Margaritaville Margarita 

Happy National Margarita Day!  This is a very simple and easy Margarita to make. This one is frozen, however if you prefer on the rocks, let the limeade melt and continue with the recipe. 


Ingredients:

6 ounces of frozen limeade, from a 12 ounce can

Juice of one large orange 

4 ounces of good tequila, I used Patron

2 ounces of Grand Marnier

1 cup of ice

Limes for rimming glasses and garnish

Course salt for glasses if desired


Don’t forget your last shaker of salt!  đŸ˜‰

In a blender,  add limeade, juice from the orange, tequila, Grand Marnier and ice. Blend until smooth. Pour in your glass and leave your worries behind. These are strong margaritas so please drink responsibly. Dive in and enjoy!  Makes 2 margaritas. 

Creme BrĂ»lĂ©e French Toast

I love and adore French Toast. It’s always my  pick over waffles and pancakes. I do consider myself a French Toast snob since it has to be really good or I will have eggs. In this recipe, the bread is dipped into a custard mixture and then into a yummy cinnamon sugar mixture. While cooking, the cinnamon sugar turns into a crispy carmelized topping like the topping on Creme BrĂ»lĂ©e. 


It all starts with buttet!


First side is cooking and caramelizing. 

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream 

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups of cinnamon 

6 – 8 slices of one inch sliced day old Brioche Bread, or your favorite bread sliced an inch thick

Butter, some for your pan, and more for your French Toast if desired

Maple Syrup, if desired


Combine cream, egg and vanilla in a swallow bowl and set aside. In another shallow bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Start out by melting a tablespoon of butter in your pan or griddle. Once your pan is heated and butter is melted, start dipping the bread into the egg mixture. Make sure you cover all side well. Next, dip the bread into the cinnamon sugar, coating the bread on both sides. Cook the French Toast on medium heat until the cinnamon sugar has carmalized and flip over to caramelize the other size.  I did not put any butter on my French Toast and I used very little syrup. That was my personal preference, this delicious and decadent French Toast didn’t need much. Enjoy!

Hot Artichoke Onion Dip

I love hot dips. This is so easy to prepare and the prep time is quick. This dip can be baked in the oven or warmed in the microwave. I prefer to bake it in the oven because I think the dip stays hotter longer. This dip is cheesy good. 


Hot and bubbly right out of the oven. 
Ingredients:

1 12 ounce can/jar of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise 

1 cup of sour cream

1 envelope of onion soup mix 

1 teaspoon of white pepper, you can use black if you want

2 teaspoons or more of Tabasco sauce or your favorite hot sauce, optional

1 cup of Swiss cheese, grated

Scallions for garnish

Chips, celery, carrots, pretzels or your favorite dippers


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain artichokes and chop.  Set aside. In a separate bowl, add mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir to combine. Add the soup mix, pepper, Tabasco if you are including it, and grated Swiss cheese and mix together. Pour dip mixture into a shallow baking dish, I used a 8 x 6 pan. You can also use a pie plate too. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with scallions and serve with your favorite dippers. I used organic blue corn chips. Enjoy!


When I serve dips at parties, whether they are hot or cold, I like to put the dip in small ramekins for several reasons. One is that keeps the dip in one place on your plate and you are not chasing it around on your plate. Also, when guest have there own little bowl, they can double dip all they want too!  A ramekin also keeps your dip in one place and keeps the other things on your plate free of dip. 

Plant City Strawberry Cobbler 

I love strawberry season in Florida. I can’t eat enough of them. This recipe contains delicious strawberries grown in Plant City, Florida. 


Ingredients:

4 quarts of strawberries

1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided

3 heaping Tablespoons of cornstarch 

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

6 Tablespoons of cold butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cups plus 4 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

Ice Cream, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 9 pan with nonstick spray. Wash and take the stems off of the strawberries. Cut strawberries into bite size pieces if they are large. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with the cornstarch. Gently add that to the berries and combine. Place strawberries in your prepared pan. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add butter to the flour mixture and cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives. The flour should resemble fine crumbs. Pour in whipping cream and mix to form dough. The dough will be very sticky. Drop by teaspoonfuls on top of the berries. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until top is brown and the strawberries are bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy. 

Pizza Spaghetti Squash


I absolutely love spaghetti squash. This a great recipe that even your pickiest eater would like. This is a low carb enjoyable meal and you will not feel deprived of your favorite food. Make sure you choose a pizza sauce with low/no sugar. 


Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti Squash, halved and seeds scooped out

1-2 Tablespoons of Pizza Sauce

Mozzarella Cheese

Pepperoni or your favorite pizza toppings

Oregano, optional

Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place face down in a microwave safe baking dish. Add one inch of water in baking dish and cook in microwave for 10 minutes.  Let set until you can comfortably handle squash. Discard water in baking dish. Scrape insides of squash with fork. Add pizza sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. Add your favorite pizza topping, I used pepperoni. Place under broiler antil cheese melts. Sprinkle on oregano if desired. Enjoy!

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash


I love spaghetti squash. You can dress it up like pasta once it’s cooked. There are many ways to prepare this squash. Bake, microwave and even in the pressure cooker. I typically microwave mine but this time I baked it. This recipe is delicious, low carb and can be served as a meal or side dish. 


Once you cut open the squash, scoop out the seeds and pulp just like you would do with a pumpkin. 
Baking 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking pan, spray or oil bottom of pan. Drizzle olive oil over squash. Salt and pepper prepared squash, I used garlic salt. Place cut side down in your baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until done. 

Microwave
Salt and pepper inside of prepared squash. Fill baking dish with one inch of water with squash inside. Microwave on high for 10 minutes. 


Ingredients:

Olive oil, if baking

Garlic butter, I used Shamy’s

Parmesan Cheese, grated

Salt and Pepper, I used garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper 


Once your spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the inside of the squash. Spaghetti like strands will begin to form. Continue to scrape the inside until strands are no longer coming from the sides and bottom of your squash. Add garlic butter, salt and fresh ground pepper, and top with Parmesan or your choice of Italian cheese.  I did not add amounts for the ingredients because each squash will yield different amounts of squash depending on the size. Use what you prefer as far as butter, salt, pepper and cheese. 


I chose to eat my squash on a plate like spaghetti but you can load it back into the empty squash shell if you prefer. This is a delicious low carb meal or side dish.  Mangia mangia!  Enjoy!

Maple Pancake Sausage Casserole


This recipe was created because an item I had purchased at a wholesale club was discontinued. It was maple silver dollar pancakes with maple sausage sandwiched between the pancakes. Since they were discontinued, I have searched in every grocery store in my area to find them. Struck out everywhere. So I created a casserole because it would be much faster to prepare in the morning. 


Ingredients:

1 pound of bulk maple sausage, I used Jimmy Dean

3 cups of pancake mix, prepare according to directions on box

2 Tablespoons or more of maple extract

Butter

Maple syrup, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick spray. Brown sausage, drain and place in the baking dish. Prepare pancake mix according to directions using 3 cups of pancake mix.  That should say it yields anywhere from 16 – 25 pancakes depending on the brand you use. Add maple extract to the batter. Taste the batter, I wish I would have added more extract to my batter but I wanted a stronger maple taste.  Pour batter evenly over the sausage on the bottom of the casserole. Bake for 30 -40 minutes until pancake topping is tested with a cake tester and comes out clean. Remove from oven an spread butter on top of pancake topping.  Cut into pieces and pour on the maple syrup if desired. 


This breakfast casserole comes together quickly and is very easy to make. Perfect for breakfast or brunch. This casserole can be reheated easily if you have any leftovers. Enjoy!