Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Yay! Christmas time is here! For me that means my husband gets to be off with us and we get to enjoy our favorite time together: mornings! We both love our coffee and a yummy breakfast. When I was pregnant we went every Sunday to Waffle House and I ate a pecan waffle, bacon, hashbrowns, and sometimes even a biscuit too… I can no longer eat so much!

Around Christmas time I like to make special breakfasts for us! This one is one of my favorites! Its packed full of veggies, protein, yumminess, AND to top everything off the colors of it look like Christmas!

This breakfast casserole is a wonderful family breakfast and a fantastic way to sneak vegetables in your kids diet (you’re welcome). So if you’re looking for some breakfast ideas for the holidays or have a brunch you need to bringing a dish to, this ones for you!

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

What you will need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ham (diced) (you could use ground sausage or diced bacon too)
  • 1/2 cup of cheese (1/4 for mix, 1/4 for topping)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp siracha
  • 2 stalks green onions (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 cup diced grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 bag of frozen hashbrowns

Dry seasonings:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp creole seasoning (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, crack eggs and add in milk and siracha. Whisk mixture well and set aside. Dice all of your veggies and add to the bowl. Add in ham, hashbrowns, dry seasonings, hasbrowns, garlic, and 1/4 cup of cheese.

Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray and add in mixture. Make sure to spread out all the veggies and get everything in an even layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!

This breakfast casserole is one of my favorite breakfast dishes! It’s also the recipe I use to meal plan for my husbands work meals! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Happy homemaking!

The Easiest Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

It’s been soups galore here at our house! With some yuck going around, rain and cold weather, soup is what’s for dinner here a lot lately! It’s easy, delicious, and just gives a comfort you need during this time of the year. Today I was wanting some soup and decided I would try and make some broccoli cheddar soup for the first time! And y’all, it was so delicious I decided I would share it with you all!

This broccoli cheddar soup was made in the instant pot which is the best invention for your kitchen of all time. I cooked this soup in THREE MINUTES. Yeah you heard me, THREE MINUTES! Now the prep time in total was about 15 minutes including the cook time so yeah… a delicious soup in under 20 minutes!

I served mine with some yummy parmesan rosemary French bread from Costco. It’s so dreamy I could eat an entire loaf on my own! Now the soup itself is gluten free so if you are gluten free you can definitely get in on this! Serve yours up with a small side salad or gluten free sandwich! Your whole family will enjoy this soup AND you can sneak some more veggies in your family’s diet! Let’s get to it!

Easy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

What you will need:

  • 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup corn starch slurry
  • 4 cups of chicken broth

Dry Seasonings:

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning

Directions:

Set instant pot to sauté method. Drizzle in olive oil and throw in onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Soften all of the veggies. Then toss in frozen broccoli, chicken broth, and all dry seasonings. Cover instant pot with the lid and make sure you set to SEAL. Then hit the soup/stew mode and manually enter in 3 minutes. Remember it will take some time to pressurize!

Once finished, quick release (be careful) the pressure and wait until all of the steam has stopped releasing! Remove the lid and then set the instant pot back to sauté mode. Make 1/2 cup of cornstarch slurry! To do this just mix two tbsp of corn starch with 1/2 cup of water. Mix until everything is dissolved and add into the soup mixture. You will want to bring everything to a boil for it to thicken up. Also add in heavy cream and cheese. Let everything melt and come together. Here is a great place to taste the soup and adjust any seasonings to your taste!

Once finished, serve with some shredded cheese on top! It is so delicious and soothing! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Below I will attach a link to an instant pot that you can purchase if you don’t have one yet! Trust me, it is so worth it! You can read my blog, Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker, to find out more!

Hope you enjoy and Happy Homemaking!

Instant Pot Duo 60 321 Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-QT, Stainless Steel/Black

Easy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

Creamy, warm, filling…. just what you want in a soup this Winter season! This Easy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana recipe is the perfect recipe for you!

