Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

     Do you ever want cinnamon rolls, but you don't want to spend 3 hours making them? Surely, I'm not the only one. Don't get me wrong, I love a good homemade cinnamon roll. There are several on this blog: cinnamon rolls, pumpkin w/cream cheese icing, and cinnamon buns w/a secret,  But sometimes, I don't want to take the time to do it. This is what I did to fulfill my craving.
     I always have crescent rolls at my house. They are so versatile! One morning, I really wanted cinnamon rolls, but I didn't have any. I don't usually buy the canned kind since they are too easy...although with this new discovery, I might not be able to buy crescent rolls either!
    These were delicious. They had the buttery goodness of crescent rolls with the gooey center that is the reason you eat cinnamon rolls. The best part is they only took about 15 minutes to make!

1 tube crescent rolls
Butter
Cinnamon and Sugar (or brown sugar!)

  • Unroll the package of crescent rolls and form into a large rectangle. Press seams together.
  • Spread butter onto crescent rolls
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  • Roll up the crescent roll rectangle, starting at a long side.
  • Slice into 8 pieces. You may have to re-roll the any that come loose, so they are pretty tight. 
  • Bake according to crescent roll directions

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menu Plan Mar 25-31, 2012

     This week looks much more relaxing than last week, which ended up being a bear. We thought after the birthday party, everything would calm down. Boy, were we wrong! One lesson I learned is that if you make a major purchase, car, then several other things will need immediate replacing, car seat, motor in air conditioner, fan (really?).
     This week will be easier in the menu area since I'm watching an extra kiddo. I don't want to get too ambitious at dinner time since he will still be here while I'm cooking it! Here's the plan:

Nacho Pie
Ham, Scalloped Potatoes
Empanadas
Italian Pork Chops
Clean out the freezer to make room for summer ice cream!

Other snacks, etc
Taco Doritos (left over from Nacho Pie)
Cookies


Linked up to OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bourbon Chocolate Banana Bread

     I'm not sure why we even buy bunches of bananas. Almost every week we buy them, and three of four turn brown. Then, I'm forced to make banana bread. Don't get me wrong, I love banana bread, but not every week!
     Well, the same thing happened this week. I was looking for something other than banana bread to make on Pinterest. I just typed in banana, and several posts of this bourbon chocolate chip banana bread came up. Well, if so many people thought it pin-worthy, I'd better try it. I don't want to miss out on anything. Next time, I'll make something other than banana bread.
     Apparently, this is a recipe from the new Joy the Baker Cookbook . There must be some kind of link up for this or something, because all the banana breads were posted on the same day. I was not disappointed in this recipe! It was so moist and flavorful. Now, I'm glad I decided to try it. I ended up taking it to work with me. The ladies ate it up, and I didn't have any to bring back home! They all wanted the recipe. I will definitely make this again...but I might wait a little while before buying bananas again =)

2 cups flour (I used 1-3/4cups whole wheat flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 Tbl bourbon
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (I left this out!)
1 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture.  Add bananas, lemon juice, and bourbon. Mix well.
  • On low speed, add flour mixture.
  • Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts, if using).
  • Batter will be very thick. Spoon into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool about 20 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool completely.
linked up to 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Honey Pecan Chicken Salad

     There are many ways to make chicken salad. Everybody and every restaurant make it different, and they are all delicious. The main ingredients are chicken and mayo. Other than that you can just about add anything you like. One of the local restaurants here in town adds a couple of slices of bacon along with the lettuce. This is my very favorite chicken salad recipe. I had it at a restaurant a long time ago, and have been making it this way ever since. It was a big hit at the birthday party last weekend. We didn't have any left over, so I would say I'm not the only one who likes it!

1 cup mayo (I like the kind with olive oil)
1/2 cup relish
2 Tbl minced onion
1 Tbl honey
1-1/2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1-1/2 lb chopped cooked chicken
Optional: fruit, dried fruit, different types of nuts, seeds
optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, bacon

  • Combine mayo, relish, onion, honey, sugar, salt, and white pepper in a bowl.
  • Stir in celery and pecans. Fold in chicken. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Chill covered in refrigerator until serving. I made it the night before the party, and pulled it out when guests arrived.
  • Serve on crusty bread, sandwich thins or wraps.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Menu Plan 3/18-3/24/2012

     We are all exhausted after the ice cream themed birthday party last weekend. We were so happy that the rain held off and the kids could play outside. More room means more escape time for the adults too. I think everyone had a good time, and everyone was exhausted at the end. Since this is a food blog, I'm sure your wondering what we had to eat.... 

