Breakfast, Vegetarian

Baked Blueberry French Toast

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Clean eating is the theme of this recipe & originally, that is what the blogger over at The Gracious Pantry titled it but, seriously, that’s just way too much of a title for something so simple.  Do not, however, let its simplicity fool you into thinking this breakfast-for-dinner is anything except phenomenal.  Not to sound like an advertisement, and only to remind myself, but I used Oroweat Health Nut Bread; it has walnuts and sunflower seeds that seriously put this over the top in my mouth.

Lastly, next time I make this, I’m going full-vegan and omitting the eggs altogether, using 5 bananas (the original recipe calls for 8 egg whites).


  • 6 cups cubed, whole grain bread (I used the entire loaf)
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 5 bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries


  1. Cube the bread and put into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, almond milk, honey, extracts, bananas, and cinnamon. Using an immersion blender mix until thoroughly combined (you could also mash with something…but mash it well so it coats the bread evenly when poured over top).
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the cubed bread and mix thoroughly.
  4. Oil a baking dish (about 9 x 13), and fill it with the bread mixture. If time allows, let it sit for at least 30 minutes, mixing once or twice to be sure all parts of the bread are moistened. If you don’t have the time, skip to #5!
  5. Mix in the blueberries.
  6. Bake the casserole at 350 F. for about 30-45 minutes or until there is no longer any liquid between the bread.  {I baked it (convection oven) for 30 minutes.}
  7. Allow to cool a bit and serve.

Crock Pot Pumpkin Coffeecake Oatmeal

Crockpot Coffee Cake Oatmeal

I know steel cut oats are the way to go, health wise, but I don’t buy them.  They’re more expensive for a smaller container and we love our oatmeal.  We eat too much of it to justify buying the steel cut.  Don’t hate.

When I found this recipe on Healthy Slow Cooking I was bummed that it specifically called for steel cut, and a quick Google search confirmed that they are the ideal choice.  I knew I couldn’t leave this to cook in the crock pot all night but with my morning running schedule, it worked out perfectly to use regular oats (not the quick-cook).  Since I’m up a solid hour before my daughters, this gives me time to get everything in the crock pot and it has time to cook while they shower.  An hour and a half later, we have oatmeal!

I used one, plus one half serving-size amount of oatmeal from the side of the can.  I changed the amount of water because, I’m assuming, the elevation here in Texas always leaves my oatmeal runny so I decreased the liquid by quite a bit.


  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups water or milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • brown sugar to taste
  • ground nutmeg to taste
  • chopped pecans or almonds (optional)


  1. Put oats, water (or milk), pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla in the crockpot and cook on high for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  2. Stir in extra milk to make it the consistency that you like.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar, nutmeg and nuts on top!
Breakfast, Fruit, Quinoa

Breakfast Quinoa with Strawberries and Bananas

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The Parsley Thief offered up this tasty twist on quinoa and I l.o.v.e.d it!  Not only does it offer a carb-loaded breakfast, perfect before a long run, but it’s a welcome change from the usual granola.  It’s chewy and tender with a hint of sweet from the honey, has a light crunch from the berries and the smooth texture from the bananas is such a tempting combination for an early morning feast of champions!

Any kind of fruit would be tasty in this, depending on your mood (I’m a huge mood-eater!); blackberries, blueberries, apricots, apples etc.  Obviously you can substitute regular milk for any other variety that you prefer and if you want some extra protein, add some chopped almonds or pecans.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh berries
  • 1/2 banana, sliced


  1. Bring the milk and quinoa to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the quinoa is tender, and most of the milk has been absorbed {about 15 minutes}.
  3. Remove from heat, and stir in the honey and cinnamon. Serve topped with fruit.

Serves 1-2 {depending on your appetite}

Adapted from Whole Living Magazine, September 2011

Appetizers/Snacks, Breakfast, Fruit

Raw Oatmeal Snacks

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My middle child is the adventurous one.  The one with the messiest room, the sense of style that always surprises me and the one who loves to experiment in the kitchen.  Recipe cards?  Not on her watch!  Last night she wanted a snack so she set out to make granola bars and came up with this super healthy, very satisfying snack instead.

