Pecan Peanut Butter Waffles

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I posted this to The Onyx Plate’s FB page last night, but just in case you are not following me on Facebook (which you need to *wink*), I wanted to make sure you were able to see it. In true Onyx Plate loving style…I ended up with heart shaped Pecan Peanut Butter Waffles topped with local strawberries and pecans. The strawberries were frozen from last year’s crop that Mom and I picked, and the pecans are from family friends.

You can see the post about picking Strawberries at Apples Farm here in Gibsonville, NC, by clicking here.

This wasn’t difficult at all to whip these up using a Waffle Mix. If you didn’t want to use a mix, you can use the most amazing Peanut Butter Pancake recipe by clicking here, and use that recipe to make your waffles.

On hand, as always, was my Lowe’s Foods brand Complete Pancake and Waffle Mix. This is one of the best tasting mixes that I have ever come across. Lowe’s Foods brand items really are good quality if you haven’t tried them yet. On to the recipe! *smiles*

Pecan Peanut Butter Waffles

  • Your favorite Waffle Mix (my mix called for 2 cups of mix if you want to gauge the portions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • crushed strawberries

Directions:

  1. Prepare the waffle mix as directed on box.
  2. Stir in 1/4 cup of the pecans and all of the peanut butter. To match the original consistency of the plain waffle mix, after adding the PB I added about a 1/4 cup more of water to thin it back out.
  3. Cook in the waffle maker, remove, and top with strawberries and pecans. Enjoy!

Happy, Healthy, and Homemade Apple Oatmeal

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I’m sure you, just like the majority of the human population, get bored with the everyday breakfast choices you have available to you. Sure, you can grab a pace of instant oatmeal, but does that really satisfy your inner culinary god? I think not. *smiles* In this case, you absolutely have to try this! I was looking around online for some healthy breakfast ideas and ran across this Apple Oatmeal.

I highly recommend you try this recipe. I’ll tell you the recipe exactly how I made it. You know that I encourage you to add as you wish…maybe some pecans, walnuts, honey, etc (this will change the nutritional info though, so adjust accordingly).

Oh crud! Come to think of it….I forgot the cinnamon. Oh well, I can dash it on top before eating it in the morning. I have included it in your instructions though….*wink*

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Happy, Healthy, and Homemade Apple Oatmeal

Makes 4 servings – 4 WW Points Plus per serving – 180 calories per serving

  • 2 apples, cored and sliced (feel free to chop them up smaller if you want) – I like the skin personally, and I chose Braeburn apples for a bit of sweetness.
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in large pot (I used my large dutch oven), and add apple slices. Allow to cook in the pot until golden, or as soft as you want them. Mine took about 15 minutes or so with the lid on, and regular stirring.

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2. Add the water, and bring to a boil.

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3. Add oats, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the oats and water begin to thicken up.

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4. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and the milk.

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5. Serve and enjoy!

The instructions say it reheats well, and I’ll be able to testify to that tomorrow when I have it for breakfast. *smiles*

Fit for a Mardi Gras King….Cake.

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I have a super good friend of mine that is in love with everything Mardi Gras, and I know she looks forward to it every year. Well, this year, I decided to try my hand at a King Cake. I also knew that I would need to get her honest opinion as well since she would be the closest thing to an expert that I had here locally. *smiles*

Let’s begin with – What is a King Cake?

I think it will be easier if I let KingCake.com explain what a King Cake is to you…

“The King Cake is believed to have originated in France around the 12th century. These early Europeans celebrated the coming of the three wise men bearing gifts twelve days after Christmas calling it the Feast of the epiphany, Twelfth Night, or King’s Day.

The main part of the celebration was the baking of a King’s Cake to honor the three Kings. The cakes were made circular to portray the circular route used by the kings to get to the Christ Child, which was taken to confuse King Herod who was trying to follow the wise men so he could kill the Christ Child. In these early King Cakes a bean, pea, or coin was hidden inside the cake. The person who got the hidden piece was declared King for the day or was said to have good luck in the coming year.

