Wednesday, February 29, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Chocolate Gravy

Oh yeah!  You read that right - chocolate gravy!  My mom made us chocolate gravy for us kids growing up - my Chris was a bit skeptical about “chocolate gravy? - it doesn’t even sound right.”  But I think he would even admit, now that he has tried it, that chocolate gravy is oh so delicious!
Chocolate Gravy
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups milk
Mix together and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Serve over biscuits.  Applaud for the goodness that this is!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Sausage Gravy

These last two days of February (can it be so?!?) are dedicated to biscuits and gravy.  Ohhh how I love biscuits and gravy!  The biscuits can be anything - Grands flaky buttery biscuits, Jiffy mix biscuits or any biscuit mix you like.  The gravy, now that’s another thing all together.  Today’s gravy is sausage gravy, recipe given to me by my Sissy, and is one of my very favorites!
Sausage Gravy
1 pound regular Jimmy Dean (or whatever brand) sausage, browned and drained
2-3 tablespoons butter
Black pepper
2-3 cups milk*
Put it right back in the same warm pan once you’ve drained it.  Drop in butter and let melt all over the sausage.  Then sprinkle in flour.  Approximately 1/3 cup or until sausage is well coated.
Let cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add milk.  Add a liberal amount of cracked black pepper (to your taste).  
*Like alot of sausage in your gravy? Go shy on the milk.  Sparse sausage?  Go heavy on the milk.  Bring to a slow boil.  Once it boils, take off heat and let sit for a few minutes.  It should now thicken up.
Split biscuit and smother with sausage gravy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - German Pancakes

This is a family tradition Chris grew up with - he remembers his dad making batches (yes plural) of these pancakes for his family.  Chris now makes them for our family - usually on New Years.  We occasionally make them for other occasions as well.  I love them with powdered sugar and syrup on them, but would be more than willing to slather some Nutella on them.
German Pancakes
6 large eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Beat eggs with electric mixer; add flour and milk alternately, small amount at a time.  Add salt and sugar; beat until blended.  Pour enough batter in greased hot cast iron skillet; place in oven.  Bake until puffy, crispy and brown; batter will rise up on sides of skillet, making shell.  Spread butter on shell; sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Spread with jelly or powdered sugar.

Friday, February 24, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Cinnamon French Toast

This recipe came from Panera Bread’s website.  Need I say more?  If you still don’t have a bread machine, store bought cinnamon raisin toast will work but probably not taste as good as yesterday’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread.
Cinnamon Raisin French Toast
8 slices 1/2 inch thick Cinnamon Raisin Bread
4 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the french toast custard, combine using a hand whisk the milk, heavy cream, eggs, honey, vanilla extract and the salt.  This custard can be made well in advance.  Give a brisk stir before making the toast.
Transfer the custard to a casserole or open shallow dish for dipping.
Dip one slice into the custard and turn over after about 15 seconds.  Transfer the slice to a plate while dipping another slice into the custard.
Place a large skillet on a medium fire.  Allow the pan to heat thoroughly before pouring 1 tablespoon of the melted butter into the pan.
Place both slices carefully into the skillet and cook on each side until golden brown or about 2 minutes.
Repeat until all the french toast is cooked.
Recipe from

Thursday, February 23, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Cinnamon Raisin Bread

The name just screams yummy to me! I love Cinnamon Raisin Bread with just a huge helping of butter slathered on top or as Cinnamon Raisin French Toast (recipe from Panera Bread coming tomorrow). Either way it will be gone soon.

Please note: this is a bread machine version recipe. If you don't have a bread machine - go get one! One of the best kitchen tools I have! And to think for years it sat silently in my cupboard all alone. I am so sorry bread machine. You are now sitting gloriously on my kitchen counter being over worked but recognized!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (Bread Machine Version)

1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
3/4 cup raisins

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except raisins in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Add raisins at the Raisin/Nut signal or 5 to 10 minutes before last kneading cycle ends.

Select Sweet or Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color. Remove baked bread form pan and cool on wire rack.

Recipe from

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Holiday Breakfast Casserole

Have I run out of things to say about breakfast food?  Or maybe my mouth is too full of delicious food?  Sissy gave me this recipe that she received from a friend.  Sounds pretty good and, even better yet, super easy!