It’s my most favorite time of the year! With the weather getting chilly, I have the perfect excuse to make lots of soup! Soup is one of my favorite meals! It’s easy, delicious, and it can last for a couple of days! It stretches a long way, so soup is always a perfect meal for times when the budget needs stretching a bit (like Christmas season)!

You have probably seen Zuppa Toscana on the menu at Olive Garden! It’s a hearty soup with tons of creamy, warm tones that makes you feel satisfied, even with just soup! My husband is not much a soup man. He likes things that fill him up after a long day of work! He loves this soup and so will you!

I use my instant pot for this recipe! I have said it before, and I will say it many more times, BUY AN INSTANT POT!!! It is one of the most necessary kitchen tools for the modern kitchen! You can use a regular soup pot on the stove but I cooked this meal in about a total of 25 minutes so…. you understand.

Instant Pot Duo 60 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer, 6-QT, Stainless Steel/Black

Let’s get started so you can get eating!

Easy Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

What you will need:

  • 1 lbs ground Italian sausage
  • 4 medium sized red potatoes (cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup bacon (diced)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Dry Seasonings:

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions:

Set your instant pot to sauté mode. Toss in 1 tbsp olive oil and diced onion. Stir around until soft. Then add in your ground sausage and break up into small pieces with spoon/spatula. Once browned, add in minced garlic, bacon, and dry seasonings. Stir well and then add in potatoes. Mix everything together and deglaze the bottom of your instant pot with a small amount of chicken broth (this gets all of the flavor off of the bottom! DO NOT SKIP).

Add in the rest of your chicken broth and close instant pot lid. Make sure to set to “SEAL” and either do “manual mode” at 5 minutes OR soup mode at 5 minutes. Either works!

Once you release the pressure, remove the lid and set to sauté mode again. Add in kale and cover with lid. Let the kale cook down for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and add in heavy cream (you can substitute half and half or evaporated milk if needed). Continue to cook until everything is well mixed and combined. Taste and add more salt/pepper if needed!

I like to serve this soup with some French bread! If serving for supper, you can add a side salad and have a perfect meal!

This soup is so delicious and so easy to make in your instant pot! You don’t feel like poo after eating it and you finish feeling satisfied! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Happy homemaking and happy soup season!

Cranberry Cashew Salad

With the Holidays coming up, heavy food is definitely on the radar! Sometimes for lunch you may want to take it light in preparation, or just to give your stomach a break!

This salad is my FAVORITE salad of all time. My husband does not like salads and loved this one. I made this recipe based off of a salad I tried at a restaurant that was so expensive. So I wanted to try to make it myself, and I did so successfully!

It has yummy dried cranberries, cashews, sweet peppers, and my favorite, havarti cheese! All topped with a homemade ranch dressing that is easy and delicious!

Cranberry Cashew Salad

What you will need:

  • Greens (I love spring salad mix)
  • 1/4 cup of havarti cheese (diced)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup of cashew halves

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp ranch (any kind)
  • 1/2 milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed

Directions:

Mix in a larger bowl your greens, cheese, cranberries, cashews, and bell pepper.

In a small mason jar (or bowl) add in all of the dressing ingredients wnd shake well (or stir well).

Serve and you’re done! It’s that easy.

This is so delicious I promise! You can use another dressing if you please, however the thin ranch just gives it the flavor that it needs. So try it, I promise!

I also would serve for an appetizer the cranberries, cashews, cheese and peppers dredged in the dressing as like a cold salad! It would be so delicious and has festive colors too!

I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does! Let me know what you think! Happy homemaking!

Perfect Oven Roasted Potatoes

To be crispy, to be fluffy, that is the question. How to make a potato both crispy and fluffy at the same time? My perfect oven roasted potato recipe will tell you how to roast the perfect potato Every. Single. Time.

Finding the method to roast a potato perfectly was very important to me. My daddy is a potato-holic. He needs potatoes with every meal. You heard me. Needs.

Being Southern, he often turned to the good ole fattening mashed potato. So while I lived at home and often cooked dinner, I wanted to find a healthier alternative for this picky eater. And my oven roasted potatoes did the trick.

