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Fourth of July Mini Cheesecakes

Last year we had a neighborhood party to celebrate our nation’s independence. But things are different this year. For one, it’s really hot. So I don’t want to be outside more than I have to. And for another, we have someone staying with us. However I still want to contribute. And one of my favorite ways to do so is with food. Therefore, please enjoy this recipe of Fourth of July mini cheesecakes.

Mini Cheesecakes Ingredients

12 pan muffin tin of mini cheesecakes
  • 1 1/2 c of graham graham crumbs
  • 1/8 c Truvia
  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • 24 oz softened cream cheese
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • and 2 tsps vanilla extract

Mini Cheesecakes Instructions

mini cheesecake topped with blueberries on a white plate
  • First, heat oven to 300°.
  • Next, combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl; press equal amounts onto bottoms of 12 lightly greased muffin cups.
  • Then, in a large mixing bowl, beat cheese until fluffy.
  • Next, slowly mix in sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
  • After that, add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
  • Then spoon equal amounts of mixture (~4 TBSP) into prepared cups.
  • And bake ~ 20 to 22 mins or until cakes spring back when lightly touched.
  • Cool for ~ 10 minutes on the counter; then chill in the refrigerator.
  • Before serving, garnish with fruit preserves or fresh berries. And enjoy!
mini cheesecake topped with blueberries on white plate

This is another recipe I got from the Great American Favorite Brand Name Cookbook. Although I made the cheesecakes a little bigger. Instead of making 24 mini cheesecakes, I made 12. Further, you’ll have some extra cheesecake mix. So just refrigerate the rest. Plus, the original recipe indicated there would be extra anyway. And keep any cheesecakes refrigerated until ready to eat.

Did you make this? Or do you have a favorite cheesecake recipe that you’d love to share? Your comments are appreciated.

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Easy Recipe for Breakfast Burritos

One of my favorite meals of the day is breakfast. Especially on the weekends, because it doesn’t have to be rushed. And since we have chickens, you can imagine we make a lot of meals with eggs. You tend to get creative if you have backyard birds. However, we don’t go overboard. So below you’ll find an easy recipe for breakfast burritos.

Further, I made them differently than I usually do. Rather than topping them off with salsa and cheese, I sautéed fresh veggies. And that made them taste amazing. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients for Easy Breakfast Burritos

sausage cooking in a copper pan
  • 6 La Tortilla Factory light flour tortillas
  • 8 eggs
  • ~ 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, divided
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced and de-seeded
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup cherub tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ~ 3 tbsp butter
  • and 8 oz breakfast sausage

Instructions for Easy Breakfast Burritos

scrambled eggs cooking in a pan
  • First, melt 1 tbsp butter in a frying pan over medium heat, and add sausage; cooking over medium heat. And use the back of a spoon to break it into smaller pieces.
  • Then, when the meat is mostly brown and only a little pink remains, add another tbsp butter to a second frying pan on medium heat.
  • Next, add onion, bell pepper, and divided salt and pepper. Then lower temperature to medium-low or low, and cover with a lid.
  • Beat eggs in a bowl; add whipping cream and beat some more. Then beat in salt and pepper.
  • Next, remove cooked sausage from first frying pan, and place in a bowl; cover. Then add last tbsp of butter to that frying pan, and pour egg mixture into already heated frying pan. And scramble eggs on medium heat.
  • When eggs are almost cooked through, add the tomatoes to the sautéed vegetables. Then, once the eggs are done, combine vegetables and sausage with the eggs.
  • Finally, soften your tortillas, and then assemble your breakfast burritos. Mine looked more like tacos. But that’s because they were so full.
scrambled eggs, sautéed vegetables, and sausage cooking in a frying pan

Thanks for taking the time to read this! If you made this recipe, tell me what you think. Do you make your own version of breakfast burritos? And if so, how do you cook them, or what toppings do you use?

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Frittata Recipe for Father’s Day

Today is the day we honor fathers: the men in our lives who have loved us, given themselves, and shared their lives with us. So, in whatever way you honor those in your life, here’s a frittata recipe for Father’s Day.

broccoli, bell peppers, and mushrooms in a bowl

Since both utilize eggs, frittatas are similar to quiche. However frittatas are made without a crust. And they are Italian, whereas quiche is French.

