Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Peppermint Puppy Chow


Peppermint is one of my favorite flavors at Christmastime (or all winter). Case in point: Peppermint Patty Brownies, Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Cookies, Triple Peppermint Cookies, Peppermint Cheesecake Bars, Candy Cane Bundt Cake.

I knew when I saw this recipe that I would have to try it - it's so easy to make and so addicting! But the great thing is, you can just eat a few pieces (or try to eat just a few) after you've sampled several cookies... (not that I have any experience with that.)

This is a great addition to your holiday snacking fare! Hooray for Peppermint.


Find more inspiration at Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Peppermint Puppy Chow

5 cups Rice Chex cereal
10 ounces vanilla flavored Almond Bark
1 cup crushed candy canes
1 cup powdered sugar

Pour the cereal into a large bowl. Place the almond bark in a microwave safe bowl and heat at 50% power at 45 second intervals until melted. Add the cereal, stirring and folding until the cereal is completely covered. Fold in the crushed candy canes.

Pour the powdered sugar into a zipped-top bag. Pour the cereal mixture in next. Seal the bag or container and shake until all the cereal is coated with the sugar mixture.

Discard excess powder. Store at room temperature up to 2 weeks, if it lasts that long!

Recipe Source: Sally's Baking Addiction

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole {or anytime casserole!}


A great brunch recipe is a treasure. And this is one. I love this dish! Full of potatoes, eggs and sausage with a little red pepper thrown in for color - it's the perfect holiday breakfast, or supper!


I served this with cranberry salad and gingerbread muffins and it was a wonderful combination. Liven up your holiday breakfast or brunch (or supper!) with this great dish and the high praise will start rolling in!


Get more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole

1 pound breakfast sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup red pepper, large diced
1 (30-32oz) bag frozen shredded hash browns
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 cup shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese
8 eggs
2 cups milk

In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion and red pepper over medium heat until sausage is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Remove meat and vegetables with a slotted spatula and then drain all but 1 Tbsp. fat. Return skillet to the heat and add hash browns to skillet. Cook until lightly browned.

Place hash browns in bottom of lightly greased 9x13 inch pan. Top with sausage mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Pour over hash brown mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 8-10.

(If you want to make this ahead of time, after adding the egg mixture, cover and refrigerate. Add ten minutes to the baking time.)

Recipe Source: Adapted from Plain Chicken

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gingerbread Muffins


I love the flavor of gingerbread, especially at this time of year. This past weekend, I made pumpkin gingerbread, and ginger cookies remain one of my favorites. When I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. Although the original recipe made mini muffins, I made regular muffins and served them for brunch.


These have just the right amount of spice and are topped with a lovely cinnamon sugar. To change things up a bit, I also frosted some of these with a simple powdered sugar frosting - both varieties are absolutely delicious. Stay tuned for a wonderful breakfast casserole to serve alongside these muffins...


Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Gingerbread Muffins

2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup plus brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/3 cup water

For topping:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, melted


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk to blend. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the molasses.

With the mixer on low speed, stir in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add in the second half, again mixing just until incorporated. Mix in the water on medium-low speed, just until evenly mixed and no lumps remain.

Divide the batter between the paper lined muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds of the way full. Bake at 350 until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Dip the top of a muffin in the melted butter, then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat with a thin layer. Repeat with the remaining muffins.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sausage and Potato Soup with Spinach


This is the last official post for Secret Recipe Club. So I couldn't be more thrilled to be assigned to Sarah's blog, Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Sarah has been the tour de force behind the SRC for a while, and I want to thank her for all her hard work; it's so fun to be involved in this exchange.

Sarah has a ton of recipes on her blog. She really IS fantastical at sharing recipes. When I saw the recipe for this soup, I knew it would be the perfect choice. I made this soup on the day of the first snowfall in Minnesota (November 18 - not too shabby, folks!) and it was a great dinner.


We loved the soup - it was perfect for a (sort of) snowy day. I love the combination of spicy sausage, tender red potatoes and the colorful spinach. A little cream and parmesan at the end really makes this soup special. The hot Italian sausage was a bit much for my family, so next time I'll use mild.


Thanks, Sarah, for a great recipe, and for a wonderful run with SRC!


Sausage and Potato Soup with Spinach

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 cups chicken broth
1 pound red potatoes, diced
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage. Crumble and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, onion, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Stir often while cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add chicken broth, then bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Add spinach and stir until it wilts. Then stir in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and cook for another minute. Serves 6.



Monday, November 14, 2016

Cranberry Crumble Muffins


It's time to start planning holiday menus, and this muffin should be on your list!


Bursting with cranberries and topped with a delicious streusel, this would be a welcome addition to any breakfast, brunch or coffee break.


You can whip these up without even taking out the stand mixer, so there really are no excuses. Time to get festive!


Find more great recipes at Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us.

Cranberry Crumble Muffins

Muffin batter:

1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 - 12 ounce bag cranberries, fresh or frozen, unthawed

Crumb topping:

1 cup flour
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
4 Tbsp. butter, cold, diced

For the muffins, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger. In a large measuring cup or batter bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla until fully combined. The mixture will be very liquid. Add in the flour quickly while stirring. Stir until a smooth batter is formed. Add in the cranberries, and mix to combine.

For the topping, in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt using a spoon until combined. Then add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender, knives or your fingers until the mixture has pea-sized crumbs.

Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups with the batter. Take a tablespoon full of topping and place it on top of each muffin, gently pressing it into the batter so it does not fall off. Divide any remaining topping among the muffins.

Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool muffins completely in pan. To remove, gently loosen tops of muffins from pans; then using a spatula go down the side of each muffin cup and gently and swiftly push the muffin out.

The muffins may be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for several hours or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Food and Wine

Monday, November 7, 2016

One Pan Cheesy Pasta with Sausage


There were so many cries of "this is SO good!" when I served this that I lost count. There were absolutely no leftovers - a sign of a great meal! I know that it needs to become a regular menu item at our house or there might be some kind of revolt. And why shouldn't it? It's easy, fast and delicious - three of my main requirements for busy weeknights.


It really couldn't be simpler - saute some sausage and onion, throw in tomatoes, broth and pasta, cook til the pasta is done, then stir in the cheese. Dinner will be ready in no time. Serve with a big green salad and get ready for the cheering!

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Favorite Recipe of the Month.

One Pan Cheesy Pasta with Sausage

1 lb. smoked sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, pureed if you prefer
1/2 cup milk
8 oz small pasta shapes
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
2 cups shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese

Brown the sausage and saute the onions in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, and pasta then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir in cheese. Serves 4-6.


Recipe Source: Budget Savvy Diva

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins


As I was waiting for the trick or treaters to materialize tonight, I decided to whip up some muffins. I love baking with pumpkin and apples, and made a delicious cake with them last week. (The aforementioned cake did not make it onto the blog as it broke in half when I took it out of the bundt pan! Oh well. It was still delicious.) Anyway, I knew it would be a delicious combination and I was right. These will be a delightful breakfast or coffee break. And bonus - they are made with applesauce and of course, pumpkin - no butter, no oil, no shortening, etc. So, no guilt!


I love the addition of craisins, too, and you could feel free to add nuts if that's your thing. You can whip these up in no time, and they'll be a favorite addition to our fall muffin repertoire.




Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins

1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 medium apple, cored and diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and stir. Then add the pumpkin, applesauce and eggs and mix everything only until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Gently stir the diced apples and dried cranberries into batter. Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups equally. Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 12.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Rising Spoon
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