strawberry dessert cups

Recipes from Our Oshkosh, Wisconsin B&B

New recipes from our Oshkosh, Wisconsin B&B are posted each Friday morning!

Crab Puffs

I have been making these crab puffs for as long as I can remember. This recipe was given to me by daughters Great Grandmother. She gave me a lot of great salads and casserole recipes. I miss her tons! I have never been a big crab fan but mix some chopped imitation crab with some cheese and you have yourself another story. My daughter tells me that I do not make them as good as her Grandmother did, probably because she adds a lot more crab than I do, which my daughter loves. So with that being the case I am going to give you her recipe. I cut down the crab by about 2 oz. and add a little extra horseradish and garlic salt but you can doctor how you like it and let me know how it turns out .

Crab Puffs – serves 12 Crab Puffs

6 English muffins, 1 stick of butter, 1 jar of old English Cheese, 6 oz. imitation crab mea, 1 1/2 tsp. mayo, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, and a dash of horseradish.

Mix all the ingredients together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread mixture on muffin halves and put on a sprayed cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes until slightly brown on top.  Cut into quarters or pick up an eat. Serve as an appetizer or quick snack.

 

Tomato and Zucchini Strata

Who can pass on these wonderful vegetables at our local Farmers Market. The tomato and zucchini were calling out to me the other day and saying I need to utilize these two amazing vegetables together. I just happened to come across a Midwest Living magazine with this delightful little strata recipe. I did tweak it just a bit to make it my own, just as you can yourself. I like making mine in their own individual dishes as they look much prettier coming out of the oven, however feel free to make this in a large casserole dish for a crowd.  Oh, and did I mention that you can prepare this the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning? Its actually best that way so the flavors can all mesh together.

Tomato and Zucchini Strata – Serves 1 generouslyTomato Zucchini Strata

1TB butter, 1/2 C grape tomatoes, 1/2 C sliced zucchini, 1 1/2 C day old French bread(cubed) 1/2 C pepperjack cheese (or swiss if you don’t like the spiciness), 2 eggs, 3/4 C milk, dash of parsley, basil, chives, garlic salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, melt better over low heat. Add tomatoes and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tomatoes begin to lose their firm shape. Remove from heat.  Spray your cooking dish and place half of the bread cubes in the dish. Top with half of the zucchini mixture and cheese and then repeat layers.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, parsley, basil, chives, garlic salt and pepper. Carefully pour egg mixture over bread mixture.  Using the back of a spoon, gently press down gently.  Cover and chill at least two hours.  Remove from the fridge after chilling. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 50 minutes or until puffed, golden and set.  Serve immediately!

 

Healthy cookies (Vegan and Gluten Free)

These cookies really are healthy!  I made them with gluten free flour and did NOT add any eggs, butter or sugar. This recipe is adapted from the Blueberry girl blog. I have tried using other nut meals which work great too. Since making this recipe, I have also tried dried blueberries and made them without the chocolate chips when I was feeling really disciplined, but as far as I am concerned, a little chocolate never hurt anyone.

Vegan and gluten free scrumptious cookiesHealthy Cookies – The size you make them depends how many you get. Mine were about 3″ wide and I got about a dozen cookies.

1/2 cups gluten free old fashioned oatmeal, 1 C coconut flakes, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/4 C almond meal, 1/2 C walnuts and pecans(finely chopped), 3/4 C craisens or dried cherries, 1/4 C dark chocolate chips, 3 ripe bananas, mashed, 1/4 C canola oil and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts and coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed.

In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Form balls with your hands and flatten slightly. The dough will be slightly wet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Margarita Cookies

These margarita cookies came from a  day of baking and getting ready for Cinco De Mayo. I made a big batch of salsa for a contest that Anytime Fitness was holding, so I thought what goes better with salsa than margaritas or cookies that is.

Margarita Cookies – Makes roughly 2 dozen depending how big you make themmargarita cookies

1 1/2 C flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 stick of butter at room temp, 1/4 sugar, 1/4 C brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, zest and juice of one lime, 1 C white chocolate chips, 1 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp lime zest, 3 TB lime juice and 1 TB tequila.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg, vanilla, lime zest and lime juice from one lime until smooth. Slowly add flour mixture until combined.  Fold in white chocolate chips.  Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment line baking sheet. Bake for about 9 minutes, just until the edges are slightly brown around the edges.

Once cool, prepare your glaze by combining powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of lime zest. Add tequila and lime juice 1 TB at a time until the consistency that you like. Spoon over the top of cooled cookies and sprinkle with additional lime zest or green sprinkles.

*Don’t want to add the tequila? No problem, just add a little extra lime juice.

Rumchata pancakes

Well, as you may have heard, our Rumchata Pancakes did not get into the top 16 of Bed and Breakfast.com annual breakfast recipe contest. This will have been the first time in three years. I am disappointed since this recipe was so tasty, but we will try harder next year. So with that being said, here is the recipe for your enjoyment if you want to try it out.

Rumchata Pancakes with Rumchata Maple Syrup – Serves 2 generously

1 1/2 C flour, 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 TB brown sugar and 4 TB craisins(total), 1 1/3 C RumChata,(total) 1/2 C skim milk, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, 1 egg, 1 stick of butter(total), 1/2 C maple syrup and powdered sugar.

For the pancakes, Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and 2 TB craisins. In a seperate bowl, whisk together 1 C RumChata, skim milk, almond extract, egg and 3 TB butter.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined. Let sit 5 minutes. While the pancake batter is resting, add 4 TB butter, 1/3 C RumChata, 2 TB craisins and maple syrup.  Bring Syrup to a boil until craisins are plump and then turn down heat to simmer. In a preheated skillet add pancake mix. Flip once when brown on one side. Stack pancakes on a plate and sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. Add a 1 TB butter and pour RumChata syrup over the top

 

Chocolate Truffle Bars

Chocolate lover? These chocolate truffle bars adapted from The Gunny Sack, will surely do the trick. With a brownie base, a truffle center Ultimate chocolate dessertand ganache topping, who won’t be complaining that you didn’t get a big enough piece. One bite size piece will go a long ways. I will warn you though that if you do not make them in a large enough pan, you may have a hard time opening your mouth wide enough to get a bite. Make them in too big of pan though and they just don’t make the same statement. I guess you will just have to experiment.

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate squares, 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 5 cups powdered sugar, dash of salt, 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2TB coffee, 3 sticks of butter and 12 TB of heavy cream.

Bake a 9×13″ pan of brownies of your choice. I like fudgy brownies over cake brownies, but for this recipe you will defiantly want to use the fudgy brownie recipe on the box or use your own favorite recipe as it holds together much better.

While brownies are baking, melt your 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate and 4oz. of semi sweet chocolate. Allow to cool to room temp.

Brew a small amount of strong coffee and chill.

Beat 2 sticks(1 C) of butter and vanilla until light and fluffy with a stand alone or electric mixer or your arm will get very tired.  Add powdered sugar slowly, 1 cup at a time (or you are going to have a big mess and clump of hardended chocolate butter).  Scrape down the sides when needed and mix again.  You want it to be like a thick buttercream.

Add salt, coffee and 4-5 TB heavy cream and beat. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the room temperature chocolate.  Beat on high for one minute. Add more heavy cream, 1 TB at a time if needed.  Carefully spread over cooled brownies.

Bring a 1/2 C heavy cream and  a stick of butter to a boil.  Pour over chocolate chips and let sit for a minute until chocolate chips start to melt. Stir gently to smooth.  Pour over truffle layer and gently spread until evenly coated.  Chill before cutting.  Wet knife each cut you make in order to get a smooth cut. Keep refrigerated.

 

 

Raspberry Crumble Bars

These raspberry crumble bars come from my idol Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa. She just makes everything look so effortless. I thought Valentines Day weekend was the perfect time to try this dessert. They were a hit with us and our guests as well. I have also included my recipe for blueberry crisp bars, since they are similar in case you are interested.  This recipe calls for good quality granola and since I think I make the best granola out there, I opted to use my own recipe which I have also included.

Raspberry Crumble Bars Raspberry crisp bars

2 sticks butter at room temp., 3/4 C sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 1/3 C flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 12 oz. raspberry jam, 2/3 C granola, 1/4 C sliced almonds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place butter and sugar in a bowl and mix until combined. Add vanilla. Mix flour and salt together and slowly add it into the sugar mixture until it looks like it is coming into a ball.  Turn the dough out and separate 2/3 dough, keeping the rest off to the side. With 2/3 of the dough, pat into a 9″ square pan, going slightly up the sides. Spread with jam, leaving a small border around the edges.