In Louisiana, Twelfth Night also signifies the beginning of the carnival season which ends with Mardi Gras Day. The bean, pea and the coin have been replaced by a small plastic baby to symbolize the Christ Child. The person who gets the baby is expected to carry on the carnival festivities by hosting the next King Cake party.”

I found the recipe I used at AllRecipes.com and instead of making the dough by hand, I allowed my bread machine to do the heavy work for me on the dough cycle. I still haven’t tried that dough thing where you let it rise and do things by hand….I’ll admit it, I’m kinda chickening out on that one while I have my bread machine. *huge smiles* One day though, I promise.

It was quite easy to roll the dough out, and I had help from the hub with getting the ingredients together and the filling made. I did learn, however, before I put icing on, I need to brush the excess flour off the dough. Otherwise, my icing doesn’t stick. Next time I will know, and you will see the excess flour in the picture where the bright colored icing didn’t stick. *hehe, oops*

Well, my friend had a piece the next day at work, and I braced myself for her honest opinion. She said that the dough was spot on. *go me!* She then said the filling was tasty (maybe not the term, but she liked it *smiles*). Then the truth came out….the dough was denser than the King Cakes she was accustomed to. It ended up more like a bread texture, than a coffee cake/pull-apart kind of bread. Now, like I said, I’m not a bread maker, nor will I ever claim to be. BUT, I can’t help but wonder if the bread machine had anything to do with this. Was it over-mixed? Did I mess with it too much when rolling it out? Maybe it was just cooked too long? Hmmm….One will never know.

Final verdict…I did enjoy this cake/pastry. The hub decorated one, and I decorated the other.  Will I make it again? Maaaaaaybeeeeeeee next year for Mardi Gras. *wink*

***The recipe makes TWO cakes, and if you get 16 slices out of each cake, it’s 6 WW points plus per slice.***

Mardi Gras King Cake

PASTRY:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

FILLING:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
Directions
  1. Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  5. To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
  6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10×16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

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Chicken Sausage Breakfast Bread Pudding…super easy!

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You have to love it when recipes off the top of your head come together perfectly. This surprisingly delicious breakfast treat is something I will be making many more mornings in the future, and quite possibly will be fixing these as easy breakfasts to take to work with me.

I’ve been doing my best to count my points with Weight Watchers, and this steers me towards making healthier recipes. I took a look in my pantry and came up with this little recipe….few ingredients, simply delicious.

Here locally I have access to a BJ’s Wholesale Club. They sell Harvestland Chicken Breakfast Sausages in their freezer section, which are only 3 points for 2 links. Not bad I’d say for something super flavorful. I’ve used these bad boys for breakfast and also the hub has prepared them in a marinara recently. They worked well for both breakfast and non-breakfast. Now, let’s get on to the recipe!

Introducing…. *smiles*

Chicken Sausage Breakfast Bread Pudding

***Makes four Jumbo Muffin sizes/4 servings – 6 WW points plus per serving (could lower the points by subbing egg whites)

  • 6 Harvestland Chicken Sausage Breakfast links
  • 5 eggs, scrambled together, uncooked
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 Thomas’ Mini-Bagels, separated

Directions:

In a jumbo muffin pan, the following goes in each one…

  • Tear up one half of a bagel
  • 1 1/2 sausage links, chopped up
  • 1/4 of the diced green onions

Scramble the eggs together, and then equally pour them in the muffin tin on top of the bagel, sausage, and onion in each one.

Stir each of them around a bit to coat all of the bagel and sausage in the egg.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Enjoy!

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More Bacon Please! Bacon Biscuit Muffins

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Confused? Yeah…me too. But, I couldn’t find a better name for these little guys. I posted very recently about the BEC Pockets, and the day before I had made these Bacon Biscuit Muffins. Don’t worry, I don’t eat like this normally. It sure is nice though to get up on the weekend and have time to actually prepare and cook a warm breakfast. The humdrum 5am buzzer and lucky to grab a pack of oatmeal workday mornings are gruesome. Nothing better than getting to cook in my opinion. *huge smiles*

I believe I have posted about these previously. Honestly though, I just want to drive home the point that it is so easy to get creative with breakfast. We get so tied down to processed “crap” for breakfast on our busy work mornings that we forget about the other options. Sure, you can make this healthier and all…but the point still stands. Simple, homemade, and warm in the morning is good for the breakfast soul.

