Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Getting To Know Your Bread Machine (Easy Recipes & Tips for Busy Families)

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

One of the most invaluable appliances in our home is our bread machine and today I wanted to share with you why I think a bread machine is a wise kitchen investment. This tutorial will offer advice on what to look for in a bread machine, how to use your bread machine, and the best bread machine recipes that our family enjoys on a weekly basis.

Perhaps you already have a bread machine that has been gathering dust in your kitchen or basement. Many people buy these appliances and then end up donating them to their local thrift store because they never use them. I think of the bread machine as a modern day convenience, but in a culture where we want everything NOW, waiting for a loaf of bread can seem like an eternity.

Why wait for a hot loaf of fresh bread when you can grab a loaf at your supermarket?

And what exactly is the purpose of that appliance that is taking up space on your shelves? Let’s get to know our bread machines and find a new way to use them.

What is A Bread Machine or Bread Maker?

A bread making machine or bread maker is a home appliance for baking bread.The bread machine is simple in its construction and consists of a bread pan (or “tin”), at the bottom of which are one or more built-in paddles, mounted in the center of a small special-purpose oven. This little oven is  controlled by a simple built-in computer, the settings for which are inputted on the control panel. Most bread machines have different cycles for different kinds of dough—including white bread, whole grain, European-style (sometimes labeled “French”), and dough-only (for pizza dough and shaped loaves baked in a conventional oven). Many also have a timer to allow the bread machine to activate without operator attendance, and some high-end models allow the user to program a custom cycle.

Some of the older machines have just a handful of simple settings while newer machines offer more advanced cycles including a cycle to make jam or to bake cakes. To be honest, I don’t use the fancy cycles on my bread machine and rely mostly on the Basic and the Dough cycle, which can be found on every machine. The basic cycle is just the basic setting for making a loaf of bread. The Dough cycle just completes the kneading and rising of the dough. Once the dough cycle is complete, you can take the dough out and shape it into your loaf pan or do fancy braids or rolls out of the dough.

The purpose of a bread machine is simple;  you are able to make fresh bread when you want it. The reasons vary from person to person on why they choose to make their own bread. Many people have concerns about the additives and preservatives that are found in store-bought breads. Another reason that many people choose to make their own bread is because they just enjoy the taste of homemade bread. My reasoning for making our own bread is because I like to save our family money. Making your own bread costs so much less than purchasing a loaf of bread, and the rising grocery costs have only fueled my desire more to make it at home.

How Do You Add Ingredients to a Bread Machine?

Inserting your ingredients into a bread machine is also very straightforward. If you are making the loaf right away, you can insert the ingredients in any way that you want. All of these ingredients will immediately be stirred together and so it will not matter what the order is. If you use a timer delay on your bread machine, delaying the start time of making your loaf, it is imperative that you put the ingredients in the right order or your loaf will not turn out right. The order of ingredients is liquid (liquids include water, oil, milk, eggs, or honey), flour, other dry ingredients (salt, sugar, baking powder, seasonings), and ending the ingredients with your yeast. The most important part of putting the yeast in is to make sure that you make a small indentation into the center of the flour so that the yeast does not react with the other ingredients.

Upon inserting your ingredients, your bread machine will take over the process from there. The machine will knead the ingredients together, give the bread its rising time, and then it will bake the bread. The bread machine will signal when the bread is ready and you can allow the bread to cool inside of the bread bucket.

Do I Need to Buy Bread Machine Mixes For My Bread Machine?

There is no need to spend the money on convenience bread machine mixes; in fact, you can make your own convenient mixes handy for the week. I take plastic storage bags and make an assembly line of the dry ingredients and do my bags once a month. On the outside, just write what liquids you will need to add and you will only have a dirty kitchen once instead of weekly.

What is the difference between Instant Yeast, Bread Machine Yeast and RapidRise Yeast?

Just their names because these are all the same yeast. Nothing like making it EXTRA confusing for a novice bread-maker.

Is There Savings in Making Bread at Home?

