Sunday, April 29, 2012's not just for Breakfast anymore!

What a beautiful weekend we are having here in Northern, New Jersey, but it's chilly!  I am looking forward to the warmer weather, and yes, even Summer!  It's been a busy couple of days around here.  We went to visit my Mom yesterday, she's doing great, just a week after open-heart surgery!  She's a trooper, and I sure hope I follow in her footsteps when I'm 80 years old!

Since we have chickens, we get a lot of eggs.  I use our "farm fresh eggs" in cooking, and baking, they are delicious!  I'm so thankful we have our ladies laying such beautiful eggs!  So, to use up these eggs, I like to make Quiche for dinner now and then.  Now I know, "real men don't eat Quiche...."  but in my house they do!  It took a while for my Hubby to get use to eating Quiche, but these days, he enjoys it, as long as there's some kind of MEAT in it.....and of course a squeeze of ketchup on top!

I got this recipe from my sister, Lois years ago, it's easy, and you can put whatever you want in the batter, just use your imagination! My sister like's to use heavy cream, but I use whole milk instead, yes heavy cream is better, but I like to use whatever I have in the frig, and I usually don't have heavy cream sitting in the frig on a regular week night.  You have to let the Quiche sit for at least 15 minutes after baking, or it will be watery.....this is a MUST!

YUMMO, with my own Pie Crust!
Bacon & Cheese Quiche

This recipe makes 1 Quiche - I always double this recipe, one Quiche is never enough!
2 cups Whole Milk (or Heavy Cream)
4 Eggs
4 slices of cooked bacon crumbled
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
1 unbaked pie pastry shell (I make my own, would never spend extra money on a store-bought pie shell, try my recipe)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

I usually bake bacon in the oven, put the slices on a foiled cookie sheet, and bake at 375 for 15 minutes until crisp.  Drain on paper towels.

In a bowl whip up the eggs with a fork, add the milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, whisk with a fork until well combined.  Put the cooked and crumbled bacon on the bottom of the pie shell, add the cheese on top, and pour in the egg and milk mixture.  Bake in a 350 oven for 50 minutes, or until the top is set and nicely puffed.  Remove from oven, and cool for 15 minutes before eating. ENJOY!

Variations - add frozen broccoli or whatever kind of veggies you want.  When I make this, I usually make one bacon and cheese, and one broccoli and cheese, or sometimes I substitute the bacon for sausage. YUMMO!

The Quiche has grape tomatoes and cheese!
This one has broccoli and cheese!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Most Delicious Biscuits EVER!

I'm linking this recipe up with Walking On Sunshine, and Foodie Friends Friday. Go take a look-see!

I've been away from my blog the last several days.  My Mom had open heart surgery this past Wednesday, so things have been crazy!

 Mom is doing so well, and I am so relieved!  I am here with her in the hospital, she is walking, and looking GREAT!  She'll go home on Monday, was some week!

Us girls on Thanksgiving!
What would a post be without food?  I made this delicious and easy biscuits the other day for dinner.  They are so good, just a few ingredients, and you don't have to cut the butter in with the flour, the butter is melted.  This recipe calls for bacon, but I omitted the bacon, and they came out great! These will be my "go to" biscuit recipe from now on.  The best part, my family LOVED them, and that's worth repeating!  Try this recipe, you will love them.

Quick Bacon-Cheese Biscuits


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled (optional -  I didn't add the bacon this time around, perhaps next time I will)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and onion powder. Mix to blend then make a well in the center of the bowl and add the milk, butter, bacon and cheese. Mix gently with a wooden spoon. The dough will be wet and sticky. Using a 1/4 cup measure or ice cream scoop, portion the batter onto a baking sheet, leaving an inch or so around each biscuit.
Bake in the oven until the biscuits are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. YUMMO!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Breakfast Crescent Ring!

I hope you all are enjoying your Spring Recess,  I sure am!  Just not having to wake up early and get my kids to school is pure bliss!

I made this really delicious Breakfast Crescent Ring this week for one of our lazy breakfast's.  It's made with Crescent Rolls, and is so easy!  This is a recipe where you can use your imagination, and put anything you want in it, change it up for lunch, dinner, and even a snack.

I hope you make this delicious and easy Breakfast Crescent Ring, it's perfect for a lazy morning! 

