Everything Bagel Casserole

I have been on a total de-cluttering binge lately. Cook all the things forgotten in the freezer! Clean out the cedar closet! Get rid of all the sippy cups that don’t get used! Purge old purses!

The other night I was watching TV and playing on the laptop and decided to start deleting old, unneeded blog photos from the computer. Buried in the blog folder where the shots of this casserole – and I realized I never actually blogged it! I’m sorry. I was holding out on your guys.

This is amazing – hands down my favorite breakfast casserole. I made this for a Mother’s Day brunch and it was so amazingly well received. It’s easy to see why, though – everything bagels, bacon, melty cream cheese – what’s not to love? And the fact that you can prep it ahead is an added bonus.

If you’re looking for a great, filling brunch dish, this is it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

EverythingBagelCasserole

Everything Bagel Casserole
(adapted from Well Plated)
Serves 8

6 everything bagels, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
8 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped, divided
8 oz. cream cheese

Spray a 9×11″ casserole dish with non-stick spray.  Spread the bagel pieces evenly in the bottom of the dish and top evenly with bacon crumbles, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined and pour over the bagel pieces. Press down lightly on the bagel pieces to make sure they all absorb some of the liquid. Top evenly with half of the fresh chives and the remaining cheddar. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours – overnight is perfect!

Preheat the oven to 350 when ready to bake – let the casserole stand at room temperature during preheating. Cover lightly with foil sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the center is set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

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Florida Strawberry Pecan Pizza #foodbloggers4fl

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Today, food bloggers are coming together to highlight groups that are helping with Irma relief. And we’re sharing some Florida food – because food is our love language.

I decided to go with something comforting and featuring a Florida staple – strawberries. There are more than 10,000 acres of strawberries growing in Florida! They’re the #2 grower in the country. What a better way to honor Florida than with Strawberries?

This pizza is like a taste of summer. With all fresh ingredients, this is an awesome showcase of Florida’s strawberries.

But, of course, Florida isn’t the only place that felt the effects of Irma. The list of charities below highlights groups helping out with Irma relief in Florida and throughout the Caribbean. If you’re planning to donate, these are all great options.

Volunteer Florida
Miami Diaper Bank
Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida
South Florida Wildlife Center
Heart of Florida United Way
All Faiths Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
Fondos Unidos
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
St. John Community Foundation
Anguilla Beaches

StrawberryPizza

Florida Strawberry Pecan Pizza
(adapted from Fresh from Florida)
Makes 1 12″ pizza

1 cup fresh Florida strawberries, sliced
1/2 lb. pizza dough
2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 Tbsp. chopped pecans
Fresh basil, julienned

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out the dough into a 12″ circle. Spread the glaze evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cheese over the glaze. Spread the sliced strawberries evenly over the top of the pizza. Sprinkle the pecans over.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Sprinkle with julienned basil and serve.


Texas Style Chili #foodbloggers4tx

A note: The #foodbloggers4tx event was organized before Hurricane Irma started marching her destructive path through the Caribbean and Florida. While today’s post reflects on Harvey and helping those still picking up the pieces, my heart is with those in Irma’s wake, too – and I’ll have a post up with ways to help soon.

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We, like most of the rest of the country, watched as Hurricane Harvey pummeled Texas. It’s so hard to watch so many people lose everything in these situations – where nature just takes over and nothing you do will help.

When it’s my neighbors or friends that are struggling,  I tend to cook. Food is my love language, so a dinner or try of baked goods always makes be feel like I’m doing something good. But when the trouble is hundreds of miles away, I turn to groups that already on the ground feeding people – in this case, Houston Food Bank.

It’s hard to downplay how much good local organizations like the Houston Food Bank do. If you’re looking for a way to help out, donating to them is a great way.

TexasChili

Texas-Style Chili
(from House of Yum)
Serves 4

1 lb. ground beef
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. onion power
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Fritos, shredded cheddar, and chopped red onion, optional, for serving

Brown the ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking up, until no longer pink. Drain the grease and add the tomato sauce, broth, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Stir in all spices until well combined.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve the chili over Fritos, topped with cheese and onion, if desired.

12 Desserts for Your 4th of July Cookout #CookoutWeek

Need a last minute dessert for your 4th of July cookout? Here are a dozen of my favorite ideas. From fruit pies to fudgy brownies – there’s bound to be an option you’ll love!