A quick glance at grocery store prices and you will wonder how there could be any possible savings with making your bread at home. The key to making this the least expensive on your family is to purchase all of your ingredients at your local wholesale club. With proper storage, you can buy the ingredients in bulk and save your family loads of money.

I don’t use my wholesale club membership very often except for our family’s eye care needs and for the occasional party. I won’t ever let my membership lapse though because with one trip to buy my baking supplies, my wholesale club membership has earned its space in my wallet. I make a trip twice a year to buy all of the necessary supplies for my baking and pizza-making needs.

Don’t believe me? Here is the current prices from my local Sam’s Club:

25 Pounds Bread Flour- $6.59 (needed depending upon the recipe)

25 Pounds All-Purpose Flour- $6.68 (needed depending upon the recipe)

2 Pounds of Yeast- $4.16

Cheese (5 pounds for $10.43) , pepperoni (5 pounds for $11.88), and crushed tomatoes (102 ounces for $2.68) can also be bought at a fraction of the price, but in the past I have lacked the capacity and ambition of storage for all of the ingredients.

As a side note, if you do own a membership to Sam’s Club, they have a wonderful Click ‘N Pull service that you can utilize for your shopping day and they can pull the ingredients right to the front and email you when your order is ready to pick up. This is a fantastic free service for moms with small children or who are short on time!

How Do I Store My Bread Machine Ingredients?

For storage, flour can be stored for up to a year in an airtight container. With bulk storage, a large plastic bin that has been clearly labeled is ideal to keep your flour fresh. Yeast is the easiest ingredient to store and has a very long shelf life. I store my yeast in a mason jar in our refrigerator door. With both of these ingredients, writing an expiration date on the label will also remind you of when the item is going to expire. I have also provided a handy Yeast Freshness Test that you can use to see if your yeast is still working. This will come in handy when buying yeast in bulk.

What Kind of Bread Machine Should I Buy?

If you do not have a bread machine and are looking for one, garage sales and thrift sales are a great place to hunt. I see these machines for $10 or less, and you will definitely get your money back from the savings of making your own bread. When you find one, ask if you can plug it in and make sure it is working. Just check that it actually powers up, that there is a bread bucket inside, and that there is a paddle in the bottom of the bread machine to stir the ingredients. Having a manual with it is handy, but usually can be found by searching online.

Over the past five years, I have been using my Sunbeam Bread Machine with great success. All of my past models have been found at the thrift shops and garage sales, but when our bread machine quit on us, I ran out to our local superstore so we wouldn’t have to miss our weekly pizza night. You know an appliance has become invaluable to you if you can’t imagine a day without it. Our bread machine is that invaluable to us.

What Are Some Foolproof Bread Machine Recipes I Can Try With My Family?

On any given day in our house, you will find our bread machine happily humming along and whipping up fresh dough and bread for us. Not only that, but our bread machine has a regular performance in our house on Friday night for our infamous weekly family pizza night.

Here are a few of our family favorites, but you can learn more in my first book, “The Good Life For Less,” that is available on bookstore shelves now: 

The Perfect Pizza Dough (so easy that your kids can roll this one out on their own!)

Bread Machine Pita Pockets

Bread Machine Hamburger Buns or Hot Dog Buns

Whole Wheat Bread Machine Hamburger Buns or Hot Dog Buns

Bread Machine Calzones

Bread Machine Portuguese White Bread

 

Bread Machine Monkey Bread/Bunny Bread

Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls 

 


Yeast Freshness Test
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Not sure if your yeast is still fresh and active? This simple test will help determine if your yeast is still performing!
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup warm tap water (110°F-115°F)
  • 2¼ teaspoons dry yeast (make sure it is at room temperature)
Instructions
  1. Using a one-cup liquid measuring cup, dissolve 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar in ½ cup warm tap water at 110°F-115°F. Using a thermometer is the most accurate way to determine the correct liquid temperature. Any thermometer will work as long as it measures temperatures between 75°F and 130°F. If you don't have a thermometer, the tap water should be warm but NOT hot to the touch.
  2. Stir in one ¼ oz. packet (7g) or 2-1/4 tsp of dry yeast until there are no more dry yeast granules on top.
  3. In three to four minutes, the yeast will have absorbed enough liquid to activate and start to rise.
  4. After ten minutes, the foamy yeast mixture should have risen to the 1-cup mark and have a rounded top.
  5. If this is true, your yeast is very active and should be used in your recipe immediately.
  6. If the yeast did not rise to the 1-cup mark, your yeast has little or no activity. Discard this yeast.