Breakfast Crescent Ring

1 tube Crescent Rolls
6 eggs scrambled
6 pieces cheese, whatever you like or shredded whatever you have available
8 pieces of bacon cooked and drained well

HINT: I cook bacon in a preheated 350 oven on a foil lined cookie sheet, doesn't mess up your stove, and easy clean-up.  Drain on paper towels.

Bacon, bacon, bacon!
Scrambled Eggs!

Unroll the Crescent Rolls, and on a large cookie sheet, lined with foil, spray with veggie spray.  Arrange your crescent evenly in a circle with the points pointing outward, looks like a SUN!

Crescents arranged on pan!
Spoon all the eggs around the widest part of the crescent, then top with the bacon.....

Eggs, Bacon........
And top with the cheese!
Top it off with the cheese.  Simple fold each point over the eggs, bacon, and cheese, and tuck underneath.
Not the neatest, but it will do the job!
Bake in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes, cut into nice size pieces, and YUMMO!

Right out of the oven! YUMMO!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Banana Pudding Trifle!

I make this really delicious Banana Pudding Trifle, dessert.  It has homemade pudding, banana's, real whipped cream, and those Nilla Wafer cookies, layered into a big trifle bowl.  I want some now!

This recipe is so easy, and such a crowd pleaser. If you don't have a trifle bowl, just use a big clear bowl so you can see all the layers, but I have also used a 9x13 casserole dish as well. Try this recipe, you will love it!  YUMMO!

Banana Pudding Trifle

Vanilla Pudding Filling

1 2/3 cups water
3 TBS cornstarch
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
2 TBS butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium pot, add the water and cornstarch, whisk until combined, add the sweetened condensed milk, whisk. Separate the yolks from the eggs, be careful not to get any egg white into the yolks, it's very simple, break the egg and use your fingers to separate the eggs. Pour 1/4 cup of the water/cornstarch sweetened condensed milk mixture in the bowl of egg yolks, this is called tempering the yolks so the heat doesn't scramble the eggs, mix with a fork, and add them into the pot of water/cornstarch and sweetened condensed milk, and whisk, whisk, whisk until it thickens about 5 minutes or so, you will see it bubble up and get thick, don't let it burn, nothing like burnt pudding, keep whisking!!! Now when it's all thick and delicious looking take the pot off the heat, and add 2 TBS butter and 1 tsp vanilla. Whisk it again, until the butter is melted and let cool. I usually put a piece of plastic wrap directly on top touching the pudding so a "skin" doesn't form, put in the fridge to cool, or overnight.

Whipped Cream
1/2 pint COLD Whipping Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream (they are the same thing, but the "Whipping Cream" is CHEAPER!
1/4 cup sugar

In a mixer bowl pour the cream and put your mixer on high, add the sugar, and start mixing, I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, and I put a towel over the bowl so the cream doesn't splash everywhere.  Start mixing until you see soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. 

Start putting the Trifle together

You will need the Pudding, Whipped Cream, 4 Banana's, and the Nilla Wafer Cookies

On the bottom of your trifle bowl, add a heaping of the pudding, make sure to spread it out, then the whipped cream, banana's, and layer the cookies evenly.  Keep layering about 3 more times, until all the ingredients are gone, finishing with the whipped cream.  Then top the whipped cream with crushed Nilla Wafer Cookies, just crush them up in your hands over the Trifle bowl.  Refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight.  YUMMO! 

Taco Bowls......So Easy!

I've been making these Taco Bowls for years.  They are so easy, all you need is a package of medium size floured Tortilla's, and a cereal bowl. 

Simply line a cereal bowl with a flour tortilla, no greasing, no veggie spray.  Make sure its really in the bowl, and the edges are up around the rim of the bowl.  Put the bowls on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown.  The bottoms still may be a little soggy, carefully remove the "Tortilla Bowls" out of the bowls, and put them on the cookie sheet.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes, this will firm up the soggy bottoms.

This is what you will have when they are done!

All ready to be filled with all the Fixings!

Fillings for the Tortilla Bowl

2 lbs of chop meat, I use 85% - Serves 4 hungry people
1 small onion minced
1 packet Taco Seasoning
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup water
1 can rinsed black beans or red kidney beans
2 TBS Cilantro finely minced
1 TBS fresh lime juice

Brown the meat in a skillet, drain all the fat.  Add the onion and saute until soft.  Add the water, seasoning mix, cumin, cilantro and lime juice.  Cook on simmer for 10 minutes. At this point you can add a can of  black beans or red kidney beans, make sure they are well drained and rinsed!


