Apple Cinnamon Streusel Bread

This bread is one of our all-time breakfast favorites. It is best eaten warm, but if you don’t have time to make it in the morning, it is delicious cold or reheated. We like to put a little butter on it, but it also is perfectly good by itself. The only thing you really have to do in order to enjoy it is make it!

Ingredients:

-1/2 c brown sugar
-1 1/2 t cinnamon
-2/3 c white sugar
-1/2 c softened butter
-2 eggs
-1 T vanilla extract
-1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 t baking powder
-1/2 c milk
-1 large apple, peeled and chopped small

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a loaf pan.

Crumble brown sugar and cinnamon together until well combined in a small bowl.

In a separate bowl, cream together white sugar and butter, then add eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Stir in flour and baking powder, then the milk, and pour half the batter into the greased pan. Cover with half the apples and half the streusel topping, then pour the rest of the batter in. Finish with the rest of the apples and streusel. Press the topping into the dough before baking.

Bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, until a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out with a few crumbs.

Note: I have also made this by dividing it into 12 muffins, and that was also delicious and less crumbly (worked well for traveling).

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Veggie Pizza

The past few days have felt unusually spring-like, and tonight we celebrated by having veggie pizza and stuffed eggs for dinner. It was my first attempt at making veggie pizza, but it was so good I wanted to share what I did! One thing to keep in mind–it was a bit unruly to eat, so if you’re worried about being neat while eating I would scale down the amount of veggies. But if that’s not a concern, go for it! We liked having it piled with fresh veggies!

Ingredients:

-1 tube of crescent roll dough
-8 oz cream cheese, softened
-1 c. ranch dip (can be made with ranch dressing powder and sour cream)
-chopped veggies of your choice; I used onions, red and green sweet peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes
-1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Press the crescent roll dough into a lightly greased glass 9×13 baking pan and bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Cool completely. (I actually baked the crust this morning, then let it cool all day.)

Mix together the cream cheese and ranch dip and spread over the crust.

Arrange veggies on top and sprinkle with cheese. Press the veggies and cheese into the crust and cream cheese/dip mixture if possible, as this will help them stick better.

Chill, or serve fresh.

Note: I had seen a couple different places that this was best made with crescent roll dough. I would agree that it was delicious, but that is not something I usually keep on hand and I plan to experiment with making an equivalent crust that would not require a purchased ingredient. I’ll update the post if I come up with a good alternate solution!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Bake

I recently made one of my favorite comfort foods: egg noodles, chicken, vegetables, and a warm cream sauce, all baked together. Add to that the fact that it heats up wonderfully and tastes just as good a day or two later (it has never lasted longer than that for me to know if it’s still good a week later!), and this recipe is a winner. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

-1/2 c butter
-1 T chicken stock base
-1/2 c diced onion
-1 t garlic powder
-2 c milk
-1 c half-and-half
-3 c boiling water
-3/4 c flour
-1/4 t pepper
-1 t salt
-1/2 t Italian seasoning

-45 oz vegetables ( equivalent to three cans, or you can use frozen or fresh–I used peas, corn, and carrots)
-2 small cans of mushroom pieces, chopped finely
-4 cups cooked, diced chicken (dark or white meat, whichever you prefer)
-6 c (12 oz) egg noodles

Directions:

Boil the egg noodles in salted water until tender. While they are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the chicken base, onion, and garlic powder, then add the milk, half-and-half, and water. (I used the hot water from my noodles since they were done cooking at this point.) Add the flour and seasonings and whisk together to form a sauce. Add flour or water if you want it thicker or thinner–it should be like a heavy cream soup.

Add the vegetables and meat and cook until hot.

Divide the cooked noodles between three 8×8 pans or pie plates and divide the vegetable/meat/sauce over the top.

To serve, bake covered at 350°F, taking the foil off at the very end if desired.
To store, cool completely, then cover with plastic, wrap in foil, and seal in a gallon Ziploc bag. After freezing, thaw completely, remove bag and plastic and bake as otherwise.
*Note: I intentionally make a large amount of this recipe, since I always want to make some extra to freeze and eat later. If you only want to make one recipe, simply third the recipe–or to make it in a 9×13 pan, make two thirds of it. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe–I’ve tried several different modifications, and although this is the one I like best, they were all good!