Do you have a bread machine? What is your favorite thing to do with this appliance?

 

I love helping you cook in the kitchen! If you like this cooking tutorial,  be sure to visit my tutorial on How to Cook A Butternut Squash With the Skin On, How to Roast a Spaghetti Squash, and  How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker.

Pin It

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Cinnamon rolls are one of those treats that I always found intimidating to make in the kitchen. Luckily, with my bread machine, these are a cinch to pull together and enjoy on a lazy Saturday morning. Today I want to share with you my bread machine cinnamon roll recipe to create this yummy treat at home in your kitchen.

Growing up, one of my favorite Saturday treats was a Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll. My mom would make these for us on Saturdays and we always fought over the ones that had the most frosting. Sadly, it was such a thrill when my dad worked in the mornings because that meant that there would be two extra rolls for us to fight over. Who could resist those rolls and the simple pleasure of having a sweet treat once a week?

I still love those cinnamon rolls, but at $1.69 a roll, they are an unnecessary addition to the grocery budget. What I do have though is flour and sugar, purchased in bulk, and a bread machine that can turn out cinnamon roll dough like nobody’s business.

The best part about making these cinnamon rolls is that you can vary the sizes and I can make mini-versions of the rolls for the little kids and tuck these in the center of the batch so that they don’t get overdone. The kids love these mini versions and I control the amount of sugar they are getting. Just give them a teeny drizzle of frosting and they will be set!

Of course, I have been know to reheat these in the microwave for a nice snack in the evening or for breakfast the next day. Place one on a microwave-safe plate and zap for about twenty seconds. It make a great snack paired with a hot cup of coffee.

Tomorrow I will be sharing more about our beloved bread machine and what you can do with it! For now, I hope you can enjoy this easy and delicious treat with your family!

 


5.0 from 1 reviews
Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Homemade cinnamon rolls are a breeze when created in your bread machine. This bread machine cinnamon roll recipe is foolproof and a perfect Saturday morning treat.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups skim milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil or canola oil
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • Cinnamon Roll Filling: ⅓ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Cinnamon Roll Glaze: ½ cup powdered sugar to 1-2 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in order recommended by your bread machine manufacturer.
  2. Select DOUGH CYCLE and start machine.
  3. Preheat your oven to 100°F and then turn off.
  4. When dough cycle is complete remove from machine.
  5. Roll out to about 12 x 15″ and spread with butter or margarine. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over all and roll up tightly .Roll it tightly and slowly, being careful to keep all the filling inside. At this point you should have a long log that you can cut your rolls from. You can wrap the dough with plastic and store in the fridge overnight or you can slice your rolls and put them on your cookie sheet or pizza stone.
  6. If preparing now, cut into as many rolls as you want. (I usually make ten large rolls).
  7. For the next day or right away: Cover with cloth and put in the warm oven for 45-60 minutes to rise.
  8. When doubled remove from oven.
  9. Turn oven to 400°F and when you put the buns in the oven, reduce temperature immediately to 375° and bake for 12-15 minutes or until done.
  10. When the rolls are done, drizzle your frosting over the rolls and serve them warm or room temperature (although they are best served warm).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pin It

Dairy-Free Crustless Quiche

Monday, January 7th, 2013

One of the hardest things I did this year was to start eating a dairy-free diet. This dairy-free crustless quiche recipe got me through many cheesy-filled get holiday togethers and was created just for myself for Christmas morning this year. You won’t believe how decadent this dairy-free crustless quiche tastes and, I highly doubt, you will even miss the milk or cheese.

Dairy-free doesn’t mean egg-free for me, but it did mean giving up the cheese and milk in my life. I made an easy transition into drinking almond milk (remember those infamous milk allergy mugs), but other transitions were a little more challenging. Our weekly pizza night now has a special alternative-cheese section for me, tacos and enchiladas also have an alternative-cheese section, creamy & decadent main dishes have been abandoned for now,  and I have had to learn some new ways of snacking. Although it has been challenging, the rewards have been so worth it for my stomach.

Although a round of allergy testing proved, I am not allergic to milk, my body’s response to it is to attack itself for three days straight if I have any dairy. As I get older, I want to deal with that less and less. Who has time to be sick for three days?  Luckily for me, there are many great dairy-free options at the supermarket and natural food stores to keep me full and happy.

What I love about this quiche is that it offers the perfect balance of layers of delicious veggies with an egg mixture mixed with a little spice and the mild flavor of rice milk.

Although many times you need to go to natural food stores to stock up on dairy-free alternatives, this dish can be created with supplies bought at your local Walmart stores. The rice milk is available with a couple of other milk alternative options over by the coffee/tea section of our store. I am becoming a fan of rice milk for cooking and I think you will too!

Don’t feel limited to the vegetable options I am sharing though, the beauty of a quiche is that it can be created from whatever you might need to use up in your vegetable drawer of your refrigerator!

Dairy-Free Crustless Quiche
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A dairy-free crustless quiche that is healthy, packed with veggies, and loaded with flavor.
Ingredients
  • Dairy-Free Crustless Quiche
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 handfuls fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped if desired
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms
  • 1 pint cherry mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup plain rice milk
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. sweet paprika
  • ⅛ tsp. black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and heat for one minute.
  3. Toss in chopped bell peppers and mushrooms and cook for five minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder, rice or almond milk, salt, paprika, and black pepper.
  6. Stir in the sauteed vegetables and fresh spinach, and stir until well combined.
  7. Pour mixture into a greased pie pan.
  8. Place the sliced cherry tomatoes on top, cut side down.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow the quiche to set up for at least five minutes.
  11. Cut and then serve immediately.

What healthy eating plans do you have for the New Year? Any advice for someone who is trying to go dairy-free with their diet? I would love to hear your ideas!

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts  My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

Pin It

Fall Into Fall FOODS With MomAdvice

Monday, September 17th, 2012

The Best of Fall Recipes from MomAdvice.com.

As I begin creating new recipes for the site, I wanted to showcase a few of my favorite dishes that have been on our site in years past for the fall. Fall just so happens to be my favorite season and coincidentally, Fall foods and drinks happen to be my favorite type of sips & dishes.

Here is a list of a few of my favorite Fall foods that I can’t wait to eat this year!

Weeknight Roast Turkey Sandwiches

Few things say fall is here to me like the delicious flavor of roast turkey. While many think of roasting a turkey as only a routine done on Thanksgiving, I think of roasting a turkey as an easy weeknight dish that can be turned into delicious packed sandwiches for my kid’s lunchboxes and a lifesaver for busy weeknights when I don’t feel like cooking. You will love this easy (and frugal) technique for a great weeknight turkey sandwich!

Hearty Beef Stew

Nothing says the Fall like a great beef stew. This stew is so rich and decadent,  because of the use of bacon in this stew. The bacon fat is what all of the vegetables get coated in for cooking and then the cooked bacon is set aside for crumbling on top of the stew once it comes out of the oven.  I filled the broth with red wine and beef broth, to create a rich and flavorful broth that will have your whole family begging for more!

Soup, Soup, & More Soup

For a family that never liked soup, we have become the family with a soup night in our weekly rotation. Visit the link above to access my absolute favorite soups- an easy weeknight chicken noodle, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, our Pesto Chicken Tortellini, and so much more! If that isn’t enough soup for you this year, you must try my homemade tomato soup. It will change any negative feelings you might have about tomato soup- I promise!