Bacon Biscuit Muffins

  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese (your choice of cheese) + a little extra
  • 6 pieces of bacon (more or less, this is 1 pc per jumbo muffin)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Spray muffin tin with baking spray. I used a jumbo muffin tin.
  2. Put one biscuit in each muffin hole.
  3. Next, cook bacon to desired doneness. I preferred crispy since it was going to be mixed with the eggs. It would hold it’s own better in the mix.
  4. Add the eggs, onions, salt and pepper to the skillet with the bacon and cook until the eggs are soft set (just before the doneness of how you would serve them).
  5. Stir in cheese, and spoon the mixture evenly amongst each biscuit.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. You are looking for the biscuit to have risen and the edges to be golden brown if you can see the edges.
  7. About 5 minutes before being done, sprinkle the extra cheese on top of each one to have a melty golden topping. *smiles*
  8. Finish baking and serve with your favorite cup of coffee! Enjoy!

***Adapt this recipe for more people by increasing the ingredients. I have faith in you…eyeball it. *wink*

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BEC Breakfast Pouches–Perfection!

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It’s no secret that I LOVE bacon…however, I try not to keep it around so often, because I could literally consume so much it would be very bad for my health. It’s also no secret that I like to experiment with wrapping food in doughs for breakfast.

Sooo…this leads me to today’s recipe.

I had a small can of biscuits, bacon, cheese, and eggs…what other option than bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits was there? Ahhhh, my own homemade version of the classic breakfast hot pouch. As I typically say…why not?

This was so simple, and I encourage you to try it next time you want to mix things up a bit for a weekend breakfast.

BEC Breakfast Pouches

  • 1 can of biscuits (Your choice of brand and style…I would probably recommend buttermilk biscuit though)…Or make your own. *smiles*
  • 1 strip of bacon per pouch you are making
  • 1 tablespoon of cheese per pouch you are making
  • 1 egg for every TWO pouches you are making
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Flatten out each biscuit as thin as you can get it without breaking the dough. Refer to the picture below for approximate thickness.
  3. Cook bacon in strips, and drain on paper towel to get rid of the majority of the grease.
  4. Scramble eggs with salt and pepper to taste , just until the soft set stage – just past the runny stage (use a tidbit of the bacon grease to keep the eggs from sticking and for more flavor if you would like, or keep it healthy and use cooking spray)
  5. On top of each biscuit dough round, divide the eggs amongst them.
  6. Then break each bacon piece into fourths and put the equivalent of one bacon strip per biscuit on top of the eggs.
  7. Sprinkle each one with cheese, being careful to keep everything in the middle of the biscuit, and leaving an edge of dough for folding.
  8. Next, fold each side of the dough over like a pouch (see below photos), and set them on a pan, lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray, seam side down.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes. You might want to watch them when you get to the 18-20 minute mark. The biscuits that I had were flaky, and may brown different than some of the other types of biscuit doughs. You want them to be a nice golden brown, just like a normal biscuit when you bake them. Enjoy!

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Old Mill of Guilford – a great Foodie Adventure!

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There’s a lot to say about different kinds of Foodie Adventures. It can be as simple as a new store/restaurant or as elaborate as touring a processing facility. If it involves food, it can be turned into a Foodie Adventure. We should all try to have these more often so that we can take pride in the culinary world around us everyday. It’s something we all have in common, so why not embrace it and enjoy it!?

My wonderful Uncle was in recently for Thanksgiving, and his friend back home loves grits. What better place to buy grits for him to take home than an a fully operational, water-powered, 18th century grist mill? On to the Old Mill of Guilford we went!

