Leftover Bread Crust

On Saturday, I made finger sandwiches for a “high tea” baby shower. I had all of this bread crust left over and it was too much to throw away. I thought of going to the park and feeding the ducks, stuffing for our turkey, french bread sticks and so on. My taste buds we all over the map!


I came up with the idea of a French Toast Casserole.

I grabed a few casserole pans and sprayed them with Pam.

Then I chopped the bread up into bite size peices and put them into the greased pan. The fact that most of my bread was the ends of the bread did’t matter.


Get a good size bowl and add 8 eggs. I used 2 bowls because I made the recipe one and a half times.


Then added all other wet ingreditents and whipped with a wire whip.

I added sugar and vanilla next and mixed well. Then pour mixture over the bread peices.


Next you need to make the topping and sprinkle on top. It is so easy!

  • lots of bread crust or 1 loaf of crusty bread
  • 8 whole Eggs
  • 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Whipping (heavy) Cream
  • 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces


Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.

In a medium sized bowl mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Add butter pieces and cut them into the dry mixture until mixture looks like fine pebbles.When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 F.  Sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture.

Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.


I knew I could figure something out for those bread crust! This also makes a great Thanks giving breakfast!

Spinach Quiche

This week my husband Mike asked me to make quiche for dinner. He said he wanted something different. That was music to my ears and a challenge for me to come up with something I had not made before. I right away started digging through the fridge for choices and flavors. Everything taste better with bacon in it, so I pulled bacon out, spinach, bella mushrooms, eggs, heavy whipping cream and milk.


First, I sprayed my pie pan with PAM so the dough would not stick and baked it for 10 minutes on 350* before adding the mixture. My pie pan is deep so if you buy a shell in the foil pan, make sure it is deep.


Then I took a good size bowl and added the heavy cream, eggs, cheese and milk. Mixed well and added garlic salt, onion powder and sage. Again, I mixed well. After mixing well set aside and begin chopping your spinach, bacon and muchrooms.036

Put all ingredients in the bowl and stir. Pour all of the mixture into the prebaked pie shell.


Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350* and you will get a beautiful quiche that has wonder taste!


Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1 package of swiss cheese (sandwich slices) chopped

4 cups fresh chopped spinach

10 bella mushrooms (you can use any kind of mushrooms)

6 pieces of bacon (I buy the already cooked bacon)

1/4 teaspoon onion power

1/4 teaspooon sage

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

I served a baked sweet potatoe and salad with my quiche. It was a almost pan free dinner. If I would have used a pie shell in a foil pan, it would have been pan free. So this is an easy clean up dinner too!

Happy cooking!

Pumpkin Muffins

This is a great recipe to make Pumpkin Muffins. At this time of year everything is pumpkin so if you are looking to impress someone with a simple recipe, you are in luck!

Pumpkin Muffins w/ Streusel Topping

1  1/2 C Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger

1 teaspoon Allspice

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

1 cup Pure Pumpkin Puree

1 1/4 C. Sugar

1/3 C. Oil

2 Eggs

Whisk together dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a medium bowl. In another medium sized bowl whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and eggs. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Do not over mix, once it seems just combined, STOP. Let rest while you make the crumbly topping.

Streusel Topping

1/2 C. Flour

1/3 C. Sugar

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 Chopped Nuts (I didn’t have any this time around. But I’d use either pecans or walnuts)

3 Tbl. Butter, cut into small pieces

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with your fingers. Try to work the flour and sugar into the butter. It will eventually all combine and you’ll have a crumble topping!

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non stick spray or line with cupcake liners.  Pour 1/4 C. muffin mix into each muffin tin. Now top each with a small handful of the streusel topping. Have any leftover? Nope, not ok. Find places to squeeze in every last bit of that topping! You won’t regret it!

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on wire rack.

Happy Baking!!

Building A House

Building a house can be fun! You think I am crazy, right?

When the Parade of Homes comes around I always get so excited! I love to look at new homes and get ideas for my present home or a new home. For several years I have watched Builders MD in the Greensboro area. He has had several houses in the Parade and we liked him due to his craftsmanship. Of all the houses we looked at, I noticed that David never took the “cheap” way out. His homes have a finished look that no other homes had and his price was reasonable. I knew if I could get Mike to build again, I would use David at Builders MD. It took a few years but we are finally at that place.

We went to an architect and had a plan drawn up. Then we had several well know builders give us a bid on it. The bids were anywhere from $50,000.00 to $200,000.00 different. If I had not seen the homes in the Parade of Homes and how each builder presented him/herself I would not have been as confident in my choice of a builder. If you are thinking of building, go to the Parade, ask questions, look at quality and get ideas!

Trying to figure out where to build is next. Land is scearce in the county and that is where we are headed, We had to ask ourselves if we wanted several acres or if we wanted to live in a neighborhood? We choose a neighborhood.


For us, a neighborhood helps house values and there is saftey in having neighbors. We really wanted to buy a good amount of land and have our family build there also but we would have to move too far out and maybe to another county for that.

The land has now been cleared and we have choose our brick and mortar.

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We chose a colored mortar which did cost quite a bit more than gray mortar. I didn’t realize that mortar can make that big of a difference buy it does! As we drove around looking at brick, mortar and stone, we found this house and loved it! This house is in another county so we decided to use the same colors.

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The footings and foundation have been completed and inspected! Yay! The framing starts tomorrow!

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We can’t wait to share the rest of the story with you! You will see what a great builder we have and I hope you can take something from our experience that will make your experience better.

Fall Is In The Air!

Fall weather has set in! The cool mornings that warm up in the afternoon and then cool off in the evening give us varity in our day and in our wardrobe. Figuring out what to put on the kids for school is a chore. Jackets on in the morning and left at school or in the bookbag by afternoon. The sky is a deeper blue and the air seems somehow more fresh, mums and pansies are thriving, tailgating has kicked up again and routines have started back. You have to love it!

When cooler weather sets in it makes me think of everything pumpkin and cooking warm comfort foods and soups. Living in our apartment leave no space for decorating for fall. We don’t have a mantel and everything else is so low that the dog will get it. At our house Maverick (the dog) had more than one room to go in so he didn’t notice the decorations as much nor did he mess with them but here I think I would come home to a mess. Since I can’t decorate I cook! I found this recipe on Pinterest and it is wonderful! You can find more recipes from the soup maker at http://www.cinnamonandspice&everythingnice.com


Zuppa Toscana Olive Garden Copycat Recipe

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a wedge of crusty bread for a hearty, inspired and satisfying meal!


Rating: 5

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 – 5 servings

A copycat Tuscan soup recipe just like Olive Garden’s!


4 slices bacon, cut into a small dice
1 pound hot Italian sausage, ground or links with casings removed
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth or stock
3 cups Russet potatoes, cubed
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
2 loose packed cups kale, in bite size pieces
1 cup heavy cream or 14 ounce can evaporated milk
Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving


  1. In a large soup pot or sauce pan cook bacon over medium until crispy. Add sausage and break it apart as it cooks. Once sausage is browned and crumbled drain off the grease leaving a tablespoon or two to saute the onion.
  2. Push the sausage to the edges of the pot and add onion to center – saute until translucent then add garlic and saute until fragrant.
  3. Stir in broth and potatoes, season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, simmer for about 20 minute or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Add kale and heavy cream or evaporated milk. Bring to a simmer. Taste and re-season as needed. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

This is not my recipe but it is AMAZING!! It really warms your belly and sets your taste buds looking for more.

Cinnamon Butter

A few weeks ago I made a cilantro butter for some fresh corn that I had bought at the Farmers Market. Our granddaughter Kealee heard me say that I had made butter. Her little brain started turning and thinking of butter flavors. She then asked me if I would teach her to make butter. She explained how difficult it was to keep the sugar and cinnamon on her toast and that we needed to make Cinnamon Butter. Smart kid!