Originally I got this recipe from Great American Favorite Brand Name Cookbook, publication 1993. But I changed a few things.

egg mixture with seasonings in a large orange bowl

Ingredients for Frittata for Father’s Day:

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup each, sliced mushrooms and sliced bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 16 eggs
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese
egg mixture covering vegetables in square copper pan on stove

Instructions for Frittata:

  • First, in a 4.5 quart ovenproof pan, cook vegetables in butter over medium heat for ~ 5 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  • Next, in a medium to large bowl, beat the next 4 ingredients with an electric mixer at medium speed until foamy; stir in cheese. Then pour over vegetables in the pan.
  • And bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until set.
  • Finally, serve immediately.
serving of frittata with vegetables on a white plate

Do you have any special plans for Father’s Day? Your comments are appreciated.

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Recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are one of my most favorite vegetables to eat and cook. They’re both healthy and delicious. And they can be cooked in a variety of ways. Although, often times, I can just eat a plain sweet potato, this recipe for mashed sweet potatoes is a family favorite.

I use half-n-half instead of milk, which makes it creamier. Also, you don’t have to be limited to serve mashed sweet potatoes just during the holiday season. You can serve it year round.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Ingredients:

pot of cubed sweet potatoes
  • 3.5 -4 lbs of peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 4 – 5 TBSP brown sugar
  • 4 TBSP salted butter
  • 1/3 – 1/2 c half-n-half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Instructions:

pot of boiling cubed sweet potatoes
  • First, put the potatoes in a pot of salted water; and bring to a boil.
  • Next, boil the cut up potatoes till tender, ~ 20 minutes. Then drain in a colander.
  • Put the drained potatoes in a medium-large or large mixing bowl. And add the sugar, butter, salt and pepper, and cinnamon to bowl; then using a hand mixer, beat in cream a little add a time, for desired consistency.
  • Finally, serve with lamb, turkey, roasted chicken, or glazed ham.
lamb chop with sauce, spinach, and mashed sweet potatoes on a white plate

As you can see, this is a very basic recipe. But you could make your own unique changes, and serve any time you want to. How do you cook sweet potatoes? Do you mash them, bake them, or make them into French fries? Your comments are appreciated.

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Healthy Salad with Chicken Recipe

Here’s a healthy salad with chicken recipe to serve for lunch or dinner. Eating chicken has long been regarded as healthier than eating beef. And it contains no carbohydrates and lower saturated fat than red meat. Further, the vegetables give the salad the right amount of crunch.

Isn’t technology awesome? We have the Instant Pot and Air Fryer to whip up our favorite foods. And to make new ones. In addition, as the weather gets warmer, it’s nice to have cooking options that don’t involve standing over a hot stove. But if we want to eat healthy, while still using minimal electricity, we can make a salad, add some fresh vegetables, a protein, and sprinkle on a favorite dressing. Further, we can cook the protein in the Air Fryer to make things easier.

Healthy Salad with Chicken Ingredients

green salad in an orange bowl with tongs
  • 16 oz chicken breasts
  • 11-14 oz of spring mix
  • 1 cucumber, washed and sliced
  • 4 oz of grape or medley tomatoes
  • 3 oz fresh broccoli florets, washed
  • Less fat dressing

Healthy Salad with Chicken Instructions

  • Cook the chicken till tender enough to shred; my go-to method is boiling on the stove.
  • Next, put the chicken and the remaining ingredients, excluding the dressing, in a bowl big enough to hold everything.
  • Then add a little bit of dressing, tossing to coat, so you don’t overwhelm the salad.
  • And serve immediately.

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Easy, Delicious Fruit Salad

I love fruits and vegetables year round. And I love that we can get a variety of fruits and vegetables annually. But when it starts warming up, I’m more inclined to eat certain fruits, because they’re seasonal. In addition, many fruits go great together, like this easy, delicious fruit salad.

There are as many different fruit combinations as there are recipes for fruit salad. Furthermore, you can add a dressing or not. However, I don’t, because macerating the fruit is flavorful enough.

various fruits on a counter

Ingredients for Easy, Delicious Fruit Salad

  • 8 0z of blackberries, rinsed and strained
  • 1 each Honeycrisp and Gala apples, washed, cored, and chopped
  • one sliced banana
  • 2 kiwis, washed, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 Bartlett pear, washed, cored and chopped
  • 1 plum, washed, cored, and chopped
  • 6 oz of red seedless grapes, rinsed and strained
  • one orange, washed, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice + 1 tsp Truvia

Instructions for Fruit Salad

many and various cut up fruits in large metal bowl with metal tongs
  • First, in a large bowl, add the fruit, one at a time.
  • Next, add the lemon juice and Truvia. Alternatively, you could use one TBSP of sugar instead; stir thoroughly to mix.
  • Then allow to chill in the refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • And finally, serve and enjoy!

