQ or a church supper… maybe a food day at work…. volunteer to bring cornbread.. and make this… be sure to bring the link to this recipe.. because you WILL be asked for the recipe!






Recipe: Sweet Cornbread

All you need:

1 (18.25 oz) Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Butter Golden cake mix
1 stick ( ½ cup) butter, softened
5 eggs
1 cup Fat Free Milk
2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin mix

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray or grease with shortening.

In a very large bowl, mix the cake mix eggs and butter. Using a hand mixer, mix for about 30 seconds or until well distributed. Add the milk and continue mixing for about 4 minutes at medium speed.

Add the Jiffy Corn Muffin mixes and mix with a spoon by hand until blended.
Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean AND the center does not jiggle.

Cool for 10 minutes… serve warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe: Hash Brown Casserole


This easy Hash Brown Casserole is a family favorite.. perfect for covered dish suppers.. it’s similar to the hash brown casserole they serve at Cracker Barrel.

TIPS

I tried sprinkling French’s Fried Onions on top for a crunchy topping.. I really don’t think it needs it but Warren liked it.. so I thought I would mention it as an option to consider.

This is not low fat by any means.. you can cut the fat a bit by using lower fat soup and sour cream… I personally go with the real deal with sour cream…

I sautéed the onions just a few minutes until they were translucent.. I don’t like crunchy onions in this recipe.

Next time you’re asked to bring a dish.. try this one.. there won’t be leftovers coming home.. for sure!






Recipe: Hash Brown Casserole

All you need:

1 bag (2 pound size) frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 bag (2 1/3 cup size) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons) butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 can (10.75 oz size) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 container (8 oz. size) sour cream
Sprinkling of salt and pepper

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix the thawed potatoes and 2 cups of the shredded cheese (hand work the best).

In a medium skillet melt the butter and add the diced onions. Cook for a few minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl combine the soup and the sour cream.

Add the butter and onion mixture to the potatoes and cheese, mix well.

Add the soup and sour cream mixture and stir until evenly distributed. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup shredded cheese.

Put the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish (no need to grease the dish.. it won’t stick.. trust me).

Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly golden.

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Recipe: Sweet and Tangy BBQ Beef and Mac Skillet


This Sweet and Tangy BBQ Beef and Mac Skillet is another really great skillet meal that’s quick and easy to put together… in fact you can even make some of it ahead.

Use my Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce in this recipe for a really great sweet and tangy flavor … along with ground beef, cooked macaroni, chopped green onion, some shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of crumbled bacon.. a great flavor combination!

TIPS

I make my Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce ahead… and keep it in the fridge… it’s easy to make and so good… but you can use your favorite BBQ sauce instead if you prefer.

Make the bacon in the oven.. it’s easy and no mess… here are the instructions for making bacon in the oven.

Boiling the macaroni ahead also makes this meal very quick to throw together.. but isn’t necessary… you can do it before you brown the beef in a skillet.. it still will be a really quick meal to make.

Any shape pasta will work… I used elbows… rigatoni, penne, ziti or rotelle all work well.

I wrote the recipe for 3 cups cooked pasta.. that amount is flexible… add a little more if you like.. if you add more though… you will need to up the amount of BBQ sauce you use.. and in the immortal words of Rachael Ray.. and no I’m not talking about yummo… although this is yummo.… “eyeball” the amount of BBQ sauce until you have a nice saucy consistency.

Use both the green and white parts of the green onion.. they both are delicious.
The recipe as written serves 4 large servings or 6 small servings.

Use as much or as little of the bacon that you like.. the quantities listed is what I used.

Serve this with a salad and/or cornbread… if you would like something to go with this.. but it is terrific all by itself too!






Recipe: BBQ Beef and Mac Skillet

All you need:

1 pound lean ground beef
3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
2 cups Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce
½ cup green onion, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

All you need to do:

Brown the beef in a large skillet. Remove any excess fat.

Add the cooked macaroni and BBQ sauce. Mix well. Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to mix the sauce completely in with the beef and macaroni.

Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top.

Sprinkle the green onion and bacon on the cheddar cheese.

Lower the heat to medium low and put a lid on the skillet. Let it simmer low until the cheese melts… about 5 minutes. If it simmers too hard, lower the heat.

Serve immediately.

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Recipe: Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce


I love making BBQ sauces… this one is a favorite… quick and easy.. I like to make it up and store it in the fridge.. it’s great to slather.. like that word?? … slather on chicken breasts or pork chops.. I use it in skillet dishes… all kinds of ways.

