Archive for September, 2011

September 30th, 2011

French Toast Skewers with Blueberry Compote

Today is a sad day for our family…our three week stay in Virginia is at an end.  Tomorrow we will get up early and make the looooong drive back to Colorado.  We have had a great time and seen and experienced so much of our country’s history.  We have had a lot of fun and are so glad we had this opportunity.  My kids are lucky enough to have cousins out here that they have enjoyed spending time with and are very sad that we do not live closer together.  Maybe one day!

And speaking of kids these skewers are also so fun for kids.  What kid doesn’t love food on a stick and dunking that food into something sweet and delicious.  These skewers are of course, also great for a fabulous brunch.  Something about taking an ordinary food and presenting it in a new and fun manner just makes it taste better.

And come on, I know that you were looking at that blueberry compote and wondering what else it would taste good on.  Well, let me tell you….it goes great on ice cream, crepes, German Pancakes, and so much more…

French Toast Skewers


1 loaf Challah bread or Artisan bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

3 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cups half and half

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp cinnamon

butter for cooking


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to warm.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla and cinnamon.  Stir in bread

In a large skillet or frying pan melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Place bread cubes into skillet (whatever you can fit comfortably in your pan); cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until browned on all sides. To keep warm, transfer to the oven.  Continue cooking the remaining bread in batches using additional butter as needed.

Thread bread cubes onto skewers.  Serve with blueberry compote.

Blueberry Compote


2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


In medium saucepan, combine blueberries with sugar and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until most of the berries have burst (8-10 minutes)

*Makes 1 cup of compote.

September 29th, 2011

What’s For Brunch?


Brunch has got to be the funnest meal out there – a chance to actually enjoy some of your breakfast favorites without all the normal rush-rush.  With the holidays just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to consider a brunch get together with your friends and family.  Here’s a menu Jocelyn and I have used a couple of times with huge success.  We thought you might appreciate the menu so you could plan a brunch of your own.  We’ll be posting the recipes individually, but it’s fun to see them all together and  hopefully it will provide some party-planning inspiration!  Now all you have to do is figure out who to invite. . .


Brunch Menu

 Click on Titles for Recipes . . .


French Toast Skewers with Blueberry Compote

{It’s just fun to eat off a stick!}



Sausage Egg Strata with Rosemary, Thyme & Garlic Seasoned Breakfast Potatoes

{Need I remind you my family loves potatoes – especially with these yummy seasonings!}



Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake

{This is a true family favorite – so moist it melts in your mouth.  We eat it on Christmas morning.}



Chocolate Strawberries

{Doesn’t every meal need a little chocolate?}



Chocolate Shortbread

{Yummy alternative to strawberries – especially during the Holidays!}



Check your calendar and schedule your brunch today!  Watch for these recipes in the next few weeks.


September 28th, 2011

Tortilla Soup


We’ve  had a few requests for this soup so not to keep you waiting any longer . . . here it is and believe me this is worth the wait.   This soup is one of our family’s favorite things to eat.  It’s just so good, not too spicy, and so tasty- perfect on a cold winter day, but light enough to eat int he summer.  Don’t just take my word for it – this is one you need to make yourself – and why not its super easy.  Let us know how you like it! 


 Tortilla Soup


1 small onion (diced)                         
2-3 large chicken breasts
1 tablespoon oil
2 garlic cloves, minced                       
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoons dry oregano                              
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons cumin                                         
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder                                 
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce                  
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 – 2 cups frozen corn

For Topping

tortilla strips or chips
cheddar cheese
sour cream (optional)



In large pot, sauté onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon hot oil.  Add spices, then liquids.



Add chicken (raw) and simmer 1-2 hours, or until chicken falls apart and will shred. 



Add corn just before serving. 



Top with tortilla strips (or just crush tortilla chips) and cheese; add sour cream and any other favorites such as onions, tomatoes, and avocado.  My family likes to roll up tortillas and dip in the soup!






September 27th, 2011

Caramel Dip for Apples Cooked in the Can (and printable labels)

I know you can get apples and caramel at McDonald’s anytime you want, but how fun to give these cute cans of caramel for Halloween or Fall gifts.  {Think about those perpetual “You’ve Been Booed” bags that go around the neighborhood – wouldn’t this be perfect!}  What’s even better, there is only one ingredient!!  All you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk and you can turn it into a yummy apple dip.  Even better, we’ve made you some cute labels and bag tags to go with.  Here’s how to do it:

Caramel Dip for Apples


Sweetened Condensed Milk – that’s it!


Buy as many cans as you would like to make into caramel.  Remove labels and adhesive and place in a large pot so the cans are covered with water.  The water must cover the top of the cans.   { I like to use the Kroger Store Brand because they have the pull-top lids which are fun and easy to open.}

Boil the cans for 2 1/2 hours.  (Watch to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate below the cans – if it gets close just add hot water to the pot and continue to boil).  Remove and cool completely (overnight).

There you have it-  Your cans are now filled with yummy caramel.   All you do is open, stir until smooth, and your caramel is ready for dipping! {Instructions are on the labels.}

Print out the labels below, trim and use a little double-sided tape to adhere.  There is a Halloween Label and a Fall Label.    Note:  We  recommend printing the can labels on regular paper rather than card stock so it will wrap around the can better.

Add a couple fresh apples and you have a wonderful gift for friends, neighbors, teachers . . . . . who wouldn’t love this!  {There are even some coordinating bag tags for you – how easy is that!}




Download Caramel Can Labels here


Download Halloween/Fall Bag Tags Here

Tags and labels created with Graphics from SummerTimeDesigns be sure to check out her site!

*Find our Christmas Caramel Label Here

September 26th, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

Pumpkin Pie and Snickerdoodles?  You read it right.  Who would think to combine them- but that’s just what this recipe does.  Ingenious.  One bite and you have the familiar taste of snickerdoodles coupled with the creamy goodness of pumpkin pie.  Give these bars a try and you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself!

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

Snickerdoodle Layer
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin Pie Layer
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

Cinnamon Sugar Topping
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

White Chocolate Drizzle
1 oz white chocolate, chopped  (I used 2 -3 oz)
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan and lay a piece of parchment paper across the pan, so that it extends the pan slightly.  Spray the parchment paper as well.  The parchment paper is an optional step, but it will make it easier to get the bars out later

To make snickerdoodle layer:
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be thick and cookiebatter-ish.)

To make pumpkin pie layer:
In a mixer bowl (you can use the same one you used to make the snickerdoodle batter) with a paddle attachment, mix together all ingredients until well combined.  Pour over the snickerdoodle layer, smoothing out the top.

Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.

Bake for 33-40 minutes (maybe more depending on your oven) or until a toothpick inserted into the *center* of the pan comes out clean. Let the bars cool completely (about an hour). They will deflate a bit and remain a bit pie-like on the top layer. The bars that are closer to the edges of the pan will be more firm, but are still equally as yummy.

After the bars are completely cool, place the chopped white chocolate into a bowl or zip-lock bag and melt on low power. When it’s completely melted, add the pumpkin pie spice and mix (or knead if using a zip lock bag). Use a spoon or cut a small corner off the bag and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the bars and let it cool and harden.

Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into bars. Store in a covered container.


YUM – you love this holiday makeover!


Recipe from Dozen Flours

You might also like: Snickerdoodle Brownies





grab button 2

Caramel Potatoes

google Ad2