Creamy & Delicious Grits: For Breakfast, Lunch or Supper!

Making Grits has never been easier with this simple recipe. Made by boiling in a milk mixture and serving topped with butter this is one cozy dish everyone loves!

This dish has gone from a humble breakfast to a gourmet entrée adorned with everything from local shrimp to expensive mushrooms, to cheese!

A serving of creamy grits topped with butter.

Grits vs. Polenta

Both grits and polenta are corn-based side dishes.  While both are made of ground corn (as is cornmeal), there are some differences.

What are Grits?

Grits are a coarsely ground grain made with either hominy or stone-ground corn. The simplest way to prepare grits is to boil them in water, but they can also be imbued with extra flavor by cooking them in broth or stock.

For creamy grits, cook them in milk or half milk half water. Once grits are cooked, they are usually mixed with butter, but the variations are endless!

Polenta is made from yellow ground corn and is the Italian version of grits. It’s also a deeper shade of yellow and has a different grind while grits are generally a pale white, so be mindful of that when swapping. Polenta takes a little more time to prepare and requires additional stirring in order to keep it creamy and free from lumps.

Types of Grits

  • Quick and Regular – the most common kind of grits are just that, quick and easy to prepare. The endosperm is removed which makes them a little less nutritious but gives them a longer shelf life and a quicker cook time.
  • Hominy – hominy grits are made from white corn that has been soaked.
  • Stone Ground – stone-ground grits are coarsely ground, retain more of the nutrients, but take up to an hour to cook and are harder to find at the grocery store.
  • Instant – essentially, precooked and dehydrated. Instant grits are great for a quick breakfast when made in the microwave with a little water or milk.

Grits prepared in a pot with butter on top.

How to Make Grits

This recipe is just 2 simple steps and tastes so delicious!

  1. Bring milk, water, and salt to a boil on the stove (per recipe below).
  2. Add grits slowly while whisking to avoid sticking together and becoming lumpy.
  3. Cook over low-medium heat and stir frequently.

Remove from heat and add butter and then salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious Variations

For a little variety, try preparing grits with different flavor combinations:

  • For Cheese Grits: Add shredded cheddar cheese after it has been cooked but are still on the stove. Stir constantly until the cheese is fully melted and the grits are smooth.
  • For Shrimp and Grits: Saute the shrimp separately and add to the cooked grits. Add a can of diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese for a fancy version!

What to Eat with Grits

For breakfast, simply cooked with milk and butter and seasoned with salt and pepper is the way to go. Try adding a fried egg on top, a sprinkling of bacon bits for flavor, and serving with a fresh biscuit!

If you are preparing it as an entrée, any kind of sautéed vegetable on the side would taste great! Or a crisp salad with a bright vinaigrette to clear the palate is a great idea!

How to Make Grits

Grits for breakfast, lunch, or supper! They are a delicious main dish or side.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk (or light cream, more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup regular grits (or quick-cooking grits)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  1. Bring milk, water, and salt to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Slowly add grits while whisking to avoid lumps.
  3. Cook grits covered over medium-low heat, stirring frequently ( about 15 minutes for regular grits, 5 minutes for quick-cooking grits).

  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Optional: Stir in 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese before serving.

Milk can be substituted with half and half, a portion of heavy cream or even broth if needed.
For a thinner consistency, add more milk. For a thicker consistency, cook a bit longer.

This recipe is for regular or quick cooking grits. Stone-ground grits will need a longer cook time. Various brands/grinds may have a slightly longer/shorter cook time. 

Grits in a pot with melting butter on top.
A serving of grits with melting butter on top.
Top image - Grits being prepared in a pot with butter on top. Bottom image - A serving of grits topped with butter.

Homemade Crescent Rolls {Tender & Flaky}

Homemade Crescent Rolls are so soft and buttery, you’ll never go back to the canned version again. This easy recipe yields perfectly fluffy rolls, full of real butter flavor! 

Don’t let the thought of yeast intimidate you! While it takes some time, these are not difficult to make.

A basket full of homemade crescent rolls

Tips For Making Crescent Rolls

Knowing a few tips for bread making can make the process easy

  • Use fresh yeast (and check the expiry date on your jar). Expired yeast won’t work well.
  • When adding the yeast to the water, ensure it is closer to lukewarm than hot.
  • It’s ok to add a little more or less flour to get the consistency you want. If the dough seems too sticky, add a little more flour at a time until it seems just right.
  • Get kids to help with the kneading! Every child should have the experience of making bread…at least once!
  • Use a pizza cutter to make the wedge shapes.
  • Roll wedges from the wide side first, and roll loosely. Curve into crescent shape after placing the roll on the parchment.

