Monday, April 30, 2018

Welcome to #BrunchWeek; Sharing a Farmers Casserole and a Giveaway

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.  Today's recipe features product from two of our sponsors, Cabot Creamery and Egglands Best.

Welcome to #BrunchWeek 2018 hosted by Love and Confections and A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures! This year is even bigger and better than ever! Thirty eight bloggers from around the country are showcasing their best brunch dishes. We have so many delicious recipes for you to enjoy throughout the week (over 150!!) including cocktails, appetizers, pastries, tarts, main courses, and plenty of desserts! Our BrunchWeek Sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!

Prize #1 Dixie Crystals is giving one winner a 6-Quart Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer and a case of Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar

Since 1917, Dixie Crystals® has been the South's choice for high-quality sugar and sweeteners. For generations, Dixie Crystals has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations. Our pure cane, non-GMO sugar products guarantee that treasured family recipes will turn out right every time. Bake with love and Dixie Crystals.

Prize #2 Cabot Creamery Co-operative is giving one winner a Cheese Board Set, including a slate cheese board, Boska cheese knife, Legacy Collection Cabot Cheddars, Founders 1919 Collection Cheddars, Waxed Private Stock, Waxed Vintage Choice, and 3 Year Artisan cheeses.

Cabot Creamery Co-operative, makers of naturally aged, award-winning cheeses and dairy products is owned by 1,000 dairy farm families in New England and New York.

Prize #3 LorAnn Oils and Flavors is giving one winner A Baking and Candy Making Prize package. The package includes: ceramic serving platter, a collection of 5 LorAnn Bakery Emulsions, one each of LorAnn Madagascar vanilla extract and Madagascar vanilla bean paste, Lollipop cookbook along with re-usable candy mold, candy packaging accessories, candy thermometer, and a pack of 3 LorAnn super-strength candy oils.

Our flavors. Your creations. For over 50 years, LorAnn Oils has been supplying professionals and home chefs with the finest quality candy and baking flavors, essential oils, and specialty ingredients. Visit us at to shop, learn, and discover new recipe ideas.

Prize #4 Cal-Organic Farms is giving one winner a Cal-Organic prize package complete with kitchen supplies, a portable cooler bag and branded apparel—everything you need to take your delicious #BrunchWeek recipes on-the-go! The package includes a custom-made Tilit apron, cooler bag, kitchen knife, vegetable peeler, t-shirt, hat, notepad and pen.

Cal-Organic Farms is the largest organic vegetable producer in the United States. Supplying more than 65 year-round and seasonal varieties, we are proud to grow 100% of our produce on family-owned acreage in California.

Prize #5 Michigan Asparagus is giving one winner $100 cash gift card.

Michigan Asparagus is known for its hand snapped fresh asparagus. It is available May – June and grown mostly in Oceana County along the shores of Lake Michigan. Remember to buy U.S. for the freshest of the fresh.

Prize #6 Eggland's Best is giving one winner an Eggland's Best Kitchen Essential Prize Package that included 1 month of free Eggland's Best Eggs along with Hard-Cooked Peeled Egg coupons, a freezer bag to carry your groceries, kitchen essentials, (whisk, spatula, pot holders, cutting board, frying pan), Eggland's Best brand new cookbook, and a plush Eggland's Best egg.

Eggland’s Best eggs have more of the delicious, farm fresh taste you and your family love – anyway you cook them. Plus, Eggland’s Best provides superior nutrition such as 6x more vitamin D, 10x more vitamin E, and double the omega 3s compared to ordinary eggs so why settle for less?

Prize #7 Cento Fine Foods is giving one winner a Cento Classico gift basket, which contains imported products from Cento and their family of brands.

Cento Fine Foods, the premier Italian food distributor, importer and producer in the United States, presents a distinctive line of more than 1,000 authentic Italian style products produced from only the finest ingredients. A family owned and operated company spanning three generations, Cento continues to provide premium quality, exceptional products at the best consumer value. Taste the difference quality makes and see why you can “Trust Your Family With Our Family Ò”.

Aren't those some amazing gifts from the sponsors?!!  You will find the form to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.  I wish I could get in on some of these goodies.

Today I am showcasing products from Eggland's Best and Cabot Creamery.

The recipe I am sharing will feed 3-4 as part of a meal or 2 as a complete meal.  The recipe is easily doubled and baked in a 9x13" pan for larger crowds.

It works as a nutritious, filling Brinner too.  It is a great way to use up leftovers and is easily adaptable to suit personal tastes.  Like onions? Add them.  Need some veggies in your diet?  Throw them in.  Don't care for ham?  Add whatever meat you like.

Yield: 2-4 servingsPin it

Farmer's Casserole

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 15 mins
This casserole is a complete meal and can be adjusted to suit individual tastes.


4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced
1/2 c, shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (I used Cabot)
1 c. diced cooked Ham
4 Scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
4 Eggs (I recommend Eggland's Best)
1 c.  Milk


Place the diced potatoes in a pot and cover with water by 1".  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until fork tender, 7-12 minutes.  Drain and place into the bottom of a casserole that has been treated with cooking spray.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the ham and cheese to the casserole.  Sprinkle with the scallions.  

Whisk together the milk and eggs.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over the ingredients in the casserole.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven until puffed, brown and set, 50-60 minutes. (A knife inserted in the center should remove cleanly).
Created using The Recipes Generator

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Cà Phê Trứng (Vietnamese Egg Coffee) from Tara's Multicultural Table.
Cold Brew with Hazelnut Simple Syrup from The Barbee Housewife.
Hazelnut Milk Punch from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
Irish Coffee from My Catholic Kitchen.
Strawberry Frosé from Love and Confections.

BrunchWeek Appetizers:
Everything Bagel Dip from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen.

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Bacon, Asparagus and Spinach Frittata from Eat Move Make.
Cauliflower Waffles from Caroline's Cooking.
Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole from Karen's Kitchen Stories.
Deviled Eggs with Capers, Cucumber and Red Onion from Family Around the Table.
Farmers Casserole from A Day in the Life on the Farm.
Ham & Artichoke Strata from The Chef Next Door.
Ham, Asparagus and Gruyere Quiche from The Redhead Baker.
Hash Brown Waffles with Bacon & Eggs from Amy's Cooking Adventures.
Mom's Egg Salad Sandwich from Girl Abroad.
Spicy Pimento Cheese Omelet from For the Love of Food.

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains, and Pastries:
Bacon and Cheese Twists from Big Bear's Wife.
Caramel Apple Dutch Baby from The Bitter Side of Sweet.
Carrot Cake Muffins from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures.
Chocolate Chip Pecan Cinnamon Rolls from Pass the Sushi.
Coconut Cream Pie Donuts from 4 Sons 'R' Us.
Coconut Raspberry Skillet Pancake from Books n' Cooks.
Danish Twists with Cream Cheese Filling from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
French Toast Muffin Bites from Daily Dish Recipes
Make Ahead Mocha Granola from Wholistic Woman.
Snickerdoodle Pancakes from Mildly Meandering.
Toasted Coconut Granola from Cooking With Carlee.

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Antipasto Pizza from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Asparagus & Crab Cake Benedict from The Crumby Kitchen
Breakfast Pizza from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks.
Corned Beef Hash Benedict from Sweet Beginnings.
Mini Breakfast Pot Pies from Forking Up.

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
I Dream of Hawaii Smoothie Bowl from Brunch-n-Bites.
Prosciutto Wrapped Pineapple Spears from Kudos Kitchen by Renee.
Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus from Shockingly Delicious.

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Breakfast Oatmeal Thumbprint Cookies from The Spiffy Cookie.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coffeecake from It Bakes Me Happy.
Chocolate Coffee Maple Cupcakes from The PinterTest Kitchen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, LorAnn Oils and Flavors, Cento Fine Foods, Michigan Asparagus, Cal-Organic and Eggland’s Best for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Celebrating Mom with the May #RecipeRoundup and #Giveaway

Welcome to the May Recipe Round-Up! This months round-up brings you recipes in honor of our moms....because Mother's Day is coming soon! Our bloggers are sharing their favorite recipes that remind them of their moms or favorite recipes of their moms, from breakfast to dinner to dessert. Come check out what we are bringing you this month! Plus another GIVEAWAY!!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Status of the Remodel and the Weekly Menu

The remodel is coming along.  We now have walls awaiting the windows and doorwall.   The electrical is all run so that they can start on the inside of the room.  The outside only needs the siding installed.

