One of the things I love best about summer is all the fresh fruit of the season, especially berries of all kinds. And this is a great fruit salad to make in the summertime because it has blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries…mixed in with lots of other delicious, colorful fruit! This salad also has some canned pineapple chunks and it’s sweetened with the pineapple juice from the can. So there’s no extra sugar, and I think the sweetness is just right. I love all the colors in this fruit salad—it’s so bright and summery!Continue reading
While thumbing through a summer issue of Real Simple magazine the other day, I found a little note about Agua Fresca and how you could blend watermelon, cucumber, or cantaloupe with lime juice and a little sugar, then strain and serve over ice. That reminded me of an Agua Fresca recipe I made a few years back. It’s made a little differently–I used strawberries and didn’t strain it. I also used honey instead of sugar.
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 thought I’d try a flavored water with a green theme, since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! But of course, this water is great any time of the year. You mostly taste the lime in this, but the kiwifruit and pear slices make the pitcher of water look so nice! 🙂 I think this water tastes best the same day you make it, but you’ll want to refrigerate it a few hours before serving so the water has more flavor. Use organic produce if you can when making this.
PEAR, LIME, KIWIFRUIT WATER by NancyCreative
Makes a large pitcher (half gallon) of flavored water
- 8 cups of water (I used 2 cups of sparkling water mixed in with 6 cups of regular water to give it a slight fizziness–see note below*)
- 1 large organic pear, cut into thin slices
- 2 limes, cut into thin slices
- 2 kiwifruit, cut into thin slices
Fill pitcher with 8 cups of water. Add slices of pear, lime, and kiwifruit, and stir all ingredients together in the pitcher. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving (the slices of kiwifruit tend to settle at the bottom, so you will need to stir before serving to mix all the fruit evenly). When ready to serve, add ice cubes to pitcher and stir or add ice to individual glasses and pour the flavored water over the ice.
*For a fizzy water drink, use Seltzer water or natural sparkling water (like Perrier) instead of regular water, or use some of each (do not use Club Soda or Tonic Water, as one is high in sodium and the other is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup).
Have you tried making any uniquely-flavored water lately?
Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.
Here’s a roundup of 10 recipes that your Valentine–or Valentines–will love…some are healthy and some are not-so-healthy (but very yummy)!
If you’re wanting something sweet for your Valentine breakfast, try these Strawberry Yogurt Muffins–the strawberries on top look like hearts, so they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Or if you’re wanting something healthy, try this Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal, made with dried cranberries and chopped pecans. You can substitute dried cherries for the cranberries if you want.
Or make this Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Bake if you’re feeding a larger group.
You can also use your dried cranberries (or cherries) in these Cranberry Almond Breakfast Scones for a mid-morning or afternoon Valentine snack!
Since you may be eating lots of sweets on Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to include a healthy salad in your lunch or dinner menu–this Apple Pear Pecan Salad has dried cranberries in it too, but dried cherries would be yummy as well!
Savory Strawberry Salsa makes a great appetizer with tortilla chips, and it’s also really good served over grilled chicken!
Now you need some dessert ideas…Strawberry Cupcakes are just the thing!
But lots of people prefer something chocolate, and you can’t go wrong with these Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting!
If you want a healthier dessert, you could always make this Healthy Chocolate Shake…
But, hey, it’s Valentine’s Day–if you want to splurge, make these Dark Chocolate-Covered Cherry Swirl Brownies!
Hope you get a chance to try out some of these treats! Do you have a favorite Valentine recipe?