While I kept trying to find out how to get them crispy but also done on the inside, I went through many pans of half baked potatoes (yuck) to soggy ones (even yuckier).

FINALLY. I found the solution. Par-cooked then roasted. It left me with the fluffiest tender inside and the crispiest outside. And my daddy loved them! I hope you will too!

What I love about this recipe is it works for any type of potato and you can alter the seasonings based on the meal! When I make Italian chicken, I mix pesto and parmesan with them. When I make Mexican, I use a blend of cumin and chili powder. The following recipe is my simple, every meal roasted potato! So let’s get to business.

OVEN ROASTED POTATOES

What you will need:

  • About 4 medium-large sized red potatoes (diced into about 1″ cubes)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Dry seasonings:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Wash and dry your potatoes and then dice them into 1″ cubes (try to get them all around the same size so they will cook evenly).

Place them in a large microwaveable bowl and cover with salt (not included in dry seasonings above; this is just for par-cooking).

Fill bowl with water until about 1″ of water is above the potatoes. Microwave for 10 minutes.

Prepare a baking pan with aluminum foil. Once the potatoes are finished, drain the water and return to large bowl.

Add olive oil and dry seasonings and mix thoroughly. Spread out onto baking pan so that each potato has it’s own room (they’re claustrophobic).

Bake for 25-30 minutes until desired color is reached! (It helps to stir around about half way through so that every side is evenly cooked).

Once finished, try not to eat all of them before your family gets some!

I love to serve these potatoes with chicken, salmon, ice cream, whatever really that gives me an excuse to make them.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Happy homemaking!

Oven Baked BBQ Bacon Cheddar Chicken

Made this for dinner last night and my husband and I didn’t speak for 30 minutes. Not because we were angry. Because it was so delicious we literally could not stop eating it.

This oven baked bbq bacon cheddar chicken is everything you want in a family dinner dish. It’s easy to cook, easy to put together, and definitely easy to eat!

Even though it’s gluten free, you will feel a little guilty while eating it. You literally won’t be able to eat bbq chicken any other way!

BBQ BACON CHEDDAR CHICKEN

What you will need:

  • 1 lbs chicken breast or chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican shredded cheese)
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce (sweet baby rays is my favorite)
  • 1/4 cup diced bacon (freshly cooked or real bacon bits will work)
  • 3 stalks of green onion (topping)
  • Ranch dressing (drizzled for a topping; trust me)
  • Dry seasonings:

    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425°F.

    Slice about 4 chicken breasts in half and place in cast iron skillet [You can use a casserole dish too but I love using the skillet for this].

    Sprinkle dry seasonings over chicken so that each one is well coated. Then rub bbq sauce over chicken with rubber spatula or brush, making sure each one is well coated.

    Sprinkle cheese over the top and bacon bits. Place in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes [depending on how your oven cooks; ours was done around 25-26 minutes].

    Once finished, serve with chopped green onions and a drizzle of ranch!

    I served my bbq chicken with my delicious oven roasted potatoes and some southern green beans (which I will be sharing soon)! I hope y’all love it as much as my family does! Let me know what you think.

    Happy homemaking!!

    Homemade Fresh Pineapple Salsa (Gluten Free)

    For football and holiday parties season, I am always looking for delicious recipes that are easy to make, loving to my budget, and most importantly, DELICIOUS. I finally found my perfect fresh salsa that is a game changer!

    pineapple salsa

    One thing you will learn about me is I love sweet and spicy foods! I stumbled upon this recipe from a usual happenstance; a family party, needing to bring a food item, struggling in the bank, and going to my kitchen to piece together something that’s cheap, easy, and most importantly, delicious!

    This fresh pineapple salsa recipe is now a staple in my kitchen, my family parties, and my life! I no longer even can tolerate the thought of buying store bought salsa when I have this recipe at my fingertips!

    My husband is obsessed, my sister steals the leftovers, and I can’t get enough! What’s also great about this salsa recipe is that like so many other fine things in life, it gets better with age! I love to have this salsa as a healthy snack (with some delicious tortilla chips), paired alongside some homemade quesadillas, or with my easy burrito casserole (which I will be posting soon so stay posted!)