They have still not been able to start on the roof.  For those coming late to the game, we are remodeling a Sunroom Addition that had been put onto our home prior to our purchasing it.  It is a nice, large room but not very practical for Michigan weather. 

We decided to tear down the outside walls and replace them with stick built.  We are keeping a good number of windows so we will still have the view, but adding more walls and insulation (as well as better windows) to assist with temperature control.

The room prior to this remodel was definitely an addition.  After the remodel, the French doors leading from the rest of the house to the addition will be removed and the room will just flow from the kitchen.  It will become a room that is used daily instead of occasionally.

Back to the roof....when Frank was tearing down the paneling so that drywall can be installed, he discovered the flashing around the chimney had not been installed properly.  You could see daylight through our roof.....Not a good thing.

It is going to be an expensive fix.  That is the reason for the delay.  It looks like our insurance is going to cover this damage.  Woohooooooo....this has me doing a happy dance!!!  So the roof repair had to wait for the adjustor and now we are waiting for his determination which promises to be positive.  

The roofer is scheduled to begin work on Monday.  Once the roof is fixed then the siding, gutters, windows and doors can be installed.  Then the work on the inside can begin in earnest.  I think we are looking at another couple of weeks but it is going to be well worth it.

In the meanwhile.....because this is taking longer than anticipated, all the stuff we had all over our house is now in the garage.  This is necessary because we are having family dinner on Sunday to celebrate Frank and Tingting's birthdays.

Speaking of Tingting, she uses the name Jessica with everyone other than those of us who knew and loved her from the very beginning.  It is very difficult for me to remember to call her Jessica but I am making a valiant effort.  So, from this day forward, I will be referring to her in my writings as Jessica or, of course, the Mama.

On to the Weekly Menu.  Last Tuesday we ended up going out for dinner so those Enchiladas are moved to this week.

Our Little Miss will be home from vacation and staying with us Sunday and Monday nights.  Other than that our life will revolve around this remodeling project.  

Here is our Weekly Menu. This week our menu includes lunches as we are feeding the work crew.

Please stop by to visit each day.  We are celebrating Brunch Week in addition to my regular monthly groups so there is going to be a ton of recipes shared each day.

Out for dinner

Sunday-Birthday Celebration
Chips and Salsa
Mexican Hamburgers
Easy Tex Mex Enchiladas
Grilled Corn Salad
Black Bean and Mango Salad
Hibiscus Margaritas
Cake by Amy

Melody Monday

Refried Beans

Lunch-Tamales (using leftover Carnitas)

Lunch-Hot Chicken Sandwiches

Grilled Chicken Breasts
Steamed Broccoli

Lunch- Michigan Grilled Chicken Salad

Pork and Green Chile Stew

Lunch-Leftover Stew

Out for dinner

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Agua de Jamaica #FoodnFlix

This month's FoodnFlix film is the animated film "Coco".  It is a colorful, musical account of the Festival for the Day of the Dead which takes place each November in Mexico.  This fun and thought provoking movie was chosen by Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

See the source image

I had wanted to take the Angel Face to see this when it was at the theater but never made it.  As it turns out, that was a good thing.  About halfway through the DVD she said "I don't want to watch this anymore.  Let's watch Cinderella".

So we did.  Then the next day, after she had gone home, Frank and I finished watching this movie about a young boy, Miguel, who dreams of being a musician against his families wishes.  His great grandmother, Coco, was abandoned by her father as a young girl when he went off to find fortune and fame.  The family blames the music for this and believe they should all be shoemakers as this is how Coco's mother was able to support herself and Coco after her father had left.

Miguel disobeys his family and ends up in the land of the dead where he seeks out his ancestors to try to get their blessing to play music.  Believing his great grandfather to be the famous Ernesto de la Cruz, he is on a mission to find him and enlists the help of a poor wretch named Hector who is unable to return to the land of the living because no one ever puts out his photograph.

Image result for Disney Coco Movie Characters

If you haven't seen the movie yet, pick up a copy and treat yourself.  I got my copy from the library but I believe it is available soon on Netflix.

