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Baked French Toast with Cinnamon-Maple Applesauce

My friend Marcel got a promotion at work so I invited him over for brunch on the holiday Monday. He’s a little more health conscious then me, but still loves anything sweet and cinnamon-y. I searched through a ridiculous number of cool, books and decided about creating a hybrid recipe using ¬†the ingredients from this Cooking Light recipe but baking the toast in the oven instead. Bad news – I forgot to spray the cookie sheet. Good news – it was still darn good! The real star was the apple sauce. Although it’s springtime, the apple and cinnamon combined with the real maple syrup screamed autumn. I am going to make this a go to recipe come September/October, but its great any time of the year.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350F degrees and bake for about 7-8 minutes until the egg mixture has set.

I forgot to take a pic of course, so please enjoy this photo from Cooking Light – probably my favourite cooking publication ūüôā

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Maple French Toast

Ingredients

3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
12 (1-ounce) slices day-old white bread (such as Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Cinnamon-Maple Applesauce (recipe below)

Preparation

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Working with 4 bread slices at a time, place bread slices into milk mixture, quickly turning to coat both sides. Remove bread slices from milk mixture. Add bread slices to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove toast from pan. Repeat procedure with cooking spray, remaining 8 bread slices, and remaining milk mixture. Sprinkle powdered sugar evenly over toast.

Cinnamon-Maple Applesauce

I used prepared applesauce instead of making it from apples, about 2 cups, and simmered for 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
8 cups chopped peeled apple (about 8 medium apples)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preparation

1. Combine syrup and 1/2 cup water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg; cover and cook over medium-low heat 25 minutes or until tender. Mash apples with a potato masher. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Serve warm or chilled.

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Trisha Yearwood’s Speedy Baked Beans

I’ve been meaning to make baked beans for months now and have dried beans hiding out in my pantry, but I’m intimidated by the whole soaking thing. Last week I bit the bullet and decided to do a trial run of sorts using canned beans. A quick google search resulted in this little gem from Trisha Yearwood. I’ve only ever eaten the bottled version of baked beans so I have nothing to compare it to, but I must say I really like these. The sauce is like candy and bacon mixed together so how can you go wrong? And the best part – it was ready in about an hour.

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Trisha Yearwood’s Baked Beans

1 lbs bacon
1 large vidalia onion; chopped
4 cans (15 oz) pork and beans
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup light brown sugar; (packed)
2 TBL prepared yellow mustard

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.

3. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the drippings, and drain it on paper towels.

4. Crumble and set aside, if you didn’t already chop it.

5. Pour out and discard all but 4 tbsp. of the bacon dripping.

6. Add the onion to the pan and saute until softened, about 7 minutes.

7. Stir in the beans, molasses, sugar, mustard and bacon. Mix well.

8. Pour the beans into a 3-quart casserole dish and bake, uncovered for 45 minutes.

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti

I made this dish last year and apparently I forgot to blog about it. I wrote a review on Pinterest and saved it in my kid-friendly meals folder, then¬†didn’t give it another thought. What a shame. It remember it was quite good and even Miss M. liked it. I didn’t have any “french fried onions” so I just left that out but it was still really yummy. The cream cheese really elevates this dish. I wouldn’t call this a diet recipe that’s for sure, but it would be a nice¬†treat once in a while. You could probably get away with using light cream cheese but I’m not a big fan of the stuff. Go big or go home! ūüėÄ

Photo from “Life.Family.Love” blog

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti

1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. spaghetti, cooked to al dente, drained and set aside
1 (26.5 oz) jar spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu Garden Veggie)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened
2 TBS. milk
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 small can French Fried Onions

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, brown ground beef with salt and pepper (to taste), onion and peppers. Add spaghetti sauce and warm through. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and milk. Add mushrooms. Spray an 8″ x 12″ baking dish with cooking spray and assemble dish beginning with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce, followed by cooked spaghetti noodles. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of noodles.Top with remaining spaghetti sauce and Parmesan cheese (to taste). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Add French Fried onions and bake 5 more minutes.

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

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Photo: http://www.rockrecipes.com. Recipe link below.

I think I pinned this recipe when I first discovered Pinterest about 4 years ago and I’m kicking myself now for not making it sooner! Holy smokes this was delicious! It sounds rather unassuming – so simple with no fancy ingredients but it all comes together to create this mouthwatering creation. I’m still thinking about this morning, and wondering how long I should wait before making it again. I cut down on the thyme and the sage, but other than that I made it as is, although¬†I split the recipe so that it made only 2 servings. It was just me and my friend Steve. Miss M. was having none of it, even though I made some for her without the sauce and it looked and tasted exactly like a chicken finger. That’s ok. More for me! Mwahahahaa! *All star recipe*

 

As requested by creator of this lovely recipe, Mr. Barry C Parsons, I haven’t included the recipe but you can find it on his blog. Thank-you Mr. Parsons for sharing. It truly is delicious: http://www.rockrecipes.com/double-crunch-honey-garlic-chicken-breasts/

 

 

Baked Garlic Home Fries / Hash Browns

Saturday¬†I invited¬†Mr. M. over for brunch and served breakfast sandwiches, sausages, and home fries. Truthfully, I was inspired by the new Tim Horton’s cheddar biscuits. After watching those darn commercials I couldn’t stop thinking about biscuits! Instead of going to Timmy’s I made Ina Garten’s Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits. The¬†home fries¬†recipe is adapted from the garlic fries recipe in “The New Way to Cook Light”, which I reviewed in the last post. I simply cut the potatoes into small cubes before baking. The result was nothing short of miraculous! Although they are baked, you finish them by tossing them in melted garlic butter and topping with parmesan cheese. Absolutely delish! Probably one of the best potato recipes EVER. Just looking at this picture again is giving me a craving.

I think I need to create a special folder for all the recipes that have totally blown my mind. Hmmmm….what should I call it?

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Garlic Fries

1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into ¬ľ-inch-thick strips
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons butter
8 garlic cloves, minced (about 5 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450¬į.

2. Combine potatoes and oil in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal bag, and toss well to coat.

3. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt. Bake at 450¬į for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning after 20 minutes.

4. Heat a large –¬†skillet over low heat. Add butter and garlic to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add potatoes and parsley to butter mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/garlic-fries

Pizza Pasta

It can be a real challenge cooking for a toddler. Miss M was going through a chicken finger phase for the last little while and I had to get her out of it somehow. She hasn’t been eating pizza lately either, which was strange, but she does seem to like pasta. I stumbled upon this recipe while visiting Chef Michael Smith’s website www.chefmichaelsmith.com and it sounded so delicious I HAD to give it a try. I was hesitant to buy 4 pints of cherry tomatoes so I waited for canned tomatoes to be on sale at my grocery store. And I’m not a fan of pepperoni so I jumped at the chance when mild Italian turkey sausage was also on sale. I removed the casings and browned them in a large saut√© pan then added a large can of plum tomatoes and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or so while I roasted the onions, garlic, and 1 pint of fresh grape tomatoes. Once the veggies were ready I combined everything as directed in the recipe and broiled until the cheese was melted. Mmmm! It’s one of those dishes that gets better the more you eat it. Dangerous! And the best part – Miss M loved it!

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Pizza Pasta

ingredients:

1/2 box penne pasta (about 2 cups)
1 pound spicy pepperoni, chopped in 1 inch pieces (I used one pack of mild Italian sausage)
4 pints (or so) Cherry Tomatoes
2 large onions cut in 8
1 head garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons or so dried oregano
4 ounces cream cheese (half a block)
1-2 sprinkles salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
3 cups or so mozzarella cheese, shredded

instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400¬įF (200¬įC).Toss pepperoni, tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and olive oil in a large bowl. Turn into a 9- X 13-inch (3.5L) ovenproof casserole or baking dish. After 30 minutes or so stir the works once or twice then keep an eye on things. Bake until the tomatoes soften and the pepperoni and onion lightly brown, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set to broil.Meanwhile cook your pasta in lots of boiling salted water. Drain it well but do not rinse or you‚Äôll drain away the surface starch that helps the sauce cling to it. When the roast tomato sauce has finished cooking toss it with the pasta and stir in the cream cheese. Top with the mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes or so. Your hearty pizza pasta is ready! Call in the gang, serve and share.

Mini Frittatas and Baked Eggs

It works! This is wonderful. I can make a big batch of eggs or these mini frittatas to grab throughout the week. No more excuses to buy giant, calorie laden chocolate chip muffins at work! ūüėČ I found a couple of recipes online and adapted it for 3 frittatas and 2 baked eggs. For the frittatas I used 3 eggs and 2 Tbsp of milk, then added about 1/2 cooked bacon slice and some grated cheddar cheese, plus a sprinkle of frozen peas. I popped it all in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. I don’t like runny egg yolks so they are hard cooked at this point and I’ll be using them to make breakfast sandwiches tomorrow! The frittatas are light and fluffy! I think I’ll have to make this park of my weekly Sunday routine.

Note: I used a jumbo muffin tin.

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The two on top are plain eggs, lightly beaten.

Mini Frittatas

6 eggs

3-4 Tbsp milk

Add-ins such as bacon, ham, peppers, cheese, etc.

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour into muffin tins. Add breakfast goodies such as bacon, ham, cheese, etc. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tin. Enjoy!

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