Friday, December 16, 2011

Eggnog French Toast

Yup that's right Eggnog French Toast....I can hear your tummy grumbling already just from reading the title of this post.  How could it be anything but tasty and wonderful?  If you have a carton of eggnog sitting around needing to be used up try this recipe, or the Eggnog Cupcakes I made a week.  Either way you can't go wrong.

Eggnog French Toast

4 large eggs
3/4 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional*)
8 slices thick Texas toast or other thick bread
butter, softened
powered sugar

1. Break eggs into a shallow dish and beat lightly.  Add eggnog and ground nutmeg to eggs, mix well.
2.  Heat griddle to medium heat.  Dip bread into egg batter, allow the bread to soak up the mixture for a few seconds.  Cook about 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown.
3.  Serve toast topped with butter and a light dusting of powdered sugar.
* note:  most eggnog mixtures you get from the store will be loaded with lots of yummy holiday spices already but I LOVE nutmeg so I always add extra.  If you aren't a huge fan or don't want extra you can omit the extra amount of ground nutmeg in the recipe.

Mini Banana Breads

I don't think I'm the only one out there that is happy to see over ripe bananas on the counter because I know they are perfect for making banana bread.  Thing is, in my house they usually don't make it to that point.  We go through a lot of bananas around here.  So the other day when I woke up and saw 5 brown bananas just sitting there begging to be made into bread I was pretty darn excited.  Plus I have these cute mini bread pans that I hardly ever get to use.

Mini Banana Breads (some with chocolate chips, others with walnuts)
adapted from Mom's Big Book of Baking

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat the inside of a loaf pan (or the mini loaf pans) with cooking spray.
2. Combine the flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Combine the butter and sugars in a large bowl.  With an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, cream them together until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, bananas, and vanilla and beat until smooth.  With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just combined.  This is where I divide the batter in half, mix half with the walnuts and the other half with the mini chocolate chips.  You could combine it all together and make walnut, chocolate chip banana bread, or leave out one and double the other.  Its really up to you.
4.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake the loaf until it is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.  Let the bread cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, inver it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on the rack to cool completely.

Lemon Chicken

The other night I asked the hubby what he wanted for dinner.  Its always a loaded question.  He always comes up with something way off in left field.  This specific night when I asked he first said, "well, what are my choices" and so I started naming off a few things I knew I had all the ingredients in the house to make.  Then he says "I want lemon chicken!"  Lemon chicken?  Where did that come from?  I checked my produce basket (I love my produce basket!  See picture below)  and I actually had several lemons that needed to be used so I started throwing things together to make some lemon chicken.  No recipe, just my imagination, I hope I can remember what I put in it since I made it 4 days ago!

Lemon Chicken

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
salt and pepper to taste
small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
Cooked rice

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Saute onion and garlic for a few minutes, until soft, about 3 minutes.  Salt and pepper both sides of chicken tenders.  Add chicken to onions and garlic, cook for about 3-4 minutes per side.
2. Remove chicken from pan, add most of the chicken broth (reserve about 1/4 cup to mix with the corn starch).  Bring broth to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix reserved broth and corn starch in a small bowl.  Add starch mixture to the simmering broth and allow to thicken.  
3. Add chicken back into pan with lemon juice and zest, cook until chicken is completely cook through.
4. Serve chicken over rice with lemon gravy.

Pork Saltimbocca w/Polenta

Honestly I have no idea what Saltimbocca is.  I was looking through my Cooking Light cookbook one day to try and find some new recipes to make and I saw the picture of Pork Saltimbocca and it looked really yummy so I made it.  My family (the husband and my 13 yo son) don't really like it when I try something new like this.  Their comments were "what's sage?  what's prosciutto?  what's polenta?"  LOL I guess until lately they have been pretty stuck in their comfort zone.  In the end I thought it was really tasty, both my husband and son said it was different but good.

