Blackberry French Toast Casserole 

Merry Christmas 🙂 

Every family has their favorite holiday recipes, as for mine, we have some staples and a few new ones on this years menu.  After looking through a few sweet recipes that we could pair with a savory classic, I decided blackberry French Toast was the way to go! This recipe is so simple. Put it together the night before and pop in the oven the morning of. It was deinfitely a hit with our family so I am sure it will be with yours. 


Ingredients:

1 cup blackberry jam

1 (12-oz.) French bread loaf, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (I used crossiants) *** 

1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes

4 large eggs

2 cups half-and-half

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Toppings: maple syrup, whipped cream

Directions

1. Cook jam in a small saucepan over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring once.  (I’m lazy and heated mine in the microwave)**

2. Place half of bread cubes in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with cream cheese cubes, and drizzle with melted jam. Top with remaining bread cubes.

3. Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients. Pour over bread mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover tightly, and chill 8 to 24 hours.

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​4. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and mixture is set. Serve with desired toppings.
It’s delicious 🙂 

Enjoy!!! 

Recipe: Southern Living 

Southern Comfort Poppyseed Chicken

Zeta’s cooks Mrs. Kim and Mrs. Alicia  know that when they make poppyseed chicken at the house there wouldn’t be a drop left. When I first had this recipe at Zeta I about died… I was skeptical at first because the poppyseed thing threw me for a loop. My friend Taylor had me over for dinner and guess what she made… POPPYSEED CHICKEN. I was so excited to finally make this dish. To make things even quicker I used a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking/boiling the chicken before you make the dish. Taylor always uses a rotisserie and hers was divine so…

Make this….. I promise you will LOVE it.

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Ingredients

1 Rotisserie Chicken- deboned and shredded

1 Can of cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz)

1 16oz container of low fat sour cream

2 Teaspoons of poppyseeds

1 sleeve of ritz crackers

1/4 cup butter melted (half a stick)

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 350

Debone your rotisserie chicken and place the meat into a big bowl

Combine the soup, sour cream and poppyseeds with the chicken and mix well

Crush one sleeve of ritz crackers and combine and mix well with the melted butter. (Melt the butter in the microwave for 35-40 seconds)

Evenly spread the chicken mixture into a casserole dish and top with the ritz cracker/butter mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly

1 Can

Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potatoes 

Sweet potatoes might just be my favorite food. Anywhere that has sweet potatoes as a side.. I’m game. Here in NWA ice and snow took over last night. This gave me the perfect opputunity to make a cozy dinner food for a movie night. I’m sure when you think cozy dinner food you immediately think chili.. well here’s another to add to your list. My whole mindset was to use campbells roasted chicken oven ready sauce. I went to two grocery stores and could not find it anywhere. I improvised and used McCormicks pot roast sauce and added honey. To be quite honest… I doubt I ever go back to the other sauce. This dinner was a hit and I have plenty of left overs. 


Ingredients 

1 pound of chicken breasts- boneless thighs would be great too. 

1-2 large sweet potatoes (I used one but would have liked to have had more)

1 medium yellow onion 

1 package of mcCormicks pot roast slow cooker sauce (I found mine at harps in the soup isle. Look on the bottom shelf under all the seasoning packets) 

^^ There’s a pic of what the sauce looks like!

1-2 TBS of melted honey 

Directions: preheat oven to 450

If your chicken breasts are super thick like mine were, place one breast between two sheets of Saran Wrap and use a meat mallet or something hard to thin out the breast.  Cut the breast in half to make two breasts. If they are thin and will cook easier don’t worry about it. 

Cut your sweet potato and onion into cubes and place both in the bottom of a 9X13 dish. Make sure it’s deep enough or just use any casserole dish you have on hand. 

Place chicken on top of sweet potatoes and onions. Pour package of sauce all over the mixture and toss well until everything is coated. 

Heat your honey in the microwave and then pour on top and mix well again. 

Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes until chicken is no longer pink and the sweet potatoes are fully cooked. 

I served mine with roasted asparagus but you could also make a big salad!!!

Asparagus: coat in olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and place on a tin foil lined baking sheet at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. 

To make it easy I put the asparagus in with dinner for the last 15 min. 

Enjoy 🙂 

Don’t Kale My Vibe… Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna!

Thanksgiving rolled around in our family and to be honest I was not ready for it.  I love cooking (obviously) and making a menu for a  holiday is something I look forward to. This Thanksgiving my sister and I had no clue what we were making for all of our family coming into town. We had two requirements.. 1. It has to feed A LOT of people 2. It better be good. Our family is used to great cooking and when my Honey is out of the kitchen we have a lot to live up to.  I love butternut squash and have always wanted to try a savory lasagna using it. Let me be the first to say that we have picky eaters in our family. I am talking the ones who will not touch a veggie with a 10 foot pole. This recipe was DEVOURED. That is saying a lot. My three boy cousins raved about this lasagna and that is quite the compliment. Do not get overwhelmed by the ingredient list or the time it takes to make it. It is worth it! Pour yourself a glass of Pinot Nior turn on some Frank Sinatra and get to cooking.

