Breakfast Sausage Casserole

This last weekend, Jesse and I were finally able to sit down and enjoy a delicious breakfast together. Jesse has been so busy on the weekends lately that I usually found myself eating breakfast with my pups. Not to complain, they are great company, but I would much rather be having breakfast with my husband haha. So anyway, this last Saturday Jesse and I had no plans! It was beautiful. We slept in and I made this yummy breakfast for him. We seriously ate almost the whole thing in one sitting because it is so very very delicious. I am, and have always been, a fan of sweet things for breakfast. But this, I have got to say, is probably one of my favorite breakfasts I have ever had. I call it Breakfast Sausage Casserole. It has eggs and cheese and sausage and crescents and yummy spices and just everything goes together so well!! I was originally going to make this for Christmas morning breakfast, but some friends of ours opened their house up to us Christmas morning for breakfast so we were all over that invitation! 🙂 I plan on making this breakfast for my grandma when we go back to visit AZ in a week. She loves breakfast sausage so I know she will just love this breakfast casserole. And so will you, so try it out and let me know what you think!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube of refrigerated crescent rolls
  • ~ 1-2 C uncooked breakfast Italian sausage (feel free to add as much sausage as your family likes)
  • 5 eggs
  • ¼ C milk
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Salt/pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a square casserole dish with some non-stick cooking spray. (Sorry not sure the dimensions of a square casserole dish. All I know is its smaller then a 9×13.)
  3. Place your sausage (if it’s in the casing cut it out of the casing, but I used the kind that doesn’t have a casing.) in a frying pan and cook until completely cooked through.
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  5. Place your crescent rolls in the casserole dish and push the edges together so it forms a crust. I poked some fork holes in the crescents so no air bubbles would form and so the crust could completely cook on the bottom.
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  7. Once your sausage is done, place it on top of the crescents. Sprinkle with as much shredded cheese as you like.
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  9. In a small mixing bowl, mix together your 5 eggs with your milk, and then pour over the sausage and cheese. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, and rosemary. Feel free to sprinkle as much of those spices as your family likes.
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  11. Pop in the oven for about 20 mins until the crust is nice and brown and the eggs are completely cooked.
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  13. Cut and serve! If there is any leftover, place in an air tight container and keep in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

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Chicken and Bacon Lasagna Roll-Ups

I have recently (well I guess it has been about 3 years now) become allergic to tomatoes. I have no idea why this random food makes me feel really ill, but unfortunately it does. That means no more of my grandma’s great pasta dishes, no more tomato pizza’s, no more tomatoes on salads and burgers…it really is a sad story! I use to really enjoy having lasagna, but I can’t anymore 😦 The dinner I made the other night is inspired by my love for lasagna, except it doesn’t have any tomatoes in it, YAY! Be for-warned, this dish does take some prep time, but I mean if you are making lasagna, then you have to expect to take some time making the dish. I just call them Chicken and Bacon Lasagna Roll-Ups. Try them out; let me know what you think! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 6 lasagna pasta noodles
  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 C Alfredo sauce
  • ½ C Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ C Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Chicken breast, diced into bite sized pieces
  • Broccoli florets (cut up into smaller pieces)
  • Garlic
  • Salt/pepper
  • Parsley
  • CHEESE! Lots of it! Mozzarella, Parmesan, really any cheese will work.

Directions:

  1. Cook your 6 lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Once they are finished cooking, place on a baking dish to cool. (Or at least get to a temperature where you can handle them.)
  2. While your pasta is cooking, place your three bacon strips on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven on 350 for about 10 mins. Once done, set on a paper towel to drain excess grease. Break into little pieces.
  3. Cut your chicken breast into bite size pieces and place in a well-oiled frying pan on medium high heat until the chicken is cooked fully. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and any other spice you may enjoy.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine your ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, broccoli, a handful of the cheese of your choice, about ½ C Alfredo sauce, a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic and some more parsley.
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  6. Once those are mixed together get your cooled lasagna noodles and place some of the ricotta filling on the lasagna. Top with some bacon bits, some chicken, and a little more cheese.
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  8. Roll them up and place them into a casserole dish. I used a square casserole dish, but any size would work. Make sure to spread some of your Alfredo sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish so the lasagna rolls don’t stick.
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  11. Continue filling each lasagna roll with all the goodies.
  12. Once all 6 are filled and placed into your casserole dish. Spread the remaining of your Alfredo sauce and sprinkle some more cheese on top.
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  14. Pop in the 350 degree oven for about 30 mins. Until everything is nice and hot!