Peanut butter and Jelly (shaped like ice cream cones)
chicken salad (recipe coming soon)
Black Forest ham and cheese sandwiches
Veggies with dip (cream cheese, mayo, dry ranch mix)
Fruit salad (with pineapple juice instead of Sierra Mist)
Bugles (they're cone shaped)
vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing
Bluebell Ice Cream: Homemade Vanilla and Homemade Vanilla with Strawberries


Dinners this week will include:
Pancakes and Bacon
Ham, Veggies, Rolls
Chicken Milan


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy pi Day


     I was thinking of actually making a sweet pie today, but I can't bring myself to do it. We had company over the weekend, so we had cookies. We have a birthday party on Saturday, so we'll have cake and ice cream. I just don't think I can justify it...even though I love pie. Instead, we will be having Breakfast Pie for dinner. I love breakfast for dinner, and this is a great option! And, I will try to get a better picture than the one on that post! Eeek.
      I thought, instead, I will link you to some of my previous pie recipes so you can have some ideas for celebrating this wonderful holiday: pi Day. Suddenly I'm wishing my keyboard had a "pi" symbol....

Some for dessert pies, some for savory pies, and some pie-like things

Strawberry Glaze Pie 
Coconut Cream Pie This might be my favorite pie! 
Berry Pie-lets 
Caramel Apple Pie 
Naked Apple Pie 
Paper Bag Apple Pie 
Black Bean Tamale Pie 
Chicken Pot Pie 
Nacho Pie It's been a while since we've had this "healthy" pie Yum! 
Apple Pie Muffins
Apple Pie Oatmeal

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chicken Gyro

     It's the second Monday of the month which means it's reveal day for Secret Recipe Club. This month I was assigned Andrea's blog Adventures in All Things Food. I really had a hard time picking just one recipe this month, but I finally decided on this recipe for gyros.  The recipe is actually for tzatziki sauce and homemade pita bread. Andrea used lamb to make hers, but I made chicken gyros. I've been craving a Greek restaurant I used to go to in college, so this seemed fitting.
     It's my mission right now to master breads. I've been making dinner rolls and dessert breads like crazy these days. This was my first attempt at homemade pita bread, and it definitely won't be my last! Homemade, yet again, is so much better than store bought bread. I did change them a little by using whole wheat flour, which I do in everything I make. Now I wouldn't say I have mastered the pita (mine was too thin to slice in half to fill, I had to fold them), but the flavor was definitely there. I blame the weather (cold, dry Indiana winter) for the yeast not rising as much I would like.
     The second part of Andrea's recipe was the tzatziki sauce. The definitely made the whole thing taste like a Greek sandwich. I have actually attempted to make this one other time (a different recipe) and it was TERRIBLE! Andrea's recipe was delicious! It was easy to make and totally worth going homemade over store bought, which after that first attempt I thought was the only way.
Pita Bread:
2-1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 pkg)
1/2 cup warm water
2-1/2 cups + 2 Tbl whole wheat flour
2 Tbl wheat gluten
1-1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
Chicken:
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
3 Tbl lemon juice
1 Tbl dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 lb chicken, cubed
Tzatziki Sauce:
1 small container Greek yogurt
1 seedless cucumber
1-1/2 Tbl lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
dash cumin
dash salt
dash pepper
  • Bread (start about 4 hours early!): Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let stand for about 15 minutes or until foamy.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Pour in the yeast and slowly add 1 cup warm water. Stir well. 
  • Knead for 10-15 minutes until dough is no longer sticky. 
  • Place dough in sprayed bowl that has plenty of room to rise. Turn dough upside down to coat with oil. Sit in a warm place for about 3 hours or until doubled.

  • Chicken (marinates for about an hour!): Combine vinaigrette, lemon juice, oregano, pepper, and garlic in a resealable bag.  Toss in cubed chicken and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

  • Tzatziki Sauce (refrigerate 1 hour before serving!): Finely grate cucumber. Lightly salt it and place in colander so excess moisture will drain off.
  • Add your other ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate 1 hour for flavors to combine.

  •  Finishing up Once your bread is doubled, roll out in a rope. Divide into 10-12 pieces and form balls. Place on floured surface and let them rest, covered, for about 10 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 500* with the rack on the very bottom. Preheat your baking sheet now too.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and place in skillet (or grill!) Cook until juices run clear, about 8 minutes. Keep warm.
  • Back to bread: Roll each ball of dough into a 6 inch circle and bake for about 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for another 2 minutes. Remove each pita, use spatula to gently push down, and place in storage bag. Repeat.
  • Top (or stuff) pita with meat, Tzatziki sauce, sliced tomato (and traditionally sliced red onion).




Menu Plan 3/11-3/17/2012

     This week, we're getting ready for big E's 3rd birthday party. The party is planned, we just have to get the food and make it. The house is mostly ready, and it will be done by the weekend. Maybe this wasn't the best time to start on a couple of home improvement projects, but I feel like I better do it now before I can't see my feet anymore. Once your big belly hides your feet, it's much harder to get things done!
photo from Chef in Training
     Over the weekend, we had some guests come, and we tried this amazing chicken marsala pasta! Mine was not quite so colorful and pretty as Chef in Training's picture, so I will spare you the "blah" white chicken, white mushroom, white pasta picture and let you get the recipe straight from her site. I followed it pretty much exactly anyhow, so there is no point in retyping the whole thing. I guess I used spaghetti noodles instead of penne...which will make for some interesting chicken milan later this week!

Here's the dinner plan this week:
Bagels and fruit (we just needed a light meal!)
Chicken Milan
Beer Pepperoncini Pot Roast
Scalloped Chicken
Creole Black Beans and Rice
Pigs in a Blanket (yup, kid friendly and fast for a busy week!)

Other stuff:
Blueberry Muffins
Party food (I'll give you a peek next week!)


Go to OrgJunkie's menu plan Monday to see other meal planning ideas



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Menu Plan 3/4-3/10

     Better late than never right? I mean it's only Wednesday, and I'm just now posting the menu for this week. We had a crazy weekend. Miss E went to Nana and Papaw's. While we did go out for Hibachi with friends, we had a mission. We  moved her into the big girl room to make way for baby Ezra Jane. We didn't want her to think mini E was causing all turmoil in her life, so we did it now instead of waiting until the last minute (end of June). Besides, I'm sure I will be much too uncomfortable to decorate a cute little girls room by then. Here's a picture of her reaction in case you're curious...If not just blink and scroll down for the menu plan.

Dinners (leftovers for lunches)
Omelets and  toast
Chicken Veggie Bake---will make again with changes before posting recipe!
Out with friends and their new baby
Oven Fried Chicken
Breakfast Pizza
Marsala Chicken Pasta
Italian Pork Chops (I guess I haven't posted that recipe yet!)

Cheeseburger Macaroni

     When I was little, Hamburger Helper was a staple at our house. We only ate the cheeseburger macaroni version. I'm not sure I even knew there were others. We loved it. Actually, I still love it. It is so unhealthy, so I found a homemade version that tastes just as good without the guilt. We had all the ingredients on hand, which is another reason to love this one dish meal! You could use chopped onion instead of onion powder and leave out the small bit of sugar, but I was really going for the same taste as Hamburger Helper.
     The main problem I have with this is the way it looks...but it looks just like the real thing. Serve it up with some broccoli or a chop salad and it will make your plate a little more colorful!

1 lb lean ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
1 cup hot water
2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni (about half box...save the other half for another time!)
1 cup shredded cheddar (We've tried sharp and mild- both were delicious!)
"Sauce packet"
1 Tbl cornstarch
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

  • Brown meat in large skillet. Drain.
  • Add hot water, milk, pasta and "sauce packet" ingredients
  • Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add cheese , stir, recover, and cook for a couple more minutes to melt cheese.
  • Remove from heat and uncover. The sauce will thicken as it stands. 
  • Top with more cheese if desired.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Blueberry Delight

     My Mamaw always makes cherry delight for gatherings, particularly in the warmer months. To me it's comfort food. Everyone seems to like it, it's really easy to make, and the layers make it look pretty too. I decided to make this last week with a can of blueberry pie filling that I bought on a whim a while ago.
     Jonathon, who is usually just a cookie guy, loved it. He ate more than half of it himself! He said he had seen Mamaw's (of course), but since it had cherries on it, he never tried it. Cherries are not his favorite...but I wonder if he might try it the next time we see it.


Crust:
1pkg graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
Filling:
1 pkg cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups whipped cream
Topping:
1 can pie filling

  • Crush graham crackers and mix with sugar and butter. Press into 8x8 glass dish.
  • Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped cream. Spoon on top of graham crackers. 
  • Top with pie filling. 
  • Refrigerate a couple hours to set up before serving
linked up to

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