If you’ve seen any stories about the Old Mill of Guilford on PBS, or other news stations, you will notice that they are careful to make you feel as if it is deep seated in the country, peaceful, etc. Don’t be fooled…it is literally seated right off of Hwy 68. In fact, the mill was there before the highway, and when planning was done for Hwy 68, they ran it right between the mill and it’s millpond causing necessary modifications to be made in order to stay functioning. Now I’m obviously not from the time when that happened in 1932, but I do wonder if there was any controversy. It seems a shame for beautiful history to be disrupted in that manner.

Their website gives the best summation of the mill…

“The Old Mill of Guilford was founded in North Carolina on Beaver Creek in 1767 to grind grain for the early settlers of what is now Guilford County. Today, the mill continues to produce all-natural, stone-ground, whole grain foods, just as it has for over 250 years. The mill produces all natural corn meals and grits along with a wide range of mixes including: sweet potato and oat bran muffin mixes, gingerbread, Scottish scones, Scottish shortbread, and heidesand cookie mix (a German shortbread). Visit the Old Mill Store for these products and other fine foods and crafts from North Carolina.”

The little store inside the mill had a ton of mixes it seemed, along with many North Carolina crafts and a few pottery items, and I surprisingly only walked away with two Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffin Mixes, and two Corn Muffin mixes. One of each went to a good friend, so I wasn’t being that much of a pig. *smiles*

I have tried both mixes at this point, and my friend has tried the blueberry muffin mix. She felt the blueberry muffin mix came out a bit dry. She made them to specs, and when I made them, I added more blueberries and chopped pecans (you know I love my pecans). I didn’t find mine to be that dry, but a little butter never hurts a muffin in my book. To be specific, that Land o’ Lakes Cinnamon Sugar Butter never ever ever ever ever ever hurts a muffin or anything for that matter. *huge smiles*

But, the real star of this story, and sadly I don’t have photographs of them quite yet, is the Corn Muffin Mix! In my book, this beats Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix hands down – I know, I’m sounding like a crazy person now. It was the perfect amount of coarseness, of heartiness, of sweetness. It was just perfect and worth the $4.95 for two pounds of mix.

You can view all of their products by clicking here. They ship their products and a lot of local fresh restaurants use their products. I know my favorite Ironhen Café is one of them! Look at those Shrimp and Grits (I’d bet money they are from Old Mill of Guilford) to the right! They were delicious at Ironhen. I know another restaurant that is fantastic, is J. Pepper’s Southern Grille. They have been on television a lot using their products. Love them as well!

Most every bag of goodness you get from Old Mill of Guilford will have a recipe tucked inside of it. It really is a wonderful little place full of history and the highway isn’t that annoying. *smiles*

Here are a few shots of the muffin mix…if you’re local, give them a try and pick up some goodies straight from the South for your loved ones this Christmas!

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Sundays with Friends: Postponed today for good reason…

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Today’s Sundays with Friends is brought to you by………..

Oh yeah, I didn’t get one together for you today…I was at Virginia Beach all weekend for some much needed rest and relaxation, and I had a lovely time.

*huge smiles*

I have soooooooooo much to share with you though! So many delicious dishes, and beautiful sights. Stay tuned!

For now…take a look at this perfectly poached egg on top of my Blue Crab Benedict at Catch 31 on Virginia Beach. There aren’t words to describe this dish….none at all….nope….nada.…(silence).

Can’t forget the amazing Cheesecake we ordered after recommendation from the Chef on the previous day’s lunch.  Yeah, so we had Cheesecake at 10:30 am before heading back home.  But, it made the drive back home so much more pleasurable.  I can’t wait to make it back to Catch 31!  Surely one of the most wonderful restaurants I have ever eaten at…atmosphere, waitstaff, Chef, and food!

Catch 31 on Urbanspoon

Vlog: Simple Egg in a Cup

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It’s Vlog time again!!!

I hope you enjoy this short instructional video on how to make a Simple Egg in a Cup. It’s so simple and quick, it’s something you could make every morning.

The angle of the video reminds me of the cooking videos on the local news when I was growing up. Just a vision of the food, because it’s really all you need to see…

Enjoy!