Nutella French Toast



When I sat down to write this article, I did not plan for it to become so personal. I mention friends and family a lot because they are part of what makes me who I am. Sometimes not all that great, I still need a lot of work, but mostly okay. Today’s article gives you a glimpse of just how ordinary my life is. I hope you don’t mind that I shared this with you.

Valentine’s Day, the day of love and romance, is just around the corner. Valentine’s day has certainly changed for me over the years. As a young married couple with limited funds for extravagances, Greg and I tried to make the day special. There were never any fancy meals in the budget, but we could usually swing a card, and Greg would always come home with a single rose for me.

Fast forward ten years and it became all about the kids. Buying Valentine’s for school and decorating shoe boxes. Making heart shaped pancakes and buying stuffed animals.

After 29 years of marriage, with grown kids, what will Valentine’s Day entail for us this year? I would say we are as romantic as the next couple. However, when I tell you how we will most likely spend Valentine’s day, you may wonder about that. We don’t usually buy cards or gifts. We will wish each other a Happy Valentine’s Day as I hand Greg his coffee, give him a kiss, and he walks out the door for work. We will probably use the day as an excuse to have dinner out if Greg gets home from work early enough. It will be nice and quite, and we will enjoy spending time together, whether we make it to a restaurant for or if we sit at home and watch a few Andy Griffith show reruns. It’s life, it’s not fancy, in fact, it’s mostly downright chaotic. It’s learning to be content and happy in those “not so fancy” times that has made this marriage work for 29 years, though.

So, Greg, if you happen to read my article (or blog) this week, I want you to know I love you and I love our life together. God blessed the kids and me by giving us you. Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you want to make more than a cup of coffee for your Valentine, this Nutella French Toast is a wonderful way to start any day. It is certainly simple enough to make on a weekday morning, but it’s fancy enough for a wonderful weekend treat as well. This French toast is delicious topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, or bananas.

Nutella French Toast
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 8 (1/2-inch) thick slices brioche or challah bread
  • 8 tbsp. Nutella spread, divided
  • Powdered sugar, divided
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and salt. Working in batches, melt some butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. Dip the bread slices in the egg mixture and quickly transfer to the skillet. Cook 2 slices of the bread until golden brown, and then flip over and cook the other side. Spread approximately 2 tbsp. of the Nutella on 1 piece of bread and place the other piece of cooked bread on top to enclose the chocolate spread. Gently press so that the pieces stick together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.



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Game Day Smoked Beef Brisket


This is an exciting week for those of us living in Georgia, as the Atlanta Falcons prepare for Super Bowl LI!  Especially for those of us that have been here through the “not so good” years!  This will be the second time in history that the Falcons have made it to the Super Bowl.  The last time being 18 years ago.  This has been their season to shine and my fingers are crossed that they will bring the Vince Lombardi trophy back to Atlanta this year!
I know that super bowl parties will be going on all over the state this Sunday!  Treat your friends and family to this fabulous Smoked Beef Brisket.  The trick to a tender beef brisket is to cook it “low and slow”.  You certainly need to plan ahead and do NOT rush the process!  Greg’s general rule of thumb is to plan on 90 minutes of cooking time per pound of brisket.  We cook on a Traeger grill and have terrific results every time!  However, if you cook on a ceramic grill, charcoal or even gas follow your grills manufacturer’s directions for adjusting the temperature.

Game Day Smoked Beef Brisket
  • 12 lb. beef brisket
  • Wide Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Rub:
  • 6 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. coarse salt
  • 4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Mop:
  • 2 c. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 c. beer
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  1. Plan ahead. You will need to smoke the brisket approximately 90 minutes per pound.
  2. Trim fat to ¼-inch thick.
  3. Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix. Rub this mixture onto the brisket on all sides. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours. However, you can cook right away, if desired.
  4. Combine all ingredients for the mop sauce in a nonreactive bowl and stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved.
  5. If using a charcoal grill set up grill for indirect grilling. If using gas set grill to low. If using any other grill follow manufacturers directions for preheating your grill to cook over indirect heat, low, or smoke.
  6. Place brisket directly on grate of preheated grill, fat side up. Smoke for 6 hours, mopping with mop sauce every hour for 8 hours. Raise grill temperature to 250 degrees F.
  7. When internal temperature of brisket reaches 160 degrees F, remove the brisket from the grill and wrap well in heavy duty foil. Return the foil wrapped brisket back to the grill. Lower the grill temperature to 120 degrees F to 150 degrees F and cook for 4 hours.
  8. Raise the grill temperature to 225 degrees F and cook until internal temperature of brisket reaches 204 degrees F. (This took approximately 3 hours on our grill.)
  9. Remove foil wrapped brisket from grill and rest in foil for 1 hour.
  10. Slice and serve.


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Easy French Dip Sliders


I am thrilled that the Atlanta Falcons have made it to the Super Bowl!  Most of you already know that I enjoy tailgating and this is a great excuse to have some friends over.  I would be willing to bet that I am not alone in saying I will watch for more than the halftime show this year!
As you prepare for your own tailgating party, here is an excellent recipe that is sure to please.  These French Dip Sliders are easy to assemble.  They are warm and gooey with melted cheese and are perfect served with Au Jus for dipping!
These sliders are very similar to the hot ham and cheese sandwiches, on the little rectangular dinner rolls, that I remember eating as a kid.  I always loved them and could never eat just one.  These French Dip Sliders have pretty much the same concept.  Combine melted butter with some great flavors, pour over the top and bake until warm, and melty.
I doubled this recipe and was able to fit two packages of Hawaiian sweet rolls into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  I suggest medium or even rare deli meat for this dish.  As the sliders bake, the meat will also cook slightly.


Easy French Dip Sliders
  • 1 pkg. Hawaiian sweet rolls (12 rolls total)
  • 1 lb. deli roast beef
  • 12 slices provolone cheese, separated
  • Seasoning:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 envelope Au Jus seasoning mix, separated
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • ¾ tsp. dried minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a11 x 7 baking dish.
  3. Without separating the rolls, slice the package of rolls in half horizontally.
  4. Place the bottom half of the rolls in the baking dish. (If you are using two packages of rolls in a 9 x 13-inch dish you may have to separate a few of the rolls and adjust to fit the pan.)
  5. Top the bottom half of rolls with 6 slices of cheese. Add deli meat evenly over the cheese, then top with 6 additional slices of cheese, and the top half of the rolls.
  6. In a small bowl, melt the butter in a microwave. Mix in 1 tbsp. of the Au Jus seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, sesame seeds, dried minced garlic, onion powder and seasoning salt. Whisk to combine.
  7. Pour this mixture over the rolls, using a pastry brush to spread the mixture evenly.
  8. Bake the sliders uncovered until the cheese is gooey and the tops are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. If you notice the tops getting dark, cover with foil and continue to bake until the cheese has melted.
  9. Remove from the oven and cut the sliders in between the rolls.
  10. While the sliders bake, combine the remaining au jus seasoning with 2 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened.
  11. Serve with sliders.
If you are using two packages of rolls in a 9 x 13-inch dish you may have to separate a few of the rolls and adjust to fit the pan.



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Amye’s Top Recipes from 2016




One of my favorite post each year is my top picks. I’m running a little late this year, but I did not want to miss out on the opportunity to share my favorite recipes from 2016 with you!

It’s obvious at first glance that I enjoy cheese, chipotle peppers, sugar, and food with a Mexican flair. Because I am trying new recipes much of the time, I often prepare a recipe only once. However, my top picks for 2016 are recipes that I make over and over again! These are all dishes that my family and I enjoy. These are the foods that I crave.

I think it would be fun to sit down one day and figure out my ALL-TIME favorite NJSD recipes!! Maybe that will be an upcoming post!

In the meantime, visit or revisit these fabulous recipes from 2016. Simply click on the recipe title below to be redirected to the original post.












The Varsity has nothing on these delicious Crispy Onion Rings!  They are fast and easy to prepare and worth the effort!


My cousin’s recipe for this Garden Dill Veggie Sandwich is simply the best!


Maybe it’s a little cold outside for these fabulous Peaches and Coconut Cream Popsicles, but they will be on the menu here soon!


The Cilantro Sauce takes these Fajita Kabobs over the top!  This is a must try recipe!


Sweet Potato bread is amazingly moist!  I seldom make the pineapple butter but for special occasions it’s a wonderful addition!


Not only does this Pineapple Upside Down Pound Cake look beautiful, it also tastes great!


This homemade enchilada sauce is so simple you will wonder why you haven’t been making it all along!  Make these tasty Chicken Enchiladas for an easy weeknight dinner!


Customize this recipe with as many chipotle peppers as you like.  I love the wonderful smoky flavor of chipotle peppers in Amye’s Smoky Cheese Dip!


My aunt’s recipe for Heirloom Carrot Cake is THE best carrot cake I’ve ever had.  I love this frosting!


Here’s another super easy recipe, Fried Chicken Tacos with Buttermilk Jalapeno Sauce.  I simply pick up chicken tenders at Zaxby’s then make the sauce for a delicious and simple meal for the family!


This smoky, spicy barbecue sauce adds tons of flavor to this yummy Smoky Barbecue Chicken Sandwich!  I keep this sauce in the fridge all of the time!


These wonderful Peanut Butter Fingers are the first recipe I ever cooked on my own as a teenager.  They are a great treat to this day…many years later!


I love the taste of pickles and olives.  This Olive Bruschetta is a sure winner for your next party!


Notice this is the third family recipe that I picked for a 2016 favorite.  Make my aunt’s Tea Cake recipe and you may never make another cookie!  They are just that good!


You will not find many casserole recipes on NJSD but this one is a keeper!  This ooey, gooey Cheesy Onion Casserole is high on the list of comfort foods in our house!


Now I am craving all my favorites!   I always enjoy your comments and I would enjoy hearing from you now.  Do you have a favorite recipe from NJSD that you have tried and you make it over and over again?  Leave a comment on NJSD or email me at  My goal for 2017 is to have more reader involvement.  So please, if you enjoy NJSD or you have a favorite recipe, or you just want to say “hi”, let me hear from you!







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Black Bean Hummus



We are into our third week of the new year, and I wonder how many resolutions have been broken?   I recently traveled to North Georgia to be with my mom during the forecasted winter weather. When I prepared for living without power, I did not make wise food choices. I stocked up of Doritos with bean dip and salsa, Mac and Cheese, and Oreos!! We did not lose power, but I could not let those indulgences go to waste either. I have struggled to get back on track since returning home.

Having delicious and easy recipes is one way for me to stay on track. I have tried several new recipes this year and have been fantastic! My goal, going forward with NJSD, is to bring you at least one healthy recipe per month. I already have a recipe in mind for February, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

In the meantime, I have one more recipe to share as we start the new year.  This Black Bean Hummus is a delicious, healthy, protein-packed snack.  My family loves this snack. Homemade hummus is very easy to prepare, and because you can adjust ingredients to your taste, it’s typically better than anything you can buy.

Serve hummus with pita bread, crackers, or the way my kids like it, with tortilla chips, or have a healthy snack and serve with fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, or celery.

Hummus always tastes better a few hours after being made. Store in the refrigerator for a delicious, healthy snack that’s ready anytime.


Black Bean Hummus
  • 2 c. drained black beans
  • ½ c. tahini
  • ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • dash of hot sauce
  • water for consistency
  1. Using a blender or food processor blend the beans, tahini, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, lemon or lime juice, and hot sauce until smooth. With the blender or food processor running 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to reach the perfect consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and chives to serve, if desired.

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