Apple Pie Muffins

My family does not like apple pie (weird, I know!), but they do really love my apple pie muffins that incorporate those delicious flavors of the apple pie with a simple crumb topping. If you happen to have an abundance of apples on hand, I highly recommend giving these apple muffins a try

The batter is sweet, but not too sweet, and the apples have a warmness to them thanks to the cooked apple and the cinnamon that is worked into the crumb topping and within the muffin itself.  Serve these up with a big glass of milk and you have the makings of a perfect snack!

Apple Pork Chops

These pork chops are a satisfyingly sweet and savory dish that pairs ingredients that I typically have around our house. The brown sugar and cinnamon sauce adds a delicious glaze to this perfectly cooked pork.  Baking the pork helps it to achieve the perfect temperature and I believe you will be stunned at what a tender and juicy pork chop this recipe yields!

Baked Apple Pie Donuts

I love baking donuts and these Baked Apple Pie Donuts are the perfect treat to make for your family! The dominate flavor in this one is definitely the apple followed by the earthy and nutty flavor of ground nutmeg that helps round out the flavor profile of these donuts.  Once these delicate donuts are done baking, they are brushed lightly with butter and then dipped into a cinnamon and sugar coating that helps bring all of those delicious fall flavors together and that little bit of gritty, yummy crunch that just so happens to be my favorite thing about donuts.

Cheddar Apple Pie Dip

One of my favorite combinations for fall eating is cheddar and apples. If you haven’t tried this before, it is the perfect balance of sweet and savory and they all come together in this easy & delicious dip.  Diced on top  is a mixture of red and green apples that have been tossed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and coarsely chopped walnuts. The layer underneath offers a surprise of cheddar cheese mixed with cream cheese and sour cream, cooked until hot and bubbly. Serve with your favorite cinnamon chip or cracker.

 

The Best of Fall Recipes from MomAdvice.com.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Syrup Frosting

I wanted to figure out a way to use the leftover cans of pumpkin we had from our Thanksgiving feasting last year, and I decided to create my very own Baked Pumpkin Donuts with a Maple Syrup Frosting that would be the perfect use for the pumpkin leftover. What started as a way to use up leftover pumpkin is now worked into our fall activities and this year my kids will be enjoying these with big mugs of  homemade hot cocoa on our little front step outside when we do our raking this year.

These are flavorful and almost like a glass of wine, you can taste all the different flavors as you eat them. You can taste the hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, the rich pumpkin flavor, and then that maple syrup sweetness from the light glaze drizzle. The texture is different than a fried donut and more like a muffin or a good piece of cake. They are not overly sweet though and the pumpkin really seems to add a savory quality to these.

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

I can’t tell you how many of my friends have made my pumpkin pasta a part of their fall routines. It is one of those dishes that surprises me about just how much it is loved!

Have you ever tried pumpkin pasta?  Over the years this dish has become the most favorite dish for fall and one bite of this will tell you why! The kids think it looks like macaroni and cheese so it does not take much coaxing to get them to try a bite. My husband loves the turkey sausage and the meaty flavor of this dish. Me? I just love the creamy pumpkin taste in my mouth!

If you are worried about how your family will react to pumpkin pasta, scale the pumpkin back. You can do between 2/3-2 cups of pasta, depending on your personal taste. Start with a little and ease your family into the two cup ratio.

The pumpkin recipes go on for days and days on our site! Be sure to visit my article on 11 Recipes to Try this Fall with Pumpkin!

What is your favorite Fall recipe you have tried from our site? Have any of these recipes become a yearly tradition for your families? I would love to hear from you!

 

Pin It

Grain and Nut Whole Wheat Pancakes

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

I am always trying to incorporate whole grains into our morning meal routines for both of my children. These Nut and Grain Whole Wheat Pancakes packed a triple punch for a morning starter because they are filled with not only whole wheat flour, but the additional benefits of being laced with ground oatmeal and chopped walnuts for a hearty and satisfying pancake.

Thanks to the fact that the kids are continually exposed to whole grain foods, I think it is pretty cool that they seem to prefer these now over the white stuff. In fact, our favorite waffle recipe is still my recipe for Cinnamon Whole Wheat Waffles and the kids beg for these for our Sunday morning brunches.

