a Cook at Heart

practical tips and recipes for busy cooks

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole with Bacon

This is by far the easiest breakfast casserole recipe I’ve ever made. It combines almost all of the things I like about breakfast into one dish. If I could figure how to add pancakes in here, it would be absolutely perfect. Switch the bacon for any meat you like, just make sure it’s cooked before you add it. This casserole reheats well so it makes a great breakfast or lunch the next day  A few things to note: 1. I like Obrien potatoes in this because it already has onions and peppers in it. Feel free to use regular hashbrowns if you like but make

Banana Oatmeal Muffins + Vacation Pics

One of the few good things about having a hubby with a travel job is that occasionally, you get to tag along on a really great trip. A few weeks ago, I met him in Las Vegas and we drove down to the Grand Canyon for a few days. Even with tons of tourists, the canyon is one of the most tranquil places I’ve ever visited. It’s breathtaking (and I don’t use that term lightly). There’s something about the vastness of it that leaves you speechless. The last time we went to the canyon it was June and HOT. Blazing hot. If you ever get

How to Poach a Fried Egg

One of my goals for 2014 is start adding videos to the blog. I really love videos but I have to admit there’s a steep learning curve. I’ve been playing around for a few months and this is my first published attempt. It’s been fun practicing and I hope to do more of these in the future. I ran across this method of fixing fried eggs completely by accident one day. One of the problems I’ve always had with fried eggs is flipping them without breaking the yolk. It can be a little tricky and my success rate is about 50/50. I’ve tried to do them

Blueberries and Cream Oatmeal

Work has been crazy the past few weeks. I worked on a special project for two weeks which pretty much took me completely out of pocket. It was like being sequestered – it was great. Having the opportunity  to concentrate on one thing for a few weeks doesn’t happen very often in my line of work. It was nice to be able to withdraw from email and meetings and actually get some things done. Now I’m back on my regular schedule so I’ll have time to get back into a regular writing groove. I love breakfast – pretty much any breakfast. My mom stopped working when I was in

Strawberry and Cheese Coffee Cake

When my new CSA emailed and said they wanted to give us a share of their early strawberry crop, I was thrilled. I’ve had such bad luck picking strawberries at the grocery store, that I was really excited about getting what I hoped would be juicy, delicious, organically grown berries. I’ve been sucked in too many times by the big red glossy berries at Publix. When I get them home, they’re hard and tasteless and I feel stupid because I fell for it again. I wasn’t disappointed in the berries from Delvin Farms. They weren’t huge like the commercially grown ones but there were tasty

Cinnamon Raisin Oatcakes

One of my food goals this year is to eat cleaner. Clean eating isn’t about low fat, low carb, or gluten free. It’s about replacing highly processed, chemical laden foods with natural, whole foods prepared by hand. Author Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food & Food Rules)  has a number of pretty funny but insightful food rules. I’ve been a label reader for years but after reading one of his books, I look at what I buy completely differently.   Three of his rules have become our food buying mantras this year.  1. Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. 2. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third

Chorizo and Mushroom Breakfast Casserole

I really like eggs. I really really like eggs – boiled, scrambled, or fried. Growing up we ate them alot and now I try to have them a couple of times a week. But what do you do when you’re fixing eggs for more that a couple of people? I always opt for a breakfast casserole. They can be made ahead and put in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake them which is always a plus if you’re feeding a crowd. Just about any fillings will work but my personal preference is sausage (the spicier the better) and cheddar cheese. If adding veggies that