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How to Boil Farm Fresh Eggs so They Peel Easy

Whether scrambled, over-easy, sunny-side up, or boiled, eggs are delicious, nutritious, and versatile. Especially farm fresh eggs. But how to boil farm fresh eggs so they peel easy, that’s the question. Is there a trick to it? Well, a few actually.

It has to do with the age of the eggs. You see, eggs in the grocery store are a lot older than eggs that are collected from backyard farms. And the older they are, the easier they are to peel. You’ll also get the sulfur smell with the aging of eggs. However we don’t have to get into all of that.

Another thing to consider is the eggshell color. Since some shells are naturally denser or harder than others, that will also affect how easy it is to peel. For instance, most of our chickens lay blue eggs. And I have found that those shells and the Maran shells tend to be more difficult to crack. Thus, the eggshell color of your eggs will likely determine the best solution for you.

multi-colored eggs in a red container
These are eggs we collect in a coffee can: and they consist of duck, Maran, ‘Cauna, and Barred Rock eggs.

Boiling Farm Fresh Eggs to Peel Easy: 1st Method

  • Pick your eggs & leave them on the counter, unwashed for 3 or 4 days.
  • Next, on the 3rd or 4th day, put your eggs in a pot; and cover with salted water.
  • Then when the water gets to a roiling boil, turn off stove; and remove pot from heat.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes, then allow pot to cool before draining water. Next, rinse eggs with cold water.
  • Finally, peel and enjoy!

The above method is what I used to use. But after trying the other methods, I won’t go back.

multi-colored farm fresh eggs in a pot of water
Eggs cooling after being boiled.

Boiling Farm Fresh Eggs so They Peel Easy: 2nd Method

  • Gather your eggs, and DON’T wait for them to age
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil
  • Put a steamer basket, or strainer, with your eggs over the boiling water
  • Cover and allow to steam for ~ 20 minutes
  • Then remove from heat
  • And cool eggs before peeling
multi-colored farm fresh eggs in a blue styrofoam egg carton
Finally, the eggs are finished.

There’s another option that recommends boiling the eggs in a regular pan (not pot), but letting the pan remain on the stove for 20 minutes. Then shake the pan, while the shaking cracks the eggshells. And finally, cooling the eggs under cold water. Both this method and the 2nd method don’t require waiting for the eggs to age. Here’s the link if you want the instructions.

So now you understand that it’s the egg’s freshness that makes it so difficult to peel. And what makes it so yummy also makes it a drag sometimes to eat in certain ways. But now you also know how to boil farm fresh eggs so they peel easy. Did you have any tricks you want to share about boiling and peeling farm fresh eggs?

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How to Make a Fruit Compote

It’s probable that you’ve tried compote, which can be incorporated with diverse foods. You can eat it over ice cream, yogurt, and oatmeal. Likewise, spread it on other breakfast items, such as pancakes, waffles, and French toast. Or mix it as a filling for desserts, including cakes, or as a topping for cheesecakes. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I need to first tell you how to make a fruit compote.

package of fresh Driscoll's blueberries

With fruit compote you can use really any fruit, frozen, fresh, or dried. However, you might find that berries seem to work best. They’re bite size, easy to clean, and you don’t have to cut them up. My personal favorites are blueberries and blackberries. And I have used both fresh and frozen, whichever I have on hand. Though, for this particular recipe, I bought fresh blueberries.

Also, with fruit compote, you need a sweetener, like sugar, Truvia, or something similar. I used Truvia, so I adjusted the amount needed. And you need a thickening agent, like corn starch, added with water. Those are the basic ingredients. But now we’re going to add them all together.

Fruit Compote Ingredients

fresh blueberries, sugar, spices and spoon in metal saucepan on a stove
  • 4 cups of blueberries
  • 1/4 c of Truvia or 1/2 c sugar
  • 4 tsp of corn starch and 4 tsp of water
  • pinch of allspice, cinnamon, and salt

Fruit Compote Instructions

cooked blueberry compote in metal saucepan with metal spoon on a countertop
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the ingredients, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, covered 3 minutes or until thick.
  • If you want to take the pan off the heat at this point, you can; I don’t. I let it stay on low heat with the lid off, to get more syrupy for ~ 10 more minutes. Stir occasionally; then remove from heat.
  • Serve as an accompaniment to breakfast, like pancakes, waffles, or French toast. Or add to yogurt, shakes, oatmeal, or even on top of ice cream.

