Brunch, anyone?

Wikipedia says: “Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink served with it. It is usually served anytime before 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch.”

I’ll just say that a weekend brunch is one of my favorite things to do. It’s fun to mix it up a bit and get family and friends together to enjoy a meal during the day, rather than a later dinner.

This recipe is my version of a pretty basic breakfast casserole that my Mom used to make. It’s eggy, bready, cheesy and the best part is, you can pretty much throw as many add-ins as you want and it still turns out delicious!

Breakfast Casserole | Serves 6

Start to finish: about an hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf white bread, chopped
  • 9 large eggs
  • 6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 3 Cups milk (I used 1%)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 package frozen Brown & Serve breakfast sausages
  • Additional add-ins (if desired): frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry), cooked sliced mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, or cooked chopped bacon or ham.
  • Serve with maple syrup or ketchup.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix up eggs, milk, salt, pepper and melted butter in a bowl.
  3. Place a layer of chopped bread into your baking dish. Top with meat and cheese, repeat until your ingredients are used up and your casserole is piled high.
  4. Gently pour egg mixture over bread/cheese/meat. Let sit 15 mins to soak in.
  5. Bake for 45-55 mins or until casserole is golden brown and puffed.
  6. Top with maple syrup or ketchup and serve.

Crispy Air Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Getting right to the recipe with this one because you need to add these drumsticks to your meal rotation stat! Super easy, and all done in about 30 mins. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside!

Crispy Air Fried Chicken Drumsticks

Serves: 3-4

Start to finish: 35 mins

What you’ll need:

  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • Seasoning of choice (I use Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning on everything)
  • Nonstick spray

How to:

  1. Spray fryer basket with nonstick spray.
  2. Place chicken in basket, season, and cook at 400°F for 15 minutes (I also hit the chicken button on my Cosori air fryer).
  3. Flip and cook another 15 minutes or until crispy and internal temp reaches 165°F.
  4. Remove at coat with with your favorite sauce – we did buffalo and bbq!

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is literally a “set it and forget it” meal! What’s better than cooking an entire meal all at once and having it ready before you even get home??

The best part about beef stew in the slow cooker is that it’s very forgiving. You can add more or less of the meat and veggies, and even throw in some extras like mushrooms or celery. Follow my steps below for a great beef stew.

This little packet is my go-to secret when I make beef stew or pot roast. I use the same flavor pack for both because the pot roast version just has a great meaty, savory flavor that I haven’t been able to replicate with my own blend of herbs and broth, so don’t judge! 

Prep veggies and place into the pot. Add the meat and mix together. Then, pour seasoning mix over the top – that’s seriously it!

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Serves 4-6 (more if you serve a side like egg noodles or bread. To make less, just cut down on the quantity of ingredients, same cooking time).

Start to Finish: 8.5 hours

What you’ll need:

  • 2-3 lbs stew beef
  • 2 large russet potatoes (or 3-4 red potatoes), chopped into even chunks
  • 3-4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • Crock Pot seasoning (or herbs/spices of choice)

How to:

  1. Clean and prep veggies, place in empty slow cooker.
  2. Add stew meat to the slow cooker.
  3. Pour water/herb/spice mixture over meat and veggies, stir well.
  4. Set slow cooker to 8 hours on low and give it a good stir when done. Enjoy!

And now for something completely different…

Who says crock pot cookery has to be savory all the time? Not me! I found this sweet treat on Pinterest and thought I would give it a shot. While you’re there, be sure to follow my crock pot board for even more recipes I’m finding and trying out.

Introducing… Warm Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake

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Woo hoo! Only 4 ingredients:

1 box of Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
½ C unsalted melted butter
4 eggs
1 pouch of Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Note: This recipe is adapted from BettyCrocker.com, and is intended for a 4.5qt cooker. I made it in my 6qt cooker and checked it occasionally after about an hour and a half. Total cook time was approximately 2hrs 15 mins. Photo courtesy of MyFavoriteThings-Miranda.blogspot.com.

How To:

1. Spray inside of slow cooker with baking spray with flour.
2. In large bowl, mix brownie mix with 1/4 cup of the melted butter and 2 of the eggs.
3. In another large bowl, mix chocolate chip cookie mix, remaining 1/4 cup melted butter and remaining 2 eggs.
4. Drop alternate spoonfuls of the brownie and chocolate chip cookie batters into slow cooker.
5. Cover and cook on High heat setting 2 to 3 hours or until cake is set in center.

To serve, spoon cake from slow cooker and top with ice cream.

Back with Two Recipes!

I’ve been away for a while, busy at my day job and even fitting in a much-needed (and well-deserved) vacation. But now that things have settled down at home, it’s back to cooking in my crock pot! Over the last few weeks, I’ve made two really yummy things.

First up, BRISKET!

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Super simple and easy, the flavor is a cross between a Swiss steak and a beef stew. Very tomatoey and sweet, yet savory. You can easily shred this for sandwiches- I sliced mine into thin strips and served over plain white rice with a simple veggie.

You will need:
1 3-4lb brisket (I eyeballed the size based on the size of my crock pot)
2 24oz cans crushed tomatoes (with liquid)
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 head of garlic (open and peel each clove – you’ll need about 8)
Salt and pepper

How to: Salt and pepper all sides of brisket. With a paring knife, cut 8 small slits into the beef and insert one whole clove of garlic into each.In the crock pot, add one can crushed tomatoes + tomato paste and stir until paste dissolves. Insert brisket into pot and pour remaining can of crushed tomatoes over it. Liquid should almost cover the beef. Cook on low for 10 hours. Remove beef when done, slice or shred and pour liquid over the top to keep moist.

Recipe #2: PULLED PORK!
A complete cheat, but who cares, really. Look at those shreds!

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I have never, ever been a fan of the other white meat, but at a family gathering, I tasted what I thought was beef and fell in love. Once I got over the “OMG I just ate PORK?” phase, I investigated ways to make this myself, and in a way to incorporate this healthier-than-beef alternative into my weekly dinner rotation. Admittedly, I completely cheated and this recipe contains only TWO ingredients.

You will need:
1 jar of your most favorite BBQ Sauce
2-3lb pork butt roast

How to: I know, I know… is it really a “recipe” if I use a JAR of someone else’s sauce? Probably not, but I for one do not have time to sit and create my own masterful sauce. As a working, single mom and one who’s always trying to find new things for my child to eat (and enjoy), I think using a jar of sauce that you (and the kid) really, really like is just as good as making your own. With less time wasted tweaking flavors, consistency, blah blah blah. Long story short, use a sauce you like and it’ll taste even better slow cooking over a pork butt for 10 hours on low. We ate this 3lb roast for about 3 days on nice potato rolls with a side of coleslaw. Comfort food at its best.

ENJOY!

Food is Art? Art is Food?

A co-worker of mine founded Foodiggity, a fun blog/site/store full of wacky food-related stories, interesting products and more. Check it out and have fun with your food!

idafroskThe Art Toast Project by Norwegian artist Ida Skivenes – features famous works of art by Monet, Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock and others recreated using various foods with toast as the backdrop.

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