French Breakfast Puffs

French Breakfast Puffs

These light, buttery pastries are rolled in cinnamon-sugar for the perfect breakfast treat or party sweet.

French Breakfast Puffs

Today is a very special day around here! And no, not just because I am actually posting 4 days before I get married – although, believe you me, that is pretty miraculous in and of itself. No, only a handful of things could persuade me to post this close to the wedding, and today it is because I am joining with some of my blogging friends to throw a virtual baby shower for our friend Christina from Dessert for Two!

Baby Shower Badge - Dessert for Two

Surprise, Tina! (Are you surprised? I hope you’re surprised.)

Christina was one of the very first “established” bloggers to befriend me when I started this site, and has remained a dear friend ever since. We bonded over our common understanding of southern grandmothers and remained friends because of our love of dessert. (Ok, maybe there are a few more elements to our friendship than just that…but baking is a pretty solid cornerstone.) Alex and I adore both Christina and her husband, Brian, and we could not be more excited for them as they welcome their first child – a baby girl! – into the world.

Cinnamon-Sugar Breakfast Puffs

For Christina’s big day, I dove into the family recipe files and pulled out this recipe for French Breakfast Puffs, which is a recipe my mother acquired during her junior high Home Ec class. This recipe is a cinch to make, and makes the most perfect little breakfast puffs dipped in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon-sugar.

Heaven help me.

Make these puffs for a breakfast, brunch, or even a baby shower. If the butter and cinnamon-sugar don’t automatically make you the most popular person at the party, I don’t know what will.

Make sure to check out all of the other recipes from Christina’s friends:

Fizzy Grapefruit Margaritas from Well Plated

Earl Grey Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream from Country Cleaver

Mini Bourbon and Bacon Tater Tot Casseroles from Climbing Grier Mountain

Maple-Chia Overnight Oatmeal from Feed Me Phoebe

Lemon Cake for Two from Keep It Sweet Desserts

Mini Raspberry Pavlovas from The Baker Chick

Almond Berry Cake Parfaits for Two from Edible Perspective

Peanut Butter Bourbon Blondies from The Frosted Vegan

Mixed Berry Mascarpone Scones from Bluebonnet Baker

Greek Yogurt Funfetti Cupcakes for Two from The Housewife in Training Files

Bourbon Barbeque Sliders with Bleu Cheese from Saucy Pear

Steak Fajita Tacos for Two from The Sweetphi Blog

Mango Madeleines from Stetted

Citrus Salad with Mint, Honey, and Lime from Rachel Cooks

Parfaits for Two from Order in the Kitchen

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Whipped Cream from Joyful Healthy Eats

Blueberry Vanilla Cream Hand Pies from Eats Well With Others

Banana Pudding Cheesecake from The Domestic Rebel

 French Breakfast Puffs 3

PSA: When your nails match your dishes, you might have a problem. 

5.0 from 1 reviews

French Breakfast Puffs
 
Yield: 10 muffins

Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup milk
For the topping:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add alternately the dry ingredients with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Fill the muffin cups ⅔ full (should fill about 10 of the cups). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. While puffs bake, mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  5. Upon removing from the oven, immediately roll puffs in the butter, then then cinnamon-sugar mixture. Best served hot, but will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Speaking of showers – A couple of weeks ago, some of my dear friends (Christina included!) threw me a surprise virtual bridal shower! I was so touched and adored all of the recipes, as well as everyone’s kind words. No one told me that getting married meant having all of the people say beautiful, touching things about you! Check out the posts from my friends as well – love and recipes abound!

The Cooking Actress – Chocolate Shoofly Pie with Pecan Whole Wheat Crust
Girl Versus Dough – Mini Meyer Lemon Coconut Scones
Sarcastic Cooking – Mini Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Pot Pies
The Roasted Root – Sweet Potato Rounds with Guacamole and Bacon
A Cedar Spoon – Strawberry Mint Mascarpone Crostini with Lemon Honey Drizzle
Very Culinary – White Chocolate Raspberry Parfaits
Rachel Cooks – Broccoli and Bacon Beer Cheese Dip
Bluebonnet Baker – Maple Bourbon Balls
Nutmeg Nanny – Broccoli Bacon Salad
Laura’s Mess – Spiced Apple and Buttermilk Cake
Seaweed and Sassafras – Herb and Cheese Scones
Stetted – Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie
All Day I Dream About Food – Chocolate Fudge Crumb Bars
Dessert for Two – Mini Lemon Cakes
Foodie with Family – Smoked Salmon Cucumber Pizza

Smoked Sausage and Roasted Vegetables

Smoked Sausage and Roasted Vegetables

Looking for a quick, easy and healthy dinner? Look no further than Smoked Sausage and Roasted Vegetables – a one-pan dinner wonder!

Smoked Sausage and Roasted Vegetables 2
Hi! Remember me?

I know I have fallen off the grid a little bit. I’m still hanging around on social media (so follow me on Instagram and Facebook if you want proof that I’m still alive!), but I’ve been working (a lot) and the wedding is one month from today so…things might continue to be a bit sporadic around here until after the wedding craziness dies down.

But in the meantime, I’ll give you a few life updates:

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Some of my sweet friends recently threw me a pre-wedding brunch. I’m not a fan of showers (I hate games and small talk) so I’ve been refusing to call it one, but I would happily take this little gathering with this group of girls any day. Also: Wedding brunch = Best excuse to eat all the carbs.

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I had my wedding dress fitting a couple of weeks ago. No, you don’t get any sneak peeks of the dress – that would be cheating! So instead I will just show you my best friend’s chubby-cheeked baby – he is my favorite little buddy. I think he could probably stand in as best man, what do you think? I’m sure Alex’s brother won’t mind.

In related news, this little nugget’s momma is officiating our ceremony and, let me tell you, interpreting Illinois marriage laws to make sure she has completed all of the necessary paperwork to do so has been an interesting adventure. Someone just promise me Alex and I will be married at the end of April 18th, ok? ‘Kthanks.

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In non wedding-related news, Instagram followers will recognize this beautiful water-inspired silk scarf from the World Vision Gift Catalog that I’ve been wearing in anticipation of World Water Day this Sunday (March 22). Right now World Vision is conducting a Water Now social media campaign to bring awareness to the astounding need for clean water around the world leading up to World Water Day.  The need for clean water worldwide is great – an estimated 3.5 billion people around the world do not have access to enough safe drinking water – and it is so easy to bring awareness and add your voice. Head over to the Water Now webpage to see who is speaking out and to learn how to add your voice.

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And, finally – in case you think I might have forgotten how to bake – I haven’t! I’ve been enjoying playing with recipes from Dessert for Two’s cookbook lately. I promise that the recipe in the photo above is coming soon (with “soon” being a relative term these days) – but for now, suffice it to say that I am obsessed with Christina’s first book and suggest you hightail it over to Amazon and pick yourself up a copy, too.

And now, a recipe! Glory be! This one-pan wonder is one of our go-to dinners these days. It is quick and easy, filling and good for you. To make it even quicker, cut and season everything ahead of time, and pop it in the oven when you are ready for dinner. You’re just 30 minutes away from a satisfying dinner.

Smoked Sausage and Roasted Vegetables

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Smoked Sausage and Roasted Vegetables
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 pound smoked sausage (pork, turkey or beef – your choice)
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled
  • ⅓ to ½ head of cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon each: Garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, dried basil, ground cumin
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Cut sausage and vegetables into relatively uniformly-sized pieces – about ½ to 1 inch. Cut harder vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower into slightly smaller pieces, and faster-cooking vegetables into larger pieces – the goal is to have everything done at around the same time.
  3. Place all vegetables and the sausage into a large zip-top bag or a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and spices to coat. Spread evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until vegetables are cooked and sausage is browned. Serve topped with fresh parmesan cheese, if desired.

*World Vision provided the lovely scarf, but I received no payment for promoting World Water Day and all opinions are 100% my own. 

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

Cream scones studded with dried cranberries and candied ginger are simple to make with an impressive taste.

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

TGIF, people!!

Did anyone else have a weird, stressful week? I am headed home this afternoon for my first wedding dress fitting this weekend and am so glad for a weekend full of things like best friends, no-chip manicures and Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones after a week like this one. Can I get an “amen”? (Hashtag: Priorities.)

