Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Overnight French Toast with Coconut Syrup

Look at THIS.
This is a fabulous recipe for you Moms out there wanting something wonderful for your Mother's Day breakfast.  After all, you deserve something wonderful (and still easy for the Hubby to make). The richness from the maple syrup and cream cheese along with the AMAZING Coconut Syrup will leave you feeling like a queen! So ladies, pass this along to your husband, or in my case, prepare it the night before and give him the baking instructions for the morning, and enjoy the deliciousness as you celebrate how WONDERFUL you are!!!

**Becca, one of our fellow writers here on Girl and Her Kitchen, loves to add blueberries right before baking.  I enjoy serving some mixed berries on the side.  You can also follow the directions and make these into Heather's fun  French Toast Muffins .

Overnight French Toast with Coconut Syrup

1 loaf of french bread ( cut or torn into small bite sized pieces)
8-10 ounces cream cheese (chunks)
1 dozen eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup "real" maple syrup (no Aunt Jemima for this meal)

1. Grease a 9x13 pan (I really like the way aluminum pans bake evenly, but use what you have)
2. Layer french toast bites and small chunks of cream cheese (you are trying to make sure the cream cheese is evenly distributed)
3. Beat eggs, milk, and  maple syrup together in a bowl. Pour over the bread and cheese.
4. Cover and refrigerate overnight
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes uncovered, top with drizzled coconut syrup

Coconut Syrup
1 cup butter (real butter)
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coconut extract

Place butter, sugar, and buttermilk in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it is boiling remove it from heat and add baking soda and coconut extract. (It will bubble up a little, don't be alarmed, it's just the baking soda working) Serve warm

*Remember to remove from heat before adding the baking soda and extract*
* This can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for many weeks*

What is your favorite Syrup Flavor?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Classic Enchiladas {and a bonus recipe for Homemade Enchilada Sauce!}

Cinco de Mayo is simply an excuse for me to eat a lot of chips and guacamole.

Like a lot of guacamole. I made two different kinds and just want to sit there with a spoon and eat it.

But, I didn't okay? Before you get all judgy about it, I actually didn't do it. I just wanted to. There's a difference.

I did, however, make the best enchiladas ever! You know I love enchiladas. I have shared some recipes with you before. These shrimp enchiladas are making my mouth water right now, and this  honey lime enchilada recipe is so flavorful...yum!

This is not a new recipe. My mom has been rocking this enchilada recipe since I was a little girl and it has always been one of my favorites! It is simple and delicious and a perfect meal to make to go with all that guacamole that I want to eat.

This was that recipe when I knew my mom was making it, I made sure to be available for dinner. My friend Tina would often make herself available for dinner too. Funny enough, my mom used to keep a schedule of the meals she was going to make for the week in the kitchen desk drawer (yes, I do that now too) and I would call Tina and let her know: Enchiladas were on the schedule. She would immediately schedule herself over to enjoy them with me.

Life was pretty easy back then. I mean, life was scheduling ourselves around enchiladas. Wow.

I made these not too long ago for one of my brothers who then told my mom that I make the best enchiladas and that she needs to get my recipe. Funny since as you could guess from my story above, it is her recipe. Mothers never seem to get the credit they deserve. Really.

These are a perfect make ahead recipe too for those busy nights. Easy enough to throw all together and then put in the fridge until you are ready to bake.

I make my own enchilada sauce and have included the recipe for you, but feel free to just use canned in a pinch. Whatever is easiest for you!

Serve with chips, guac and a salad, and you have a perfect meal for any day of the year!

Classic Enchiladas
12 corn or flour tortillas*
2 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs lean ground turkey or beef
1 batch homemade enchilada sauce**, or 2 14.5 oz cans of red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup sliced green onions, more for garnish
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, guacamole, salsa, sliced olives, sliced green onions for serving

*My mom would fry each tortilla individually until it puffed up. This helped the enchiladas stay really crispy and delicious, but it is a lot of work! I do it only if I have a lot of time. It is a definite must try, but the enchiladas are delicious without doing that as well! The extra step just brings them over the top good!

** Homemade Enchilada Sauce is so good and so worth the extra ten minutes it takes to make it!

Here is the simple recipe:

2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp chili powder
2 cups cold water
3 oz tomato paste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
cayenne pepper, optional for a kick

In a small saucepan, heat oil, flour and chili powder to create a roux. Cook for two minutes as it gets thick and fragrant. Add water and whisk until smooth. Heat for 3 minutes. Whisk in tomato paste, spices and salt. Whisk until smooth and cook for 10 minutes over low heat until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and it is ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray to prevent the tortillas from sticking. In a large pan, heat canola oil. Add onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add ground beef or turkey and cook until browned. Add 1 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and green onions and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 8 minutes.

Remove meat from the heat and begin assembling enchiladas. Take one tortilla, add about two tablespoons meat mixture, and sprinkle with 1-2 tblsp shredded cheddar cheese. Fold and tuck into pan with folded side down. Repeat using all of the tortillas and arrange into the pan. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with the rest of the cheddar cheese. If you are saving to bake later, this is when you would cover with foil and put into the fridge.

