breakfast · Cooking · Food Prep · Meal planning

Food Inspiration From Great Restaurants

We have been on vacation this past week and we ate breakfast and lunch in our condo, then enjoyed eating our main meal out each day. I love trying new food options – things I don’t normally make at home. New food and flavor combinations stretch my taste buds and my culinary skills, so I’m always looking out for something a little different on the menu.

Because we were on the coast, we had seafood every day! We also had some other fare that was just delicious! I”ll share a few of the new flavor combinations I loved.

Continue reading “Food Inspiration From Great Restaurants”
breakfast · snack

Chocolate-Strawberry Granola

I hope your weekend was a blessing! Let’s start your week off with a great granola for breakfast or snacking!

I love the chocolate granola I buy in the grocery store, but it is very expensive. I was happy to find a recipe and then tweak it a little bit to come up with a recipe that I like even better than the grocery store version!

Sprinkled over Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, this is a favorite breakfast!

Chocolate Strawberry Granola

½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 cups oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup of freeze dried strawberries, crushed
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small saucepan, heat sugar, oil and honey until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Turn off stove and remove from heat.
2. In a separate bowl add oats, walnuts, cocoa powder and salt. Add sugar and oil mixture and vanilla.
3. Stir to coat and pour onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 275°F for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

4. Set tray on the counter and sprinkle with chocolate chips and stir to melt into the granola. Allow to cool and add strawberries.

Sweet, slightly crunchy, and chocolate-y, this is so good any time of the day! Also, I have occasionally found the freeze dried strawberries at The Dollar Tree!

I store the granola in a large glass jar when it has cooled completely.

I’m working on some glitches with my blog media, but if you want to see a picture of this granola, go to my Instagram account and you’ll find it there! Look for the camera/Instagram icon on this page. Click it and you’ll find the granola picture there!

Have you ever tried Chocolate Granola? I hope you’ll make this simple recipe. My traditional recipe is here and a healthier version is here.

baking · breakfast · Gifts

Peach Cream Cheese Danish

Breakfast perfection!

For quite a few years I have been baking these Cream Cheese Danishes because after making them the first time, I was hooked! I usually make them for gifts at Christmas time, but save one for our family’s holiday breakfast!

It’s hard to believe these are light, but they are, but they taste every bit as good as any danish you could purchase at a lovely bakery! I made this recipe up last week and have been enjoying a little sliver with my coffee, fruit, yogurt and granola each morning. It’s made this a much anticipated meal! It’s soooo good!

These do take a little time, but I usually make the dough in the evening, stick it in the fridge, and then finish making them the next day. They are so worth the effort! You get four large danishes out of this recipe. Whoever you choose to share this with, will be your humble servant for life! (!) Okay, maybe not life, but they’ll love you for your kindness!

I like to set them on a piece of thin cardboard, covered with foil, then slide them into one of my large bread bags and tie with a ribbon. The cardboard will keep the delicate danish from breaking. You could top these with almonds, if you wish!

Here’s the lightened up recipe from Cooking Light ~

Peach Cream Cheese Danishes

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton light sour cream
  • 2 packages dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • ½ cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • Filling:
  • ⅔ cup Peach preserves – Or your favorite flavor!
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray 
  • Glaze:
  • 1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Step 1 To prepare dough, combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream mixture and 2 eggs. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gradually stir flour into sour cream mixture (dough will be soft and sticky). Cover dough; chill 8 hours or overnight (my preference).
  • Step 2 To prepare filling, combine preserves and next 4 ingredients (preserves through 1 egg) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
  • Step 3 Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Turn each portion out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 or 5 times. Roll each portion into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Spread one-fourth of filling over each portion, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Starting at a long side, carefully roll up each portion jelly roll fashion; pinch seam and ends to seal.
  • Step 4 Place 2 loaves on each of 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cut 4 (1/4-inch-deep) “X”s in top of each loaf with scissors. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Step 5 Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Step 6 Place 1 baking sheet in oven (cover remaining loaves to keep from drying). Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining loaves. Cool loaves slightly.
  • Step 7 To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle warm loaves with glaze.

These are amazingly easy…really! I hope you’ll try them! You’ll keep making them, like I do. I’m sure!

Could you enjoy a little danish with coffee in the morning? It makes morning even sweeter in my book!

Bread · breakfast · cakes · Crock Pot · dessert · Make-Ahead · Pie · Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner Favorite Recipes

Favorite Recipes

In case you need a little inspiration for your upcoming Thanksgiving celebration (or for Christmas), I’m going to share some of my favorite recipes for special holiday meals.  That doesn’t mean they’re difficult or fussy, they’re simply delicious!