1 can Refried Beans - warm them in the microwave
your favorite salsa
shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Big large salad, with tomatoes, olives, mixed with Italian Dressing!

Use your imagination, whatever you want to go with this delicious Taco Bowl, go for it!  Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Christ the Lord is Risen Today!!!! Homemade Lasagna!

Our Easter was wonderful! We had Easter here this year, and it was an Italian feast! I made a  big pot of sauce, with meatballs, sausage, and braciole, along with Lasagna, and a most delicious salad. 

 I prepared the meal the day before, since I had to be in church by 7:40 am, on Easter Sunday morning.  We didn't get home until 12 noon, and my family all came by 1pm, whew!

It was a busy morning, but so worth it, being organized,  getting all the cooking, cleaning, and even the table set the day before, made life so much easier for me.  Doing all this the day before helped me to enjoy our Easter Sunday morning at church, without the stress of running home to cook.  Our church has a beautiful festive Easter Sunday morning service, with all the Easter hymns, it was truly wonderful!

Here are a few pictures from our Easter Sunday!

My family all dressed for church!

Hubby and Me!

Davey and me, and my Easter table all set!

My new Rooster dinner dishes, I found at a garage cheap!
My sister-in-law Beth's cake pops!  So YUMMO!
My Mom's pound cake...aka Aunt Betty's Pound cake!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures, it really was a most wonderful Easter celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord, and spending time with my family! 

Here's a recipe for my Lasagna, I encourage you to make your own sauce, if your going to take the time to make Lasagna, take the extra time to make homemade sauce too, here's my recipe. Just put a pot on in the morning, by the afternoon it will be ready for you to make the Lasagna.


1 box Lasagna noodles
1 32 oz container of Ricotta Cheese with 1 TBS parsley mixed in
1 cup Parm cheese
1 lb Mozzarella cheese shredded or more and reserve about 1 cup for topping after baking
About 5 cups of homemade sauce or jar sauce, whatever is easier for you!

HINT:  I don't boil my noodles.  I use very hot tap water instead.  Follow these simple directions: In your very clean kitchen sink, put the noodles in a 9x13 casserole dish, and run very hot tap water to fill the dish.  Let the noodles sit for 10 minutes.  After 10 mins, drain the water, the noodles will still be hard, it's ok, because the sauce, and cooking in the oven will soften the noodles.

After your noodles are soaked, drain, and spray a 9x13 dish with veggie spray, spread about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish, add 4 or 3 noodles going across the dish, and one noodle going down to fill in the gap.
All depends on how wide and long your dish is, but this is how I do it.

Spread about 1 cup of ricotta cheese, and then about 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese a sprinkling of parm cheese, and top it off with about 1/2 cup of sauce. Do about 3 more layers, until all the noodles are used up, ending with noodles, and then sauce for the topping.

If you're going to eat this right away for dinner, then cook in a preheated 350 covered oven for 1 hour. After the hour, sprinkle about 1 more cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and put back in the oven to melt the cheese, I like to put it on boil for 2 minutes to get the cheese all melted, but you'll have to watch it, and don't let it burn! Take out of the oven, and let sit for 40 minutes, you want it to firm up!

If you're going to eat it the next day when your company comes, right after putting the lasagna together put it in a preheated 350 oven covered for 20 minutes, then take out and let cool.  Put it in the fridge.  The next day, cook it for 45 mins to 1 hour. Top it with the shredded mozzarella cheese, and put back in the oven to melt the cheese.  Take out of the oven  and let sit for 40 minutes again.  Lasagna has to sit to firm up, if you eat it right out of the oven you will have a big soupy mess!!!!  Enjoy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Bread.....An Easter Tradition!

It's Good Friday, and I've been busy preparing for our Easter feast!  This year I'm cooking Lasagna, with a big pot of sauce, meatballs, sausage, and a most delicious salad for our dinner, and of course my Ricotta Rice Pie for dessert.  I usually serve a baked ham, but this year I need our dinner to be easy, since I'll be singing in our church choir.  We have to be in church early, and stay for both services.  Everyone in my family loves Lasagna anyway!

I love traditions, and baking Easter Bread is one of them.  I started baking this bread the first year my baby girl, Becca was born. We always had traditions while growing up, and I want my children to learn to love them as well.  This bread is so easy, and if you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, it's even easier!  Make this Easter Bread, have a piece toasted with butter for your Easter "Resurrection Day" breakfast, you and your family will love it! 

