Category Archives: Brunch

Easy Danish Kringle

DSC_0566

I  found one of the easiest brunch recipes today.  Your’re going to either hate me or love me.  Especially when we’ve all made our New Year’s resolutions to be more healthy.  It won’t hurt to indulge in just one small piece, though.  The recipe is  from one of my favorite recipe sources Pillsbury. It is a bake-off winner from 1998 and so simple that if will leave you wondering if you have done something wrong.  I just bet that you have all the ingredients right there in your kitchen to get this started at your earliest convenience.  You’ll need a  Pillsbury pie crust, light brown sugar, softened butter, chopped pecans, and powdered sugar.  While to pastry is coming to room temperature you can measure all your ingredients.  In a mere 30 minutes you will have one of the best pastries that you could buy anywhere.

Now here’s how to put it together.

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts

Sky-High Brunch Bake

Talk about a show stopper this Sky-High Brunch Bake is one that will stop you in your tracks!  I could not resist making it when I saw the picture in Food and Family by Kraft.  It is beautiful to look at and it is quite tasty.  I am keeping this bookmarked to use during the holiday season for a brunch because the green spinach and red peppers are so colorful!  Don’t let the beautiful picture intimidate you because it is super simple to make if you can get past rolling out the pastry dough.  Just follow the thawing directions on the box.  You can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator or leave it out for about 45 minutes ahead of time.  I like to thaw it out in the refrigerator.  If you let it get too warm just put it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes.  The pastry dough is very forgiving.  The rest of the recipe is a cinch to make.  Trust me by saying the novice cook can pull this off without a hitch and come out smelling like a rose!

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Main dish

French Toast made under the Broiler

I have made French toast since I was 12 years old cooking breakfast for myself and my two younger sisters.  French Toast was on the menu most mornings.  You know it is easy if a 12-year-old can do it.   I never followed a recipe.  I just cracked 2 eggs, added milk, and mixed with a fork.  I heated my mother’s cast iron skillet to a medium high heat.  Then dropped a  couple of tablespoons of butter into the skillet.  As the butter heated I just dipped the bread into the egg mixture and threw it in the skillet.  Perfection with some syrup.  I could do this in less than ten minutes!

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, quick

Top 10 Posts for 2010

BON APPETIT!!!

For the past two weeks I have not posted as often as I wanted to, but for a good reason.  The Athlete has been home for the last ten days and I just wanted to spend as much time with him as I possibly could. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and will be sharing some really good recipes with you in the coming weeks.  For you to enjoy I have composed the top ten posts that were viewed this year.  I was so surprised at the #1 post! By the way the top photo is my favorite dessert of 2010.  Happy New Year to all of you! 

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Filed under Bar Cookies, Breakfast, Brunch, Cake, corn muffins, Desserts, Main dish, Pie, Quick Breads, Soup, Top 10 of 2010

Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Recipes that are made ahead of time are some of the best to have in your back pocket.  Just pull them out when you’re having company or heck  just used them to treat yourself.  I hate to be rushed and anything that can be done the day before makes life easier.  I have been using this recipe for years.  It is our traditional Christmas morning special.  Many breakfast casseroles call for as many as a dozen eggs and this one only uses four eggs.  That’s really reducing the amount of cholesterol which is a good thing.

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs

French Toast

French Toast looks so sophisticated, but it is simple to put together.  This is one of my favorite breakfast foods.  When I was in high school it was my breakfast choice almost every day.  I did not use a recipe nor did I make it fancy.  All I did was whisk an egg with a little milk , dip white bread in the egg and cook in a cast iron skillet with a little butter. I drizzled with hot syrup and enjoyed with hot coffee.  

Here is a recipe that I have been using for years with my classes.  I prefer at home to make French toast the night before and pop it in the oven the next morning especially if we have company!  It is just quicker. 

Here’s what you need. 

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, French Toast

Sausage Bread

This is yummy!At meal time we all want something fast, easy and great tasting to prepare.  Here is the answer.  This sausage bread is great!  You are going to love it for more reasons than just the taste. 

The recipe is two recipes that I combined one from a friend and the other from Southern Living.  It is a  great main dish with a salad or you can serve  as an appetizer at a party pairing it with a marinara sauce. 

Ingredients for sausage bread

Here's what you need to put this together!

Pillsbury French Bread

Spread the Dough out

Using Pillsbury French Bread Dough spread it out onto parchment paper.  Take it out of the refrigerator right before you need it.  If you take it out too soon it makes it very hard to work with.

Brown sausage

Brown sausage and drain

   Brown sausage in a skillet and drain.  For the best flavor I like to use the hot sausage. 

Sausage, egg, swiss cheese, cheddar cheese

Sausage, egg, cheeses, garlic, oregano, and basil

Here you have the drained sausage 1/2 cup swiss cheese, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon basil. and 1/2 teaspoon garlic.  Mix together.

