Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pretzel Turtles

This is a great treat to make if your short on time and the kids can help !!! My husband thought they were dang good!!

Pretzel Turtles
  • 20 small mini pretzels
  • 20 chocolate covered caramel candies
  • 20 pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place one chocolate covered caramel candy on each pretzel.
  3. Bake for 4 minutes. While the candy is warm, press a pecan half onto each candy covered pretzel. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Friday, December 2, 2011

PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps

I found this amazing recipe at Iowa Girl Eats and had to try it immediately. The result was amazing. I made a couple of changes to this recipe do to the ingredients I had on hand. I used diced chicken breasts instead of ground chicken and I used crunchy peanut butter instead of the chopped peanuts :)
This was a bif hit with the husband. I served it with coconut rice ...YUM!!! If you like asian cuisine then try this won't be sorry.

P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps
(Printable Version)
Serves 2-3
1lb ground chicken breast
1/2 medium onion, minced
salt & pepper, a dash of each
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 inch gnob fresh ginger, peeled & minced
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (or more if you like it hotter)
dash of fresh pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1/2-8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained & chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
10-12 large outer lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1. Heat a large, non-stick skillet on high. Add chicken, onion, salt & pepper, and cook until chicken is nearly done, stirring often to break up the meat. Add in minced garlic and ginger, and continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink.
2. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, water, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce and pepper. Microwave for 20 seconds, then stir until smooth. Add into the skillet and stir to combine.( I added the ingredients straight to the skillet with great results)
3 Add green onion and water chestnuts into the skillet then cook for 1-2 minutes until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.
4. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, and serve with cold lettuce leaves

Monday, November 7, 2011

Autumn Chopped Salad

Today was the day I tried this fabulous recipe I found on Pinterest...Go ahead and Thank Me...
This is the PERFECT salad for your Thanksgiving Meal. It is side salad ever.....
I prefer a homemade dressing over the bottled dressing mentioned ...however this salad is great either way...ENJOY I know you'll love it.

Autumn Chopped Salad(Printable Version)

*6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
*2 medium pears, chopped
*1 cup dried cranberries
*1 cup chopped pecans
*8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
*4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
*Poppy seed Salad Dressing (I like T. Marzetti)
*Balsamic Vinaigrette (I like Newman's Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette)

*On a large platter, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and
feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of
the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a cup of dressing:
70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette) If you
prefer your salad to have more dressing, feel free to experiment with the

**** My Favorite Option for the dressing comes from Shannon Carlsen recipe to follow:

2 tsp Poppy seeds
2/3 C sugar
3/4 C. vegetable Oil
1/3 C. Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 TBSP onion
1/3 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp salt

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until blended

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cake Pops or Cake Balls

Ingredients for Cake Pops
(Printable Version)

To make these cake pops, you will need:
1 cake baked in a 13x9 pan
1 tub of frosting, or about 2 cups
12 ounces of candy coating
lollipop sticks

Crumble the CakeBegin by breaking up the cake into fine crumbs. This recipe is really flexible, and you can actually use any flavor of cake, or even substitute muffins or quick breads instead. Whatever you use, work the cake until it's entirely crumbled.

Mix in FrostingTake your frosting, and again you can use any flavor you like, and mix it in. you can use a spoon, but I think it's easier, although messier, just to use my hands. I reserve a little of the frosting because I don't always need it. The exact amount needed will depend on the moistness of the cake.

You want the final mixture to be fairly moist and to easily hold itself together when you shape it into a ball, but not so moist that it's soggy or gooey.

Roll the Cake into Balls
Roll the cake into small balls, using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop. You should get between 3-4 dozen balls depending on how large you make them. Set them on a lined cookie sheet.

Freeze the Cake Balls
Once they're all formed, put them in the freezer to harden for about an hour to make them easier to dip.

