We had quite the eventful day on Tuesday that brought a visit to the E.R. with our first major injury. Noah fell out of his bed and hit the right side of his head, splitting it and requiring 2 staples. It was pretty traumatic for both of us but I kept it together (for the most part) and he was incredibly brave. I’m pretty sure it took a good 3 hours for my blood pressure and heart rate to get back to normal and I still wince every time I see his poor little head.
He skipped school yesterday since his head was hurting so we decided to whip up some decadent pumpkin seeds from our jack-o-lantern carving. Because sugar makes everything better. Am I right?
These are a fun, easy last minute Halloween treats using ingredients most of us have in our pantry already. Noah had a great time making sure the pumpkin seeds were in a single layer for roasting (OCD much? perhaps he gets it from his mama?) and mixing up the sugar and spice topping. If you have little ones helping, make sure they stand back during step 2 as some of the pumpkin seeds may pop or spatter.
And just for reference, we got a little over 2 cups of pumpkin seeds from a large and small pumpkin.
I hope you enjoy these pumpkin seeds, or pepitas if you’re fancy like that.
Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Seeds
recipe adapted from All Recipes
2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
2. Melt coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar. Stir and cook for about 45 seconds, or until dissolved (do not allow to brown or burn).
3. Pour pumpkin seeds into sugar and spice mixture, tossing to fully coat. Allow to cool and enjoy.
As you can probably tell by the red and green, I was planning to share this cookie recipe with you before Christmas. Well, life got crazy and that didn’t happen but these are so good that I just had to share them anyway. They are one of my favorite cookies that I have made in awhile.
We rarely buy packaged cookies but I have always loved those iced oatmeal cookies dipped in milk until they get a little soggy. These remind me of those store-bought cookies but are chewy rather than crunchy which always makes a cookie better in my opinion.
I whipped these up, along with several other sweets, and brought them for all of Joel’s family to enjoy while we gathered for his grandpa’s funeral. The were inhaled in a flash. The only other cookie to disappear before were these cookie dough bites. It’s really a toss up over which one is better. If my New Years resolution wasn’t to get rid of this baby weight then I would just say have one of each! Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies
recipe from Is This Really My Life?
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
2-5 Tbsp. milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease cookie sheet.
2. In food processor or blender, pulse/blend oats until partly ground. (Ground oats should be coarse, not a fine powder.)
3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix until combined.
4. In a large bowl beat melted butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 14 to 16 minutes until lightly browned. Keep remaining dough chilled until ready to bake (if it gets too warm, the cookies spread too much).
6. Cool cookies for 5 minutes on sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Once cookies are completely cooled, whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth and desired consistency. Gently frost each cookie and allow glaze to set before storing. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Remember the snickerdoodle cookies I shared with you on Monday? I told you I would be sharing something amazing that they would be a part of and this is it! I’m sure the anticipation was killing you and I hope it was worth the wait!
One a recent trip to our favorite ice cream shop in town, Ivanna Cone, Joel noshed on a big scoop of snickerdoodle ice cream and it was dreamy. A sweet, spicy cinnamon ice cream with chunks of snickerdoodle cookies throughout, what’s not to love? It was amazing and I kept the flavor in the back of my mind for the future.
When Father’s Day rolled around, I told him I wanted to make him ice cream and he had to choose. I assumed he would pick Coffee Ice Cream as it’s his favorite but he surprised me and requested an attempt at the snickerdoodle. This made me happy since I’m not a huge coffee fan and I always like to try new recipes. So, I went to my trusty ice cream recipe book to find a good base for this deliciousness.
I found a cinnamon custard ice cream that I thought would be just perfect with some crumbled snickerdoodles. And it was. This is the most amazing, creamy, cookie filled ice cream ever. It may even be my favorite homemade ice cream creation yet….and that’s saying something since I’m pretty much an ice cream addict.
I hope you guys love ice cream as much as I do because I have some more fun recipes coming your way this summer. I just can’t get enough!
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim and it was still creamy and delicious)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1-2 cups crumbled snickerdoodles
1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Stir in cornstarch then set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepan, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaf and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat. Once it starts to simmer, turn off the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf then slowly beat the warm milk mixture into the eggs. Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Do not let the mixture boil or your eggs may scramble. Once thickened, pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a large, clean bowl. Allow custard to cool slightly (I place mine in the fridge for about an hour), then stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
3. Stir the chilled custard then freeze according to your ice cream machine instructions. During the last five minutes of freezing, crumble in the snickerdoodles. If you prefer soft ice cream, eat right away but if you want a firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
We made it back from our Lake of the Ozarks vacation and although we had fun, I am glad to be home. A week was definitely enough nature for this girl! I came home with 35 bug bites, a killer sun burn and a cold that has lingered all week. I’m more of a beach or city vacation kind of person. Although it was nice to not have to worry about straightening my hair or putting on makeup.
I made these cookies before vacation for an amazing treat that I will share with you later this week. You are going to just die when you see what it is. So yummy!
These cookies are soft and chewy with a delicious cinnamon kick. I have a thing for cinnamon so I threw some into the batter rather than just rolling the dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture. I like the extra spicy, sweet kick it gives them, but it’s totally up to you. They come together quickly and easily so they are great to whip up when a sweet tooth craving strikes.
I just can’t wait to share the deliciousness that these helped create!
recipe slightly adapted from food.com
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.
2. Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl.
3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into butter mixture.
4. Chill dough and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
5. Meanwhile, mix 5 tablespoons sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
6. Scoop 1 inch globs of dough then roll into balls. Coat dough by gently rolling balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
7. Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Remove from pan immediately.
As you can tell, I kind of have a thing for granola (and I have passed it on to Noah). We got addicted to all of Trader Joe’s granola but since we had never had a TJ’s in town (until now, mwhahaha) I always liked to make it homemade to snack on. We like it plain, vanilla flavored and especially this holiday gingerbread granola.
I made so many cookies and candies this year that I thought it would be nice to include something really different. Breakfast was the perfect solution and granola automatically popped into my head. And what says Christmas more than gingerbread?
The maple syrup, molasses and ginger all combine to create the perfect gingerbread taste. The crystallized ginger added a nice chewiness to the crunchy texture of the oats and nuts. A totally yummy treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup molasses
1/3 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix oats and almonds together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, maple syrup, molasses and oil.
3. Pour sugar and oil mixture over the oats and stir well, making sure everything is evenly coated.
4. Pour into a greased 13×9 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
5. Let cool completely, stir in crystallized ginger and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
I know these muffins have quite the name and I really should have simplified with the title “best muffins ever.” They really are that good. They were still light and moist, unlike many muffins I have made with whole wheat flour. And they are actually an updated version of the muffins I shared here (before I really experimented and had creativity with existing recipes).
I had been putting off making these muffins because I was feeling lazy and just wasn’t in the baking mood for days. But that poor child of mine went muffin-less for a whole week and he just couldn’t take it anymore. We had some super ripe bananas begging to be used and I remembered this chocolate banana muffin recipe that I had made a long time ago and knew he would love them. It’s a good thing I stalk follow so many blogs and save so many recipes because I’m pretty sure I could make a different type of muffin every week of the year.
I liked the base recipe for these but I was craving something with more flavor and texture so I made a few tweaks to fit my taste and mood. I went on a Trader Joe’s binge over Labor Day when visiting my parents so I have a huge stock of nuts that need to be used up. Every time I go in that place I go into a panic like I will never go again and proceed to feel the need to buy excessive amounts of ingredients that I have no plans for immediate use. I could add almonds to just about anything and think it was spectacular but I wasn’t sure about the sunflower seeds. They ended up putting the muffins over the top for me. They gave them an awesome, nutty crunch that was really wonderful.
The muffins were crammed with delicious goodness in every bite and could be packed with even more depending on your taste or what’s in your pantry. Make sure to check out the additional mix-in ideas before baking them up and comment with any other yummies you add in that I didn’t dream up! Loaded Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins
recipe adapted from Food.com
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup dutch process baking cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. canola oil (or sub applesauce)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
Additional Possible Mix-Ins: raisins, craisins, pecans, toffee bits, marshmallows, quick cooking oats
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine first 7 ingredients.
2. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg.
3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips, almonds and sunflower seeds.
4. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three fourths full.
5. Bake for 17-25 minutes or until muffins test done.
I really wish I had better pictures so you could truly know the amazingness that was this cake. I kind of put off making this until the last minute for a gathering so I only had time to snap some quick pictures but it was so yummy that I wanted to make sure I shared it with you during prime pumpkin season.
I love pumpkin, cinnamon rolls and cake for that matter so I knew combining them would be good….really good. And it was. The pumpkin with the buttery cinnamon swirl is what I loved about this delectable dessert. Don’t worry about all the calories, they were rich so a small piece will be enough to satisify you! This would be the perfect dessert to share at Thanksgiving!
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
3.4 ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup sour cream
15 ounce can pumpkin
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream (start w 1/4 cup and add a little more cream if needed)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray.
2. Place cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, pudding, sour cream and pumpkin into a stand or electric mixer, beating until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
3. Place butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt, about 30-40 seconds. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined. Drizzle mixture evenly over cake then take a knife and run it through to swirl.
4. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. Place powdered sugar and cream into a large bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. Refrigerate if not serving same day.
Makes 16 to 20 squares
These are simply amazing. Definitely not the pancakes you make every weekend but a great occasional recipe to break out for special celebrations. Pancakes are usually for special occasions around here anyway. I don’t know why I don’t make them often because we love them…just don’t think about them I guess. And I don’t have a griddle so I basically make them one at a time which can take quite awhile if I’m cooking for a crowd.
Obviously, it’s the cinnamon streusel that puts these pancakes over the top. I have made these pancakes twice, the first time with the full amount of streusel and the second with half the amount. I found that the full amount was of course amazing but they were still really great with only half of what the original recipe states. I didn’t miss the extra streusel too much so I think I will halve it in the future. I left the recipe at the full amount so you can go ahead and make your own decision (sugar overload or just short of it?).
We just love these pancakes. Noah enjoyed them as his second breakfast. Second breakfast you ask? Well, Noah usually gets up around 6:30 or 7:00 and eats Greek yogurt and Cheerios. On Saturday, Joel gets up with Noah so I can sleep in then once I wake up (usually around 8:30) I try and make a yummy, homemade breakfast. When we sit down to eat and put Noah in his highchair he thinks he needs to eat again. And it’s just mean and torturous to eat in front of him without sharing. Alas, second breakfast. I know this blog is all about food but I couldn’t help but share this picture and video of Noah enjoying his pancake.
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
10 Tbsp cold butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk (I substituted sour milk see note below)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1. Prepare the streusel mixture by mixing the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Then using a large shred cheese grater, you grate the butter into the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon mixture. Grate a little and then stir it in and continue until all the butter has be grated. You want a nice crumbly mixture. If you don’t have the cheese grater you can cut the butter into small pieces and use a fork or pastry blender, but I love to use the cheese grater method.
2. In another bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients for the pancake mixture together.
3. Add all wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, and oil) to a separate bowl and stir just until blended.
4. Add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix, batter will be slightly lumpy.
5. Lightly coat skillet with oil. Heat to medium low (I do one notch below medium).
6. Drop 1/2 cup of the pancake batter onto heated skillet. If needed, use the back side of a spoon to help even out the batter. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of the streusel mixture.
7. Cook on first side until bubbles begin to form on surface and underside is golden, about 2 minutes. The pancake with be puffy and the streusel mixture will have dissolve into the pancake.
8. Flip over and sprinkle the now cooked side of the pancake with 3 Tbsp of the streusel mixture. You want it nice and even on the pancake. Cook for 2 minutes until golden brown and the streusel is nice and melted on the top of the pancake.
9. Serve warm with maple syrup and butter. Makes 8 large pancakes.
Note: If you don’t have buttermilk just add 1 Tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice to your liquid measuring cup. Then add enough milk to make 1 cup. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and you have a substitute for 1 cup of buttermilk.
I was recently looking through my Top 100 and realized that I had a King Cake listed. Considering that Mardi Gras is the time to make a King Cake I figured I better jump on that train before it’s too late and I have to wait a whole year. It is traditional to make king cakes between January 6th (Twelfth Night) and Fat Tuesday. When making the cake, a small plastic baby, a coin or dried bean are hidden and whoever gets the slice with the trinket will have good luck. Make sure to warn those eating the cake to be on the lookout!
I have never made or eaten a King Cake so I had a bit of a difficult time choosing a recipe since many of them vary quite a bit. Should I go with a cinnamon filling, one with citron or a cream cheese? My final decision factored on the ease of the recipe. For Valentine’s Day I made cinnamon rolls and I didn’t really feel like dealing with a yeast dough twice in a week. Therefore, I went with a recipe that starts with crescent roll dough and has cinnamon and cream cheese fillings.
The recipe calls for coloring the glaze the traditional green, purple and yellow of Mardi Gras but I wanted to stick with the colored sugar to really make the colors stand out. So after drizzling the glaze on the cake I simply sprinkled the cake with sugar that I colored myself. To make colored sugar, place 1/4 cup sugar in a plastic bag then place a very small amount of gel coloring in with it. Seal the bag then mash and mix until it is thouroughly distributed.
This “cake” is more of a sweet bread or pastry. The crescent dough gave a light, flaky texture which was really yummy with the silky cream cheese and sugary cinnamon fillings. Plus, it only took about 5-10 minutes to put together so from start to finish it was about 30 minutes for a yummy little treat.
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red, blue, yellow and green food coloring or purple, green and yellow sugars
1. Unroll both tubes of crescent dough and separate into triangles. Place triangles on a greased 12-in. pizza pan, forming a ring with pointed ends facing toward the center and wide ends overlapping. Lightly press wide ends together.
2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon over wide ends of ring. In another bowl, stir the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese mixture.
3. Fold points over filling and fold wide ends over points. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Divide icing among three bowls. Using red and blue food coloring, tint one portion purple. Tint another portion yellow and the remaining portion green. Drizzle over cake. Or drizzle the white frosting over the cake then sprinkle with colored sugars. Serve warm. Yield: 16 servings.
Joel absolutely loves Cinnabon but sadly we don’t have them around these parts. So that means whenever we are waiting at an airport or cruising a mall in a new city the hunt is on for Cinnabon (my hunt is for Chick-a-Fila but that’s a whole other story for another time). So when I came across this copycat recipe I knew it was a must try. And I am so glad that we did because they were the best and easiest cinnamon rolls I have ever made.
By now, you all know my debacle with doughs and pastry crusts. Well, this dough rolled out like a dream. Yep, that’s right…a dream. From now on, I will always use this dough recipe for sweet breakfast rolls of all kinds (mmm, now I’m dreaming of caramel rolls and orange rolls).
They were tender, gooey, cinnamon-y, sweet and sticky. Everything you hope for in a cinnamon roll. I think the addition of chopped pecans to the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture would be to die for and I think I will try that next time on half of the rolls (picky Joel doesn’t like nuts). You just have to try these. They melt in your mouth and stick in your brain…I’m still dreaming about them and I made them weeks ago!
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine , softened
8 tablespoons margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
2. Add sugar, margarine salt, eggs, and flour, mix well (I used my Kitchen Aid for this step).
3. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.
4. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size (I rose mine in the oven after preheating the oven to 400F and then turning it off).
5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.
6. It should be approx 1/4 thick.
7. To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
8. Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.
9. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
10. Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan. Rise rolls again until about doubled in size (I placed them in the oven again and let them rise for about 30 minutes).
11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
12. While the rolls are baking combine the icing ingredients.
13. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy. Spread over hot cinnamon rolls.