Steak N' Egg Burritos

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Impresses: 2

Ingredients
2 tablespoons light-roast coffee, ground
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8-ounce sirloin steak
¼ cup butter
1 russet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ red onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 eggs
¼ cup milk
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
4 large flour tortillas

Method
Combine ground coffee, paprika and salt in a small bowl. Rub seasoning on both sides of steak. Let set at room temperature until ready to cook.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.

Once melted, add in potatoes, stirring to coat all potatoes with butter. Cover with a lid and let steam 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. 

Remove lid and add in peppers and onion. Stir to coat and let cook until potatoes are fork tender and onions translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

Remove from pan and place pan back on burner.

Raise heat to high and pour in oil. Place steak in hot pan and let sear — 3 minutes on each side for steak done medium temperature. 

Remove steak and let rest.

Wipe out pan and turn heat to medium-low. Add in remaining butter. 

Beat together eggs and milk and pour into pan once butter is melted. Scramble until eggs are soft set. Remove from heat.

Slice rested steak across the grain and start building your burritos. Place equal amounts potatoes, steak, eggs and cheese on each tortilla. Roll up by folding in the sides and the top. Pull the top and filling toward you before rolling taught.

Toast or serve as is.

Prepping ahead?
Prepared burritos can be wrapped in paper towels and stored in a zip-top freezer bag for up to a month. To reheat, place wrapped burrito on a microwave safe plate and cook for 3 minutes. Let stand 1 minute before removing paper towel and enjoying. Careful: Filling will be hot.


Ginger Cupcake with Matcha Buttercream

Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes

Makes: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1½ cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1½ cups whole milk
3 cups flour
¼ cup crystallized ginger, minced

For the buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon matcha tea powder

Method
For the cupcakes:
Heat oven to 350 F and fill 2 cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in the eggs, yolks and vanilla before scraping down the bowl edges. Add in baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger and beat to combine. Add in the milk and flour in 3 parts, ending with the flour, until fully combined. Stir in crystallized ginger.

Scoop ¼ cup batter into each liner in the prepared pan. Bake 22–24 minutes or until tops are slightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before placing each cupcake on a rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream:
Add butter and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on high until fully combined, about 5 minutes.

Scrape down the bowl and add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, cream and matcha powder. Beat until fully combined and fluffy — about 1 minute. 

Frost completely cooled cupcakes with a pastry bag or offset spatula. 

French Toast Casserole

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Impresses: 2

Ingredients
For the French toast:
1 loaf French bread 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 eggs
2¼ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅔ cup packed brown sugar

For the streusel: 
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
⅓ cup flour
6 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Method
For the French toast:
Slice the bread into bite sized pieces and put in a gallon-sized, zip-top bag.

Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Pour into bag with bread.

Beat together remaining vanilla, eggs, milk, cinnamon and brown sugar. Pour over bread mixture. Close the bag and store in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours.

For the streusel: 
Using a mixer, beat together brown sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon and pour in a different bag.

Seal and store overnight in the fridge.

The morning of:
Heat oven to 350 F and grease a 9-by-13 pan with butter or non-stick spray.

Pour bag of French toast evenly in prepared dish and top with streusel mixture.

Bake uncovered for 45–55 minutes or until golden brown.

Oatmeal Pancakes

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Start to finish: 15 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
2¼ cups rolled oats
1 cup whole milk
1 cup 2% milk fat cottage cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons baking powder
Butter, for greasing pan

For serving, optional:
Sliced bananas
Walnut pieces

Method
In a blender, combine all ingredients except butter and blend until smooth — about 30 seconds.

Bring a low-sided skillet to medium heat. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in pan and pour 1/4 cup scoopfuls of pancake batter onto skillet — cooking no more than three pancakes per batch. Cook 2 minutes, or until the top has began to bubble and is slightly set, before flipping and cooking a remaining 1–2 minutes.

Repeat process, including melting butter for each batch, until batter is gone. 

Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 F oven. Top with sliced bananas, walnut pieces and additional syrup if desired.

Crescent Cinnamon Rolls

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Makes: 8 rolls

Ingredients
For the cinnamon rolls:
1 can crescent rolls
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

For the frosting:
1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2–3 tablespoons milk

Method
For the cinnamon rolls:
Heat oven to 350 F and butter a round cake pan.

Unroll crescent roll dough onto a lightly floured surface. Layer each triangle slightly over the other in a two-by-four rectangle. Press to seal all edges together.

In a small bowl, mash together butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Spread over crescent roll dough — edge to edge. 

Starting on the long edge, tightly roll dough into a log and press to seal the edge. Using a serrated knife, slice into eight equal rounds. 

Place in prepared cake pan, rolls touching, and bake 18–20 minutes or until golden.

For the frosting:
While the rolls bake, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

Add in milk as needed to slightly thin the mixture. 

Once rolls are baked, let cool 5 minutes before coating in frosting.

Thanksgiving Mac

Start to finish: 1 hour
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
16-ounce box spiral pasta noodles
1 pound smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup milk
6 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish
1 box cornbread stuffing mix

Method
Heat oven to 375 F.

Cook pasta to just one minute shy of box instructions so the noodle still has a slight bite to it.

