“Peachy Pie” Smoothie

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Who doesn’t enjoy a refreshing, fruity smoothie? They make a great quick breakfast or treat for any time of day! With summer underway fresh peaches will be at their peak in July and August so why not grab a bushel and make yourself some yummy smoothies to start off your day?

I like to double or triple this recipe when I make it so that I have leftovers. You can freeze the remaining smoothie mixture in a resealable bag and the next time you are in the mood for a smoothie, you’ll just need to add some of the frozen smoothie mix to your blender along with a little extra milk and blend. Easy peasy! I also like to use the leftover smoothie mixture to make Smoothie “Monster” Pops for my kids. It’s a healthier alternative to store-bought frozen pops and they love the creamy texture. I love that I can sneak in all kinds of healthy fruits without them even knowing.

This recipe is really nice because you can play around with the fruit combinations and spices to achieve whatever flavor profile you’re looking for. Another favorite smoothie concoction that I love is pineapple with a little shredded coconut and a splash of coconut extract. It tastes like a delicious virgin Piña Colada! Lemon Strawberry and Banana Berry are other really nice combinations to try. Creating your own smoothie flavor is easy, just keep the base ingredients of yogurt and milk the same and then throw in whatever fruit and spices you desire. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen peaches, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup lowfat milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla flavored lowfat yogurt

Instructions

Pour the milk into the blender along with the yogurt, vanilla extract and spices. Add the frozen peaches last. Blend until smooth. Serve cold.

**Tip – I use a little bit of Truvia® (stevia) to sweeten my smoothies. You can use granulated sugar, agave, honey or not use anything at all.**

Homemade Yogurt Smoothie

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My kids love yogurt smoothies but I hate all of the sugar and additives in the store-bought ones so I decided to make my own version at home. All you need is some milk, yogurt, sweetener (optional) and fresh fruit of your choosing. I used a little bit of honey to sweeten the smoothies but you can use maple syrup, granulated sugar, Truvia® or just leave it out all together. Another nice way to add additional flavor is through the use of extracts. Some good ones to try are vanilla, coconut, almond or even chocolate! Try combining different fruits as well for even more yummy flavor.

Some are my favorite smoothie concoctions are fresh pineapple with a little shredded coconut, apples with warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg and fresh strawberries with a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Turn these smoothies into a frosty treat by adding crushed ice and blending OR by freezing them into popsicles!

Store the smoothies in a clean, airtight bottle. I like to use large, clear glass bottles which are readily available at craft stores. Mason jars also make great vessels for storage as well as super cute drinking glasses. The yogurt smoothies will keep for about 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Shake well before serving.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla flavored yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped fruit
  • 2 tbs sweetener such as maple syrup or honey (optional)

Instructions

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium-low until well combined and smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. Shake well before serving.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

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A delicious, warm bowl of oatmeal is a great and hearty way to start your day but the ingredients that are in those instant packets aren’t always the best. Instead of grabbing a commercially prepared packet of oatmeal, grab a jar of your own homemade version! It’s super easy to prep and you can control the amount of sugar you use as well as choose your favorite add-ins. If you’re concerned about your sugar intake you can use less sugar or even replace it altogether with stevia, the Truvia® brand is my favorite.

For the batch pictured above, I used brown sugar, cinnamon and reduced sugar Craisins® however, you can change up the spices and use any other add-in you would like. Try out dried fruits, chocolate chips, or even chopped nuts. You can store your individual serving size oatmeal in cute Mason jars or small resealable bags. Make a few batches at a time, it only takes minutes to pull together and you’ll have a delicious breakfast ready to go each morning. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking or 1-minute oats
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs packed brown sugar
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 tbs mix-ins, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.

Instructions

To prepare – Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in a small resealable bag or Mason jar. Makes 1 serving.

To cook – Empty the oatmeal into a small bowl or cook right in the Mason jar. Add 2/3 cup boiling water and stir. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover, stir again and serve hot.

Veggie and Cheese Frittata

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Frittatas are super simple, can be made with almost anything you have in your fridge and are the perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When I’m feeling lazy and need something to eat in a pinch, frittatas are one of my “go-to” meals. Despite a little bit of cheese, they are also pretty healthy as well since you can load them up with a ton of delicious fresh veggies and herbs.

There really isn’t a specific recipe you need to follow in order to make a delicious frittata. It’s really a matter of grabbing some eggs, cheese, meat, and veggies OR any combination of those and get cooking. I generally like to make a twelve egg frittata because I love the leftovers! Don’t have a crowd to feed? Use fewer eggs. As for the mix-ins, include as many (or as little) of all the things you love to eat as you want. I’m partial to onions, cheese, spinach, peppers, and potatoes but feel free to change up my “recipe” and be as creative as you wish. Some other great additions are breakfast sausage, bacon, various cheeses, fresh herbs, and literally any veggie you can think of. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Pat or two of butter, for pan
  • 12 large eggs
  • 12 tsp heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 cups of assorted veggies/meats/herbs
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Crack all of the eggs into a large bowl, add in the cream/half-and-half and salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined.

Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and allow to melt. Add the vegetables to the pan and cook until slightly softened.

Lower the heat to medium-low and turn on the oven broiler. Pour the eggs into the pan and using a rubber spatula, continue to move the eggs around until they begin to cook. Gently lift the eggs/frittata with the spatula while tilting the pan to allow the uncooked egg to run underneath the and set. When the frittata looks set around the edges and mostly cooked, sprinkle with the shredded cheese, remove the pan from the stovetop and place under the broiler. Cook until the eggs slightly puff and are set in the middle.

Slice into wedges and serve.

*If using potatoes, be sure to cook them first or they will remain hard once the frittata is done cooking. To quickly cook a potato, use a fork to poke a few holes all over a cleaned, unpeeled potato. Place in the microwave and cook on high for about 5 minutes. Flip the potato and cook for another 3-5 minutes, depending on size. Allow to cool, peel (if desired), and cut into chunks. Add to the pan once the other vegetables are done softening. 

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French Toast Casserole

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I have been making this French Toast Casserole for years, especially around the holidays. Since it can be made the night before it makes serving up a hot, homemade breakfast a cinch! It’s super easy to pull together and it’s always a big hit with everyone! I’m sure it will become a breakfast staple in your home as it is in mine.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, it’s from the Lovin’ in the Oven blog and the original recipe can be found right here . It’s perfect “as is” but don’t be afraid to make small ingredient changes in order to create a whole different flavor profile. You can substitute the vanilla extract with other flavors such as amaretto or almond extract which is really delicious. My favorite thing to do around Christmas is to substitute the milk with eggnog and sprinkle the top with a little nutmeg. It’s the perfect Christmas morning breakfast with all of the flavors of the holiday. You could even add in some chopped dried fruit or mini chocolate chips to the bread mixture for an even sweeter treat. You really cannot mess up this recipe so go ahead and experiment to find a flavor combination that you and your family will love.

I like my French Toast Casserole a little more on the drier side so I use a little extra Challah bread (about 1 1/2 loaves) and I bake it for a full hour. If you prefer a moister, more soggy french toast then use one loaf of bread and decrease the baking time to about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the french toast

  • 1 to 1 1/2 loaves of stale Challah bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs pure vanilla extract or paste

For the topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions

Grease a 9X13 pan. Tear the bread into chunks and place them in the greased pan. Set aside.

Combine the eggs, cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread, cover and refrigerate overnight.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter and mix until the ingredients come together forming small “pebbles”. Store in the fridge until morning.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Sprinkle the crumb topping all over the top of the french toast. Bake for 45-50 minutes. If you prefer a firmer, less soggy french toast then bake for an hour.

 

Serve warm with syrup.

**Tip – A quicker and easier way to make the crumb topping is to melt the butter and then add it to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined (it will be “liquidy”) and then pour into a Ziploc® bag and store in the fridge. By the morning the mixture will have hardened, gently squeeze the bag to break up the butter mixture into chunks and then top the french toast as directed.**

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Crescent Ring

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I’ve been making this breakfast crescent ring for a few years now, it’s a recipe that’s been floating around Pinterest and the internet for some time. I’m not sure which recipe I actually followed the first time but below is my interpretation of this delicious meal. Not only does it make great breakfast but it’s also a perfect quick dinner too! On days when I am feeling lazy or just need something in a pinch I will make this and serve it alongside a nice fruit salad.

I like to use bacon and cheddar however, you can use whatever breakfast meat and cheese that you prefer. It would be equally delicious with crumbled breakfast sausage or even diced ham! When I make this dish I find it quicker and easier to dice up the bacon BEFORE cooking. Using kitchen shears I cut the bacon into large pieces and then I fry it in my cast iron skillet. Once the bacon is cooked but still slightly chewy, I remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a paper towel lined dish. Then I drain all but 2-3 tbs of the bacon fat and scramble my eggs in the same pan. Cooking the eggs in the bacon fat makes it so much yummier however, if you’d like to keep it a little healthier just wipe out the skillet before adding the eggs to cook.

Just note, this will usually take a little more time to bake than if you were just baking the crescent rolls by themselves. On average, I bake mine around 18-20 minute in a cast iron skillet at 350ºF. Just keep an eye on it after around 12 minutes, it’s ready once the crescent ring looks nice and golden brown. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 can of Pillsbury® Crescent Rolls (regular or reduced fat)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 8 tsp half and half OR milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese (set aside 1/4 cup for the top)
  • 8-10 slices of bacon
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Poppy seeds, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF if using a dark colored pan. If using a lighter colored pan, preheat to 375ºF.

