Pretty November sunset. : )
Well, I hope all of you had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours was very nice and relaxing. I always make sure that I do the prep work on Wednesday so on Thursday I can take my time and enjoy everyone instead of being held up in the kitchen. Like I said before, it wasn't going to be the traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey and the trimmings, but we all agreed that we thought having a Thanksgiving brunch was actually really fun. We seriously didn't miss the turkey (although we will have that meal later on). I think it was good for the kids too as they didn't have to eat the big meal twice in one day.
I know that everyone says not to try out new recipes when hosting parties, but I broke the rules and actually tried three! Everything turned out great and the recipes will be added to my collection so I wanted to share them with you as well. : )
The first one was the main course. I know we've all had egg bakes in a variety of ways and this is pretty typical, but I still would like to post it just in case you'd like to try it:
THE BEST BREAKFAST CASSEROLE (whenever a recipe title says "The Best" I try it). : )
24 oz. frozen shredded potatoes
salt and pepper
2 cups half and half
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 1/2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (I think this is what made it so good!)
2 cups chopped ham
Grease a 9 x 13 pan and add the frozen potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the half and half, seasoned salt, the cheeses, and the ham. Mix well and pour over the top of the potatoes. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight (this is what makes this so wonderful - work done ahead of time!). Bake, covered with foil, at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
I also liked the long baking time. It allows you to keep relaxing or get to other things if need be. : )
I hope you can try it - I posted it because it seems that in December, there are plenty of opportunities to provide a brunch and this is very good.
The second recipe is for Cranberry Orange muffins. This was a hit. SO moist and delicious.
CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup yogurt (I used vanilla Greek yogurt)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
the zest of two oranges
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. milk
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray or line a 12-count muffin tin.
In a medium bowl with hand-held or stand mixer, beat the butter on high till smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugars and beat again on high until creamed, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute and then high again until combined and uniform in texture. Scrape the bowl and bottom again. Then, beat in the orange zest.
In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and add to the wet ingredients and slowly mix with whisk attachment. Add the orange juice and milk, gently whisking until combined. Fold in the cranberries by hand.
Spoon batter in prepared muffin tin, filling them all the way to the top. I like to sprinkle the tops of all the muffins I make with the organic coarse sugar for an added crunch and sparkle! Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 18-20 minutes - test with a toothpick for doneness. Enjoy!!!!! : )
Again, with the holidays, these muffins could grace any table and will be appreciated. : ) So good.
I had two side dishes to go with the egg bake - one was just baked sweet potatoes and then served with butter and brown sugar on top, but the other was stir-fried green beans. Not really a recipe so to speak, but it was so very good:
STIR-FRIED GREEN BEANS
In a large skillet, fry 7 strips of bacon until crispy - let drain on paper towels. While bacon is cooling, add 2 lbs. of fresh green beans (that have been prepared by snapping off the ends and then snapping in two) to the bacon fat in skillet along with 3 minced garlic cloves. Stir-fry for about 10 minutes or so just until the beans are getting softer but still maintaining their green color. At this point add 1 Tbsp. of butter and another 3 minced garlic cloves (seems like a lot of garlic, but trust me, it's okay). : ) Stir-fry some more until the beans are softer but still have that little crunch to them. Now add the bacon (which you will want to break up into pieces) and mix well. Serve! SO good.
So, my experiment with new recipes worked out. Whew! I hope you can give them a try.
We kind of took the day off yesterday. My husband hung up the holiday lights outdoors and I took a few things out of the closet for indoor decorating, but not too much. It was so dark and cozy, I felt like reading and resting more than anything. So, today, out comes the boxes of decorations and I'm looking forward to slowly putting things up.
I think that's about it for today. Thank you SO much for dropping by for a visit - I'm VERY thankful for everyone who reads my posts. I'm always hoping I can share something that will be of some help to you. I hope you continue to have a good weekend. God bless.