Cornbread muffins are so good with chili and soup in the cooler weather months. But when you add crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onion, it really takes them to the next level!Continue reading
Did you know that February is National Hot Breakfast Month? When I think of a good breakfast, I think of pancakes and waffles and maybe some eggs, bacon, or sausage on the side. If you’re like me, you probably don’t have much time on weekday mornings to make and enjoy a hearty breakfast like this. That’s why breakfast for dinner is such a great idea during the week! Even if you’re pressed for time at the dinner hour, you can save time making a yummy “Breakfast Night” meal for your family with some ready-made ingredients and great-tasting pancake and waffle mixes like the ones from Krusteaz®. I tried some complimentary samples of their Belgian Supreme Waffle Mix (works for Belgian or traditional waffles), Buttermilk Pancake Mix, and Protein Buttermilk Pancake Mix (with 13g of protein per serving)–these mixes make wonderful light and fluffy pancakes and thick, crispy waffles that really taste like homemade! I also used these mixes in a few recipes that can be made for breakfast, but are also perfect for a “Breakfast Night” meal.
The two recipes I’m sharing here are both yummy and easy to make. The Bacon-Sausage Pancake Casserole is a hearty, filling, comfort-food kind of dish and the Waffle Fruit Kabobs add a little variety to the meal with some fresh fruit paired with small waffle squares. You can add additional fresh fruit or a salad to complete the meal. I’m also including some time-saving tips at the end of each recipe.
Let’s start off with the Bacon-Sausage Pancake Casserole, which is a delicious combination of family-favorite breakfast foods: bacon, sausage, eggs, cheddar cheese, and some chopped green onion, all mixed in a yummy pancake batter!
BACON-SAUSAGE PANCAKE CASSEROLE by NancyC
Makes a 9×13″ pan
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
- 2 cups pancake mix (I used Krusteaz® Buttermilk Pancake Mix)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup Half & Half (light cream)
- 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Optional: dash of salt and pepper
- 3 cups (12-ounces) shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 (8-ounce) package pre-cooked breakfast sausage patties, crumbled
- 1 (3-ounce) package real crumbled bacon pieces (or substitute 12 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9×13″ pan with butter or cooking spray. Drizzle 1/4 cup (or half) of the melted butter in the bottom of the greased pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly; set aside.
In a large bowl, blend the pancake mix, the remaining melted butter (1/4 cup), milk, Half & Half, and the eggs, mixing everything well (you can add a dash of salt and pepper too if desired–I didn’t add any myself but some people like a little extra seasoning). Pour half of this mixture (about 2 cups) over the melted butter in the baking pan.
Layer 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese over the batter, then the crumbled sausage, then the crumbled bacon, and then the chopped green onion. Cover these layers with another 1 cup of cheese, then pour the remaining batter over all the layers. Save the remaining 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle over the casserole during the last 15 minutes of baking.
Bake at 350˚F for 42 to 45 minutes or until casserole is set (sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the casserole after 30 to 35 minutes of baking). When finished baking, remove from oven and let casserole stand 5 to 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
TIME–SAVING TIPS: 1) Crumble the pre-cooked sausage patties the night before and store in an airtight container in your refrigerator. 2) Use a 3-ounce package of crumbled bacon pieces instead of cooking and crumbling the bacon yourself. 3) Chop the green onions the night before and store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.
When you use the time-saving tips, you can put this casserole together in no time!
While the casserole is baking, you can make the Waffle Fruit Kabobs…
WAFFLE FRUIT KABOBS by NancyC
- Assorted fresh fruit, halved, sliced, or cut into chunks. Use strawberries, bananas, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, mangos, grapes, or just about any fruit your family likes! Quantities of fruit depend on how many kabobs you want to make.
- Belgian waffles (I used Krusteaz® Beligan Waffle Mix), cut into 1 1/2″ squares–-you can cut the squares a little smaller or larger if you like–one 7″ round waffle should give you about 7 small waffle squares and you’ll need at least 2 to 3 waffle squares for each kabob)
- wooden skewers
- Optional: serve kabobs with vanilla Greek yogurt as a dip if desired (or mix 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey with 1 cup plain Greek yogurt). You can also drizzle these kabobs with a little warm honey or maple syrup.
