Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Amazing Breakfast Muffin Cups

This is a wonderful "all-in-one" breakfast treat! You end up with your hash browns, sausage, eggs, and cheese in one easy to eat and enjoy muffin-sized treat!

The only changes I made to the recipe below were to use fresh potatoes (3 smallish / medium sized ones), grated and then I blotted as much excess liquid as I could get with some paper towels. I used margarine in place of butter, cheddar cheese instead of Mexican-blend and I omitted the chives / green onion. I didn't fit the full sausage link per muffin cup because I was afraid they wouldn't fit - but maybe they would have; I'll have to try filling them a little fuller next time.

I love how easy these are to throw in the refrigerator, or wrap and freeze, then reheat for a quick and filling breakfast another day!

The Johnsonville sausage links are delicious - and this is one of many wonderful ways to enjoy them!

Amazing Muffin Cups from  on AllRecipes

12 links Johnsonville® Original breakfast sausage                                
3 cups frozen country style shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper  
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese                                
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper                                
chopped fresh chives or green onion (optional)

  1. Prepare sausage according to package directions. cool slightly and cut into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine hash browns, butter, salt and pepper; divide evenly into 12 greased muffin cups. Press mixture onto sides and bottom of muffin cups.
  3. Bake at 400F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, divide sausage pieces into muffin cups.
  4. In a bowl, combine eggs, cheese and bell pepper. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups. Sprinkle with chives or onion. Return to oven, bake 13-15 minutes or until set. Serve.

Lindsey isn't quite ready for muffin cups yet - but she sure loves some fresh banana!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Crispy Hashbrowns

Crispy Hashrbrowns slightly adapted from Hugs and Cookies

4 medium potatoes, peeled
3 TBS oil of your choice for frying (I used olive oil)
salt, pepper, paprika


  1. Shred potatoes. (I grated by hand, use a food processor or something similar if you have one!) 
  2. Squeeze excess water from the potatoes (you can put the shredded potatoes in a salad spinner or blot / squeeze with paper towels) 
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. 
  4. Layer shredded potatoes on the hot oil, spreading evenly and pressing down with the back of a spatula. 
  5. Season with salt, pepper and paprika to taste (sprinkle lightly over the top). 
  6. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and the potatoes are holding together. 
  7. Once browned, flip the patty over (you can cut in half and flip if easier). Season the other side if desired.
  8. Fry until golden on the bottom and then serve. 
Lindsey at 6 months 3 weeks with her fuzzy pink bear!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter from our Baby Bunny!

Happy Easter 2014! Here are Lindsey's Easter pictures I took this year - our little baby bunny had fun chewing on all the eggs!

Lindsey makes picture time so much fun - I always have a blast taking her pictures and looking back through them. So fun to capture these memories. She's just turned 7 months old - the days are passing so quickly!

Copycat Taco Bell Bean Burritos

When I eat at Taco Bell (which happens maybe twice in a year) I almost always opt for a bean burrito. I don't know what it is - so simple, but creamy and comforting and yummy. I was in the mood to try these at home and used the recipe below. I really liked the red sauce - I actually doubled it, and used the rest of the sauce to make enchiladas later in the week (which came out REALLY good!)

These were very filling, and I loved the flavor the sauce added to this simple dish!

Copycat Taco Bell Bean Burritos from The Measured Mom
makes about 5 burritos

1 can fat-free refried beans
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/3 cup chopped onion (optional)
5 flour tortillas

1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small pot; stir. Simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, saute the onions  (if using)  in a little olive oil until tender.
  3. Warm the re-fried beans on the stove. Add in about 1/4 cup of the sauce until a creamy texture is achieved - add more to taste and to achieve desired consistency.
  4. On each tortilla, spread about 1/3 cup re-fried beans, just over 3 tbsp shredded cheddar, and a bit of sauteed onion.
  5. Add additional sauce to taste.

Our little Lindsey is 7 months old!! Sweet camo girl with her daddy's gear. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Best Ever Waffles

This was an absolutely DELICIOUS waffle recipe we enjoyed for a tasty weekend breakfast treat recently. The batter cooks up with great flavor and beautifully crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. My son (who complained at first about me trying out yet another "new" recipe on them) ate these up in no time flat and declared them the best!

The Best Ever Waffles By Cooking to Perfection on Food.com

1 1/3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 3/4 cups milk


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  2. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in with the dry ingredient mixture.
  3. Pour the egg whites into a smaller mixing bowl, and beat them until they are moderately stiff. Set aside.
  4. Blend the milk and melted butter into the dry ingredient mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the batter.
  6. Pour about 1/3 - 1/2 cup (as much as needed) into hot, prepared waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
Our little Lindsey who is almost 7 months old now! This was taken about 3 weeks ago on an outing to the park. Such a happy girl! :)

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Thai Mango in Hiram, Georgia


We decided to try out Thai Mango the other day and oh my gosh - it was so good!! We'd tried another Asian restaurant recently and were very disappointed but had heard great things about Thai Mango.

I ordered the Shrimp Fried Rice, Pepper Steak, and Chicken Pad Thai. We also loved our order of crispy spring rolls - the dipping sauce was delicious!