SmorePizza

S’more Pizza

FirecrackerCookies

Firecracker Cookies

Cake Batter Blondies

Cake Batter Blondies

Banana Split Pie

Banana Split Pie

Firecracker Bundt Cake

Firecracker Bundt Cake

Raspberry Mousse

Raspberry Mousse

Monster Magic Cookie Bars

Monster Magic Cookie Bars

Ice Cream Sandwiches 2

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Strawberry Sour Cream Pie

Strawberry Sour Cream Pie

S'more Brownie Bars

S’more Brownie Bars

NutellaToppedKrispieTreats

Nutella Topped Brownies

CherryVanillaCokePokeCake

Cherry Vanilla Coke Poke Cake

Smoked Macaroni and Cheese on the Grill with Smokin O’s #CookoutWeek #Sponsored

Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

I never really considered macaroni and cheese a cookout food – until I had kids. Now, macaroni and cheese is an all-the-time food. I’ve been dreaming up an on-the-grill version for a while and I knew Cookout Week was the perfect opportunity.

It was also a great chance to try out Smokin O’s. Smokin O’s is one of our Cookout Week sponsors and they sent us a sampler pack to try out. Smokin O’s are a great way to add smoked flavor on a gas grill – this recipe features an Applewood Smokin O.

And this makes a creamy, delicious, smoky mac and cheese with almost no effort. It’s a perfect cookout dish!

SmokedMacCheese

Smoked Macaroni and Cheese on the Grill with Smokin O’s
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)

2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 cups milk
2 cups half and half
16 oz. shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 Applewood Smokin O
Green onions, for topping
Chopped bacon, for topping

Prepare the grill with the Smokin O. Directions are here.

Spray a disposable 9×11″ pan with non-stick spray.  Pour in the elbow macaroni. Pour the melted butter, milk, and half and half into the pan an stir to combine. Stir in the cheese, salt, pepper, mustard and paprika.

Place the pan on the grill over indirect heat with the cover closed. Cook for 1 hour 45 minutes to two hours – stirring every 10 minutes for the first 40 minutes.

When cooked, top with green onions and chopped bacon before serving.

Welcome to #CookoutWeek 2017!

#CookoutWeek_Logo2

Get those grills fired up… because it’s #CookoutWeek 2017! This week, I’m joining forces with over 40 food blogger friends to bring you delicious recipes perfect for every backyard BBQ, picnic, summer party, or cookout.

We also have a fabulous giveaway featuring products from the brands who have made #CookoutWeek possible! You can enter below to win:

  • From blog host The PinterTest Kitchen: $100 Amazon gift card, to use to buy all the supplies you need for your next cookout
  • From our sponsor The French Farm: A gift pack of gourmet products hand-crafted by small businesses and using only the finest ingredients – La Favorita Genovese Pesto, Caprichos del Guadalquivir Cadenera Orange Marmalade, and L’Abeille Occitane Lavender Honey
  • From our sponsor Smokin’-Os: A sampler pack of their “smokin’-os” wood rings, to help you add wood-fired, smokey taste to your grilled foods, even if you don’t own a smoker
  • From our sponsor Primal Kitchen: $200 of Primal Kitchen goodies, including condiments made with avocado oil and bars and shakes with grass-fed collagen
  • From our sponsor Langers Juice Company: Your choice of 10 bottles of Langers Juice, with flavors including traditional Apple and Grape, as well as interesting mixes such as Pineapple Orange Coconut, Cranberry Blood Orange, and Mango Peach
  • From our sponsor True Made Foods: A 3-bottle sampler pack of sauces with real flavors made from real vegetables and less sugar – Ketchup, BBQ, and Veracha

This prize pack has an ARV of over $400! You have until July 1 at 11:59 PM to enter by following our sponsors and bloggers on social media:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay tuned… remember, throughout the week, all of the participating bloggers will be posting delicious cookout recipes. Here are all the bloggers who are part of #CookoutWeek 2017:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmA Kitchen Hoor’s AdventuresAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAshees CookbookBaking SenseBody RebootedBottom Left of the MittenChef Sarah ElizabethCook’s HideoutCookaholic WifeCooking with SapanaEat, Drink, Be Healthy!FairyburgerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFamily Around the TableFix Me a Little LunchFor the Love of FoodFull Belly SistersHezzi-D’s Books and CooksHome Sweet HomesteadJoin Us, Pull up a ChairKate’s Recipe BoxKelly Lynn’s Sweets and TreatsLittle House Big AlaskaMy Southern Sweet ToothOur Good LifeOven Tales By SyamaPalatable PastimeRants From My Crazy KitchenSavory MomentsSeduction in the KitchenSidewalk ShoesThat RecipeThe Freshman CookThe Mad Scientists KitchenThe Pajama ChefThe Redhead BakerThe Saucy SouthernerThe Spiffy CookieThe Weekday GourmetTramplingroseTurnips 2 TangerinesUncle Jerry’s Kitchen

As one of the bonus entries in the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post… what is your favorite dish to eat at a cookout?

Review: Cave Tools Kabob Skewers Rack

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Are you grilling this weekend? We have plans to kick off summer with a barbecue. I’m super excited about more dinners on the grill being put into our weekly menu!

If you’ve been reading the blog for a bit now, you know that meat on sticks is a thing around here. I love kabobs and they’re frequently found on our summer menus so I was really excited to try out the Cave Tools Kabob Skewers Rack.