Holiday Breakfast Casserole
8 eggs, slightly beaten
6 slices bread, cubed
1 pound sausage, bacon or ham, cooked and cubed (can be mixed and matched)
2 cups milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Mix milk, salt, mustard and eggs.  Pour over other ingredients, tossing lightly.  Pour into greased 9x13 pan (8x8 makes it thicker).  Can be refrigerated up to 12 hours or chilled in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Recipe from Sherry Falls / Picture from

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Monkey Bread

This is an oldie but goodie recipe that Sissy shared back in January 2010.  Easy, delicious - what more could you want.  Healthy?  Nah!
Monkey Bread
1 stick butter, melted
2 cans refrigerated pizza dough

Cinnamon and sugar mixed together (amount will vary; about 1 cup sugar and a few teaspoons cinnamon depending on how “cinnamon-y” you like it).
Unroll the dough and break into pieces.  Roll into balls.  Roll in melted butter then in the sugar mix.
Place in pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe and picture from Sissy

Monday, February 20, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups

Probably should have made these for breakfast yesterday morning instead of the strawberry muffins.  I forget that we live at a “high altitude” and so my muffins, while tasty, fell extremely flat and fell all apart.  So.... in other words, I had to come up with something else for today.  Enter Martha Stewart.  Don’t these just look delicious?!  We may just have to try them next Sunday.

Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 slices white or whole wheat bread
6 slices bacon
6 large eggs
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Lightly butter 6 standard muffin cups.  With a rolling pin, flatten bread slices slightly and with a 4-1/4 inch cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds.  Cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to edge of cup.  Use extra bread to patch any gaps.  Brush bread with remaining butter.
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, until almost crisp, 4 minutes, flipping once.  (It will continue to cook in the oven.)  Lay 1 bacon slice in each bread cup and crack an egg over each.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake until egg whites are just set, 20 to 25 minutes.  Run a small knife around cups to loosen toasts.  Serve immediately.

*Thoughts after making this recipe:  The recipe says to leave the bacon slightly undercooked as it will continue to cook in the oven.  I did not find the bacon got crispy so it was a bit chewy which we do not care for in bacon.  Also the bacon was super long and stuck way up in the cups, I cut mine in half to make them not so awkward.

Recipe from

Friday, February 17, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - WW Power Sticks

This is an oldie but goodie recipe which brings back memories for me.  My dad used to call these power sticks “dog logs”.  In spite of the beautiful picture below, in reality they can not be the most attractive when made by a “regular” person.  They are very good and probably good for you.  There are minimal ingredients and don’t take long to whip up.  
Weight Watcher Power Sticks
1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
2/3 cups corn flakes, crushed
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
Knead ingredients together.  Form into 6 sticks and wrap individually in wax paper.  Store in an airtight container. *Can be kept in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

Recipe and picture from

Thursday, February 16, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Breakfast Pizza

While on our travels this summer, we stayed with a very sweet lady in PA who served us a delicious breakfast pizza.  The crust is made of shredded hash brown potatoes.  Did I mention it was delicious?  This recipe is as close to what I could find (recipe is pretty much spot on) and can be topped with a variety of other "omelet-y" things (peppers, onions, ham).

Breakfast Pizza

1/2  32 ounce bag frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
6 eggs
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 - 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Spray pizza pan with cooking spray.  Place one layer of thawed hash brown potatoes in a circle on pizza pan.  Spray top with cooking spray.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until soft.  Turn oven to broil and broil for 3 to 5 minutes.  
In medium bowl, beat eggs and season to taste with salt and pepper.  In a skillet, melt butter over medium to high heat.  Pour eggs into hot skillet, moving eggs in pan until cooked.  Immediately place eggs evenly over top of prepared hash brown pizza crust.  Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and bacon.  Place pizza back into 400 degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Recipe and picture from

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Victoria Baked Caramel French Toast

Sissy and Ben had this while at a Bed & Breakfast in TN.  Mom also gave me this recipe in my you’re-going-to-the-chapel-and-you’re-gonna-get-married recipe book.  It is a delicious recipe, but a little on the sweet side.  
Victoria Baked Caramel French Toast
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6  1 inch thick slices bread (homemade or thicker bread is best)
5 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.  Stirring constantly cook over moderate heat just until the butter melts.  Pour the brown sugar mix into an ungreased 9x13 baking dish.
Arrange bread slices in a single layer overtop the brown sugar mix; set aside.
To prepare the batter, beat the eggs, milk and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl until combined.  Pour the batter over the bread in the pan, saturating all the slices.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Can also be prepared the day before.  (I like to do mine Saturday night so it is all ready to cook Sunday morning before church)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Uncover the baking dish and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the center appears set and the top is lightly brown.  Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.  Top with fresh fruit and powdered sugar.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Heart Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Valentines Day!