Kent enjoyed the Fried Rice a lot - I didn't put the full amount on his plate because it was a large portion, but he ate it all and then finished the rest I'd left in the box too. The only complaint is that there were only a couple pieces of shrimp and veggies, it was mostly rice and the texture was very dry but the flavor was delicious and the shrimp were cooked beautifully!

The chicken Pad Thai was the best dish, I thought. Perfect combination of ingredients, perfectly seasoned, just the right amount of sauce, and great ratio of noodles to the rest of the ingredients. So good! I will definitely order that again. Kent had a bite - he's never had Pad Thai before and he really liked it! Smart boy. :)

Kenneth ate his entire dish of Pepper Steak up without much conversation - so I'm thinking he really enjoyed his as well!

I'm so glad to have a good Thai restaurant in town - generally steak and barbecue places do well around here and we don't get very many ethnic options so this is a very nice treat and I can't wait to enjoy dining there again soon!

To end this post - here is a picture of our sweet girl 2 weeks ago, at 6 months and 1 week old. Enjoying watching the puppies running around the back yard as the sun set!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

This is one of those almost too simple to be called a recipe "recipe"! It is so quick, easy and absolutely fantastic. I don't know why we haven't tried this method for shredded barbecue sooner - it's so good!! We all loved it, and the leftovers disappeared in no time flat! We served this up with some fried okra and mac 'n cheese. The boys loved it and we will definitely use this one again as a go to barbecue recipe. Love that I can set this one in the crock pot and let it cook all day, then you just throw in the sauce and you're ready to enjoy dinner. We pretty much always use Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce - definitely our favorite.

Easy Crock Pot Pulled Pork from Drizzle of Sunshine

2 lbs pork loin
1 can of root beer
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce


  1. Combine pork loin and root beer in the crock pot.
  2. Set it on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until easily shredded with a spoon.
  3. Break meat up with a spoon. Drain off excess liquid and mix in the barbecue sauce. 
And what better way to end this post then with a picture of our super cutie just because! She's 6.5 months now and was enjoying some apricots. She thinks she should "help" with her feedings. :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Salmon from Mazola

All I can say is if you like salmon please do yourself a favor and try this one out! Oh my gosh - this rub is perfection on the salmon. I made 4 salmon fillets for dinner and my son ate 2 1/2 of them by himself! The flavor is smoky and sweet, and the fish is flaky and tender. The combination is absolutely delicious and went perfectly with some fresh green beans and a piece of garlic toast. My son said it was the best meal we'd had in a long time. I choose to take that as a compliment to the recipe, and not a remark on my cooking of late! :D

I skipped the grapefruit salsa - the only ingredient that I will eat in the list is the grapefruit and I figured that would defeat the purpose (I love onion and bell pepper, but don't eat either raw). I will say most everyone else who did make the salsa said how great it was - so if you like those ingredients whip up a batch and let me know what you think!!

This is a wonderful recipe from Mazola - you can find their whole recipe collection on AllRecipes.com here.

Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa from Mazola on AllRecipes

Sweet and Spicy Rub:
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons Mazola® Corn Oil

Grapefruit Salsa:
2 cups grapefruit sections
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, diced

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine paprika, onion and garlic powder, salt, oregano, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Cut salmon into 4 portions and brush with oil. Distribute the rub over the salmon generously coating all surfaces. Place salmon on a shallow baking pan with sides.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until fish flakes easily.
  5. Coarsely chop grapefruit into bite size pieces. Combine all salsa ingredients and serve with salmon. Grapefruit salsa can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Secret Recipe Club: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day!! I was so excited to visit Angel's Homestead and view her extensive recipe index; I knew I wouldn't have any trouble finding something my family would really enjoy. And honestly I didn't make it very far through the list before I knew what I was making for breakfast that very morning!

Learn more about April (our very own Secret Recipe Club's owner!) here; at Angel's Homestead you will find a blog focused on family - frugal tips, down-home comfort cooking, and posts focused on good food and good living.

So, back to my recipe selection! I was thinking about seeing if I could find something to make for breakfast over the weekend, and it didn't take me more than a few seconds after clicking the "Breakfast" link to spot this fantastic Apple Cinnamon Pancakes recipe. I knew that's what I would be making. I could imagine the smell of them cooking - and let me tell you, the smell is pretty dang fantastic!

These are absolutely delicious. I loved the tender, warm pieces of apple blended into the lightly cinnamon-flavored pancake batter. It all works absolutely beautifully together. Top these with a pat of butter and some warm maple syrup and you will be in apple-cinnamon heaven.

I only made 4 very large pancakes out of this recipe - one was enough for each of us for breakfast.

A few other recipes I tucked away to try soon include Dijon Turkey Burgers, Crock Pot Applesauce, or Blue Ribbon Mac and Cheese - YUMM!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from Angel's Homestead

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 egg
2 TBS melted butter (or margarine)

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, sugar and baking powder.
  2. In a another medium bowl blend the milk, egg, applesauce and melted butter.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine gently, just until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chopped apples; the batter will be thick and lumpy.
  5. Prepare a skillet, and let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Melt a tablespoon of butter over medium to medium-low heat. Once the skillet is hot and butter is melted, pour about 1/3 cup scoop of pancake batter onto the prepared pan.
  7. Let the pancake cook until bubbles begin to form on the top, the edges begin to appear dry, and the bottom is lightly browned.
  8. Gently flip the pancake with a spatula and cook the second side until it is also golden brown, about a couple minutes more.