Mix the granola and remaining dough together, breaking the pieces up so they look like large clumps of strudel and sprinkling them over the jam covering the entire surface. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and bake for 45 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool completely before cutting!

Apple and Honey Crostini

These apple and honey crostini’s are all my husbands fault. Yep, you heard here. Scott is to blame for this delicious little appetizer. My husband travels on occasion to trade shows. He is a food broker who is really great at getting small food manufacturers off the ground. He travels to these trade shows to display and help sell their product. Many times at the end of the show, there will some trading that goes on among vendors. You see, they are so use to having cheese or butter or whatever around and we typically have our freezer full of pizzas  or fish or whatever he is working on this month and so the two may trade products. Well, the other day he came home with a half a gallon of ricotta cheese and a two pound bag of gorgonzola. I love both of these products, but they typically will go bad before we may get a chance to enjoy it all, so I try to come up with some creative ways to use product. The apple and honey crostini was born. Enjoy!

Apple and Honey Crostini – Serves 10 crostini's

Baguette, lightly toasted, Apple or pear(sliced thin), honey, raspberry jalapeno jam, thyme, handful of candied walnuts 2 oz. or so gorgonzola, and 5 oz or so ricotta cheese ( I used part skim, but whatever you have laying around will work).

Slice your baguette to about an 1″ thickness and add to a greased cookie sheet. Lightly broil for about 30 sec. Remove from the oven.

Mix ricotta and gorgonzola together and add a little bit of honey towards the end. Spread on baguette slices and top off with apple or pear slices. Add walnuts around apple, on top of the cheese. Drizzle of little honey over the top. Spread a scant amount of the raspberry jalapeno jam over the apple and sprinkle with thyme.

We also served these with cheese, sausage and crackers during our wine and cheese social hour.

The raspberry jalapeno jam you can buy at any farmers market around here. I like to mix my own raspberry jam with a little jalapeno jam together if you can’t find any, otherwise I may trying making my own this summer as well.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Give Thanks

 

 

Scott and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I am taking the day off and NOT posting any recipes. You may visit our recipe blog though and feel free to take away anything that may work for your Thanksgiving or anytime for that matter. We want to say thank you to all our past guests and hope that you are spending this holiday with friends and/or family. We also want to thank those of you who are staying with us this holiday season since we know you have many choices when it comes to where you relax and lay your head in the evening.

Apple Pie Pancakes

These apple pie pancakes will be a hit for those who can’t wait for the big meal on Thanksgiving. Start the day off right by treating your family to these homemade, fluffy pancakes with sauteed cinnamon apples and a touch of streusel topping. I am getting hungry just thinking about these pancakes that we made last weekend for some guests.

Apple Pie Pancakes w/ streusel topping – Serves 3 apple pie pancakes with streusal topping

Apple Topping – 2 apples (any kind), 2 TB butter, 2 Tb brown sugar, 1.5 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/2 C maple syrup

Streusel – 3/4 C sugar, 3/4 C flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 softened butter. (mix all ingredients until crumbly)

Pancakes – 1.5 C flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1.5 tsp. cinnamon, 1 TB sugar, 1 1/4 C milk, 1 egg, 3 TB melted butter, and 1 tsp. vanilla

Peel apples, core and dice. In a saucepan add 2 TB butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup and apples. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes until apples are softened, stirring occasionally. Turn heat off, cover and set aside.

For the pancakes, whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. SLOWLY pour melted butter into milk mixture, make sure not to set the eggs. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Pour batter into warm skillet  and flip when bubbles start to form. Cook until golden brown. When pancakes are ready, top with apple mixture and streusel.

You will have extra streusel left over. I keep mine in the fridge until I need to use again for more pancakes or muffins.

 

 

Malted Milk Ball Creme Brule

Malted milk and  creme brule and tiramisu are all my favorite desserts and/ingredients. I am still working on a worthy tiramisu recipe but this malted milk ball creme brule really takes it over the top. The Whoppers candy crushed up and caramelized really adds another dimension to this dessert. This recipe was inspired by geezlouise website. Thank you!

malted  milk ball creme bruleMalted Milk Ball Creme Brule – Serves 6

1 1/4 C whipping cream, 1/4 C malted milk powder, 1 TB dark cocoa powder, 3 large egg yolks, 1/4 C sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 raw sugar(topping) and a handful of crushed Whoppers.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over low heat. Warm until the cream is hot but not boiling.  Once the cream is hot, turn off the heat and mix in the malted milk powder and cocoa powder.  Whisk until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine yolks, sugar and vanilla.  Slowly whisk in the warm cream a little at a time.  Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove anything that may not have mixed well.

