Mom’s Pumpkin Crunch

This is my Mom’s recipe. Not a fan of pumpkin pie, this recipe I love. My sons love it too. It has been around for a long time. Some people call it Pumpkin Dump Cake and some also refer to this recipe as Pumpkin Cobbler. Whatever you call it, it’s amazing!

Pumpkin Crunch

1 can of solid pack pumpkin (not pie filling)

1 can of evaporated milk

3 eggs

1 1/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 box of yellow cake mix

1 cup chopped pecans

1 stick of butter, melted

Whipped cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with Pam.

Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and pumpkin pie spice with your mixer. Pour into your baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecans over the cake mix. Drizzle the top with melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes. *The top seems to get brown very quickly so I tent foil over the top the last 20-30 minutes of baking.

This can be eaten warm, I typically serve it room temperature topped with whipped cream. I do refrigerate leftovers if there is any. Enjoy!

Cocktail Weenies

I recently made appetizers for Thanksgiving and I wasn’t planning to post a recipe but everyone was asking for it so here it is. I remember my Mom making these and keeping them warm in a fondue pot. I used a one quart crockpot. They are small and inexpensive if you get them at Walmart.

Ingredients:

1 package 24 ounce Little Smokies

1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)

3/4 cup grape jelly

In a saucepan, combine jelly and barbecue sauce. I heated the two until the jelly had combined with the barbecue sauce. I added the Little Smokies to the the saucepan and heated the Little Smokies until they were hot. I transferred the warm sauce and Smokies to the crockpot and kept it on warm setting during the day. Have toothpicks nearby for serving. This is an old vintage recipe my Mom made when I was a kid. Simple, easy and tasty. Enjoy!

Key West Key Lime Pie

Best Key West Key Lime Pie

I have vacationed in Key West many times. It’s my favorite city in Florida. Love the food, the history, the art galleries and overall everything about the city. A very fun place to visit. I am really not a pie fan but I do love Key Lime Pie. A lot. Key West makes the best. Now you can make your own and feel like you just visited The Keys.

Here is a picture of a key lime compared to a regular size lime.
The best way to juice a key lime is with a garlic press. It’s like it was made to juice!
As you can see, it works like a charm. Garlic press, my top secret weapon to juice key limes.

Ingredients Pie Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 stick of butter, melted

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl. Form crumbs into a deep dish pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes and cool completely before adding filling.

Whip it good!
Strain your key lime juice, I found seeds and it also removes the pulp.
Zest of a regular size lime added to the filling.
Baking away in Margaritaville 😉
She loves my Key West Key Lime Pie
Proudly modeling pie

Key Lime Pie Filling:

2 cans of sweetened condensed milk

8 egg yolks

1 cup of fresh key lime juice, strained,* (2 one pound packages of key limes)**

Zest of one regular lime

Beat sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks until thickened. Add lime juice slowly and lime zest. Add pie filling to completely cooled pie crust. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Do not let your pie get browned, it will have a jiggle but the pie will solidify after it’s cooled and chilled. Chill pie for minimum 3 hours, or longer. Garnish with fresh whip cream and a lime slice. Enjoy!

Simply the best!
*I have never used bottled key lime juice for anything. I know some of you may have trouble finding key limes. From research, I understand this is a good product but fresh juice is always best. This juice can purchased at grocery stores, Sam’s Club and ordered on Amazon.

**Before juicing limes, microwave them for 1 minute per pound. The heat will making juicing easier and yield more juice.

Strawberries and Cream Overnight French Toast Casserole

My sweet family invited me to an Easter brunch. My daughter in love Danielle asked if I would bring Strawberries and Cream French Toast Casserole. I agreed. This is similar to my Peaches and Cream French Toast Casserole on my blog, but this one is made a little different.

Ingredients:

1 loaf Brioche bread, day old or 2 even better, sliced and cubed

4 ounces of cream cheese, cut into cubes

8 eggs

2 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 quarts of fresh strawberries, sliced

Powdered sugar for dusting on top of casserole

Maple syrup if desired

Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with nonstick spray. Place cubed brioche bread in the bottom of the casserole pan. Add cream cheese cubes between bread cubes. In a blender or mixer, blend eggs, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour custard mixture over bread and cream cheese in casserole dish. Cover tightly with foil and place in fridge overnight.

In the morning, take out casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice strawberries and cover the top of the casserole. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until custard is set. Garnish with powdered sugar and pour on the maple syrup if desired. Enjoy!

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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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

1/2 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!

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!