Enjoy!!

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(I served mine with a side of fresh garlic bread from my bread machine I got for Christmas! It was a yummy addition to this dish!!)

Ham and Cheese Bites

This weekend was a nice relaxing weekend for Jesse and I. It was the first time Jesse was able to sleep in since…. I can’t even remember the last time he was able to sleep in…. So while Jesse was cuddling up in our nice warm bed, I was preparing a delicious breakfast for the two of us. (More on that in another post) Finally I think Jesse couldn’t sleep through the delcious smells coming from the kitchen so he woke up and we actually were able to enjoy breakfast together in who knows how long. It was so relaxing and so enjoyable to be in the company of my wonderful hubby! 🙂 We did lots of chores around the house, visited 2 week old puppies, saw Saving Mr. Banks at this adorable old historic theatre, went out to dinner and cooked and baked lots this weekend. I am really looking forward to this up coming weekend already because it’s a three day weekend!! YES! 🙂

but anyway….. on to food now….. 😉

If you are like me, then you get bored of bringing the same ol’ thing to work for lunch every day! It’s either some sort of sandwich, a salad, maybe some leftovers, or on occasion you bring soup…boring!! Luckily, I have started planning out lunches along with the dinner menu I plan every month. I tend to pick things that I can make a bunch of at one time and then freeze so it will last longer, or I just pick things that will last a while in the fridge. This is where my Ham and Cheese Bites come into play. I put these on the menu and Jesse and I have been enjoying them in our lunches for the last two weeks. They stay in the fridge perfectly, but if you make a big batch of these tasty bites, I would recommend freezing some because they keep really well in the freezer. These are so simple to just warm up in your microwave at home or work. You can actually start enjoying lunch at work again!! Try these out; let me know what you think 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pillsbury breadsticks cans (they come in the same type of thing you would get Grand biscuits or crescent rolls)
  • ~2 C diced up ham
  • Shredded cheese
  • Mustard (any kind you prefer)
  • ~ 2 TBS melted butter
  • Coarse sea salt broken into smaller pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Take your breadstick dough out of the can and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough with a rolling pin until you get a good sized rectangle, about 12×4.
  3. Spread the mustard of your choice all over the dough.
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  5. Sprinkle on your ham and cheese.
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  7. Roll the dough up into a log, roll pretty tight.
  8. Cut about 1 inch pieces and transfer to your cookie sheet.
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  10. Place in the oven for about 15-18 mins, until the outside is nice and golden brown.
  11. Once you remove it from the oven, brush your melted butter onto each bite and sprinkle with your salt.
  12. Let cool on a baking rack and place in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. If you would like to store them longer than two weeks, place them in an air tight container in the freezer.

Enjoy!!

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Pumpkin Pie with a Pecan Crust

Maybe the season is over where you can enjoy a pumpkin pie, but I am still going to give you the recipe to my pumpkin pie with a special pecan crust. I know typically pumpkin pie is reserved for the fall, but I made this pumpkin pie, per Jesse’s request, for Christmas and I just have to share it. We gobbled this bad boy up in just a few days’ time. The pie filling has a swirl of cheesecake in it and the crust is made with graham crackers and crushed up pecans! UMMM YUM!!!!  Try it out, let me know what you think 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of 8oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ C White sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg

For the crust:

  • 1 ½ Sleeve of cinnamon graham crackers
  • ½ C Crushed up pecans
  • ¼ C Firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ~5 TBS butter
  • ¼ C Cinnamon applesauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large freezer baggie, place your graham crackers and pecans. Seal the baggie up really well because you don’t want little pieces to fly out. This is the part where you can incorporate you kids 😉 get to banging the heck out of those graham crackers and pecans, I like to use a rolling pin, but a spoon or your fist would work too. Crush them up until they are little little pieces until they look like crumbs.
  3. Melt your butter in the microwave.
  4. While the butter is melting pour your crumbs into a big mixing bowl. Mix in your sugar.
  5. Then place your melted butter (you may need more. If the crust looks dry and is not sticking together melt more butter.) and applesauce into your crumbs and stir well together.
  6. Once everything is incorporated, grease a round pie pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press all the crumbs really well into the pie pan making sure to squish it up the sides of the pan as well.Pop in the oven for about 15 mins.
  7. IMG_2463(Sorry, forgot to take a picture of JUST the crust, so this is as good a picture as I could get of just crust…)
  8. While your crust is baking, place your cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a mixing bowl and mix them together until everything is well incorporated.
  9. Mix in your eggs, one at a time.
  10. In a separate mixing bowl, combine your pumpkin and spices.
  11. Once your crust is done, pour your pumpkin mixture into the crust. Swirl in your cream cheese mixture.
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  14. Pop in the oven for about 50-60 mins.
  15. Cool to room temperature and then let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Enjoy!

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(Jesse took this picture….not the greatest picture, but you have to give him love for trying ;))

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(Enjoying Christmas dinner together!!)

Cream of Chicken Soup

Jesse and I are all about saving money on groceries. We do everything we can to save a penny here and there, even if it’s something as simple as price matching veggies for 1.49 when they are originally priced 1.50 at the grocery store. I know it may seem silly, but I love getting things for cheaper then they originally are priced at. We have come a long way since we were first married, as far as saving on groceries. We shop once a month, use coupons, price match, use what we have in the cabinets already to meal plan first and we shop at Costco. Grocery shopping day is still one of our favorite days of the month! J I also love to make things at home for lunches and breakfasts that we can freeze and eat throughout the month.  This month I came across a great recipe to make my own cream of chicken soup. I love that stuff! We buy it by the cans every month, at least 3-4 cans a month. So I thought I would try this recipe out. It saves us money by making it with ingredients we already have at home, and it doesn’t have all the preservatives in it like the cans at the grocery store do. (There is also probably some weird food dye in the can version because the stuff I made at home has a completely different color to it haha!) I haven’t tried it yet in any of my recipes, but I am super excited to compare it to the can version. Also if you make a big batch of this stuff you are going to want to freeze it so that it can stay longer. If you are planning on using it all in 1-2 weeks’ time then just store it in your fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ C Chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • Salt to your taste
  • ¼ tsp. parsley
  • Dash of paprika
  • 1 ½ C Milk
  • ¾ C  Sifted Flour (this will help there to be no flour clumps in your soup)

Directions:

  1. Stir together in a pot on medium heat the chicken broth, seasonings and ½ C milk. Bring to a boil.
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  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the remainder of your milk and flour. Mix together well!
  4. Once the chicken broth mixture is at a boil, slowly pour about ¼ C into your milk and flour mixture. Stir that together so that your milk can warm up a bit.IMG_2493
  5. Once you have finished mixing in just a little bit of your chicken broth mixture into your milk/flour, turn your burner down to medium-low heat, and slowly drizzle your flour/milk mixture into your hot chicken broth. Whisk repeatedly while you are drizzling the flour/milk mixture.
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  7. Whisk briskly until the mixture thickens and boils.
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  9. Remove from the heat and let cool. Store in an air tight container in your refrigerator.

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Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

What is a better sweet treat for the holidays then Sugar Cinnamon Pecans?! Not only do they make your house smell freakin fabulous while they are baking, but they taste so delicious! I got so many compliments on these little sweet pecans and I shared this recipe so many times because people just loved them! 🙂 I put them in a cute little mason jar and gave them as Christmas gifts this year. I also kept a bunch for Jesse and I because we couldn’t stop eating them. Seriously, if you can mix together few ingredients, I highly recommend you try making these Cinnamon Sugar Pecans. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ C Sugar
  • 1 ¼ C Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBS Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3-4 C Pecans
  • 2 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. And Spray a cookie sheet with a thick amount of non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl beat your two egg whites until nice and frothy.
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  4. In a separate mixing bowl combine sugars, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Mix everything together really well.
  5. Place your pecans in your egg whites first and mix REALLY well! This step ensures that the cinnamon sugar coating will stick to the pecans.
  6. Then transfer the pecans to the cinnamon sugar mixture and coat all the pecans.
  7. Then place them on your cookie sheet in a single layer. They can be next to each other and touching each other, just not piled on top of each other.
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  9. Finally place in the oven for about 45-55 mins until the cinnamon mixture is nice and hard. (If the underside of the pecans is still a little wet after the 45-55 mins, its ok, you don’t have to put it back in the oven, it will dry eventually.)
  10. If you don’t devour them all at once 😉 then place in an air tight sealed container for storage.

Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato with BBQ Shredded Chicken

Now that we are approaching the end of 2013 and about to start a whole new year, I like to think about all the things that have happened through the year. This year was the first whole year we have spent in Washington. Jesse and I were just talking the other day about how blessed we feel that we are able to live in Washington. It has done so many wonderful things for our marriage, like make us stronger in love and closer to each other, and we feel that God brought us out here to grow us in a more faithful relationship with him. 2013 has also blessed us with Jesse finding his career path of accounting. He was teaching before but was never a big fan of that. So when we first moved here Jesse was flip flopping around jobs trying to figure out what he enjoyed best. He landed on accounting at this awesome company called Zulily. Every day he actually enjoys work, and wants to pursue accounting as a full time career now, which makes this hopeful stay-at-home-mom very glad that I will have that opportunity when we have kids. This year has also given us some great friends and a great community group. We feel like we can share anything with these Godly people and they are so given and caring towards us! J Jesse and I have gone on so many adventures in 2013 and we are soooo looking forward to all the adventures and new places we will discover in 2014. Overall this year has been one that Jesse and I will surely remember forever!!

Now on to FOOD!!! This meal I made the other day doesn’t have a name so I just call it Sweet Potato with BBQ Shredded Chicken. Yeah….I call it that because that is pretty much all the ingredients involved. It’s so easy, so delicious, and hey, it’s even a little bit healthy with that sweet potato in there! J Try this meal out; let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 strips of bacon
  • BBQ sauce (as much as you like)
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced green onions
  • Salt/pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash your sweet potatoes and poke them with a fork many times, all over. This will help the steam escape from your potato.
  3. Then wrap your potato in tin foil and place right in the oven on the top rack.

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  1. After the potatoes have been in the oven for about 20 mins, place your chicken breast in a baking dish and cover with tin foil. Pop that into the oven also.
  2. Once your chicken is done, should be about 45-60 mins, take it out of the oven and place on a cutting board.
  3. With two forks, shred your chicken.
  4. Place all your shredded chicken back into your baking dish and pour as much BBQ sauce all over it as you like. Mix the BBQ sauce, a dash of salt and pepper in with the chicken and place it back in the oven (with tin foil covering it.)
  5. While your chicken is warming back up in the oven, place two strips of bacon on a baking dish and place in the oven. These bacon strips will cook really fast so make sure you watch them.
  6. Once bacon is done, place on a paper towel to drain the excess grease. Then break them up into bite sized pieces.
  7. At this point, your chicken should be warmed up, your sweet potatoes should be cooked through and your bacon is all shredded up, so now it’s time to assemble.
  8. Take your sweet potato out of the tin foil and cut it open. Place your shredded BBQ chicken in the sweet potato and top it off with some bacon pieces, shredded cheese and green onions!

Enjoy!

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