Everything But The Bagel BLT

It’s no secret that BLT’s are one of my favorite sandwiches. I really love adding avocado and pickled onions to my sandwich too. I recently saw Katie Lee from Food Network make this sandwich and all the credit for the bacon goes to her.

Ingredients:

Bacon (do not buy thick slice) pork, turkey or chicken bacon works

Ketchup

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning*

Bread, toast it if desired

Mayonnaise

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Pickled onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a pan with foil if you want easy cleanup. Place a baking rack in your baking pan, I used a cooling rack (like what I cool cookies on). Lay bacon on the rack. Lightly brush bacon with ketchup (this makes the seasoning stick and it adds a tomato flavor to the bacon). Sprinkle Everything But The Bagel Seasoning on the bacon. My jar had a shaker top but I applied the seasoning using my fingers so I would not waste it. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. I like my bacon crispy do I baked mine 20 minutes. Thick bacon takes a long time to crisp up in the oven so that is why I suggested to use regular sliced bacon. Let rest 5 minutes and assemble your delicious sandwich. Enjoy!

*Everything But The Bagel Seasoning can be purchased at Trader Joe’s, Amazon and my grocery store also sells it.

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Easy Pickled Onions

Pickling Time One Week

I love pickled onions. This is my second attempt in making them. I made them last year and tossed them. I believe I have it down pat now. Trust me when I say this, no canning skills are necessary. (I have none!)

Ingredients:

1 large purple onion, sliced thin

4 cups boiling water

I/2 cup white distilled vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

9 Tablespoons of sugar, heaping

8 peppercorns

10 Second Water Bath

Boil water, when it’s a rapid boil, remove from heat and place onions in the pan. Count to 10 and drain in a colander. Place onions in small canning jars or any glass jar with a lid. This process softens the onions. In a bowl or large measuring cup with a spout, combine vinegars, salt, sugar and peppercorns. Stir until salt and sugar is combined. Pour liquid over onions and seal with lid. Leave on the counter until the jars are room temperature. Refrigerate once they become room temperature.

Soften Onions
Vinegar Added To Onions

I love pickled onions on salads, tacos, burgers, sandwiches and anything I put onions on. A new recipe coming is your way using this pickled onion recipe. These will keep in refrigerator two to three weeks easily. Enjoy!

Red, White And Blueberry Cupcakes

Red, White And Blueberry Cupcakes
Everyone in the pool!
Baking to perfection.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups a flour

1 cup sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch to toss blueberries in

Maraschino cherries for garnish

Blueberries for garnish

Willow’s best friend Maggie. ❤️❤️❤️
My babygirl Willow ❤️

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Add dry ingredients to your mixing bowl and whisk. Set aside.

Add milk, oil, vanilla and egg in a medium size bowl. Blend together. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Toss blueberries with cornstarch. Stir blueberries into cupcake batter. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until done. Remove cupcakes from oven. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from cupcake pan and cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 stick of butter, softened*

1/2 cup of Crisco shortening

4 cups of powdered sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2-3 teaspoons milk

Blend butter and shortening together. *If you are using salted butter, you do not need to add anymore salt. If you are using unsalted butter, add up to a teaspoon to the butter shortening mixture. Slowly add powdered sugar to the butter/shortening mixture. Blend to combine. Add vanilla and milk according to the desired consistency for piping on cupcakes. As always, I used a Wilton 1M tip to decorate my cupcakes. Garnish with a stemmed maraschino cherry and blueberry. Enjoy!

Sign of a delicious cupcake. That’s a wrap!

It’s Five O’Guac Somewhere

I grew up in Southern California eating avocados and guacamole since childhood. Any excuse I have to eat guacamole, I make it happen. It’s not just for chips! I put guacamole on tacos, burgers and sometimes just on a spoon! 😂 I lived all of my life buying rock hard avocados, rotten avocados, and brown avocados. So frustrating. I will also tell you how to pick out the perfect avocado, you know the kind that is beautifully green on the inside and ripe too. Just like they show in magazines or on cooking shows. Everyone has their own special ingredients they like to add or not add. I am pretty much a purest when it comes to guacamole. Simple basic ingredients because I want the avocado to be the star.

Here is the trick of buying the perfect avocado. See where the avocado has been picked off of the tree? Kinda looks like a little scab. Take it off, it you see green, your avocado is ripe and ready to eat. I don’t care if it’s hard, it’s ready. If you squeeze your avocado to see if it’s soft and ready to eat, you are bruising it. Trust me on this.