Have a most blessed and wonderful Easter!

Easter Bread

1 cup warm milk (105 - 115)
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 TBS Sugar

Heat the milk to 105 - 110 degrees,  Let the milk cool or if it's too hot it will kill the yeast. In a large bowl add the yeast, milk and 2 TBS sugar, mix with a fork, and let the yeast get all bubbly.

In your Kitchen Aid mixer, or a big bowl, add the following ingredients:

5 cups flour
1 cup butter melted COOLED butter
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp grated Lemon Zest
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Using the dough hook, or your hands, give it a whirl, then add the milk- yeast mixture.  Turn on the mixer and let the dough hook knead the dough, then add another cup of flour, continue kneading, what does the dough look like?  If it looks like a cake batter, you need to add another cup of flour, until all the dough is wrap around the dough hook.  If it's too dry, just add about 2 TBS water. 

Dough wrapped around the dough hook
Take the dough off the hook, knead it a little with your hands, and put it in a well oiled big bowl.  Cover and let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours, until doubled in size.  I like to heat up the oven for about 3 minutes, then turn it off, and put the bowl of dough in the oven, it's a nice warm place for it.

All risen, ready to shape into braids!
While the bread is rising.....Dye 6 - 8 RAW EGGS (3 or 4 for each bread sometimes I do 3, sometimes I do 4!) in whatever Easter colors you want, I like to do this when the kids are dying all the hard boiled eggs, then at the very end they carefully dye the raw eggs for the Easter Bread. 

When it's done rising, punch it down turn it out onto a floured board.  You can make 2 loaves of bread with this recipe.  Divide the dough in half, then divide each into thirds, roll out each piece into a long rope, you are going to start braiding.  Bread the dough, and then pinch the ends together making a circle. Place the dyed eggs into the bread, right before it goes for it's 2nd rise. 

All braided and shaped into a circle!
With the raw eggs waiting for the 2nd rise!
Put on a greased baking sheet, or what I do is put them in greased spring form pans, I like the shape when it's all baked.  Let them rise again for the 2nd rising,  Carefully brush with an egg wash of 1 egg yolk and 1 TBS water.  Bake in a 350 oven for 20 minutes.  Let cool, and ENJOY!

My traditional Easter Bread!  YUMMO!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Recipes.....Ricotta Rice Pie!

I'm linking this recipe up with Walking On Sunshine, and Foodie Friends Friday. Go take a look-see!
I will be having my family here for Easter this year....and every year, no matter where we go for Easter, I make this most delicious Ricotta Rice Pie. 

This recipe was handed down to me from my Mom.  She use to make this pie every Easter, and even around Christmastime when she hosted the "Deacon's Christmas Party".  I remember it all so well, she would be cooking all week for this Christmas Party, all the delicious foods that us kids would love to eat.  On her menu was "Ricotta Rice Pie".  My sister and I loved this pie, and we were so worried we wouldn't get a piece, after the platter went around to all the Deacon's and their wives. 

Finally the time came, and the platter went around the huge table, there was at least 20 people around that large table. There we were in our P.J.'s, (yes we were very young) waiting in the kitchen for the leftover pie. Would you believe the platter was empty!  YES, EMPTY....but my sister and I enjoyed the crumbs, and they were delicious!

This pie, is so creamy from the ricotta cheese, and you don't even know there's rice in it, it's so tender.  I like to serve this with sliced strawberries and whipped cream, or you could just eat it plain.  Here's the recipe!

Ricotta Rice Pie

2 cups COOKED white rice COOLED (I use Carolina Long Grain)
2 cups Ricotta Cheese
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs beaten
1/2 stick butter softened
1 TBS almond extract
1 pint fresh strawberries sliced, and sweetened with 1 TBS sugar
Freshly whipped cream

HINT - Cook the rice the day or night before so it's cooled down. Leave all the ingredients at room temp for about 1 hour before you start mixing, you do not want cold ingredients just won't work!

With an mixer,  beat the butter, eggs, sugar, and almond extract.  Add the Ricotta cheese and beat until smooth.  Add the rice and mix really good.

Grease a spring form pan, and add the batter, or a 9x13 dish.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  When cooled, run a sharp knife around the spring form pan, and unmold.  Put on a pretty platter, serve with fresh strawberries, sweetened with 1 TBS sugar, and freshly whipped cream! YUMMO!