MAKE THIS…… That’s all I’ve got.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds sweet Italian sausage (if links, casings removed)
1 large yellow onion, diced
8 ounces white button mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Two 15-ounce cans butternut squash puree
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Filling:
2 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 cup chopped cooked kale (use a kitchen towel to squeeze out any excess moisture from the kale)
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Lasagna:
Sea salt
1 pound lasagna noodles (Oven ready)**
Olive oil, for drizzling
Nonstick cooking spray, for the casserole dish
4 cups shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan

Directions- Pre-heat your oven to 400
For the sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it browns. When the sausage has cooked to golden brown, about 8 minutes, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits left on the bottom of the skillet. Deglaze with 2 tablespoons water. Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned.

.mushroom-mix

Stir in the garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper and cook about 2 minutes. Add the sausage back to the skillet. Stir in the canned butternut squash, cream, salt and pepper. Set aside.

butternut
For the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, kale, sage, garlic powder, salt, pepper, eggs and nutmeg. Stir to combine and set aside.

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For the lasagna: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Layering Process:
Spray a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon about a cup of the sauce into the dish, spreading it to cover the bottom. Arrange half the lasagna noodles over the sauce, then begin layering first with half of the ricotta filling, then half of the sauce, then half of the mozzarella. Continue layering with the remaining noodles, filling and sauce, finishing with mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Tap the casserole on the counter to force out any air bubbles.
Bake until the cheese is golden brown and the lasagna is bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes so it can set and be cut easily.

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Recipe Courtesy: Food Network

 

Fish-Food… You’ll Thank Me Later

I am the ultimate snacker. Finger foods are my absolute favorite. My ideal meal is a cheese board, wine and fish food.. Okay well I love a steak and sweet potato too. Its official.. I’m a foodie. I cannot tell you how many times we have made this snack mix for parties, tailgates , holidays, birthdays or just because a friend is need of some fish food. Once you make this I promise you will be surprised how easy it is. Beware.. if you take this anywhere you better have this recipe on hand. This is the BEST snack mix ever…  I bring this every time I travel. After two airplane rides my gallon sized Ziploc is gone thanks to me and neighboring passengers devouring it.

Since you will have people asking for you to make this recipe… I decided to help you out. The revamp started when I would check out at the grocery store my eyes would become the size of my head due to the $$$ on the total. The original recipe was so expensive to make. My sister and I changed it to make it piggy bank  friendly. Now we can continue making it for our friends/family… lucky you 😉

Makes 2 Gallon Ziploc’s full of fabulous fish food…. .

1 Jumbo box of Cheddar goldfish (Yes that huge one that looks like it will last a year..shaped like a milk carton) 

1 box of four cheese or white cheddar cheeze-its

1 Bag of oyster crackers (large crackers not the tiny ones) 

1 bag of whole pecans 

1 Package of dry ranch dressing seasoning 

1 Package of dry Italian dressing seasoning 

1/2 stick of unsalted butter (melted but not too hot) (My sister likes it with one stick of butter and 1/4 cup of olive oil… I try to make it a tad healthier by only 1/2 a stick.. up to you) 

1/2 cup of olive oil 

1 Tbs of Worcestershire 

Lawry’s season salt and a dash of cayenne pepper if you want a hint of spice — also you can use any seasoning doesn’t have to lawry’s (I use the reduced sodium kind)- make sure if  you aren’t using a season salt to add some salt. 

Arrange all goldfish, crackers and pecans on 2 baking sheets. Melt butter and combine all ingredients in a bowl– whisk well and do this very very quickly before seasoning clumps up.
Pour half mixture on the first pan and half the mixture on the second. TOSS WELL…. I mean extra well.
Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Toss every 15 minutes.

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Zestyyyyy Chicken with Brown Rice

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You know the nights where you cannot decide on anything to have for dinner because your fridge is empty? It was one of those nights.  I knew  I wanted something quick and healthy as well as something that would make multiple meals for the week. I ran to the store grabbed a few items and threw this together. It was awesome.. I know the recipe calls for chili sauce but Walmart didn’t have “natural”so I went with 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. I served it over brown rice with a side roasted asparagus.  I added Tony C’s seasoning to the tomato sauce to give it some zest. (I feel like I should be in Louisiana eating this dish btw) ENJOY!!!

 

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Ingredients:

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided use
1 cup dry brown rice
2 cups water
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 lb. raw chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch strips
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14.5-oz.) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
½ cup all-natural chili sauce OR Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

Preparation:
1. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add rice; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until rice starts to crackle.
3. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat; cook for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until rice is tender and fluffy.
4. While rice is cooking, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in another medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
5. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Add chicken and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
7. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, chili or tomato sauce, basil, parsley, and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently boil, covered, for 10 minutes. — If you used tomato sauce and not chili then add Tony C’s.
8. Divide rice between four serving plates; top evenly with chicken mixture.

capture1 Beachbody Recipe

Pass the Jarlsberg….

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Anyone who knows me… Knows that 1. appetizers are my favorite and 2. I love cheese.

When I first had this recipe I was told that after one bite I would be hooked. Well guess what.. they were right. With only three ingredients this cheese and cracker delight is something YOU CANNOT GO TO A PARTY or HOST A PARTY WITHOUT. Three ingredients people…. three. There really are no measurements for this so you just have to eyeball it and make sure it is hot or mild enough for you!

Ingredients:

Jarlsberg Cheese (Get it at SAM’s)- Shredded

2-3 Serrano Peppers- Remove seeds and chop  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdvpdNpKeXM (This video shows you how to remove the seeds)

Mayo (Lighten it up if you want by using light mayo)- Only use enough to hold it all together.

Combine all three ingredients and serve with your favorite crackers.