Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls




A couple years ago I posted a recipe for bread maker Cinnamon Rolls that are oh so yummy! Then my bread maker broke and no more cinnamon rolls for us, I tried making the dough without the bread maker and just couldn't get it right. Then I made a double batch of dough for my Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Rolls and needed to do something with the other half of the dough, so I made Cinnamon Rolls! Yay!!! My family was so happy. I used my new dough recipe for the dough, and the filling and frosting recipe from my old Cinnamon Roll recipe and voila, new recipe!! And they are oh so yummy!!!! I hope you try them, especially now that it is officially Autumn- my all time favorite season!!

DOUGH:
2 c  Milk
1/2 c Sugar
1/2 c Canola Oil
1 pkg yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 c (extra) All-purpose Four
1/2 T  Salt
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder

Dough:
Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and canola oil in a large pot. Heat over medium heat until very warm but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool until warmer than lukewarm but not hot.
Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the liquid, then add in 4 cups flour. Stir gently until completely combined. Mixture will be wet and sticky. Cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to sit for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, add in an additional 1/2 cup of flour, as well as the salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until combined. Refrigerate dough, covered, until you need it.

Filling:
Turn it onto a floured surface (make sure you have lots of room).
Roll the dough into a rectangle approx. 16" x 21" with a thickness of 1/4".
Spread 1/3 cup of soft butter over the top of all of the dough.
Combine 1 C brown sugar with 2 T cinnamon in a bowl and spread that on top of the butter.
Then roll up the dough & cut it into 12 equal pieces.
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non stick spray and place the cinnamon rolls in the pan. (When I made it, it made 1 pan plus an 8 x 8 pan)

Cover with the kitchen towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes, then place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until brown on top. If it doesn't seem to have risen a lot before it goes in the oven, it will while it's baking!


Icing:
4 oz. cream cheese ( I soften mine in the microwave for about 20-30 sec)
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/8 t salt
Mix all of that together and pour over top of cinnamon rolls. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Easy peasy- Homemade Alfredo Sauce

My kids LOVE Alfredo sauce, but the good stuff doesn't really fit into our grocery budget very often so I just never used to make it. I found a great recipe, somewhere...( I can never remember where I find them, I'm sure it was on the internet somewhere) for a homemade version. I admit I was skeptical, I just didn't think it would be something that was easy to make. I tried it once, WAY too peppery for my kiddos. I tried it again, and not peppery enough for mom and dad...so by the third time I think I finally got it right! It is now something on our monthly menu plan and everyone LOVES it!

The original recipe I wrote down is called Angel Hair Alfredo, we do use Angel Hair sometimes when I make this, but also use Fettuccine just as much.

Ingredients:

Pasta of your choice- cooked according to box directions

2 t. minced garlic
2 T. olive oil, I use coconut oil.
2 T. flour
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. pepper (or to your liking, up to 1t)
1/4 t. dried basil
1 1/2 C. milk
4oz. cream cheese
1/4 c Parmesan cheese (any kind)


First I put the flour, cornstarch, garlic salt, pepper and dried basil in a bowl and mix together. I also measure out my milk, parm cheese and cut my cream cheese into cubes. I like to have everything ready because this goes pretty fast!

In a large skillet, saute garlic in oil until lightly browned on medium heat. Next, add your flour mixture- it will start to clump up right away so add your milk almost immediately. Stir all of this together until it comes to a boil. Cook and stir it for 2 minutes or until it thickens. Reduce heat to low-medium and whisk in cream cheese and Parmesan Cheese until smooth.



You will want to have your noodles ready to drain about the time your sauce is ready or you can do it after and just keep your sauce on low to keep it warm and stir it often so it won't stick to the pan.

We always serve this with homemade garlic bread and a garden salad. Alfredo night is always a hit! Enjoy.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Rolls




My husbands parents came to visit a couple weeks ago so I figured it would be the best time to try this yummy looking recipe. I have no idea where I found it, but I tweaked it anyways so now it's mine. :-) These were so very good!!! I'm sure not as good for us, but still good! They do contain fresh fruit, so that's a plus! Making the dough ends up taking a little longer than you think, but if you double the recipe you won't have to make more when you go to make Cinnamon Rolls in the next few days! (Which I did, recipe coming soon!!) I hope you try them, they are super delish!!

DOUGH:
2 c  Milk
1/2 c Sugar
1/2 c Canola Oil
1 pkg yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 c (extra) All-purpose Four
1/2 T  Salt
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder

FILLING:
1 stick Butter
3/4 cups Sugar
2 whole lemons, zested
2 cups Frozen or Fresh Blueberries

GLAZE:
1 whole Lemon, Juiced
2 whole Lemons, Zested
3 cups Powdered Sugar
2 cups Milk, Or As Needed
1/8 t Salt
3 T Melted Butter

Dough:
Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and canola oil in a large pot. Heat over medium heat until very warm but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool until warmer than lukewarm but not hot.
Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the liquid, then add in 4 cups flour. Stir gently until completely combined. Mixture will be wet and sticky. Cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to sit for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, add in an additional 1/2 cup of flour, as well as the salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until combined. Refrigerate dough, covered, until you need it.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter a large baking dish (I used two 9 by13 pans) generously.

In a small bowl, melt 1 stick of butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle, about 30 inches wide by 10 inches deep. Roll as thin as possible! Spread melted butter over the dough as evenly as you can. Using your fingers, mix sugar and lemon zest so that it becomes a light yellow sugar. Sprinkle it all over the butter. Sprinkle the blueberries on top of that.  Roll dough away from you until it’s in the shape of a tight log. Try to keep the roll tight. Pinch the edges to seal the seam shut. With a knife, slice into 1/2" thick rolls and lay the slices, cut side down, into the buttered baking dishes.

Cover with the kitchen towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes, then place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until brown on top. If it doesn't seem to have risen a lot before it goes in the oven, it will while it's baking!

Glaze: Add lemon juice, lemon zest, powdered sugar, milk, and dash of salt in a bowl. Add melted butter and whisk together until smooth. If it seems too thick add a little more milk, too runny add a little more powdered sugar.

Remove rolls from oven and drizzle the glaze all over the rolls.

Best served warm!!! Enjoy!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

13 years ago....



I said I do- to an amazing man!! I'm pretty sure we have grown more in love in the last 13 years then anyone else possible! I am meant to be with this guy- God created us for each other. We are good together. He compliments everything I am lacking and vice-versa. We have so much fun together doing this parenting thing and we still love dating each other!! We still flirt and tease just like way back when. It's hard to believe so many years have gone by already- and we have 4 kids!! How the heck did that happen??? Well, we know how that happened...but you know what I mean. (Speaking of that- some random guy in a Taco Bell looked at our family and told us we must really love each other- we laughed at that one for a long while!!)

Back to the point!! We went on a HOT date last weekend and had a blast together. We checked out a new restaurant called Hacienda Colorado- it was soooo good!! We love us some mexican food!! After that we drove over to the Broadmoor Hotel and walked and talked and took pictures of each other and of ourselves using the camera timer. Fun times were had! Then we headed home to relieve the old babysitters so they could make their bedtimes!! When we got home the kiddos had hung a Happy Anniversary sign and were hiding. They proceeded to jump out and yell Happy Anniversary!!! They were pretty thrilled with themselves. Then we heard that Grammy told them the story of how we met and some about our wedding. Which you can read here, A Love Story.  They decided to draw us pictures of what it must have looked like when we met and of our wedding. They are so cute!! I love my sweet kids! Here are a few pictures of our time at the Broadmoor- we haven't been at night in a while, the lights off the lake were so pretty!!





Pumpkin Pie French Toast




My kids have been begging for french toast for breakfast the last few days. I told them they have to wake up and not be staaaaarving...for me to make it because they cannot have two breakfasts. So they decided to comply and were very patient while I made it this morning. I have found lots of recipes all with this title for french toast but none I loved, so I decided to mash a couple together and do some tweaking and came up with my own. I liked it, the kids LOVED it...next time I'm gonna add a wee bit more pumpkin so we can taste more of it.

You will need:

A loaf of texas toast
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4-1/2 cup of pumpkin ( I only used the 1/4)
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1t cinnamon
1t vanilla

*Butter, powdered sugar & syrup*

Mix the eggs, milk, pumpkin, spices and vanilla together.

Warm up your skillet or griddle and spray it or put some oil on it.

Dip bread in mixture and kind of soak it and put it in the pan.. after a couple minutes turn it over and do the same on the other side, make sure the egg is cooked good on both sides. 