Take the brown circle off, that’s where it was picked from the tree.
See the green inside? It’s ready!
Beautiful!

Ingredients:

3 ripe Haas avocados, pitted and peeled

1 jalapeño, seeds removed and ribs removed for me, if you like heat chop it all up

1/2 cup red onion, diced fine

1 small clove garlic minced

1 Tablespoon lime juice

1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped, you may omit this if you don’t like it

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Optional additives:

Don’t have garlic? Use garlic salt

1 Roma Tomato, finely chopped, seeds removed

Some people add Pico de Gallo

Please do not add mayonnaise or sour cream unless you are making a salad dressing. And if you do, don’t tell me!

Remove pit and set aside
Good things are about to happen

Place avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork. I like to have some small avocado chunks in mine. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine.

Serve immediately. Enjoy! See below for the best way to store if you have extra.

Put pit in the guacamole. Place clingy plastic wrap on top of guacamole and smash down so air will not get to the guacamole. It will keep several days if you seal it good and tight.

Southern Tomato Pie Italian Style

My Tomato Pie started out as a typical Southern Tomato Pie with a twist. I am not a fan of pie crust so my daughter in love, Danielle suggested I use biscuits. Great! Even more southern. However when I start creating with tomatoes and cheese, somehow basil jumped in the pie. Than I felt like I needed to add caramelized onions and that’s when this southern pie, went Italian. A match made in heaven.

Form a pie crust with raw biscuit halves.

Ingredients:

1can of butter flakey biscuits in the can, separate each biscuit in half

3-4 jumbo tomatoes, really big tomatoes, sliced

1 teaspoon of salt

Enough basil leaves to cover tomatoes

1 small onion, sliced, separate rings and cut in half

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon of Olive oil

2 a Tablespoons of granulated sugar

Parmesan cheese shreds, about a cup to cover tomato layer

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Bake about 8 minutes and mash biscuits down to create room to fill pie crust.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a deep dish pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place biscuits that you have separated in half in pie pan to form a pie crust on the bottom of pie pan and the sides of the pie pan. Bake about 8 minutes. Your biscuit crust will come out puffy. Use a Tablespoon to smash the biscuits down on the bottom and sides of pan. This will create room to fill your pie crust.

Blot tomatoes to remove excess liquid.

First layer.

Second layer.

The beginning of sweetness.

Perfection!

Looking tasty!

First layer topped with Parmesan shreds.

Place sliced tomatoes in a colander. Line the bottom and sides keeping tomatoes separate. Sprinkle with salt and let them drain the liquid a minimum of an hour. This can be done ahead and the night before if you prefer. After an hour place tomatoes on paper towels and blot excess liquid from tomatoes. This is important so your crust is not soggy.

To caramelize the onions, melt butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add onion slices and once onions start getting translucent, add 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Cook on low heat and watch them, the onions go from sweet caramelization to burned quickly. Set aside.

Place a layer of tomatoes on the bottom of the pie crust.

Add basil leaves to cover the tomatoes. Next add the caramelized onions and top with Parmesan shreds.

Top Parmesan shreds with the next layer of tomatoes.

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and 2 cups of grated Mozzerella cheese. Spread over the top of the tomatoes and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let set 10 minutes and serve warm. Enjoy!

Nothing puts a smile on my face seeing my girl loving my food. ❤️
One sweet baby face.

Peaches And Cream French Toast Casserole

This is an overnight casserole. You must make this the night before. While your oven is preheating in the morning, let casserole sit on the counter. It will bake better if the dish and contents are not ice cold out of the fridge.

Brioche and cream cheese

Ingredients:

8 eggs

2 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 loaf of Brioche bread, day old and cubed

4 ounces of cream cheese, cubed

6-8 peaches, sliced (enough to cover the top of of the casserole

Fruit fresh (found in the canning department of your grocery store)

Powdered sugar for garnish

Syrup if desired

Brioche, cream cheese and egg mixture
Ready to go in the fridge till morning

In a blender, purée eggs, heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Set aside. ***

Butter a 13 x 9 casserole dish. Place cubed brioche bread in the bottom of the casserole dish. Place cubed cream cheese inside and outside of the brioche cubes. Toss sliced peaches liberally in Fruit Fresh. (This will keep them from browning). Pour egg mixture over the bread and cheese in the casserole dish. Place peaches on top of the casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Baked and ready to eat.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until custard is set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and pour on the syrup if desired.

***This is not a sweet breakfast casserole. If you are looking for sweet, add some sugar to the egg mixture and definitely garnish with powdered sugar.

