Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Classic Meatloaf

I enjoy and have made all kinds of meatloaves.  Italian-inspired, asian-inspired, etc.  However, I don't think there's anything like the "classic" meatloaf that we've all grown up with.  Nothing fancy, just some meat and spices.  I hadn't made a classic meatloaf (I don't want to call it "plain" because it's not!) in so long.  I know some people like to add oats to their meatloaf to bump up the health factor.  Growing up, my dad made a meatloaf like that once and I still have bad memories of it!  So that's one ingredient that I will never add to my meatloaf!  Going through some old Cooking Light Annual cookbooks I found this recipe.  Minus the fact that I don't make home-made bread crumbs.....why have to take the food processor down from the upstairs closet and then clean all those parts.....and I buy the pre-packaged meatloaf meat mixture, this recipe seemed pretty "classic" to me.  This was easy to put together and the kids loved it.  When my daughter asks for seconds and my son eats ALL of his dinner, I know I have a winner!  Meatloaf is not a meal that I consider for a busy weeknight meal.  However, this would make a great dish for a lazy weekend, winter dinner!

Classic Meatloaf
recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light, March 2006


1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/2 cup ketchup, divided
approx. 1 1/2  lb. pkg meatloaf mix (or you can use 2/3 lb. lean ground beef, 1/2 lb. ground veal, and 6 oz. lean ground pork)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a small frying pan saute heat butter until melted over medium heat.  Add onion and saute approximately 5 minutes until translucent. Let cool. 

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients except cooking spray.

Shape meat mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread remaining 6 tablespoons ketchup over top of meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut the loaf into 12 slices.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Might Have Missed Monday: Corn and Cheddar Waffles

Re-posting this recipe reminds me that I haven't made waffles in a very long time!  These were a winner with the kids!  They of course love corn, so that helps.  Breakfast for dinner is such an easy, quick, and sure-to-please everyone dinner in our house.  You can keep this a meat-free meal by serving with some fruit, or like I always do, cook up some bacon or sausage to serve with!

Corn and Cheddar Waffles
recipe from All You, August 2011

Cook Time: 7 Minutes
Prep Time: 10 Minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 large ear) or 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup grated Cheddar

1. Preheat oven to 200ºF and preheat waffle iron. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together milk, egg and butter. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in corn and cheese.

2. Mist waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour batter onto grates and spread to edges with a spatula. Cook until waffles are golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate, loosely cover with foil and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, misting grates with cooking spray before each new batch.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

This post is being shared at:
Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green
Totally Tasty Tuesdays @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What you Got Linky Party @ Our Delightful Home

Saturday, February 23, 2013

CPK BBQ Chicken Pizza

This recipe post is a bit belated, as our Supper Club is meeting tonight and this was one of last month's dishes that we made!  But I'm very behind in my recipe posting!  Last month's Supper Club theme was Restaurant Copy-Cats.  My husband and I were hosting so we were in charge of the main dishes.  As we were trying to come up with dishes to make, we realized that we don't visit chain restaurants enough to have favorite dishes to re-create.  Which of course is a good thing!  We did agree that we love CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) and the rare times we go there we split a pizza and a salad.  Our favorite pizza is the Thai Chicken Pizza, but different versions of Thai Chicken Pizza have already been made in the Supper Club (including one by myself!).  Although we've never actually had the BBQ Chicken Pizza at CPK this is the pizza recipe that we went with.  Everyone enjoyed this pizza.  My husband made the dough and doubled the recipe so we were fortunate to have leftovers for a couple of days!  Unfortunately, I never got a picture of the Outback Chopped Salad that we made as our other dish and there was none left over after our dinner (which again, is a good thing!).

CPK BBQ Chicken Pizza
Recipe slightly adapted from

1 tablespoon honey
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
10 ounces chicken breast, boned and skinned
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce plus 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 small red onion, sliced into rings
2 tablespoons cilantro

To make the dough: In a small bowl, dissolve the honey in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir until it dissolves. Let the yeast mixture stand for 5 minutes, until a layer of foam forms on the surface. In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the olive oil and the yeast mixture. Stir the flour into the wet ingredients, until all the flour is incorporated. If its too dry, add more water. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 15 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and put in in a well-oiled bowl. Cover with a moist towel and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours).

One hour before baking the pizzas, start preheating the oven with pizza stones inside at 500 degrees F.

For the Chicken: In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add chicken pieces. Saute until cooked (6 minutes). Chill. Coat chicken with 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce. Set aside in the refrigerator.

For the Pizza: Punch the dough down, and divide into equal serving portions. Roll out each portion into an 6-8 inch flat circle. Spread 1/4 cup barbecue sauce over the surface of the dough. Distribute 1/2 of the cheese over the sauce. Distribute 1/2 of the chicken over the cheese. Place half of the onion rings over the chicken pieces. Place the pizza in the oven (on top of pizza stones). Bake until crust is crispy and cheese is bubbling (8-10 minutes). Remove pizzas from the oven and sprinkle each with 1/2 of the cilantro.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cheesy Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

I have been debating whether to get a grill pan for awhile now.  In the summer my husband is the "grill master" and uses our Weber charcoal grill a lot.  I do not know how to use the charcoal grill, nor do I really want to use it!  But I have so many "grilled" recipes that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to make.  I almost bought a cast-iron grill pan.  But we already own a cast-iron pan.  The only difference this pan would make would be to put "grill" marks onto the food!  So I decided against it.  As my husband pointed out, we own a George Foreman grill, that we haven't used in years!  So I made these sandwiches by grilling the eggplant on the George Foreman and then cooking the sandwiches on it to get the "grill" marks.  The good thing about these sandwiches is that I was able to customize the kids' sandwiches.  My daughter doesn't like cheese, neither of the kids wanted eggplant (although they had to have a taste!), and so on.  My husband and I found these to be really tasty.  But of course, we love any excuse to eat prosciutto!!!
Cheesy Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
Recipe slightly adapted from EveryDay with Rachael Ray, August 2008

1 pound small eggplants, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 slices Italian bread
4 slices Swiss cheese, torn into two pieces
4 ounces  thinly sliced prosciutto

1.Preheat a grill to medium. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until softened, about 4 minutes.

2.Lay the bread on a work surface. Top 4 slices with a layer each of cheese, prosciutto, eggplant and another layer of prosciutto and cheese. Top with the remaining bread slices.

3.Brush the outside of the sandwiches with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Grill, covered, turning once, until crisp, about 2 minutes.

 Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.  

This post is shared at:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch
Foodtastic Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Simple Clam Chowder

As I mentioned in my last post, I made Apple Cheese Beer Bread to go with this chowder.  Since to me, soup is not a meal, I need to serve it with either a sandwich, grilled cheese, or bread.  My parents have a house in Rhode Island.  Unfortunately, we usually just end up visiting over the summer, even though they live there on and off throughout the year.  Part of every visit to "the beach house" includes a lunch of New England Clam Chowder and an order of clam cakes (a.k.a. clam fritters).  Taking my first spoonful of this soup totally brought back memories of our summer lunches.  This soup was easy to put together and was super tasty!  I was kind of surprised with the recipe coming from Cooking Light. In the past I've tried to make other chowder type recipes from the magazine and have found them to be less creamy tasting to keep them "light."  This recipe totally did not feel like I was sacrificing taste for calories.  I posted the original recipe amounts.  However, I ended up halving everything since the recipe below yields approximately 12 servings.  Just a note that even halved, with 3 cans of chopped clams, resulted in this soup having LOTS of clams.  Not that we were complaining, but it might be a little over-whelming for some people!  This will definitely be a go-to recipe whenever I'm feeling a little nostalgic for Rhode Island!

Simple Clam Chowder
recipe from Cooking Light, January 2008

Yield:  12 (1 cup) servings

2 bacon slices
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
5 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 pound)
4 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 bay leaf
3 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, celery, salt, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Drain clams, reserving liquid. Add clam liquid, potato, clam juice, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Discard bay leaf.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 12 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add clams; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

This post is shared at:
Manic Monday Party @ Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green
Tempt My Tummyy Tuesdays @ Blessed with Grace

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Apple Cheese Beer Bread

I made clam chowder the other day (see upcoming post).  To me soup is not a meal and I have to serve it either with a sandwich or bread of some type.  I have had this bread recipe bookmarked for awhile and thought that it would be a good time to make it.  The recipe below makes two loaves but I ended up halving it.  This was so easy to put together and we all enjoyed it!

Apple Cheese Beer Bread
recipe from Edesia's Notebook

1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup shallots, minced
½ cup apple, peeled and shredded (use paper towel to remove any excess moisture)
3 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
12 oz. beer
½ cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 375°. Heat oil in skillet. Cook shallots and apple for 7 minutes. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Add cooked apple mixture, beer, applesauce, and cheese, stirring just until moist. Spoon mixture into 2 greased bread pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until done. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove and cool on wire rack.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Black-Eyed Pea Chili

I am so happy that Brenda from Meal Planning Magic is once again hosting the Eating the Alphabet Challenge.  I participated last year and completed most months.  Each month is assigned a couple of letters.  The challenge is to make a recipe that features a fruit, vegetable, legume, or grain that begins with one of the letters. This is the first month and the featured letters are A or B.

