Meat Lovers Skillet

If there is a major carnivore in your life, stop everything you are doing and make this. They will pretty much love you forever and request it on any occasion celebrating them. Trust me, I know from experience.
Meat Lovers Skillet 6This skillet is inspired by a diner that we used to frequent often when we lived in Fargo. It was a total hole-in-the-wall joint but don’t those always end up being the best? The “Lotsa Meat Skillet” was the first and only item Joel ever ordered there and he misses it dearly. So this year for Father’s Day, I attempted a copycat version with much success. Meat Lovers Skillet 5
As any good skillet should, it starts with a base of potatoes, shredded hashbrowns in this case. Then you top it with three different varieties of pig. See.
Meat Lovers Skillet 1This isn’t for the faint of heart…or those with high cholesterol. Meat Lovers Skillet 2
It’s then sprinkle with cheese and put under the broiler until it reaches melty perfection. Top it with a few over easy eggs and hollandaise sauce to complete the meat masterpiece. It’s seriously intense and only for special occasions but oh so delicious.
Meat Lovers Skillet 4

Meat Lovers Skillet

15 oz. frozen shredded hashbrowns
2 Tbsp. olive oil 1
Tbsp. butter
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 breakfast sausage links, cut into bite size chunks
5 slices Canadian bacon, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs

for the hollandaise sauce:
recipe from Tyler Florence
4 egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
Pinch salt

1. Preheat broiler. Heat large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Add olive oil and butter. Pour hashbrowns into pan and press down. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until golden and crispy. Carefully flip and cook until other side is golden.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the hollandaise sauce. Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl). Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

3. Layer the hashbrowns with bacon, sausage and Canadian bacon. Sprinkle with cheese. Place under broiler until cheese has melted. Meanwhile, cook 4 eggs over easy (or to your preference). Top skillet with eggs and drizzle with desired amount of hollandaise sauce. Cut into wedges and serve. Meat Lovers Skillet 3

Coconut Granola

Coconut Granola 2
I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! We spent the weekend at my parents house visiting with them and my grandma and aunt who were visiting from Florida. We went to a family friends house the night of the 4th to light fireworks together and Hannah proved herself to be a little pyromaniac like the rest of us. Every time a firework was done she would sign “more.” Oh, and she laughed maniacally while they were exploding. That’s my girl.
Coconut Granola 4
After all the food I ate this weekend, I’m thinking we need to lighten things up this week. To me, nothing is better than an easy, healthy breakfast that doesn’t require any brain power in the morning. I don’t do mornings all that well. That’s where the granola comes in. Make this up the night before and all you have to do when you wake up is pour some milk over it or layer it with some yogurt and fruit. I don’t love the texture of yogurt so I always have a good dose of granola on top to make it bearable.
Coconut Granola 6
I adapted this recipe to make it clean and it’s just as good as a granola sweetened with sugar. I even sprinkled this over some strawberries (with a small amount of whipped cream) when I was craving something sweet after dinner but didn’t want to blow my day.
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It’s packed with walnuts and almonds to make it hearty and keep you full all morning. It’s great to have on hand for healthy snacking too.
Coconut Granola 1

Coconut Granola
recipe adapted from Table for Two

2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine oats, walnuts, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Pour into oat mixture and stir until fully combined.

3. Pour oats onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet then break up and store in an airtight container.
Coconut Granola

Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits

Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 5
It seems like people either love or hate breakfast. I, unfortunately, fall in the second category. I just don’t feel like eating right when I wake up and if I don’t, the kids wake up, chaos ensues and there is no longer time because they like to eat the second their eyes open. Plus, I don’t love most breakfast foods, especially sweets. I mean, I wouldn’t ever turn down a doughnut, we’re not talking crazy here, but I don’t love sugary sweet in the morning.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 2
So when I do eat breakfast, if I’m not sucking down a smoothie, I usually reach for something more on the savory side. Like this biscuit of deliciousness. I would eat it everyday if I could but a) I want to see my kids get married someday and b) ain’t nobody got time for that.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 1
They aren’t too complicated, especially if you use frozen biscuits like I did, but the bacon takes a bit of time (that I just don’t have most mornings with my children). If you have the bacon made up already then they are pretty quick and simple.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 4
I know I’m gushing about this bacon, but it just brings this biscuit sandwich to a new level. Plus, the runny yolk. It all combines to elevate the ordinary bacon and egg biscuit to something a little bit fancy.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 6
And just FYI, this bacon isn’t just for breakfast. It converts from breakfast sandwich delight to dinner star on a burger, just saying.

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits
serves 4

4 biscuits (I used these, but if you want homemade try these)
4 eggs
4-8 slices Maple Brown Sugar Bacon*

1. Prepare biscuits. While they are baking, heat a skillet to medium heat. Lightly butter the pan and cook the eggs to your preference. We like ours over easy (and the runny yolks keeps them from getting too dry).

2. Slice the biscuits in half and place an egg and slice of bacon on the bottom half. Top with the other biscuit half and enjoy.

*I only used 1 slice of bacon on mine but if you want them extra meaty, use two.

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 5
Are you ready for your life to be changed? I know that’s a pretty big statement but it involves bacon so it’s pretty believable. I didn’t think bacon could get any better but when you add a sweet element to salty bacon? Yep. It does. I seem to be on some kind of sweet and salty kick lately. Who am I kidding? Sweet and salty for life.
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 3
When I gave up meat for Lent, bacon was by far what I missed most. I even cooked it a few times for my family and it was almost impossible to not eat it. I had a piece in my hand at one point and it was almost to my lips before I even realized what I was doing. It’s second nature to eat a piece while it’s cooking. Am I right?

