Thursday, August 2, 2012

cinnamon pull-apart bread {winner!!}

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread from Beckie:


2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry year (2 1/4 tsp)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 scant tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar


8 oz. powdered sugar
4 T melted butter
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Enough milk to make a glaze to desired consistency

In a large (at least 4-quart) pot or saucepan, combine milk, sugar and oil. Heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat. If you've got lots of ice handy, dump all that you have into a clean sink and then place the pan of scalded milk over the ice. This way, the milk mixture cools quickly and the melted ice just drips down the drain.

When the milk has cooled to around 105-115 degrees, remove from ice and sprinkle yeast over the milk mixture. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Stir. Mix in 4 c. flour and cover. This can be done with a wooden spoon; the dough is VERY soft, more like a batter. Allow to stand for 1 hour.

Mix remaining 1/2 cup flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sprinkle over the dough and then mix it in with the wooden spoon. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to 24 hours.

Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and set it aside.

When you're ready to use the dough, turn it onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 18 inches wide by 9 inches tall. Spread with 6 T of melted butter or softened butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and an even sprinkling of cinnamon.

Using a pizza wheel, cut the dough into six 3" strips. Stack the strips 3 strips high (so you have 2 piles). Cut each of the stacks into three 3" squares. Place the squares, cut side up (not the flat, sugared side) into prepared pan, being careful not to stuff too much dough into the pan. Any leftover dough can be baked in mini pans or muffin tins.

Melt 2 T of butter and drizzle over the loaf. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

While the loaf is rising, preheat oven to 350.

Bake for 25-35 minutes (or until baked through). If you don't want your fire alarm to go off, place a baking sheet on the rack below the loaf pan. If the loaf is getting too brown on top, lightly place a sheet of aluminum foil over the loaf while it finishes baking.

Remove from oven and cool completely.

Whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth and desired consistency is reached. Place the glaze in a Ziploc bag and snip a small corner off the bag. Drizzle over the loaf.

Source: Our Best Bites

orzo artichoke salad.

Orzo Artichoke Salad from Shalee:

1 pound Orzo pasta
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 small red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 pints of cherry tomatoes, sliced (You can use a couple varieties)
8 oz artichoke hearts in oil (available at Costco and other grocery stores)
3 T capers
5 T cilantro (you can use less if you want, or even substitute for Thyme if you don't like cilantro)
1 tsp Sea Salt and 1/2 tsp pepper or lemon pepper is good too


Cook Orzo according to directions. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Pour the reserved liquid back in with the orzo. This liquid helps create a sauce when the other ingredients are added.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until the onion becomes transparent. Then add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, artichoke hearts, capers and cook until the tomatoes start to soften. They will start to get a little wrinkly about 5-8 minutes - take off the heat. Add pasta and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and cilantro, chopped. Heat the whole mixture up until it's all heated through and then take off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

You can serve this dish warm, room temperature or cold. Makes 8-10 servings.

cheesy quinoa cakes with roasted garlic and lemon aioli.

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli from Erin:
Makes 10-12

2 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 cup grated fontina cheese
3 T all purpose flour
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 head of garlic, roasted
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (less/more depending on how much spice you like)
salt and pepper to taste


For the cakes: Place all ingredients, excepte for the oil into a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Season with salt and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Pour oil into large sauté pan and place over medium heat. Form 1/4 cup patties with the quinoa mixture and place in the heated sauté pan. (this will have to be done in batches)

Cook quinoa cakes for about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining patties until all of the cakes have been cooked. Set aside.

For the aioli: Place all ingredients into a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and serve alongside the warm quinoa cakes

key lime pound cake.

Key Lime Pound Cake from Jocelyn:

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt 
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup fresh key lime juice

Key Lime Zest
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T fresh key lime juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together powdered sugar, fresh key lime juice, and vanilla until smooth. Use immediately.


Preheat oven to 325. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. 

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12 cup) tube pan.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.

Prepare Key Lime Glaze, and immediately brush over top and sides of cake. Cool completely. (about 1 hour).

salted caramel chocolate shortbread bars.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars from Tamara:

For the shortbread layer:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar

For the caramel layer:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
4 T light corn syrup
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate layer:
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Fleur de sel or sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325. Line 9x13 pan with parchment paper. In small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with fork to blend and set aside. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and pressi n an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden. (If the crust puffs up a bit while baking, just gently press it down while it is cooling.) Transfer the pan to wire rack and let cool completely.

To make caramel, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly. Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens slightly. Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer, smooth the top, and allow to cool completely and set. (you can chill at this stage to ensure the caramel won't melt when the warm chocolate is added).

To make the chocolate glaze, combine chocolate, corn syrup and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Pour evenly over the caramel layer and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Allow to cool for a minute or two and then sprinkle with fleur de sel. Chill, covered, until ready to slice and serve.

recipe source: annies eats

s'mores bars.

S'mores bars from Michelle:

12 graham crackers
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
a big pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 milk chocolate hershey bars
1/2 bag marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350. Line 11x17 inch baking sheet completely with foil.  Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers. Break the graham crackers in half for cleaner servings.

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for two and a half more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the crackers. You'll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for about 7 minutes. Watch carefully and when the caramel starts to bubble, remove from oven. Immediately cover with chocolate. Break the bars up into the little rectangles. Sprinkle marshmallows over the chocolate evenly. Place the bars under the broiler for 30-60 seconds (watch carefully!) until marshmallows are to the desired toasted-ness. Once completely cool, break into pieces and enjoy.

Source: craigandwhitney

strawberry bruschetta.

Strawberry Bruschetta from Heidi:

1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced
1 T sugar
1 French baguette, sliced on a bias
4 oz. goat cheese
1 T olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4  cup minced basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl; toss to combine. Let the berries macerate for about 30 minutes so that they begin to release their juices. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on top of each baguette slice. Top each slice with spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top each slice with the basil leaves and cracked pepper to taste.

Source: annie's eats

chocolate caramel pecan potato chips.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Potato Chips from Kelly:

1 (13 oz) bag thick ruffled potato chips (Wavy Lays work well)
1 (14 oz) bag kraft caramels
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 (11.5 oz) bag milk chocolate morsels
2 T shortening
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Spread whole potato chips in single layers on parchment lined paper wire racks. Combine caramels and cream in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth; remove from heat. Drizzle caramel over chips.

Melt milk chocolate morsels and shortening in a small bowl in microwave at HIGH, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute; cool slightly. Drizzle chocolate over caramel on potato cups; sprinkle with pecans. Cool until chocolate and caramel harden.

source: my recipes

Overnight, No Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal.

Overnight, No Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal from Randi:

Mango Almond Flavor:

1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup low-fat greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp dried chia seeds
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp honey, optional (or substitute any preferred sweetener)
1/4 cup diced mango

In a half pint jar or container, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, almond extract and honey. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Add mangoes and stir with fork until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Eat chilled.

Other flavors (click to view recipe)

Source: The Yummy Life (and step by step pictures and instructions)

chicken enchilada pasta.

 Chicken Enchilada Pasta from Melanie:

2-3 chicken breast cooked and shredded or shredded rotisserie chicken
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder (it was a little too spicy so I would probably do 1 tsp next time)
1 tsp cumin
2 (10 oz) can green enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup sour cream

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet and cook onions for about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add cooked chicken, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt and enchilada sauces. Let sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Add cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and heated through. Now toss in sour cream, but whatever you do, DO NOT bring to a boil. Cook on low heat or the sour cream will curdle. Stir until sour cream is well mixed and heated through. Drain pasta and return to pot. pour sauce over pasta and mix well.

Serve and garnish with:
Green Onion
Sour Cream

white texas sheet cake.

White Texas Sheet Cake from Brittany:

1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups + 4 T flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream


1 cup butter
6 T evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
4-5 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt
1 cup pecans (optional)
fruit (optional)

Put butter and water in a large bowl. Heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir until all the butter is melted. Add sugar, flour, salt and soda. Stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Stir in sour cream until all is blended. Pour into a 11x17 baking sheet that has been greased and floured. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched or toothpick inserted in center comes clean. Remove from the oven and make the frosting. 

Cook butter and milk for 3-4 minutes in microwave. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and a dash of salt. Beat until smooth. Add nuts and gently spread on warm cake.

Cool and garnish with fruit if desired.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Roll.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Roll from Shalee:

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Generously spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, microwave for 2 minutes:
1 package mini marshmallows - 10.5 oz or 6 2/3 cups
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup peanut butter

Stir ingredients and add:
5 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
Mix well and spread mixture on the greased waxed paper. Coat hands with non-stick spray (or wet hands slightly) and flatten out Rice Krispie mix until it is even and compressed. Set aside.

Melt together in microwave, in 20 second intervals:
1 1/3 cup Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips *(I used butterscotch chips instead of peanut butter chips)

Be careful not to over melt the chips or they will burn. Spread the melted peanut butter and chocolate onto the rice krispie mixture. Roll the Rice Krispie mixture horizontally into one log - lift the wax paper at one end to help. Refrigerate approx. 30 minutes. Slice and serve.