We made a butter spread and a log of butter. Kealee wanted her butter to spread easy so she chose to make spread. As did Cohen. Joy wanted a stick or log butter.

We used a small food processor, heavy whipping cream, raw sugar and cinnamon.


Cinnamon Butter

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 TBS raw sugar

1/8 tsp cinnamon

Put whipping cream in food processor. Whip for 2-3 minutes. The whipping cream should look like cream by this point. Add cinnamon and sugar. Whip another few minutes. If you want spread to be hard like a stick of butter whip longer. When the mixture separates the water from the fat remove the butter from the processor and shape into a log. Squeezing  the remaining water out. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate.

If you want your butter to be spread, whip less and put it in a tupperware container. Then refridgerate.


They ate their butter on toast for breakfast the next day and loved it!!!

This is a great easy thing to do with kids and does not take very long to do. We did it within an hour including clean up.

Happy cooking!

Chicken Burgers! Yum!

First of all, let me tell you that the Fresh Market has non-antibiotic, non-hormon boneless, skinless chicken breast every Tuesday for 2.99 per pound. The ground Chicken is also 2.99 per pound. I had laid out ground chicken for dinner yesterday but I was not really sure of what I was going to make with it. While looking in my fridge I decided to make Chicken Burgers. We do not eat a lot of bread so I came up with something a little different. Also, I needed to clear out a few veggies from my refridge so I used what I had. I cleaned the fridge and made dinner. Two birds with one stone!


I needed to use the brussel sprouts and spinach before they went bad so I placed the burger on a bed of wilted garlic spinach with a fresh cut tomato and diced red onions.

The spinach is cooked in olive oil that I sliced fresh garlic up in. Then I just watched the spinach and stired it until it was done.

The brussel sprouts have 1 inch peice of fresh ginger,  1 garlic clove and butter in them. I sauteed them until they were ready. I don’t like real soft, smushy brussel sprouts so mine are a little under cooked.I squeezed a fresh lemon half over the top at end of cooking them.


Here is the recipe for the burgers:

1 pound ground chicken

1/2 carton of mushrooms chopped

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves diced small

1/2 cup raw bacon chopped

1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbled

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup heavy cream

Mix well!


Make burgers. I made 5 good size burgers from mine.


I live in an apartment right now and I do not have my grill so I pan seared each side for about 2 minutes and then put them in the oven at 350* for 15 minutes to finish cooking. Remember, this is not beef so we need to cook it all the way through.

It was the most flavorable burger I have ever had! There was a party going on in my mouth! Beleive me, you have got to try this one. Happy cooking!

Vacation Happened

Our vacation has come and gone. It is amazing how long we look forward to vacation and then how quick it is over. We of course had a great time and our house was perfect for our family.

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The beach was across the street and we had a pool in the back yard. The kids had there own rooms and a TV room downstairs. Not that they used the TV downstairs. We were all together most all of the time.

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I prepared a lot of food before we left and then made a lot of food there. Food really brings a family together and our table fit all of us so there was great conversations nightly! Jason & Amy smoked a pork butt and ribs on their night with homemade mac-n-cheese and collards, Kelly and Michael made curry chicken and Hunter and Amanda made flank steak sliders. It was all wonderful! And there was always help in the kitchen and on the grill.

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We had deer in our yard daily. Caleb even had one eat from his hand.

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We did our fun family things like Super G drink tastings and from the looks of things some didn’t taste that good:

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We always do cheers with each wonderful drink. They are all worth a toast until you taste them.

I laughed so hard that my face was stuck in smile mode. Amanda thinks I need to take part in the drink tasting too.

This year we did a candy tasting too. Again, bought at Super G. It was not quite as dramitic as the drink tasting.

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We did do a puzzle but I forgot to order the personalized puzzle due to moving. Bummer, but they understood.

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And this year there was a “George” group. Elijah is 2 and loves Curious George.

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There was a “Beach Fairy”  brought each kid a gift every night. I think the older kids are catching on.

The beach was beautiful and we didn’t see one shark!