Cut or slice the fruit and place on a large platter or cutting board. Place your waffle squares on another large platter–setting the ingredients up like this makes it really quick and easy to put these kabobs together! Have your wooden skewers in a handy-to-reach place on your counter.
Add fruit and waffle pieces to the skewers, arranging them whatever way you like. I like having several pieces of fruit together and then adding a waffle square. I include 2 to 3 waffle squares per kabob. You can add more waffle squares and less fruit if you like. Serve these kabobs by themselves or with some vanilla Greek yogurt as a dip. You can also drizzle these with a little warm honey or maple syrup!
TIME-SAVING TIPS: 1) Make the waffles ahead of time (you can also cut them into small squares ahead of time) and freeze until ready to use. 2) Cut or slice the fruit you’ll be using the night before and store in an airtight container in your refrigerator 3) If serving the kabobs with the Greek yogurt as a dip, you can spoon the yogurt into a small dish ahead of time, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you make the waffles ahead of time and prepare the fruit the night before, you can put these Waffle Fruit Kabobs together in minutes!
Do you and your family enjoy having “Breakfast Nights?” Or if you haven’t had one, are you looking forward to doing a “Breakfast Night” now? What kind of breakfast dishes do you like to serve your family?
You can find more “Breakfast Night” ideas, tips, and recipes over at Krusteaz.com.
I partnered with Krusteaz® on this post and all content and opinions expressed are my own.
I like Split Pea Soup but have never made it before. I was looking through a little soup cookbook I had called Soup Gourmet and found an easy recipe I thought I’d try. I made my version thicker because I like thick and hearty soups. I like this soup because, in addition to peas, it has lots of other good-for-you veggies in it–carrots, onion, and celery. And you can add ham or bacon if you want, or make it without any meat.
After looking at some other recipes, I decided I would try garnishing this with croutons and feta, and I’m so glad I tried that out–I really liked it! The feta cheese gives a nice zing to the soup, and the crispy croutons make a nice touch, too. Serve this soup with a salad and some crusty bread–it makes a great lunch or dinner during the cold winter months!
EASY PEA SOUP WITH HAM OR BACON by NancyC, adapted from Soup Gourmet
Makes 4-6 servings
- 2 (16-ounce) packages frozen peas, thawed (or you can use 2 (16-oz.) cans of peas)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken or vegetable broth (this is a thick soup, so if you’d like it to be thinner, add an extra 1/2 to 1 cup of broth)
- 1 1/2 cups boiled ham or cooked bacon, diced (if you’d like this to be meatless, leave out the ham or bacon)
- 1 cup carrots, finely diced or grated
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- additional seasonings to taste, if desired
- croutons for garnish, optional
- crumbled feta cheese for garnish, optional.
Place peas and broth in blender or food processor and puree until smooth (the peas and broth will fill your blender almost to the top, so you can blend them half the amount at a time, if you prefer–you’ll need to do this, too, if you are adding extra broth to make a thinner soup).
Transfer blended mixture to a large pot. Add ham or bacon, carrots, onion, and celery. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Halfway through cooking, add salt and pepper, and additional seasonings, if desired.
Serve hot in soup bowls or cups and garnish with croutons and crumbled feta cheese, if desired.
I really like it served with the croutons and feta cheese–they add an extra special touch to the soup! Have you tried any new soup recipes lately?
If you’re looking for a yummy dip to make for a party or get-together, you may want to try this one out! It’s not what you would call healthy, but there are some ways you can make it a little lighter, like using lean ground beef, or even substituting “veggie” ground beef (like Morning Star Farms® Grillers Recipe Crumbles). I found the recipe at Closet Cooking and made a few small changes, adding just a little more garlic and onion.Continue reading
Sylvia brought a Baked French Toast Casserole to a department breakfast recently and it was a big hit! I’ve made lots of breakfast casseroles before, but none quite like this. The sweetness of the French toast with the eggs and optional bacon or ham make a great combination! Sylvia put chopped ham on half of her casserole and left half without for the non-meat-eaters. When I made my casserole, I used chopped turkey bacon and really liked that. I also made a few other small changes that I’ve noted in the recipe below.
