Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cherry Coffee Cake

What is your Christmas morning tradition? When I was a little girl we used to all go to my Grandma "P''s house...she had a huge farm house. Us kids would some times sleep right next to the fully lit and decorated Christmas tree, even though there were enough rooms and beds for all of us I remember waking up in the middle of the night staring at the pretty colorful  lights. Grandma always had the multicolored lights - the more colorful, the better. If we didn't wake up first, my Aunt D would come in checking on us kids to see if we were up yet. I think she was just as excited about the days festivities as us kids were! She's fun and super cool like that...still is! So, once Aunt D and us kids were up at around 5 am, we ran around the house gathering everyone else from bed. Still in our jammies we'd all pile into the living room around the tree and start opening gifts. Aunt D delivering the gifts to the kids and Uncle F with his camera. As soon as we were done, Grandma would head to the kitchen and begin her baking and cooking breakfast...well, as soon as coffee was on! We'd get to play with our toys and Aunts and Uncles until someone grab a bite to eat.

I love this tradition and we carry it on as much as we can in my home. One small difference. I want to spend the morning playing and not in the kitchen, so I usually make my well known cinnamon rolls ahead of time and then warm them up or made this Christmas Coffee Cake the night before. This year I'm making Cherry Coffee Cake. My mom used to make a Cherry Coffee Cake similar to this when I as a kid. It was a hit then and it's a hit today!

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbl butter, frozen
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 can cherry pie filling
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
5 Tbl butter, frozen
2 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Grate in butter and mix until it looks kinda crumbly. In a small bowl beat buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. It will be lumpy. Spread into the pan. Spoon the cherry pie filling evenly over the top.

Mix brown sugar, flour, oatmeal and cinnamon in a bowl. Grate butter into the mixture and toss until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in walnuts and sprinkle over the cherries. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Serve warm and enjoy!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Have you ever made a gingerbread house? It's kind of a tradition around here to decorate a gingerbread house. It's super fun for the kids and oddly stressful for me. I'm a little impatient and I very meticulously align the walls and roof so that the kids can start slopping frosting and candies on the house only to have pieces sliding around everywhere. This year, I did it the right way. I built the house and we're letting it sit over night to solidify so that the kids can have at it with their confectionery creativity without me trying to rig things up just to hold the poor little crooked thing together! So what do you do with your 5 year old after breaking the news that he has to wait yet another day to adorn his creation? Make candy!
I have never made Christmas bark or any bark for that matter. I can't believe how easy this is. And super duper good too!

2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pkg milk chocolate chips
4ish candy canes, crushed

Line a jelly roll pan with waxed paper or parchment paper. Evenly spread cookie pieces in the pan. Pour chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute, stir. Continue to microwave in 30 second increments (stirring in between) until the chocolate is all melted. Evenly pour over the cookie pieces. Sprinkle with candy pieces. Let sit until set - in the fridge or somewhere cool. Break into pieces and munch away! Or better away!



Heath Cheesecake

If you know really know me, you know that I'm a party girl! Not THAT kind of party girl, but in our home...we find every excuse that we can to have a party and have people over for food and fun! My friends have come to expect a lot of goodness at these parties too. I am by the way...flattered! The latest party was Superman's Birthday and ummm ahem *clears throat* Superman is not a big fan of cake or cupcakes *clears throats*tear*. I KNOW! Rude huh...whatever to each his own. Whatever. Superman is however a huge fan of cheesecake and brownie sundaes. So, being the good wife that I am, I put all my dreams and desires for this birthday party aside for him. And I was pretty pleased by my choice to make Heath Cheesecake. Just so you know, this is super rich and sweet and NOT for the lightweight dessert connoisseurs!