Meat Chili

Last night I made one of my favorite winter dinners–chili and cornbread. I love that it’s warm and filling, and full of good flavors–and very easy! Dinner in 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

-1 lb. hamburger
-1 T butter or oil, for frying
-3 stalks of celery, chopped
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 cans kidney beans
-1/2 c ketchup
-1 can cream of tomato soup
-1 soup can (about 1 c) milk
-14 oz chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned (with juice)
-1/2 t salt
-2 t chili powder
-1/4 t cayenne pepper (vary for how hot you want it; this is medium heat)
-1/2 t garlic powder
-1/2 t parsley

-Sour cream and colby cheese, to top

Directions:

Brown hamburger in a skillet. In a medium stockpot, melt butter and saute celery and onion. Add the meat and the rest of the ingredients to the stockpot, bring to a boil, and simmer for half an hour.

Serve in bowls with a generous sprinkling of cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

* I used this recipe for my cornbread and baked it for 30 minutes, covered with foil, and baked another 10.

Pork Chops & Rice

This morning was fairly frigid and I knew we would be wanting some warm dinner–so I got some pork chops out of the freezer and looked forward to this dish all day! I love that it’s both simple and full of flavor–one of our “keeper” recipes, for sure!

Ingredients:

-1 T olive oil
-4 3/4 inch pork chops
-1 can (10 1/2 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
-3/4 c milk
-3 T (1 1-oz pkg.) ranch dressing mix
-2 1/4 c water
-1 c uncooked long grain white rice

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and brown pork chops on both sides. Add the soup, milk, and half the ranch dressing powder and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until pork is thoroughly done, 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the remaining ranch dressing powder into the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes).

Serve pork and rice smothered in soup sauce. Hold jaw carefully, lest it drop to the floor at such an easy and delicious meal. Receive compliments graciously. 😉

Stromboli

Since this is one of our favorite foods, the recipe was bound to show up here sometime! I made stromboli for dinner tonight, and it’s not even Friday (which is when I usually cook Italian)!

Ingredients:

– 1 recipe of pizza dough (enough for one pizza)
– 4 slices salami
– 6 slices deli pepperoni
– 5 slices provolone cheese
– 5 slices deli ham
– 1-2 T melted butter
– Italian seasoning
– marinara sauce, for topping

Directions:

Roll the dough out to about a 7×14 rectangle. Arrange meat and cheese in the order given down the center, leaving some room on the ends. Fold the ends up and then the long sides over, sealing the edges. Place on a baking sheet diagonally and cut slashes with a sharp knife. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake at 375°F oven for 30-40 minutes, or until top is browned. Let it rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving, or else it will be too gooey and the cheese will pull out with the cutter!

Tip: Bake on parchment paper, and put another baking sheet underneath. If you use enough cheese and butter, some will probably leak out as it starts to bubble through the slits and the oven will be a mess! (If it doesn’t, you didn’t use enough cheese and butter 😉 )

I like to add extra cheese…tonight I sprinkled some mozzarella and cheddar cheese in there too, and it was delicious.

Ranch Burgers

I found this recipe on All Recipes and it was such a hit I have made it several times this summer. For just me and my husband, I usually do just one pound of beef/half the recipe, and make 4 burgers. Last week, with family and friends also here, I used 3 pounds and upped the other ingredients a little. It’s a pretty flexible recipe, but downright delicious and super easy!

Ingredients:

– 2 lbs. ground beef
– 1 1-oz pkg. (3 T) ranch dressing mix/powder (I buy mine in a jar from Sam’s Club)
– 1 egg, slightly beaten
– 3/4 c finely crushed saltine crackers
– 1 onion, chopped very small (depending on how much onion you like, you might not want a whole one. And be sure to chop the pieces as small as possible. If they are too chunky, the burgers will not hold together as well)

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and form into patties of whatever size you like. Cook to taste–we like them grilled and pretty well done. I usually add a couple slices of sharp cheddar at the end, and we like to toast the buns on the grill right at the end too.

Serve with homemade rolls, mayo, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mustard, relish, ketchup, pickles, or whatever else you like with your burgers. Enjoy!