These are definitely the type of pancakes that stick to your ribs which make them perfect for those long days at school before the lunch hour. I have a feeling your family will love these just as much as mine did. Top them with a little maple syrup or favorite fruit preserves and a small handful of walnuts for a beautiful finish.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Grain & Nut Whole Wheat Pancakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A hearty pancake laced with whole wheat flour, ground oatmeal, and chopped walnuts.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup canola oil (or you can substitute with ½ cup applesauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Grind the oats in a blender or food processor until fine. In a large bowl, combine ground oats, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry with a few swift strokes.
  4. Stir in nuts, if desired.
  5. Lightly oil a skillet or griddle, and preheat it to medium heat.
  6. Ladle ⅓ cup of the batter onto the hot skillet; cook the pancakes for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until brown.
  7. Recipe should yield 12 pancakes.

 

Pin It

Brown Butter Waffles With Cherries

Monday, August 6th, 2012

In our family, there is nothing we love more than our weekly batch of waffles. I decided to pair together two flavors that our family had never experienced before, brown butter and cherries, for a fun spin to go along with our favorite summer fruit.

Browning butter adds a surprising depth of flavor to your dishes and takes a mere three minutes to pull off. Just by cooking your butter in a saucepan a tad past the melting point, it results in the milk solids in the butter browning, and creates a wonderfully nutty aroma in your kitchen and in your foods.

Much like one of my other favorite  waffle recipes, whipped egg whites add lightness to these waffles and help balance the nutty flavoring of the browned butter in these waffles.

I had half a pound of cherries in our refrigerator and this recipe was the perfect way to use them up. I pitted the cherries and cut them in half, then allowed them time to marinate in a few tablespoons of honey while I gathered the ingredients for the waffles. The sugars in the honey help to break down the cherries and release their cherry juices into the honeyed sauce. It results in a sweet topping that is just sweet enough to balance the delicate flavors of these waffles.

A double batch of these in our freezer won’t last long and I doubt they will last long in your house either! Happy waffle making!


Brown Butter Waffles With Cherries
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Make a double batch of these light and airy waffles for eating and for freezing. They won't last long!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cherries (about ½ pound)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Halve and pit the cherries and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the honey, stir to mix evenly and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the cherries to release some of their juice.
  3. Preheat a waffle iron.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids in the bottom of the pan turn a toasty brown, about 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.
  6. Add the milk, egg yolks and vanilla, and whisk until combined.
  7. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the milk mixture and whisk just until combined (a few small lumps are okay).
  8. In another bowl, using a clean whisk or a handheld mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Scoop the whites onto the batter and, using the whisk, gently fold them in evenly.
  9. Spoon the batter into your waffle maker (sprayed with nonstick spray), and cook until the waffle is golden brown, usually about 4 minutes.
  10. Serve the waffles piping hot with a big spoonful of the cherries.


Looking for more great waffle recipes? Be sure to visit this post with six different varieties of waffles you can make with your waffle iron!

Pin It

Honey Bun Cake

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Coffee cake is one of my favorite things to make when I am entertaining. This super rich Honey Bun cake was a new creation in my kitchen and was fittingly named after the sticky cinnamon roll that is covered in a thin sugar glaze known as the, “honey bun.” I knew that this sweet and decadent treat would make a fun addition to our family’s Easter brunch and would be a great way to end our celebration.

The combination of sour cream, canola oil, and the addition of poured honey over the cake creates a moist cake with a dense crumb that begs to be paired with a big glass of milk. Once pulled from the oven, a final decadent layer of a sugar glaze is drizzled on top, which hardens to create a thin sugar glaze over the top of the cake.

Our family absolutely loved  this cake and I would highly recommend it for a fun way to end any brunch or paired with a little decaf coffee for a great way to end an evening when entertaining.