While looking for traditional  "Day of  the Dead" recipes I found an article at AZCentral which is a branch of USA Today.  This article stated that normally a family would, as seen in the movie, place photos of their deceased loved ones onto an altar that contains all of their favorite foods.  The article went on to say that:
"A glass of water is also essential because, after the journey here, the souls are thirsty and pretty tired"
This was my inspiration for the recipe I am sharing today.  This article had many links to different recipes and one of them was this Water made with Hibiscus Flowers known as Agua de Jamaica.  It is sure to quench the thirst of the living and the dead.

I did not follow this recipe exactly.  I looked at several other recipes including the one found on the package of Hibiscus flowers that I ordered and created my own concentrate.  I then used this concentrate to make a pitcher of Agua de Jamaica.

It was refreshing and tart with just a hint of sweetness.  I then used the concentrate to make a Hibiscus Simple Syrup.  I will be sharing that recipe in another post along with the Hibiscus Martini and Hibiscus Margarita that Frank created.  Stay tuned.....

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Iced Tea)

Hibiscus Concentrate:

8 c. cold water
2 c. dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 c. sugar

Place all ingredients into a large pot over med high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Strain into a container and store in the refrigerator.

Hibiscus Iced Tea:

Fill a large pitcher with ice and hibiscus water until half full.  Fill to the top of the pitcher with still or sparkling water, as desired.  Sweeten with additional sugar or honey, if desired.  Print Recipe

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Build your own Sundaes.....#KitchenMatrixCookingProject

You would think that since I was choosing the themes for this month's Kitchen Matrix Cooking Project I would be happy with the options.  Hah.....That would only be true if I were paying attention to what I chose.

But no, being who I am, I decided I wanted the final week to be a dessert.  So I went to the dessert section of Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix Cookbook that I, Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla and Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories are showcasing each week.  I saw the title "Dessert Bars" and thought that it was going to be different options for cookie bars.  It isn't.

The Dessert Bars to which Bittman was referring was a dessert bar that is set up like a salad bar where the ingredients are available and each person makes their own dessert according to their tastes.

I was originally going to do a Mini Cream Pie dessert bar but then I ran out of time. That idea will have to wait for another day.

I was having my brother and sister in law over for dinner this past Sunday so I ran to the store, grabbed all the goodies needed for an Ice Cream Sundae Bar,  I added them to the goodies already available in my refrigerator and pantry and called it a day.

As life would have it.  My sister in law was unable to join us for dinner.  My brother was though and we had a nice visit and ate so much that we didn't have room for dessert. 

This ice cream sundae bar that I'm showing you today was made just for this post.  Frank and I had an impromptu ice cream treat in the middle of the day yesterday.

The trials and tribulations of a food blogger LOL.......

Here is what the others decided to do with this challenge I gave them:

I'd like to say that in the future I will pay more attention but I know myself well enough not to make promises I probably won't keep.  It all worked out fine.  We loved our Ice Cream Sundae bar and I may use the idea during summer pool parties.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Asian Slaw for National Picnic Day #FestiveFoodies

Welcome to National Picnic Day being hosted by the founder of our Festive Foodies group, Ellen of Family Around the Table.

I didn't even know National Picnic Day existed but I do love me an outdoor gathering with family and friends so I was happy to participate in this event.

The dish I'm sharing with you today was made for one of our last picnics in 2017, our granddaughter's birthday party in September.  I made all the food for the party and this Asian Slaw was perfect because there is no cream involved.  It is delicious served chilled or at room temperature and it can set out for a while without fear of spoiling.

This colorful and tasty salad takes only moments to throw together.  The recipe is adapted from one found in Cuisine at Home.  It is healthy and sure to be gobbled up at your next gathering.

Asian Slaw
adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue #124

1 lb. frozen shelled edamame, cooked per package directions
6 cups baby kale, shredded
2 lg. carrots, shredded
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined, mince
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, sliced on the bias
1/4 c. canola oil
3 T. rice wine vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
Juice from 1 lime
1 T. sesame oil
1 t. ginger paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. honey

Combine the edamame, kale, carrots, pepper, cilantro and jalapeno in a large bowl.  

