“The book is called opportunity and it’s first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I have another breakfast idea for you!

I had actually made the Sausage and Gravy Biscuit Casserole I posted last not too long before Christmas morning so I decided to try something else that morning.

It was so, so simple and delicious! I would highly recommend this for any morning that you are short on time or dragging about – especially if you were up late and not feeling up to doing much cooking. Would have been great for New Years Day morning but I was a slacker and didn’t get it up on the blog in time! 😉

Deep Dish Breakfast Bake

(adapted from Bran Appetit)

  • 1/2 lb sausage (mild or hot – your preference)
  • 1 package crescent rolls
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Brown sausage over medium high heat, breaking it up as it cooks.

Roll out crescent rolls into a 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Press seams together as so to make a whole sheet of pastry.

Sprinkle cooked sausage over dough, followed by cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk and add in rosemary, salt and pepper.

Pour egg mixture over the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until eggs are set and the crust is a golden color.

***This can be made with bacon and diced ham in place of the sausage as well***

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“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” ~ John Gunther

It’s almost here!

Can you believe there are only 2.5 days left until Christmas?!?

I can’t.

But I shouldn’t be surprised, my favorite time of the year always goes by so quickly.

(Although, one thing I am happy about the time passing is that yesterday was the shortest day of the year, so now with each passing day we will have more daylight! Yippee!)

I believe Christmas Eve is the most exciting night of the year and Christmas morning is the most enjoyable morning of the year. I like for my Christmas morning to be cozy and relaxing and nothing makes that more perfect than a warm cozy breakfast!

So if you are still looking for something to serve your family this coming Christmas morning, the following recipe is a great choice!

Sausage and Gravy Biscuit Casserole

(adapted from Lemon Sugar)

  • 1 can large, flaky biscuits (such as Grands)
  • 1/2 pound ground breakfast sausage
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 and 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cut biscuits into quarters and spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.

Layer half the biscuit quarters in the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown sausage in a heavy skillet on medium/high heat until completely cooked, then sprinkle sausage with flour and stir until absorbed.

Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook for around 3-4 minutes. A

Add milk, salt and pepper, stirring and cooking until it comes to a slight boil and cook for 4-5 minutes to thicken it up but still be a little runny. If it’s too thick, add a little milk.

Give it a taste and adjust seasons accordingly.

Pour gravy over the cooked biscuits and top with remaining biscuit quarters.

Bake for 20 minutes. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil for the remaining time.

 

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Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

-abp

 

“The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.” ~ Doug Larson

We are making candy faster than we can eat it!

That’s saying something because I can put away some candy!

My breakfast and lunch for the past couple of days have consisted of nothing but candy.

And I still have piles of it!

That’s good though because I have lots to bag/box up and give away.

Here’s another great candy recipe to add to your yearly Christmas baking that’s a little different from the rest.

(They can also be made with lemon.)

Orange Coconut Snowballs

  • 1 (6 oz.) can of frozen orange juice, thawed
  • 1 lb. box of vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 1 lb. box powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 bag of coconut

Mix together all ingredients except coconut.

Form into 1 inch balls and roll in coconut.

Chill until firm.

Makes 4-5 dozen.

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-abp

“The sharpest memory of our old-fashioned Christmas eve is my mother’s hand making sure I was settled in bed.” ~ Paul Engle

This time of the year is CRAZY!

It’s most definitely a good busy but whew!

I’m exhausted and about run crazy.

There are so many things I want to do this time of year but not a whole lot of time to do them.

Because of this, this post will be short and sweet!

But these old, time tested recipes need to be shared so they do not disappear!

Old Fashioned Date Balls

  • 1 (8 oz) package dates, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 ½ cups rice cereal
  • Powdered sugar

Cook dates, sugar and butter over medium heat, bring to boil, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Carefully stir in nuts, followed by rice cereal. Let cool until comfortable for you to handle.

Form into 1 inch balls and roll in powdered sugar.

Makes 3-4 dozen depending on size of balls.

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-abp

“Stolen kisses are always sweetest.” ~ Leigh Hunt

I really wish we could make Christmas Candy all year long!

It’s so good and it puts everyone in a great mood. The people who make it and the people to whom it’s gifted.

It makes for great gifts for friends, coworkers and hostess gifts.

Each year, I look forward to that day/evening my mom and I settled into the kitchen for a messy fun filled time of candy making and sampling – quality control at it’s best!

We have several more elaborate candies but one of my favorites and most simple are Mistletoe Kisses. It quickly makes a whole bunch and they are irresistibly popable!

