Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Delight

A big shout out to Lil Luna for this delicious recipe!  I switched things up just a little bit, but it is mostly the same.  In the original recipe (and in the picture shown above), there is whipped cream in each layer of the dessert.  I prefer just a whipped cream topping.  Click the link to see original recipe.  It is good, just really tall and....whipped creamy.....which my kids liked, but I preferred less.  Super good as well though!  My husband wants this for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie because the crust is so yum and its really easy to put together.

Mel's version of the Layered Pumpkin Dessert


*9x9 pan:

1 c flour
1/2 c butter
1/2 c chopped pecans
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
8 oz whipped topping
2 1/2 c milk
1 (3 or 5 oz) package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin spice

  1. Layer 1: Mix flour, butter and 1/2 cup pecans together. Press into a sprayed 9x9.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove and let cool.
  2. Layer 2: Blend cream cheese and powdered sugar, spread over cooled crust.
  3. Layer 3: Mix milk, pudding mix, canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice. Spread over top of layer 2. (You can add 1 c whipped cream to this layer to make it sweeter).  We prefer it without though.  
  4. Layer 4: Spread remaining 1 cup of whipped topping and sprinkle pecans.
  5. Let chill for 3 hours or until set.

*I made this dessert for a baby shower recently.  I used a big jelly roll pan.  I needed to triple the crust portion for that sized pan. I imagine for a 9x13 pan, you would need to increase the crust measurements as well. The rest of the topping ingredients I just doubled and it was plenty!  Very heavy tray. Everyone loved it!  Thick crust was delicious.  All of the layers compliment the others perfectly.  I also sprinkled pumpkin spice over the top of the whipped cream layer and it looked really pretty :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

All credit (pics and recipe) goes out to Lauren's Latest.  Click on her link to see step by step pictures and detailed instructions.  You won't regret it, as she has some very valuable tips and tricks.  Thank you Lauren for some delicious cinnamon rolls that we had for General Conference!

My Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

After several attempts at recreating this famous recipe, I've finally come up with one that might be just as good if not better than the original!
prep time: 6 HOURS
cook time: 17 MINUTES
total time: 6 HOURS 17 MINUTES


for the dough-
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast {use the fast acting kind!}
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 1/2-5 cups all purpose unbleached flour
for the filling-
1/2 cup softened margarine
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
for the frosting-
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup softened margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar


Making the Dough- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour in water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and proof 5 minutes. Once mixture looks bubbly and frothy, pour in remaining sugar and salt. Stir on low for 15-20 seconds. In a small bowl, measure buttermilk, oil and egg. Whisk ingredients together until egg is incorporated to other two ingredients. Pour contents into the water and yeast mixture. Stir another 20 seconds in the mixer. Pour 2 cups of flour into mixer and stir on low until incorporated. Sprinkle flour in by 1/4 cup increments until dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Dough should be sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands when touched. Once it has reached this stage, turn mixer on and knead for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl, grease and replace back into same mixing bowl {since it's practically clean anyways.} Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Rise 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
Filling and Cutting Rolls- In a medium size bowl, stir brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch together until combined. Set aside. Punch down dough. Flour a large clean table liberally with flour. Lightly flour dough as well. Roll dough out to be a 20x30 rectangle {or as close to that as possible} while moving dough around to ensure it's not sticking to your work surface. If it's a little short or uneven, feel free to cut off the edges to even it all out. {FYI-I cut off some dough on one side and filled in a spot that needed more dough on the other side to make a more even rectangle.} Spread softened margarine over dough, being sure to go right to the edges leaving a 1-inch strip untouched on one of the longer sides of dough. Dump brown sugar mixture onto the middle of the dough and spread with your hands, creating an even layer over top of the margarine, still leaving that 1-inch strip of dough untouched. If you have any filling that falls off the sides of the dough, use a bench scraper to replace. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the margarine using a rolling pin. Roll the dough up into a tight log, finishing with the plain dough on the bottom to seal the entire thing together. Cut off the uneven ends to even out the log. Score log every 2 inches and then slice your rolls using those marks. Place into parchment paper lined, margarine greased pans. 12 into a 9x13, 3 remaining into a loaf pan, or 8x8 with the small ends. Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels. Let rolls rise another 1-2 hours or until they are touching and have risen almost double. My rolls always spread out more than up, so just be aware that they will most likely spread out more than up. Bake in a preheated 350 degree for 17 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Watch them carefully!!
For the Frosting- While the rolls are baking, whip cream cheese and margarine together. Stir in vanilla, corn syrup and lemon juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Pour in powdered sugar and stir slowly until it starts to incorporate. Then mix on high for 5 minutes or until frosting starts to lighten in color. Scrape sides and mix again briefly. Once rolls have been removed from the oven, frost using half the amount made. Then after they have cooled a few more minutes, frost again with remaining frosting. The first frosting will melt down into the rolls and the second layer should stay put. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes:
-See step my step photos for more details I neglected to mention.
-Also, if your frosting isn't quite ready after you pull the rolls out of the oven, cover with foil so the tops don't dry out and get crispy.
-If you notice it takes forever for your rolls to rise, try adding an extra teaspoon of rapid rise yeast to your dough next time around. I also like to use Red Star Platinum yeast--it's hardcore stuff.

Recipe and Picture Source: Lauren's Latest

Oh Henry Bars

From what I have noticed, Scotcheroos and Oh Henry Bars are pretty much the same thing....except Oh Henry Bars have peanuts in them, which makes them delightful.  I am not a corn syrup fan in general but this is a super easy recipe to take to just about any event.

Oh Henry Bars

1 c sugar
1 c corn syrup
*Bring to a boil, remove from head and add:

1 C peanut butter
*Stir well and add:

1 c salted peanuts, not chopped
5 c Rice Krispies cereal

*Stir well, spread in buttered 9"x13" pan

*Melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips and 1 bag of butterscotch chips.  Spread on top and let cool/harden.

Recipe Source: My friend Kim P.
Photo Source: Kitchen Scrapbook

Breakfast Casserole with Pillsbury Crust

I got this recipe from my SIL Heather.  We tried it out for General Conference weekend and it was perfect.  Super easy to put together and baked up quickly.  Even my kids liked it!  Also, with the crust on the bottom, it was able to be cut and it held together really well (as in, you could pick it up and eat it with your hands if you wanted to).  I bought the crescent roll in a package that came in one giant 9"x13" sheet so I didn't have to seal the seams, making it really fast and easy.  I also made this the night before, but kept everything separate (crust laid out in pan and covered in saran wrap, toppings/cheese chopped and in separate bags, all other ingredients mixed in a liquid measuring cup).  It was really easy to dump all ingredients into the pan and bake first thing.

1 can Pillsbury crescent roll 8 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp dry mustard Salt and Pepper to taste 2 cups of shredded cheese- usually use cheddar 1 cup chopped ham or crumbled breakfast sausage

Heather's instructions: Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9 X13 pan. Place crescent roll on the bottom of the pan and seal perforations with your fingers. Allow the dough to stretch up the sides of the pan. You want this to seal as well as possible. If not done right- the egg will seep through and cook on the bottom of the pan. This is not necessarily bad- just not as pretty. (ie it has happened to me more than once

Sprinkle chopped ham and shredded cheese over the top of this. Mix the remaining ingredients together to break up the eggs. Pour over the top of ingredients in the pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the eggs are set.

This is just a base- you can add whatever you would like. I like to use swiss cheese and mushrooms. You could add chopped broccoli, green peppers, onions, etc and omit the meat.

Recipe Source: My SIL Heather
Photo Source: Pillsbury

Friday, September 26, 2014

Banana Coconut Muffins

Love me some coconut!  And you really can't go wrong with delicious muffins like these.  My kids ate them up :)

Banana Coconut Muffins

(From Extra Lean Family by Mario Lopez)               Yield: 12 muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 bananas)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, In a large bowl combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add bananas, applesauce, canola oil, milk, egg, and vanilla;mix gently to combine. Fold in walnuts and coconut. Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop batter into muffin pans and bake 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden.

Picture & Recipe Source: She's Cookin and Mario Lopez's "Extra Lean Family"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sandwich Rolls

Each holiday, I have been experimenting with different roll recipes.  Here is one I tried out yesterday for Easter.  It was a "stiff" roll recipe.  The roll definitely kept its shape, I am thinking from the potato flakes in the ingredient list.  I was thinking this roll recipe would be great for sandwiches or sliders, but not if you want a super soft, delicate roll.  They sliced up beautifully.

12 C bread flour (I didn't use this much I don't think....I lost count)
3 1/2 TBS yeast
1 1/2 TBSP salt
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C oil
4 C hot water
1 C powdered milk
1 C potato flakes

In a measuring cup, mix yeast and 1 TBSP of the sugar.  Let sit until the mixture becomes foamy, about 5 minutes.  In a mixing bowl, add 4 C flour, salt, powdered milk, potato flakes and sugar.  Mix well.  While the mixer is on, slowly add the foamy yeast water.  Add oil, mix well.  Gradually add 7-9 C more flour while kneading with bread hook till dough begins to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and isn't sticky.  After adding last cup of flour, knead for about 7 minutes.  Shape into desired shapes or loaves, rise until almost double.  Large loaves bake 350 about 32 minutes.  Don't preheat oven.  If you want to preheat oven, bake at 325 for 30 minutes.  When I was baking the rolls, I believe they baked at 325 for 25 minutes.

Recipe Source:  An old recipe I found in a stack ;)
Photo Source: Karla Akins

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Homemade Stir Fry Sauce

One thing I am learning in the cooking world is that making your own sauces is not as hard as I originally thought it was AND its also tastes WAYYY better than anything you can find in a bottle (from my experience).  You also cut out all of the extra unnecessary preservatives.  Yes, it does take more time to stir together 3 ingredients than it does to open a bottle, but the money AND taste savings are well worth it.  I hope to be able to find more stir fry sauce recipes and will post them here.  For now, this is one that my kids love (because its sweet) and oh so easy.

Stir Fry Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients and cook with stir fry veggies.  This sauce is thin and sweet.  You can double, triple, etc the amounts as needed.

Recipe Source:
Picture Source: Stir Fry Sauces