2  cups Graham Cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar (for crust)
3-8oz pkg cream cheese, room temp
3 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup sugar (for cheesecake filling)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup heath bits, divided
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbl butter

Heat oven to 350.  Combine graham cracker crumbs (I grind them in a blender), 1/4 cup sugar and butter. Mix well and press into the sides and bottom of a 10" spring-form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until completely smooth, but do not over mix. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Again, mix well but do NOT over mix. Stir in 3/4 cup of the heath bar bits. Pour over the crust and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and keep baking for an additional 45 minutes  or until filling is almost set. Turn the oven off but keep the cheesecake in there for 2- 3 hrs. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN WHILE BAKING!
Remove from the oven and allow to continue to cool at room temperature.
Let's make the ganache topping. Add chocolate chips and cream to a small microwaveable mixing bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until melted. Add butter, cut in chunks. Stir until everything is melted and shiny. Drizzle over the top and sprinkle with the remaining heath bar bits.
Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours!



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Breakfast Wreath

Hello! Just so you know, I do feel really bad about not posting delicious and amazing recipes as often as I should!

Ok, now that is out of the way... Christmas is coming! You know what I realized today? If I was in charge, I would give kids one week off of school BEFORE Christmas and one or two weeks (take your pick) after Christmas. Why? Well, because it's no fun doing all this holiday baking and eating by myself! It would be much more fun dancing and singing and baking and eating and decorating with my four kids. Don't ya think?

I whipped up this little, ok, it wasn't so little but this fun sausage crescent breakfast wreath for my MOPs (Mother Of Preschoolers) Leadership Christmas Party. It was a big hit! It was super duper easy and very few ingredients, I didn't even write down the recipe. Today one of my dear sweet besties requested the recipe, she's good at that..requesting recipes from me and complimenting me...she totally speaks my love language in that way! It makes me happy! Anyway, if you want something festive, flavorful, simple and fun for Christmas morning or a Christmas brunch, this is it!


2 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 lb breakfast sausage
3 green onions, sliced greens and whites
1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
1 cup shredded cheese, I used cheddar

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet brown the sausage then drain the grease. Stir in the cream cheese, onions, peppers and cheese. On a large round pizza pan lay the wide end of the crescent triangles around the edge of the pan making a large sun burst shape. Line with the sausage mixture and fold the shorter end of the crescent triangles over to seal. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Slice and serve!



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Homemade Cherry Pie

I'm taking time out of my super busy morning of listening to the warrior narrate the Peter Pan movie to bring you this delicious Cherry Pie recipe!

Life has taken a few major turns for my family over the last month so on top of now being a mom to 4 kids rather than just 2 and the fact that my computer decided to allow itself to be a victim of hackers and my iphone dying a slow painful death...I've been tech-free and busy for the last month. Thus no princess and warrior treats for you...sorry! The recipes have been written and the food has been baked and the belly's have been full and the pictures have been taken, I just haven't had a chance to share them with you. And now that I am back to the current decade of technology again and 3 of the 4 kids are at school...I'm visiting you, my dear friends!

There are several really good recipes that I can't wait to share with you but this one was on my mind since our last vacation. Last week when we were traveling, we ran across a Classic American Diner in a sophisticated lively downtown area. Superman and I were both intrigued and knew this would be a fun change up from our typical choices. Where can you go wrong with breakfast at 8:00pm, burgers, fries and milkshakes! It was too late, I wasn't going to have pie, but don't diners just make you think of pie? I think so! And I'm sure that their pie would be delish! But I'm not a canned pie filling girl. I like fresh cherries and not a lot of that gooey food coloring stuff. This was some good pie!


6-7 cup fresh cherry's (I used Bing)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbl lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 Tbl corn starch
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350. Prepare double pie crust, either store bought or homemade. In a medium saucepan over medium heat add pitted cherries, lemon juice and sugar. In a small bowl stir the cornstarch into the water and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved then pour into the cherry mixture. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and the reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in almond extract and vanilla. Pour the cherries into the bottom crust and top with top crust. Loosely lay a piece of foil over the top of the crust and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Top with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Carmel Cream Cheese Cup

Today is our first snow day! We are in the second day of November and have had a beautiful fall. As most of you know, I am a summer kind of gal, but there are good reasons to be excited about the first snow fall of the year...snuggling by the fire, cinnamon rolls and chili...just to name a couple! This recipe is another reason to get excited! It's a combination of a couple of my pastry faves - cinnamon rolls and cream cheese danish rolls. They are pretty wonderful, especially dipped in your favorite coffee!


