Browsing articles from "January, 2013"
Jan 27, 2013

Podzilla Friday Breakfast

The best thing happened at work last Friday. Our team (Podzilla) began a new tradition of bringing breakfast in every Friday morning. Best idea EVER. Susie, a fellow art director and cook/baker, signed up first and let me tell you, we were in for a treat. The day before she sent out a menu of what she was going to prepare. Yes, a menu of homemade whole wheat cranberry walnut bread, egg casserole with ham and hash browns, and lastly, fresh fruit. Everything she made for us was beautifully crafted and amazingly delicious. Lucky for you and me, she gave me the recipes she used, which I have included in this blog post. Many thanks to Susie for a great start to our Friday morning breakfast!



Whole Wheat Cranberry Walnut Bread
Serves 10 to 12

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup honey
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried with paper towels

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375º.
Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
Stir the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda together in a large bowl.
Cut in the butter cubes using a pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form; set aside.
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, egg, and honey.
Gently stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until blended.
Fold in the walnuts and cranberries.
Spread into the prepared pan.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes.
Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
In the meantime, whisk the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over the bread.



The whole wheat cranberry walnut bread was outstanding. It had a nice texture from the walnuts and some tartness from the cranberries. The simple glaze dressed the bread giving it some sweetness to every bite. Susie also brought a medley of fruits to accompany the bread and egg casserole. Strawberries, green grapes, sliced bananas and blueberries. Can’t get much better than this.



Last, but not least, the main dish. Susie’s egg casserole was so delicate and fluffy. It was baked to perfection. Very moist, didn’t feel heavy at all. I’ve had my share of egg casseroles and they tend to be very dense, but this was airy and light. Susie prepared it the night before and baked it in the oven the morning of. After the casserole was done baking, she wrapped it in foil and bath towels so that it kept hot during the car ride to work. It was steaming by the time the team broke into it. Genius!


Overnight Egg Casserole with Ham and Hash Browns
Serves 18

1 cup (4 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 cup (4 ounces) extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 package (30 ounces) frozen shredded hash browns (such as Oreda), thawed in the refrigerator
16 ounces (2 cups) fully cooked thick ham slices, cut into small cubes
1 can (7 ounces) chopped green chilies
12 eggs
2 cans (12 ounces each) evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Grate the cheeses and set aside.
Sprinkle the hash brown into the pan covering the bottom completely.
Then sprinkle on in layers the ham, chilies, and cheeses; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, evaporated milk, and pepper; pour evenly over the casserole.
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Bake, covered with the foil, at 375º for 1 hour.
Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Loosely cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes before serving.



Thanks so much Susie for sharing the recipes with Pretty Tasty Things readers. But more importantly, thank you so much for treating us to this artfully prepared breakfast. It was such a delightful morning!

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Jan 22, 2013

Colleen’s mean crab dip

From the kitchen of: Colleen L.  Makes: Enough for an 8×8 pan
Total time: 10 min to prep, 30 min to bake


The first time I experienced Colleen’s mean crab dip was during the afterparty for my husband’s 30th birthday. She was kind enough to ask me whether she can bring something. I, of course, said yes. She arrived to the party carrying this magical, decadent, cheesy, gooey crab dip. Not gonna lie, I tried to show her up with some imported slices of cheese, but they were no match for her dip. I got Colleen to email me the recipe and made it for some friends while we watched a football game. I did tweak it just a bit by adding a few spices … you know food bloggers like to change it up a bit. But, the beauty about this recipe is the fact it can be prepared the morning of or even the night before. Just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to pop it in the oven. This may not be most figure-flattering dip, but it’s not like you’ll eat it every day. At least that’s what I tell myself :) Thanks, Colleen for sharing your recipe!

1 – 8 oz. packet of cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 can of lump crab meat
couple dashes of paprika
couple dashes of onion powder
couple dashes of garlic powder

Don’t forget the pita chips!

1. Combine cheeses, mayo and onions.
Add the cream cheese, mayo, cheddar and swiss cheese, and chopped onions in a medium bowl. Blend together with a hand mixer until well combined.



2. Add spices and crab meat. At this point, add the spices and drained crab meat. Carefully mix together with a spatula to avoid breaking up the crab too much.



3. Bake and enjoy. Pour mixture in a 8×8 pan and pop in a preheated 350° oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly. Serve immediately with some pita chips.



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Jan 3, 2013

Best in 2012

If you recall, last year I wrote “Best in 2011” and it was by far one of my favorite posts. I took over thousands of photos in the past year and going through all of them just reminded me of all the fun times that were had. That’s why I take photos. I love capturing each little or big moment so down the road when I’m old and forgetful, I have my photos to bring a smile to my face. This year has been crazy, crazy awesome, so I hope you enjoy these images. But more importantly, I want to wish you a new year of some beautiful and memorable moments for yourself.

Without further adieu (and in no particular order) here are my favorite moments:

IMG_4989 IMG_5944IMG_721623
IMG_0448 IMG_1126 IMG_2381IMG_8897IMG_3256 IMG_0902TheBeerGames 420 IMG_2661 IMG_3524 IMG_3599IMG_2906 IMG_3959IMG_3476 IMG_3984 IMG_4134 IMG_3842IMG_0044IMG_4919IMG_2848IMG_5263 photo-13 IMG_5543photo-12IMG_1815IMG_5652IMG_5593 IMG_5773 IMG_6215 IMG_6323 IMG_6824 IMG_6295IMG_7111IMG_7314IMG_6334IMG_9793 photo(11)IMG_6000

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