If you are baking now, bake for 30 minutes, covered with foil. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. When done baking, garnish with green onions and olives. Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa. If you are removing from the fridge to bake, bake for 45 minutes covered and then remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with sour cream, salsa and guacamole if desired.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Quick and Easy Taco Skillet

As the spring sports season begins to kick into high gear, we typically begin the strangest dinner schedule for about 2-3 months! What does this mean? It means that we are usually eating dinner around 4 pm, or after 7pm when we all get home. With three young kids, it is hard to juggle a good, wholesome meal, and three different places that three different children all need to be.

Prep and planning is the key to success, I have learned. Also just as important? An arsenal of meals that can be whipped up fast, with simple ingredients, and preferably, not a lot of dishes to wash when we are done!

One skillet meals are literally my best friend during this time of year. I heart them so much I could make them everyday! Super simple, and only one pan to clean! (Is it obvious I HATE washing dishes??)

This particular one is a family favorite. My kids seem to favor anything Tex Mex and this definitely fits the bill. This is my gift to you all-helping make nights of crazy activities go a little more smoothly!

Quick and Easy Taco Skillet

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb. extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 packet taco mix or 2 tbsp of your own spice mix
3/4 cup water
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1  cup black beans, drained
2 cups cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa, guacamole-for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add peppers, onions and garlic and sauté until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm on a plate. Add ground beef to pan and cook until browned. Drain any fat left in pan. Add water and sprinkle in taco seasoning. Cook for 2 minutes. Spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Add corn layer and then bean layer on top of the corn. Spoon peppers evenly over beans. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until everything is hot and bubbly. Serve hot with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips.

What is your favorite quick and easy meal?
Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Zucchini "Parmesan"

Zucchini...I love love love it. Did you see how many "loves" I wrote there?

It is my favorite vegetable. I love it grilled, oven roasted, sautéed...well you get the picture.

Growing up, my mom mostly cooked Italian food, or Italian inspired food. This was because she was Italian and she learned from my grandfather. My grandfather was a wonderful cook, and in turn, so was my mother.  This was one of my mom's recipes...but you never know. It could have been my grandfather's that she adapted to her own! Either way, it is one of my favorites.

She called it Zucchini Parmesan, but it does not resemble what most would consider zucchini parmesan.  This is a great recipe that can be served as a main dish ( I would double it if it is the main dish) or as a side dish with some delicious grilled steak, chicken or fish. Over the years my mother experimented with different versions of this recipe. Some were successful, and others...not so much.

If you love eggplant, give that a try instead of zucchini. If you want to do without the breadcrumbs, just dredging the zucchini (or eggplant) in just flour and then sauteing also works well.  I have to say though, the bread crumbs bring it over the top though. This is a simple dish that gives you a lot in return.

Play with it a little, try other veggies, or make it as is! Enjoy!

Zucchini Parmesan
1 1/2 lbs of zucchini
1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
1-2 eggs beaten
2 -3 plum tomatoes sliced
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1  tsp of salt
1/4 cup of olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 8 x 8 inch square baking dish. Cut zucchini into rounds. Dip zucchini into egg and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat with all zucchini. Next heat oil in a skillet. Sauté zucchini in skillet until golden brown. Cover bottom of baking dish with zucchini. Next top with tomato slices. In a bowl, combine sour cream, salt, oregano and pepper. Spread evenly over the tomato slices. Then sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted. and zucchini is tender.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easy Mushroom Frittata {+ some other Easter Brunch Recipes!}

Mushrooms are my favorite!

I just love them, so, needless to say, I take every opportunity I can to sneak them into whatever I make. Sneak is the key word, because unfortunately, everyone is this house is not as big of a fan as I. This easy mushroom frittata was delicious and, as the name implies, easy! It was a cinch  to whip this one up along with another frittata that would delight my most pickiest eaters. The mushroom lovers of this house loved this delicate egg dish, filled with mushrooms and topped with a layer of freshly grated parmesan cheese. 

Perfect for Easter Brunch. Perfect for breakfast anytime. 

Want the recipe? Check out my Kids in the Kitchen with Girl and Her Kitchen post on Little Lake County this month. I will provide the recipe, step by step instructions, more pictures and a few delicious variations of this frittata. You don't want to miss it!

Looking for other brunch recipes? Look no further! Check out these from previous postings we have done. Click on the name of the recipe to be taken right to the page with instructions! Delicious!

(Warning: Some pictures are from my very early blogging days and are hard on the eyes! Proceed with caution and forget you ever saw those photos! Only concentrate on the delicious recipes you will create from them. Banish the photos from your brain! )

Looking for more? Just check out my recipe index and search under "Breakfast and Brunch" and the "Easter" heading. You will find a ton of delicious recipes perfect for any holiday gathering!