The Dough:
4 cups flour
1 pkg yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

In a small sauce pan warm milk until steamy but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to set 10 - 15 minutes. Stir in yeast and sugar and let set for 5 minutes. Stir in butter, salt and egg. Add flour one cup at a time dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and set in a warm place to rise until doubled 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Heat oven to 400. Grease a muffin tin and set aside. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle and brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Cut into 12 equal sized squares and form into the muffin tin cups. Set aside. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside.

The Cream Cheese Filling:
1 1/2 pkg cream cheese, room temp
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Reduce oven to 350. In a small bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Spoon into roll cups. Spoon 1 Tbl caramel topping over each cup and sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 20 more minutes.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Red Star Yeast.



Monday, October 31, 2011

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I am so excited to begin posting my Holiday Recipes. I usually make the same Thanksgiving and Christmas feast every year. Basically because they have already been perfected and are delicious! But also because everyone in the family is all about traditions and if I did try to change it up, they’d have my head!
I have the best Holiday memories as a child! They all involve spending time with family. When I was a little girl we would go to my grandparent’s farm in central Nebraska. There was always snow, Christmas music, decorations and lights, fun and games, lots of laughter, snow angels and forts, long walks in the cold, sitting by the fire, bedtime stories and goodies and lots and lots of amazing food! The house was full of aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents, grandparents and neighbors. My grandmother always presented an amazing feast on a lovely formal set table. I still don’t know how one woman did it all!
The memories we make today aren’t the same, but just as precious! Superman and I both go crazy over the Holidays and love creating a magical experience for our little family! With keeping in mind the real reason we celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Ah, sweet potatoes….you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. In our family it’s pretty much divided evenly…well, especially if you open a can throw them in a dish with butter brown sugar and marshmallows. But since I have been making these lovely Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes, I’m seeing more converts!  Sweet Potatoes are healthy for you and very flavorful…give these a good try!

(6 – 8 servings)

4 small – medium sweet potatoes, washed and dried
1 cup sour cream, I use fat free
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
Handful pecans (optional)
Handful mini-marshmallows (optional)

Heat oven to 400. Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork a couple of times and then set on the rack in the oven and bake for 1 hr. When done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool enough for you to cut them in half length-wise and scoop out the sweet potato goodness while leaving the skin in tact. In a small bowl combine the sweet potato insides, the sour cream, maple syrup and cinnamon. Spoon or pipe into the hallowed potato skins and top with pecan or marshmallow and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 15 minutes or until the pecan or marshmallows are golden brown.


Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chicken Enchilladas

WARNING: Your skinny jeans will not fit the day after eating these! But they are so good!
If you're not familiar with chilies...don't let the green chilies scare you away...they are not hot at all...they just provide a nice little kick. My 3 year old Princess and 5 year old Warrior eat these up like crazy!

Mine are served up with cilantro rice, re-fried beans, sour cream, guacamole, and balsamic reduction.

3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
12 small flour tortillas
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 - 7oz can green chilies
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour

Heat oven to 350. In a medium saucepan add butter and flour and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth and milk. Allow to thicken slightly, turn heat off and add green chilies and paprika. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine chicken, chopped onion, cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1 cup of the sauce. Mix well. Stir the sour cream into the remaining sauce.
Scoop 1/4 cup chicken mixture on top each tortilla and roll closed. Place the sealed side down in a 9x13 pan.  Pour the sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle whith the remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

I'm just going to be honest with you...loosen your belt and enjoy!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Browned Butter Frosting

The best Pumpkin bars ya every had? Yep, right here! The cinnamon browned butter cream cheese frosting takes the cake! If you never ate frosting by the spoonful yet, you will today! You're not seeking for a hint of pumpkin flavor, their bursting with it! Plus their moist and soft. And did I mention the frosting? Oh, I did?'s...let's just say... OH MY! These babies are good!


1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2 cup flour
1 ½ cup sugar
¾ cup oil
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cloves

Cinnamon Browned Butter Frosting
½ cup butter
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven 350. In a small bowl combine flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. In a another bowl, whisk eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin and mix well. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until well combined. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake about 30 minutes.

Now for the amazing frosting! In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Continue to let butter cook until golden brown and a light nutty aroma. Allow to cool. Once it’s about room temp, beat with cream cheese, cinnamon and powdered sugar and spread over cooled bars. Refrigerate for easier cutting.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Quiche

Pictures are awful...Recipe is divine!

One of my favorite party foods is spinach artichoke dip. Especially my sweet friend Kendra's recipe! But can you eat it for breakfast? Quiche! Genius! Why I haven't seen it before? It's amazing! Go ahead...give it a try!


1 prepared pie crust
9 oz frozen spinach, thawed and juice squeezed from it
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup swiss cheese, chopped or shredded
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 glove garlic, miced

Heat oven to 350. Evenly spread spinach, artichokes, cheeses and garlic in the prepared pie crust. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and milk. Pour into pie crust. Loosely cover the quiche with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until eggs are completely cooked.
Slice, serve and enjoy!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Everyone needs a good go-to sugar cookie recipe! Especially with Christmas around the corner. I made these star cookies as part of the Warriors Super Mario Birthday Party. In half of them I baked them with a lollipop stick and used them as toppers for the cupcakes! They turned out super cute!


3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 Tbl Vanilla
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well, scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure they get mixed in well. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, cover and chill in the refrigerator. I like to chill my dough before working with it, it makes it easier. I usually make the dough the night before and bake it the next day.

Heat oven to 350. flour a clean working space and flatten one of the cookie dough balls onto the surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough about 1/4" think. cut into desired shapes and bake on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes depending on the size of the cookie.

4 cups  powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temp
5 - 7 Tbl milk
1 Tbl vanilla
food coloring

In a large mixing bowl cream butter. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and one Tbl of milk at a time. For a piping consistency make the frosting a slightly thinner with more milk. For a spreading consistency make the frosting slightly thicker with less milk. Frost cooled cookies.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The warrior turned five on this past Saturday. I still can not believe that my sweet little guy is five. I am so thankful to be his mom! I just wish that my days with my kids would slow down, I love to savor every precious moment with them.

Anyway, the birthday warrior knew exactly what kind of cake he wanted. My Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Filling, and chocolate frosting.


1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
3 - 4 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly beat in cocoa powder and powdered sugar. You can add milk tablespoon at a time to adjust the consistency of the frosting or adjust the amount of powdered sugar.

This is a great recipe because you can pipe it or spread it.



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Super Mario Party for a Warrior

The Warrior turned 5 last week and we celebrated the exciting occasion with a SUPER MARIO birthday Party! It's hard to find Mario Bros stuff but we had a ton of fun and the kids loved the theme! The Birthday boy and his friends are still talking about the party! And with over 20 kids...I'm still recovering! It was so worth it though!


60 brown balloons filled with chocolate gold coins!

Yoshi's Egg's Filled with more candy!
Bouncy House!
Even a couple moms and dads tried it out...too bad I didn't' get any pictures of it!
I was horrible at getting pictures taken this party...with over 20 kids running around...I was a little preoccupied!  NOT PICTURED - Crescent Wrapped lil Smokies
White Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Stars Sugar Cookies and Coin dipped Oreo Cookies
Havarti and Gruyere Roast Beef  Sliders
Chicken and Broccoli pockets
Fruit, potato chips and French Onion Dip
Veggies and Dill Dip

  The 'Stache!

Happy Birthday Warrior! I'm glad you had the best day!