Place 6 ramekins into a shallow baking pan. Fill each ramekin about three quarters full with the creme brule mixture.  Fill pan up to 1″ with boiling water.  Put pan in oven and bake for about 25 minutes but check about half way through.  Your custard should be set but also still jiggles, but not watery. When done, remove and allow to cool slightly.  After about 10 minutes lay a piece of parchment paper over the ramekins and put in the fridge for a couple of hours to cool.

When cooled, sprinkle raw sugar to form a thin layer and torch to caramelize the sugar or broil, but watch carefully. It doesn’t take lake. Crush up you whoppers and then sprinkle over the sugar. Torch or broil again.  Serve at room temp and be prepared to melt with each spoonful. YUM!

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Pumpkin spice donut holes are the rage these days it seems. Well, I don’t know about donut holes but pumpkin spice is for sure. Everywhere you look there is some promotion. I get it though, Its that time of year and who doesn’t like pumpkin? Well, I have found a few people, but not too many. I hope you are not tired of all the pumpkin and apple recipes I have been putting out, but it just seems like the right time. I pulled this recipe off of seededatthetable.com and I couldn’t be happier with it since they are baked and not fried! Lets just say, I had my share of several of these little tasty treats. I wasn’t sure how to photograph these guys, but trust me. They are well worth it!

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes – Yields 36 pumpkin spice donut holes

1 3/4 C flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp.nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 C vegetable oil, 1/2 C brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 can of pumpkin puree, 1/2 C milk( I used skim).

Coating- 1/2 C sugar, 2 TB cinnamon and 4oz. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice together. In a separate bowl mix the pumpkin, oil, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla together. Combine all ingredients until it creates a dough.

Spray a mini muffin pan well. Spoon batter into mini muffin container. Bake for 10 minutes or so. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes. I rolled my around in my hands to make them a little rounder so they looked  more like holes than mini muffins.

For the coating, melt butter. In a separate bowl mixing cinnamon and sugar. Dip the donut holes in the butter and then roll in the sugar mixture. Eat while warm. If they last past a day, they are still good, but they do become a little gooey, so I think its best just to eat them all or share them.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal

Whether you are gluten free or not, this pumpkin oatmeal will be sure to win you over. Its more hearty than what you would imagine, easy to make for just one or a crowd and it literally only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish. I just used gluten free oatmeal, but go all out and use Quaker Oats or whatever you have on hand. Seems like the perfect breakfast to me on this breezy fall, almost Halloween kind of day.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal – serves 4 (8 oz ramekins) Pumpkin oatmeal

1 C gluten free thick cut oatmeal, 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, dash of salt, 3/4 tsp. baking powder, handful of raisins, 1/2 C pumpkin pie filling, 1/4 C maple syrup, 1 TB butter, 3/4 C skim milk ( I also have used almond milk, which turns out great too :)), 1 egg and a handful of chopped pecans, and whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray ramekins with non stick spray.

In a large bowl combine, oats, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder and raisins. In another small bowl whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, butter, milk and eggs.

Combine both bowls and mix well. Pour into ramekins and top with pecans. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle additional pumpkin pie spice on top.

 

Apple Hand Pies

I just love these cute little apple hand pies. You have to admit, that anything you can eat with your hands is always better, right? Regular apple pie is just too messy to pick up, but not this one. Just grab and go.

I got really ambitious the other day and decided to make my own pie crust. Its not that I have not done it before but sometimes, time is of the essence and Pillsbury doesn’t do too bad, but you can always tell the difference.

Now, don’t let home made pie crust scare you off. It is really easy, it just takes a little bit more time and patience, but trust me, its well worth it!

Apple Hand Pies – Serves 12 Apple hand pies

Dough – 2 C flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 C butter, 1/2 C sour cream.