Ready to roll

Spread sausage mixture on the French bread dough

Rolling the dough

Roll up the dough lengthwise

 Roll the dough lengthwise.  It is pretty easy to peel the parchment paper off the dough if it sticks.  If you tear holes in it just pinch it together.  Pinch the ends together and tuck under.  Pinch the long side together and flip over.

Slash the dough

Make slashes is dough with a knife

Now just stick it the oven and bake.  This is so much easier than homemade pizza and satisfies the pizza craving.  

Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

Sausage Bread

  • 1 lb. hot sausage browned and drained
  • 1 can refrigerated French Bread dough
  • 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  •  1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic

Cook sausage in a skillet until browned.  Drain.  Stir in the rest of ingredients together with sausage.   Unroll dough into a rectangular shape onto parchment paper.  Sprinkle evenly with sausage mixture.  Beginning with long side roll up, jelly roll style.  Turn seam side down on baking sheet, and pinch ends to secure filling inside. cut slits across top of dough with a knife or scissors.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned.  Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

35 Comments

Filed under Bread, Brunch, Cooking, easy, Eggs, quick, Recipes, Sausage

Cream Puffs

Cream puff with vanilla pudding fillingTeaching high school  takes a lot of planning, but there are times that I do things on the spur of the moment that really add alot to the class.  This is one of them. Today the students took a test and we started a new unit.  I thought we needed something a little more interesting.  This demo only took about 15 minutes of class time.  While they were cooking the students took their test.

I have been making cream puffs since college.  As a freshman I worked  for the Family and Consumer Science Department Head.  I thought I would be typing,  grading essays that kind of thing, but that was not always the case.  Thank goodness I loved to cook.  She was in charge of every event that involved food.  Not sit down meals, but everything else. 

I left there knowing how to make every kind of cookie, sandwich, cheese straw, punch,  and candy recipe.  I loved it!  It was so much fun and I  learned a lot. 

Here is one of the recipes that I made. 

Cream puffs are very easy to make and will impress all your guests. You can fill them with pudding.  I recommend you make it from scratch.  It is much better than the instant that I used today, because of lack of time. Sweetened whipped cream would be an excellent choice, too. Let’s don’t leave out ICE CREAM.  You could use that as a filling, too.

Since  I am not a dessert person  filling  them with chicken or a seafood salad would be a hit.  Or you could go all out and double the recipe and make one savory and one sweet.  Whatever way you choose everyone is going to be impressed with your cooking skills.    

My students now want to make these in class, but we don’t have time.  We have to move on to  more healthy choices.  FRUITS and VEGETABLES

Here is the basic recipe that is found in every cookbook.  Use your imagination and enjoy cooking!

Cream Puffs

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 – 425 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, heat water and margarine to boiling. Take off heat add flour and salt all at once.  Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of pan in a smooth compact ball.  Let mixture cool slightly.  Stirring will help to cool the mixture quicker.  Be careful not to add your eggs too soon or you will have scrambled eggs.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.   Make 6 very large cream puffs or use a tablespoon and make 20 snack size. ( In the picture are snack size).

You can pipe these from a pastry tube using a large fluted tip.

Bake small cream puffs for about 30 minutes.  Bake large ones for about 40 minutes.

Doneness is important.  They will collapse if they are underbaked.  ( That question was on our test today) To fill them slice the top third and remove the uncooked dough if there is any.  Now you will be able to fill the Cream Puff.  When you finish just replace the top.

They should be filled as close to serving time as possible to preserve their crispness.

Unfilled they can be frozen for 3 months.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Brunch, Cooking, Cream Puffs, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

Cheese Biscuits – Quick Bread Lab

Almost perfect!!!

Almost perfect!!!

I love teaching!! No, I mean I really LOVE teaching! Today anyway. It makes my day when my students come into the classroom and can’t wait for me to call the roll because they are so eager to get busy with their assignment . There has to be a reason for this other than the fact that they are all starving.

I read something on Monday when I attended the Leonardo DiVinci exhibit that could be the reason for the eagerness . Di Vinci said, ” Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Could it be a spark of passion here that has created this excitement? I hope so.

 Cheese biscuits are the last of our quick bread labs and we go out with a perfect 10. As you look at the pictures you can see they did great! One group put the cheese in at the wrong time, but recovered very well. They learned from the first time not to add too much flour and surprisingly they were very good . We had a couple of equipment malfunctions. One oven was turned off by mistake and another did not heat properly.

 I now feel as if our lab is  a small reproduction of ” Top Chef” , because there is so much competition between the groups to be at the top of the post. It is quite comical. You would think that I am giving out money as an award. Competition is good, but I have to think of a way to tone this down before it ruins some friendships.

How do you prepare these little cheesy morsels? Check out Making Biscuits From Scratch and make one little change. Grate 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and add after cutting in the shortening.