    Enough talk about this salsa, it’s time to hurry and try it so you can truly begin living!

    Fresh Pineapple Salsa Recipe

    What you will need:

    •  20 oz can of pineapples (chunk or whole it doesn’t matter)
    •  4 oz can of diced green chilis
    •  14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
    •  1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 tbsp diced pickled jalapenos
    • 1 tbsp red chili paste
    • 1/2 orange bell peppers
    • 1/2 red onion
    •  1/4 cup cilantro (fresh)

    Dry Seasonings for salsa:

    •  3/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin (dried)

    Directions for Salsa Recipe:

    For this recipe I use my countertop sized food processor that makes cooking so much easier! It’s quickly put together, you just press the lid to pulse, and it’s easy cleanup!

    Drain the can of pineapples and tomatoes and pulse together in the food processor. When desired consistency is met (I like my salsa very smooth), then remove mixture and place in a bowl and set aside.

    Roughly chop bell peppers, onion, and cilantro and place in food processor. Add minced garlic, red chili paste, jalapenos, and green chilis. Pulse together until smooth and then add to tomato and pineapple mixture!

    Stir well, add in all of the dry seasonings, and serve!

    You can eat right away (if you can’t wait) or it tastes best when refridgerated for about 24 hours! The longer it sits, the more delicious it gets!

    I hope you find this fresh pineapple salsa recipe easy, delicious, and a new staple in your homes as well! Let me know what you think, and as usual, Happy Homemaking!!!

    Stylish and Eye Catching Pioneer Woman 3 Cup Stack & Press Glass Bowl Chopper Fiona Floral,Speeds up Food Prep by Taking Care of the Chopping,Mincing and Mixing for You

    Crockpot vs Instant Pot: What’s the Deal?

    Definitely a question I have been asked before: what’s better? The crockpot or the instant pot? Let’s talk about pros, cons, and truths!

    Me posing with my loves….

    Okay, so the picture may be having you question some things about me. But to help clear up any confusion, I have posed with my crockpot and instant pot for one reason: THEY ARE MY LIFE.

    To compare the two would be akin to comparing your children: you love them both equally, for different reasons! So this post is not so much why you should purchase or own a crock pot versus an instant pot, but really my argument as to why BOTH are necessary for the modern homemaking mama!

    Crock pot

    Let’s start with O’ Faithful, the crock pot. So surely you have one of these in your home (whether it gets used or not). They are often a staple for the bridal shower or home warming part because so many have seen the benefits of having one. They are pretty affordable, even for the budgeter, which makes it definitely a must have kitchen tool. If you don’t have one, I am holding my Pioneer Woman crock pot which I LOVE because they have so many different prints to choose from. But all crockpots are awesome and totally worth investing in.

    But let’s talk about practicality. The crockpot opens soooo many doors for your home-cooking and is perfect for the busy stay-at-home mama or working mama. Whether you stay home or are working, finding the time to get dinner planned and cooked is always tough on these hectic days of doing every day tasks and taking care of your family. With the crock pot you can make so many delicious recipes, from overnight breakfast oats, slow-cooked pot roasts, and even decadent deserts! The crockpot is ideal for the working mama who can put the meal in during the morning rush and come home to a hot, finished meal!

    Some of my favorite crock pot meals are classic pot roast, chili, vegetable soup, and French dip sandwiches! I don’t know what it is, but there is just something so satisfying about a crock pot meal; they are so warm and cozy, it just makes you feel at home and comforted!

    So, all of this to say. Get a crockpot or start putting the one hiding in your cabinet in the box to use! They make your life so much easier.

    Hamilton Beach 8-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker With Digital Timer, Dishwasher-Safe Crock & Lid, Silver (33480)

    Instant pot

    Here’s the thing. When I first heard of the instant pot, I rolled my eyes thinking, oh great another fad to spend money on that I will use once and then it will collect dust in the cabinet (like the air fryer for me). Everyone at my job was raving about it and honestly I was too timid to try it.