Last year I joined the challenge during the second month, so I missed these letters.  I already cook with lots of fruits and vegetables that begin with the letters A and B: apples, avocados, asparagus, bananas, broccoli, beets.  Since this is a challenge I really try to "challenge" myself with using foods that I either have never cooked or don't cook with often.  So I decided to go with a legume and try cooking black-eyed peas.

Before this challenge I'm not sure if I have ever eaten black-eyed peas before.  When I was reading New Year's books with the kids we discovered that in some cultures, and even in the Southern U.S., eating black-eyed peas on News Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity.  Well, we didn't eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, but we can still wish for some prosperity, right?!!  These legumes are used world-wide in various dishes in various forms - mashed, fried, added to stews and they are even included in a sweet dessert dish in Vietnam.

I actually found this recipe in the USA Weekend insert in my local weekend paper.  I had saved it and planned on possibly making it one day. This challenge motivated me to make it sooner than later!  I have to admit I was a bit pessimistic and didn't think I'd like this.  I have never been a big bean eater and have only started to begin eating black beans and chick peas.....and liking them!  So I was a bit surprised to discover that I actually enjoyed this dish! My husband was a big fan and even the kids ate their servings. It was really easy to make and served over rice it made a nice hearty dish for a cold winter's night. 

Black-Eyed Pea Chili
recipe from USA Weekend, Dec. 28-30, 2012, courtesy of Ellie Krieger

1 Tb. canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
1 Tb. chili powder
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up with the spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper, jalapeño pepper and chili powder, and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the black-eyed peas, tomatoes and chicken broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring a few times, until the ingredients soften and meld, 20 minutes. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves.

Family Rating:  1 1/2 thumbs up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brussels Sprouts Gnocchi Pan Fried with Sage Butter

I recently posted the Banana Chocolate Chunk Nutella Muffins that I made for The Secret Recipe Club.  I had the blog Spinach Tiger and there were so many recipes that I wanted to try out that I couldn't just make one!  I posted the muffins for reveal day but I wanted to share another recipe that I had made from Angela's blog.  I had some leftover mashed potatoes so this was a perfect way to use them up!  I posted the ingredient amounts from the original recipe but I had to use a LOT more flour to be able to roll my "dough" out and keep it from falling apart.  Once these were cooked though they were really tasty!  These were a bit more work than I had anticipated for a quick weeknight dinner, but definitely worth the effort. 

Brussels Sprouts Gnocchi Pan Fried with Sage Butter
recipe from Spinach Tiger

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
2 large shallots
6-8 brussels sprouts, shredded
1 egg
½ cup flour
¼ cup grated pecorino cheese
8 sage leaves
2 tablespoons butter
olive oil
a few sprigs fresh thyme

Shred brussels sprouts with knife or mandolin. Remove large leaves and save those for garnishing the plate.

Saute shallots in butter and olive oil until soft. Add brussels sprouts, fresh thyme cook for 5- minutes on medium heat.

Add brussels sprouts and cheese to potatoes. You want a ratio of about 1 to 2, brussels sprouts to potatoes. Add egg. Mix thoroughly. Add flour. Mix gently. Using floured hands and a clean cutting board that has been floured, roll into long tube. Cut and run fork across. Put in salted boiling water until they rise to top, about one minute only.

Remove from water, drain well.

Put butter into frying pan. Add sage leaves and fry leaves until crisp, not browned. Remove. Add gnocchi, and fry until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Pan fry in sage butter.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sweet Skillet Cornbread

I have tried many cornbread recipes.  I love making cornbread in the cast iron skillet so it gets a little crusty on the outside, but warm and moist on the inside. I know traditional cornbread is not sweet.  But I guess I'm not traditional since I really like a little sweetness to mine.  This was easy to put together and was super tasty!  I like to make cornbread when I'm making a soup or chili that I'm not sure the kids will like.  I know they will devour their cornbread.....which they did with this one.  They too prefer the sweet to the traditional cornbread.  I think this will be my new go-to cornbread recipe.
Sweet Skillet Cornbread
recipe from Food Network Magazine, June 2011

1 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Cook 6 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes; remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs and honey in a bowl, then whisk in the milk, sour cream and browned butter. Add to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat until it foams. Remove from the heat and add the batter. Transfer to the oven; bake until the cornbread springs back when pressed, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in the skillet before slicing.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Prosciutto-Mozza Pizza

It's been awhile since I've posted a pizza recipe.  We've still been eating it just about weekly in our house and I'm always on the look out for new recipes!  I had this recipe ripped out of an old Cooking Light Magazine and finally decided to try it.  I don't know why I didn't try it earlier.  It's only five ingredients, including fresh mozarella and prosciutto......yum?!!!  This was really simple but really tasty!  I will definitely be making this pizza again!
Prosciutto-Mozza Pizza
recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light, June 2012

