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This little piggy went to the market. These little piggies jumped into my breakfast pie. Just like with ham and cheese stuff’n puff, your houseguests will return. Add a side of toast or fresh fruit and it’s the quintessential brunch filled with eggs, bacon, sausage links, ham, and melty cheese. And look at how many farming industries you are supporting with this one recipe: pig, dairy, and chicken farmers!

3 piggies in a breakfast pie

All the breakfast meats in this dish seem like a lot of work for one groggy morning in the kitchen but here’s how to make it easy on yourself. When you fry too many sausage links (and maybe bacon) on a Sunday morning before you leave for a week-long vacation, freeze all those extras. When you are ready to make this breakfast, buy a package of precooked, diced ham.

If you don’t have cooked bacon in your freezer, just fry five strips and chop them into the egg mixture. Easy as [pork] pie.

3 piggies in a breakfast pie

5 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup milk

1/4 cup fresh celery or broccoli, chopped (optional)

1 package (6 ounce) STOVE TOP stuffing mix

3/4 cup diced cooked ham

7 sausage links (or patties), cooked and diced

5 strips cooked bacon, cooked and chopped

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided into two (1/2 cup) measurements

Bake it:

Get your oven to a piping hot 375˚.

In a really big bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sour cream and whisk until combined. Add milk and whisk until everything is blended. Stir in celery (or broccoli), stuffing mix, ham, bacon, sausage, and 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Pour into a greased 9-inch pie plate, 9×9 square pan, 9-inch tart pan, or a 2-quart casserole dish. Cover loosely with foil. I like the non-stick kind so the egg mixture doesn’t stick to it.

Bake 60-68 minutes, or until completely heated through the middle. Remove from oven, remove foil, and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese over the top. Bake uncovered another 5 minutes, or just until cheese is melted and slightly browning.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Sweet swine wishes,

Staci

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Leftover baked potatoes can come back the next day as baked potatoes. But when there’s a fried solution to getting them back on your plate, let’s take the road to crispy town.

loaded fried baked potatoes

The recipe isn’t precise and other than the butter, olive oil, and the potatoes you can modify these smashed vegetables to taste.

Melt the olive oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic powder and onion salt OR the chopped onion and garlic. Place the potatoes in pan. Using a potato masher or thick wooden spoon press down on the potato, flattening to approximately ½ an inch. Dust with salt and pepper.

smashed baked potatoes

Fry, covered, on medium heat until crispy and then flip potatoes to crisp the other side and add a pinch more salt and pepper.

fried baked potatoes

Remove from pan and cover with grated cheese, bacon, and a dollop of sour cream.

Smashed and fried baked potatoes

Olive oil

Butter

OR butter with olive oil

Garlic powder

Onion salt

OR chopped onion and garlic

Baked potatoes

Salt

Pepper

Shredded cheese

Sour cream

Crumbled bacon

  1. Melt the olive oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic powder and onion salt OR the chopped onion and garlic.
  2. Place the potatoes in pan. Using a potato masher or thick wooden spoon press down on the potato, flattening to approximately ½ an inch. Dust with salt and pepper.
  3. Fry, covered, on medium heat until crispy and then flip potatoes to crisp the other side and add a pinch more salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from pan and cover with grated cheese, bacon, and a dollop of sour cream.

Add eggs, toast, and a slice of ham or last night’s leftover steak and you have a hearty man-breakfast.

Crispy, starchy wishes

Staci

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There is no better fall smell than filling your home with the comforting scent of spicy pumpkin, especially when the cozy aroma wafts from your oven, not a candle or an outlet. Before your house smells like turkey and scorched potatoes, start your Thanksgiving festivities with pumpkin streusel coffee cake.

A few years ago I baked this cake to celebrate a coworker’s birthday. After I got strange looks from people that morning, I found out I was supposed to have brought treats the day before; but once we sliced into the soft, warm-in-the-middle cake, they quickly forgave me. See, look at those beautiful, forgiving smiles.

The recipe is from VeryBestBaking.com., a website on which I have a recipe box overflowing with homestyle goodness. But here’s what sends it over the top — instead of using plain nuts in the streusel, I tossed in Praline Pumpkin Seed Crunch from King Arthur Flour. I don’t think they sell it anymore, but you could use any praline nuts like pecans or cashews and crush them up.

Cozy cake wishes,
Staci 

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Not everyone cooks for a family of four. Or five. When it’s just you on a cozy Saturday morning and you crave the nostalgic waft of cinnamon drifting from the kitchen, a small batch of monkey bread with warm caramel seeping down the sides will appease.

Monkey bread when flying solo

One tube of biscuit dough and a few sweet ingredients and you can’t even take a shower in the time it takes to bake them.

monkey bread cinnamon sugar

Bake in mini pie tins, 4″ springform pans, mini loaf pans, one loaf pan, cookie sheet, mini muffin tin, or any other small oven-proof pan.

mini monkey bread before baking

I used mini pie tins – three of them – and I’m glad I baked them on a cookie sheet because the caramel oozed over the top. Next time I’ll still only make three, but I’ll drizzle some of the caramel in between layers instead of dumping it all on top. You might like it better in four.

half gone monkey bread

I confess, two of us ate this batch. Now go take your shower.