This bacon is first brushed with a mixture of brown sugar and maple syrup before it’s baked in the oven to crispy perfection.
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 1
I’ve never baked bacon before this but had heard good things. It doesn’t make a huge mess, all gets done at the same time and is cooked evenly. I’m definitely sold on the process.
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 2
And if you think this bacon is amazing, just wait until you see what I did with it. But that will be revealed on Wednesday. I’m such a tease.
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 4
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon

1 lb. bacon
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top.

2. Place bacon on the rack in a single layer. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and maple syrup. Brush the mixture evenly over the bacon. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until crispy and caramelized.

 

Sunday Inspiration {S’mores Edition}

Smores 3
I have to admit I don’t love marshmallows. The only time I’m down with them is when they are brown, bubbly and melty between chocolate and graham crackers. Aka the s’more. With summer around the corner, s’mores are going to be all over the place. But why stop at a simple, traditional s’more when you could make them into pies, cookies and desserts galore. Am I right?

S’mores Macaroons. You so fancy.

Fun and portable Mini S’mores Hand Pies.

Making anything sweet and salty is always a good choice.

S’mores Buttercream Frosting, whaaaat?

S’mores for breakfast? Yes and yes.

S’mores Cookie Dough Dip. You all know how I feel about dip.

Make ’em boozy

Add fruit, it makes them healthy.

I’m seriously dying over this pie.

Toasted S’mores Milkshake. Enough said.

Ooey Gooey s’mores combined with oatmeal cookies. Winning combination.

A kid’s dream right here.

A new campfire spin on s’mores.

So there you have it, enough s’mores recipes to last you all summer.

Buckwheat Pancakes {Clean Eating and Gluten Free}

Buckwheat Pancakes 2
I’m bringing you a healthy recipe today in honor of the weekend I just had because there was not a single thing healthy about it. Every year, Joel’s company has a work retreat in Vegas and the spouses come along for a fun filled weekend. While the guys work for a couple days, the girls brunch, walk the strip and lay by the pool. Then the company throws a big party Friday night and we do whatever we want during the weekend.

I had every intention of laying by the pool and writing posts to share with you all last week but the hotel wifi was terrible so it just didn’t happen. So instead of writing about food, I consumed lots of it.
Buckwheat Pancakes 3
My main goal on our Vegas trips is to eat all the food. We have a list of favorite restaurants that we always try to hit and usually add a new one each year. Next year will be our fourth year so it’s going to be tricky fitting in all our necessary eats. I ate fries, burgers, tacos, pizza, brunch and so much more that I just don’t even want to think about because I’m scared just dreaming of them will add more calories. At least we walked a ton, right?

And now I have a growing list of things I want to recreate from our trip…did somebody say carne asada fries? This guy.
Buckwheat Pancakes 4
Photo Friday this week will be dedicated to our Saturday adventure in Vegas. Since it was our third visit, we decided to get out of the city and do something different.

So, onto the pancakes. These bad boys are clean, gluten-free and dairy-free. Plus, you mix up the batter the night before so all you have to do in the morning is heat up the griddle and cook them up.
Buckwheat Pancakes 1
I had never had buckwheat pancakes until I whipped these up when the in-laws were visiting. I love the nutty, hearty flavor it brings. I promise you I wouldn’t have guessed they were healthy or sugar free if I hadn’t made them. These are the perfect way to start a lazy, yet healthy Saturday brunch. Much better than mine last weekend…..

Buckwheat Pancakes
recipe slightly adapted from The Leftover Queen

2 1/4 tsp. (1 packet) instant dry yeast
2 cups warm water (about 100°F)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
Maple syrup, for serving

1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, salt and buckwheat flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave on counter overnight.

2. In the morning, preheat griddle or skillet to medium heat. Meanwhile, Stir in molasses, baking soda, coconut oil and cinnamon. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, portion pancakes onto the griddle. Cook until edges set and bubbles start to form on the surface. Flip and cook until no longer doughy, about 30 seconds. Repeat until batter is gone. Serve with maple syrup.

Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes

Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 4
I have another recipe from The Skinnytaste Cookbook to share today. When I get a new cookbook, I flag the must try recipes with little sticky notes and this was one that jumped out at me. So we tried it right away naturally.
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 5
We really enjoy pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning but I’ve found that it’s really hard to make a yummy tasting pancake that’s healthy too. We’ve had some serious fails but I don’t have to look any further now.
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 3
I just love the flavor and texture that the cornmeal lends to the pancakes. The ingredients are approachable and you most likely have them all in your house already yet they combine to create a such a fancy and unique pancake. My whole philosophy behind this blog is just what these pancakes prove. You can take normal, affordable ingredients and turn them into something special. Love it!
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 2
And just think about the other mix ins that would be tasty in these. Swap out the blueberries for chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon or diced strawberries. These pancakes are definitely a new breakfast favorite. So much so that I’m doubling the recipe next time and freezing half for easy, healthy breakfasts on school days. Can’t beat that.
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes 6
Corny Banana Blueberry Pancakes
recipe from The Skinnytaste Cookbook

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup fine ground cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. low-fat buttermilk
3 large egg whites
2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
Cooking spray
Maple syrup, for serving

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

2. In another bowl, mix the banana, buttermilk, egg whites, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just moist. Be sure not to overmix as to keep them light and fluffy. Gently fold in the blueberries.

4. Heat a large griddle over medium-low heat. When hot, lightly spray with oil.

5. Scoop out 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake and cook until it starts to set and is golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook again until golden brown, another 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with maple syrup.