From My Carolina Home

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Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti

In full on cooking mode earlier in the month, I needed to take a dish to a meeting for a pot luck lunch.  The problem was I needed to leave the house for another meeting at 9 am in the morning, and lunch was at noon.  I usually like to take savory foods to pot luck lunches, but this time cookies made the most sense from a storage point of view.  I needed something that would be fine at room temperature, or the slightly cooler air in the car for over three hours.   I remembered that I have mentioned my Amaretto Biscotti before, but alas, I polished off the last of the Amaretto at Thanksgiving.  But I did have an idea for a new biscotti recipe, and set about developing the recipe on paper.  Then I made it, and was so happy with the first attempt, I am not going to play with the measurements.  The cookie tray was full, with the Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti along with Chocolate Covered Oreos and my Christmas Vanilla Sugar Cookies.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour and next three ingredients, and set aside.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light in color and fluffy for a few minutes. Next add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half-and-half, vanilla, and rum flavoring, mixing well.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Stir in the flour mixture using low speed on the mixer, and mix just until incorporated, finishing by hand. Stir in cranberries.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

On a lightly floured surface divide the biscotti dough in two equal portions. Form each portion into a log approximately 9 x 2 x 1 inches and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Bake until light brown around the edges, puffed up and set in the centers, about 20-22 minutes.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

They won’t be brown all over, don’t overbake at this point.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees while biscotti are cooling.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

After 10-15 minutes, slice crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces.  I use a serrated knife for this to get straight sharp cuts.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Place on the baking sheet, allowing space between the slices, and return to the oven for the second bake.  Slices should be standing up the same way as they were in the loaf to allow both sides to be exposed to the oven heat. Bake for 15 minutes.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Cool on a rack until fully cooled off.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Melt candy melts in a glass cup in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval. When mostly melted, add 1 teaspoon shortening to thin the candy enough for drizzling. Using a fork, dip into melted candy, and rapidly whip back and forth over the biscotti to create long lines of melted vanilla topping on biscotti, or dip one end into the melts.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Place on a rack to set up. Store in a covered container. These freeze well too.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter,   softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum flavoring
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup vanilla candy melts
1 teaspoon shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour and next three ingredients, and set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light in color and fluffy for a few minutes. Next add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half-and-half, vanilla, and rum flavoring, mixing well. Stir in the flour mixture using low speed on the mixer, and mix just until incorporated, finishing by hand. Stir in cranberries. On a lightly floured surface divide the biscotti dough in two equal portions. Form each portion into a log approximately 9 x 2 x 1 inches and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden brown, about 20-22 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees while biscotti are cooling. Once cooled, slice crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces. Place on the baking sheet, allowing space between the slices, and return to the oven for the second bake. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack until fully cooled off. Melt candy melts in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval. When mostly melted, add 1 teaspoon shortening to thin the candy enough for drizzling. Using a fork, dip into melted candy, and rapidly whip back and forth over the biscotti to create long lines of melted vanilla candy on biscotti or dip one end into candy. Place on a rack to set up. Store in a covered container. These freeze well too.

Download the pdf – CranberryEggnogBiscotti

Two full cookie trays for two events in one day. Not too shabby.  I came home with only a few cookies left.

Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

I thought you might like to have this one now rather than in January just in case you need a sweet for New Year’s Eve.  I wish you all a very Happy New Year!!  Oh, and save the bones and leftover meat from your standing rib roast in the freezer, for my Beef and Barley Stew for Two.  It is a tasty, hearty soup for a cold day.  One last thing, don’t forget to hide your money outside before midnight tonight – Good Luck In The New Year.

Have you ever made biscotti?

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Cranberry Eggnog Biscotti at From My Carolina Home

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Christmas Breakfast – Tablescape and Recipes

I have another tablescape today and two special breakfasts for the holiday.  This is really the most fun time of year for special meals and pampering those we love.  Starting out with the stoneware Christmas plates, I set a table with a plaid tablecloth.  These plates are used a lot this month, and each one is different.  This one has the tree with the word Hope.

Christmas Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

A sleigh is pictured with the word Love.  My Christmas Cardinal bowls are at each place for cereal.  Crystal glasses for water or juice and coffee mugs complete the setting.

Christmas Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

A gift package with the word Joy is at another place.

Christmas Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

I use my little tree spreaders as knives for the breakfast table, great for butter on toast or biscuits.  The fourth plate has a stocking with the word Peace.

Christmas Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

These adorable Santa napkin rings were a thrift store find.

Christmas Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

The centerpiece is a simple red and green basket, with greenery and a candle with a topper of Christmas figures.  It is surrounded with my little glittery birdhouse ornaments.

Christmas Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

I mentioned on a previous post that I was going to make some blueberry turnovers, and here they are. Simple, just puff pastry and blueberry pie filling.  There is enough pie filling for two batches of 8 turnovers in one can.  So a few days later I make a second recipe and freeze them.   I thaw the puff pastry in the frig overnight so I don’t have to wait for it in the morning.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Open up the puff pastry sheet, and cut into four squares.  Top each one with two tablespoons of blueberry pie filling.  Dab the edges with water using your fingers.  Fold into triangles, enclosing the filling.

Easy Blueberry Turnovers at From My Carolina Home

Crimp the edges with a fork to ensure a good seal.

Easy Blueberry Turnovers at From My Carolina Home

Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden brown and puffed.

Easy Blueberry Turnovers at From My Carolina Home

Yum!  DH likes his without any glaze as he doesn’t like really sweet things (other than me, that is).

Easy Blueberry Turnovers at From My Carolina Home

But a simple glaze of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract makes mine a bit sweeter and more delicious.

Easy Blueberry Turnovers at From My Carolina Home

Yum, a special breakfast for a special day, Christmas eve perhaps?  Yes, I know that Pepperidge Farm makes these, but the problem is none of my local grocers carry the blueberry.  They have apple, raspberry, cherry, and peach, but I like blueberry the best.  So, I have to make my own.

Easy Blueberry Turnovers at From My Carolina Home

Tonight, Christmas Eve, I’ll make my baked eggs for Christmas morning since you have to start the recipe the night before serving.  Breakfast on a holiday calls for something special, but not a lot of time. There are literally hundreds of recipes on the internet for this baked egg dish, and I really don’t think you can get it wrong. But, I mention it every year, and every year some readers ask for the way I make it. So, this year, here it is. I wanted to show this to you today, as you need to make it tonight to serve tomorrow morning.

Baked Egg Breakfast at From My Carolina Home

The great thing is that the measurements are not precise, they can take a bit more or less of this or that, add something in, leave something out, it doesn’t matter. In fact, I don’t think I have made it exactly the same twice. This time it was sausage, mushrooms and onion. But you could use bacon, leave out the mushrooms, add in peppers or something else, whatever you like.  I like this Buttermilk bread so I used that, along with about 1/2 a roll of sausage, two large mushrooms, and 8 ounces of Cheddar Jack shredded cheese.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Cook the sausage and onion until the sausage is mostly browned.  Add the mushrooms and cook until sausage is done and mushrooms are softened.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

That looks about right.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Whip your eggs with a fork to blend the yolks and whites.  Add whipping cream (or milk, or half-and-half) and mix well.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Cut your bread into cubes and add to the eggs. Some people just layer the sliced bread with the extra goodies (sausage, bacon, onion, etc) and pour the egg-cream/milk mixture over the top, but I find the casserole just works better using cubes. It is easier to get the other ingredients mixed into the bread this way. For the purpose of scaling up the recipe to feed more, use 1 to 1-1/2 eggs and 1 to 1-1/2 pieces of bread per person. I like a bigger breakfast on holidays, so for the two of us I used three slices of bread and three eggs.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Mix in the cooked sausage and a handful of the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Mix well. Spray a small baking dish with no-stick spray.  Put the sausage-bread mixture in it and spread evenly.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Top with the remainder of the cheese.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

In the morning, remove the plastic and place in a COLD oven. After you put the casserole in, close the door, and turn the oven on, setting the temp to 350. Now, go have some coffee, take a shower, or enjoy your family for about 30-45 minutes. I run downstairs and pop this in the oven when I first get up. By the time I have finished my morning routine and had some coffee, it is ready.  Sometimes I get into my Christmas stocking while waiting for it to finish baking.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Hot and bubbly from the oven.

Holiday Breakfast Casserole at From My Carolina Home

Dig in to cheesy, eggy deliciousness. If there is any leftover, just refrigerate and reheat for breakfast the next day.  Enjoy!!

Baked Egg Breakfast at From My Carolina Home

Holiday Breakfast Egg Casserole

4 ounces sausage, or four strips bacon (or both)
two large mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
8 ounces shredded cheese – Cheddar Jack or your favorite
3 slices bread
3 eggs
1/4 cup of whipping cream (or milk, or half-and-half)

Start the night before you want to have this for breakfast. Cook the sausage and onion until the sausage is mostly browned. Add the mushrooms and cook until sausage is done and mushrooms are softened. Whip the eggs with a fork to blend the yolks and whites. Add about a 1/4 cup of whipping cream (or milk, or half-and-half) and mix well. Cut your bread into cubes and add to the eggs. Mix in the cooked sausage and a handful of the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Spray a small baking dish with no-stick spray. Put the sausage-bread mixture in it and spread evenly. Top with the remainder of the cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove the plastic and place in a COLD oven. After you put the casserole in, close the door, and turn the oven on, setting the temp to 350. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until casserole is set in the middle, and lightly browned. Enjoy!

Download the recipe pdf – Holiday Breakfast Egg Casserole

Baked Egg Breakfast at From My Carolina Home

I made another one just this week so I could photograph it on our Christmas plates. It is even better served on the quilted Nine Patch Star table runner from our quilt along! More quilting coming up, and the mystery design is almost done!!

Baked Egg Breakfast at From My Carolina Home

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Do you have a special holiday breakfast recipe?  Do you set a festive breakfast table for the holidays?

Christmas Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home


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Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast

Last holiday season, I had some egg nog left over after Christmas.  I wanted to do something special for a New Year’s day breakfast and just thought eggs, french toast, why not try using the egg nog?  Of course, knowing that DH is a cinnamon hound, it wasn’t hard to figure out what to add.

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

We like the light egg nog, a lower fat variety.  Buttermilk bread is wonderful here, or the Italian style is great too.  Either way, use a thicker sliced bread that can stand up to the egg nog mix.  Even a multi grain would be good, and maybe add a bit of texture to the toast and you could tell yourself it is more healthy, LOL!!

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

Before you start mixing, set out the butter so it can soften, and warm up the syrup in the microwave.

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

Pour some egg nog in a bowl, add cinnamon and vanilla to taste. I used two teaspoons of cinnamon to one and a half cups of egg nog, with just a few drops of vanilla.

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

Quickly dip both sides of the bread and add to a medium high skillet.  Don’t move it around, let it cook. As the slices brown, they will release from the skillet.

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

A larger skillet can handle two slices, just be sure they have room. For DH, two is better than one.

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

Flip over and let the other side cook.

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

Serve hot. I actually like mine with just a touch of butter.

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

DH likes his with syrup.

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

This year, I bought the egg nog earlier than usual just so I could make it Thanksgiving weekend. Easy and fast, but very special breakfast for holidays!

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast

1-2 cups of egg nog, light or regular
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4-8 slices bread, thick sliced buttermilk or your favorite

Mix egg nog with cinnamon and vanilla in a wide bowl. Preheat skillet on medium high heat and spray lightly with cooking spray or brush thinly with butter. Quickly dip bread slices in mixture, and place in hot skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned, or darker as you prefer. Flip bread slices and cook other side. Repeat with additional slices of bread. Serve hot with softened butter and warmed syrup as desired. One cup of mixture will make about 4 slices of french toast, serving 2 people.