Filling – 2 C peeled and diced apples (Granny Smith works best), 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 heaping TB cinnamon, 1/2 C sugar (plus more for later), 2 tsp. flour, and 1 egg (whisked with just a smidge of water for the egg wash).

First make your dough. Whisk your flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add butter and work into flour mixture until wet and mixed in well. Stir in sour cream. It will seem like the dough is too wet, but just go with it. Turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough a few times while adding more flour a little a time until it is no longer sticky.  Roll the dough out roughly into a 8×10″ rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds and wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Next, onto the filling. Combine apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour until combined. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take dough out of fridge and unfold it onto a floured surface, rolling out to roughly 12×12. ( Be careful that the dough isn’t too thin, but you don’t want it too thick either). Use your best judgement. Use a 3″ round cookie cutter or the base of a water glass. cut out as many circles as you can get and then re roll and continue cutting until you end up with approx. 24 circles.

Place 9 circles in a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Spoon a portion of the apple pie filling into the center of each circle, leaving room around the edges. Top the apple filling with another dough circle. Crimp the edges of the pie with a fork to seal. Brush each pie with the egg wash. Make a small slit in the center of the pie to let steam escape and then sprinkle with sugar. Don’t hold back!

Bake for 15 minutes until light golden. Let stand for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Crock Pot Maple Pumpkin Chex Mix

Any time you can use a crock pot and then add the scent of maple and  pumpkin to your home, go for it. Throw in some Chex Mix and you have got yourself a nice little appetizer. I typically don’t by Chex cereals but my daughter was on a gluten free kick for a while and Chex has some great cereals that we tried out. I ended up buying a couple of boxes and really didn’t have room in my pantry for everything I purchased, so we started throwing some things together (after I was researching some ideas) I came across AverieCooks website and with a little help from her and what I had in my pantry, the final product was pretty tasty. Hope you enjoy.

Crock Pot Maple Pumpkin Chex Mix crock pot maple pumpkin chex mix

3 C cinnamon Chex, 3 cups rice Chex and 3 C honey nut cheerios, 1 C each of dried cranberries and cherries, 3/4 C each of honey roasted cashews and honey roasted peanuts, 1 1/2 C pretzels, 1 1/2 C graham cracker broken up, 1/2 C butter(melted), 1/2 C maple syrup, 1/4 C brown sugar, 2 TB pumpkin pie spice, and 1 TB vanilla. Hint ( if you don’t have something, try something else. It will still be good).

In a large crock pot add cereal, dried fruit, nuts, pretzels and graham crackers.

Melt butter. Add maple syrup, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Drizzle over the dry ingredients in the crock pot and stir well with a rubber spatula, so you don’t break up the pieces of cereal. It may seem like it is not enough liquid, but it will be fine.

Cook covered on high for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Check after about 90 minutes to make sure nothing is burning.  When done, turn over on wax paper and let dry completely for two hours or overnight. Break apart and keep in a zip lock bag. This will be chewier than most Chex mix type concoctions, but after tasting, I don’t think you will mind.

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love apple Pie and cupcakes. I love the individuality of them and they look so perfect when completed. I like this recipe because its easy but it looks gourmet and you can tweak it to your own tastes just by adding as much of certain spices as you like.

1 box of yellow cake  mix, 20 oz. can of apple pie filling, 1 C room temp butter, 1 C powdered sugar, 1/2 C brown sugar, 2 TB (approx) of cinnamon, divided, 2 tsp. of cloves, nutmeg and allspice divided, splash of milk and 1 tsp. of vanilla.

Apple Pie Cupcakes – Serves 9 Jumbo apple pie cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jumbo muffin tin with with cupcake liners.

Prepare yellow cake mix according to box directions. Add 1 TB of cinnamon and 1 tsp. each of cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Stir. If you feel like you want to add  more, go for it.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake according to box. Cool completely!

While cooling, take your apple pie filling ( I like country style ) and dice up apples. Add remaining cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice and set aside.

When the cupcakes are cool, core out the center of the cupcake, without touching the bottom to create a hole. Fill cupcakes with apple pie filling. Save a little bit for decoration for the tops of your cupcakes.

Whip butter, brown sugar, vanilla and a dash more cinnamon  until light and fluffy.  Gradually add powdered sugar and milk until you get your desired consistency.  Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, add a dollop of apple pie filling and sprinkle with more cinnamon.

