Time goes by fast. Whether I am having fun or not, it goes by fast. I cannot believe my husband and I have been married for almost 4 years, that I turn 27 in a couple weeks, and that our kiddos are 19 months old. How did this happen? Where has the time gone? It seems like the weeks fly by so quickly and before I know it the month is gone and then the year. Can we just pause time for a minute? I want to stare at my children before I blink and they are grown. I want to really enjoy this season of life that I am in before it escapes me. It can be so easy to get caught up in the busyness of everyday life. Now, I can’t do anything to slow time down (and if anyone out there can, please let me know) but I can prep make ahead dishes that get me out of the kitchen quickly and back into soaking up every moment with my family. Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is such an easy dish to prepare and there aren’t even words in the English language to describe how delicious it is.
There are a few reasons that I have fallen head over heels in love with Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole. First, you can make it ahead of time. Assemble it the night before then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. This is a great dish for a Sunday morning when I like to do minimal work before running out the door for church. Second, the kids love it, and I mean LOVE IT (as do I, and my husband, and anyone else who takes a bite). This dish is a crowd pleaser. I have made it for other families and it’s always a big hit. Third, it contains lots and lots of cheese, sausage, and tater tots. All the important food groups (wink wink).
To start you brown one pound of breakfast sausage in a large skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. That is the first layer to your casserole. Don’t mind my worn out looking casserole dish. She is trusty and I love her.
Next comes the cheese, two cups of cheese to be exact, it gets sprinkled on top of the cooked sausage.
In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, pepper, onion powder, and salt. Pour this int0 the dish over the sausage and cheese. It’s coming together now!
Now take those wonderful frozen tater tots (these really take me back to my elementary school days) and arrange them on top. If you are making this ahead, this is where you would cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. Now it goes into a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Take it out and add an additional 1/2 cup of cheese on top and 4 slices of crumbled bacon. Bake for another 10 minutes or until its all bubbly and golden brown. Let it rest for 10 minutes and you are ready to serve!
Happy 4th of July! I know I should be bringing you some red, white, and blue recipe that’s festive, delicious, and perfect for your cookout…but I’m not. Why? Well….I didn’t plan ahead. I’m still new at this food blogger thing and have realized that I need to correlate recipes with holidays. Oooops….well that wont be today, but I am excited to start doing that. Don’t worry though!! Today’s recipe is still amazing. These Coffee Shop Banana Streusel Muffins are one of my favorite things to make when I have overripe bananas. I LOVE them!
For these muffins, you don’t just add mashed bananas into the batter. Oh no. You take those beautifully overripe bananas and you whip them in a mixing bowl until they are super light and fluffy. Like THE most glorious banana fluff. This is part of what makes these muffins so delightful but it gets better. Once you get the wet ingredients combined and the banana fluff incorporated, it’s time to add your dry ingredients, mixing until just wet. The batter gets spooned into your greased and lined muffin tin. Now it is time…time to make the streusel topping that takes these banana muffins from good to great to amazing to out of this world.
For this streusel topping, you use melted butter to get the perfect crumbly texture. You add flour, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt right on top of the melted butter and use your fingers to create crumbles. I love this method and I think it works a lot better than using cold butter that you cut into dry ingredients. Now you add it generously, and I mean generously, to the top of your batter.
These muffins bake up beautifully every time. I love how they puff up and come up over the edges of the tin. They really do look like something you would find in a nice coffee shop or bakery, only they come out of your oven! So grab one of these muffins and a cup of coffee, sit down, and relax before your 4th of July cookout begins 🙂
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- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 ripe bananas
- 5 tbls. butter, melted
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 and lightly grease a lined muffin tin.
- Add bananas to your mixer with a paddle attachment and whip on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
- In the mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and brown sugar.
- Add eggs one at a time and then incorporate the whipped bananas until well blended.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin.
- Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the flour, powdered sugar, cinnamon and salt on top of the melted butter. With your fingers, incorporate the ingredients together creating a crumble.
- Add the crumb topping generously to each muffin.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Recipe adapted from In Katrina's Kitchen.
