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Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait | alidaskitchen.com

Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company. All opinions are 100% mine.

This Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait recipe is layered with yogurt and almonds, pumpkin seeds, fruit and a hint of chocolate or yogurt, yet contains only two simple ingredients. 

Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait | alidaskitchen.com

This Easy Fruit & Nut Parfait recipe has become breakfast staple and favorite snack. It is packed with wholesome goodness of yogurt, real fruit, nuts, seeds and yogurt-flavored cream or dark chocolate, yet is made using only two ingredients. Plus it takes only minutes to make. Intrigued? The secret ingredient…Brookside Fruit & Nut Bars!

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Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars #SundaySupper

Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars are a chewy, brown sugar cookie bar studded with red, white and blue M&M candies that takes minutes to make. Perfect quick and easy dessert for the 4th of July or any patriotic celebration (or any time!) 

Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Looking for a special dessert that is quick and easy to make for summer parties? Look no further than these Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars! This is one of my favorite recipes to make for a crowd (or a small family to enjoy all week long) 🙂 …

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Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles | alidaskitchen.com

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles #SundaySupper

An easy recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles made with whole wheat flour, buttermilk, brown sugar and bursting with fresh blueberries throughout. 

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles | alidaskitchen.com

With blueberry season upon us, everything is coming up blueberries! From these Blueberry Crumb Bars to this Blueberry Balsamic Salad, nothing beats the delicious taste of our favorite blueberry recipes made with fresh, juicy, perfectly in-season blueberries. With this Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles recipe, we have a new blueberry recipe to add to our list of favorites!…

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Chocolate Caramel Coconut RITZ Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Caramel Coconut RITZ Cookies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StackItUp #CollectiveBias

Chocolate Caramel Coconut RITZ Cookies are a fun treat made using only 3 simple ingredients – a chocolate covered caramel candy, toasted coconut and RITZ crackers.  

Chocolate Caramel Coconut RITZ Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

During spring break this year, we have enjoyed many park visits, going to the zoo and on bike rides, just doing whatever it is that kids like to do. Of course during all of these fun excursions, my bag is packed with a favorite snack. We recently discovered RITZ Fresh Stacks, which is a mini-sleeve of RITZ Crackers that fits perfectly in my backpack for our snack on-the-go.

As we were enjoying our latest RITZ cracker snack, we decided to brainstorm ideas of what we could do with our RITZ crackers. One said chocolate, the other said toasted coconut – so many delicious ideas that resulted in these Chocolate Caramel Coconut RITZ Cookies! …

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Cheesy Beef Taco Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

Cheesy Beef Taco Lasagna

Tracking PixelCheesy Beef Taco Lasagna puts a Mexican twist on an Italian classic, creating a fun, delicious cheesy dinner the whole family will love! Thank you to Hunt’s Tomatoes for sponsoring this post.

Cheesy Beef Taco Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

Two of my favorite types of cuisines are Italian and Mexican. I am not a purist by any means and often enjoy them in nontraditional ways (such as these Mexican Quinoa Bites). When I saw this Cheesy Beef Lasagna recipe, a tasty-looking Italian-inspired recipe, I could not wait to put a Mexican spin on the recipe to create Cheesy Beef Taco Lasagna!…

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Easy M&M Fudge | alidaskitchen.com

Easy M&M Fudge

This Easy M&M Fudge recipe is a delicious chocolate fudge studded with M&M candies made in minutes using only three ingredients.

Thank you to CansGetYouCooking.com through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post.

Easy M&M Fudge | alidaskitchen.com

During the holidays, I like to have a handful of easy, go-to recipes on hand to make life simpler. While this usually pertains to quick and easy weeknight meals, I have found that dessert recipes that can be made in minutes are very handy for last minute parties, gifts, or to help balance the baking workload during this busy time of year. This Easy M&M Fudge is so simple and foolproof, anybody can make it. …

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Orange Scream Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

Orange Scream Baked French Toast

Halloween breakfast just got tastier with this easy recipe for Orange Scream Baked French Toast. Thank you to TruMoo Milk for sponsoring this post.