Most importantly: have fun!

Left image - dough rising in a glass bowl. Right image - dough rolled into a circle and cut into wedges.

How To Make Crescent Rolls

Recipes like this one take the intimidation out of making homemade bread. While there may be a few steps to follow, bear in mind that most of them are as easy as watching bread rise!

  1. Make the “sponge” (per recipe below) and mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (except flour).
  2. Slowly add flour until soft dough forms and knead until smooth.
  3. Allow it to rise until doubled in size. Then cut in half, roll out into circles and cut into wedges.
  4. Roll each wedge into a crescent and place on a tray to rise.
  5. Bake until golden brown!

Spread butter, garlic butter, or even homemade jam on these crescent and enjoy!  

Crescent rolls prepped on a parchment lined baking tray.

What To Make With Crescent Rolls

There are so many amazing recipes to make with crescent rolls! You can use them to make:

The options are endless!

A basket full of baked crescent rolls.

How To Freeze Homemade Crescent Rolls

To freeze before baking is so easy, and when it comes time to make the rolls no one will know they weren’t prepared the same day!

  • Make crescent rolls but instead of baking put them in the freezer, covered, on the baking tray.
  • After two hours, remove and place in a zippered freezer bag or airtight container for up to 6 months.
  • To bake, defrost rolls in the fridge completely (on a parchment-lined tray ready to bake is best), then bake according to recipe directions!

This is a recipe for rainy days or special occasions. Enjoy it with your loved ones anytime.

Homemade Crescent Rolls

This easy recipe yields perfectly soft and flaky crescent every time, full of delicious real butter flavor! 

  • 1 packet active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (plus 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110°F)
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • milk for brushing
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit for 10 mins or until foamy.

  2. Add melted butter and warm milk to a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, egg and salt. Stir in 2 cups of flour.
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time to create a soft dough. Knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Place dough on a lightly flour surface and divide in two. Roll each half into a 12″ circle and cut each circle into 12 wedges.
  6. Roll wedges into a crescent shape starting with the wide end. Place at least 2″ apart on a parchment lined pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise 30-40 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush with milk and bake rolls 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Top image - crescent rolls in a basket. Bottom image - crescent rolls prepped on a baking sheet.
Crescent rolls in a basket
Crescent rolls in a basket

Old Fashioned Hamburger Gravy {Hearty & Filling}

Old fashioned hamburger gravy is a classic recipe that’s tasty, versatile and so satisfying! Crumbled ground beef in a thick and creamy gravy made from milk and broth.

This is the perfect topping for turning any starch side dish into a mouth-watering entrée.

Hamburger gravy served of mashed potatoes and garnished with parsley.

Ingredients and Variations

There are so many easy changes that can be to this recipe with equally delicious results!

  • Meat: I use lean ground beef (of course) but you can sub any kind of ground meat. Turkey/chicken don’t have as much flavor so you might want to add some extra bouillon cubes. Sausage works to turn this into a sausage gravy recipe.
  • Broth: Hamburger gravy can be made without milk by substituting broth for the same quantity; the gravy will be brown instead of white. Beef bouillon cubes dissolved in water can substitute for broth. Just be sure to adjust added salt accordingly. Low sodium broth is not as flavorful, I don’t recommend it.
  • Diary: I use milk however a little bit of cream or even sour cream can be substituted to add even more richness and body to the sauce.
  • Veggies: Make it with mushrooms, and you’ll have a delicious downscale version of beef stroganoff! Or add in some onions for a creamy deconstructed hamburger steak, especially when using broth!

Short on Time? Ground beef is super forgiving and can go straight from the freezer into the frying pan for making hamburger gravy in minutes. To do so, add a little water or beef broth to the pan and cover, turning the block of ground beef often and cutting into smaller pieces as it thaws.

Left image - ground beef, onions, and garlic being cooked in a frying pan. Right image - flour being added to the browned hamburger mixture.

How to Make Hamburger Gravy

Here’s all it takes to prepare this easy homemade dish.

  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in a pan, and do not drain.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients (per recipe below), and cook until the sauce thickens.

When thickened, serve hot over a favorite starch. That’s all there is to it! Mashed potatoes, pasta, rice or even toast all work.

Left image - milk being poured into a pan with browned hamburger and onions. Right image - hamburger gravy being thickened in a sauce pan.

What to Serve with Hamburger Gravy

This yummy, chunky sauce is a quick and easy way to make dinner into a stick-to-your-ribs meal. These are some starch sides perfect for pairing with hamburger gravy.

Savory Sides: garlic mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles, baked rice

Biscuits & Bread: garlic cheese biscuits, toast points, or toasted english muffins

To round this recipe out don’t forget to add a side of your favorite vegetables like roasted asparagus, green beans, or classic mixed veggies!

Hamburger gravy served over mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley.

Can You Freeze Hamburger Gravy?

Hamburger gravy is great as a leftover. Whether refrigerated or frozen make sure to store in an airtight container or zippered bag and write the date on the top!

  • Refrigerated it will last up to four days.
  • Frozen: Dairy doesn’t freeze well so I don’t reccomend freezing this with milk added.

Easy Hamburger Recipes

Hamburger Gravy

Old fashioned hamburger gravy is a classic recipe that’s tasty, versatile and so satisfying!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 bouillon cube
  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until no pink remains. Do not drain.
  2. You should have some fat in the bottom of the skillet, if not, add 1 tablespoon butter or oil. Stir in Worcestershire and steak sauce.
  3. Stir in flour and allow to cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

  5. Serve over biscuits or mashed potatoes.

If you prefer a creamier hamburger gravy, reduce broth to 1/2 cup and increase milk to 1 1/2 cups.

 

Close up of hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes.
Top image - a serving of hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes. Bottom image - hamburger gravy in a sauce pan.
a serving of hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes.

Old Fashioned Hamburger Gravy {Hearty & Filling}

Old fashioned hamburger gravy is a classic recipe that’s tasty, versatile and so satisfying! Crumbled ground beef in a thick and creamy gravy made from milk and broth.

This is the perfect topping for turning any starch side dish into a mouth-watering entrée.

Hamburger gravy served of mashed potatoes and garnished with parsley.

Ingredients and Variations

There are so many easy changes that can be to this recipe with equally delicious results!

  • Meat: I use lean ground beef (of course) but you can sub any kind of ground meat. Turkey/chicken don’t have as much flavor so you might want to add some extra bouillon cubes. Sausage works to turn this into a sausage gravy recipe.
  • Broth: Hamburger gravy can be made without milk by substituting broth for the same quantity; the gravy will be brown instead of white. Beef bouillon cubes dissolved in water can substitute for broth. Just be sure to adjust added salt accordingly. Low sodium broth is not as flavorful, I don’t recommend it.
  • Diary: I use milk however a little bit of cream or even sour cream can be substituted to add even more richness and body to the sauce.
  • Veggies: Make it with mushrooms, and you’ll have a delicious downscale version of beef stroganoff! Or add in some onions for a creamy deconstructed hamburger steak, especially when using broth!

Short on Time? Ground beef is super forgiving and can go straight from the freezer into the frying pan for making hamburger gravy in minutes. To do so, add a little water or beef broth to the pan and cover, turning the block of ground beef often and cutting into smaller pieces as it thaws.

Left image - ground beef, onions, and garlic being cooked in a frying pan. Right image - flour being added to the browned hamburger mixture.

How to Make Hamburger Gravy

Here’s all it takes to prepare this easy homemade dish.

  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in a pan, and do not drain.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients (per recipe below), and cook until the sauce thickens.

When thickened, serve hot over a favorite starch. That’s all there is to it! Mashed potatoes, pasta, rice or even toast all work.

Left image - milk being poured into a pan with browned hamburger and onions. Right image - hamburger gravy being thickened in a sauce pan.

What to Serve with Hamburger Gravy

This yummy, chunky sauce is a quick and easy way to make dinner into a stick-to-your-ribs meal. These are some starch sides perfect for pairing with hamburger gravy.

Savory Sides: garlic mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles, baked rice

Biscuits & Bread: garlic cheese biscuits, toast points, or toasted english muffins

To round this recipe out don’t forget to add a side of your favorite vegetables like roasted asparagus, green beans, or classic mixed veggies!

Hamburger gravy served over mashed potatoes, garnished with parsley.

Can You Freeze Hamburger Gravy?

Hamburger gravy is great as a leftover. Whether refrigerated or frozen make sure to store in an airtight container or zippered bag and write the date on the top!

  • Refrigerated it will last up to four days.
  • Frozen: Dairy doesn’t freeze well so I don’t reccomend freezing this with milk added.

Easy Hamburger Recipes

Hamburger Gravy

Old fashioned hamburger gravy is a classic recipe that’s tasty, versatile and so satisfying!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 bouillon cube
  1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until no pink remains. Do not drain.
  2. You should have some fat in the bottom of the skillet, if not, add 1 tablespoon butter or oil. Stir in Worcestershire and steak sauce.
  3. Stir in flour and allow to cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

  5. Serve over biscuits or mashed potatoes.

If you prefer a creamier hamburger gravy, reduce broth to 1/2 cup and increase milk to 1 1/2 cups.

 

Close up of hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes.
Top image - a serving of hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes. Bottom image - hamburger gravy in a sauce pan.
a serving of hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes.

Fluffy & Crispy Homemade Waffles

This Homemade Waffle Recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a lazy weekend morning! Using just a handful of ingredients you likely have in the pantry, these waffles are delicious drizzled with melted butter and syrup!

Four waffles stacked on top of each other on a white plate. Topped with butter and syrup.

Is Pancake Mix The Same as Waffle Mix?

Waffles and pancakes do not use the same batter. To make the best waffles, don’t use pancake mix. Sure you can cook pancake batter in your waffle iron, but they won’t have the same texture or flavor that classic waffles have.

A waffle batter uses more egg (plus we beat the whites separately and fold them in for the most fluffy waffles ever)! The extra egg makes for a crispy exterior surrounding a moist, custard-like interior that has lots of large air pockets.

Tip: For extra fluffy waffles, the egg whites are beaten until stiff peaks form and folded into the batter. This step only takes a few minutes and makes a big difference.

If you are short on time, you can skip this step but I highly recommend the extra few minutes!

Left image - waffle ingredients in glass bowls. Right image - fluffy waffle batter prepared in a glass bowl.

How to Make Waffles

This light, fluffy homemade waffle recipe is easy but only takes about 15 minutes of prep. Don’t worry, the rave reviews will make it worth the extra step of whipping the egg whites!

  1. Beat egg whites until stiff
  2. Mix dry with wet ingredients (per recipe below).
  3. Fold in whipped egg whites.
  4. Ladle batter into waffle iron and cook until lightly browned and crispy.

Serve with your favorite toppings.

Waffle batter on a waffle iron.

Best Waffle Toppings

Waffles are incredibly versatile and accommodating to so many different toppings.  They can be served as the bread in a gravy-rich meal, or as a dessert.

Leftovers

Be sure to cook up all the batter, because waffles store well in the fridge or freezer, and are easy to revive in the microwave, toaster or oven for quick breakfasts or even snacks.

  • To Store: Cool completely before storing in freezer bags or containers. They will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator, and up to four-six months in the freezer.
  • To Reheat: Just remove as many as you need and place straight into the toaster oven on the medium or light setting until heated through. They can burn easily, so keep an eye on them.

Yummy Breakfast Options

Homemade Waffles

Nothing beats them for home-cooked comfort and making the kids or weekend guests feel special.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs (divided)
  • 1 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (or oil)
  1. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, mix egg yolks, milk and butter. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. *see note

  5. Add egg yolk to flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in egg whites.
  6. Drop by large spoonfuls onto greased waffle iron, close the lid and cook about 3-5 minutes.

Beating the egg whites and folding them in makes the fluffiest waffles. This recipe can be made without beating the egg whites as well. If you do not beat the egg whites, reduce milk to 1 1/2 cups and add whole eggs to the butter mixture.

Buttermilk Waffles

To make buttermilk waffles, reduce baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Replace milk with buttermilk.

Top image - a stack of waffles with butter on top. Bottom image - Waffle batter on a waffle iron.
A stack of waffles with butter and syrup on top.
Top image - a stack of waffles with butter and syrup on top. Bottom image - waffle batter on a waffle iron.

Homemade Pancakes {From Scratch!}

If you are looking for the best pancake recipe to make from scratch, you’ve found it! A simple combination of ingredients you likely have on hand (flour, milk, eggs, baking powder) makes these easy pancakes the perfect breakfast!

Fluffy, flavorful and delicious.

Syrup being poured on top of a stack of homemade pancakes.

Tips for Perfection

  • Heat Cook over medium heat. It takes longer but the results are better (a non-stick skillet works best).
  • Oil Oil the pan and allow it to heat up. Before making the frist batch, give it a gentle wipe with paper towels to remove any big blobs of oil. This will give you perfectly browned pancakes.
  • Consitency The batter should be slightly lumpy (image below) and should pour easily but should not be runny.
    • If it’s too thick add milk a tablespoon or two at a time.
    • If it’s too runny or you’ve accidentally added too much liquid, you can add a bit of flour to get the right consistency.
  • Flip Flip the pancakes with a spatula once bubbles begin to form and the bubbles near the edges start to pop.
  • Mix Ins Add your mix ins on top of the pancakes once you’ve poured the batter into the skillet instead of stirring them into the batter. This keeps  mixins from burning onto the pan.

Pancake batter ingredients in a glass bowl before and after being mixed.

How to Make Pancakes (from scratch)

You’ll love how simple it is to whip these up. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Mix dry ingredients together with a whisk (this adds air to the flour, almost like sifting it).
  2. Whisk wet ingredients together thoroughly with the melted butter.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour wet ingredient mixture in. Mix, but not too much, your batter should be a bit lumpy!

How to Cook Pancakes

Test an electric griddle or pan for temperature. Spill a droplet of water onto the surface and if it sizzles, it’s ready but don’t make it too hot or the pancakes will burn before they’re cooked in the middle!

  1. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan.
  2. Wait until bubbles form in the middle and they just begin to pop along the edges. The edges should be a little bit browned.
  3. Flip and cook the other side.

You can do a few at a time or more, depending on how big your cooking surface is. It’s easy. Transfer pancakes to a warm (200°F) oven. Just have an open casserole dish waiting in the oven to receive the freshly cooked flapjacks! That way they stay nice and hot, and you can serve them all at once at the table along with other fixings.

Fluffy pancakes cooking in a frying pan.

Make Ahead/How to Reheat Pancakes

I often keep a batch of homemade pancake mix in my cupboard to make pancakes easy but on weekdays we like to have them ready to go so all they need is warming.

Pancakes can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and kept in the freezer for 2 months. Just seal them in a freezer bag or an airtight container for storage (with a piece of parchment in between).

To Reheat Pancakes

Toaster: Pop homemade pancakes straight into the toaster. And it makes them a tiny bit crisp which is delicious.

Microwave: The microwave works too, just heat about 20-30 seconds for 1 serving.

A stack of homemade pancakes with two pats of butter and syrup on top.

Easy Breakfast Recipes

Fluffy Pancakes

The best pancake recipe to make from scratch. These are fluffy and so easy to make!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (or as needed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (or vegetable oil)
  1. Whisk milk, eggs and melted butter.

  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
  3. Create a well in the middle and add wet ingredients. Stir just until combined, batter should look slightly lumpy. It should be slightly thick but should still be able to pour fairly smoothly. You may need to add a bit more milk.

  4. Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat (or to 350°F). Lightly grease with butter or olive oil.

  5. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook on one side until bubbles form and begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side about 1-2 minutes.

To Make Large Batches: If making large batches, preheat the oven to 175°F and keep a baking sheet in the oven. Keep pancakes warm on the baking sheet.

To Make Whole Wheat Pancakes: Substitute 1/2 cup of white flour for wheat flour.

To Make Ahead: Cook and cool pancakes. Separate pancakes with a layer of waxed paper and place in a freezer bag. Reheat in the microwave, toaster or oven

Favorite Pancake Toppings

My kids’ absolute favorite thing to do to pancakes, is to spread them with seedless raspberry jam, then drizzle warmed up heavy cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon over them. Trust me when I say this is actually a delicious combination! Other favorite toppings include:

  • Butter and real maple syrup, of course!
  • Whipped cream and honey… delicious on crepes, too!
  • Sliced strawberries… or blackberries, raspberries, blueberries…or all four!!
  • Various kinds of jam with clotted cream!
  • Nutella… this is basically like having dessert for breakfast!

 

Top image - syrup being poured on top of a stack of homemade pancakes. Bottom image - pancakes cooking in a frying pan.
Top image - syrup being poured on top of a stack of pancakes. Bottom image - pancake batter in a glass bowl.
Syrup being poured on top of a stack of homemade pancakes.

Maple Walnut Overnight French Toast – Perfect for Christmas morning!

Overnight French Toast is an easy breakfast option that can go from oven to table in mere minutes.

French bread is soaked in a delicious homemade custard  mixture and topped with nuts this easy dish is prepared the night before for a quick breakfast!

If classic french toast is one of your favorite breakfasts this overnight meal is made for you! Great for Christmas morning, this recipe removes the morning prep and makes an entire batch all at once! Try topping this french toast bake with fresh whipped cream!

The slices of overnight french toast stacked on a plate with maple syrup being poured overtop.

Why Make it Overnight?

So I can sleep in is my favorite reason! But, more importantly, so the french bread can soak up all the creamy milk and warm spices while you slumber!

I always make one savory overnight breakfast casserole and  one sweet for holiday mornings. All of the work is done ahead of time, it’s great for guests and perfect for a lazy Sunday morning too!

How to Make Overnight French Toast

No need to preheat the oven for this one…at least until you wake up, that is! The best bread for this recipe is a classic French Bread, brioche, or challah.

  1. Spread melted butter & brown sugar on the bottom of a pan (per recipe below).
  2. Slice bread and place on pan.

Sliced french bread on a baking tray with the egg mixture ingredients to the side.

  1. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over bread.
  2. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, cover, and place in the fridge overnight.

Two images showing the egg mixture being prepared and then poured over the bread.

In the morning remove the French toast from the fridge, preheat the oven and bake. Voila.

My Favorite French Toast Toppings

The sky is the limit with this homemade recipe! The best toppings will really accentuate the sweet/savory flavor of the soaked and baked bread. But here is a list of toppings I like to set out for family and friends!

Baked overnight french toast being lifted off the baking tray.

What to Do with Leftover French Toast

Overnight French Toast can be easily saved for the next day! Simply store it in the refrigerator and when you are ready to reheat, just pop it in the microwave with a paper towel or pan fry a piece or two on the stove top to crisp up the edges!

Yummy Overnight Breakfast Casseroles

Overnight French Toast

Overnight French Toast is the perfect easy breakfast for any morning!

  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 loaf french bread ( sliced 1" thick)
  • 12 eggs ( beaten)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup ( or 1/2 teaspoon maple extract)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (or pecans, chopped )
  • whipped cream ((optional))

Before Bed

  1. Slice bread into 1" thick slices and let dry on the counter for a couple of hours (or place in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes using caution not to brown the bread)

  2. Place melted butter and brown sugar on a large rimmed baking sheet (mine was 17.5" x 12.5"). Mix well and spread on the bottom of the pan.

  3. Arrange bread in the pan over the brown sugar.

  4. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon
  5. Gently pour the half of the egg mixture over the bread ensuring all of the bread is soaked. Flip the bread and pour the remaining egg mixture over top.

  6. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight

Morning time:

  1. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 20 minutes
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  3. Bake for 30 minutes ensuring that the french toast doesn’t brown
  4. Serve with maple syrup and whipped cream

I use a large pan, and it fits almost a whole loaf of french bread. This recipe will work just fine on two smaller pans.

You will see some egg  mixture on the pan, the bread will soak it up as it sits overnight.

Any kind of milk can be used in this recipe (including non-dairy).

Baked overnight french toast being lifted off the baking tray.
Baked overnight french toast being lifted off a baking tray with a spatula.
Top image - overnight french toast being lifted off the baking tray. Bottom image - Egg mixture being poured over the bread.

Creamy Homemade Hot Chocolate

When you make homemade hot chocolate, your kids will want to play outside in the cold and snow every day to come inside for a cup of this creamy cocoa! Made with chunks of real semi-sweet chocolate melted into cream…it’s hands down the best hot chocolate you’ll ever taste!

When the colder months hit, I’m obsessed with making cozy drinks; Pumpkin Spice Lattes or my Homemade Eggnog, just give me a hug in a mug! What could be better than coming in from the cold to sweet and creamy homemade hot chocolate?

Two mugs filled with homemade hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Keeping Hot Chocolate From Burning

Trying to cook chocolate too quickly on high heat doesn’t work. Homemade hot chocolate needs a bit of patience!

  • Cook over medium heat.
  • Ensure the mixture never comes to a boil, you want little bubbles to begin to form around the edges.
  • Chocolate, like this recipe calls for, can easily burn as it melts so be sure to whisk constantly.

A bar of chocolate being chopped on a cutting board.

How To Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

This recipe can be made for one or for a crowd, simply double or triple it!

  1. Combine the milk, cream, and sugar (per recipe below), in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk until chocolate melts and continue mixing until steaming hot and frothy! (Don’t allow it to come to a boil!)
  3. Stir in vanilla, then serve with your favorite toppings

Left image - milk and cream heating up in a sauce pan. Right image - chocolate melted into the milk and cream mixture in a sauce pan.

My Favorite Hot Chocolate Toppings

Some irresistible toppings that everyone adores are:

  • Whipped cream of course, try with flaked chocolate or a drizzle of chocolate sauce!
  • Steamed milk with a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder
  • A dollop of coconut cream (especially good if you make this recipe with white chocolate!)
  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of caramel!
  • Candy cane stir sticks!
  • And of course everyone’s favorite marshmallows. Tiny or giant, multi colored or plain white, you just can’t beat hot chocolate with marshmallows!

With this simple recipe you may never go back to prepackaged hot cocoa again…it’s absolutely the best hot chocolate you’ll ever taste!

Hot & Cozy Drinks

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Made with chunks of real semi-sweet chocolate melted into a creamy milk mixture…it’s hands down the best hot chocolate you’ll ever taste!

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Combine milk, cream and sugar over medium-low heat. Whisk until hot and sugar is dissolved.

  2. Add chocolate and whisk until melted in.

  3. Stir in vanilla and serve with whipped cream or marshmallows.

To Cook in Crock Pot: Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker for 4 hours on low whisking every hour. Once chocolate is melted and mixture is hot, keep on low.

A sauce pan full of homemade hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows.
Three photos showing the process to make Homemade Hot Chocolate. The left shows a sauce pan filled with hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows. The top right shows a bar of chocolate being chopped on a cutting board. The bottom right shows milk and cream heating up in a sauce pan.
Top photo -two mugs filled with homemade hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Bottom photo - A sauce pan full of homemade hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows and chocolate shavings.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls are one of the best ever treats. This recipe is perfect for making soft rolls with sticky-sweet cinnamon filling on the inside, and dripping with cream cheese icing on the outside!

Cinnamon Buns like these and also be flavored with Pumpkin, Orange, or Apple Cinnamon with extra flavors baked in.

Homemade cinnamon rolls on a plate

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

It might seem intimidating to make homemade bread of any kind, but it is way easier than a lot of people think. It does take some time although it’s not difficult to make!

  1. Proof your yeast by simply combining warm water, yeast, and sugar. *Tip:  Double check the expiry on your yeast packet, especially if you don’t use it often! Expired yeast can make your rolls fall flat.

Sugar and spice mixture for cinnamon rolls in a glass bowl.

  1. Warm the milk and butter and make the dough using flour and the other listed ingredients, including the yeast mixture above.
  2. Knead the dough once mixed. You’ll know it’s kneaded enough when the dough takes on a smooth and elastic texture.

Cinnamon roll dough in a glass bowl before and after rising.

  1. Let the dough rise for an hour or so until it’s doubled in size.
  2. Roll it out flat, top with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll it up and cut!

Three images showing the steps to fill, roll, and cut the cinnamon rolls.

TIP: Once rolled into a long log, you will want to cut your cinnamon rolls. Rather than a knife, I find using a piece of dental floss cuts the rolls evenly without squishing the soft dough. (Be sure it’s not flavored floss).

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Icing

Onto the frosting instructions! Cream cheese icing takes these cinnamon buns to a whole new level!

  1. Place cream cheese, butter, vanilla, confectioner’s sugar, and a little salt in a large bowl.
  2. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

To Make Ahead of Time

These cinnamon rolls can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. Once rolled, place the rolls in a greased 9×13 pan and cover with plastic wrap.

Remove the rolls from the fridge and cover with a towel. With the oven turned off, place rolls in the oven and place a bowl or pan of very hot water in the oven next to the rolls. Allow to rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Storing Leftovers

Cinnamon buns can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. If you plan to store them, keep the frosting in the refrigerator and add to each roll as you enjoy them.

  • In the Freezer: Cinnamon Rolls freeze well, just make sure they are tightly wrapped, or stored in an airtight container. You can individually freeze them for quick treats if you prefer. The cream cheese Icing can also be frozen, either on the buns or in a separate container.

These Cinnamon Rolls are such a treat, they are sure to make your holidays (or even ordinary days) special!

Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe makes soft rolls with sticky-sweet cinnamon filling on the inside, and dripping with cream cheese icing on the outside!

  • 4 to 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour (divided)
  • 1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)

Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)

Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. Combine water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Let sit 10 minutes or until foamy.
  3. Combine milk, butter, remaining sugar, and salt in a saucepan and heat to 120-130°F.

  4. Place 2 cups flour in a stand mixer. Add eggs, milk mixture and yeast mixture. Mix until combined.
  5. Using a dough hook, add flour, 1/2 cup at a time to form a soft dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic (approx. 8 mins).

  6. Place in a greased bowl in a warm spot and cover with a towel for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Roll dough into a 15" x 12" rectangle, spread butter on the dough and top with brown sugar and cinnamon.

  8. Roll dough starting on the long side. Slice into 15 pieces. Place in prepared pan.
  9. Cover rolls with a towel and allow them to rise 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  10. Brush dough with milk and bake 20-25 minutes.
  11. While the rolls are baking, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt with a mixer until fluffy.

  12. Allow rolls to cool for about 10-15 minutes and spread frosting on warms rolls.

To Make Ahead

Once prepared, place rolls in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

With the oven turned off, place rolls in the oven and place a bowl or pan of very hot water in the oven next to the rolls. Allow to rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bread Machine

The dough can be prepared in a bread machine. Combine dough ingredients in the order specified by your bread machine. Set on dough cycle. Let dough rest for 10 minutes once completed and continue with recipe as above.

 

 

Recipe slightly adapted from this cinnamon roll post

Baked cinnamon rolls topped with frosting.
Baked cinnamon rolls in a baking pan, topped with icing.
Top photo - one cinnamon roll served on a white plate. Bottom photo - shows how to cut the unbaked cinnamon rolls using floss.

Homemade Biscuits {Made From Scratch!}

Anyone (including you) can easily make tender flaky homemade biscuits from scratch! This recipe will guide you through the secrets to making the most scrumptious biscuits you’ve ever tasted.

Biscuits aren’t just a breakfast recipe either. Serve them with meals like chicken stew or sausage gravy. Buttery biscuits are perfect for dipping and sopping up rich sauces of all kinds.

Baked biscuit being buttered with a brush on a baking sheet.

How to Make Biscuits

Homemade biscuits are a quick bread just like a banana bread or pumpkin bread, which means no waiting around for hours for the dough to rise.  Leavening is accomplished with both baking soda and baking powder for a light and fluffy lift.

TIP: You need to cut in the butter or shortening before adding the liquid, and it should be cold. The little pockets of butter create lift and fluffiness.

Use a pastry cutter if you have one or a sturdy fork. You could also pulse a few times in your food processor with the dough blade. You don’t want to incorporate the butter completely, it should be about the size of peas.

Overhead of flour and butter mixture in a glass bowl.

To Make Biscuits:

  1. Cut butter into dry ingredients (per recipe below).
  2. Mix in the milk and gently knead just a couple of times.

Left picture shows dry ingredients mixed, right picture shows wet ingredients added.

  1. Roll out and cut into rounds.
  2. Bake and serve warm with butter.

Left picture shows biscuit dough formed into a ball, right picture shows a biscuit cut out of the formed dough.

Don’t overdo the kneading. Unlike yeast bread, you don’t want to overdevelop the gluten in the flour. The best biscuits are so tender they practically melt in your mouth, and the way to achieve that effect is to not overwork the dough.

Variations

Biscuits will allow you to unleash your creativity in all kinds of fun ways. Add cheese, herbs or other seasonings to amp up the flavor. The next time seafood in on your menu, how about adding some shredded cheddar and Old Bay seasoning to the mix for yummy biscuits just like Red Lobster?

How to Store Leftovers

Homemade biscuits are easy to store. Depending on how long you want to keep them you can leave them on the counter, in the fridge, or store in the freezer!

  • Room Temperature: They’ll keep a few days at room temperature covered in plastic.
  • Fridge: Store in a baggie in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Freezer: Leftovers will keep in the freezer for more than 4 months. Store in freezer bags to prevent freezer burn, and so you can easily remove one or two as needed.

How to Reheat Homemade Biscuits

Homemade biscuits taste best served warm. They can go straight from freezer to oven or microwave without thawing first.

  1. Place on a cookie sheet in the toaster oven set at 350°F for 5 -10 minutes.
  2. Float a piece of foil on the top to prevent over-browning or burning.

Now bring on the butter and jelly and let’s eat some biscuits!

Easy Biscuit Recipes!

Homemade Biscuits

Delicious, warm flaky biscuits, made from scratch!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup butter (cold and cut into small cubes)
  • 3/4 cup milk (or as needed)
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

  2. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.

  3. Add cold butter and cut in using a pastry blender (or fork). You’re looking for a somewhat crumbly texture. You want to see small bits of butter about the size of a pea.

  4. Gently stir the milk into the flour a little bit at a time. The mixture will somewhat cohesive but slightly sticky. It should also start to pull away from the bowl. You may not need all of the milk.

  5. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead about 10 times or until the mixture smooth. If the dough is super sticky or sticks to the surface add a little more flour. If too dry, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

  6. Gently pat out the dough until it’s 1-inch thick. Then using a large biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits and place them on a large baking sheet.

  7. Pat out any remaining dough and repeat the cutting out process.

  8. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Baked biscuit being buttered with a brush on a baking sheet.
Baked biscuit being buttered with a brush on a baking sheet.
Top photo - Baked biscuit being buttered with a brush on a baking sheet. Bottom photo - Overhead of flour and butter mixture in a glass bowl.