Crockpot Olive Garden Chicken

My grilled Olive Garden Chicken is a huge success on my blog. So when it’s too hot to grill, to rainy or you run out if propane, make my Olive Garden Chicken in the crockpot. use frozen or thawed chicken breasts, cook, shred the chicken and serve over pasta or rice. Easy and so delicious.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed or frozen

16 ounces or more of Olive Garden Salad Dressing

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (dry kind you shake on)

Plus an additional 1/4 cup to sprinkle on when done

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

8 ounces cream cheese, cubed

Spaghetti or rice

1/2 cup pasta water

Parmesan Shreds, optional

Spray crockpot (slow cooker) with non stick cooking spray. Add chicken breasts to the crockpot. Pour the dressing over the chicken. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the chicken. Place cubed cream cheese in the crockpot. I used frozen chicken and I set my timer on high for 4 hours. if you are cooking on low, cook for 5 to 6 hours. Right before your chicken is done, prepare the pasta or the rice. Remove the chicken when done and shred it. Place back in the crockpot and add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water to the mix. Add black pepper and sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese. Serve with a Caesar Salad and garlic bread for a delicious dinner. Enjoy!

Disney’s Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana French Toast

This is not a copycat recipe but a recipe from Disney’s PCH Grill at the Paradise Pier Hotel at Disneyland. I would like to thank my sweet friend Elizabeth Sausville for finding this recipe and sharing it with me. When I first read the recipe, I thought it would be more like bread pudding but I changed my mind after I ate it. Definitely breakfast. And don’t make the powdered sugar and chocolate syrup optional, use both! I used my Copycat Saunder’s Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge syrup on this recipe. Delish. Decadent. Fabulous.

Ingredients:

Peanut butter, eggs, chocolate milk, cinnamon and salt

8 thick slices of day old challah bread, 1 loaf will do

2 ripe bananas, I used 3 because my bananas were on the small-medium size

1/4 cup chocolate chips, I used milk chocolate, I used 1/2 cup

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

6 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup chocolate milk

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate syrup and powdered sugar, optional (not optional in my opinion!)

Mix gently until bread has absorbed the egg mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Golden brown, right out of the oven.

Cut bread into one inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Slice bananas into 1/2 inch slices and add to bowl. Stir in chocolate chips.

Combine peanut butter, eggs, chocolate milk, cinnamon and salt in a blender. Process until smooth.

Warm right from the oven.

Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Stir gently until bread cubes have absorbed the egg mixture.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40* minutes or until top is golden brown. I baked mine for 40 minutes, next time it will only be 35 minutes.

With powdered sugar.

Before serving, drizzle with chocolate syrup and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!

With powdered sugar and chocolate topping. Highly recommended!

Copycat Sanders Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge

I have been in love with Sanders Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge Dessert Topping since I moved to Michigan in 1974. The love affair continues to this day as I continue to mail order this dessert topping. In January of 2020, I celebrated my birthday at Outback and had the Chocolate Fondue Flight. A new dessert on their menu. As soon as I dipped my fork in the chocolate, I thought it tasted just like Sanders. I asked the very nice manager if I could buy the boomerang for my new recipe. It was a yes and here is the Copycat Sanders Milk Chocolate Dessert Topping and my Copycat Chocolate Flight Fondue from Outback Steakhouse.

Ingredients:

2 11 ounce bags of caramels

1/2 cup half and half

1 12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

Peel caramels and place in a large bowl. Microwave for one and a half minutes. This will soften the caramels. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water, creating a double boiler. Melt the caramels, stirring occasionally until they are smooth in consistency. Once caramels are smooth, slowly add half and half and stir to incorporate the liquid into the caramels.

Next add the milk chocolate chips. My chips had melted in my move but they were still fine to use in the recipe. Stir until chocolate has completely melted into the caramel mixture. Once that is done, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Store in jars or air tight containers in the refrigerator. Microwave at 30 second intervals to re-warm, stirring between the intervals. This topping is great over ice cream, fruit, on a spoon 😉, or whatever you like dessert topping on. You will not want to buy the jar stuff at the grocery store anymore. Enjoy!

For my Chocolate Flight Fondue, I used brownie bites (from homemade brownies), fresh pineapple, sliced bananas and strawberries. Any fruit is great dipped in chocolate. Outback used strawberries, pineapple, brownie and pound cake. They also had a cup of whip cream which I omitted from mine. Nothing against whip cream, I prefer another option for dipping.