It also makes a great gift… going to a BBQ or house warming.. bring a jar… tie a cute tag on it.. maybe include a basting brush… a delicious gift… anyone would love.

TIPS

I like to finely dice my onion in my mini food processor… a great little machine.. makes quick work of things like this.

The recipe doesn’t include salt.. and that’s not an omission.. it really isn’t needed.. the ketchup has more than enough salt in it.

I buy a pack of little apple juice bottles.. it’s just enough for recipes like this.. also good for a fill in juice when you run out.. a good thing to keep in the cupboard.

If you do slather it on your boneless skinless chicken breast.. and don’t want to grill it… you can bake it in your oven…. preheat your oven to 400 degrees… line a pan with non-stick foil and brush BBQ sauce generously all over it. Bake it for about 20 minutes or until cooked through… serve with mashed potatoes and a veggie …makes a great quick dinner!







Recipe: Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

All you need:

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely diced
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup apple juice
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
2 cups ketchup
¼ cup light brown sugar (packed)
2 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dry mustard

All you need to do:

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion to the butter and cook until translucent.

Add remaining ingredients and stir. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Stir frequently.

Allow to cool, pour into an air tight jar or container. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Can be stored for about 2 weeks.

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Recipe: Spinach and Artichoke Dip


This easy Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip is perfect for lazy Saturday nights in front of the TV or even the watching the big game. It mixes together in minutes.. then just pop it in the oven..

TIPS

I made a smaller version of this (pictured)… simply cut the ingredients in half.
Of course I forgot to thaw the spinach ahead of time.. silly… now why would I remember to do that?? Just pop it in a microwaveable dish and nuke it for about 3-4 minutes…

The original recipe had the same ingredients.. most recipes for this do… but the amounts differed… I don’t use a lot of mozzarella… it just gets too gooey and not easy to dip.

Click here for tips about softening cream cheese quickly.



Try this with your favorite chips…






Recipe: Spinach and Artichoke Dip

All you need:

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup mayo
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried basil
Handful of shredded mozzarella

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients, except the mozzarella, in a medium sized bowl.

Spread the mixture in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until it bubbles around the sides.

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Recipe: German Farmer’s Breakfast (Bauernfrühstück)


Bauernfrühstück is a hearty German Farmer’s Breakfast… usually made up of bacon or ham, potatoes, onion and eggs. Bauer means farmer and frühstück means breakfast. Popular in Bavaria, the bacon of that area is not quite the same as the bacon we have here in the US. It's called speck and is similar to the Italian version called pancetta. There are numerous versions of this Farmer's Breakfast and this one is ours.

Breakfast pork sausage can be used in this dish as well… which is what we do. Our version is quite hearty and can easily be made for a supper.



TIPS

You certainly can use pancetta or bacon or ham in place of our breakfast sausage. If using ham, try to use a Bavarian ham.

We use a plain breakfast sausage not ones that have spices like sage added, but you certainly can experiment with it.

The recipe below makes about 4-6 servings depending on the size serving. If I make this as a main meal… a brunch or supper, I would figure it to be 4 servings. I don’t usually serve anything other than coffee and juice with it. If you do add breads or muffins, then figure 6 servings.

For this recipe, I used only the green parts for the green onion in the ingredients.

A lot of people cook the potatoes first, which you can do, but we don’t… we cook them in the pan.. it will take a bit longer, but, in my opinion, it’s easier.

Try this delicious version of a Farmer’s Breakfast.






Recipe: German Farmer’s Breakfast (Bauernfrühstück)

All you need:

1 tube (1 pound) breakfast sausage)
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
8 eggs, beaten
Dash of milk
¼ cup green onion, chopped

All you need to do:

In a large skillet, over medium high heat brown the breakfast sausage until no pink appears. Break up the sausage into pieces while cooking.. you want pebble size pieces when cooked.

Remove the cooked sausage from the pan and drain on paper towels.

Leave a light coating of sausage grease in the pan. My sausage renders very little fat, if yours renders quite a bit of fat, remove the excess… you don’t want greasy potatoes.

Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook the potatoes over medium high heat, turning occasionally. Cook until potatoes begin to soften, about 15-20 minutes. If potatoes start to brown too much, turn the heat down a bit.

Add the onion (not the green onions)and cook until onions are soft.

Add the sausage back into the skillet and mix well.

Beat the eggs with the dash of milk. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage, onions and potatoes. Cook as you would scrambled eggs, stirring frequently.

