I made a Black Velvet Chocolate Buttermilk Cake and it was delicious

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One of my favorite things to do is surf around the blogosphere and check out all the amazing things people are doing in their kitchens.  I luv to cook and bake but mostly I luv to eat 🙂 Now we … Continue reading

Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Part 1

Talk about a hardy breakfast with no morning hassle!

Talk about a hardy breakfast with no morning hassle! This is it!

I understand that we are all super busy these days and its hard to make a good nutritious breakfast and get everybody ready at the same time, so I am the hunt for make ahead recipes so that when I go back to work, life will still be run smoothly.

This is part 1, the main course so to say, Crockpot Breakfast Casserole. You are going to luv this one, its super easy and cooks while you sleep.  Its even a great way to clean out the fridge at the end of the week, cause I am sure if  you are like me you have tons of leftover bits and pieces.

Heres what you need, and you can add or substitute according to your families tastes

Heres what you need, and you can add or substitute according to your families tastes

Assemble your ingredients and start by spraying your crockpot so your potato base doesn’t stick.

Any potatoes will do, fresh, frozen, fries, tots, shredded, its up to you and your clan and what you have on hand

Any potatoes will do, fresh, frozen, fries, tots, shredded, its up to you and your clan and what you have on hand

Next meat… You could skip this all together again your choice.

I used all the leftovers from the fridge! Yea ;)

I used all the leftovers from the fridge! Yea 😉 I hate wasting anything!

Next its veggie time.

Green was apparently my theme I had green onion and green peppers on hand.

Green was apparently my theme I had green onion and green peppers on hand.

Ok now cheese, I luv the big bag from Walmart its a taco blend and is perfect for practically everything and for a lazy girl who doesn’t want to spend hours shredding cheese all month its perfect! Bonus $8 lasts all month, and super cheap!

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Next prepare your eggs. I used 8 but there are only 2 of us and I wanted to go big and have leftovers.  I would say family of 4 use 12.

Spice it up according to your taste, Salt n Pepper of course. I also added Garlic, Paprika and Parsley.  I think next time I am going to add some Celery Salt too and cut the regular salt.

To your egg mix you also want to add 1/2 to 1 c milk depending on how many eggs you use. You could also use heavy cream or half and half for a richer base. I think I will try this when its for company.

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Now just pour egg mix over the rest and turn on low for about 6 hours.

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This is how mine looked, before cooking.

This is how mine looked, before cooking.

And now the finished product…

Smelled so yummy when BF got home at 2am from work it had been cooking a couple of hours and he was like OMG can I eat it now!

Smelled so yummy when BF got home at 2am from work it had been cooking a couple of hours and he was like OMG can I eat it now!

Thats it easy peasy! Hot breakfast with no morning crazyness involved!

Check back tomorrow for Part 2, Make Ahead Muffins.

Enjoy Y’all

Lizz

Yummy Egg Salad or Something to do with all those hard boiled eggs after Easter!

Egg Salad is great, its fast, easy, low cal, and low fat.  You can eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or a midnite snack. You can serve it on bread, toast, crackers or a bed of lettuce.  Talk about a versatile food.  When I was teaching we had a snack truck that would come around just in time for morning break and those ladies whipped up a delish egg salad, I just loved to grab one with a chocolate milk, I could eat half, then save the rest for lunch and I was satisfied all day.
Today I was wanting to try something different for breakfast and needed to post a food blog so as I stood in front of the frig wondering what to do I saw the mayo next to the eggs and there it was egg salad.  What how do I boil an egg? hmmm check out that learning experience here.
Since I don’t boil eggs I have never made egg salad before, I consulted the BHG bible but they didn’t have what I wanted. I decided to just wing it… here’s what I came up with,
1/4 c mayo
1 tsp mustard
1/8 finely chopped onion
1/8 finely chopped celery
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
Smash it all together.
Serve on whole wheat toast.
It was fast, easy, cheap, very yummy, and BF luv’d it ;D
Awesome morning learned how to boil and egg and make egg salad! Win WIN!
Enjoy Y’all
Lizz

How to Boil an Egg or I am just the lamest cook ever!