Some information about grating cheese:

  • Use a food processor
  • Go ahead and grate a lot of it at one time
  • Freeze what you don’t use

 You might ask why not save time and use pre-grated cheese? I am not totally against it but, it is dry and not as flavorful. It is more expensive, too.

 Okay I have to get to the gym . I ate more than my usual taste of each biscuit today. They were just sooo good that I could not resist. Hopefully I can STEP some of these calories off before they attach to my body as fat.

Enjoy the Bake-off pictures!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

Very Good

Very Good

12 Comments

Filed under Biscuits, Brunch, Cheese, Cooking, easy, quick, Recipes

Zucchini, Tomato, and Cheese Tart

I need a new camera!

I need a new camera!

Please forgive me.  This picture does not do the Tart justice!!  And it is Georgia’s fault that I did not take pictures of this beautiful tart when I removed it from the pan.   I was distraught.  How could Georgia lose in the last minute to LSU ? 

GI Joe and I went to see friends last night and this is what I made to take.  We had a great time.  Good friends and great food.  You cannot have a better combination.

Georgia should have won.  Did I say that before? 

 The food well what can I say?  There were some terrific cooks there.  I loved those tiny deviled eggs that were the size of my thumb.  It was ALL good!  

Let’s get back to this tart.  Karen shared the recipe with me after having it at a  birthday party. It was just delicious and healthy.  It is one of those dishes that could be used for most any meal. It was so good.   Just kept calling my name to make it.   

The recipe came from the food network courtesy of Jeanne Lemlin with just a few changes.  It calls for a tart pan.  You can use a pie dish or something similar that you might cook a Quiche in.  I did not have a tart pan so yesterday I put myself in Saturday traffic ( never mind we now have Saturday traffic everyday  since 100 of our roads have washed away).  I bought a tart pan at Bed Bath and Beyond.  A Wilton pan with a removable bottom.  It worked perfectly.

Remove half a box of frozen puff pastry to thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface .  Fit it into the tart pan.  Trim the overhanging pieces.  Refrigerate  up to 8 hours covered. Sorry again I did not take a picture.  Football!

Fresh vegetables that you will need

Fresh vegetables that you will need

Chop 3-4 green onions and mince 2 gloves of garlic . Saute over medium heat in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until tender .

Thinly sliced zucchini

Thinly sliced zucchini

Stir in 2 medium  zucchini  sliced lengthwise and thinly sliced and saute just until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in 1 14 oz. can of well drained diced tomatoes.  Raise the temperature and cook until juices have evaporated.  Zucchini should be tender but not mushy.  Add some fresh parsley and basil.

 

Chopped Basil, Green onion and Flat leaf Parsley

Chopped Basil, Green onion and Flat leaf Parsley

 

 Let it cool.  This is important because the vegetables are  added to 3 eggs and you don’t want to scramble the eggs. 

3 Eggs

3 Eggs

Whisk together

Whisk together

Add 1 cup of grated smoked Gouda Cheese

Add 1 cup of grated smoked Gouda Cheese

Beat 3 eggs. Add 1 cup of grated smoked Gouda Cheese. Then stir in the cooled vegetables.  Pour into the tart pan.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes or until and knife inserted  in the  center of the tart comes out clean.  Let it sit on a cooling rack after removing the outside of the tart pan for 20 minutes before slicing.  It should be served warm and not hot.  

Here is the complete recipe.  ENJOY!!!!

Zucchini, Tomato, and Cheese Tart ( Jeanne Lemlin Foodnetwork)

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (Karen used a pie shell and it was great!)
  • 2 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion diced (Karen used green onion – I liked it)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 (14-ounce) diced tomatoes well drained
  • Fresh basil and parsley chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated smoked Gouda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Remove the puff pastry from the  package and let thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until no longer frozen but still cool. While that is thawing cook the vegetables because they have to cool.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes or until the   onion is slightly tender.  Stir in the zucchini and saute just until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.  Mix in the drained tomatoes , basil and parsley.  Cook at medium high heat, stirring often , until the zucchini is tender but not mushy and the juices have evaporated.  Let cool. 

Lightly butter a 9-in(  I used an 11-inch tart pan)  or a glass pie plate.  On a floured surface roll the puff pastry into an 11-inch square.  Fit it into the tart pan or pie plate.  Trim of the overhanging pieces.  Refrigerate the crust uncovered for 15 minutes or up to 8 hours covered.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Beat eggs ina large bowl.  Stir in the cheese, salt, pepper and cooled vegetables . Pour mixture in the tart pan.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove the outer rim of the pan and cool on a rack for about 20 minutes.  Serve warm and not piping hot.

Happy cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Brunch, Cheese, Eggs, Puff pastry, Quiche, Tart, Tomato, Zucchini