Sunday, April 28, 2013

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kitchen Sink Sausage, Cheese & Gravy Breakfast Muffins

You can make these easy breakfast cupcakes ahead of time and warm them up...they are even good the next day (believe it or not). These are great for brunches or for an easy meal on the go. I hope you enjoy these for your breakfast as much as we do!

Happy Cooking!




1 can of buttermilk biscuits (Grands)
1 pound turkey breakfast sausage (browned, drained, and cooled)

1-16 oz bag southern hash browns, thawed
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
5 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper



12 oz turkey breakfast sausage 
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
3 cups milk


For Breakfast Muffins:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Crumble and cook sausage in s skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain. Return to pan and add potatoes. Season with 1/4 tsp seasoning salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook until potatoes are lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Place one biscuit in the bottom of greased large cup muffin pan (you can use a regular sized muffin pan, but you will have leftover egg mixture). Press dough into the bottom of each cup making sure it comes up the sides.

Whisk together eggs, milk, green onions, paprika, garlic and onion powder, parsley, seasoning salt and pepper in a large bowl until blended. Add cheese, sausage and potato mixture. 

Pour egg mixture over biscuits until the cup is 3/4 full. Do not overfill the cups or you will have one BIG mess in your pan because the eggs will expand a little. Once you have made prepared all of the cupcakes, place pan on a baking sheet and put into preheated oven.

Bake 30 minutes or until set. Let stand for 5 minutes. 

Sausage Gravy:

Crumble sausage into large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until browned and no longer pink, stirring frequently.

With wire whisk, stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in milk. Cook until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Serve over the top of the muffins. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Savory Mini Meatloaf Muffins


2 pounds ground ground turkey
1 medium red onion, finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 green onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 black pepper

1/2-3/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/2-3/4 tsp granulated onions
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the meatloaf ingredients just until everything is mixed. 

Divide mixture among 18 medium sized muffin tins and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached. 

After 12 minutes of baking remove meatloaf from oven and top each muffin with 1 tablespoon of ketchup. 

Spread evenly with a knife over the tops. Return to oven and cook for remaining time.

For the last 2-3 minutes, turn on the broiler to lightly brown tops. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Homemade Moon Pies

My first try at homemade moon pies....not bad, huh? I always love trying new recipes. Baking is stress relief and I spend at least two Saturdays a month in the kitchen baking all day. Some would say that I am crazy, but I just love it. 

Though my moon pies didn't turn out perfect, I figure it is a work in progress. Guess I should have followed the original recipe word for word ;-)  Regardless, they tasted great, but next time I make them I will be sure to put much more marshmallow in the middle. I was afraid it was all going to come out and so I was a little stingy with it. The cookie itself is tasty, so I didn't mind the fact that my cookies were light on the fluffy middles.

I encourage you to give it a try...they are much easier than they seem to make. Your friends will be delighted when they receive these delicious little treats. Cookies make people happy!

Happy Baking,



1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup graham flour (or whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Marshmallow Filling:

1-7 oz jar of marshmallow creme

Chocolate Coating:

8 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon shortening


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. 

Add the all-purpose flour, graham flour, salt, baking powder and vanilla; beat until the dough comes together and looks uniform. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes (this will make it easier to roll out).

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll until it is about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut cookies from the dough. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until you have 12 cookies. Use a thin spatula to transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet - I put all 12 on one sheet. They'll be pretty close, but that's fine, they don't spread much.

Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown and set. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before trying to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cookies are completely cool, pair them by size. Using a spreader, place 2 tablespoons of the filling onto one side of each pair of cookies. Spread it within about 1/4 to 1/2-inch of the edges. Place the other cookie on top to make a sandwich (the cookies are a bit fragile so you don't want to press on the sandwich too much to get the filling to the edge). Place the sandwiches in the fridge for about 10 minutes to allow the marshmallow to set.

Finally, fill 1/3 of pan with water and boil. Place a double boiler over boiling water and reduce temperature to low. Add the chocolate and shortening to the double boiler, stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. 

To dip the sandwiches, drop and submerge the sandwiches , then use a fork to fish it out, letting excess chocolate drip off. The side that was touching the fork will be the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack set over a piece of wax paper. When you've dipped all of the sandwiches, transfer to the refrigerator to set. Once set, transfer the moon pies to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Frosted Animal Cookies

 I think these are probably one of my all time favorite cookies! We didn't get them very often as kids, but when we did I was in seventh heaven! There's nothing special about these cookies...little sugar cookies shaped like zoo animals and coated with a sweet pink and white icing with rainbow sprinkles. So why do I love them so? I am not sure. All I know is that these cookies are my favorite and I have to use all of my self control not to eat the entire bag. 

Not so long ago, I saw a post on Pinterest for frosted animal cookie truffles. I was inspired and decided to try and make my own animal cookies at home. This is my second time making these. As you may remember from last week's post that I was out of pink chocolate melts and could not find my little animal shaped cookie cutter. As a result, I had to use some tiny flower cookie cutters. I know that the shape of the cookie doesn't affect the taste of the cookie, but they just were not frosted "animal cookies". I type "A" personality is 

These little tasty treats would make a great addition to your child's lunches or a little sweet surprise for friends and family. Frosted animal cookies will bring a smile to anyone's face...they make people happy! I hope you enjoy making these (and eating them too!) as much as we did.

Happy Baking,


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1- 12 oz of each pink and white Wilton candy melts
1 tsp vegetable oil, helps to make melts thinner for dipping
rainbow nonpareils sprinkles

small animal cookie cutters


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and vanilla into cream mixture and mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture gradually. Mix until fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and uniform.

Do not chill dough! Divide dough into 2 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 12 inch circle that is approximately 1/8 inch thick. 