Breakfast always looks more festive on a Christmas plate, doesn’t it?

Cinnamon Egg Nog French Toast at From My Carolina Home

Are you making a special breakfast this weekend?


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Blueberry Breakfast Cake

It’s the first day of spring, so we are ready for a fresh breakfast cake, perfect with a cup of coffee.  I had blueberries and a lemon, and set to work creating a recipe for a light and lovely coffee cake.  It would be lovely as dessert too. Something with blueberries and a hint of lemon, light and airy.  DH prefers this kind of cake plain, but you could add a lemon glaze to jazz it up if you like.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

I begin with assembling a mis-en-place, assembling and measuring ingredients.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Cream butter and shortening with mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add sugar and continue until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time incorporating each one well. Add vanilla and lemon zest and stir in. Place blueberries in a bowl, stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to dust the berries. In a separate bowl, combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients in batches alternating with milk ending with dry ingredients.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in blueberries by hand, gently folding them into the batter.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Transfer to prepared bundt pan or a tube pan. Bake for about one hour, until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Let it cool just a couple of minutes in the pan. Then turn it onto a platter.  Serve warm right away, or allow to cool for later.  Or both, LOL!!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

It isn’t easy to resist having a slice warm from the oven, and you don’t have to.  Yum, enjoy!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one lemon
1-1/2 cups blueberries
2 cups flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan or tube pan with cooking spray, or use butter/flour to coat inside the pan. Cream butter and shortening with mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add sugar and continue until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time incorporating each one well. Add vanilla and lemon zest and stir in. Place blueberries in a bowl, stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to dust the berries. In a separate bowl, combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients in batches alternating with milk ending with dry ingredients. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in blueberries by hand, gently folding them into the batter. Transfer to prepared bundt pan or a tube pan. Bake for about one hour, until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Delicious as is, or a lemon glaze can be added if desired by combining juice from the lemon with powdered sugar.

Download the recipe – Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Happy Spring!  Are you in the mood for a bit of spring baking?

 

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Valentine Decorating

Valentine hearts finally came out over the weekend. I haven’t done anything new quilt-wise for Valentine this year, unless you want to count the red and cream Scrap Dance Waltz.  But I did put up a couple of things from years past. The pink candles came out to replace the Winter White of January. I need to do a mini quilt for Valentine, but once again this year I didn’t get to it. So I have left the White on White Mini Quilt up. Click on the highlighted titles all through this post for free patterns and instructions. I added the white candle with the pink rhinestone hearts, and a bit of glitter heart garland to the reindeer’s beads.

Valentine 2017 4

The Hearts Around Table Topper is on the wall this year instead of a table.  See this post Quilting Hearts Around to see how to deal with a stray dark thread under a light fabric.

Valentine 2017 5

Over in the dining room, I put another Valentine Hearts Wall Hanging using it as a table topper.  Red candles replaced the white ones, and I added some glitter heart garland over the painted white pine cones.

Valentine 2017 2

We don’t plan any dinner parties before Valentines, but I wanted to use the red napkin rings I just found at the thrift store. So I put red napkins in them, and set them around the table just for show. I’m sure there will be an opportunity to use them with all kinds of seasonal tablescapes later, so you’ll likely see them again.  It makes a nice view coming down the stairs in the mornings.

Valentine 2017 1

This sweet little wall hanging is a table topper this year.  I don’t have a pattern for this one, it was a block of the month at quilt club some years ago.  It is sweet, with the heart shaped applique heart flowers, with buttons and stems, bordered in heart fabric.

Valentine 2017 6

Make a wool applique Valentine Penny Rug.

finishedone

Maybe you can have a Valentine Breakfast this coming weekend. Here’s my breakfast table from a couple of years back, with the pink Cherry Blossom depression glass plates.