Using kitchen shears, cut up the raw bacon into big pieces. Fry over medium heat until cooked through but still slightly chewy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined dish. Set aside.

Drain all but 2-3 tbs of the bacon fat and reduce the heat to medium low. In a bowl, scramble the eggs with the half-and-half, salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the warm skillet and cook until fluffy. Remove from pan and set aside on a dish.

On a baking sheet or in a large skillet, assemble the crescent dough in a circular “star” pattern. The wider base of the crescent rolls should all touch at the center and the narrow points should be at the top. Spread the eggs in the center and halfway up each of the crescent rolls. Sprinkle the diced bacon all over followed by the cheese. Fold over the point of each crescent roll towards the center. Sprinkle the top with the 1/4 cup of reserved cheese and poppy seeds.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until the crescent rolls look golden brown. Let the crescent ring rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve.

Bacon and Cheddar Quiche

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I love quiche. It’s a super simple, filling meal that is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Change up the flavor easily by substituting the veggies, cheese, and even meat for ones that you have on hand. Use ham instead of bacon, throw in some peppers and potatoes for extra bulk, or try out some swiss cheese instead of cheddar. You really cannot mess this meal up so go ahead and experiment, make it your own!

I have been making this version from The Pioneer Woman for years now and it always comes out perfect! Her Cowboy Quiche recipe is hearty, easy to pull together and has great flavor, the caramelized onions really make this quiche sing. For this recipe you can make your own pie crust but if you’re pressed for time, which I usually am, a store-bought pie crust will work just as well. I prefer the Pillsbury Pie Crusts that can found in the refrigerator section, they are tender, flaky, and taste great! But if you have the time, nothing beats making your own crust so try your hand at it if you can!

I highly recommend that you use a deep dish pie plate for this quiche as it doesn’t scrimp on eggs and ingredients. I use a 10″ deep dish pie plate and it’s just big enough to hold this monster size quiche. When it comes out of the oven, be sure to let it sit for at least the recommended 10-15 minutes so that it has a chance to set up. If you try and slice it right away it will be runny and messy. You can also make this quiche in advance as it reheats very well. Just zap a slice in the microwave for a minute or two on 80% power, I find full power heats it too hot and too unevenly. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook the onions for at least 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Fry the bacon until chewy. Chop into large bite-sized pieces and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Roll out the pie crust and press it into a deep dish pie pan or a large fluted deep tart pan.

Whip the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then mix in the onions, bacon, and cheese. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and bake it for about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown. (The quiche will seem slightly loose when it’s done but will continue to set once removed from the oven.)

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice and serve!

**Tip** – Spray the tin foil with a little cooking spray before covering the quiche, it will help to prevent the foil from sticking to the top of the quiche. 

Steve’s “Special Pancakes”

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My husband does not how to cook. In fact, aside from eggs and toast he’s pretty much clueless in the kitchen but nonetheless, he was inspired one day to make us breakfast. Countless questions, a sink full of dishes, one big mess, and an empty box of pancake mix later and he served me what he called his, “special pancakes“. The “special” in the “special pancakes” was because he decided to add his own little touch to them by sprinkling each one with cinnamon and sugar and cooking them on the griddle with loads of melted butter. Bold and innovative, right? lol Although they were just box mix pancakes he did a good job!! I won’t lie, the cinnamon and sugar ended up being a nice touch to the overall flavor! That breakfast was over 20 years ago, and the last time he’s ever attempted to “cook”, but whenever I make pancakes for us and the kids he always asks if I’ll be making HIS “special pancakes“.

Below is my version of Steve’s “Special Pancakes” but instead of a crummy box mix this is a from scratch recipe that yields delicious light and fluffy pancakes. The baking powder in the recipe really helps the pancake batter to rise nicely which results in a thick, fluffy pancake. Letting the batter rest for 10 minutes is important because it allows the baking powder to do its job. Skipping this step will result in the batter being very thin and watery and the pancakes will not be as good.

For the cinnamon and sugar sprinkle, you can use a pre-made cinnamon sugar mix or you can make your own by combining 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 tbs cinnamon. Mix well and store any leftovers in a small jar.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbs baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • cinnamon and sugar sprinkle, to taste

Instructions

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Combine the eggs, vanilla, and milk together in a medium bowl or large measuring cup.

Slowly add in the cooled melted butter and stir to combine.

Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes, it should rise and bubble slightly. When the batter is ready to use it will be light and airy.

Scoop about 1/3 cup of batter onto a hot griddle coated in melted butter. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mix. Once the pancake begins to bubble, flip and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

**Tip** – Make a double batch, allow the pancakes to cook on wire racks, and then freeze. They will keep for months and you’ll always have fresh, homemade pancakes on hand for breakfast.