Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

I decided to make this for Christmas breakfast for my family. It was a bit time consuming, but super tasty! It made 2 loaf pans and I knew that we wouldn't eat all that, so I brought the rest over to my mom's house where we were spending Christmas day... It was really good when it was warm and still good when it was cold later! :) Definitely a sweet redo treat!

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
(recipe found on pinterest via jamiecooksitup.net)

1 cup hot milk
3/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
5-6 cups flour

1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Heat cup of milk in the microwave for 1 minute. Carefully place the 4 tablespoons of butter into the hot milk. Let it sit until the butter starts to melt. In mixing bowl place 2 cups flour, salt, sugar and eggs. Let it mix just long enough for the egg to get a bit mixed in. Pour in hot water. Add the milk/butter mixture. Mix for 30 seconds. Add yeast and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, begin to add the rest of the flour. Add the flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Once you have the right amount of flour, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. Cut the dough into two equal parts. Shape each half into a round ball and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Letting the dough rest will make it easier to roll out. Roll each ball of dough out into a large rectangle. Spread 4 tablespoons softened butter over the top of each rectangle. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup brown sugar over the butter. Using your loaf pan for a guide, cut the rectangle into three long strips the width of your pan. Cut each strip into 6 or 7 pieces.

Stack the pieces on top of each other. Carefully set them into the loaf pans. Place them into a 170 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the dough has risen up and over the top of the pans (about 1-2 inches). Turn your oven temperature to 350 degrees, leaving the pans in the oven to rise a bit more as the temperature increases. Once the oven reaches 350 degrees bake the loaves for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaves are cooked through. While your loaves are baking make the glaze. Into a small mixing bowl place glaze ingredients and whisk all together with a fork until smooth. When the loaves are done baking take them out of the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pans to a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the tops and between a few of the layers while the loaves are still warm.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Black and White Bean Chili

This recipe originally called for no ground beef, but I am kind of a meat in my chili type of girl so I added it in... I loved the heartiness of this chili with the beans and the beef and the healthiness with the added veggies. The kids thought that it was pretty good too (even though worried that it might be a little spicy for them with the jalapeno) and we all enjoyed a nice hot soup fresh out the crockpot on a rainy day!

Black and White Bean Chili
(recipe found on justapinch.com)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, trimmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, if making without ground beef. If making with ground beef, brown beef and vegetables at the same time. Add peppers, onion garlic, and jalapenos to oil when warmed. Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, beans and water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Serve chili topped with feta cheese, scallions, cilantro and sour cream.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Secret Fruit Salad

I took this side dish to the boys' wrestling banquet, doubled it and barely came home with any!! It was super easy to make and a great healthy side to go with the hot dogs and chips that they were serving! I didn't see a lot of plates that didn't have at least a little of this on them... You can definitely change the fruit up to whatever floats your boat, but it was fabulous as the recipe calls!

Secret Fruit Salad
(recipe found on pinterest via rachelschultz.com)

2 tablespoons dry instant vanilla pudding mix
1 pound of strawberries, quartered
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pineapple, cubed
1 bunch grapes

Sprinkle pudding powder over fruit and stir. Serve immediately or allow to sit overnight.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reese's Popcorn

I made up a batch of this when Josh's family was in town and boy am I glad that I did! I doubled the batch and I think that I could have easily sat down and eaten the whole DOUBLE batch ON MY OWN!! It was so fabulous and addicting! Love me some flavored popcorn, especially when you take something pretty healthy and cover it in chocolatey goodness! :)

Reese's Popcorn
(Recipe found on pinterest)

4 cups popcorn, popped (1 bag microwave popcorn)
1 cup chocolate
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar

Melt chocolate, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla together. Mix into popcorn. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Sprinkle on some powdered sugar!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Potato Chips

This was another fabulous recipe that I had to try for Teacher Appreciation Week... I bagged them up with a sign that said "You Are All That & A Bag of Chips" and they were a huge hit! :) I had to taste test along the way of making these and they were FANTASTIC!! I love the combo of sweet and salty and although they were a little time consuming to make, they were definitely worth the effort! Making these again, FOR SURE!!

Chocolate Caramel Potato Chips
(recipe found on pinterest via confessionsofacookbookqueen.com)

12 ounces milk chocolate
12 ounces bag rippled potato chips
14 ounces bag of caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons half and half
Bag of Heath Bar Bits ‘O Brickle

Line baking sheets with wax or parchment paper and set aside. Put caramels and half and half in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until melted and creamy. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the melted caramel halfway down both sides of the potato chips. Be sure to brush only a light coat, or the chips will get too soggy. Place on lined baking sheets to set for about 30 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and dip the caramel coated chips about a third of the way, allowing the excess to drip off. Sprinkle the Heath Bar bits on the melted chocolate and place back on the wax paper to set for about 2 hours.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Parfait

I made these for the teachers that my kids had this past year for Teacher Appreciation Week. I like to spoil them a bit and this seemed like a great spoiling recipe! Lucky for me, there are only 3 teachers right now and there were 4 jars, so I got to try some also! Delish!! The family had eaten most of my chocolate chip cookies, so I had to make them with fewer cookie chunks, but they still tasted great. Definitely making these again!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Parfait
(Recipe found on pinterest via howsweeteats.com)

12 chocolate chip cookies
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
whipped cream for topping

In the bowl of a mixer, add cream cheese and mascarpone. Beat on medium speed until the cheeses are mixed and slightly creamy, then drizzle in the condensed milk with the mixer still going. Add vanilla and beat mixture until it is creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. Take 10 of the chocolate chip cookies and either add them to a food processor or place them in a resealable plastic bag. Pulse (or crush) the cookies into small pieces, not fine crumbs. Stir 1/3 cup of cookie pieces into the cheesecake mixture. Take 4 (6-ounce) jars and add a tablespoon of two of cookie crumbles to create a "crust." Add some cheesecake layer on top of the bottom crust, another layer of cookies, another layer of cheesecake, then one more layer of cookies. Place in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours - just until the cheesecake sets. Remove the jars from the fridge and top them with a little whipped cream and extra cookie crumbs. Break apart the remaining cookies and stick the pieces in the whipped cream. Serve!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Best Banana Cake

You might remember not long ago that I made a banana cake to take to ECFE for my birthday dessert... It was scrumptious and I vowed to definitely make it again. Then I found this recipe and although I really liked the frosting part of the other banana cake, I couldn't resist trying this one with a HOT FUDGE FROSTING!! Seriously?? Sounds delish!! It was really yummy, but I did end up liking the other recipe a lot better... You can try them both if you want and decide for yourself... They were both super easy to throw together and tasted fabulous! Sorry, no picture!! I've gotten better about dragging my camera out everywhere we go, but obviously I forgot it when we headed to my mom's for lunch this day...

Best Banana Cake
(Recipe found on pinterest via insidebrucrewlife.com)

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 brown bananas, smashed
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons hot fudge sundae topping, warmed
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, salt and vanilla and beat until creamy. Stir in the bananas. Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking soda together and add to the banana mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Place cake mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Frost with Hot Fudge Butter Cream.

For Frosting: Cream the butter, shortening, vanilla, dash of salt and warm hot fudge until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Add the milk to thin it out slightly.