Drain pasta, pour back into pot and return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add in shredded cheeses, milk and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir until fully combined and cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

Liberally butter a casserole dish. Pour noodles and cheese into the dish and set aside.

In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, about 30 seconds. Stir in cornbread stuffing mix and toss to coat.

Sprinkle mixture atop noodles and cheese, then bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Tart Cheesecake Tart

Start to finish: 4 hours 30 minutes
Makes: One pie

Crust instructions
Ingredients
1    package coconut macaroon cookies (or cookie, without filling, of your choice)
6    tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½    teaspoon salt

Method
Place cookies into the bowl of a food processor. Grind cookies into a fine meal.

If you don’t have a food processor, place cookies in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and seal shut. Using a rolling pin or heavy pan, crush the cookies into a fine meal.

Measure out 1½ cups of crumbs and place them in a medium-sized bowl, then mix in butter and salt.

Press crust mixture into a pie, tart or springform pan. Using a flat-bottomed measuring cup, press crust evenly into place and up against the sides of the pan.

Filling instructions
Ingredients
2    packages cheesecake pudding mix
3    cups whole milk
1    cup fresh lime juice
1    tablespoon lime zest
     8-ounce block cream cheese, softened

Method
In a large bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk until smooth.

Add in lime juice, zest and cream cheese. Using a handheld mixer, beat until cream cheese is combined and mixture is slightly fluffy.

Tart assembly instructions
Heat oven to 400 F.

Prepare coconut cookie crust and press into a pie or tart pan. Bake 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Prepare key lime filling and pour into cooled crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Slice and serve.

Not Your Grandma's Chocolate Cake

Start to finish: 3 hours
Makes: 8–12 slices

Ingredients
For the cake:
1¾    cups flour
2      cups sugar
½     cup cocoa powder
2      teaspoons instant espresso powder
1½    teaspoons baking powder
1½    teaspoons baking soda
½     teaspoon salt
2      eggs
1       tablespoon vanilla
½     cup plain yogurt
1      cup milk
1      cup boiling water

For the frosting:
8     ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2     sticks unsalted butter, softened
6–7    cups powdered sugar
1     teaspoon vanilla
2–4    tablespoons whole milk

Method
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pull off two sheets of parchment paper and place one on top of the other. Using a 8- or 9-inch round cake pan, trace the base of the pan onto the parchment with a pencil. Cut out the circle with scissors. Grease the pans with butter and then place the circles on the bottom of each pan. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, add dry cake ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour in wet ingredients and whisk until batter is relatively smooth. 

Divide batter between prepared cake pans and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Once finished, set pans on a cooling rack.

While cakes cool, fill a small pot with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot, being sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add in the chocolate chips and stir frequently until melted. Remove bowl from heat and let cool.

Once cake has cooled completely, flip the pans over onto a clean, flat surface and pat the bottom of each pan gently. Twist the pan back and forth as you pull up to loosen the cake from the pan. Peel off parchment paper. 

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and powdered sugar, starting with 1 cup of sugar at a time. Beat on high until fully combined, about 3 minutes. Frosting will be the texture of small peas. Beat in vanilla and a few tablespoons of milk until it becomes airy and fluffy. Add in the melted chocolate and beat an additional 2 minutes.

To assemble the cake, place the bottom layer, flat side up, on a serving dish. Spread about one-third of the frosting on top to act as “glue” for the next layer. Add the top layer, flat side up, and frost the top and sides with remaining frosting.

Jalapeño Popper Mac

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Start to finish: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
2 green bell peppers
3 jalapeño peppers
½ pound bacon, diced
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
2½ cups whole milk
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
salt and pepper
8 ounces corkscrew pasta
1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup panko breadcrumbs 

Method
Preheat broiler to 500 F. Place the bell and jalapeño peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and char each side, turning the peppers every 2–3 minutes to ensure they don’t burn. 

Remove peppers from oven and place in a freezer-safe gallon bag. Seal shut and set aside to steam. 

Reduce oven heat to 350 F. Grease a cast-iron pan with butter and set aside. 

In a high-edge skillet on medium heat, add bacon and cook until crispy — about 7 minutes. Remove bacon and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Dispose of bacon grease and return skillet to medium-low heat. 

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. 

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet and whisk in flour until all the butter is absorbed. Continue to work for about 1 minute to remove the flour flavor. Add milk and whisk to combine. Stir in cream cheese. Stir every minute for about 5 minutes to avoid scorching. 

While cream cheese melts, add pasta and a generous sprinkling of salt to boiling water. Cook until al dente, drain and return pot to stovetop. Note: The pasta should still have a bite to it because it will go into the oven for more baking. 

Add the cheddar to the skillet and whisk to combine. Add more milk if needed. Whisk until cheese is melted, smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and pour over noodles in pot. 

Take the peppers out of the gallon bag and remove the seeds, top and skins. Dice peppers and place in pot with noodles and sauce. Add bacon. Stir until well combined and pour into cast-iron pan. 

Melt remaining tablespoon of butter and mix with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of pasta. 

Bake 10–12 minutes or until pasta is bubbly and top is browned.