Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

These turned out really good. I was just kind of fooling around when I made them. They are a little tricky to roll and cut, but worth it. The photo is from my phone, so you can't really tell how good they were. Instead they look a little weird. I promise they were good!
Blueberry Sweet Rolls
1 loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed
1 bag of frozen blueberries 
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. cornstarch 
3/4 c. powdered sugar 
3 T. melted butter
1 1/2 T. heavy cream or half and half
Mix the berries, sugar and cornstarch until the berries are all coated. Roll out the bread dough on a floured surface into a rectangle shape. Spread the blueberry mixture on the dough covering all of it. Lightly press it into the dough. Very carefully, roll the dough up from the long side. Very carefully slice the dough into 1 inch slices using a serrated knife. Place the rolls in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Berries will fall out. At the end, sprinkle the extra berries on top of the dough and around the sides. Cover the rolls and let them rise. Then bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until brown. Put the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in the butter and cream. Pour over the rolls. Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bacon Breakfast Casserole

This is a great potato based casserole that you can make the night before and cook in the morning. Sorry about the i-photo. I couldn't find the camera. Turns out my husband had it with him, but by the time I found out, the casserole was gone.
Bacon Breakfast Casserole
2/3 of a bag of frozen cubed hash browns (you could save the rest to throw in a soup recipe)
1 pkg. of ready cooked bacon chopped up
1 bunch of green onions chopped up
2 c. shredded cheese (whatever kind you want, I used cheddar)
6 eggs
1 c. milk
salt and pepper
The day before you want to make the casserole, put the hash browns in the bottom of a well greased 9 x 13 pan. Then evenly spread the cheese, bacon and green onions on top of the potatoes. Whisk the eggs and milk in a separate bowl and then pour evenly over the casserole. Add salt and pepper. Put it in the refrigerator. In the morning, bake the casserole at 350 for 40 minutes or so, until the potatoes are done. Let it set for a few minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Italian Cream Cake

This is an awesome, impressive cake. I make it in a sheet cake pan and it serves a lot. It takes a little bit of work to get it made, but it is worth the effort if you need to bring an impressive cake somewhere. The original recipe is from Pioneer Woman, but I've changed it a bit.
Italian Cream Cake
cake:
1 stick butter
1 c. oil
1 c. sugar
5 eggs (separated)
3 t. vanilla
1 c. coconut
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. buttermilk (to substitute: add milk to 1 T. vinegar to make 1 c. let sit for a few minutes before using)
First beat the egg whites until stiff. Then, in another a bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar for 3 minutes. Add in the egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, then fold in egg whites. Pour into a well greased sheet cake pan or jelly roll pan, then sprinkle the top of the batter evenly with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
frosting:
3 boxes of 8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 t. vanilla
1 bag plus 1/2 bag of 2 lb powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. coconut
First toast the walnuts by spreading them on a cookie sheet and toasting for 8 minutes at 350. Watch that they don't burn. Then cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla. Then add in the powdered sugar. Finally add in the coconut and walnuts. Spread on the cooled cake.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chocolate Pound Cake

This is pretty easy to make. As you can tell from the picture it is super chocolatey. It feels almost sinful to eat it. Enjoy!

Chocolate Pound Cake
cake:
4 oz. cream cheese
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 c. of sugar
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 T. heavy whipping cream or half and half
1/2 c. cocoa
1 1/2 c. flour
2/3 a bag of chocolate chips
Beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, vanilla and cream and beat until fully incorporated. Add in the cocoa and flour and just beat until mixed in. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into a 9 x 5 loaf pan and bake at 325 for 65-75 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan.

frosting: 
1 stick butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1 T. heavy whipping cream or half and half
1/3 bag of chocolate chips, for garnish
Cream the softened butter with the powdered sugar and cocoa. Thin with the cream or half and half. Spread on the cake and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mexican Dip

This is a very hearty dip. It makes a great appetizer, but it's filling enough to have for a casual dinner with a salad on the side. It is also very easy. (Sorry about the picture, I had pretty low lighting.)

Mexican Dip
2- 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 lb. of hamburger, browned
1 can of Bush's Chili Starter Beans (found these at Ron's)
1 small jar of salsa
2 c. shredded cheddar
Spray a 9 x 9 pan with Pam. Spread the cream cheese on the bottom. Mix the beans and the hamburger. Spread over the cream cheese. Pour salsa over the hamburger and spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sugar Cookie Bars

These are great if you are craving a frosted sugar cookie and don't want to mess with rolling out and decorating and waiting on each pan of cookies to bake. Also, like almost everything I post, these are easy. My four year old did a lot of the work.

Sugar Cookie Bars
cookie:
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, salt, baking soda and mix just until combined. Spread in a greased 9 x 19 pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean (they don't look done so do the toothpick test). Cool completely and frost.

frosting:
1/2 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese, softened

2 t. almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 T. milk
3-4 drops food coloring

Combine butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add extract and salt. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk a little at a time and mix until smooth and spreading consistency. (You may not need all the milk). Spread over cooled cookie bars.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dinner Rolls

This recipe is from the Southern Plate cookbook and website. They were easy to make and went great with the soup we had yesterday.

Dinner Rolls
1/2 c. sugar
2 envelopes rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 t. salt
5 c. flour
1/2 c. crisco
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. warm water
3/4 c. butter melted
In a mixer add sugar, yeast, salt and 2 c. of flour. Add the crisco and mix until clumpy. Then add in eggs, water and 1/2 c. of the butter and mix. Change to the dough hook and add in the rest of the flour and mix. Cover the bowl and let rest for 20 minutes. (My kitchen is cold so I turn on the oven on low and when it gets warm I shut it off. Then I put the bowl in the oven.) Then knead the dough on a floured surface a few times and pat into a 9 x 13 size (3/4 inch thick). Cut the dough into 18 pieces using a pizza cutter. Move the rolls to a greased pan. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and turn it on to 350. After 5 minutes, put the rolls in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and brush with butter, then bake for another 5 minutes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

This was a hit and it was really easy. You can put it together at night and then pull it out of your refrigerator and turn it on in the morning before work. By the time you come home it will be ready for you! I also can't recommend enough the slow cooker liners. Clean up consists of throwing away the bag and washing the lid of your crock pot.

Baked Potato Soup
1 bag of frozen cubed hashbrowns
1 c. of frozen, chopped onion, carrot and celery mix (I get this at Dillons. Walmart doesn't have it. If you don't want to use frozen, just chop up 1 c. worth of the veggies)
32 oz. chicken broth
1 c. water
3 T. chicken noodle base (you should keep this on hand for soup making, I add it in almost any time I use chicken broth and it adds a lot of flavor)
3 T. flour
1 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 pkg. of ready cooked bacon, chopped
Add the veggies, broth, water and chicken base to your crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. In a separate bowl, whisk milk into the flour. To avoid lumps, add the  milk to the flour slowly. Don't add the flour to the milk. Then stir the milk mixture into the soup. Then stir in the cheese and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Serve when the cheese is melted and the soup is thickened.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Lately I've been too busy to bake. I don't know what has come over me. I even went out and bought Little Debbies this week. (If you haven't had one in awhile, you aren't missing out. Homemade tastes so much better!)

I do still have to make dinner, and we had these sandwiches last night. These are not just BBQ chicken sandwiches. They have grilled chicken with pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, ranch and BBQ sauce. So good! (And fast and easy too).

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
pkg of chicken tenderloins (or cut up some breast in strips)
pkg of pepper bacon (regular will work too)
hoagie buns
cheddar cheese (pepper jack would be good too if you like a little hot)
BBQ sauce
ranch dressing
First lay your bacon on a large cookie sheet, reserving one piece of bacon, and put it in the oven at 350. If you prefer to fry it on the stove and stink up your house, go ahead. Then take the one piece of bacon and chop it up. Fry it in a frying pan. Once it's all brown, add a little oil to the pan. Take the chicken tenders and season them with Lawry's season salt and pepper. (I also sprinkled a little thyme and some poultry seasoning on mine.) Then fry the tenders in the bacon grease until they aren't pink in the middle and they have a nice brown crust on the outside. On another cookie sheet, lay out the hoagie buns with the insides facing up. Put cheese on one half of the bun. Put chicken on the other half. Take the bacon out of the oven and put it on a paper towel to drain it. Put two pieces of bacon on each sandwich on top of the chicken. Put the pan in the oven until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, put the sandwiches together and then cut in half. Put ranch and bbq sauce on each one and serve hot.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes

These cupcakes are pretty easy to do, but they are impressive. They taste good too. I'm sorry about the photo, I had to take it at work with my cell phone. I forgot to do it at home. The cupcakes almost didn't make it to work. When I was leaving my house, I tried unsuccessfully to balance two plates of cupcakes on one arm and ended up with a big frosting mess on the floor by the door. Oh well. At least one plate survived.
Lemon Cupcakes
one box of lemon cake mix
small box of instant lemon pudding
1 c. of sour cream
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. water
4 eggs
can of lemon pie filling
1 stick of butter
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
additional milk as needed
Mix the cake mix, pudding, sour cream, oil, water and eggs. Line two 12 hole muffin tins with cupcake liners and spray with Pam. Fill with batter. I use a scoop to evenly distribute the batter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done. Let cool. Cut a small hole in the center of the cupcake. You can use a knife, your finger, a teaspoon, a small melon baller, just see what works best for you. Then put the lemon pie filling in a large ziplock bag. Cut off the corner of the bag to make your own decorating bag. Squeeze lemon pie filling into each of the holes, but don't over fill. Next mix the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest and juice. Add milk if it needs to be softer. Spread carefully on the cupcakes or use a decorator bag and squeeze in a pretty design. I spread the frosting and had to be careful not to get the pie filling mixed in with the frosting. I used my cookie dough scoop to put a ball of frosting on the cupcake then I smashed it down and spread it out. I used the leftover pie filling to put a dot of yellow in the middle of the cupcakes. You could also add yellow food coloring to the frosting if you want it to look more lemony.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sausage Bread

I got this recipe from Plain Chicken and I adapted it. We had it for dinner but it would make a wonderful appetizer. It's really easy to make. This picture is not the best because it is from the end of the loaf. I forgot to take a picture until we had already ate most of it.
1 loaf unsliced French bread
1 lb pork sausage
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
Hollow out the middle of the loaf with a long serrated knife, leaving a 1/2 inch shell around the sides. Crumble up the bread that you removed into bread crumbs. Cook sausage until meat is browned, then drain. Stir in 1 cup breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, mustard and salt and pepper. Spoon into shell. Melt butter in saucepan. Add garlic and cook 1 min. Brush garlic butter over loaf. Wrap loaf in foil, leaving top open slightly. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 25 min.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

This recipe is from the folks at King Arthur Flour. After making several of their recipes for baked goods, I trust that whatever they are featuring on their blog is going to be good. Their products are really good too, if you've never looked at their baking catalog you should. This is called a cake, but it is not super sweet. It's kind of muffiny. If you want it to be more sweet, I recommend topping it with either blueberry syrup or by sprinkling powdered sugar on it. Also, don't be scared of the cottage cheese. You can't tell it is in the final product.
Blueberry Breakfast Cake
3 eggs
2/3 c. sugar, 1/4 c. sugar
6 T. melted butter
1 c. small-curd cottage cheese
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 t. baking powder
2 c. blueberries frozen
Beat the 2/3 c. sugar and butter. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Then beat in the sour cream and cottage cheese. Add in the dry ingredients except for the berries. Pour into a 9 inch round pan. Evenly sprinkle the blueberries on top. Then sprinkle the remaining sugar on top. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let set for at least 30 minutes before cutting. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pizza Bites

These would make great appetizers, but we had them for dinner with a Cesar salad and they were perfect for a weeknight dinner. They were a crowd pleaser. This is a really easy recipe. It takes a few extra minutes to put together, but you can do while sitting at your kitchen table relaxing after a long day at work.

Pizza Bites
2 cans Pillsbury pizza crust (or make your own if you want to be ambitious)
1 bag of frozen meatballs (thawed in your refrigerator)
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar of pizza sauce
Pinch off a piece, or cut a square from the dough that is double the size of the meatball. Dip the meatball in sauce, then dip the meatball in cheese. (I used two small bowls, one for sauce and one for cheese.) Then put the meatball in the center of your dough and fold the dough around it, covering the meatball. Seal any seams in the dough. Repeat until you run out of dough. Place seam side down on a large cookie sheet or sheets and bake for 20 minutes or so, until brown at 350 degrees. Serve with pizza sauce and ranch to dip.