Pork Saltimbocca w/Polenta
adapted from Cooking Light Pork Saltimbocca

6 boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed
6 very thing slices prosciutto
6 large fresh sage leaves
1/3 cup shredded sharp provolone cheese (recipe says fontina but I didn't have any)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage

2 cups milk
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 cup instant polenta
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. To prepare the pork, place each chop between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, pound to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.  Arrange 1 prosciutto slice over each chop, top with 1 sage leaf and about 1 tablespoon cheese.  Fold chops in half to sandwich filling, secure with wooden picks.  Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with pepper and salt.  Place flour in a shallow dish, dredge stuffed chops in flour.
2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skilled over medium-high heat.  Add chops, cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.  Remove chops from pan, cover and set aside.
3. Add chicken broth to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits, cook until reduced by half, about 8 minutes.  Stir in 1 tablespoon sliced sage.  Reduce heat to medium. Return chops to pan, cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, turning once.  Removed wooden picks from chops.
4. To prepare polenta, bring milk and chicken broth to boil.  Gradually stir in polenta and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 2 minutes.
5. To serve arrange 1/2 cup polenta on plate, top with a chop and drizzle with sauce.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chicken Parmesan w/orzo

I don't make chicken parmesan very often.  I'm not really sure why.  It's just not one of those dishes that come to me when I'm in the kitchen opening and closing my refrigerator and pantry trying desperately to find something to make for dinner.  You know you do it too!  I'll open the refrigerator, glance, close it, open the freezer, glance, close it, walk to the pantry, open the doors, glance, close it and start all over again.  I'll do this 3 or 4 times before I finally figure out something to make!  This chicken parmesan recipe is pretty quick to get it together and its tasty.  I hope you enjoy it like I do.

Chicken Parmesan
adapted from Cooking Light's Herbed Chicken Parmesan

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (of course I use more, I'm a cheese addict!)
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups your favorite jarred tomato-basil pasta sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup shredded provolone cheese (I had provolone slices that I used instead of shredding it)
Cooked Orzo (follow package directions)

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Combine 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish.  Place egg whites in a shallow dish.  Dip each chicken tender in egg whites, dredge in breadcrumb mixture.  Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.  Set aside.
3. Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, pasta sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, vent.  Microwave mixture at High 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Pour over chicken in pan.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining Parmesan and provolone cheese.  Wrap handle of pan with foil, broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
4. Serve over cooked orzo.

Black Bean Enchiladas

A little while ago I was on a kick to not eat any meat.  I read the book "Skinny Bitch" and it totally turned me off of animal products for about 2 months.  LOL, until I forgot what I read and started eating meat again.  During that time I was looking for recipes without meat and found one called White Bean Enchiladas from Cooking Light.  This recipe is a variation of that.  Just as a quick note, I almost forgot to take a picture of the dish!  Please forgive me for the not so appealing picture.

Black Bean Enchiladas
adapted by Cooking Light White Bean Enchiladas

2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 16oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 16oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (I'll be honest, I use about twice this much!)
1 4oz can chopped green chiles
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
1 10oz can enchilada sauce (I only had green on hand but the first time I made it I used red and liked it better with red)
1/4 cup water
6 corn tortillas
Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine sour cream and beans in a food processor; process until almost smooth.  Stir in 1/4 cup cheese, chiles, onions, cilantro, and cumin.
3. Combine 1/3 cup enchilada sauce and 1/4 cup water in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.  Dip 1 tortilla in sauce mixture to soften, and transfer to a plate.  Spread 1/4 cup bean mixture down center of tortilla, roll up.  Place roll, seam side down, in a 11 x 7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas and bean mixture.  Add remaining sauce to pan, cook 1 minute.  Spoon over enchiladas, sprinkle with cheese.
4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with cilantro if desired.

More recipes coming

Life has been really hectic the last couple of weeks.  I have been cooking and taking pictures, I just haven't had the time to post them.  I'm hoping to have extra time tomorrow to get them done.  Keep your fingers crossed.  This is what you'll be seeing in the next coming days:

Black Bean Enchiladas
Chicken Parmesan w/ Orzo
Eggnog French Toast

and more!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nutmeg Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Let me just tell you a story about my experiences with Swiss Meringue Buttercream (otherwise known as SMC).  When I first started really concentrating on baking I knew I needed to find a new frosting for my cakes and cupcakes.  I am not a big fan of the really sweet American Buttercream (lots of powdered sugar).  After doing some research on the internet I found that SMB was my best option.  I had never really had a SMB before and so I had no idea what it should look or taste like.  My first batch actually came out perfectly but I didn't know that at the time.  I was expecting it to a lot like American Buttercream, really sweet, not what it actually was, buttery and silky.  I LOVED it!  I could eat it by the spoonfuls.  But, because I was thinking it would be more like the American Buttercream I was confused as to why it didn't have powdered sugar in it, so I added a little bit, and then a little bit more, and then some more.  I have probably crossed some SMB honor code by adding powdered sugar to mine.  The thing was...I loved it even more after adding the powdered sugar, so now, all my SMB has powdered sugar in it.

Nutmeg Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Buttercream
adapted from Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 sticks butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup powdered sugar


  1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.
  2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and powdered sugar at this point and mix on medium speed until incorporated.
  5. If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Eggnog Cupcakes

Growing up we never had eggnog in our house, maybe my parents didn't grow up with it or maybe they just didn't like it, but whatever the reason I had never tried it until I was in my twenties.  Even after trying it I wasn't crazy about it.  It's funny, I have read so many blogs and people say that you either love it or hate it. For me I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either, it was just ok.  My husband, however, likes it so he bought a carton of it the other day and then left for North Dakota without drinking any of it.  So I have a carton of eggnog, which I won't drink and had to figure something to use it for.  What better way to use it then to make CUPCAKES!  Yum!  And to make them even them with Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

Eggnog Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar
3 wholes
1 egg yolk
1 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon bourbon
Nutmeg Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  In a large measuring cup, add eggnog, vanilla and bourbon.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium.  Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of  bowl as needed.  Add yolk and beat until thoroughly combined.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of eggnog mixture, and beating until combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes, turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Chicken Broccoli Poppy Seed Casserole

My husband has been working up in North Dakota for the last couple of months.  He went up there the end of September and just came home November 16th.  He was home with us for 2 weeks.  The living arrangements aren't the best up there for him.  He is living in a motel and eating out (usually fast food) for most meals.  So his last night home I asked him what he wanted me to make him for his last home cooked meal.  His answer "Chicken Broccoli Poppy Seed Casserole."  Out of all the things I make this is what he wanted to eat...its no where near my favorite meal but he loves casseroles.  So, since he loves the dish so much I figured I better post it in case there are other huge casserole lovers out there.

Chicken Broccoli Poppy Seed Casserole

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 cup uncooked rice, cooked and cooled
14 oz can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
frozen broccoli
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Spray a 13X9 casserole pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large mixing bowl, pour contents into casserole pan.
3. In a ziploc bag break up the crackers into small pieces, pour melted (and slightly cooled) butter into ziploc bag and toss to coat all crackers with the butter.  Sprinkle buttered cracker crumbs on top of casserole mixture.  Bake 30-40 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and cracker crust is slightly browned.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey and Cranberry Pizza heard me correctly...turkey pizza.  And it was really good!  If you can believe it I'm almost out of leftover turkey!  Thank goodness because I'm starting to get sick of it and its only the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Now I'm not really sure what the definition of a pizza is...does it have to have sauce?  Does it have to be on dough?  Hold on a sec while I look it up.  Oh, ok here is the definition...

pizza: a flat, open-faced baked pie of Italian origin, consisting of a thin layer ofbread dough topped with spiced tomato sauce and cheese, often garnishedwith anchovies, sausage slices, mushrooms, etc.

Ut oh...based on that definition I better change the name of my dish.  Nah!  I like to think that I had a turkey pizza, even if I didn't have the right ingredients.

Turkey Pizza

1 8" whole wheat tortilla
2 1/2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons soft goat cheese (or cream cheese)
2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup chopped turkey

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place tortilla on baking sheet and place in preheated oven, 4 minutes per side to get crispy.
2. Put cranberry sauce on toasted tortilla and spread around, top with turkey, crumbled goat cheese and mozzarella.
3. Place tortilla pizza back in oven until turkey is warm and cheese is melted, about 8-10 minutes.

Butternut Squash Cake

I have amazing in-laws...what makes them so amazing you ask?  Well lots of different things but one of those things is their devotion to gardening every Spring and Summer.  Starting in about June I am supplied with fresh veggies until about the end of October.  Last year my hubby told his dad that butternut squash was his favorite of all the squashes they grow so this year my father-in-law planted almost three times as much as he did the year before.  The end of October my father-in-law stops by with two big boxes full of butternut squash.  My first thought..."what in the world am I going to do with all of this???"  Honestly, most of it is still sitting in my garage.  The good thing about squash is that most of them have such thick skins that you can keep them in a cool, dark area and they will stay good for a couple of months.  A week before Thanksgiving I was searching the internet for new recipes that might be interesting for Thanksgiving day.  I'm a recipe junkie, I love recipes, I always print out a ton of them and end up making one or two of them.  My husband loves this about me...NOT! LOL.  While searching through the Betty Crocker website I stumbled onto a recipe that used butternut squash...a CAKE recipe.  I'd never heard of a butternut squash cake before so of course I printed it out.  I honestly figured it would end up in my stack of printed-but-not-yet-tried recipes but lucky for me it didn't.  Some how it ended up on my kitchen counter.  My hubby probably brought it down off the printer and left it there.  So the day before Thanksgiving I was looking through my recipes and there it was, the butternut squash cake.  I looked over the ingredients and I had everything I needed right there in my pantry so I had to make it.  And what I'm telling you right now HAVE to make this cake.  Its moist and delicious!

Butternut Squash Cake
Adapted from: Betty Crocker

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 buttermilk (I make my own buttermilk, I put 1 tablespoon distilled vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk.  Let it sit for 2-3 minutes and....tada buttermilk)
2 cups shredded peeled butternut squash
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup butter, softened
3oz cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavor
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bottom of 13X9 inch pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs until fluffy.  Beat in baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add flour alternately with buttermilk, scraping side of bowl.  Beat 1 minute.  Stir in squash and 1/2 cup walnuts.  Spread in pan.
3. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and the maple flavor.  Beat until smooth and creamy, adding additional milk if needed.

Frost cake.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup walnuts. Cover and refrigerate.

Poached Eggs in Chunky Tomato Sauce

This is a recipe I learned for my step-father, Rocky.  He made it for us when we were visiting him and my mom in Arizona.  I was a little weary about it at first, I'll admit it doesn't look that appetizing when you first see it, but it is so good...just trust me on this!  You'll need some really crusty bread to mop up all the yummy juices, my favorite is sour dough.

Poached Eggs in Chunky Tomato Sauce

8 slices of bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
2 10.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes w/green chilies (If you can't find the can of tomatoes with the green chilies you can get regular diced tomatoes and add a small can of diced green chilies)
6 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet (you'll need a lid) render bacon for a few minutes, add onion and celery, cook until tender and bacon is crispy.  If your bacon has a lot of bacon fat you might want to drain some of it out.
2. Add both cans of tomatoes with juices to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Sometimes I find that the tomatoes don't have enough juice in them so I add a little bit of water, about 1/2 cup.
3. Once the juices have started to boil add the eggs, you should be able to add about 6 eggs at a time if your skillet is large enough. Season eggs with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to medium and cover skillet with lid.  Cook until eggs are done to your likeness.
4. To serve, scoop out 2 eggs and some of the tomato sauce, I like to put mine in a bowl then enjoy!

Turkey Pot Pies

Of course we had tons of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving.  That's what happens when you cook two 12lb turkeys for 6 people!  I've always wanted to try my hand at making my own pot pies but never got around to it so last night I finally did it.  And I'm not bragging or anything but they were YUMMY!!!!!  My hubby really liked them, of course he likes most of the stuff I make :)

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Note:  These are estimations because I didn't measure anything as I was making the pies! 
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3/4 cup diced celery
2 medium carrots, diced
3 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 quart chicken broth/stock
10.5 oz can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
3 cups diced turkey
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 pre-made pie crusts

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet sauté onions, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter until tender, approximately 7-9 minutes.
2. Add flour and salt and pepper, cook for a minute or two to get the flour taste cooked off.  After two minutes add approximately 2 cups of the chicken stock to the pan.  Let simmer for 5 minutes until its starts to thicken.  Once the mixture is thick add can of soup, turkey and peas.
3. In individual pie pans put a piece of pie crust on the bottom, fill with turkey mixture and top with more pie crust.  Make sure to cut a slit in the top of the pie crust so the steam has a place to escape while baking.
4. Bake pies for approximately 30 minutes, or until pie crust on top is golden brown.

Note:  I only had 2 pie crusts when I went to make these (1 box has 2 crusts in it) so when I ran out of pie crust for the tops of my pies I had to improvise.  I dug through my refrigerator trying to find something to use for the top of my pies.  I came across a can of crescent rolls that I had leftover from Thanksgiving.  I popped them open, took two of the triangles, rolled them together and put it on top of the pie.  If you do this, like I did, make sure you either turn down the temperature of your oven and/or reduce the cooking time.  My pies with the crescent rolls on top were down within 20 minutes.  I tried both pies and I preferred the ones with the crescent rolls on top, they were flakier.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Coffe Cake

Ok, so this is another family recipe.  I grew up eating this wonderfully-full-of-fat breakfast.  I'm not sure where my mom got the recipe but I know that this is one recipe that my kids will be passing on to their kids and so forth.  I remember the first time I made this for my step kids, they were in heaven!  It's definitely the go to breakfast for my 13 year old right now..."Bailey, what do you want for breakfast this morning?"  "Ummm, that cinnamon cake thingy you make!"  We always called it Coffee Cake when I was growing up but I've since come to realize that its really nothing like a normal coffee cake so I gave it a little different name.  I don't like coffee, but from what I've been told this cake is very good with a strong cup of coffee.  So, if you are looking for a very indulgent breakfast treat on Christmas morning (because we ALWAYS had it Christmas morning in my house growing up) this is what you should make for sure!

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

3 cups Bisquick (plus extra for rolling out)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons water


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine Bisquik, egg and milk in a bowl and mix until a dough forms.  Spread a little bit of Bisquick to roll the dough on.  Roll dough to 1/4" thick.

2. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Brush melted butter on rolled dough and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over dough.

3. Roll dough up and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Using kitchen scissors cut slits in the dough about every inch (not all the way through the roll, just about half way through).  This will help the cake cook in the middle.

4. Bake for 20 minutes.

5. Mix powdered sugar and water in a small bowl.  You are looking for a semi-runny consistency to the topping, easy enough to stir but not really watery.

6. Serve pieces of the cake topped with the powder sugar mixture. (we put more butter on ours but that's just us LOL).  I also recommended drinking a large glass of really cold milk with it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pecan-Caramel topped Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving.  This post might be a little late for you to make it tomorrow for your Thanksgiving table but if you are like me you think Pumpkin Pie is good whenever, no need to only eat it on Thanksgiving!  One of these days I'll get better at taking pictures of my food, for now I hope you can just trust that these recipes are YUMMY! even if they don't look that great in the pictures.  The pumpkin pie I made is directly from the Libby's pumpkin can, I've just added the topping.

Pecan-Caramel topped Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
from Libby's Pumpkin can

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 can (29 oz) pumpkin puree
2 cans (12 oz each) evaporated milk
2 unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie shell

1. Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small bowl.  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
2. Pour into pie shells.
3. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees, bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Note:  I've made these pumpkin pies several times and for some reason it always takes mine about 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook all the way through...but the can says 40-50 minutes so make sure you watch the pies closely when it gets to that amount of time being cooked!

Pecan-Caramel topping

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon distilled vinegar
1 cup pecans, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large saucepan combine brown sugar, heavy cream, light corn syrup, butter and vinegar.  Bring to a boil of high heat stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat, stir in pecans and vanilla.
2. Pour hot mixture over cooled pie.  Mixture will harden as it cools.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Open-Faced Enchiladas

These enchiladas have been in my family since I was born, or at least as long as I can remember.  My mom learned how to make them from my Grandma Riley (her mother-in-law).  I've changed the recipe a little because, honestly, when I moved out of the house I wanted to make them and couldn't remember exactly what went into them.

Open-Faced Enchiladas
6 servings

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 lb ground beef
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 4.5oz can diced green chilies
1 7 oz can diced olives
1 cup salsa (I used Pace)
10 oz can red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas
mixed shredded cheese
sour cream (optional)

1. Sautee diced onions in oil for a few minutes to make them soft.  Add ground beef and brown.  Add salt, pepper and cumin.
2. Once beef is browned add green chilies, olives and salsa.  Warm through.
3. In a separate small pan warm the enchilada sauce.  Place one tortilla at a time in the sauce until soft, approximately 30 seconds.  (Personally I like to fry my tortillas to a crisp before I put them in the sauce but its a personal preference).
4. To stack the enchiladas place one tortilla on a plate, top with 1/2 cup of meat mixture and shredded cheese and then repeat with another tortilla, 1/2 cup of meat mixture and more cheese.  Top with a dollop of sour cream if you like.