Everyone needs a great start to the day.   What will you serve for breakfast?  Here are a couple delicious breads:

Breakfast

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C chopped pecans
2 tsp grated orange rind
8 oz. pkg reduced-fat cream cheese
2 (11 oz) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted
1 C sifted powdered sugar
1 T orange juice

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Place about 1 tsp cream cheese on half of each biscuit; fold biscuit over cheese, pressing edges to seal.
  • Dip biscuits in melted butter, and dredge in sugar mixture; place, curved side down, in a lightly greased 12-cup Bundt pan, spacing evenly.  Drizzle any remaining butter over biscuits; sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until done.  Immediately invert onto a serving plate.
  • Combine powdered sugar and orange juice, stirring well; drizzle over warm coffee cake.  Serve immediately. If you’re fixing this ahead, warm in oven or microwave before serving.

OR Pumpkin Scones

Now some other suggestions for your Thanksgiving Dinner:

Breads:

These are my favorite biscuits.  They’re Angel Biscuits done lighter! Now you can have another piece of pie!These are my favorite rolls.  You can make them ahead of time and stick them in the freezer to bake on Thanksgiving Day!  So easy!!

Salad:

This is a great salad that is also made ahead of time.  It has all the cranberry goodness that a Thanksgiving dinner needs!

Another easy Cranberry relish is to simply pour a can of Whole Berry Cranberry sauce into a pretty dish and break it up with a spoon.  Top with a drained can of Mandarin oranges, then topped with chopped walnuts.  So easy and so good!

Sides:

Here a few of my favorites:

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes make for an easy way to cook the potatoes while the turkey is in the oven.  You’ll mash them after they’ve been in the crockpot and just before it’s time to eat.  Leaving mashed potatoes in the slow cooker will make them runny…not the best.  But the instructions on the page I’ve linked makes it super simple and delicious!
Corn Cheese Bake is the best creamed corn you’ll ever taste!
Broccoli Corn Scallop is creamy and a nice change from the usual casserole.

Dessert:
Can we talk PIE????  This Peanut Butter Pie is over the top!  It’s also really easy!
If you want a show-stopper then Peanut Pie with Peanut Crust is for you!
Kentucky Derby Pie is our family tradition.  Someone might die if this isn’t on the counter when it’s time for dessert!I’ve shared LOTS of pumpkin recipes you can search here on my blog, but among the favorites for most people is the Pumpkin Roll.  My recipe shows step by step instructions.  You can do it!
An easy cake is the Pumpkin Crunch Cake.  It comes together in a few minutes and will remind you of a pumpkin pie in cake form!  Yum!!

Whether you’re doing the whole meal or just bringing a dish for the meal, you can cook with confidence with any of these recipes!  You know what else will help?  Pray and ask the Lord to help you make the most of your time, your resources and your heart!Whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving, I pray you will give thanks to the God Who allowed you the blessings you enjoy.  He is a God who loves you and has given His Son so you can enjoy more than a happy turkey day – He wants you to enjoy a personal relationship with Him and an eternity in heaven through trusting Christ as your Savior. What joy He brings to my life every day!

With love and blessings from my country kitchen,

breakfast

Avocado Toast with a Sweet Twist

On normal days (no special occasion happening) I like breakfast to be something with some protein, but also quick to prepare. One of my new favorite morning meals is Avocado Toast with a sweet twist.

The sweetness comes from a drizzle of honey over all the layers! That little bit of sweetness is the perfect touch! Of course I also sprinkle on Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. I like to make my own. It’s so much cheaper and I can control the ingredients. Let me tell you how I make my Avocado Toast and then I’ll share the Everything Bagel Seasoning.

Avocado Toast

  1. Make the avocado mixture by mashing up one ripe avocado with about 1/4 cup of light mayo. Add salt to taste.
  2. Fry an egg in a small saucepan sprayed with cooking spray. I like mine over easy.
  3. Toast the bread.
  4. Spread avocado mixture over toast.
  5. Top with egg.
  6. Sprinkle with Everything bu the Bagel Seasoning.
  7. Drizzle with honey.

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

  • 4 Tablespoons White Sesame Seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Diced Onion
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Mix in a bowl, then store in an airtight jar.

Have you tried Avocado toast? It seems a little strange at first, but one bite is all it takes to convince most that this is a breakfast that will change up the breakfast routine in a super-delicious (and sweet) way!