Copycat Starbucks Bacon, Egg, and Gouda Breakfast Sandwich (Freezer Friendly!)

Copycat Starbucks Bacon, Egg, and Gouda Breakfast Sandwich (Freezer Friendly!)

I frequently make copycat Egg McMuffin sandwiches in large batches, so I thought, why not Starbucks Bacon, Egg, and Gouda sandwiches? They are hands down my favorite breakfast sandwich and really, it wouldn’t be all that different than the Egg McMuffin sandwiches to make in a large batch. This recipe includes a batch recipe for scrambled eggs, which can be used to feed several people breakfast as well, so it’s a win-win!

Ingredients

  • 8 Ciabatta rolls (I found them in packs of 4, so I used 2 packs-some are smaller than others, but these happened to be fairly large, so adjust your recipe accordingly)
  • 8 slices of aged Gouda cheese (double the amount of cheese if you are a cheese lover!)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked (I cook mine on a microwave bacon pan, but use any method you prefer)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook bacon using any preferred method. Set aside.
  1. Add melted butter to the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish and coat evenly.
  2. Crack all eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add salt and slowly whisk milk into eggs.
  1. Pour egg mixture into the glass baking dish and bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the egg mixture from the oven and stir well. Bake uncovered again for an additional 10-15 minutes until eggs are cooked to desired doneness.
  1. After eggs have fully cooled, cut into 8 equal rectangles.
  1. Lay the bottom part of ciabatta rolls on a large sheet pan and assemble sandwiches with egg, gouda, and bacon and replace the top half of the ciabatta rolls.
  1. To Freeze: Wrap each sandwich in foil and place in a Ziploc freezer bag. Place in freezer.

Thawing Directions

Microwave

  1. Remove sandwich from aluminum foil and wrap in a damp paper towel.
  2. Microwave 1 minute at 50% power. Flip sandwich over and microwave 30 seconds – 1 minute on high power until warmed through.

Oven

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Bake frozen sandwich in oven for 25 minutes or until warmed through.
How to Clean White Converse All Stars

How to Clean White Converse All Stars

Although I love how white Chucks look with a multitude of clothing options, white is not kid friendly. Or accident prone friendly. So, off I searched for a great way to clean these babies. Well, it turns out there isn’t really one great way, so I combined a few that seemed to work well for me, so I hope this method works well for you, too!

Ingredients/Supplies Needed

  • Rubbing alcohol (or nail polish remover-just be careful of the red and blue writing… nail polish remover can remove it!)
  • Cotton Ball
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 Tbsp warm water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Oxy Clean White powder laundry detergent
  • Lingerie laundry bag or pillow case
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels

Directions

  1. Remove shoestrings from both Converse.
  2. Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and rub scuffs or marks on the rubber toe or around the sole to remove any stains or marks.
  3. Rinse shoes well with cold water.
  4. Prepare the cleaning solution/paste by mixing the baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and warm water in a bow. Mix this solution well and add water slowly until it forms a paste. The full amount of water may not be needed or you may need more to create the paste. Apply the paste to each shoe and shoelaces, covering the entire surface of the shoes. Let the shoes and laces sit for 30 minutes with the paste applied.
  5. Rinse the cleaning paste off of both shoes and shoelaces with cold water.
  6. Place shoes and shoe laces into a lingerie bag or pillow case and place into the washing machine. Add Oxy Clean White and wash per package instructions in a cold, delicate cycle.
  7. Promptly remove shoes from the washing machine. Hang the shoelaces to dry.
  1. Stuff paper towels into each shoe to keep the shape while drying. Wrap a thin layer of toilet paper around each shoe. The thin layer absorbs water, allowing the shoes to dry more quickly, which prevents yellowing of the shoes. Replace the paper towels and toilet paper after a few hours and repeat this process 1-2 more times throughout drying.
  2. After shoes have dried at least 12 hours, remove the toilet paper and paper towels and allow to fully air dry. Replace laces and wear those beautifully white shoes!
Green Macaroni and Cheese

Green Macaroni and Cheese

I was searching for some good St. Patrick’s Day foods to go with corned beef and cabbage and while this doesn’t exactly “go” with it, I thought the recipe was pretty interesting, so I decided to try it. The original recipe is from Food Dolls. While this recipe is delicious, it makes A LOT of mac and cheese. The recipe I’ll provide below is the full recipe, but I recommend halving this recipe if you’re not feeding many people. This makes a very large portion, but it’s absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh spinach, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 lb cooked macaroni pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, add spinach, olive oil, parsley, garlic cloves, and 3/4 cup milk. Process until smooth.
  2. In a large pot, add butter and flour on medium-high heat, cook for about 1-2 minutes or until mixture is a golden color.
  1. Add WARM milk, and seasonings. Stir until it starts to thicken. Turn heat to low and add cheeses.
  1. Add “green” sauce and mix until it comes together. Add cooked pasta.
Rainbow and Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Waffles

Rainbow and Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Waffles

Target’s marketing department must love me… seriously, guys. So, I keep putting the Dash Mini Waffle Makers in my cart. At first I was like, “Why? Why am I doing this?”, but I have to tell you… I’m glad I did. I’ve realized how easy waffles are to make and how much the kids love them on holidays. I have officially cut myself off from buying more mini waffle makers, BUT… I’m continuing to look for new recipes. By recipes I mean thinking about what I can add to boxed waffle mix. Hey… the kids like them, they’re easy, and they’re fun!

Ingredients

  • Boxed waffle mix
  • Fruity Pebbles
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate coins

Directions

  1. While preheating the waffle iron, mix the waffle mix per box instructions. Add desired amount of Fruity Pebbles to the mix. Reserve some Fruity Pebbles in a small bowl for topping waffles.
  2. Pour waffle mix onto waffle iron. Sprinkle some Fruity Pebbles on top of the mix before closing the waffle iron.
  3. Add whipped cream to your waffles, sprinkle with Fruity Pebbles, and add chocolate coins on the side.
Cold Foam Cold Brew in… 3, 2, 1!

Cold Foam Cold Brew in… 3, 2, 1!

I love coffee. Hot, cold, large, small, flavored, unflavored, in an IV… you get the point. This recipe is the easiest I’ve found for cold foam for cold brew. I love it because it’s ingredients I keep on hand and requires minimal effort. If you’ve never made cold brew, you can find my favorite cold brew maker here!

Ingredients

  • Cold brew, any amount according to caffeine need 😉
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp half and half (heavy cream will work, too!)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla syrup (or other flavored syrup of choice)

Directions

  1. Pour cold brew over ice in a glass.
  2. Combine milk, half and half, and flavored syrup in a cup and mix with milk frother. I typically use my Keurig K-Cafe to froth the mixture using the iced latte setting and it works great!
  3. Pour frothed milk mixture over cold brew and enjoy!
Curly Haired Girls, Rejoice! The BEST Blowout Hair Tool is Here to Save the Day and it’s ON SALE!

Curly Haired Girls, Rejoice! The BEST Blowout Hair Tool is Here to Save the Day and it’s ON SALE!

You guys… YOU GUYS! I haven’t blow dried or straightened my thick, wavy hair since our oldest child was 2… that was over 6 years ago. Why? My hair is THICK… like, thick thick. And wavy. Not a good combination. Sometimes it looks great air-dried with an oil (slight, loose curls) and other times it’s just like, “nope… you ain’t looking cute today without effort”. It takes 45 minutes (and sometimes longer) for me to blow dry it myself and when I do it’s a frizzy hot mess, which requires product, straightening, and a lot of crossed fingers and prayer to make it look somewhat decent. You know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that, so it’s usually a piled bun on top of my head as soon as I exit the shower, or air dry and hope it curls well (which it typically does, so I am thankful for that). If it doesn’t curl well, I add some loose waves and curls with my curling wand or straightener. If you want to see that technique and the products I use, I gotcha covered! Check it out here.

Enter the REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush. GAME. CHANGER. I’ve tried hot air brushes in the past and not one has met my expectations, so I was very skeptical on this one. Man… not only were my expectations met, but they were exceeded! The total style/dry time was around 30-45 minutes and it was sleek and perfect at the end. I think if I was going anywhere in public (thanks, COVID… I sit and rot at home even when I’m having a great hair day…) I would’ve run a flat iron through a few portions that I didn’t hit that well, but I was experimenting and going quickly, so overall, I’m definitely a fan! Here are some style tips and products I used for an (almost) effortless blow-out style:

Styling Tips

Pre-Styling

To start, shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would. If you need suggestions on great products, check out some Verb products I reviewed here. Towel dry your hair to remove any excess moisture.

Apply a good heat protector or blow-out product. I’m a fan of John Frieda for protection/volume. I also love a flat-iron spray to help protect my hair and eliminate flyaways post-style. I recommend Garnier’s products for heat protection. Comb these products through your hair with a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute product and remove any large tangles or knots prior to styling. Allow your hair to air dry approximately 30 -45 minutes if you have thick hair. The air dry time will depend on the thickness of your hair. Allow it to dry until it’s still damp and you’ll be able to style/blow dry it. Don’t allow it to dry too long, otherwise the blow-dry heat won’t style it if it’s dry.

Separate your hair into three sections if it’s very thick: bottom (style this first), middle, and top/crown. Clip the top two sections up and focus on small sections of the bottom layer of hair. If you want your hair to curl under, start with the REVLON brush under the roots of your hair, concentrating for 2-3 seconds to fully dry the roots while pulling tightly through your hair slowly to fully dry/straighten. Curl the brush out down to create an under curl on ends. Do the same for the following two layers.

If you prefer a flipped out style on the bottom, do the reverse and use the REVLON brush on top of the section of hair you’re drying/styling and curl the brush up to create a flipped style.

If you have very long hair and want the loose wave, blowout style, use the brush on the side of the hair and alternate flipping directions to create loose waves.

When you’ve completed your style, finish the look off with a small pump of Verb Ghost Oil. Pump a small amount onto your fingertips and run it through your hair to prevent flyaways or frizziness.

Easy Naan Pizzas

Easy Naan Pizzas

This is definitely one of my weeknight go-tos when I don’t have anything thawed or planned. I buy naan when it’s on sale and keep them in the freezer. They go from freezer to oven and bake for 5 minutes. YES… 5 minutes from frozen! You can customize them any way you like-my favorites are traditional and Mediterranean or Greek. You can find mini naan or regular sized naan in most grocery stores in the bread/deli section. The best part about naan pizzas is you can use anything you already have on hand!

Ingredients

  • Naan (frozen or fresh)
  • tomato sauce (I use Basil Garlic pasta sauce because I usually have it on hand, but pizza sauce will work, too)

Toppings

You can use any toppings you typically like on your pizza. Here are some combinations we’ve tried that have become our favorites!

Traditional

  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Pepperoni (we prefer turkey-it’s less greasy than traditional)
  • Black olives
  • Mushrooms

Mediterranean/Greek

  • Fresh sliced mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
  • Kalamata olives
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Feta cheese
  • Dried oregano

Directions

  1. Preheat oven according to naan package instructions.
  2. Place all pieces of naan on a baking sheet (fresh or frozen).
  3. Add sauce to each piece of naan. Top each piece of naan with desired toppings.
  4. Bake naan pizzas in oven according to package heating instructions or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  5. Enjoy!
Easy Overnight Oats

Easy Overnight Oats

I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet breakfast foods. I’m more of a bacon and egg or omelet person, but… here I am. Eating overnight oats ever. dang. morning. For real, though. I love that I can put a bunch in the fridge then customize them every morning however I’d like with nuts, chocolate chips, fruit, anything really (now don’t get crazy… I love cheese as much as the next person, but don’t be putting any in your oatmeal, people…). I think I love overnight oats more than typical oats because they don’t seem to turn to mush like normal oatmeal does. They still have a firmness to them and you can flavor them with sounds good when you roll out of bed in the morning. You can also eat them cold or nuke them for 45 seconds to a minute if you’re not feeling the cold variety.

I adapted this recipe from one I came across from Eating Bird Food. My version isn’t altered much, just makes them a little more simple.

I also found some awesome overnight oat jars that seal and are water tight and dishwasher safe. They’re great to prepare several at a time and keep in the fridge for when they’re needed. Amazon, never fails!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use 2%, but any unsweetened milk works great!)
  • 1/4 cup lowfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp honey (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional… if you’re feeling chocolatey)

Toppings (Optional)

  • nuts (pecans, walnuts, almond slivers… any kind will do!)
  • peanut/nut butter (almond butter works great!)
  • fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries are all great options)
  • chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients except toppings well. Store in refrigerator overnight for up to 5 days. The longer the oats sit in the refrigerator, the softer they’ll become.
  2. Add desired toppings when serving.
  3. Enjoy!
DIY Dip Manicure on the Cheap that Doesn’t Look… Well… Cheap!

DIY Dip Manicure on the Cheap that Doesn’t Look… Well… Cheap!

The weather is starting to change and we’re sprinting towards the winter months. This means dry skin, dry hair, dry nails. Ok, you can only moisturize so much and cuticle or nail oil is great… when you actually remember it. I don’t know about you, but things around here are extra crazy this time of year and 2020 has not been kind to anyone, so I definitely don’t have time for 500 steps in my skincare routine right now.

My nails keep splitting and breaking way, way, WAY back. If I paint them this won’t help with the breaking, so I thought maybe I’d go get them done soon with a gel manicure. Ok, that might help some, but it still won’t stop them from splitting or breaking too far back. I suddenly remembered seeing a Facebook ad for dip manicures. Hmm… ok, but are they sturdy enough to withstand the cracking, splitting, and breaking nails?

Like all of my posts, I’m sure you know where I headed. Time for some hardcore Amazon research. I found many kits, but I always opt for the ones with the best price and best reviews. Bingo… I found a starter kit that contained colors I love and there was a coupon with a lightning deal. I looked at all of the photos, read the reviews, and this seemed like the real deal, so I went for it.

What I liked about this particular set is it seemed like there were only a few steps, the kit came with everything already included, and the colors were perfect! I chose the kit with a gray and pink color scheme. This particular kit had a two different color options, so if I did fall in love with it, I could order a second set in a different color scheme.

The directions were simple and there wasn’t too much to read through. I was able to apply the dip powder easily and quickly. I completed my entire manicure in about half an hour. The manicure looked great for a first attempt. I know the second attempt will be even better now that I know what I’m doing. Next time I will make sure I don’t get sloppy with the base coat as it can go outside the nail line fairly easily. Once you go outside of your nail line it adheres to your skin and it’s a little difficult to correct. When applying regular polish I’ve always gone very far outside of my nail line and cleaned it up later, but this forces me to be a little bit neater.

My nails are now strong, sturdy, and aren’t tearing, breaking, or chipping like they have been the last few weeks. I think this is a great solution to help me grow my nails out without them continually breaking. The colors are great in this kit, it is quick and easy to apply, and I found it to be very forgiving for a dip manicure newbie. For the price of one manicure I will now be able to keep up with them myself at home whenever I have time. I believe I will be purchasing an electric nail file to sand down the manicures when I need to fill in in a few weeks. Otherwise I think they’ll become a little too thick after fill-ins.

If you like a little more length than what you currently have, Amazon has a lot of options for tips. The directions in this kit even tell you how to apply the nail tips, then apply the dip manicure for a great finish.

Better Than McDonald’s Egg McMuffins (Freezer Friendly!)

Better Than McDonald’s Egg McMuffins (Freezer Friendly!)

img_4764Breakfast foods are some of my favorite foods… biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon, and of course… breakfast sandwiches!  I’ve made breakfast sandwiches at home for years, usually one at a time, but that became a pain when kids came along (ain’t nobody got time for that!).  Since then I’ve perfected my breakfast sandwich game big time.  I hope this saves you time AND money at the drive-thru!  The best part about making these is the kids LOVE them!  They’re so easy to freeze and thaw in the microwave and come out perfect every time.

I use a whoopie pie  or muffin top pan (you can find them on Amazon!) for perfect eggs.  You can also use a cupcake or muffin pan, but they don’t turn out as evenly done.  Ramekins also work, but I find that they’re a little more of a pain since they’re not confined to a single pan.

Ingredients

  • 12 English Muffins
  • 12 eggs
  • 12 slices White American cheese (or any other cheese that you prefer-Gouda is excellent on these sandwiches!)
  • 12 slices of bacon (usually about a pound turns out just right), 12 sausage patties, or 12 slices of ham (Canadian bacon)
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare bacon or other desired meat.
  3. Spray the whoopie pie or muffin pan with nonstick spray.  Crack an egg into each cup.  Gently break the yolk of each egg to allow for even cooking.  Add salt and pepper to each egg to taste.  Cook in the oven 10 – 15 minutes or until yolks are cooked through.
  4. While the eggs are cooking, separate all of the English muffins and place on a working surface like a pan or covered counter top.  Place a slice of cheese on the bottom half of each muffin.  Fold the corners in so no cheese will melt outside the muffin.
  5. Once eggs are thoroughly cooked, place an egg on each slice of cheese.  Top with bacon or meat of choice and add the top bun.
  6. Allow the sandwiches to cool completely and add to a Ziploc bag.  Place all sandwiches in a large freezer bag and place in the freezer.img_5384
  7. To thaw the sandwiches, wrap the sandwich in a paper towel and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes and 45 seconds on 50% power, turning the sandwich over every minute.
  8. Now, wave goodbye to the drive-thru line!