Using a cookie cutter
 dipped in flour, cut out cookies and place on sheets about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 6-7 minutes,or until cookies are lightly browned. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven, so make sure to keep an eye on them. They go from light brown to an icky and inedible dark brown in a flash!

Transfer cookies to wire racks with a thin metal spatula to cool completely.

Next, using a double boiler, fill the lower pan with water until it nearly touches the bottom of the upper pan. Place both pans (inner thin-bottomed pan on top of outer pan filled with the appropriate amount of liquid) on the burner.

Although you want the water in the lower pan to boil gently, you want to avoid two things -- boiling your water away, or allowing the heat to come up the pan sides thus over-heating the outside edges of your upper pan.

To avoid these two extremes, heat your double boiler to medium heat. Add one bag of candy melts and 1 teaspoon of oil to upper pan of double boiler. Stir constantly until completely melted. Reduce heat to low.

Using a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (this will make clean up a breeze!), drop three to four cookies at a time in the candy melts. You can use a fork to fish them out. Allow them to drip for a moment over pan and place on wax paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with rainbow nonpareils. The outer shell will solidify as it cools. 

Place cookies in small plastic candy bags and tie with brightly colored ribbon as a surprise in your child's lunch or to brighten someone's day! Enjoy!

Makes 68 adorable little cookies. Enjoy!

Yummy Chocolate Granola

I received this recipe from my wonderful friend Terri. She is a jack of all trades...a breast cancer survivor, marathon runner, outdoor enthusiast, Boy Scout mom, wife, and mother to a middle schooler and a soon to be high schooler. She and her husband Roy are amazing cooks and bakers! I am constantly blessed  by the results of their many hours of toiling in the kitchen. No complaining here! I am trying to talk her husband into having a weekly post on the blog called "Farmer Roy Bakes"...his Irish cheddar and bacon bread is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

Nine years ago, I had her older son in my kindergarten class and now I am fortunate enough to work with her everyday.  The funny thing about it is that we both wanted to be lawyers when we were in college. I always thought that if we had followed that plan and became lawyers we could have taken over the world (in a good way)...defending the innocent and all that! 

As life would have it, I decided to go into education and teach kindergarten. Funny how life turns out sometimes! Anyhow, I just wanted to thank my dear friend Terri for sharing this delicious recipe for chocolate granola. I hope you enjoy this tasty treat as much as we do!

Happy baking!



6 cups rolled oats
2 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup wheat germ or flax meal
1 cup flake coconut, optional
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoon cocoa
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2  cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


Mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, wheat germ or flax meal, coconut and salt in a bowl. 

Separately mix syrup, cocoa and oil. Mix into dry ingredients. 

Spread into a cookie sheet and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

 Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes. When granola is completely cooled, place in an airtight container. Enjoy!

This is a double batch recipe. You can cut in half if you like, but you might be sorry if you do!

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies


3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. (Meg note: I used a pastry cutter to make 3 by 1 inch rectangles, however the cookies lost their fluted edges while baking so I switched to a 2-inch round cookie cutter.) Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put three ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Dip each cookie into chocolate and allow to cool and the chocolate to harden before serving.

Recipe from Ina Garten

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chocolate Brioche French Toast from Whisk Kid

Oh my goodness....just look at this Chocolate Brioche French Toast from Whisk Kid! This recipe makes brioche from scratch, but if you are short on time you can pick up a loaf of broiche from a local bakery. I've seen a few places that have chocolate brioche occasionally. This would make a great Sunday morning breakfast that everyone would love! To read more and view this and other delicious recipes from Whisk Kid click on link:

So Good Lazy Day Biscuit, Egg & Cheese Cupcakes

You can make these easy breakfast cupcakes ahead of time and warm them up...they are even good the next day (believe it or not). These are great for brunches or for an easy meal on the go. I hope you enjoy these for your breakfast as much as my family does!


1 can of buttermilk biscuits (Grands)
1 pound of any breakfast sausage roll (browned, drained, and cooled)
2 cups shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese (1 cup of each)
5 eggs, beaten
2 egg whites
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 °F. Crumble and cook sausage in s skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain.

Place one biscuit in the bottom of greased large cup muffin pan (you can use a regular sized muffin pan, but you will have leftover egg mixture). Press dough into the bottom of each cup making sure it comes up the sides. Fill 1/3 of the cup with cooked sausage and add 2 tbsp shredded cheese.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until blended. Pour egg mixture over biscuit and sausage mixture until the cup is 3/4 full. Do not overfill the cups or you will have one BIG mess in your pan because the eggs will expand a little. Once you have made prepared all of the cupcakes, place pan on a baking sheet and put into preheated oven.

Bake 30 minutes or until set (A knife should come out clean when inserted in the center). Let stand for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lemon Cinnamon Streusel Muffins


1 1/4 cup flour all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2-2 teaspoons lemon extract, adjust to taste
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
3 tablespoons milk
1 tsp grated lemon peel

Streusel Topping:

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup golden brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

Bottom Cinnamon & Sugar Crust:

4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With non-stick spay, coat the inside of a 12 cup muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, 
baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high for 3 minutes.

Reduce speed and add in one egg at a time blending well after each addition making sure to scrape 
down sides of bowl.

Add flour mixture a little at a time to butter-sugar mixture.

Add vanilla extract, lemon extract, yogurt, milk and grated lemon peel just until combined. Set aside.

In a small bowl, blend all streusel ingredients together with a fork until crumbles are the size of peas. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar and add 1 teaspoon to the bottom of each muffin cup. Shake the sugar mixture around inside the cups by rotating pan on all four sides and shaking out excess in sink.

Fill sugared muffin cups half full with batter.

Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over 12 muffins cups.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 15-20 minutes before removing. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: