Leprechaun Bait

This a fun kiddo recipe!  Perfect for March and St. Patrick’s Day….this recipe makes a large amount, perfect for little bags to give away to classmates…it’s also gluten-free:)

6 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Lucky Charms
1 cup crushed GF pretzels
1  11.4 oz Spring plain M&M’s (pastel colored;) )
14 oz white chocolate chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.  In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chips, 45 seconds at 50% power. Stir and continue in the microwave…30-40 seconds each round until completely melted.
Pour the melted chocolate over the mix and dust the powdered sugar while stirring for an even coating.

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Gooey Butter Cookies

I adore hand-written recipes, seems as if it’s a lost art these days. I treasure my antique collection of recipe books, all hand-written. I love the little notes written on the sides about small tweaks to the recipe. I believe it shows a lot about the baker/cooks’ personality:)  This recipe hails from one of my sweet patients, she grew up in St. Louis and Gooey butter cookies and cake are favorites from that area. Her mother used to bake these all the time for her kids for a special treat. I’m so glad she shared this with me!

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Creamy Pesto Sauce

I have the benefit of cooking pasta on a regular basis for my daughters’ soccer teams…they have pasta feeds quite often, which is a real treat for me, to be able to feed a massive number, since small amounts of food seem to be a challenge for me!  These girls are nearing the end of their high school days and tower over me…well let’s be honest, pretty much everyone is taller than me….I can boast a staggering 5’3 and maybe 1/2″ some-days….but mostly I’m just short.  Some of the girls tower over me, which is totally fine, but what I love most, is these sweet girls are always so grateful for the food that is prepared for them….well done fellow parents!!!;)  The girls seem to have found a certain list of what is always required for these dinners, this being one of them.   I’m more than happy to provide them all:) GO CVCHS Lady Eagles!!! You ladies ROCK!!!

 

1 8 oz block of cream cheese

1 stick of butter (sweet cream, of course)

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

6 oz of grated parm cheese

1 Jar Pesto (Classico Brand) I add the brand, only because so many people have a pine-nut allergy, and this brand does NOT include those, which I love!!!

Melt the first 4 ingredients together slowly….on low-med heat, add the cream and milk and whisk. Add the parm cheese and stir well, let simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese is fully incorporated.  Once it’s nice and creamy, add the jar of pesto and simmer on low for 5 mins.  Toss with whatever pasta shape brings you joy!  My girls love bow-tie..:)

I do not have a pic of this recipe, as the dishes always come home very empty, but will post one this week with the next dish!

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“Cinnabons” for the Bread Machine

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Dough

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

4 TBSP melted butter

4 TBSP water

1/2 box instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz. box)

4 cups flour

2 TBSP sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2-1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

 

Filling

1 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar

3 TBSP cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts, optional

 

Prep

Place  the dough ingredients in your machine in the order as they are listed . Select the dough cycle and press start. When cycle is finished, remove the dough, and roll to about 12-17″ (see pic below)  Spread the softened butter all over the dough. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Spread over rolled out dough. Get as close to the edges as possible. Sprinkle nuts (or raisins if you so desire, yuck!) over dough. Starting with widest end, roll the dough into tight log. Cut into 1/2″ slices. Place in a lightly greased baking dish with sides. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Let them rise 30-40 minutes this way. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. When the rolls are done top with frosting of your choice. Although, I am a purist and only use cream cheese frosting;) Want them super gooey, add a layer of frosting 2-3 minutes after they come out of the oven.  Then add a second layer 8-10 minutes after they’ve been cooling.

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Vanilla Rich Cake

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The month of LOVE is about to arrive! A celebration in which we shower our loved ones with gifts, flowers, that and a heaping amount of sweets. I always felt that February got all the glory compared to the other 11 months, why shouldn’t love have a special day every month?  I know most guys would break into a sweat at this suggestion. I’m married to one of those guys, the ones you see in the card isle on the eve of the 13th…frantically searching for an envelope that will fit the card in hand.  I am totally fine with this, because I have the secret weapon….Sweet Bribery! I have discovered this weapon, and use it quite often, I’ve found that if I make this cake a week before Valentine’s, the gifts are more thoughtful, I may also use this cake as a cover-up for buying something expensive, that I need him distracted from…..Enjoy!

 

Vanilla Rich Cake

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 3.4 oz pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Beat all the first 8 ingredients, on low to moisten, then medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a very well-greased and floured bundt pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 50 minutes. Check with a skewer or thin knife, should come out clean. Cool in pan for 10 mins, then turn over onto a cake platter.

Glaze:
4  TBSP melted butter
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 TBSP water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat until smooth, let stand 3 minutes, then drizzle over cake.
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Blueberry Zucchini Bread

So we now look at the calendar and realize that the past two months have been filled with a non-stop eating fest and our pants are a little on the tight side. It isn’t your fault poor-little-under-appreciated January, but for some reason a crazy person came up with this strange idea of “New Years Resolutions”. Most people set that crazy goal to lose that holiday weight, well I’m here to tell you that I am not that kind of person! So on that note, this recipe is super “healthy”. It involves this special ingredient called zucchini and can be considered a diet food;)

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Blueberry Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups sugar

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 pint fresh blueberries (or 2 pints, if you prefer super blueberry-ish)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Fold in zucchini and blueberries. Pour into prepared pans.

Note: if you peel your zucchini before shredding, there will be no “green” and no one will be the wiser, good way to trick the kiddos!

Crumb Topping

Mix together:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Crumble this on top of your bread batter and bake for 45-50 minutes. Test it with a knife in the center, if it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

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Homemade Butter Rolls

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2 TBSP yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
Put these 3 ingredients, inside your large mixing bowl, stir gently and leave them alone to become close friends for 5 mins.

After the 5 mins, add the following:
1/2 cup butter (aka-1 stick, sweet cream kind of course)
2 large eggs
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour

Start your mixer on slow and then medium speed until it’s mixed well.  Don’t fret, this will be a sticky dough! Cover your mixing bowl with a towel and let it rise for 1 hour. Do not peek.  After an hour, find the largest mixing bowl you have in your kitchen that has a lid, or is a large tupperware container.  I use a clean ice cream bucket. (don’t judge me on why I have 5 of them) Spray the bowl/bucket with non-stick spray, and scoop your sticky dough in and then throw it in your fridge. You can store the dough for 2-3 hours, overnight or for a day or two. That’s the best part, it’s very forgiving!

Now comes the messy part. You’ll need extra flour for this, separate the dough in half, spread a nice layer of flour out on your countertop, place 1 half of the dough on top.  Using a rolling pin, roll it out top to bottom, left to right, to form a circle, like a pizza. Then slice into 12 triangles.  Now, I am a big fan of butter, so I place a little pat of butter on each triangle and then roll them up, starting with the larger section.  Place on a cookie sheet (12 to a pan) that has been greased or has some parchment paper lining.   Spray the tops of the rolled butter rolls with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let them rise for 45-60 mins. Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 375 for 12-14 mins, until nicely browned on top.  Continue the process with the other half of the dough.

Going back to that gluttonous remark earlier? (When my rolls have cooled for 5 minutes, I brush melted butter over the top of them.)  I believe in doing it the right way, more butter the better! These are the best for slopping up that yummy warm turkey gravy and even better for those leftover turkey sandwiches the day after. Your family and friends will thank you….trust me!