This sinfully rich Croissant Breakfast Casserole is a family favorite. A wonderful brunch star especially perfect for Christmas morning as it is assembled the night before. Years ago I changed my middle name to Easy and haven’t regreted my decision. I love to cook and especially arround the holidays I look for deliciously easy recipes since I can’t stop cooking for family and friends!
8 plain croissants
2 tablespoon butter, cabot creamory
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onion
2 cups chopped asparagus
2 cups half and half
2 teaspoon french thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cup shredded Swiss cheese, Kraft cheese
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, Kraft chesse
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Split croissants in half and place bottoms cut side up in one layer in a rectangular casserole.
Melt butter in a frypan. Saute mushrooms, green onion, and asparagus until tender and liquids have evaporated. Set aside.
Beat together eggs and half and half. Pour half over croissants, layer mushroom mixture and cheeses on top, then pour over the remaining liquid. Position croissant tops over the bottoms cut side down.
For summertime entertaining, barbecues, pool parties, picnics with family and friends I prepare easy to make ahead meals so I can relax with my guest. We hostess just want to have fun too!
Baked beans are great for celebrating July 4th, an all American side dish. Why buy already prepared baked beans from a can when you can easily make homemade. I like to use a variety of different beans, black, kidney, pinto, navy beans, you choose your favorite. I lean to more vegetarian and vegan food so I make these beans vegan and flavored with bourbon.
You can put the baked beans together a day ahead, refrigerate and bake the day you want to serve.
BOURBON BAKED BEANS
6 15- to 16-ounce cans assorted beans, black, red kidney, pinto, northern beans, drained
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion. chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups purchased barbecue sauce
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoon cup dark molasses
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place beans in a large bowl. Cook onions in oil until translucent about five minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic cooking for an additional five minutes. Cool then add to beans. In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients except for parsley. Pour over beans and stir until combined. Transfer to a 113 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Bake uncovered until liquid bubbles and thickens slightly about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes.
Baking is my passion, and showstopping cakes my specialty. I have never found a more perfectly moist, rich chocolate cake like this old recipe from McCalls. When I want to make a chocolate cake, this is my favorite recipe. I use it for cupcakes, sheet cakes, and layer cakes. If you are looking for an easy cake recipe, this is the one.
For birthday celebrations my mother made her chocolate cake with rich fudge frosting and a chocolate filling. I believe she found this recipe in McCalls Cooking School publications, a series of cooking magazines with detailed instructions. When I married she shared with me her prize recipe and I’ve made this moist flavorful cake for birthday’s ever since.
When the leaves start to change to a kaleidoscope of brilliant hues, and gracefully float to the cool earth I begin cooking and freezing fabulous dinners or starters for dinners. I begin with a large batch of tomato sauce and freeze in small containers. So many meals can be made with tomato sauce or I just use the sauce alone over pasta.
Growing up in an Italian-American family my relatives had strong opinions on making tomato sauce and many different methods. My Aunts would spend hours debating and comparing different sauce styles. I prefer the slow-roasting recipe that was used by my grandmother and mother. Roasting Marina Sauce creates a flavorful that is not acidic or bitter.
I love San Manzano tomatoes, and I use certified tomatoes. San Manzano tomatoes, named after a region in Italy, are less acidic because of the soil in that region. There are many brands and I prefer Cento certified San Manzano tomatoes. Just a suggestion, you can use any brand that works for you.
The recipe calls for the whole garlic bulb and roasting releases the garlic flavor without being bitter. Don’t shy away from the large quantity of garlic.
I use this sauce over pasta and with any recipe that calls for Marina Sauce. And an added benefit is that the sauce freezes beautifully for future use.
Classic Roasted Marinara Sauce
¼ cup olive oil
1 head of garlic, cloves chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup dry white wine
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, Cento certified San Manzano
¼ cup torn basil leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a large heavy ovenproof pot over medium. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden, about 4 minutes.
Add onion, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often until onion is translucent about 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until slightly darkened, about 2 minutes.
Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until almost completely evaporated about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, breaking up with your hands, and their juices; add basil and oregano and stir to combine. Swirl 1½ cups water into one tomato can, then the other, to rinse, and add to the pot. We don’t want to waist any delicious tomato juice: Season with salt.