 

Open Faced Tomato Breakfast Sandwich

This open faced tomato breakfast sandwich could not get any easier or faster to make in the morning. It has become my new favorite breakfast item I choose to eat in the morning. My teenage daughter tends to agree as well, and to get her to pull away from french toast, pancakes, muffins or cereal is a real breakthrough.  I did pull the recipe off the real simple site but substituted ingredients and added my own secret weapon at the end that I think turns it up just a notch. It a great alternative for those looking for a less than hearty breakfast in the morning, which most of my recipes tend to be.

Open Faced Tomato Breakfast Sandwich – Serves 1 tomato breakfast sandwich

1 English muffin, halved and toasted, olive oil, two tomato slices, 1 hard boiled egg, Parmesan cheese, oregano, sea salt, cracked black pepper and the secret weapon… balsamic glaze.

Halve one English muffin and toast lightly. Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add a slice of tomato to each half. Slice hard boiled egg and lay on top of tomato. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, followed by salt, pepper and oregano.

Broil 2 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble. (watch closely as your muffins may burn). Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Balsamic Glaze Recipe – Makes 8 oz. bottle. I use this on everything from this recipe to pizzas, flatbreads, bruschetta, popcorn, etc.

2 C balsamic vinegar and 1/4 C brown sugar. Mix vinegar and brown sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until brown sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer for about twenty minutes until reduced to about half. The syrup should coat the back of a spoon. Keep in a squeeze bottle in the fridge.

Toffee Bars

These toffee bars stemmed from an inspiration of a lonely bag of toffee bits in the pantry that I wasn’t sure what to do with. I am sure I bought them with great intentions and then I forgot and moved onto something else. I am not a big toffee fan, so I had to do some research on what I could make that would stand out from your average toffee recipe. I think I succeeded as these didn’t last too long around here. I also got many comments, that it was like eating a candy bar but smaller and better. This recipe is adapted from myrecipemagic.com

Toffee Bars – Serves – 16 bite size pieces toffee bars2

3/4 C butter softened, plus 2 TB, 3/4 C light brown sugar, 1 1/2 C flour, 10oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 C milk chocolate chips and 1 C heath toffee bits.

Cream together 3/4 C butter, brown sugar and flour until the mixture sticks together. Press into an 8×8 pan. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes until light golden brown. Cool.

Heat sweetened condensed milk and butter in a saucepan stirring constantly for roughly 8 minutes until thickened ( if not it will burn quickly). Spread over the cooled base. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden.  Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. Bake another 2 minutes longer. Spread chocolate chips until smooth. Sprinkle toffee bits on top pressing lightly down into the chocolate. Cool completely. I found that if they were chilled, they cut nice and even and tasted great!

 

Coconut Creme Pie French Toast

I wish my picture was better for this coconut creme pie french toast. The whipped creme melted way to fast before I could get a picture taken and served. You will just have to take my word on how wonderful this recipe is. I learned a long time ago that the key to perfect french toast are two very important steps. 1. Thick cut french bread and then after frying the french toast, bake it! It will puff up so pretty while keeping the outside crispy and the inside,  warm and soft. This recipe is adapted from the Minimalist Baker which I use often when looking for inspiration.

Coconut Creme Pie French Toast – Serves 2 Coconut creme pie ft

1 C Almond Milk, I 15oz. ounce can of coconut milk (not the drinkable kind either),1/4 C agave, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 3 TB sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 TB coconut oil, raw sugar, 7 Lg. eggs and 4 thick slices of French Bread. Optional – coconut whipped cream (regular works fine too if you want to add some coconut extract) – recipe below and toasted coconut flakes and maple syrup (of course)!

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut  milk, almond milk, vanilla and 3 TB sugar, agave, sea salt and eggs.

Arrange your bread in a shallow baking pan and pour your wet mixture over the bread. Let stand for 10 minutes and then flip  your bread over to soak the other side really well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat Oven to 450 degrees when ready. Heat a large skillet over med. high heat and add the coconut oil. Sprinkle your french toast with some raw sugar. Place the bread in the pan, sugar side down and cook for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Sugar the other side and flip, cooking the other side until it is toasted as well.

Transfer the bread slices to the greased cookie sheet and bake about 15 minutes  until puffed. Remove from the oven, dab a pat of butter of each slice and serve with coconut whipped cream, toasted coconut flakes and maple syrup.

