Posts Tagged ‘brunch’

If you’ve been a morning guest in our home, chances are your coffee was as black as frozen hockey pucks and you’ve thrown dietary restraint to the wind by pigging out on warm, gooey butterscotch monkey bread.

Butterscotch monkey bread

Once in a while, I surprise my lovely friends and their kids and give them monkey bread at hockey games. And if you look closely on the bench by my purse, I even have a little pan for my favorite #6 after his game.

Tracey and kids

My recipe has evolved over the years to include butterscotch pudding mix and more biscuit dough. I’ve even driven 12 miles one way to buy the pudding in the morning because it’s that much better with it.

butterscotch monkey bread

I don’t only make monkey bread for houseguests. It is best eaten when it’s warm so my kids are experienced at dishing it into plastic containers for road food, like today as she headed off to work. Some houseguests, you know who you are Zach, won’t eat any until they’re in the car.

monkey bread before work

No houseguests? Make Flying Solo Monkey Bread.

monkey bread

Gooey forkful wishes,


Butterscotch monkey bread

1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 small box (3.5 oz.) cook & serve (not instant) butterscotch pudding and pie filling

1/4 cup sugar

2 generous teaspoons cinnamon

4 tubes (7.5 ounces each) refrigerated biscuit dough

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease Bundt pan.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together. Whisk until bubbly. Turn off heat.
  3. In a separate medium bowl stir together dry pudding filling, sugar and cinnamon.
  4. With kitchen scissors, cut each biscuit into four pieces, letting them drop directly into pudding mixture. Every six biscuits or so, toss pieces around to coat fully and drop into Bundt pan.
  5. When half of the biscuits are in the Bundt pan, drizzle a few tablespoons of the caramel mixture onto the coated biscuit pieces.
  6. Finish cutting all the biscuits. Evenly pour the caramel mixture over the pieces.
  7. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a large baking sheet and lift Bundt pan off.

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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,


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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,

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If you want your houseguests to stay with you again, pull this hot, melty ham and cheese dish out of your oven in the morning and they’ll be planning their next overnight trip.

Chances are, they’ll ask you for the recipe so be prepared to either A.) write it on a recipe card and pretend it’s your own, or B.) send them this link to the KRAFT Stove Top recipe.

Ham and Cheese Stuff'n Puff | Random Sweetness Baking

The first time I made this breakfast was the same weekend I made my ex-sister-in-law’s cauliflower broccoli salad for my future in-laws. I left out the broccoli in the egg dish because I wasn’t sure if everyone in Betsy’s family liked broccoli, and I know Jason doesn’t like it, so I added extra ham instead. The ham I use is Hormel® Cure 81 diced boneless ham which is available at our local Hy-Vee.

Another way I’ve made it is with fresh, diced celery instead of broccoli and we really liked that. I’ve also made it exactly as the recipe states but no one in my family likes broccoli (except for me). You could easily turn this into a delightful vegetarian brunch by substituting fresh vegetables for the meat.

Since I’m not vegetarian and I love pork, I may add or substitute bacon, sausage, or even Canadian bacon next time.

Maybe if you’re lucky, it will be on your houseguest’s brunch menu the next time you visit them. Rise ‘n shine!

Ham and Cheese Stuff’n Puff

5 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup milk (I use skim milk because that’s mostly what I buy, but anything up to whole milk is good.)

1-1/4 cups chopped fresh broccoli, washed and drained (Substitute any fresh vegetables you like. The recipe calls for frozen vegetables so you could go that way too.)

1 package (6 ounce) STOVE TOP stuffing mix (The recipe calls for the chicken flavor but I’ve also used the cornbread style and like it.)

3/4 cup diced ham (You could use chopped ham from your Easter leftovers.)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided into two (1/2 cup) measurements (You could use any variety of cheese you like. I’ve only used cheddar so far.)

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 the milk and whisk until everything is blended. Gently stir in the broccoli, stuffing mix, ham, and 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Pour into a greased 9×9 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 one hour, or until completely heated through the middle. Remove from the oven, remove the foil, and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese over the top. Bake uncovered another 5 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted and slightly browning.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Disclaimer: Here I am again, just writing about what I love and the stuff I use every day. This post is NOT sponsored or paid by Hormel, KRAFT, or Hy-Vee.

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My friend, Tracey, is unpredictable. And randomly sweet. Which is why I love her. One day, she commissioned me to bake three dozen muffins to bring to our local police department.

Tricia Squashingroff-Schwartz and Officer Joe Fishbaugher from the Brookings Police Department

Tracey wasn’t trying to get out of any parking tickets, she just wanted to let them know there are people who appreciate the work they do. Our community had just experienced two senseless tragedies from two fatal car accidents in town, one of them killing a 17-year-old boy from the local high school. (Tracey’s 17-year-old daughter was about ready to get her driver’s license so I suspect she may have been experiencing some “mom” emotions – and rightly so.)

It was easy to pick the first two flavors because my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip and Butterscotch  muffins are the ones I get the most compliments on, and the most requests for. The third flavor was triple chocolate. Chocolate in a breakfast food. Enough said.


I made extra pumpkin muffins and brought them to work. (Michal, here’s the recipe I promised you!)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 36 regular muffins

2 1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup oil

6 eggs

2 1/4 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup water

4 1/2 cups flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoons ground cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease muffin pans or use cupcake liners. In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together. Add pumpkin and water and stir. In a large, separate bowl, mix the flour, soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients just until combined. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. As with most muffin batters, don’t over-mix or the muffins will be tough. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Lightly spray tops of muffins with cooking spray – this gives the muffins a lightly crispy top. (A little restaurant trick my sister, Kalli, taught me.) Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

I used my square muffin tin which is a nice change from traditional round muffins.

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I gave these butterscotch muffins five stars on the Taste of Home website. You can view the recipe here. It quickly becomes a favorite go-to muffin recipe for all occasions. While you are on the site, take a look at this Cappuccino Muffins recipe. I haven’t tried them yet but I need to! 

My sister, Heidi, emailed me the Triple Chocolate Muffins recipe on Wednesday, April 18, 2001. (I printed the email and stuck it with my recipes.) I was eight months pregnant. All she wrote was, “Thought this recipe might also be one that you might enjoy!!!!” I wonder if I was having a pregnant-woman-chocolate-meltdown?

Triple Chocolate Muffins

3 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

4 Tablespoons cocoa

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled

2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Melt the butter first so it has time to cool. Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease 12 regular muffin cups or use cupcake liners. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and brown sugar. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Stir in the dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. 

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

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Tracey’s gift to the Brookings Police Department is one of my favorite random acts of “sweet” kindness. I’m guessing they don’t receive appreciation as often as they should.

Enjoy the muffin recipes! Let me know if you bake a few dozen and give them in your own random act of “sweet” kindness.

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