Simple Cinnamon Rolls

Simple Cinnamon Rolls

Every teacher knows if you want a peaceful year, there are two groups of people you need to wow — the custodians and the secretaries. Of course, everyone else is just as important, but those two groups of individuals can make your work day run so much smoother. The very first year I taught, I made a batch of these and gave them to those two groups, they loved them and knew I appreciated all their hard work. My husband had a pot luck now that the government is back to work, so I decided to make some of these.

Candy Shop Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • hot fudge sauce (don't warm it up, you want it really stiff)
  • 2-3 mini Milky Way candy bars, cut up or crumbled
  • Chocolate Caramel Frosting

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper bake cups.
  2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Fill muffin cups 1/3 full with batter.
  3. Spoon 1 level tablespoon hot fudge sauce into center of each cupcake and cover with remaining batter.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake portion comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Top each cupcake with Hershey's Chocolate Caramel Frosting and Milky Way crumbles.
http://natashaneagle.com/simple-cinnamon-rolls/

EASY! Pumpkin Muffins

I’ve been staring at the falling leaves this past week, craving pumpkin. When my homemade pumpkin spice latte’s weren’t enough, I searched in my cabinets and found canned pumpkin. Then, thanks to the internet, I found this amazing recipe at Very Best Baking. What came of it was amazing and left everyone wanting more.

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

[ultimate-recipe id=4585]

 

Pumpkin Muffins

 

Made From Scratch Biscuits

Southern Comforts

I love breads. I love biscuits. Pretty much all carbs, but I have to limit them or find myself gaining a ton of weight. I’ve been working on my cooking skills since we moved and decided one morning to give homemade biscuits a go.  I think they turned out pretty great.

Evil Genius (12 yr old Neaglet) said they were delicious and reminded him of Cracker Barrell, so I’m doing something right.

homemade biscuits

Wanna try to make your own biscuits from scratch? I used this popular recipe from the Food Network.

Ingredients

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

Just Like Grandma’s Apple Pie

Just Like Grandma's Apple Pie

Nothing says ‘Merica better than a slice of Apple Pie. Recently, I took a stab at making one and was quite pleased with the results. I have yet to master pie crust though, so I  bought the premade kind from the refrigerator section of my grocery store. I did however, go right to the source to get my apples – straight from my husband’s grandfather’s apple tree.

First I enjoyed the view at his house

Reedsville, VA

Then I got to work and picked some apples!

Apple Tree

When I got back home, I got to peeling and slicing one of the bags my family picked. Then I added a dash of this and a splash of that and soon enough a pie was born!

Easy To Make Grandma's Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
  • approximately 7 cups peeled and sliced apples
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • apple pie spice can be used instead of cinnamon and nutmeg

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius)
  2. Line pie plate with pie crust and set aside.
  3. Combine apples, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Place mixture in pie crusted pie plate. Dot with butter and place top crust. Pinch the top and bottom crusts together and use fork to seal. Cut slits in top of crust, to allow for venting.
  4. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Turn temperature down to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) and bake for 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender. Allow to cool and serve. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

Simple Southern Fried Chicken

Easy Southern Fried Chicken

Whether I want to admit it or not, I’m a southern girl. As a southern girl, fried chicken was something my family ate a few times a month. My grandmother could make the best food from scratch, but that art was lost with my mother. I tried making it a few times in high school, after my grandmother passed, but failed miserably. I always wanted to try again, but never had the courage to do it. Later, I became a vegetarian and could pretty much care less. However, after my two week stint in the hospital and being told my body was too vitamin deprived to continue with vegetarianism (for now, at least), I decided I wanted fried chicken. It wasn’t until we moved and got this new kitchen that I felt ready to try and cook it. I’m so glad I did because it was a huge success.
Southern Fried Chicken Steps

A dear friend of mine, Aukele, sent me some of her seasoning salts from her Etsy store and combined with the breading I used, my family couldn’t get enough. This recipe worked so well, my family is asking for fried chicken to be put back on the menu again. Of course, we all know it’s not the healthiest of foods, so it will be a while before I make it again. The addition of the seasoning salts to the chicken before dipping it in the chicken breader mix turned this regular fried chicken into chicken loaded with flavor. When I opened the package, my senses went into overdrive, literally making my mouth water. Since this was the first time I used it, I went ahead and used the entire package, but now know, an entire package isn’t required for a family meal. Sadly, some was wasted. I will however be getting more because the flavor was the bomb dot com, if you get my drift. I was also very impressed with the breader I used as it fried up very nicely and didn’t burn or fall off my chicken. My son, Evil Genius, is a very picky eater, and complimented me on the addition of seasonings. He even asked for seconds. My daughter, Mini Me, said it was a bit spicy, but I’m thinking using less of the seasons would take off the additional heat.

To make this simple dish, you will need the following:

Breading chicken can be a messy business. To make it less messy, I put the mixes in two separate bags. First put the individual pieces of chicken in the seasoning bag, seal, and shake to make sure everything is individually coated. Remove from bag one and dip in milk (some of the seasoning will fall off, but not much). Place wet chicken in bag two, close, and shake to coat. Remove and begin to fry. Repeat until all pieces are covered. Fry over medium-high heat, paying close attention to the chicken as it cooks. Confession: I’m TERRIFIED of fire, so I paid very close attention to the chicken in the grease as it was cooking, flipping the pieces every few minutes to make sure they weren’t burning. Every piece was juicy and delicious. We had quite a feast.

Southern Fried Chicken Feast

Ice Cream Cupcakes

A weakness for me is and will always be SWEETS. I wanted cake and my kids wanted ice cream. While getting all the supplies needed to make chocolate cupcakes, it came to me that I could make both and Ice Cream Cupcakes were born!

Ice Cream Cupcakes

This has to be the simplest cupcake to make in the history of cupcakes. Not to mention the least messy. You don’t need cupcake wrappers because the cone takes it’s place, so go grab your favorite cake mix and icing and the let’s get this party started! FYI: Prepare your cake mix as directed on the box.

 

Ice cream cupcake mix      Ice cream cupcake prepare

 Ice cream cupcake scoop     Ice cream cupcake ice

TIP: 

  • Use an ice cream scoop to place the batter into the ice cream cones.
  • Scoop the icing (I used buttercream) into a candy decorating bag to make the “ice cream” easier.
  • Don’t stress too much about overfilling your cups. Once it’s cooked, if the cone was too full, simply cut off the top with a knife. I did this for a few of them and made a separate dessert (What I’m calling ice cream cupcake nuggets) from that by putting a little bit of icing in between two tops.

Ice Cream Cupcake Nuggets

DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte

 

Pumpkin

If there is one drink I love that Starbucks releases every year it is the Pumpkin Spiced Latte. What I do not like is the calories or the cost. Not to mention, it might be meteorological fall, but it’s still hot as Hades where I live. To solve all my problems, I found a way to make this drink at home.

 

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Spiced syrup (I ordered mine from amazon)
  • coffee (hot or iced, depending on your preference)
  • SF vanilla creamer (substitute soy, almond, coconut, or skim milk to reduce calories)

 

Pumpkin Spice SyrupSF CreamerCoffee

Add as many pumps as you want to make this have a strong or weak a pumpkin flavor. Next add your milk product and stir the two, then add your coffee. Cheers!

Vegan Tuna Salad

Easy Vegan Tuna

One thing I miss since becoming vegetarian is tuna salad sandwiches. They were something my mom would make me during the summer as a child and I loved to make them into melts as an adult. Thanks to pinterest and a trip to the grocery store, I created something that tastes surprising good…if not great. My daughter (meat-eater) even tasted it and asked for another bite. This dish is perfect for a sandwich or if you don’t want to be carb/calorie light, put it on some crackers and Bon Appetite!

IMG_1378

Recipe:

    • 1 can chick peas, drained
    • vegan mayonnaise – I use Earth Balance, mindful mayo (only if you want to make this a vegan dish, otherwise use what you normally use)
    • celery, chopped
    • salt & pepper, to taste Add anything else you might enjoy in tuna fish salad. Sometimes I would put in pickles, sometimes I would mix in some mustard or even some lemon juice. All depends on my mood.

Prepare:

  • Using the back of your fork, mash chick peas until they resemble the consistency of shredded tuna.
  • Add condiments of your liking and get your grub on.
  • Makes 4 mammoth servings.

Calorie wise, this beast of a meal gives you A LOT of food, for under 200 calories. It’s AWESOME!

Quinoa Broccoli Casserole

This recipe is so painfully simple and yet tastes amazing.  You can make it in no time flat and either serve as the main dish or as a side. Also, it tastes fantastic as leftovers!

Easy! Quinoa Broccoli Casserole

What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
    Broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used minced garlic)
  • 2 large eggs (I used egg beaters)
  • 3/4 cup almond/soy/coconut milk or non-fat milk
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
  • Lightly saute any veggies you would like in this dish.

What To Do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cook quinoa to packaged instructions until fully cooked. (About 15 minutes)
  • Coat 13×9 inch dish with cooking spray.
  • Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl.
  • Fold in quinoa mixture, cream of mushroom soup, and half of the cheese.Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt.
  • Add broccoli and cover with remaining cheese.
  • Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake 30-35 mins.

Why You Should Give earth balance mindful mayo a Try

When it comes to mayo, I’m VERY particular about what I eat. In fact, I’m so picky, I buy two brands – one that I eat and one that my husband eats (I like Kraft, he likes Miracle Whip). Shortly after I became a vegetarian, I considered becoming vegan. However, I would have to change out my staples such as cheese, mayo, etc. I thought this would be a problem until I found earth balance. prod-mayo-olive-oil

I didn’t have high expectations going into my first tasting of this because of how picky I am. Low and behold, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. This vegan mayo is actually REALLY GOOD and really good for you. I found this at my local organic store. If you see it on the shelves, definitely give it a shot. I’m now one step closer to eating healthier, something we should all strive for.

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