Guest Post | Recipe from Plucky’s Second Thought

While I’m knee-deep in wedding planning, details, and getting ready for my big-day overall, I have a great Guest Post for you from Jess at Plucky’s Second Thought! Jess has been kind enough to share a YUM-O recipe with us on Cheesy Sausage and Potato Casserole! I hope you enjoy! And don’t forget to stop by Jess’ for some more yummy recipes and even crafting fun! She shares some amazing ideas that are all Pin-worthy!

Hello all! I’m Plucky from Plucky’s Second Thought…but most call me Jess. 🙂 Why “Plucky” you may ask? Well, it was a nickname when I was younger and it was one that was never forgotten! At Plucky’s Second Thought I try to post easy craft projects and recipes that anyone could accomplish. Yep, you don’t have to be Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray to attempt anything on my blog! There are also a variety of travel and product reviews as well as some awesome giveaways and link parties! 🙂


My family and I love to have a nice breakfast on Sunday mornings and this was one recipe we decided to try! It doesn’t take much effort to make, but the end results are DELICIOUSNESS!

ENJOY!

Cheesy_Sausage_and_Potato_Breakfast_Casserole

Cheesy Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb your favorite bulk breakfast sausage
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 20 oz bag frozen hashbrowns
  • 8 oz shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350; spray 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  • Cook sausage in a skillet; once cooked, remove and saute onions in grease.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, including sausage and onions; reserve roughly one cup of the cheese for topping.
  • Pour into prepared casserole dish; bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top with reserved cheese; return to oven for 8 minutes.

source: http://doughmesstic.com/2012/12/29/cheesy-potato-breakfast-casserole/

Recipe: Chicken + Couscous Bowl

I love Mediterrean-inspired food. Seriously, I could eat kebobs and Greek salad everyday. One of my favorite summer meals is a quick and easy spin on a chicken kebob and couscous meal, that you can dress up or down depending on your taste. My version is super simple and easy and is  great for when I don’t have a lot of time to prepare a meal.

PicMonkeyfeta

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Recipe: BLT Pasta Salad

I spotted a recipe on Pinterest a few months ago, and decided to whip it up as a quick and easy dinner last week. I also had a terrible taste for bacon – so it killed two birds with one stone. Here’s the original post I found, but the blogger snagged her inspiration from a Skinny Taste post here. I will warn you that with regular mayo and bacon, it’s not the most healthiest (or calorie-friendly) recipe, but they are easy fixes with turkey bacon, Miracle Whip or even light Mayo. Whatever your taste buds, and waist-line desire. We made two versions – one with regular Mayo for me and one with Miracle Whip for JP – you’ve seen those commercials for Miracle Whip with people who either love it or hate it (Jersey Shore totes had a cameo in them) … well, I’m a Miracle Whip hater.

This recipe is ultra-easy to make and literally takes zero time. The most time you’ll spend is chopping the veggies and cooking/chopping the bacon. Other than that – you really just throw it all in a mixing bowl and serve. I did snag Kenda’s tip of rolling the spinach to make chopping easier – and it’s kinda fun. Here we go:

BLT Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (light or regular or Miracle Whip)
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 12 ounces of pasta, cooked al dente

Directions:

Chop tomatoes and spinach. Mix mayo, tomatoes, spinach and salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and mix well. Kendra recommended letting the mixture sit in the fridge to let the flavors all congeal together. I didn’t do that, but you can while you wait for your bacon to cook.

Cook bacon (we used turkey bacon), let cool and chop into small pieces. However you cook back is fine. We microwaved it with paper towels over it so that the grease didn’t coat our microwave. But you can bacon or pan cook, as well. Mix bacon into mayonnaise mixture.

Cook pasta in a large pot and add salt to water, drain and flash with cold water. Mix into mayonnaise mixture, and serve.

It seriously was the easiest thing EVER and very delicious! I even had left-overs the next day, and I hate left-overs.

Finished BLT pasta salad!

Finished BLT pasta salad!

Recipe: Creamy Lemon Bars

I think I’m spending too much time on Pinterest lately, because the urge to cook seems to be bubbling right on up through me! I spotted a recipe for creamy lemon bars awhile back and decided to give them a go earlier this week. The recipe was fairly simple and I had a taste for a sweet treat! I’ve seen this recipe in other places too, which have slightly different instructions – so do what works best for you!

There are some learning points that I found out during the process, as my try at the bars didn’t come out perfect, but they were pretty darn tasty. Please excuse my terrible iPhone pictures – ah, the life of a blogger!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Coat an 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray (make sure you use this size – I used a larger size and my bars didn’t come out as thick as I had hoped!)
  • Grate 3 lemons into small bowl
  • While oven is preheating, mix milk, lemon zest and lemon juice into a medium bowl until thickened – then set it aside
  • Mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl until crumbly
  • Press half of the mixture into the pan and back for about 10 minutes or until set – I believe I actually baked it for about 15 minutes
  • Spread lemon milk mixture over baked crust and spread evenly
  • Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over lemon milk mixture and press down gently
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and center is set but soft
  • Cool completely and then cut into 4×4 rows
  • Enjoy!
lemoncollage

1. Lemon milk mixture | 2. Oat and butter mixture | 3. First layer of oat mixture in pan | 4. Final layer of oat mixture and lemon milk mixture

The bars came out delicious but not as picture perfect as the Pinterest recipe. Some things I would note is to make sure you use an 8×8 pan. I believe I used a 8×12 pan and it was too big. I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough oat mixture to cover it but really spread it out thinly. I also didn’t let the butter soften enough and it was hard to mix with the oats. You really need the butter to seal everything together – so make sure its really softened and mix well! Or, use more butter when baking – not going to lie – I added it throughout the baking process when it looked like spots were still “dry.”  It was still super good and I’d definitely try to make these again – super easy peasy too!

Finished lemon bars!

Finished lemon bars!