Lots of recipes - enjoy!
For my 30th birthday, we took a few friends and family to a timeshare we hadn't yet visited, in Eden, Utah. It was a beautiful location. I loved the master bath!
The view from our balcony.
We went on some very chilly walks. I had a blast crunching in leaves with a 3-year-old and collecting leaves of every color.
We stayed up way too late chatting, playing games, and watching movies.
But the food....mmmm....that might have been the best part.
For breakfast, we had french toast casserole with cinnamon syrup, and baked oatmeal with cranberries. Plus eggnog, thanks to our guests!
French toast casserole:
2-3 loaves banana bread, sliced into thick slices (enough to fill your pan with 2 layers)
1/2 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C milk
Melt butter and pour it into a 9x13 pan. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Layer bottom of pan with half of the bread. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mix over the bread. Layer the second half of the bread. Pour egg mixture over all, then sprinkle remaining brown sugar mix.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, cover with tinfoil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15-30 more minutes. It should be browned and the egg mixture set.
Serve with cinnamon syrup and fall in love, just like we did.
1 C sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 C water
2 Tbsp butter
Mix sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Boil until thickened, stirring. Stir in butter.
Even my oatmeal-hating husband liked this. Good with the cinnamon syrup, by itself, or with milk poured over.
3 C rolled oats
1 C brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C milk
1/2 melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Stir in dried cranberries. Spread in a 9x13 baking pan. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes.
I had planned lots of dip, and our guests brought munchies and more dip, so dinner was quite the feast!
Nathan chopped assorted candy bars into little chunks so I could make candy bar brownies (regular brownies with chunks of candy mixed in) and a yummy layered cake.
You know it tastes good when I'm so excited to dive in that I fail to take a picture until we're down to one hunk that fell off the top. The cake was regular chocolate cake, with homemade marshmallow frosting and candy bar pieces between layers. This is the first time I've successfully cut a cake in half to make more layers. Dental floss and a big spatula really help!
I won't list all of the food here, but trust me, it was good. I gave up my grain- and sugar-free diet for my birthday and the holidays, so my tastebuds have been happy and my body not so much.
This black bean salsa dip is a Pampered Chef recipe. I won't put the recipe here but it might be worth buying one of their cookbooks just for this one!
Holy heck, I may never go back to onion dip from a packet. This dip made from scratch is AMAZING.
I took a pizza dip recipe and made it my own. It was the most popular dip at the party. It disappeared before I could even get a photo. Next time I'll make a double batch. Here's my version:
Hot Pizza Dip
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 C grated cheddar cheese
3/4 C grated parmesan cheese (it's gotta be the real deal)
8 oz spaghetti sauce
2-4 oz pepperoni, cut into small pieces (do as much as you'd like)
2 Tbsp chopped green peppers
2 Tbsp chopped green onions
Combine the cream cheese and Italian seasoning and spread it in a microwaveable glass dish. I used a pie pan.
Sprinkle half the grated cheese on top. Pour on the sauce and spread evenly. Sprinkle the pepperoni on top, followed by the peppers and onions, and the remaining cheese.
Zap it for 2 minutes, then look how it's doing. It may take up to 5 minutes to get all of the cheese melted. You don't want to stir it.
Best served with chunks of French bread. My bread dough sat in the fridge for 2 days and took on a sourdough flavor - even better!