I’ve been teaching cooking classes at the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, and recently we did a series on Italian regional cooking. One of the recipes that made an impression on me was a Tuscan Pine Nut Cake. Very moist and flavorful, this was the kind of cake to serve not just after a meal, but with a cup of tea in the afternoon, or with a glass of champagne for brunch. A simple cake, but it has a lot possibilities.
Being a chef and recipe developer, I couldn’t just be happy with that recipe. I made the cake again, but tweaked it here and there, and then went back and tweaked it again.
This is my version of the Tuscan Pine Nut Cake, not quite original, but so, so good.
This is the kind of meal I like to order when I go out to breakfast. I used to make this kind of breakfast at home, but when you have a hungry kid with zero patience, you go for the quick option most of the time. But the great thing about this Breakfast Sausage and Home Fries Casserole is that you can make it the night before, then bake it in the morning!
Once again, I am working with Johnsonville Sausage to create a new recipe for a holiday casserole. For me, the best part of the holiday season is watching my daughter unwrap her Christmas gifts. Paper is ripped and tossed at warp speed. Cats pounce on the discarded ribbons with abandon. I sit there groggy, taking photos and enjoying the ear to ear grins and cries of joy and excitement.
But the minute the rampage subsides, my daughter will turn and look at me, asking “What’s for breakfast?”
This is where having an assembled casserole ready to baked is so wonderful. Whether it is Christmas morning, New Year’s day or any old day, all you have to do is turn on the oven, pop the casserole in and sit back and enjoy your family while it bakes.
I like to buy ready to eat sausage links and patties because of my impatient and hungry child. I used Johnsonville Fully Cooked Original Recipe Breakfast Sausage for this casserole. If you do not eat pork, they also have a delicious turkey breakfast sausage, which will work just fine in this recipe.
If you are making this casserole the night before, assemble it completely, like the photo below.
Cover the casserole tightly with foil and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Cooks Tip: If using a mandolin style slicer for the potatoes, slice them directly into a bowl of cold water. This stops discoloration and will crisp up the potatoes. If cutting by hand, place them into cold water after cutting.
Who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies? Who doesn’t like peanut butter cups? Put them together and you have these heavenly Dessert Hack Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cups!
I’m working with Nestle Toll House on this post, to tell you all about Speed Scratch baking. Speed what, you say? Speed Scratch, or utilizing a convenience product as a component in an otherwise from scratch recipe. I don’t know about you, but I am crazy busy most of the time. As much as I would like to cook and bake from scratch all the time, it is not going to happen. Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Bar Dough is the perfect dessert hack. It can be a base for a cookie bar, a crust, a topping and so much more. In this case, I transformed it into a peanut butter cup.
Nestle Toll House Ultimates Chocolate Chip Lovers Cookie Bar Dough are pre-cut and easy to break apart, making it perfect for last minute desserts or just as a treat. I love that you can break off one or two cookies, bake them, eat them and not have to worry about eating too many cookies. If there are cookies to be eaten in my house, I eat them. And my waistline is a testament to that.
People who have know me for a long time know that I have a love for cows. In my home you will find cow bowls with little pink udders for the feet, a cow cookie jar, cow salt and peppers shakers. You get the idea.I’ve always loved their big eyes and gentle nature, but wasn’t a collector of cow items until one fateful day. While talking with my friend Victoria, she called me “mujer,” which is woman in spanish. I heard the word “Moo-head,” which prompted me to say “Don’t be calling me a cow!” After laughing at me for an eternity, Victoria explained she said mujer not moo-head. Since then I have received cow themed gifts from both Victoria and her sister Rebecca. And I buy them for my cow collection, which is always growing.
At the county fair, one of the first places I head to is the nursery barn, hoping to see those cute little baby cows! Last year my daughter and I almost got to see a calf being born, but missed it by a few minutes. Mama was in very active labor when we arrived, but just like we human mamas, we have that baby when that baby is ready to be had! We checked back in a few hours and there on the straw was a skinny little calf resting from its journey into this world.
I am working with DairyGood.Org, a website where you can find all things dairy. They have just released a brand new cookbook, The Dairy Good Cookbook: Everyday Comfort Food from America’s Dairy Farm Families. This is the first book from dairy farmers and those who bring dairy products from around the world to your table to share wholesome dairy ingredients.
This book features more than 100 recipes that showcase the unique tastes and versatility of dairy – from cheese and yogurt to milk and butter. The book celebrates the nation’s more than 47,000 dairy farm families and their contributions to our American life.
As I read the profiles of the dairy farmers included in this book, what struck me most was that they were almost all multi-generational family farms. The children help out by doing chores around the farm. Some of the children have returned to the farm after having other careers in the city. One farm, which was started in 1875 in the countryside, now is next door to the city of Milwaukee, which has expanded in the 140 years the farm has been in operation.
In Moreno Valley, CA, about 1 1/2 hours from my home, is the farm of Brad and Sally Scott. California is in an epic drought period, but the Scott farm has learned to work around that. They use treated wastewater and rainwater to irrigate their crops. They grow 70% of the food the herd of 1,100 Holstein cows need. And they generate their own electricity with solar panels mounted of the feed shed. This century old farm is almost completely self-sufficient.
There are so many delicious recipes compiled in this cookbook from the dairy farmers themselves. One recipe I will be making soon is the Pumpkin Date Stack Cake with Mascarpone Frosting. Pumpkin puree is available year round, so I don’t think I will wait until fall to make it!
The Dairy Good Cookbook: Everyday Comfort Food from America’s Dairy Farm Families is available nationwide wherever books are sold or you can purchase online using the links below. And visit DairyGood.org to learn more about the goodness of dairy foods and the farmers who bring them to us.
Though the Dairy Good Cookbook, dairy farmers share their secret (and not so secret) stories, traditions, and family recipes that have been passed down through generations. For a chance to win a copy of the Dairy Good Cookbook and a $75 gift card, share a dairy recipe or dish (made with milk, cheese and/or yogurt) with a story of how it’s passed down through the generations in your family, or is tied to a special tradition or occasion meaningful to you.
This article is sponsored by Dairy Good. All opinions and text are my own.
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Before the technological world took over, kids often played in an imaginary world. A world where you had tea parties with all your favorite stuffed animals or battled the evil dragon with swords made from sticks. Using Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough, my daughter was able to plan and enjoy a lovely tea party with all of her furry friends.
Nestle Toll House Refrigerated Cookie Dough, found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, provides convenient and delicious cookie dough for any occasion. Having cookie dough already portioned out makes it so easy for little hands to work with.
Making Chocolate Chip Tea Cakes is so simple when using this dough. I found the a seasonal Springtime Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies with pink and yellow chips at my local grocery store. With such festive colors these cookies are perfect for a tea party or Easter dinner.
Bake the cookies at 350° F for 18 – 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned and baked through.
Garnish with powdered sugar if desired.
This post contains is a sponsored post. I may receive compensation in the form of monetary compensation or product compensation in exchange for my review. I take pride in reviewing only products that fit my brand and will be beneficial to my readers. And while this post is sponsored all the opinions are my own.