Whatever you put this fruit compote on will taste amazing. I can promise you that! Just give it a try. Plus, it’s so easy to make.

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Easy Homemade French Toast Recipe

There are a number of different breads you can choose from when making French toast. I’ve used French bread, Ezekiel bread, and raisin bread. And I’ve even had it prepared with Challah bread. But for an easy homemade French toast recipe, you can just use the loaf you have at home.

Furthermore, you can make French toast in the oven, in a casserole, on a griddle, or in a frying pan. However, for this recipe, I used a griddle. In addition, it’s non-stick, so you don’t have to use cooking spray, butter, or oil. Thus, if you’re wanting to get crisp French toast, use an electric griddle; or invest in one and try it out, without the butter, non-stick spray, or oil.

egg batter in orange bowl and red whisk

Ingredients for Easy Homemade French Toast Recipe:

  • 1 Loaf of bread (I used Oroweat 100% wheat bread)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c of Half n half or heavy whipping cream (I used heavy cream)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp Allspice
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
batter in orange bowl with red whisk

Instructions for Easy Homemade French Toast:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients, except the bread, together.
  • Heat a griddle to 350°; after about 15 mins, water droplets on it should sizzle, but not dissolve. So, if that’s what happens, then your griddle is ready. If water dissolves, then turn the temperature down.
  • Dip slices of bread, one at a time, into the batter; don’t let the bread sit in the batter for long, just make sure both sides have batter, then put dipped slices onto heated griddle.
  • Cook the battered slices of bread for a couple of minutes; then flip. They should be golden brown. Cook for another couple of minutes before transferring to a plate.
battered toast cooking on griddle

This recipe is ideal if you don’t have sourdough or white bread at home, as it just uses what you have on hand. Since it’s essential that you don’t soak the slices in the batter, that’s the secret to coming up with this quick and easy recipe for French toast.

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Recipe for King Ranch Chicken Casserole

To me, good casseroles taste good, are easy to assemble, and don’t require dirtying more than 2 pots. And that’s if you’re not paying attention. That said, sometimes you don’t know if you’re about to make a good dish, especially if it’s new. But then there are the classics. The ones that have been around for generations, like this recipe for King Ranch chicken casserole.

Many people believe that King Ranch chicken casserole has been around for at least 80 years. Since it’s prepared with both condensed chicken and condensed mushroom soups, this seems a likely time frame. That’s because Campbell’s introduced condensed mushroom soup in 1934, while condensed chicken soup came out in 1947. And both types of condensed soups feature in King Ranch chicken casserole.

casserole dish with layers of tortillas and mixture of food

Others believe the recipe originated at King Ranch, the largest ranch in the world. Although the owners deny this allegation, because they’ve focused on beef, not poultry. Therefore, nobody really knows the exact beginning of this timeless southern casserole.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Ingredients:

layer of shredded chicken on a casserole dish
  • 1 1/2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • **22 corn tortillas
  • 10.5 oz can each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup
  • 1 c each of diced onions and diced bell pepper
  • 10 oz of Rotel
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 c shredded Mexican blend cheese

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Instructions:

layer of cheese in casserole dish
  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Next, line the dish with a layer of corn tortillas.
  • Then saute´ onions and green peppers in butter over medium heat. When soft, add soups and chili powder. Stir till well combined.
  • Pour layer of soup mixture over tortillas, then layer with shredded chicken, and then layer with shredded cheese. Repeat layers. When done, pour over all the Rotel.
  • Then bake one hour in 350° oven.
King Ranch chicken casserole with tortillas and tomatoes

**I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who’s been making King Ranch chicken casserole for at least 40 years. And her recipe calls for a 2-3 lb fryer chicken, but I don’t like having to deal with that mess. I find it’s much easier working with chicken breasts. In addition, most of the classic recipes call for only a dozen corn tortillas, which makes me think I distribute my layers sparingly.

Also, I boil my chicken, which makes shredding so much simpler. However you can buy a roasted chicken and shred that instead. It’s really up to you and what’s easier. Furthermore, you can add more heat to spice things up. And then there are newer varieties of the recipe which call for chips instead of tortillas. But the idea is still the same: a comfort food that’s easy to make.

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