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Sausage Apple Breakfast Casserole

1 pkg Jimmy Dean maple flavor pork sausage

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped

sausage roll

2 Tbs sugar

6 c bread, cubed into 1 in pcs

1 tsp ground cinnamon

10 eggs

2 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided

3 c milk

maple syrup, optional topping

1 tsp vanilla

Brown sausage in a skillet until cooked; drain. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl, mix apples, sugar and cinnamon together until well coated. In a greased 9x13 inch baking pan, place half of the bread cubes followed by half of the sausage, half of the apples, and one cup of the cheese. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients. Pour egg mixture over the layers making sure to evenly coat it all with the egg mixture. Place in refrigerator and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into 6-8 pieces and serve, topped with a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.



BBQ Chicken/Sweet Potato Casserole

1 c BBQ sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 (10 oz) cans enchilada sauce

1/2 tsp cumin

1 lb boneless chicken breasts

1/2 c chopped cilantro

2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and diced

9 (6 inch) corn tortillas

2 tsp olive oil

3/4 c shredded Mexican or Colby Jack cheese

1/2 small red onion, diced

3/4 c shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk BBQ and enchilada sauce together in a large bowl. Place chicken in baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray and drizzle 1/4 cup of mixed sauce on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink. Remove pan from oven and allow chicken to cool for a few minutes. Then, either shred chicken or chop into bite-size pieces. While chicken is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook a few minutes until golden and fragrant. Add red onion and cook until onion is translucent. Turn off heat and immediately add a cup of sauce mixture and diced sweet potatoes. Add shredded chicken, cumin, and cilantro; stir until just combined. Place 1/4 cup sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9-inch baking pan. Dip three corn tortillas in sauce and place on bottom of pan; you may need to cut one tortilla in half to make sure the entire surface is covered. Place 1/2 of chicken and sweet potato mixture on top of tortillas and cover with 1/2 cup cheese and about 1/4 cup of sauce mixture; repeat layers once and top with remaining tortillas, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until warmed through and cheese is completely melted. Cool a few minutes, garnish with extra cilantro, then serve with sour cream and avocado, if desired.


Chewy Coconut Cookies

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c white sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 c butter

1 1/3 c flaked coconut

1/2 c packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in the four mixture, then mix in the coconut. Drop dough by teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Cookies should be spaced about 3 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Cool on wire racks.

Peanut Butter Middles Cookies

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/4 c peanut butter

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1/2 c white sugar

3/4 c confectioners' sugar

1/2 c packed brown sugar

3/4 c peanut butter

1/2 c soft margarine

In a small bowl, blend flour, cocoa and baking soda. Mix until well blended. In a large bowl, beat white and brown sugars, margarine and 1/4 cup peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beat. Stir in flour mixture until blended; set aside. FILLING: Combine confectioners' sugar and 3/4 cup peanut butter. Blend well. Roll filling into 30 one-inch balls. For each cookie, with floured hands, shape about a tablespoon of dough around each peanut butter ball, covering completely. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with a glass dipped in white sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. When cookies are done, they should be set and slightly cracked.

Mushroom and Ham Quiche

1/2 pkg (of 17.3 oz pkg) frozen puff pastry

1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

sheet, thawed

5 eggs

1 tsp oil

1/3 c reduced fat mayonnaise with olive oil

1/2 lb sliced fresh mushrooms

1/3 c milk

1 c chopped slow cooked ham

1 Tbs finely chopped thyme leaves

Press pastry shell onto the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray; trim edge. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 5-7 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid is cooked off, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in ham. Spoon into crust; top with cheese. Whisk remaining ingredients until blended; pour over ingredients in crust. Bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Mock Mojito's

8 fresh mint leaves

1 c cold seltzer

1 pkg lemonade flavor drink mix (for 2 qts)

1 c cold carbonated lemon-lime soda

6 c cold water

1/4 tsp rum extract

Place mint and drink mix in large glass or plastic pitcher. Use back of spoon to crush mint to release its flavor. Add remaining ingredients; stir until mix is dissolved. Serve over ice.

Tropical Paradise Punch

(27 Dec 14*)

2 c water

1 bottle (1 liter) club soda, chilled

1 c Kool-Aid tropical punch flavor

chopped fruit: pineapple, strawberries, orange

2 c pineapple juice

slices, lime slices

Add water to drink mix in 1 1/2 quart pitcher; stir until drink mix is completely dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled. Pour into punch bowl when ready to serve. Stir in carbonated beverage. Serve over ice cubes, if desired. For extra flavor, use some of the punch to make additional ice cubes. Add to punch just before serving.