I have a confession …
I can’t boil an egg.
I know, how can you get more basic then boiling an egg.  To be honest I have never been a big egg eater, so when mom boiled eggs I didn’t really pay attention.  Now I do luv egg salad sandwiches and so does BF so today I thought why not… lets learn how to boil an egg 😉
I pulled down the BHG cookbook, grabbed 4 eggs and a pan and jumped right in.
SOFT BOILED
1. Cover 4 eggs making sure there is 1 inch above eggs.
2. Boil rapidly, meaning they want you to put it on high and make it come to a boil quicker than you might normally.
3. Once boiling remove from heat and cover for 4 mins. I set a timer.
Now the last step I remember my mother doing, drain, and then rinse and let rest for a couple of mins in cool water just so you can handle the eggs.  If you aren’t using them for awhile then skip this cool down process just drain of the hot to stop the cooking process.
1. Same as above till the boil you reduce the heat and let simmer 15-20 mins.
Easy peasy right, can’t believe it has taken me 40 some years to figure this one out 😉
Enjoy Y’all
Lizz
P.S. anybody got any tips for peeling?

Tamale Pie or 60s Mexican Food

 

 You are going to luv this one!
One of my favorite childhood dinners was Tamale Pie.  I still remember the smells when my mom made it and those smells have haunted me for years.  I know very strange why not just make some right?  You are totally right, I actually have her cookbook (BHG circa 1968) so I could have, but I knew my kids wouldn’t eat it and the ex showed no interest.  Don’t get me wrong I am not one of those moms that cater to their kids and makes 3 different meals, Heck NO! I am one of those moms that doesn’t believe in forcing my kids to eat things; I was forced as a child and still to this day have an aversion to certain foods, Thanks mom 😉
Actually my 2 oldest are good, adventurous eaters but ya know how little kids can be.  We kind of got stuck in a food rut for the last 25 years.  At least it was good, healthy food; balanced nutrition was always very important to me.  Funny though to look at a pic of my kids when they were very little, you would have thought I starved them… supper skinny, I’m talking like scary skinny.  I’ll have to see if I can find that pic and show y’all, it actually kind of freaked me out the last time I saw it again, lol.

So back to Tamale Pie, yesterday I read BF the recipe and he said “go for it love” (he’s a very good eater, even if I mess it up or its something he doesn’t like he’s generally eating it, he was raised that you eat everything on your plate and don’t complain, that’s rude).  I was super excited to cook dinner tonight.  Excited to cook… wait am I a clone and don’t know it?  No really, this is not where I expected to be in life at this point. I actually thought I would be eating out all the time and only cooking on special occasions, but then again life has a funny way of changing on us in unexpected ways.  One of the reasons I titled my blog, ‘Life in a Different Direction’. Again I digress…

If you have never had or heard of Tamale Pie, its a casserole type dish with a tomato base, hamburger and a cornmeal crust on top.  Obviously its the 60’s American housewives version of Mexican food which at the time was not a part of American culture as it is now.  You can bing or google the recipe but I wanted the classic that mom always made, from my favorite cookbook.  I swear I had dreamed of it, which strange as it may sound I actually do dream about her cooking, just one more thing I’ve missed since she died.
Tamale pie is basic, hardy comfort food, don’t think about calories or fat grams… just enjoy.
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped green pepper
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 12 oz can whole kernel corn
1/2 cup pitted, olives, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp chili powder, depends on taste
dash pepper

This is the main part the topping comes next.
Cook meat, onion, and green pepper together in large skillet till meat is browned.  Stir in rest of ingredients and let simmer for 25 mins or until thick.  (I did not add my olives here I waited and only added to half during assembly, BF doesn’t like them).

While this is simmering prepare topping. Also preheat oven to 375.
3/4 c cornmeal, yellow
1/2 tsp salt
2 c cold water
1 tbs butter

In small saucepan add water, salt and cornmeal, cook on med high heat and stir constantly to avoid lumps or sticking.
Stir till thick. Next add butter, and stir into topping.

1 1/2 c shredded American cheese (I used taco blend, tasted the same so which ever you prefer. I use it for pretty much everything, its nice to just buy one huge bag and have it last all month vs. a bunch of little cheeses I have to grate and store).

Now when your tomato mix is finished, you are ready to assemble and bake.
In 9x9x2 (approx) baking dish (glass or metal no difference which ever you prefer, but I do suggesting lining with foil, I forgot had to soak my pan overnight).  Pour tomato mix into pan, cover with cheese, (this is where I added the olives to just half the pan, easy peasy and I have olives left to use for something else) then spread on cornmeal topper.

Bake in moderate oven (375) about 40 mins. Serves 4-6.
I was thrilled it tasted exactly like my moms and was still delicious like I dreamed about and bonus BF was thrilled, he actually said, ‘I loved it’.  So score!
Enjoy Y’all
Lizz