Debbie's Quick Bread (Mmmmm!)

This bread is so YUM! A friend of mine gave me the recipe years ago, and recently, when I was really wanting some BREAD or rolls to go with dinner, I dug through my RECIPES and found this lost TREASURE.  The recipe is easy (no mixer required!) and tastes FAB—basically like a dinner roll, but it's all baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Debbie's Quick Bread
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons yeast (I use the rapid-rise for this recipe)
4 tablespoons sugar
5 cups flour, divided
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
4 tablespoons oil

In a bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar and let brew. In another bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups flour and salt. Add the eggs and oil and yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Add the remaining flour and stir until combined. Mixture will be sticky. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. DO NOT KNEAD! Put in a 9 x 13-inch pan prepared with nonstick spray and let rise a second time, covered, until dough is to the top of the pan, about 30 to 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes and serve.

TIP: We like ours spread with butter and, for added goodness, jam or honey.


Chicken Sausage Pasta

OK, so we buy stuff from Costco. And well, you get A LOT of whatever you buy. Soooo, sometimes I try to come up with different ways to use the bulk FOOD that we get, you know, instead of just preparing it as INTENDED. That is where this recipe comes in. And let me tell ya, it was DELISH, not to mention extremely easy!

Chicken Sausage Pasta
3 or 4 link chicken sausage links (mine are from Costco!)
Olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Garlic salt and pepper
About 8 ounces or so of thin spaghetti, cooked according to directions
1/2 to 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Slice the sausage into rounds and then sauté in a large frying pan with a touch of olive oil. Remove from pan when browned and set aside.

In the same pan, sauté the veggies until crisp-tender with a little more oil and some dashes of garlic salt and pepper. Add the sausage slices back to pan, as well as the cooked spaghetti and toss to coat. Toss in the Parmesan cheese as well. Serve with more Parmesan on top if desired.

TIP: If pasta seems a little dry, toss in a bit more olive oil or some butter. Mmmmm! Also, if you want a stronger garlic flavor, add some minced garlic to your veggies toward the end of their cooking time. A clove or two would be perfect!


Sweet Potato and Quinoa Cakes

I've seen several recipes for these LITTLE "cakes" on Pinterest, so I finally broke down and tried my own version. They were so EASY to put together, and the kiddos thought they were pretty TASTY too. I was happy because combined with veggies on the side, they made a really yummy and HEALTHY meal!

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Cakes
1/3 large sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon thyme (fresh or dried!)
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups cooked quinoa

In a frying pan, sauté the onions in the olive oil until tender and slightly browned. Stir in the garlic and thyme when the onions are almost done.

In a bowl, combine the onions, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. Form into small patties and then cook in frying pan with a touch of butter until browned on both sides. Serve warm.

TIP: I topped mine with a dollop of sour cream and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, but they were wonderful without as well!


Roasted Lemon Brussels Sprouts

I'm always looking for new ways to prepare VEGGIES, and this one turned out pretty tasty! They were very SIMPLE, and super REFRESHING. I will definitely make this again. And again. And again. :)

Roasted Lemon Brussels Sprouts
Olive oil
Brussels Sprouts (as many as you need!)
1 lemon
Kosher salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with olive oil; set aside.

Prepare Brussels sprouts by removing and discarding the stems. If they are large, halve or quarter them. Spread Brussels sprouts in prepared pan and then zest and juice the lemon over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat in pan. Drizzle with a touch more olive oil if desired or needed. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached—like when you can pierce one easily with a fork. (I however like nice and brown edges!)

TIP: Another great addition to this recipe would be garlic!


Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

We love those yummy CHOCOLATE cookies topped with marshmallows that Martha Stewart does, so when I saw this recipe on the blog Our Best Bites, I knew I had to try their VERSION. They did not disappoint! Luckily I had neighbors to SHARE them with, otherwise I would have eaten the ENTIRE batch myself. (Well, I might have given a few to the kiddos . . . maybe.)

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
(Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites)

1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
2 eggs
12 large marshmallows
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake mix, shortening, and eggs until well combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and bake on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat for about 8 to 10 minutes. While the cookies are baking, cut the marshmallows in half. When the cookies are done, remove from the oven and put a marshmallow half, cut side down, on top and return to the oven for a minute or two, or until the marshmallow puffs up. Remove from oven and gently push each marshmallow down and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat all of the ingredients together until smooth, light, and fluffy. Pipe over the marshmallows using a large tip. Makes 24 cookies.