Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cheesy Pancetta Croissant Breakfast Casserole

Christmas morning is a time to spend with family not cooking in the kitchen which is why I love make ahead breakfast casseroles that you can just pop in the oven. My Pancetta casserole is a spicy addition to the breakfast table. If you prefer a more traditional casserole substitute ground pork sausage or bacon for the pancetta. Either way is delicious!

    8 oz. Pancetta
   1 1/4 cups (5 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
    1 teaspoon table salt
    6 green onions, sliced
    1 (13.22-oz.) package mini croissants (about 24), torn

    Vegetable cooking spray
    3 cups milk
    1 cup heavy cream
    5 large eggs, lightly beaten
    2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Mozzarella cheese


1. Cook Pancetta 4 minutes in a skillet over medium-high heat, drain on paper towels. Cut into bit size pieces. Toss together Pancetta, Parmesan, and next 3 ingredients; arrange in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together milk and next 2 ingredients; pour over sausage mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. Uncover casserole, and sprinkle with Mozzarella. Bake 45 minutes or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Olive Tapenade Brie in Puff Pastry

The holiday season is here with all the wonderful family dinners and entertaining. I love to make brie a little more fancy by baking in puff pastry. Purchased puff pastry is so easy to use with wonderful professional result that anyone even a beginning cook can wow their guests. I like to make different spreads for my baked brie, sometimes sweet and sometimes savory. If you love olives this is your baked brie. You can either make your own olive tapenade, you can find the recipe below or save time by purchasing store made tapenade. Decorate with slice olives creating a delicious tasting, easy, appetizer.  

1/2 package of frozen puff pastry (one sheet)
1  egg
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup fig spread
1/4 cup homemade tapenade or purchased
1 (8 ounce) Brie Round
sliced olives

Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix egg and water. Unfold pastry sheet on lightly floured surface.  Roll into 12" square. Cut pastry to make a 10 inch circle. Spread olive tapenade spread to within 1 inch of pastry edge.  Place cheese round on top. Brush edges with egg mixture.  Fold two opposite sides over cheese. Trim remaining two sides to 2" from edge of cheese.  Fold these two side on the Brie. Press edges to seal. Place seam side down on baking sheet.  Decorate top with rolled out reaming pastry.  I used a mini leaf cookie cutter for a fall them. Brush with egg mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until golden.  Let stand 1 hour. Serve with crackers.

Olive Tapenade
cup pitted kalamata olives (you can use any vary of olives)
1 clove chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon herbs de provence

In mini food processor, combine olives garlic and process until olives are from a spread. Add oil, capers and herbs de Provence. Process until blended.  

Chipotle Turkey Chili

After Thanksgiving I use the leftover turkey to make a big batch of this hot Chili freezing in individual containers to enjoy during the busy holiday season. After a long day of baking and preparing for Christmas I can sit back, relax, serving this delicious Chili for dinner. If you don't want it really hot substitute 1 chopped jalapeno pepper for the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, just as good but with out the kick!

Chipotle Turkey Chili
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 onion, diced
    1/4 cup whiskey
    One 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
    One 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    Two 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
    Two cups chicken broth
    1 red pepper, diced
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (use less if desired)
    3 cups cut up cooked turkey
    1/4 cup masa harina
    5 limes, 1 juiced, 4 cut into wedges
    sharp Cheddar, grated
    sour cream
    1/2 bunch fresh cilantro


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes until the onions soften.  Add 1 1/2 cup chicken broth, reserving the rest, then cook for a couple of minutes to reduce. Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt and chipotles and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and cook for 1 hour. Add cooked turkey.

Combine the masa harina with the rest of the chicken broth and stir to make a paste. Add this into the chili, along with the lime juice. Stir and cook until thick, 10 more minutes.

Serve with the grated cheese, sour cream, diced tomatoes, cilantro and lime wedges for squeezing.