Monday, February 28, 2011

Cinnamon Flop Brunch Cake #10

Yet another recipe from Kittencal.  This one like most of her others that I make came from I've included Kittencal's comments because they are always full of helpful hints.  I usually try to incorporate these into the recipe, but there were just too many this time.

The case:
Kittencal's Comments
"Except for the the milk and small amount in the egg, the cake itself has very little fat and using low-fat milk will keep the fat to a minimum, I have stated the egg as optional, I strongly suggest to add it in for a more cake-like texture -- If you are looking for a fancy cake to serve then this is not it however for the ease of this cake it is darn good and makes a great weekend brunch cake, it's like a combination of a cake and cinnamon bun all in one, ridiculously simple to make as it's all mixed by hand and takes like 5 minutes to throw together, try adding in some chopped strawberries, apples or blueberries, raisins or dried cranberries, this recipe is a blank canvas, so go ahead and add in fruit, nuts chocolate chips whatever you wish, and to kick this up a notch drizzle recipe#120835 on top :) --- servings are only estimated"

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar ( add in more for a sweeter taste)
1 1/4 cups milk
1 -2 teaspoon vanilla (optional) or 1 -2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 large egg

1/2 cup brown sugar ( can use more or less)
1 -2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
chopped walnuts (optional) or pecans (optional)

1. Set oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish, or two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans (although the batter will seem like it will fit into only one 8 or 9-inch pan, this flop rises very high and will run over the sides if baked in just one pan).
3. In a bowl mix the 2 cups flour, 1-1/4 cups white sugar, milk, vanilla or almond extract, baking powder, pinch of salt and egg (if using) until just combined careful not to overmix.
4. Pour into prepared baking pan/s.
5. Generously spread brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
6. If desired sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans over top.
7. Drizzle melted butter over top.
8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes for 8 or 9-inch round cake pan, and about 30 minutes for a 13 x 9-inch pan.

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted ( please sift to remove any small lumps)
1/4 cup whipping cream ( any amount to desired texture start with 1/4 cup, or use 18% table cream)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl adding whipping cream until desired texture is achieved (do not make it to thin, or it won't stick on cakes!).

The ruling:
Just go ahead and throw all these ingredients together and make this.  And pour yourself a huge glass of milk!  This is simply delicious!  I love, love, love sweet cinnamon brunch dishes, and this is one of the best I've had!  It took me more than 5 minutes to make including prep, but these are ingredients I always have on hand- and it's all from scratch!  The only change I made was to the icing, I used milk instead of whipping cream.

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits #9

When I first started watching Food Network, Barefoot Contessa, aka Ina Garten, was foreign to me.  Most of the recipes I had never heard of.  I wouldn't eat a lot of the food she made, and to be honest some of the ingredients I didn't think I could even purchase.  Now, I have to admit there are still a lot of ingredients from her show that I can't find and plently of recipes I don't care to try, but I see recipes all the time that I want to try now.  And either way I love watching Ina's show.  Even if I don't like the food, I always learn easy tips and tricks.  When I first started this blog, I had a list of foods Michael and I love to eat other place that I don't know how to cook, or at least don't have a good recipe for.  Not only did I want to try recipes for those foods, I wanted to find an easy "ultimate" recipe for those foods.  For example, I tried at least 5 tomato soup recipes last year.  And there was definitely one that stuck out.  During my breakfast month, I really want to try to find a biscuit recipe that is easy and tasty.  This is my first shot.  

The case:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 cold extra-large egg
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • Maldon sea salt, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
  3. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.
  4. Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.

The ruling:
These were wonderful.  I tried these two ways.  I made a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and one simply with grape jelly.  They were both delicious!  I wasn't sure how the cheddar flavor would be with the grape jelly, but shockingly it was my favorite biscuit of the two.  A couple of tips I learned for next time:  First, make sure not to roll out the dough too thin.  10 x 5 inches isn't that big.  Second, check the biscuits at 20 minutes.  I baked for 23 and thought they were slightly too done.  Either way, these biscuits will be hard to beat.  Thanks Ina!

Month Switch

Yes I know I still need to try some appetizer recipes and I promise I will catch up soon, but the more pressing news is I'm also switching March and April's goals.  March is going to be breakfast/brunch and April will be slow cooker.  I've really been craving sweet breakfast foods lately and what can I say? I'm giving in!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Dip #8

I recently got this recipe in an e-mail and thought I'd seen it before.  I got out my cookbook scrapbook, which is what I call my binder that I cut out recipes from magazines and glue into.  I knew I recognized the picture.  I've had this recipe since I was in college.  It was in one of those small Kraft cookbooks that you find in the checkout line at the grocery store.  It's about time I tried it! :) 

The case:

  • pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained 
  • 1 lb.  (16 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed 
  • 1 can  (10 oz.) RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained 
  • 8 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled 
MICROWAVE ingredients in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 5 min. or until VELVEETA is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 3 min.

The ruling:
First, I forgot to take a picture of this until I had already sat down.  Don't judge a book by it's cover or food by the way it looks.  I loved this dip!  I made it in the crock pot instead and it turned out perfect!  I also used a full block of cream cheese simply because I didn't want to end up wasting the rest.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hot Pizza Dip #7

The whole reason I chose appetizers as my February category was because of the Super Bowl.  Little did I know how sick I would be.  I haven't been off the couch or bed in 3 days, but I managed to make a couple of dips.  This is the first one.  It came from All Recipes.

The case:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce
2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
2 ounces pepperoni sausage, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced black olives

In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, oregano, parsley, and basil.
Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate, or a shallow microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese on top of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the pizza sauce over all. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with green pepper, pepperoni and olive slices. Cover, and microwave for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

The ruling:
I just used regular pepperoni on top.  I also did make this the day before after reading many reviewers say that enhanced the flavor.  This was good.  Everyone liked it.  I just served it with regular tortilla chips, but I think it would be better with bagel chips.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels #6

 I love crescent rolls.  They are almost magical with all the different things they can do- desserts, appetizers, main dishes, breakfast- everything!  They are even good by themselves!  There aren't that many things that can do sweet and savory so well.  I'm always on the lookout for new recipes for crescent rolls.  I got this in a Pillsbury e-mail a while back and am finally getting around to making it.

The case:
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium)

1.  Heat oven to 350°F.
2.  If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut lengthwise into  long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle.
3.  Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions.
4.  Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
5.  Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

The ruling:
First, I omitted the onions and doubled the ranch and bacon.  Second, what's not to like? Bacon, ranch, cheese?  These didn't quite have the pop the Bacon Cream Cheese Crescents have, but they are still good.  I added some ranch on the side for dipping.