Friday, April 23, 2010

Breakfast Sausage Squares

     The original recipe comes from my mom.  This is one of her recent additions...meaning she didn't make this when we were growing up.  The name she has for it is Egg Squares, but I don't really like that name so I am changing it!  Not that the name I have assigned to it is any better, but I think it gives a better idea as to what is in it.
     I love to do brunches. They can be elegant or informal.  You can entertain early in the day and visit throughout the afternoon or make an early departure and still have time to do other things.  With Mother's Day fast approaching, I have been on the lookout for recipes to make for our Mother's Day brunch.  This is one that I think I will make this year.

Breakfast Sausage Squares

1 package sausages, cut in 1/2 inch slices
9 beaten eggs
3 c. milk
3 slices of white bread, cubed
1 1/2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 t. salt
onion flakes to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Butter 9x 12 pan and set aside.  Brown sausage slices and drain.  Beat eggs and add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour into buttered pan.  Bake 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Winter Fruit Salad

This fruit salad is perfect for this time of year when we are waiting for the summer fruits to ripen and become fully flavored.  I got this recipe from my dear friend Laurel and have made it many times over the years.  My mother-in-law always requests it for Christmas brunch.  I maybe should have posted this recipe this winter as it is a winter staple recipe when a fruit salad is needed and all that is available that tastes good are bananas, apples and canned fruit.  It uses all of the above.

Winter Fruit Salad
 1/2 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 c. orange juice
1 T. lemon juice
20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
8oz.can mandarin oranges, drained
2 c. diced apples, I use red delicious
1/4 c. marachino cherries, drained
2 large bananas, sliced

In a serving bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch to mix.  Whisk in the orange and lemon juices.  Microwave on high 2 minutes, whisk and microwave 1-2 minutes more or until thickened.  Set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, open the mandarin oranges and pineapple and drain in sieve until orange juice mixture is cool.  When oj mixture is cool, cut in apples and add pineapple, cherries and mandarin oranges.  Chill a couple hours and when ready to serve cut in bananas, stirring to combine well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mini Cheesecakes

We went to a potluck on Saturday night.  It was to raise funds for some teacher friends who are adopting a little orphaned girl from China with downs syndrome.  There was a silent auction, cash bar and potluck.  We had a great time bidding on the multitude of items people donated.  There were many homemade items auctioned such as whole wheat bread, white bread, coconut pecan pie, canned goods like pickles, asparagus, salsa etc.  The potluck also had many great items to sample.  How is it that when you go to a potluck it seems that everyone takes something different?  It is like everyone was assigned what specifically they are to bring.  Yet that is not the case.  We are all left to bring whatever we want, yet there are never too many duplicates.  There is always a great variety of items and many new dishes to try.  I hadn't made these little cheesecakes in a while so I took these.  They always disappear quickly.

Mini Cheesecakes

10 vanilla wafers
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line 10 muffin cups with foil cupcake liners.  Put 1 vanilla wafer in each cup.  Beat softened cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla.  Beat until smooth. Fill cups 1/2 full.  This should make about 10.  Bake @350 for 15 -20 minutes.  Cool.  Top with either cherry, blueberry, or strawberry pie filling or with caramel ice cream topping and mini chocolate chips or whatever you like with your cheesecake. Chill till serving time.  These are also good made with chopped Snickers bars baked into the batter.   You can also add 1 t. lemon zest and 2 t. lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture before baking.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easy Strawberry Sorbet

With strawberry season coming or for some already here, now is the time to stock up on strawberry recipes and ideas.  I love strawberries and can never have enough.  We usually go strawberry picking of course, and come home with loads to make jams, pies, shortcakes etc. and add many to the freezer for winter months to enjoy in a smoothie or to make this wonderfully simple sorbet.  It feels like ice cream to the tongue, creamy and delicious.  It is low in calories and fat free.  It lends itself well for entertaining as it is quite elegant when served in pedestal sundae glasses after a heavier meal where you want a light or cool dessert.

Strawberry Sorbet

2 c. frozen strawberries
2 T. sugar or splenda
2 T. apple juice or grape or whatever you have

Let strawberries sit on counter about 10 minutes to thaw just a bit but not too much.  Put in food processor and with chopping blade, pulse about 10 times.  Add in sugar or splenda (use more or less according to taste) and apple juice. Pulse and blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins

These are my all time favorite muffins.  Every time I make them and take them somewhere I get compliments and get asked for the recipe.  My sister-in-law Julie got the recipe from me a few years ago and shared that she uses the base of this recipe and adds other ingredients to make different kinds of muffins.  She made one version for a family brunch that was really good. She omitted the lemon and raspberries and added mandarin oranges and coconut. They were very good.  I think she also made one with crushed pineapple and something else too.   You could use orange zest in place of the lemon etc.  So use your imagination and create your own version.  I will give you the original recipe here and then tell how I alter it to make it "healthier".  These would make a terrific addition to Easter brunch.

Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins

2 c. flour (I used 1 1/3 c. whole wheat and 2/3 c. all-purpose)
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
8 oz. lemon yogurt (I used vanilla)
1/2 c. oil (I used 1/4 c. oil + 1/4 c. applesauce)
1 t. grated lemon zest
2 eggs
1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (if using frozen, do not thaw)


1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 T. butter

Heat oven to 400 F.  Grease 14-16 muffin cups.  In mixing bowl, beat eggs; add oil (and applesauce) and whisk; next add in lemon zest, yogurt and sugar. Sift all dry ingredients together (I don't sift) and mix well.  Gently stir in raspberries.  Spoon into muffin tins and top with streusel.  Bake 15-20 minutes.  Cool about 5 min. and using knife loosen muffins from tin and lift out. (You don't want to tip them out as they will lose the topping)

For topping:  Mix flour and sugar; cut in butter until 1/2 pea size crumbles and spoon evenly over muffin batter in pans.