Butter each piece, add a sprinkling of powdered sugar and some syrup and enjoy!! My kiddos sure did!!! Look at those empty plates!!!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches

 



Every year I buy a bushel or more of apples and preserve applesauce to last us the next (hopefully) year, until they go on sale again. This year is no different. A health food store in town (Sprouts) recently had a sale on Gala apples, $.48/pound. So I bought a bushel. The week before, we had visited the Happy Apple Farm and bought some apples there too. So I have a ton to work with! I decided instead of canning the first couple batches, I would put them into squeezy pouches I had bought for making baby food. I froze them to be able to take to their one day a week homeschool enrichment program. They LOVE go-go squeeze applesauce but I just cannot afford to buy them for 4 kids. I am going to show you my applesauce recipe (you can use whatever one you like!), along with how I used the Infantino Pouch Maker. You can buy one on Amazon for about $18, (it includes 10 pouches) you can even go in with a friend and share it since it's not something you would both need at the same time. Once you buy it, all you have to do is buy more pouches, on Amazon the pouches are $12 for 50 pouches. ..which is a good deal! Plus you know the applesauce is good and homemade!!

Applesauce Recipe

8 lbs Apples
1" water in pot
1 Cup Sugar (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)

I DO NOT peel my apples, I just use the Pampered Chef apple slicer & corer. (This is the cinnamon I buy from Sam's, it lasts a lot longer than those little bitty jars from the store)


The kiddos love to help, so I had them peeling the stickers off of all the apples, and Henry just wanted to throw the apples all over the kitchen!!





 I put about 1" of water in a big pot then start filling it up with sliced apples. Once its just about to the top I sprinkle the whole top with cinnamon.

  


Next I put the lid on and put it on the stove. I turn the heat to medium and check it every 15 minutes or so.(If you find your water is boiling over I would turn the heat down to low-medium) I stir the apples around every 30 minutes to make sure the cinnamon gets mixed up good. It usually takes an hour and half to two hours to cook them good. Once they are done I put them through the meat grinder attachment on my Kitchen Aid (I rarely use it to grind meat)  By using this attachment I am able to avoid the apple peeling process. The tough skin gets stuck and won't even go through the grinder, the rest gets ground up and you don't even know its there! Before I put the applesauce through the grinder I add a cup of sugar and stir it around. You don't by any means have to add the sugar, but I do just because we like our applesauce a little sweeter.****If your apples are juicy you do not want to add all the liquid that you end up with when they are ready to go through the grinder, so make sure you notice that your applesauce has a good consistency. I had a pint of juice left over on my last batch***



Once it goes through the grinder it is ready to either be canned, frozen, or eaten right then (we like it warm with some Cool Whip on top!) With this batch I chose to put it all into my Infantino Fresh Squeezed Pouch Maker.




I'm not sure how many pouches I made, maybe 25. This should last a good while for the kids to take to school and I won't have to buy the little cups of applesauce or remember to buy plastic spoons to send with them. The night before you want to put them in their lunches I would recommend putting them in the fridge to thaw, that way they are all ready to go in their lunch bags the next morning.

When I can the applesauce in jars I usually get about 2 quarts and 2 pints per batch. I use a pressure canner and it takes 20 minutes, but you can use a water bath canner as well. They need to boil for about 20 minutes to be processed correctly. Let them sit to cool and you will hear them pop. Once they are cooled label and date them and store them away!! Good Luck!

** I am not in any way being compensated by Amazon or Infantino for this post, this is just something I highly recommend and believe Amazon has the best price for it. **

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Apple Farm 2014

Jeff's parents came to visit this past weekend and we decided to go visit the Happy Apple Farm while they were here and do some apple picking. The weather ended up being nicer than expected and we all had a great time. Hopefully I will get some applesauce canned this week! It was Henry's first trip to the Apple Farm and he had loads of fun. He loved holding the apples and sucking the juice out after I took a bite- he only has one tooth so can't bite into it himself. Enjoy the pictures.






Henry and his Grandmother (Jeff's mom)

He had an apple in his hand pretty much from here until we were half way home.

Henry with Grandad


Just chillin with his apple.



Me and my sweet boy.

PUMPKINS!


They were so exciting to play with.

I love this picture!


They all had a blast.

Henry found one his size.

Everyone grew!




The hayless hay ride.

My love.