Happy Monday! Yesterday was not a good day for me. I thought I had a really bad cold but turns out it was probably allergies (by allergies I mean the worst I have ever had, didn’t know they could get so bad….allergies). The pollen around here is out of control. It’s on everything. Thanks to my husband and lots of allergy medicine, I was able to get plenty of rest yesterday and today I am feeling much better. So much better in fact that I woke up well before the twins and was super productive (win!). I brewed my coffee, made a batch of delicious Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes and got a photo shoot in. These pancakes were just what I needed this morning!
I found this recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes a few months back and have been in love with them ever since. I have made them SO many times. The recipe is very forgiving and they turn out really fluffy and delicious. The oatmeal in them keeps you fuller longer and gives you energy to start your day. We go through a ton of blueberries in our house. It’s the twins favorite fruit and they will eat them by the handful all day if I let them. So they really enjoy these pancakes too. Don’t have blueberries? Any berry will do. I even used bananas a couple times and they are amazing in these!
This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make. Just throw everything in one bowl and whisk together. Like I said its very forgiving so I don’t stress about measuring everything exactly (sometimes it’s too early in the morning to measure). This always makes more batter than I need, so I put the leftover batter in the fridge and use it the next day.
I am so glad I am feeling better…..now excuse me while I go eat a hundred of these pancakes…..
- ~ 2 cups flour
- ~ 1 cup quick cooking oats
- ~ 1 tbsp baking powder
- ~ 1/4 cup sugar
- ~ 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- ~ 1 tsp salt
- ~ 2 eggs
- ~ 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- ~ 1 3/4 cup milk
- ~ 2 cups blueberries
- In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients.
- Heat up your skillet on medium/medium high heat.
- Spray with non stick cooking spray and cook your pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side. They will not bubble up so just keep an eye on them.
- When they are done top with butter and maple syrup.
I don’t know about you but sometimes for breakfast all I want is something quick, maybe that I prepared the night before, something portable, that I can grab and stuff in my mouth while doing other things, and most of all something delicious that goes well with coffee!
Breakfast time can be a little hectic for me with getting the kids up, their breakfast made, and my house organized to start the day (for some reason I always feel the need to get organized while the kids eat breakfast instead of eating breakfast myself). Usually I am running around cleaning up dishes from the night before (yes they are probably still in my sink), vacuuming the floor, starting a load of laundry, and anything else I can come up with that will make me feel like a productive human being. So for me, these Strawberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Muffins are perfect for breakfast!
These muffins are not only delicious but are healthy too….well they’re healthy if you forget about the cream cheese filling part. They have whole wheat flour, rolled oats, applesauce, strawberries and only a little bit of brown sugar. Before baking these muffins get a sweet cream cheese filling that I can’t get enough of. I really load them up! You can use all-purpose flour if you don’t have whole wheat but I love the way the whole wheat flour pairs with the sweetness of the strawberries and the creaminess of the filling. Since these muffins get stored in the refrigerator they get nice and chilled. I love having one cold with a hot cup of coffee. That hot and cold combo…yum!
I know these are called breakfast muffins but if you wanted to eat them at another time of the day that would be fine too. They can be early lunch muffins, pre dinner muffins, late night I need something for my sweet tooth muffins. No matter when you need them they will be there in your fridge, ready.
- ~1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
- ~ ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons rolled oats, divided
- ~ 1 tsp. baking powder
- ~ 1 tsp. baking soda
- ~ 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ~ ½ teaspoon salt
- ~ 1 cup unsweetened natural applesauce
- ~ 1 tsp. olive oil
- ~ ¼ cup brown sugar
- ~ 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ~ ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ~ 1¼ cup hulled and quartered strawberries
- cream cheese filling
- ~ 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ~ 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ~ 1 tsp. vanilla
- ~ ½ cup sugar
- Preheat your oven to 375degrees.
- Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with liners and spray the inside of the liners with a little bit of cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, 3/4cup of the rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the applesauce, olive oil, brown sugar, egg, and almond milk.
- Add the wet mixture to your dry ingredients and slowly mix together until just combined. You don't want to over mix this.
- Gently fold in the strawberries.
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins.
- In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg, vanilla and sugar.
- Take a spoon and create a crevice in the top of the muffin batter. Spoon in your cream cheese filling. (I love this filling so I really go heavy on it).
- Sprinkle the remaining oats over the tops of the muffins.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffins comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve immediately.
- Store in the refrigerator.
- If you don't have vanilla almond milk you can substitute with regular milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.