Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Everyday Family Cookbook: Brunch Casserole


  • 3 cups milk (low fat or skim works fine)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (I use Kosher)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Bisquick Pancake & Baking Mix (I use the Heart Smart version)
  • 1 - 1 lb. bag frozen broccoli (or 1 stalk fresh broccoli, chopped and finely diced) - cooked to al dente
  • 2 cups chopped smoked ham
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced (or 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder)
  • 3 cups grated favorite cheese

In a large bowl, blend milk, eggs, salt, pepper, and Bisquick with a wire whip.  Add rest of ingredients, except 1 cup of the cheese; stir together until mixed well.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13" glass baking pan.  Bake 45-50 minutes at 400 degrees F, until eggs are set.  Before the last few minutes of baking, top casserole with remaining 1 cup of cheese and finish baking until casserole is set and cheese is melted.

Recipe Source:  My mother:) Donna H.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Everyday Family Cookbook: Hot Dogs & Potatoes

A quick kid fav for Dad & Mom date night!

*Recipe Note:  This really isn't a recipe, just a quick throw together in a grill or frying pan.


  • 1 package of hot dogs (we like a good quality all-beef brand) or favorite sausage such as bratwurst
  • 3 cans sliced New Potatoes, drained and sliced in halves as desired
  • Salt-free seasoning such as Mrs. Dash or Trader Joe's "21 Seasoning Salute", etc.

Slice hot dogs, brats, or sausage on the diagonal into about 1/2-1" pieces (smaller for little children so they are not a choking hazard).  Grill hot dogs over medium heat in a grill or frying pan until heated through and slightly crispy and caramelized on the outside.  Add potatoes to the pan and sprinkle hot dog potato mixture with a salt-free seasoning as desired.  Serve with favorite mustard and ketchup or barbecue sauce.

Recipe Source:  My main man Bart P.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Special Occasions Family Cookbook: Strawberry & Lemon Spinach Salad

* Recipe Note:  This recipe is considered a "special occasion" recipe for us only because of the amount of sugar in the dressing and because it makes a delicious side dish for any holiday or celebration.

Salad Ingredients:
About 6 oz. baby spinach
8 oz. (1 1/2 cups) strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly in half rounds
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced (almost shaved) - optional
1/2 cup sliced natural almonds, toasted (see directions below)

Dressing Ingredients:
1 lemon
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds

For dressing:  Zest lemon to measure 1/2 tsp. zest.  Juice lemon to measure 2 Tbsp. juice.  Combine zest, juice, vinegar, sugar, oil, and poppy seeds either in a bowl or salad shaker bottle.  Whisk or shake until well blended.  Cover; refrigerate until ready to use. 

For toasted almonds:  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spread almonds in a single layer over bottom of a shallow baking dish.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Do not overcook or burn!  Remove from oven; cool almonds completely.

For salad:  Hull strawberries; cut strawberries into quarters.  Slice cucumber lengthwise, then slice each lengthwise piece into thin half rounds.  Slice onion very thinly, if using.

Place spinach in a large serving bowl; add strawberries, cucumber, and onion (if desired).  Whisk or shake dressing; pour over salad*, gently tossing to coat.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Serve immediately.  Makes 6 servings.

*If you want your salad to last longer, do not pour dressing over salad, but serve it on the side.

Recipe Source:  Slightly adapted from ? - I've had and made this recipe for years.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Everyday Family Cookbook: Basic Breakfast Burritos to Go!

With a husband off to work and two kids in high school and on the swim team, 
who all leave most mornings before the crack of dawn, a protein breakfast or after 
practice snack, that's on-the-go portable, is such a great thing!

  • 9 eggs (or a few more if desired)
  • 3 Tbsp. milk (low fat okay) or water (this amount is approximately 1 tsp. per egg - add additional liquid if you're using more eggs)
  • 1/2 lb. all-natural ground sausage (reduced fat is fine as well - substitute ham or other favorite breakfast meat as desired)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, peeled, and finely diced favorite potatoes (we like Yukon gold or Red - I usually bake these a day ahead of when I want to make these so they're ready to go)
  • 1 cup favorite shredded cheese
  • Seasoned salt (or use regular or kosher), to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 - approx. 8-10" tortillas (wheat or white or whatever kind you like) at room temp. or slightly warmed
  • Any additional ingredients/ vegetables as desired (I don't usually add any extras on a regular basis, but you could add sauteed mushrooms or bell peppers, diced green chilies, black beans, substitute sweet potato for regular potatoes, chopped cilantro, avocado (if serving fresh), etc.)

Directions:  Prep potatoes as directed above.  Set aside.  Crack all eggs into a bowl and whisk milk into eggs, breaking up yolks.  Set aside.  Cook sausage in a large non-stick skillet/ frying pan and cook over medium to medium-high heat until no longer pink and crumbled.  Remove from pan and set aside. 

In the same skillet you cooked the sausage, spray the bottom of the pan with additional non-stick cooking spray and scramble eggs over medium to medium-high heat.  Sprinkle cooking eggs with seasoned salt and ground black pepper, as desired.  About 1/2 to 3/4 way through cooking the eggs, add in the cooked and prepped potatoes and sausage. Continue cooking egg mixture until eggs are fluffy and cooked through (you want them to be cooked through, but a bit glossy and not dried out). When done cooking, lower heat to warm and add in shredded cheese.  Stir mixture until cheese is melted and evenly distributed throughout egg mixture.  Remove from heat.