Orange Scream Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

With Halloween only two weeks away, needless to say the kids are excited. We have visited the local pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins (and jump in the humongous pumpkin bouncy house!)  We have decorated the house. And we finally have costumes! We are eager for the big day, but…the anticipation seems to be also part of the fun, right? Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year, we look forward to making an entire day of it, starting with a special Halloween breakfast ~ this Orange Scream Baked French Toast!  …

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An easy recipe for a healthy Slow Cooker Beef Black Bean Chili that takes minutes to prepare {gluten free} | alidaskitchen.com

Slow Cooker Beef Black Bean Chili #SundaySupper

Slow Cooker Beef Black Bean Chili is an easy recipe for a healthy chili made in the slow cooker featuring lean beef, black beans and lots of vegetables for a complete meal in a bowl! {gluten free}

An easy recipe for this healthy Slow Cooker Beef Black Bean Chili that takes minutes to prepare {gluten free} | alidaskitchen.com

Now that Fall is here, we shift our focus from grilling to cooking low and slow. During these cooler months, we turn to comfort foods made healthier, such as stews, soups and chili. Whether it is in the slow cooker, braised or roasted, beef can be a huge part of your Fall low and slow experience.

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Overnight Baked Peach French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

Overnight Baked Peach French Toast

Overnight Baked Peach French Toast is a delicious breakfast bread pudding made with cinnamon swirl bread, juicy peaches throughout, topped with a buttery brown sugar oat crumble and made on the lighter side. 

Thank you to CansGetYouCooking.com through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network for sponsoring this post.

Overnight Baked Peach French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

With back to school just around the corner, I am looking for ways to streamline our routines to make those hectic mornings a little easier. I am stocking our freezer with waffles, pancakes and muffins to have quick and easy breakfasts, as well as keeping easy recipes, like this Overnight Baked Peach French Toast, at the ready at all times.

Overnight Baked Peach French Toast puts a summer twist on our favorite French toast recipe (this Baked Pumpkin French Toast).  In lieu of pumpkin and spices, it has delicious, juicy peaches in every bite. Otherwise it is made with the same cinnamon bread cut into cubes, the same wonderful buttery brown sugar oat crumble topping that everyone loves and also made lighter using nonfat evaporated milk.  Everything about this Overnight Baked Peach French Toast is just so good…and easy too!…

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Potato Chip Fudge | alidaskitchen.com

Potato Chip Fudge

Tracking PixelPotato Chip Fudge is an easy recipe that combines salty, crunchy potato chips with semi-sweet chocolate into a fudge that tastes like chocolate covered potato chips! Thanks to Cape Cod® Potato Chips for sponsoring this post. 

Potato Chip Fudge | alidaskitchen.com

This Potato Chip Fudge is such a fun recipe. It is easy to make with just a few simple ingredients and puts a fun spin on the salty-sweet dessert craze that is so wildly popular.  While chocolate and potato chips might sound like an unusual combination, there was a time when peanut butter and chocolate raised an eyebrow. Chocolate and bacon are all the rage these days. What about chocolate covered potato chips turned into fudge? It exceeded all of my expectations. Potato Chip Fudge is little crunchy, a lot chocolaty, salty, sweet and delicious! …

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Taco Pasta Salad | alidaskitchen.com

Taco Pasta Salad #SundaySupper

Taco Pasta Salad is a protein-packed salad filled with lean ground beef and lots of vegetables.

Taco Pasta Salad | alidaskitchen.com

 

This Taco Pasta Salad has become one of our favorite lunches. It can easily be prepared ahead of time to be enjoyed throughout the week. The tender, flavorful beef is combined with all the vegetables and a little pasta (topped with cheese, if desired). The result is a healthy, protein-packed meal that is easy to make!…

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Broccoli Cheddar Hash Brown Bake | alidaskitchen.com

Broccoli Cheddar Hash Brown Bake

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Simply Potatoes for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Broccoli Cheddar Hash Brown Bake is an easy meatless breakfast casserole filled with broccoli, cheddar, eggs and shredded hash brown potatoes! {gluten free, make ahead}

Broccoli Cheddar Hash Brown Bake | alidaskitchen.com

With the many celebratory and holiday brunches on the horizon, quick and easy crowd-pleasing recipes are a must.  Overnight casseroles, such as baked French toast or egg bakes, are always popular.  This Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast is one of our favorite brunch recipes!  It is easy to make and satisfies the sweet portion of our menu. To satisfy the savory side, I have been experimenting with different varieties of meatless egg bake recipes to come up with a savory breakfast casserole the whole family will love. Broccoli Cheddar Hash Brown Bake has become a favorite that will be featured regularly throughout this busy brunch season and beyond.