*Toasted coconut – spread flakes on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 3-4 min. Watch carefully because they will burn quickly.

Coconut Whipped Cream

14 oz. can of coconut cream or full fat coconut milk, 3/4 C powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla

Very important-Chill your coconut cream or milk in the fridge overnight along with your mixing bowl. Keep coconut cream or milk in the can!

The  next day, scrape out the top of the coconut cream or milk but leave the liquid behind in the can or use for something else. Place hardened creme in mixing bowl. Beat for 30 seconds then add vanilla and powdered sugar and creamy and smooth.  Use right away or it will harden in the fridge.

 

 

 

Baked Potato Quiche

We tend to have the same folks stay with us each year for EAA (for the most part). I think they have had every breakfast I make, that is within reason. When serving 12, you make a few things that you wouldn’t make for 2 and vice versa. With that being said, I like to experiment a couple times throughout the week. Last week I decided to make this baked potato quiche that I adapted from a Betty Crocker Recipe. It is one that I will make again. In fact, I might even make it for dinner some night as well.

Baked Potato Quiche– serves 6-8 baked potato quiche

Crust – 2 1/2 C Bisquick mix, 6 TB cold butter, 1/4 C boiling water

Filling – 1 1/2 C chopped cooked ham, 1 1/2 C frozen diced hash brown potatoes, 1 1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 3 med. green onions sliced, 5 eggs, 3/4 C half and half, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 3 slices crisply cooked, crumbled bacon and sour cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10″ deep pie plate.

Place Bisquick mix in a med. bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add boiling water and stir until a soft dough forms. Press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan, forming an rough edge on the rim of the plate.

Sprinkle ham, potatoes, cheese and 2 1/2 green onions (sliced) in the crust. Beat eggs, half and half, salt and pepper until blended. Pour over ingredients in crust.

Bake 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving to set up. Top with sour cream, crumbled bacon and additional onions and cheese if you like.

 

 

 

Amish Sugar Cookies

I received this Amish Sugar Cookie recipe from a friend of mine several years ago. I had never made them up until last Christmas because I had this hand me down sugar cookie recipe from my Grandma that I had used for years, which I don’t think I ever posted either, so I may have to do that this winter. Anyway, I decided that I might as well give it shot and try this recipe out. The dough is pretty sticky, so it makes it challenging to make cutouts, but I wanted to use this recipe this week because my time was limited. You only need to chill the dough for an hour rather than 24 hours like my Grandmas recipe.

Two years ago we had some guests from Austria stay with us for EAA by the names of Helmut and Petra. We adore them!  They sent me two airplane cookie cutters in the mail as a gift about 6 months after they were here. We do get gifts every once in a while from our guests but this was probably the most unique. Well this couple was able to make it back this year and stay with us again due to a cancellation that we had so I promised them I would make cut out cookies with their gifts. It took me awhile since the cutters are pretty small but they turned out pretty cute!

airplane cookies jarAmish Sugar Cookies

1 C powdered sugar, 1 C sugar, 1 C butter, 1 C oil, 2 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. cream of tartar and 5 cups of flour.

Cream powdered sugar, sugar, butter and oil together until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, soda and cream of tartar. Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Chill dough for one hour. When ready to bake, make into balls about he size of walnut, roll in sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet. Press down with a glass and bake 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

I cut these little buggers out and iced with a powdered sugar icing. Cute huh?

airplane cookies

Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These butter pecan shortbread cookies are a slightly adapted recipe from an old Martha Stewart magazine that I came across the other day. The recipe intrigued though, so I tried it out and then made some changes, like I usually do and they turned out absolutely perfect! They only make 12, so they won’t feed a crowd but will make a nice a treat for your family.

butter pecan shortbread cookiesButter Pecan Shortbread Cookies – Makes 12 cookies

3/4 cup crushed pecans, 1 stick butter at room temperature, 1/3 C sugar (plus more for coating), 1 vanilla bean (use seeds), 1/8 tsp. sea salt and 1 C flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Cream butter and 1/3 C sugar until light and creamy. Beat in salt, vanilla bean seeds and flour. You will have to scrape down the sides of bowl to make sure everything gets combined. Fold in pecans. Separate dough into 12 pieces and shape into balls. Roll in sugar and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Gently flatten, reshaping if needed. Sprinkle with  more sugar.