Sweet Saturday wishes,
Staci

Flying Solo Monkey Bread 

Serves 1 or 2 people depending on how much you want to share

5 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 (7.5 ounce) package refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough

  1. Grease 3 mini pie tins or whatever smaller pan you choose to use.
  2. Melt butter and brown sugar together. Stir until brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  3. Stir together white sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Cut each piece of biscuit dough into four chunks and drop into the cinnamon and sugar. Lightly toss around until each is completely coated.
  5. Toss dough into pans, using equal amounts in each pan if using more than one. Pour some of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits before all of it is in the pan.
  6. Once all the biscuits are in the pan(s), drizzle the remaining caramel over the biscuits. Place pan(s) on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350° until top of biscuits are slightly crispy. For mini pie tins, that’s approximately 12-14 minutes. Do not over bake. For one loaf pan, it may take approximately 20-22 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and turn pan(s) upside down onto plate, remove pan, scrape the excess caramel onto the monkey bread.

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Weekday mornings at our house start early and they don’t leave time for elaborate breakfasts. Other than dry cereal from a box, muffins come from pouches, cinnamon rolls come from tubes, and pancakes come from a box in the freezer. But with an extra five minutes of prep time, you can make 18 butterscotch cheesecake muffins that taste and smell so delightful you’ll be skipping out the door to work.

butterscotch cheesecake muffins | Random Sweetness Baking

The idea for these came from one of our favorite, butterscotch muffins from Taste of Home. All I did was switch out the vanilla pudding mix with cheesecake pudding mix and instead of the cinnamon and brown sugar topping, I tossed on colored turbinado sugar.

Make your morning even simpler by combining the dry mix the night before. Stir it together in a bowl, pop the lid on, and in the morning just crack open the eggs and pour in the liquids. Of course you can customize these to your liking – just stand in the pudding mix aisle and pick two flavors you want in your muffins.

Butterscotch cheesecake muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 package (3.4 ounces) dry instant butterscotch pudding mix

1 package (3.4 ounces) dry instant cheesecake pudding mix

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

4 eggs

3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

turbinado sugar (the larger, chunky crystals) or regular white sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, pudding mixes, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the water, eggs, oil, and vanilla.

Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just until the batter is all wet.

Pour batter into greased muffin cups and sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. (The original recipe states a bake time of 15-20 minutes but mine have never been done in that time.) Makes 18 regular sized muffins or 12 regular muffins and 12 mini muffins.

 

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The only way smoky ham and cheddar hash brown casserole could be more comforting is if you eat it while wrapped in a king size wool army blanket, sitting on the floor in front of a glowing fireplace surrounded by flickering candles.

smoky ham and cheddar hash brown casserole | Random Sweetness Baking

You may have eaten something slightly similar in a country restaurant off the interstate, but when you take your first bite of this creamy, smoky, and cheesy dish, you’ll taste that there’s hardly a resemblance.

Smoky ham and cheddar hash brown casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1 can cream of onion soup

16 ounces sour cream

1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) melted butter, divided into 1/4 cup each

2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups fully cooked, diced smoked ham

1 package (30 to 36 ounces) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes

2 cups crushed corn flakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease with cooking spray a 9×13 pan, or any pan or pans equivalent in size.
  2. In a very large bowl, stir together soups, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, onion powder, and 1/4 cup melted butter.
  3. Toss in the shredded cheese and stir.
  4. Dump in the ham and stir.
  5. In batches, stir in the hash brown potatoes until everything is combined.
  6. Spread the casserole into baking dish(es).
  7. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes evenly over the casserole. Drizzle with 1/4 cup melted butter. Cover pan with foil.
  8. Bake 1 hour, removing the foil for the last 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  10. Store leftovers in an airtight container in refrigerator.

You can prepare this dish, without baking it, and store it in the freezer until ready to bake. Just don’t put the corn flakes or butter on top until you are ready to bake it.

Sweet and smoky wishes,
Staci

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When I was in my early 20s I worked at a restaurant that made dense, granular bran muffins with tacky tops from sweet honey. They were tasty but squishy raisins ruined them. I ate the muffins but picked out every last dried grape.

bran muffins | Random Sweetness Baking

Fast forward twenty years and in my more “elderly” state, I still love bran muffins. And hate raisins. My mom’s recipe doesn’t have raisins and the batter keeps in the refrigerator for up to six weeks so you can make a fresh batch every few days.

I wondered if they could possibly be improved upon and all I came up with is adding mini chocolate chips and sliced almonds with a drizzle of honey. The ones with almonds and honey are best if you eat them the day you bake them. Otherwise, the almonds get soft. Then you might as well have added soggy raisins.

Bran muffins

2 cups 100% bran (I used 100% wheat bran.)

4 cups Kellogs All Bran

2 cups boiling water

3 cups sugar

1 cup shortening

4 beaten eggs

1 quart buttermilk

5 cups flour

5 teaspoons soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional add-in: 3-4 cups mini chocolate chips

Optional topping: sliced almonds and honey

  1. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over 100% bran and Kellogs All Bran. Stir and set aside to soften for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Grease muffin tins or line with cupcake liners.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°.
  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream sugar and shortening together. Add eggs and buttermilk.
  5. Fold the softened bran mixture into the shortening mixture.
  6. In a large bowl stir together the flour, soda, and salt.
  7. Fold the flour mixture into the bran batter, stirring just until flour is mixed in. The batter should be a little lumpy. Don’t overmix or the muffins will have a tough texture.
  8. If using mini chocolate chips, stir in now.
  9. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full of batter.
  10. If adding almonds and honey, top the cups with almonds and drizzle with a little honey.
  11. Bake at 400° for 10 to 15 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  12. Batter will store in refrigerator for up to six weeks.

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