Melt the Candy Coating
While you're waiting for the cake balls to harden, melt the candy coating in the microwave and stir until it's entirely melted and smooth.
Put Lollipop Sticks into Cake Balls (or move on to the next step if not using sticks)

After an hour, remove the cake balls from the freezer. Use a skewer or a toothpick to poke holes in the balls, then dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted coating, and stick it into the hole you just created. The melted coating will help hold the stick in the cake pop.

Dip Cake Balls into Candy Coating
Once all of the cake balls are on sticks, it's time to dip them. Hold one end of the lollipop stick and submerge the cake pop completely in the melted coating. Take it out and gently tap it and swirl it upside down to remove excess coating--if you don't it will drip down the stick and look really terrible.

Set the Cake Pops
Now you can just stick them upside down on a baking sheet to set, but this does give them flat tops.

So if you want rounded shapes, you'll need to find some Styrofoam or florist foam to stick your cake pops in while they dry. Continue dipping them until all of your cake pops are covered with candy coating. If it starts to get too stiff from the cold pops, re-warm it briefly.

Decorate the Cake Pops
If you want to decorate them, you can drizzle them with melted white chocolate, or add sprinkles or chopped nuts while the coating is still wet.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Parker's Pumpkin Bread

My soon to be 11 year old son has been asking me to make pumpkin bread since school started. Kind of a strange request from him. Today he asked again and I finally felt in the mood to honor the request................He was quite excited as he announced that he was going to take his teacher a loaf since it was her favorite. With a smug look on his face he declared that he LOVES being the teachers there you have it a GREAT pumpkin bread recipe that makes superb muffins as well. I made large muffins and baked them for 30 minutes . My loaves take the full hour. Enjoy!!!

Parker's Pumpkin Bread

Printable Version
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup water
29 ounces pumpkin
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
In a large bowl, mix together ingredients in order given.
Divide mixture into 3 greased loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cakes

 Another fabulous recipe from Our Best Bites....make sure to have plenty of milk around when you serve these. They were great..

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
Recipe by Our Best Bites
(Printable Version)
1 Duncan Hines yellow or white cake mix
1 cup sour cream (full-fat or light, but not fat-free)
3 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
24 unwrapped mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Chocolate Frosting:
1/4 cup melted butter (real butter, not margarine)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 pound powdered sugar
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup  real butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons (or more) of milk (you can use some of the leftover evaporated milk; it’s awesome in this frosting)
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all the cupcake ingredients except for the peanut butter cups with an electric mixer on medium-low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl frequently. Turn the speed to high and beat for another 3 minutes.
Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full with batter. Top with an unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup , then fill the muffin cups with the remaining batter. Make sure the Peanut Butter Cups are covered and the cups are about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frostings. For both frostings, just combine all the ingredients for each one and whip until light and fluffy, adding additional milk as needed. Frost the cupcakes with the swirled frosting in this tutorial.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I finally decided to try my hand at making Eclairs.( I am not sure what I have been waiting for. )This recipe was great!! The kids enjoyed helping. The filling made a little more than I needed so my grand daughter had a bowl of pudding while we waited for these to cool. If you think that making eclairs may be too time consuming or difficult then this recipe is for you. Try these today.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
Filling :
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla
pudding mix
2 1/2 cups cold milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Chocolate Glaze :
2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low, and add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate completely after each addition. With a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a No. 10, or larger, tip, spoon or pipe dough onto cookie sheet in 1 1/2 x 4 inch strips.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake 20  minutes more,(I only baked mine an additional 13 minutes more and they were perfect) until hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling, combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl according to package directions. In a separate bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Fold whipped cream into pudding. Cut tops off of cooled pastry shells with a sharp knife. Fill shells with pudding mixture and replace tops.
For the icing, melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and has reached desired consistency. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and drizzle over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until serving.

Zucchini Bisque

I received this great recipe from my Mother In Law. It was a big hit at our house. It reminded the kids of a cream of broccoli soup . We added a little cheese to top it off and served it with corn bread. 
The following recipe and notes are courtesy of Jan King.

I turned 20 cups of zucchini from our garden into 5 quarts of yummy Zucchini Bisque yesterday.  I doubled the following recipe.
(Printable Version)
10 cups zucchini
1 large onion, chopped
1 cube butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half & half
salt & white pepper to taste
1 dash nutmeg

Simmer everything except the cream until squash & onion are tender.  Blend until smooth, add cream.

I used to make this in Mesa AZ, in the morning and served it chilled for dinner with Bacon Corn Muffins for a refreshing meal when it was hot.  However, Don actually prefers it warm.  I put 4 quarts in the freezer to enjoy later, and I will serve it with Corn Fritters.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Apple Cobbler

This cobbler is so easy to make. It can be made with any flavor pie filling. I make this with my home canned Apple Pie Filling. I would dare say that this is My husband's favorite dessert. Top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it is hard to beat .

Pie Filling Cobbler
(Printable Version)

Ingredients :
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 (15 ounce) cans pie filling ( flavor of your choice)

Melt butter or margarine in baking dish.
Mix sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder.
Add milk and mix well.
Pour batter into melted butter-- do not stir.
Pour pie filling into batter (I drop it by spoonful and put several spoons in the middle and then divide the rest into the corners and sides-- do not stir).
Bake@ 350° for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oreo Cupcakes

I saw this recipe and knew I had to try it. Just as I thought it was a huge hit!!
Who doesn't cupcakes right? Go Ahead make them and then head straight to the gym:)

24 teaspoons Oreo crumbs
¼ cup water
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
Devil’s Food Cake Mix

Oreo Buttercream:
8 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup butter
Oreo cream from cookies
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1 cup Oreo crumbs, sifted

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffins tins with cupcake liners
2.    Separate about 24 Oreos. Scrape off the cream centers and set aside for later, and put the cookies in the food processor.  Or if you are a poor college student, put them in a plastic bag to crunch by hand.
3.    Sift the crushed Oreos.  You will need 1 cup sifted cookies for the buttercream, so set that aside, and then add the extra sifted cookies to the larger pieces that did not sift. 
4.    Place 1 teaspoon of larger/extra sifted cookie into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
5.    In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine water, buttermilk, oil, sour cream and vanilla extract. 

6.   One at a time, add the eggs.  Be sure to stir well in between each addition, you do not need to beat the eggs though. 
7.    Slowly add Devil’s food cake mix while stirring.
8.   Fill cupcake liners (with the cookie crumbs on the bottom) ¾ full and bake for 13-18 minutes depending on how hot your oven gets.  The tops should spring back when you touch them.
9.   Place into air tight containers as they cool to seal in moisture. 
10. Oreo Buttercream:  For 5 minutes, beat cream cheese, butter and the Oreo cream centers you scraped off from the Oreos. 
11.   Add vanilla, powdered sugar and heavy cream and let beat again.
12.  Stir in Oreo crumbs and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Berry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

This fabulous dressing goes well with mixed greens. It is a great addition to a summer meal.

Berry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1/2 c. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. honey (or sugar)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 tsp. kosher or other coarse salt
About 10 cracks of freshly ground black pepper
1 c. raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries
2/3 c. canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
Combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and berries in the jar of a blender. Blend until smooth and then, with the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Turn off the blender and whisk in the poppy seeds. If possible, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Grilled Zucchini

We are starting to get some great veggies from our garden. This is a great way to use cook garden veggies. 

Grilled Zucchini (Printable Version)

If you take small zucchini and cut them lengthwise, you'll find that it's really easy to grill. You may also sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over them before you serve.
·         3 medium zucchini cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
·         3 tablespoons olive oil
·         2 teaspoons oregano
·         2 garlic cloves, minced
·         1/4 teaspoon rosemary
·         salt and pepper
Preheat grill. Brush zucchini with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of zucchini with oregano, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Grill until zucchini is tender, about 4 minutes per side.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thin Blueberry Pie with Butermilk Crust

This pie has become a favorite of mine. I love that it is made in a pizza pan and allows for a thin slice. I found that 4 teaspoons of lemon juice was a little too tart for our family. I have an apple pie version in the oven as I type this. YUMMY!! Thanks to The Changeable Table for this great recipe.

Thin Blueberry Pie with Buttermilk Crust 

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter (chilled)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbs oil

Blueberry Filling:
8 cups blueberries (frozen work as well as fresh)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp lemon juice ( Used only used 2 teaspoons because my berry’s were tart )
3 Tbs chilled butter - cut in small slivers


For Crust:
Mix together flour and salt, then cut in shortening and butter with a pastry blender until fat is the size of small peas. 

Stir together the buttermilk and oil, then pour into dry ingredients - reserving a few tablespoons in case the mixture is too moist. 

Stir with a fork until it comes together in a ball and starts to clean sides of mixing bowl.  (If it appears to be too dry - add remaining buttermilk/oil mixture as needed)

Don’t over-mix - as this will toughen the crust.

Form a large ball, then cut in half - with one half being slightly larger (this will be for your bottom crust)

Wet down your countertop with a damp cloth.

Cover area with plastic wrap, then place the larger half of your pastry on top.

Flatten slightly with your hand, then cover with another sheet of plastic wrap.

Roll evenly with a rolling pin - rolling “into” the cracks that form occasionally to keep it in a circular shape.

Turn pizza pan upside down on top of dough to check for size.  The dough should extend at least 2-3” beyond outer rim for adequate coverage.

Peel top layer of wrap off - then tip it (dough-side down) on top of pizza pan.

Use your fingers to press into the corners and sides, removing air bubbles.

Remove the second layer of wrap carefully.

Reserve second crust - and roll it the same way once the pie is filled.

Pie Filling:

Combine in large bowl cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon.

Stir until combined and no lumps remain.

Add frozen blueberries and stir until well coated.

Pour this mixture into prepared pizza pan lined with bottom crust.  You will have additional sugar mixture that won’t adhere to the berries.  Distribute this evenly on top of berries.

Sprinkle with lemon juice, and dot with small slivers of butter.

Continue rolling the top crust as directed above - positioning it on top. 

Seal and flute edge.  Cut vents for steam.

This pie may overflow in your oven - as it’s very juicy.  (About half the time I have an overflow...)
To keep your oven clean - you may want to make a foil tray from heavy duty foil.  (Better safe than sorry, as my mother always told me...)Bake at 375° for about 1 hour - or until crust is golden brown and blueberry juice is bubbling from vents.Allow to cool slightly and then drizzle with powdered sugar/milk/vanilla glaze if desired.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Spicy Honey Chicken

Remember the Naan Bread I posted last? This Chicken is a perfect filling . It goes well with avocado and mango. I found this recipe at Our Best Bites ......Enjoy.

Spicy Honey Chicken
(Printable Version)
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 2lbs (Yes, Thighs!!)
everyone is always asking me if they can use breasts for this. Sure you can, but I’m tellin’
you right now it’s better with thighs.
  2 t vegetable oil
2 t granulated garlic
2 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t coriander
1 t kosher salt
1 t cumin
1/2 t chipotle chili powder
1/2 C Honey
1T Cider Vinegar
Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.

Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces. Then toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well. Use your hands and get in there! Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.Watch so it doesn’t  burn but is cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it’s not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2T honey glaze for later. Take the rest and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.
Drizzle the reserved  2 tablespoons of glaze on the chicken after it is removed from the grill.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Homemade Naan Bread

I was wanting to try something different for dinner today and settled on this great Naan Flatbread recipe. Like so many great recipes I have tried this came from Melanie at Mels Kitchen Cafe. This recipe you need to plan ahead for because of the 2 hour rise time ....but trust me it is well worth it. I made it into sandwiches that reminded me of Quizno's Sammies (only better). The best part is I used a grill and didn't turn my oven on ;)

Naan (Indian Flatbread)

(printable version)
*Makes about 12 pieces of naan
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon sugar
3-4 tablespoons, melted butter
Pour the milk into a liquid measure and heat in the microwave until warm to the touch (about 110 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). If using active dry yeast, mix the sugar and yeast into the milk and let it sit for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is foamy and the yeast has activated. Once the yeast/milk mixture is foamy, pour the mixture into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour (proceed with the second paragraph of the recipe). If using instant yeast, pour the warm milk into a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar, instant yeast, salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Proceed as directed below.
Mix well to combine. Continue adding flour gradually in small amounts, until a soft dough is formed that cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough by mixer or hand until it is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes in the mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest at room temperature, covered lightly with greased plastic wrap, for about 2 hours.
After the dough has rested, turn it onto a lightly floured surface ) and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, rounding each into a ball shape. Cover the pieces with a towel and let them rest for 30 minutes. While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. (If you don't have a pizza stone, try grilling the dough on a lightly oiled outdoor grill or use a hot griddle to bake the naan - you'll have to experiment with cooking times I cooked mine at 375* on a griddle and it took about 2 minutes.)
Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, one by one, roll each piece into a circle about 6-8 inches wide, depending on how thin or thick you want your naan. Lay the circle of dough on the hot pizza stone and spritz lightly with water. Close the oven and bake the naan for 2-4 minutes, until it is lightly puffed (some pieces will puff more than others) and brown spots begin to appear on the top. Remove the naan from the baking stone and place on a cooling rack. Brush lightly with melted butter. Stack the hot naan on top of each other as it comes out of the oven. Cover with a towel and let the naan cool completely or serve warm.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My new favorite White Bread recipe

This has become my favorite go to recipe for white bread. It makes delicious scones as well. Tonight we had Navajo Taco's so a made a batch of this tasty bread dough divided it onto thirds and made 2 loaves and a dozen scones. It was a perfect addition to our dinner.

White Bread
Source: The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner Cookbook
4 cups warm (105-115o F) water
2 Tbls active dry yeast
1 Tbls salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey or 2/3 cup sugar
10-12 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1.       Pour the water into a very large mixing bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Add the yeast, salt, oil, honey, and 5 cups flour, and mix to combine. Gradually mix in an additional 5 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is smooth. (Add still more flour, ¼ cup at a time, if necessary.)
2.       Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface, or with the dough hook on low for 12 minutes. Cover with a dish towel and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 30 to 45 minutes. Generously grease three 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and set aside. Note: My favorite loaf pans for bread baking are glass. Your bread will brown beautifully and look even better than what you can buy in a bakery!
3.       Punch down the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly to remove any air bubbles. Divide the dough in thirds, knead each section a few times, and shape into a loaf. Place the dough into the prepared pans. Cover with a dish towel and let rise 30 to 45 minutes. The dough is ready to bake when you press down slightly with your finger and the indentation remains.
4.       Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degree3s. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes. Immediately remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack. To freeze loaves, place in resealable plastic freezer bags and store up to two months in the freezer.
Variation: To make cinnamon bread, roll out each section and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar as desired. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of water over the dough and roll lengthwise. Place in a greased bread pan. Let rise and bake as above.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Crescent Rolls /Crescent Cinnamon Rolls

We finally have neighbors!!! So today I made these great cinnamon crescent rolls to welcome them to the neighborhood. Alex delivered them hot and fresh at 9 am this morning.  The roll recipe itself makes fabulous dinner rolls that taste just as fresh the next day. Does this make you want to be my neighbor? There are a few lots left :).

Crescent Rolls seen at the changeable table


2 Tbs yeast
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs warm water
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
Abt 5-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp salt


In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water.  Allow to stand about 10 minutes till it becomes foamy.

Meanwhile heat the milk in the microwave until hot, but not scalded.

In the bowl of your mixer - beat the eggs and sugar.

Stir canola oil into the warm milk, then add to the egg/sugar mixture in the mixing bowl.  (This prevents the milk from “cooking” the eggs)

Add the dissolved yeast, mixing well.

Now begin adding just enough flour that the dough begins pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl.   Don’t over-flour.   (You may want to stop the mixer and clean down the sides occasionally with a spatula)

*Note:  At this point - I refrigerate the dough for convenience, to use later.

If you are refrigerating the dough first, knead on countertop till smooth.  Divide into three equal portions.  Knead each portion until it forms a perfectly smooth ball.  (This will make it very easy to roll each portion out into a circle to form the crescents)

Place balls of dough on a greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days.

(If you want to use the dough immediately - cover it at this point, and allow it to rise until doubled)

When ready to form the crescents, remove from the refrigerator and roll each portion into a circle the size of a large dinner plate.

Using a pizza cutter, cut into eight sections as shown.

Roll from wide end toward the point. 

Form into crescent shapes, curving slightly towards the center.

Place point side down on greased baking sheets.  Three across, and eight down will fill your standard baking sheet with twenty four rolls.

For cinnamon rolls, prepare a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon - mixing well.  Spread each circle of dough lightly with butter, then sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Roll as directed.

For regular dinner rolls - let rise until double.  Then bake at 400° for about 10-11 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.

For cinnamon crescents, let rise until double.  Then bake at 350° for about 15-20 minutes.  Drizzle hot rolls with powdered sugar glaze.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bagel Dogs

This recipe is a twist on the usual Pigs in the Blanket. They taste like the Pretzel you can get in the Mall.
The bread has a slightly chewy texture like a  homemade soft pretzel would have. 

Bagel Dogs as seen at Real Mom Kitchen
  • 2 cups water (110° F)
  • 2 packages, active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons table salt
  • 5 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour (approximately I used 5 1/4)
  • 12 quality all-beef hot dogs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten
  • Sesame seeds, poppy seeds and/or coarse salt for garnish
  1. Pour the water into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and sprinkle with the yeast.  Let the mixture stand about five minutes or until foamy, then stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar and the salt. Using the paddle attachment and with the mixer on medium speed, gradually add flour, beating until well-blended and smooth, until you have a stiff dough. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and knead thoroughly until smooth and elastic in texture. Form the dough into a lump and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough over to grease the top. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead briefly to eliminate any air bubbles and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 12×9 inch rectangle or until it’s about a 1/4-inch thick, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or the board. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut 12 1-inch pieces of dough.
  3. Dry the hot dogs thoroughly. Starting at one end of a hot dog, wrap the dough around overlapping slightly as you make your way to the other end. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining hot dogs and strips of dough. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let stand in a warm place for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the over to 400°. Fill a deep, heavy pot with water and add the baking soda. Bring to a gentle boil. Working 2 to 3 bagels at a time, carefully drop the bagel dogs into the boiling water, turning frequently with a slotted spoon or spatula, for about a minute. Lift out of the water and gently dry each bagel well on a kitchen towel and arrange about 2-inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining bagel dogs.
  5. Brush the bagels with the egg glaze and sprinkle on your garnish of choice. Bake for about 35 minutes or until nicely browned and crusty, turning the pan about halfway through (I didn’t turn my pan and I had to bake 3 dogs on another pan.  they all wouldn’t fit on one sheet). Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12 Bagel Dogs

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Butterfinger BLizzard Cupcakes

This recipe is definitely one of those Special Occasion type desserts. It is very rich and Yummy.  The cupcake and filling make this recipe so good you could forgo the icing and top with plain whipped cream.(Yum)
The Butterfinger Icing takes it up a notch. You will be popular for sure when you make and share this treat!!

Butterfinger Blizzard Cupcakes  from  Your Cup of Cake

(Printable Version) 

Caramel Sauce
6 tablespoons butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
pinch salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla

Chocolate Cake
Devil’s Food Cake Mix
3 eggs
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
½ can sweetened condensed milk
Caramel Sauce (homemade recipe above or store bought)

Butterfinger Buttercream    4 Butterfingers         ¾ cup butter        4 oz cream cheese      1 ½- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar             1 tablespoon milk

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffins tins with cupcake liners.
2.    If not using store bought caramel, make caramel by heating the butter, brown sugar, water and salt and let boil for 3-5 minutes while stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, pour in evaporated and stir in vanilla.  Set aside.
3.    Cake:  Lightly beat eggs, water, milk, and oil together.  Stir in vanilla and sour cream and cake mix.
4.    Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 13-18 minute or until a knife comes out clean. 
5.    While cupcakes are in the oven, mix sweetened condense milk and caramel sauce together.  Pour into a squeeze bottle with a small tip if available.
6.   While cupcake are still hot, fill with condensed milk/caramel mixture by pushing the tip of the squeeze bottle into them .  It can look ugly because you will cover it up later.  Or use a knife to cute out a shallow hole at the top of each cupcake and spoon  mixture into the hole.
7.    Keep cupcakes in airtight containers until ready to decorate. 
8.   Butterfinger Buttercream:  Here comes the tricky part… Unwrap the Butterfingers and do your best to shave off the chocolate layer.  Take the orange middles and crush in a bowl on in a plastic bag.  Sift as much of the candy as possible.  You want to get about ½ cup of orange Butterfinger powder. Make sure it is finely crushed so when you pipe it on the cupcakes it won't clog the opening of your tip.
9.   Beat butter and cream cheese for 5 minutes.  Add as much powdered sugar  as desired and milk ( I used heavy cream).  Add the sifted Butterfinger and beat well. 
10. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and use the chocolate shavings and the parts that were too big to sift to decorate.   

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Potato Salad

With Easter around the corner I  decided to try a few new recipes using boiled eggs. I found this potato salad recipe on the Food Network site. It is a recipe from the Neely's and goes perfectly with any BBQ fare. I liked that this recipe was scaled for 6 servings perfect when you are not feeding a crowd.

Grandma Jean's Potato Salad 

(Printable Version)

Recipe courtesy The Neelys

6 servings


  • 5 large red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, 2 chopped and 1 sliced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
  • 1/2 cup salad dressing, (recommended: Miracle Whip)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Paprika, for garnish
  • Salt


Boil cubed potatoes until they are tender. Drain and cool. In a large bowl add celery, onion, 2 eggs and pickled relish. Add the salad dressing, yellow mustard and sugar. Stir well. Place the sliced egg on top of potatoes and sprinkle with paprika and salt. Let the potato salad chill in the refrigerator for 2 1/2 hours or overnight. If salad is dryer than you like you can add 1/4 of mayo thinned with 2tbl of milk.

Pulled BBQ Chicken

This is a great crockpot chicken recipe. I have also cooked it in the oven in a covered dutch oven at 300* for approx. 2hours. If you are looking for a good alternative to Sloppy Joes this is it . I served this with a great homemade crescent roll  that I will post soon. 

 Pulled BBQ Chicken   Recipe from Chelsea at mmmcafe
6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce (I used Sweet baby Ray's)
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on low. Serve over rice, quinoa, or on hoagie rolls.
Serves 8.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

I needed a fairly quick dinner with little prep so I turned to my Food Nanny Cookbook and decided on this yummy Fettuccine recipe. It did not disappoint. I was able to utilize the Spinach from my Bountiful Basket this week. Dinner was on the table in 25 minutes!!
Fettuccine Alfredo
1/2 Cup butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1 pint heavy cream
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and Ground Pepper
1 pound uncooked fettuccine

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Mix in the cream cheese. Stir in the cream and garlic powder. Increase the heat and bring to boil. Decrease the heat and simmer stirring often,while you cook the pasta. 
2. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain.
3. Stir the Parmesan Cheese into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Toss the sauce and pasta in a large bowl and serve immediately.
For Chicken Alfredo stir-fry bite size chunks of chicken in 1 Tablespoon olive oil until cooked and add to the sauce.

If you are a seafood lover toss the sauce with medium cooked shrimp or chunks of crab.

If you want to add Spinach like I did in  the photo above Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan and add 3 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 lb of fresh spinach  and 1/4 chicken broth..heat until wilted. Toss with the pasta and sauce.