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These guys are all worth the hard work and many laughs that happen while we are there. I hope they always remember our fun family trips and continue great family fun for their children. It is always my prayer that my children are better parents than I was and their children better than them. We have to change the world’s idea of family back to the old fashin family one generation at a time. Friends come and go but family last forever.

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Big Adventure- Small Apartment

My husband and I have never lived in an apartment. You may be thinking high maintence and in some sence you are right. Once upon a time we did live in a 12×63 trailer which was very small with 3 little ones. We have lived in small but not in a while. Our apartment is around 1000 square feet and is a lot compared to some.

I recently heard a story of a young man who lived in Africa that had a 6×8 house with dirt floors. So lets get this in prospective. We are very blessed to have our small apartment but I am not used to it yet. It also makes me very excited for our new house that we are getting ready to build.

Since we are living small and I cook big we have made our coat closet a second pantry. My kitchen accomidates cooking fine. I don’t have all of my kitchen appliances or pots and pans here but it works.

He is a good summer recipe for you to try this summer and it can be grilled so if your kitchen is small, take it outside:


Mediterranean  Burgers with Aioli Sauce:

2 lbs. Hamburger

1 roasted  red pepper chopped

1 red onion sliced

2 cups fresh spinach chopped

4 garlic cloves minced

1 cup feta cheese crumbles

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 egg slightly beaten

1 teaspoon garlic salt

A little bit of black pepper

Roast red pepper on the grill or in the oven on broil turning a few times.

Put hamburger in a large bowl.  Chop red pepper and add to hamburger. Chop fresh spinach and add to hamburger mixture.  Add all other ingredients and mix well with hands. Make 6 large burgers or 8 small.  Put on grill and cook 5 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of burger you may want to cook longer.

Cut 1 red onion into thick slices; pour a little olive oil over onions and salt and pepper. Grill until soft.

Grill burgers and onion at the same time.

Aioli Sauce:

¼  plain Greek yogurt

¼  cup Dukes Mayonnaise

4 garlic cloves minced

½  cup feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients in food processer. Chill for 1 hour before using. When cooked, put burgers on a bun and layer with red onion and aioli sauce. Yum!!!

The Adventure Has Begun

Last Friday, Mike and I moved from a home we built in 2002. When we built this home we thought we would stay there forever. Who would need anything else? At that time we had 3 adult children, one was married and had 2 children. Life was great!

Since that time we have grown from 8 people in our family to 14 people and still growing. For me, our kitchen was just too small to accommodate cooking for that many. Of course, I could have done it anyway but since the new loop around our city was coming in right behind our house it gave me leverage with Mike. I had been telling him I needed more space in the kitchen for a while. Mike would have stayed in our home forever. And let me just say it was a great house! So the next adventure in our life has begun.

On moving day I was answering questions about what goes where, climate controlled storage, conventional storage or the apartment? We had lots of great help from our big family and our friends. Yes, we moved ourselves with help from others. As I was watching everyone bring furniture out and placing it all over the yard and driveway it brought a tear to my cheek. We had so many memories in that house. So many people had come through those doors, so many parties and dinners had taken place there. It had served us well. At that point, I had to remind myself that home is where we are and not a building or house. I am really excited to have the next house built but when you are in that “homeless” place it all gets a little emotional. We are not homeless of course. We have an apartment. But we went from this:


To this:


We chose an apartment because we did not want to sign a year lease for a house. And if I can live in a tent at the beach for a week, I can live in a apartment for 6-8 months. But again it is different.

Our little apartment is our home now because we are there. It was busy and fun having everyone there to help. These are the beginnings of our new memories because “home” is where we are!

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We have lived in our new apartment for one week now. Our family has been over and we have had some spend the night, dinners have been made and we are making memories!

The first thing I made at the new apartment was….(drum roll please)…..COOKIES! Cookies always make everything good.

I like the apartment life for now. I actually feel like I am on vacation!

The moral of the story….. Home is where your family is. It doesn’t matter if it is a tent, apartment or house.