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Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com

Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus

This easy recipe for Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus using black beans in lieu of garbanzo beans, results in a healthy dip (or spread) the whole family will love! Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post as part of the Pantry Insiders program. 

Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com Black Bean Jalapeno Hummus is an easy recipe for a healthy hummus made with black beans and jalapeno peppers.  This recipe is part inspired by my Jalapeno Hummus recipe and otherwise inspired by my love of black beans.  Even though hummus is traditionally made with garbanzo beans (chickpeas), in this recipe it was fun to mix things up a bit.  You can definitely taste the black beans, which goes amazingly well with the spices and jalapeno peppers. The tahini rounds everything out, giving it that hummus flavor that we all know and love….

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Baked Pumpkin French Toast | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper

Baked Pumpkin French Toast #SundaySupper

Baked Pumpkin French Toast | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper Baked French Toast is one of my favorite comfort foods that is easy to make and the whole family loves.  Now that the temperatures are getting colder, we are definitely in a fall comfort food frame of mind. I know I am not alone when it comes to my love for pumpkin anything, which is one of the quintessential flavors of fall.   With the warm flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon, this Baked Pumpkin French Toast is pure delicious fall comfort food!…

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Oatmeal Raisin Muffins | alidaskitchen.com #recipes

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins are a wholesome snack, or breakfast on-the-go, made delicious with raisins, oats, buttermilk and brown sugar.   

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins | alidaskitchen.com #recipes

The other day after school, while Greta was napping, Adam presented me with a cookbook.  A cookbook that was all about muffins. That’s my kind of cookbook!  He proceeded to point out several recipes that we should make…now!  I was inspired by an Oatmeal Breakfast Muffin, but needed to switch up the ingredients to use up what we had on hand (no way am I waking the baby to go to the store!)   After a quick peek in the pantry, I found oatmeal, brown sugar, buttermilk and California Raisins.  Sounds like the makings of a tasty Oatmeal Raisin Muffin!…

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Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip | alidaskitchen.com

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Transform a classic dip into a bold and zesty party favorite with this easy to make Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip!  Thank you to MIRACLE WHIP (through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network) for sponsoring this post.  

Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip | alidaskitchen.com

Many, many years ago, I was asked to bring appetizers to a Labor Day party. I chopped some veggies, concocted a couple dips on the fly and was good to go.  The dips were a ranch dill and a spinach artichoke.  They were both creamy, easy to make, and used the same secret ingredient.  …

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Pop-in-the-Oven Beef Stew | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #beef #SundaySupper

Pop-in-the-Oven Beef Stew #SundaySupper

No browning of the beef is required for this easy Pop-in-the-Oven Beef Stew recipe. Simple, healthy comfort food that the whole family will love! {gluten free, dairy free} 

Pop-in-the-Oven Beef Stew | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #beef #SundaySupper

This Pop-in-the-Oven Beef Stew is my absolute favorite beef recipe.  It is a simple recipe made with wholesome ingredients that is pure, healthy comfort food. Pop-in-the-Oven Beef Stew  is packed with beef, lots of vegetables, is easy to make and is just delicious.  What could be better?   Well, my friends, it gets better.  What if I told you that all that you need to do is mix up a simple sauce, cut the vegetables, cube the meat, and that’s it.  There is no browning of the meat required…just put everything in the pot and then pop it in the oven!  A few hours later you will have perfectly browned and tender beef and vegetables….

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Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies | Alida's Kitchen #recipes #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies are chewy, fruit-filled cookies made without any added sugar or butter.  They are vegan, nut free and can be gluten free.   