Honey Bun Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
A delicious cake that tastes just like a sticky cinnamon sweet roll.
Ingredients
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • For filling: ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • For sugar glaze: 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9" pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place the cake mix, sour cream canola oil, and eggs in a mixing bowl.
  3. Blend on low speed for one minute. Increase speed and then beat another two minutes.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth with a spatula.
  5. Add your filling. Drizzle the honey on top of the batter, then sprinkle your brown sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Swirl your topping through the cake to blend them slightly.
  7. Bake for 38-40 minutes (mine took about 44 minutes).
  8. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool.
  9. Prepare your glaze of sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  10. Pour your glaze over the top of the hot cake and spread it over the cake with a spoon.
  11. Allow cake to cool for 20 minutes before cutting it into squares.
  12. Serve the cake warm with big glasses of milk.

Adapted from, “The Cake Mix Doctor,” Cookbook.

I also wanted to share with you some pictures of the things we did for our family brunch.

I picked up a supermarket bouquet of flowers for our centerpiece and then surrounded it with our eggs for egg decorating for the kids. I am loving my freshly painted white kitchen table and freshly reupholstered chairs. It is so nice not having to use a tablecloth when entertaining.

The kids indulged in Kool-Aid Egg Dying again this year and we loved the rich, vibrant shades of colors we were able to achieve.

I prefer to keep entertaining informal so the food was buffet style for our get together.  I served our Ham & Vegetable Strata, a Sausage & Cheese Egg Casserole, fresh fruit layered in a trifle bowl, my Bacon & Ranch Cheese Ball, the Honey Bun Cake (above), and orange juice or coffee for our guests. Everything was made the day before, except the cake, and it made entertaining on a busy Sunday morning very easy.

Pin It

Ham & Vegetable Breakfast Strata

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Throwing brunches is one of my favorite entertaining tricks for staying ahead on food preparation and staying under budget. A breakfast strata happens to be one of my favorite brunch dishes to prepare because all of the work can be done ahead of time, allowing me the chance to really be in the moment and visit with our guests.

Breakfast strata is nice and frugal because you can use what is in season and on sale to create this elegant dish. Better yet, you can use the leftover Easter ham and leftover vegetables in a fun and creative way. Even the bread can be stale or leftover from your Easter feasting. If you don’t have any bread to dig into, don’t forget my super awesome resource for day old bread. Between that and your Easter leftovers, you have the makings of a meal for mere pennies.

This strata is unlike my usual meat and cheese strata because it is filled with delicious fresh vegetables. I used zuchinni, mushrooms, and green peppers in mine, but you can mix up whatever variety of vegetables you love or have on hand. Leave the meat out to keep it vegetarian or add your favorite meat to add another dimension of flavor.

The creaminess in this comes from a tiny bit of half-and-half and a whole lot of cream cheese.

In my grandmother’s words, “Cream cheese just makes everything better.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Breakfast Strata
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
A breakfast strata that you can assemble the night before. This is a winner for any brunch or when entertaining. This makes two. Cut your recipe in half for just one strata.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 cups chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1½ cups chopped green pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup half-and-half cream
  • 12 eggs
  • 4 cups cubed day-old bread
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, zucchini, ham, green peppers and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Drain and pat dry; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and cream until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs.
  4. Stir in the bread, cheese, salt, pepper and vegetable mixture.
  5. Pour into two greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dishes.
  6. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  7. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


We wanted to share with you a few of our favorite pictures from our Easter celebration. We hope you all had a wonderful Easter with your families!

What is your favorite way to use up those Easter dinner leftovers?

 

Pin It

Banana Crumb Muffins

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I had a rainy day with nothing to do on the horizon. I put on a little Ella Fitzgerald on my laptop and headed into kitchen to spend the morning baking and thinking. I always do my best thinking in the kitchen, don’t you?  There is something about the mindless concentration of measuring, scooping, leveling, and mixing that appeals to me. With ripe bananas sitting on the counter, I knew these Banana Crumb Muffins would be the ideal treat for a sweet snack for my kids. Everyone has a favorite recipe for bananas and these Banana Crumb Muffins happen to be my favorite for putting those bananas to good use.