1 pound refrigerated fresh pizza dough
2/3 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1/2-inch-wide strips

1. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 

2. Roll the dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface, and pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven and place dough on pizza stone. Spread sauce over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top with cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 14 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush outer crust with olive oil. Arrange prosciutto over pizza. Cut into 6 large slices.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Weekend Chef: Chicken with Mushrooms

This was a recipe that I had planned on making during the week.  My husband ended up being home though and ended up cooking dinner.  I love mushrooms.  Unfortunately, my kids don't.  This was a great dish for us because the kids could easily pick out the mushrooms (after they had their required one bite!). The kids love breaded chicken cutlets, which this basically was, kicked up a little notch with some melted cheese and mushrooms.  Simple and tasty for a quick and easy weeknight meal!
Chicken with Mushrooms
recipe from, courtesy of KIMPAT

3 cups sliced mushrooms
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup chicken broth

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.Place half of the mushrooms in a 9x13 inch pan. Dip chicken into beaten eggs, then roll in bread crumbs.

3.In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Brown both sides of chicken in skillet. Place chicken on top of mushrooms, arrange remaining mushrooms on chicken, and top with mozzarella cheese. Add chicken broth to pan.

4.Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Secret Recipe Club: Banana Chocolate Chunk Nutella Muffins

I am so happy to be posting my first recipe from The Secret Recipe Club today.  I had signed up on the wait list ages ago and actually forgot about it, until I got an e-mail inviting me to join.  Each month I will be assigned a different food blog and have to make a recipe from the blog and review it here, on my own blog.  For my first SRC I was assigned Spinach Tiger.  I was hooked from the moment I read the byline:  "Food a woman will love and a man will marry her for...." There were so many recipes that looked good.  These muffins were the first recipe that I made from the blog.  But I have also made the Brussels Sprouts Gnocchi with Sage Butter (see upcoming post!). Some other recipes that I have bookmarked for the future include Raw Beet Salad with Shallot Honey Orange Vinaigrette, Shrimp with Mussels and Scallops in Cream Sauce, and Cast Iron Broccoli Basil Mozzarella Frittata.  I like that Spinach Tiger (her nickname) does not use, "artificial sweetners, food substitutes, aerosol sprays, high fructose corn syrup, or MSG in her cooking." Her photos are beautiful and showcase her recipes in which she takes a modern, healthy approach to old dishes.

Back to these muffins now.  The original recipe called for a cup of spelt flour.  I have never seen (though I haven't really looked very hard for it) spelt flour in the store.  I try to avoid buying ingredients like this, where I may not use it again.  So, I used only all-purpose flour in this recipe.  The only other change that I made to making these muffins was the cook time.  I baked the muffins for only 20 minutes, though the original recipe called for 25-30 minutes.  Just check the doneness with a toothpick. These muffins were super chocolatey and tasty with the dark chocolate bar bits AND the nutella.  Spinach Tiger originally garnished her muffins with hazelnuts but noted that next time she'd try bacon or prosciutto.  Since I had some bacon in the fridge, I decided to garnish a few of the muffins with it (next time I'd make the pieces a lot smaller. As seen in the pic below my pieces were a bit big and didn't stay on top very well).  It was super tasty, with the mixture of saltiness and sweet.  These muffins were a hit in our house and I will definitely make these again!

Banana Chocolate Chunk Nutella Muffins
recipe slightly adapted from Spinach Tiger

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Serves: 12

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas
½ cup sugar
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
¼ cup Nutella or more
2-3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled for garnish (optional)

Mix together, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in one bowl. Set aside.

Smash bananas with a fork. Add in sugar, eggs, yogurt, oil, vanilla.

Add to flour mixture. Add in chopped chocolate.

Scoop into muffin pan. Makes 12 muffins.

Spoon in about ¾ teaspoon of Nutella into each muffin. You can use more, if you desire.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Garnish with chopped bacon if desired.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Baked French Toast Casserole

We first made this dish for our Christmas morning breakfast.  And then we made it again a few weekends ago when my sister and her family were up visiting from Maryland.  Both times it was delicious.  Warning:  it is a Paula Deen recipe and it is NOT low-fat!  It uses half-and-half in the french toast and a LOT of butter in the praline topping.  My husband helped make this and he ended up halving the butter and sugar in the praline topping to try to cut down on some of the butter and sweetness.  This is sweet enough that it does not need maple syrup. This is one of those recipes that you can put together the night before, and then in the morning spread the praline topping on and stick in the oven. This is definitely a keeper for an occasional breakfast treat!

Baked French Toast Casserole
recipe from Food Network, courtesy of Paula Deen, Paula's Home Cooking

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each.  Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

This post is shared at:
Showcase Your Talent Thursday @ What's Cooking Love?
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Foodtastic Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes