Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I love pumpkin, and I love cinnamon rolls.  Therefore, when I saw pumpkin cinnamon rolls being pinned all over Pinterest, I thought for sure they would be winners.  However, when I examined the recipes, they all called for ingredients I didn't have.  (Plus, sometimes they were things like "instant vanilla/butterscotch pudding mix".  I'm all for instant pudding, but I think the mixes give baked goods an artificial taste.  Not what I'm looking for in a cinnamon roll.)  So, I adapted the One Hour Roll recipe (my favorite go-to for rolls and cinnamon rolls), and I was thrilled with the results.  Here it is.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups water
1/4 cup yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (which I do not have, so I used 1/4 t. each of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg)  This could be doubled, depending on how spiced you want your rolls to be.
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp. salt
9-11 cups whole wheat flour

Mix water, yeast, and brown sugar.  Let rise for 10 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and knead (in Kitchenaid or Bosch) for about 10 minutes.  The dough should stick to the hook, but still be a little bit sticky.  Let rise for 15-20 minutes.  Divide dough in thirds.  Roll each third into a large rectangle.  Melt 1 tbsp. butter for each separate batch.  Spread butter over dough, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, and rub the toppings around until evenly distributed.  Roll up and slice into cinnamon rolls.  Let rise for 10-15 minutes and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  (You all know how done you like your cinnamon rolls).  Frost with cream cheese frosting.  (Of course.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Whoopie Pies

I made these pies for my Activity Days girls this afternoon, and they were a big hit.  They are super easy, and, for once in my life, mine were just as pretty as the ones in the pictures.  :)  I used my cookie scoop to guarantee all the cookies were the same size, and it was perfect.

I used a different filling, however, since I didn't have enough peanut butter to make the filling in the recipe.

Here's the filling I used:

Peanut Butter Filling

1 cube unsalted butter
1 8-oz package low-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp. half-and-half
1/2 tsp. salt
about 2 cups powdered sugar

Beat peanut butter, butter, and cream cheese together until perfectly smooth and uniform.  Add half-and-half and salt, then beat in powdered sugar until fluffy.  Adjust consistency with more powdered sugar or more half-and-half.  Scrape bowl into gallon-sized ziploc bag, squeeze out excess air, snip off the corner, and pipe onto one of the two whoopie pie cookies, topping with another cookie.

This filling would be delicious between two layers of chocolate cake as well.  It's fantastic.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Creole (Healthy too!)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts ¼ tsp. black pepper ¼ tsp. salt 1 tbsp. Creole or Cajun Seasoning* 1 (14.5 ounce) undrained can of Stewed Tomatoes ¼ cup of salsa (optional) 1 green pepper, sliced 1 red pepper, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, diced ½ of a small onion, sliced 1 celery stalk, sliced 1 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced *Creole Seasoning: Black Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, Paprika, Red Pepper, Salt & Thyme Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, black pepper, and the Creole or Cajun seasoning (see the suggested list of spices above if you are interested in creating your own Creole seasoning). Place the chicken in the bottom of the crock-pot and add the remaining ingredients directly on top; saving the mushrooms for the final 30 minutes of cooking. Cook on high for 5 hours. Serve the chicken either whole or cut into pieces atop pasta or rice. If you're serving with pasta, toss the pasta with some of the sauce prior to serving. Courtesy of

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easy Creamy Fruit Mousse

I got this recipe from "Our Best Bites". This is fun and yummy (not so nutritious)
We are having it for Easter Dinner. I did 4 different jellos and put them in a trifle bowl. We are not putting the topping on. It is very pretty looking. I would love to have those little cups that she has and have individual servings but i don't so I did the large bowl. I tried to copy the picture so you could see how pretty it is but it would not copy.

Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 small (3 oz) box fruit flavored gelatin, regular or sugar free
1 cup boiling water
8 ounces cream cheese, divided
1/2 cup cold water
8 ounce container COOL WHIP, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small orange

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Place in blender and add 4 ounces (half of the package) cream cheese. Process until smooth. Add cold water and pulse blender to stir. Add half of the container of COOL WHIP (about a heaping cup) to the blender and process just until combined and mixture is free of lumps.

Pour mixture into one serving bowl, or several smaller individual sized dishes. Refrigerate until firm, 3-4 hours. Either top with remaining COOL WHIP or continue on with topping recipe.

To make topping, beat remaining 4 ounces cream cheese with powdered sugar, vanilla, about 1 teaspoon orange zest (more if desired) and one teaspoon of the orange juice. Blend until creamy and smooth, and fold in remaining 4 ounces COOL WHIP. Add more orange juice if needed for consistency. Dollop, pipe, or spread topping over chilled mousse just before serving. If you refrigerate the mousse with the topping on, it will harden, so it’s best to whip it up just before serving. Makes about 6, 1/2 cup servings.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Smothered Pork chops

It was funny to me that Emilee and I would both have a pork dish on Sunday. I have wanted to try this recipe for some time but it looked time intensive and to be truthful it was. It was dish intensive too ( which interpreted means lots of dishes to wash) but it was tasty. I got the recipe off Mel's Kitchen Cafe. She has this recipe in her best recipes. I followed the recipe and served it on brown rice.
5 slices bacon, chopped
6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
Salt and Pepper
2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. If you don’t have quite that much, supplement with canola oil. When the bacon is cool, transfer to a small bag or tupperware and refrigerate until later.

Heat the skillet with the drippings over medium or medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until they are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, cooking them in batches in the skillet if your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all six at a time in a single layer. When golden on each side, transfer the chops to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining pork.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow cooker. Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).

When ready to serve, carefully transfer chops to serving platter with a large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, reserving the solids. Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into remaining liquid in the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from The Cook’s Country Cookbook

Rosemary Garlic Pork Loin Roast

This is the star of the best Sunday dinner I've ever made.  Seriously.  The key (MOM) is not to overcook the pork.  Pair this with roasted cauliflower, a yummy green salad, and some one-hour rolls, and you have a delicious "fancy" dinner.  I got this recipe (and I've gotten so many other delicious, delicious recipes) from

4 cloves garlic, pressed
4 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped, or 2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 2 1/2-pound boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch roasting pan with foil. Mix first 4 ingredients in bowl. Rub garlic mixture all over pork. Place pork, fat side down, in prepared roasting pan. Roast pork 30 minutes. Turn roast fat side up. Roast until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 155°F., about 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes Pour any juices from roasting pan into small saucepan; set over low heat to keep warm. Cut pork crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange pork slices on platter. Pour pan juices over. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crepe Sandwich

Susanne's Crepe Recipe
1 1/2 C. Milk
3 Eggs
1/4 C. Melted Butter
1 C. Whole Wheat or White All-Purpose Flour
Dash Salt

Mix ingredients in blender. Add the butter first then flour so the hot butter doesn't cook your egg.

I used the ingredients for a California sandwich and tweaked it a bit, but really anything that would be good in a Pita Pocket would work.

1 Avocado Sliced
1 Tomato, sliced thin
1 Cucumber, sliced thin
2 Tbsp. chopped Basil or Cilantro
Salt & Pepper
Alfalfa Sprouts
Pepper Jack Cheese
Deli sliced Turkey Breast

Chive Spread
1/4 C. Greek Yogurt or Mayo (or 2 Tbsp. of each)
1 Tbsp. Finely Chopped Chopped Chives (I used scallions, they're cheap)

Place the cheese and meat within reach of the stove. Pour batter on med-high skillet. According to Mike flip it when the edges are browned and start to curl.....As soon as you flip the Crepe place cheese on one half of it and layer meat on top of the cheese. When your crepe is done fold it in half so the cheese and meat are sandwiched and remove from heat.

Now smear it with chive spread. Place remaining ingredients on one half of your crepe (which is really a quarter of your crepe). Fold it in half again so it's quarter sized and eat:)

Tip-When you remove it from the stove it's good to have some parchment paper on your plate so you can fold it around your crepe. It's easier to pick up that way, otherwise I eat it with a fork.

Tip-Have strawberries and whip cream on hand for dessert crepes:)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hawaiian Haystacks sans Cream of Chicken Soup

I found this on Mel's Kitchen cafe and it is so yummy!

Chicken Sauce for Hawaiian Haystacks

*Makes about 4 cups chicken sauce (enough to serve 4-6 for Hawaiian Haystacks)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks (or leftover cooked chicken, cubed)
3 tablespoons butter
½ onion (about ½ cup), finely chopped
3 cloves garlic; finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion and raw chicken (if using leftover cooked chicken, don’t add it to the skillet now, you’ll add it later). Saute the onion and chicken, if using, until the onions are soft and translucent and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring, until fragrant.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and chicken and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for one minute – this helps get rid of the starchy, flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Add the salt and pepper. If you are using leftover cooked chicken, add it now. Continue simmering, stirring the sauce frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 5-8 minutes.
Serve the chicken sauce over rice with your toppings of choice, such as olives, tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, mandarin oranges and chow mein noodles.
Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mustard Pesto Sandwich Spread

I was inspired by the sandwich I had at Zupa's on our girls day trip to play with Annie so last night I made a regular pesto and added Dijon mustard to it for our open faced sandwiches and it was EXCELLENT!!!!

Mustard Pesto
Olive Oil
Pine Nuts ( I used Pecans)
Dijon Mustard to taste (I want to try it with whole grain mustard)
pinch salt

I put generous portions on good. I topped each sandwich with turkey, sliced tomato and grated parmesean then put them unnder the broiler till the cheese melted and goldened:)