CaveTools1

This was really a dream in making kabobs so, so easy. The meat threaded on much easier than our normal bamboo skewers and I loved the food removal disks. (See those round things on the skewers? You push on them to get all the food off of a skewer – genius!)

The rack is very sturdy, which makes it really easy to transport things to and from the grill. You put the whole rack on the grill – everything cooks as normal but you don’t have to worry about anything sticking (or toddlers complaining about grill marks on their food). It also folds flat for easy storage.

CaveTools2

As an added bonus, it’s dishwasher safe. Because after you’ve survived making dinner with two little kids around, the last thing you want to be doing is scrubbing more.

We loved this and will be using it a ton this summer!

Looking for some inspiration? Some of our past kabob favorites include Chicken Satay Skewers, Chipotle Chicken Kabobs with Avocado Cream Sauce, and Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs.

If you want your own kabob skewers rack, they can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code KABOBSET15 to take 15% off. They can also be purchased via Amazon. Cave Tools also has a lot of other fun grilling accessories, I recommend checking them out while you’re browsing!

Sweet Potato Brownies #RecipeMakeover

Jake gets such a kick out of being my sous chef that I let him pick my last project for #RecipeMakeover week.  He picked brownies. Challenge accepted.

These, admittedly, still aren’t the healthiest brownies ever – but they’re a solid step in the right direction. This recipe uses less sweeteners than most and sneaks in some sweet potato to boot. And while I didn’t plan it this way, they’re vegan, too.

I mashed my sweet potatoes with a fork so they were still a little lumpy going into the batter. Jake isn’t picky (and is thrilled with anything chocolate), so he didn’t mind at all, but if you’re catering to a finicky crowd, pureeing the sweet potatoes would be a better way to hide them!

SweetPotatoBrownies

Sweet Potato Brownies
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Makes 1 9×9 ban

1/2 cup unrefined organic cane sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup almond butter
3/4 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the almond butter, sweet potato, syrup and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened. Fold in chocolate.

Transfer to the prepared baking pan and smooth out evenly in the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top looks dry and puffed. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

Dust with additional cocoa powder, if desired.

Cranberry Honey Banana Bread #RecipeMakeover

Disclosure: I received products from Barlean’s free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.

While I’m pretty decent at whipping up a healthy dinner when need be, my baking projects are decidedly different.  Tackling a makeover of one of my most-frequently-baked items – banana bread – seemed like the perfect challenge.

CranberryHoneyBananaBread1

As I was working on this recipe, I turned to products from #RecipeMakeover sponsor, Barlean’s. Their Butter Flavored Coconut Oil can be subbed 1:1 for butter – so that was a great place to start. Roasting the bananas brought out some more natural sugars, and using Barlean’s Digestive Blend punched up the flavor while adding some good-for-you stuff to the bread (it’s a mix of ground flaxseed, chia seed, quinoa, unsweetened shredded coconut, and a pumpkin blend that is remeniscint of pumpkin spice!) My added sweetener here was a local cranberry honey (fun fact: New Jersey is the 3rd biggest cranberry producing state in the US!) – I Iiked the flavor it added, but if you don’t have this available any honey would be great in this recipe.

The result? A banana bread that was really good – and much better for you than my usual go-to loaf.

CranberryHoneyBananaBread2

Cranberry Honey Banana Bread
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 loaf

4 medium bananas
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Barlean’s Digestive Blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Cranberry Honey (or regular honey)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line  a baking sheet with foil. Prick the banana peels with a fork, place them on the baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Barlean’s Digestive Blend, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil, and honey until well combined. Mash bananas and add to the wet ingredients – stir until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the everything is just moistened.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Basil Pancakes #RecipeMakeover

I love pancakes. And my toddler has inherited that love. They used to be something I only made occasionally – on a lazy weekend morning or special occasion – but with Jake requesting them they’ve been in the rotation much more frequently. And, of course, my favorite recipe includes a heavy dose of sugar – and then I slather them in syrup.

Perfect candidate for a recipe makeover!

Instead of sugar, this version is packed with protein – eggs and Greek yogurt make these a great, filling option for the morning. Instead of being slathered with syrup, they’re topped with a compote of fresh strawberries and basil – and just a little honey.

The result is a fresh, filling breakfast that satisfies the pancake cravings in a much healthier fashion.

StrawberryBasilPancakes

Strawberry Basil Pancakes
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Serves 4

3 cups sliced strawberries
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain Greek yogurt

In a bowl, combine strawberries and honey. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries start to give up their juice. Stir in the basil just before serving.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs and yogurt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until all moistened.

Drop batter by 2 Tbsp. heaps into a lightly-greased frying pan and spread out a bit. Cook until the edges are dry and flip, cooking an additional minute or so.

Serve pancakes warm, topped with the strawberry basil compote.

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