Her measurements did not include any cups or spoons, relying on her “sense of feel”, instead.  After eyeballing the bowl of goods, I estimated what was in there.  In the end you’ll want the balls to stick together as much as possible, though hers didn’t stick well – she grumbled through it though and after they were frozen they were the perfect texture,  chewy and sweet.


  • 2/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup uncooked oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 8-10 dried apricots, finely chopped


  1. In a food processor, process the almonds, oats and cinnamon until it’s very fine.
  2. Pour into a bowl and mix honey and chopped apricots in.
  3. Roll the mixture into balls teaspoon sized balls and carefully place in a freezer bag.  Freeze for 30 minutes or so until they’re firm.

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Appetizers/Snacks, Breakfast, Cakes

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

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I spotted this recipe when Pam, at For the Love of Cooking, first posted it and knew it’d be something I’d want to share with good friends.

I doubled the original recipe (below) knowing that the kids would want some as well. I used a 13×9 inch pan and cooked at the same temperature as below, for 55 minutes.  I was a little nervous doubling it because I wasn’t sure how the extra batter would affect cook time, but it turned out as good, if not better than expected.  The top and bottom were just beginning to get dark, but the inside stayed moist and fluffy.  I served this with mimosas (to my friends, not my kids!) and loved every minute of my 10 AM buzz!

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of flour, minus 2 Tablespoons (for the blueberries)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar (for the top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Coat a 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together with a mixer until creamy & smooth.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of flour to the blueberries and toss to coat evenly.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the remaining flour together with the baking powder and salt until well mixed.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk, then fold in the blueberries gently.
  7. Spread batter into the pan evenly (it will be very thick).
  8. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on top of the batter.
  9. Place into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

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Breakfast, Eggs/Cheese, Pork, Sausage

Sausage Frittata


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I made this back in March and it was so good I knew I had to make it again for the picture I didn’t take the first time!  Fresh, easy and full of protein, for me this is a perfect go-to dinner choice.  I made steamed artichokes to go with it and the kids didn’t make a peep other than the sound of their chewing!


  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 tablespoon basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1/2 white onion, diced fine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350


1.  Whisk eggs and water in a bowl and set aside.

2.  Cook sausage through with basil, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. Drain fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons of the oil in the pan to cook the vegetables in.  Remove sausage from the pan and set aside.

3.  Add the sliced zucchini and onions to the oil. Sauté for about 5-10 minutes until a little brown; salt and pepper.

4.  Add the sausage & eggs into the pan. Cook over low heat until the edges begin to get firm.

5.  Place entire pan into oven and cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.

After it is cooked, remove from oven and let sit for a couple minutes before cutting and serving!


Homemade Maple Syrup

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Sinzibuckwud, or ‘sweet water’ having come from the maple tree, was used by the Aborigines of North America for its sugar content long before European settlers arrived and began pouring it over their crumpets and porridge.*  There wasn’t any high fructose corn syrup to speak of and the all-natural sweetener was used in a variety of ways to sweeten foods.  Tell me this; what’s the big deal with HFCS?  Is it because it’s processed?  I don’t get it.  I’ve Googled it to death and don’t really understand why it’s worse for our bodies than pure sugar. This turned out very well, if just a little thinner than I’m used to – but no thinner than pure maple syrup purchased in a grocery store. 

I’d say this syrup is between imitation syrup and real maple syrup in its consistency; which is to say I didn’t mind that it was slightly more runny than the fake junk I regularly consume on our waffles.  Also, I don’t like how sweet real maple syrup is and this recipe didn’t turn out near as sweet as that.  Happy!