Heart Cinnamon Rolls

Roll refrigerated cinnamon rolls into a "heart" shape.  Follow directions on label - bake, frost and enjoy! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Pancake Bacon Strips

“Just about the best breakfast that ever greeted a hungry family!  And it’s as easy as this:  shake up Aunt Jemima batter according to package directions.  Place cooked bacon strips on the griddle and pour batter over each strip.  Bake ‘em golden brown on both sides.  Couldn’t be easier - couldn’t taste better!  How about Aunt Jemima Bacon Strip Pancakes at your house tomorrow!”
-1962 magazine ad for Aunt Jemima pancake mix

Pancake Bacon Strips
12 slices bacon
2 cups prepared pancake batter
Softened butter
Maple syrup
Prepare the pancake batter with slightly less water or milk than instructed.  A thicker batter will help prevent the pancakes from flowing into each other.
Set your griddle to medium-high.
Fry the bacon until crispy.  Remove the bacon from the griddle and lay slices on stacked paper towels to remove excess grease.
Carefully, wipe down the griddle with wadded paper towels, leaving only a very thin layer of grease to cook the pancakes.
Return the cooked bacon to the griddle with at least two inches of space on both sides of the slices.
Slowly pour batter over each bacon slice.  After one minute, check the bottom of the pancakes.  Once browned, flip the pancakes and cook the other side to golden brown.
Serve immediately with softened butter and warm maple syrup.

*The recipe says to make the pancake batter a bit thicker than normal.  I found that if you do that, then you get ginormous pancakes (see picture below).  Next time, I think we will make the dough a little bit thinner and just keep it corralled together to make a nice and neat "regular size" pancake.
Recipe from

Friday, February 10, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Avocado Egg

This recipe is another one of those Pinterst interests.  It looked so very intriguing and delicious all at the same time.  So we decided to give it a go the other morning.  While it was very good, different but very good, it sure doesn't fill up your belly until lunch time.  It would be awesome as part of a brunch menu though.

Avocado Egg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with cast iron pan inside.

Slice avocado in half, de-pit.

Remove pan from oven, add the avocado, crack the egg into the middle (you may have to scoop out a bit more of the avocado so that the egg doesn't run over).

Top with salt and pepper.

Bake until white sets (about 20 minutes).

Recipe from

Thursday, February 9, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Stars

Merry Christmas! What?!? On Christmas morning growing up, we had Stars. Now our family has the tradition of eating Stars each Christmas morning. Chris said he wonders how he made it all those Christmas mornings without eating Stars. The recipe looks a bit intimidating but let me well assure you that they are totally worth it. Plus they need to be in the refrigerator overnight so you can make them ahead of time. So worth the time!

Lemon Cheese Stars

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons water
2-3/4 to 3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 egg
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg, separated
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind, optional
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Prepare dough: heat milk, butter, and water in saucepan until very hot; butter can be partially melted.
Mix 1 cup flour, sugar and yeast in large bowl. Add warm milk. Beat 2 minutes by hand. Add egg and 1/2 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes. Stir in enough flour to make dough. Knead on lightly floured surface 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add flour to prevent sticking. Press dough into large buttered bowl; turn to coat. Cover. Let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare filling. Beat cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, lemon rind, and lemon juice in bowl until creamy and smooth. (Reserve egg white) Cover and refrigerate filling.
Punch dough down without kneading. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 12x12 inch square. Cut into 16 3-inch squares.
Make a 1 inch cut diagonally to center from all four corners on each square. Divide filling evenly onto center of each square, using about a tablespoon for each square. Bring every other corner to center over filling; pinch together to form a 4 pointed star.
Place 1 inch apart on well greased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove stars from refrigerator. Let rise 10 minutes. Brush with beaten egg white. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to racks to cool. Drizzle with basic glaze.
Basic Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon butter, softened
2-4 teaspoons hot water, milk or lemon juice
Stir together confectioners’ sugar, butter and liquid in small bowl until mixture is smooth and of good glazing consistency.

*I forgot to put the glaze on before taking the picture so picture it with a sugary white glaze all over the top.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Egg Muffins

This recipe was discovered on Pinterest and adapted to fit what I had on hand, which in this case was not much. They are great to freeze and easy to pull out, defrost and reheat for a breakfast that will look like you slaved over.