Transfer pot to oven; roast sauce, stirring halfway through, until thick and tomatoes are browned on top and around edges of the pot, 2–2½ hours. Let the sauce cool slightly. Pass through the large holes of a food mill or process in a food processor until mostly smooth. I like my sauce a little chunky. Taste and season with salt.
In New England, we love to celebrate the fall season. Fantastic morning with warm sunny days, jewel-tone leaves, farm roadside stands bursting with the last of summer’s bounty all signal the change in the seasons. Nature’s premier show is on display for all to enjoy. Fall baking is one of my favorite pastimes, and I especially love to make apple desserts. Going through all my posts, I realized I’m kind of obsessed with apples, cakes, pies, cupcakes, and more. When I’m creating a new cake or pie, the fall inspires me to give nature my all and go wild! Here are a few of the fall favorites that I have posted over the years.
I was in the mood for egg salad one day but not an ordinary egg salad so I just started mixing some of my favorite ingredients. If I do say so this turned out delicious. I will caution that this egg salad is very rich so just eat a smaller portion with a wonderful salad of fresh vegetables. My philosophy has always been that you can eat well-staying thin and fit if you use portion control of rich foods. I like to balance my meals with more greens and fresh vegetables less high caloric foods. If I make and eat a rich dish I watch my portion. Also, exercise is essential for staying fit and healthy. Find a physical activity that you enjoy to incorporate into the fabric of your day then you will always have time for exercise! Back to food I do believe that presentation is so important even if you are eating alone, make it look good! I made a colorful salad placing a small amount of egg salad in the center, drizzled some balsamic vinegar for a beautiful and wonderfully tasting dish. Did I mention so easy too!
Goat Cheese Egg Salad with Red Beets
4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise with olive oil
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon scallions, minced, just the white part
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup red beets, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a medium bowl, mix eggs and mayonnaise. Add goat cheese and mix until combined. Add remaining ingredients. Makes 4 small servings Serve on lettuce with your favorite raw veggies and beets.
Luscious end of the season ripe fruit makes the most delectable pies. Who can resist a delicious piece of pie with vanilla ice cream simple but oh so good! I especially love the combination of nectarine and blueberries. I made my own pie crust and the recipe follows. But for a quick and easy pie, you can buy the refrigerated pie crust. I like the Pillsbury brand. Don’t be intimidated by a homemade pie crust, as I’ve always said, the more you practice the better you become. If time is an issue you can make the pie crust the day before and refrigerate overnight, then just roll out the dough the next day, add the filling, bake and in no time you have a wonderful homemade pie.
A wonderful light white cake that is filled with whipped cream and strawberries! Need I say more. This cake is my sister’s favorite and when I lived near her I made this cake for her birthday. I don’t know why I haven’t made this cake for such a long time but this year I brought it back for my twins birthday. Everyone just loved my version of strawberry short cake!
6 eggs, separated
1 13/4 cup shifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 pints strawberries, washed and hulled
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup currant jelly, melted
In a large electric mixer bowl let egg whites warm at room temperature for 1 hour. Sift four with salt. With mixer at high speed beat…
Blueberries my favorite fruit! If I can stop eating all the fresh blueberries long enough I love to make blueberry pies. There are so many wonderful blueberry pie recipes that I love but this one is perfect for the 4th of July! Perfect for a backyard barbecue or to take along to a family reunion, just so wonderfully delicious! If you are short for time or just don’t want to make your own crust, use store-bought refrigerated pie crust which you can find in the dairy section of your grocery store. I have used Pillsbury when I am short on time which is very good.
Our family loves to celebrate July 4th! We gather on the idealic Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate our country’s birthday. A barbecue is a must as we make a traditional New England summer dinner, lobstahs, clams, corn on the cobb, potatoes, grilled vegetables and baked beans.
The clams are from our claiming expedition on Lake Tashmoo. Fresh caught and we cooked them on the grill in white wine, garlic and sea salt.
This years my helper with the baked beans was my granddaughter, Maddi. We make easy vegetarian beans by using canned beans to cut down the preparation time.
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
1/2 medium red pepper, cut into small dice
3 large cans (28 ounces each) vegetarian baked beans
3/4 c. barbecue sauce. I used 1/2 cup Stubbs Orignal BQ sauce and 1/4 cup Stubbs Spicy BQ sauce
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. distilled or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add onions and peppers and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add beans and remaining ingredients bring to a simmer.
Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.