The recipe, found at All Recipes, makes two cups and I stored it in a washed jam jar.  I haven’t refrigerated it because it will likely all be consumed this week along with the double batch of waffles that were made this morning.  Honestly, I found conflicting ideas on how syrup should be stored so do a little research and do what you will with it.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple extract


  1. Bring the water, white sugar, and brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in the maple extract; simmer 10 minutes longer.

Source: Wikipedia

Breads, Breakfast

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

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source: All Recipes

I didn’t change a thing about this recipe, except adding in the blueberries.  I love LOVE buttermilk pancakes.  I love the texture, the flavor and the smell.  It’s just a homey, comfort-food kind of thing that you can’t go wrong with on a Sunday morning.  If you want to make this the night before, just keep the dry ingredients separate from the wet, until you’re ready to cook; and not that you need me to tell you but keep the wet stuff refrigerated if you’re storing it over night.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup un-salted butter
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup blueberries
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, then add buttermilk, milk and eggs and whisk together.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it’s ready!
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk together until it’s just blended together. Do not over whisk! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Makes approximately 24 pancakes


Monte Cristo Casserole

DSC_8237 copyAll I have to say is when I found this recipe at Real Mom Kitchen I knew I’d found another perfect breakfast for dinner recipe!  Eaten for dinner and breakfast the next morning, I can’t find a single thing wrong with this dish!  I used Simply Fruit strawberry jam to cut down on the processed sugars since I’m guessing the French toast has more than I care to know about.


  • 2 packages (12.5 ounces each) frozen French toast slices, thawed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of thick sliced deli baked ham, diced
  • 1 cup thick sliced deli roast turkey, diced
  • 8 ounces or 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 24 oz. container of frozen strawberries slices, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 375

  1. Cut the slices of thawed French toast into 3/4 inch cubes.
  2. In a small bowl,  whisk together milk and eggs.
  3. In a large bowl, place half of the French toast cubes.  Pour half of the egg mixture over the cubes and toss gently with a spoon or spatula.  Toss until cubes are well coated.
  4. Place the coated French toast cubes in a 9 x 13 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  5. Next layer half of the ham, turkey, parsley, and cheese on the coated French toast cubes.
  6. Using your same large bowl, toss together the remaining French toast cubes and egg mixture to coat.  Place the coated French toast cubes in an even layer in the baking dish followed by layers of the remaining ham, turkey, parsley, and cheese.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and set in center. Remove to cooling rack; cool 10 minutes.  While the casserole bakes, combine the sliced strawberries with the jam.
  8. Cut into 8-12 squares. Sprinkle the top of each square with a dusting of powdered sugar followed by a spoonful of the strawberry mixture.
Breakfast, Eggs/Cheese, Pork

Sausage Apple (Overnight) Breakfast Casserole

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I found this a week or so over at Real Mom Kitchen and knew I wanted to try it this (Christmas) morning!  I’ve never really been a big fan of morning casseroles because they have a strange texture and they’re just…well?  Icky.  So after I completely insulted my mom (I love you mom!!) and told her I never really liked the Christmas casserole she makes I made this and cooked it up this morning.  It baked while we opened presents and beeped just as we were opening the last of the gifts.  It smelled like Christmas morning should smell with the cinnamon apples and the verdict?  YUM!  The flavors melded together well and when I warmed up a plate of it for lunch a few hours later it was even better.  I couldn’t have asked for an easier morning/afternoon meal!


  • 1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Maple Flavor Pork Sausage Roll
  • 6 cups bread cubed into ¾-inch pieces
  • 10 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • maple syrup, if desired


  1. Brown sausage in a skillet until cooked; drain.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla until well blended.
  3. In another bowl, mix apples, sugar and cinnamon together until well coated.
  4. In a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish,  place half of the bread cubes followed by half the sausage, half the apples, and and 1 cup of the cheese.  Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour egg mixture over the layers making sure to evenly coat it all with the egg mixture.
  6. Place in fridge and refrigerate overnight.
  7. In the morning, remove the casserole from the fridge and preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cut and serve topped with a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.  Mimosas and coffee optional!!