Friday, April 29, 2011

Orange Ambrosia Mold

One of my favorite things to eat in the summer is a nice Jello salad of some kind. I find it very refreshing when the weather turns hot. I will usually make one to serve as a side dish. When my husband came to me a couple of days and saying that he needed to bring a side dish to a work potluck, I knew that I wanted to make this. I have a few Jello salad recipes but this one by far is my favorite. I think it is because I love the whole orange n' cream combination. This is so light and delicious and simple to make. If you aren't a huge fan of the orange you could substitute your favorite flavor. Sometimes I leave the coconut out because I don't always have that on hand. This is one of those versatile recipes. I hope you enjoy and have a great WEEKEND! I know I will. My husband and I have a rare date night planned and are off to the movies. I am still trying to decide what we should see.

Orange Ambrosia Mold
recipe source Kraft Recipes

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  Cold water
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg.  (6 oz.) JELL-O Orange Flavor Gelatin (this is the family sized box not the small one) You could substitute two (3 oz) boxes too.
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 can  (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1-1/2 cups Miniature Marshmallows
1/2 cup flaked Coconut

DRAIN pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough cold water to juice to measure 1 cup. Add boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in measured liquid. Refrigerate 1-1/4 hours or until slightly thickened.

WHISK in COOL WHIP until well blended. Refrigerate 10 min. or until mixture will mound. Stir in pineapple, oranges, marshmallows and coconut. Spoon into 6-cup mold sprayed with cooking spray. I usually don't put it in a mold, I just spoon it into a big bowl. A mold looks impressive though.

REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until firm. Unmold.


How to Stir COOL WHIP into Gelatin:
Spoon COOL WHIP into slightly thickened gelatin, using the amount of COOL WHIP specified in the recipe.Gently stir the COOL WHIP into the gelatin until all the COOL WHIP has been incorporated and mixture is a uniform pastel color. Use this method in any recipe that calls for folding or gently stirring one ingredient into another.
How to Unmold Gelatin:
Dip mold in warm water for about 15 sec. Gently pull gelatin from around edge with moist fingers. Place moistened serving plate on top of mold. Invert mold and plate; holding mold and plate together, shake slightly to loosen. Gently remove mold and center gelatin on plate.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crispy Baked Spinach Ricotta Ravioli

Another stuffed food recipe. Did you expect anything different? I am a big fan these won ton wrappers. Aren't they cute?

The possibilities are endless with what you could stuff into these babies. I keep seeing Nutella and peanut butter in my mind but haven't gotten around to experimenting with it. I know the I won't be able to stop thinking about that combo till I try. For now I have a fun appetizer idea for you. I had a big bag of spinach in my refrigerator that was going to expire so I knew I wanted to use it in some way for dinner. I also had a container of ricotta cheese. Spinach and ricotta pair up so nicely together so I decided to stuff the rounds with this combo. They ended up looking and tasting kind of like ravioli but a crispy version. I topped mine with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese before baking. To serve these just warm up some marinara sauce (homemade or jar) to serve on the side for dunking. If your kids are anything like mine they will gobble anything up that gets to be dunked. This is a good way to get spinach in them. I think this would also make a great meatless main dish paired with a side salad and fruit. I hope you enjoy! Have a happy Thursday.

Crispy Baked Spinach Ricotta Ravioli

One package of Won Tons or Rounds
10 oz fresh spinach
15 oz ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
olive oil for brushing
marinara sauce homemade or jarred

Cook spinach with 2 tbsp of water in the microwave or on the stove top for 5 minutes or until just wilted. Let cool and drain excess water. Place ricotta, spinach, grated cheese, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. You could probably just do this by hand as well.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Take a wrap and place approximately 2 tbsp of mixture in the center if each wrap. Do not place filling near the edge. Use a pastry brush dipped in water and brush edges of wrap. Place a second wrap on top, then crimp edges together tightly with your fingers or the tines of a fork. Brush ravioli lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake in 375° F oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve ravioli with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Calzones (Leftover Ham?)

You know how I've been posting lots of food that is wrapped up in some kind of breading? Well, I'm not done and have another one here for you. Let me start by saying I have an awesome mother-in-law. She is a great cook and I always look forward to dinner over at her house. My father-in-law is pretty awesome too but don't expect him to make dinner for you, unless you are in the mood for popcorn as a main dish. We had a wonderfully delicious Easter dinner prepared by my as mentioned mother-in-law. The star of the show was the ham. I don't get too excited over ham, I like it but not a favorite. If there was a choice between turkey or ham I would go for the turkey. I do enjoy the smell of the ham baking in the oven though. This particular ham she made on Easter was so good and really hit the spot for me. We lucked out too because they were going out of town the next few days and didn't want any leftovers in the house. We were excited because this meant that we got to take them all home! SCORE! So I was left with all this ham and ready to make something yummy with it. I came upon THIS recipe for Calzones using leftover ham. I made them today and they were a big hit with my family. They were very simple too. You use a special yeast for pizza. Here is what the package looks like:

This is so simple. You just mix up the dough and don't have to worry about rising. It is ready to use right away. I found that the dough was way more easy to roll out than my other pizza crust recipes. There was none of that bounce back deal you get sometimes. The crust has a mixture of whole wheat flour in it to add some nutrition. They are easy to whip up and I know your family will enjoy them. Enjoy!

Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Calzones
recipe source Good Life Eats

No Rise Calzone or Pizza Crust:
1 1/3 cup warm water
2 packets Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour

For the Calzone Filling:
1 3/4 cups diced ham
1 3/4 cups small broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
6 ounces mild chedder cheese, shredded
2 - 3 green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
10 ounces milk
1 cube or 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon sour cream

For the Calzone Crust:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm water and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, whisk in the olive oil.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, salt, whole wheat, and 2 cups of all purpose flour in a bowl. Reserve the remaining 1 cup all-purpose in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the water 1 cup at a time while mixing with the stand mixer's dough hook until a soft dough is formed.

If dough is still sticky, add the reserved flour 1/4 cup at a time (while still mixing) until desired consistency is reached. Dough should be soft and moist, but not sticky.
Dough does not need to rise, but keep it covered while you mix up the filling.

For the Calzone Filling:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Prepare the ham, broccoli, cheese, and green onion. Stir together in a medium-large bowl. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it has absorbed the butter. Slowly add the milk, whisking vigorously as you pour, until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add the bouillon and stir until dissolved. Season with pepper and, if desired, salt. Stir in the sour cream. Add the sauce into the ham mixture and stir to combine.

Divide dough into 8 equal portions and roll them into balls. It helps if you have a kitchen scale.

Roll each ball into an 8 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Top each circle with approximately 1/2 cup of the filling mixture. Pull edge of lower crust over top to form a half circle. Press the layers together to seal.

Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Transfer calzones to a greased baking sheet or a parchment lined pizza stone. If desired, brush with olive oil or an egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, beaten). Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-20 minutes, until browned and puffy. Transfer to cooling rack to keep bottom crust crisp to sit until cool enough to handle.

Note: To freeze - cool completely, then store in a freezer safe ziploc bag in the freezer for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven or toaster oven at 300 degrees F.

This post is linked to At Home With Haley
Monday, April 25, 2011

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookies

I know, I know, I just made cookies last week but I had another desire to make some today. I love making cookies. I find it a bit therapeutic. It is fun to find different takes on the cookie and try them out. Click HERE to take a look at my other cookie posts. There are hundreds and hundreds of recipes for a chocolate chip cookie but this is the first time I've come upon a recipe with this in it.

My favorite dessert in the whole world, ICE CREAM! I could eat ice cream everyday and never tire of it. I most especially love soft serve (MCDONALD'S). I found this recipe over at Picky Palate.  These cookies baked up nice and fat. I have a little trick I use when I make cookies to make them look a little bakery like. I roll them in a ball, about golf ball size, and them break the ball into two pieces. I then do a quarter turn and squish the two pieces together. This gives the surface a broken up look that when baked look very professional. The original recipe called for vanilla ice cream but I thought I would try them using Breyer's Mint Fudge Brownie ice cream. It would be fun to experiment with different types of ice cream in these cookies to see what fun tastes you could come up with. Something just popped into my head as I'm writing this. How fun would it be to sandwich a scoop of ice cream between two of these cookies? I would call them Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. That is a mouthful. Maybe instead of Muffin Monday's we should have Cookie Monday's. For those who kind of dread Monday's, this would make them something to look forward too. HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookies
Recipe Source Picky Palate

2 sticks softened butter
1 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons pure vanilla
Heaping 1/2 Cup ice cream (frozen from container) Whatever Flavor You Like
4 Cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 bag chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.  Add in ice cream until combined.
2.  Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix.  Add to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips; mix until just combined.  With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are cooked through.  Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. 

3-4 dozen cookies
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chicken Pillows

I seem to have a bit of an obsession lately. I have a strong desire to wrap my food up in some kind of manner. Whether it be the Stuffed Pizza Rolls, the Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts, the Southwestern Egg Rolls, or the Chicken Taquitos (you get the picture).  Watch out, I'm not done yet! These Chicken Pillows are no exception. What can I say? I love them, they are awesome, and I can't wait to make them again soon because I am already craving the delicious filling that comes oozing out when you take a bite of the flaky crescent roll. This is my take on a similar recipe I found over at The Girl Who Ate Everything. I changed it up a bit to make them somewhat more healthy, hey I gotta try. She dipped hers in melted butter and rolled them in dry breadcrumbs before baking. I skipped this step because crescent dough is already quite buttery and rich. She also serves hers with a chicken type gravy. I also skipped this step because I didn't like the thought of a soggy pillow. I will include her recipe for the gravy in case you are interested in that part. I think a nice side salad or side of fruit would be the perfect side dish with these to make them a light Spring or Summer meal. I hope you enjoy!

Chicken Pillows
adapted slightly from The Girl Who Ate Everything

8 oz cream cheese softened, I used 1/3 less fat
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp dried chives
1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh onion
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 chicken breasts cooked, diced really small
2 (8oz) cans Pillsbury Crescent Dough

GRAVY if desired:

1 (14.5 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (0.87) package chicken gravy mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sour cream until well combined. You can do this by hand if your cream cheese is soft enough. Stir in salt, pepper, onion, chives, spinach, and diced chicken.

Using Pillsbury crescent rolls, take 2 triangular rolls and push together at perforated seam to make into a square. Make sure you seal the perforations well so your filling doesn't come out. Put about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture in the center of each square. Fold the dough corners to the center over the chicken mixture forming a pillow.

Place chicken pillow on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Make gravy by mixing one package of chicken gravy mix, one can of cream of chicken soup and 3/4 can of water in a small pot. Mix together and heat until warm. Serve chicken pillows with gravy poured over top.

This post is linked to a Linky Party over at MOMS CRAZY COOKING!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Heath Bar Cookies

I was in a cookie type mood today. I had homemade cookies on my mind all day and finally at 3:00pm I gave into my craving. I was in a chocolate chip mood but sadly when I went to my freezer I realized that I was all out. However, sitting there all alone on the shelf was this bag of Heath Bar Chocolate Covered Toffee Pieces. Ding, Ding, Ding! Suddenly I was all excited and forgot all about my friend the chocolate chip. Heath Bar cookies sounded way better and I got right to work. These hit the spot. My husband was pleased because he loves all things made with Toffee. They bake up thin but chewy and buttery. They were a big hit with my kids as well. This is just a basic cookie recipe but make sure you realize that the dough needs to chill for 30 minutes after mixing them up. I know it might be hard to do but that is what the recipe says. They will be worth the wait though. I hope you enjoy!

Heath Bar Cookies
recipe source Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped Heath Bar pieces (Eight 1.4 ounce bars) or 1 (8-ounce) package of chocolate-covered or regular toffee bits

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl (or the bowl of an electric stand mixer), with an electric handheld mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla and mix until the mixture is very light in color and creamy. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Once it is about halfway combined, add the heath bits and mix until all the ingredients are mixed together. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat liner, scoop the cookie dough into about 1-inch balls. Place the dough about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets (these cookies have a bit of spread to them!). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs (Reese's Copycat)

My FAVORITE candy of all time would be the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I love them so much that I try to stay away from them, otherwise I might go a little overboard and feel guilty later. When I was young and had no regrets about what I ate I used to buy whole bags of peanut butter cups and eat them all within a couple days and I didn't think twice about the calories. Those days are long gone (DARN). I still will sneak one every once in a while when my children receive a candy stash of some kind. I tell you, I am in heaven for that 30 seconds it takes to eat it. I stumbled upon this recipe that was apparently a copy-cat version of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and wanted to find out for myself if it was possible to make them at home. I must say that they do come pretty darn close. It took all my willpower not to take a spoon and work my way through this peanut butter bliss pictured below.

I am happy to report that I was able to contain myself and finish whipping the eggs up. These will be a fun treat to make with your kids. They can take the peanut butter dough and shape them into eggs. Then after they are dipped in chocolate, they can go at them with the sprinkles. If you are a Reese's fan, your going to enjoy these for sure.

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs (Reese's Copycat)
recipe source Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

9 graham cracker sheets, crushed into fine crumbs
6 Tbsp butter, softened (6 Tbsp)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1//2 cups powdered sugar
Candy Melts or Almond Bark

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine all the ingredients except for the candy melts. Mix on low until fully combined. You can do this by hand as well if desired.

Shape the mixture into egg shapes. The easiest way to do this to roll some dough into a golf ball sized circle and then shape into an oval. Place on wax paper lined baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour. (I was out of wax paper so I just sprayed some foil and it worked fine)

Once the eggs are frozen, melt your chocolate according to package directions. Place the eggs in the chocolate one at a time and use a fork to remove to place back on the wax paper (foil). Sprinkle with sprinkles immediately before the chocolate has time to set up. Place back in the freezer for 30 minutes.

This recipe will make 12 Reese's Eggs sized eggs. You can double or even triple if desired. I guess you could even halve it or 6 but that would just be crazy. Enjoy!!
Monday, April 18, 2011

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

Let's face it, kids love to dip their food. My 4 year old will even drink it or use her spoon to slop up any remaining dip from her plate. It's kind of gross to me but whatever. I've got a fun recipe that lets your kids "dunk" their pizza so they are very kid friendly. This recipe comes from one of my favorite food blogs Our Best Bites. These ladies are amazing and create some wonderful recipes. They say you could use a store bought crust such as Pillsbury but I opted to make my own. Have you seen how expensive those cans of dough are? I actually used their pizza crust recipe which you can find HERE and I have to say that I used half white whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour to sneak in a little fiber. These are very versatile. You can stuff them with any of your favorite pizza toppings. I opted for my favorite, Canadian bacon and pineapple. I had a bit of worry when I pulled my mozzarella cheese from the fridge and saw mold. EEK! Not gonna use that. I saw a package of string cheese sitting there and diced them up instead. I thought they were great and would probably use them again. If you have a family that likes different things you could even do half one topping and half another. So, just in case you need instructions on how to eat these babies, you just pop one off and dunk it in the pizza or marinara sauce. Enjoy!

Stuffed Pizza Rolls
Recipe Source Our Best Bites

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough* or make your own
marinara/pizza sauce or make your own (click HERE for mine)
2T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1  t dried Italian seasoning
mozzarella cheese, diced or grated (I used string cheese)
Pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.

*You can use regular pizza dough, or thin crust. 

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package.  Usually it's 400 degrees.  If you make your own dough, 400 is usually a good heat as well.

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8".  You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to.  Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square.  (Note that you're not putting the marinara sauce on the dough- it's for dipping after). You just need to be able to enclose the toppings in the dough so keep that in mind.

When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings.  Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).

Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese. 

Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Keep an eye  on them! Doughs vary, so I'd check them after even 10 minutes.

Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Fruit is the perfect side dish.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chocolate Banana Muffins (Oh, My)

Are you ready for muffin Monday? Just kidding, I don't have a muffin Monday but it sounds like a fun idea. I do have a killer muffin recipe for you to start the week out. Remember back a few posts when I was raving about my new favorite baking friend the BANANA and how I am so amazed at how it can stand in the place of butter and oil in baked goods? Well, I have another recipe for you where this works beautifully. I whipped these up this afternoon hoping for the same great result and was not disappointed. If you are at all a fan of chocolate you are gonna love these muffins. They are bursting with chocolaty goodness. Honestly, the banana flavor isn't that powerful in these. I think the chocolate overpowers it but you won't miss it. When I tried mine it was fresh from the oven and still warm which is how I would recommend eating them. Now I have three favorite muffin recipes on my blog all different from each other but equally yummy. The recipe comes from Handle the Heat. I adapted her recipe slightly by adding 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. I love the flavors of chocolate and cinnamon together. Just leave it out if you aren't a fan. I hope you enjoy and have a great Monday.

Chocolate Banana Muffins
slightly adapted from Handle the Heat
  • 3 large bananas
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Enjoy with a big glass of moo juice!

*Recipe Note* She used half whole wheat and half white flour. I just used all (1 cup) of white whole wheat flour and the results where great.

This post is linked up with Sweet as Sugar Cookies
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with baking cups and set it aside.

In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher then mix in the sugar, egg and applesauce. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder over the banana mixture. Mix lightly with a rubber spatula to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. The batter should be just moistened but still a little clumpy. Don't over mix! 

Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or spoons, divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups and bake them for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer them to a rack to cool. Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Bunny Buns

Easter is right around the corner and I've been trying to think of some fun Easter foods to make. I came upon these Easter Bunny Buns over at Mommy's Kitchen and knew right away that I wanted to make them. These are so easy to make because you use a cake mix. I've never used a cake mix in my bread baking but was intrigued at the idea. I have to say that they rose beautifully. I made four Easter Bunny Buns and with the rest of the dough I shaped into crescents for dinner tonight. The original recipe calls for a powdered sugar glaze to brush over the bunnies but opted out and kept them simple with a butter and cinnamon sugar dusting. Okay, it was pure laziness but they were still awesome just the same. I think these would make a fun Easter morning treat for your family. I hope you enjoy!

Easter Bunny Buns
Recipe source Mommy's Kitchen

1 - (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (I use rapid rise)
1 1/2 - cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 1/4 - cups all-purpose or bread flour (I prefer bread flour)
1 - 9 oz package jiffy yellow cake mix or 1/2 of
regular 18.5 oz cake mix approx 1 1/4 cups
1/4 cup butter, softened to brush on baked rolls
Cinnamon Sugar
Colored Easter Sprinkles (optional)


2 - cups powdered sugar
2 - tablespoons milk
1/2 - teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - teaspoon butter, softened

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cake mix. Beat until dough is smooth. Add some flour on the counter and knead any additional flour into the dough. Knead until it is no longer sticky. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes - 1 hour. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll dough into a long rectangle 1/2-inch thick.

Cut dough into strips 1/2-inch wide and 14-inches long. (sorry I did not get a photo of that part). Reserve 1-2 of the strips to cut into pieces about 1/2-inch long and roll into small balls (use for bunny tails).

Then roll the dough to make rounded snake shapes.( I just cut them into strips without rolling). Place one long piece of dough on a greased baking sheet. Place one end of the strip over the other to make a loop; bring the end that is underneath up and cross it over the other end. Place a ball of dough on top of the bottom loop (to be the tail).

Brush the bunnies with melted butter and sprinkle on a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. You can also leave some of the bunnies plain. Cover the bunnies with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with baking spray. Allow the rolls to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, until nearly double in size. Remove plastic wrap and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Brush on a simple icing and add holiday sprinkles to the plain rolls. Just add the simple icing to the cinnamon ones.


Stir the powdered add the butter and blend with a fork. Add the milk and the vanilla extract and mix until you have the consistency of a pourable glaze. Brush on the glaze while the bunnies are still warm. Add colored sprinkles.

Note: These bunny buns can be left plain and used as a dinner roll. Just shape, rise and bake the bunnies. When they are finished brush with melted butter before serving.

I linked this post up with Sweet as Sugar Cookies & Mom's Crazy Cooking & Good Cheap Eats (What's on your Plate?) & At Home With Haley

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts

I like coming up with different ways to make ordinary food. Take your typical cheeseburger for instance. Everyone is used to eating a grilled patty with cheese between a bun. They are always a favorite of just about everyone, but nothing special or unique. This recipe is a twist on the old favorite. The meat has all the flavor of a cheeseburger because it is simmered with ketchup, mustard, and onion. It is served on delicious buttery flatbread rather than a bun and topped with shredded cheese. I think that if your family loves burgers they will enjoy with unique way of eating them. They are easy to throw together so you can have dinner on the table quick. I added some black beans to stretch the meat and add some fiber. What's not to love? I found this recipe over at Kevin & Amanda. It is a great blog if you have a chance to check it out. She gave some other ideas for the use of flatbread such as:

Hamburger + taco seasoning + cheddar = Taco Flatbread Melt.
Hamburger + spaghetti sauce + mozzarella = Lasagna Flatbread Melt.
Flatbread + fresh rosemary + sea salt = *faint*

Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts
slightly adapted from

1/2 lb lean ground beef, browned and drained (I used ground turkey)
1/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
11 oz thin crust pizza dough
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown and drain ground beef. Add water, vinegar, onion soup mix, ketchup, mustard, black beans, and garlic. Stir to combine and simmer over low heat. This smells amazing by the way.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp canola oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Divide the pizza dough into six equal portions and roll into a round, tortilla-like shape. This doesn't have to be perfect. I kind of like the rustic look of uneven edges.

 Fry the dough for one minute on each side or until golden brown and bubbly.

Remove to a paper towel to drain. Top with beef mixture and shredded cheese.
Makes 6 flatbread melts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dinosaur Eggs

Easter is one of my favorite holiday's. I think it is because I love Spring and get so excited when the weather is warming and flower's are blooming. Easter is also a fun time for kids with eggs coloring, egg hunts, and bunnies bringing baskets full of goodies. Coloring eggs is a blast, messy sometimes but still fun. I saw this idea over at Our Best Bites and knew that I wanted to try it out. I've never seen eggs dyed this way but loved the way they looked. They turn out to look just like dinosaur eggs, way cool! Just a little something different to try other than just coloring the shells. Something else that was fun was turning those colorful eggs into a rainbow egg salad. My daughters love egg salad and making it rainbow colored just pushed it way over the edge for them. They were so excited. So to make this just take your hard boiled eggs and crack them on the counter gently to make little cracks all over the egg.

Then take liquid food coloring and color some water. I used Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green. Just a note, Yellow didn't show up very well for me. I like the brighter colors best.

Then you set them in your fridge to color over night. Remove the eggs and rinse them off with water. Now you will be able to crack some of the shells off to reveal the dinosaur eggs.

I like the way the shells look on the inside.

Then of course you could make some Rainbow Egg Salad if you want.

Have fun with it and enjoy!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Southwestern Egg Rolls (Baked)

I have a new obsession. I used to see these little things in the produce section all the time and wondered what fun things I could do with them. I finally broke down and bought some one day. I am so glad I did. Do you want to know what I am talking about? Well here they are:

Egg roll wraps are wonderful. You can adapt them to fit just about any cuisine whether it be Italian, American, Mexican, Asian, you name it. You can even wrap up something sweet and make a killer dessert. I am excited about experimenting with that more in the future. I found a recipe in a Taste of Home magazine for a Southwestern Style Egg roll and I adapted it a bit to suit our family more. For one thing, it called for spinach which I like but I didn't think my kids would like seeing that stringy green stuff when they bit into them. I also left out the green onions and the cayenne pepper because I did want my children to actually eat them. The original didn't have chicken in it but I added it because this was dinner for us and I wanted something more substantial. You can see how you can make these to suit your families tastes. My kids actually wanted ketchup to dip them in (GAG). Just do what you want and enjoy!

Southwestern Egg Rolls (Baked)
adapted from Taste of Home Magazine

1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, drained or 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1  (1lb) package egg roll wrappers

In a large bowl, mix everything together except for the egg roll wrappers. Lay an egg roll wrapper on a work surface so that one of the corners is facing you. Place 1/4 cup of the filling in the center like so:

Now fold the tip closest to you up over the filling like this:

Now fold the points pointing outward in towards the center to resemble an envelope:

Now continue to fold over until a small part of the remaining tip is showing. Moisten the edges with water and finish rolling to press the seal closed. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Place them on a greased baking sheet seam side down. Spray the tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with a light sprinkling of salt.

Bake in a preheated 425 F oven for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Make sure to turn halfway through baking to brown evenly. Serve with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.

Makes about 18-20

This post is linked to At Home With Haley & Moms Crazy Cooking
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One of the many jobs I have as a stay at home mom is to cook. I love being in the kitchen and creating yummy dishes to feed my family. I started this blog as a way to virtually capture my most valuable recipe creations and finds. I hope you enjoy!
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