05 8 / 2014

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Looking at this photo, it’s hard to tell that I am, indeed, showing you the greatest fruit salad ever. But I am. So be warned. 

Ingredients:

1 container of fresh strawberries, halved
1 container of fresh blueberries
1 container pre-cut fresh pineapple
2 Kiwis, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sugar (I think I used a little less and it was fine)
2 tsp tahitian vanilla extract

Mix, refrigerate at least one hour (to let it marinade). Even better over night! A great side, or it’s so sweet it’s kind of a dessert, too. 

01 8 / 2014

Ever questing for more sprout recipes (I’m convinced they’re the key to why my high-for-my-age cholesterol was getting better at the start of the year), I tried to do this recipe I found on Pinterest. Alas, I didn’t have all the ingredients and I didn’t follow the recipe. So, I blazed my own trail. Was it better than the original? Doubtful. But it’s still tasty!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bag steam brussel sprouts (I tried Archer Farms brand this time)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • A generous drizzle of honey (1-2 table spoons, I’m guessing)
  • freeze-dried garlic (I used enough to mostly fill the bottom of a ramekin in a single layer, and added in a dash of water from the faucet)
  • coarse sea slat 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cut sprouts in half and place in glass dish. 
  • In a small bowl mix the vinegar, honey, and garlic
  • Pour the dressing over the brussel sprouts and mix around
  • Sprinkle salt to taste
  • Bake for about 40 minutes (After 15 minutes, remove the tray, rustle around in the pan, and place back in oven for last 25 minutes)

05 7 / 2014

In addition to monkey bread, my Birthday Brunch must-have was also an egg bake. I scoured my collection of Better Homes and Gardens cooking magazines and found a perfect dish in the 2012 issue of One-Pan Recipes

It takes a decent amount of work — recipe says 45 minutes prep, bake 50 minutes, plus the chill time. The finished, pre-baked product is supposed to chill in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours. I didn’t read that when I started this the morning of the brunch, so I opted to freeze for about 1 hour. I think it probably was a little fluffier because it didn’t have time to set, but it worked out fine! Just know that in a pinch, it’ll get the job done. And it was definitely still delicious!

Ingredients

- 8 strips crisp-cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 9-ounce package frozen (cut) asparagus, thawed and chopped
- 3/4 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped
- 12 slices of dry white bread, cut into half-inch cubes 
     «My fresh package of white bread was not exactly dry, so I lightly toasted it and then ripped it into small pieces. It worked just fine! I might suggest leaving it out overnight to dry, too, if you wanted to pre-prep the prep process.»
- 3 cups (12 oz) shredded Swiss cheese 
- 8 eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 1.5 teaspoons dry mustard 
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

1. Spray a light coat of cooking spray over a 3-quart rectangular dish. 
2. Combine bacon, asparagus, and red peppers in a bowl. 
3. Place half of the bread chunks in the dish. Then top with half the bacon mixture and half of the shredded cheese. Repeat another layer with remaining halves. 
4. In large bowl beat eggs with whisk. Whisk in milk, mustard, salt, and cayenne pepper. Then pour evenly over prepared dish mixture. 
5. Gently press down on the prepared dish to help moisten all of the bread.
6. Cover and chill 2-24 hours. 
7. Pre-heat oven to 325* and bake (uncovered) for 50 minutes or until “puffed, golden, and set.”

22 6 / 2014

This weekend we had a lovely book-themed baby shower for my friend Jenny. I was in charge of the veggie tray, salad, and fruit. Not surprisingly, I over bought on produce and there were lots of leftovers. What’s a girl to do?

Throw herself a 28th Birthday Brunch for friends the next morning! Why, how convenient. 

With all the leftovers, the only thing I really needed was an egg dish, but I also wanted some kind of sweet roll. I’m old fashioned, what can I say. 

Pinterest did not let me down with this lovely find: Cream Cheese Filled Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

imageNom nom nom!

Ingredients

  • 3 cans Pillsbury Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls (8 each)
  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray (I like Pam’s Baking spray).
  3. Cut block of cream cheese into 24 cubes.
  4. Flatten each cinnamon roll.
  5. Place one square of cream cheese in the center of the flattened roll.
  6. Fold the roll around the cream cheese and pinch to seal.
  7. Place in the pan (haphazardly, there wasn’t a real layout - just do it evenly). 
  8. In microwave safe bowl combine butter and brown sugar and heat for approximately 1 minute until butter is melted. Stir together and pour over the cinnamon rolls.
  9. Bake 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown. (Opt for longer without burning the deliciousness. I didn’t get the whole thing cooked because I didn’t bake long enough.)
  10. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then flip pan onto a cake plate or platter.
  11. Drizzle with the frosting that came in the cinnamon roll cans. Then serve!