    However, Pioneer Woman came out with an instant pot which peaked my curiosity (because I want to own everything she makes; I know I have a problem, pray for my husband). So I asked for one for Christmas and thus, my cooking truly life began.

    After being afraid of using the instant pot (due to scary stories posted on social media) I finally took the step to try my first intant pot recipe! I tried an Instant Pot Cubed Steak recipe that was so quick and delicious it blew my mind and changed my life forever!

    So the instant pot is pretty much a pressure cooking tool that also has soooo many different uses! There is actually a slow cooking mode on it that allows it to act like a crock pot if you need it to! But what would take the crock pot 8 hours to make, your instant pot can cook in 1 hour (yes you read that correctly).

    It makes your meal taste as though it has been cooking all day, and yet some recipes take only around 10 minutes (like my gluten free tomato soup you can find in my recipes). Not only can it cook meals quickly, but you can make hard boiled eggs in 5 minutes, cook baked potatoes in 10 minutes, and even fully cook chicken and pork in 12 minutes!

    I mean, it is definitely worth investing in (even though it can seem pricey to some). It made my life so much easier as a wife, mama, and full-time student when I was getting my master’s degree.

    Get you an instant pot, I promise it is worth it!

    Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer

    crock pot vs. instant pot

    My final statement is that there is no versus between the two there is only that the crock pot and the instant pot are necessary for the modern day homemaking mama.

    I use my crockpot when I have a busy afternoon planned (because you still have kitchen prep with the instant pot) and I use my instant pot when I want a delicious meal cooked in such a little time (or I forgot to plan or start a dinner that takes too long to cook).

    Stop letting busy days and no time lead you to fast food meals and spending way too much money on eating out (this was our life before), and start using tools that make your life easier and also makes your home feel a little more like home with delicious home-cooked meals and dinners around the table.

    Let me know what you think, some of your favorite crock pot and instant pot meals, and most of all: Happy homemaking!

    Egg Roll in a Bowl (Gluten Free)

    Y’ALL. This recipe is a game changer for me! I love Asian food; Chinese, Japanese, you name it, it’s my favorite food. However, when I went gluten free I felt like I lost the opportunity to just go to the Chinese restaurant and get what I want. So I had to learn how to make it at home (which those recipes will come soon). However, I have yet to attempt a gluten free egg roll because… how? So! This recipe is perfect for a gluten free, low carb lunch that reminds you of those delicious egg rolls (that sometimes are just a tad too greasy)! It’s also super easy and customizable to whatever your taste is! I found this recipe and made it my own and I’m so excited to share it with you. Let’s get to it!

    Egg Roll in a Bowl

    What you will need:

    • 1 lbs ground meat (beef, pork, or chicken) (my favorite is chicken)
    • 1 package of slaw mix
    • 2 stalks of celery (diced)
    • 5 stalks of green onion (3 diced for mixture, 2 for topping)
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce (Gluten Free)
    • 1 tbsp red chili paste or siracha (add more or less depending on your spice level)
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp vegetable oil
    • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • sesame seeds (for topping, optional)

    Dry Seasonings:

    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ginger (dried or sub 1 tbsp fresh ginger)
    • 1/4 tsp allspice (optional but super delicious)
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder

    Directions:

    In a soup pan or deep sauté pan, heat sesame and vegetable oil to medium-high heat. Toss in diced celery, green onion, and minced garlic and stir. Then toss in minced meat of choice, chopping up finely with spatula to make it very fine. Once the meat is mostly cooked, add in slaw mix and stir. Then add the following: soy sauce, red chili paste, honey, rice wine vinegar, and all dry seasonings. Stir well and cook until the cabbage in the slaw mix is cooked down and softened! When done, put in a bowl and top with dice green onions and sesame seeds! 

    Total cook time takes about 25 minutes of prep and cooking! It’s so fast and easy, and most importantly super delicious. 

    I hope you enjoy this recipe! Comment with your thoughts and pictures and let me know how it went! Love you guys and happy homemaking!