Mistletoe Kisses

  • Bag of square pretzels
  • Hersey Hugs
  • Hersey Kisses
  • Red and green M&Ms

Preheat oven to 250.
Place pretzels on foiled line baking tray.
Unwrap kisses and hugs, place in the middle of each pretzel.
Heat in the oven for 4-6 minutes or until soft.
Remove and carefully push M&Ms down on the center of Kisses and Hugs.
Let cool on tray completely – for faster cooling, place in the refrigerator

*Make note: Hugs melt faster than Kisses and If you over heat them, Kisses will turn hard and the Hugs will be too runny.*

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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~ Charles M. Schulz

Chocolate and nuts.

Oh, how I love thee.

Let me count the ways.

Hersey Kisses with almonds, Mr. Goodbar, Goobers, Goo-Goo Clusters, Snickers, turtles……

There are so many ways to enjoy this combo but can you really beat good old chocolate covered peanut cluster??

Nope.

Can you beat the ease of a crockpot??

Nope.

So why not combine the two?!?

Crockpot Chocolate Covered Peanuts

(adapted from Fake Ginger)

  • 2 pound white almond bark
  • 4 ounces German chocolate bar
  • 12 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • 24 ounces dry roasted peanuts
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Let cook on low for 1 hour with no stirring. Once the hour is up, stir to mix all together. Cook for another hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  2. Scoop spoonfuls of candy on to wax paper or into candy liners. Let cool completely.

3. Enjoy!

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-abp

“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” ~ James Thurber

I have noticed that many restaurants have started adding marinated olives to their appetizers menus and I love it! Sometimes, I would want to order a martini just for the olives.

Who am I kidding?

I would order the martini anyway! The olives are just a bonus.

I love olives! All kinds, well, except those sliced black ones that come on mexican food. Bleh. I don’t like those.

But all the other kinds are fabulous! When you add seasoning, cheese, nuts etc. They just get better.

So, I thought, why not make some at home. Would be a great additive to any Christmas gathering you may have this season.

Marinated Olive and Almonds

(adapted from Southern Living)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups pitted and drained green and black olives
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted salted almonds

1. Stir together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add olives; toss with marinade to coat. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

2. Remove and discard crushed garlic cloves, and stir in roasted almonds just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Simple as that!

Enjoy!

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-abp

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~ Annie Dillard

If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times!

Crockpots are the best invention ever!

In my case, it’s the afternoons that start to get busy so it’s great to be able to get a meal on in the morning, knowing either all or at least the main part of dinner will be ready when you are ready for it.

It allows for me to concentrate on dessert or a yummy side or to just come dashing in and throw it on the table.

This recipe is no exception. It’s a breeze to put together but so delicious and very versatile.

It can be eaten by itself, on a bun or my favorite way – on a baked potato.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless  chicken breasts
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste

Lightly salt chicken and place in slow cooker.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Shred chicken and cook for another 15 minutes on low.

Voilá – it’s ready for however you want to use it!

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-abp

“I like the cold weather. It means you get work done.” ~ Noam Chomsky

Brrrrr.

It’s that time of year again.

Cold.

Brutally cold.

At least in Southerners terms.

If it doesn’t get out of the 40’s, like today, I do not get out of the house.

Well, if I can help it.

Luckily, today I had nothing pressing to do outside of the home so I am staying in and have spent most of the morning in the kitchen.

It’s nice and warm in there with the oven on.

This gave me an opportunity to try a couple things that have been on my “want to do” list.

One being the very simple Pumpkin Spice Muffins.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

  • 1 Box Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • Confectioners Sugar
  • Confectioners Sugar Glaze

Preheat oven to 350º.

Mix together cake mix, pumpkin, vanilla and nuts

Scoop even amounts into a lined muffin tin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Top with a sprinkle of confectioners sugar and prepared Sugar Glaze (recipe below)

Sugar Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

Stir milk into sugar. Add vanilla. Drizzle on cupcakes.

May be thickened with confectioners’ sugar or thinned with milk.

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This would be a great last minute breakfast or snack to throw together because it’s quick, simple and you could easily have all the ingredients in your pantry.

-abp

“One man’s poison ivy is another man’s spinach.” ~ George Ade

Side dishes really are a thorn in my side.

That’s why a love a roast. You have your meat, carrots and potatoes all together and the most you have to think about is finding some kind of bread to go with it.

But, alas, you can not have roast every night.

Sometimes you just have to make sides.

Luckily, I have finally found a side that is almost as easy as throwing a bag of salad in a few bowls.

Sautéed Garlic Spinach and Tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (I used the kind in a jar)
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 bag of prepared (bagged) baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium/high heat in a large skillet.  Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to pop. (I then kind of squash them with my spatula). Add in garlic and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until fragrant.  Place the spinach in the pan and mix around until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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This is so very simple, good and healthy. You could very easlily change up this up to fit your taste buds as well. Examples being  – add shallots or top with Parmesan cheese.

-abp