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

This recipe for Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies recipe is inspired by one of my favorite healthy cookie recipes – Healthy Banana Cookies.  These cookies are naturally sweetened with dates and bananas, which is always a delicious combination.  I decided to give that recipe a coconut twist by using coconut oil and adding some coconut.  Coconut was such a tasty addition that goes so well with the banana.  …

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Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper #brunch

Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast #SundaySupper

Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper #brunch

Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast is made with custard soaked French bread cubes and studded with juicy fresh blueberries and cream cheese throughout.  This dish is perfect for brunch, but I love it for breakfast for dinner because it is so easy.  It takes minutes to prepare, can be made ahead, and then just bake in the oven until golden and delicious.  The result is decadent, yet made on the lighter side using a ‘secret’ ingredient….

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Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com #SundaySupper

Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna #SundaySupper

Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna is filled with layers of three cheeses, kale and a hearty mushroom Bolognese sauce, creating a rustic, earthy pasta dish perfect for a special occasion!

Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna | alidaskitchen.com

This week the Sunday Supper Movement is joining Gallo Family Vineyards to celebrate an incredible milestone.  Their Hearty Burgundy wine is celebrating its 50th birthday this year!  Today we are sharing ways to pair, cook and entertain with Hearty Burgundy.  For this celebration, I wanted to create something extra special.  While the Hearty Burgundy pairs well with chili, Italian meat sauces and grilled sausages, I thought mushrooms would also pair beautifully with this flavorful wine.

The inspiration for Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna started with a mushroom Bolognese sauce.  It is a chunky sauce made with dried porcini and baby bella mushrooms, carrots, red peppers, red wine and rounded out with mascarpone cheese.   The sauce is wonderful simply served over pasta, but I wanted use it to create something fit for a special celebration.  Something special, like Mushroom Bolognese Kale Lasagna!  This lasagna is filled with layers of ricotta and Parmesan cheeses mixed with kale, mozzarella and the rustic, earthy mushroom Bolognese.  A little extra work goes into making this dish, but it is a labor of love and a delightful way to celebrate the Hearty Burgundy….

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Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding for Two | alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding #SundaySupper

Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding for Two | alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding is studded with chopped Whoppers candies, chocolate chips, drizzled with chocolate syrup and drenched in a  light custard.  This fun dessert for two takes minutes to mix together and then  bakes for about 30 minutes.

One of Mike’s favorite treats are Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies.  He also loves Whoppers candies.  Actually, he is pretty much crazy for anything chocolate malt, so I thought it would be fun to make a special dessert with this favorite in mind.  I wanted to make a dessert for two, and Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding jumped to the top of the list…for obvious reasons….

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Mocha Truffle Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

Mocha Truffle Cookies

Mocha Truffle Cookies combine the classic chocolate and coffee pairing into a tasty little cookie.  Easy to make, perfect for any occasion!​ 

Whenever I think about my grandma, aside from her baking prowess, two things come to mind.  Wherever we went, we were always together, like joined at the hip together.  I thought she was always following me, and I overheard her say how she thought it was cute how I always followed her.  One thing for certain was how much we both loved coffee!  After dinner, she and I would often enjoy a little cup of decaf together.  I remember one of the last Christmases with her, we were sitting at the table, holding our dainty cups of coffee.  She looked at me and not so subtly whispered ‘you know what we need with coffee?  chocolaaaaaaate!’  It makes me smile just to think about it.  She was so funny and so right on!  The combination of chocolate and coffee is up there with chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate and milk (or chocolate and chocolate!)    …

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Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls | alidaskitchen.com

Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls

OREO disclosure

Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls | alidaskitchen.com

Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls are a delicious yet simple chocolate truffle made with only 4 ingredients.  These are one of the easiest desserts you will ever make and also one of the tastiest!

This recipe starts with the classic Oreo Cookie Ball with a pretzel twist.  The pretzels add a subtle salty component to the truffle, giving it the salty-sweet combination that is always so popular.  This recipe makes plenty, which is good because they will disappear quickly.  Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls will make a wonderful addition to any Holiday treat platter, or for any occasion….

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars have the classic taste of  a buttery, cinnamon-y snickerdoodle cookie in a quick and easy to make bar.    

While I love to make (and eat!) cookies, the simplicity of turning a cookie recipe into a quick and easy to make bar is very attractive.  Especially when life gets busy or you get a last minute request for goodies, it is so nice to be able whip the batter together, pour it into a pan and bake.  No portioning, scooping, rolling  required.   Just bake, cut into squares and serve.

These Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars are a wonderful treat for the holidays, or any time.  They are buttery and cinnamon-y, like their cookie cousins, yet can be made in minutes.  I thought this recipe would be perfect for Week #3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.  Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars offer a little variety for your holiday cookie platter and are loved by many!…

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Chocolate Cheesecake Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

These Chocolate Cheesecake Bars are made on the lighter side!  They are chocolaty, decadent and soooo good!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a dessert, so to make up for that, I decided you deserve some chocolate.   Not just any old chocolate though ~ Chocolate Cheesecake Bars, and they’re made on the lighter side.  Despite being made light, each bite of these Chocolate Cheesecake Bars is chocolaty, decadent and sooooo good!

The hands on work takes all of 10 minutes, which is awesome.  First you start with a simple chocolate cookie crumb crust.  Then toss the rest of the ingredients the food processor (minus the chocolate chips, which are used for topping) and process until smooth.  Pour the filling over the crust, sprinkle with chocolate chips, and bake.  Easy peasy!  After baking, just chill the bars for a few hours, or overnight.  Cut into bars and enjoy!

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
 
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (such as Oreos) - approx. 15 cookies
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (I used light butter)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used miniature)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with 2 strips of parchment (or waxed paper) set cross-wise in the pan. Spray with cooking spray again and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir cookie crumbs and melted butter until moistened. Using waxed paper, press cookie crumbs into the bottom of prepared pan.
  3. In a food processor, blend cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add cocoa, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla, egg and egg white and process until smooth. Pour into pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until set (be careful not to over bake). Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight.
Notes
Notes: I made cookie crumbs by whizzing the Oreos in the food processor and then proceeded to make the filling - no need to wash in between. If you're gluten free, you can use gluten free cookies for the crumbs.

Adapted from Everyday Food, January/February, 2004

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars | alidaskitchen.com

 

Baked Cinnamon French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

Baked Cinnamon French Toast

Baked Cinnamon French Toast is a decadent yet simple breakfast (or breakfast for dinner, as we talked about yesterday).  Made with cinnamon swirl bread that is drenched and baked into a rich custard, Baked Cinnamon French Toast toast is beyond delicious.  It takes 10 minutes to prepare and then you can bake it right away since this is not an overnight French toast.  While it’s not an overnight variety, you certainly can make it ahead and store covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake


This Baked Cinnamon French Toast is not something that I would have every day, simply because I like to have my boring old breakfast of old fashioned oats with a banana every day.  But this French toast is definitely a wonderful treat worth enjoying for a special occasion…like perhaps for Mother’s Day this Sunday (hint hint Mike!)

Baked Cinnamon French Toast
 
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 slices cinnamon bread or cinnamon raisin bread
  • 2 cups half and half (fat free works fine)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (light better works fine)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13"x9" pan with cooking spray.
  2. In prepared pan, place six slices of bread and top with remaining 6 slices of bread.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together half and half, eggs, butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread, pressing bread down so some liquid is absorbed.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes until bread is golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Source: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

vegetarian spinach ravioli lasagna

Easy Ravioli Lasagna

Easy Ravioli Lasagna - takes 10 minutes to prepare using only 5 ingredients.  This is so good!
I am excited to share this recipe with you. Easy Ravioli Lasagna has become one of our favorite weeknight dinners!  It has the delicious flavor of lasagna yet is made with only 5 main ingredients and takes 10 minutes to prepare ~ perfect these days when I find myself juggling a newborn and a busy 3 year old at dinnertime.  This lasagna can also be made ahead (like before leaving for work or, in my case, before the kids wake up) so it’s ready to just pop in the oven at dinner.

Easy Baked Ravoli Lasagna

From the original recipe, I increased the sauce, added some red pepper flakes, and actually reduced the cheese (surprising for a cheese-lover like myself, but it was way too much and took away from the overall dish).  This Easy Ravioli Lasagna is made with spinach, but I think sautéed mushrooms and garlic would also be delicious.  We have made this several times, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.  Speaking of crowds, this recipe can easily be doubled to fit a 13″x9″ lasagna pan and you’ll have enough to serve a crowd or have lots of leftovers for lunches.  It reheats beautifully!

