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Sausage & Potato Breakfast Hash

I am a savory breakfast lover.  Give me the choice between a sweet pastry and bacon and eggs and I'm always going to take the savory, salty option.  One of our families favorite savory breakfast/brunches for weekend mornings is this super simple breakfast hash!  It's simple because it uses a shortcut bag of southern style hashbrowns found in the freezer section, so there is no peeling or chopping potatoes - don't you love recipes like that?!?!  You cut down on the work, but not on the taste!   This hash has sausage, potatoes and cheese - you could totally scramble some eggs and throw it in right at the end, but my favorite way to serve this is with a poached or fried egg with a runny yolk on the top.  That way when you cut in to that egg, you get all that goodness running through the hash.  It's pure heaven.  I like to use the cubed hashbrowns for this recipe, but you could substitute shredded in a pinch. Ingredients: 1lb Jimmy dean sausage, (We like the maple) 1/2 cup
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Quick French Bread Pizzas

The quickest, easiest dinner you can throw together on a night that you are short on time or energy are these fantastic French Bread Pizzas!  You know what I love about pizza night?  Everyone can make their own creation exactly how they want it and it's FUN to do it together.  You know what I like especially about French Bread pizza?  You don't even have to make the dough and you get a perfect crust that is crisp and golden on the outside and soft on the inside - literally perfection with no effort!   My favorite bread to use for these are the $1 French loaves out of Walmart.  They fresh bake them every day - you can get them plain, with sesame seeds, with herbs or with everything bagel and ONE DOLLAR PER LOAF!  I use these all the time to make garlic bread or serve with any meal.  You can throw them in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 350 and they will taste like you just baked them yourself!  Seriously - my best-loved, most inexpensive time saver.  The most important part of this

Quick & Easy Spicy Black Beans

My hubby is a huge bean fan.  When our favorite Mexican restaurant asks if he wants black or pinto beans his answer is always "both please," so I have spent a lot of time over the years trying to replicate some restaurant quality tasting black beans here at home for him.  This is our favorite black bean recipe.  It is super easy because it starts with canned beans, so there is no long wait or fuss as they soak.  The combination of quite a few spices in these beans is what makes them so yummy.  If you don't have mushroom powder, don't fret - you can still make them - the mushroom powder, (I use Umami seasoning from Trader Joes), just adds an extra earthiness but they are still fantastic without it. I love to make these on fajita night with my easy sheet pan chipotle chicken fajitas and some rice, tortillas and all the toppings.  It's an easy, flavorful meal that everyone in the family loves because they can customize their plates with what they want!  Give these a

Sheet Pan Chipotle Chicken Fajitas

Need a meal that comes together lightening fast but still tastes amazing?  Look no further than these easy sheet pan chipotle chicken fajitas!  After just a little chopping prep you can have chicken and fajita veggies in to the oven and cooked to perfection in just about 20 minutes!  Serve these babies up simply with some flour tortillas - or add rice and beans to take it to the next level.  With sour cream, cheese, salsa and some fresh limes on the table, your family is going to love fajita night!   Ingredients:  2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders, sliced thinly Red, yellow and orange peppers, sliced 1 large onion, sliced 3 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp dried cilantro 1 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper Instructions: Preheat the oven to 425.  Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Slice your chicken, peppers and onions into thin strips and scatter them on your baking sheet.  Dri

30 Minute Rise English Muffin Bread

If the thought of using yeast has been scary to you in the past, this is the perfect bread recipe to start with!!  30 minute rise English Muffin Bread is practically no fail.   I'm a big fan of crusty bread and loooooove toasted English muffins with all their nooks and crannies to catch the melting butter.  What I don't love is all the fuss of making them in to individual little rounds!  So the thought of just throwing the bubbly dough in to loaf pans and making bread that could be sliced and toasted really appealed to me.   This bread takes just a few minutes to throw together and then rises nice and fast, (just one 30 minute rise), so there isn't a huge wait before getting it in the oven.  The hardest part of making this bread is waiting for it to cool before eating it - but the longer you wait the better it will be.  This is beautiful bread for grilled cheese, or panini's because it crisps up beautifully on a griddle.  However, let's not forget how much we love t

Massive Turtle Cookies

My newest massive cookie creation includes a combination of a sweet chocolate dough studded with caramel pieces, pecans and chocolate chips to make a massive turtle cookie!  These are fantastic - my daughter swears they are the best ones yet - (props to her for buying and UNWRAPPING all the caramels for me.) Cut up caramels work better than caramel bits for these, (I cut each Kraft caramel in to 4 pieces, but you can totally do a little smaller if you want), you will get little puddles of gooey caramel when you use them.  I tried using the little round caramel bits in a test run - they barely melted and the ones on the top charred a little - though honestly they still tasted good, they were not the same - the little puddles from the cut up caramels were definitely the best!   These are deliciously decadent, fun to share and way bigger than they need to be, so anyone who gets one of these will find them to be a real treat.  Any leftovers can be heated for 20-25 seconds in the microwave

Almond Ricotta Cake

A beautiful, fast and easy dessert to throw together - this almond ricotta cake is light, moist, and completely addictive!  The sugared almonds on the top give it a fantastic crunch and the ricotta makes the batter light and fluffy.  I like to add a cup of coconut in mine, but if you are not a coconut fan, you can totally leave the coconut out and the cake is still absolutely divine, the coconut just gives it that added texture and flavor that just keeps you coming back for more.  Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, softened 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar 15oz ricotta, whole milk 1 tsp almond extract 2 eggs 1-3/4 cup AP flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup almonds, chopped finely 1 cup coconut, (optional) Topping: 1/4 cup almonds 2 Tbsp sugar Powdered sugar for dusting Instructions: Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 inch spring-form pan with non stick cooking spray and lightly flour - (I use the spray that already has the flour in it - it works perfectly!)  Line the bottom of the pan wit

Massive Cadbury Mini Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the most popular recipes on this blog are my Massive Chocolate Chip Cookies  that weigh in at about 4.5oz per cookie!  I have made and delivered literally hundreds of these cookies to friends, neighbors and co-workers - my husband delivers them wrapped in cellophane bags and tied with ribbons to his physical therapy patients at the long term facilities he works at - and everyone absolutely raves about them.  I'm not going to lie, they are pretty awesome - stuffed with chocolate with the perfect crunch on the outside and a soft, slightly gooey center - so it only made sense that I put together a cute Cadbury mini egg version of this fabulous cookie for Easter.   The key to these cookies is that you add the right amount of flour - I have always measured my flour for this specific recipe as 2 packed cups and 3/4 cup spooned flour and they come out perfect every time, however, for those who like a very specific weight - you will want 17 oz flour - or 482 grams.  Additionally, yo

Easy Fudgy Salted Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Need a fast and easy treat to give as a gift or serve guests?  You are going to love these easy, fudgy salted chocolate peanut clusters!  I love homemade chocolates, but I'm not a huge fan of having to use a candy thermometer or having to stand at the stove stirring and watching carefully for ages.  These little clusters of happiness come together in just minutes - chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, some vanilla and peanuts are the only ingredients you need, (though I do recommend the flaked Malden salt to finish them off with.)  They are beautiful to look at and even more delicious to taste. Ingredients: 2 cups chocolate chips 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 tsp vanilla 2 cups peanuts, (salted) Maldon sea salt flakes, (optional but the BEST) Instructions: In a non-stick large saucepan, add the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk and melt over medium heat until it's smooth.   Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, then stir in the peanuts.   Scoop the mixture