Bake about 15 minutes, turning half way through. Cool completely.

Taco Shrimp Bites

We served these taco shrimp bites during or wine and cheese social hour last weekend. Lucky for our guests, I had made a couple extra so I could have some myself. They are so good, easy to make, fast and look really pretty on a platter. Not a fan of taco seasoning, try tequila lime, Cajun or other seasoning of your choice.

taco shrimp bites close up20 large shrimp, 1 avocado, diced, cilantro, 1 tsp. Lime zest, lime juice, 1/2 half jalapeno diced, 2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, olive oil, sour cream, Ritz crackers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with a nonstick spray. Combine half the salt, half the pepper, lime zest and chili powder together. Mix well. Lay shrimp on a cookie sheet and spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with lime zest mixture and bake 5-8 minutes until the shrimp curl into themselves.

While she shrimp is baking, combine diced avocado, lime juice and remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Combine sour cream and diced jalapeno in another bowl.

Place a dollop of sour cream mixture on cracker or chip, a flower of cilantro, an avocado piece and top with a shrimp. YUM!

 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

strawberry shortcake cupcakesplitThese strawberry shortcake cupcakes were a creation due to I had so many strawberries I didn’t know what to do with them. I went to Prellwitz’s Berry Farm near Ripon where I pick every year. They are always friendly, organized and it is weed free. I always pick four flats but this year I just couldn’t get them cleaned, eaten, jarred and made into fruit cups, desserts and breakfast items fast enough. I was very pleased how they turned out. The cupcake is more like shortcake than just a plain vanilla cupcake, which I really like. Because of the whipped topping, they need to be refrigerated. I like them when they sit out at room temp for about twenty minutes to soften up just a bit I promise, these will be a hit for your family, friends and co workers.

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes – Serves 15

1 1/2 C flour, 1 C sugar, 1.5 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 eggs (room temp), 1 C butter (room temp), 1/4 C almond milk(room temp), 1 tsp. vanilla, 15 whole strawberries with tops cut off, whipped cream frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 15 cupcake tins with liners.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl blend butter until soft. Add eggs one at a time until combined and then add milk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix until light and fluffy. The batter will be thick though.  Fill cupcakes liners 1/2 full (trust me, they will expand). Bake 20 minutes until done. Cool completely! Once cool, hollow out the center of the cupcake so a whole strawberry will fit inside snugly. Cover with With whipped cream frosting and add some colored sugars or sprinkles.

Whipped Cream Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese, 1/4 C sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 tsp. almond extract and 1 C heavy cream

Whisk cream cheese, sugar and extracts until combined. While whipping, slowly pour in heavy cream.  Whip until soft peaks form.

 

 

Guacamole

Guacamole is one of those dips that was never one of my favorite. One, I don’t really like the creamy guacamole style. It reminds me too much of baby food and does not have a lot of spunk to it. Last week, we talked about diets, remember? Well, last fall I gave up cheese. I really don’t  miss it like I thought I would but maybe that is because occasionally I will splurge and have a cheese pizza. This is the only time though that I will have cheese, so I have gotten creative and guacamole is one of those things that if I put on my sandwich it takes away that feeling of missing my dear old cheese.  It is also one of those recipes that is  a lot like salsa or a bloody mary. Everyone has their own “special recipe” and it is always better than yours. I am not going to say that this is the “best” guacamole recipe out there because I have not tried one that I really thought was any better than the next. I do however like my recipe, but I am never opposed to trying yours, so if you want to share, please do. I would love to try it!
GuacamoleGuacamole- yield 3 Cups
3 medium ripe avocados, peel removed,  halved and pitted, 1 med. lime,juiced, 3/4 tsp. sea salt, 3/4 ts. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. cracked pepper, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 med, red onion, 2 small Roma tomatoes diced, 1 lg. minced garlic clove, 2 TB fresh cilantro chopped, 1/2 jalapeno, diced, and 1/2 tsp. horseradish.
Place avocado and the lime juice in a large bowl. Take a fork and mash  slightly, but leave chunky.  Add salt, cumin, and both peppers and stir slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and mash more depending on chunky you like your guacamole. Serve right away, but I like mine a chilled, so I Iike to cover with plastic wrap(lay directly on guacamole) and chill for about 30 minutes.
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