Easy Ravioli Lasagna
 
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups pasta sauce (I use Muir Glen Tomato Basil)
  • 20-ounce package cheese ravioli (refrigerated or frozen)
  • 10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Pour ½ cup pasta sauce over bottom of dish.
  3. Layer bottom of dish with half of the ravioli.
  4. Cover ravioli with ½ cup sauce and top with spinach and half of mozzarella (1/2 cup).
  5. Repeat with remaining ravioli, sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.
  6. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until bubbling and starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

Slightly adapted from All You, March 2009

vegetarian spinach ravioli lasagna

easy make ahead chocolate pudding cakes

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes


While Valentine’s Day isn’t a huge deal at our house, it does give me a reason to bake up something extra special…usually involving chocolate.  Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes are definitely something special.  They are a simple yet decadent dessert that is pure comfort food.  They are also surprisingly quick and easy to make and can even be made a day in advance (great for entertaining!).  The recipe can easily be halved to serve only two, OR make the full recipe and enjoy one set of cakes one day and enjoy them again the next day.   Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes are delicious as-is, or topped with your favorite ice cream.  I had vanilla bean on hand, which was classic and tasty, but I am drooling over the idea of a salted caramel ice cream topping these cakes.

Since I made the full recipe for the two of us, we got to enjoy Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes two nights in a row.  I’m pretty sure Valentine’s Day is going to become one of our favorite holidays now, if it means special desserts like this! 

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (if not making ahead). Spray four 6 to 8 ounce ramekins with cooking spray, place on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a double boiler (or a mixing bowl placed over simmering water), melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat and mix in 2 tablespoons sugar and then egg yolks and vanilla, stirring until until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.
  4. Fold ⅓ egg white mixture into chocolate mixture, gently stirring to combine. Add the rest of the egg whites, gently folding until combined. Divide evenly among prepared ramekins. (If making ahead, stop here. Cover cakes with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake).
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes puff up and the tops begin to crack. Be careful not to over bake. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out gooey. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with ice cream, if desired.

 

Source:  Everyday Food, December 2006

healthy oatmeal raisin buttermilk pancakes

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes are an easy, healthy, delicious breakfast treat that taste like oatmeal raisin cookies.  Yum!  They are made with the hearty goodness of oatmeal and whole wheat flour, sweetness from brown sugar and raisins and buttermilk, which of course makes everything good.

The first morning after I made these, Adam polished off six pancakes.  In fact, he ate that first batch so quickly, I wasn’t able to get any pictures.  Because he loved them so,  I made another batch a couple days later.  Fortunately, one afternoon I found myself with three pancakes and a good napper, so I was able to quickly snap some pics to share this wonderful recipe with you!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes
 
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine oats and buttermilk and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. After 5 minutes, add eggs, oil and vanilla to buttermilk mixture, whisking until combined.
  4. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just moistened (Note: batter may be lumpy). Add raisins, folding until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  6. Spoon batter onto skillet by the ¼ cupful (adjust to desired size) (Note: If batter is a little thick, use the back of your spoon to spread/shape the pancakes). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles form and the edges look set. Flip pancakes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden.

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

pumpkin cream cheese filled cupcakes

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

So I couldn’t help myself…I had to share one last pumpkin recipe with you.  It’s a good one.  Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes are a moist, delicious pumpkin cake with a cream cheese surprise in the middle.  A little sprinkling of powdered sugar on top is all these cupcakes need before presenting, which makes them ideal for travel or eating at a gathering since they won’t get all messy.  While these cupcakes can hold their own without any frosting, they would also be really good with a little Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting if you want to get fancy.  Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes are an easy, portable and fun little pumpkin alternative to tomorrow’s traditional pie.

 

By the way, can you believe we’re already in Week #9 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday, many of us are posting starting today through the rest of the week, so be sure to check out all of the yummy treats by clicking on the thumbnails at the bottom of this post.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes
 
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Powdered sugar, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, gently folding until well-blended.
  4. FILLING: In a separate small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg and beat on low until just combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups approximately one-third full. Distribute evenly among cupcakes, dropping a generous tablespoonful in the enter of each cupcake. Cover with remaining batter.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the pumpkin cake portion comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving (or frost as desired).

Source: Taste of Home


Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.