Put 1/8 of the egg mixture in the center of each tortilla in a strip about 3-4" long and about 2" wide. Roll up each tortilla burrito-style by folding the shorter edges of the tortilla over the long ends of the egg mixture.  The folded flaps should not touch each other, but still remain a few inches apart.  Next, starting at one of the remaining long ends, bring the long end up and over the egg mixture and tuck the flap partially under mixture (be sure to keep short ends tucked in as you do this).  Continue rolling and folding the same long end in the same direction until the burrito is fully closed.  Set aside the burrito, seam side down.  Repeat with all tortillas until you have 8 burritos total.

Heat a large skillet, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, over medium heat.  Transfer burritos to the pan, seam-side down and cook without turning until bottom is lightly golden brown (this will seal the burrito closed).  Flip burritos over and lightly brown the opposite side.  Brown the additional shorter sides, if desired, but not necessary.  Serve immediately or cool and freeze in individual freezer bags. Makes 8 servings.  Delicious by themselves or serve with sour cream, salsa, ketchup, or hot sauce. Enjoy!

To reheat frozen burritos:  Place a single frozen burrito on a microwaveable plate and heat on high heat 1-2 minutes until heated through, but not dried out.  Grab and go!

Recipe Source:  beehiving.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Everyday Simple Snack: No-Bake Energy Balls, Bites, or Bars

**Recipe Note:  If your eyes are bigger than your stomach like mine...Warning!!!  These balls are extremely filling!  2-3 balls are more satisfying than you may think:).


  • 1 cup dry oats (regular old-fashioned or quick work fine)
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut flakes (toasted, sweetened, or unsweetened - very little flavor difference)
  • 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter (or other favorite nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar (add slightly more if balls are too dry to hold together)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds - optional
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs or raisins or other finely diced dried fruit - optional (if you leave this out, just add a bit more peanut butter and honey if desired)

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for about 10-30 minutes* (you can omit this step if desired the dough will just be a bit stickier to handle).  Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like (we prefer 1 - 1 1/2" balls or you can do 1/2" bites or see below * note on making bars).  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.  Makes 20-25 - 1" balls.

* If you would rather make bars instead of balls.  Press combined ingredients into a pan and chill for about 10-30 minutes before cutting.

Recipe Source:  Our daughter Grace's Jr. High Foods & Nutrition class/ Slightly adapted from gimmesomeoven.com

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Give a Good Gift: Mid-Day Pick Me Up

Just because...

Currently I visit teach with 3 women who work outside of the home.  They are so busy with their professional jobs and trying to juggle all the demands of home, kids, and family as well. (By the way, deep respect for all women and all that they have to juggle whatever their responsibilities are, in or outside of the home!)  Just thought I'd put together a quick and simple gift just to let them know I was thinking of them.  Everyone, whether a woman or not, and I mean EVERYONE in any situation or age could use a mid-day pick me up at least sometime!  The possibilities are endless for this small token of love and appreciation.  Here are a few of my favorite things I put into this little gift bag: Celestial Seasonings Herbal Teas (Peppermint and Lemon Zinger), Coconut & Almond - KIND Fruit & Nut Bar, Grape (my favorite flavor!) Hi-Chews, Stretch Island All-Natural Fruit Co. 100% All-Natural Autumn Apple Fruit Strip, and 1 favorite individually wrapped Snickerdoodle Cookie from our local grocery store.  Just keep it simple and show someone you care and are thinking of them!  

P.S.  Although these gift bags are filled with a few of MY favorite things, it's even better to give gifts that are filled with the favorite things of those you are giving to!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Everyday Family Cookbook: "Hawaiian" Haystacks with Basil

Old classic recipe - much better sauce!

Basic Ingredients:
  • 5 - 6 oz. cooked and shredded or diced boneless skinless chicken breasts (or can use rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cans (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup (we like Healthy Request or homemade)
  • 2 cups regular or light sour cream
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups low fat milk or chicken broth
  • Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 - 1 whole medium lemon, or amount as desired
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly minced basil (or as much as desired - or substitute 1 tsp. + dried basil) 
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Jasmine, white, or brown rice (about 3/4 cup cooked per serving - recipe makes about 8 servings)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste or as desired

Toppings:  The following list is simply an idea list.  Use toppings listed below as desired.
  • Shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
  • Chow mien noodles
  • Pineapples tidbits (or chunks)
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Mango, sliced or diced
  • Green onions
  • Raisins or craisins
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Coconut, flaked/ shredded
  • Cashews
  • Almonds, sliced, slivered, or chopped
  • Baby/ petite green peas, frozen & then thawed
  • Celery, chopped
  • Red pepper, finely diced
  • Other tropical fruit - as desired

Instructions:  To cook chicken, place frozen chicken breasts in a large pot of water.  Make sure chicken is covered at least by 1-2" of water.  Bring water to boil on high heat.  Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-high heat and continue boiling for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.  Drain water and cool chicken breasts slightly before shredding or chopping.  Set aside.

While chicken is cooking, prepare toppings listed above and sauce as listed below.

For sauce:  In a large saucepan, add cream of chicken soup, sour cream, fresh lemon juice, basil, and salt.  Heat thoroughly over medium heat.  Adjust seasonings as desired.  Add cooked chicken.  Stir to combine.

To serve:   Ladle chicken/ basil sauce over rice and top with all your favorite toppings.  Garnish with additional basil and ground black pepper as desired.

Makes approximately 8+ servings.

Recipe Source:  Unknown/ sauce with basil recipe:  beehiving.blogspot.com 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...