Freaky Friday Blog Hop

In case you are looking for a little bit of an internet-retreat from the “real world” this weekend, I’ve got an extra surprise for you: Today I am joining several of my blogging friends for a fun “Freaky Friday” blog hop. Each of us made a recipe from another blogger in the group and are sharing that recipe on our sites today. Visit each of the blogs to learn more about all of us and snag some really great recipes!

Today’s recipe for Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones is a variation on a Cream Scones recipe from Debi over at Life Currents. Much like myself, Debi is an advocate for “getting back to real foods and methods.” Many of her recipes are healthy, but even those that are more indulgent – like these scones – are made with real ingredients. She is a big believer in home cooking, hates celery (preach, sister!), and loves using seasonal, local produce as much as possible. I’m definitely going to have to try her Smoky Cheese Chowder recipe soon (because cheese), as well as this super easy Pizza Tarts recipe (pizza.tarts, people!).

Cream Scones

So now, let’s chat about these Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones. I have shared some scone recipes with you before – Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Scones was one of the very first recipes on my site, and Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Scones are, frankly, pretty hard to beat – all of which used butter in addition to your liquid (usually buttermilk). While I will always love this method (because butter), cream scones are even easier to make, as the heavy cream provides both the fat and the liquid for the recipe. Seriously, these scones couldn’t be easier and yet the light, airy texture and indulgent taste are sure to fool your family and friends into thinking you spend hours slaving away to make them. They’re the perfect weekend brunch treat!

Head on over to Life Currents to see what recipe Debi made, and be sure to check out everyone else’s sites as well! You’ve got a lot of great recipes in your future.

A Dish Of Daily Life 
An Affair from the Heart 
Aunt Bee’s Recipes 
Big Rigs ‘n Lil Cookies 
Café Terra Blog 
Full Belly Sisters 
Honey & Birch
Life Currents
Pic Nic
Simply Sated 
The Foodie Affair 
Who Needs A Cape?

Cream Scones with Dried Cranberries

5.0 from 6 reviews

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Cream scones studded with dried cranberries and candied ginger are simple to make with an impressive taste.
Yield: 8 scones

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 heaping teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • Additional cream + turbinado sugar, for topping

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the dried cranberries, candied ginger and orange zest. Gently stir in the cream, mixing until just combined.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 5-10 times, until the dough just comes together and loses some of its stickiness. Gently pat the dough into a circle about 8 inches wide and ¾ inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges.
  4. Place wedges on the prepared baking sheet, about ½ inch apart. Brush the tops lightly with additional cream and sprinkle with a bit of turbinado sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Move to a wire rack to cool or serve warm.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

Granola Cookies

Granola Cookies

Stuff your healthy granola into a perfectly chewy Granola Cookie. You can thank me later.

Granola Cookies

I mean, c’mon.

Do I really need to go into a long description about these cookies? Do I need to write you paragraphs about how chewy they are? Must I tell you that the brown sugar and butter do magical things to the already-magical granola? Is it necessary to tell you that a smidgen of almond extract take these beauties over the top?

The name really says it for itself, doesn’t it?

Granola. Cookies.

If you think you like oatmeal cookies – which I do – then you simply must try making Granola Cookies. They are everything an oatmeal cookie should be, taken to the next level.

It truly is one of my greatest gifts to be able to take something perfectly healthy for you, such as last week’s Coconut Ginger Almond Granola, and turn it into something…well, significantly less healthy.

But sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. And some days, you just need a cookie.

Granola Cookies

5.0 from 1 reviews

Granola Cookies
 
Yield: 18 giant cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups granola

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until lightened in color and creamy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract; beat on medium speed until well combined.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the granola and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop about ¼ cup of dough at a time onto the prepared cookie sheet. These make very large cookies, so leave at least 2 inches of space between them – you will likely be able to fit no more than 6 cookies per sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are golden and the centers are set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Store in an airtight container for up a week – if they last that long.

 

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola

Kick your granola game up a notch with Coconut Ginger Almond Granola-goodness. 

This post is sponsored by Diamond of California but, as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make this site possible. 