As the eggs are almost finished cooking… sprinkle the chopped green onion over the mixture and stir to mix well. Continue to cook for a few minutes until eggs are completely cooked.

Serve immediately.

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Recipe: Peach Butter


What can I say about Peach Butter? First of all for all you novices out there.. and don’t be shy.. you are not alone … this is not actually butter…. how or why fruit butters are called butter is beyond me.. probably because it’s spreadable.. but then again we don’t call jellies and jams butter… so go figure…

So just what is it? Basically in a nutshell… it’s fresh fruit peeled, cut up and cooked slowly over very low heat with some sugar… not much sugar….. you can add spices like cinnamon or allspice if you prefer.. then pureed.

Now that we know what it is… do you realize just how easy it is to make it?... No?... I thought so…



I like to use my crockpot… it’s easy and quick to set up … and I let the crockpot do the work… it really is that simple.

TIPS



Last year I wrote a post all about peaches… it really is helpful… I’m always surprised that most people don’t know there are two kinds of peaches.. Clingstone peaches and Freestone peaches.. most people have heard of Cling peaches but really have no idea what it means… and grocery stores usually don’t post the name in the sign.. that’s probably because they have Cling peaches and don’t want you to realize it until you get them home.

Cling peaches have pits that actually cling to the peach.. cutting them out is a pain in the tookus.. and there are hard bits of peach around the pit.. so you have to really make sure to cut it all out… I suppose if you’re eating one.. it’s not a big deal.. but making jams, jellies and peach butter.. you have to do it to an awful lot of them.

Now Freestones.. I bet at this point you can figure out the meaning.. are a snap to get the pit out and the area around the pit is soft.. no hard bits to find and cut out.

Ask your produce manager before buying them.. if he doesn’t know.. he will cut one open to see… at least that’s what my produce department did last year.. this year.. idiot that I am.. I forgot to ask.. and you guessed it… I got them home and started putting up the peaches in the crockpot… and they were Clingstones… UGH!

For other information about peaches see my post All About Peaches.

Back to the Peach Butter… you can make massive quantities of the stuff and can them… follow your normal canning instructions or consult the information on your canning materials.



If you’re like me and want just a little… I use about 8 good size peaches.. I weighed each one this year to see just how much I had.. they each weighed ½ pound… so 4 pounds or so will make a batch for you and make about 1 pint.



A post about How To Peel Peaches Easily with step by step pictures is here.

I use ½ cup sugar for 8 peaches… and it really does pretty much multiply out well… 16 peaches get 1 cup etc.. Peaches in season tend to be sweet so ½ cup is fine… you can always taste it later and adjust it if you want it sweeter.

I didn’t add cinnamon or nutmeg or allspice this time… just peaches and sugar went into my batch.. you can add whatever spices you feel like.



Water… a lot of recipes add water.. and one recipe even added a full cup.. and like a fool… I tried it.. all I can say is don’t.. the peaches have water in them and will extract it while cooking. … you really don’t need it but you can add ¼ cup so there’s liquid on the bottom if you feel more comfortable.

If you added water and find it very watery… you can scoop out the excess water (before you puree them) .. just remember some of your sugar is in that water so if you do that you will need to adjust the sugar… not a big deal.. just add it according to your taste.



You can make this on top of the stove, but be prepared to stay there and stir… also definitely add the ¼ cup water… and make sure your heat is very low.. you don’t want to scorch it. The crock pot is seriously the best method.

You can cook the peaches cut up and puree them later… I do it about 6 hours or halfway through cooking… or puree them before you cook them…. I find it better to cook them first because they’re softer… but either way does work.

I use an immersion blender to puree them.. if you use a regular blender be sure to be careful and have a towel over the top of the blender top. Stop periodically and lift the top off to let the steam out otherwise the top could pop off and the hot peaches can burn you.

Store the Peach Butter in an airtight jar in the fridge.






Recipe: Peach Butter

All you need:

4 pounds of peaches
½ cup sugar
Spices (optional) *See Tips
The Juice of one lemon

All you have to do:





Peel, pit and cut up the peaches. Place the cut-up peaches in the crock pot. Give it a good stir... smell the them...ohhhh ahhhh







Then add the sugar in a crock pot and another stir....



Add the lemon juice.

Set the crockpot on low.

Cook for 4-6 hours, then puree them. Pour it back into the crockpot and cook until it has the thickness you want… I cook mine about 10 hours. Stir occasionally.

Cooking time will vary with how thick you like it, how many peaches you’re cooking, your crockpot and how soft the peaches are when you cut them up.

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