Whisk together the canola oil, vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and honey.  Pour over the slaw mixture.  Toss to coat and chill or serve.  Print Recipe

More Great Picnic Ideas

Sunday, April 22, 2018

I think Spring has Sprung! Let's Celebrate with the Weekly Menu

Woohoooo....the sun is finally shining here in Michigan and the temps have leapt out of the freezing zone to the 50's.  My spirits are soaring. Tomorrow the builder and roofer will be here to start on the remodel.  I cannot wait to get my house back in order.

Image result for welcome spring

This is going to be a very different week for us.  The Angel Face and her Mama left today for vacation.  We had originally planned on using this time to go see our son, Chuck, who lives in Virginia but the weather delayed our remodel which, in turn, delays our opportunity to leave for a while.

My brother, Dick, and his wife Jackie are joining us for dinner tonight.  We will be grilling our first steaks of the season.  It's not our first grill night though because Saturday night we threw hot dogs on the grill.

The rest of the week is free because we thought we were going to be out of town so we will just be getting things done around here and enjoying the weather.

Tuesday we pick up our new vehicle.  You don't realize how much you depend on having two vehicles until you are down to only one for a while.

Here's what we're eating this week.......As you can see we are getting revved up for Cinco de Mayo with some Enchiladas on Taco Tuesday.  Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  What is your favorite Mexican Food?

Hot Dogs
Baked Beans

Sunday (Friends for Dinner)
Crab Salad with Lemon/Dill Vinaigrette
Grilled Steaks
Sweet Potatoes
Grilled Asparagus
Cream Pie

Meatless Monday
Spinach Tortellini Soup

Taco Tuesday
Easy Tex-Mex Enchiladas

Kenyan Palau


Fish Friday
Fried Perch Sandwich
Pasta Salad

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pick a Picpoul to enjoy al Fresco This Summer #FrenchWinophiles

This month, we at the French Winophiles, are showcasing Picpoul de Pinet.  Picpoul is a grape grown in the Languedoc region of France.  This exploration is being hosted by Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  Cam gave us a little Sneak Peek of the event.

I went to my closest local wine store.  The owner there is wonderful and will search out any wines that I need for these groups to which I belong.  I told him I needed Picpoul.  He was not familiar with this wine but looked it up and told me he would work on getting me some along with the other wines that were on my list.

About a week later, he contacted me and said that my wines were in however his distributor had no more Picpoul and did not know when he would get more as Picpoul has a very limited bottling.  His distributor had told him that only 900 cases of Picpoul are bottled each year.

I thought I was going to have to take a trip down to the City and try my luck there but then I got the great news that we were all being sent samples of this wine.  I received two bottles of Picpoul de Pinet.  

Today, I am showcasing the 2016 bottling from Cave de Pomerols.  It sells on for $11.99 per bottle.  I received no monetary compensation for this post and all opinions expressed are completely my own.

I have yet to open the bottle from Gerard Bertrand.  I am hoping to invite our friend, Gassan, who owns the local wine store, over to taste this wine with us just as soon as our remodel is completed.

I did share the bottle of Cave de Pomerols with our friends, the Bendas.  I served it with a Rustic Shrimp Cocktail and it paired perfectly however I think this wine is wonderful all by itself.

It pours a beautiful golden yellow.  It is crisp and dry but very smooth with no acidic bite.  It smells like a garden to me.  The first sip was very surprising as I am not use to such distinct floral undertones.  I LOVED it.  Which really kind of surprised me because I have always preferred "oaky" whites.

The first thing I thought, upon tasting this wine, was how wonderful it was going to be relaxing by the pool with a glass.  It is like sipping Summertime.  

Picpouls are known for their perfect pairings with seafood of all sorts.  The smooth floralness (is that a word?  It is now) neutralizes the salt and iodine found in shellfish.  I think it would be amazing with raw oysters.  I was hoping to do so when I open the next bottle but the "r" months are nearly over so I will wait until the fall and order up a few more bottles.

I'm very anxious to see what the others thought.  I am including links to all of their articles so you can check them out.  You are also invited to join us as we discuss our pairings today at 11 AM ET on twitter using #Winophiles and #Languedocwines.

More posts on Picpoul de Pinet