Nutella S'mores Hand Pies

Sometimes the best recipes come from the very simplest ingredients!  With plenty of Nutella and marshmallow creme in the pantry and refrigerated pie crusts that needed using up in the refrigerator, I was immediately inspired to make a Nutella s'mores hand pie! What I love most about these is that they start with pre-made pie crusts.  I LOVE store bought, refrigerated pie crusts, especially when I'm in a rush - they one of my favorite short cut products - buttery, flaky and easy to handle - saving lots of time when making any kind of pie.  However, if you have a favorite pie crust, recipe you can absolutely use that instead!  (You will want the equivalent of two pie crusts.) My hubby adores these irresistible little pockets of heaven.  I tried them with regular marshmallows, and you CAN use them if you don't have marshmallow creme on hand, (use three mini or 1 large poked right in to the Nutella), however, the marshmallow creme stands up to the baking time better, is beautif

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

If you have never cooked mashed potatoes in your instant pot, you have no idea what you are missing.  They are by far, the easiest, fastest, creamiest, most delicious mashed potatoes that you can make!!  We have honestly been making these mashed potatoes forever, but I couldn't get a picture to post with the recipe, being that they get eaten so fast every time!  This last time, I made the fam wait so that I can share this super simple recipe with you and make it easier for you to have beautifully creamy, buttery mashed potatoes any time you want them! My favorite thing about making potatoes in the instant pot is that you don't have to babysit them while they are boiling and try and figure out when they are ready to mash - you just set the timer on the instant pot and know they are going to come out perfectly every time!  If you don't have a ricer, you can mash these by hand, but I have never had lighter, fluffier mashed potatoes than I do after putting them through the rice

Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

I don't know if you have ever heard of Million Dollar Spaghetti, but let me tell you, you are going to want to make this baked spaghetti casserole as soon as possible for your fam.  Layers of noodles, creamy deliciousness and a thick, rich meat sauce smothered in cheese is pure, comforting heaven.   What sets this version apart from the other versions out there?  The incredible meat sauce!  It has a rich depth of savory, umami flavor with just a touch of sweet warmth from the cinnamon and sugar.  I have made my pasta sauce and chili with cinnamon and sugar for as long as I can remember and it's always a huge hit.  Give this recipe a try and see if you aren't hooked!  (Note, if you don't have the mushroom/umami powder you can definitely still make this - it just gives in an extra oomph of umami!  Also, I like to sub a cup of mozzarella with a cup of white cheddar - but you definitely just use two cups of mozzarella or white cheddar - whatever you have on hand.) A couple

Bakery Style Double Chocolate Muffins

I am going to be completely honest here - I don't usually eat a lot of sweets, I'm more of a bread and pasta kind of gal, but there is something positively addictive about these particular chocolate muffins that draws me to them.  No one in my family can stop eating them - literally, can't stop.  Rich, moist, chocolaty muffins and DARK chocolate chips are a match made in muffin heaven - if you don't think you like dark chocolate, please try them in here just once because the combination of the sweet muffin with the slightly less sweet dark chocolate is incredible.  (I use Nestle's dark chocolate chips which are 53% cacao - different percents mean different tastes - and these are beyond delicious.)   These taste more like a treat than a breakfast muffin, but that didn't stop my entire family eating one for breakfast this morning.  You can eat them plain or if you want to fancy it up, serve with some heavy cream and raspberries for a decadent dessert that will kno

Better Than Swig Sugar Cookies

Have you ever gotten a sugar cookie from Swig?  They are thick, soft, buttery cookies with the perfect melt in your mouth texture and a beautiful dollop of frosting swirled right over the top.  Classic Swig cookies have pink icing, but how could I resist using aqua food coloring?  I have to say, after seeing these I don't think I could ever do pink.  Aren't they just gorgeous!?!?!?!  (Of course you can use YOUR favorite color in your frosting and totally personalize these.) I've recipe tested, adjusted, tweaked some more and am calling these hands down the best sugar cookie I've ever had.  One of the secrets?  My family LOVES almond extract, so I used almond instead of vanilla in the icing and OH.MY.GOODNESS.  It is absolute heavenly perfection!  Almond not your thing?  Feel free to switch out vanilla but my fam swears that this little change knocks these out of the park over Swig cookies, so give it a try - I only add a 1/2 tsp, so it's not overwhelming, just downr