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola

Two very bizarre things happened this weekend:

1.) I came perilously close to adopting another cat. Guys, we already have two. In case you were bad at math in grade school, another would have made three. I’ve officially lost my marbles just considering it – and yet, there I was, looking at the one poor little cat who hadn’t been adopted at Petco on Saturday (as I was running in for cat food for the existing two) and wanting to adopt take home all the animals.

There surely must be some sort of rehab/recovery program for people like me.

2.) Alex and I watched Gone Girl. My brain still hurts from it. What the actual eff? I can’t even form intelligent sentences about it yet. To be fair, I haven’t read the book – I usually read the book first, but that just didn’t happen this time. I really must do that. Please tell me my brain won’t hurt so much from the book.

Coconut and Ginger Granola with Almonds

I feel like making granola is the perfect activity for someone whose brain hurts too much from intense movies and trying to avoid becoming a crazy cat lady. If you think that making granola is hard, think again. Throw some dry ingredients (oats and nuts are a good baseline – coconut, flax and spices are icing on the cake) in a bowl, stir ‘em up with some wet ingredients (oil and sweetener), and bake. 30-40 minutes later, you’ll be in granola heaven.

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola uses unsweetened coconut and coconut oil, ground ginger and candied ginger, and sliced almonds for a crunchy, slightly sweet, gingery-spiced granola that is perfect for breakfast or a snack.

Spoiler alert: Wait until you see what I did with this granola next week.

Spoiler alert 2.0: There were cookies involved.

You’re welcome.

Granola with Coconut, Ginger and Almonds

 

5.0 from 2 reviews

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola
 
Yield: Approximately 6 cups granola

Ingredients
  • 4 cups oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
  • ¾ cup Diamond of California Sliced Almonds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup agave syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup finely diced candied ginger

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the first 7 ingredients.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk together the applesauce, agave and coconut oil over medium heat until coconut oil is melted. Whisk in the vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine.
  4. Spread granola onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown, fragrant, and slightly dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and stir in the candied ginger. Allow to cool on the baking sheet completely before storing in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

Spike your hot chocolate with some tequila, cayenne pepper and agave and hunker down with your sweetie. Use your favorite single serve coffee maker to make this drink super quick and easy!

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

I’m writing this in the middle of the Super Bowl because:

1.) I don’t care about football under even the best of circumstances, and

2.) I live with a Packers fan. I’m pretty sure he’s rooting for both teams to miraculously lose right now.

So let’s move from one food holiday right on to the next, shall we? Valentine’s Day!

In the past I have made you sugar cookies, cherry pie and homemade “Be My Valentine” cakes for Valentine’s Day. This year, I’m boozing you up. Whether you are like Alex and I and prefer to skip the overly-crowded restaurants on Valentine’s Day, or enjoy being surrounded by a thousand other couples, I figure everyone needs something warm and boozy to drink with your sweetie later in the evening. This Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate ought to add the perfect amount of heat to the evening. (See what I did there?)

To make this drink super quick and easy, use a single-serve coffee maker to whip it up. I used our iCoffee Opus for this because it makes the best drinks from a single-serve brewer – even Alex will drink coffee from it, which is a bonafide miracle. He was especially a fan of this Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate – a shot of tequila, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a drizzle of agave and a sprinkle of cinnamon are all you need to spruce up your favorite hot chocolate k-cup. I gave him the drink to taste test (since we all know my personal aversion to chocolate), and a few minutes later he came back to the kitchen with an empty mug…at 11 in the morning. Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

Make this boozy hot chocolate for your sweetheart this winter and add a little spice to your life.

Mexican Style Hot Chocolate with Tequila and Cayenne Pepper

5.0 from 3 reviews

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate
 
Prep time

Total time

 

Yield: 1 drink

Ingredients
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 hot chocolate single-serve pod
  • Whipped cream
  • Additional ground cinnamon and/or cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions
  1. In the bottom of a 10-ounce mug, add the tequila, agave, and a pinch of cayenne and cinnamon.
  2. Using a single-serve brewer, brew 8 ounces of hot chocolate into the mug. Stir to combine.
  3. Top with whipped cream and garnish with additional ground cinnamon and/or a cinnamon stick.

Notes
Add additional cayenne for a spicier hot chocolate.