If you are looking for a bakery-worthy recipe, these muffins would be right at home in any bakery. The cinnamon and sugar streusel topping is really what makes these rather ordinary banana muffins stand out. The crunch from the topping with the moist cake makes these a winner in our family.

I love to double the crumb topping on these and keep this in my freezer. It is a fun addition to any of your favorite muffin recipes and makes the process of creating these just a little bit easier the second time around. When you want to use the crumb topping, just use a fork to break the topping up a bit and add as you normally would to your muffins.

Serve these delicious muffins with big glasses of ice cold milk for an easy and satisfying snack.


5.0 from 2 reviews
Banana Crumb Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
A light & fluffy banana muffin with a delicious cinnamon and brown sugar struesel topping.
Ingredients
  • Banana Crumb Muffins
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • ¾ cups white sugar
  • 1 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅛ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ t ground cinnamon
  • 1 T butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Lightly grease ten muffin cups or line with muffin papers.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter.
  5. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut the butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  8. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for eighteen to twenty minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean.

 

Looking for other delicious muffin recipes? I love these Healthy Banana & Blueberry Muffins, these Apple Pie Muffins, and my Lemony Blueberry Muffins for some other fun muffin alternatives!

Pin It

Baked Snickerdoodle Doughnuts

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Baked donuts have become our family’s new way of celebrating all of the special occasions in our life and I couldn’t wait to share with you my snickerdoodle donut creation I made this week. These baked snickerdoodle donuts are a fun & frugal family treat that are easy to create with a simple nonstick donut pan ( we have two of these Norpro 6-count Nonstick Donut Pans) and pantry ingredients.

My husband celebrated his birthday this past weekend and I wanted to create something special for his birthday morning. Every year I try to find a snickerdoodle treat for him since it is his favorite cookie in the whole world. We have enjoyed everything from the cookies to snickerdoodle cupcakes to snickerdoodle biscotti in our house. It seems no matter what version of snickerdoodles we are creating, we love them no matter what. Who could resist that cinnamon flavor?

I will admit the first batch of these was a giant fail, although they photographed beautifully. I played with different leavening agents that yielded gummy and heavy donuts.  I ended up baking a second round later in the week using cake flour and it helped to yield a much lighter donut and more the consistency I was after. It is proof that sometimes it takes a couple of tries before you get it right when baking.

Each donut was dipped in butter and then dipped in a bowl filled with sugar and cinnamon. The coating adds that crunch and more cinnamon flavor that remind me so much of our favorite snickerdoodle cookie. We all agreed, that these donuts were heavenly and there was not a single one left once I perfected the batch.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Snickerdoodle Donuts
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
These baked cake donuts are full of cinnamon flavor with a crunchy cinnamon & sugar topping that you are sure to love!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cake flour (or 1¾ cup all-purpose flour + ¼ cup cornstarch)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon & Sugar Topping: ¼ cup of butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the cake flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Pour in the milk, eggs, butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Gently mix the ingredients together. Be careful not to over-mix the batter.
  5. Lightly grease a doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Carefully spoon the batter into the doughnut pan, filling each one halfway (you should get twelve donuts total)
  7. Bake the doughnuts at 400 F for eight minutes. The donuts will remain light in color, but should spring back when pressed.
  8. Allow to cool for five minutes.
  9. Unmold each donut gently and lightly brush each with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
  10. Dunk in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon mixed in.
  11. Shake off excess sugar and serve immediately.

 

Emily & Ethan presented their Dad with these fabulous donuts for his birthday treat. We all sang to him and Emily presented just one more gift for her dad…

Her front tooth.

It is too adorable for words.

Looking for really great baked donut recipes? I have you covered!

1. Baked Apple Pie Donuts

2. Baked Blueberry Donuts with a Lemon Glaze

3. Fluffy Cake Donuts with a Simple Glaze

4. Fluffy Baked Chocolate Donuts

5. Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Syrup Frosting

6. Baked Glazed Gingerbread Donuts

What are your favorite ways to celebrate birthdays in your family? We would love to hear your family’s traditions for celebrating!

 

Submitted to Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale.

Pin It