I used sausage with peppers and onions (instead of broccoli) and in some I left out the vegetables for just plain 'ole sausage and cheddar cheese egg muffins. There are actually a lot of varieties that you could use - put that imagination into gear.

Egg Muffins

1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup broccoli florets
8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large saute pan, over medium high heat, brown Italian sausage for about 5 minutes, or until sausage is no longer pink. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli.

Whisk together eggs, milk, oil and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly spray a 12 cupcake pan with oil (mine made more). Spoon out the sausage and broccoli mixture evenly into each cupcake.

Ladle the egg mixture over sausage and broccoli.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe from

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

While in CA over Christmas time, Sissy and family had some Cinnamon Roll Pancakes at The Trails. When she came home, she decided to make them. After they gobbled them up, this is what she had to say: "The icing is way too sweet. I'm thinking if you add more cream cheese it might help?" When I went on to snag the recipe to put on here, there were also links to Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes and Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. Umm... just the sound of them makes me hungry.

Sissy had also mentioned that her cinnamon filling was a little too runny. The Recipe Girl recently wrote a detailed post on how to get the cinnamon filling just right on her Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Pancake post.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, oil and egg, just until batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).

In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside. You don't want this to remain super liquidy. It's best if it becomes a consistency similar to toothpaste.

In a medium, microwave safe bowl, heat butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract; set aside.

Heat large skillet over medium low heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Scoop about 3/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your baggies of filling and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, spoon warmed glaze onto the top of each pancake.

Recipe from / Picture courtesy of Ben

Monday, February 6, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Quick Chiquita Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

This would definitely make a better summer breakfast than winter breakfast. Brrr!!

Quick Chiquita Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

2 whole bananas
1/3 cup yogurt (preferably Greek yogurt flavored with honey)*
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal**
1/3 cup almonds
2 cups ice

*If using plain or vanilla yogurt, add 1-2 tablespoons honey.
**Make sure you measure your oatmeal after you cook it. If you measure 1/2 cup before cooking, it will be a whole lot of cooked oatmeal and will make your smoothie kinda gunky.

Pour all ingredients in blender pouring ice in last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until smoothie thickens.

Recipe from Chiquita Bananas

Friday, February 3, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Granola

We made this granola and approximately 5 days later it was gone. Gone. We ate it as cereal. We ate it on top of yogurt. In a salad. We ate handfuls of it out of the jar. The glorious thing about granola is this: you can put in it whatever you want or whatever you have on hand. You can put a theme to it (i.e.: tropical fruit, nuts only) or make it an everything granola. This is the basic recipe we used but feel free to change up whatever your heart desires.


6 cups old fashioned oats
1-1/2 cups sunflower seeds
1-1/2 cups slivered almonds
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
2 bags (7 ounces each) dried mixed fruit, chopped
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1/2 cup toasted mixed nuts, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or molasses)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together and spread evenly onto sprayed (or covered with foil*) cooking sheets. *If you cover your cooking sheets with foil, be mindful that you don't burn the granola. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring and rotating trays every 5 minutes. Let sit until cool (30 minutes to 1 hour). Break into pieces. Watch it be devoured up quickly.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

'Tis the Season for Breakfast - Perfect Pancakes

What is like a waffle but not a waffle? A pancake! I must admit before finding this recipe, I simply made pancakes from pancake mix. Then my CO friend, Lauren Williams (not to be confused with my NJ friend, Lauren Williams), posted a recipe for pancakes on her blog ( and I was hooked! Although I must admit I add 3/4 cup more flour to the recipe because I like thick pancakes. There is so much you can do to pancakes - add chocolate chips, walnuts, bananas, blueberries . . . you name it and you can probably do it with pancakes. In the picture below, the top and bottom pancakes are plain with a chocolate one in between. Um... yum!

Perfect Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour*
1 cup all purpose flour*
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Butter for greasing the griddle

*You can add more flour depending on how thick you like your pancakes.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl (or on a piece of waxed paper - it saves dished and you can pull up the sides to "funnel" into the wet ingredients later). In another bowl, combine milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir with a wire whisk just enough to combine thoroughly. Heat a griddle over medium high heat. When hot, quickly run a stick of butter over the surface to grease the griddle (just enough butter to coat the surface). Pour approximately 1/4 cup full of batter onto griddle. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes or until edges become dry and bubbles are formed on top of pancake. Flip and allow to brown on the other side. Serve hot with warm maple syrup.

Recipe from