Valentine Breakfast 4

I served Popovers with Black Cherry Creme (recipe here)…

Popovers 28

Make some Valentine cards to send to your family and well loved friends.

Valentine Cards 2015 - 8

I have been reluctant to take down my Paris inspired tablescape (Romantic Dinner for Two) because it says romance to me more than the red hearts do right now. Just having it out, with the Eiffel Tower, brought back wonderful memories of our trip to Paris years ago, and we reminisced about it last weekend. We stayed in a quaint hotel on the sixth (top) floor with a gorgeous view of the city from the beautiful stonework rooftop balcony off our room. It was just off the Champs-Elysées, right around the corner from a charming café where I got to practice my French and order breakfast each day.  It was an enchanting time.

Romantic Dinner for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

What are your plans for Valentine’s this year?

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November Breakfast

Thanksgiving morning means a nice breakfast while watching the parade in my jammies. With a large meal later in the day, and sometimes snacks during football games, breakfast needs to be nice but not over filling. I do enjoy making the overnight egg casserole in a small baking dish, just enough for two. Sometimes DH wants cereal too, so I set the table for anything. In the center is the quilted Autumn Star table topper I made a couple of years ago.

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

I did set four place settings just to make the table look nice, even though there will only be the two of us. The breakfast tablescape is on the pub table and starts with this lovely art glass pumpkin that was a gift from friends a few weeks ago. I set it on two of the wood slices to add some height, and added some tiny chipmunk pilgrims.

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

I used the leaf print placemats and my new leaf plates.  They work well together, don’t they!!

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

The napkins got pumpkin napkin rings.

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

The pumpkin bowls are added to the place settings.

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

I have two of these turkeys, so I added one to each side of the glass art pumpkin.  The leaf plates went on just for show, but they could hold a biscuit.

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

There are a couple more little miniatures added to the other side.

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

All done.  Coffee cups are usually in our hands, so I didn’t put them on the table.

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

Festive and ready for breakfast.  I have to admit though, that we have had a meal here already, it was too pretty to have for just one day.

November Breakfast Table at From My Carolina Home

What do you do for breakfast on Thanksgiving?

 

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Valentine Projects

I have been so involved with the mystery quilt, finishing some charity quilts, and a quilted art project I’ll be sharing soon, that I haven’t done anything new for Valentine’s Day this year.  I did bring out the wall hangings and decorations, and I’ll give you some links to where these were done last year and the year before.  Just click on the blue titles to open up a new tab with more information, detailed instructions or recipes.  First up, my Hearts Around Table Topper went on the table.

Hearts Around -42

This is so easy to make, with some scrappy red squares and HSTs. Here is the pattern. Just make four blocks with sashing and cornerstones.

Hearts Around

I set the breakfast table with my pink depression glass dishes in the Cherryblossom pattern for a Valentine Tablescape.

Valentine Tablescape 13

Valentine Breakfast on a Sunday morning this year is a perfect day for my Popovers with Black Cherry Creme.

Popovers 22

Popovers 28

There is still time to stamp and mail some Valentine Cards.

Valentine Cards 2015 - 4

Valentine Cards 2015 - 7

I hung my Valentine Wall Hanging.  This is the same block as above, sashed in just white without cornerstones, and bordered with two red prints.

Hearttabletopper

That post also shows this table topper.

Hearttabledecor.jpg

If you like to read Valentine inspired cozy mysteries, A Cozy Valentine has some book reviews to read while enjoying Chocolate Covered Oreos.

Chocolate Covered Oreos 17

I put out the Wool Work Valentine Penny Rug with its Heart embellished Candle.

finishedtwo

I hope you enjoy these posts.  I’ll be getting some cards stamped, to go with these little Valentine buckets.  I planted petunia seeds in them to give to the ladies at the office.  I’ve been setting them in the sun each day in the hope that they will sprout before I take them in.

Valentine pots ~ From My Carolina Home

What are your plans for Valentines?