This Baked French Toast Casserole is really good, so I hope you get a chance to try it out! It’s great for a weekend brunch, especially now that the weather is cooling off some! You can put the casserole ingredients together the night before in a 9×13″ pan and pop it in the oven the next morning, so it’s really convenient, too. Special thanks to Sylvia for sharing her recipe!
SYLVIA’S BAKED FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE slightly adapted by NancyCreative
Makes a 9×13″ casserole
- 1 loaf French bread, cut in slices about 1″ thick (this should give you about 16 slices of bread; I also cut about 2″ off the ends of the loaf before slicing it)
- 4 Tablespoons light Karo Syrup (I substituted 4 Tablespoons of honey)
- 4 Tablespoons dark Karo Syrup (I substituted 4 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup)
- 2 cups brown sugar (loosely packed)
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
- 12 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- dash of salt (optional)
- 1 cup chopped ham or uncooked bacon slices, optional (I used turkey bacon)
Grease a 9×13″ pan; set aside.
In small pan over low to medium heat, blend light and dark syrups (or honey and maple syrup) with brown sugar and butter. Stir and heat until mixture bubbles and remove from heat. Take each slice of bread and dip both sides in this mixture, then layer slices in the greased pan. Here’s what mine looked like…
If you have any of the syrup-butter-sugar mixture left over–I had just a few Tablespoons extra–drizzle it over all the slices in the pan.
Next, in a medium bowl, beat eggs with milk until well-beaten, adding a dash of salt if desired; pour egg-milk mixture evenly over all the bread slices in the pan. Then top with chopped ham or uncooked bacon (I just put half the amount of the bacon on one side of the casserole and left the other side meatless). Cover pan and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, bake the casserole at 350 degrees F for 50 to 55 minutes (if your oven runs hot, check it at 45 minutes). The eggs should not be runny when you cut into the casserole; if they are, you need to bake it a little longer. You can cover the casserole with foil the last 15-20 minutes of baking if you notice the bread or meat getting too brown on the top edges.
My casserole got a little brown on top, but it was still very delicious! 🙂
On another note, I recently came across a copy of a favorite old poem that I hadn’t seen for years, THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND, so I thought I’d share it. It was also recorded as a song by WayneWatson, and you can click here if you’d like to listen to it. In a nutshell, the poem is about how God can take the mess of our lives and turn it into something wonderful.
I found out a little more about the author of the poem, too…Myra Brooks Welch wrote it in 1921, after hearing a speaker address a group of students. Inspired, she wrote The Touch of the Master’s Hand in 30 minutes. She told others the poem actually wrote itself and believed it was a gift from God. It has been translated into more than 100 languages.
THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer Thought it scarcely worth his while To waste much time on the old violin, But held it up with a smile. “What am I bidden, good folks?” he cried. “Who’ll start the bidding for me? A dollar, a dollar; then two! Only two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?” “Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; Going for three…” But no, From the room far back, a gray-haired man Came forward and picked up the bow. Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, And tightening the loose strings, He played a melody pure and sweet As a caroling angel sings. The music ceased, and the auctioneer, With a voice that was quiet and low, Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow. “A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make it three? Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice, And going and gone.” said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not quite understand, What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply: “The touch of a master’s hand.” And many a man with life out of tune, And battered and scarred with sin, Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, Much like the old violin. A “mess of potage,” a glass of wine, A game–and he travels on. He is “going” once–and “going” twice– He’s “going” and almost “gone.” But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd Never can quite understand The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought By the touch of the Master’s hand.
–Myra Brooks Welch (1877-1959)
Hope you enjoy the casserole and the poem–and have a great day!